“Firstly, I would like to take this chance to say THANK YOU, as I’ve not only read and used Kids: The Manual, but also the Sleep Sense and Food Sense programs. I love your clear and common-sense approach to parenting. Often, it is reassuring to read someone else’s ideas and know that you’re not too far off track, or need to look at a situation from a different perspective.

Our children are 4, 2, and 4 months. Alecia, our eldest, has been the “guinea pig,” and has been the first to benefit from what I’ve learned in each of your programs, and it’s become standard procedure for Taya, our second, and now Daniel, who will also benefit as the time comes.

In regards to Kids: The Manual, I’m a chronic over-talker, so have really turned my over-talking down to the bare minimum when needed. I’ve also taken more time to listen to the kids and show them attention, rather than just continuing on with what I was doing and trying to listen. Alecia and now Taya respond better to requests, and there are fewer battles going on than a few months ago.

Specifically, the girls have one room in the house that they are responsible for keeping tidy – the rumpus room. Earlier in the year, it was a constant source of angst between the kids and I to get them to keep this area tidy. There were many threats made, and much yelling, bribing, and frustration. More often than not, the room would be left in a mess and I would be cleaning it up after the girls had gone to bed.

After following the methods and guidelines in Kids: The Manual, our girls need very little asking to keep their room tidy, or they know there will be appropriate consequences. Even though Taya is only 2, she sees Alecia tidying up and is starting to help and accepts this as normal behavior to keep their play area tidy. This behavior has also extended to their bedrooms. If they know there are friends coming over and the rumpus room has to be tidy, they also voluntarily tidy their rooms as well.

I think your programs are great in that it’s “common-sense parenting” – nothing fancy or difficult. Simple, easy to follow, and back to basics – love it!”

Narelle BormannSouth Australia

“My son is 3½, and each day he amazes me with his observations of the world and achievement of new skills. At 3½ years old, he is also well into the stage of development that includes pushing the limits, whining, saying “no,” throwing tantrums, and repeating not-so-good phrases and actions that he has observed from TV, other kids and, yes, even his parents. He has also come to realize that he too can have power or control over a situation and is constantly testing how this works.

Although in my professional life I work with children, some with very challenging behaviors, I needed to ground myself in someone else’s expertise in order to better manage how I engage with my own child in those more stressful moments. That is why I decided to purchase Kids: The Manual. I had signed up to receive your e-mails about sleep issues when my son was younger and I found your advice to be practical and made sense.

And that is what I find your new resource to be: practical and makes sense for real life. It is also very easy to follow and visually can be scanned quickly to find the parts I like to refer back to.

Reading your book helped me to pay attention and to realize that yes, I do give choices, but I also bribe and threaten a little too much. I do “listen” to my child, but I also need to remember that just like adults, they more often than not need to have their feelings acknowledged before we can move on.

But I think most of all, Kids: The Manual helped me to realize that when I am tired and stressed by timelines and a multitude of tasks, my fuse gets shorter and my voice rises and I become the authoritarian instead of authoritative parent. Or I become permissive and inconsistent (threatening a time-out and only following through after the behavior was demonstrated not once, but a few more times). And nobody wins or feels better in these situations.

What has become clearer for me as I use Kids: The Manual (and when I say use, I mean that I often revisit it to tune myself back in… it is not meant to be read just once!) is that I don’t like to see my child upset or sad or crying (e.g., because they really do or don’t want something), but I also don’t want my child to be confused or ashamed, which could come from inconsistent/permissive parenting. When I find myself getting frustrated, I recall your book and remind myself that if I keep my voice and emotions even, keep my words concise, and make sure that I follow through even if I don’t like to hear them cry, it all pays off and my son’s behavior (although not perfect) is 10 times better.

Your book helped me to realize my strengths as well as my areas for improvement, which is really important because for all my good praising and listening skills, if I am not calm, concise, and consistent in dealing with the “bad” behavior, then things won’t change or move in a more positive direction. Thank you for putting together this resource. I have recommended it to other parents.”

Jennifer MacKendrick Weber

“Thanks for the manual. We went into it again only last week to find some more tips. I especially liked the part about relevant consequences. For our 3-year-old, none of our “consequences” to bad behavior were working – not because we were not following through on them but, I think now, because he didn’t understand why he had them, so the behavior kept repeating.

For example, he was a boomerang in bed! We tried a star chart, the naughty step, and then telling him he couldn’t watch TV in the morning when he got up (at 5 a.m. – which was more of a punishment for us in the end!).

However, when the consequence was having the door shut for five minutes so he would stay in bed, he didn’t like it – and understood after a few times that this would be the consequence of getting out of bed. So now he still gets out of bed, but he calls from the stairs to tell us that he is going to the bathroom, or to get a glass of water and then will get straight back into bed – and he does!

It’s one down, several to go. The big thing for us at the moment is whingeing and whining.

Thanks for this – and I still recommend The Sleep Sense Program to all my new parent friends and family.”

Louise Maxwell

Kids: The Manual had some different ideas that I had not come across. I have started applying several of the suggestions and they are getting me positive results. I have a 3-year-old, a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old, all girls. Specific examples are:

With all 3 of my girls, I have used mirroring back their feelings. This has helped significantly because it seems to stop them on their path of complaining or prepping for a tantrum and instead they calm down. It’s also beneficial for me in that it gives me a moment to calm down and reflect on how they are feeling rather than how I am frustrated.

I also have seen results from using choices rather than bribes or threats. I’ve been wanting to get away from threats for a long time and this is a great tool. I’m still learning about what choices to give, but the kids usually opt for the right one.

Another positive has been to listen better and let up on the advice and judgments. This has especially been helpful with my 10-year-old. We can have a conversation and she can walk away feeling good about talking to me rather than regretting it.

Overall, I loved how simple and to the point this book is. I can go back and review easily.”

Monica Gibson

“I have found the book Kids: The Manual an easy-to-read and easy-to-use resource. I especially enjoy the workbook. I found the introduction to each section a wonderful “highlight” and reminder of what I should remember to do. It was phrased in an easy manner with key points to focus on.”

Beth MoultonInfant Preschool Development Educator Alberta Health Services