Book Review: Discipline Without Distress

Once again, I have chosen to review a local Calgary author I met at the Calgary chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Her name is Judy Arnall and her book is entitled, “Discipline Without Distress” (3rd Edition, 2010) and can best be described as an emotionally intelligent parenting book. The subtitle is “135 tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment, or bribery.” Without bribery? How is that possible? ;-)

But seriously, I really like the focus on how the parent is feeling and how the child is feeling. This consistent theme throughout the book makes it, as I said, an emotionally intelligent parenting book. The five keys of discipline, according to Judy are:

  • Teach not hurt.
  • Stay with your “no” and honour your word.
  • Look for the need or feeling (NOF) behind the behaviour.
  • Separate your anger from your discipline.
  • Be the person you want them to be.

Judy goes into why we have come to believe what many of us believe about discipline and then goes on to make a very compelling case for changing our traditional (irrational) beliefs for more contemporary (rational) beliefs about how to discipline children.

Judy claims we can help our children gain:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Healthy self-esteem, confidence, and greater emotional intelligence
  • Assertiveness, empathy, problem-solving, and anger management skills
  • a respectful, loving connection with us as parents.

I highly recommend this book to all parents and would be parents. Here’s to ending, as Judy says, “resentment, frustration, anger, tears, and defiance and moving to a more loving, respectful, teaching and fun connection with our children.” Check out Judy’s website at

Book cover: Discipline without stress

Two art pieces in black and white are displayed onto sand and light sage coloured backgrounds and they look complementary.

Coaching with emotional intelligence

EQ Coaching is the best way we’ve found for individuals to disrupt their lifetime of habits, behaviours, and beliefs. EQ Coaching is the best way we’ve found for people to do serious emotional intelligence skills development. 

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