Helping to make life 'calmer, easier and happier' for parents, teachers and children everywhere
Noel Janis-Norton "Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting" a new book by Noel Janis-Norton

Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting BookHow many times do you have to ask your kids to do something
before they do it?

a) Six to ten times and then you blow your top
b) Two to six with a rising pitch of hysteria in your voice
c) Just once, and they do it!

How often are you feeling stressed and rushed to get
your kids to school or to other events?

a) all the time
b) quite a lot
c) very rarely

How well do your children get on?
a) fine – so long as they’re in different hemispheres
b) constant bickering and teasing
c) pretty well mostly with occasional squabbling

What are mealtimes like in your house?
a) a battleground where food is a weapon of mass destruction – kids talk over each other, complain about the food,
    and have the manners of cave men
b) relatively calm when the TV is on but otherwise a nightmare
c) generally relaxed, a chance to catch up on what everyone has been doing and the kids willingly try new foods

How do you and your partner resolve parenting disagreements?
a) you don’t, you just do your own thing
b) in a shouting match at the end of a long day of challenging behaviour
c) over a glass of wine when the children are in bed

If your answers are mostly a) and b) then you need Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting!


Noël Janis-NortonNoël Janis-Norton, creator of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting, is an internationally renowned expert on the learning and behaviour of children.

In a career spanning more than forty years, Noël has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of families on both sides of the Atlantic with her practical and effective parenting techniques that vastly improve listening and cooperation and reduce family stress.

A graduate of teacher-training college at New York University, Noël’s early success in teaching and managing behaviour in the classroom naturally led to consulting with families. She began sharing the specific strategies that she found worked right away to help children become not only more cooperative, but also more confident, motivated, self-reliant and considerate. Gradually, she put all the strategies into one comprehensive package and named the method Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting.

Noël has never lost her passion for teaching and learning and eventually achieved her dream of opening The Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting Centre in London, where classes are offered year-round for parents and teaching professionals. Noël’s parenting strategies have been the subject of numerous books, newspaper columns and television features in England and the U.S.

What Calmer, Easier, Happier Parents say

These parenting skills have totally changed our way of approaching things – my family hasn’t shouted in five weeks and there’s so much less tension at home!

These techniques really work – the best reward of all is seeing my son’s happiness and self-confidence return.

I was dumbfounded to watch the resistance and defiance we have experienced for years either dissolve or be completely avoided using these positive strategies.


Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting arms parents with very simple strategies that take the daily battles out of parenting. The strategies are immediately effective for solving what parents say frustrates them the most: having to repeat instructions countless times before their children do what they ask them to do. With this powerful communication approach, soon parents only have to ask once to get their child to listen and cooperate.

This is a revolutionary concept for parents. They are used to repeating, reminding, bargaining, bribing and threatening to get their children to cooperate, and they are desperate for a better way.

Time and again, parents say that these methods have completely changed their way of approaching things and transformed family life. They frequently come to this programme at their wits' end because family life has become a battleground of defiance, arguments and disrespect. But once they start using the practical and effective skills of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting, within a small space of time they can transform their relationship with their child and bring the joy back into parenting.

Family life becomes calmer, children are more cooperative, parents feel less frustrated and more in charge, siblings get on better with fewer disagreements, and family flash points such as homework, chores, bedtimes and mealtimes all become less of a struggle. Parenting becomes calmer, easier and happier.

So what are some of the core strategies of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting?

Descriptive Praise – the most powerful motivator for children. When parents start using Descriptive Praise, their children want to listen and be cooperative. This skill is about noticing what children are doing right and very specifically describing that behaviour. It’s not how parents usually praise. They normally lay on the superlatives, like “Well done”, “Brilliant” and “Terrific”, but this praise is too general, vague and exaggerated to be meaningful to kids.
With very specific praise, such as, “You finished your homework before asking to play video games; that was responsible,” children’s ears perk up, and it motivates them to do more things right.

Preparing for Success – the most effective way to reduce children’s resistance to almost anything and to prevent most behaviour problems from happening in the first place. With this tool, parents learn specific ways to help their children succeed – to do things right – instead of reacting with irritation when things go wrong.

Reflective Listening – once parents begin using this almost magical way of responding when kids are angry, frustrated or anxious, the strong emotions that ignite misbehaviours can literally melt away.

