Tag Archives: renegade parenting

Go Up the Slide with Early Bird Gifts

Author update: Early bird gifts extended to March 13, 2016. A box arrived on my doorstep from Penguin Random House this week. I thought it was THE BOOK. Instead it was a batch of lovely postcards from the publisher, but … Continue reading

Posted in Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Go Up the Slide with Early Bird Gifts

  1. Deidra says:


  2. Anne Donn says:

    Congratulations on your new book. So happy to hear that it’s release is getting close. I love the title. What a great way of seeing the world, as you go up the slide. All is well here.

  3. Saundra Fischer says:

    I am so excited about your new book! Your work has probably influenced me more as a parent and educator than any other author. Meeting you was a highlight last year. Thank you for all that you do!

Of Karate Kids and Soccer Moms

Karate. Ballet. Soccer. Swimming. Hockey. Art lessons. Music lessons. Theater class. Children’s choir.  The number of enrichment classes out there for children is mind-blowing. Chances are, if you have kids, you’ve signed your child up for one of these fun-filled … Continue reading

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Fantastic Fiction: Encouraging Young Writers

As our family moves through public school, I’ve heard six years’ worth of teachers explain why kids don’t write fiction in their class. “Frankly, kids aren’t very good at fiction. They only write about explosions, aliens and robots,” one teacher … Continue reading

Posted in Joyful Literacy | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

9 Responses to Fantastic Fiction: Encouraging Young Writers

  1. deidra says:

    Yes fiction writing is alive and well in our school. My son’s stories are so creative. He is becoming a great story teller. Is his spelling, grammar, and punctuation perfect? Absolutely not. There stories sometimes don’t flow very well, but most importantly they are really creative, funny and strange.

  2. ann says:

    I think the problem is teaching to the tests. It is crazy high stakes in public schools that have not found a creative way around to actually teach kids. For those schools that find ways to actually teach, they often find ways to develop the creativity in kids. Creativity in one area helps in other areas. The problem is when you feel like you only have time to teach the facts, the basics, the test, then you can look at creativity as a luxury instead of a necessity. I sure hope this will change soon.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Thanks for your comments, Ann. You’re right, it must seem like a luxury, and you’re so right how creativity flows from one area to the next.

  3. I’m so happy you wrote this one. My best childhood moments were being alone, making up wild stories about witches and queens, and yes, even princes and princesses, but the witches, oh I had such good and terrible witches. And in these fantasies, I was allowed to die and resurrect on a regular basis. It is truly the basis for an active imagination.

  4. Jan Waters says:

    What are they doing to creativity???? They are dumbing down kids’ education! Who are these people who don’t value the creative spirit? Preschoolers write wonderful stories and an adult can write it down. We are not educating scholars we are educating technicians. Jan

  5. Anna says:

    That teacher’s reasoning is so crazy. I presume she has also cancelled math, since some kids aren’t that good at it? And art – after all, 6-year-olds’ drawings are hardly known for artistic merit. In my first years of piano lessons, my playing really sucked – clearly my parents should have quit giving me music lessons. In fact, isn’t it the very nature of any skill that needs to be taught and/or practiced, that the student is bad at the beginning?

  6. Katrin says:

    My son’s teacher has them write journal pages twice a week. They all have a blank top for a picture and then lines to write something. Some start with prompters such as “I wish”, “My Mom”, “I wonder”.
    He writes the most hilarious 1-4 sentence stories in his first grade spelling with really simple but extremely expressive pictures.
    I wish there was more writing and encouraging to write, but it seems like I should be happy about what his teacher already does.

Flash Card Babies

This morning I watched a mother hold her six-month-old baby. They were watching a screen together and the mother was singing along a counting song. “Twenty-two, twenty-three…” There was nothing truly wrong with the scene except expectations. The baby was … Continue reading

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9 Responses to Flash Card Babies

  1. So much common sense wisdom in such a simple message. Thank, Heather.

  2. Erika Cedillo says:

    Absolutely loved this post Heather, thank you! I know parents that have been doing flashcards with their kids since very early in their life, for me it didn’t feel good. Now your post has put it so clear. It is about time, but give time for every stage of development and allow them to play and let them get the concepts at a more appropriate time. Take time, don’t rush time, loved this!
    And I specially liked when you talk about parents dreading their kids fall behind, once again this is another issue that is about the parents and not the kids. I’ve worked, and keep working, on keeping my own expectations at bay and just allow my daughters to unfold their beautiful and brilliant characters at their own time.
    Thanks again!!

  3. Kirsten says:

    To my nearly 4-year-old, “yesterday” is any day that was in the past. Certainly makes things confusing for us when she’s talking about something that occurred almost a year ago, but she’s formulating how time works. She knows Tuesday is recycle truck day, but I have no idea if she understands the frequency of that occurrence, and that’s okay. She’ll get there and I’m so grateful to have advocates like you.

