“I have a 3½ -year-old, 2½-year-old, and 6-month-old – so I’m a little busy to say the least! Thanks for your great advice in Kids: The Manual. I found that I’m already doing a lot of the “right” things, so that was reassuring! I feel a lot of the strategies in the book are more appropriate for older children, so hopefully they will help me avoid making parenting mistakes as the kids get older.

A few ideas I’ve found helpful include:

– Using natural consequences more. If they won’t eat, then I don’t force the issue anymore – they eat what’s offered or go hungry. (If they genuinely don’t like something I’m a bit more lenient – but they have to at least taste it first!) Allowing them to be more involved in meal preparation and giving them greater control over what they choose to eat has made an enormous difference – my boys will actually eat salad sandwiches for lunch by choice!
– Using a timer for time-out.
– Automatic time-outs have been helpful for my 3½ -year-old, who insists on standing right in front of the TV to watch it – he gets one warning, then every time after that he goes to time-out for 1 minute.

Thanks again, and keep up the good work!”

Jehanne Upton

“The part that struck me the most was one of the first parts of the book, about listening to your kids. I liked how you showed how silly some situations would look if those were 2 adults: making sure they wear a jacket, etc. But the big “a-ha!” moment for me was when you mentioned that if kids cry or act out, we tell them that it’s because they’re tired, thus invalidating their feelings. My mom used to ALWAYS do that to me, blaming any emotion on the fact that I was tired, and it DROVE ME NUTS! And, I guess I have been doing that a bit with my son. So now I try to be more careful about invalidating feelings. It doesn’t mean that he’s not tired, but it doesn’t help for me to just point that out.

I also liked the “When nothing works” chapter. Very helpful!

Other than that, I found that the book had many good tips that I’ll be able to use… later. My son just turned 2, he’s not even talking yet, and has no sibling yet, so I found some of the situations/tips were for when he’ll be a bit older. Like, reward and homework charts, the “consequences” chapter.”


“Reading Kids: The Manual was so helpful as it’s helped me to set a “mind framework” to prepare for the next steps in my son’s development. He is only 20 months, but already I can put at least some of the advice in your manual into practice. Hopefully it puts us both in good stead for the months ahead.”


“Thank you so much for putting together Kids: The Manual! It was very helpful in learning different ways to cope with my very energetic and strong-willed 2-year-old! I soon realized that I was doing the same thing as many other parents and not using the correct punishment to fit the crime!

I have noticed that when he breaks certain rules, he seems to know what the punishment will be, and I feel like he is thinking about things before he does them! I didn’t think he really understood that he was doing things wrong before, now he seems to know that he will be punished and has stopped the behavior before he is punished! Thank you so much and I look forward to years of referring back to the manual as he gets older!”

Brooke Stokes

“There were a couple things here that really stood out for me. The tips for using time-out were different from other books I’ve read out there (which are a LOT!). I really like that you suggest not using the bedroom – I always had a feeling it wasn’t a good idea, but had reached the end of my rope so I started trying it. It was such a hassle! And to top if off, they’d mess up their rooms. Having somewhere close enough to be convenient, but still away from the “action” was a great tip! I also went out and bought a timer, so I don’t have to again go back and let them know they are out of time-out. As a busy homeschooling mom of 4, every little bit of time and effort I can save is important!

I also really like the explanation regarding children “listening” to us. I was wanting them to “do,” not “listen.” Just that little tidbit made a difference. I am also really “listening” to them now, parroting what they say to let them know I’ve heard them and just generally filling up their “love tank” with quality time, so we have less reason to discipline in the first place. I’ve been using the technique to get them to do certain chores they are supposed to and it’s really working.

These days, most of the time, I only have to say “1” and they stop what they are not supposed to be doing, with no yelling or frustration on my part! Awesome!

Having the videos was the BEST, because I could get some quick info without having to read it right away, what a blessing!

Thank you so much for this – it’s really needed. I was part of a parenting group and we’d all discuss discipline, but mostly it was a discussion of what we tried and didn’t work! No one was really getting anywhere, so I sent them to your website.

I bought your Sleep Sense Program 2 years ago and it was THE SINGLE MOST AMAZING parenting-related item I have ever purchased! And that was after THREE kids!! You literally saved my sanity when it was hanging by a thread because of no sleep. No exaggeration. So when you came out with a discipline book I had to have it. Thanks, Dana.”

Manal K.

“There were so many “a-ha” moments when I read Kids: The Manual. My husband and I were at the ends of our ropes. My 4½-year-old son is very strong-willed. It seemed like nothing we said to him broke through. He wasn’t listening to us or his teachers at school. There were constant power struggles in our house. After I read Kids: The Manual, light bulbs went on left and right. I had to share the book with my husband. We realized that there were many methods we were using that were counter-productive (yelling, threatening, and bribing). We have begun using the methods presented in Kids: The Manual, and we are starting to see some positive results.

My son likes to hoard toys. Last night, he was collecting all his Bob The Builder action figures. He already had four Bobs, and he was asking for his Dad to get him a fifth one that he knew was somewhere upstairs. My husband pointed out that he already had four, but my son was adamant about getting that fifth Bob. My husband asked my son, “Would you rather have four Bobs, or no Bobs?” That immediately got my son thinking, and he responded that he was fine with the four Bobs.

Your book also helped me realize that I shouldn’t really treat my son any differently than I treat anyone else. Treating my son with more respect really worked with him. I could see that he just wanted to be loved and encouraged. He has been much more cooperative because I stay calm and patient, and he can see that I’m listening to him.

Thanks for your help!”

Michele Hawkins

“I actually purchased your book not for my own two kids, but because I am a classroom teacher and I thought that some of your strategies would work in the classroom. Knowing that you were an educator, I knew that you may have advice that could be used in this situation. I am in the process of implementing some of your ideas with a few of the children. I will keep you posted on this. I had used your Sleep Sense Program for my two children with fantastic results. I am sure that I will have the same with this!”

Karyn Hamilton

“I just wanted to thank you for the manual. It is absolutely full of great ideas which work. When in doubt, I always double-check what you suggest for specific problems. It seems to work a treat! Thanks again very much for your help!”

Fabienne Chatelis

“Kids: the Manual helped me to be a more mindful parent. I try to acknowledge my child’s feelings, and gently show him a more acceptable way. Using the timer during time-out has helped my child to calm down more quickly and stay in his chair for the duration without screaming or telling me I’m mean. He also loves to redeem his completed star chart for a prize at the toy store. He has learned to appreciate the things he has earned, and I hear less whining for new things.”

MaryParent to 4-year-old Drew

“I’m the mother of 15-month-old Jack. Although this book is geared towards children older than Jack, I wanted to read the book to “be prepared”!! Despite Jack’s age, I’ve taken the advice of being better organized. If I have a morning and evening plan, things seem to work a lot better… less frustration for all of us! Thanks, Dana, for being such a wonderful teacher.”

SarahSherbrooke, QC