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Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too

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Already best-selling authors with How to Talk So Kids Will Listen Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish turned their minds to the battle of the siblings. Parents themselves, they were determined to figure out how to help their children get along. The result was Siblings Without Rivalry. This wise, groundbreaking book gives parents the practical tools the Already best-selling authors with How to Talk So Kids Will Listen Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish turned their minds to the battle of the siblings. Parents themselves, they were determined to figure out how to help their children get along. The result was Siblings Without Rivalry. This wise, groundbreaking book gives parents the practical tools they need to cope with conflict, encourage cooperation, reduce competition, and make it possible for children to experience the joys of their special relationship. With humor and understanding—much gained from raising their own children—Faber and Mazlish explain how and when to intervene in fights, provide suggestions on how to help children channel their hostility into creative outlets, and demonstrate how to treat children unequally and still be fair. Updated to incorporate fresh thoughts after years of conducting workshops for parents and professionals, this edition also includes a new afterword.


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Already best-selling authors with How to Talk So Kids Will Listen Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish turned their minds to the battle of the siblings. Parents themselves, they were determined to figure out how to help their children get along. The result was Siblings Without Rivalry. This wise, groundbreaking book gives parents the practical tools the Already best-selling authors with How to Talk So Kids Will Listen Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish turned their minds to the battle of the siblings. Parents themselves, they were determined to figure out how to help their children get along. The result was Siblings Without Rivalry. This wise, groundbreaking book gives parents the practical tools they need to cope with conflict, encourage cooperation, reduce competition, and make it possible for children to experience the joys of their special relationship. With humor and understanding—much gained from raising their own children—Faber and Mazlish explain how and when to intervene in fights, provide suggestions on how to help children channel their hostility into creative outlets, and demonstrate how to treat children unequally and still be fair. Updated to incorporate fresh thoughts after years of conducting workshops for parents and professionals, this edition also includes a new afterword.

30 review for Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too I am going to record my notes, so I have a place to keep them. - When siblings complaining, just try and repeat back what they are saying (helps them understand and validate feelings) - If younger child gets pushed down accidentally, say, "Oh know you didn't want that to happen, you were having so much fun together (reminds of good relationship) - Write signs on kids to remind the older sibling. (ex. "When I scream Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too I am going to record my notes, so I have a place to keep them. - When siblings complaining, just try and repeat back what they are saying (helps them understand and validate feelings) - If younger child gets pushed down accidentally, say, "Oh know you didn't want that to happen, you were having so much fun together (reminds of good relationship) - Write signs on kids to remind the older sibling. (ex. "When I scream, it means I'm not having fun.) - Main rule for fighting is STAY OUT OF IT. But if you have to intervene: 1) Acknowledge anger for each side 2) Then listen to them further explain why they are angry 3)Appreciate their both sides 4) Express faith in their ability to work it out (a "fair" solition) 5) Walk away - Treat kids unigquly, not equally. :( I love you the same/ :) I love you because you are you :( Give equal amounts of food/ :) Do you want a little or a lot :( Make sure time is equal/ :) "I know I am spending a lot of time with your sister because it is important to her. When I am done, I want to hear what is important to you." - When kids name calling or hitting: - “You sound mad, but I expect you to confront your brother without using names, or hitting. - Rather than hitting him, go his this pillow, or show me on this dall, or draw a picture. - Insisting on good feelings between children leads to bad feelings. Allowing bad feelings between children lead to good feelings.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Francisco Herrero

