Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: My book notes

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky A. Bailey

This book was my latest read in my quest to improve my parenting skills. I’ve read quite a few parenting books by now and at first this one took me a little while to get into. The author really likes the number seven! She had the Seven Powers for Self-Control, The Seven Basic Discipline Skills, and the Seven Values for Living; I had a hard time keeping it all straight!

But the more I read I realized that this book had quite a few good, helpful ideas. I’ve been working on applying some of them, and it’s been nice to have a few new tools in my belt.

The biggest lesson I learned from the book has been this: “This moment is as it is”. You can get upset and angry or yell, or you can take a deep breath and relax. You have control and you have a choice. I have been repeating that phrase to myself multiple times each day, and it’s really helping my perspective. I think it will be my new mantra, with a little addition:

This moment is as it is. Learn from it. Enjoy it. Live it and love it.

What do you think?

Another lesson that I learned (or was reminded of?) is the importance of labeling. Children are in the process of learning about their world, and they often don’t understand their emotions or the tantrums they are throwing. Help them by labeling their feelings as anger, sadness, happiness, etc. I’ve been applying this tip universally as I try to label everything I can to assist my two-year old in developing her language skills.

Here are some of my other notes from the book:

“Be patient with yourself”. It takes time to learn new skills.

“Own your own upset”. Take ownership for your own feelings. Notice how often you say, “Don’t make me….” or “You made me…..”. Instead say “I feel…” or “I’m going to…”

“What I focus on, I get more of”. Pay attention: are you focusing on what you want, or on what you don’t want?

Attribute positive intent: this basically means to look for the good and assume positive intentions in those around you. For example, your child didn’t spill the milk on the floor just to spite you. Or, perhaps the car driver who cut you off is on his way to the hospital with a wife in labor!

Teach your children how to get what they want and respect the rights of others by saying to the aggressor:
1) “You wanted_____”

2) “You may not_____. _____ hurts (or, is not safe).”
3) “When you want______, say (or do) _______.”
4) “Do it now! Practice.”

Give children two positive choices as a way of setting limits.
1) “You may _______, or ______.”
2) “What is your choice?”
3) “You chose_____!

Encourage your child by describing what you see.
1) State your child’s name or “Look at you” or “You did it!”
2) Describe exactly what you see (or noticed).
3) Add a tag (optional). “That was helpful” or “Good job” or “Good for you”.

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