Monday, April 6, 2015

Positive Discipline: Book Review

Blogging for Books sent me this helpful parenting book a little while ago. I honestly have a lot of mixed feelings about it. It did have some helpful hints on raising your children, but I think a lot of it is not necessarily my parenting style. Before anyone goes on judging me, thinking I'm a super mean mom, let me do a little explaining.

There were bits and pieces of this book that I like and want to try in my mothering. There are also several that I have tried or that have stuck in our family. But there are some that I have either tried and it didn't work, or some that I feel are a little silly. For example:
  • Not telling your child they are smart: There is a few little paragraphs, in the chapter The Art of Encouraging, that talk about how by telling your child they are smart, it damages their motivation in learning. This is something I hugely disagree with. What I wouldn't have given growing up to hear the words "you're so smart!" told to me. I really think this is something that kids need to hear. It gives them confidence. It praises them and tells them they are doing something good by learning, why would that damage their motivation? We tell Jay she is smart all the time (I mean, come on, she knew her ABC's at 18 months old for crying out loud) and it doesn't slow her down any in the learning department.
  • One thing I did like, that we have tried using, is instead of "time out" to think about what they did wrong, we send them to their "calm down spot" with what ever lovey they need (blanket, stuffed animal, binki etc) and let them calm down before they go back to playing. This has worked off and on for us. I think it depends on what they are upset about in the first place. If they are crying because they are hungry, clearly it's not going to help to send them to calm down because it's not fixing the fact that they are still hungry. But, if they are upset because a toy is being fought over, it usually does help.
  • It talks about letting your child develop who they are by exploring. This I totally agree with. While we want to keep them safe, they need to learn. And a lot of that happens by trial and error. "What would happen if I hit the water?" It might make a mess, but they are learning. And as long as it's not hurting anything, why not let them try it out for a little bit? Along with that, it talks about redirecting your child when they are playing with something that you don't want them to. For example, if they see your phone on the counter and reach for it, try giving them a book to look at or some blocks to play with instead of just saying "No."

There is a ton more in this book. Is it good information or unhelpful? That's something, as a parent, you have to decide. There is no set way or "best way" to raise a child. It really all depends on your circumstances, who you are as a family, cultural difference, and most definitely your child. As a mom, I'm always looking for new things that might help me in raising my family. But, I also know my kids, and I know what's best for them, and what works best for them. I feel like most moms feel that way. 
If you're looking for a few new ideas on something that your child deals with (shyness, potty training, sleeping, etc) this might be a good book for you to pick up and browse through. You can find it here

Have you heard of Positive Discipline? What are your thoughts?

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