Stop, Think, Engage: Rethinking child discipline – methods that work is the fantastic parenting book by Dr Anna Martin. This is parenting discipline 101, but in the best way possible.
Dr Anna Martin is a child, adolescent and adult therapist with a private practice in Auckland, New Zealand. In Stop, Think, Engage Dr Martin turns traditional discipline methods on their head, and gives parents some fresh insight into the conflicts that occur in most family households.
The first section of the book is dedicated to showing parents where they’re at now, and why their current strategies probably don’t work. This section really looks into self-reflection (or lack of it). And really asks parents to take a look at their own thought patterns, and pre-conceptions. Really great stuff!
The next sections outline Dr Martin’s recommended discipline approaches; the Awareness and the Reflective discipline methods.
The next two sections after this put the ‘Mocker’ family through their paces. This is a fictional cartoon family the book uses to illustrate good, and less-good, examples of discipline. It’s actually a really fun and simple way of learning the methods. Seeing the approach playing out in practice, even just as illustrations, helps to make the learning ‘stick’.
This is powerful stuff. I was constantly challenged to look at some of my own recent ‘discipline’ examples. And I could see right away where I’ve come up short. I think I’d like to tend toward the Reflective method with my own children.
For me, the best thing about this book is that I could sit down and read it in a couple of short sessions. It’s almost a pocketbook compared with some of the text tombs that other authors compile.
I loved the short, succinct writing that just jumps straight in and gets on with the tips and tools that parents need. No waffle, no historical autobiography on the author’s life, just practical ideas laid out straight.
I learnt a lot, and highly recommend parents get a copy of this book. If you’re in any way struggling with discipline in your household, or even just want to become even more reflective in your parenting, this book will not disappoint. Five stars!