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Customer Review

on 15 July 2002
On holiday recently my 9 and 12 year old daughters were once again in full war cry: 'I hate you!' yelled the youngest, ' I would like to chop your head off -slowly, so it really hurts'. There followed various expletives too rich to print. The crime the eldest had committed? Borrowing her sister's flip flops without permission.
Children fighting, is of course, one of the greatest sources of parental distress, anger and despair. How often have you found yourself joining in the shouting match in an attempt to quieten them down (fat chance) or wielded all sorts of threats (usually ineffective) or felt your heart race with anxiety at the blood curdling screams and violence? Sibling Rivalry, Sibling Love is the book for you - indeed for all parents with more than one child. Parker and Stimpson tackle all the thorniest issues - jealousy, rivalry, bereavement, disability, comparing and labelling and provide solid chapters on the foundations of how to build positive relationships, understanding feelings and family communication.
This is all delivered with a warmth, directness and practicality which engages the reader immediately. But while the style is accessible it is not chatty - the authors know you want get to the nitty gritty of your concerns.
Different perspectives are provided on each topic via loads of quotes from practitioners, parents, children and academics (slightly too many for taste), and each subject is broken down into bite sized chunks so you can use it for quick reference or read a snippet in between consoling warring children and preventing meltdown. Key approaches, practical tips, research evidence, short case stories all help to build up a resource that is insightful and strategic. It goes into what doesn't work too (smacking, name calling etc.) and why.
Well recommended for the parental bookshelf.
By Hetty Einzig, R&D Director, Parenting Education and Support Forum
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