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The Parenting Puzzle

The best-selling guide to parenting with more than 100,000 copies sold since the first edition came out in 2003.

  • Now fully updated, The Parenting Puzzle is packed with practical ideas on how to successfully navigate family life
  • Written in a lively, entertaining and accessible style, it’s useful for every stage of a toddler, child and teenager’s upbringing and includes worksheets, quizzes and cartoons
  • The book is based on the 10-week Family Links parenting course, which makes it a great resource if you can’t join a class
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"What I like about the course is that it places the emphasis on mutual change, rather than control. Changing what we do and say to our children is often as important as, if not the key to, trying to control what they say and do.”
Rebecca Abrams, Daily Telegraph

“My partner and I read this book over several weeks, it changed our relationship as we started to listen to each other more and recognise we weren't just robots. This had an influence on the way we treated the children, respecting them more as individuals, realising they had good ideas and giving more time to listen to them. The results were amazing, the youngest stopped getting out of bed all the time, once I had put her to bed, the middle one started to talk about the way she was being bullied at school and the elder one became less attention seeking and started making friends at school.”
Anonymous reviewer, Amazon

“I bought this book after seeing some of the ideas summarised on NetMums. I was hoping it would give me some useful tips, but it's actually made a far more dramatic change than I could have expected. It gives a wealth of really simple pieces of advice that make a huge difference – from taking the time to praise your child to recognising when you need to take time to look after yourself, too.”
D Swinney, Amazon

“The book handles difficult subject areas sensitively and always explores our own memories of childhood as a precursor to change within our family. A chapter explores reasons why adults hit children and the feelings that are created in those who have been hit. I thought the cartoons of an adult hitting a child and what the child must be thinking were quite powerful and I liked the comparison to wife-beating – how that used to be legal in England 100 years ago but now seems shocking.”
Philippa Pearson, Amazon

"I found this book very's given the whole family a foundation and a way of solving our problems – for example, we've now got 'family rules'...we all got to choose one...mine was to do with table manners and our four year-old daughter has 'no hurting'. It's given her a real feeling of power, so she confidently explains to friends that certain behaviour isn't allowed and she now understands that she mustn't hurt others, too. This will probably be the book which influences me most over these difficult early years.”
Sally, review on Netmums

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