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Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  2,321 Ratings  ·  279 Reviews
A groundbreaking guide to raising responsible, capable, happy kids
Based on the latest research on brain development and extensive clinical experience with parents, Dr. Laura Markham's approach is as simple as it is effective. Her message: Fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don't need to
ebook, 304 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Perigee Books
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Xe Sands
Jan 26, 2013 Xe Sands rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to put into words how I felt as I read this book.

Actually, that's a lie. It's pretty easy to put into words how I felt: like I had failed.

So how can I recommend this book? Why give it 5 stars? Because it's an honest, well-written, compassionate roadmap for a relatively new way of raising our kids. And it works. Frankly, I think this book should be offered to new parents in delivery rooms.

So why the feelings of failure? Well, my kiddo is a teen now, and while reading I couldn't help bu
Brandy Mcdonald
May 14, 2013 Brandy Mcdonald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reached for this book from a friend's recommendation because I have a 4-year old who is talking back and a 2-year old who thinks running from me in dangerous situations is a joke. I was searching for something to give me real answers rather than the old, tired advice I had tried a million times. This was the answer!

So many things in this book were almost uncanny in how they described my children, but I really struggled with the idea of removing consequences and time outs as a part of our paren
Oct 05, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was impressed. The idea of no consequences, no punishment, is kind of hard to accept, especially because time-outs and losing privileges is the only thing that seems to work in our house. However, in this book, Dr. Laura explains how bad behavior stems from emotions that need to be processed, and our kids need us to HELP them do that. As I was finishing the book, my 2- and 5-year-olds were fighting over a car. The 5-year-old was riding and her brother wanted a turn. He went over to hit her and ...more
Apr 06, 2013 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best parenting book I have ever read, and I've read them all :) Has totally changed the way I see my kids.
Feb 18, 2013 Sps rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional, 600s
This book snuggles into the bosom of attachment parenting and Alfie Kohn-style resistance to behaviorism without actually using those terms. And I have to say I pretty much agree with Markham.

The foreword by Jack Canfield did the book no favors, and there were occasional maudlin passages about the joys of connecting with your child and cutesy testimonials from satisfied consumers. But the ideas in the book are good. Essentially, babies and children can only thrive in a warmly connected relation
I have no idea how to rate this book, so I just chose the middle-of-the-road rating.

A lot of things in this book resonated with me, and in the few weeks that I've been incorporating the author's techniques into my parenting, I've seen many positive changes. My toddler will now ask for a hug when he starts getting upset, and I've staved off many tantrums with my new, gentler parenting style.

That said, there are some instances in this book where the author comes off as batshit crazy. One of her cl
Andrea Nair
As a parenting educator, I am constantly on the look out for resources which will help parents, using the most evidence-based information possible. "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids" is definitely in my top three list of best parenting books. Use this as a tool to stop shouting and start connecting with your kids.
Jun 26, 2013 Katrinap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been using Dr. Markham's techniques to calm myself & my often strong willed child. Growing up with parents that more often than not, yelled, spanked, threatened & used consequences to get me to behave still has left scars on me. This is not how I wanted to parent my child. Fear works to make a child obey, that's exactly how I was, obedient & yes I turned out "ok" but was always scared of my parents growing up & were the last people I confided in with my problems.
Seeing thi
Lisa Nelson
Jan 07, 2016 Lisa Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of this book had me really thinking of the Seinfeld episode where George's dad listened to some relaxation tapes that told him to say, "serenity now," every time he felt his blood pressure get too high. By the end of the episode all the yelling, "serenity now," turns to pent up emotions and the saying becomes, "serenity now, insanity later." I kind of worried and laughed a bit as I listened to this book that all the calming breaths and peaceful demeanor in dealing with young childr ...more
Dec 17, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started out this year with "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn, which was an extremely validating and powerful reading experience for me and has been immensely important in our parenting. This book is in a similar vein. It may be more appealing and accessible to people just beginning to explore gentle discipline, because it is softer in its presentation and has much more in the way of concrete examples. (I see "Unconditional Parenting" as being more of a tool to develop one's overall paren ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Elise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Notes: I like the part about listening to your anger, rather than acting on it. "acting while we're hardly ever constructive...The constructive way to handle anger is to limit our expression of it" -p. 14

