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Gentle Discipline Book: How to raise co-operative, polite and helpful children

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Discipline is an essential part of raising happy and successful kids, but as more and more parents are discovering, conventional approaches often don't work and can even lead to more frustration, resentment, power struggles, and shame. Enter Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a popular parenting expert who believes there's a better way. Citing the latest research in child development, ps Discipline is an essential part of raising happy and successful kids, but as more and more parents are discovering, conventional approaches often don't work and can even lead to more frustration, resentment, power struggles, and shame. Enter Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a popular parenting expert who believes there's a better way. Citing the latest research in child development, psychology, and neuroscience, Gentle Discipline debunks common myths about punishments, rewards, the "naughty chair", and more and presents practical, connection-based techniques that really work—and that bring parents and kids closer together instead of driving them apart. Topics include: • Setting—and enforcing—boundaries and limits with compassion and respect • Focusing on connection and positivity instead of negative consequences • Working with teachers and other caregivers • Breaking the cycle of shaming and blaming Filled with ideas to try today, Gentle Discipline helps parents of toddlers as well as school-age kids embrace a new, more enlightened way to help kids listen, learn, and grow.


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Discipline is an essential part of raising happy and successful kids, but as more and more parents are discovering, conventional approaches often don't work and can even lead to more frustration, resentment, power struggles, and shame. Enter Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a popular parenting expert who believes there's a better way. Citing the latest research in child development, ps Discipline is an essential part of raising happy and successful kids, but as more and more parents are discovering, conventional approaches often don't work and can even lead to more frustration, resentment, power struggles, and shame. Enter Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a popular parenting expert who believes there's a better way. Citing the latest research in child development, psychology, and neuroscience, Gentle Discipline debunks common myths about punishments, rewards, the "naughty chair", and more and presents practical, connection-based techniques that really work—and that bring parents and kids closer together instead of driving them apart. Topics include: • Setting—and enforcing—boundaries and limits with compassion and respect • Focusing on connection and positivity instead of negative consequences • Working with teachers and other caregivers • Breaking the cycle of shaming and blaming Filled with ideas to try today, Gentle Discipline helps parents of toddlers as well as school-age kids embrace a new, more enlightened way to help kids listen, learn, and grow.

30 review for Gentle Discipline Book: How to raise co-operative, polite and helpful children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Angelique

