Good Child Guide
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Success Stories about Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

The GOOD CHILD Guide is primarily targetted at ages 5 to 12 but, as you can see from these testimonials, the principles work perfectly well with children as young as 18 months - you just need to adapt the strategies slightly to make them work.

If you have a success story to tell, why not post it here as an encouragement to other families who are still struggling? It is very easy to do, just click here for full details. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: These testimonials were sent to us by email and have not been edited, so please excuse any typos and spelling errors - we all make mistakes when we are typing an email in a hurry!

Yes, I was able to download it. I really liked your point about the bank acct. That really gave me a new perspective. So, although I am not done w/ the book and have not implemented all of the suggestions, I have found that I have been using some of them. You have given me some ideas on how to better use those strategies or at least to know what I am doing is right. I have tried to start each day anew this wk. and to really try to focus on the positive things my son does. I have noticed his attitude is much different when I focus on the positive. He is only 5, but he is the oldest of 3 kids. He has 2 sisters, age 3 and 5mths. He is very good w/ the baby, but him and his 3yr old sister fight like cats and dogs. But they really do love each other b/c if, one is somewhere and the other didn’t go, they are always asking where the other is. They also stick up for each other against other kids. They go to the same daycare and are on the playground together.


I did receive it, thanks! I have started reading it and it’s amazing how much I can relate to everything you are saying. And, yes, I will not jump in to anything until I have read the whole guide, analyzed it and make a plan for what will be best for my daughter (3 1/2 years old). The only thing I have done since I got the guide is to keep my cool. Not losing your temper is the biggest challenge (for the parent) but I have noticed a big difference in only 3 days. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted and I feel confident this guide will be very helpful. Oh, and by the way, my husband is anxious to read it as well so that too is another plus for us!

Hi Noel
Thanks for all your emails.
I’m now into the third week of implementing a couple of the simple strategies outlined in your book. My daughter is only 3, so I have developed a very simple star chart with her, which only includes 4 ‘star tasks’ each day – getting dressed in the morning, leaving for ‘little school’ when it’s time, having a bath when I say and going to bed when I say. Stephanie has really hooked into the idea of getting stars for these tasks, and most days she gets 4 stars, although we do have some bad/challenging days still. 4 stars means 2 little treats (chocolate) after dinner and 3 stars means 1 little treat. Any less than that and there’s no treat.
I’ve also started the 1-2-3 magic and it is very effective. There have been quite a few time outs though, and I’m finding it hard to get Steph to understand that she needs to be quiet for the 3 minutes she’s in her room. So far, she’ll stay in her room, but she’s certainly not quiet during that time. Still … it seems to be working, as once time out is finished we usually move on with no more repetition of what started the 1-2-3 process to begin with.
Life has definitely improved at home as a result of these strategies, so thanks for your book.

The guide has been extremely helpful.
Here are a few examples of what has been happening:
- Being firm on our part – our daughter has learned we mean business;
- Keeping a schedule – keeps all of us organized and happier;
- For me counting to 10 (when I’m angry) has helped because it allows me to take a

step back and I can deal with her tantrum better.

So far, those are the tricks we’ve learned that have helped. We still have a long way to go but it really has improved our home life in just two weeks. Just getting a little respect from her when we stick to our guns has given us some form of control.
I’ll continue to keep you posted.
Many, many thanks for this guide – you are a genius!!
Happy Easter!

Mirna O’Keefe

I love the book. I quit yelling over a month ago and my son’s reaction was

“I want my old mommy back!”

Tina Hunt/Billings-Montana

So far, it is working great. We have enjoyed the last 3 days with our little boy tremendously and it has had immediate results.

Thank you


I’m not sure if you actually read your email or you just get too many. I just want to let you know I’ve started reading and implementing your steps with my 14 month old who started banging her head on the floor when she doesn’t get her own way. It’s amazing when she doesn’t get the attention after doing that, her crying stops and she’s goes on playing with her toys or onto another task.

I think for her, the payoff was the attention she got, eventhough it was negative. She’s not getting the attention, but I do tell her that her behavior is not acceptable and that it’s ok to be mad and frustrated. I just wanted to give her “words” that she can eventually use to vocalize how she’s feeling. She is talking already, dog, cat, chicken, ball etc.

So once again, thank you so much for your book. I can’t wait to finish reading it and my husband is fully on board too and he’s going to read it next. He’s really helping support me in this and knows we may not see a complete change in behavior right away.

Take care,

Michelle and Patrick and daughter Alexis

Mr. Swanson,

I recently purchased your book (The Good Child Guide) and found that most of the topics in your book pointed right to me and my family. I just wanted to give you a big THANK YOU! After reading your book and putting plans into motion, My two daughters (16 months and 5 years old) had the best weekend together in years. There was absolutely no yelling or spankings. We just started this process so I know there is a long road ahead, but it was a wonderful start. My 5 year old and I have been butting heads (enemies) since she was 3 and this weekend we were mother and daughter. She is just as excited as I am about the reward system I set up for her. This book has become my bible. I take it everywhere we go, so I can refresh my memory on certain points that relate to my family.

Thank you,

Tamara Calhoun

Austin, Texas

Hi there,

I am a mother of a very bright lil 4 year old boy. My son at age 2 was extremely easy to potty train. He did very well with toileting until he was about 3 1/2 years old. He started “withholding” his bowel movements which puzzled me but I worked with him and was usually able to get him to let it out with bribes of treats and such.

However the problem over time got so bad that he started absulutly refusing to go at all costs and began soiling his pants. This was very frustrating to me and I had no clue what to do. I took him to a doctor which was no help what so ever. I have researched this online and found a little help but not a lot. After researching it I did contact a child therapist which still was not all that helpful with ideas on how to deal with this. I then had to use what little I was able to gather on the subject and...  (More...)

Hi Noel,

I wanted to send you an email to let you know that I am so grateful that I found your website and “THE GOOD CHILD” book. I have two boys aged 4 & 2, I know that your book is primarily for 5-12yo but I thought I would give it a go. Since reading your book 2 weeks ago I am absolutely amazed how much calmer my home is. Hopefully we are over the worst.

The case that you gave about the “biscuit” was what persuaded me to buy the book. While reading the book I started to understand where things were going wrong. I was getting into an argument with my 4yo son and as you say he was winning everytime. He was taking the gamble and winning. Since doing things by the book, he now knows that I mean what I say. Hopefully by reading your book now when the boys are young we will always have this strategy in place to be good parents and have good children.

Thank you for writing the book. Our family and home is certainly better for it. I know that there will still be days when they are very trying, however the yelling and screaming days are behind us. I am a much calmer person towards my children and we have lots of fun days together.

I hope you enjoyed reading my short but sweet success story.

Kindest regards

Samantha Merks

Melbourne, Australia

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