API's Mission Statement

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"Our mission is to promote parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents. We believe these practices nurture and fulfill a child's need for trust, empathy, and affection, providing a lifelong foundation for healthy, enduring relationships."

Positive Discipline

Highlights on Positive Discipline

  • True discipline develops from within the child. It is not imposed upon him from without. The goal of discipline is to foster in the child an environment in which his internal controls can develop and grow strong. When we constantly seek to control him with fear-inducing methods such as punishments, rewards, time-outs and frightening and threatening displays of temper, these internal controls do not develop.

  • When we focus on behavior instead of attachment we take risks that threaten the very basis of our power to parent: our relationship with our child. When we empathize, looking for the need the child is trying to get filled, albeit through inappropriate means, we preserve and strengthen the attachment, and foster our child’s natural maturing process.

  • Attachment based discipline is not a set of skills and strategies, which are far too definitive and limiting for a job as complex as raising children.

  • To learn to discipline our children based on our relationship with them (attachment), instead of on coercion and fear-inducing methods of control, we may have to struggle with our own impulsive reactions, our own immaturity, our own inner conflict, and feelings of futility. (Hold On To Your Kids, Drs. Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate)

  • The urge to control others in rooted in our innate fear that we do not have control of ourselves. A secure attachment with our children depends on our willingness to re-orient ourselves, horizontally, as it were, taking control of ourselves away from others and reclaiming it to ourselves. (Boundaries and Relationships, Charles Whitfield, M.D.)

  • Discipline should not and need not be adversarial—“us against them.” It is not our children’s fault that they are born uncivilized, immature; that their impulses rule them or that they fall short of our expectations. The discipline for parents is to work only in the context of connection. (Hold On To Your Kids, Drs. Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate)


Positive Discipline Principle Description from API

The Seven Principles of Natural Discipline, From Hold On To Your Kids, Drs. Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate

Positive Discipline and Attachment Parenting

List of Recommended Books and Articles on Positive Discipline