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. An easy to read book that is filled with valuable practical advice from workshops. Sometimes it sounds as if the prescriptions are too obvious and easy. However they are hard to implement consistently and correct previous behavioral habits. Can't talk about the implementation yet but the book is easy too read, illustrated with fun cartoons and is consistently praised by parents. As an only child who now has a son and a daughter I found it interesting to understand more about siblings relationship An easy to read book that is filled with valuable practical advice from workshops. Sometimes it sounds as if the prescriptions are too obvious and easy. However they are hard to implement consistently and correct previous behavioral habits. Can't talk about the implementation yet but the book is easy too read, illustrated with fun cartoons and is consistently praised by parents. As an only child who now has a son and a daughter I found it interesting to understand more about siblings relationships and how to try to be a good parent for both. The book is written to be followed like a parenting workshop. BROTHERS AND SISTERS NEED TO HAVE THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT EACH OTHER ACKNOWLEDGED Child: I’m gonna kill him! He took my new skates. With words that identify the feeling “You sound furious!” or With wishes “You wish he’d ask before using your things.” or With symbolic or creative activity “How would you feel about making a ‘Private Property’ sign and hanging it on your closet door?” CHILDREN NEED TO HAVE THEIR HURTFUL ACTIONS STOPPED “Hold it! People are not for hurting!” AND SHOWN HOW TO DISCHARGE ANGRY FEELINGS ACCEPTABLY “Tell him with words how angry you are. Tell him, ‘I don’t want my skates used without my permission!’” RESIST THE URGE TO COMPARE Instead of comparing one child unfavorably to another, (“Why can’t you hang up your clothes like your brother?”) speak to the child only about the behavior that displeases you. Describe what you see “I see a brand new jacket on the floor.” or Describe what you feel “That bothers me.” or Describe what needs to be done “This jacket belongs in the closet.” Instead of comparing one child favorably to another. (“You’re so much neater than your brother”) speak only about the behavior that pleases you. Describe what you see “I see you hung up your jacket.” or Describe what you feel “I appreciate that. I like seeing our hallway looking neat.” CHILDREN DON’T NEED TO BE TREATED EQUALLY. THEY NEED TO BE TREATED UNIQUELY. Instead of giving equal amounts “Here, now you have just as many grapes as your sister.” Give according to individual need “Do you want a few grapes, or a big bunch?” Instead of showing equal love “I love you the same as your sister.” Show the child he or she is loved uniquely “You are the only ‘you’ in the whole wide world. No one could ever take your place.” Instead of giving equal time “After I’ve spent ten minutes with your sister, I’ll spend ten minutes with you.” Give time according to need “I know I’m spending a lot of time going over your sister’s composition. It’s important to her. As soon as I’m finished, I want to hear what’s important to you.” LET NO ONE LOCK A CHILD INTO A ROLE Not his parents Instead of: Johnny, did you hide your brother’s ball? Why are you always so mean? Parent: Your brother wants his ball back. Not the child himself Johnny: I know I’m mean. Parent: You’re also capable of being kind. Not his brothers or sisters Sister: Johnny, you’re mean! Daddy, he won’t lend me his scotch tape. Parent: Try asking him differently. You may be surprised at how generous he can be. If Johnny Attacks his Brother, Attend to the Brother Without Attacking Johnny Parent: That must hurt. Let me rub it. Johnny needs to learn how to express his feelings with words, not fists! CHILDREN WITH PROBLEMS DO NOT NEED TO BE VIEWED AS PROBLEM CHILDREN. They do need: Acceptance of their frustration: “This isn’t easy. It can be frustrating.” Appreciation for what they have accomplished, however imperfect: “You got a lot closer that time.” Help in focusing on solutions: “This is tough. What do you do in a case like this?” HOW TO HANDLE THE FIGHTING Level I: Normal Bickering. 1. Ignore it. Think about your next vacation. 2. Tell yourself the children are having an important experience in conflict resolution. Level II: Situation Heating up. Adult Intervention Might Be Helpful 1. Acknowledge their anger. “You two sound mad at each other!” 2. Reflect each child’s point of view. “So Sara, you want to keep on holding the puppy, because he’s just settled down in your arms. And you Billy, feel you’re entitled to a turn too.” 3. Describe the problem with respect. “That’s a tough one: Two children and only one puppy.” 4. Express confidence in the children’s ability to find their own solution. “I have confidence that you two can work out a solution that’s fair to each of you . . . and fair to the puppy.” 5. Leave the room. Level III: Situation Possibly Dangerous. 1. Inquire: “Is this a play fight or a real fight?” (Play fights are permitted. Real fights are not.) 2. Let the children know: “Play fighting by mutual consent only.” (If it’s not fun for both, it’s got to stop.) 3. Respect your feelings: “You may be playing, but it’s too rough for me. You need to find another activity.” Level IV: Situation Definitely Dangerous! Adult Intervention Necessary. 1. Describe what you see. “I see two very angry children who are about to hurt each other.” 2. Separate the children. “It’s not safe to be together. We must have a cooling-off period. Quick, you to your room, and you to yours!” WHEN THE CHILDREN CAN’T WORK OUT A PROBLEM BY THEMSELVES 1. Call a meeting of the antagonists. Explain the purpose and the ground rules. 2. Write down each child’s feelings and concerns, and read them aloud. 3. Allow time for rebuttal. 4. Invite everyone to come up with solutions. Write down all ideas without evaluating. 5. Decide upon the solutions you all can live with. 6. Follow-up. A Quick Reminder . . . HOW TO GIVE SUPPORT TO THE CHILD WHO ASKS FOR IT WITHOUT TAKING SIDES Jimmy: Daddy, I can’t finish my map for school. Make her give me the crayons! Amy: No. I have to color my flower. 1. State each child’s case. “Let me get this straight. Jimmy, you need the crayons to finish your homework. And Amy, you want to finish coloring.” 2. State the value or rule. “Homework assignments get top priority.” 3. Leave the doorway open for the possibility of negotiation. “But Jimmy, if you want to work something out with your sister, that’s up to you.” 4. Leave.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Eh, it was okay. I know I said I liked it, but it's really because it did what it promised to do - gave me a few things to try in my home to help my children get along better with each other. Not trying to treat kids equally, spending quality time with each, helping them problems solve... good information, crappy format and perspective. The writing was literally painful for two reasons. First, the "discussion" format got old after about page 3, and second I take serious issue with the analogy of Eh, it was okay. I know I said I liked it, but it's really because it did what it promised to do - gave me a few things to try in my home to help my children get along better with each other. Not trying to treat kids equally, spending quality time with each, helping them problems solve... good information, crappy format and perspective. The writing was literally painful for two reasons. First, the "discussion" format got old after about page 3, and second I take serious issue with the analogy of my having more than one child as analogous to my husband taking more than one wife. I know those gripes basically cover the entire backbone of the book, but here's my thing: I refuse to belive kids are just innately at each other's throats and that life is just that hard for them because they have a sibling. I'm sorry, but I don't feel guilty for having four children and I'd prefer a perspective that helps kids feel grateful to be part of a wonderful family instead of one that has parents trying to figure out how to compensate for the sorrow that is another child.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vonette

    There is some helpful info here, and it reads quickly. But the writing style got on my nerves after about 3 chapters! It's written in a pseudo-narrative format including dialogue, told from the point of view of the leader of a group of parents who are learning how to help their children get along. The dialogue sounds canned and repetitive. The note at the beginning makes it clear that the whole narrative is fictionalized -- based on true experiences of real parents but after awhile it all starts There is some helpful info here, and it reads quickly. But the writing style got on my nerves after about 3 chapters! It's written in a pseudo-narrative format including dialogue, told from the point of view of the leader of a group of parents who are learning how to help their children get along. The dialogue sounds canned and repetitive. The note at the beginning makes it clear that the whole narrative is fictionalized -- based on true experiences of real parents but after awhile it all starts to feel canned. Though I found the book helpful in many ways, it is clearly a product of its 1980's origins. The idea that negative emotions can be effectively dealt with by "taking out your anger on a pillow" for example. It's a bit simplistic. Still, there is good advice mixed in there. This book could offer some help to any parent who has more than one child.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    September 28, 2011 At the rate we're going, some of us won't make it out alive. It could be me. It could be one of the girls. Or both of them! Or all three of us! Desperate times. Hoping for a miracle here. October 4, 2011 I don't know how many stars to give this book, because I haven't fully put it to the test yet. Four for now. I've tried a few little changes and they've actually helped tremendously!!! But I'm trying to not get too excited. I'll come back and update in a month or so. This is the September 28, 2011 At the rate we're going, some of us won't make it out alive. It could be me. It could be one of the girls. Or both of them! Or all three of us! Desperate times. Hoping for a miracle here. October 4, 2011 I don't know how many stars to give this book, because I haven't fully put it to the test yet. Four for now. I've tried a few little changes and they've actually helped tremendously!!! But I'm trying to not get too excited. I'll come back and update in a month or so. This is the kind of book I have to read through once, then go back and go chapter by chapter, adding changes a little at a time. At this point, I'm impressed and I can absolutely see how a few changes will make a huge difference. Favorite sections of the book: - Siblings in Roles. Chapter 5. - Chapter 6. Especially pages 143-144 which summarize the four levels of fighting (bickering, heating up, possibly dangerous, definitely dangerous!) and what to do in each level. - The cartoon dad in super short shorts on pages 132-133! Awesome.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ricki

