RRR – “The Soul of Discipline” by Kim John Payne

I just finished this book tonight. I will have to go back and reread sections of it, and I think it will serve as a resource for years to come. The Soul of Discipline: The Simplicity Parenting Approach to Warm, Firm, and Calm Guidance – From Toddlers to Teens is the author’s presentation of an approach to parenting (it isn’t just the discipline part, it’s the whole shebang, I think) that changes as your child’s needs change, that provides more freedom to children as they become more developmentally prepared to handle it, and that enables a parent to feel good about setting boundaries and then changing them when the time is right. I like the idea that as a parent of a two-year-old, I am a Governor, that I make the decisions, and set the boundaries, and that I do this to create a safe haven for my child, and to instill in him our family values – that we talk nicely to one another, that we don’t hit or kick others, for examples. And I like the idea that as my son gets older, it will make sense to shift to a Gardener role and finally to a Guide role. I like the idea of trying to help my child “put things right” when he does something that hurts someone else, rather than forcing him to offer the half-hearted platitude “Sorry.” I like the discussion about the detriments of screen-usage on our children and on our familial relationships. I appreciate the acronym of DADD (Disapprove, Affirm, Discover, and Do-Over) to help me in a crisis. I appreciate the warning not to overpraise, that “Good job” is a meaningless phrase. This is an insightful book with a wealth of information and practical ideas for parenting.

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