  4. Anna says:

    I remember reading something somewhere (maybe an REI site?) pointing out that before you try to “teach” your baby something, you need to ask yourself what he would have been learning in that time that you’ve now displaced, and which was more important.

    If the kid is 6 months old, there’s not even any kind of doubt: what nature was teaching him during those minutes was far more important than the numbers or letters you decided to drill: e.g., sensory integration, correlation of cause-and-effect, the fundamentals of universal grammar, recognition of key phonemes in his native language. . .

    Anybody who thinks counting or memorizing the number series is more important than these things is simply a moron, and shouldn’t be trying to direct anybody’s education.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Lovely point. I often think in terms of “opportunity cost.” What are you giving up to make time for what you are doing?

  5. fionasamummy says:

    I used to sing numbers to baby B when I was so exhausted I couldnt think of any songs. Great article though.

Going Up the Slide

It’s here! So excited, wanted to share with you this beautiful cover for my new book It’s OK to Go Up the Slide. We still have to wait for the book – coming in spring – but thought you’d like … Continue reading

Posted in Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

10 Responses to Going Up the Slide

  1. Emily Plank says:

    So excited for you! How fun to see a cover!! :) Our field needs more of your wisdom, so I am really glad you have a second book to offer!!

  2. Bj Richards says:

    I can hardly wait! I gave your first book to all my families!!

    I recommend it to everyone!! Everywhere I go I refer people to your book. I have been doing child care for 39 years and your book is my all time favorite!!!

    Thank you
    Bj Richards

  3. Mary Haley says:

    I, too, have given the book to family and enjoy renegade discussions! Looking forward to the new book!

    Cover Idea: How about adding additional kids waiting to climb UP the slide!

  4. Cynthia Zapel says:

    You are amazing, Heather !! Congrats on your second innovative book. I wish I had such a book when I was raising my children. I also like the book cover-how appropriate.
    Thank You, Cynthia Zapel

  5. Warmest congrats. The cover is perfect and I am so thrilled with the title–yes, it’s just right for that next step in the child-rearing. Let them play.

  6. Congratulations and good luck with the new book. Looking forward to reading it and passing it on to those who need it much more than I do.


  7. Heather Shumaker says:

    Thank you! So glad you like the cover. Can’t wait to share the real book with you soon.

  8. Katrin says:

    I cannot wait to read it! I’ve already hooked some families to “It’s ok not to share”, and I do already know that I’m going to get a copy for them and me.
    I love your ideas and your down to earth approach to parenting.

Playing with Fire: Why Risk is Good for Kids

I’m back after a lovely, non-computer time this summer. We spent a lot of our time playing and traveling, including camping and playing with fire. OK, I don’t have tots anymore. My youngest is seven, and that’s a wonderful age … Continue reading

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8 Responses to Playing with Fire: Why Risk is Good for Kids

  1. Jan Waters says:

    Heather, again you are right on. I remember letting my grandkids light a whole box of matches while I watched and then blow out the candle. We have campfires a lot in my backyard and I let the kids play and poke. One granddaughter said she was doing experiments. Risk taking is so important to educating. Its fun to read your wriing what I’ve always believed. Jan

  2. Lydia says:

    I totally agree! I have so many happy memories from my own childhood, of fire building.
    I love the sound of your new book too, my daughter is a slide climber upper! ?

  3. Fire building is a terrific way to teach safety and risk. I started making campfires under the watchful, expert eye of my mother the first year we went family camping. I was 10. A child needs to feel the intense heat from a small fire, feel the burn when he touches a seeming harmless point of a stick that’s been poking in red-hot coals, and see how fast a small fire can flare up when the damp wood has finally dried enough to really blaze away.

    My not so foolish risky behavior is taking solo wilderness canoe trips in my late 50s (and hope to do so well into my 60s). But I’m experienced, cautious, and never bite off more of a trip than I can chew. The main risks are Mother Nature nailing me with a bolt of lightning or a strong wind blowing a tree down onto my tent while I sleep. Capsizing in the middle of a large lake during high winds is a good example of mindless, intentionally foolish behavior. I’ll arrive home a day late if necessary rather than risk paddling across a whitecap filled lake by myself.

    Glad you brought up the topic of teaching kids to take risks. It’s an important topic too often ignored in the age of helicopter parenting when parents seek to eliminate all risks for their children.


