I'm a huge believer in parenting books. I personally think Dr. Kevin Leman is a leading expert. Freaking brilliant. He has amazing books on relationships, parenting, sex, birth order and discipline. I've read almost all of them, and they've educated, challenged and changed me.
Recently, when I was at a loss about what to do with a defiant toddler, I acquired his book, "Making your Children Mind Without Losing Yours." He employs a discipline theory called, "reality discipline." It is simply:
We never tell parents to punish. We tell them to discipline, train, and teach their kids, but that doesn't mean that there might not be some kind of “pain” or consequence involved. That's how the kids learn what the real world is like and how it works. Reality Discipline gives the child a chance to make his own decisions and then live with the result of his mistakes and his failures or his good choices and his successes.
Using reality discipline means...
- Being in healthy authority over your children.
- Holding your children accountable for their actions
- Combining love and limits on a consistent basis.
- Dealing with every child as the unique individual he or she is.
- Being tough but always fair.
- Using action instead of words.
- Sticking to your guns and following through with enforcing consequences.
- Following the biblical instruction not to exasperate your children and make them angry and resentful, but to bring them up with loving discipline and godly advice (see Eph. 6:4, The Living Bible).
Love it. Trying it. I'll let ya know how it goes.