Mamanista! » Advice, Attachment Parenting, Books (Advice), Contests, School Aged Children, Toddlers » Gentle Discipline Without Tears: An Interview With Elizabeth Pantley and a Contest

Gentle Discipline Without Tears: An Interview With Elizabeth Pantley and a Contest

Tired of the whining, tantrums, and tears? Are you sure there must be a better way?

Parent educator, Elizabeth Pantley, writes a series of books, providing no-cry, gentle discipline solutions for families. Mama Luxe swears by the The No-Cry Sleep Solution.

Recently, Mama Luxe was able to read Pantley’s new book, The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior Without Whining, Tantrums, and Tears, and chat with Pantley about her helpful parenting advice.

BONUS: At the end of the interview, there is information about how to win a copy of The No-Cry Discipline Solution.

The No-Cry Discipline Solution

1. How did you get started writing your parenting books?

My life changed the day I became I mother. It was clear that raising children – and helping other parents to have happier families was my true calling in life.

2. You are somewhat unique in that you are primarily writing as a mother, rather than as a medical expert. How does this perspective affect your writing?

I believe I have an advantage as a mother of four. I have found that sometimes ideas sound great in theory but fall flat when used with real children. I also am part of the “we” rather than writing from a “you” perspective. I live the life of a mother, so who better to understand what it truly feels like?

3. How has your own childhood affected your parenting techniques?

My father was very harsh. He used spanking with a belt as his only discipline tool, and rarely saw his role as a teacher. I knew that his methods were entirely wrong and that he entirely missed the concept that his children were human beings and needed a reasonable, loving leader in life. His methods were the same methods his father used on him. I am committed to helping new parents learn that they can change the pattern of history for the better.

4. You work with test families to try your parenting methods. What are the advantages of this research technique?

In my most recent book I worked with 242 test parents with 411 children from 16 countries. Their input and involvement is better than any research I could possibly find available. Our daily exchanges bring me into their homes with a clear eye to the problems and best solutions for all families.

5. Your books discuss “No Cry” solutions. Why is it important to minimize or avoid crying?

Raising children is so much about teaching. We want our children to learn and to understand us as we go about the many lessons we must teach them. Teaching which falls on deaf ears is lost. I have learned that crying plugs a child’s ears almost every time it occurs. Crying gets in the way of accepting, understanding and learning.

6. How do you respond to authors who have suggested that crying is sometimes necessary or even desirable?

Parents know in their heart that this isn’t true. While it’s impossible to entirely avoid crying, it is clear that avoiding stress, anger and tears can make life better for everyone in the family.

7. Early in the “No-Cry Discipline Solution,” you mention that ideally parents lay the groundwork in the early childhood years for their relationship with their kids later on. Your book mostly discusses loving discipline for toddlers, pre-schoolers, and young school-aged children. Besides establishing good sleeping habits, using the “No Cry Sleep Solution,” of course, how could a parent begin setting the stage for discipline even earlier?

It helps when parents understand that every waking moment with their child is a part of discipline. Parental discipline is about helping our children create a foundation of strong values, morals and guidelines that they can use for a lifetime of self-discipline. The teaching of these principles occurs with nearly every exchange we have with our children from the moment of their birth.

8. How might parents of teenagers apply some of your methods right now?

As difficult as it sometimes seems, all the stages of development are necessary for growth. That moody, difficult, sometimes angry teenager is just trying to figure out who he is and how he fits into the world. If we can remember to retain our role as teacher and leader and keep ourselves calm and in control, and avoid matching our teenagers inconsistent personalities all will be more successful in the end.

And, one more thing! Baby care books sell by the billions, but books on raising teenagers lag far behind, as if we know what we need to know already! But we don’t! I suggest reading parenting books for every age and stage to make your life easier.

9. There is an entire industry devoted to parenting that is growing year by year. To what extent are parents having more difficulty or more anxiety about parenting?

The phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” has a whole new meaning when the village is not one you would want raising your child! Our world is not consistent in supporting our goals as parents, so we must not only handle discipline in the home, we must combat conflicting morals and values out in the world every single day.

10. In your book, the “No-Cry Discipline Solution,” you mention that “Parents who do the right thing 70 percent of the time should feel proud of the job they are doing.” This is, by the way, my new mantra…out of curiosity, though, how did you come up with the precise 70 percent figure?

No matter the job, no matter the sport, no matter the game – the reality is that a person who is successful in any endeavor more than 2 out of 3 times would be considered a success. In tracking the lives of my hundreds of test parents and contacts over the 18 years of my career as a parent educator I find that a 100% perfect parent does not exist. Children misbehave, parents make mistakes, but overall, if parents love their children and make the efforts to do the right job, it is likely that their children will turn out well.

11. Where can readers find more advice from you?

My website has articles, excerpts, Q&A, videos and lots of links for parents.

Want to win a signed copy of The No-Cry Discipline Solution?

Just leave a comment by August 20 with a gentle, no-cry discipline story or idea and we’ll choose a winner at random–plus, you’ll be helping other parents by sharing your anecdotes and tips!!!

Remember to leave a valid e-mail address or URL where we can reach you if you win.

Need a copy right now?

The No-Cry Discipline Solution (review coming soon) is available for purchase.

You can also check out The No-Cry Sleep Solution, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution, and other books by Elizabeth Pantley.

And don’t forget you can find more No-Cry, Gentle Discipline Parenting Advice from Elizabeth Pantley on her website!

