I recently finished reading the book Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, the third discipline book I’ve read in as many months. Reading these books has been my way of processing and wrapping my brain around this extremely challenging new phase of parenthood, the “terrible twos”.

This book emphasizes two qualities, kindness and firmness, in the disciplining of our children. It takes a more general, birds’ eye view of discipline and raising kids during the toddler/preschool years, although its advice is geared toward 3 & up.

I liked many of the discipline tips from the book, such as instead of using punitive time-outs, utilizing a “cooling-off” period that allows them to calm down until they are able to access their more rational thoughts and behaviors. The book suggests creating a positive time-out area that’s actually inviting and comfortable for the child (with pillows and books), as opposed to sending them away to face the wall and “suffer” the consequences. We may implement something like this in our home when the kids get a bit older.

The book also has a section on the nine different temperaments (activity level, rhythmicity, initial response, adaptability, sensory threshold, quality of mood, intensity of reactions, distractibility, and persistence/attention span), and the spectrum your child may fall on with each one, as well as the fact that children are born with these temperaments, as much as our society may at times like to blame parents entirely for their kids’ behavior. Apparently the activity level of your child(ren) in the womb is a pretty good predictor of what their activity levels will be for the rest of their lives. Looks like we’ve created two “violently active” humans, as our doctor once described them during a sonogram in my third trimester.

Oh, and did I mention, this book points out that our energy level as human beings peaks at the age of three? @#$&!! P&G haven’t peaked yet?! I am so screwed.

Recommended: Maybe. I found all of it very interesting, but then I am more curious than the cat whose fate we all know. This book was a little meandering and certainly not as brief and to-the-point as The Happiest Toddler on the Block. In the end, my advice is to go with your gut when it comes to discipline, but reading and researching has helped me personally take a more focused approach to how I teach and guide P&G.





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