    This book is so hard in line with everything I've read, feel and am. I'm not usually one for parenting books, but reading this has fundamentally changed my relationship with my son in a positive way that is really healthy and happy for both of us. I really liked the way you wrote this book, Sarah! Some bits I liked: pg. 11 If you have told a child a thousand times and he still does not understand, then it is not the child who is the slow learner. pg. 14 Children would probably prefer that they did This book is so hard in line with everything I've read, feel and am. I'm not usually one for parenting books, but reading this has fundamentally changed my relationship with my son in a positive way that is really healthy and happy for both of us. I really liked the way you wrote this book, Sarah! Some bits I liked: pg. 11 If you have told a child a thousand times and he still does not understand, then it is not the child who is the slow learner. pg. 14 Children would probably prefer that they didn't misbehave just as much as parents do...the secret to emotional intelligence is knowing that all emotions are OK; it is how we manage them that matters pg. 23 Screens have no place in your child's bedroom, or even in the hour or two leading to bedtime. pg. 24 In fact, their behaviour shows what a great job the parents are doing, by making their child feel secure and supported enough to be able to show their true emotions (when children act well at school and 'bad' at home). pg. 27 All behaviour is communication. pg. 31 One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to nurture - and repair, when necessary - the bond you have with your child. pg. 32 Play is not a waste of time or something to be done when 'the important stuff' is complete. It is the important stuff. pg. 44 By praising an innate ability you may accidentally push your child into a more fixed mindset. To foster a growth mindset you should only praise either something that can be changed or your child's effort. pg. 55 So, for their brains to develop to their full potential, children need an environment of support, a variety of enriching experiences and love. pg. 56 The very last section of the brain to mature, during the teenage years and early twenties, is the prefrontal cortex, which controls judgement, impulse control and emotion regulation. Until this section of the brain is well connected, it is reasonable to expect the child, or indeed teenager, to lack judgement and self-control. pg. 62 We should not expect a child to share until they have reached school age...Any punishment displays a lack of empathy from the adult's perspective and often a lack of understanding of normal child development. pg. 63 And...teenagers' brains have the engine of a sports car, but the brakes of a mini. (my notes: be empathic, they learn it from you, empathetic behaviour is understanding what the child can do) pg. 75 research that looked at the behaviour of 160,000 children suggests that physical punishment increases aggression, antisocial behaviour, cognitive difficulties and mental-health problems. It is also found that children who were smacked or spanked were most likely to defy their parents. pg. 77 No real learning takes place when children are disciplined using rewards; the child is simply complying because they want what is on offer. pg. 79 Distraction can be one of the most damaging discipline tools if used too often. It prevents children from feeling, expressing and therefore, managing emotions and, most importantly, it does not teach them anything useful for the future. pg. 83 'I love your cat. It looks so happy!' - example of what to say, don't use 'well done', be specific. Praising a child simply for achievement on the other hand develops a fixed mindset 'You got an excellent score on that piece of work. What do you think you did really well this time?' (good way of phrasing this) SPORTS CAST MY CHILD'S ACTIONS - ASK QUESTIONS Pg. 84 'You're so handsome', 'You're so clever' and 'my gorgeous girl' can all have potentially negative effects. Pg. 85 GOOD EXAMPLE: 'I watched you pick up all of the toys and put them in the toy box; it's lovely and tidy in here now, isn't it? That will give us much more room to play a game together later.' This type of praise makes he child feel recognised and validated. pg. 93 Once they are three years old, however, natural consequences can be used to help them to learn, but only in situations where the risk is age-appropriate and safe. Withholding food from children is not an appropriate natural consequence - it is punishment. pg. 98 you are your child's main teacher; never underestimate your own importance and the effect you can have on your child over and above any teacher. pg. 113 It (when a child is violent) often happens when a child feels vulnerable, anxious or out of control. They don't mean to be violent - they simply cannot control their reactions. pg. 114 Children need our attention as much as they need air to breathe. THE BIG MESSAGE: -WHY is the child behaving this way? Has something triggered the behaviour? Is it developmentally normal? -HOW is the child feeling? Are they acting this way because they are feeling bad? -WHAT do you hope to teach the child when you discipline them? pg. 117 Calmly and firmly tell your child that their behaviour is not acceptable. SAY 'I WILL NOT LET YOU DO THAT' pg 121 'STOP - I WON'T LET YOU BITE.' 'I WILL NOT LET YOU KICK/HIT'. 'I WILL NOT LET YOU KICK/PUNCH THAT'. Pg. 124 'Stop! Hold on to that please.' By telling them what you want them to do, rather than shouting, 'No, don't throw', you are making it far more likely that they will listen and respond because you are focusing on the positive, rather that a vague or negative instruction...'You can't throw the ornament, but we can go outside and throw your ball if you want?' Pg. 126 Giving him as much attention as possible when he is calm is the way forward here. Pg. 127 'Stop. I won't let you hit your sister'. Pg. 128 It's okay (children) have big feelings and it's OK that (they) express them. Pg. 130 'I won't let you hit - it hurts' (You can't BLANK but you can BLANK, I won't let you BLANK) -connect and when they are stressed, it's fight or flight. (Pg. 132 Each minute that I sulked, however, I would silently beg for my parents to come and see if I was OK) Pg. 133 Sulking really doesn't feel good for the sulker. Pg. 136 Conventional wisdom says to ignore them while they sulk or pay no attention to them when they whine. This is outdated advice, however, and is the worst thing you can do. Ignoring a child who is whining or sulking because they feel disconnected highlights the face that you are not listening to them and increases their perceived lack of control over their life. (My notes - sulking/whining equals need attention) pg. 137(My notes - listen to your child) Connection almost always comes at the top of my list of recommendations for helping with undesirable behaviours. Listening intently to what your child is saying or asking of you really helps to make them feel validated. (my notes - give them autonomy when you can) pg. 140-1 If children become too 'full up' with uncomfortable feelings, they may explode or become grumpy, irritable and whiny. pg 143 'What is your child trying to tell you?' - My notes: give children choice and control - so much isn't their choice and control pg 147 - graph about effective positive commands - walk please, hands by your side, gentle hands, stay with me and hold my hand, kind hands, food on the plate, quiet voice, still and calm, draw on the paper and hold the ball still in your hand, please. pg. 154 explain how sleep heals the body and the mind and helps them to have energy for the next day, as well as an explanation of what happens when they don't get enough sleep. (my notes - explain so they understand explain explain explain) pg. 157 what do you want your child to learn from your discipline? pg. 158 most school-age children aren't particularly organised due to an immature frontal cortex. pg. 160 Limit screen time - children have a lack of impulse control. (my notes always ask the why is the behaviour there, how does the child feel) my notes pg 170 don't dismiss feelings ACCEPT FEELINGS Pg. 171 Agreeing with you almost means admitting that they themselves were wrong and that's something that they - like many of us - find difficult. Pg. 172 It is also a good idea to talk with them about how it's OK to be wrong - everybody is sometimes, even you. (My notes - alea iacta est - the die is cast/future is predetermined) Pg. 174 Are they using rudeness and backchat as a protection mechanism for some big, uncomfortable feelings that they don't want to experience? Pg. 177-8 REMEMBER YOU ARE MODELLING ALL OF THE TIME Pg. 178 However, children often work hard to keep it all together at school and then finally let everything out when they get home. Pg. 180 Empathy and listening, reconnection with you (without her sister around) and giving her more control should generate a big change in her behaviour...Understanding that these behaviours are developmentally normal can go a long way towards reducing these feelings. Uncovering the underlying emotions and working with them using gentle discipline methods may not stop the behaviour completely but, in time, you should notice a significant reduction. Pg. 184 (My notes, don't compare :( ) If you want to protect the sibling relationship, steer well clear of comparing your children, particularly in their presence. (my notes - be label free) Pg. 187 First and foremost, ensure that each child gets as much individual attention from you as possible. You cannot move on to anything else until this is addressed...a child who seeks attention is a child who needs attention. My notes: The message again and again - children are held to standards - adults don't hold themselves to! Pg. 200 Empathy, as we learned right at the beginning of this book, is one of the last social skills to develop in children. Pg. 222 why is your child struggling with self-esteem? How are they feeling? And what do you want to achieve in terms of changing their thoughts and beliefs through gentle-discipline methods? Pg. 230 Say things like: tying my shoelaces is tricky, but I'm learning how to do it. Right now, I don't do well in sports, but I know if I practise hard, I will get much better. I struggle with making friends at the moment, but I'm working on being more confident and introducing myself to others and asking them to play. I'm really struggling with my maths homework, but I'm not going to give up. I know if I really concentrate and ask for help, I can do it. Climbing isn't something I'm good at right now, but I bet the other children weren't good to start with. I can get better at it, just as they did. Pg. 231 Affirmations for little ones: each day, in every way, I am becoming more confident. I accept myself just as I am; I am more than enough. I can do anything I want to do so long as I believe that I can. I am me; it is good to be me. I trust that I can achieve whatever I want. My confidence is growing every day. Pg. 238 (I've said this) And, as children get older, it doesn't get easier - it just changes. Pg. 241 Make sure you let them know how much you value their concern though and thank them for their thoughtfulness (what to do when you get 'helpful' advice) My notes - use I statements when you want to communicate, I.e. not you're a blank, but I feel blank when you... Pg. 251 It's not my child's job to help me grow. Pg. 252 Telling myself that he is not giving me a hard time, but he is having a hard time, sometimes helps My notes - there is a reason for unhappy behaviour! Pg. 258 Why is the child behaving this way? Has something triggered their behaviour? Is it developmentally normal? How is the child feeling? Are they acting this way because they are feeling bad? What do you hope to teach the child when you discipline them?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris Haley

