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on 28 June 2012
We have two very energetic boys and was getting fed up with the nagging and shouting just to get them to do the basic stuff around the house. Didn't have much too lose so gave this a go. Hmmm did it work ? Well we've been trying a few things in the book and they seem to make a difference. Some stuff is basic and you'd be dumb not to have used these already. But some of the case studies are a little unbelievable in the transformation of the children who've been subjected to this parenting. The overall approach is to be unrelentingly positive in praising your child's behaviour . After a while this can get fairly exhausting and you just want to shout at the little blighters. Will need to up date this in the next month with our progress. Overall though worth a try.
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on 28 August 2012
I've already reviewed an older book by Noel Janis Norton [Can't Smack, Won't Smack] But I thought I'd also write some thoughts on this, her newest book, as her work really deserves praise.

Noel Janis Norton and her parenting school ('Calmer easier happier parenting') are well known in the UK & much appreciated by those parents who feel they need some non-patronising, practical help with their children. It's really worth attending some of the free talks at Janis Norton's centre, where you'll get the chance to hear and discuss the main ideas outlined in this book. But if you don't live nearby or don't have the time / inclination to go to a parenting workshop, this book is the next best thing.

Janis Norton's main philosophy in parenting can be summarized as: on the one hand, parents being in charge and on the other hand, stressing the importance of creating a safe, predictable, respectful environment for children. I have appreciated the nuanced, practical, thoughtful approach to parenting that Janis Norton recommends: it's far from any strong ideology, eg attachment parenting, or pure behaviourism. Rather, it's based on the idea that children need predictable routines, rules and structures, as well as, at the same time, a lot of listening to and good quality time spent together. She emphasises the idea that parents need to be in charge and to know what they expect of their children rather than just shout & change their minds all the time of what they want the children to do. There are plenty of good, practical suggestions along these lines, based on consistency and parental authority; I won't go into too much detail here.

Just to add, from my personal experience, that the technique I've appreciated the most with my young boy is the 'never ask twice' idea. Instead of shouting directions from another room, one time after another (constantly being ignored), Janis Norton suggests only giving a child a direction once, but doing it clearly & firmly, keeping eye contact (so that he / she is not preoccupied with something else), asking them to repeat what you've asked and then expecting them to do it. I have been simply amazed by the fact that when we go to the playground I now tell my son once: 'we will leave in 5 minutes, you have therefore 5 more minutes to play'. When the 5 minutes are over I let him know we're going & he just follows me! When in the past this whole process would take ages & endless, repeated requests. Unbelievable but true that there's been such a big change (and in other areas of our lives too; this is just one example).

Highly recommended, full of practical, down to earth, valuable ideas for parents.
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on 1 June 2012
Only read the first couple of chapters and I was in tears. It discribes my life, it was as if Noel had been watching me and the children for the past 6 years and wrote this book about us and the advice for me.
I'm a parent twice over, what I mean is I had 2 children in the early 90's, and I started over again, with another 2 in the latter 00's. The behavioural difference's between both sets of children have been extreme.
Having made a rather good job if it the first time round, I never imagined that I would feel such a failure the 2nd time.
I have never stopped searching for advice from, Doctors, School, Health Advisor, family and friends, even Social Service. Conflicting advice sent me doo-lally.
I became so desparate 12 months ago, that I almost walked out of the lives of my children. I didn,t, I just avoided the morning and evenings by leting them sleep over at their daddies every night, I still struggled through the remainder of each and every day when I wasn't at work or they in school.

After reading only the first few chapters, and using the very first technique on both my children, with startlingly possitive results in a matter of days, I'm in no doubt that this book would enhance any child / adult relationship.

You don't need extra time or money to utilise the advice. Just the willingness to want to improve your relationship with your child/ren. The book does the rest.

I couldn't remember the last time one of my children (girl age 5 and boy 7) hadn't thrown some form of tantrum, each day, either in the morning while getting ready for school, at mealtimes and/or at bed time, etc. They seems to have more, 'press me and I'll kick off buttons', than a shop full of clothes.
This book has given me the insight, and confidence that I have lost over the years. I'm far from out of the wood's and I know that I/we have a long way to go. but I at least believe that I've stumbled onto the right path.

A kind soul bought this book for me. I bought myself a copy after reading 3 chapters and I gave it back to her, so that she could give someone else the benefit of it. And the next time anyone comments on their ill behaved child/ren, I'm going to plug it for all its worth, because it is worth its weight in gold.
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on 7 June 2013
I gave this as a gift to my son, and hope that it has helped him to manage his three girls better, especially when they are eating. I have not had any feedback from them at the moment.
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on 12 May 2012
I've never reviewed a book on Amazon before but I wanted to write about Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting because the techniques it describes really have transformed my approach to parenting.

As the mother of two young boys, I was becoming increasingly despairing about all the nagging and shouting that was happening in our house. I wasn't the mum I'd hoped to be and I often felt embarrassed about the way my children behaved. I'd read various books but nothing seemed to work and I was at a loss as to what to do. A friend told me about the Calmer Easier Happier Parenting courses run by the author of this book Noel Janis-Norton and I did one about a year ago. The techniques that she teaches which are all covered in detail in the book aren't rocket science but if you follow them they really do work.

