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

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  3,582 Ratings  ·  415 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 t
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 28th 2012 by TarcherPerigee (first published November 27th 2012)
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Laurel Williston I am not an expert in the field, but I am familiar with those disorders, and I believe the principles in this book could be helpful in addition to…moreI am not an expert in the field, but I am familiar with those disorders, and I believe the principles in this book could be helpful in addition to formal medical therapy.(less)
Cristina Your question sounds more like "can I read books on", and the answer is NO. You have to buy it else where and then come back here after…moreYour question sounds more like "can I read books on", and the answer is NO. You have to buy it else where and then come back here after you read it and discuss about the book, write a review, etc. (less)

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Xe Sands
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Brandy Mcdonald
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 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 rated it liked it
Shelves: 600s, professional
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
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Andrea Nair
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: natalism
Offers up the unimpeachable advice that one should foster connection with one’s kids rather than yelling at them all the time. The difficulty, of course, is in how each of these things is to be accomplished—because those little fuckers are very very very frustrating at times.

This text falls within the broad spectrum of well-intentioned pop psych self help books (of which I read five last year wtf) that recommend ways of accommodating to the Real of capitalist society rather than soliciting it in
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
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
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.
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Did I love this book. Not in a traditional sense, mainly because it made me come to terms with my failures as a parent. It's hard to know that me dealing with my own short comings could be affecting the development of my kids. Nothing in the book is ground breaking, but I does present this shift in parenting styles in a way that seems obtainable though not easy. I have been trying some of the techniques used in the book the past few days and though I feel ridiculous sometimes in my own head, I h ...more
Cassidy (Cassidys.Bookshelf)
After part 1 it lost me. I might return to it later on, but setting it aside for now.
Daniel Benkendorf
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. Probably my new top recommendation for new parents. There's a lot of great stuff in here for babies, toddlers, and up through young, school-age kids. She references a lot of science, not in a way that means it will be a drag to read, but in a way that makes her advice very credible. If you need something beyond this, or your kids are school age and up, I'd recommend the book Parent Effectiveness Training, but even though I've read lots of parenting books and regularly read Dr Markham' ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I disagree with her notion in the early parts that the reason we want to yell at our kids is because we have some pent-up childhood insecurities or scarring from when we ourselves our children. Sometimes you're just exhausted, and you know that your kid had made a good choice in the past but for some reason today wants to pee on the couch.

I did like that when you get to a standoff with your kid, when he's being openly defiant, the best thing to do is defuse it by going goofy. Start talking in a
Kate Winsor
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"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 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sara Sell
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2016
Couldn't finish it. My kids are fucked.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This was hard to rate because there were things I really hated about this book, but it’s also already changed my relationship with my daughter for the better.

My five year old is in a defiant stage and sometimes I feel like a failure after days are full of yelling and endless time-outs. This book offered wonderful concrete suggestions for how to disengage from the power struggle and work on connecting on a personal, empathetic level. It’s really incredible how quickly and how well my kids have r
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Goodreads Librari...: Question about merging books 4 30 Feb 25, 2016 01:56AM  
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  • 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.” 4 likes
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