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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All parents need to buy this book! You'll see your children change before your eyes :)
This is a book that I actually contacted the author to ask if I could review a copy. Dr. Laura Markham is the owner and writer of the wonderful Aha Parenting website, whose posts have long inspired and helped me both as a parent and as a parenting writer. I have felt incredibly privileged in the past to have some of my posts on here linked to by Dr. Markham herself, so it...
Published on 16 Feb. 2013 by C. Kirkpatrick

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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love the philosophy, but in practice don't institute everything at once
I read this about 6 months ago as I was struggling with my nearly 6 year old. I loved the advice and the philosophy. I am sure it is probably the way I went about trying to change our situation, but I found some of the changes I made have made the situation worse.

The most important thing she says is about having clear limits and sticking to them. But she is...
Published 16 months ago by Briony Marshall


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All parents need to buy this book! You'll see your children change before your eyes :), 16 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (Paperback)
This is a book that I actually contacted the author to ask if I could review a copy. Dr. Laura Markham is the owner and writer of the wonderful Aha Parenting website, whose posts have long inspired and helped me both as a parent and as a parenting writer. I have felt incredibly privileged in the past to have some of my posts on here linked to by Dr. Markham herself, so it seems we're on a similar wavelength when it comes to our views on parenting and children.

I was so pleased when I saw she'd written a book at last, and, now I've read it, I am not in the slightest disappointed. I can honestly say I don't think I've got a bad word to say about this book, and that's impressive coming from me, as I'm pretty picky about parenting books ;)

However, just being told `this book is great, buy it!' is not really enough, and as you all know I love to know the `whys' before I make any decision and think all parents, no - all people - should have the chance to know the same, here they are:

Firstly, Dr. Markham does a brilliant job of really meeting parents where they are. She doesn't write in a way that assumes that none of us has ever taken a hand to their child, something that puts me off some otherwise wonderful books, because I think it alienates parents. It's unrealistic and unhelpful as it can make parents feel even worse about the mistakes they've made than they feel already.

Instead, she makes it clear that she admires her readers for wanting to learn other ways of being with their children, all the while acknowledging that they may well have had really awful feelings about their children, and may well have even acted on some of them but without judgement.

She knows that those of us who really screw up are already judging ourselves harshly enough, and do not need to be preached to by a parenting `expert' who sits on her high horse telling us about the one time she lost her temper and lightly smacked her child on the back of the hand in a misguided belief that it will make her appear more human to her readers.

I don't know whether Dr. Markham has ever done this, or has ever done worse, but by not referring to her own screw-ups directly, she neatly avoids alienating many of her readers, and this is a great bonus in any parenting book in my opinion.

Secondly, the structure of the book is very clear and simple, which makes it look much less daunting to read than some overly-wordy books. It is broken down into Three Big Ideas, which then interweave seamlessly into each others' sections so that you can see how peaceful parenting requires all three to be in place at all times.

The first is regulating yourself, which she explains clearly and succinctly and which had me nodding my way through every page. It links up pretty nicely with the conclusions I've been coming to about personal responsibility and acceptance of how our lives have been shaped, and gives not only clear reasons why we need to heal ourselves, but useful resources for how to get started and, most importantly, stop yelling!

The second `big idea' is fostering connection - this had the most impact on how my husband and I parent our children. We thought we were pretty connected with our children, compared to many parents, but suddenly we saw whole patches of our family life where we could do way, way better. Suddenly it was clear why our girls faffed around when they should be getting ready for bed while we called upstairs to them: "come on! get your pyjamas on!", and why they just yelled back at us when we told them why they should not be hitting their sisters while we tried to cook the dinner at the same time.

The third `big idea' is `coaching, not controlling', a concept that my husband and I are already very comfortable with as parents, but which I could see would be pretty mind-blowing for parents still stuck in the punishments and rewards way of raising children. However, as with the other sections, Dr. Markham weaves her way around this topic with compassion and a complete absence of judgement for her readers and it all makes absolute sense.

The whole book really was a whole series of `Aha' moments, even for someone who feels she knows a fair amount about peaceful and effective parenting! I will re-read this book once every couple of years, I think, and remind myself of the places I've slipped, and I already remind myself of the helpful little slogans she's thought up like `connection before correction' and `empathy with limits'.

In conclusion, I really cannot recommend this book enough - buy it, read it, get your partner to read it and see your children change before your eyes!
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love the philosophy, but in practice don't institute everything at once, 3 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (Paperback)
I read this about 6 months ago as I was struggling with my nearly 6 year old. I loved the advice and the philosophy. I am sure it is probably the way I went about trying to change our situation, but I found some of the changes I made have made the situation worse.

The most important thing she says is about having clear limits and sticking to them. But she is also very insistent about why punishment doesn't work and can be counter productive. She advises you stop punishing by trying to use avoidance of bad behaviour (spotting it coming and trying to resolve the issue before it blows up) and picking your battles. I would advise that if you have a particularly willful child that, initially at least, you carry on with your normal ways of dealing with bad behaviour, whilst trying to connect more and show your child you are being fair and consistent.

I think I tried too hard to stop punishing without enough tricks in my arsenal to set limits consistently. I started not setting limits as I didn't know how I would enforce them without being able to threaten or bribe. As a result my son saw a weekness and just tried harder and harder to push beyond the limits I'd set, and his behavious got worse, which then resulted in me resorting to more severe punishments than I used before.

