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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The number one book I'd recommend on parenting, 8 May 2009
This review is from: The Parenting Book (Paperback)
Like thousands of others, my own family have benefited hugely from the wisdom and love conveyed by Nicky & Sila through their marriage and parenting courses and books. The Parenting Book is an encouraging and uplifting read for all parents, from those who could just do with a few new ideas to those with more serious needs. The principles of good parenting are simple enough - love and boundaries. Nicky and Sila show us how to do the hard part of putting these principles into practice. There are loads of practical ideas and strategies for all sorts of situations, ages and stages. The single best piece of advice I've ever had on parenting was from Nicky and Sila. Oddly, it's not in the book although they mention it in their courses. It's to run a family quote book. Ours has been a source of constant laughter for many years now and an idea for which I am immensely grateful to them. But this is not even a blemish. Their new book is wonderful. I shall keep it close at hand as a source of ideas for digging me out of my next parenting hole ... I recommend The Parenting Book wholeheartedly and unreservedly.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best parenting book I've read - and I'm not just saying that to be nice, 8 Jun. 2010
By 
Mark Meynell "quaesitor" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: The Parenting Book (Paperback)
It is one of the easiest things in the world: making a parent feel guilty. Well this one, at any rate. There's always something one's done wrong, or haven't done, or overdone or underdone. And the myriad numbers of books that remind / correct / reevaluate / deconstruct parenting methods is overwhelming. I'm not sure where he got this from, but a friend was recently leading a parenting course at our church, and he mentioned that 75,000 books on parenting have been published in the last 10 years!! Yikes.

I've certainly not read that many. I've in fact only read a handful - but most of the time, my experience has been the same: a sense of guilty failure. And too often, I'm actually talking about those written from a Christian perspective.

So I picked up Nicky & Sila Lee's with a small sense of foreboding. And I have to say I was slightly put off by the rather grandiose title (`The' Parenting Book??) & Nicky Gumbel's somewhat overblown preface. But I suppose that's all part of the marketing strategy. Still, once I started the book proper, I was gripped - throughout all 500 pages of it - and hugely encouraged. It was full of things that we could start doing or do differently - and every now and then, I found that we were sort of on the right lines already.

WHY EVERY PARENT SHOULD READ THIS
There are a number of aspects of the book that make it so good:
- They are not afraid to acknowledge their own mistakes - nor to allow their 4 children (now all grown-up) to mention their own frustrations and regrets about how they were parented (as well as the joys). They come across as thoroughly human and down-to-earth. As does the whole book. This was very refreshing.
- They have gathered ideas and principles from a wide range of research, at the level of both popular pastoral books and some more in-depth psychological stuff (more often than not gleaned from newspaper articles - I would imagine their clippings files are bulging). But this is worn lightly - and nearly always relevant and to the point.
- They are not afraid to be counter-cultural, but at the same time, their advice is very wise and common sensical (drawing the best of traditional wisdom and integrating it with new discoveries and developments as well as their own experiences).
- Big picture principles are covered, as well as chapters addressing specific issues related to age groups. While the toddler and young children sections are no longer directly relevant to us, I certainly found myself looking back and thinking that it made sense, or wishing we'd read the book back when it would have been.
- Every principle is well explained and illustrated with practical examples. It is littered with personal experiences (of their own, of their own children and of people they have encountered along the way). These ground the book. Furthermore, each chapter ends with questions to reflect on - all the time encouraging a conscious and deliberate (but never heavy-handed) approach to parenting.
- They do attempt to engage with the challenges arising from single-parent families, or step-families - though my guess is that many struggling with these issues will find this more of a springboard to other resources than a comprehensive aid. The book does, therefore, conclude with a number of suggestions for reading and online help, however.
- The book is clearly coming from a Christian worldview perspective, as becomes increasingly evident towards the end. But again, it never feels heavy-handed nor pushy. This makes the book supremely lendable to anyone (which of course reflects the origins of the book: both their HTB Marriage and Parenting Courses are designed as entry points to Alpha). There could perhaps be more here - a comment I've heard more than once about the courses is that they are perhaps a bit too `Christian-lite' - but in terms of what they are seeking to achieve, the balance struck seems perfectly reasonable to me, even if I might have done some of this slightly differently.

