we are in Germany, too - and we are going to start a Thomas Gordon Parenting Effectiveness Training. I have two kids with ADHD - and one highly active baby *sigh* - and we did a parenting course for ADHD kids - which I hated, because it was very 1-2-3 magic - like. I stopped doing it. I discussed the problem with psychologists who train the PET - so a bit biased. But they agreed with my feeling that especially with high-need and active and strong willed children it is important to hear them out.
I do agree though, that with Alfie Kohn and Naomi Aldort one (at least me) did not get enough input and "real life" examples to actually live this way. I find it much better with the PET, because there are solutions and new ways of thinking that someone teaches you. I read all the material and started implementing it, and it DOES work. It is just so very different from the "old" ways of parenting, and I still DO count to three - if I am not at a good place within myself - but if I remember and stay calm we are always able to work a solution out, and I really believe that this is a better way of parenting kids who are really strong willed.
I LoVE the book Discipline without Distress, I think it is the best "democratic parenting book" ever. It is full of tips how to solve situations. I did read Naomi Aldort, and I do like her approach, but I always had the feeling that my kids just don't behave like she says children do. My kids won't go to bed for example - ever. If I would just let them stay with us and decide on their own bedtime, they would stay up longer than their parents. . DWD is more concrete and helps a lot. As is everything from Thomas Gordon.
for me steps is to much into consequences