Filed under: Advice, Attachment Parenting, Books (Advice), Contests, School Aged Children, Toddlers

23 Responses to "Gentle Discipline Without Tears: An Interview With Elizabeth Pantley and a Contest"

  1. amygeekgrl says:

    i’m still in the process of reading the no-cry discipline solution (to review on my blog), so i’m going to pass on reading your review for now. i’d love to read it after i’ve written my own though. i am enjoying the book a great deal so far. :)
    oh and elizabeth seems very cool. she donated a bunch of books to the attachment parenting international auction fund-raiser (which is still going by the way – until july 25!). :)

  2. sinead@breastfeedingmums says:

    Great interview! From my own perspective, I often find distraction a great way to avoid tears. For example, if my little boy wants a cookie and I don’t want him to have one because it’s almost dinnertime, then I’ll take him to a window to look at birds in the garden or I’ll run a sink full of water for him to play with; it’s amazing how quickly he forgets about the cookie!

  3. margarita says:

    This is s great post!

    I am a firm believer that offering choices will get you far, you will often cause your toddler to divert his/her thought to making that choice. For example, in the mornings I often get the “NOT NOOOOWWWW!!” answer to the “I’m going to fix your breakfast” statement. If I offer a choice to my 3 YO (i.e., “Do you prefer oatmeal OR pancakes for breakfast?”), it’s VERY probable that he will choose one. Same goes for getting dressed, choosing books for daddy to read to him before going to bed, etc.

  4. Mama Zen says:

    I also swear by distraction and offering choices. I also try to avoid making mountains out of molehills.

  5. she who must not be named says:

    In our house, we choose our battles. If we let a lot of things go, and focus on the three or so main rules that really matter, it makes things easier for everyone. Also, a quick walk in the neighborhood to spot critters and nature is a good diversion on a grumpy day.

  6. jess says:

    well, i have a 3 month old so….i will have to go with a teacher story. I was in a christian school and we used morals to inforce the rules we had. Our main rule was to love your neighbor…I would ask is that loving? COunt me in for the contest

  7. Laura Williams says:

    Distraction works here … but not always.

    my email is in my blog profile.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We have twin boys so our attempt at no-crying is the trade method. If one boy wants another boy’s toy (they are 2 so this happens more often than naught), we’ve taught the boys to trade. The one wanting to trade has to find something worthy/interesting to the other and see if he will trade with him. Doesn’t always work but does sometimes.

  9. says:

    I am also a firm believer in offering choices to my 4 year old. I let her pick out her pajamas and what books she prefers to read. It makes bedtime go so much smoother and she feels like a big girl by getting a choice.

  10. Darla says:

    As a teacher I hear a lot,”I have tried everything, including ……and nothing works.” What would you say to a mom that tells you that…as this tells me she has given up…and that is the biggest issue of dicipline at our schools.

  11. ELF says:

    it’s so hard to remain cool when your little one has several tantrums in one day !! YIKES! I try distraction before the turn down “that road” ….

  12. spookymama says:

    Hi, I’ve found that distraction works great as well! I have a 1 1/2 and a 2 1/2 year old and they both seem to do well with distraction, but the older one is starting to see through it. I have now moved onto options and this seems to work fairly well. For example when she wants to get dressed in the morning, I give her 2 or 3 options of clothes to wear. That way she still feels like she was a big girl and picked it out herself and I know that she will at least match on our way out the door!

  13. Mum2Bub says:

    I loved the interview! A few of my friends have recommended this book. At just about 19 months, Bub is just starting to get into the tantrum stage and it would be great to read up before the “terrible twos” are full blown! Right now, everytime a tantrum starts, we cuddle and nurse thru it, but eventually I will need new ideas for navigating a tantrum! lol This book would be great! I’m really interested in checking it out! We try to be as gentle and “AP” in our discipline as possible, so this would be a good read! Thanks for the post!

  14. Callista says:

    Distraction is great but if you are having trouble getting your child to focus on your redirect, try asking for help with something. That always gets my 19 month olds attention and she comes right over saying “help.”

  15. Christine says:

    I posted a link to your giveaway!

  16. Naomi says:

    my daughter is three and a half and has just started to test me… I hate being so rigid but I find that issuing ultimatums and then sticking to them is the ONLY way to deal with her these days. Otherwise she tries to coerce me into doing things her way…

  17. Julie says:

    Since having a bit of trouble TTC, I have a new appreciation of what is and is not important – that alone makes discipline an easier process.


  18. jessica says:

    i loved the no-cry sleep solution, and since we only have a 4 month old not much advice in the discipline department, but for sleep, we try to keep a similar routine and time for bed, and our 4 month old does 10 hours most nights.
    mom2maria at yahoo

  19. […] If you are interested in learning more about Pantley’s approach, you can check out the No-Cry Discipline Website for some excerpts from her book and also my interview with Elizabeth Pantley. […]

  20. Ginger says:

    I have been trying to figure out how to properly disipline my child who is a 3 y o boy. Is is too late by this age. For some reason I haven’t been able to get him to mind me in any way sometimes he does but most times he doesn’t. It is very frustrating for me and makes me feel like a inadequte mother. I am 43 y o and it is so disheartening for me and I get so very frustrated with him I am now taking parenting one on one with a lady at one of our local community centers. She has introduced me to timeouts and I am struggling with it but trying my best. She introduced routine and stucture as well but we haven’t got anything into practice on that yet and I know I need to in order for everything else to word properly for me in parenting. Any advice or where to go for advice. Thanks, Ginger

  21. Nigel Sernas says:

    Between me and my hubby we\’ve owned more MP3 players over the days than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I\’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  22. Jovan Hoes says:

    Excellent story. I agree with writer completely, especially last paragraph. Keep posting such good content.

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