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Easy To Love, Difficult To Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills For Turning Conflict

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  741 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation.

Have you ever opened your mouth to discipline your child, and your parents' nastiest words tumble out? In an era when most parenting books focus on the child, this book supports parents in dealing more positively with themselves as well as their toddler–to–school–age children, offering specific tools to stop policing
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2000)
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Ammica S.
Feb 22, 2009 Ammica S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my mommy handbook! Bailey's ideas are so Christlike (and it's not a Christian/spiritual book). Her focus is on the parent learning to discipline him/herself, and you can then learn to model better behavior to your children. Excellent, excellent book!!!
Oct 15, 2009 Sara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book, as with all Becky Bailey books, is nothing but fluff and "feel good" psychology. Yes, let's love the children. Let's nurture them. Of course, that is what we should strive for. I'm not in disagreement with the basic premises. But what about the 4-year-old who calls his teacher a bitch? What about the 6-year-old who hurls a chair into the face of a peer? Becky Bailey does not provide one ounce of empirical support for any of her assertions. She invites organizations like Head Start to ...more
Mar 26, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting-books
I consider myself something of an authority on parenting books, having read at least 25 of them. They seem to fall into categories, Tips and Tricks, Woah You Didn’t Already Know This Hype, Specific Problem, XYZ is the Reason Why Kids Today are Weird, Parenting Through Religious Teachings and finally, Teach Yourself to Teach Your Children Without Screwing Them Up Too Badly. Easy to Love is the only one I’ve read that falls into this last category. This is my third reading of this book in two year ...more
Refine Lubis
Nov 06, 2013 Refine Lubis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been a while I did not read any parenting books at all. I used to read it a lot when my daughter was in pre-school age. And I relax a lot more when she entered formal education, things were quite manageable. I remember somewhere, when they hit the age of 9, things change again, they are entering the period of teenage life, it is going to be a different game all together. I think I can feel it, it is no longer as easy as before to deal with my daughter who is going to be 10 years old next ...more
Feb 27, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents
Recommended to Jennifer by: Tracy
I found this book very helpful in dealing with my son's misbehavior -- realizing that misbehavior (and especially repeated misbehavior) is a part of development, and helping me to think about my reaction to it. The hard part is keeping it in mind in the heat of the moment! The book is written like a self-help/business type book (think the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), but once I got past the slightly annoying format I found that the content was really great.
Whitney Canales
Apr 28, 2013 Whitney Canales rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013

But there is good news and bad news.

The good news is, these techniques WORK. They truly do. I love that the author explains the development of a child's brain and why they need to be disciplined (or trained, or guided, whichever word you prefer) in a certain way. As a Christian, I love that my belief in the controversial theology that children are innocent and innately good is supported in this book. That is perhaps the most encouraging thing for me as a mother. My children are
Dec 12, 2009 Aubrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tend toward perfectionism and pessimism... generally, not a healthy or happy combo. Since reading Learned Optimism in nine years ago, I've made great progress in changing my thought process toward faith, hope and optimism. Bailey centers on many of the same positive psychology principles, so a lot of what she had to say wasn't new to me. However, she gave me several new concrete ways (attribute positive intent, disobedience is not disrespect, and focus on what you want, just to name a few) to ...more
I finished a few days ago what will be a life changing book in this house. The book called - Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky A. Bailey (also from the list of books I got from has to be one of the first parenting books dealing with disciplining that has spoken to me in such deep and profound ways.

Now, I also have to tell you, prior to this book I pretty much wrote off all parenting books (and yes, I did just write about a parenting book that I also thought was a good
Aug 02, 2011 Ethan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I've read on Positive Discipline. I rolled my eyes a lot at all the self-help language. And I felt ridiculous when trying out positive, empathic phrases on my kids (and afterwards realizing that I still got it wrong and ended up bribing or threatening a time out or something). But then I could see my son react well even to my stupid phrasings, and I feel like we're better understanding each other. Not that his behavior has radically changed, but there's something good hap ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Veronica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very useful, not simply for inspiring the reader to change the "technique" of discipline, from the "traditional" way of teaching based on fear, which I think we all know, to an approach based on understanding and loving our children, but also as a self-help book to improve ourselves, the way we communicate and our relationships with others in general.

