No Bad Kids

  • by Janet Lansbury
  • Narrated by Janet Lansbury
  • 3 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Amazon Customer

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.

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- C. G. Fogelberg

Book Details

  • Release Date: 17-10-2014
  • Publisher: JLML Press