What feels like many moons ago now, I started Attachment Parenting UK’s Positive Discipline Course. Bee was fast approaching 2 years old, and I could sense her burgeoning independence and strong will. It was time to do a bit of reading, and give myself some knowledge to draw from when the moment presented itself.
Since Bee’s birth, I’ve struggled to read. Before, I could consume chapter after chapter on a leisurely Sunday afternoon, snuggled on the sofa. Or turn pages well into the early hours, safe in the knowledge of a lovely lie-in. But there no longer seems to be enough time, or energy, for reading.
Thankfully, the online Positive Discipline Course is broken down into bite-sized chunks. You can work through them in your own time, and at your own pace (you have access for 12 months).
Each chapter succinctly addresses a particular element of Positive Discipline, with questions to help you reflect on your own parenting, and examples of techniques in practice. There is a short video introduction, but I found the text clear and simple enough, for even a sleep-deprived brain to take in and understand. I liked how you were taken step-by-step through a concept, with questions, descriptions, quotes, tables and applied examples. It’s often difficult to see how to put an abstract idea into practise, but the scenarios within each chapter really help you imagine how it might work with your child.
We spent a very long time reading, re-reading, and referring back to the chapters on Tantrums and Power Struggles, and Boundaries. And I can see how the chapters on Aggression and Manners, and Other Children will be useful as Bee gets older. The long-ago Psychology student within me loved the chapter on Brain Development.
Did the course profess anything new or different to all the other attachment/gentle parenting books? Probably not. It draws on ideas from the likes of Janet Lansbury, Sue Gerhardt, Jean Leidloff, Alfie Kohn, and Sarah Ockwell-Smith, to name but a few. But what it does excel at, is combining all of those theories and ideas into one place. Simply and clearly, enabling you to put them into practise. Rather than wading through countless parenting books, all covering wider parenting theories or smaller specific issues, the Positive Discipline Course has done all the reading (and research) for you. If you want to read further, then each chapter ends with comprehensive lists of related online and offline books and resources.
Some chapters were more relevant to me than others. The quiz to determine your parenting style seemed aimed at parents with older children, so I struggled. And parts of the Night Time Parenting chapter weren’t for me, so I skipped over them. But that’s the beauty of the course. You can take what you need, and what you want, for the parent you are right now.
My favourite mantra from the course is inspired by a quote in Jack Pransky’s Parenting From The Heart. It underlines much of the courses approach and philosophy.
“Your children live in the environment of your feelings.”
I try to remember that every day. It has really changed how I interact with Bee, and how I carry myself as a mother.
Attachment Parenting UK’s Positive Discipline Course is an online module based course, accessible for 12 months. It includes membership to a closed Facebook support group, and a 30 minute video session with their parenting coach. Read more about it on their Positive Disciple Course page.
Attachment Parenting gave me access to the course in return for this review. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own.