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on 6 July 2006
Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves is unlike other parenting books and much more effective. I have read good advice before, but couldn't change my habits. This book gives the tools of personal growth that make it possible to be the loving mother that I really want to be. This is not esoteric philosophizing; it is useful advice with a five-step approach that is eminently doable. Each step is illustrated with story after story about parents who discover, or rediscover, the power of love as they replace controlling parenting techniques with gentle nurturing.

In applying Ms. Aldort's suggestions myself, I have found that my listening and communication skills are improving and I am definitely more mindful, more empathetic, and more flexible as a parent. Happily, my children have noticed this change and, even more happily, have emulated it in their relationships with each other, with their father, with me, and with friends. A little positive parenting goes a long way!!

Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves is a must-read, must-have book for parents who are trying to break a personal or cultural cycle of authoritarianism and start becoming the mothers and fathers they wish to be.
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on 9 November 2011
If asked to recommend ONE book on the subject of parenting, the answer is always Aldort's. We read this book when our child was 10 months old and it radically changed how we parent, and for me, how I see myself (as a parent, as a partner, as myself--once, too, a child...). Freedom from past conditioning, freedom to parent outside culture's boxes, freedom to live and be with children in relationships forged with--no, not discipline, but mutual respect: You incur the potential for all of this, when you read this book.

I first came across Aldort in an online article on the subject of what to do when one child hurts another. After 5 years of University teacher-training pedagogy, her answer blew me away because it was the exact opposite of anything I'd read: As quickly and immediately as possible, give love to and spend time with the aggressor. Once the one who is hurt is attended to for injury, take some concentrated time to meet and validate the one who has pushed/hit/bit. In her words from another article: "Meeting the child's needs for closeness, affection and human connection are at the heart of preventing all types of aggression and emotional difficulties." (When Toddlers Bite, [...]. Aldort's book is pure gold on the subject of meeting children's emotional needs. No one else has laid this out so clearly. Her book is separated into five main categories: how children experience love, freedom of self-expession, autonomy and power, emotional safety, and self-esteem. Whether or not you are a parent, this book will meet it's own proclaimed agenda by helping you to raise yourself on all five of these levels.

Even after having read, long ago, Maria Montessori's The Absorbant Mind, and The Secret of Childhood, taught in a Montessori kindergarten, I hadn't fully understood the detriments of praising until Aldort's book. This book, complimented by her 7 CD series: Trusting Our Children, Trusting Ourselves, opened my eyes wide to the dammage we do when we praise children. Dammage, that is, if what we want is to raise our children with respect, and to provide for them the direction they need to be self-motivated, self-respecting, self-creating people. Our current culture of praise has raised most of us to adults who construct their entire lives and self-image around a very definite Need to please others. Trained into us from the very first bravos thrown at us with such enthusiasm for the most normal every-day actions like going to the bathroom, like holding onto a toy, like smiling, like colouring, like animals thought to be dumb. Do not get me (or Aldort) wrong, children need encouragement. They need to know we see and recognize them and their efforts to connect with us. But they do not need the type of manipluative praise that is so common it comes out of our mouths without thought: The phatic Good girl or What a good boy you are! In addition to the manipluation (Mommy loves me when I do that) does a child's every action need to be qualified by a good or a bad? What is good anyway? What is bad? How is it that most of the things that come out of our mouths once we become parents come out so easily -- even when they are things we'd long sworn we'd never say? Aldort's book puts all of this into perspective, and sets out very clear guidlines with practical tools of how to change this type of generation to generation patterning. If you are interested in deprogramming that old program--the one that makes you act and react and say things as though you weren't even in the control box, then Aldort's book is for you. It is written in clear, precise language, with many down-to-earth examples and incredibly simple steps that will enable you to raise your children exactly how you want: with repect, with dignity, and with action that comes from clear, unmanipulative unconditional love. Your children will live the difference and you will, too.
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on 6 April 2010
I enjoyed this book, I found it challenging and provocative, and also very inspiring. The SALVE formula is extremely useful and a daily used tool.

However, the examples didn't always ring true to me, and also some of the advice given was very impractical, if a parent of more than one child you're often pulled in four or five different directions and there are times I literally cant just stop and sit because one of them is having a tantrum, motherhood is a balancing act and there are many peoples needs to consider.

I would definitely recommend looking for Naomi Aldort's videos on youtube they're a handy summation of the book and in some ways clearer.
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on 2 February 2010
This is an amazing book, with some amazing techniques to show us how to break our old parenting patterns that usually don't feel right to us. When we respond in anger to our kids, we almost always regret it later. When we shout "How many times have I told you to STOP doing that," we usually don't feel like we are parenting from the heart. This book explains very simply how to turn this around so we always treat our children with love. After only a few days of Naomi Aldort's methods, my relationship with my 4 year old has drastically changed for the better, and I feel I am armed with the tools to deal with most situations that could occur. I still have to finish the book, but I am definitely experiencing the results already. If you are uncomfortable with the feeling that you are supposed to control your kid like a dog, then this is the book for you. The proof is in her own happy, well-rounded and successful teenage children. There are lots of examples and real-life conversations included to illustrate how exactly a change of response will change your child's confidence and mood for the better, permanently. Her methods are said to work for children from toddlers to teenagers, and I believe this would be true. A great break from the bonds of traditional parenting.
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on 19 November 2006
I have been exploring ways of working better with my 3yo since reading an Alfie Kohn book - and this is the answer to my prayers as it gives really practical advice about how to improve your relationship with your child so avoiding tantrums, power struggles etc. Its really helping so much
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on 7 March 2007
This is the best parenting book I've found - a great leap from the many modern parenting books out there. In fact, I'd say it is the only parenting book you will ever need! I am ordering many copies and actively distributing to everyone I know.

