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Calmer, Easier, Happier Boys

Review by a Montessori teacher, parent of four boys and parent educator

A welcome and eagerly awaited addition to Noel Janis-Norton’s “Calmer, Easier, Happier” series of books.

It is some twenty years since I first encountered Noel’s enthusiastic, practical and encouraging strategies, and they helped to make my own home life calmer, easier and happier. Her latest book, “Calmer, Easier, Happier Boys” is filled with helpful and easy to follow strategies: Descriptive Praise (telling our sons what we notice they are doing right as opposed to telling them what they are doing wrong), Reflective Listening, being consistent, particularly with our rules, standards and routines. She explains the specific role that fathers, or any positive male role models, have in the lives of our boys.

Young children often start out with a close connection to their mothers. Between the ages of two and seven most young boys shift their allegiance from their mother to their father. If this hasn’t happened, Noel suggests simple strategies that fathers can use to ease this transference.

This book encourages fathers to take a more active role in their sons’ lives and explains to mothers why they should welcome this. Fathers can help their sons have more self-respect and self-confidence and feel more a part of the family. Noel recommends that fathers involve their sons in daily household chores!
Boys need to learn to respect those who are weaker than themselves. A positive male role model can lead the way in helping boys channel their natural exuberance and physicality.

My sons are now grown up with young sons of their own. I am using Noel’s strategies with my grandchildren, and my sons are also using many of the strategies Noel talks about in this book. It is a pleasure to see my young grandsons moving away from tantrums and lack of cooperation, becoming more self-reliant, confident, competent and a pleasure to be around.

Noel’s straightforward and easy to read book has been created from vast experience and a deep understanding and empathy not just of our boys, but of their parents too.

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