    I came across this on audiobook and decided I would read it on my commute because, let's face it, every parent can benefit from new ideas on child discipline. The book is a mixed bag. She has a lot to say about how a child's mind works, and I don't doubt her knowledge on this subject. She also has some useful ideas on how to respond to children. But like so many childhood discipline books, when it comes to examples of specific disciplinary actions in specific scenarios, she takes the easy route I came across this on audiobook and decided I would read it on my commute because, let's face it, every parent can benefit from new ideas on child discipline. The book is a mixed bag. She has a lot to say about how a child's mind works, and I don't doubt her knowledge on this subject. She also has some useful ideas on how to respond to children. But like so many childhood discipline books, when it comes to examples of specific disciplinary actions in specific scenarios, she takes the easy route of setting up these simple, strawman behaviors then shows how easy it is to address them. On the hard issues, she falls back to explaining why the child is behaving that way and too often avoids offering tangible suggestions on how to address the behavior real-time. Ultimately, I appreciated her insights on child psychology, but I didn't find much value in using this as a framework for raising children.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alanna Truong

    This was totally worth reading, though I did find myself having "minor" disagreements with some things the author said (not with the concept of gentle disciple, which I totally love!). As a whole, this book was incredibly helpful. It really puts you in the place of a child, and talks about how we as adults often expect more of children than we do of other adults (or ourselves), and tend to disregard their feelings and needs, or to hit the panic button over "bad" behaviour and jump to extreme dis This was totally worth reading, though I did find myself having "minor" disagreements with some things the author said (not with the concept of gentle disciple, which I totally love!). As a whole, this book was incredibly helpful. It really puts you in the place of a child, and talks about how we as adults often expect more of children than we do of other adults (or ourselves), and tend to disregard their feelings and needs, or to hit the panic button over "bad" behaviour and jump to extreme discipline in attempts to curb it, when kids are mostly just trying to make themselves heard and understood. This was a great book for reminding me what it was like to be a child, and all the emotions, frustrations that came with, and the comfort, relief, and joy of making ourselves understood, or of having someone take care of you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erick P