ASPECTS I ESPECIALLY LIKED
There are a number of gems in the book - I found myself underlining and copying various things out (not just because they will become useful as illustrations one day!), especially since we are on the cusp of teenagerdom in our family. I especially found helpful:
- the HALT acronym (p189) for dealing with tantrums and anger (especially in us as parents as much as in our children). Before reacting, HALT, and ask yourself if you or they are Hungry, Anxious, Lonely or Tired? So often the child simply needs some food - or to get some sleep - or to talk. So lay off them! Or we need to delay our response while we catch our breath if we can.
- the Alarm Clock gag: for teenagers going out to parties, set an alarm clock for the deadline when they must be in and place outside your bedroom door. That way you can go to sleep in peace knowing you'll be woken up if they don't come back - and they have an incentive to get home on time!
- Some really good suggestions for how to talk with your children about sex, drugs and rock and roll - well, the first two anyway.

So the book is pretty comprehensive on the whole. Which I suppose means that it really does warrant its title after all. I know that I will be returning to it again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and helpful, 13 Feb. 2012
This review is from: The Parenting Book (Paperback)
Having attended and loved their marriage course I thought this book would be great. It certainly lives up to and beyond expectations. Never condescending nor arrogant but instead down to earth and honest. Majority of it is not applicable at this exact moment for us and our 1 & 3 yo but I look forward to rereading in years to come,
Highly recommend as probably the only parenting book on the market worthy of a position in our bookshelf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most useful book a parent can read, 8 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Parenting Book (Paperback)
Simply fantastic book, from parents who have personal experience of getting it both right and wrong. Nicky and Sila lovingly and carefully guide every reader through many aspects of parenthood in a way that it both educational and inspirational. The reader goes away prepared and uplifted.

Although the Lees are comitted christians, I would happily give this as a gift to any parent, as it's just good sense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very thorough, good for parents with children of all ages, 8 Dec. 2012
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I found this book useful not only for now (my three children are all 5 and under) but also for putting the right things in place for the future when they face a myriad of potential problems as teenagers. Nicky and Sila are Christians and therefore there is some anecdotal reference to their own experience of parenting from a Christian viewpoint. I do feel, however that 99% of the book is relevant whatever your beliefs or circumstances. That is certainly their aim. My only criticism is that perhaps the book tries to cover too much. The writers clearly have done well over a decade of research on this book, interviewing hundreds of parents and reading hundreds of books on the subject and this means that it has become very lengthy. Nonetheless, it is full of wisdom and worth the effort. I have already put some of their ideas into practice with my children and feel that I now have happier and more compliant children!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would really recommend this book, 5 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Parenting Book (Paperback)
I am so glad I bought The Parenting Book. Nicky and Sila Lee write really well, it is funny, informative and actually feels like an important read as a pregnant parent-to-be. Its not patronising but actually makes the prospect of becoming a parent feel like it may be rewarding aswell as challenging
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book of advice, 19 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Parenting Book (Paperback)
A brilliant , informative book filled with advice on parenting, including lots of experiences. The honesty with which the book is written is reassuring and encouraging.I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with a family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far it's brilliant!, 10 Dec. 2013
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Such good wise advice, I'm reading it having given birth a month ago, obviously lots of it is about older kids but the wisdom I will hope to remember as my LO grows older
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a brilliant book!, 23 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Parenting Book (Paperback)
An easy to read book that includes lots of practical ideas. I have read lots of parenting books and I think this has to be top of the list.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very impressive publication., 15 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Parenting Book (Paperback)
This is a very impressive publication. If you asked me to summarise what parenting is all about, I would say understanding [what is the purpose of parenting and families?], love in action [time beats buying stuff hands down], `rules' and boundaries [kids are awash in an unthinking peer following, media-driven whirlpool of chronically malign influences-not bad concept eh?], beliefs and values [these are what drive our behaviour] and spirituality.
It has emerged from thousands of conversations with parents, and hits all the right notes.
I love humour and cartoons. It's full of both. Humour should be first in the list above.
We need books to advise some parents, help others through the parenting minefield, and wake some parents up; parenting is the most undervalued, yet important set of skills of all.
Great book. Try coaching your kids too!
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The Parenting Book
The Parenting Book by Sila Lee (Paperback - 22 Mar. 2009)
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