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Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life Paperback – May 5, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This book delivers hope and help. Laura Markham brilliantly applies her respectful, attuned, limit-setting approach to sibling dynamics. Full of realistic scenarios and scripts for how parents can turn conflict into opportunities to build skills, and turn parental dread into meaningful intervention. Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings masterfully coaches parents on how to honor each child’s experience, set limits, reduce conflict, and build skills for life.” 
--Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, co-author of The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline

“Parents need all the help they can get to be the kind of parent they want to be, and to use parenting skills that influence their children to be good citizens of the world. Dr. Laura’s book is filled with this kind of help—practical, inspiring, and encouraging though real-life examples. It would have helped me a lot when I was raising my children.” 
--Dr. Jane Nelsen, author and co-author of the Positive Discipline series

“Finally, a book that answers your questions around sibling rivalry! In this insightful book, Dr. Markham draws on scientific research to craft smart strategies that any parent can use to help their children resolve their conflicts with empathy, mindfulness and peace. A must-read for every parent.”
--Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent and Out of Control

“Adding a child to the family creates a cascade of challenges. Dr. Laura Markham shows parents how to avoid common sibling difficulties, and how to convey their love, even in stressful situations, so children truly feel supported. Open this book, and you'll find clarity, wisdom, workable ideas, and generous helpings of respect for parents and children.”
--Patty Wipfler, founder, Hand in Hand Parenting

"Refreshingly positive and respectful in its tone, Peaceful Parents, Happy Siblings lovingly guides parents by using scripts and practical examples, essential tools for any parent with more than one child. Dr. Laura's compassionate approach is empowering for parents, and liberating for children."
--Lysa Parker and Barbara Nicholson, Founders of Attachment Parenting International, and authors of Attached at the Heart

“Brothers and sisters rejoice!  Here's a family roadmap to transform bickering kids into a connected sibling team. One third of kids have a warm caring relationship with their siblings. Read this book and your family can join the ranks.”
--Heather Shumaker, author of It's Okay Not to Share

“A phenomenal book for parents with multiple children! Dr. Markham addresses all of the common sibling issues with sensible solutions to bring peace and foster healthy relationships between siblings. This book will be my constant companion for years to come.”
--Rebecca Eanes, author of Lasting Bonds: Building Connected Families Through Positive Parenting

“Whether you are just beginning to contemplate having a second child or you are already frustrated by nonstop sibling fighting, this book is for you. I marveled at the amount of wisdom, compassion, and practical ideas packed into its pages. The wisdom begins with her gentle reminder that we have to start with ourselves if we want to make meaningful changes in our children’s relationships with each other. The compassion is in Dr. Laura’s empathy for everyone in the mix—including angry and worried parents. And the ideas aren’t just practical and usable—many of them are downright fun. You’ll laugh out loud just reading them, and everyone will laugh when you try them out. Wouldn’t that be a nice change from bickering and clobbering?”
--Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting

“As a parenting coach, I know that sibling struggles can be heart-wrenching for parents. Dr. Laura's strategies are right on the money to help today's parents create more peaceful homes - and stronger sibling relationships. Great work!”
--Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time  and The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic

“This book walks parents through sibling scenarios – even ones for very intense children – and breaks down the specifics of how to approach common struggles, without making parents feel guilty or overwhelmed. It is a wonderful resource that gives parents the tools to not only help our children while in the midst of conflict, but also helps us to teach our children how to be the loving, kind and respectful brothers and sisters we know they can be.” 
— Gina Osher, The Twin Coach

“If you are the parent of more than one child, this is the book for you. Laura Markham begins at the beginning – the how and when to tell your child that they are about to become a big brother or sister -- and then offers concrete suggestions to help you lay down the foundation for a healthy sibling relationship throughout your children’s lives. I know that I will highly recommend this book to all my clients.” 
--Rev. Susan Nason parent educator

" Dr. Laura's examples and coaching-based methodology make parenting siblings far less daunting....Her book reassures us that doing our best with the right tools, including self-regulation, connection, and coaching, can build a much happier and more peaceful family."
--Nancy Peplinsky, Founder & Executive Director of Holistic Moms Network

“In the peaceful parenting household, there are no time-outs. Stickers, toys, and candy are not rewards for good behavior. And when it comes to siblings, children aren’t taught to share, but to take turns. With this book, Markham (Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids) aims to help readers effect a subtle but powerful paradigm shift and raise children who are self-regulated and driven by empathy rather than a reward/punishment dynamic. Model conversations are idealized but artfully crafted—“I guess it hurt your feelings when your sister wouldn’t let you play with her and her friend... you still can’t stand outside her door and scream like that, sweetie”—and provide an entire vocabulary for the book’s philosophy. The book’s third part is directed specifically toward parents anticipating baby number two, but other chapters offer more than enough solutions for parents already up to their elbows in sibling rivalries and fights. The book draws on scientific studies as much as possible, but the available research findings are often inconclusive. Markham makes her case most through common sense, putting the responsibility on parents to exemplify peaceful, positive behavior that uplifts the entire family.”
--Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, published by Perigee in November 2012. 


