Gentle Discipline {Book Review}

I received a copy of Gentle Discipline” ($16.00 value) in exchange for this promotion. Any opinions expressed here are honest and my own. 

About this Book

Parents today have to balance so much, often more than is possibly for just one person, so it’s easy to slip into old patterns of shouting and punishing.  Conventional approaches to discipline (such as praise & reward systems, punishment for bad behavior) often backfire, leading to more frustration, resentment, and power struggles at home and in the classroom – buy why?  The reality is that while these methods may appear to product quick results, the long-term effects can leave parents with a far worse problem than they had initially.

In Gentle Discipline: Using Emotional Connection – Not Punishment – to Raise Confident, Capable Kids, popular parenting expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith notes “the true key to better behavior is in working with, not against, your child…Gentle discipline is about conscious, mindful decisions.”  In this pioneering approach, parents learn to break the cycle of repeating what they’ve always done, and find a more effective, positive, and individualized method that takes into account not just the child’s behavior, triggers, and development, but also the parent’s triggers and negative influences.  Citing the latest research in child development, psychology, and neuroscience, Ockwell-Smith presents connection-based techniques to tackle issues, such as:

  • Why children misbehave and how they learn;
  • The problems with popular discipline methods in education and childcare today;
  • How to cope with common behavioral issues such as not listening or refusing to do something, sibling rivalry, lying and swearing, low self-esteem, and violent or destructive behaviors;
  • Ways to cope with unwanted opinion and advice
  • And how to deal with your own anger triggers, guilt, and insecurity as a parent


This book may be quite a challenge for slight traditional discipling parents…such as myself.  In the beginning of the book, Ockwell-Smith does a great job describing why children misbehave, how children learn, how children’s brain’s develop and then she explains the problem with common discipline methods and school discipline….for example…punishing, rewarding, distracting, and praising.  Take a step back and look at your own discipling of your children, does your method fall into one of these categories?  If so, read on as Ockwell-Smith shares in this book WHY these techniques can damage our kiddos.

I know…I fall into this category and was appalled to think my tactics were wrong.  Ockwell-Smith continues on chapter by chapter dissecting problems that you may be coping with….violent and destructive behavior, whining and sulking, not listening and refusing to do things, and many many more.

This book was intended to be read from cover to cover, but when trying to focus on one area, the first few chapters can be read and then read the coping problem at hand.  Each coping technique uses an emotional connection instead of a punishing connection such as using the correct verbiage when talking to them.  Instead of telling your kids to “stop running’, use more effective positive phrases, like “walk, please”.

As mentioned, this book may be a stretch for some parents, but worth the read for having a more open-mind in parenting. In Gentle Discipline: Using Emotional Connection – Not Punishment – to Raise Confident, Capable Kids can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and anywhere books are sold.  Get your copy today!


About the Author

Sarah Ockwell-Smith is the mother of four children and a highly regarded parenting expert whose work and expertise has been featured in major media including BBC News Magazine, WebMD, Buzzfeed, as well as national television and radio.  She has a BSc in Psychology and has also undertaken training in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy.  A member of the British Sleep Society, she is co-founder of the GentleParenting website ( and writes a popular parenting blog at



Cynthia Tait

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