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116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Guide to Non-Manipulative Parenting
Don't be put off by the unflattering title of this book, as it teaches value guided parenting and shows the reader what a healthy functional family looks like. The authors study the common traits in families that produce healthy well adapted children, shedding light on the many parenting myths and misconceptions which todays parents are inundated with. There are many...
Published on 3 April 2002 by Derrick

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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no advice, just theoretical, very dissapointing
I am beginning to think the posititve reviews at amazon are either made up or not worth much because i bought this book on the basis of such reviews and boy was i dissapointed. The authors spend three chapters defining manipulative (they mean naughty) and say that ranges from children crying when they cant read a book to children walking suggestively!! It is totally based...
Published on 7 Jan 2006 by amy


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116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Guide to Non-Manipulative Parenting, 3 April 2002
By 
Derrick (Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
Don't be put off by the unflattering title of this book, as it teaches value guided parenting and shows the reader what a healthy functional family looks like. The authors study the common traits in families that produce healthy well adapted children, shedding light on the many parenting myths and misconceptions which todays parents are inundated with. There are many different types/styles of families and cultures which consitantly raise successful children, but they all share certain virtues or common qualities. They show why the current tendency of lowering expectations/standards, combined with a "child-centered" approach, is so detrimental to a childs self esteem, encouraging children to under perform like never before.
The book is NOT about any particular type of child as the title suggests, but focuses on teaching parents to become 'manipulation proof' by understanding their own weaknesses and blind spots. These 'hidden agendas' include things such as parental guilt, fear, lack of confidence, inconvenience, conflict between parents etc. Through their normal limit testing, kids quickly discover and can exploit our blind sides without really understanding or comprehending why we tend to react in predictable ways. Parents must first look at themselves and find out what is preventing them from being effective when it comes to discipline. Many books accurately describe discipline problems and give sound situational advice but this one actually explains why some behaviours persist with seemingly no reward or purpose. Why a child will initiate a three hour screaming power struggle when all he/she has to do is pick up one toy or write one sentence of homework. We could not understand why our child was so focused on controlling us with no real purpose or goal and this book explains it very clearly.
This is one of only a few parenting books which give a good explaination of unwanted behavours learned through "negative reinforcement". This is so important because the most challenging behaviours are not positively rewarded, but rooted or acquired through negative reinforcement. These are behaviours which are not always deliberate or conciously guided, with 'avoidance' as the underlying goal. Because they are rooted in avoidance they are much more persistant and enduring than behaviours acquired through positive reinforcement. When most people hear the word "Manipulation" they automatically think of openly planned deception, but that is NOT what this book is about. Many negatively reinforced behaviours appear manipulative on the surface but actually have no real goal or reward other than avoidance. When there is mutual avoidance or 'hidden agendas' with both the parent and child, that's where the problems start. The book teaches parents to recognise these patterns, and interrupt them before they become your childs normal mode of operation.
This is an excellent book and surely a real eye-opener for many parents. It's not your typical "how to" parenting book but gives parents a powerful insight into healthy family dynamics.
If your child is excessively bossy, controlling, always trying to make others compromise (for no apparent reason), expending a disproportionate amount of energy over seemingly trivial issues or objectives, READ THIS BOOK!
Other great discipline/parenting books I highly recommend are: "Setting Limits" by Robert J MacKenzie, "Ain't Misbehavin" by William P Garvey, "Kid Cooperation" by Elizabeth Pantley and "How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk".
