Review of Small Steps to Great Parenting by Dr Kalanit Ben-Ari

Reviewed by:  Mojomums reviewer Melissa

What they say:  Do you feel tired by the daily power-struggle with your children? * Would you like to experience more cooperation and harmony with them? * Do you feel you are reactive instead of connected with them? * Would you like to learn how to set limits in calm and relaxed way? * Do you wonder how your actions can develop confi dence and independence? * Or how your own history and marital relationship aff ect your children? * Do you feel pressured by modern life’s demands and want more balance? * Are you too busy to read long theoretical parenting books? * Do you want short-practical tips to improve your relationships? THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU DO ALL THAT!

Dr Kalanit Ben-Ari’s down-to-earth approach offers concise, tried and tested, easy, realistic tips for use in everyday situations. Her valuable insights and practical suggestions mean these tips can be put into practice immediately. From this straight-to-the-point advice, with clear examples drawn from the author’s extensive experience in research, lecturing and practice as a parents “guru”, you will learn how to hear the feelings behind your child’s words, to understand situations from their perspective and use language that empowers them to cooperate, to coach them to develop life-time connections, turn confl cts into opportunities for growth and connection, repair situations when things go wrong, and bring your actions closer to your intentions and vision. You will bring joy and calm to your relationships in the fast-paced, demanding world we live in. These little gems of wisdom easily fi t in to the busiest of lives. Using just one tip a day will make a huge, lasting difference, and contribute to an upward spiral towards joyful parenting. By not treating any “problem” in isolation, this “in a nutshell” advice will instil easy confidence for taking small steps to a joyful, connected and balanced home-life for your children and yourself – that you will all remember happily in the years to come.

What we say:  “This book is aimed at those with children aged 2-12 years who want an easy to read and digestible guide for tips to manage a busy family.

The author wants readers to approach life with a calm parenting style and to be connected to your children and not reactive. It also explores your relationships with your children as well as your relationship with your partner and your children’s sibling relationship within the home.

This book certainly does offer bite size information on running a calmer and more relaxed family, which makes it more achievable to read when you are a tired parent at the tail end of the day. Dr Kalanit Ben-Ari provides good examples of small changes that can be made and challenges you to explore your own parenting styles. The way the book is written offers you a toolkit for using in everyday life and it allows you to use some, or all of the tools.

The book has clear chapters to cover each topic and the points raised are well described by examples within Dr Kalanit own work and interesting quotations from other sources. The key message I took from reading the book was about aiming to parent in a calmer and more controlled approach and working to empower my children instead of purely instructing them through life.

Dr Kalanit has a broad wealth of knowledge which has been successfully tried with her own family as well as within her own work as a therapist.

The general tone of the book is very easy to relate to as well as being highly informative. I could relate scenarios to my own family and it lead on to discussions with my husband as we explored key issues. I did find that it might feel a little overwhelming to consider making all the changes and making these changes might take some time with repeated re-reading of the book to reinforce this knowledge. I felt that it was probably unrealistic to be able to always maintain this perfect model and I would have like the author to acknowledge that we as parents are only human and making mistakes is also lesson for our children to observe us doing.

I would recommend this book for families to read as a useful guide to cope with the daily struggle that may arise.  The book has helped me to try to be more empathetic, to support my children with their own decision making and risk taking choices and to most importantly to offer calm and positive parenting style to my children. A highly useful book which is manageable to read and tap into during your journey raising children.”


Small Steps to Great Parenting by Dr Kalanit Ben-Ari is available from many good book stores and online from Amazon.

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