Advanced search

Adopting the parenting suggestions in 'Calm Parents, Happy Kids' book, support thread?

(12 Posts)
MrsMargoLeadbetter Wed 09-Nov-16 17:59:15


Anyone read/reading Calm Parents, Happy Kids by Dr Laura Markham? Link

I love her website and having seen her talk in London at the start of the year, we have dropped threatening consequences and life at home is better and the DC's behaviour is actually a litte better and home feels nicer.

DH and I want to make some changes as outlined out in the book to become more connected with our DC.

Anyone want to support each other as we do that on this thread?


Penguin13 Wed 09-Nov-16 20:46:23

Hi Margot. Would love to join this thread. Great idea as the theory is one thing but sometimes the practice is quite another! Love the book and the website though. I am guessing from your post that your DC are older than mine - I have one DD who will be 2 in December and another on the way due at end of March. We are just hitting the tantrum stage here so not really needing discipline as such but behaviour definitely getting harder to manage!

MrsMargoLeadbetter Thu 10-Nov-16 17:24:56


Thanks for yr reply. I have DS (8) and DD (3).

Just away at the mo and reading the book. DS is a great kid but I feel we expect behaviour from him that is beyond his years. Maybe because we have such a gap, he seems so grown up compared to DD. Also, we only have a couple of years before we 'lose' him to his mates/social media etc so want to try to improve relations.

There are lots of things I want to try, but don't want to try to attempt it all at once.

Think (DH and I need to agree) we are going to try:

- 15 mins of special time with each of them a day
- hug them more each day, the book says 12 times a day, think DS might think we have gone mad (!) but will try for more than now
- Go to bed earlier ourselves so we are less tired

What about you Penguin? What are you looking to address/change?

Northend77 Fri 11-Nov-16 10:18:25

This might be something I should look into as my own stress levels have rocketed recently and I've just about had it with my kids - this morning one of them has actually pushed me to breaking point

I have twin girls who were 2 in October so a similar age to Penguin's DD and I am finding them VERY hard work. They are at nursery all day Tue-Fri and my parents have them all day on a Monday/. We see them for only a few hours a day in the week so try to make up for it at the weekend. Weekends don't seem to be too bad but weekdays are just horrible for the most part. I am shattered and just don't have the tolerance for their typical toddler behaviour which makes me feel guilty and useless and then upset (doesn't help that I'm ill and work is very up in the air at the moment) but I hate how things are and I really want to change the atmosphere as it's affecting my relationship with my husband and my girls and my sanity

Penguin13 Fri 11-Nov-16 21:35:54

Sorry for the late reply, not very well and feel like the stuffing has been completely knocked out of me ideal on the day I look after DD instead of working was all I could do to muster the energy to stay upright.

I guess at the moment I am mainly looking to lay good foundations in terms of how we deal with DDs typical toddler behaviour and increasing tantrums though I haven't got any great plans at the moment. I do aim to do lots of connection play after nursery each day and am trying to give her my full attention for that time. I've also found that riding out tantrums with her and letting her know it's OK to express how she is feeling (with loving boundaries in place like no hitting/hurting) does seem to help. It might not head off the tantrum in the short term but it does seem to lead to a calmer DD in the aftermath.

That sounds stressful North and you have my absolute sympathy dealing with toddler behaviour times two. There are times when I just barely manage to hold it together with just one!

How's it going so far Margo? Sounds like you have some concrete manageable things to try.

HarimadSol Sat 12-Nov-16 18:54:28

I've been trying some of the ideas in this book. I am struggling a bit because my oldest is two and only just starting to be verbal, and some of the suggestions are very much conversation based! (Such as When the 3 year old hits the baby) So I am unsure what to do. It's hard to keep calm when the baby is being pushed over and kicked! And it doesn't seem to be when DD1 is angry or frustrated, she just seems to be investigating what happens.

I've also been reading No Bad Kids, which is also helpful.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 13-Nov-16 08:07:21

Hello all

Northend you sound like you have such a lot on your plate. flowers

My kids are in childcare too, so I feel like I have to make the most of the time we are together.

One of the key messages I took from the book is that you need to parent with your cup 'full'. Which is extremely easy to type but much more challenging to achieve, esp with twins I imagine. Can you get more sleep? I know I feel a conflict of wanting to stay up and have 'me' time.

There are lots of articles on her site, but as Harimadsol says they don't all seem workable.

Penguin sorry to hear you are poorly. Sounds like you are already doing an Aha approach to tantrums, which is good. I am guessing a calmer DD after shows she has found it better as it were?

Harimadsol it is difficult watching them harm each other isn't it? I remember my own DM being almost incredulous that 2 people she loved wanted to harm each other when we were kids. I feel that now. sad What have you taken from the other book?