    We all have blind spots. And for me, I take pride in parenting well, so this is a blind spot. This book gave me inspiration and a few new approaches that has helped me sharpen parenting skills. It is gentle in telling me this... And I would rename this book more to be "Mindful Discipline". I knew it was a blind spot of mine because I was surprised how much I got out of it. And likely, if you open yourself up to the idea that there may be better ways, you will too. We all have blind spots. And for me, I take pride in parenting well, so this is a blind spot. This book gave me inspiration and a few new approaches that has helped me sharpen parenting skills. It is gentle in telling me this... And I would rename this book more to be "Mindful Discipline". I knew it was a blind spot of mine because I was surprised how much I got out of it. And likely, if you open yourself up to the idea that there may be better ways, you will too.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marie-Josee Saumer

    I feel like parenting books are either a hit or miss, you either like it or you don't. In my personal opinion this book is a hit, it aligns with the type of parenting I'd like to implement with my daughter and future children. Now I realize that this isn't everyone's cup of tea, and that is fine. I just know that I want to raise my children differently then the way my brother and I we're raised. One of the reasons I really love this book, is the use of "gentle discipline" can be used on person o I feel like parenting books are either a hit or miss, you either like it or you don't. In my personal opinion this book is a hit, it aligns with the type of parenting I'd like to implement with my daughter and future children. Now I realize that this isn't everyone's cup of tea, and that is fine. I just know that I want to raise my children differently then the way my brother and I we're raised. One of the reasons I really love this book, is the use of "gentle discipline" can be used on person of any age. A grown adult can use these methods/techniques with their own grown up relationships, whether it be with their parents, spouse, friends, siblings. To be honest, the parenting style that the author is explaining is simple and just makes sense. Most people want to be treated in a mindful way, they want to be understood, respected, treated kindly and equally, etc. This, in a nutshell, is what the author goes on to explain throughout her novel. I do recommend this book to parents or parents-to-be, even if you choose not to go this route it is still great knowledge to have. I also recommend this book to anyone who is interested in it. If I am being completely honest, it's just a good refresher on how to be a decent human being.

  6. 5 out of 5

    John

    I approached this book with a fair amount of skepticism. Parenting is not all warm hugs and everyone gets a medal, but I've been looking for additional tools and thoughts and decided to give it a try. Surprisingly, I was hooked nearly right away with the author's very clear explanation of the definitions and origins of the word "discipline." As it's not going to spoil any plots, I'll simply say that discipline <> punishment. Some of what the author shares seems so glaringly obvious, but sadly, a I approached this book with a fair amount of skepticism. Parenting is not all warm hugs and everyone gets a medal, but I've been looking for additional tools and thoughts and decided to give it a try. Surprisingly, I was hooked nearly right away with the author's very clear explanation of the definitions and origins of the word "discipline." As it's not going to spoil any plots, I'll simply say that discipline <> punishment. Some of what the author shares seems so glaringly obvious, but sadly, at least for me, it's what I needed to hear and was framed in such a way that it just made sense. Don't let the title fool you. This book is not about hugs, unrelenting praise, and unearned rewards. This book is about teaching responsibility and raising children that grow into adulthood as humans we want to be around. There are no quick fixes, but there are clear explanations as to when and why and how teach your children, especially in those hard moments where they (and you) need it most. There are lots of parenting books out there and lots of opinions to match. If you're looking for a way to get through to your kids and gain some sanity, I'd recommend giving this book a read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Josh Roland

    I do not agree with a lot of this book. That being said, I thought there were very helpful tips in how to emotionally connect with your children in and through discipline. I also thought her 3 step plan towards providing effective discipline was helpful. Much of this book should be already accomplished by parents walking with Jesus in the midst of their parenting. Obviously this book was never intended to be a Christian approach to parenting. However, Christians can gain from some of the tools m I do not agree with a lot of this book. That being said, I thought there were very helpful tips in how to emotionally connect with your children in and through discipline. I also thought her 3 step plan towards providing effective discipline was helpful. Much of this book should be already accomplished by parents walking with Jesus in the midst of their parenting. Obviously this book was never intended to be a Christian approach to parenting. However, Christians can gain from some of the tools mentioned in this book. 2 stars because it misses the real aim of parenting and has faulty starting points for parenting. It primarily aims at correcting the environment so that children can thrive.

