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No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  883 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Janet Lansbury is unique among parenting experts. As a RIE teacher and student of pioneering child specialist Magda Gerber, her advice is not based solely on formal studies and the research of others, but also on her twenty years of hands-on experience guiding hundreds of parents and their toddlers. “No Bad Kids” is a collection of Janet's most popular and widely read ...more
Paperback, 162 pages
Published 2014 by JLML Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 06, 2016 Cat rated it it was ok
I have profoundly mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, our wonderful childcare givers swear by this book and the philosophies of Magda Gerber that Lansbury espouses. On the other hand, this seemed like an awfully slim book, cobbled together from some blog posts, and it included some material that came across as self-promoting (like parents praising her website and saying how her child-rearing methods saved their lives).

My biggest bone to pick with this book is that at least half of i
Aug 03, 2015 whitney rated it liked it
On the one hand, I think there's a lot of good advice in this book, and as a Montessorian, I'm already inclined towards the "follow the child" philosophy she espouses, though I don't agree with everything she says. What I really dislike, though, is the smug tone, and the parent-blaming vibe throughout. I'm really glad that I read this book NOW, rather than back while I was struggling terribly with PPD, because the way that Lansbury makes it sound as though every problem a kid is having is due to ...more
Apr 05, 2015 Darrell rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"From infancy onwards our children need to know we will patiently hear and accept all their feelings and try our best to understand them. The challenge is not to squelch the feelings (with distractions, punishments, or other invalidating responses), and also not to let the emotional outbursts impact us too much - to hear and support our child without absorbing her moods."

This book is basically a collection of blog posts and email correspondence about parenting toddlers and much of the informatio
Bobbie Greene
Nov 02, 2014 Bobbie Greene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book came out at just the right time for my family. My son had just turned 20 months and was starting to hit my husband and me, his classmates, and other family members. He had thrown a couple of tantrums by this point, too; and he was becoming a bit defiant. I've followed Janet Lansbury's blog over the past couple of years, and even though I knew this would basically be a collection of posts I'd read before, I knew I needed to read it all again now that these topics were timely for me.
It h
Hayley DeRoche
May 05, 2016 Hayley DeRoche rated it it was amazing
Really helpful in terms of laying out how to be an authoritative (not to be confused with authoritarian) parent, and give respectful guidance. Full disclosure: I felt really silly (like, REALLY SILLY) the first few times I was like "I see you're having trouble doing x, I'm going to hold your hands to help you" etc. in the way she suggests for correcting behavior, but as I've continued doing it, it's come to feel less and less contrived/robotic.

The notion that children crave leadership and guida
Oct 14, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2016 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
Some good ideas. Not super organized, somewhat judgy.
Oct 15, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology, own, kindle
2.5 stars.

Okay, this book contains a lot of good tips about having a positive parent-child relationship with your toddler, including very helpful guidelines on communication and staying calm when engaging with the tiny tornado of poor impulse control living in your house. I liked those bits, and have been employing them with my almost 18 month old results because she's teensy, but I imagine it will be helpful as we go forward.

But oh man, the "I know better than you" attitude
Jul 01, 2016 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
This book has some solid underlying principles that I agree with and that mirror principles in some of my other favorite parenting books: "How Toddlers Thrive" and "Parenting With Love and Logic". However, the book itself is just okay. It's implemented in such an unthoughtful way -- "How Toddlers Thrive" was such a brilliant book in terms of laying a foundation based in solid research *before* jumping into practical applications. This book doesn't even compare. It's basically a compilation of ...more
Mar 24, 2015 Lyndsey rated it did not like it
Shelves: parenting
I have a TON to say about this but I'll spare you my tirade and stick with this: children are not adults. This whole, "babies are whole people and should be treated like adults" ideology is ridiculous. Yes they are sentient but they cannot speak and process thoughts the way that adults can; they are not cognizant of things the way adults are. This book does not support developmental appropriateness. I'm a big believer of Piaget in that regard. I felt like this was a colossal waste of my time and ...more
Aug 06, 2015 Hope rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Like many advice books, this one has a mix of things that apply to my situation and some that don't. I appreciate those that do. The reminder that bad behavior is not personal is helpful. I was a bit frustrated at times by the assumption that the reason kids were acting up was because parents aren't setting limits properly, so the children felt insecure and thus by being respectful and firm and clear the situation would improve. Maybe that is the reason for some problems, but sometimes not.
Nadia Bata
Sep 04, 2015 Nadia Bata rated it it was amazing
life changing as all her writings are, the more I read the better I can be as a parent. I truly believe that the methods described In this book are they key to have children who grow into emotoionally healthy adults and that this is the way to foster amazing relationships with our children.
Susan Alexander
Feb 28, 2016 Susan Alexander rated it it was amazing
I found this question and answer book very centring and gave me a focus on what sort of parent I want to be.
Apr 23, 2015 janel.m rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting, 2015
Reasonable communication advice, but almost unbearably smug. I'd recommend reading Magda Gerber herself instead.
May 08, 2016 Erika rated it it was amazing
the kind of book to read again and again until all my toddlers are big.
Oct 19, 2016 Caitlin rated it liked it
I found portions of this book helpful, particularly shifting your mindset to think about toddler misbehavior/tantrums as more often than not a sign of overstimulation, tiredness, hunger, or need (easy to remember in theory; harder to remember in the moment). I wouldn't instinctively do some of the things she recommends like all of the acknowledgement talk ("It sounds like you're mad right now," etc.) so it's a helpful reminder. I do think there is a fair amount of parent-shaming throughout the ...more
Oct 22, 2016 Clare rated it liked it
There was a lot here that resonated with me, particularly the idea of respecting and validating your kid's emotions, which is one of my primary goals as a parent. I remain skeptical that this will be 100% effective, especially since a lot of it seems predicated on very specific word choices, but I'm willing to give it a try. I may need to read it again (or, more likely, read Janet Lansbury's blog, since this just seemed like a self-published collection of blog posts) in order to internalize the ...more
Nov 07, 2016 Melody rated it really liked it
I am 52 and my children are long ago raised but I was recommended this book and I will be purchasing it for my children for their little ones if and when they decide to become parents. I'm sure some will take a cursory look through this book and write it off as permissive parenting but I believe it is the opposite. The parent is in control. The three keys are 1)Respectful communication. 2)Setting limits early. 3)Following through.

