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The Gentle Parenting Book: How to raise calmer, happier children from birth to seven

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Parenting trends come and go. Gentle parenting is different - it isn't a label for a precise set of rules but a method of parenting that embraces the needs of parent and child, while being mindful of current science and child psychology. It means parenting with empathy, respect, understanding - and boundaries. In The Gentle Parenting Book, Sarah Ockwell-Smith provides a tru Parenting trends come and go. Gentle parenting is different - it isn't a label for a precise set of rules but a method of parenting that embraces the needs of parent and child, while being mindful of current science and child psychology. It means parenting with empathy, respect, understanding - and boundaries. In The Gentle Parenting Book, Sarah Ockwell-Smith provides a trustworthy combination of what-to-expect information and gentle-parenting solutions to the most common challenges faced by parents with young children. Sarah addresses a wide variety of topics, including coping with a crying baby, introducing solid foods and creating healthy eating habits, potty training, starting nursery and school, sibling rivalry, tantrums, whining and sulking, aggressive behaviour and much more. And for those parents who have previously used a more authoritarian style of parenting, there's plenty of advice - and reassurance - on making the transition to a gentler approach. For many, gentle parenting comes as a relief because it chimes with their deepest instincts about the best way to raise their children.


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Parenting trends come and go. Gentle parenting is different - it isn't a label for a precise set of rules but a method of parenting that embraces the needs of parent and child, while being mindful of current science and child psychology. It means parenting with empathy, respect, understanding - and boundaries. In The Gentle Parenting Book, Sarah Ockwell-Smith provides a tru Parenting trends come and go. Gentle parenting is different - it isn't a label for a precise set of rules but a method of parenting that embraces the needs of parent and child, while being mindful of current science and child psychology. It means parenting with empathy, respect, understanding - and boundaries. In The Gentle Parenting Book, Sarah Ockwell-Smith provides a trustworthy combination of what-to-expect information and gentle-parenting solutions to the most common challenges faced by parents with young children. Sarah addresses a wide variety of topics, including coping with a crying baby, introducing solid foods and creating healthy eating habits, potty training, starting nursery and school, sibling rivalry, tantrums, whining and sulking, aggressive behaviour and much more. And for those parents who have previously used a more authoritarian style of parenting, there's plenty of advice - and reassurance - on making the transition to a gentler approach. For many, gentle parenting comes as a relief because it chimes with their deepest instincts about the best way to raise their children.

30 review for The Gentle Parenting Book: How to raise calmer, happier children from birth to seven

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mirela

    I had high expectations of this book, but this was beyond dissapointing. The author comes across as inflexible in her views, patronising and judgemental. Yet another hyped up parenting book which turns out to be basic (as the author herself suggests, her method is nothing new, but a rebranded authoritative parenting style) with the added extra of a stong personal view on various aspects of childcare.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Gentle Parenting was a completely new approach to parenting for me that I hadn't heard of before. In fact, I don't think I had a particular parenting style, I was just winging it. When my friends described it, I thought it was a bit airy fairy and failed to see how not punishing a child for being 'naughty' amongst other things, was beneficial. Whilst I don't agree with all aspects of the book, and I suspect most people wont, I found it educational and enriching. As with most areas of psychology Gentle Parenting was a completely new approach to parenting for me that I hadn't heard of before. In fact, I don't think I had a particular parenting style, I was just winging it. When my friends described it, I thought it was a bit airy fairy and failed to see how not punishing a child for being 'naughty' amongst other things, was beneficial. Whilst I don't agree with all aspects of the book, and I suspect most people wont, I found it educational and enriching. As with most areas of psychology (I have a psychology masters degree), this is actually common sense, however it's not something we readily think about, there were a lot of lightbulb moments. I do however, find myself being a bit more anxious or frustrated with the way other people parent now, shouting at their kids, telling them no constantly, sleep training and saying 'if you do that, Santa Clause will put you on the naughty list.' My empathy has grown massively and as a result my partner and I have a hugely happy, smiley, content, polite little lady. Yes she has tantrums as all children do but if we can respond with love and respect and help them through their big emotions, life is that much easier. My challenge now is explaining my parenting style to the older generation who think i'm going to have a spoilt child, doesn't know what 'no' means and will never learn if I let her do what she wants (not true). I highly recommend reading this book, even if you don't agree with all of it, there will be aspects that you do agree with.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karina Evans

