Parenting/Discipline Group

Positive Parenting Group

Approaches to discipline will be at the heart of our discussions, as this topic is so vital and relevant to us all.  While the discussions will be driven by the group’s immediate and longterm needs and concerns, we will attempt to cover a variety of issues.

We’ll look at methods and approaches designed to go beyond merely eliciting compliance in the short run, such as establishing and enforcing limits and giving your child ownership of positive choices.  Other things we’ll examine are ways to engage your child and work WITH his or her personality type, rather than fighting against it, in order to bring an increased capacity  for cooperation.  We’ll also explore the role of emotions, both in ourselves and in our children, and how we respond to our children’s strong displays of emotion such as anger, sadness, and frustration – what works, and what’s counterproductive? What lessons or values do we want to instill in our children with each interaction we have, and how does our own upbringing play into our reaction to our children?   We’ll look at the role of various strategies such as offering choices, teaching acceptable alternatives to “negative” behavior, imposing consequences, role modeling, finding ways to communicate with your children in non evaluative/judgmental ways and bringing humor in to our interactions with our children.  We’ll compare our concept of “ideal parenting” to the every day reality we’re experiencing in our homes.   We’ll look at how important it is us for us as parents to gain clarity on what the limits are and what are the values we hold dear in our households as well as what happens when spouses disagree about how to approach an issue.

At the most immediate level, the goal of the sessions is to expand the number and variety of approaches in  your repertoire so that you are comfortable handling all kinds of situations with your child, to increase your confidence in your approach, to raise the level of harmony and joy in each household, and to develop a community with whom you can share your joys and frustrations.  At the loftiest level, I like to think that by addressing these issues in our individual households and raising a generation who are more accustomed to positive methods of conflict resolution, we are in fact contributing in a direct way to increasing peacefulness in the world.

I am hoping for a lively group with lots of discussion, questions, and sharing of concerns, perspectives, observations and ideas.  I will lead and guide the discussions, share from my own experiences with my two daughters (now 6 and almost 4 years old) and also share what I’ve learned from research and in my 14 years of clinical work with emotionally disturbed children in residential settings and with

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families in outpatient counseling.

Book List

Below is a list of the books that have most helped me and informed my perspective on what positive parenting is all about.  They should all be available through your local library (requesting interlibrary loan is an option if the library does not currently own it), through and/or, or from a bookstore.  Taking a look at any or all of the books is recommended, though certainly not required.

  • Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine
  • Mazlish
  • Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
  • Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen
  • Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  • Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic  by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka