Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
Excellent, down to earth ideas on parenting
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.