Finally, a book that spells out with crystal clarity that yes, you can respect and trust your children fully, and love them unconditionally, without any "ifs" and "buts".

Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves provides the tools for being always kind and loving in our day-to-day interactions with our children, and illustrates the guidance via eloquent real-life examples. These tools are easy to remember and put to practice, and they actually work. This book has transformed my relationship with my 10-month old, giving me permission to fully love her the way I always felt - without holding back ANYTHING! Quite a liberating shift. The guidance carries all the way from infancy through the teen years, and I am so grateful that I stumbled upon it while she is still little!

The transformative effect of the book goes way beyond parenting, as both the title, and the subtitle proposed by James Prescott on the cover ('Saving the emotional lives of our children and the future of humanity'), suggest. It lays out a readily available path to self-healing and self-realization through our relationship with our children (as well as with other people): simply by starting to examine how we respond to others a little more closely. In my humble opinion, this is one of the most important books ever written, period.

I have a wish. I grew up in France and I CANNOT WAIT to see the book translated in other languages, and start infusing its wisdom and compassion to non-English readers also. Any European publisher out there interested in making a difference? Call Naomi today, you'll do yourself and the world a favor. Our world needs this book. QUICK!
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on 8 March 2011
This book has been on my wish list for ages and when I finally got a copy I was really disappointed. It is a misfortune that I started reading it right after I read "How to talk so kids listen and to listen so kids talk.". N.Waldort is not inventing anything new. The whole concept feels like some sort of compilation- Validate (The way you talk is taken from "How to talk...", S. (listen to your self-talk) from Katie Byron, other concepts from Alphie Kohn. It is a shame she never gives credit to H. Ginnot, or Adelle Faber & Elaine Mazlish for their way of teaching communication.
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on 13 July 2009
My husband and I have read many books on parenting - some good , some not so good. We believe ROCROS has a very kind and simple message for all parents.
Do we want our children to feel that they have been listened to and loved unconditionally? Of course we do. This book gives practical tools to help those parents who think they are parenting correctly to realise there are many things they are falling short on. We realised this ourselves and we wondered why our children didn't seem settled or had various anxieties. ROCROS has helped us to see that our children were born perfect and that we as unknowledgeable parents (nobody taught us how to parent)could potentially damage this purity. Our children are learning to accept the ''no's'' much more, as they are hearing so many more ''yes's'' from us. This book has taught us to accept our children for who they are and not what they can do. We love them unconditionally, at ALL times (even the tantrums!!) The child has a right to express all feelings and we must listen with love in our hearts and make time for these precious souls that we are helping to become the human beings the are destined to be.
An inspiring read for ALL parents.
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on 23 February 2016
I keep going back to this book... whenever I am finding a pattern with my son (now 7) that is not working, I (sometimes eventually!!) remember to look at myself and what is going on for me. If what you're doing isn't working, then unless you change what you're doing, it isn't going to work. Our children need our love and support to show them how to learn about their emotions and how to behave with them. Sometimes, though, we have something going on for us that gets in the way. Recognising that it's our thing and not their thing helps us to take the time to react with love, rather than recall the pattern we've always used in situations like these. I was recently helping my son ski. He lost it on the slope and started crying and would come down any further. So I lost it with him, because I was thinking about how I was going to get my child off the mountain safely! After 5 mins of admonishing him to sort himself up and stand, I realised that this was getting me nowhere and he was just getting more and more scared and upset, so I just asked him what he wanted to do; get him to take control of his situation and deal with it resourcefully in the way he could (with some guidance of course). So we agreed he could slide on his bottom without his skis (which I would carry) to a flatter bit where he felt safer to put them back on and carry on skiing down the mountain. He had been getting increasily fairly rude to me and back-chatting and I wracked my brains that night about what was going wrong between us - as I felt really guilty about my first reaction on the mountain. And that very night, I remembered to refer back to this book - it's on my kindle, so I can access it on loads of devices with the Kindle app so I've always got it with me... and it was so clear as I was reading - that the S part of SALVE came up loud and clear... I remembered my mother berating me when I was about 5 because we were cycling a fairly long way on a very hot day to the swimming pool out in Germany and my stabilisers kept bending, so we were taking ages and it was so frustrating for both of us ... she was scared, I was scared and that situation has imprinted on me and I believe completely influenced the way I behaved with my son this weekend on the mountain. When he woke yesterday morning, I cuddled up next to him in bed and apologised and explained how I could have done it differently. Magical. He said that's why he's been rude a lot, because I of the times I shout when he's scared and upset, (instead of doing the A.L.V and E parts that he's grown to expect).... Anyway, that's a bit of a long way of giving a very recent example of how this book has helped me and continues to help me to raise my son (I bought it when he was 3.5yrs old), to feel heard, to express his emotions (and to try and do the S of SALVE before I verbalise whatever's going on for me that has nothing to do with him!!). Thank you to Naomi Aldort... you are ensuring my son is growing up in a better place :-)
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on 27 January 2008
This book is excellent for helping anyone who is looking to really connect with their children.It is the most practical parenting book I have ever read, full of real examples to help when you are actually in the situations yourself.Not only has it altered my attitude to my children, but to all humans.I am finding the tools helpful and liberating in all my relationships, including my relationship with myself!I cannot recommend this enough.
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