what has really helped me with GD has actually NOT been reading gentle discipline books. i mean yeah i read them, it made sense, but when i was actually facing a situation IRL all what i read went out the window.
what truly helped me was reading the series by Louis Ames Bates. http://www.amazon.com/Your-Two-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506387
i had to understand what my child was going therough. i had to see my child differently. its a way of seeing that was never shown to me before. society assumes you understand that. like for instance when dd was a new one year old i realized i was getting angry with her because i was taking her actions personally. duh! you would expect me get it that she is young and she is just being herself. but no i had been always used to being pushed for a personal reason.
just understanding that really changed my life. i read those books religiously from babyhood to age 4. because it helped me gain compassion towards my child. instead of getting angry i would be so empathec. poor thing she is so emotional. in fact sometimes i would be laughing because she was so ridiculous. how can a one year old have so mauch anger that she would be flat out on hte street screaming.
i also learnt the 3 golden rule - rest, exercise and full belly.
to me understanding children is what helped me on my road to GD.
however having a v. hormonal almost 10 year old i am being challenged again. not that i am going to spank my child but i discover i am 'spanking' my child whtough words. silence and empathy is still VERY important. more actually than less.