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Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting Paperback – November 28, 2012
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"Dr. Laura is always tuned in to what kids need so they can thrive, and what moms and dads need so they can parent well. If you want to feel more confident and peaceful as a parent, this is the book. Dr. Laura helps you understand what drives your child's behavior, and gives you the practical tools to change it."
—Elizabeth Pantley, author of twelve parenting books including The No Cry Sleep Solution
“If you want to declare peace in your home, follow Dr. Laura Markham's original and authentic advice. With her emphasis on taking responsibility for our own emotional states as parents and connecting rather than controlling, Dr. Laura offers us suggestions that help us to create strong relationships with our children. If we all followed Dr. Laura's advice, we would indeed change the world."
—Peggy O'Mara, Founder of Mothering.com
“If you’re a parent who has been trying hard with your child, with mixed results, read this book. Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids can change your parenting life. Dr. Laura Markham shares an invaluable set of insights that are new to the world of parenting. She will show you how to deliver your love and guidance in a truly nurturing way, and how to avoid parental burn-out in the process.”
—Patty Wipfler, Founder of Hand-in-Hand.org
"The Aha! moment in Dr. Laura Markham's Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids is that attachment isn't just for babies. Attachment provides the foundation for the growing child to learn emotional intelligence, empathy, and responsibility while he masters his environment. Dr. Laura teaches by example, holding parents with compassion as she gives them priceless, easy to use strategies to create a secure, healthy attachment with their child.”
—Lysa Parker & Barbara Nicholson, Founders of Attachment Parenting International, and authors of Attached at the Heart
"Dr. Laura shows parents how their empathy can wire their child's brain for emotional regulation and happiness -- and a brighter future for humanity. Her understanding and knowledge of the many challenges of raising loving, compassionate children gives parents powerful tools to be the best that they can be. A simple, yet revolutionary, message of love."
—Nancy Samalin, M.S, author of Loving Without Spoiling
“Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids has two important ideas, and one revolutionary idea. Dr. Laura Markham’s guidance on fostering connection and coaching instead of controlling are the important ideas, and they can make a huge difference in your life as a parent. Her explanation of why parents need to regulate ourselves first—before we can help regulate our children--is the revolutionary idea. Read it and you’ll see why she calls her work ‘Aha! Parenting.’”
—Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting
“Dr. Laura Markham's work is practical, easy-to-apply and transformative. Get a cup of coffee, find a comfy chair, and be prepared to get great advice from a wise, new friend and fellow parent.”
—Jacqueline Green, Host of the Great Parenting Show
“A much-needed resource for parents….encouragement and actionable, doable, advice for parents to strengthen their connection with their children, and take care of themselves. Clearly helps parents to see how what they are doing today impacts and influences what happens tomorrow, yet the tone is gentle and non-judgmental. Such a user-friendly format for (often) weary parents.”
—Lisa Sunbury, RegardingBaby.org
“Parents, this is the book we've all been waiting for. Dr. Laura Markham’s compassion, wisdom, common sense, love and understanding radiates in each carefully chosen word, example and suggestion throughout this well-written, easy-to-read, delicious book on peaceful parenting. From her chapter on effectively managing anger, ‘Listen to your anger, rather than act on it,’ to my favorite quote, ‘Your child is acting like a child because he is one,’ you’ll know you’ve found your parenting bible. Thank you, Dr. Markham.”
— Rev. Susan Nason, Parent Educator and Consultant
About the Author
Dr. Laura Markham is a clinical psychologist specializing in child development and parenting. The founder of AhaParenting.com, she supports parents every day in her private coaching practice and daily email inspirations. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two teenage children.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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A little background on us: I have been struggling with my 2 year old daughter. She is very high needs, she is very stubborn and extremely intelligent. Add her constantly not feeling well from ear infections and eventually a perforated ear drum from tube malfunction, she was just rotten. A few months ago we were headed down an awful road. Tantrums every night, timeouts, me frustrated and angry and feeling like I've been through a war every night after she finally went to sleep. I cried everyday, I loved her but nothing was working, I didn't want to be THAT parent that broke her spirit but she wasn't listening to anything I said, she was getting violent, throwing things, hitting, just all around angry. I started reading this book out of sheer desperation, I was lost and felt completely alone and the ultimate failure. In the few weeks I've started the practices in this book, both Lise and I have done a 180. The tantrums are few and far between, and when they are there, they are short and very manageable. Lise has become affectionate with both her daddy and I. She freely gives kisses and hugs when before she refused any affection. She listens to what I say, she has started playing by herself and not demanding my attention 24/7. It's crazy and wonderful, I understand her feelings better and she's getting better at expressing whats going on and even more, handling her emotions and working through them herself. I just can't say enough, time outs, spanking all that is completely gone in our house. Even the word NO is very rarely used. Lise has started understanding and respecting our limits with little to no toddler stubbornness. She wants to make us happy and I can literally see the confidence building in her. Things aren't perfect, but they are absolutely better.