The basis of the Calmer Easier Happier approach is positive descriptive praise to motivate your child to do the right thing in conjunction with reflective listening which helps you manage your child's strong feelings (invaluable if, like me, you've got a really emotional, volatile child). The 3 other strategies - never ask twice; preparing for success and rewards and consequences - are all used to maximise cooperation and good behavior. The first part of the book goes through each of these strategies in detail and then the next part of the book shows you how to use them in typical flashpoint situations like meal times,getting ready to go to school, bed times, homework and so on. What's great is the level of detail you get about how to use the strategies in a particular situation. By having rules to follow as a parent it takes the guess-work out of trying to work out what is the right thing to do which, for me, makes the whole thing much less emotionally charged.

I can't say that things are always totally calm, easy and happy in our house but things are certainly much much better and it's great to have this book to remind me about about all the alternatives to shouting and nagging.
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on 27 May 2016
This book is powerful, it works and the results are amazing.

I bought this book after years of being unhappy with who I was as a mother and knowing things had to change. after parenting them how I was brought up for so long it was a breathe of fresh air. Coming from a childhood of behaving through fear and not understanding the world around me and with no positive role model to gain insight from I have simply been winging motherhood from the very start. This book not only helped me find myself as a person and a mother it gave my kids the foundations of which they need to be successful fulfilled adults and the life skills we all need that most of us do not actually have. The techniques work and make you see that your kids are so much more switched on than you may have thought and that they can make great choices and do have the ability to be independent... If only you give them the chance. You will become closer, enjoy life more and your kids will too. Praise often and above all simply love them.

Thank you for opening my eyes to a different world of parenting I never knew existed.
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on 8 July 2012
Quite simply my husband and I have felt a great weight lift of our shoulders. We have discovered that we can be exactly what the title of the book suggests. Whilst we didn't think our children had major problems we just wanted a different way to deal with behaviors. The book takes the fundamental tenants of behavior and helps you to look at your children positively again. I am a full time mother and within a day of trying the first technique I was calmer and so were my kids. 2 weeks in and the whole house was noticeably more relaxed. The book gave me "permission" to focus only on the positives in my children and ignore the negatives (yes I know that's weird) and you know what, it worked. I don't see them as children trying to misbehave any more. Now they are children who are showing me how great they are because they know they will get positive feedback for the behavior. Several weeks in and the changes seem permanent. We certainly are all calmer and happier!

Oh and it has also changed my attitude to my friends kids! Whilst I used to dread play dates with children I knew were "difficult to manage" now they all just do as I ask when I ask, and when they "try it on" I don't care because I can see that they are just exploring. I feel confident to have groups of children over because I can manage the normal disagreements better.

My mother and friends have noticed that we are calmer and happier and confident too.
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on 6 June 2016
I wish I'd discovered this book 4 years ago, it would have saved my husband and I lots of wrinkles and grey hairs! Our 7 year old daughter is clever, confident and kind but also sensitive and headstrong with a short-fuse! She thrives at school so we couldn't work out why she's such a handful at home. Anyway, after being a parenting-self-help book sceptic (only on the premise that we are intelligent human beings and should be able to nurture and control our own children!) I am converted as this book has changed our lives. I have only read half the book so far but already we are all less stressful, there has been no shouting for a few weeks, things are getting done etc. So now rather than being on a behavioural vicious circle we are on a virtuous circle. Even though our nearly 3 year old son has a different personality to his sister and has been a breeze to bring up so far, we can now confidently follow the right steps (such as the descriptive praise) to prevent any negativity or bad behaviour in the first place. Thank goodness for people like Noël!
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on 25 June 2013
I have purchased a slew of parenting books over the years. I have been using suggestions from 'Playful Parenting' but found that correcting the whinging and disrespectful tone quite difficult to change. I thought I would give this a try and realized that I was 'over playing' with my son so naturally I was more of a playmate than a parent. I tried the 'reflective listening' skill at his kindergarten last week and my son said to me in astonishment, "Momma, how did you know that?" I find the change to positively comment on every good action difficult. So actually, I am still in chapter 1. But I am trying some of the techniques and so far they are working! I have done what the book calls 'think throughs' since day one. I had practice from my nieces for this one. :) My husband is not really into another parenting book from me. So we are not the united front that every parenting book says we should be. Nonetheless, I want to work on my relationship with my son and have his respect without being a totalitarian parent as I am familiar from my own upbringing. If I have not updated this after 6 months, then one can be assured that my 5 star rating still stands. I hope this helps.
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on 24 May 2013
Thanks, Noel, for your great insights on positive parenting! I have a 2 and a half year old toddler and, although the suggestions on the book are supposed to be for children older than 3, I have already found some utility in her method.
I think Noel repeats herself a lot, the same could be said in fewer pages, but I guess she wants to make a point and try to convince us of it, kind of a brainwashing but in a positive way, so it's ok.
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