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars looking at the root causes, not papering over the cracks, 4 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
We went on holiday with friends and their families. One day i watched 8 children being coached, bribed, threatened and applauded by at least 8 adults through a simple evening meal. Eating is a good example of the complex emotions and behaviours which are experienced by parents and their children. Adults worry whether they are eating enough, eating the right things, sitting straight. children get hungry and eat but are affected by the attention that they can get if they play around, or refuse to eat.
This book does start slowly, but is an essential insight into the way we parent today. It has changed our family life completely. I never shout, never punish and never reach those heights of frustration which would make me need to leave the room to scream and cry. The stop and pause technique gives ME a chance to stop and calm down as much as it does my son.
Our household is not perfect, but I now feel in control, and the children know i am in control, which makes them infinitely happier. I no longer dread the children having friends to play. My son no longer bites his nails.
The biggest problem with this book is the title, i nearly didn't buy it as it seemed rather negative (until you understand what the authors are trying to tell you). I have passed it on to friends, but many people seem to find it hard to get through. Those most in need, have the biggest problem getting their heads around it!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars limits, boundaries, and consequences are very important, 5 Nov 2004
This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
Establishing and enforcing limits, boundaries, and consequences are very important to the parenting process. Unfortunately, too few parents really know how to do this effectively - there is always room for improvement. This is where "The Manipulative Child" is very helpful. I enjoyed this book immensely. My only criticism is that "manipulative children" emerge when there is something else going on. These "why" questions are not very well explored in "The Manipulative Child." This book is perfect for those families where a slight tune up might be in order. However, when any of the more complex problems exists in a family you might want to supplement this reading with something that goes into greater detail regarding the how and why issues that interfere with setting effective limits. In addition to this book I would suggest that you take a look at "Systemic Parenting: An Exploration of the Parenting Big Picture" (Gaskill) This author explores the subject of parenting - including limits, boundaries, and consequences in remarkable detail. These books compliment each other the former provides a great overview, the latter the detail to make effective change in your parent-child relationship. Both get 2 thumbs up in my review and in my parenting.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no advice, just theoretical, very dissapointing, 7 Jan 2006
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This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
I am beginning to think the posititve reviews at amazon are either made up or not worth much because i bought this book on the basis of such reviews and boy was i dissapointed. The authors spend three chapters defining manipulative (they mean naughty) and say that ranges from children crying when they cant read a book to children walking suggestively!! It is totally based on theories and over simplistic case studies which i personally thought were made up. Whats worse is that the authors spend one chapter on how to stop children being manipulative, they dont explain how to do it AT ALL.The book is full of the autors self congratulating themselves for being so clever, they dont agree with positive parenting, but instead agree with positive practice, even though they dont say what that is. If you're looking for sound advice, this is not the book for you. It is also totally for the american market. The authors idea of stopping children messing about at school (explain their approach to teachers and ask them to do it in the parents absence) is totally laughable. "Setting limits on your stong willed child" is a much better book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some useful stuff, mixed with some disturbing stuff, 3 July 2010
By 
C. Jones - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
I bought this book based on recommendations from Amazon by reviewers of other parenting books. I was looking for a parenting book that deals with behaviour of particularly anxious and stubborn children.