    I didn't feel that there was much new material here that wasn't already in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Some of it kinda felt like a no-brainer. There is also one definite problem. I was reading an older copy and maybe this is fixed in newer editions, but this book advises the reader to ask their child to show their aggression to a surrogate object (such as by punching a doll in lieu of a sibling). Supposedly, this enables the parent to show the child that they acce I didn't feel that there was much new material here that wasn't already in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Some of it kinda felt like a no-brainer. There is also one definite problem. I was reading an older copy and maybe this is fixed in newer editions, but this book advises the reader to ask their child to show their aggression to a surrogate object (such as by punching a doll in lieu of a sibling). Supposedly, this enables the parent to show the child that they accept the child's feelings, but not their actions of violence toward a real person. However, psychology studies have proved by now that letting out anger by venting or punching a pillow does not actually diminish or dissipate aggression and anger, but rather strengthens those feelings and draws them out longer. Therefore, on this topic, the book is completely wrong. Instead, we need to teach our kids calming-down skills.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lewis Manalo

    This book probably isn't 100% useless, but it's pretty damn near. It takes for granted that our children have no minds of their own, and that as parents we are almost entirely responsible for who our kids grow up to be. - The early chapters use a ridiculous polygamy metaphor to try to illustrate how children feel about siblings, depicting jealousy as the only emotion two people loved by the same person could feel for one another. - The book offers nothing other than anecdotal evidence for the so This book probably isn't 100% useless, but it's pretty damn near. It takes for granted that our children have no minds of their own, and that as parents we are almost entirely responsible for who our kids grow up to be. - The early chapters use a ridiculous polygamy metaphor to try to illustrate how children feel about siblings, depicting jealousy as the only emotion two people loved by the same person could feel for one another. - The book offers nothing other than anecdotal evidence for the solutions and attitudes that it offers, and even most of the anecdotes aren't conclusive. - The book fails to address the fact that people outside of the home will also interact with siblings. You don't have to be a parent to compare siblings or to favor one over the other. Worst of all, in assuming that our children are a direct result of how we treat them the book relieves kids of any kind of responsibility for their behavior. Kids will act in ridiculous ways whether they have siblings or not, and owning up to the consequences of their actions is part of growing up.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    This book almost made me cry (and I don't cry easily for books). Just reading/hearing the words coming out of parents mouths from the examples in the book, from parents around me, and from myself and then seeing the contrast described in the book was an indescribable experience for me. I would wager that the vast majority of us have specific issues, big or small, because of the labeling whether implied or said outloud, from our parents. It is amazing how much trauma this causes. This is something This book almost made me cry (and I don't cry easily for books). Just reading/hearing the words coming out of parents mouths from the examples in the book, from parents around me, and from myself and then seeing the contrast described in the book was an indescribable experience for me. I would wager that the vast majority of us have specific issues, big or small, because of the labeling whether implied or said outloud, from our parents. It is amazing how much trauma this causes. This is something that I was spared from, in a way, because my mother was very intentional about not comparing me with my brother. However, she also didn't know how to encourage us to be ourselves and the things she/they didn't say makes a huge difference. It's one thing to avoid comparing, it's great in fact! However it's a completely different thing to pro-actively say things to encourage children to be who they are and to be the best at that as they can be. Many parents don't know how to do this and this book lays out fundamentals that I can try to model to the best of my ability.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    3.5 / 5 stars, rounded up to 4. Does it work? I don't know... perhaps if my flying monkeys had read it, the strategies would be more effective, but I'm trying to implement them so we'll see.... It reinforces all the things one learns at parenting courses about making sure your child is heard, and has their feelings acknowledged. I skipped over the last section of adults telling stories about their own childhood, and how damaged they became by their parents less-than-spectacular parenting 'cause 3.5 / 5 stars, rounded up to 4. Does it work? I don't know... perhaps if my flying monkeys had read it, the strategies would be more effective, but I'm trying to implement them so we'll see.... It reinforces all the things one learns at parenting courses about making sure your child is heard, and has their feelings acknowledged. I skipped over the last section of adults telling stories about their own childhood, and how damaged they became by their parents less-than-spectacular parenting 'cause I don't need to relive all that stuff either! It's a little condescending at times, and the strategy of simply ignoring the bickering could force me to become an alcoholic by the time my three daughters are all teenagers, but if nothing else, I at least feel like my family's actually pretty normal, and we're doing ok. Except for the wine consumption. Hubby's away the next couple of weekends so i may be back to edit this...wish me luck.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Thorpe

    This was a really easy read and I got a lot out of it. I think the biggest challenge for me is to stay out of my boys fights and not create a triangle. This book helped cure me of that. This topic is a work in progress! It reminded me that sibling rivalry is a natural part of growing up. And, that not taking sides brings them closer together, because they don't feel that mom is giving one of them preferential treatment. This book is filled with anecdotal evidence and stories from people that are This was a really easy read and I got a lot out of it. I think the biggest challenge for me is to stay out of my boys fights and not create a triangle. This book helped cure me of that. This topic is a work in progress! It reminded me that sibling rivalry is a natural part of growing up. And, that not taking sides brings them closer together, because they don't feel that mom is giving one of them preferential treatment. This book is filled with anecdotal evidence and stories from people that are parenting through the scars left with them since their own childhoods. It was a very interesting read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kaytee Cobb

    This book is absolutely going on my shelves. I wanted to highlight the whole thing, except I listened to it as an audiobook. The examples, the classroom sessions, they are so useful. I love that it's not JUST Faber and Mazlish's experience as parents, but those of their students as well. And I love that the updated edition includes additional information and letters received after the release of the book. This is a MUST for any parent that has more than one child. And I almost want to give it as This book is absolutely going on my shelves. I wanted to highlight the whole thing, except I listened to it as an audiobook. The examples, the classroom sessions, they are so useful. I love that it's not JUST Faber and Mazlish's experience as parents, but those of their students as well. And I love that the updated edition includes additional information and letters received after the release of the book. This is a MUST for any parent that has more than one child. And I almost want to give it as a new baby gift to anyone having their second child. Because it's that good.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Yu

