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The Secret of Happy Children: A Guide for Parents [Paperback]

Steve Biddulph
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 1999

This book – a classic worldwide bestseller – aims to let parents be themselves and children grow up happy, full of self-esteem and feeling loved.

Steve Biddulph lets you into the mind of your child to show how the positive ways in which you relate to a child will have a strong effect on growing self esteem, responsibility, stable emotions and present and future happiness.

He shows how negative language will affect children and explains why children may rebel and how you should deal with any discipline problem that should occur.

You will find out how kids experience emotions such as anger, fear, apathy. Other issues are discussed such as fathering, ages and stages, stopping tantrums before they start, and curing shyness.

The book is full of scenarios, familiar dialogues and case histories with cartoons.

Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons; 3New Ed edition (1 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722536690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722536698
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Biddulph was born in Yorkshire and lives in Tasmania with his wife and children. He has been a family therapist for over twenty years and his multi million selling books have been translated into 27 languages. In the UK he lectures annually, filling regional theatres. Biddulph has been hailed by 'The Times' as 'a mixture between Doctor Spock and Billy Connolly'.

Product Description


‘Biddulph… has a built-in feel good factor. Parenting books too often make one fell inadequate, but Biddulph’s left me refreshed and optimistic.’
Serena Alloh, The Express

From the Publisher

Steve Biddulph – who the Independent on Sunday called ‘The child with the man in his eyes’ – is one of the world’s most popular parenting authors. His first book has sold over a million copies worldwide

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First Sentence
It's NINE O'CLOCK at night and I'm sitting in my office with a tearful fifteen-year-old girl. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, maximum help for parents ! 10 Jan 2004
I have 3 boys, this book has helped me think about and change certain aspects of my parenting for the better.
The so-called 'experts' will hate this book as it bypass's all the psycho-babble that we are all bombarded with these days from people with no children and straight from university.
I have seen positive changes in my children because of the way I now relate to them thanks to this books clear and accessible advice.
With the excellent layout, easy to refer to again and again.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for All Parents 11 Feb 2003
Books in this field can sometimes make you feel vastly unqualified to be a parent and grossly inadequate for allowing your child to so much as glance at a television.
It is re-assuring to find someone with a commomsense attitude towards raising children. Steve Biddulph has written 'The Secret of Happy Children: A Guide for Parents' in a way that makes you feel you are listening to pearls of widsom from a trusted friend and not some distant academic. Some of it you already know, and some of it is just a little different to what you are already doing and of course, you will find some excellent tips you haven't already considered.
This is a definite for all to have in the house to refer to when you need inspration and reassurance. It would make an excellent gift for new parents.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I am huge fan. This book is full of intelligent, thought- provoking and very practical advice which make you laugh out loud and pause to reflect. It gave me SO many ideas and different ways of looking at things, while at the same time it was so entertaining to read that I read it in one go unable to put it down. I proceeded to buy all his books.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book 17 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not a great reader of books, but I couldn't put this one down.
It was very easy reading, funny and very practical.
It really does hit home about where you're going wrong (and right).
I've started putting some of the advice in the book in practice and with some success.
A well balanced book, an excellent buy.
I've just bought More Secrets of Happy Children and Raising Boys by the same author.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and effective 10 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Steve Biddulph writes with authority - his points are clearly grounded in a deep knowledge of child psychology - but also with an elegant simplicity. An easy read but one we'll return to frequently when we hit problems!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best parenting book I've seen 23 July 1998
By A Customer
Instead of the dense, detailed books that experts tend to write on this subject, The Secret of Happy Children is simple, moving, and practical. I go back to it again and again to remind me why I had children in the first place, and what my real mission is in raising kids.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a big disappointment 5 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by a friend. Perhaps my expectations were too great. Steve Biddulph makes some good points, though I think they are things we all know already. I was a bit shocked with his idea that shyness does not exist and the solution is to stick a child into a corner in social situations until they are ready to communicate. My daughter seems to have great difficulties with shyness, so this was one of the main reasons I bought this book, but I loath the idea to make her feel ashamed of who she is! All children are different and some have more difficulties in life than others, so sorry this book gets a one star from me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meeting unmet needs! 4 April 2007
I really liked this book. Of course I was spoiled for choice given Steve Biddulph's many excellent titles.

But then I would, wouldn't I, as he goes over similar ground to the Coaching Parent! Having said that, there is much more to gain from Steve's coverage of how we inadvertently hypnotise kids into being unhappy and having low self-esteem. It is full of useful tips, and I especially found the chapters on what kids want, ages and stages and family shape informative. Yes, you can't stress the application of love, touch and listening too often; insights into why kids behave differently at different ages may help you recover your sanity. Contemporary families have moved on massively since 2.4 kids, and Steve puts forward wise advice.

He uses a variety of rock-solid references apart from `applied common sense' [which isn't that common], such as NLP [Neuro-Linguistic Programming] and TA [Transactional Analysis].

It is very easy to see why his books are such good sellers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful and thought-provoking
Found this really useful to help me reflect on where I might be going wrong (and right!) and what I can do to make things better
Published 3 days ago by Dr Nick Greenwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Great instruction manual for parents.
I found this book very informative, giving effective practical advice to parents. It's enjoyable to read and easy to understand.
Published 11 months ago by helen collinson
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ
Published 13 months ago by Mags
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect to read in one go, or dip into
Some great advice in here. I especially liked the reminders for parents to think about themselves and not always prioritise the children.
Published 15 months ago by Mrs R Bramley
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle, humourous and convincing
An easy read but lots of wisdom contained in the pithy outlines. You can dip in and out and read again and again. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Tenkas10
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!
Really easy to read in fun style. Has very sensible but humorous advice from an obvious expert. Have re-read many times and like the respectful but non-patronising attitude towards... Read more
Published 22 months ago by mumofbubs
5.0 out of 5 stars a wise book
A brilliant guide to bring up children. Followed the advice on this book and it works! Children need love and need to see love around them.
Published on 26 Oct 2011 by BookwormNI
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS GOLD DUST
This should be compulsory reading for all parents. In fact - all school children should read Biddulph as part of their national curriculum. Read more
Published on 15 April 2011 by RachelB
3.0 out of 5 stars Raising Boys is better
I am a fan of Steve Biddulph, having bought Raising Boys which is easily a 5 star book. In this book, The Secret of Happy Children you don't really learn anything new that you have... Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2011 by A.S.G
5.0 out of 5 stars wish more people would read this!
We are all different, I know - but I think many parents would benefit from reading & taking heed of some of the ideas/advice in here!! Interesing & useful book.
Published on 27 Aug 2009 by S. Haynes
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