Janet Lansbury is a renowned author, with a new book recently published called “No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame.” She is a parenting teacher, a lecturer and she has over 20 years of experience guiding hundreds of parents and their toddlers.
Janet says that the concept for her book comes from the recognition that children are born as whole people.
“They’re not bad seeds that we have to turn into good plants”
She felt compelled to write the book and says children need guides as they’re going to experiment will all sorts of behaviors.
“Your ultimate goal is having a respectful, trusting, close relationship with your child”
By telling kids that they are bad, they will end up acting uncomfortably in the relationship, which Janet says won’t help them.
She has three children, and when she first gave birth, she thought it would be natural and her instincts would just take over. She ended up finding herself surprised and overwhelmed.
“I realized I needed some kind of framework, of structure”
She heard about the RIE Approach, founded by Magda Gerber. She went to one of the classes and found it made sense, and it made her enjoy parenting so much more.
She started training with Magda Gerber and teaching her methods, which allowed her to be in a classroom with parents. By doing this, Janet was able to see how they interacted with their children.
“It’s an incredible way of learning that really can’t be matched. There was nothing like this experience.”
Janet believes that it comes down to how we perceive our children. She went from seeing her baby as someone that needed to be provided for to someone that was interesting on her own. She wanted to learn more about her baby, and her passions.
The RIE Approach creates spaces that are safe for children, where they can do what they want. She calls this a “Yes” space.
This provides a chance to develop the most ideal parent-child relationship.
“(As parents) we have a lot of power; so we get to really work on ourselves here.”
Janet shares that there has been a shift over the past 5 years, with more dads attending her classes and some of her classes being made up entirely of men.
“Know that your job is to be a leader in terms of behaviour and what you’re going to let your kids do”
She says that toddlers often push limits. It’s a time when children are making a huge step in their own development, towards being more separate from their parents in terms of how they think about themselves.
Janet believes that it’s actually very healthy, as they are trying to be their own person.
“You’ve got to keep reminding yourself, there’s always a reason (they’re acting a certain way). It’s always healthy for them to get it out of their bodies.”
Her books are a collection of over 400 articles she’s written for her website in the past 6 years.
The biggest challenge she faced was being attacked by others when she first started writing.
“I don’t like that people are saying mean things but I still believe in this. In a way, it gives you more confidence in yourself.”
Janet’s goal with her articles is just to help others, and make their lives easier.
“When I write just to help, it’s really hard for people to argue with it”
Her husband edits her articles, and Janet says that they get along better because they work together.
*Janet also hosts her own podcast, “Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled”