on 6 January 2002
I thought this book might be about how to use praise and language to avoid facing discipline issues with children but it is not like that at all. It teaches parents to be authorative and send the right messages without micro managing their children. There is much good advice on how to recognize and change ineffective paterns of responding to your child. The suggested changes are fairly straight forward and common sense, but may require some practice. Fortunately thare are many well illustrated examples and practical exercises to reinforce these ideas. This book strictly sticks to the topic of comunication and establishing cooperation which makes it an excellent supplement to any parents existing parenting style. Teaches mutual respect without surrendering parental authourity. A very good read, I've heard nothing but positive feedback from other parents who have read this book.
I would also highly recommend the books "Ain't Misbehavin" by William P Garvey and "Setting Limits: How to Raise Responsibe Independent Children by Providing Clear Boundaries" by Robert J MacKenzie.
on 24 April 2007
A friend mentioned this book years before I had children of my own. When our first son was born my husband bought it, and then we forgot about it for a few years. Now my sons are 2 3/4 and 1 1/2, and I was having a really hard time.. the usual tantrums, food issues, fighting between the two... my older one was being sent to the naughty corner several times a day sometimes, I was shouting all day, and I felt absolutely miserable. Thought I was the worst mother in the world. Then I remembered the book, and aaaaah... never thought it possible that one book could hold "the truth". And it's such simple things you need to change, it's amazing. My son hasn't been to the naughty corner since I started reading the first chapter, we are a very happy, relaxed and calm family now, and my husband is still completely amazed that every evening I tell him "We had a good day" rather than finding me in tears. If you ever felt overwhelmed and powerless as a parent, and if you ever thought you were doing everything wrong ... READ THIS BOOK.
on 19 May 2003
I am writing because the last review posted here was written August 2002 and I didn't want people browsing to get the impression that the book was no longer relevant or something. So you are in no doubt: you deal with children? you are losing your sanity? this book needs to be in YOUR home.
The central message is simple: respect children's feelings and they will respect yours. As you are looking for a parenting book, you probably think 'I DO respect their feelings, but the little brat still drives me crazy...' but actually this book shows that most of us continuously disrespect our children, and actually encourage them to behave the way they do. Free yourself from tyranny! Buy this book! Understand it, laugh with it, talk about it, try out the exercises.
A previous reviewer has criticised this book for not being easy-to-reference in a hurry. In the authors' defence: the book does encourage parents to make notes along the way and copy out the main points to remember for easy reference. Although you may think that takes time (of which you probably have little) it is actually a more effective way of learning, and let's face it, when you are in the midst of a parenting crisis, do you really want to turn around and start flicking through a book? If the message of the book really makes sense to you, then you'll be able to come up with a solution on the spur of the moment. This book encourages parents to be resourceful, self-sufficient, flexible and responsive to the immediate situation.
Indeed, I am so impressed with this book and the changes it has made in my relationship with my children that I have written this review. Now that's saying something!
on 2 September 2006
As an impatient mother of a challenging three year old I'd given up on books (and there were lots of them) and advice (and there was lots of it). A good friend of mine slipped me this book and I gave it a passing glance. I tried the first technique out with not much hope, and was immediately rewarded with a co-operation That was a week ago. I have since read it from cover to cover, given it back to my friend with a massive thank you, bought it myself and intend to read it again. It has made an immediate improvement to my relationship not only with my son but with my partner, my parents, my siblings and people in general. I've gone from frustrated, irritated, tired orgress to confident, loving mother. I actually enjoying talking to my son and he enjoys talking to me. I'd recommend this book to anyone who deals with children.
on 2 May 2003
I bought this book because I needed inspiration. I have a nearly 3 year old and, following the birth of my second son, our relationship was failing. This is an EXCELLENT book for parents who have reached the end of theit tether. I am only 2/3rds of my way though the book and already used several of the techniques suggested and found the results amazing!! It covers topics such as how the listen, talk to and praise our children but in a way I have never really understood before. As well as the text, there are cartoons to clearly show what is meant, exercises and real life stories from parents. The book clearly shows the subtle differences between punishment and consequence, good and bad praise, good and bad listening etc, etc.