If you have a particularly strong willed/defiant child I would recommend:
Your Defiant Child, Second Edition: Eight Steps to Better Behavior
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Defiant-Child-Second-Behavior-ebook/dp/B00E3CC29S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391423006&sr=1-1&keywords=your+defiant+child

Which takes you through the process more slowly, also has an emphasis on connection and special time, but does allow you to use rewards to get your child back on track, and is perhaps more geared toward the extreme ends of behaviour. I'm hoping once I have worked through that book and got my lovely son back again, I can then move back to Dr Markham's system.

Goodluck if you are struggling like me - it is very very hard work and you can get demoralised and upset as I am today, and feel like you have failed your child - and not understand how you have raised an uncaring and rude little monster. I hope this can help others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic parenting book, 28 Dec. 2013
As the mother of an 18 month old I constantly receive parenting "advice" from well meaning friends and family (a lot of it often contradictory or I just didn't like the sound of!). This book is full of great advice and helps you to understand your parenting journey from your child's perspective too. Helps you to make parenting decisions that feel right in your gut (e.g "this is what I need to do to help my child grow into a confident, happy, caring empathic adult" and not "this is something that will stop my toddler tantruming in the short term but will damage their self esteem in the long term"). Cannot recommend thus book highly enough!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every parent could benefit from reading this, 9 Jan. 2014
By 
Mrs. F. Spencer "frankie" (england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This is a brilliant book. It's only since toddlerhood that I have become more and more shouty and quite the opposite of peaceful.
Toddlers just have a different pace than we do and it's useful to refer back to this book time and again to remind yourself that your child is behaving like a child because they are a child. The tantrums that I throw as a parent far outnumber the ones my child throws and this book helps me to really look at why I get so angry and frustrated.

I'm not perfect, but no one is, and this book has helped me realise that trying to be perfect is just as damaging to me as it is my child. It also doesn't allow you child to get away with bad behaviour, but rather deal with it in a calm manner, and incite your child to want to behave well.
I really can't give it enough praise. Just read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars positive parenting, 12 Feb. 2015
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It's amazing how many sensitive spots this book touched on from my own childhood that I found myself repeating. I had been reading her blog, but this book puts all of her articles in a much more readable/understandable order. I realised I did too much shouting and wanted to change and this book has really helped. I still have lots more work to do especially with my issues from my own childhood, but it's going in the right direction. This book is def worth a punt if you are looking to parent positively.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 1 Feb. 2014
completely changed the relationship I have with my son. Within days of reading this book and using the methods recommended, my child had become so much more calm and compliant and so much more loving! I have already recommended this to a number of friends with children and have heard the same response from those who have started reading it and implementing the strategies at home. I think ALL parents should read this book!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book - invaluable to all parents, 30 April 2015
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This book has been a life saver to a very stressed out parent. I was not being the parent I wanted to be and fallen into the habit of shouting at my children a lot. This book has really helped me to be calmer and more patient using empathy to really understand why my children may be doing or saying the things they do and how to help them with the feelings that can cause negative behaviour. My eldest son especially has huge difficulties with managing his emotions and will frequently have panic attack type meltdowns, this book has really helped me to see how I can help him by regulating my own emotions and then supporting him to learn to regulate his own. A must read for all parents looking for a calm, non-punishment way to help improve their family life.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for every parent, 23 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (Paperback)
i have read about 100 books on bringing up kids. and if i had to chose one i would go for this one. amazing! helps you understand what children are going through growing up, explaining certain behavior, gives tips to deal with it without damaging child's confidence, without yelling or repeating yourself a million times. and so much more. i actually bought a few copies to give to my expecting friends.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just love this book, 22 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (Paperback)
love, love, love... i just love it. every piece of advice of it. i have 3 lovely little children and i am so concerned of me yelling at them, and i want to change things, i don't want to be that kind of mum i am at the moment. i don't want my babies to be scared of me. i want to change. and this book shows you the way. it's just up to you to remember and implement all advice it gives. Laura Markham - thank you! thank you! thank you!
i have bought this book to 2 of my friends and will not stop there, cannot recommend enough. must have for parents.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful, thought provoking and above all really helpful!, 28 May 2015
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This book is really very good. I had been getting emails from the Aha! parenting website and have always found Laura Markham's attitude to parenting refreshing. However, I am certain that if you started parenting this way right from the beginning it would be a lot easier than trying to change when you have a 5 year old and a very strong willed 3 year old. I have become resigned to the fact that change is not only difficult but it takes time, and that goes for the parents AND the children. I have very high expectations of myself and I was aware that there was a real danger I would feel like a complete failure every time I 'failed' to parent as the book suggested. I did inevitably feel this way which is difficult. It's one thing to parent a certain way and be oblivious to a different and better course of action, and another completely to know a better way but be unable to implement it in the heat of the moment.
Like my own mother I tend to shout. I'm really working on it and have made some fantastic leaps in calming myself, thanks, in large, to this book. The book is also fantastic for making you look at situations from a different perspective, i.e that of your child's, which I think it's very easy as a busy parent to forget to do.
The layout of the book with the 3 defined stages of self regulation, connecting and coaching (not controlling) are incredibly insightful. I would thoroughly recommend this book to any parent who would like to stay calmer in those very testing moments. I have also purchased the authors 2nd book 'Peaceful Parenting, Happy Siblings' which is just as good. I will undoubtedly refer to them both in times of need to help get me back on track as a calmer parent.
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