  8. 4 out of 5

    K

    This book feels so right. My 2 year old is prone to meltdowns but this book has significantly curbed them by allowing us parents to better understand his brain and what he can handle. It’s made life easier for all of us. Not huge on parenting books but this has been a game changer.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    Gentle Discipline is the practice of compassionately teaching children to manage their difficult emotions in order to live happier, better-behaved lives. It focuses on connecting with children who are experiencing behavior problems, giving them the attention and safety they need, and eschews punishment, reward, and other conventional disciplinary techniques. In this book, Ockwell-Smith discusses why other techniques are inferior and presents gentle solutions to several common discipline problems Gentle Discipline is the practice of compassionately teaching children to manage their difficult emotions in order to live happier, better-behaved lives. It focuses on connecting with children who are experiencing behavior problems, giving them the attention and safety they need, and eschews punishment, reward, and other conventional disciplinary techniques. In this book, Ockwell-Smith discusses why other techniques are inferior and presents gentle solutions to several common discipline problems. The good: The book is easy to read and doesn't feel condescending; the techniques discussed are fairly universal. The bad: Although the book is called Gentle Discipline, it doesn't really contain a coherent definition of the philosophy. Additionally, the chapters have a tendency to wander, and the author treats all discipline issues - and, to a great extent, children of all ages - as if they are equivalent. The verdict: The book oversells its case. It devotes too many pages to explaining why common discipline methods are inappropriate, and too few to explaining how Gentle Discipline differs from them and why it may be superior. Although it does acknowledge the fact that parents may sometimes need to use other discipline methods, it fails to explain how this might be done with a gentle mindset and generally lacks concrete, realistic suggestions.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jill Urie

    I felt like the premise was basically if you have your crap together, so will your kids. And I understand that is true. But I need to see how I can be a great parent in spite of my weaknesses. I don't need additional feelings of inadequacy to be heaped upon me just because I'm human. I felt like the premise was basically if you have your crap together, so will your kids. And I understand that is true. But I need to see how I can be a great parent in spite of my weaknesses. I don't need additional feelings of inadequacy to be heaped upon me just because I'm human.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie Quates

    I was hoping for more how to vs research.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rikki King

    I was so pleased with this author's ability to turn my vague parental goals and philosophies into actionable plans. I'm making my husband read it, too! I was so pleased with this author's ability to turn my vague parental goals and philosophies into actionable plans. I'm making my husband read it, too!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sammi

    If you’re looking for a quick fix, this is NOT the book for you. A fact which the author states many times throughout. I picked up this book when my son turned one and was becoming more and more mobile, and therefore more likely to get into situations that required discipline. I believe that as the years go on, this book will become more and more relevant. But I did find a lot of the specific situations were not applicable to my situation as my son is so young. I wager I will reborrow this book m If you’re looking for a quick fix, this is NOT the book for you. A fact which the author states many times throughout. I picked up this book when my son turned one and was becoming more and more mobile, and therefore more likely to get into situations that required discipline. I believe that as the years go on, this book will become more and more relevant. But I did find a lot of the specific situations were not applicable to my situation as my son is so young. I wager I will reborrow this book multiple times though! The most helpful parts to me were the first few chapters focusing on child development and the ‘why’ behind their actions. It helped me to develop a more compassionate stance when my son ‘misbehaves’, thinking about whether there was real malicious intent or in fact he is needing something from me instead. Or in my case, is it just a normal developmental stage for my one year old that shouldn’t need punishing at all! Kids need to be kids! I love the philosophy behind this approach to discipline, but time will tell as to how affective it truly is as many of the strategies in this book relate to preventative measures leading to long term changes. I have already found myself adjusting the expectations I place on my young toddler and focusing more on why he does what he does and how he must be feeling. Tantrums have definitely not stopped, but my reactions have changed, knowing that they are a normal (and inevitable) part of toddlerhood and indeed life. I am less afraid to let him express his emotions and more open to guiding him through them rather than punishing straight away. Lastly, I appreciate the way in which Sarah supports parents through the journey of gentle discipline. She states that it’s alright to not get it right 100% of the time and that we should cut ourselves some slack. She is confident in her teachings but not preachy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andie Savoie

