Positive Discipline Book Review

When I took a Positive Discipline parenting class, we were all given this book. What is Positive Discipline? Can you have both those words together in one experience?

To begin, Jane Nelson names three adult-child interactions – strictness, permissiveness, and positive discipline – and then provides helpful concepts for understanding their differences. She writes about how punishment DOES work – it stops the immediate behaviors – but what is the cost? Children usually either respond in one of four ways: Resentment, Revenge, Rebellion, or Retreat. These are hardly the behaviors that make for strong relationships! Nelson goes on to outline the PD concepts, which include mutual respect and cooperation. “Positive Discipline incorporates firmness with dignity and respect as the foundation for teaching life skills and an inner locus of control.”

One  chapter that aids in understanding this philosophy is The Four Mistaken Goals of Behavior which are: Undue Attention, Power, Revenge, and Assumed Inadequacy. Nelson provides specific action to take to help with each of these behavior themes.

Another helpful chapter is Natural and Logical Consequences and how they differ from punishment. Nelson also focuses on encouragement over praise and how to implement positive, effective interactions.

Perhaps the concept I have used the most is her outline of Family Meetings. We have used this over the years and experienced incredible benefits for the whole family. See my post on this topic by clicking here.

The writing is well organized and easy to read. Even if you only have time to skim certain sections, I believe there are some parenting ideas you can begin implementing right away. Whenever introducing any new ideas into a family system, consistency seems to be the most important element for success.

The Positive Discipline Book is well worth checking out and adding to your parenting resource stash.

I’d love to hear your reviews and comments to help us all stay in the Groove!


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