I'm referring to Barbara Coloroso's book, Kids Are Worth It: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline.
This best-selling guide rejects "quick-fix" solutions and focuses on helping kids develop their own self-discipline by owning up to their mistakes, thinking through solutions, and correcting their misdeeds while leaving their dignity intact.
This book has spoken to me in so many ways already. Coloroso gives great tribute to how much we are talking with, not at, our children. For example, when teaching in the public school system years ago, she took heat for not reminding her older elementary students to put on their coats for recess-something she thought was entirely unnecessary given the age of these kids. To teach responsibility and not nag, she taught the students about the heart and other organs and how they shut down when cold. After an in-depth, purely factual science lesson, she never had to remind them to bundle up again.
So I tried out the method myself. Instead of telling my child to stop leaning back in their school chair yesterday, I found myself explaining the difference on how the chair was made compared to the rocking chair across the room. The design of the chair couldn't withhold rocking for long before it broke into pieces. A thoughtful "oh" was said and the leaning stopped. Silly? You bet, but it took me ten seconds to explain that and it gave them a real reason.
I am so engrossed in the chapter about money and allowance that I am currently revamping the whole system. Want to know more? Go check it out at your library, too. And thank you, Robin, for introducing me to one of your favorites.