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Amazon Price: $26.00 $19.45 You save: $6.55 (25%). (as of October 18, 2017 5:20 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

In this groundbreaking book, parenting expert and acclaimed author of the bestselling book Simplicity Parenting Kim John Payne, M.Ed., flips the script on children’s challenging or defiant behavior and lays out an elegantly simple plan to support parents in establishing loving, age-sensitive boundaries that help children feel safe and settled. In short: What looks like misbehavior is actually your children’s signal that they’re feeling lost, that they are trying to find direction and looking to you to guide them back on course.

Payne gives parents heartwarming help and encouragement by combining astute observations with sensitive and often funny stories from his long career as a parent educator and a school and family counselor. In accessible language, he explains the relevance of current brain- and child-development studies to day-to-day parenting. Breaking the continuum of childhood into three stages, Payne says that parents need to play three different roles, each corresponding to one of those stages, to help steer children through their emotional growth and inevitable challenging times:

• The Governor, who is comfortably and firmly in charge—setting limits and making decisions for the early years up to around the age of eight
• The Gardener, who watches for emotional growth and makes decisions based on careful listening, assisting tweens in making plans that take the whole family’s needs into account
• The Guide, who is both a sounding board and moral compass for emerging adults, helping teens build a sense of their life’s direction as a way to influence healthy decision making

Practical and rooted in common sense, The Soul of Discipline gives parents permission to be warm and nurturing but also calm and firm (not overreactive). It gives clear, doable strategies to get things back on track for parents who sense that their children’s behavior has fallen into a troubling pattern. And best of all, it provides healthy direction to the entire family so parents can spend less time and energy on outmoded, punitive discipline and more on connecting with and enjoying their kids.

Advance praise for The Soul of Discipline

“The Soul of Discipline offers practical tools for helping parents implement discipline that’s respectful and effective, but the book is so much more. Kim John Payne offers a framework to guide parents in making decisions about why, when, and how to hold tighter reins as we build skills in our children, and why, when, and how to loosen the reins as we scaffold freedom.”—Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., co-author of No-Drama Discipline
“This book gets deep inside the challenge of getting along with children and teens and thinks deeply about what they need from us to become strong and self-managing. It elevates discipline to what it should be—a caring process of helping kids orient to the world and live in it happily and well.”—Steve Biddulph, author of The New Manhood

“Kim Payne provides a useful model for choosing our parenting stance—Governor, Gardener, or Guide—depending on the situation. Most powerfully, Payne begins with the radical view that children are not disobedient but rather disoriented. The upshot of this shift in perspective is that discipline is about helping children orient themselves effectively, not about controlling or chastising.”—Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., author of Playful Parenting

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 2, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345548671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345548672
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Customer Reviews

VERY helpful advice for helping your relationship with your child …

One person found this helpful.
 on July 27, 2016
By Stephen Barnard
VERY helpful advice for helping your relationship with your child, from the author of Simplicity Parenting. I could do without some of the constant anecdotes, but the practical advice really works.

Love this book and the respectful way in which he …

One person found this helpful.
 on February 27, 2016
By Phyland
Love this book and the respectful way in which he encourages parents to stay lovingly connected to their children, while maintaining good boundaries. He happens to be an inspiring speaker, too.

Excellent

 on July 8, 2017
By Bryan Richter
Excellent read! I have a 3 year old and have read through the Gardener phase of the book and have to say that the suggestions are working.

It is a wonderful tool for helping raise kids

 on July 11, 2016
By H. Pollock
I adore this book! It is a wonderful tool for helping raise kids.

Five Stars

 on August 14, 2015
By mamafaerie
Amazing author and I love this book as much as Simplicity Parenting.

Wonderful book

 on December 25, 2015
By Saundra in Connecticut
Adore this author. Wonderful book.

Best parenting book I’ve read

21 people found this helpful.
 on May 12, 2016
By coastie08
I have read countless books on discipline and parenting, including Love and Logic; Adventures in Gentle Discipline; How to Talk so Kids Will Listen…; Siblings without Rivalry; Free-Range Parenting; Heaven on Earth; Punished by Rewards; It’s ok not to Share; and Payne’s own Simplicity Parenting. The Soul of Discipline surpasses all of these, and I only wish that it had been available 5 years ago when we began parenting! The developmental phases and “needs” presented make perfect sense. I have trialed just a few of the ideas that Payne shares and have already seen improvements in my relationship with my impetuous 5 year old. Some of the ideas are uncomfortable to read about, as I have been steeped in the parenting philosophy that says to be as inclusive as possible with your children. I read through the tween and teen sections, too, though, and am encouraged to see how that “ideal” of inclusiveness will become our reality as the children get older. I am so glad that I read this book, and highly recommend it to anyone who interacts with children. I only wish Payne had included more examples/scenarios, as I find those very helpful–but he did include enough to get us started.

He’s got your back, now you can enjoy some wonderful parenting/teaching with close and trusting relationships with your children

3 people found this helpful.
 on May 8, 2016
By Carmen Harris
As an early childhood educator and parent I value the commonsence simplicity with which Kim John Payne has written this book. I feel he’s got my back as I step more firmly and more assuredly on the path of my own inner clarity around school and family boundaries and help our little and bigger ones find themselves through creating safe and clear boundaries within which they can explore life in a nourishing way. The three step disciplinary process is an easy model to understand and allows for the growth and flexibility of the adult and growing child together, creating a trusting relationship that enables open communication. I am now recommending this book to all the parents of the children I teach as well as friends and colleagues. It should be on every teacher’s and parent’s bookshelf!

I’ve made great progress with connecting and directing with my four year …

 on August 11, 2015
By Dave
I’ve made great progress with connecting and directing with my four year old! Wonderful approach to disciplining you children with love and empathy!

probably the best book you can read on raising small human beings

One person found this helpful.
 on October 28, 2015
By Fernando Tello Mehnert
My wife’s absolute favorite book, she has recommended it to so many people and may of them have bought it!