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Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm and Connected

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Imagine life without drama, meltdowns, and power struggles From celebrity parents to everyday moms and pops, single parents to grandparents, most of us know what to do when our kids behave. But let's face it: family life can get downright crazy, and it's at those moments that we most need to keep our cool. Family therapist Susan Stiffelman has shown thousands of parents h Imagine life without drama, meltdowns, and power struggles From celebrity parents to everyday moms and pops, single parents to grandparents, most of us know what to do when our kids behave. But let's face it: family life can get downright crazy, and it's at those moments that we most need to keep our cool. Family therapist Susan Stiffelman has shown thousands of parents how to be the cool, confident "Captain of the ship" in their children's lives. Based on her successful practice and packed with real-life stories, Susan shares proven strategies and crystal clear insights to motivate kids to cooperate and connect. Parenting without Power Struggles is an extraordinary guidebook for transforming your day-to-day parenting life. You'll discover how to: • Transform frustration and aggression into adaptation and cooperation • Keep your cool when your kids push your buttons, talk back or refuse to "play nice" • Nourish deep attachment with young and older kids • Help your ADD'ish child survive and thrive, even if you’re ADD'ish yourself • Inoculate your kids from negative thinking and peer pressure that lead to anger, anxiety, depression, or behavior issues • Help children manage the emotional challenges of divorce


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Imagine life without drama, meltdowns, and power struggles From celebrity parents to everyday moms and pops, single parents to grandparents, most of us know what to do when our kids behave. But let's face it: family life can get downright crazy, and it's at those moments that we most need to keep our cool. Family therapist Susan Stiffelman has shown thousands of parents h Imagine life without drama, meltdowns, and power struggles From celebrity parents to everyday moms and pops, single parents to grandparents, most of us know what to do when our kids behave. But let's face it: family life can get downright crazy, and it's at those moments that we most need to keep our cool. Family therapist Susan Stiffelman has shown thousands of parents how to be the cool, confident "Captain of the ship" in their children's lives. Based on her successful practice and packed with real-life stories, Susan shares proven strategies and crystal clear insights to motivate kids to cooperate and connect. Parenting without Power Struggles is an extraordinary guidebook for transforming your day-to-day parenting life. You'll discover how to: • Transform frustration and aggression into adaptation and cooperation • Keep your cool when your kids push your buttons, talk back or refuse to "play nice" • Nourish deep attachment with young and older kids • Help your ADD'ish child survive and thrive, even if you’re ADD'ish yourself • Inoculate your kids from negative thinking and peer pressure that lead to anger, anxiety, depression, or behavior issues • Help children manage the emotional challenges of divorce

30 review for Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm and Connected

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marci

    I can only do a chapter a day on this. I figure if the suggestions don't work I can always throw the book at them!! :) I can only do a chapter a day on this. I figure if the suggestions don't work I can always throw the book at them!! :)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I love to read this book before falling asleep at night. It clears my head. Her parenting style is one of love and kindness and focusing on the emotional needs of kids. That style reminds me of John Gottman's Emotion Coaching. She has taken ideas from cognitive therapy and put it into other ways of looking at it, some easier and some more complicated than plain old cognitive therapy. I like her "little fear guy" that puts negative thoughts into everyone's head. I had not heard of the stages of I love to read this book before falling asleep at night. It clears my head. Her parenting style is one of love and kindness and focusing on the emotional needs of kids. That style reminds me of John Gottman's Emotion Coaching. She has taken ideas from cognitive therapy and put it into other ways of looking at it, some easier and some more complicated than plain old cognitive therapy. I like her "little fear guy" that puts negative thoughts into everyone's head. I had not heard of the stages of bonding before. She credits the author of the stages. Proximity, sameness, loyalty and a few others. I want to explore that further. I liked this book, her style, and her love of all children and her hope that all situations can be helped.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kim Jenkins