"Despite the popular idea that we need to 'express' out anger so that it doesn't eat away at us, research shows that expressing anger while we are angry actually makes us more angry." -p. 15

"Laughter releases the same tensions as tears, so playing with children is also a terrific way
Kimberly OutspokenMom
Nov 12, 2013 Kimberly OutspokenMom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
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 topi
Feb 22, 2014 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The peaceful/gentle parenting completely changed the dynamic in our household. When I started reading I didn't understand how we could raise a disciplined and obedient child without using methods like time-out, but the time-in method has worked wonders for us. Our son loves us, and deeply wants to feel connected to us and earn our approval. When we shut him away from us he felt confused and didn't understand what we had done wrong. Doing a time-in and sitting next to him as he kicked, screamed, ...more
I have very conflicting feelings on this book. It is very much an attachment parenting manifesto, and often touts that its method is the best without citing actual research or long term, peer reviewed studies. Regulating my emotions as a parent and spending more time hugging and empathizing with my toddler, I can get on board there. No discipline or negative consequences, well, that's just not how the world works. Not teaching a child that actions can have positive or negative consequences is do ...more
Aug 15, 2013 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found some useful tips in this book, but I also found a lot of guilt. It just doesn't align well with my views on parenting. I do wish to parent with less yelling and I will likely implement some of the suggestions of the author, but I don't think I am causing irreparable harm to my child by some of the choices I make in parenting.
Newbury Town Library Youth Services
This hits on some of the major thinkers and researchers I have been following for some time, all in one place and easily accessible.
Daniel Benkendorf
This is a fantastic book! If you are a busy parent and have time for only one book, this is the one to read (of course, I'd recommend many others as well). Warning: If your kids are a bit older, the book might make you feel like what you did in the past was wrong. However, Dr. Markham does her best (and largely succeeds, I think) at avoiding language that places blame or induces guilt. It is never too late for a course correction.

Dr. Markham writes clearly and provides real advice for parents.
Lea Ann
Jan 26, 2016 Lea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Talk about putting someone through the mommy guilt wringer. I vacillated between chastising myself for essentially ruining my children's lives and patting myself on the back for maybe not doing such a bad job afterall. The final outcome is that yeah, I could probably do better as a parent. And lucky for my kids, I'd like to try to do better. I won't always get there, but I will try. So they've basically won the parenting lottery right?

Essentially, if I had to condense this book's advice into a s
Jan 13, 2014 Cate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heavily geared towards parents with children in traditional schools (though much of the author's professional opinion and choice of research regarding attachment and feelings of abandonment made me more thankful than ever to homeschool). I was really impressed with the continuous focus on the idea that unwanted behavior doesn't need punishment of any kind, but problem solving. The biggest idea I took from this book is the author's theory that children only act out due to unmet needs. Equally imp ...more
Dec 13, 2013 Emme rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I swore off parenting books a long time ago because they are always expert/outside influence oriented, (rather than heart focused) and made me feel like a failure for not measuring up. This grace filled book has two basic biggies, regulating yourself and fostering connection. self-care and self-awareness are perhaps the most important thing in parenting, and I wish I had learned this earlier in my parenting career. Kids do need guidance and limits obviously, but if you can parent from a space of ...more
Jan 06, 2015 H.S. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book strikes me as a more intense version of Dr. Sears' writing. At least he acknowledges discipline has a place in parenting. Her "coaching" chapter doesn't offer any specific, practical examples. It's all "If-you-don't-agree-my-way-is-best-you're-not-attached-to-your-child" generalities. This is what irks me about all the "Attachment Parenting" hype. It encourages new parents to believe that misbehaving children are the product of subpar parents, which increases everyone's judge-iness le ...more
Kate Winsor
Jun 05, 2016 Kate Winsor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Every decision is based on fear or love so always go with love." Any book where I can improve my parenting skills is 5 stars in my eyes. I loved this book and love how it gives real examples of things I might be struggling with my kids. Yes, it takes practice and I have plenty of opportunities to work on it (and mess up) but I love how she suggests just working on one thing at a time. I love the three part method. Lately I've been keeping that in mind and it has really helped when I'm faced wit ...more
Dec 07, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
This parenting book was really good for me. I really needed to learn the concept that most the time, your child just needs to connect with you more or feel more of your love to behave; that a child can only act as good as they feel. I have some mixed thoughts about removing ALL discipline and consequences... But I have already noticed a difference as I have put my focus on connecting with my children and coaching them as opposed to trying to control.
Lu Gv
Mar 18, 2017 Lu Gv rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tengo el ebook, pero definitivamente lo comprare en fisico. Recomendable para los nuevos papas.
Karen Leonard
Jun 24, 2013 Karen Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
If I hadn't read any other parenting book, I would have given this 5 stars. It has a really good background that I felt is covered in other books I've read (in the category of "discipline"), but would be a good one for other parents to start with if they need to learn how to deal with misbehavior.

