Take a Break Books: "No Bad Kids"

No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame  by Janet Lansbury - not just for caregivers of toddlers! I think it’s a good read for guiding children of all ages.

No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury - not just for caregivers of toddlers! I think it’s a good read for guiding children of all ages.

All in all, I really liked it and I think it is worth your time (find it on Amazon - here). I felt like she was taking thoughts right out of my head at times, but other times, I wanted to take a red pen and edit a bit. See below for more specifics on what I liked and disliked.

During the toddler years, our most reasonable expectation is the unreasonable.
— Janet Lanbsury, No Bad Kids

What I liked:

·      The length – it’s only 160 pages!

·      It’s easy to read. The chapters are short and sweet so it’s not overwhelming. I think I could have finished it in 2 nap times if our days weren’t mixed up on our trip.

·      Janet gives great background on toddler behavior and the messages toddlers are often trying to send.

·      She thinks of discipline as a teaching method and explains the gentle, respectful approach to setting boundaries and managing behavior.

·      She encourages emotional expression!

·      She gives practical advice and interventions.

·      She emphasizes the beauty and importance of toddler curiosity and exploration.

·      She reminds caregivers not to take behaviors personally. “This isn’t personal; it’s developmental.” I love this point!

·      She stresses the importance of setting limits, saying “no,” and being comfortable with our kids’ discomfort. Not only to guide our children, but also to take care of ourselves so that we don’t become resentful.

The goal is inner-discipline, self-confidence, and joy in the act of cooperation.
— Janet Lanbsury, No Bad Kids

What I disliked:

·      She makes it sound so easy! I wish she had taken a few moments to validate that caregiving is hard work and to reassure readers that if you yell or “make a mistake” that it will be okay. You can’t expect to be perfect and that’s okay! Kids are resilient. I’ll cover ways to recover from missteps in a future post.

·      I disagree with some of the language she uses.

o   I think it is too wordy at times.

o   I’m not a fan of using “I don’t like when you hit/bite/whatever.” Our feelings don’t matter in these situations, it’s not okay to hit/bite/whatever.

o   I also struggle with the idea of saying “please” and “thank you” to kids when giving directives. They aren’t doing us a favor…but, I catch myself saying those phrases to Max all the time! It’s okay for minor things and I think it’s modeling good manners, but for big stuff, let’s avoid the “please” and “thank you.”

·      I dislike her stance on redirection. I think redirection can be a useful tool when implemented appropriately. I agree that we don’t want to just distract our kids, but I believe redirection is a positive and necessary tool at times. I’ll clarify my take on redirection in another post.

·      Her message is unclear at times. I think she writes the way she speaks (I do too!) and it was hard for me to get the message the first time through. It might help to listen to a couple of podcasts before reading to hear her voice. Also, the chapter titles don’t relate to the chapter topic, so that will be difficult for referencing later.

If you choose to read “No Bad Kids” let me know what you think! I’m here to clarify and help you implement these strategies if you need some guidance. Are there any books you’d like me to read and review? Send me an email!


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