Top 10 Books on Discipline

If you have a child who doesn’t listen or misbehaves I have news for you: your kid is developing normally! But just how should you handle it so you can raise a person not only you can enjoy, but the rest of society, too? Breezy Mama turned to three of our favorite experts, Hanna Fenichel Parent Educator Patti Aretz, Susie Walton – Indigo Village founder and author of Key to Personal Freedom: How Myths Affect Our Family Lives – and Dr. Fran Walfish – author of The Self-Aware Parent — to get their picks and bring you the Top 10 Books on Discipline.

10. Easy To Love, Difficult To Discipline
By Becky Bailey, Ph.D. (Discipline)
Frustrated because your kid won’t get in her car seat? Grumpy ever since your son decided that cleaning his room was optional? Ever feel bad after screaming at your kids for these and other things? Moans. Groans. Alas, parenting is no picnic. Bailey (There’s Gotta Be a Better Way) acknowledges this and, in this insightful manual, suggests a disciplinary framework called “loving guidance.” Loving guidance begins when parents learn seven “powers of self-control,” which include acceptance and intention. Next, parents exercise seven basic discipline skills, such as empathy and maintaining composure. The goal is to teach kids the seven “values for living,” including respect, compassion, and responsibility. — Library Journal
To purchase from Amazon for $10.07 (vs. $13.99) — click here!

9. Screamfree Parenting
By Hal Runkel
You Can Start a Revolution in Your Family . . . Tonight
ScreamFree Parenting is not just about lowering your voice. It’s about learning to calm your emotional reactions and learning to focus on your own behavior more than your kids’ behavior . . . for their benefit. Our biggest enemy as parents is not the TV, the Internet, or even drugs. Our biggest enemy is our own emotional reactivity. When we say we “lost it” with our kids, the “it” in that sentence is our own adulthood. And then we wonder why our kids have so little respect for us, why our kids seem to have all the power in the family. Easier said than done? Not anymore, thanks to ScreamFree Parenting, the principle-based approach that’s inspiring parents everywhere to truly revolutionize their family dynamics. Moving beyond the child-centered, technique-based approaches that ultimately fail.
To purchase from Amazon for $10.07 (vs. $13.99) — click here!

8. Positive Discipline for Teens
By Jane Nelson
Adolescence is often a time of great stress and turmoil—not only for kids going through it, but for you, their parents as well. During the teen years, kids aggressively begin to explore a new sense of freedom, which often leads to feelings of resentment and powerlessness for parents who increasingly are excluded from their children’s lives. This revised edition of Positive Discipline for Teenagers shows you how to break the destructive cycle of guilt and blame and work toward greater understanding and communication with your adolescents.
To purchase from Amazon for $11.53 (vs. $16.95) — click here!

7. Redirecting Children’s Behavior
By Kath Kvols
All families need a map to travel the rough roads of life more smoothly. Take Redirecting Children’s Behavior as your guide. This comprehensive book will show you the path to peace within your family and beyond. Take off on a surprise journey with Kathryn Kvols to see how quickly your family can become close, cooperative, and respectful.
To purchase from Amazon for $10.17 (vs. $14.95) — click here!

6. Discipline: The Brazelton Way
By Dr. Berry Brazelton
Zeroes in on the topic of discipline, focusing on infancy through age six. Brazelton walks parents through with a gentle tone, modeling for readers that compassion is needed even when dealing with children who need to be disciplined. The authors point out that discipline involves teaching (not punishment), providing boundaries that all kids require. Children who can count on boundaries and rules, Brazelton says, feel safe and loved. Kids learn the rules through repetition, consistency and clear messages, the authors say, and though it may be frustrating for parents to repeat the same lessons or instructions, this is how children learn. Part of the process involves “testing” parents to see if they are serious, so clarity and consistency will help, as will sharing the responsibilities for discipline with a spouse. A useful section describes specific strategies, outlining the pros and cons of such tactics as time outs, taking toys away or docking allowances for older children. The volume helps parents comprehend the importance of discipline and the best ways to achieve it, with the goal eventually being a sense of self-discipline as the child grows. — Publisher Weekly
To purchase from Amazon for $9.95 — click here!

