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on 25 July 2017
Every parent should read this book. It has already changed (for the better) how I parent and I do not doubt it will have a life long positive impact on my relationship with my son. Really well written with great, highly accessible explanations. Really helps you understand how a child is developing and how they experience the world. Invaluable. Can not commend enough. If i met the author i would hug her. Buy it!
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on 16 September 2014
Wonderful wonderful wonderful book! Would HIGHLY recommend it for any free-thinking open-minded parents, who want to bring up their children to be kind, considerate, compassionate but not compliant :)
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on 22 June 2013
I bought this book when the issue of sharing came to the forefront of my toddler's life. At 2, she was the child who was most likely to have toys taken from her (without protest). That left me in a tricky situation; I didn't know how to either defend her right to have that toy without upsetting the other parent or teach my daughter how to kindly stand her ground.

I mentioned the book's ideas on 'not sharing' with my closest friend, whose son is also 2, and we practised the author's advice. We noticed immediately that it worked. The children were willing to talk to each other (we gave them the words) and respect their own agreement to take turns. And it removed all confrontation that might be felt between parents because what we were doing was getting the children to talk to each other (rather than giving out orders). Both children felt respected & safe to play with a toy until 'done'.

After that, we broached the subject to other parents who we met with, when we found that they had the same problems over sharing (when to say something, forcing your child to 'share' their toys when they weren't done to appease another parent/child etc). They were open to trying the technique but doubted their child's willingness to co-operate. They were then amazed to see their child accept the final outcome (usually without tears or frustration).

Of course, there are other topics discussed in the book, which are very interesting & offer the same level of common sense. But I bought it for the chapter on sharing & was not disappointed.
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on 30 January 2015
This is simply excellent. It's very hands-on, structured around practical situations, but then Ms Shumaker also explains the thinking and guiding principles behind the advice she gives, and references relevant scholarly work. That would be enough to earn five stars, but she doesn't stop there: there's also advice on how to handle situations where other parents (who may not be on the same page with you regarding these "renegade rules") are involved (and Ms Shumaker knows how to handle these very subtly and amicably), and there are very useful lists of both suggested phrasing to use and to avoid when guiding your children.

Most importantly: does it work? Stunningly, and somewhat to my surprise, results were as promised, within two or three days.
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on 18 April 2013
I read this on recommendation of a like-minded friend. It is based on a respectful understanding of children as real people, with rights and feelings, but also recognising that they can't always do everything they want the way they want. It gives a framework and practical tips for keeping children safe while allowing them the freedom to be children and to learn for themselves how to interact with others in a thoughtful and respectful way. Ad it doesn't take itself too seriously, acknowledging that sometimes you need to just let it slide, or adapt your rules to sensitivities of others , or if you simply can't be bothered. Would recommend it to anyone!
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on 30 April 2015
Absolutely love it. Some really interesting ideas and approaches which really make sense to me. Has definitely changed the way I interpret and deal with my children's behaviour and made life at home a little calmer. My two boys regularly fight over toys and whine about the fact that the other isn't sharing - the approach described in the book really works ensuring the child gets to play with the toy until they are finished and the other is supported to deal with the emotions of not getting what they want straight away. Would highly recommend this book to anyone with kids under 7.
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on 23 September 2013
I really like the style of parenting advocated and this book should be read because at least you can argue for your own choices if you don't like it. It is thought provoking honest and funny.
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on 11 June 2015
Fantastic book, easy to read. Backed up by forty years research and based in child developmental psychology and neuroscience.
There is one rule: it's ok as long as it's not hurting people or property. So glad I bought this book!
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on 12 May 2016
A fascinating and thought-provoking book which challenges any parent in their child-rearing practices.
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on 27 December 2014
Interesting and refreshing, would recommend this book to anyone interested in child development.
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