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The Secret of Parenting: How to Be in Charge of Today's Kids--From Toddlers to Preteens--Without Threats or Punishment Paperback – Sep 2000

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The Secret of Parenting: How to Be in Charge of Today's Kids--From Toddlers to Preteens--Without Threats or Punishment + "Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me!": The Solution to Sibling Bickering + I'd Listen to My Parents If They'd Just Shut Up: What to Say and Not Say When Parenting Teens
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374527083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374527082
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 644,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You could call this book "How to raise kids and yet keep your sense of humor".
Finally, the book of instructions that didn't arrive with the birth of your child!
And when they transform into teenagers, you must read "Get Out of my Life, but first could you take me and Cheryl to the Mall?"
These books can save your life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
This book has become my official parenting bible. 11 Sep 2000
By A. D. Tarr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the first parenting book I have ever read from cover to cover.
I was unable to pull away! In the past I have skimmed through scores
of parenting books and magazines, gathering bits and pieces of helpful
information, leaving me with a plethora of conflicting ideas that
eventually cancelled each other out until I was left with nothing but
self-doubt on how I was raising my own children. But this book is a
goldmine. Reading it has been an absolute pleasure, and has given me
great insight into what drives the behavior of children of all ages
(toddlers to teens).
In his book, Wolf provides not only the
psychology behind the behavior of children, but also a very
straightforward and consistent manner in which to respond to children
in the most difficult situations. These situations include tantrums,
sibling rivalry, back-talk, guilt-trips, lying, whining, interrupting,
and more. Wolf's recommended approach to handling most of these
situations is centered around a basic theme which he explains very
early on in the book. He also provides many examples of very
true-to-life conversations between parents and kids, making it pretty
clear which ones will lead to nowhere. Wolf's book is very readable
and flows smoothly. The author's sense of humor can be felt
throughout the book, with an occassional touch of sarcasm, sometimes
even a corny joke. But this makes the book fun to read, almost giving
the feeling of conversing with the author in person.
As a mother of
a two-year-old and a three-year-old, I wish Wolf would have included
more conversations with small children and written more about how to
handle potty training. However, I was still able to put these methods
into practice for tantrums, sibling fights, and whining (which covers
the majority of our problems), and they have proven to be 150% more
effective than reasoning, arguing, time-outs, bribing, yelling,
spanking or threatening. It has actually brought back a lot of joy to
being a parent, and I no longer walk on eggshells dreading the next
tantrum. I don't want to give away Wolf's "secret" in this
review, as that would take away from the pleasure of reading the book.
I strongly recommend this book to all parents and anyone wanting to
learn more about children!
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Excellent advice, but borrows heavily from Jeremy 9 Dec 2002
By Maddi Hausmann Sojourner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have not read any of Anthony Wolf's books, and you are looking for a great book on parenting, you've found it. Wolf's advice is straightforward, logical, and reasonably easy to implement. But if you bought _It's No Fair, Jeremy Spencer Gets to Stay Up All Night_, this one won't teach you much more. _Secrets of Parenting_ borrows heavily from _It's No Fair_, to the point that there's no need for both of them.
The kernel of Wolf's approach toward dealing with children is in handling the I Want You Now personality. His descriptions of typical childhood behavior ring true to anyone who has children. Ever have your child playing quietly in the same room until you pick up the phone, and then s/he needs you to help RIGHT AWAY? Wolf will explain why this happens. Better yet, he'll tell you how to handle this so it won't keep happening.
His advice on handling bad behavior is for you to become a Robo-parent. It completely disconnects the I Want You Now behavior, because it doesn't engage. Robo-parent deals with the child, no muss, ignore the fuss, and very soon your child learns that tantrums and stickiness don't succeed. While I can't always tamp down my emotions to turn into Robo-parent, it's good to have a strategy that WILL WORK.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Sound advice - recommended 7 Sep 2000
By J. Elwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I usually don't go for parenting books but this lucky discovery is full of great tips. (Just ignore possible the book's silly title and the annoying repeated use of the term "baby-self.") Dr. Wolf's fundamental advice to _disengage_ from kids' sometimes problematic behavior is wonderful in its simplicity. We've tried his simple methods of kid management over the past few weeks and can say - they work, almost miraculously! A good use of thirteen bucks!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The best parenting book ever 23 Nov 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book has changed my life as a parent. When I tell people I don't punish my kids, people think I'm a "softie" However, people who see me with my kids understand that I'm really quite strict and that my children are unusually well behved as a result of Dr. Wolf's advice. Dr. Wolf makes you understand that you HAVE to be in charge and that you and your kids will be happier as a result. His methods allow the joy to be brought back into parenting.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Why didn't we find this book sooner?! 7 Oct 2010
By AL - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As parents of a 9 and 7 year old who can be quite challenging, we have read MANY parenting books. The Strong Willed Child, Nurture by Nature, 123 Magic, the list goes on. None of them were very helpful. I halfheartedly started reading this book and was blown away by the first couple chapters. The description of the "baby self" explained SO much and made me feel like maybe I wasn't failing as a parent after all. It just makes so much sense. We've only been using the method for about a week but so far it's like magic. My kids, who are incredibly stubborn and persistant, really do stop their behavior when we don't "feed" the baby self, and they are much more content. My daughter was actually running around the house yelling "I'm happy! I'm happy!" yesterday. I am thrilled to have found the book, but sad that I didn't find it a few years ago. My house is so much more peaceful now and I have high hopes that it will stay that way.
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