I will say that this book does have some useful concepts that seem intuitively useful, that are not intuitively obvious. It offers a method for reflecting on your own parenting style and interactions. The method that it sets out for shutting down manipulation - what they call "Stop, Pause, Redirect" does get quick results when applied in the consistent and tireless way the authors recommend. There are lots and lots of helpful case studies.

However, having read skim-read the book and then read it through again more thoroughly, I concluded that I could not recommend it, and that I could probably find other books that offer the same ideas better presented.

The title is quite horrible - the authors could have called it "The Resourceful Child" if they had wanted to be positive.

The method is not "groundbreaking" nor is it "clinically proven", as the authors claim on the back cover. My daughter quickly identified Stop, Pause, Redirect as a manifestation of the Naughty Step, also known as the CalmDown Sofa. Once she had got the idea, she started taking herself to the CalmDown Sofa. Great result - previously, I've always had to hold her, but I'm pretty sure that there are other parenting books out there that advise on using the Naughty Step more effectively than I've been doing.

Throughout the book the authors base their ideas on their own clinical experience, which is fine, but at times they make unfounded assertions about the effectiveness of their own method, and about the ineffectiveness of parenting "fads". They don't describe cases where their advice has not worked as they expect it - and a 100% success rate is not credible.

The thing that upset me most about the book was a paragraph on page 145. The authors refer to Margaret Mead's descriptions of Samoan culture, practices "that any social worker in our society would see as horribly sexually abusive and harmful, yet these children grew up and functioned wonderfully in their culture. Children will survive, if we will only let them." I thought that is extreme cultural relativism, and reflects a thread of harshness that runs from the title through the heart of the book. In this paragraph the authors seem to imply that any value system, no matter how rotten, is fine. I'm not actually sure that is what they really intended, I think they are trying to make a wider point about how adaptable and resilient people can be. There are any number of other examples they might have used, so why pick a particularly disturbing one?

Going off to follow up recommendations for "1-2-3-Magic!" and "The Incredible Years" - parenting books that at least start with encouraging titles.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all parents!!, 13 July 2001
By 
Derrick (Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
Don't be put off by the title, this book is not about any particular type of child but explores the weaknesses and blindspots all parents have which can be exploited through a child's normal limit testing. There is much good advice on how to become manipulation proof and help your child develop good self esteem. Many books accuratly descibe the problems and give sound advice but this one actually explaines why some behaviors persist with seemingly no reward or purpose. Why a child will initiate a three hour screaming power struggle when all he has to do is pick up one toy or write one sentence of homework. We could not understand why our child was so focused on controlling us with no real porpose or goal and this book explaines it very clearly. The authors also study the common traits of families which produce healthy, successful and well adapted children. I recommend it highly in conjunction with the book "Ain't misbehavin".
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Commonsense prevails, 9 Sep 2004
By 
L. Clay (The Hague) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
Having had some doubts about the long term effects of "positive parenting" this book came at the right time for me. It talks commonsense and has already made me make changes in the way I deal with my toddler - and they've worked. As with all childcare books there are some aspects I'm not convinced would work for me or my child but as the book rightly says temperament plays a big part in how each child develops. Another reviewer mentioned that the main title is a little misleading - it's a book for anyone with children who cares about how they fare in the big wide world. It's made me a more confident and calm parent and I'm starting to sound a little evangelical about the book to friends!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, a theoretical book with no real advice, 5 Jan 2006
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
i read the reviews with interest and bought this book and regretted it. The first few chapters are a definintion of what a manipulative child is, like when a child cant read a book and cries or cries at night from a nightmare is seen as manipulative, or even a child that walks suggestively for crying out loud. It then goes on to talk about temperament -interesting i thought, but the authors just say "it depends on what temperament your child is as to how to approach them" well i didn't have to buy a book to know that. The examples given are barely believable, they criticise positive parenting but advocate positive practice but guess what, they dont tell you how to do it, they spend a few pages talking about methods of stopping children being naughty but dont actually tell you what it is or how to do it.They just talk about what a wonderful method it is. They tell you to tell the teachers to do it in your absence, whihc makes me wonder what planet they're from. Its all theory. the authors go through the book congratulating themselves for being so clever, but there is nothing for the parent who needed help and bought this book.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANALYSE YOUR OWN BEHAVIOUR AND YOUR CHILDS, 6 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
After having a few tantrum problems with my 3 yr old, I thought I would turn to this book, seek some guidance.
The first few chapters seemed frustrating..too slow.. I just wanted results!
The book made you look at yourself and your behaviour, which in turn affects the way your child may behave.
An excellent read for guidanceon on child behaviour, of all ages.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Down to earth.......but, 1 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids (Paperback)
I agree with much of what is written in "The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids." It is down to earth advice. The only criticism I have is that it is lacking in detail - some of the why and how questions I had, remained unanswered.
I am keen on another book for foster and adoptive parents - "Systemic Parenting: An Exploration of the Parenting Big Picture." Systemic Parenting does an excellent job of exploring the "why" and "how" questions that parents are confronted. The author avoids much of the psycho babble common in many books and provides a realistic and insightful resource. If I could only buy one text it would be the latter, however, both are likely to be helpful to parents working the improve the parent-child relationship.
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