An insightful, optimistic guide for parents of children aged 3 to 13 from learning and behavior specialist Janis-Norton, founder of London’s Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting Centre.
Through choice anecdotes from participants in her programs as well as hypothetical examples, the author highlights five characteristics parents generally desire from their children—cooperation, confidence, motivation, self-reliance and consideration—positing that daily routines will be less frustrating once these characteristics are modeled and instilled. She details key concepts to help parents teach their children better habits, including positive verbal reinforcement to gently redirect actions; allowing children to “think-through” problems and solutions for themselves; preparing an organized home that enables children to complete their own responsibilities with greater ease; daily one-on-one time between each parent and child; empathetic listening; and more. In repetitive, meticulous fashion, each chapter builds on skills previously discussed to equip parents in setting clear, firm, consistent expectations that allow children to thrive. Janis-Norton emphasizes that the aim is not perfection, but a realistic reduction in the dawdling, arguing and other behaviors that challenge the average modern household, especially during the course of common events, from meal- and bedtimes to struggles over homework and media consumption. Janis-Norton offers solid, sensible advice that favors preventative over reactive measures; while learning and practicing these communication skills requires a significant investment of time, her approach remains free of gimmickry—no extra purchases or special aids, no quick steps to success.
Centers on respectful communication and trust, with a broadly appealing, authoritative style accessible to anyone willing to "be dedicated to trying new ways of doing things."