How to be a better parent

26th September 2003 at 01:00
How to be a Better Parent: no matter how badly your children behave or how busy you are. By Cassandra Jardine. Vermilion pound;8.99

Cassandra Jardine, a Daily Telegraph feature writer, has five children between five and 13. No wonder she needed help with this book, for which she recruited Noel Janis-Norton (described as "the 'horse-whisperer' of the child world") and Luke Scott, who "tends to approach behaviour problems by looking at the emotional mainsprings of a situation".

Between them they've produced a really helpful book, filled with practical advice about the gamut of misbehaviour, backed up by theory. Janis-Norton, for example, may be a horse-whisperer, but she's no head-in-the-clouds searcher of the soul. When a child complains of backache, she says, "I tell all the children that I couldn't care less about their aches and pains, unless we need to call an ambulanceI I'm not ignoring the backache - I'm fostering perseverance and self-reliance."

The combination of expert input and lively writing makes the book succeed as both a good read and a prop for families, but I prefer Peter Gilchrist's book (below) for teachers.

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