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Happy canoeing, Chris! And so glad your early campfire burning days have continued to serve you well. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Anna says:

    I agree! My son is only three, so as yet I’ve only let him throw twigs on the campfire, but more soon, hopefully. I do, however, let him cook his own oatmeal on our gas stove in the morning. He does great and he’s very cautious. I read a very helpful suggestion a while ago that when teaching a child to use the stove, you should have them actually use their hand to feel different distances from the flame to figure out what’s safe and what isn’t, and I found it to be great advice.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Great tip about stoves! Sounds as if you and your son will have many fine adventures ahead. Thanks for sharing your story.

Rewards versus Celebrations

Rewards are all around our children. Stars. Sticker charts. Prizes. Many of us automatically reward good behavior or new accomplishments with food. Even if you don’t dole out frequent rewards in your family, chances are your child is being loaded … Continue reading

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2 Responses to Rewards versus Celebrations

  1. Marisol says:

    Thanks for share this information. I have three childs and the prizes were foods or candies. It is bad this.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Try to remember the reward that comes inside the child. Then share your joy with the child’s inner joy. That’s what counts!

How to Grow a Grown-Up

“Bold, clear and lifesaving. Vicki Hoefle is in the business of helping parents grow great grown-ups.” That’s the cover quote on Vicki’s new book The Straight Talk on Parenting: A No-Nonsense Approach to How to Grow a Grown-Up. 2015 is … Continue reading

Posted in Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

10 Responses to How to Grow a Grown-Up

  1. Amy Sue says:

    My biggest parenting struggle is with our 8 & 10 year olds. They argue about screen time limits, and are constantly bickering with each other. It’s exhausting!

  2. Jenifer says:

    This sounds great! My girls are now 2 and nearly 5. They crave independence, and I try to give it to them, but would love to learn more about how to give them the skills they need!

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Jenifer – Congrats! You’re the winner of the book. Enjoy the wonderful journey ahead of giving more independence to your children. Best wishes, Heather

  3. Irene says:

    I would love to parent my son without yelling or bribing him!

  4. Swen says:

    Our greatest struggle is with our 4 year old daughter, being very strong-headed, testing our limits and her owns every day and all the time. When we as parents are sleep deprived from our younger one, it gets exhausting.

  5. Linda says:

    Sounds excellent!! We have 2.5 yr old triplets. Feels like we’re in the throws of it all right now and we’ve only just begun!

  6. Cari Noga says:

    I have a 9 y.o. son with special needs and a 6 year old typical daughter. Exhausted trying to be fair to both. Also worried my special needs son is not ever going to be able to leave home. I definitely need help growing 2 grownups.

  7. Alyson S says:

    I would love to win this book! I struggle so much with losing my patience

  8. Dawn Sparks says:

    I have a 5 and 3 year old. Our current biggest problem is helping them deal with anger and disappointment in appopriate ways. It’s pointing out my issues in dealing with my own big emotions!

  9. Jose says:

    their children were well rueodnd with doing homework and other things, that’s great for you; however, did your child honestly get the family time he/she craved?? Also, she said she didn’t agree with homework for children 11 and under. Therefore, from the 7th grade & up your child would have homework & this should be good enough because there is more to learn and less time per class to learn it but should they really have between 2 & 3 hours worth of homework?? Ok I’m finished, but kudos and I’m glad you take a stand every year for your children.21

Why Accelerating Reading Harms Kids and Books

We’re in a mad rush to speed up childhood again. This time rushing them through the delights of children’s literature. Children are asked to read “at their level.” For schools participating in the Accelerated Reader program (owned by a publicly … Continue reading

Posted in Books for Kids, Good Reads, Joyful Literacy, Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Why Accelerating Reading Harms Kids and Books

  1. Marisol says:

    Thanks for sharing . You always interesting points brindas views about reading .
    I am reading but my children do not
    Freshly at that picture books comics process the routing will
    Forcing thought I could achieve something.
    Now with your contributions better I understand my children
    Congratulations on this special feeling for children

  2. Ariadne says:

    Heather, what a wonderful ideas you share here. I love this “Once they can read independently, kids should be able to move freely within the vast treasure trove of children’s literature.” and this is what we try to encourage in our home as well. Thank you!

  3. deidra says:

    Reading is such a complicated thing. I abhor the leveled reading books as they are boring and yes I will say TOO EASY. Typically they were all about working on a certain phonetic pattern and had no story whatsoever. BORING. I don’t think reading should ever be rushed EVER! It is a sure fire way to turn kids off reading forever. Your child will be your guide when it comes to reading readiness. Let them pick out whatever they want to read regardless of level or literary merit. so much more fun when you go to the library or book store and let them choose with no restrictions or judgement. So cool to see what book they come back with easy, hard, or just right!

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Yes, I think we forget that teaching reading is also about teaching storytelling. A story worth telling should be engaging – no matter how simple the words. There are so many good picture book authors who understand this. Children who are independent readers and children who are learning to read deserve to read something worthwhile.

