Discipline Without Distress: Parenting Books Blog Hop

Life is busy as a mom isn’t it?  The luxurious hours of long baths and reading sessions and watching Sex in the City reruns for hours are long past!  These days, when I read, it’s in 20 to 30 minutes chunks before I fall asleep exhausted at night, or maybe in 10 minute chunks while Onetime, my 3 year old son, is playing happily by himself.

But when things get challenging with my son, I often turn to the advice of a few great parenting books.  If you’ve been following One Time Through, you’re probably already familiar with my favourites.  But, my point is, if you’re like me, you barely have time to read, so when you DO find time, you want to make sure it’s worth it.
Parenting Books Blog Hop

There are so many books out there and it’s hard to know which ones are the really good ones and which ones align with your parenting style.  So how do you choose?  You get recommendations from friends, of course!  And so this blog hop was created.

So what is a blog hop?  Basically, I got together with 12 other blogging moms and we each picked our favourite parenting book to summarize and review and we have all linked together so you can browse our reviews.  I’m really hoping that you will find this is a great resource.  I know I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s reviews!

The book I chose to review for you is Judy Arnall’s Discipline Without Distress.  It has been a life-saver since Onetime was a toddler.  All the links to the books that everyone else chose are listed at the end of the post.

discipline without distress

Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery

I originally found this book when searching through a bookstore looking for a parenting book with suggestions for discipline that did not involve punishment.  To read about my thinking on this subject, check out this post.

Onetime was just hitting the toddler stage at the time and was beginning to test my limits of patience!  He was getting into everything and I was dismayed to find that he wasn’t listening to any of my directions!  I could feel myself getting frustrated and by the end of every day I was exhausted and grumpy and questioning my decision to be a stay-at-home-mom for his first few years.

Then I found Judy’s book and it changed my whole perspective on things.  For the first few chapters, she talks about how the purpose of discipline is to teach our kids and how what we do with them when they’re little will affect who they will be when they grow up.  This caught my attention!

This also was the first book that I had found that talked about the importance and benefits of really bonding and connecting with your kids.  When Onetime was an infant, I had read many attachment parenting articles and books, but the theories all seemed to just apply to babies up to 1 year of age and I now had a 1 year old.

Judy’s strategies really aligned well with everything that I had learned about from attachment parenting theories, and extended it into the childhood years.  In fact, her book covers strategies for children from birth to 19 and I know by the time I’m done with it, it will be tattered and worn.

The best part of  Discipline Without Distress is when Judy breaks her suggestions and strategies down into “discipline tools” for various age groups.  Each of these chapters reviews a child’s typical development at that age, lists milestones to watch for, and lists helpful and unhelpful parenting behaviours for children who are at that stage.

Then she lists a ton of strategies to try and gives lots of explanation and examples for each “tool.”  I know that I read and re-read the Toddler chapter at least 10 times, and each time I found something new that helped with Onetime.

Another favourite part was her “Discipline Tool Summary for Common Behaviours” at the end of the book.  Basically, when Onetime was having a problem, I would turn to the section on his age, and look up the challenging behaviour, and she would list a ton of ways to deal with it positively.

This handy chart also listed reasons why a child might be behaving that way – which often surprised me and helped me understand my son better.  And she gives lots of examples of things that you can say to your child to show them empathy and to help them cooperate.

Judy Arnall’s suggestions are all positive and proactive and do not involve punishments or bribery.  Her ideas have definitely helped on many an occasion, and still do.

She has helped me get my son happily brushing his teeth twice a day (when he used to hate it and throw little fits!). Her strategies helped me make diaper change time much more pleasant (Onetime still hates getting his diaper changed, but he tolerates it much better.)  When Onetime didn’t want to get a haircut, Judy’s ideas helped me calm him down and reassure him.

She also has awesome advice for common childhood behaviours such as dealing with your child’s fears and anxieties, whining, hitting, picky eating, and temper tantrums!  I have never looked for a problem in her book and not been able to find a suggestion or solution.  She packs a ton of information into this book.  As I told you, I’ll probably continue to refer to it for years from now.

Anyway – that’s all I’m going to say about Judy Arnall’s wonderful book – I really can’t recommend it enough!

To read more summaries and recommendations, be sure to click on any of the links below to take you to other reviews of favourite parenting books by some fellow moms.

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