The author could have made the book shorter and less theoretical in the first chapters, but overall, again, very useful. I highly
Jun 14, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
This book outlines the philosophy of discipline the girls' school uses and I was in a parent book club reading it this year.
There are books that I postpone rating because there is just too much to say about them, this one.
It is really good and very practical. I am trying to implement some things like what you give attention to you get more of, notice in your praise (not just good job) and there is a ton more that I should review, remember and try.
If there is another book club next year, I hope t
Rachel Boothby
May 28, 2015 Rachel Boothby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! It took me awhile to read it cover to cover, but every time I picked it up, I feel like I found something useful. I will continue to use it throughout my parenting. So many practical, helpful ideas here that can be used in daily life. I especially like how the author takes into account a child's developmental stage and the psychology behind human behavior.
Marika Alexander
I haven't read all of it, or even most of it yet. It was a library book and the due date was approaching, and fiction was calling... But the first few chapters I have read of it gave me a lot of useful information, and I'm going to buy this book. I can tell it's one that I can use to refer back to, plus it comes with activities parents can do to hone their parenting skills. The importance of assertiveness (as opposed to passive or aggressive parenting, or a combination of both), and the imperati ...more
Sep 21, 2010 Melony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to Melony by: a neighbor
Aug 09
I just started this book last week and love it!
she is all encouragment. I got so sick of "don't do this, don't say that" in the other parenting books. she starts with encouraging parents to change their outlook on life, which we all can use in everyday living, not just parenting. she gives the tools to change our thinking. i've been making cheat sheets and taping them up all over the house...and I'm only on page 40.

Nov 09
I'm still reading the book. it is a lot to implement so I'm going s
Jan 10, 2016 Tisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not going to implement everything she suggested in the book, but I did find lots of great nuggets. I especially loved how much she made me think about how I discipline and how I should/could shift some of my basic ideas about discipline. There were lots of great things to think about. I would definitely recommend reading it if you need some new parenting ideas. She gives lots of great advice about how to keep calm and keep going even when the kids are being especially difficult.
Jan 17, 2012 Quinton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about how to teach your child to think. It looks at discipline through the eyes of the child, and says “what am I teaching my child by disciplining them this way?” Stop thinking “How do I get my child to (blank)?” and start thinking “How can I help my child be more likely to choose to (blank)?”

“It would be misguided to try to stop misbehavior. Your goal is better framed as preventing the likelihood of misbehavior being repeated and becoming habitual. You can do this by responding to
Sep 15, 2011 Maree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this an excellent book, and a great way to raise your children. For the theory and practice itself, I'd give five stars, but the book itself seemed problematically put together at times. She kept referring to chapters to come and left a lot of situations without examples of what to do for your child or only half completed. But she does pull together a number of well-fleshed out examples at the end.

A lot of the phrasing seems kind of over the top, but I really think it's what kids need an
Jul 06, 2014 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent one-stop spot for parents wanting to discipline their kids in a loving and empathetic manner. It presents a series of skills to cultivate in order to deliver loving guidance to your children. The result is a set of very practical ideas for connecting with your children in a loving but assertive manner, avoiding the extremes of being too aggressive or too permissive. A must read for any parent wanting to raise confident and emotionally secure children.
Aug 18, 2009 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I started out not liking the book, it seemed too "opinionated" about our societal problems at the beginning and too much like a 7 step program. I think you could skip the first 3 chapters and just start on #4.

From then on, it became my all-time favorite parenting/discipline book. The author focuses on developing skills like assertiveness for the parent, then passing them on to the child. This one seemed to take all the parenting books I've read before and culminate the ideas into somet
Nov 15, 2008 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book as far as advice goes. . .but impossible to implement. It was written by an author who is not a parent, and basically has this attitude: "if you have ever given in to a temper tantrum (EVER) or anything like unto that, you have ruined your child. . " something that I completely disagree with. Yes, I agree with the author that some of our childrens' behavior problems arise from bad parenting, but she doesn't even tap into the possibility that some children are just more diffi ...more
I don't know if all self-help books are super preachy and annoying, but this one sure is. To summarize: Your parents totally screwed you up by the way they raised you, and even though you're doing it completely differently, you are also going to irreparably damage your kids unless you exactly follow all of her instructions, down to the scripts she has so helpfully provided for the conversations you have with your children. Never mind that the woman does not have kids, she does have a PhD in Chil ...more
Cyril Khairallah
So informative!