  4. Love the concept of Thinking Level vs Reading Level. Some of my fondest reads as a child were going back and rereading at age 8 a book I had first mastered at age 6, or rereading at age 10 a book I had first mastered at age 8. It was like getting reacquainted with an old friend I hadn’t seen for a while.

    It’s so frustrating that educators focus on the outcomes of education almost to the exclusion of the processes and progressions of education. Every individual learns uniquely, but still we try to achieve the ultimate one-size-fits-all solution. In my fantasy world, every child has an adult mentor who gently guides them through the childhood learning process and adapts any specific “lessons” that are presented to the child’s mindset and learning process at that precise moment.


  5. Shannon S says:

    I could not agree with you more. My 7th grade English class used the Accelerated Reader program. I was an enthusiastic, lifelong reader and an ambitious, eager-to-please student. Naturally, I gravitated to the books with the biggest numbers on the list – why would you not want the most points??

    I have no memory of those books.

    I was capable of reading the words and understanding the sentences, but I was still just 11 years old and just not ready to deal with the complexity of the ideas of the books yet. Bless my younger self for trying, I suppose, but it’s very clear to me now (20 years later) that no purpose was served by this correlation between books and points.

  6. Mike Huber says:

    This has always bothered me. I remember when my child was in first grade and they put the board book Jamberry on their reading list. The school used AR, but I encouraged my child to read what they liked. Now my child is 12 years old. They read a few books at a time, volunteer at a local bookstore, and write their own fiction. They have a poem being published in a local journal this winter. When I think back to the uninspiring books my child was being asked to read in first grade, it makes me wonder why anyone would think that AR is going to create lifelong readers.

Siblings as Friends for Life: Book Giveaway

When people heard I was writing a sequel, they begged me to write about siblings. Sibling fights and hard feelings seem to be a near-universal struggle for families. Luckily, there are good resources out there, including Faber and Mazlish’s classic … Continue reading

Posted in Good Reads, Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , , | 100 Comments

100 Responses to Siblings as Friends for Life: Book Giveaway

  1. Sarah says:

    I would love this book! Heather’s book has already helped us so much with parenting and navigating our kids’ feelings and behaviours, and their sibling relationship, and I would love to add that with Dr. Laura’s new book!

  2. Blair Jackson says:

    My girls are 2.5 years apart. They adore each other but are intensely competitive, usually for our attention. I want to do everything I can to strengthen their bond for the long run! Can’t wait to read Dr. Markham’s book!!

  3. Tanya Ingram says:

    I work as a direct support worker and share the same beliefs as Dr. Laura. Our training through work follows Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s philosophy. It all really comes down to attachment. I am the oldest sibling of four and have 2 kids (one adult and one toddler). I would love to have this book as a resource for the families I work with.
    Love the aha parenting sight! Great info!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Really need this book! Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids changed my life. I’ve got 2 boys (3 and 5), and sometimes it feels like I’ve got 2 little monsters instead. Haha!

  5. Anne Marie says:

    Love Dr. Laura and I need this book. My kids are 4, 2 and 6 months. The older 2 are constantly at each other’s throats, and often physically hurt each other. I look forward to reading her advice on this.

  6. Christine Guptill says:

    Love Dr. Laura’s advice! The emails show up in my inbox and give me a little mommy boost every week. Our busy lives don’t allow a lot of time for critical reflection on how we nurture our kids, so it is so wonderful to have her there supporting us. My daughters are pretty good friends, but at times they are in each others’ faces… and since my hubby and I both had siblings of the other gender, I’d love to have more information about how to foster a great sister relationship!

  7. Sarah Zitterman says:

    Wow! This is exactly what we need right now. I have 4 boys who fight so much sometimes I worry that they will never grow up to love one another! This is honestly the number 1 biggest problem in our home right now.

  8. Christine Vaughan says:

    I have three sons in 5 years. Love that they’re close in age. However, I’m an only child with little to no clue about sibling dynamics. I would’ve loved having a sister or brother … can’t understand how some people don’t see the value in their sibling relationships.

  9. Angela meneghetti says:

    Very interested! I have two boys 3 and 5 yrs and a 7 month old girl. Would love some strategies to help the boys through their conflicts and also to help me with my eldest when he gets really difficult!

  10. Jenna says:

    Everyday I am in the throes of constant sibling arguments. I have Dr. Laura’s other peaceful parenting book and would love this one to add to my collection!

  11. Miet says:

    I loved Dr. Markham’s first book and all of her newsletters, and now that both of my children are mobile and verbal, this book comes at just the right time. They’re fighting constantly!

  12. Megan says:

    I have two boys and would love to nurture a loving relationship as they grow.

  13. Lisa k says:

    love dr Laura! My girls love each other but then seem to fight more when I am around. I need advice! Can’t wait for this book to come out!