Never Ask Twice – the six step method to achieve cooperation. As parents follow these common sense steps, they can say goodbye to nagging, repeating and reminding and say hello to first time cooperation.

Best of all is that these strategies improve not only cooperation, but also confidence, self-reliance, motivation and consideration – five qualities that all parents want their children to develop.

As parents follow the specific action plan in each chapter, they can transform family life within a few short weeks. Loaded with success stories from parents, examples, parent-child dialogues and Q & A, this book gives parents a complete road map to achieve Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting.



“Based on my experience helping tens of thousands of families, I can make this promise: You will see improvement in your children’s behaviour within a few days (and for some families within even just a few hours) when you start using the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting strategies. If you continue to practise these strategies, within two to four weeks you can positively transform your family life.

It doesn’t require super-organised, exceptional parents – just people who are willing to try a few new techniques.
And there’s nothing to lose except the stress of continuing to deal with the same behaviour challenges and the guilt that comes from repeating, nagging, threatening and shouting!” Noël Janis-Norton

How does it work?
Here’s a snapshot of how mornings might begin for a five year old boy before and after his parents learned these strategies. Mornings are the most difficult time of day for many families – when parents feel rushed and stressed trying to get everyone out the door on time.

'Jimmy! You’re still in bed?? We’re going to be late!’ Ten minutes later his mum returns. He has his socks on and nothing else. ‘You’ve been up for ten minutes and you only have your socks on? What have you been doing all this time? You’ve got to hurry now and don’t forget to make your bed.’ Five minutes later she returns and he’s got his shorts on and he’s playing with a toy. Her frustration grows. ‘You know this is not playing time!’ She impatiently helps dress him and makes his bed because time is short.

Jimmy gets up from the table constantly during breakfast. ‘Jimmy, sit down and eat. If you get up from the table one more time, breakfast is over.’ He gets up again. ‘Jimmy, I mean it.’ He gets up again. ‘OK, that’s the last warning. If you get up again, I’ll take away your TV time after school.’ They race through other morning tasks and leave the house in a rush. Jimmy is silent in the car and his mother is feeling annoyed and stressed. When they get to school, she drops him off and says, ‘Have a great day!’

Now let’s take a look at how mornings could be after Jimmy’s parents have been using the Preparing for Success and Descriptive Praise strategies so that he now does what he needs to do in the morning, most of it without being reminded.

Jimmy gets out of bed when the alarm rings, puts his clothes on that he laid out the night before and makes his bed. When his mum comes into his room to greet him, she says ‘Good morning’ and he smiles and hugs her. She notices what he’s already accomplished and mentions it: ‘Jimmy, you’re remembering to do so many things – you’re getting up to your own alarm, you’re getting dressed without any help, and you even make your bed now without me reminding you! You’re becoming very self-reliant!’ Jimmy smiles.

At breakfast, Jimmy eats without getting up from the table and clears his bowl without being asked. His mother takes time to notice and mention that he’s helping to keep the kitchen tidy. As they are ready to leave the flat, she notices that he doesn’t have his backpack. She doesn’t get annoyed; she just gives him a little clue. ‘Jimmy, there’s still something to remember that you’ll need for school.’ Jimmy looks around, sees his backpack and runs back for it. They leave early enough to get to school on time. They chat during the drive. When they get to school, his mother gives him a big smile and says she’s looking forward to seeing him after school.

Too good to be true? Not when parents have the right tools. Imagine how much calmer parents could be in the mornings if they had this level of cooperation and self-reliance. They could easily accomplish their morning tasks, they wouldn’t feel stressed or frustrated, and they would actually have time to enjoy their children. Thousands of families who practise these strategies have experienced this transformation, improving cooperation, confidence and self-reliance.



Putting the “Never Ask Twice” method into action

Since parents report that one of the most frustrating and stressful things about family life is how many times they have to repeat themselves before their children listen, they are quite eager to hear about a method that can achieve first time cooperation!

Many parents find that it is only when they finally lose patience and start shouting that their children comply. But all the repeating and shouting create a very negative home environment. Parents are desperate for a better way. Enter the “Never Ask Twice” method.