The information in the first 2 sections, around "regulating yourself" and "fostering connection" were the main areas that didn't give me much more information than I already knew. I also have to say I'
Jan 22, 2016 Tricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book may have just rocked my world. Yes yes yes. I couldn't possibly say enough positive things about it but maybe I'll try.
First and foremost, it is important to me to have verifiable and scientific proof of parenting strategies/beliefs. I hate people who walk off the street and think "I'm awesome and my kids are great, I better write a book so people can be as awesome as me". The current literature on child development was there and the parenting philosophy presented here is supported by
Diana Sung
Jul 01, 2015 Diana Sung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best parenting book I have read to date. I have never really seen an approach to parenting that advocates self-management as the beginning point in managing a child, but it makes so much more sense. The more we, as imperfect beings, grow up and deal with our own crap, the better able we will be to help a little one figure out how to do it. I tried some of the stuff she suggested about emotion coaching and viewing misbehavior through the lenses of empathy and parental connection and i ...more
Rebecca Whetman
Jun 07, 2015 Rebecca Whetman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay in know people recommend parenting stuff all the time and you just tend to think you don't have time or you've heard it all. BUT please consider looking into this book. The more I read the more I want everyone I know to read it. It makes so much sense and helps you know how to be closely connected and loving, set firm limits, and not discipline/punish!!! No one has ever talked to or taught me about how to deal with emotions. It's empowering to read so many things I have done right out of in ...more
Jun 16, 2014 Tannie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for book club and I'm so glad I did. It's a GREAT book that is so good if you want to connect with your children and inspire them to follow you instead of force them into submission. It was so good for me. What I liked most was that it gave me some really good ideas for what she calls "emotion coaching." My three older kids are emotional by nature and there is so much in the book that can help kids with dealing with anxiety and scary feelings.

As with all parenting books this might n
Jul 18, 2014 Deidre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was probably ready for this book. And, as Dr. Markham herself acknowledges, she draws from Sears, all the PET greats, and the current TBP greats. But this book is different because the focus is not on changing the child, but on changing one's self in relation to one's child. And the thing is, there's not all that much to change or "work on". The method is simplicity itself: stop yelling, cajoling, and ordering. Stop reacting. Connect. Duh. We all know this as parents, but few of us know how to ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Question about merging books 4 30 Feb 25, 2016 01:56AM  
  • Attached at the Heart: 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children
  • Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear
  • Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Playful Parenting
  • It's OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids
  • Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
  • Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting
  • Becoming the Parent You Want To Be
  • Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm and Connected
  • No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
  • Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children
  • Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder
  • Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent
  • Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, Revised and Updated Edition
  • The Science of Parenting
  • Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation
  • Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
  • Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation

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“Human beings weren't designed to handle the amount of stress our modern life loads on us, which makes it difficult to hear our natural parenting instincts. It's almost as if we're forced to parent in our spare time, after meeting the demands of work, commuting and household responsibilities.” 6 likes
“What matters most: Stay connected and never withdraw your love, even for a moment. The deepest reason kids cooperate is that they love you and want to please you. Above all, safeguard your relationship with your child. That’s your only leverage to have any influence on your child. It’s what your child needs most. And that closeness is what makes all the sacrifices of parenting worth it.” 3 likes
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