    I am a voracious reader and needed something non-fiction for a change of pace. I listened to this book on Audible. The narrator drove me nuts bc she talked too slow, so I increased the speed to 1.25x and loved it! So many thoughts are swirling in my head. Every parent wants to know that he or she is making a positive impact on their child. I devoured this book bc I have a child who is VERY oppositional and defiant. Consequently, our home has been the source of MANY power struggles. He wins. Every I am a voracious reader and needed something non-fiction for a change of pace. I listened to this book on Audible. The narrator drove me nuts bc she talked too slow, so I increased the speed to 1.25x and loved it! So many thoughts are swirling in my head. Every parent wants to know that he or she is making a positive impact on their child. I devoured this book bc I have a child who is VERY oppositional and defiant. Consequently, our home has been the source of MANY power struggles. He wins. Every. Single. Time. My life was spiraling out of control a year ago bc of these endless power struggles. This book offers so many amazing solutions. I learned to spend quality time with my son, how to live in the moment, how to problem solve, boost his self esteem by saying and doing the SIMPLEST things, teach him confidence, and so much more. It has ALWAYS been my goal as a mom to raise children who are KIND. I couldn't care less about what college they attend. They don't have to make all As in school. I don't obsess about how much money they will make. I just want them to be happy, self-assured, kind young men who are passionate about their chosen professions and paths in life. I want them to grow up and say I didn't suck as a mom. I learned how to bond with my kids, even though they are teens, who seem to want to be alone a lot. How to walk into the room and just "be" with them. Relationship and respect is SO key to getting them to listen and mind me. I felt like this book taught me to show interest in things they love. How not to be so busy, we forget to live in the moment. How to not take our time together for granted. How to teach them to be grateful and live fulfilling lives. All too soon, they will be gone, and because of this book, I have learned to be a better mom while they're in my home. It's never too late to be a better parent! You're never done learning and growing. I highly recommend this book to any parent of a strong-willed (or even NOT so strong-willed) child. I plan to go back and listen to it a second time, so I can soak it all in.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    Susan Stiffelman seems to be a wonderful therapist with a talent for generating specific, feasible strategies for caregivers in need of guidance; her book, however, adds little to the parenting advice genre. In order to create joyful, resilient kids, Stiffelman urges parents to take a “Captain of the Ship” role which derives unwavering authority from a foundation of empathy-based parenting. Her approach essentially combines “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child” – the empathy bible – and “Par Susan Stiffelman seems to be a wonderful therapist with a talent for generating specific, feasible strategies for caregivers in need of guidance; her book, however, adds little to the parenting advice genre. In order to create joyful, resilient kids, Stiffelman urges parents to take a “Captain of the Ship” role which derives unwavering authority from a foundation of empathy-based parenting. Her approach essentially combines “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child” – the empathy bible – and “Parenting with Love & Logic” – the definitive source for “consultant parenting” whereby a parent distances herself emotionally from her kids’ problems in order to remain a steady and firm source of support. Unfortunately for Stiffelman, the gorgeous melding of yin and yang accomplished by merging these two methods (i.e., feel with them enough to understand and respect their ups and downs but don’t rise and fall with their emotions) is better achieved by reading those two books. That said, Stiffelman has an interesting take on a few of Gottman’s and Cline/Fay’s best points – and a softer, more maternal tone – that might be a better fit for some readers: - “Focus on loosening your need for your child to behave properly so that you can feel you’re a good parent, [and e]xplore the meaning you’re assigning to your child’s problematic behavior.” After all, ”it’s always our thoughts about the events of our lives – rather than the events themselves – that cause us to get upset.” (In other words, try not to generalize from your kid dillydallying after you ask her to put on her shoes to the conclusion that she’s a passive-resistant little shit who has no respect for you and has begun a lifelong struggle with authority that will only end when you can force her to put on her fucking sneakers.) - “Give direction from connection.” Begin an interaction with “Act I” which is essentially listening and prompting disclosure with nonjudgmental, noninvasive questions like (“‘What is it like to be you?’ and ‘Tell me more?’”), and then, only if your kid “invites you to the party” proceed to “Act II,” offering assistance. Sometimes Act II must be delayed for quite some time. “[D]uring the storm of your child’s misbehavior, avoid lecturing, explaining, or advising. This is not a teachable moment.” (File this last bit in the easier-said-than-done folder.) - When your child flips out, respond to the “neck down” feelings prompting the outburst, not the “neck up” words the child chooses to express those feelings. She also offers a few pearls of parenting wisdom that I haven’t encountered in written form: - “I am not a big fan of forcing children to apologize . . . [because] children who chronically violate others and are coerced into offering up an apology simply become good at apologizing; they don’t generally modify their behavior very much.” (Hear, hear!) - Create attachment by following the six stages of relationships: “proximity, sameness, belonging/loyalty, significance, love, and being known.” (In other words, start – or begin to repair a relationship – by just being near the kid, then point out interests you share, etc.) - “[I]nstead of [trying to figure] out how to fix a problematic situation, . . . think back to the point at which you could have prevented it from happening and resolve to take action at that juncture in future interactions with your child.” (My husband and I figured out this little gem – that falls under the general rubric of “let go of the guilt when you go wrong and focus your energy prospectively” – for sidestepping the crushing feeling of powerlessness that accompanied our daughter’s first year.) - When attempting to convince an older child to do something like attend an unappealing family event, say something along the lines of “it’s your choice, but going is just the right thing to do.” - View your kid’s behavior surrounding minor disappointment (like getting to the end of a bag of chips) to the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) and enable her to experience each stage. (This downright mind-blowing trick has given me the ability to step outside the current emotional dynamic and watch my daughter’s fit unfold with a sort of lovingly detached interest.) - In order to help kids with indecision, anxiety, and depression introduce “ABC thinking” (where A is “the actual event, as it would be impartially reported,” B is “the belief we construct about the event, or our interpretation of it,” and C is “the consequence of our believing what we believed in ‘B,’” essentially urging them to consider alternate B's in order to mitigate yucky C's); tell them to “ask the future you” for advice (to help gain perspective); and remind them that “[t]he fact that a thought shows up doesn’t mean you need to make it a sandwich!” In sum, I would love to grab a cup of tea with Susan Stiffelman (despite balking at her description of timeouts as a “violation of connectedness [that] damages the parent-child relationship”) and would recommend her as a therapist for a struggling parent or child in a heartbeat; her book just isn’t one of my top picks for parenting advice.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    OH MAN. I give this book 4 stars for the parenting advice. Really great metaphors on being captain of the ship, staying calm, and assessing parenting decisions. I give this book ZERO STARS once it launched into denying ADD as an actual condition. Kids with ADHD are not "ADD-ish" who need diet changes and exercise. I put it down at this point. Anyone who is a medical professional working with children should not discard DECADES of scientific evidence. Don't get me started on the statistics of issue OH MAN. I give this book 4 stars for the parenting advice. Really great metaphors on being captain of the ship, staying calm, and assessing parenting decisions. I give this book ZERO STARS once it launched into denying ADD as an actual condition. Kids with ADHD are not "ADD-ish" who need diet changes and exercise. I put it down at this point. Anyone who is a medical professional working with children should not discard DECADES of scientific evidence. Don't get me started on the statistics of issues ADHD children face without treatment. All the patience and parenting in the world does not change the fact they have a biological condition. This could have been an amazing book, why ruin it denying ADHD?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kate Hyde