  1. There are six very simple steps in this method.
  2. Stop what you’re doing, go to where your child is, and stand and look at him.
  3. Wait until your child stops what he’s doing and looks at you.
  4. Give your child the instruction – clearly, simply and only once.
  5. Ask your child to repeat the instruction back to you.
  6. Stand and wait.
  7. While you’re standing and waiting: notice every step in the right direction (Descriptive Praise) and acknowledge how your child might be feeling at the moment (Reflective Listening).

Here’s a fascinating thing about this method. Parents rarely have to go beyond step three before their children go and do what they ask. In fact, often they don’t even have to go past step one! Why? Because the first key step is so respectful that children will respond differently. It’s not what they are used to their parents doing.

Parents tend to skip this first step and shout orders from another room or up the stairs. But if another adult did that to us, wouldn’t we feel irritated and resistant? It’s not surprising that children want to ignore parents when they’re treated in this way.

Step two generally works without much fanfare. It’s natural human behaviour to look up at someone when they walk into a room.

Now comes step three, telling your child what you want him to do, simply, clearly and only once. This is where Never Ask Twice gets its name. Most children will comply at this point if parents didn’t skip steps one and two.

But if their child hasn’t complied yet, they can go to step four and have him repeat back what he needs to do.

In the unlikely event that he still hasn’t started to cooperate, go to Step Five, which is to stand and wait. That usually does the trick. It shows intentionality. Parents aren’t walking away to finish cooking dinner.

By this time, most children will start to cooperate. But if not, go to Step Six, which is:
While standing and waiting, just Reflectively Listen and Descriptively Praise any steps in the right direction:

(Descriptive Praise) “You’re starting to pick up the pieces.”

(Reflective Listening) “It’s hard to stop in the middle of a game.”

Sooner than parents believe, if they persevere with step six, their child will cooperate. Parents are floored by how well this positive and respectful method works!



One of the biggest “family flash points” is sibling fighting. It can make even the most patient of parents lose their cool. Parents are anxious to learn how to help their children bicker, tease and compete less and enjoy each other more.

These condensed case studies from the book show how parents have used the core strategies of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting to transform sibling relationships.

case study

“Blaming our older son whenever there was a blow-up between him and his sister just made him even more resentful. Now when my children fight, I bite my tongue and use the Reflective Listening strategy, empathising with how he’s feeling: ‘It must be so frustrating when your sister plays with your games without asking you.’ This really helps him get over it faster. We also use Descriptive Praise a lot, noticing when our kids are being generous with each other: ‘You shared your sweets with your brother. That was a kind thing to do.’ Using both Descriptive Praise and Reflective Listening has helped them develop a really sweet relationship…”

Calmer Parenting

“A family crisis suddenly blended our family with my sister’s – six children between the ages of twelve and one! But thank goodness for Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting. Before my sister and her girls arrived, we Prepared for Success by talking through so many potential issues. All this preparing made for a much easier transition, but what really kept the peace was making sure each child had individual attention with Special Time. My husband actually made diary appointments with all the children, not just his own.
Each child needed to feel they were as important as the others and as loved and as heard. It really helped to stem sibling rivalry.”

“My older son, Tyler was telling me about his homework for the day, and my younger son, Nick, came in and started aggressively kicking his brother’s chair. I told him to stop immediately and let us finish talking. He glared at me and stormed off.

After he left, I said, ‘Wow, Nick must be really angry to act like that.’ Tyler looked at me rather sheepishly and said, ‘Well, we were eating snack, and he’s not supposed to have seconds on applesauce… right?’ Ah, so then I understood. Tyler had been bossing Nick about what he could eat.

I went into Nick’s room, and he was still furious and said in a loud, angry voice, ‘I don’t want to talk to you!’ I stayed calm, nodded and said, ‘I didn’t come in to talk with you; I just came in to tell you something.’

He wasn’t sure what to say then, so I continued, using Reflective Listening, ‘That must have made you furious that Tyler was bossing you about your snack, and maybe it seemed like I was on his side because I asked you to leave the room.’

His angry face started to change very quickly. Soon he went about his life, engaging himself quietly in a book. Just acknowledging his feelings made the anger melt away. There’s no refereeing or solving. It’s surprising how well Reflective Listening works.”

case study
The more parents practise the Reflective Listening, Descriptive Praise and Preparing for Success strategies, the more siblings will enjoy each other, appreciate each other and play together peacefully. Family life will become calmer, easier and happier. > Order online at Amazon
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