Monday, January 19, 2009

Positive Discipline Resources

(Originally posted at Rational Jenn)

I'm so tickled that my parenting/positive discipline posts were so well-received! Thank you very much. Obviously, it's a topic which I'm thinking about all the time (being so integral to my current occupation) and enjoy writing about. I really enjoyed reading the many responses and discussion--it always gets me thinking.

One of my blogging/writing goals for 2009, actually, is to write more about parenting and philosophy. I'm trying to decide which parenting topic to write about next--I have several posts in the works, although ideas welcome!. I'm trying not to let myself get overwhelmed--there are so many possibilities that I'm having a hard time settling down and just getting started. This is somewhat compounded by the fact that it's generally difficult to get a big chunk of time to myself in which to write--if it wasn't for those meddling kids . . . ! My awesome hubby will be helping with that situation, though--thanks!

It's my intention to do at least one post each week about parenting--with particular emphasis on Objectivism and/or positive discipline. In the meantime, I'll post some links about positive discipline if you're inclined to explore the method further.

As I mentioned before, Jane Nelsen's site contains excellent overview get-you-started information, Q&As and articles for parents, as well as links to her many books on the subject. A great place to start.

Another overview book is The Discipline Book: How to Have a Better-Behaved Child From Birth to Age Ten by Martha and Bill Sears. The Sears's are well-known for their books on pregnancy, baby development, and child health--he is a pediatrician; she is a pediatric nurse. I often go to their website when I can't remember what to do when one of the kids is sick or hurt.

Barbara Coloroso is another author I've enjoyed reading. Her book Kids Are Worth It! : Giving Your Child The Gift Of Inner Discipline contains many strategies I use every day. The most useful of which are negotiation skills (between siblings and between parent and child), the difference between jellyfish, brick wall, and backbone parents (option #3 is the goal), and some really excellent ideas for helping your child be responsible for his actions (I used many of these ideas when Ryan and his friend broke the neighbor's car window). Also--I just love the second part of the title of the book: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline. It really speaks to my goal of teaching my kids how to control themselves, instead of how to be in my control. (There's much on the inside of the book that helps with that, too!)

Another book about non-punitive discipline is Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn. It's an interesting look at the downside of reward systems, how ultimately they can be just as detrimental as punishments, in that they merely teach the kid to how to obey in order to get the reward (to be second-handed, although he doesn't use that term). When the reward is gone, so is the motivation.

Mary Sheedy Kurcinka has two really excellent books: Raising Your Spirited Child and Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime. I refer to both books quite a bit. Raising Your Spirited Child helped me identify some of Ryan's and Morgan's temperament traits and how to work with them. And of course, I always need assistance with power struggles (mostly in extricating myself from unnecessary ones).

And finally, I think How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish is a must-read. It's all about strategies for effective, respectful communication with children--and adults, too! It has been invaluable for me to find kinder ways to talk to my kids and get them to understand what I'm trying to tell them.

That's all for now, although I'm sure I'll think of more and add them to the list. (None of these authors are Objectivists, but I have found that their values and mine are generally in agreement.)

Happy Reading! Let me know what you think!

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