    One of the few non-fiction titles I've dedicated time to reading. As the mother of a toddler, I found this book invaluable. I was late to the game, having only purchased it when my daughter was totally over the whole baby thing, but I cannot recommend it enough. Why shout at children when you can respond with kindness? I've now lent this out to a friend but very much hoping she reads it quickly as I miss it! One of the few non-fiction titles I've dedicated time to reading. As the mother of a toddler, I found this book invaluable. I was late to the game, having only purchased it when my daughter was totally over the whole baby thing, but I cannot recommend it enough. Why shout at children when you can respond with kindness? I've now lent this out to a friend but very much hoping she reads it quickly as I miss it!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Patronising

  5. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    I've learned a lot from reading this and, as with the previous parenting book I read, while I don't agree with everything I've read it's provided a lot of insight and education. I especially appreciate how thoroughly researched and supported by actual evidence, studies and journal articles this is. It was really helpful to be reading a paragraph, then to be able to look up where the author collected this information from to fact check as I went. I've learned a lot from reading this and, as with the previous parenting book I read, while I don't agree with everything I've read it's provided a lot of insight and education. I especially appreciate how thoroughly researched and supported by actual evidence, studies and journal articles this is. It was really helpful to be reading a paragraph, then to be able to look up where the author collected this information from to fact check as I went.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leticia Kemp

    Parenting skills reassuring book. It helps keep tracking what is the best way to approach daily struggles to discipline children while reinforcing they are loved despite their misbehaviour. Although it has some content that I personally disagree it made me think and rationalise some situation that at first seemed a big deal but were not.

  7. 5 out of 5

    My

    Great read. Based on research regarding children's developmental stages. Really beneficial to get to read about where your child's brain is developmentally so you know what you can expect them to do/handle and not! Great read. Based on research regarding children's developmental stages. Really beneficial to get to read about where your child's brain is developmentally so you know what you can expect them to do/handle and not!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Cornell

    Fantastic book! I feel I need to read it over and over to help it become natural to me and not something I have to think of doing. Gentle Parenting makes so much sense! Have to take it back to the library now but will have to check it out again in a few years to read the '4-7 year old' chapter! Fantastic book! I feel I need to read it over and over to help it become natural to me and not something I have to think of doing. Gentle Parenting makes so much sense! Have to take it back to the library now but will have to check it out again in a few years to read the '4-7 year old' chapter!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette Hewabandu

    Such great information and a good way to change the way we parent. Lots of time ins are going to be used especially with a toddler. I love the advice it gives for siblings too. I appreciate the insight on how to raise children with mindfulness as well.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Septhi Karlina

    I got new idea from this author's view about parenting. Absolutely, that's not the right one, because parenting isn't about strict rules, parenting is an art. But i love how she write her view on a book. I got new idea from this author's view about parenting. Absolutely, that's not the right one, because parenting isn't about strict rules, parenting is an art. But i love how she write her view on a book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy Alice

    I'm finding that the more parenting books I read, the more they all blend into one. This is gentle parenting which I feel like is common sense to anyone with any empathy. Interesting enough, not life changing. I'm finding that the more parenting books I read, the more they all blend into one. This is gentle parenting which I feel like is common sense to anyone with any empathy. Interesting enough, not life changing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Georgie Pilgrim

    A must read for all parents. Science based and so simple to understand.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gemma

    A lot of common sense but a nice guide to help realign parenting aims.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katie Gennuso

    Could nickname this my bible!

  15. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Cully

    Well written, well researched. An excellent parenting manual which is easy to understand and very helpful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    lane

    i liked how she added in a chapter about changing from another parenting style to gentle but i do wish there was a bit more science involved throughout the book

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hayo Bethlehem

    apparently we already were doing all of this. just common sense, really.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    If you have children then read this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Georgie

    Lovely philosophy and I'm definitely a gentle parent but I felt it delved into the right and wrong ways to do things quite a bit. Which may make me over analyse my actions and be over critical. Lovely philosophy and I'm definitely a gentle parent but I felt it delved into the right and wrong ways to do things quite a bit. Which may make me over analyse my actions and be over critical.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    A bit high-level and generic, but I definitely took a few helpful points away on what sort of approach to take for discipline when Vanessa is a little older and able to understand it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marta Esteva

    Lots of useful evidence-based information. Easy to find specific topics as has different sections based on age, issues etc.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Lots of helpful tips presented in an easy to read way.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Justine Kwan

    I have enjoyed reading this book and it has open my eyes of difference ways to parenting your children. I will read and rereads this books.. as there is so much to learn from this book..

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gabriela

    I learned a lot from this book. A must read for all gentle parenting advocates and new parents embracing this approach.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vidya Ganapathy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lorna

  27. 4 out of 5

    Esther Ackerman

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Stott

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Allen

  30. 4 out of 5

    J C

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