Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, Revised and Updated Edition: From Infant to Toddler--Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, Roslyn Duffy

The celebrated Positive Discipline brand of parenting books presents the revised and updated third edition of their readable and practical guide to communicating boundaries to very young children and solving early discipline problems to set children up for success.
Over the years millions of parents have used the amazingly effective strategies of Positive Discipline to raise happy, well-behaved, and successful children. Research has shown that the first three years in a child's life are a critical moment in their development, and that behavior patterns instilled during that time can have profound implications for the rest of a child's life. Hundreds of thousands of parents have already used the advice in Positive Discipline: The First Three Years to help set effective boundaries, forge strong foundations for healthy communication, and lay the groundwork for happy and respectful relationships with their young children. Now this classic title has been revised and updated to reflect the latest neuroscientific research and developments in positive discipline parenting techniques.

One of the hardest things about being a parent is finding the right way to discipline your child and get him or her to listen and obey you.

Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, Revised and Updated Edition: From Infant to Toddler--Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child covers topics and discusses techniques that can help parents understand their child's temperament and needs, and how to use that in disciplining and teaching them. The focus is on positive discipline, as opposed to punishing the child.

I was intrigued by the concept of this book, as I'm more used to seeing parents use punishment or similar techniques to discipline their child. The book discusses positive discipline, which involves a lot of things, but in a nutshell, it's not allowing your child to do everything they want, but at the same time, not saying no to everything either. It uses techniques like distracting kids or offering alternatives when they do things or touch things they shouldn't, and also giving the child more autonomy and giving them more choices to help them become more involved in the process and feel like they're not being ordered to do something.

The book was a bit of a paradigm shift for me. There were things I did instinctively that I was pleased to find out where things the authors recommend, but at the same time, I never really thought about why I did this things. When I get frustrated because my son doesn't do what I say or keeps doing things even though I told him not to, it never occurred to me to look at things from his point-of-view. This is an idea that the authors repeat, and it makes sense. Depending on the child's age and developmental needs, he sees the world differently from us, and what makes sense to him and what he feels like doing, may not be what we think is acceptable socially, but it doesn't mean its wrong.

I found a number of useful tips here that I'll be trying soon. One of which is, when children keep hitting you or someone, try catching their hand and then guiding them while saying "touch nicely". It seemed to work for the person in the given example, and I think it may work with my son, who seems to be starting his hitting phase already. There are plenty of tips and tricks here that parents can try on their kids, and they're all pretty easy to do. The trick is to remember them and put them to use, and to not get frustrated if they don't work the first time.

If you're a new parent or you have a toddler that seems to never listen to you or obey you, you should consider giving this book a try.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harmony for the e-ARC.


  1. It presents interesting ideas that may make it easier for parents to understand their kids' perspectives.
  2. The tips and tricks mentioned are easy to do.
  3. It emphasizes thinking in the long-term, how discipline affects your child in the future. 


  1. It would be even better if there was a summary of key concepts at the end of each chapter. 


  1. You're having a hard time disciplining your child.
  2. You're a new parent.
  3. You wonder why some kids are so easy to handle, while others are so difficult to deal with. 



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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