This is information every parent needs to know and be reminded of. I love the loving approach! There is a lot of common sense here, but also some good tips to put the principles into practice. I recommend that every parent read the one.
Aug 08, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite parenting book of all time, hands down. I have read it several times in the seven years I've had it. Yes, it is a kind of a self-help book. But guess what? You have to learn how to calm yourself down and stop screaming before you can tell your kid how to act. There are many practical applications, where she tells you HOW to use the skills she is teaching. My sons' school is a charter school that uses these techniques with kids of varying needs and they are very effective. Thi ...more
Sep 27, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not sure when I officially "finished" this book (or have I finished the last chapter?) because I keep turning back in it and reading again through different sections. This book is definitely on my "classic" list. I believe that this is because it is ultimately about me, not my child and not about how to "deal" with them. It has taught me and continues to teach me great lessons in feeling, self control, modelling, intentionality, and focus. If you want a book that will teach you quick "fixes" to ...more
Jan 13, 2013 Ansa88 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like how this puts in perspective the whole raising children thing. I want to be a parent, and I've used the different strategies on myself and my siblings, and they actually work! It's so amazing.
Now the only problem is to remember everything I've read...
It'll definitely need to be read slowly to absorb everything, and will need re-readings to start fully absorbing the whole thing. But the message on using love and having clear and easy ways on solving problems really helped me out, and there
Oct 07, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I totally agree with the premise behind this book and think it could work wonders in changing your attitude about parenting and your relationship with your kid(s), it takes a commitment and change on the part of you (the parent) and is not an easy thing to do.

I did not think the book was well-written for a parenting book. There was WAY too much detail in the rationale part of the book. It also takes a lifestyle change and tries to make it gimmicky with acronyms that are not helpful or eas
Nicole Handy
Yes...another dicipline book. I'm getting sick of them too!

I was skeptical of this book. I heard about it on a blog and after reading the first chapter I was disenchanted because 1) the author is not married and does not have any children 2) she spent the whole first chapter telling parents they need to act better if they want their kids to act better. Not what I wanted to hear. But...after reading a few more chapters I found some sound advice and ways to talk to my children about the wrong choi
Aug 26, 2008 Ardra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ardra by: Leslie
I HIGHLY recommend this book. Probably the most helpful parenting book I have read. The author concentrates on how to maintain self-control (not lose it) and view conflicts as teaching opportunities. She gives many examples on how to follow the "loving guidance" techniques. I noticed an improvement within the first couple days of starting this book. I have much more confidence in how I handle situations, and I feel like I'm really doing the right thing at the end of each day. I've just started t ...more
Leslie Swaim-Fox
I really found this book helpful and Toni thinks I should say so!! It is a little "self helpy" but has such great words to say to your kids, it didn't bother me.
May 26, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like this much better than Love and Logic. It has been helpful and made things better when it comes to a certain child of mine.
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Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D., specializes in early childhood education and developmental psychology. Her lectures reach more than 20,000 people annually, and her awards include a Parents' Choice Foundation commendation for three of her parenting audiotapes. She has appeared on CNN, PBS, and The Hour of Power with Dr. Robert Schuller, among other programs. She lives in Oviedo, Florida.
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“Your sense of self-esteem does not come from how other people see you, but from how you see other people. If you choose to see what’s missing, lacking, and not good enough, you not only inhibit change from occurring, you also destroy your sense of your own value. Feeling powerless, you are primed to blame others for your discomfort.” 0 likes
“Every conflict presents you with a choice. You can choose to view conflict as an opportunity to teach or as an opportunity to blame and punish.” 0 likes
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