  14. Chrysi Karpathiotaki says:

    Dr.Laura’s site, e-mails and book have been invaluable for our family.

  15. Lisa Withers says:

    I would love a copy of this book. I am the single mother by choice of 6 year old twins (boy/girl) who are sometimes absolutely inseparable and sometimes really sick of each other!


  16. Annette says:

    I’ve been a longtime fan of Dr. Laura and her wonderful, peaceful parenting advice. My kids are 22 months apart and the bickering and fighting has recently intensified. Dr. Laura’s book couldn’t come at a better time!

  17. Stacey says:

    Looking forward to this book. I have 4 children, 11, 6 and 4 year old twins. Twins have been challenging on sibling rivalry. Can’t wait to read!
    Thank you!

  18. Thuan Pham says:

    What an amazing conference, Unplug and Play was. It has inspired me to make so many changes with my parenting. I love that you and Dr. Laura Markham were able to have this meeting of the minds as a result of the conference! I would lover her sibling book because I have two kids, one that is almost 3 and one almost 8. There is such a big age gap between them that it’s hard sometimes for them to connect. I love some strategies to help them enhance their relationship.

  19. F.M. says:

    I’m the blessed mama of 3 beautiful girls who love each other immensely but who fight passionately. I myself have a sister who was my bestie growing up, but not as adults :( This book would be a wonderful resource in facilitating a strong lasting bond for my girls.

  20. LC says:

    I have a full sibling and a half sibling; both relationships have always seemed broken in different ways. I don’t want to make the same mistakes our parents did. I enjoyed Siblings Without Rivalry and am curious to read this book on the same topic.

  21. Cari Noga says:

    Slightly different take: I have an autistic son and typical daughter. While the battles are not fun, I am grateful for at least some engagement between the two. I’d be interested in this book if it offers advice I can implement in my situation. I would really like my kids to grow up friends since it appears my son will need an advocate after my husband and I can expect to be around…but that’s a lot of pressure to put on my six year old daughter. If this book doesn’t offer that, be interested in your or Dr. Laura’s recommendations for one that does.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Thanks for bringing this up, Cari. So many aspects of sibling dynamics. I’ll post what I learn from Dr. Laura about your question. From my knowledge of sibling books and special needs, there are several picture books explaining “why my sister’s different” and some how-to books for adult siblings on navigating care for a sibling with special needs. This doesn’t really address what you’re getting at. Sounds as if there may be a gap that needs addressing.

    • Cari,
      I wish I had a perfect book to recommend. I suspect it has yet to be written, by the parent of a child on the spectrum. I will say that I have seen many kids on the spectrum who have been parented as I recommend in this book, and they do respond to it and develop a more positive relationship. So while you will have to work harder to connect and to motivate your son to want to work things out with his sister, this approach will definitely help.

      I also want to share this note I received the other day from the mom of a boy with Autism:

      Hi Dr. Laura… I am so grateful to have found your site when my son was 2 years old. Your advice was essentially what I had done with him since he was a baby and then when, at 2 he started to have some challenging behaviors I started getting advice that he needed more “consequences” and just needed to learn and follow directions, that he needed “time outs” etc. I knew deep down in my heart that my son was a “cranky” baby and was now showing challenging behaviors because something in world just wasn’t right, not because of a lack of limits or “consequences”. Finding your site gave me permission, courage and tools to parent him the way I knew he needed to be parented despite all the advice I was getting. Fast forward a few years and we now know that my son has a rare speech disorder called Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing challenges. My heart knew he didn’t need punishment and I am beyond grateful for the tools you gave me to help him navigate his world, which is clearly a very difficult and different world from the one you and I are in. I am now immersed in a world of therapists and even more advice, some helpful, some not, but I always fall back on your teachings. Your lessons and words provide the underpinnings of how I approach everything with my son. Some days it feels like an impossible task to keep calm but then I remember how overwhelming his world must be. Not everything you advise works perfectly for us because of some of his challenges but parenting him with love and compassion has fostered in him a sense of confidence in spite of his challenges. He is a loving, sweet, sensitive little man but it takes time and real connection to see just how sensitive he is and how much he wants to connect. I really wanted to reach out because maybe there are other special needs parents out there wondering…but he/she has (fill in the blank), will this work…the resounding answer for us has been YES! I feel like because empathy is hard for him, because connection is hard for him, because he struggles in social situations that it is EVEN MORE important that we set loving limits and TEACH him about emotions and about how to be connected and how to express love. I don’t know where we would be without you. I can’t wait to read your book on siblings. We also have a beautiful 21 month old little girl who is happy and sweet and just filled with empathy and love. Thank you so much for all you do.”