    I typically don't give too many written out reviews, but I felt compelled to do so with this one. This book is very easy to understand, has research to backup her concepts and gives real life situations and solutions for gentle discipline with children of all ages. I especially love how she referenced brain development and how many conventional "discipline" methods are actually not developmentally appropriate and why they do not seem to work. She also gives actual questions & answers from parent I typically don't give too many written out reviews, but I felt compelled to do so with this one. This book is very easy to understand, has research to backup her concepts and gives real life situations and solutions for gentle discipline with children of all ages. I especially love how she referenced brain development and how many conventional "discipline" methods are actually not developmentally appropriate and why they do not seem to work. She also gives actual questions & answers from parents that show how these methods can strengthen and connect you with your child. I will be first to admit that I used to subscribe to a very authoritarian method of parenting until I was faced with a child who did not do well with this method no matter how much I tried. It was after I tried to connect with him and use methods similar to the ones described in this book that my child was able to start to become empowered, start to build his confidence and build a stronger connection to his family. Her ideas are not solely opinion, the methods and ideas provided in this book are backed up by years of scientific research and I know, first hand, from experience, how these methods are very valuable in building a healthy, loving relationship with your child. Also, this book is a great companion to books by Dr. Ross W. Greene, like the Explosive Child and Raising Human Beings. I highly recommend!!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I’ve followed Sarah since my firstborn, so the information provided was not new for me, and the last few chapters were very repetitive. I had two issues (that I can remember); eating when children feel like it, or offering something else when they don’t like what’s offered... not an affordable choice for some. The second issue; ‘logical consequences’ seemed a little like coercive control - if a limit has been set by the adult, why let the child choose when to endure any negative consequences? Sayi I’ve followed Sarah since my firstborn, so the information provided was not new for me, and the last few chapters were very repetitive. I had two issues (that I can remember); eating when children feel like it, or offering something else when they don’t like what’s offered... not an affordable choice for some. The second issue; ‘logical consequences’ seemed a little like coercive control - if a limit has been set by the adult, why let the child choose when to endure any negative consequences? Saying this, I haven’t reached that age with my little humans yet so I may understand soon enough. Oh, I retract my comment, third issue; it is assumed that the parent has time to connect with children and make time for oneself regularly, with ‘help’. Another privilege some of us single parents simply don’t have. Without this woman in my life however, my parenting would not be the standard it is today so for that I give an extra star 😂 Sarah does wonders for the next generations. If only ‘gentle’ didn’t have such negative connotations in the parenting community

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Burland

    I have read widely in the area of gentle/parenting so this book didn't offer much new for me, but it is a very good introduction to the concept of gentle discipline and gives a lot of information some parents may not be aware of. In terms of concrete solutions it isn't always very helpful, a lot of focus is put on connection and building self esteem over time rather than dealing with issues in the moment. I found it hard to stay focussed on the book, the writing style isn't very compelling, but I have read widely in the area of gentle/parenting so this book didn't offer much new for me, but it is a very good introduction to the concept of gentle discipline and gives a lot of information some parents may not be aware of. In terms of concrete solutions it isn't always very helpful, a lot of focus is put on connection and building self esteem over time rather than dealing with issues in the moment. I found it hard to stay focussed on the book, the writing style isn't very compelling, but it does pack a lot of info in. I also found that quite a lot of examples given were for younger children and while she said that the general advice is the same, in my experience even a couple of years can make a big difference in the root causes of a child's behaviour and how it needs to be approached. Overall a good book for parents starting out with gentle discipline, even if I didn't personally find it all that helpful.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    Given that I already do most of this, none of it was really news except the chapter on self esteem. That kind of rocked my world a bit. Thanks! Even so, the rest deepened my understanding of various things and certainly validated the actions I've been taking for years (though I didn't actually need outside validation). I do think the book will help my husband better understand my ways and ideas. He's reading it now. And it introduced me to the name of the growth mindset concept. For people who r Given that I already do most of this, none of it was really news except the chapter on self esteem. That kind of rocked my world a bit. Thanks! Even so, the rest deepened my understanding of various things and certainly validated the actions I've been taking for years (though I didn't actually need outside validation). I do think the book will help my husband better understand my ways and ideas. He's reading it now. And it introduced me to the name of the growth mindset concept. For people who really subscribe to society's ideas, this book will be a very different way of thinking for you. But the author mentions all sorts of thinking prevalent in society (I assume, since I don't think in those ways...) so you will know she is switching this for that. I could have done without reading about all these negative ways of thinking, tbh, but I realize it might seem like she needed to justify why she's recommending people do things a certain way.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    My review has the caveat that I just finished AND my baby is only one, so I haven’t applied the concepts. BUT, I really appreciated how this book was organized— the first several chapters giving information and background about child development and behavior to lay the groundwork for the rest. Then a few chapters that lay out why certain types of traditional discipline don’t make sense in light of those developmental and behavioral limits and— what I found most helpful— how some of those can be My review has the caveat that I just finished AND my baby is only one, so I haven’t applied the concepts. BUT, I really appreciated how this book was organized— the first several chapters giving information and background about child development and behavior to lay the groundwork for the rest. Then a few chapters that lay out why certain types of traditional discipline don’t make sense in light of those developmental and behavioral limits and— what I found most helpful— how some of those can be tweaked to be more developmentally appropriate. Then the rest of the book applies gentle discipline techniques to specific categories of behavior that parents are likely to confront— violent behavior, lying, not doing things when asked, etc. I found it very easy to read, and her ideas really resonate with me. I checked this out from the library, but could see myself buying it so I could turn to it later for quick reference and a refresher.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sean S