    This was just the book I needed at just the right time. I love that the focus is on connecting with your kids, rather than disciplining them. I think all parents would love a quick fix when it comes to our children's tantrums or disobedience, but the truth is, my 5-year-old daughter gives me much less trouble when we are really connected with each other. I've starting planning a mommy/daughter date with her at least once a month (the last two have been McDonald's and then a movie, and Chuck E Ch This was just the book I needed at just the right time. I love that the focus is on connecting with your kids, rather than disciplining them. I think all parents would love a quick fix when it comes to our children's tantrums or disobedience, but the truth is, my 5-year-old daughter gives me much less trouble when we are really connected with each other. I've starting planning a mommy/daughter date with her at least once a month (the last two have been McDonald's and then a movie, and Chuck E Cheese) , and I've stopped getting on the computer in the mornings, opting instead to watch cartoons with her. One part of the book that I found especially helpful was when the author talked about the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance/adapting), and how it's important that we help our kids to reach the depression stage (crying) so they can move on to adapting. If they are stuck in denial, anger, and bargaining (which is the stuff tantrums are made of), they won't be able to move on, and they'll have an undercurrent of tension/anger. Just this morning I had a chance to try this method out. My daughter wanted some Goldfish crackers before we left the house, but I told her there wasn't enough time - and so began the tantrum. Instead of raising my voice and getting frustrated, or giving in, I simply acknowledged her upset feelings (When she yelled "I WANT GOLDFISH!" I said, "I know sweetie.") I really thought she was going to get aggressive and yell some more, but instead she walked over for a hug. I hugged her while she cried, and the crying/whining (which I hate by the way) continued in the car on the way to daycare. I mostly ignored it (which was really hard, but I took lots of deep breaths), just answering her when she asked me a question, or sympathetically saying "Oh" or "I know" when she was being angry. By the time I dropped her off at daycare, she was totally fine and happy. She didn't even cling to me when I left like she usually does (which really surprised me). We just hugged and kissed, and I was on my way. If you're looking for the right words to say to stop your child's tantrums or disobedience, you won't find it here. What you will find is a new way of thinking about parenting (at least, it was new to me). As I've heard the author say in a YouTube video, when we have our first baby, we don't look at that tiny little infant and think "I really hope this kid doesn't give me any trouble about doing his homework." We just look at the miracle in front of us, and we're so excited to find out who they will turn out to be. I need to focus more on that - on helping my daughter become who she already is, rather than trying to make her into who I want her to be (a happy, obedient stepford-child).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    This is a good book if you are struggling with a busy life and an unhappy child. However, the book could be summed up in a few key points: claim your authority as a parent, come alongside your child and help him/her work through difficult emotions, and embrace that children need to learn to accept disappointment and frustrations. It is your job as a parent to guide your child through those disappointments, not fix them or lecture your child on what they could do better. There are a few helpful t This is a good book if you are struggling with a busy life and an unhappy child. However, the book could be summed up in a few key points: claim your authority as a parent, come alongside your child and help him/her work through difficult emotions, and embrace that children need to learn to accept disappointment and frustrations. It is your job as a parent to guide your child through those disappointments, not fix them or lecture your child on what they could do better. There are a few helpful tips, but really this is for the 4+ age range where you can reason with them. One thing the author does not address is how to actually stay "cool, calm, and connected." Some of these tactics would take a huge amount of patience and self-control, and for many parents, they need to address their own busy schedule/procrastination/short temper before they can help coach their child through those tough topics.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Good stuff. This book has a lot of the same concepts as the How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk series, which I am also enjoying. I have tried some of the strategies suggested with good success so far. In particular, I have focused on listening when my kids are complaining about something simply with empathy and without judgement or giving advice or trying to dispute their claims. This small change seems to have improved my relationship with each of my 3-kids already. Th Good stuff. This book has a lot of the same concepts as the How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk series, which I am also enjoying. I have tried some of the strategies suggested with good success so far. In particular, I have focused on listening when my kids are complaining about something simply with empathy and without judgement or giving advice or trying to dispute their claims. This small change seems to have improved my relationship with each of my 3-kids already. This is enough to convince me to implement even more of her ideas and to take each interaction with my children as an opportunity to practice and improve my skills. I went to Susan Stiffelman's website while reading this book and noticed she offers a 6-wk online workshop, which I am now tempted to take to get that practice, practice, practice. While some of the ideas in her book seem so simple, they may or may not come instinctually for you depending on how you were raised and your personality. For me this stuff is definitely not instinctual and since a lot of my parenting seems to be in reactionary mode, I know I can benefit from changing my instincts and becoming more proactive - which Stiffelman would say starts by establishing a stronger attachment and connection with your kids. If you want to improve your relationship with your kids or solidify your relationship through the teenage years, I would recommend this book. You may not agree with everything she suggests in the book, but I think you will come away with a lot to ponder and perhaps try out with your own children.