At first reading this book, I was like um, no, there is no way that this could work. My wild child will walk all over me when I start this so called "love" parenting. But as I mentioned, I was desperate. I didn't want to spank her, I didn't want to drag her kicking and screaming to timeout, I didn't want to isolate her or be constantly telling her no she can't do that, no she can't do this, no, no, no. I knew deep down what I was doing wasn't right regardless of what family members suggested based on their experiences. They told me to come down hard on her now or she will only get worse. I was angry, she was angry, we both had no idea what to expect from each other that day, so we both went into the day guarded and short tempered. I knew I loved her dearly, and I tried my best to try the old school parenting practices with her but it was only making her worse. Yes, she listened most of the time based on threats when we were out in public or at someones house, but I now know that was only because I was humiliating her and would've done it further by spanking her or forcing timeout in front of people she simply wanted to interact with. I know what you are thinking, she is only 2, 2 year olds don't think on that level, but mine does. I can't speak for yours. Once I'd bring her home, the "old school" practices would break down, and I would be forced to yell, time out, and spank. Tantrums would be hours long, kicking, screaming (screaming on both of our parts) and hitting. The child lived in time out. It simply wasn't working. I was desperate for any alternative, and i thought, well, she is already unmanageable, what more could this do...So I started doing little things as I read them in the book. Before I was even done, I saw changes in her. Dramatic changes. I'm currently on my second round reading it. She wants to listen to us, yes she is a toddler, but often with a simple compromise, or a promise (that is ALWAYS kept on my part) to come back when time allows for whatever activity she is involved in, we can get through just about anything without screaming, or acting like a wild child. We understand each other so much better, we talk, we laugh, we have a blast together...I look forward to continuing this peaceful approach for the rest of her life. I'm sure there will be breakdowns, yelling, but I'm confident that we can work through just about anything together.
Thank you so much Dr. Markham.
My default button is impatience and a penchant for raising my voice. *Sigh*
It takes a lot of work to keep myself in check as a peaceful, supportive parent. When I do veer of course, my daughter is sure to remind me of the error of my ways. For days on end. Days. On. End. Impatience and raising my voice does NOTHING to strengthen my relationship with my daughter.
I read and research. A lot. I have read all of the gentle parenting resources out there. I have taken a little of this and a little of that and tried to bring it together into a parenting style that works both for me and for my daughter. Yet, I still have not perfected the art of patient parenting.
I have been waiting anxiously for Dr. Laura Markham of Aha Parenting to write and release a book on peaceful parenting. I love her blog. I find myself nodding vigorously to every post she writes. Her words always give me pause. I digest them. I put them into action. And yet, I knew that she was holding back and had so much more to offer!
Enter Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.
This is THE book that was missing from my repertoire of gentle parenting resources. This is THE book that I read two times in a row while barely coming up for air. The is THE book that has actually showed me, in a palatable manner, how to be the patient, non-voice-raising mama I knew I could be.
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids might seem like a lengthy book at first glance but it is divided into three sections which makes it much easier to digest. Each section is broken down further into pointed topics which are designed to help you master peaceful parenting. The division of topics is perfect, giving the reader the opportunity to let the research, the advice, and the real-life application techniques a chance to soak in.
There are so many things I enjoyed about this book. First, while Dr. Laura does not talk down to the reader, she doesn't present information in some esoteric, can't-wrap-your-brain-around-it way either. She is clear and gentle, yet effective in the research and methodology she outlines in the book. Basically, she speaks to your heart in a way that gets it to open up without making you feel horrible about your past shortcomings as a parent.
Second, this book is designed to be used for a long time! Parents of toddlers will benefit just as much as parents of elementary school age children. In fact, the earlier you read this, the more of an opportunity you have to use it as your child grows! Dr. Laura has several sections that she breaks down further based on the age of your child. I love this because as every parent knows, there is NO one size fits all approach to parenting children as they move through various developmental stages. Each age and stage comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. Dr. Laura has given parents the gift of learning how their parenting can evolve alongside their children's growth and development.
My advice is to read the book cover to cover before attempting to implement any of Dr. Laura's techniques. As you go, earmark what resonates with you, perhaps focusing on those areas you really need to troubleshoot within your parenting arsenal. (That is a nice way of saying "earmark the sections that you are having parenting failures with!") Then go back and dig deep. DEEP! Don't take shortcuts. Don't try to rush anything. Take what Dr. Laura suggests and deliberately begin making the changes you feel in your gut you need to make. Then watch your relationship with your child bloom like you never thought it could. Because it will based on my experience.
I have lots more to say about this resource. You can read my full review here: [...]