    I have blown up on my child, and thought about how this impacts my kids, even more than my anger in the moment. I have dismissed my child's tears, and I did not consider my kid's perspective. I have hovered over my daughter, and come a little too quick, and is it any surprise she is a daddy's girl? This book really keeps it honest on problems you experience with your kids, and if you put aside your own feelings of inadequacy and rise above, lots of good advice and recommendations on how to approach I have blown up on my child, and thought about how this impacts my kids, even more than my anger in the moment. I have dismissed my child's tears, and I did not consider my kid's perspective. I have hovered over my daughter, and come a little too quick, and is it any surprise she is a daddy's girl? This book really keeps it honest on problems you experience with your kids, and if you put aside your own feelings of inadequacy and rise above, lots of good advice and recommendations on how to approach "disciplining" your children. If i had to make a TL;DR: - listen to your kids - imagine how you would feel if you did what you did to your kid, but it was your spouse/partner doing it to you - spend one on one time and reconnect - dont freak out on your kids - dont blame/shame/pressure them too much - dont hover, and let them solve their own problems Solid book; taking it to heart.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book really boils down to: stay calm, validate the emotions that were the driving force behind misbehavior and work on more productive ways to handle those emotions, and give your kids as much autonomy and input in their lives (and in deciding consequences for misbehavior) as you can. I don’t agree with the author on all points, but after reading I’m able to articulate why I will continue to use some disciplinary measures she finds not useful or counterproductive. This book does suppose tha This book really boils down to: stay calm, validate the emotions that were the driving force behind misbehavior and work on more productive ways to handle those emotions, and give your kids as much autonomy and input in their lives (and in deciding consequences for misbehavior) as you can. I don’t agree with the author on all points, but after reading I’m able to articulate why I will continue to use some disciplinary measures she finds not useful or counterproductive. This book does suppose that parents are able to be supernaturally calm at all times, which can feel a little judgmental and shaming, so I don’t recommend this book if you’re at the end of your rope and need to validate your OWN emotions before you can find a better way to deal with them. But it’s a good read if you’re just looking for more parenting tools in your toolbox!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Annie McCormick

    I think overall there are some useful techniques in this book to help keep calm and keep realistic expectations of your child at all ages. I skipped around a little while reading because I don't think that it was all relevant to my children and at times I just felt like I was being admonished for not always taking my child's feelings or motives into consideration. I definitely want to practice more of the calm discipline rather than modeling the anger part for my kids. Also, the last couple chap I think overall there are some useful techniques in this book to help keep calm and keep realistic expectations of your child at all ages. I skipped around a little while reading because I don't think that it was all relevant to my children and at times I just felt like I was being admonished for not always taking my child's feelings or motives into consideration. I definitely want to practice more of the calm discipline rather than modeling the anger part for my kids. Also, the last couple chapters would have been nice to have woven in the middle when I was starting to doubt my parenting skills.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I was convinced about a lot of the ideas here and plan to start trying them with my 2 year old - more empathy, specific praise, using a positive spin when giving directions like "please walk" instead of "don't run", and giving attention when she is acting out to get my attention. I'll try fewer timeouts but I know sometimes I need that short term effectiveness even if it may not be the best long term. It's hard to make a book apply to all kids from toddlers to teenagers so I skipped several sect I was convinced about a lot of the ideas here and plan to start trying them with my 2 year old - more empathy, specific praise, using a positive spin when giving directions like "please walk" instead of "don't run", and giving attention when she is acting out to get my attention. I'll try fewer timeouts but I know sometimes I need that short term effectiveness even if it may not be the best long term. It's hard to make a book apply to all kids from toddlers to teenagers so I skipped several sections/chapters. Overall it made me think a little differently about what I say and how I act with my kids.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ridzki Samsulhadi

    In my opinion is one of the best book about how to be authoritative parents (that's the middle geound between authoritarian and permissive). It also challenges the societies' definition of discipline and returns it back to the roots of its word, disciple. Meaning a true discipline is supposed to be about teaching, not punishing or rewarding. A very great book recommended to all human beings whether you're a parent or a child, a friend or a lover. Because the knowledge from this book can actually In my opinion is one of the best book about how to be authoritative parents (that's the middle geound between authoritarian and permissive). It also challenges the societies' definition of discipline and returns it back to the roots of its word, disciple. Meaning a true discipline is supposed to be about teaching, not punishing or rewarding. A very great book recommended to all human beings whether you're a parent or a child, a friend or a lover. Because the knowledge from this book can actually be applied to any kind of relationships, not only parents-children one. This is a very amazing book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ross

