Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Positive Discipline: The First Three Years

Pop Quiz: your 0-3 year old wants to play with the digital camera you left lying within reach. You should:

  • (a) Slap the child's hand, so they learn this isn't for them to touch
  • (b) Yell at the child, so they get the idea that some stuff is mommy and daddy's and off limits
  • (c) Let him play with the camera, you really don't want to deal with another melt down today
  • (d) None of the above

Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, which I just finished reading, is essentially dedicated to teaching you about option (d) - None of the above.

As I've mentioned, the book tries to focus on interacting with children using methods other than punishment (options a. and b.) and permissiveness (option c.).

At stake is far more than simply a "well behaved child" (an absurd notion at 0-3 years old). The idea is that the techniques behind positive discipline help set the foundation for a confident and capable child. I really like this notion - for example, that the struggles our 19 month old is having with tantrums is really an opportunity for growth, more than anything else.

This isn't the best book I've read on parenting - right now, these books hold that title. But, it definitely felt like key information that I should know, and that I wasn't going to figure out on my own. Basically, if you're wondering should you be spanking your kid, or what the heck you can do about your child's misbehavior - this book is a must read.

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