Sneaky Parenting

Sneaky Parenting

If you wish to buy this book from Amazon please go to my Amazon page.
Sneaky Parenting is an invaluable guide to dealing with the trials and tribulations of parenting. The book gives parents helpful and insightful tips on how to deal with the practicalities of every aspect of parenting: from potty training, sibling rivalry, holidays and getting dressed to minor illnesses, cleanliness and manners. It brings together tried and tested advice and clever shortcuts from real parents.


Press and Reviews of Sneaky Parenting

“As anyone with kids will tell you, family life can be a battle of wills. A new book full of brilliant tricks will help you win the war.

Judy Yorke, Daily Mirror. Read full article on the Daily Mirror website.

“Sneaky Parenting does exactly what it says on the front – provides small shortcuts to happy families.”

Shari Low, Daily Record. Read full review on Daily Record website.

“Yet another clearly set-out, witty and constructive title … gives the reader countless clever shortcuts and real life tricks to help look after children … I have already put a few of these tips to good use”

Emilie Amos, Read full review on

”The volume tackles many of the difficulties faced by parents every day in a lighthearted and sensible fashion … Instead of telling readers what to do with their youngsters, Sneaky Parenting puts forward practical solutions based on what has worked for others.”

James Burton, Bishop’s Stortford Observer.

“Local author who has written the definitive guide to parenting. Packed with tips and suggestions from real parents.”

Waterstone’s Bishop’s Stortford (ahead of book signing in-store, May 31)

“I found the book easy to read and full of great tips. I have read lots of ‘parenting’ books but this one was full of tips from real Mums. Other books can be a little bit patronising or full of rules to follow, this one just seems to give some sound advice! “

Reader of Sneaky Parenting on Read the review on

“This book is full of little tips and stories to help and reassure you as you pick your way through the minefield of modern parenting. Unlike many of the other baby and toddler books/instruction manuals, it doesn’t promise complete overnight success or offer guarantees of perfect sleep and delightful, well nourished children at all times. Instead this book just gives you honest, real life advice and reminds you that you aren’t alone when your child doesn’t sleep, eat or behave like a little angel!”

Reader of Sneaky Parenting on Read the review on

“Packed full of tips and advice from a real mum, this is no “expert” who looks after other people’s children. Well written in a chatty style, but helpfully divided into chapters so tired parents can dip in and out and find the problem that’s worrying them easily.”

Reader of Sneaky Parenting on Read the review on

“It’s short, it’s sweet, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Despite being just under 200 pages, however, it is packed to the brim with helpful hints and tips from real parents, who have been there, done that, bought the t-shirt factory, and are certified experts in raising their own kids. It’s all here … and it’s all presented clearly, with a liberal sprinkling of humour and without all the guilt-inducing “Child Rearing Theory” waffle that so often fills out the pages of your heftier tombs.”

Dad-to-be blogger Progenitor on his blog. Read the full review on

INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK (taken from the White Ladder Press website)

Are you a perfect parent? A yummy mummy or a delicious dad? Or are there days when you feel more like a stale, worn out shell, struggling to do the best for your child? Feed them 5-a-day, play games with them, keep their minds stimulated, bath them, read to them, wash their clothes, and still have a life of your own…

Luckily, it’s perfectly possible to be a brilliant parent without being a perfect one. You just need to know all the sneaky tips, tricks and strategies that Jo Wiltshire has collected from loads of real parents. Parents who care more whether the kids are happy than whether their clothes are clean. That way you’ll be able to give your child everything they need without draining yourself dry in the process.

You’ll find countless clever shortcuts and real life tricks in here to help look after your baby, toddler or pre-schooler:

If you want a fast track to a happy family, this is it. The book that tells you how to deal with the real stuff – quickly, with humour, and in time for a cup of tea with EastEnders.

AUTHOR’S QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (taken from the publisher’s publicity):

What inspired you to write this book, Jo?

When I was pregnant with my first child, Evie, I read every parenting book I could find. I thought I was armed with every available kind of advice. Then she arrived, and I promptly forgot most of it, was confused by the rest of it, and was too tired to even pick up a book let alone spend hours recapping on all the expert opinions. Instead, I found myself relying on what I now believe is the best information around – the sort which comes from other parents. First-hand, over a coffee or on the phone, from bitter experience and usually with a hefty, if grim, dose of humour. It got me through – and it made me want to write a book which would gather that kind of real, non-judgmental, hands-on help for those midnight hours when you don’t want to bother your friends.

Every generation likes to think that its parenting skills are far superior to those of the “present” generation of parents. Are we really a lot worse than our mothers and fathers were?

No – not worse. Required to be better jugglers, probably. And more open to judgement from the disapproving media. Generations ago, “parenting” was something done behind closed doors and was seen as nobody else’s business. Now, we have to present a perfect image through our home life and our children. If we don’t hit the mark, not only are we deemed lacking, but our children will probably turn out to be hideous delinquents too. Actually I think we’re pretty fantastic – we can take advantage of a lot of great input from the older generations, but add our own knowledge to the pot too. We just need to trust ourselves and ditch the guilt trips.

How has your experience of parenting differed from what you thought it would be before you started a family?

Main difference – the tiredness. Also, the tiredness. Amazingly, that occasional heart-stopping moment of sheer joy that only children can give you. And then, there’s the tiredness. Basically, my idea of having a family before I had children involved some hazy ideas gleaned from The Waltons combined with the children’s pages of the Laura Ashley home furnishings catalogue – all soft cherubic faces and bedtime stories in rooms with sheepskin rugs on wooden floors. The reality is a frighteningly fast rollercoaster of excitment, fear, overwhelming love, and unidentifiable sticky stuff on your sofas. It’s nothing like the advert – but for all its “no going back now” scariness, it’s a million times better.

Do you think that we’ve lost confidence as parents because we are constantly trying to meet the high standards of parenting experts on TV and in books?

I think we are sometimes victims of information – and opinion – overload. Previous generations just didn’t have access to the mind-numbing variety of advice we have today – they compared themselves to their neighbour or sister-in-law or friend, read maybe one parenting “bible” and cobbled the rest together by themselves. These days, it’s not enough to bring up your children, you have to “do” someone; “We’re doing Gina,” you might hear, or “Have you done the Baby Whisperer?” You have to sign up to the whole ethos. The trend is away from moderation and a bit of common sense and towards highly opinionated, bombastic ideals. When you’re bludgeoned with this in every magazine, newspaper and even on TV, you do lose confidence. We have to remember what we’re striving for – happy, healthy children. Not medals in the Smug Awards for Parents.

What would you say is the most important piece of parenting advice for anyone just starting out in the stressful world of parenting?

Don’t read parenting books! No, seriously – read as much as you feel you need to. Ask as many people’s advice as you want to. Then discard 90 per cent of it, and do it your way. Disregard anything that makes you feel small, unintelligent, lacking in motherly or fatherly instinct, embarrassed for asking, or anything less than your own best expert regarding your own children. Take on board a few good tips from books or people who add something practical, original, fun, joyous, useful or reassuring to the heady mix of parenthood. Your children will mostly remember the times you laughed together, so don’t stress too much about niggling, guilt-laden things – it all goes too quickly to waste time worrying whether you’re doing it wrong.

Every parent knows that frazzled feeling when your tearaway tot is playing up and there are a million and one things to be done. But for when times get testing mum-of-two Jo Wiltshire has written Sneaky Parenting – a book of tips to keep your home conflict-free.”