    Format, the cartoons (even a poem at the end!) are sooooooooo cheesy, but I can handle a retro vibe if the advice is good. The horror stories are (I hope!) too dramatic where siblings hate each other, themselves and their parents. It made me very scared to have two kids, but, oh well, too late! 1. Acknowledge negative feelings, don't dismiss them (e.g. "Bobby said I'm a moron" DON'T RESPOND WITH "oh, just ignore him" say "a comment like that could make you mad!"). Identify the feeling or talk abo Format, the cartoons (even a poem at the end!) are sooooooooo cheesy, but I can handle a retro vibe if the advice is good. The horror stories are (I hope!) too dramatic where siblings hate each other, themselves and their parents. It made me very scared to have two kids, but, oh well, too late! 1. Acknowledge negative feelings, don't dismiss them (e.g. "Bobby said I'm a moron" DON'T RESPOND WITH "oh, just ignore him" say "a comment like that could make you mad!"). Identify the feeling or talk about wishes ("you wish he'd ask you before playing with your toys") or with creativity (let's make a private property sign) 2. Resist the urge to make comparisons, good or bad -- just address the behavior directly (e.g. DON'T "why can't you hang up your clothes like your brother"). Simply describe what you see (jackets are on the floor) or describe what you feel (I don't like that) or describe what needs to be done (this jacket belongs in the closet) 3. Children don't need to be treated equally, they need to be treated uniquely. (e.g. DON'T "I love you the same" say "You're the only "you" in the whole world." DON'T "here are the same number of grapes" say "do you want a few or a lot?") 4. Don't give attention to the aggressor -- even negative attention is appealing. Attend to the injured party instead, the aggressor will feel left out. 5. Don't view children in roles (the organized one, the musical one, the smart one, the athletic one). View each child with a growth mindset. 6. Fighting: (a) minor = ignore it. (b) heated = 1. acknowledge anger; 2. reflect each child's POV; 3. describe the problem with respect; 4. express confidence in each child's ability to find solution; 5. leave. (c) dangerous = remind them that play fighting is by consent only or separate them for a cooling off period 7. If they can't work out a solution for fighting, call a meeting and write down their feelings and concerns, brainstorm ideas and decide on solution (e.g. mediation tactics) 8. How to not take sides: state each child's case, state the value or rule, leave the doorway open for negotiation, leave. (e.g. "let me see, Jimmy needs the crayon for homework, Amy wants to finish coloring. Homework gets priority. But Jimmy if you want to work something out with Amy, that's up to you.") Random unorganized epilogue advice: 1. if kids are running around and they crash and cry. Remind them "oh no! you didn't want that to happen. you two were having so much fun" the reminder of the positive will speed up recovery time 2. praise good behavior through overhearing audible conversation b/w parents "hey [spouse], did you know that Danny taught Sam how to use a chair today?" 3. "I hear crying. Do you need help or can you work it out?" 4. Instead of playing "who can get dressed faster" set up "you guys are a team -- how fast can you guys get dressed" 5. most things are for sharing but some things are by permission only (e.g. things on a special shelf) 6. talk about how isn't it funny that "the best toys are the ones that someone else is using" then every time she wants to grab something, wink at each other and recite that line like it's an inside joke 7. make sure each child gets alone time with you several days a week. don't talk about the other child during that time. 8. don't have to do everything as a family all the time. e.g. just take one to the zoo, or split up at the zoo and meet for lunch.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Another great book by Faber and Mazlish, I decided to read this after reading their other book a few years ago (How to Talk so Kids will Listen...). Now my girls are 9 and 7 years old, and although they get along nicely occasionally, there are plenty of (daily, hourly) fights, bickering, arguing over things, screaming at each other, etc. So I've been eager for a little helpful wisdom regarding sibling issues and the best way to handle it. Just like their other book, it is full of very practical Another great book by Faber and Mazlish, I decided to read this after reading their other book a few years ago (How to Talk so Kids will Listen...). Now my girls are 9 and 7 years old, and although they get along nicely occasionally, there are plenty of (daily, hourly) fights, bickering, arguing over things, screaming at each other, etc. So I've been eager for a little helpful wisdom regarding sibling issues and the best way to handle it. Just like their other book, it is full of very practical tips, and the similar type of cartoon-like strips showing examples of what not to do, and what to do instead. ("Instead of this....try this") Again they structure the book as telling you about a parenting class they're teaching, and they use the people in the class to offer discussion and examples of challenges and how to handle them. What was really interesting was how they talk about how deep sibling issues go, and how so many of us are still affected by them today. Many parents in the book gave examples of how their parents always treated their siblings different than them, or how they fought with their brother or sister so much - to the point that as an adult when they looked back, they still have very strong feelings about those years. Of course this makes a lot of sense, as the family we grew up in makes a huge difference in our lives. But it's really interesting now as a parent of children myself to look back and see how I feel when I think about myself as a kid dealing with sibling challenges. It helps to put yourself in that position and remember what it felt like. But the main focus of the book is how to take practical steps to help your kids learn to deal with each other, and how to adjust your own parenting behaviors so that you're not making the problem worse. Some were things I already knew I shouldn't do, but have a hard time putting into practice (not comparing your kids to each other all the time, for example). But other things were examples of things we do that we think are helpful, but really might be the opposite (always praising one child for only one trait, such as "you're the smart one", "you're the creative one", etc). It gives a lot of food for thought, and I have a feeling I will want to look through it again in the future.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    In my circles, this book is pretty well gospel for those with more than one kid. Written as a piece of narrative, instructive non-fiction, Siblings Without Rivalry discusses how to deal with your kids when they fight. The goal is to be aware of their motivations, your actions and reactions, and how to set up a house where, even if everyone is not at peace with one another, then at least everyone is respectful of each other. Faber and Mazlish preface their work with a note that this book is an ou In my circles, this book is pretty well gospel for those with more than one kid. Written as a piece of narrative, instructive non-fiction, Siblings Without Rivalry discusses how to deal with your kids when they fight. The goal is to be aware of their motivations, your actions and reactions, and how to set up a house where, even if everyone is not at peace with one another, then at least everyone is respectful of each other. Faber and Mazlish preface their work with a note that this book is an outgrowth of a larger work on general parenting topics. They also take their person experiences in parenting and parent coaching and mash them into the rough story of one person with two children, leading a parenting group. The narrative style works to keep the pace up and enliven what might otherwise be a dry and impersonal instruction manual. And each chapter and topic has a section devoted to personal story telling. That is, the fictionalized members of the parenting group all tell their own stories so that you can find someone or something to identify with. I had a few problems with the text overall. One is that it's written according to a big reveal. That is, Faber and Mazlish use the technique whereby they tell a story, usually dramatic and heartening, and allow you to draw your own conclusions. Then they turn it on its head and act it out they way they think would best solve the problem. Then they reveal the concept behind their technique and assume that, by that time, you are so emotionally invested in the outcome that you accept it regardless of whether or not you agree with it. And speaking of agreement, I did not come out entirely on board. I understand the purpose of describing behaviors of conflict. But there were some clashes described where I would not have been able to simply describe. Some things are right and are wrong and children must be told this. Their feelings should be honored certainly, but "my sister is stupid and I hate her" should get something a bit more authoritarian than a sympathetic nod. Were I unfamiliar with the techniques I likely would have rated it higher. It was, however, somewhat repetitious and, as above, dramatized.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    Adele Faber is the author of the bestselling "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk". In "Siblings Without Rivalry", she shares her materials from classes that she conducts to help parents deal with siblings who fight or don't get along. She shares the basic concepts, which are fairly straightforward, along with some great stories from parents who have made use of her suggestions in their own families. The core idea of dealing with kids who fight with each other is to reflect Adele Faber is the author of the bestselling "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk". In "Siblings Without Rivalry", she shares her materials from classes that she conducts to help parents deal with siblings who fight or don't get along. She shares the basic concepts, which are fairly straightforward, along with some great stories from parents who have made use of her suggestions in their own families. The core idea of dealing with kids who fight with each other is to reflect back to them what they are saying, helping them to verbalize their emotions. This tends to diffuse a lot of tension present in sibling conflicts. She suggests that the parent then encourage the kids to work out the conflict on their own, only stepping in if there is some danger that the kids will hurt each other. Although simple, Faber's techniques for managing conflict between kids has proven to be highly successful. This book is a must read for any parents who have more than one child.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Written by the same authors of "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk." As with most of these types of books, all that they needed to say could probably be summed up in a chapter or two, but they pad it with a lot of stories. The most helpful points I found were illustrated in cartoon form. If you got the book and just read the cartoons, you'd have about 90% of the meat of the book. The strongest advice is accepting the children's feelings, even bad feelings toward one anoth Written by the same authors of "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk." As with most of these types of books, all that they needed to say could probably be summed up in a chapter or two, but they pad it with a lot of stories. The most helpful points I found were illustrated in cartoon form. If you got the book and just read the cartoons, you'd have about 90% of the meat of the book. The strongest advice is accepting the children's feelings, even bad feelings toward one another, and letting them know that they are understood. Also, avoiding comparisons and casting the children in roles, even if they are positive roles (i.e. don't continually say to one child that they are a great artist, because all the other one hears is that he is not a great artist).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wren

