Calmer, easier, happier parents all round

Parenting, and how to develop a parenting style that helps your children be more confident and want to cooperate (without complaint and without having to be reminded) was the subject of our evening event on Monday July 16.

It was a sell-out, and it took a while to move enough tables in the shop out of the way to make room for all the mums, dads and grandparents who came along to pick up some tips on how to take some of the difficulties out of looking after children.
Parenting guru Noël Janis-Norton has spent many years developing her parenting techniques, which are now collected in her book  ‘Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting’, which is currently one of the best-selling books on parenting.

In a mixture of good advice, questions, and even a little role play, the audience was taken through Noel’s strategies to help children want to do as you ask, the first time of asking.

Her approach is based on remembering to praise your children when they get things right. She explained why focusing on bad behaviour can actually have a negative effect and why nagging and reminding them when they are doing something wrong is a strategy that is stressful for both parent and child.

Constantly finding things to praise is often counter-intuitive and parents often have to work hard to succeed, but the result is that children are reinforced with positive images of the behaviour their parents would like to see and Noel said she has never known her strategies fail.

She also gave us the science behind it, explaining that in focusing on helping children picture correct behaviour you help to programme their long-term memories, which is what guides repeated behaviour.

Noel encouraged the audience - even if they were sceptical - to try her techniques, even if they found it difficult at first. She also encouraged sitting down with their children, making sure they knew exactly what behaviour is expected.

The final result is that children are more confident and self-reliant generally in their lives.
It was a fascinating evening and I doubt anyone went away without a resolve to try it out.
Noel’s next book will be about homework – and from the enthusiastic response to the evening on Monday, we are hoping she will come back next year and help us all take the stress out of homework! We may have to find a suitable with a bit more room...

Thanks very much to Noel, who travelled up from London on the day especially to attend the event. We sold out of the book on the evening - but I'm glad to say that more copies of her book have now arrived!

Update 2013 - Noel is returning to Abingdon on Wednesday May 22 to talk about the challenges of homework - find out more here.

(If you'd like to know a bit more about the evening, blogging Mum ChildLedChaos attended the evening and has written a fabulous blog on the event here, including more on Noel's approach, methods, and her extremely effective 'socratic' method of asking questions repeatedly to get to the root of specific problems raised by those in the audience!)

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