Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Nook: Gentle Discipline

Spanking often gets a bad rap because it can lead to aggression and social issues, among other problems. Even reward/punishment schemes don't always work and can lead to power struggles. I recently had a chance to review Gentle Discipline: Using Emotional Connection – Not Punishment – to Raise Confident, Capable Kids by parenting expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith. In this book, she helps parents (and educators) to understand the causes of misbehavior to get to the root of the problem, making the response more effective. It helps reduce power struggles and create more gentle, thoughtful interactions.

Both child and guardian/teacher are able to teach and learn from each other with compassion and respect. This book is appropriate for parents and teachers, and also encourages parents to continue with gentle discipline even if other arenas of their child's life doesn't utilize. It also addresses the anger and frustration that can come with parenting, and how to deal with it so that it doesn't affect the relationship between you and your child.

The book is honest with the research and the pitfalls of typical behavior management systems. It also addresses a self-esteem piece that doesn't always show up in discipline books, as well as the impact of parental emotions and baggage. Like any discipline book, it may not fit completely with your outlook, but I feel as a parent and teacher it's always helpful to learn from other perspectives to take what works best for you and your family!

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