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Positive Discipline: The First Three Years: From Infant to Toddler--Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child
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Positive Discipline: The First Three Years: From Infant to Toddler--Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  590 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Make a Difference During the Most Important Years of Your Child's Life
The months leading up to the birth of a child are filed with joy, dreams, plans—and a few worries. As a caring parent, you want to start your child out in life on the proper foundation. But where do you go for the answers to such questions as: How do I communicate with an infant who doesn't understand wo
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Harmony (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,206)
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Kristin
I had to stop when I got to the chapter on eating. Are these authors for real? This is an actual line in the book: "La Leche League suggests expressing (that is, pumping) breast milk into a bottles and freezing it (it looks like milky dishwater) . . .". Really??? Dishwater???? Goes on to say "keeping babies on the bottle or breast after they are ready to stop may squelch the first blossoming of their sense of autonomy.". Huh?? I'd like to meet a child that is forced to breastfeed after they are ...more
Jennifer
This book says that any negative disciple will place self doubt and poor self esteem in kids. It does not recommend time out, spanking or saying NO. It tells to lead by example. For instance, if your child tries to play with the stereo, instead of saying no, redirect them to their toys, even if it takes 1,000 times. I don't have a toddler but I don't know very many people with the time or patience to do what this author says.
Marissa
Positive Discipline's ideas and advice about raising children really feels right for me as a parent. Their most basic point is to have a consistent "kind but firm" manner when disciplining your child - kind to show that you validate their feelings and respect them as their own person, but firm to let them know you mean business. On a day to day level this approach really takes lots of patience, but when doing it, and seeing it work, it just feels right. Another strong point they make is that whe ...more
Heather
This book was great in parts, disappointing in others. Nothing new, really, but lots of good reminders of what is helpful and what is self-defeating in dealing with toddlers. I think the biggest disappointment for me about the book is the authors' apparent attitude toward childcare. They seemed to be advocating a child being in a high-quality childcare center over being at home with the mother. At the very least, they presented them as equally good choices.

To me, this really discredits them. It
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Bridgid
Ch. 4: "A word about attachment...Erik Erikson found that an infant's development of a sense of trust in the first year of life is directly related to a mother's sense of trust in herself."

Ch. 5: Temperament

Activity level

Rhythmicity - how consistent & predictable a child's eating, sleeping, bowel movements

Approach or withdrawal

Adaptability

Sensory threshold

Quality of Mood

Intensity of reactions

Distractibility

Persistence and attention span

Ch. 9: Self Reliance & Confidence

"Children under the
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missy jean
Why do I keep reading parenting books? I don't like them that much. I'm usually just reading to find someone who validates my own ideas about how I should parent--and I'll never find a perfect match, because nobody else has ever had my daughter. I know her best and I need to trust my intuition. So if I'm just going to tune out the parenting books as soon as they say something I don't already know, what's the point in reading them?!

Still...the I'm-almost-2-years-old-now-and-I'm-mad-that-you-don't
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Rachel
It will make you think differently about your child's "misbehavior". The main theme of the book is that kids learn (and their brains develop) through exploration and play. Kids that seem like they are acting out or being bad when they hit or get into things are usually just exploring their bodies and their surroundings. They are developing ideas about what they are capable of. Kids need guidance with rules, but they can be taught good behaviors without punishment and actually turn out better dev ...more
Libby
The book was barely about discipline- there was really only one chapter about it, but it still had some good information and gets you to think more about your child's point of view before getting upset at them and about letting them be involved in what your doing and help them to become more independent by helping them find solutions to their problems with your prompting. I wish they provided more examples to show the discipline concepts they talked about. The beginning of the book referenced st ...more
Jen
This book would get a higher rating if it weren't for some grossly inaccurate, misleading, and what I consider dangerous statements regarding nursing:

It says "keeping babies on the bottle or breast after they are ready to stop may squelch the first blossoming of their sense of autonomy.". Really? I don't know about other kids, but you definitely can't keep mine at the breast if he doesn't want to be there. The book also notes to watch for signs of being ready to wean between 10-12 months, which
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Crystal
I like this book. In fact, some of the strategies have helped already, such as redirection, distraction, turning tasks into a game (we picked up crayons so they could "hide" in the box) and just laughing together. I also like the info on the different types of temperaments, I thought there were only 3, difficult, medium, and easy. ha ha!