Recommended read.
Dec 01, 2016 Robin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
EXCELLENT! Clearly written and to the point. Focuses on the why of toddler behavior, being proactive and then simple interventions. Totally agrees with my own philosophy!
Gabriella Still
Nov 18, 2016 Gabriella Still rated it it was ok
Too simplistic. Didn't learn anything new!
Does not include the hard cases.
A good reminder not to react emotionally - sometimes very hard not to.
Oct 26, 2016 Becks rated it really liked it
In theory, sounds like a good strategy for dealing with stubborn toddlers -- we'll see! Book's kind of repetitive.
Oct 07, 2016 Dave rated it liked it
My problem with REI parenting is all the expensive camping, wait.

There is a lot of stuff in this book that I think makes sense. I'm not sure I'm all the way on board with the RIE model, but I like the idea of calm leadership and respectful discussions . It may be recency bias and spousal coercing, but I think this one will get the nod over The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

Unfortunately, I am starting to see a trend when I read parenting books- I get really exhausted and lose hop
Oct 11, 2016 Deirdre rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Okay, so Ms. Lansbury can sound condescending at times, and the book is quite repetitive. But the advice she gives does seem to have a positive effect when I actually put it into practice, so I'm happy to have read this short book.
Erika RS
Aug 26, 2016 Erika RS rated it it was ok
I had mixed feelings about this book. I applied much of the advice immediately, but Lansbury frequently triggered my internal critic.

For example, she is against using shortcut phrases like "use your inside voice". She thinks they are condescending and you would never use them with adults. However, as a manager, I can say that if there is an adult that you are in a mentoring relationship with, and you've discussed an area for improvement before, then you might well use such shortcuts. Hopefully,
Tammy Dominguez
Oct 04, 2016 Tammy Dominguez rated it really liked it
I didn't quite finish the book but I absolutely loved the author's method of dealing with toddlers. A lot was contrary to everything I've been taught, and certainly how I raised my own children. I intend to buy the book and study it at length, and to put it into practice.
Sep 24, 2016 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best parenting book with common sense, easy to follow advice

This book is largely based in Magda Gerber's doctrines and parenting principles. It contains real life examples and easy and relatable examples of every day situations at home and with kids. I used the techniques and principles described and could immediately see my kids being more calm, responsive and happy.
Sep 17, 2016 Andrea rated it it was ok
I definitely got a few good tips and language to use with my toddler, but I found the overall tone of the author to be a bit judgmental and self-righteous and the advice a bit simplistic. I would like a deeper repertoire of how to respond in a variety of situations as opposed to just saying, "I won't let you do that." And since the book was mostly composed of letters from parents and blog posts, it felt more like a "greatest hits" book than a solid introduction.
Sep 12, 2016 Heather rated it did not like it
I shouldn't have read this book because I have no shame about disciplining my children. This book seems to target insecure parents and make them feel even more insecure: your child acts out because you as a parent have failed to properly feed them, or put them to sleep, or provide quiet time. Many of the problems presented aren't actually addressed with a resolution - just advice to appreciate this fun phase of your child's development. I appreciate the idea of respecting and being honest with ...more
Kate Campos
Jan 22, 2016 Kate Campos rated it it was amazing
I read this book right around when my son turned a year old, which happened to be when I really felt like I needed to start "parenting" him. Not that I wasn't a parent up until that point, but let's face it: it mostly feels like survival skills for a long time. Then suddenly, one day, your kid does something and you realize, "Hmm, I think I need to respond to this and I have no idea what to do." (Thank you, Conflicting-Advice-From-Every-Parenting-Website/Book/Blog/Opinion-Out-There. You've made ...more
Apr 04, 2016 Miss_b rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I liked this book. Some are complaining about how short it is, but really, if you have a toddler in the house, how much time do you have for reading?! There was lots of great bits of wisdom in here and I particularly enjoyed that it used real problems from real people to illustrate how to tackle them. The only thing I wasn't particularly fond of was that the while the author says she likes "playful parenting" when it happens naturally, she really did seem to be "all business, all the time" which ...more
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“It’s always hardest to remember to acknowledge a child in the heat of a difficult moment, but if a child can hear anything during a temper tantrum, it reassures him to hear our recognition of his point-of-view. “You wanted an ice cream cone and I said ‘no’. It’s upsetting not to get what you want.” When a toddler feels understood, he senses the empathy behind our limits and corrections. He still resists, cries, and complains, but at the end of the day, he knows we are with him, always in his corner. These first years will define our relationship for many years to come.” 1 likes
“Gain perspective. Our attitude toward limit-pushing behavior is everything, and our perspective is what defines our attitude. Testing, limit-pushing, defiance and resistance are healthy signs that our toddlers are developing independence and autonomy. If we say “green,” toddlers are almost required to say “blue,” even if green is their favorite color, because if toddlers want what we want, they can’t assert themselves as individuals.” 0 likes
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