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Summary

Janet Lansbury is unique among parenting experts. As an 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 20 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 articles pertaining to common toddler behaviors and how respectful parenting practices can be applied to benefit both parents and children. It covers such common topics as punishment, cooperation, boundaries, testing, tantrums, hitting, and more. No Bad Kids provides a practical, indispensable tool for parents who are anticipating or experiencing those critical years when toddlers are developmentally obliged to test the limits of our patience and love. Armed with knowledge and a clearer sense of the world through our children's eyes, this period of uncertainty can afford a myriad of opportunities to forge unbreakable bonds of trust and respect.

©2014 Janet Lansbury (P)2014 Janet Lansbury

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  • C
  • 24-02-17

A poorly assembled collection of blog posts

Any additional comments?

The core thesis of this book can be summarised as: accord your child's feelings, opinions, needs and wants with the same respect you would give any other persons. This is a compelling proposition, I've read the primary research that substantiates it and, because my initial, uninformed opinion was more "authoritarian", I've seen the happy, emotionally mature and thoughtful children its progressive adoption has created in my own family.

So the idea behind this book is good. But the book itself is terrible and best described as a "listicle of listicles". As the introduction notes, the content is mostly sourced from the author's blog posts and it shows in the low quality book that results.

Consisting of about 30-35k words, the book is divided into 35 short chapters. Whilst these are loosely grouped into themes it's hard to find an arc to the book. Certainly none is articulated. What's more, most of the individual articles are themselves nothing more than lists. Whether it's inability, lack of effort or a genuine, unarticulated impossibility, the author has not attempted to synthesise any overall conclusions or connect chapter to chapter. The resulting text is, quite literally, a list of lists:

"Chapter 1. First, XXX. Second, YYY. Third, ZZZ. Etc"

Some of the more interesting content are the letters from parents with the author's response. Whilst the responses almost always devolve to a list, prefaced with "Dear" and suffixed with "Warmly", the case example provided by the initiating letter provide context to an otherwise platitudinous flow of words.

And this is the deeper problem. Whilst I agree with the author's mindset and perspective, an agreement based on my own independent reading of the research, she presents no research or arguments for why her view is right. An endless sequence of platitudes and appeals to the authority of someone else who says the same thing is no more convincing than Gina Ford's (antithetical) arguments for scheduling and authoritarian discipline.

To summarise: A book is much more than a collection of chapters. An argument is much more than an assertion. Other books ("Raising Boys" and "Raising Girls" come to mind) put this poor effort to shame.

15 people found this helpful

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A must read for all parents and carriers of toddlers

A well written and read book that is to the point with clear examples. Buy this book before you buy any other.

6 people found this helpful

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Respectful and amazing

This book is very useful and brings clarity to respectful parenting method. Thank you so much Janet!

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Very good. Concise and helpful.

I knew what I was getting when I bought this book. I listen to Janet's podcast, Unruffled, and I knew this book was a collection of blog posts/articles/podcast episodes that I had read/listened to before. But I wanted a source I could consult quickly, usually in difficult moments or when uncertain how to handle a particular situation, and this book is perfect for that.

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Amazing book! Recommend to everyone.

Toddler discipline that is fair and works, really amazing advice. I would recommend as a read to all the parents of toddlers

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A life-changing book!

An absolute 'must read' for parents; this book has helped me to understand my son and worn with him, as opposed to against him. It's strengthened our bond and increased our daily happiness.

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The path to connection with a child

I’m so grateful to have found this book... the advice is practical, easy to follow and communicated with kindness. The other parents’ stories really touched me and it was so encouraging to see the profound impact of small changes in communication. I started to change the way I speak to my 2.5yr twins and already I can see a change in their response.
It will take practice but I am determined to make this way of parenting our way forward. I believe this approach is the path to real connection with a child. Highly recommend.

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No nonsense, easy to follow parenting advice

Very user friendly advice, easy to follow, easy to listen to. Janet is my absolute go to for any parenting issues, this book is a must read for parents. The advice just makes sense!

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Life changing!

I got so much from this book, I recommend it to everyone!!! Such a beautiful respectful loving approach

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Life changing for parents

This book gave me the language to use for working WITH my toddler and her behaviour has done a 180. Thank you

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  • Kyliak
  • 14-06-19

Basically her podcast again

You can save $10 and just listen to her podcast. Its the same info even many chapters are question an answer format.
I was excited hoping the book would go deeper or be better organized but its not. Its just her podcast stung together in chapters.

32 people found this helpful

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  • NotMyName
  • 04-07-19

Doesn’t work as an audiobook

I have a toddler so I’m very busy, and I thought it would be easier to listen to this book rather than read it, but the format of the book does not work as an audiobook. It seems to be a lot of lists, and it’s hard for me to keep track of what the author is telling me. I do think the book has good advice, but I think I need a hard copy rather than audio.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Jess
  • 16-07-15

Absolutely worth it!

This book is so wonderful for me, as a parent of an 18 month old. Love the principles and I've seen positive results to the application. She doesn't just talk method, she shares specific examples, which I find invaluable. Highly recommended!

15 people found this helpful

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  • Rhim82
  • 23-06-16

Changing Lives

This is the best book on toddler discipline I have read. Janet's instructions are easy to implement. This book changed our family dynamic in just a week!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin Beal
  • 26-07-18

Useful

I got useful things from this book, primarily regarding the perspective on button pushing and how much children actually want to be told "no".

However, the book neglects to make important distinctions which make for a confusing, seemingly contradictory read at times.

"Treat children like adults because they have dignity, but don't treat children like adults because that isn't fair to the child."

"Don't tell your children 'no' too much because it will be a source if needless conflict, but definitely tell them 'no' often because they need to know you are in charge in order to feel secure"

You have to work hard to figure it out without much help from the author.

Also, it's largely material from her blog and podcast so it feels a little like a cheat, but perhaps I'm being too stingy there 😅

20 people found this helpful

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  • Ben Caparoon
  • 19-10-16

Wow! I can't believe it works.

I was a bit skeptical in the beginning since I've been given several books with contradicting advice. I'm a first time mom/SHM and my son is now 16 months. I began using the practices in this book a few days ago and noticed a major change in our interactions. I would get frustrated with myself and with him when he would throw, hit and spit - and just about every normal toddler behavior you could think of. I've finished the book and now have a completely different perspective on parenting and i just a few days of work I feel like I understand my son and he understands me. I don't use third person narratives like "Mommy doesn't want you to hit" instead I just say, "I won't let you hit me". I recommend this to all. Thank you, Janet, for really helping me to change my entire perspective on parenting.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Liron Koren
  • 26-09-16

Good advice, but way too long

Janet Lansbury's approach to parenting toddlers works, and it's actually very simple. So simple, in fact, that it doesn't take a whole book to explain. Large parts of the book are repetitive, and also delivered in the form of numbered lists, which gets to be disorienting.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Thea
  • 12-01-16

A must read for every parent

This book is simple to listen to accessible and hugely important. This is life-changing material and I can't wait to put these practices to use with my toddler.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rafaela Walker
  • 15-07-16

great!

this was a great book. it contradicts many other books I read but it has helped me with realizing I shouldn't lose my cool with my daughter. the only complaint I have is that it was too short lol

6 people found this helpful

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  • Caitlin Cotton
  • 07-07-15

Powerful

I can't wait for to put everything into practice with my 18 month old. Thank you!

2 people found this helpful