      This mom does not address the sibling issues, but you can see that this kind of parenting will work with your son.

      Dr. Laura Markham

  22. Shannon says:

    I haven’t read wither book yet, but would be so greatful for a copy. I have a 1 year old and 3 year old and the feeds are increasing along with my loosing my temper more often. I don’t like raising Mt voice at all bc I know it simply causes more stress. Would live a copy!! Pick Me

  23. Amy Garrett says:

    I would love to win this book!

  24. Adriana S says:

    I was an only child, so raising 3 kids has been interesting. I would love this to help with the daily battles! It’s so important to me that they love and nurture each other because I won’t always be here for them.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Yes, being an only child and then navigating sibling interactions – so many parents share this with you.

  25. Cori says:

    Thank you – so excited to hear you two together. Love It’s Ok Not to Share and love my Aha! Parenting newsletters. Great tips.

  26. Maria says:

    Awesome !

  27. Genevieve says:

    I hope to learn ways to encourage my kids to be more cooperative with each other.

  28. Tania Watkins says:

    Yes please. I find it hard as my son a always bends to appease his sister who is 4 years younger.

  29. Naomi says:

    How do I teach her to love her sister and not simultaneously smack her sister over the head with a book, doll, truck, shoe, etc. that’s what we’re currently working on over here :)

  30. nicole says:

    I could really use this book. My girls (9 and almost 4) constantly battle and I am at my wits end. I am a single mom Thanks!!! :)

  31. Naz says:

    constant battle between my 5 and 2 year old this book will help me loads

  32. Jo says:

    Having had only one son for 15 years I never thought I would need to read a book on parenting. I now realise how much I need one ! I now have a 7 year old girl and 9 year old boy and Its a totally different ball game and I am older so need all the help I can get ! Many thanks

  33. Suzie says:

    Liked the interview and would love to win a book!

  34. Karen says:

    I am expecting my second child soon and I would love this book so we can get started off on the right foot in facilitating a great sibling relationship between my boys who will be about four years apart.

  35. Rebecca says:

    I would love this book. I have number two on the way and a very high needs number one :)

  36. Jamie says:

    Pick me! Pick me! ….wait now I sound like my little tiny boys! I would love a copy of the book! I want my two boys to be able to create & sustain a loving relationship. It would mean the world to me. I want to know when my husband and I are gone they will always have each other.

  37. zanele says:

    We live on a farm in South Africa with two of our children 2 yr old boy and 3 month girl. My husband and I practice Vipassana meditation so it was natural for us to be drawn towards compassionate communication. The arrival of our children deepened this aspiration. Today, my heart leaps with joy when I see my son showering his sister with kisses and love. But sometimes he pinches her and hits her and the agony, anxiety and fear that rises within me when he does that is calmed through remembering that his actions are communicating his feelings and needs, deep gratitude to Dr Laura’s book Calm Parents, Happy Kids. I remember how I danced like a child when the book arrived after I had bought it as my birthday gift last year Nov. I had waited three months for it (SA postal services were rioting) and I had surrendered that I might never see it. Yet it arrived and we are all loving it, we are turning our aspiration of living a peaceful, loving and connected life into an everyday reality. Our son now will say “I hit baba because I am angry” and I now have the wisdom to hold him and love him whilst guiding him towards being the naturally caring being that he is!!

  38. Melissa Vig says:

    I have two boys and I think this book would be a blessing to our family!!

  39. Susan K. says:

    I so need this book for my sanity!

  40. Mariko says:

    I need this book! My sons are 4 and 2. My husband and I are not very young so we really want them to be friends for life so that they can help each other after we pass away.

  41. Miranda says:

    Great advice and really works…when you use it!

  42. Sounds like an important book! My sons are only 3 and 9months but still important info. Love her blog:)

  43. jessica says:

    That book is just what I need, right when I need it.

  44. Kelly says:

    I just finished reading Siblings without Rivalry for the first time, and I’m itching to get my hands on more tools for sibling harmony!

  45. Lisa Farr says:

    I would love to receive this book, I struggle to know how to deal with my children’s constant fights and jealousy in a loving, constructive way.

  46. Amanda says:

    I hope I win! I have a deep desire to help foster a close bond between our children!!

  47. Grace says:

    One of THE best parenting tips I was given when I was expecting my second son, was that when there was a conflict, to remind my boys (ages 5 and 7) that they love each other, and that being kind and patient is part of that — to focus their energy on love. That has been a great help!

    Yours and Dr. Markham’s advice have provided invaluable scripts and new perspectives on how to teach and model that love! Thank you!

  48. BJ says:

    I loved her first book and am looking forward to the sibling book!!

  49. BJ says:

    I loved her first book and am looking forward to the sibling book!!!

