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In brief

The Seven-Day Parent Coach: halve the stress, double your energy and become a great parent

By Lorraine Thomas

Ebury Publishing pound;10.99

I read this eagerly in the week before my eldest daughter's fortieth birthday, which seemed like my last chance to get it right.

Lorraine Thomas is chief executive of the Parent Coaching Academy. That sounds pretty heavy, and she certainly takes the whole thing seriously - rightly so, for one of the first things you learn when you have a baby is that being a parent is far more difficult than you could ever have imagined.

She says: "No one ever conveyed to you what a huge difference it would make to your life." I'd go further and suggest that many of the problems that children give us in school are the result of parents not understanding or accepting that their lives have to change with the arrival of offspring.

If it's possible to help families by passing on the messages contained in this book, or by lending it to them, then the author is doing us all a service. The book is also interactive, with tasks to complete, including segmented "wheels" on which to write skills, goals, desires.

Now I'm off to complete my Energy Boosting Wheel before the party.

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