    I know this won't fix every problem my kids have with each other. I know that I have to keep praying for them and help shaping their hearts with God's Word. But I like the way this book made me re-evaluate how I react when my kids squabble, and I like the suggestions and examples of how to get the kids thinking towards positive solutions they come up with themselves. I hope that I can put these ideas in to practice and enjoy some peace from time to time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Read this pretty soon after our second son was born. Nine years later looking at the other reviews, I realize how much of this book I incorporated into our parenting. Our two sons have a really good relationship and a lot of it can be attributed to reading this book. Best pieces of advice: don't get sucked into their arguments! And let each child know how much he/she is loved individually.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nawal QC

    I picked this up because my older two kids are really mean to each other, and after recently having a fourth kid, my husband and I have struggled to "do right" by each of our children. I feel we are always saying the wrong things, putting our kids in 'roles' -- either by birth order or labeling them as the 'whiner,' 'the artist' etc. And then, we don't have the words when they argue and fight..and then I dropped the book after reading a few chapters, because these types of practical texts feel r I picked this up because my older two kids are really mean to each other, and after recently having a fourth kid, my husband and I have struggled to "do right" by each of our children. I feel we are always saying the wrong things, putting our kids in 'roles' -- either by birth order or labeling them as the 'whiner,' 'the artist' etc. And then, we don't have the words when they argue and fight..and then I dropped the book after reading a few chapters, because these types of practical texts feel redundant and obvious to me, at times. Anyway, I picked it up again -- feeling compelled out of frustration with their sibling dynamics and bickering -- and plowed through it in a few hours. It is full of helpful language to use in various scenarios, and opened my eyes to how parents can unknowingly cause longterm hurt to their children. The family relationships are where children learn how to navigate sticky situations and lots of feelings and this book gave me tips for how to set kids up for understanding and success that will hopefully last beyond our walls at home.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danielle K

