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120 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book has lots of practical examples and techniques. "No-cry" is kind of a misnomer -- this is more about how to avoid tears when possible. Most of the techniques focus on giving children fair warning when transitions are coming and turning tough situations into fun and games so kids will be distracted into participating. There is an alphabetical list of specific issues in last part of the book that detail solutions for specific situations (e.g., "Won't get out of bath"). I also appreciate that she encourages parents to look at many sources for "bad" behavior -- how is their sleeping? Their nutrition?

I've tried a fair number of Pantley's suggestions and am impressed -- making things fun when changing diapers, brushing teeth, etc. sure are a lot easier than tears and threatening to take away toys. HOWEVER, sometimes the fun's over. Everything you're trying isn't working. Where do you go then? Pantley doesn't go that far...and sometimes the kids just don't buy the fun and games stuff ("Let's all pretend we're monkeys jumping into our car seats! YAYY!!!!"). I am reading "The Manipulative Child," and while my kids are generally pretty good, I like the authors' techniques that basically take the place of time outs, taking away toys or TV, sticker charts, and all that other stuff I had been trying. That book also focuses more on the "meat" of discipline issues -- how our responses to situations are also opportunities for our children to build their own self-worth and feel confident with their place in the world. Pantley's book is good, but doesn't delve into those issues.

Overall, I think Pantley's book is great and I generally try to do what she recommends -- it works in most cases, and when it doesn't, I turn to "Manipulative Child."
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
While Pantley doesn't actually promise that there will be no crying, the discipline suggestions she offers are gentle and consistent. The recommendations are geared toward helping parents achieve positive behavior with their children, but Pantley also helps parents cope with their children's misbehavior. Pantley writes a lengthy chapter on anger management for parents, which is unique among the piles of other discipline books on the shelf. For the anger management chapter alone, this book is worth a read. Nothing routinely makes us angrier and grouchier than the objects of our greatest affection - our children. It's easy to see how the management of parental anger can both help parents cope and help them better manage their children's behavior.

This book is brilliant in many respects. It offers parents a host of possible solutions to every problem rather than foisting a one-size-fits-all approach to the impossible task of discipline. To top it off, Pantley offers a summary of solutions to common discipline problems in an easy to look-up format in the back of the book. Parents will find this useful for those times when they worry that repeated, obnoxious behaviors will make them lose their minds.

[...]
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm not often compelled to write a review, but I absolutely love this book. I've read a lot of books and articles on discipline, but I feel like I had a sort of break-through with my children after reading this one. I agree with the previous review which noted that the chapter on parental anger is perhaps the best part of the book. I honestly feel much more in control of my emotions and happier about parenting in general after reading this book. I am a big Elizabeth Pantley fan, but this book is my favorite of hers thus far.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Even the best mothers in the world have experienced her child's tantrum, public misbehaving or some other seemingly uncontrollable behavior problems. Elizabeth Pantley is a mother and an expert on raising children. In her latest book The No-Cry Discipline Solution, she shows us simple tricks that we can use every day to avoid behavioral problems and deal with them if they do appear.

Pantley lets us see the world through our children's eyes and helps us understand why our children act the way they do. They do not throw tantrums because they hate us and want to make our lives miserable. They do it because they have limited capabilities of showing us their needs and understanding their own emotions. The author shows us how to avoid judging our child's behavior by our adult standards and seeing them from our grown-up perspective. Instead she shows children as innocent and often quite egocentric human beings who need a lot of direction and help to reach their full potential and become well- mannered and responsible adults themselves.

The book is very warm and supportive. The author does not point fingers, she does not expect us to know everything right after the baby is born and, finally, she does not expect anyone to be perfect. The layout is very clear and helpful. The book is divided in short and comprehensive chapters that explain the children's behavior patterns and how to deal with them in the wisest and more efficient way. The author gives a lot of practical tips for many situations that we as parents may encounter.

I found the book very helpful and encouraging. I have used it many times as a guide, and I'm sure it's going to be one of the books that is going to be passed from hand to hand and from one mother to another.

Armchair Interviews says: This is a perfect and very concise source of knowledge for both new and more experienced parents.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
We also posted an interview with Pantley. Here's our full review of the book:

Public tantrums, hitting, biting, talking back...

If this sounds like a typical day for you, then pick up The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior Without Whining, Tantrums, and Tears, by parent educator, Elizabeth Pantley.

After helping countless parents find ways to get their babies and toddlers to go to sleep without tears, Pantley turns her sites to a holistic, yet practical approach to parenting.

First assuring readers that we are doing great if we feel good about our choices 70% of the time (phew!), Pantley then lifts a good deal of stress from our shoulders and provides a new perspective on the issues.

According to Pantley, it is important to remember that no matter how embarrassing, upsetting, or stressful your child's behavior is, it is not about you. Ultimately, discipline problems boil down to your child's difficulty in controlling his or overwhelming emotions.

Pantley then takes you step by step through how to plan ahead, address the underlying issues, and help your child cope so that you can guide your child in becoming a well-adjusted young person (and also enjoy parenting more).

By using hundreds of test families, Pantley is able to find out which solutions really work for actual flesh and blood families. She finds results and then uses her theories to explain them, rather than developing abstract theories and expecting you to figure out how to apply them.