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    Though sometimes frustratingly repetitive (particularly when it comes to the words "alongside" and "Captain of the ship", this is a compassionate book with many specific recommendations for parents trying to shift the ways they engage with their children to provide them with more calm control and deeper relationships. I did appreciate Stiffelman's ways of understanding how to build connection with your children in different ways through the different stages of attachment. (Similar to ideas of ho Though sometimes frustratingly repetitive (particularly when it comes to the words "alongside" and "Captain of the ship", this is a compassionate book with many specific recommendations for parents trying to shift the ways they engage with their children to provide them with more calm control and deeper relationships. I did appreciate Stiffelman's ways of understanding how to build connection with your children in different ways through the different stages of attachment. (Similar to ideas of how to build trust, it gave a framework to something I'd intuitively been doing prior.) I also liked the idea of helping them firmly but caringly "hit the wall" of frustration rather than hedging. I do a lot of reading on leadership development lately for work, and the themes here are surprisingly similar. Looking for patterns is important. Authentically listening while letting go of your own agenda is important. Staying curious and wondering, "What would they have to be feeling, believing, or experiencing to behave this way?" is, too. Turns out people are complicated, subject to their situations, and just want to be treated with respect, whether they are your own tiny progeny or grown-up executives. We all just want to be asked, "What is it like to be you?" and then have someone else give us their full attention.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Wonderful resource for parenting. Her advice to focus on Act I parenting, i.e., to empathize with our children when they are mad or angry about our parenting decisions, was SO helpful to me when my son began throwing his massive temper tantrums around age 2 and beyond. She states we too often skip to Act II parenting, which is when we explain why XYZ is not allowed or dangerous or will happen a different day, etc. Our children might eventually need or want that explanation, but first they need t Wonderful resource for parenting. Her advice to focus on Act I parenting, i.e., to empathize with our children when they are mad or angry about our parenting decisions, was SO helpful to me when my son began throwing his massive temper tantrums around age 2 and beyond. She states we too often skip to Act II parenting, which is when we explain why XYZ is not allowed or dangerous or will happen a different day, etc. Our children might eventually need or want that explanation, but first they need to know that we empathize with their feelings, by saying things like "It makes you feel really sad that the video is over." or "You really loved that video." instead of saying "You can watch another video tomorrow." She states the goal is to get your child to respond "yes" three times to these statements. My son wasn't really able to say "yes" at age 2, but (and this surprised me) by focusing on saying these things to him, I was able to keep my own temper from reaching the boiling point and thus I remained calmer and things tended to escalate a lot less. I found, while they still happened quite frequently, his temper tantrums were often shorter in response to my remaining calm and using this technique.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I admit I was skeptical when I started this book. I am accustomed to books that are stories, with space ships, interesting characters, gun fights, intrigue, and even romance. This book doesn't have a single action scene in the entire thing. But, it has a lot of useful ideas about how to connect with your child in order to teach them independance, emotional health, and thus, how to avoid the path to chronic difficult behavior. Also, she emphasises the importance of parents being emotionally healt I admit I was skeptical when I started this book. I am accustomed to books that are stories, with space ships, interesting characters, gun fights, intrigue, and even romance. This book doesn't have a single action scene in the entire thing. But, it has a lot of useful ideas about how to connect with your child in order to teach them independance, emotional health, and thus, how to avoid the path to chronic difficult behavior. Also, she emphasises the importance of parents being emotionally healthy and balanced, both to set a good example, and to be able to temper their temper. My only real criticism is that, often, you just don't have time to discipline gently, because the kids are hurting each other or about to hurt themselves, which is a daily (hourly) occurance in my house of three boys. But even then, there are some good suggestions about how to teach correct behavior after that moment is through. Overall, even with its lack of ninja-fight scenes, this was a useful read, and accomplished what it was intending, which is why I give it five stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    This might have been more profound if I hadn't recently read the Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids book, which covers a lot of the same material, but goes about it a little differently. I did get some helpful tips about making kids more cooperative, and I find that reading any decent parenting book helps me refocus my energy. The captain of the ship analogy works well up to the point when she says the kids are the passengers--more like crew members whom I need to keep from mutinying! She undermines he This might have been more profound if I hadn't recently read the Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids book, which covers a lot of the same material, but goes about it a little differently. I did get some helpful tips about making kids more cooperative, and I find that reading any decent parenting book helps me refocus my energy. The captain of the ship analogy works well up to the point when she says the kids are the passengers--more like crew members whom I need to keep from mutinying! She undermines her authority--at least with me--in places though, like when she classifies an apple as just "sugar" and un-nutritious. But there's little doubt in my mind that avoiding the power struggles is key.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    This was a pleasant surprise that I found while looking for a different parenting book. Usually parenting books have to drill into the reader that theirs is the best technique and why you must read this book (I'm already reading your book, just get on with it!). I didn't feel that with this book and most of her philosophies are in harmony with my own. I felt like I got some good, concrete tools from this book, although its mostly targeted for children older than mine. This was a pleasant surprise that I found while looking for a different parenting book. Usually parenting books have to drill into the reader that theirs is the best technique and why you must read this book (I'm already reading your book, just get on with it!). I didn't feel that with this book and most of her philosophies are in harmony with my own. I felt like I got some good, concrete tools from this book, although its mostly targeted for children older than mine.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Butera