    I feel like this has been a helpful book but I had to take away a star for the first chapter because of the dumb analogy of adding a child is like adding another spouse.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    In “Siblings Without Rivalry,” Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish do something they didn’t manage to accomplish in “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk”: they set themselves apart from the rest of the parenting prescription pack. Though I found the book’s central conceit – that it retells the exchanges of one composite parenting workshop – perpetually annoying, the actual advice specific to fostering healthy and happy sibling relationships has proved invaluable in my household In “Siblings Without Rivalry,” Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish do something they didn’t manage to accomplish in “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk”: they set themselves apart from the rest of the parenting prescription pack. Though I found the book’s central conceit – that it retells the exchanges of one composite parenting workshop – perpetually annoying, the actual advice specific to fostering healthy and happy sibling relationships has proved invaluable in my household. Since I wish the authors had presented their wisdom in a straightforward manner, that’s just what I’ll do: “Brothers and sisters need to have their feelings about each other acknowledged . . . [w]ith words that identify the feeling . . . , [w]ith wishes (“You wish he’d ask before using your things.”), or with symbolic or creative activity,” because “[n]ot till the bad feelings come out can the good ones come in.” “[S]ince kids tend to copy their parents’ behavior, maybe the next time [you are] angry at someone, [you] should sit down in front of the children and draw or write,” modeling constructive channelling of negative emotion. “Resist the urge to compare.” “Instead . . . [d]escribe what you see . . . , [d]escribe what you feel . . . , or [d]escribe what needs to be done.” “‘To be loved equally, . . . is somehow to be loved less. To be loved uniquely – for one’s own special self – is to be loved as much as we need to be loved.’” As a result, “[c]hildren don’t need to be treated equally. They need to be treated uniquely. Instead of giving equal amounts [or time]. . . [, g]ive according to individual needs. . . .” So for goodness sake don’t say, “I love you all the same,” and when you don’t give equally, help the “slighted” kid with “understanding and acceptance of their disappointment.” In order to help kids escape roles, “treat[ y]our children, not as they are, but as [you] hope[] they w[ill] become.” This includes refraining from describing your child’s current proclivities (making your statements self-fulfilling prophecies) and actively combating assigned or assumed roles. For example, “[i]nstead of the parent treating the child as a ‘bully’ . . . [t]he parent can help him see that he’s capable of being civil. When other siblings treat him as a ‘bully’ . . . [t]he parents can give the siblings a new view of their brother. When the child sees himself as a ‘bully’ . . . [t]he parent can help him see his capacity for kindness.” “How to handle the fighting. Level I: Normal [b]ickering. 1. Ignore it. . . . 2. Tell yourself the children are having an important experience in conflict resolution. Level II: Situation [heating up . . . adult intervention might be helpful]. 1. Acknowledge their anger. . . . 2. Reflect each child’s point of view. . . . 3. Describe the problem with respect. . . . 4. Express confidence in the children’s ability to find their own solution. . . . 5. Leave the room. Level III: Situation [p]ossibly [d]angerous. 1. Inquire. . . . 2. Let the children know: ‘Play fighting by mutual consent only.’ . . . 3. Respect your feelings: ‘You may be playing, but it’s too rough for me. You need to find another activity.’ Level IV: Situation [definitely dangerous . . . adult intervention necessary.] 1. Describe what you see. . . . 2. Separate the children. . . .” And in a “Level IV” situation, “[d]on’t give your attention to the aggressor. . . . Attend to the injured party instead.” In any of these situations you can try saying something like, “oh dear, you two were having so much fun,” in order to recast them as a team rather than adversaries. “When the children can’t work out a problem by themselves. 1. Call a meeting of the antagonists. Explain the purpose and the ground rules. 2. Write down each child’s feelings and concerns, and read them aloud. 3. Allow time for rebuttal. 4. Invite everyone to come up with solutions. Write down all ideas without evaluating. 5. Decide upon the solutions you all can live with. 6. Follow-up.” “How to give support to the child who asks for it without taking sides. . . . 1. State each child’s case. . . . 2. State the value or rule. . . . 3. Leave the doorway open for the possibility of negotiation. (‘But Jimmy, if you want to work something out with your sister, that’s up to you.’) 4. Leave.”

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jolène Fender

    I've noticed in the last few months my 3 year old acting out more towards her younger sister. It seemed to have coincided with her becoming mobile and grabbing onto toys and demanding more of my attention. Someone from my mom group mentioned this book as being helpful identifying certain things we are doing or saying that may contribute to the sibling rivalry. So in effort to nip it on the bud... or at the very least have tools in my arsenal to tackle what's to come, I grabbed a copy. The book r I've noticed in the last few months my 3 year old acting out more towards her younger sister. It seemed to have coincided with her becoming mobile and grabbing onto toys and demanding more of my attention. Someone from my mom group mentioned this book as being helpful identifying certain things we are doing or saying that may contribute to the sibling rivalry. So in effort to nip it on the bud... or at the very least have tools in my arsenal to tackle what's to come, I grabbed a copy. The book reads like notes from round table discussion. Many anecdotes from parents, which were great. I wish there would have been a bit more on how to deal with the toddler/baby stage. This seems to apply more to the later years. I've already put some things into action and, like anything, consistency is the key. It doesn't feel very natural at first but I'm hoping my husband and I can get the hang of it. Some of my notes - Children don't need to be treated equally. They need to be treated uniquely. Eg. Instead of showing equal love, show that he or she is loved uniquely. "You are the only 'you' in the whole wide world. No one could ever take your place" instead of "I love you both equally" - Don't put siblings in roles. Be wary of statements like "She's the athlete in the family", etc. We want to make it clear to our children that the joys of scholarship, dance, drama, sport are for everyone and not reserved for those who have a special aptitude. - bully and victim : our task would be two fold. Free the bully to be compassionate and free the victim to be strong. - Fighting 1. Start by acknowledging the children's anger towards each other. That alone should help calm them down. 2. Listen to each child's side with respect. 3. Show appreciation for the difficulty of the problem. 4. Express faith in their ability to work out a mutually agreeable solution. 5. Leave the room. - On sharing 1. Children should be encouraged to share, and for very practical reasons. Just to get along on this world, they'll need to know how to share - goods, space, themselves. And for spiritual reasons as well. We want our children to experience the pleasure and goodwill that comes from voluntarily giving. Making children share, however, only makes them clutch their possessions more tightly. Forced sharing undermines goodwill. - Hitting is not allowed. We don't hit in this family. - When one sibling hurts another, tend to the victim instead of giving attention to the aggressor. *** this worked on the first try. My oldest pushed her baby sister down and made her cry. I immediately went to her sister and said "oh are you ok baby, I know your sister shouldn't be pushing you down like that." I could feel my oldest watching this unfold. And within seconds she said "sorry Lena" and gave her a hug. That was it. I suspect that my oldest is craving attention, negative or positive and she normally would get a reaction out of me if she did something bad. Overall though, the main thing I've learned is that we must stay out of it as much as possible. Acknowledge, offer support and let them sort it out.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scout Collins

