Certain books just have that “draw” when you see them. When you first come in contact with the book, read the title and what the back cover copy says it’s about and then put it back because you’re not sure you want to get it…. and then you pick it up again and do that a few times until you actually just grab the book and take it to the check out counter (be it at a library or a bookstore or wherever you get your books). Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart by Jim and Lynne Jackson had that draw on me. It was probably increased by the fact that I have 3 children, 2 of which I am struggling with in different ways—and honestly the conventional parenting techniques I was raised with and have been trying didn’t seem to work all that well. Needless to say, the book now has a spot on my personal bookshelf
I have read about the concepts that Jim and Lynne bring up in Discipline that Connects in other books, but they really put a personable flourish on it. They discuss that a good discipline strategy is based on the foundation of the kids feeling “safe”, then knowing they are loved at all times. After they understand that, then they need to know they are “called and capable” and responsible for their actions. What I mean by it being personable is that each chapter is essentially broken down into sections. After each section is a series of questions for personal reflection of what is currently happening with discipline in your family and how you can apply the concepts in that chapter. At the end of each chapter, it encourages doing a suggested family activity to strengthen the bond and help you on the way to building a discipline that will connect with your children. There are also examples of techniques other parents have tried so that way you can glean some ideas of how to apply this concept within your house. The book is sprinkled with Biblical truths throughout to back the concepts they are teaching in a non-demeaning way and to help get you in the mind frame of viewing your children, and their hidden gifts that are coming out in acting up, in the way God would, while encouraging the parent to speak truth into their children’s lives.
This book is written like you are actually at one of their workshops they host. I have never been to one myself, but I felt like I was right there and like they were talking and coaching me directly. I thoroughly enjoyed how Jim and Lynne were “real” in the book. A lot of parenting books tell you how you should handle issues that arise within your household, but you don’t really get examples. Jim and Lynne admit that they had a problem child and they tried this strategy with him; some days it worked and some days they would resort back to their old parenting techniques of arguing with the kid and just create a headache for everyone. They admit that doing this takes work, but even if a parent “blows it” and resorts back, they can always apologize and try for a do-over to make it right with the child and retry applying the Discipline that Connects theory. There is even an appendix at the end of the book giving certain common scenarios you might face with your children and some suggestions (which they admit aren’t always a cure all) on how to deal with the situations.
I have tried this a few times, so far, with my older two children and I can say it honestly threw them off guard. They didn’t expect it from me. I tend to yell when I am upset with them and for me to approach them calmly and try to get them in touch with thinking about what was going on just blew their minds. But it worked. I was calmer and we were able to talk through what had happened. What really surprised me was when I applied the concept of the kids helping me choose an appropriate consequence to make the matter right, they actually came up with a better idea than I had in my routine discipline-exhausted mind. I will be continuing trying to improve my discipline strategy using the concepts recommended in this book. And actually today, I even referred a friend, who is also having a problem with one of her children and exhausted with conventional discipline, to this book. I really, truly think it would help that situation, just as I think this book would help any parent looking for another way to discipline that won’t result in tension or being “tuned out”.
For a preview of the novel or to purchase, please click here.
I received this book free courtesy of Bethany House Publisher’s Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.