    I was unsure whether this book would be right for me with my daughter still being so young (3), but oh my goodness was is useful. I highly recommend this to parents with children of any age. I don't exactly know how to describe it, but Susan provides so much advice, so many tools, and thinks about the whole child and how to help him or her find happiness in life. That's all I want for my daughter and I believe this book provided tremendous guidance for helping me get her there. I was unsure whether this book would be right for me with my daughter still being so young (3), but oh my goodness was is useful. I highly recommend this to parents with children of any age. I don't exactly know how to describe it, but Susan provides so much advice, so many tools, and thinks about the whole child and how to help him or her find happiness in life. That's all I want for my daughter and I believe this book provided tremendous guidance for helping me get her there.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    I didn't love this book, but I did get a lot out of it. The writing style is a bit repetitive and even condescending, but the message resonated with me. In the weeks since I started this book, I have found myself using some of the strategies and suggestions, with surprisingly good results. It's just a different way to think about the parent/child relationship. I didn't love this book, but I did get a lot out of it. The writing style is a bit repetitive and even condescending, but the message resonated with me. In the weeks since I started this book, I have found myself using some of the strategies and suggestions, with surprisingly good results. It's just a different way to think about the parent/child relationship.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kate Winsor

    I really enjoyed this book. She even quoted and uses the work of Byron Katie, who I love, so it made it that much better for me. Many parenting books give the same advice but what I loved about this book is that it gave specific examples on how to deal with certain situations and many of the examples were things that I've needed advice about. So it was helpful to see what I should be doing. I really enjoyed this book. She even quoted and uses the work of Byron Katie, who I love, so it made it that much better for me. Many parenting books give the same advice but what I loved about this book is that it gave specific examples on how to deal with certain situations and many of the examples were things that I've needed advice about. So it was helpful to see what I should be doing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy Griffin

