Stress-Free Discipline

Simple Strategies for Handling Common Behavior Problems

 Stress-Free Discipline

Authors: Sara Au, Peter L. Stavinoha
Pub Date: April 2015
Print Edition: $14.95
Print ISBN: 9780814449097
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814449103

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Simple Strategies for Handling Common Behavior Problems

A Practical Approach to Parenting through Childhood Challenges and Storms—With Calm and Confidence

Stress. In our turbulent, demanding world, it’s a fact of life for anyone parenting a child, and for children too. No wonder parents so often lose their patience and start shouting—or throw up their hands and cave in—when kids aggravate stress levels by behaving in what seem to us to be rude, inconsiderate, selfish, defiant, hurtful, or belligerent ways.

STRESS-FREE DISCIPLINE: Simple Strategies for Handling Common Behavior Problems (AMACOM; April 2015; $14.95 Paperback) offers parents hope for relief from flare ups, meltdowns, and frequent clashes with their kids. Backed by sound parenting principles, authors Sara Au, a mom and journalist, and Peter L. Stavinoha, Ph.D., pediatric neuropsychologist and a dad, broaden the definition of discipline from punishment to education—whether through coaching, counseling, practicing, praising, or enforcing negative consequences. With flexible methods, Sara and Dr. Pete show how discipline can be applied, consistently and calmly, to not only alleviate stressful behavioral issues, but also to cultivate a positive parent-child relationship.

“Discipline is an investment in your child’s future,” the authors assert, reminding parents that good behavior—from table manners to sharing and caring—is a skill that all children have to acquire. Sometimes kids behave badly because they don’t know any better, other times they are just thinking about their own immediate needs. While good behavior doesn’t always come naturally, kids don’t usually misbehave to stress-out their parents. Whether a tantrum-throwing toddler or an eye-rolling ‘tween with ‘tude, kids act out for a specific reason—perhaps frustration, jealousy, or eagerness to assert their independence. As Sara and Dr. Pete make clear: “Behavior is communication.”

Informed by developmental insights and real-life parenting experience, STRESS-FREE DISCIPLINE explains why kids behave the way they do and helps parents connect the context of those whys to how they respond. With exercises, everyday examples, and sample scripts to guide them, parents will learn how to:

• Decode what their child is trying to tell them when he or she acts out and then choose the best discipline response, based on a firm understanding of the ABCs of behavior—that is, Antecedent (specific factors or triggers for problem behavior, and how to minimize or avoid them), Behavior, and Consequence.

• Rely on 16 Universal Strategies for discipline—including giving time-ins, role modeling, redirecting a child’s focus, ignoring the problem behavior, offering rewards, calling time-outs, and yelling sparingly—and know which to apply, with love and little-to-no hassle, depending on the situation and their unique child.

• Rise to the challenges of the five most common, stressful problem-behavior areas among children ages three to eleven—tantrums, mealtime, homework, bedtime, and attitude—without stressing out.

• Take proactive steps to help their child grow into a happy, productive, and fulfilled adult, from encouraging them to stand up against peer pressure to building their resilience.

Enlightening, reassuring, and doable, STRESS-FREE DISCIPLINE makes the routine challenges of parenting a child much less stressful, while strengthening a parent’s sense of purpose and peace of mind.

About the Author

SARA AU is a mom and a journalist specializing in parenting and health issues. She lives in Orlando, Florida. PETER L. STAVINOHA, PH.D., is a dad and a pediatric neuropsychologist in the Center for Pediatric Psychiatry at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, near his home. He also serves as Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Together, they are the authors of the popular book Stress-Free Potty Training.

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