My brother is having some major issues with their little girl. She is highly spirited. He does most of the caretaking when he and his wife are both there, and they both work. They have only been exposed to super-nanny type disciplining. Their little girl is acting out at school, and it clearly sounds like serious power struggles are going on. She is challenging "no" at school, and peeing in her pants (she is almost 4 and potty trained), apparently intentionally. And, what is their response? Punishment. No tv show that night. I think they are creating a negative cycle leaving her feeling powerless, and the only thing she feels she can control is her pee.
What book would you recommend to someone going through this, something that introduces an alternative approach to discipline, where the focus is on the positive, but that also provides tools for parents to deal with these types of situations? I have read a lot of books, and I'm just not sure which one might reach them without turning them off before they get into the first few pages. I was thinking of Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles, which I love. But, I don't think it has all that much practical advice on how to deal with particular problems. I also really like Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, but I don't think they would get beyond the first chapter on that one because you have to buy into changing the adult's behavior first.
They are dealing with some really difficult issues, and have no tools/skills to deal with them, apart from the typical punishment approach. They don't "take action" when their words are not heeded (e.g., say no or stop once or twice, and then physically make it stop), so she apparently ignores them. I don't even know the whole story, because they live in another state, and I have only seen a few situations and heard stories from other family members. I am not very close with my SIL and my brother is not very open-minded or easy to talk to at all. They were supposed to take some parenting classes, because they took their daughter to a psychologist who said she had issues with controlling her impulses. But, apparently they decided the times were not convenient and that they were not going to go. I swear, that would have been a huge help...Anyway, that tells you where their priorities are. :(
Anyway, they seem to be reaching out for help from one of our family members (who does not have kids), and she is asking me if I have any suggestions. Please give me any suggestions you might have!! And, if there are online classes or something, with a practical focus, please share!!
DS1 (6) , DS2 (3) , DD is here!
I found the book "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" by Becky Bailey to be HUGELY helpful. I had been looking for books that supported my philosophy yet gave practical advice. (because I had been raised in a Supernanny-style, top-down, punitive system as a kid)
The best news is, she has free webinars too!!
I feel so sorry for the little girl feeling such stress; I hope these resources help.
What about Positive Discipline for Preschoolers? It's a good intro to GD, covers lots of topics that are developmentally appropriate for preschoolers, and offers good solutions.
YES!!! This book is AMAZING!!! LOVED IT! My ds is on the high end of the spirited spectrum, and he's maddening sometimes. This book helped A TON. Seriously.
I noticed that you were already thinking of this one, and I have to say I disagree with your assessment that it didn't offer much practical advice - I found it very helpful in giving me the right words to use with my ds, and giving me the tools to actually handle situations. I also felt like it validated my feelings of frustration with my 3yo when he was being supremely difficult.
The Kids, Parents & Power Struggles book was one of the first ones I got. I did find it very helpful because I had just finished Unconditional Parenting and was at a real loss as to practical things that could be DONE under this new (to me) philosophy. Alfie Kohn sort of leaves you hanging in that regard. I would have to reiterate that Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline is even better. I wish I had found it sooner.