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Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery [Perfect Paperback]

Judy Arnall
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery + How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk + Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-saver! Jan. 25 2010
Format:Perfect Paperback
A little lost in the world of parenting, I bought this book after reading advice Judy Arnall gave on the Mothering Dot Commune "Ask the Experts" webpage. The writer sounded sincere and grounded and I was moved to spend the money on yet another parenting book. Akin to that dog-eared Best Ever Dinner Cookbook one always gravitates toward, all our other parenting resources are shelved... somewhere.

I call this book my bathroom bible, because it sits close to hand, near where I sit... whenever I need a sanity break to resolve the issue I've just run from. It's useful for leaving open to a page for my husband to read regarding a particularly draining parenting issue; even friends have picked it up when in the loo!

The book is packed with information, easily navigated, well-referenced, has a great bibliography, and the margins can't get much narrower, so I definitely got my money's worth. Of particular interest and help to me is the 50-page quick reference tool guide... a life-saver during a quick bathroom escape. The book is an easy, informative, thought-provoking read whenever I simply thumb through it to learn about something new.

What IS refreshing is the short yet informative presentation of childrearing experiences (she's been through each stage FIVE times) and the humble, personal recount of what-not-to-do. I appreciate, and prefer, the humanness in authors who have learned their lessons from real life experiences.

I certainly have a lot more strength when I recall the author's words about parenting with dignity - no more blow ups here anymore - who's the adult, anyway? Parenting certainly is far more peaceful with Judy Arnall's guidance and, combined with no-processed-foods nutrition, we have a toddler we confidently take anywhere - dinner parties, multiple errands around our city, and long-haul flights overseas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Parenting Book Out There Jan. 20 2013
Format:Perfect Paperback
This book has been so incredibly helpful for me - everything seems to clIck with what I remember about being a child, how I wanted to be treated, and what I would have responded to. I'm the mom of two boys: 2 1/2 and 12 months old and I wish I had read this book sooner - but it's never too late. What I was doing during "the terrible twos" was not working and this book turned that all around. I imagine I'll be re-reading this book over and over again - especially in the teenaged years! Her tips and ideas are so practical and her writing style makes you feel supported and not alone!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars really works and is common sense Dec 29 2012
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
hard to summarize, but I think this global all. Treat the others the way you will like to be treat it. ( including little people)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must have" for your parenting library Aug. 10 2008
Format:Perfect Paperback
This is an excellent reference book. It's written by a mother of five and deals with everyday parenting issues faced by parents of children of all ages. It contains not only highly helpful tips but also provides a framework for parenting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discipline with Distress Says It All! Oct. 22 2009
By J. Lamberjack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
As I was learning how to discipline my strong-willed 18 month old, I was reading a lot about how to discipline. Included in these books (I had NOT yet read Discipline Without Distress) were the benefits of spanking by very good and some Christian well intentioned people that I truly believe love children. However, as my son became more defiant, he seemed to be getting spanked more and more and it wasn't working. I was hardly doing more than tapping his bottom, but it was breaking his heart, breaking mine that I felt I had to do it, and it didn't seem to be solving his 'normal for age' behavioral issues. That is when I did some more searching on Amazon for some alternatives to spanking.

Discipline Without Distress has been well researched! It breaks down for you where your child is developmentally at each age and SEVERAL EXAMPLES of how to act in numerous situations. We parents like concrete examples! Strong-willed children or high needs children DO NOT HAVE TO BE SPANKED! It may take much more effort on the part of the parent to be patient and act, not react, but this book will help give you the tools you need.

As for my son, this book seems made for him. Using the techniques in this book, such as redirection for one, is 200% more effective than spanking ever was.

I would recommend reading or buying this book first, before you read ANY literature on pro spanking. Discipline Without Distress is so thorough, I doubt you will feel the need to read pro spanking books.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Go-To Mom Gives "Disciipline Without Distress" 5 Gold Stars Nov. 16 2008
By Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback
Okay, it is apparent that Judy, the author loves and adores kids. What better expert to write a book like this. Her book is PACKED with tools and information that will leave any parent feeling very confident. She is an advocate of positive parenting and is an incredible asset to the field of raising kids in a humane and loving way. Two cheers for Judy!