I read (I do love a self-help book!) Siblings Without Rivalry and I found the message about not comparing them useful and something that I have managed not to do. So, trying not to say things like "Well your brother has finished". And I think that has really worked for us.

We had day 1 yesterday. DH & I have just had a rare kids free break, so we are starting with a particularly 'full cup'! But we had a good day. Things I did:

- Actively stopped myself from picking both of them up on little things. Have noticed with other friends (when we holidayed at half-term) how many more times we picked up our kids (eg "Don't walk there, don't do that") compared to them.

- Cuddled them more throughout the day

- Tried to ignore my urge to hurry DD along with getting dressed and made it a little more into a game

- Spent less time on my phone/screen

- Tried to go to sleep at a sensible time both on Fri & last night

So, a good start, but the issue will be during the week when there is actually a rush. I know DH & I have got into a pattern of desperately wanting to get to work/work started asap. And actually either/both of us starting 15 mins later would still work. I think for us, we have fallen into negative patterns....

Hope you all have good & calm Sundays smile

megletthesecond Sun 13-Nov-16 08:16:16

This is where parenting books don't work for lp's. I like the idea of needing to parent with my 'cup full' but it's been empty for years and I'll never get that break or sleep to re-fill it.

I always try to do the 15 mins quiet time with each but it's never worked because they're so determined to squabble and annoy the other sibling when they're with me. I've even considered locks with PIN codes on each bedroom door so they don't start on each other during bedtime stories <<sigh>>.

Penguin13 Sun 13-Nov-16 08:22:30

I know what you mean Harimad not much chance of any meaningful 2 - way conversation with DD at nearly 2!

Re the pushing/kicking that must be so hard to deal with calmly and it's something I'm almost sure will come up for us when the new baby arrives. I can see how the verbal approach would be tricky at that age too. At a friend's house recently who had a new baby her DS was gentle with the baby but hit and pushed my DD a few times and it seemed to be that he was doing it for attention as despite being told off quite sternly he did it repeatedly and it was almost like he knew he would get some attention even if it was negative. Not sure I have any definitive answers as to the right response but I wonder whether part of the solution might be an extra special effort to connect with your eldest during calmer moments - of course easy for me to propose as I only have one so far!

HarimadSol Sun 13-Nov-16 11:36:04

What I've been trying to do from the other book is to make as small a deal of it as possible - let it roll off my back, stop her calmly, saying that if she does it again she'll need to go in the play pen to keep dd2 safe. Not as a punishment! So I stay in the room with both of them, give her things to play with, keep talking about other things with her. Seems like the less fuss about it there is, the less she does it. I just struggle to let it roll off my back.

The stuff I do find useful are the tips on being more playful and how to handle tantrums - we haven't had very many recently, hurray!

MrsMargoLeadbetter Thu 17-Nov-16 21:38:47


Meglett agree it must be diff to have a 'full cup' as a lp. Do you get any respite?

How has your week been?

I had a difficult time with DS at bedtime during the week. Dr Laura says transitions are challenging for kids. I felt myself wanting to shout but didn't.

DH is in bed ill tonight. And the DC were so sweet taking him drinks & food up. I really think the extra cuddles, attention and being kind has made a difference this week.

I have also made a big effort to let them do the little things they wanted instead of just rushing them along. DD wanted to put a teddy bear in the cot before she got into bed. So I let her. It only took a couple of mins, she was happy and it meant I didn't say anything negative to her.

So feels like a good week. Just need to keep it up forever!!

justonesherryformedicinalpurpo Fri 18-Nov-16 17:35:38

I'm glad I've seen this post. I've noticed I'm becoming quite stressed at times and have become quite verbal in letting it out. Not screeching or anything, just moaning to myself loudly but I'd rather keep it to myself as it's unnecessary negativity which I don't want to have an impact on my DC. So ideally I'd like to cope with all situations - big and small - better.

I have two DDs. 21mo and 3mo.

Older DD is generally quite accepting of 3mo atm although it did make me laugh yesterday when baby was kicking her little legs against me and DD1 thought she was being mean so she tried to stop her and was shouting no! I have noticed though that DD1 does become quite unsettled when DD2 is having a meltdown. She will shout no and sometimes get upset herself. I'm just explaining that baby is allowed to be upset and try and think of ways we can settle her together like when I'm in the bath and cradling her isn't really an option!

DD1 is also expressing her frustration by hitting her head now, either with her hand or against the floor! No idea why but I remember seeing my younger brother do this as a young toddler. I don't make a deal of it and although it hasn't decreased yet it certainly hasn't got worse.

Today I've had a rough day and I just feel it is starting to negatively impact the household so I'm trying to toughen up and deal with my own emotions better. I'm not crying or having a rampage but as I said earlier I do tend to make it clear when I'm feeling the pressure.

I'm looking forward to giving this book a read (when I get the chance!) and already feel more positive.

How's it going for everyone else?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now