Dr. Markham earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University in New York.  Her clinical practice is entirely devoted to coaching parents, with clients from New York to Australia (via Skype).  She monitors the pulse of parents’ needs through her very active social network, including her own web site, AhaParenting.com. She speaks frequently with reporters for press as diverse as CNN and Parents Magazine and makes regular TV appearances. Dr. Markham lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her family—and considers her kids – a daughter graduating from high school and a son graduating from an Ivy League university—to be proof that her parenting approach produces responsible, self-disciplined, considerate and happy kids who achieve in the world and stay deeply connected to their parents.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee (May 5, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399168451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399168451
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is a GREAT book for family with children 5-6 and under as well as for those who are about to introduce a new baby into the family with a toddler. I wish the promo about this book would have stated that. I have children 6 and 8 years old and majority of the advice is not age appropriate for us. While I would have benefitted from this book some years ago when our kids were younger, I wish I knew what age group it is written about. I feel a bit disappointed that I paid for something I will not be using.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have Dr. Laura's other book and receive her email tips too. I pre-ordered this book on Amazon but once it arrived I noticed it is more for families with younger kids and introducing a baby into the family. On page xvii of the introduction, the author states she recommends "Siblings Without Rivalry" as the first book to parents of school-age children who aren't getting along. Our children are almost 8 and 10. I may pass this book onto my cousin who has younger kids. This would have been great a few years ago but we didn't have the rivalry until later. The author talks about more rivalry between kids that are closer in age and other scientific findings which help parents. It will be perfect for a family with younger kids or even great to read before the next baby arrives! I never considered rivalry and have been very surprised by it. It can drive you crazy in the moment and then you worry that as they grow up they will grow further apart.
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My spouse and I have a newborn and a 2.5 year old at home, and this book has been our go-to tool for dealing with sibling relationships (we're both only children, so siblings are new territory for us!). We also own and have read Siblings Without Rivalry, and the content, while very complimentary and respectful, is NOT the same. The two books are different, offer different perspectives and content, but are still in the same vein. As others have said, this book is especially good for kids under 4 or 5, and for tips to use when adding a new baby to the family. I am SO glad I found this book when I did and wish I had purchased it sooner in pregnancy (2nd trimester - I didn't get to use a lot of the tips for pregnancy sadly).

We practice RIE and Montessori parenting philosophies and this book is very complimentary with those "respectful parenting" approaches. I especially love the author's use of concrete details and examples - you will walk away from this book with MANY phrases and responses to fall back on to use in a variety of situations.

My *only* gripe -- and I nearly knocked it down to 4 stars for this -- is the author's use of the male pronoun. This book HEAVILY relies on "he", "him", "his", etc. to refer to child - often two siblings, and brothers. I find this incredibly distracting and lopsided when it comes to gender equality, at best. The book almost exclusively talks about male children and siblings! My two children happen to be girls, and I find it hard to relate at times. Furthermore, when the female pronoun is used, it is used very briefly, and the book switches back and forth between male and female haphazardly. Not very intuitive, and it's hard to read at times. Kinda frustrating. It almost seems as if the author wrote exclusively with the male pronoun and during the editing process just tossed a few females in there, here and there. PLEASE address this issue in future editions.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My new favorite book! This book complements Becky Bailey's book Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline and Daniel Siegel's No Drama Discipline, despite Dr. Markham preferring the phrase "loving guidance" over the word "discipline." Research-based advice on why punishment does not teach self-regulation skills in the long-term and how to manage sibling rivalry. Fast read too!!!
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I was waiting for this book to come out and was not disappointed! As the mother of two, ages 2 and 6, I found it very helpful. I have already seen a difference with my kids after using some of her suggestions for a week. It is geared more towards parents of younger children, unlike Siblings Without Rivalry which seemed more geared towards older siblings. That said, I think there are things in the book for parents with children of any age. There are helpful scripts and I found that the book was laid out very clearly. Will recommend it to any friends expecting new siblings or looking to build strong bonds between their children.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Of all the parenting books I have purchased (and there have been a lot), this is the best. She goes into specific circumstances where a vague book might leave you wondering how to handle a situation. This covers everything. And if you need something more in depth on a particular subject area she offers a recommendation on what to read. This is so helpful. I'm a first time mom and I think everyone should have this as a baby shower gift, because there is nothing you can give a mom that would help her more than this. I am planning to have another child but even if I don't I still think this is a great buy!! Great for preventative parenting. Avoid some of those fights with certain methods or help your child become more loving and nicer to those around him. It covers everything!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Where has this been all my life? With 2 kids ages 7 and 5 1/2, I spend most of my waking life negotiating conflict. This book outlines methods that are clearly described and rational. Loved the preceding book "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids" which is a must read
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