Learn About the Book That Started It All! Discipline with Love and Limits
"As the mother of six, I have found this book an invaluable beacon along the challenging road of parenting. It has been the go-to resource to inform and validate my parenting decisions, while granting me the fortitude to stand strong when I needed it most. Thank you!"
-Melissa Bernstein, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Melissa & Doug
Yes, it is a fact of life! Young children are in the prime physical, emotional, and independence-loving years of life—curious, inventive, eager to spread their wings in every breath they take. Likewise, when children are mad, sad, or frustrated, they are obstinate, inhibited, clingy, and demanding. Children discover every day that the world is challenging, exciting, and confusing, which makes teaching them sometimes like working with fertile ground and sometimes like gardening in rock!
Our children’s chameleon-like personalities and inability to use adult logic sometimes make them tough customers for discipline. That includes setting limits and routines and teaching them to clean up their rooms, use good manners, and treat others kindly and with respect. Our children need these lessons and want them from infancy forward. Why?
Because when they learn what the rules are and how to follow routines, they feel more secure and know what to expect. That makes life more predictable and less stressful. And when children are not stressed, they are less likely to be anxious or depressed, or choose to abuse alcohol and drugs. Lower stress allows children to develop emotional strength, self-control, self- discipline, and the ability to tolerate frustration.
On the other hand, children who don’t have rules and routines, and are allowed to do whatever they want, live by impulse and are not sure what to expect in the world and how to manage themselves. They are therefore more likely to have frequent tantrums, make unreasonable demands, use poor judgment, and be fearful because they are consistently under stress.They can’t self-regulate and don’t have executive functioning skills. In short, they don’t know what to do because they have not developed the ability to do so. And when they go outside the house and into a world of rules and structure, they won’t know what to do and how to respond because they have never had to follow rules or structure. This creates an even higher level of stress for them. That’s how meaningful these teachable moments of discipline are.
"I love the easy-to-use format that parents can turn to again and again 'in the moment' to help children develop necessary skills for success. The tools in this beloved book change everyday struggles into teachable moments."
-Wendy Webb, Mother, Grandmother and National Trainer, Parents as Teachers
So how do we keep the stress of parenting in the “good stress” category—where it motivates us to respond in caring, supportive, and protective teaching ways to children’s misbehavior? We will show you how, in the heat of the moment, to remember that discipline means teaching a child the behavior you want her to learn, leading to self-discipline, self-reliance, self-confidence, and personal responsibility for what she says and does.
We all try other stress-relieving responses—by giving in when children nag, complain, and whine; bribing them; and shouting or spanking. These discipline methods may temporarily stop children’s behavior we don’t like. But they don’t work for the long haul. They don’t lower our stress, and they also can create a toxic stress response in children. In addition, they don’t teach our children life skills and how to reason, problem-solve, and cope with frustration—the ultimate goals of parenting. These ultimate goals that we have for our children are the immediate goals we have for ourselves—being emotionally strong problem-solvers who can cope when life gets messy.
"I believe that this book helps parents manage common, everyday behavioral issues efficiently and effectively. I confidently give this book to families, and they are so grateful for the support."
-Stephen J. Lauer, PhD, MD, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Pediatrics, The University of Kansas School of Medicine