I finally finished the book, “Discipline Without Distress:135 Tools for Raising Caring, Responsible, Children without Time-out, Spanking, Punishment or Bribery” by Judy Arnall (my original post about the book can be found here). I think I can sum the book up with one quote that she used toward the end of the book, and I am sure that the quote will not be new to any of you either. It goes like this, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Ghandi.
Yep, it is that simple. If you want peace within your home, be peaceful yourself. No over-reacting to things that don’t need over-reacting to. Look at the situation. Children, like ourselves (by this I mean adults), do not act out because they want to. They act out because they need something. I started observing my own behaviors and noticed much the same thing. I get snippy when I am tired and/or hungry. Guess what? So do my kids.
The book contains many terrific ideas and puts many everyday “annoying” things into perspective. The author also speaks a lot about choosing your battles. I am with my kids A LOT, as are all homeschooling parents. I realized that a lot of the little things were driving me crazy and thus, I was getting angry a lot and saying, “no,” a lot. Ignoring those little things works fairly well. (Until of course the one day that I was cleaning everything up around the house and realized that none of it is was my stuff. I have to admit that I wanted to go and start screaming at everyone to get inside and start cleaning. However, I took a moment. When I found the kids playing outside, I simply asked them all to come in and sit at the table. I asked them to look around and see what they had out that did not belong to me. They got the point very easily. Without even asking, they each went around the house and picked up their stuff and went to their rooms and started picking up things. WE all cleaned up together.)
Obviously, I am still a work in progress with utilizing the techniques in the book. I used most of them in the past, but somehow forgot them. Now I have the book so hopefully, I will go back to it from time to time to refresh my memory. If you are a parent who doesn’t like to yell or belittle your kids, then I highly recommend this book. If you feel that kids are beneath you and that you should be in charge, I still recommend the book because maybe it will change your thought process.
Oh-one more quick note. This book is terrific for parents with kids of ALL ages. I read all of it from infant to teenagers. I think her ideas on working with your teen were fantastic.