Gentle Discipline

Gentle Discipline : Using Emotional Connection--Not Punishment--to Raise Confident, Capable Kids

4.11 (1,184 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.11 (1,184 ratings by Goodreads)
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As seen in the New York Times -- a practical guide that presents an alternative to shouting, shaming, and blaming--to give kids the skills they need to grow and thrive

Discipline is an essential part of raising happy and successful kids, but as more and more parents are discovering, conventional approaches often don't work, and can even lead to more frustration, resentment, power struggles, and shame.

Enter Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a popular parenting expert who believes there's a better way. Citing the latest research in child development, psychology and neuroscience, Gentle Discipline debunks common myths about punishments, rewards, the naughty chair, and more, and presents practical, connection-based techniques that really work--and that bring parents and kids closer together instead of driving then apart. Topics include:

Setting--and enforcing--boundaries and limits with compassion and respect
Focusing on connection and positivity instead of negative consequences
Working with teachers and other caregivers
Breaking the cycle of shaming and blaming

Filled with ideas to try today, Gentle Discipline helps parents of toddlers as well as school-age kids embrace a new, more enlightened way to help kids listen, learn and grow.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 140 x 209 x 18mm | 272g
  • TarcherPerigee
  • United States
  • English
  • 0143131893
  • 9780143131892
  • 138,403

Review quote

"Gentle Discipline is a thorough guide to raising confident, capable children. Sarah Ockwell-Smith delivers valuable information and balances it nicely with practical and clear advice for implementing gentle discipline. This is a book that will remain by your bedside for reference for years to come.
--Rebecca Eanes, author of Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide

Any parent who wants to guide their children with more respect rather than govern them with fear will benefit from reading Gentle Discipline. If you want reduce power struggles and punishments and replace them with more connection and understanding, this is a great read.
--Jessica Joelle Alexander, co-author of The Danish Way of Parenting

"What I value most about Sarah Ockwell-Smith's latest book is that it honors the struggles of both children and parents. She helps us see how understanding both sets of needs yields resolution and connection, which are not words we usually associate with discipline! Readers are treated not only to fascinating new discoveries about how children's brains and behavior relate but also to the 'ah-ha' moments that parents most wish for during times of conflict with their children."
--Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, developmental psychologist, Honorary Fellow, University of Dundee

"In Gentle Discipline, Sarah Ockwell-Smith challenges us as parents to pause, take a step back, and understand why children behave the way they do, so that we can make respectful and effective parenting choices... Congratulations, Sarah, this is a comprehensive, pragmatic, and common-sense approach to redefining what it means to discipline our children. Children all over the world will be thanking you!"
--Tracy Gillett, writer, mother, and founder of Raised Good

The beauty of Ockwell-Smith's guidance: She's low on judgment and high on helpful insights into why your kid can go from angel to monster in 10 seconds flat.

Praise for Sarah Ockwell-Smith

"I love the way Sarah breaks the concept down into clear guidelines -- without being strident about one right way to be a parent -- and the way she addresses the challenge of shifting from mainstream parenting to more gentle ways. The world can be a harsh place; families don't have to be.
--Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting

"Provides a welcome antidote to the storm of advice that so often overwhelms new parents."
--Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids
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About Sarah Ockwell-Smith

Sarah Ockwell-Smith is a popular parenting expert whose blog (at is read by two million parents each year. A trained prenatal teacher, birth and postnatal doula, and pediatric homeopath, she is also the cofounder of She lives in with her family, including four school-age children along with cats and assorted farm animals, in a 350-year-old cottage in rural Essex, UK.
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Rating details

1,184 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 38% (446)
4 40% (479)
3 17% (206)
2 4% (45)
1 1% (8)
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