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on 24 January 2013
Having a child who went from being complacent to defiant seemingly overnight, I've been looking at lots of different books on parenting/discipline for the better part of a year. After reading this book and using its techniques, my son has finally gone back to the sweet boy he used to be! There is a chapter that discusses the different ways that children misbehave, what each type of misbehaviour is really revealing about your child's feelings/thoughts and how to deal with the situation. That chapter alone is worth its weight in gold and is what differentiates this book from all of the other parenting books out there. The rest of the book is fantastic too, full of very good ways to give your child both the independence and the connection with family that s/he needs.
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on 21 August 2011
I have the PD book for 1-3 year olds and have used it often, now this one is helping again with more common sense but well thought out approaches to understanding and living with toddlers and preschoolers.

There is no easy fix, 'supernanny style' answer (thank god as the naughty step is just so awful and pointless and I can't stand that it is the number one parenting tool at present). I see parents often who nag, hound, say the same futile thing over and over (last warning, I'm not saying this again, yelling from one end of the playground to the other, sternly telling off tiny kids) and I just don't want to do that myself. I can't bear the thought of 10 years of nagging, threatening and general unpleasantness. I haven't had brilliant parenting role models around me (although my parents did their best, there was a fair amount of wooden spoon, threatening, yelling and general unpleasantness involved).

I like that this book is NOT about permissiveness and letting your child do anything and everything. But it is about learning what they can learn and what they should learn at various ages, and there are just loads of tips about teaching your child so that they can do the best they are capable of. The main idea of it is that discipline is NOT punishment, but a process of learning and guidance. It is very hands on, but they are gentle hands. It is not easy because you have to be patient and think ahead about how to avoid problems, and what to do when they occur (ie not just going off on your own tantrum). But it is very worthwhile and helpful.
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on 14 November 2013
A friend recommended this book to me, or at least the 'Positive Discipline' series. On the plus side, the book is very easy to read and the aim of the book is exactly was I was looking for. The early chapters deal with development and personality traits of preschoolers, including the differences of attitudes based on birth order. So far so good. The first weakness of the book comes with the behavioural problems. I have experienced some of them with my boys, but the solutions suggested are much too vague to be of any use.

Throughout the book the authors keep repeating that children need love, encouragement, attention and hugs. That's all very well, but most people already know that, and that is not enough to solve a lot of common problems. For example, around the age of three, my eldest child started going to bed very late, and during a few months he wouldn't sleep until 11 pm to midnight. He would scream and cry for hours if forced to go to bed. We have tried everything, but nothing worked. Then suddenly, around the age of four, everything returned to normal, and he went to bed at reasonable hours all by himself. The same situation happened with the second boy, who always slept very easily until the age of two, and even asked to go to bed when he was tired. Within a few weeks he changed radically and we just couldn't get him to sleep until 11 pm. None of the methods in 'Positive Discipline' helped even a little bit. I think that there are just phases of development when children are more difficult to go to bed, seek undue attention or engage in power struggles. In my experience all of these have resolved by themselves without any change required in our behaviour towards the children. It's like adolescence. It comes and goes. Unfortunately the authors failed to admit that this was the case and basically say that if a child misbehaves it must be because the parents do something wrong. Since their only tips are to give them more love, attention, encouragement and hugs, they are making the parents feel guilty about no 'giving' enough, when in fact sometimes overprotected kids turn out to be the more problematic ones.

Furthermore, the authors are strongly opposed to television, computers and video games for preschoolers, explaining that it causes them to become more violent, limit their language development, and weaken their attention span. In my experience, all of this is false. My eldest boy watched in average one hour of TV per day since he was one year old and he now has an amazing attention span. He can concentrate for hours on drawing or solving puzzles. He is very well behaved (not violent) and has a large vocabulary for his age. He actually learned to read his first words by navigating video games menus at the age of three. The important thing is that children watch age-appropriate programmes that are both fun and educational. We don't let the kids watch the news or any adult programme. As for video games, there are plenty of them that aren't violent, like most sports game or Nickelodeon games for preschoolers. A recent study by the Max Planck Institute (Kühn et al., 2013, Mol Psychiatry) found that video games actually help brain development, increasing spatial orientation, memory formation, strategic planning and fine motor skills. People playing video games regularly have more grey matter and a bigger right cerebral hemisphere than people who never or rarely play. The authors are just not up-to-date with modern lifestyle and technologies, and reject what they don't know.

The other main criticism I have against this book is that they didn't bother to adapt it to the British or European market. This series has been translated in many languages, and adapted to the local culture along with the translation. But there isn't a British version. Most of the examples about food, age-appropriate tasks and choosing a preschool are so American that they are irrelevant and useless to non-American readers. There were also chapters that didn't apply to us, like preschoolers who still can't go on the potty, or how lonely parents should seek help with their church community. That only leaves half of the book dealing with interesting subjects, but unfortunately, not much in that half either that I didn't already know or that is actually useful.
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on 14 November 2014
Amazing book and advice, would welcome more practical examples. Could be difficult to try all advice at once, need to read and practice in sections in my view. Excellent for parents who do not want to punish their children and want to bring up well mannered children who have a healthy selfesteem, without having to resort to screeming and yelling. It works!
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on 8 March 2014
I love the Positive discipline books. It is great to understand how and why it can be done better. It is also great that there is an understanding that we are not perfect and if we get it wrong it is a great opportunity to show our children how we work with mistakes. Love this - wish I had found it for my older son who is now 12.
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on 22 February 2016
I didn't find it very useful as it has lots of theory but not much practical advise on what to do in specific situations. Tracy Hogg's book is much better for parents of toddlers and preschoolers.
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on 10 June 2013
Highly recommend this book, if you don't know what to do more than 10 times a day because of your 3 years old....if you struggle what to do when your day is going crazy. If don't want to punish but have your child learnt something from all the difficult situation , this book is for you
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on 12 November 2015
Book arrived at the absolute latest date which was a month after it was ordered
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on 7 November 2011
I have nearly finished this book & Im still waiting for a 'little gem' to give me some alternative methods of discipline aside from a time-out! I am trained in GROW coaching and the tips in this book basically suggest I 'coach' my 3 year old during a tantrum or have a family meeting to discuss. The suggestions are just too long winded for me. I also have a 2 year old and both are strong characters so perhaps its just not suited to my household.
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