5. The Happiest Toddler on the Block
By Dr. Harvey Karp
In one of the most revolutionary advances in parenting of the past twenty-five years, Dr. Karp revealed that toddlers often act like uncivilized little cavemen, with a primitive way of thinking and communicating that is all their own. In this revised edition of his parenting classic, Dr. Karp has made his innovative approach easier to learn—and put into action—than ever before. Combining his trademark tools of Toddler-ese and the Fast-Food Rule with a highly effective new green light/yellow light/red light method for molding toddler behavior, Dr. Karp provides fast solutions for today’s busy and stressed parents. As you discover ways to boost your child’s good (green light) behavior, curb his annoying (yellow light) behavior, and immediately stop his unacceptable (red light) behavior you will learn how to soothe his stormy outbursts with amazing success—and better yet, prevent these outbursts before they begin! And the new thirty-item glossary of Dr. Karp’s parenting techniques will save you valuable time when you need to instantly calm an out-of-control child. The result: fewer tantrums, less yelling, and more happy, loving time for you and your child.
To purchase from Amazon for $10.20 (vs. $15.00) — click here!

4. The Explosive Child
By Ross W. Greene
Flexibility and tolerance are learned skills, as any parent knows if they’ve seen an irascible 2-year-old grow into a pleasant, thoughtful, and considerate older child. Unfortunately, for reasons that are poorly understood, a few children don’t “get” this part of socialization. Years after toddler tantrums should have become an unpleasant memory, a few unlucky parents find themselves battling with sudden, inexplicable, disturbingly violent rages–along with crushing guilt about what they “did wrong.” Medical experts haven’t helped much: the flurry of acronyms and labels (Tourette’s, ADHD, ADD, etc.) seems to proffer new discoveries about the causes of such explosions, when in fact the only new development is alternative vocabulary to describe the effects. Ross Greene, a pediatric psychologist who also teaches at Harvard Medical School, makes a bold and humane attempt in this book to cut through the blather and speak directly to the (usually desperate) parents of explosive children. His text is long and serious, and has the advantage of covering an enormous amount of ground with nuance, detail, and sympathy, but also perhaps the disadvantage that only those parents who are not chronically tired and time-deprived are likely to get through the entire book. Quoted dialogue from actual sessions with parents and children is interspersed with analysis that is always oriented toward understanding the origins of “meltdowns” and developing workable strategies for avoidance.
To purchase from Amazon for $10.19 (vs. $14.99) — click here!

3. Get out of My Life, But First can You drive me & Cheryl to the Mall?
By Anthony E. Wolf Ph.D.
This is a survival guide for parents who find themselves marooned among volatile and incomprehensible aliens on Planet Teen. Area maps cover the obvious ground–there are chapters on school, sex, suicide, and so on–but it’s the title of Chapter 2, “What They Do and Why,” that best captures the book’s spirit and technique. Anthony Wolf’s modus operandi is not so much to make pronouncements about what parents should do, as to explain adolescent behavior in a way that’s bound to leave parents with a changed view of the plausible options. Wolf is a clinical psychologist, and his writing is clear–even witty–and he doesn’t resort to jargon. The expository text is punctuated with snatches of illustrative dialogue, which serve as concrete examples and help parents learn how to see, anticipate, and avoid “bad strategies.” (One key mistake is getting dragged into no-win conflicts instead of having the wisdom to shut up at the moment when shutting up would be most effective–albeit the least satisfying–thing to do.) There are also some nicely tongue-in-cheek samples of “ideal” communication–the stuff we imagine might get said if only we were better parents. After one such rosily cooperative and considerate interchange between a father and his adolescent son, Wolf offers the following two-edged comfort: “The above conversation has never happened. Never. Not in the whole history of the world.” Message: Parenting adolescents is inherently difficult. Don’t judge your efforts by otherworldly standards.
To purchase from Amazon for $10.20 (vs. $15) — click here!