    I like the concepts in this book but there are many many books with similar ideas that I prefer. I'm not sure people with one child should write parenting books. By her own admission, her son vastly changed her outlook on parenting. Another child with a different personality may have given her a less rigid and know it all attitude. I like the concepts in this book but there are many many books with similar ideas that I prefer. I'm not sure people with one child should write parenting books. By her own admission, her son vastly changed her outlook on parenting. Another child with a different personality may have given her a less rigid and know it all attitude.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vgathright

    This is one of two go to parenting books for me. I listened to a conference hosted by Susan Stiffelman on raising teens and I love her approach. It's a very loving, understanding, connecting approach. Trying to understand the behavior and needs of our kids rather than just getting them to conform. Especially helpful for raising teens. This is one of two go to parenting books for me. I listened to a conference hosted by Susan Stiffelman on raising teens and I love her approach. It's a very loving, understanding, connecting approach. Trying to understand the behavior and needs of our kids rather than just getting them to conform. Especially helpful for raising teens.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tenessa Martin

    I wish I could think of the things that are presented in this book as I'm in the heat of the moment with my children. I can only imagine what impact I could make on my sons. I love her attitude on grace as a parent-- making sure to recognize when you make smart decisions and not beating yourself up when you fail. I need that as a constant reminder. I wish I could think of the things that are presented in this book as I'm in the heat of the moment with my children. I can only imagine what impact I could make on my sons. I love her attitude on grace as a parent-- making sure to recognize when you make smart decisions and not beating yourself up when you fail. I need that as a constant reminder.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Logan Alley

