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Stress-Free Discipline

Book Description

All children test boundaries (and sometimes your patience). It's a natural part of growing up. Your job as a parent is to let them know what's acceptable and what isn't, praise good behavior, and enforce limits.

Easier said than done. Even the best-intentioned parents can find themselves shouting—or capitulating yet again to avoid a scene. Worse, the one-size-fits-all discipline methods experts tout can be too narrow for some concerns.

Blending developmental insights with an arsenal of proven techniques, Stress-Free Discipline prepares parents for any challenge: the preschooler who throws a fit . . . the second-grader who refuses homework . . . the budding tween who dishes out insults. The book helps determine the root cause, explaining what drives the behavior, why it's usually normal, how to prevent escalations, and how to instill self-control. Once parents grasp the underlying motivation they can select the strategy that fits their child's age, temperament, and issue—including role modeling, setting limits, positive reinforcement, negative consequences, disengagement—and deploy it calmly and with confidence. Examples and exercises throughout help readers personalize the authors' advice to their unique situation.

Practical, thoughtful, and deeply informative, Stress-Free Discipline is the one book every family needs for a more peaceful and happy home.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction and Philosophy
  6. PART I Understand Discipline from the Inside Out
    1. 1 Decode Your Child’s Behavior
      1. Most Problem Behavior Is Normal
      2. Develop Awareness of Influences That Lead to Bad (and Good) Behavior
      3. Understand Your Child’s Motives
      4. Behavior = Communication
    2. 2 Apply Universal Strategies
      1. Cultivate a Positive Relationship with a Time-In
      2. Role-Model Good Behavior
      3. Prioritize Your Absolutes
      4. Give Good Directions
      5. Enforce Limits and Roles
      6. Redirect Your Child’s Focus
      7. Act Like a Coach
      8. Hold Practice Sessions
      9. Ignore the Problem Behavior
      10. Disengage from Behavior Out of Your Control
      11. Yell Sparingly
      12. Praise Positive Behavior
      13. Offer Positive Reinforcement or Rewards
      14. Use Negative Consequences Through Punishment
      15. Call a Time-Out
      16. Insist on an Apology and Restitution
  7. PART II Dealing with Areas of Common Difficulty
    1. 3 Tantrums
      1. Understand the Source of Tantrums by Age
      2. Manage Contributing Factors
      3. Deal with Tantrums
      4. Use Coaching and Practice Session Strategies at the Grocery Store
      5. Use Disengaging Strategy
      6. Understand the Violent Tantrum
      7. Reset a Negative Relationship
    2. 4 Homework
      1. Understand Learning Styles
      2. Instill a Motivation for Learning
      3. Establish a Process for Working Independently
      4. Use Positive Reinforcement
      5. Effect of Negative Consequences
      6. Avoid Unintended Consequences
      7. Work with Your Gifted Child
    3. 5 Mealtime
      1. Manage Mealtime Meltdowns
      2. Establish a Mealtime Routine and Use Redirection
      3. Institute Rules and Use Reinforcement and Restitution
      4. Get Your Children to Eat New Foods
      5. Develop Strategies for Eating Out at Restaurants
    4. 6 Bedtime
      1. Your Child’s Sleep Is Very Important
      2. Use Universal Strategies for Bedtime
      3. Contend with Childhood Nightmares
    5. 7 Attitude
      1. Contend with Hot-Button Behaviors and Judgment Calls
      2. Understand the Intent Behind Behaviors
      3. Use Strategies for Battling Attitude Behaviors
  8. PART III Develop Positive Characteristics
    1. 8 Impact Your Child’s Social Development and Peer Influence
      1. Promote Positive Social Relationships with Peers
      2. Manage Access to Peer Influencers
      3. Combat Negative Peer-Group Behaviors
      4. Use Strategies When Your Child Has Peer-Group Problems
      5. Handle Sibling Rivalry
    2. 9 Instill Resilience and Grit in Your Child
      1. Let Your Child Experience Failure
      2. Grit Doesn’t Mean Being as Tough as Nails
      3. Have Confidence and Use Praise
      4. Problem-Solve Like a Role Model
      5. Store Up Reserves of Resilience for Challenging Times
  9. PART IV Recognize Red Flags
    1. 10 Manage Situations That Increase Family Stress
      1. Recognize the Symptoms of Stress
      2. Maintain Normalcy
      3. Separation or Divorce
      4. Long-Distance Parenting
      5. Illness
      6. Financial Problems
      7. Moving to a New Home or School
      8. New Baby
    2. 11 Find Professional Help for Your Family
      1. Determine Whom to Turn to for Help
      2. How to Decide to Call a Professional
      3. Recognize When a Behavior Is a Serious Concern
    3. 12 Conclusion
  10. Index
  11. About the Authors
  12. Free Sample Chapter from Stress-Free Potty Training by Sara Au and Peter L. Stavinoha, Ph.D.