Positive Discipline A-Z, 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems is a dictionary style book in which parents can look up child behaviors and find a variety of suggestions to try. Three authors came together to pack a lot of parenting advice into 316 pages: Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott and Stephen Glenn. Read on to find out why this book is often touted as the favorite of all the Positive Discipline books.

An Easy to Use, Quick Reference

Parents love this book for its format. Most likely, no one has read Positive Discipline A-Z from beginning to end. In the first thirty pages, part one offers an overview of the positive discipline approach. This section includes twenty-seven tools that you’ll be able to apply to many different situations.

Reading the first part is necessary if you’re new to positive discipline, but those who have read other positive discipline book will be fairly familiar with most of the tools. The remainder of the book lists behaviors, in alphabetical order and for each, the authors offer ideas that parents can use right away.

All answers use positive discipline tools, but the authors make sure to list various options so parents can choose one that works best for them or use the suggestions as a starting point. One of my favorite things of positive discipline is that there’s never one way to solve a problem and this book clearly illustrates this point.

Examples of Positive Discipline Tools

As I mentioned above, part one lists and explains popular positive discipline tools. I’d like to include examples of a few of my favorite ones from the book here.

  • Act, Don’t Talk: Parents even ask themselves, “Why do I keep saying the same thing?” The “Act, Don’t Talk” tool can take many forms and you’ll get several ideas on how to stop talking and act, which sends a stronger message to children. Think about that old adage that “actions speak louder than words”.
  • Say No: If you’re trying to be a positive parent, you may get the idea that you aren’t supposed to say “no” or it needs to be sugar coated. “It’s okay to say no” write the authors and they illustrate how delivering a “no” with respect is a simple and effective parenting tool.
  • Take Small Steps: Change happens in baby steps and that counts for both parents and children. Create expectations that are doable for the whole family. Focus on improvement instead of perfection.

Looking up Behaviors

It’s easy to flip through the alphabetical pages to find a behavior or parents can look up behaviors in the table of contents section in the front or in the index section in the back of the book.

For each behavior, parents will see the following sections:

  • Understanding Your Child, Yourself and the Situation
  • Suggestions
  • Planning Ahead to Prevent Future Problems
  • Life Skills Children Can Learn
  • Parenting Pointers
  • Booster Thoughts

The part on “Understanding Your Child, Yourself and the Situation” written for each behavior is my personal favorite. In teaching parents about discipline, my hope is that parents will step back and look at the behavior from the child’s point of view before taking any action. Many parenting methods aim to only stop the behavior, but Positive Discipline asks parents to consider a child’s developmental stage, the child’s relationship with others as well as the child’s sense of feeling confident and capable.

Discipline Suggestions for All Ages of Children

Positive Discipline A-Z is a book that will be taken off the shelf from the time your child is a toddler until they move out of the house. You’ll find sections on crying, weaning, and terrible twos as well as cell phones, zits, suicide and cutting. For this wealth of information, the book is well worth the print price of $16.95. The authors have included sections on up to date issues such as stepfamilies, bullying and obesity prevention.

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