I decided to give this book 3 stars because while it has some good advice for gentle discipline, it also needs a lot of work. First and foremost, I feel as though the book is haphazardly written. It's disorganized, filled with chapters that don't correlate well with their title and random examples of letters written to her and her responses that are often off the point. Also, Lansbury's writing seems a little "holier than thou" in many instances, something that immediately puts me off. Perfect example: Page 90, where in response to a letter from a parent she writes, "If you were a less empathetic, knowledgeable parent, you'd probably spank her or put her in timeout; but since you are respectful and enlightened, I advise something far more effective: adjust your perspective." What? I mean how judgemental a response is that? I get it, spanking is detrimental to a child's development, it's proven scientifically, time-outs are controversial in their effectiveness, but is it really necessary to make readers - who are obviously struggling parents (that clearly care enough about their raising their children the right way to read parenting books) feel as though they are less-than because they may or may not have followed traditional forms of discipline?
On the flip side, I agree with much of Lansbury's point of view, she mentions many parenting basics that most innately feel is right with regard to how to treat and interact with children. But the messages are scrambled, and not well laid out. Parenting is difficult and parents who miraculously find the time to read up on how to discipline their children the right way need clear and concise advice, examples, and pointers.
I'd much rather recommend people to read "How Toddlers Thrive" by Tovah Klein or "No-Drama Discipline" by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. Both are written by scholars in the field and both contain better thought out approaches to gentle discipline, well laid out chapters, and quick reference options.