    We'll balanced and easy to read I've read many parenting books by the likes of Dr Markham etc and was wondering what this would have to offer.... There's a nice background of the science of cognitive development and some easy to use strategies. Nothing groundbreaking, if you've read similar books before but I still came away thinking I'd picked up a few nee techniques and tweaks to my I deal with situations. If you're looking for advice and haven't read any parenting books I'd recommend this as a We'll balanced and easy to read I've read many parenting books by the likes of Dr Markham etc and was wondering what this would have to offer.... There's a nice background of the science of cognitive development and some easy to use strategies. Nothing groundbreaking, if you've read similar books before but I still came away thinking I'd picked up a few nee techniques and tweaks to my I deal with situations. If you're looking for advice and haven't read any parenting books I'd recommend this as a great place to start. Easy to read but not preachy. Thanks Sarah for taking the time to put this together!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maya Wilson

    I enjoyed this book, she provided a lot of research and practical tips. I appreciated the challenge to address your own upbringing and truly understanding what discipline means for your family. It’s important to remember the demographic she is writing from and most likely to. In particular the part about praise rubs me the the wrong way. I like the idea of praising effort but I don’t see anything wrong with affirming your child’s beauty and intelligence ESPECIALLY children of color (the rest of I enjoyed this book, she provided a lot of research and practical tips. I appreciated the challenge to address your own upbringing and truly understanding what discipline means for your family. It’s important to remember the demographic she is writing from and most likely to. In particular the part about praise rubs me the the wrong way. I like the idea of praising effort but I don’t see anything wrong with affirming your child’s beauty and intelligence ESPECIALLY children of color (the rest of the world will try to convince them other wise), Overall a good book. I probably will return as certain discipline issues arise 🤪

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katerina

    I can't praise this book enough. Sarah Ockwell-Smith is one of my favourite authors and this book certainly doesn't disappoint. With clear explanation regarding childrens' behaviour, practical examples and solutions, it is one of the best parenting books I have listened to (and I have listened to quite a few already). The author is also very much places herself in the parents' shoes and mentions that nobody is perfect, including herself, enough times so that it makes the parent feel a sense of r I can't praise this book enough. Sarah Ockwell-Smith is one of my favourite authors and this book certainly doesn't disappoint. With clear explanation regarding childrens' behaviour, practical examples and solutions, it is one of the best parenting books I have listened to (and I have listened to quite a few already). The author is also very much places herself in the parents' shoes and mentions that nobody is perfect, including herself, enough times so that it makes the parent feel a sense of relief, that they aren't alone and that even experts make mistakes :) The narrator is also excellent. A must-listen for all parents (to be). 5 stars for the book and the amazing narrator, Katy Sobey!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I listened to this book and I thoroughly enjoyed the reader's voice. It may have added to my positive opinion of the book! I whole heartedly agree with premise and philosophy of this book. It's very insightful, I think every parent should read it, That said, it doesn't stress strongly enough how long it takes for this method to take hold. This book is for anyone who doesn't want to do things the way their parents did (for whatever reason) or anyone who thinks,(God forbid), "Oh no! I've become my I listened to this book and I thoroughly enjoyed the reader's voice. It may have added to my positive opinion of the book! I whole heartedly agree with premise and philosophy of this book. It's very insightful, I think every parent should read it, That said, it doesn't stress strongly enough how long it takes for this method to take hold. This book is for anyone who doesn't want to do things the way their parents did (for whatever reason) or anyone who thinks,(God forbid), "Oh no! I've become my parents." I thought it could have used a few more practical examples.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Zahidal

    Parenting is very subjective. I personally believe that there are no right or wrong in parenting & it is totally unfair for parents to judge each others' parenting skills. However, there are some good strategies or insights from the book that may work on your kids, or your way of life. Yet, some may not. It all depends on your perspectives & how keen are you to see things out of the box. Parenting is very subjective. I personally believe that there are no right or wrong in parenting & it is totally unfair for parents to judge each others' parenting skills. However, there are some good strategies or insights from the book that may work on your kids, or your way of life. Yet, some may not. It all depends on your perspectives & how keen are you to see things out of the box.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brock Cutler

    I really enjoyed this book. It was an encouraging and delightful read with a decent amount of real examples to help to connect the dots of the application of the principles and ideas that are suggested and taught in the book. I will definitely need to read this book again and again as my kids grow up and their behaviors and needs and my abilities as a parent change.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lise

    I thought I would love this book as I've enjoyed her other books. The premise and theory were great, but I found it short on practical advice. As well, the author completely lost me when stated putting kids to bed early to get some time for yourself is inappropriate. Way to make struggling parents feel even worse about looking after their own well being. I thought I would love this book as I've enjoyed her other books. The premise and theory were great, but I found it short on practical advice. As well, the author completely lost me when stated putting kids to bed early to get some time for yourself is inappropriate. Way to make struggling parents feel even worse about looking after their own well being.

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