Gentle Discipline Resources

Gentle Discipline Resource List
Compiled by your Gentle Discipline Forum Friends


Instead of Hitting by Peggy O’Mara

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The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self by Alice Miller

For Your Own Good by Alice Miller

Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society’s Betrayal of the Child by Alice Miller

Without Spanking or Spoiling by Elizabeth Crary

Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser.
Takes a developmental approach to parenting according to your values. Emphasizes honoring your child’s impulses and feelings and creating situations in which they can learn to become the child they want to be!
Website for book:

Biblical Parenting by Crystal Lutton
Based on biblical teachings, GBD (grace based discipline) is a nurturing, God-centered approach to parenting your child from birth to adulthood. Taking the stand that parenting is a covenant and not a burden, GBD insists on the formation of loving bonds of trust and mutual respect that begin at birth and will carry on throughout a lifetime.
Her website:

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey, Ph.d.
This book starts with the premise that you have a choice in how to raise your kids so that they cooperate with you: you can raise them with fear, or you can raise them with love.
I think this book is wonderful and I hope you all do to! From discussions of age appropriate behavior to the intolerance of spanking or otherwise humiliating a child, this book covers it all! The thing about it that is unique is that it forces you to address ALL aspects of your life, not just child-rearing since the way you ARE is intrinsically linked to how you parent.
Any questions, I am more than happy to answer!

Giving the Love that Heals by Harville Hendrix

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber

Kid Cooperation by Elizabeth Pantley

Kids Are Worth It : Giving Your Child The Gift Of Inner Discipline by Barbara Coloroso

cover_PARENTING_FROM.pngParenting from the Inside Out Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell
This is a book for those of us, like ME who are dealing with our own sh*t from childhood and how it is affecting us as parents. Especially with regards to my anger, I have found it very helpful in explaining some of the possible underlying reasons, and what I can do about it. It is fairly technical in places, but I like that. It also has good exercises for you to do to understand your own reactions to your child and where those reactions are coming from.

Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen
Explains the idea that play is necessary to children and provides a unique way for them to connect and bond with their parents, and can also be used as a valuable tool to help prevent conflict and discipline problems.

Positive Discipline and Positive Discipline A to Z.
by Jane Nelsen, PhD 

I love and use regularly as a reference Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen, PhD. I took a class based on this book last summer, through dd’s school district. It picks up where Kids Are Worth It leaves off, in that -she helps you get into your child’s mind to figure out why s/he is misbehaving. They do this when “they are thwarted in their need to feel they belong and in their need for love and attention”.- Then she advises how to respond to your child’s specific needs based on each situation.
I highly recommend as a referrence along with it, Positive Discipline A to Z. It’s even more specific, kind of like a dictionary how-to. Everything from “aggression” to “zits”.

Raising Your Spirited Child and Kids, Parents and Power Struggles both by Mary Sheed Kurcinka.

Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles (Kindle Edition)

Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed (Kindle Edition)

suggested by Elphaba

In Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles, she offers unique approaches to solving the daily, and often draining, power struggles between you and your child. Kurcinka views these conflicts as rich opportunities to teach your child essential life skills, like how to deal with strong emotions and problem solve. With her successful strategies, you’ll be able to identify the trigger situations that set off these struggles and get to the root of the emotions and needs of you and your child.
Spirited kids are, in fact, simply “more”–by temperament, they are more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and uncomfortable with change than the average child.Through vivid examples and a refreshingly positive viewpoint, Mary Sheedy
Kurcinka offers parents emotional support and proven strategies for handling their spirited child.

Relational Parenting by Dr. Ross Campbell
suggested by heythere heather

I actually read this when Erik was a newborn, but it changed my perspective, and got me looking forward to positive discipline. Here’s a quote from an article he wrote about it:

As parents, we all have a mental and emotional picture of what we want for our children. As we think of the many facets of their lives, we know in our hearts that we need to prepare them for life. This means reaching out to their emotions and their spirits, as well as to their minds and bodies. We must learn to raise positive, strong kids in a troubled world.
Parenting is about much more than just controlling behavior. It takes a whole different approach to parenting to help your child eventually take responsibility for her own behavior. Positive, relational parenting is based on four important foundation stones.

Smart Love by Martha Heineman Pieper and William Pieper
suggested by mamasan

The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears

The Continuum Concept : In Search of Happiness Lost
by Jean Liedloff

Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child
by Katie Allison Granju, Betsy Kennedy

Natural Family Living : The Mothering Magazine Guide to Parenting
by Peggy O’Mara, et al

Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent
by Meredith F. Small

The Mother Trip : Hip Mama’s Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood
by Ariel Gore, Ellen Forney (Illustrator)

The Baby Book : Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two
by William Sears, Martha Sears

Becoming the Parent You Want to Be : A Sourcebook of Strategies for the First Five Years
by Laura Davis, Janis Keyser

Magical Child
by Joseph Chilton Pearce

Natural Learning Rhythms : Discovering How and When Your Child Learns
by Josette Luvmour, Sambhava Luvmour

The Path of Parenting
by Vimala McClure

When Your Child Drives You Crazy
by Eda Leshan, Catherine Whitney

Love and Anger : The Parental Dilemma
by Nancy Samalin, Catherine Whitney

Why Can’t I Be the Parent I Want to Be? : End Old Patterns and Enjoy Your Children
by Charles H. Elliott, Laura L. Smith

The Aware Baby
by Aletha J., Ph.D. Solter

Helping Young Children Flourish
by Aletha Jauch, Solter

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting
by Myla Kabat-Zinn, Jon Kabat-Zinn

Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles : Winning for a Lifetime
by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Raising a Thinking Child : Help Your Young Child to Resolve Everyday Conflicts and Get Along With Others : The ‘I Can Problem Solve’ Program
by Myrna B. Shure, et al

Parenting Young Children : Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (Step) of Children Under Six
by Don C. Dinkmeyer

The Whole Parent : How to Become a Terrific Parent Even If You Didn’t Have One
by Debra Wesselmann

The Family Virtues Guide by Linda Kavenlin Popov
suggested by Mamasan

The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary D. Chapmafn
suggested by HeatherSanders

Powerful Struggles–managing resistance, building rapport–by John Maag
Parenting without Punishment-by John Maag
suggested by scoutycat

The Secret of Parenting: How to Be in Charge of Today’s Kids–from Toddlers to Preteens–Without Threats or Punishment by Anthony E. Wolf
suggested by TranscendentalMom

This is the perfect book that explains how to discipline gently and firmly. The main quality that is unique about this book is that the advice is so practical. So many books I have read on GD are so theoretical…its hard to understand how to apply the ideals to everyday situations. In Wolf’s book he gives scripts…which show the logical way that conversations and arguments go based on the way you respond to your child. His idea of “disengaging” is so simple and yet so effective. Every parent should OWN this book…so you can highlight and go back and read again and again.

Video lecture:

Taking Time In by Dr. Dan Siegel


Alternatives To Punishment

Twenty Alternatives to Punishment
by Aletha Solter, Ph.D.

Ten Reasons Not to Spank

Alphie Kohn

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