The Discipline Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Better-Behaved Child From Birth to Age Ten


Everything you need to know about discipline to raise a happy, well-adjusted, well-behaved child-from America's foremost baby and childcare experts Disciplining children means equipping them with the tools to succeed in life. In this unique guide, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, the pediatrics specialists whose books on birth, babies, and parenting have become widely praised bestsellers, explain what you can do to shape your child's behavior so that good conduct comes naturally. With a focus not just on managing ...

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Everything you need to know about discipline to raise a happy, well-adjusted, well-behaved child-from America's foremost baby and childcare experts Disciplining children means equipping them with the tools to succeed in life. In this unique guide, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, the pediatrics specialists whose books on birth, babies, and parenting have become widely praised bestsellers, explain what you can do to shape your child's behavior so that good conduct comes naturally. With a focus not just on managing behavior problems but also on preventing them, the Searses offer clear, practical advice on a broad range of disciplinary issues, including:
• mother's role vs. father's role
• developing the connection with your baby that will make discipline easier in years to come
• saying no
• taming temper tantrums
• self-esteem as the foundation of good behavior
• helping a child to express feelings
• the constructive use of anger
• good nutrition for good behavior
• sleep and nighttime discipline
• sibling rivalry
• spanking and alternatives to spanking
• how to eliminate bothersome behaviors such as whining and talking back
• how to respond when your child lies, cheats, or steals
• discipline after divorce and in the single-parent household Drawing on nearly thirty years of the Searses' experience as childcare professionals and as the parents of eight children, The Discipline Book will make you confident in your ability to correct undesirable behavior, to promote good behavior, and to instill the values that will help your child become morally literate.

A guide by two pediatricians who have raised eight children together discusses self-esteem, spanking, divorce, single parenting, travel, and baby-sitting, and offers advice on how to prevent, as well as stop, problem behavior.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316779036
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 2/15/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 174,110
  • Age range: 13 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William Sears, M.D., one of America's most renowned pediatricians, received his pediatric training at Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital and Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, the largest children's hospital in the world. Currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, he has been a pediatrician for twenty years. With his wife, he is the author of fourteen books.

Martha Sears, R.N., is a registered nurse, childbirth educator, and breastfeeding consultant.

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Table of Contents

A Word About Discipline from Dr. Bill and Martha
Chapter 1: Our Approach to Discipline ..... 2
Chapter 2: Birth to One Year: Getting Connected ..... 15
Chapter 3: Understanding Ones, Twos, and Threes ..... 35
Chapter 4: Saying No Positively ..... 63
Chapter 5: Taming Temper Tantrums ..... 72
Chapter 6: Fathers as Disciplinarians ..... 79
Chapter 7: Self-Esteem: The Foundation of Good Behavior ..... 91
Chapter 8: Helping Your Child Express Feelings ..... 105
Chapter 9: Making Anger Work for You ..... 114
Chapter 10: Feeding Good Behavior ..... 124
Chapter 11: Sleep Discipline ..... 131
Chapter 12: Spanking - No? Yes? Sometimes? ..... 146
Chapter 13: Discipline by Shaping Behavior: Alternatives to Spanking ..... 161
Chapter 14: Breaking Annoying Habits ..... 182
Chapter 15: Disciplining Bothersome Behaviors ..... 191
Chapter 16: Sibling Rivalry ..... 211
Chapter 17: Morals and Manners ..... 226
Chapter 18: Building Healthy Sexuality ..... 257
Chapter 19: Discipline for Special Times and Special Children ..... 267
Closing Comments: Putting It All Together - A Sample Discipline Plan ..... 303
Index ..... 309
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2007

    The worst parenting book

    I had high expectations from this book, and it was a total disappointment. It didn't have any real life useful tips at all (though I confess I chucked it half way through reading it), and it was of NO use if you have a strong willed child. He implies that if you follow the Attachment parenting philosophy you will have naturally well behaved angelic kids, which is just silly. Basically it's a big book about AP and how if you are AP oriented you're a good parent, but if you're not you'll have misbehaved kids. I tried AP with my first child and she is my most high maintainance now, and my son (who I did NOT do AP with) is easier. If you are AP and you just want a book that makes you feel warm and fuzzy about your self, this is the book for you. If you are like me and want a practical useful parenting and discipline book, see the one I listed bellow.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    I was a skeptic but

    I was a skeptic before I had a child, but this book is wonderful. I think those that oppose this type of parenting or don't get much from this book are the ones that want an easy way to do things. Disciplining your child should not be about what is quick and easy but what is in the long term effective and best for the child and parent/child relationship. People put more effort into buying a car, take the time and read this and follow through and invest in your children. It also does not claim your child will never act out but explains age appropriate discipline when that happens. The only thing I did not like was the section on "how to spank properly" but it did say they did not advocate spanking. If you want to do the work to connect with your child this is a great book.