2. Children the Challenge
By Rudolf Dreikurs
Children:The Challenge gives the key to parents who seek to build trust and love in their families, and raise happier, healthier, and better behaved children. Based on a lifetime of experience with children–their problems, their delights, their challenges–Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs, one of America’s foremost child psychiatrists presents an easy to follow program that teaches parents how to cope with the common childhood problems that occur from toddler through preteen years. This warm and reassuring reference helps parents to understand their children’s actions better, giving them the guidance necessary to discipline lovingly and effectively.
To purchase from Amazon for $10.88 (vs. $16) — click here!

1. How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen
By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk is an excellent communication tool kit based on a series of workshops developed by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Faber and Mazlish (coauthors of Siblings Without Rivalry) provide a step-by-step approach to improving relationships in your house. The “Reminder” pages, helpful cartoon illustrations, and excellent exercises will improve your ability as a parent to talk and problem-solve with your children.
To purchase from Amazon for $6.49 (vs. $15.99) — click here!

Breezy Note: All of the above titles have been added to the Breezy Mama store — powered by Amazon — click here!

BONUS! For more fabulous parenting related advice, be sure to check out Susie Walton’s Key to Personal Freedom: How Myths Affect Our Family Lives (click here!) and Dr. Fran Walfish’s The Self-Aware Parent (click here!)

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Dr. Frances Walfish: Frances Walfish, Psy.D. is the foremost Beverly Hills child and family psychotherapist. Her caring approach, exuberant style, humor, and astute insights have earned her a sterling reputation among colleagues and national media alike. A frequent guest on top-­tier TV programs, including NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and KABC-­TV in Los Angeles, and often appearing in major publications such as Parents Magazine, Family Circle and Woman’s Day, Dr. Fran continues to lead the field with her expert insights and innovative strategies for parents, children and couples. More information on Dr. Fran can be found online at


Patti Aretz: Patti Propper Aretz has been in the early education field for over 25 years. As an early childhood coach and parent educator, she is often sought as a public speaker. She has created curriculum for both her academic classes at the Hanna Fenichel Center for Child Development in Solana Beach, private parenting groups and one on one and couple meetings. Sibling rivalry, discipline, setting limits, communication, parenting and the marriage, creating values, issues specific to boys and girls are some of many issues that are addressed. Her direct approach combined with her empathetic style enables her to quickly assess a situation and move on to solving the problem.
Patti can be reached at



Susie Walton: As a recipient of the San Diego Parent Educator of the Year Award, Susie Walton is a leading expert in the field of communication and relationships with an emphasis on family dynamics. Susie has teamed with various companies and organizations such as Qualcomm, Sharp Hospital, and Children’s Hospital to develop and implement practical and positive change for youth and families.

Susie is a pioneer in parent education and has been leading seminars, hands-on workshops and full length parenting classes, instructor trainings, teacher in-services and one on one coaching for 18 years. In the early 90s Susie acted on her heartfelt belief that true positive change begins in the home and created an organization to help reduce stress and frustration in the areas of family relationships and raising children. Susie collaborated with the International Network for Children and Families (INCAF) and founded Team RCB of San Diego. Susie certifies instructors from around the globe to teach the 15 hour parenting program Redirecting Children’s Behavior (RCB) and the Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom (RCC) classroom teacher training. All Team RCB San Diego Courses are based in both Mother Theresa’s founding principle that “World peace begins in the home” and Rudolph Dreikurs behavior management work, including that which may be found in his book “Children, The Challenge”. For more information on Susie and her classes, click here.

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  1. Thanks! I just placed my Amazon order.

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