I'm the type of person that believes all of life's answers can be found in a book, and I usually approach unfamiliar situations with a trip to the library or book store. I've read my fair share of books about getting pregnant, being pregnant, and caring for a tiny human. But now that we're solidly in toddlerhood, it's a whole new ball game, and one that I sometimes feel completely unprepared for. Possibly because I'm chasing after my kid and have less time to actually sit down and read. But I've definitely found myself wondering if I was handling issues (like biting) in the correct way. It was high time to crack open a book.
Positive Discipline: The First Three Years was exactly what I needed to read. The authors begin by discussing what discipline is (it's not necessarily punishment!), as well as how positive discipline fits into family life and the benefits for both parent and child. Subsequent sections deal with child development, your child's home life (including eating, sleeping and the all important toileting), and the world outside (including the effect of technology on young children).
There's plenty of practical advice on what to do in certain situations (like biting!), and the information on child development is easily digestible.
I really, really appreciated that the authors emphasized the importance of self-care for parents. I'll admit I've questioned how good of a mother I am when I read about the lengths to which some parents take attachment parenting (like babies who never had a bottle-- of formula or breast milk!). I probably shouldn't look to a book to validate my life choices, but it is helpful information for mothers who are on the fence about leaving their 3-month-old for an hour to go get a pedicure.
Each chapter concludes with a list of questions for mulling over, discussing or journaling about (y'all know I love a good journal prompt!); this is a great title to discuss with your partner or mom's group since the authors have already done the work for you.
My one complaint about the book is that the "real life" examples used read as a little far-fetched. In the acknowledgements the authors note that some stories are composites of several children or families, which might explain why they don't seem completely realistic.
If you're looking for gentle, practical guidance on raising a well-adjusted child, Positive Discipline: The First Three Years is an excellent choice.
Review copy provided by the publisher.