My only beef with the book is the sleep chapter. It tells you that to be a good parent and show love you must let your children cry it out to sleep if they won't
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Jessica
Definitely one of the more reality-based parenting books I've read in that it's actively willing to acknowledge and engage with the idea that most parents aren't living the breastfeeding-til-preschool, stay-at-home-parent, organic-crunchy-Etsy-nursery ideal. Most parenting books take great pains to point out that this ideal and remind parents that if those ideals aren't being met, well, you're already behind the eight ball and you should really go and fix those things before trying to proceed fu ...more
Aban (Aby)
I bought this book for my daughter who was expecting her first baby in February, but I read it before passing it on to her!

The approach to child rearing in this book is EXCELLENT. It is based on creating trust and bonding. Its approach is, above all, one of respect. It aims at guiding a child towards independence and social skills. The goal of the Positive Discipline approach is to empower a child, at every stage, by making him/her feel loved and valued, by helping the child feel competent and c
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Katrina
This is a discipline book that I feel I can actually implement daily. As a main point, it says to use a combination of kindness and firmness when disciplining your child, in all areas. It also emphasizes that I need to be aware of what my children are capable of understanding developmentally, and then tailor my approach.

Also, it says that you can't force a child to do anything (eat, sleep, potty-train, etc.). Instead, kindly and firmly guide the child to decide to do those things on his own. Th
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Amanda
I actually found this book to be extremely helpful. As a parent of an infant and a toddler I sometimes find myself regretting how I handle a situation. Toddlers are exploring their independence and testing their boundaries which can make every task difficult. With this book I had a lot of "ah ha!" moments which really made me consider a lot of choices.

I particularly liked the examples of how to understand my children. Toddlers typically don't understand commands they have not seen others perform
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Shea Levy
Was very disappointed with this book (read up to around 40% in). Partly this is because I'm definitely not its intended audience, having been learning about, observing, and to small extent practicing PD for years. But I also wouldn't recommend it to a newcomer, at least based on what I've read so far.

Much of the book takes a very high-pressure tone, making the decisions parents make and attitudes they take seem (to me, at least) extremely easy to mess up in a way that severely harms their child.
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Nadine Jones
I enjoyed the Preschool version, and since I have a toddler too, figured I'd take a look at this one. Basically a retread, includes many passages verbatim from the Preschool version, plus some advice about newborns - perhaps that would be helpful for a new parent, but I skipped it. Also surprising that they recommend CIO and say that a 4 month old baby is "manipulating" you when they cry for you. Bad advice, IMO.
Heather Clark
This book is not what I expected. I wanted a book with a whole lot of hands on "do this, not this" sort of tips with a little bit of theory. This books is a WHOLE lot of theory (albeit, good theory), with the expectation that you'll figure out how to apply that theory.

Maybe my brain is just slow these days....but I need it spelled out for me, not me left to draw conclusions.
Crystal
Jul 09, 2012 Crystal rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents
Shelves: baby-books
This book contains some fascinating observations from experts about how the mind of a child works. It also classifies nine temperaments, which were an especially interesting way to understand my child's behavior in certain situations.

I'm taking away quite a few helpful ideas and tips!
Emma
Oops. I picked this up on accident. I was looking for a guide to not selling my three year old on ebay and didn't realize there were an entire plethora of Positive Discipline books.

This one is mostly geared toward babies and the toddlerhood period before a child's true demonic possession tendencies emerge. Therefore, not much help to me.

If you are at all into attachment parenting, this probably won't be too helpful to you, either. Much of the advice seemed to be, "don't ignore your baby when he
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Denise
I read 50-70% of this book and couldn't spend time on anymore. My goals in parenting are similar: confident, capable kid. We are here to help them learn and positive methods are very powerful in doing that. (Thus, why I picked this up. A few more tools are always helpful.)

My basic beliefs about children are opposite. This book believes toddlers never misbehave, do not understand no, and cannot be taught to obey. They are simply exploring and learning. I disagree. The lack of any punishment is ha
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Alia
Loved it, especially the practical examples!
Melissa
Positive discipline

I enjoyed reading this parenting guide. It has several examples and teaches you how to see things from your toddlers point of view. I've tried using this method and it works for the most part. In my case, however, I have to keep repeating myself and redirecting since I have a persistent 2.5 year old. This of course can be very frustrating. It would be easier if he would stop the misbehavior altogether. The book serves to remind me to be patient with my toddler for his benefit
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Tina Peterson
There were several things I particularly liked about the book. The authors advocate not using the screen as a caregiver with younger children. They advocate a minimal use of television or screen time with kids under 3 and something I completely agree on: No (younger) child needs a TV or computer in their room and older kids that have a TV in their room routinely score lower on tests.