When I first started reading this, I thought that it would be more suitable when my children are older (say 5+) but the techniques have really started to work for my 3 year old (the other is only 7 months) and I am so thankful I have bought it to use now. Buy it today.
on 22 July 2004
In desperation as a single parent father I bought this book and the other (F&M) one about sibling rivalry. What a revelation they are. By acknowledging children's feelings and allowing them to talk, most of the conflict has gone. By describing rather than bossing around co-operation has increased. It has not been easy and I still have a long way to go but things are a lot more relaxed. By removing the "competing and comparing with each other" part of the sibling relationship much of the brother and sister conflict and fighting has gone. I also found the idea of family meetings really helpful. By getting the children to contribute to the solution there is definitely more co-operation.
I have no hesitation in recommending it. In fact it probably needs to be compulsory for all parents. Also check out their website [...]
on 30 May 2009
I read this book when my son was three. I was being the mother I so did not want to be with him. I was screaming at him, hitting him and being generally horrible. I was out of control did not know what to do. I was confused and anxious. Here was my beautiful baby starting to defy me and I did not know what to do except scream and shout and lash out. I found this book by chance. I read a christmas book list in the Guardian and Susie Orbach recommended it. She said she kept it in her loo and it kept her sane. I knew instantly that I had to go and get this book. It was in 1992 so no internet or Amazon. I searched London and found it in a obscure bookshop mainly full of psycho-therapy books! I went and bought it and devoured it in a cafe, making notes, crying with relieve and knowing that I would now have the skills, hints and tips to deal with my own feelings that were surfacing that I had no idea how to deal with except by blaming my son. The next morning instead of going into to my son and saying - get dressed and insisting on him putting on the clothes I had prepared I said, lovely to see you and offered him a choice of clothes, the same with breakfast, the same with whether he wanted to put on his shoes or his coat first. For the first day in many many months we left the house relaxed and happy. I was in tears as I dropped him off at his nursery and so full of gratitude that I had found this book which was going to save my relationship with my son. My lovely son is now a delightful, happy, talented and inspired young man. What more could I wish for, nothing. It became possible because of these delightful mums who wrote this book. I have given it to many friends, I dont know whether they have gained as much as me, all I know is that it allowed me to be the mother I so wanted to be.
on 9 September 2001
I thought this book might be about how to use praise and language to avoid facing discipline issues with children but it is not like that at all. It teaches parents to be authorative and send the right messages without micro managing their children. The suggested changes are fairly straight forward and common sense, but may require some practice. Fortunately thare are many well illustrated examples and practical exercises to reinforce these ideas. This book stictly sticks to the topic of comunication and establishing cooperation which makes it an excellent supplement to any parents existing parenting style. Teaches mutual respect without surrendering parental authourity. A very good read.
on 1 December 2002
As a preschool teacher and parent, I found this book to be the major influence in forming my communication style with children. In fact, this book has given me the skills to communicate more effectively with everyone... my friends, my husband, my boss, and even my mother-in-law! When I changed my approach in how I spoke to them, they often changed their behavior. The logical, respectful strategies really work! My only criticism is that the format of the chapters does not always fascilitate quick referral. For example, when I recently wanted to quickly look up a whining, or biting, or mealtime strategy for three of my preschoolers, I became frustrated and confused as to where in the book I had seen the information. These topics were not listed in the index and I began to flip through the pages trying to find the stories and suggestions that I thought I remembered seeing somewhere. Therefore, I would also like to recommend another wonderful new book with the very same philosophy that is organized differently...for quick use on the spot for very busy parents. THE POCKET PARENT is literally a pocket-sized A-Z guide exclusively written for parents and teacher of preschoolers (2's, 3's, 4's, & 5's). It is loaded with hundreds of easy to find quick-read bullet answers (called "sanity savers") to 40 common behavior problems of 2- to 5-year-olds. I recommend these two books for every mom and dad with a 2- to 5-year-old. Both books are permissive with feelings, but strict with behavior while preserving the dignity of both parent and child. Both books are full of humor and compassion from authors that have "been there," too. For help on the spot as well as long term understanding ...keep both books handy!
on 10 August 2001
We have two adopted children who although they seemed to settle well up to the end of primary school became extremely challenging on reaching their teens.
We got the whole lot. Theft, drugs, abuse, violence, problems at school and as parents general depression because we felt blamed and guilty because we reckoned we hadn't handled things well.
This book changed our lives and the way we handled both our children and other people. It doesn't tell you what your children should be, but simply helps you alter the way handle them. We were doing the right things, like praising, but in the wrong way.
The impact happens much more quickly than you expect, but it can take a little while to change your approach, simply because you've been so conditioned to the wrong ways of talking over your lifetime.
In the UK not so many people seem to have heard of this book or the authors, but I'm spreading the word.