    Very thought-provoking read for parents.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I listened to the audio on CD so I couldn't speed it up, she talks so slow! At times she seems to stay on one topic, belaboring her point but I still found lots of good insights. . She talks about how all kids are geniuses you just have to find what they are a genius at (and it may not be the typically praised math/science/reading etc). "Our ability to live joyful and successful lives depends on our ability to adapt" "When our children perceive us as steady and calm-regardless of their moods or b I listened to the audio on CD so I couldn't speed it up, she talks so slow! At times she seems to stay on one topic, belaboring her point but I still found lots of good insights. . She talks about how all kids are geniuses you just have to find what they are a genius at (and it may not be the typically praised math/science/reading etc). "Our ability to live joyful and successful lives depends on our ability to adapt" "When our children perceive us as steady and calm-regardless of their moods or behavior-they can relax, knowing they can rely on us to get them through the challenging moments of their lives."

  22. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    While a lot of the info in this book I’ve also read in other parenting books, I still really like her analogies and approaches to parenting in regards to how to avoid the power struggles that can often ensue while parenting. I like her ideas of imagining the parent as the captain of the ship, not two lawyers debating everything out. There’s some great information in here like when she talks about ADD, and how she doesn’t look at it as a disorder but as Hunter’s in a farmers world. I also liked h While a lot of the info in this book I’ve also read in other parenting books, I still really like her analogies and approaches to parenting in regards to how to avoid the power struggles that can often ensue while parenting. I like her ideas of imagining the parent as the captain of the ship, not two lawyers debating everything out. There’s some great information in here like when she talks about ADD, and how she doesn’t look at it as a disorder but as Hunter’s in a farmers world. I also liked how she talked about depression and anxiety in children and approaches for that. I rented this audiobook from the library but there’s a lot of good info in here, and I may end up buying the book and getting the free pdf companion that comes with it. It would be a good guide.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    I’m going with 2.5 stars on this one. I’m sure there were some nuggets of wisdom in this book, but I honestly can’t remember what they were. It was hard to pay attention to this audiobook.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Micah Grant

    Great ideas and some easy to remember tactics. Already started trying some of these out.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I actually read this book quite a while ago, so my review is based only on memory. Some of the ideas in this book I've heard before, but the new ones all seemed very useful. The author emphasizes helping children learn to recognize and manage their emotions, not on "discipline" and punishment, but make no mistake - this is not "soft" or permissive parenting by any stretch of the imagination. You will see the most impact from her methods in children who are more strong-willed or in chaotic environ I actually read this book quite a while ago, so my review is based only on memory. Some of the ideas in this book I've heard before, but the new ones all seemed very useful. The author emphasizes helping children learn to recognize and manage their emotions, not on "discipline" and punishment, but make no mistake - this is not "soft" or permissive parenting by any stretch of the imagination. You will see the most impact from her methods in children who are more strong-willed or in chaotic environments (she is a therapist, after all!) but even if your child is definitely thriving, the skills and methods she teaches will reduce your stress level, help you bond with your kid, and help you teach your child the emotional skills they need to have healthy relationships with others throughout their lives. The techniques in this book are mostly applicable to older (verbal) children, though some of them can be applied to toddlers and young pre-school age children. And, in fact, I do try now to verbalize my son's emotions for him as much as I can (he's 22 months old) so that he can begin to learn the vocabulary for emotions and awareness. The difficulty will be if, as for me, this approach runs counter to the culture you were raised in emphasizing consequences and punishment (or, praise and approval). So even if your children are younger, I recommend reading it now so you can mentally rehearse the techniques even before your children are of an age the techniques would be more applicable to. (I'd originally checked this out from the library, but I've since purchased it on the Kindle so my husband can read it and we can discuss it, and so I can re-read it periodically.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dani