They go on to give alternatives to screen time, encourage parents to take an active role with play and asking que
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Bird
First, I want to say that this isn't really a discipline book, so if you're expecting that, you will likely be disappointed. The authors explain why discipline at such a young age is not only difficult, but frequently counterproductive, as the toddler is unlikely to grasp what you're saying or why they're being reprimanded. This book is really about understanding the different stages of development babies and toddlers go through, and then using that knowledge to help guide children toward approp ...more
Leandra Cate
As with most parenting books, I got a few good ideas from this one but I have to give it one star because of the false information on breastfeeding/weaning and contradictory attitude toward sleep.

Good stuff: Instead of 'NO' try to think of what you want your child to do instead. I have found this tip quite useful. Also the emphasis on offering choices (which of course I've seen elsewhere) is a good reminder - though it doesn't always go as neatly as the authors suggest.

Bad Stuff: Um, no, your
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Alexis Pullen
May 17, 2008 Alexis Pullen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: beginners in childhood development
So far, this book is really just a review of things that I already know from both my education and from being a parent. It's a good, basic intro to how to deal with young kids, and merges lots of theories of social psychology and development. For the most part, the advice is kind of a no-brainer and some of the examples they use are a bit mellow-dramatic. (Who on earth would mistake a creative toddler telling you about a lion in the back yard for fibbing? Then spank them? You've got to be kiddin ...more
Molly
I agree wholeheartedly with much of what this book is conveying--the under-three set isn't "bad" when misbehaving but expressing emotions in experimental ways, in the only ways he or she knows, in ways that follow the example of adults, etcetera. The ways we've been dealing with things we don't want our just-turned-one-year-old to do is essentially what this book has suggested--redirecting, encouraging and such. While I can't say I've never yelled or said NO!, I try not to do so, and I believe s ...more
Tracy Kulwicki
Not what I expected for a positive discipline/parenting book. Much of the advice was good, but some parts felt opposite of the usual positive parenting approaches. There also wasn't a whole lot of specific advice, just "this is how kids generally are" information. I thought it would be more like a how to manual. I was shocked to see that advise crying it out in the sleep chapter as well with no other alternative mentioned. Definitely not like most peaceful/gentle parenting books.
Katie
This book changed my whole life, but also it just helped name how my life already was. This is, in my opinion, the most peaceful structured way to raise a child- positive enforcement, redirection, avoiding "no"...but the individual tactics are what you'll learn when reading the book. I'll just say this: I have never encountered a more joyful child-rearing program, and I doubt I will. Because I'm done looking- this is the one for me, that I was trying to do on my own. Now I don't have to go it al ...more
Alvin
I previously read Positive Discipline for Preschoolers: For Their Early Years - Raising Children Who Are Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful, for guidance with my eldest. I decided to read this one for his sister. (I never read the original, Positive Discipline). This provided the same information but tailored to a different age. This was sometimes helpful, but mostly it was overkill if you read other PD books. It still has value, though, because it puts PD in a slightly different context. ...more
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Dr. Jane Nelsen is a licensed Marriage, Family and Child Counselor in South Jordan, UT and Carlsbad, CA.

She is the author and/or coauthor of the Positive Discipline Series.
More about Jane Nelsen...
Positive Discipline Positive Discipline for Preschoolers: For Their Early Years - Raising Children Who Are Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful (Revised 2nd Ed) Positive Discipline A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World: Seven Building Blocks for Developing Capable Young People Positive Discipline in the Classroom,: Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in Your Classroom

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“If you want to leave the park and your child isn’t ready to go, give her a hug and say, “You’re really upset right now. I know you want to stay, but it’s time to leave.” Then hold your child and let her experience her feelings before you move on to the next activity. If you were instead to pamper your child by letting her stay at the park longer, she doesn’t have the opportunity to learn from experience that she can survive disappointment.” 3 likes
“The Truth About Boys and Girls You may be surprised to learn that baby boys actually appear to be more fragile at birth than do baby girls. Yup, studies show that the rough, tough little guys made of “snakes and snails and puppy-dog tails” appear to be more easily stressed and more susceptible to health problems. They are often “fussier” than girls; they cry more easily and seem to have a harder time learning to calm themselves down (what is sometimes called “self-soothing”). Baby boys may be more sensitive to changes in routine, and to parental anger or depression.” 1 likes
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