    AMAZING book! Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish have wonderful, practical ideas for dealing with kids (and in this case, siblings). The way their parenting books are designed/laid out are functional, organized and helpful. They describe concepts, show stories highlighting that concept, add comics with the "right" way and the "wrong" way of doing something, and neatly summarize at the end of the chapter. In the first place they make things simple and practical, so you can start applying easily. They d AMAZING book! Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish have wonderful, practical ideas for dealing with kids (and in this case, siblings). The way their parenting books are designed/laid out are functional, organized and helpful. They describe concepts, show stories highlighting that concept, add comics with the "right" way and the "wrong" way of doing something, and neatly summarize at the end of the chapter. In the first place they make things simple and practical, so you can start applying easily. They display ideas in steps (almost like a checklist), so they're easy to remember. On these types of books I do a summary & notes at the end, but for this book it will be tough considering I'll be copying half the book into my notes! I also didn't want to post all of that detail here because then it will give away a lot of the book. I will summarize one key point (if you only take one point from the book, let it be this one) - DO NOT dismiss your child's (this even applies to adults too) feelings. It is important to ACKNOWLEDGE and ACCEPT them. If you aren't doing this yet, you will be surprised by how much of a huge difference this makes. The only criticism I have for this book is that for siblings who have been fighting for years and have some really deep-seated issues, this book may not do the trick. The authors suggest getting professional help which I would agree is the right way to go, but it would be great if they had written a chapter on that too. Overall, I would recommend this to pretty much EVERYONE - parents who have two kids, parents who are about to have two kids, adults who have a sibling, anyone who has a sibling... it was a nice touch to show adult siblings reconnecting after having a hard time in their childhoods, and maybe this book can help you have a better relationship with your own siblings too! As always, a true gem from Faber & Mazlish. I've loved every one of their books so far!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Excellent. I want to own it and buy a copy in Korean for my mom now. All so practical, with an easy time that earns my trust. I'm eager to read their other books now too. I'm going to scan and print the comic strips comparing what not to do and what to do. Brilliant. It's all quite simple, but they have enough tips that I anticipate forgetting them. I used to think that parenting books wouldn't really be helpful because they may be dramatic or overly anecdotal or even prescriptive. The few I've Excellent. I want to own it and buy a copy in Korean for my mom now. All so practical, with an easy time that earns my trust. I'm eager to read their other books now too. I'm going to scan and print the comic strips comparing what not to do and what to do. Brilliant. It's all quite simple, but they have enough tips that I anticipate forgetting them. I used to think that parenting books wouldn't really be helpful because they may be dramatic or overly anecdotal or even prescriptive. The few I've read so far tend to offer tips that come out of workshops with parents. This book does this well. Tips: 1. Instead of dismissing negative feelings about a sibling, acknowledge the feelings (put the feeling into words) 2. Express what the child might wish (ex: You don't want her here. Sometimes you wish she'd go away. / That can be annoying. You wish he'd check with you before he starts to play.) 3. Help children channel their hostile feelings into symbolic or creative outlets (ex: It's no fun being left behind. Can you draw me a picture of how you feel?) 4. Show better ways to express anger (ex: No punching. Tell your sister how angry you are with your words. / You sound furious! But I expect you to confront your brother workout calling names. / Instead of name calling, tell him what you feel or what you'd like.) 5. Instead of favorable comparisons, describe what you see or feel (ex: I see you picked up yourb truck and you even put away your puzzle pieces.) 6. Instead of unfavorable comparisons, describe the problem (ex: It's hard for me to be helpful when I am being criticized.) "Children often experience praise of a brother or sister as a put-down of themselves... It's a good idea to save our enthusiastic comments for the ear of the deserving child" (58-9). Describe what you see, how you feel, what needs to be done 7. Instead of worrying about giving equal amounts, focus on each child's individual needs 8. Instead of claiming equal love, tell children how they're loved uniquely 9. Equal time can feel like less -- give time in terms of need (ex: I know I'm spending a lot of time going over your sister's composition. It's important to her. As soon as I'm finished, I want to hear what's important to you.) 10. Let no one lock a child into a role (ex: bully, responsible, timid...) -- free children to change! No more bullies: The parent can help them are they're capable of being civil; give siblings new view of their sibling; help then see capacity for kindness No more victims: The parent can show them how to stand up for themselves; give siblings new view of siblings; help them see their potential strength Rather than focusing on their disabilities, focus on their abilities: acceptance of their frustrations, appreciation for what they have accomplished however imperfect, help in focusing on solutions 11. Fights: a. Start by acknowledging the children's anger towards each other. That alone should help them calm down. (ex: You two sound angry at each other.) b. Listen to each child's side with respect. (ex: So it was your idea to build a zoo and you wanted to do it my yourself. But when you saw him playing, you wanted to okay too. Hm, this is a tough situation -- two children want to use the same toys at the same time.) c. Express faith in their ability to work out a mutually agreeable solution. (ex: I have confidence that if you two put your heads together, you'll come up with a solution that feels fair to each of you.) d. Leave the room so that the kids can work it out. If they need guidance, offer a simple suggestion or two before leaving. When the fighting is heading towards hurting: Describe, Establish limits, Separate them Play fighting only by mutual consent!! One should not take pleasure at the expense of the other. 12. Helping resolve conflict: a. Call a meeting of the concerned parties and explain the purpose of the meeting. b. Explain the ground rules to everyone. c. Write down each child's feelings and concerns. Read them aloud to both children to be sure you've understood them correctly. d. Allow each child time for rebuttal. e. Invite everyone to suggest as many solutions as possible. Write down all ideas without evaluating. Let the kids go first. f. Decide upon the solutions you can all live with. g. Follow up. Without taking sides: a. State each child's case. b. State the value or rule (ex: Homework assignments get top priority. / We'll, it's your blouse and your decision. But if you want to work something out with your sister, that would be between the two of you.). c. Leave the doorway open for the possibility of negotiation. d. Leave. 13. Dangerous to make one child a confidant with whom you discuss problems of a brother or sister; When you're hanging out with one, don't talk about another. 14. Phrases to say to avoid rivalry: "You two were having so much fun!" "Listen to what the kids did today!' "Ask your sister -- she's good at that." "Lucky girl to have such a brother." "I hear crying. Do you need help or can you work it out?" "You two are some team!!" "You need to tell him yourself." 15. Specific ideas: Things are shared by default, but establish a separate shelf for each kid with sign for private property and when it gets crowded select and refine. Mood box with colors for moods to put out to help communicate how you're feeling. 16. Punishment may stop the aggressor temporarily, but the long-term effect would be to worsen the relationship. The aggressor now had reason to be even more resentful of his sibling, whom he sees as the cause of his punishment. And the victim is now less safe when left alone with his brother. "I know it isn't easy to be around your sister when she hits, but you can't hit her back. She's still very young and has a lot to learn. But if we all do our job -- you, me, Appa -- and teach her better ways to get what she wants, little by little she'll understand what's okay for her to do and what isn't." 17. Make sure that each child gets some time alone with you several times a week. Don't force togetherness. 18. Don't withhold your affection or attention from your favored child in order to make it up to a less favored child. 19. Don't lock the children into their position in the family order. Allow each child the opportunity to experience some of the privileges and responsibilities of the other. 20. Let each child know what it is about him that his siblings like or admire. "... Brothers and sisters grow up in homes where hurting isn't allowed... Where children are taught to express their anger at each other sanely and safely... Where each child is valued as an individual, not in relation to the others... Where cooperation, rather than competition is the norm... Where no one is trapped in a role... Where children have daily experience and guidance in resolving their differences" (191).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    I have enjoyed listening to the audio CD editions of the parenting books by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. And I have found that their advice, their anecdotal stories, as well as their reassurance about what behaviors are considered age-appropriate, have helped me greatly in my parenting journey. As an only child, I have struggled with the fact that our girls could be incredibly close at one moment and at each other's throats the next. Whenever I confront behavior that I find to be inappropriat I have enjoyed listening to the audio CD editions of the parenting books by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. And I have found that their advice, their anecdotal stories, as well as their reassurance about what behaviors are considered age-appropriate, have helped me greatly in my parenting journey. As an only child, I have struggled with the fact that our girls could be incredibly close at one moment and at each other's throats the next. Whenever I confront behavior that I find to be inappropriate, they will often answer back that I 'just don't get it,' since I never had a sibling. So I found this book to be a great help in not only seeing the benefits of sibling relationships, in learning how to compromise, negotiate and yes, even fight fairly. But I also discovered ways that parents can try to limit the hurtful sibling interactions and show that each child is treasured in her own unique way. And what's more, when I feel like I've 'messed up,' and perhaps reacted in an unhelpful way to one of our girls' spats, I'm comforted by the fact that I'm not alone. I love that the authors, who are parenting experts, give anecdotal examples of when they, too, have not been at the top of their own parenting game. We all make mistakes. I'm not the biggest fan of self-help books, but this is one segment of the genre that I feel has really benefitted me over the years. I would like to think that I was a naturally good parent, but I know that I have learned a lot from their books and they have helped me to become a better one. I really enjoyed listening to this audio CD.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jannah (Cloud Child)

