Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

by Laura Markham
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

by Laura Markham


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A groundbreaking guide to raising responsible, capable, happy kids

Based on the latest research on brain development and extensive clinical experience with parents, Dr. Laura Markham’s approach is as simple as it is effective. Her message: Fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish.

This remarkable guide will help parents better understand their own emotions—and get them in check—so they can parent with healthy limits, empathy, and clear communication to raise a self-disciplined child. Step-by-step examples give solutions and kid-tested phrasing for parents of toddlers right through the elementary years.

If you’re tired of power struggles, tantrums, and searching for the right “consequence,” look no further. You’re about to discover the practical tools you need to transform your parenting in a positive, proven way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399160288
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/2012
Series: The Peaceful Parent Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 112,713
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dr. Laura Markham is a clinical psychologist specializing in child development and parenting. The founder of, she supports parents every day in her private coaching practice and daily email inspirations. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two teenage children.

Table of Contents

Foreword Jack Canfield xv

Introduction: Secrets of Peaceful Parents xix

Part 1 Regulating Yourself

1 Peaceful Parents Raise Happy Kids 3

Your Number One Responsibility as a Parent 5

Breaking the Cycle: Healing Your Own Wounds 7

How to Manage Your Anger 11

How to Stop Yelling at Your Child 17

When Your Child Melts Down: How to Keep Your Cool 24

You Can Nurture Yourself While Raising Your Child 28

Ten Rules to Raise Terrific Kids 32

Part 2 Fostering Connection

2 The Essential Ingredient for Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids 39

Why Connection Is the Secret to Happy Parenting 40

Connection as Your Child Grows 41

Babies (0-13 Months): Wiring the Brain 41

Toddlers (13-36 Months): Building Secure Attachment 45

Preschoolers (3-5 Years): Developing Independence 51

Elementary Schoolers (6-9 Years): Foundation for the Teen Years 53

Connection Basics 55

How to Connect More Deeply with Your Child 57

How Do You Know When Your Relationship with Your Child Needs Work? 59

Connecting with a Difficult Child 61

Action Guides 64

Your Child's Emotional Bank Account 64

What's So Special About Special Time? 65

Daily Habits to Strengthen and Sweeten Your Relationship with Your Child 70

Use Connection to Get Your Child Out the Door In the Morning 73

Use Connection to make Bedtime Easier 76

Ten Ways to Become a Brilliant Listener 78

But How Do I Get My Child to Listen to Me?! 81

When Your Child Just Shuts Down 83

When You and Your Child Are Stuck in Negativity 85

Part 3 Coaching, not Controlling

3 Raising a Child Who Can Manage Himself: Emotion Coaching 91

Why Emotion-Coach? 93

Emotional Intelligence as Your Child Grows 94

Babies (0-13 Months): A Bedrock of Trust 94

Toddlers (13-36 Months): Unconditional Love 100

Preschoolers (3-5 Years): Empathy 105

Elementary Schoolers (6-9 Years): Emotional Self-Awareness 108

Emotion Coaching Basics 110

How Children Develop Emotional Intelligence 111

Empathy, the Foundation of EQ 111

Your Child's Emotional Backpack 116

Understanding Anger 119

Meeting Your Child's Deepest Needs 122

EQ Coaching with a Difficult Child 124

Action Guides 127

Seven Steps to Nurture Emotional Intelligence in Your Child 128

Emotion-Coaching Your Child Through a Meltdown 130

When Your Child Acts Out but Can't Cry: Building Safety 137

Playing with Your Child: Games for Emotional Intelligence 139

Additional Resources: Scripts for Sibling Conflicts 145

4 Raising a Child Who Wants to Behave: Dare Not to Discipline 147

The Dirty Little Secret About Discipline and Punishment 149

Guidance as Your Child Grows 156

Babies (0-13 Months): Empathic Redirection 156

Toddlers (13-36 Months): Sidestepping Power Struggles 157

Preschoolers (3-5 Years): Learning Self-Management 161

Elementary Schoolers (6-9 Years): Developing Positive Habits 163

Setting Limits with Empathy: The Basics 164

The Sweet Spot Between Strict and Permissive 164

Should You Spank Your Child? 170

Is Yelling the New Spanking? 172

Transform Your Time-Outs to Time-Ins 173

The Truth About Consequences 176

Does Positive Parenting Work with a Difficult Child? 179

Action Guides 180

How to Set Empathic Limits 181

How to Help Kids Who Test the Limits 185

Wean Yourself Off Consequences: Twelve Terrific Alternatives 187

How to Intervene in the Heat of the Moment 191

Empowering Kids to Make Amends with the Three Rs: Reflection, Repair, and Responsibility 193

Preventive Maintenance 194

What If Your Child Crosses the Line? 195

Additional Resources: Scripts 199

5 Raising a Child Who Achieves with Joy and Self-Esteem: Mastery Coaching 201

What Is Mastery Coaching? 203

Building Mastery as Your Child Grows 207

Babies (0-13 Months): The Budding Scientist 207

Toddlers (13-36 Months): Do It Myself: Developing Response-Ability 212

Preschoolers (3-5 Years): Self-Mastery Through Problem Solving 216

Elementary Schoolers (6-9 Years): Exploring Passions 220

Mastery Basics 227

Encouraging Mastery 227

How Kids Develop Resilence 229

Giving Constructive Feedback 231

How to Avoid Helicopter Parenting 235

What If You Have a Child Who Doesn't Develop Mastery Naturally? 237

Action Guides 240

Create a No-Blame Household 240

Developing Responsibility 242

Developing Good Judgment 244

Homework Without Tears 246

Trust Your Child-and Mother Nature 248

Afterword 251

When to Seek Professional Help 251

The Future Is in Your Hands 252

Acknowledgments 253

Further Reading 255

Notes 259

Index 263

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Parents, this is the book we've all been waiting for. Dr. Laura Markham’s compassion, wisdom, common sense, love and understanding radiates in each carefully chosen word, example and suggestion throughout this well-written, easy-to-read, delicious book on peaceful parenting. From her chapter on effectively managing anger, ‘Listen to your anger, rather than act on it,’ to my favorite quote, ‘Your child is acting like a child because he is one,’ you’ll know you’ve found your parenting bible. Thank you, Dr. Markham.”
— Rev. Susan Nason, Parent Educator and Consultant

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