Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Book Review

Discipline without Distress; 135 tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery by Judy Arnall (2007)

If you've run out of ideas on what to do when your kid is driving you up the wall and hanging him out the window by his ankles is looking like a reasonable thing to do, if you feel like you've forgotten any wise parenting knowledge you ever had, or if the case is that you've never had any in the first place then Discipline Without Distress by Judy Arnall could be the book for you.

If you can be self-disciplined enough to plough through its many pages, you will discover therein, a veritable gold mine of helpful tips to assist you in your parenting journey.

“Parenting is the hardest job on earth,” Arnall doesn't need to tell us that but the premisses of her book underlines that which we often fail to see; We are not raising children. We are raising adults.”

And what we do today, how we respond to our children in the immediate, corresponds to the adult of tomorrow.

So what Arnall advices us to focuses on is relationship building with our child. This is the most important idea in the entire book. The parenting relationship is a love relationship; “ Just remember Newton's law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. There are two people in your relationship, you and your child, and at the end of the day, your relationship is all you have,” warns Arnall.

What is necessary then, is that you treat your child “with the respect you would afford an adult in today's society.”

Punishment is not part of the picture- you can discipline your child and maintain good communication without it.

Which brings me to the word discipline; for many its not a comfortable word. It often connotes the idea of control, can bring up painful memories of spankings and yellings, it can remind us that we are fearful our children have no regard for our values!

But Arnall brings new meaning to the word- it's about respecting each other, it's about a democratic nurturing way of parenting. It's also about self discipline for both parent and child. It's fundamental to living in a healthful relationships with others and we can all learn it in a kind and loving way.

An in depth look at anger triggers, behaviour problems, the need to model what we expect our children to be like, all these are invaluable tools and advice for the adult interested in preserving intact the precious parent child bond.


copyright 2007 by Judy Arnall

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