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  • Posted December 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Sears Really Make a Great Team

    I can't credit my daughter's good behavior all on myself. Being informed on what's most recommendable in the modern world helps a lot. This was among the 2 feet worths of books that I read while expecting my baby and I refered back this one quite a few times during childhood. Now, at 12 she's helping me teach other children and preschoolers about morality and ethics in Sunday School. <BR/><BR/>Things I admit I learned. 1) This book confirmed that spanking, is not necessary and I happened to come across a book from the Moore Foundation that mentioned that the original Jews who came up with the expression spare the rod, spoil the child were refering to the interactive moral lesson where the child truly learns the difference between right and wrong and behaves because they want to. Plenty of locals in the Bible Belt refuse to believe this. Who am I to argue with the orginal Jews that came up with the phrase, the research that supports it and the reality that she's still exceptionally well behaved. I'm still rooting for her to keep coming up with great behavior at school and socially as some are really hoping to prove their point and want her to rebel during her teenage years and become wayward when she's old enough for Christian Courtship. It's like hey, 2,000 years of well behaved, academically endowed, responsible Jews just aren't enough for them to believe God's way.<BR/>2) I learned that screaming is not the proper way to handle parental frustration. My child does have a bold personality. Nevertheless, I've learned that works that support this concept show that yelling should be reserved for emergency situations, and not for violent vocal venting. My parents were spankers and screamers and they fortunately listened to this modern advice and their support is helping bring her up well without verbal atrocities.<BR/>3) Fortunately, they have a good section about high need children. Dr. Sears wouldn't have believed in high need children himself, nevertheless, he and his cowriter, nurse wife, opted to have 8 children and 2 in the middle of the succession turned out to be sorts of high need children. He knew that they were using the same basic disciplinary methods and decided to look into it. <BR/><BR/>High need babies are not abnormal. It's a characteristic. Mine was very alert from day one and when she woke seemed to need some sort of attention every 15 minutes. Now, I'm sure others would have said that I was spoiling her by answering her calls and figuring out what the trouble was. Nevertheless, this gave me the confirmation I needed that the baby was simply very good at having a sort of internal alarm clock to ring when she needed attention. I dashed plans to re-enter a masters program, studied and worked on community work while entangled in Mexican red tape, making flexible professional work at home impossible.<BR/><BR/>Other research confirms that instead of spoiling high need children, this ensures they get the care and attention they need. They can become hyperactive children or have learned helplessness. Instead of being prodding spoiled brats, when taught age appropriate discipline they tend to be exceptionally independent children later in childhood.<BR/><BR/>This is definately true of my child. I think everyone that wants to be a parent should be humble enough to consider and cross reference current works on raising children. If we spend so much time preparing for professoins, entertainment and other things in our life, why not?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2008

    A must have for all parents

    Sears allows the reader to pick up on attachment parenting from day one or later on. I have two totally opposite kids, one high strung and one mellow - am able to use these discipline methods on both (with a little variation) and come up with the desired results. Very practical and sound advice. I now give this as baby shower gift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2006

    Need more help!

    I have many books by Dr.Sears and I've always loved his and Mrs. Sears approach to parenting. They seemed to have raised many great human beings in their own family and if we all followed their insights from the very beginning we may all do as well. I may have been doing some things wrong but I have a very defiant 3 year old and this book was little help to me. I felt like it was geared to children who already listen or really don't have any major discipline issues. His approach seemes generally correct but I need some advanced help.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2003



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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2002

    A Sensible Approach by Professionals Who Practice What They Preach!

    I feel so comfortable with the philosophy of this book. I must admit I had previously thought of attachment parenting as relating only to nursing babies. Sears clearly explains that a solid foundation in a "connected parent/child relationship" along with firm boundaries, effective communication skills and behavior modification strategies, will (over time) develop a child's conscience and internal motivation to WANT to do the right thing. I have 3 young children under the age of 6. I highly recommend this book for it's comprehesive explanations of theory and attention to issues of special needs children as well as to some common worrisome issues of 6-10 year olds. If you have young children like me, I also recommend a very practical A-Z guide called "The Pocket Parent" that is written only for parents of 2-5 year olds. This literally pocketsized book is not written in paragraphs, but rather sanity saving bullets of quick read tips and examples often including the exact words to try. It is organized alphabetically by behavior topic (anger, biting, gimmes, hitting, listening, lying, morning crazies, whining, etc) and can quickly suggest a strategy at a moments notice. I refer to these 2 compatible books again and again. I am pleased with the increase of cooperation from my kids as well as the general feeling of well-being in my household (of course, that's on a good day! kids are normal and often quite challenging!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2002

    Keep looking

    Not very helpful advice for parents with highly spirited (a.k.a. strong-willed two year old) children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    An Ounce of Prevention...

    Like 'The Child Whisperer' by Matt Pasquinilli, this book teaches that prevention is the answer to the majority of all behavior and discipline issues you will have with your children as they grow. The Sears say that the time you spend creating the structure of simple order in your child's life is far more impacting and helpful than any type of external control you try to force onto your children when they get older. Simple and profound - I have found that this definitely works! I carry 'The Child Whisperer' with me as a useful toolkit of techniques to use with my children, and I keep 'The Discipline Book' on the nightstand as remedial or 'reminder' reading before I go to bed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2000

    Discipline's Latin Root means to show the way

    Overall, I think that they made some good points regarding the various issues of raising children. My one criticism is that they didn't come out stronger against spanking/hitting young people. Their reasoning was that some parents will do it anyway and that it should never be done in anger. Kids see adults resort to such things and they get the implicit message that hitting someone solves problems. Obviously there are consequences to all that we do and we should teach kids about this. So, I would say to readers that the chapter on alternatives to spanking should be read carefully. Consistency and positive reinforcement work best over time. The word discipline comes from the Latin connotative meaning to show the way through love. It is only then that we can expect to have a world that is kinder and sane.

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    Posted February 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2010

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