    5/5 Again I find myself babbling in admiration for another of their books. I don't know if its because I had the paperback copies or if the content is just so relatable, that this was such a smooth fast read, which would have been even faster, had I not been distracted at times by the internet, since I was free most of the day. Though this topic has been broached in a few of their books already, they really fully expanded on all the issues and it seems they updated the book further as I had an ext 5/5 Again I find myself babbling in admiration for another of their books. I don't know if its because I had the paperback copies or if the content is just so relatable, that this was such a smooth fast read, which would have been even faster, had I not been distracted at times by the internet, since I was free most of the day. Though this topic has been broached in a few of their books already, they really fully expanded on all the issues and it seems they updated the book further as I had an extra chunk of new material. The format was slightly different in that there was a little more fluidity over the chapter plot as it followed the actual parents involved in the workshops, so the authors presented their information in relation to that. The overall format still included the introduction to the topic, parents frustrations, cartoon examples of scenarios, reminders and also further follow up questions from parents. My favourite chapter had to be on conflict /fight /violence and its resolution. I also really liked the part where parents themselves owned up to their own sibling resentments and family problems from issues unresolved and later the results of the knowledge each person gained allowing them to confront and possibly heal broken relationships. Made me think about my relationship with my siblings and how my divorced parents at the time out of frustration or expectations helped along some misunderstandings and trapped roles. I fully recommend this one.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Mainly, this book scared me! I read it before I had my second child and there are a lot of pretty awful stories about how mean siblings can be to one another. It then occurred to me that most people will only read this book if they are already having problems with sibling rivalry--so it would not scare them! My main takeaway (that I can already implement with my toddler and newborn) is to never compare the kids to each other. Even something as innocent as, "Sarah has on her shoes. John, can you p Mainly, this book scared me! I read it before I had my second child and there are a lot of pretty awful stories about how mean siblings can be to one another. It then occurred to me that most people will only read this book if they are already having problems with sibling rivalry--so it would not scare them! My main takeaway (that I can already implement with my toddler and newborn) is to never compare the kids to each other. Even something as innocent as, "Sarah has on her shoes. John, can you put your shoes on like Sarah?" is a comparison that could backfire. Instead, just ask John to put on his shoes--no need to drag Sarah into it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    Very helpful tips, but I think it's geared more toward older children. It is a very readable book and story-based, which is helpful. It's also pretty sane parenting and the advice is practical. I have been trying some of the ideas with my toddlers, but the suggestions are all about talking through issues and it's harder to do that with a 3 and 1 year old than I thought it would be. It is a huge issue though and I would love recommendations on how to stop my girls from fighting (or more specifica Very helpful tips, but I think it's geared more toward older children. It is a very readable book and story-based, which is helpful. It's also pretty sane parenting and the advice is practical. I have been trying some of the ideas with my toddlers, but the suggestions are all about talking through issues and it's harder to do that with a 3 and 1 year old than I thought it would be. It is a huge issue though and I would love recommendations on how to stop my girls from fighting (or more specifically from stopping my older one from hitting the younger one).

  29. 4 out of 5

    Krzysiek

    My rating doesn't refer to effectiveness of book's proposed approach. However, it's certainly an inspiring and uplifting one. Again, like with "How to Talk so Kids Listen and Listen so Kids Talk", authors focus on giving as many examples as possible, with similar short comic stories which I find terrific as mnemonics. Some dialogues feel a bit odd, sometimes I found myself thinking "hmmm people don't talk like that". Anyway, the ideas of how to deal with conflicts between children seem pretty co My rating doesn't refer to effectiveness of book's proposed approach. However, it's certainly an inspiring and uplifting one. Again, like with "How to Talk so Kids Listen and Listen so Kids Talk", authors focus on giving as many examples as possible, with similar short comic stories which I find terrific as mnemonics. Some dialogues feel a bit odd, sometimes I found myself thinking "hmmm people don't talk like that". Anyway, the ideas of how to deal with conflicts between children seem pretty convincing and reasonable. Time to test ;)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I did like the practical ideas and what exactly to say in certain situations. But at the same time, I felt a little overwhelmed that I could never (not that I would, but unconsciously) compare my children, show favoritism, say anything positive about one child in front of the other, etc. All the stories about grown-up children having problems with their siblings and why made me nervous... I hope my kids will grow up having good relationships with each other. Interesting to read about how sibling I did like the practical ideas and what exactly to say in certain situations. But at the same time, I felt a little overwhelmed that I could never (not that I would, but unconsciously) compare my children, show favoritism, say anything positive about one child in front of the other, etc. All the stories about grown-up children having problems with their siblings and why made me nervous... I hope my kids will grow up having good relationships with each other. Interesting to read about how siblings can affect your life SO much, even as adults. Overall message and content was good though.

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