  50. Christal Lepak says:

    My brother and I were all each one of had to rely on. After the death of my father, my mom lost it and was institutionalized for a bit. I had to grow up really fast and watch out for us. My brother had a speech impediment and b/c of that, the school stuck him in Special Ed. He didn’t need that and was academically average and above average when it came to engineering/electronics. He was picked on every day, so we had to look out for each other. Of course siblings have good and bad times in getting along with each other, but we knew we were each others shoulder to cry on. Today we are very close and I am so proud of the man (brother, husband, father, veteran) that he has become. Proud of you Robert Lepak Jr.

  51. andrea bisogno says:

    I would love this book! My kids are 16, 8, and 4. They have such sweet moments sometimes but I am so surprised how they fight and I am due for a new approach and understanding.

  52. Monica says:

    I loved Dr. Markham’s first book, Peaceful Parent… Would love to have similar tools for working through tough spots with my kids so that they continue to enjoy, love and protect each other as they get older.

  53. Jennifer says:

    I can’t seem to stay consistent in my parenting ways….I could use some help!

  54. sara says:

    I have an 8 year old daughter and a 7 year old son who get along fairly well most of the time. I struggle with their insistence on things being “even”; the same amount of time spent doing activities, being allowed the same privileges, etc. It always seems like a fight to stay even. I want them to understand that each one of them with have different experiences because they are individuals. I worry that we grouped them as a pair too often when they were younger, and now it’s a fight that we inadvertently created.

  55. Carolyn says:

    Can’t wait to apply what I learn with my children of 7,5, and 3 years!

  56. Sarah Hoops says:

    My sister is five+ years older than me. I mostly remember admiring her constantly and wanting to replicate her every move in childhood, and her fiercely recoiling from every effort. We have since become close friends in adulthood (after not speaking to each other for six months as a result of trying to travel in foreign countries together for two weeks, me in my late teens and her in her early 20s), and one memory stands out from my junior high years:
    One day she offered to put makeup on me. (shock… and elation!) After what I remember being ages and so many brushes and applicators, she showed me a mirror… and… I looked exactly as I did when we started? Yes, in the midst of all that show, she had put as close as possible to no makeup on me really. And she told me it was because, “you’re beautiful, just the way you are.”
    Please, don’t start believing we actually had an amazing relationship as children! I think I remember that moment because it was the only time she ever said anything nice to me (until adulthood and years after me prodded to find the weak spots in her armor where I can poke humor and love in!).
    I share this because it gives me hope! Focus on love, because it really is there even though siblings push each others’ buttons.
    Thank you, Heather, for hosting a day of Dr. Markham’s blog tour. Dr. Laura, your book has come out not a moment too soon. The strategies from your blog and first book give me an important element of hope and the tools to stay there with my husband and three children (8, 5.5 and 3). Thank you both for doing what you do!

  57. Amy Sue says:

    We have 6 children, aged 8, 10, 16, 19, 22, & 27. So far the oldest 4 are all very close, but our youngest 2 get along like baking soda and vinegar. I don’t know why, but obviously what we’ve always done isn’t working with those two. :p

  58. Raluca says:

    I have two kids almost 5 and 2. Dr Laura’s emails keep me going every day. A book on siblings would be a great addition.

  59. Sondra Laurent says:

    I would love to win this contest!

  60. This looks like a wonderful book. My girls are 16, 12, 7 and 4. You would think after 4 kids I would know what I am doing but I am still learning every day. As a homeschooling mom , I long for my kids to get along and for us to have a home filled with peace:)

  61. Lili yen says:

    i grew up as an identical twin with lots of emotional suppression from our parents. Would love this book to teach me how to raise my 2 little ones better.

  62. katrin says:

    Such an important topic as sibling rivalry can cause so many psychological wounds. And whatever the tone of the book, it must be awesome with a chapter about not sharing!

  63. MM says:

    Really liked “Peaceful Parent Happy Child” and looking forward to your new book! Really look forward to all the articles on your website too.

  64. Erin Huie says:

    I grew up with a lot of sibling conflict. We didn’t get along at all, and I don’t want that for my children. I want my children to be close from the start and to not wait until they’re adults to start talking to each other (like I did with my siblings).

  65. karen says:

    I have been trying to follow AHA Parenting principles, but have a 3 and 4yo who like to push each others’ buttons. Can’t wait to read this book!

  66. Louisa says:

    Yep, it’s a big issue in our household too – the whole sibling getting along thing. I’m always on the look out for new ways to improve the relationships in our household – after all, we only get one shot at this parenting malarkey. I would love a copy of this book. It looks fab!

