suggestions on books to begin this journey? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-08-2011, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello Community - my first post.   My little one is 7mos old now and I'm VERY interested in doing conscious parenting and gentle discipline.


I'm wondering if you all can recommend some good books to begin us on this journey.  I'm sure you've sorted through all those that are worthy of my very so minimal spare time....would love the feedback on where to begin.


Thanks - and so looking forward to this new family



(momma to baby nicholas - 7 mos old)


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#2 of 4 Old 06-08-2011, 05:11 PM
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If you want concrete ideas on how to discipline (what to do, how to view their actions, etc) I really really recommend the discipline sections in Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. It's aimed at ages up to 5yo, and talks a lot about WHY they do the things they do. It really helped me survive the toddler years!


For books that discuss the philosophy of gd, why to gd, etc there are a number that I like. These books build a foundation so you really understand why you are gd'ing, kwim? I like Natural Child by Jan Hunt ( also some GREAT articles on this site), Aware Baby by Aletha Solter (, The Continuum Concept by Jean Leidloff, and Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn (though this is my least fave of these).

Also worth reading are Secret of Parenting and Loving Your Child is Not Enough (similar to How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk, and Parent Effectiveness Training), but these are aimed at older kids.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)

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#3 of 4 Old 06-09-2011, 10:18 AM
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I agree a lot with the PP.  I will say that on a practical level, I found Jane Nelson's books to be really helpful in the beginning--as she targets them towards different age groups.  So you might want to look at her books targeting preschoolers. Her stuff is easily available at most libraries.   Also "Adventures in Gentle Discipline" was a great book as well.



Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#4 of 4 Old 06-09-2011, 03:11 PM
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For practical tips/strategies (some of these are repeats from other posters)


Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Davis & Keyser

Parenting with Purpose by Lynda Madison

The Secret of Parenting by Wolf

Positive Discipline: The First 3 years by Nelson


Note that there's a fair range of techniques that fall under the umbrella of Gentle Discipline -- some are OK with rewards, some not. Some are OK with timeouts to cool down, some are not. Part of your journey is going to be to figure out what feels right to you and what your parenting philosophy is. (That's one of the reasons I like Parenting with Purpose -- it talks about how all the techniques in the world won't do you any good unless you know why you're doing what you're doing. At the same time, it advocates rewards for the over 4 crowd, which some people are strongly against. I found the book extremely helpful for the toddler stage.)


Good books for the 'mindset' or philosophy:

Playful Parenting by Cohen -- this is one of my all time favorite books. It really helped me to understand and to value spending time with my kids. It's about much more than playing, it's about connecting with your kids through play. It's actually got a lot of practical tips, but they work better with the 3+ crowd, in my experience, so for you, this might be a foundational book.

Unconditional Parenting by Kohn - this is a great book if you've already committed to a GD perspective are looking to take it one step further. His work is always thought provoking.

Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves by Aldort -- this book is good, I think, for people who are really trying to understand the mindset and shift perspectives. If you've already shifted perspectives to a GD perspective, it can come across as patronizing/holier-than-thou, IMO. (But that may just be me.)

Connection Parenting by Leo



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