Other books that you may find helpful are: Kids, Parents and Power Struggles, How To Talk So Kids Can Listen, Got the Baby Where's the Manual, Between Parent and Child,and Undconditional Parenting.

Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT
Licensed Child Therapist
founder, [...]
Author: Mommy Confidence: 8 Easy Steps to Reclaiming Balance, Motivation, and Your Inner Diva
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discipline Without Distress...uh, kind of Jan. 5 2010
By S Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
Discipline Without Distress? Well, I wouldn't go THAT far. I love the book though. Putting the advice into action hasn't been easy for me and has required a lot of change in my thinking. My 4 yr old son can be volatile and way out of control frequently; he's a wonderful child, but still. I ordered this book when NOTHING was working with disciplining him: spanking, yelling, time-outs, taking away toys, rewards etc. Over a short amount of time - and I mean very short - I could see in some situations how the 'techniques' worked and things had improved for both me AND him. Things I love about the book - it's focus on: building a loving relationship, advocating the child's independent self-evaluation/correction of undesirable behavior, and instilling confidence in me to discipline my child so he learns the true lesson in a situation. The book provides many tools and perspectives that are very helpful. I am very pleased with our progress so far (2 weeks into it now). What I don't like - is really only one thing - and that's the advice to avoid situations that can trigger behavior problems in the child (like eating out, visiting friends, etc). A lot of the situations she names are not avoidable for us. I just try to keep in-line with the overall direction and prepare the best I can with him in advance for the situations that I know tend to be difficult. Bottom line, I highly recommend the book - especially if you feel you've tried everything - and nothing seems to be working.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different way of thinking about discipline March 5 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was somewhat skeptical when I ordered this book, but our 6-year-old had been increasingly surly and our 2-year-old was giving new meaning to the phrase "terrible twos." So I slogged through all 300+ pages of this book and was pleasantly surprised. Our 6-year-old has been time-out-free for about a month and I can honestly say that his behavior is not only slightly better, it is NOT WORSE. I thought all hell would break loose once we stopped time outs and withdrawal of screen time, but it didn't. As a child who was raised with spankings, it was a game-changer for me to consider the idea that kids can be disciplined without using punishment. I am also surprised by the insightful conversations we have had when discussing his bad behavior, something I never even thought to discuss in a calm fashion with him before.

I am giving it 4 stars because I wish that the book had given me more help with my toddler. The take home point I gleaned is that her behavior is normal and it will end - not many 5-year-olds go around biting people. However, there's not much to work with right now at age 2, and I guess that is just the nature of the toddler. I have become much better at not yelling since reading this book, and keeping my temper in check enables me to enjoy my time with her more. Of note, I read "Life with Toddlers" also and felt that it didn't help me much either, so maybe the answer really is to just grit your teeth and pray that the third birthday will arrive soon.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attachment Parenting for kids over 2 Sept. 3 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
From the get-go, we've practiced Attachment Parenting, but once our kids reached tantruming age, we fell back to behavior modification with time-out, rewards, threats, punishments, bribery... all of which led to power struggles and way too much yelling and punishments for our strong-willed children. My son in particular was not at all receptive to the mainstream parenting solutions listed above. We purchased this book and "Attached at the Heart: 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children." They both have been excellent resources to help us improve our parenting skills and continue with the principles of Attachment Parenting. It really helped to understand what's developmentally appropriate (what will fade with time, even if it's not addressed with behavior modification), how to avoid power struggles, and what to do instead of the normal reward/punishment solutions. It's definitely more hands-on parenting that takes more time and energy from the parent(s), but that's because the whole focus is on the long-term: building a relationship with your child. The point of the book is that if you can communicate with your child, give them autonomy in their life (as their development naturally allows), and model good behavior, that when they are beyond your parenting reach (i.e. you can't control your teenager!), they will trust you and still come to you for help and guidance because of the relationship of mutual respect that you've established.
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