Response Essay: Discipline Without Distress

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Leilani Ronquillo English 12 04/02/12 Response Essay to Discipline Without Distress I believe that discipline should be strictly personal matter between a child and their parent, with no imposing externalities. Only the parent knows what is best for their child; reading a few books on parenting is not going to magically enlighten them, thus enabling them to resolve past and ongoing issues between them and their child. In this book, Discipline Without Distress, it specifically states: “Readers are strongly encouraged to use their own judgment in their parenting decisions”. (pg. 2) In addition, I believe that minor physical punishment neither has note-worthy long term effects on the psychological welfare of children, nor does it substantially affect their outlook on the world. Judy Arnall, author of Discipline Without Distress and mother of five, read hundreds of parenting books; desperately searching for the one that offered the “correct” approach to parenting, and especially one that fit her lifestyle. She preferred “a democratic, non-punitive, caring, respectful parenting style.” (pg. 6) Many of the books were non-punitive, “yet they still advocated time-out, logical consequence, grounding,” etc. (pg. 6) She found that when she tried these tactics on her children, the whole family was left feeling “disconnected and resentful” towards each other. She persisted to search for a “better” way. In the end, her inspiration came from a book entitled Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) by Dr. Thomas Gordon. This book held a completely non-punitive parenting approach, and emphasized the importance of two-way communication, that of which Arnall was especially delighted by. In this book, there are a great number of statements I disagree with, one impart being: “Many parents say that what works with one child, doesn’t with another, but I believe that all children

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