    Book felt targeted towards the tween stage. She teaches strategies on being the captain of the ship, reclaiming power in relationship with children. I'll reread in 5-8 years. Takeaways: Getting to know our kids through conversations without judging or offering advice. A mother cannot fulfill all of her child's needs. Kids need to learn frustration in order to adapt - let kids express tears, frustration. Child needs to fully feel sadness before they can move on. Act 1: sympathy noises, aww honey, Book felt targeted towards the tween stage. She teaches strategies on being the captain of the ship, reclaiming power in relationship with children. I'll reread in 5-8 years. Takeaways: Getting to know our kids through conversations without judging or offering advice. A mother cannot fulfill all of her child's needs. Kids need to learn frustration in order to adapt - let kids express tears, frustration. Child needs to fully feel sadness before they can move on. Act 1: sympathy noises, aww honey, clucking. When kid is ready, then Act 2: input, advice. Parents need to set limits and stick to it or kids push more boundaries. Thinking about what caused the meltdown (hungry, anger about something else, change at school or home) rather than lecture the outburst. Answering 'yes after' instead of NO (ie yes you can have a granola bar after dinner, yes your friend can sleep over tonight isn't good but this weekend is great). ADD and ADHD is reduced among children who are given the opportunity to be bored, be still.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    By far the most helpful parenting book I've ever read! It changed many of my ways of thinking overnight, but changing the way I interact with my kids is much harder than that, so I've been listening to the audiobook many times over the past several months, and I'm not sick of it yet! Nor am I the kind of parent I want to be yet, but I know the kinds of things I want to keep working on to be better. I have a particularly stormy relationship with my youngest, and I'm finally getting ideas of how w By far the most helpful parenting book I've ever read! It changed many of my ways of thinking overnight, but changing the way I interact with my kids is much harder than that, so I've been listening to the audiobook many times over the past several months, and I'm not sick of it yet! Nor am I the kind of parent I want to be yet, but I know the kinds of things I want to keep working on to be better. I have a particularly stormy relationship with my youngest, and I'm finally getting ideas of how we can improve this for greater peace and the hope that we can have a good connection even though we are so different. I recommend this book for all parents and have found it for $5 on Amazon, as well as available for free listening on my public library's app.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julia (Shakespeare and Such)

    4.6/5 stars, full review to come! I don’t think I’ve ever read a nonfiction book in two sittings before, that’s how captivating this book was. Organization : 5/5 Writing: 4/5 Enjoyment of subject/ideas: 5/5

  29. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    I found this book immensely helpful. There's no true panacea of parenting, but I think the strategy of coming alongside your children, understanding their struggles, and tempering your emotional reaction to their behavior is the best strategy that you can have. With relevant examples, common questions, and a mind map to finish each chapter, Stiffelman sets out her philosophy in a very easy to digest format. For the struggling parent or anyone who wants a full tool belt before their younger child I found this book immensely helpful. There's no true panacea of parenting, but I think the strategy of coming alongside your children, understanding their struggles, and tempering your emotional reaction to their behavior is the best strategy that you can have. With relevant examples, common questions, and a mind map to finish each chapter, Stiffelman sets out her philosophy in a very easy to digest format. For the struggling parent or anyone who wants a full tool belt before their younger child starts to push back, this book is well worth the read. No parenting book is a cure all, but Stiffelman's ideas and tactics will certainly get you pointed in the right direction.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Much of the advice in this book echoes the best stuff from “Whole Brain Child” and “How to talk so little kids will listen” - connect with your child and look at how their needs and habits drive behavior, rather than judging or assigning malicious intent. I found some new techniques and things to try, and it verified much of what I’ve read elsewhere. I knocked a few stars off for therapy/dialogue transcripts that sounded so wooden and stereotypically therapy-y that I wondered to what degree they Much of the advice in this book echoes the best stuff from “Whole Brain Child” and “How to talk so little kids will listen” - connect with your child and look at how their needs and habits drive behavior, rather than judging or assigning malicious intent. I found some new techniques and things to try, and it verified much of what I’ve read elsewhere. I knocked a few stars off for therapy/dialogue transcripts that sounded so wooden and stereotypically therapy-y that I wondered to what degree they’d been edited.

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