  67. Jaime says:

    I am excited for this book! I have an 8 year old and 4 year old who fight constantly it seems. My 8 year old can be so mean and hurtful to her little sister, which makes my 4 year old react by hitting or screaming or sometimes just breaking down in tears. :( Then they make up and play nicely for a millisecond, and before I even have time to enjoy the peace they go right back to fighting. I need some new techniques because obviously what I’ve been trying isn’t working!

  68. Susan Ehlers says:

    Could really use this book! I have 2 girls 5 and 9 and boy 20 months. The girls are constantly fighting over everything.

  69. Krista says:

    I would love to win this book, as we are at the relative beginning of the sibling relationship with my two daughters, aged 3.5 and 11 months!

  70. Mary says:

    siblings should be friends for life. sounds like a great book!

  71. Hannah Williams says:

    Would love to get advice from this book to help my children (9 boy, 7 boy, 4 girl, 3 boy, 10wk boy) to get on better and really value and appreciate their siblings. So they can be a support to each other when my hubby and I are long gone.

  72. Megan says:

    This will be very relevant when our next baby arrives so we have a smooth start. Thank you!

  73. Julia says:

    I have two sons and I´d love to get some help handling their fights…
    I´m looking forward to this book and would love to win it.

  74. Bilyana Bawden says:

    Would love to win this book. I have 2 daughters (7 and 9) who are very close, best of friends but also rivals at times.

  75. Clarissa Gimbel says:

    Loved the soundbites about Dr. Laura Markham’s new book: parents need to regulate their emotions first in order to cope with our children’s emotions and conflicts – definitely struck a chord with me

  76. Brandi Wilcox says:

    Thank you so much for this! I have not read either book but they are both on my list now :) The last bit really hit home which is the good experiences outweighing the bad. Our brains are hard wired to remember the bad so that we do not go back and do it again. To hard wire a good experience we need to really be with it for 30 seconds. So I ask my daughters to really feel into their bodies and I will count to 30 so that experience is now in their memory. As a Craniosacral therapist I am helping my clients learn to regulate but it is so much harder to regulate when you are in it with two little girls who are having big emotions!
    Thank you both so much.

  77. irene says:

    Heather, you are such an inspiration 😉 Literally the day after the Unplug & Play Conference in San Jose, inspired by you, we met at a local creek and created a “free play in nature” group… an now the group is growing and growing! It is amazing to see what hours of unstructured play time in nature, child directed and child led can do… it even helps siblings deepen their relationship… my kids (age 4 and 9) are fighting way less at home now 😉

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Irene, Wow. Your note made my heart glow. So fantastic to hear you’ve created a “Free Play in Nature” group. The best of both worlds! Enjoy the time outdoors together – I’m not surprised to hear the benefits already showing. What a wonderful new venture. All my best, Heather

  78. Mrs Thanvi says:

    What a treat !!

  79. kelli says:

    I just heard Dr. Laura at a conference. I would love to read her book.

  80. Olga says:

    I love Dr Laura Markham’s advice and would love to own this new book of hers.

  81. Sarah Cleaver says:

    Dr. Laura’s first book transformed my parenting and changed the way I see my children’s behavior. I have 4 children (10, 8, 6, 3) with way too much arguing, fighting, teasing, and tattling. This book is just what I need! Thanks! :)

  82. Larissa says:

    I’ve read many of Dr. Markham’s books/articles, and appreciate her insights as I parent my 3 young kiddos!

  83. Richele says:

    It seems as if all our three Littles do is battle and I’m less a Mom, more a referee. I love Dr. Laura’s first book and emails, and I’m sure her newest book will be every bit as helpful!

  84. Nadine says:

    I’d love to get my hands on this book.
    I have a 3 year old boy and an 18mth old girl who are awesome kids except they don’t get along (yet). Little sister wants to play with big brother’s toys and follows him everywhere which annoys him so he often pushes her over or hits her. I have tried to implement some of Dr Markham’s strategies from her website already and my son actually told me the other day that he doesn’t want ‘baby’ in the house, so I know that he’s struggling to have to share me with her. It’s sometimes hard not to lose your cool when there are two shrieking little people in your face but reading Dr Markham’s weekly emails always puts me back on track.

  85. Jessica says:

    This book would give us great direction for our 3 toddlers. I feel like I keep chasing all the resources I should have had knowledge in years ago. I would love to start building good memories between them. To guide the peacefully.

  86. Ali Hassan says:

    Would like to get recommendation from this book to assist my kids (9 boy, 7 boy, 4 girl, 3 boy, 10wk boy) to urge on higher and extremely worth and appreciate their siblings. so that they will be a support to every alternative once my married man and that i ar long gone.

  87. Aaren says:

    I would love to win this book! Thanks so much for offering it! I have a 3-year old and a new one on the way…

  88. Pingback: Listen in as Heather Shumaker and Laura Markham talk about helping kids get along - sheisthat

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