If you've been reading up on parenting advice, many of the suggestions will be familiar--offering choices and redirecting a child's attention are not new techniques. However, there is some advice that was fresh for me. For example, if your child hurts someone else, focus initially on making the wounded party feel better, rather than provide your child with attention to reinforce the negative behavior. Most parents should find at least a couple of new ideas.

Finally, Pantley provides examples of common discipline issues (won't take a bath, won't leave fun places, throws tantrums at stores, etc.) and suggestions about how to deal with each one.

Pantley assembles all these supportive thoughts, well-researched techniques, and helpful ideas, in one reference and provides a framework for parenting with loving and respectful discipline.

You can tell that Pantley really delights in being a mother, and that her love of parenting extends to the children and parents of the world, as well. She genuinely wants to help us find ways to share that joy. With so many negative stories in the news about parenting, it is refreshing to hear from an author who sees parenting as a pleasure and provides practical and uplifting advice so that we can spend less time fighting bad behavior and more time cherishing beautiful experiences.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
This fabulous book offers much more than the title suggests. As with much of her writing, Elizabeth Pantley offers soothing encouragement to parents who are stressed, confused, and afraid that if every moment isn't bliss, they're going about this parenting business all wrong. She also points out that the more parenting advice one reads, the more self-critical one becomes--how true! Her opening chapters on slowing down, worrying less, and playing more are a nice segue into the various gentle discipline techniques that she describes later on.

Among my favorite sections are the chapter on parental anger and a fantastic chart that suggests what to do right now in order to bring about certain behaviors in the teenage years. After all, the goal is not just to make life easier in the moment; it's to raise caring, responsible human beings. This holistic approach really sets this book apart from the many discipline guides that give bulleted lists of techniques without much insight into cause and effect. And, what a relief not to see children categorized as manipulative, strong-willed creatures with whom we must always be on guard. I've walked away from some discipline guides feeling as though my children were portrayed as the enemy! Pantley theorizes that the root cause of misbehavior boils down to this: young children cannot control their emotions. Viewing their actions in this light takes much of the tension out of everyday struggles.

Lest one fear that "no-cry discipline" means "no discipline," rest assured that Pantley's approach is not squishy-soft. She focuses on the tried-and-true--consistency, patience, clear communication, setting limits and sticking to them, etc.--but from a positive perspective. As the mother of four, from kindergartner to college-aged, she has vast wisdom and experience to share. Take some and see how it makes a difference!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution and found it very helpful. This one, not quite as much. Reading through the first few chapters I felt she over simplified with lots of large generalizations like "Relax", "Live in the Moment", "You'll Get Through It", "Give the Small Stuff Small Attention". I think it's all great advice, but it seemed too much and too simplified to have much impact. What I was really looking for was how to start establishing good discipline habits with my 18-month-old so that she knows I love her, but I don't get mowed over in the process (because I'm a total softy). Most of Pantley's suggestions, however, are geared towards toddlers old enough to have at least a simple conversation and a smidgen of reasoning capabilities. I will probably pick this book up again, because she did have some great tools, but once my daughter is 2.5-3 years old. I also have to say that Pantley doesn't really talk about dealing with particularly difficult situations. She does have a chapter on anger and ways to deal with anger, which may be helpful for some parents.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have just finished 90% of this book, and it is a really useful and practical guide that a parent can put to use immediately. It's easy to read in one sitting; it's focused; and it's full of tips -- all of these are important to parents like me who have little time to read. Hats off to Pantley. She's combined the best of Pocket Parent/Toddler 411-type books with her "best of" parenting advice, all written in a helpful, understanding tone that encourages you and never patronizes like Parenting with Love & Logic does.

Here's a little gem from the book: "Remove the emotion and analysis that clutters up your head and try to see daily situations for what they really are. Then look for a solution. A spilled glass of milk isn't a sign your child is clumsy, careless, or irresponsible; it's just a spill. It calls for a sponge." This is exactly the kind of no-nonsense parenting advice that people need, and this is why parents should give this book a try. It's the kind of truthful and blunt talk that a shrink or counselor would give you, and this is a much less costly option than seeing a professional parenting coach.

In regard to discipline books, I've read half a dozen lately, and this book is one of the better ones. I would definitely recommend this one to any parent who is trying to find a better approach to these "emotion in motion" kids. And READ the chapter on parental anger. Learn the S techniques to calm down and stay calm.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I am a counselor in private practice, as well as the mother of a toddler. This book has offered my husband and I very practical, and even fun ways of approaching discipline. Our 21 month old son enjoys picking up his toys and putting them away, and he even puts his dishes in the sink when he done without being asked. In addition, since reading the book and following the ideas, our son is much more pleasant to interact with. We as parents are much more pleasant as well! I refer to the book often at home, and I frequently recommend it to my clients who are struggling with parenting and discipline. I would highly recommend this book. It is a great resource for all parents.
Kim Rapach, LCSW
Counselor
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Finally someone wrote a book about discipline in a way that doesn't proselytize or point fingers. It merely points out what we can do while loving our children to bits. Reading this book is like receiving a warm embrace from a dear friend. Elizabeth Pantley's tone is nonjudgmental, her approach down-to-earth. You will love it for its nurturing, honest flavor. The No-Cry Discipline Solution is a gift to every parent who suffers from guilt and shame for being (gasp!) human.

--Christine Louise Hohlbaum, parenting humorist and author of Diary of a Mother: Parenting Stories and Other Stuff and Sahm I Am: Tales of a Stay-at-Home Mom in Europe.
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