Focusing on negativity yields more negativity. There is nothing that brings a party down more than a negative person. When we focus on negative aspects of our children’s behavior, it keeps the focus on negativity. If we, instead, focus on positive solutions, parents and children can work together to find ways to solve problems.
In her book Positive Discipline, Jane Nelsen approaches the topics of gentle and non-punitive parenting from an Adlerian point of view. She introduces the four R’s of punishment – resentment, revenge, rebellion, and retreat – and focuses her version of positive discipline as one which works toward mutually acceptable goals and solutions. The book has a lot of good information in it, although this is not the book I would recommend to parents new to the concept of consensual living or non-punitive parenting.
Nelsen writes as though she is lecturing, which ironically she advocates against (small pun intended). While she provides review questions at the end of each chapter, supposedly for discussion, they read as text book assignments. In an attempt to cover a multitude of ideas, the book tends to be repetitive and drawn out. This isn’t a book that grabs you with insipration, compelling you to turn pages. I do find the book useful for quiet contemplation for those who are comfortably practicing consensual living and actively working toward their own growth as parents and individuals.