Positive Discipline offers so much information about disciplining your child through the first three years of life but you have to pick what works for your family. The title might be misleading but the authors stated upfront that they do not advocate punishment at all but believe in a different approach to discipline that teaches young children in a kind, respectful, and gentle manner. My favorite part of the book is the emphasis on nurturing the connection with people that your child wants to develop which is more important for brain development and discipline than any flash cards or electronic screens. I also like the concept of redirecting behaviors based on how far along your child is on the developmental road. A child’s brain goes through constant remodeling and the prefrontal cortex (area responsible for good judgment, emotional regulation, impulse control, and other good “adult” qualities) is not fully mature until after the age of twenty. With that in mind, parents should understand that their children are highly impulsive little people that rarely misbehave purposely.
I have mixed feelings about the authors’ philosophy of not resorting to punitive discipline ever. The authors asked parents not to resort to “screaming, yelling, or lecturing,” which I find impossible to do. I believe children might not completely understand why their parents are upset, but they can sense a change in tone which indicates that they’re doing something wrong. I have raised my voice and told my toddler firmly to “stop hitting because it hurts papa” and he got it. Another thing that was discussed in the book is not using time-outs in children under four because they are not old enough to link cause and effect. I haven’t made a stance on this matter but our pediatrician encouraged it when dealing with a tantrum and it seemed to work for other parents. In an ideal world, you can follow the authors' advice and tips but all families are different with children of varied temperament so one size does not fit all.
Overall, this book has a lot of good information on bedtime routine, toilet training, special diet, childcare, and many other subjects. Positive Discipline is definitely a good book to read about using positive discipline but do what works for your family.
*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher