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How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too!

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In this eye-opening resource, Dr. Sal Severe taps his twenty-five years of experience as a school psychologist and parenting workshop leader to show that a child's behavior is often a reflection of the parent's behavior, and by making changes themselves, parents can achieve dramatic results in their children. Instead of focusing on what children do wrong, Dr. Severe teache In this eye-opening resource, Dr. Sal Severe taps his twenty-five years of experience as a school psychologist and parenting workshop leader to show that a child's behavior is often a reflection of the parent's behavior, and by making changes themselves, parents can achieve dramatic results in their children. Instead of focusing on what children do wrong, Dr. Severe teaches parents to emphasize the positive, to be consistent, and to be more patient. He shows parents how to teach their children to behave, listen, and be more cooperative, and how moms and dads can manage their own anger and prevent arguments and power struggles. Packed with concrete strategies for dealing with homework hassles, ending tantrums, and other common problems, Dr. Severe's empathetic, common-sense book will be welcome everywhere.


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In this eye-opening resource, Dr. Sal Severe taps his twenty-five years of experience as a school psychologist and parenting workshop leader to show that a child's behavior is often a reflection of the parent's behavior, and by making changes themselves, parents can achieve dramatic results in their children. Instead of focusing on what children do wrong, Dr. Severe teache In this eye-opening resource, Dr. Sal Severe taps his twenty-five years of experience as a school psychologist and parenting workshop leader to show that a child's behavior is often a reflection of the parent's behavior, and by making changes themselves, parents can achieve dramatic results in their children. Instead of focusing on what children do wrong, Dr. Severe teaches parents to emphasize the positive, to be consistent, and to be more patient. He shows parents how to teach their children to behave, listen, and be more cooperative, and how moms and dads can manage their own anger and prevent arguments and power struggles. Packed with concrete strategies for dealing with homework hassles, ending tantrums, and other common problems, Dr. Severe's empathetic, common-sense book will be welcome everywhere.

30 review for How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too!

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenelle

    I recently read this book outloud to my husband on a 22 hour car ride. Most of the information was nothing new, and some of the writing is tedious and redundant, but I think what makes it work is that the author is actually using his technique of repetion and consistency on the reader to reinforce his point: it's quite clever actually! It was really quite enlightening in certain areas, to realize that our struggles as parents are in many ways our own fault. Not that he tells you you are a horrib I recently read this book outloud to my husband on a 22 hour car ride. Most of the information was nothing new, and some of the writing is tedious and redundant, but I think what makes it work is that the author is actually using his technique of repetion and consistency on the reader to reinforce his point: it's quite clever actually! It was really quite enlightening in certain areas, to realize that our struggles as parents are in many ways our own fault. Not that he tells you you are a horrible parent, but he helps you come to the conclusion yourself that duh, how can I expect my kids to obey the first time if I always brush them off with 'not now' or 'just a minute' etc. And how can I expect them to not yell at each other when I yell at them. Again, all quite obvious, but for us, this book made it all really sink in. We felt motivated to change; inspired to adjust our methods in what really only amounted to small ways. More proof of its superiority on the parenting book circuit is that we actually read the whole thing cover to cover! I have a vast collection of parenting books and NEVER have I finished one. Usually the methods are either difficult to implement, not right for our family, or just not clear enough. But with this, we were able to implement changes immediately, and saw immediate results. It was so easy, especially for my logical husband, to see that good discipline is formulaic. Whats really impressive, is that if your are humble enough to change your parenting skills, you are showing your children that you are trying to improve so they should too. You model self-discipline so that they learn self-discipline. You show that you start with small goals and work for the positive results. The author has a whole section on chore/behavior charts and/or contracts which is to help everyone SEE the improvement. We even gave ourselves as parents goals and consequences. It really has given us a whole new perspective on every aspect of home life. Ok, so I really can't say enough how amazing this book has been for our family. Maybe it was just that we actually read it together so we were both on the same page for once, or maybe this is all completely obvious stuff that everybody else has already figured out, but whatever it is, it has turned our family around.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    This is one of the most practical books on parenting I've ever read! There are so many ideas and examples that fill the pages of this book: how to motivate and reward, charts for good behavior, using punishment effectively, sibling rivalry, chores, self esteem, etc. I will totally read this again. This is one of the most practical books on parenting I've ever read! There are so many ideas and examples that fill the pages of this book: how to motivate and reward, charts for good behavior, using punishment effectively, sibling rivalry, chores, self esteem, etc. I will totally read this again.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Niki

    Okay. I really shouldn't be judging this book since I'm no where near expecting kids or anything like that. I kinda just read it because my parents left it in my room with a million other things. Anyways, I found that the book could definitely be helpful, but it was kind of repetetive and some of the stuff towards the end was pretty dumb. When I say dumb, I mean that there were example conversations that were a little stupid. For example, I read a part near the end saying to compliment your teen Okay. I really shouldn't be judging this book since I'm no where near expecting kids or anything like that. I kinda just read it because my parents left it in my room with a million other things. Anyways, I found that the book could definitely be helpful, but it was kind of repetetive and some of the stuff towards the end was pretty dumb. When I say dumb, I mean that there were example conversations that were a little stupid. For example, I read a part near the end saying to compliment your teenager when they are getting along with their friends. I'm sorry, but almost every single teenager you said that to would think you're stupid or weird or both. Which could also put a label on the parent's child. But what would I know?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book was clearly written. The author gave logical solutions to common parenting problems. But, overall, pretty unremarkable. Main area's of emphasis: consistency, which the author states as the number one most important aspect of parenting (with which I agree); and positive feedback for behavior modifiction. Using positive reinforcement as 90% of discipline, and punishment only 10% of the time. This book was clearly written. The author gave logical solutions to common parenting problems. But, overall, pretty unremarkable. Main area's of emphasis: consistency, which the author states as the number one most important aspect of parenting (with which I agree); and positive feedback for behavior modifiction. Using positive reinforcement as 90% of discipline, and punishment only 10% of the time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    This book needs to be required reading for parents everywhere. I read it with my husband and carefully applied techniques in this book to none other but ourselves first. With our behavior modified - and keep in mind, you must also want to change! - we were able to instill better discipline in our family. Our son's discipline has strengthened. This isn't some parenting fad - this is for life. We learned the important differences between discipline and punishment; authority and power; respect and f This book needs to be required reading for parents everywhere. I read it with my husband and carefully applied techniques in this book to none other but ourselves first. With our behavior modified - and keep in mind, you must also want to change! - we were able to instill better discipline in our family. Our son's discipline has strengthened. This isn't some parenting fad - this is for life. We learned the important differences between discipline and punishment; authority and power; respect and fear; excuses and accountability; and so much more that has been life changing. We learned to ask "what?" instead of "why?" with our child, instilling a sense of responsibility within. As children grow up, they should be asking, "What am I doing? Is what I am doing productive/helpful/useful/good?" instead of "Why?". We learned that asking "Why?" only teaches our children to make excuses. That's not to correlate with asking "Why is the sky blue"?, but rather, "Why did you do that?" Another concept we love about this book is that it is not just parent-focused first before children, but also its "one size does not fit all" discipline techniques. There are charts, contracts, agreements; a good variety of options for all children. One REALLY important point I want to drive home to all of those about to read this book: All that you read about and learn? To apply it takes PATIENCE and CONSISTENCY. Without both, you will fail, plain and simple. You cannot give up. Children will not hesitate to take advantage of your inconsistencies. We've learned that children are much more persistent that adults, and my goodness we couldn't believe how accurate it was in real life when it finally clicked. This book is so on-point about children that it is scary. The prediction of the way a child would react to time-out, or any other discipline technique, and how it gets worse before it gets better. No wonder so many parents give up, and this book acknowledges that. This book does NOT want to shame you as a parent; the author assumes you WANT to change so you can be a better parent for your children. Word of warning: This isn't going to sit well with those that hold on to the old-fashioned ways of parenting, such as yelling and spanking. This book is a REALITY CHECK. Our children are smarter than ever before. Today's children will test you, relentlessly. I can't believe that a book written in the late 90's rings so true in the year 2018. I will recommend this book to all my mom friends in hopes that they'll open their minds and tell them, "You're not alone. You CAN do this. You don't have to tolerate bad behavior. You're not a doormat. You can change and behave, so you children will, too!"

  6. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Chapnick

    Parents set themselves up for disappointment and distress. Kids rarely do anything wrong--it is the parents who set unrealistic expectations children are not ready to meet, or put the children in situations they are ill-equipped to handle. How many times have you seen kids screaming in the checkout lane at your local box store because the parents didn't make it clear what they could or could not buy, how long they would be there and poorly handled hunger and tiredness issues. This book will cut d Parents set themselves up for disappointment and distress. Kids rarely do anything wrong--it is the parents who set unrealistic expectations children are not ready to meet, or put the children in situations they are ill-equipped to handle. How many times have you seen kids screaming in the checkout lane at your local box store because the parents didn't make it clear what they could or could not buy, how long they would be there and poorly handled hunger and tiredness issues. This book will cut down on a significant amount of family stress and grief by helping parents understand what is reasonable and how to go about helping to productively adjust the children's behavior when it is less than ideal. I don't agree with all of it, and there are some ways I would approach things differently--I never believed in Time Outs. But overall, there are some very good tangible tips in here.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Peschke

    I have read a number of books on parenting. This is the best book yet. I think people should read this book before they even decide to marry or have children. Proper parenting is essential for a child's well being having two parents present and in the home is essential as well. The book discusses the effects of divorce on children as well as a plethora of other information to raise great human beings who or confident and capable. I would suggest this book to any new parent. The book is not only I have read a number of books on parenting. This is the best book yet. I think people should read this book before they even decide to marry or have children. Proper parenting is essential for a child's well being having two parents present and in the home is essential as well. The book discusses the effects of divorce on children as well as a plethora of other information to raise great human beings who or confident and capable. I would suggest this book to any new parent. The book is not only well written but well organized. The index is helpful for future use and quick tips.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Meadows

    This book has some good advice and I enjoyed reading it. I'm getting to it a bit late since both of my children are older teens. But this has been sitting in my shelf awhile and I wanted to read it. It's never too late to learn and make self-improvements. This book has some good advice and I enjoyed reading it. I'm getting to it a bit late since both of my children are older teens. But this has been sitting in my shelf awhile and I wanted to read it. It's never too late to learn and make self-improvements.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Recommended reading by a caseworker and the book certainly has merit but I'm docking a point because at least half of the book was about what I consider to be common sense parenting - consistency. It just got irritating. There were a few nuggets of insight in the second half I found quite useful and illuminating to our present situation as foster parents. IE it had never occurred to me, or at least never really sunk in, that a child would feed on the emotional turmoil and havoc they wreak. Sure, Recommended reading by a caseworker and the book certainly has merit but I'm docking a point because at least half of the book was about what I consider to be common sense parenting - consistency. It just got irritating. There were a few nuggets of insight in the second half I found quite useful and illuminating to our present situation as foster parents. IE it had never occurred to me, or at least never really sunk in, that a child would feed on the emotional turmoil and havoc they wreak. Sure, we all know that for some kids any attention will do, whether for good or bad behavior but really, I'd never truly thought that making me angry, hurting me, could be worth more than any consequence. Horrible thought but exactly what I'm dealing with right now. So, working hard on keeping a flat affect, keeping the response to bad behavior simple and brief and avoiding giving any more attention through explanation etc. Only time will tell if this particular time out method will accomplish the desired results, we are still having to reset the timer over and over to get 5 or 10 minutes of time out so that those 5 minutes can take almost an hour. And the histrionics, my goodness. Today was pretty classic, refusing to sit in the chair, howling and screaming, actually tipped the chair over, falling to the floor and hitting head with the chair, weeping and wailing followed by more screaming. This is not a toddler or preschooler we're talking about here! I am surely hoping the author is right and we see improvement in realistic but reasonably short time. Now, to find some positives to focus on with this child who goes from one bout of misbehavior straight on into the next all the day long.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ange

    Great insight on how many of our difficulties with our kids are actually taught by/exacerbated by the ways WE behave. The author gives great insight on how to quickly correct these problems and deal with a host of others. He discusses discipline and punishment and the use of charts and contracts. The chapters were short, cut into even shorter sections which made it easy for me to read small amounts as time allowed. I did feel that the book was a little long. Although not all situations with kids Great insight on how many of our difficulties with our kids are actually taught by/exacerbated by the ways WE behave. The author gives great insight on how to quickly correct these problems and deal with a host of others. He discusses discipline and punishment and the use of charts and contracts. The chapters were short, cut into even shorter sections which made it easy for me to read small amounts as time allowed. I did feel that the book was a little long. Although not all situations with kids are black-and-white I appreciate the author for making many things seem more black-and-white than I sometimes think they are.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    I quite enjoyed this book. I found it both practical and easily written; that is to say, it had enough examples for me to understand exactly what the author was talking about, and it also avoided being dry and pedantic. I didn't totally align with all the principles he espoused, but I thought there were some excellent points (for instance, asking a misbehaving child "what did you do?" rather than "why did you do that?" as "why" implies that they should offer an excuse or reason, and there isn't I quite enjoyed this book. I found it both practical and easily written; that is to say, it had enough examples for me to understand exactly what the author was talking about, and it also avoided being dry and pedantic. I didn't totally align with all the principles he espoused, but I thought there were some excellent points (for instance, asking a misbehaving child "what did you do?" rather than "why did you do that?" as "why" implies that they should offer an excuse or reason, and there isn't an excuse for misbehavior, and the key is getting them to understand what they did and why that's not acceptable).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Beth A.

    I enjoyed this book and learned something, too. It has good information in an easy to read format. Some of the things I learned were... Emphasize cooperation, not control. Encourage your child to control her own behavior. Charts can be used to encourage positive behavior. The child earns privileges or rewards by amassing points on a chart. Some children get a "pay-off" when their parents get angry. Some just like the attention, some enjoy the feeling of power the get from controlling their parent's I enjoyed this book and learned something, too. It has good information in an easy to read format. Some of the things I learned were... Emphasize cooperation, not control. Encourage your child to control her own behavior. Charts can be used to encourage positive behavior. The child earns privileges or rewards by amassing points on a chart. Some children get a "pay-off" when their parents get angry. Some just like the attention, some enjoy the feeling of power the get from controlling their parent's emotions, and some (who feel mistreated)desire revenge. So never discipline in anger. Leave for a minute, whatever it takes, so you can be calm.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    This book taught me in the heat of the moment, when my Parker pee's in his sock, which is fabric, and then tries walking from his bedroom to the bathroom to pour it out into the toliet (to his suprise when he gets there it is all gone, there's nothing to pour because there is a trail from the bedroom to the bathroom, plus some all over him) and it's okay. I can embrace the moment, becasue it won't last, and I will patiently clean everything up, and record it in my journal so I can share with his This book taught me in the heat of the moment, when my Parker pee's in his sock, which is fabric, and then tries walking from his bedroom to the bathroom to pour it out into the toliet (to his suprise when he gets there it is all gone, there's nothing to pour because there is a trail from the bedroom to the bathroom, plus some all over him) and it's okay. I can embrace the moment, becasue it won't last, and I will patiently clean everything up, and record it in my journal so I can share with his wife. Ha Ha

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I think if this had been the first parenting book I'd read it would have gotten a five. Very good. Very informative. A lot of it was stuff I already know but it's always good to be reminded. He also tended to go further than just giving the advice- he would give examples of what your kid might(and most likely would) do after you implement the intervention and how to react to it. He clearly has plenty of experience and is very well informed. If I could purchase this book cheaply I wouldn't mind h I think if this had been the first parenting book I'd read it would have gotten a five. Very good. Very informative. A lot of it was stuff I already know but it's always good to be reminded. He also tended to go further than just giving the advice- he would give examples of what your kid might(and most likely would) do after you implement the intervention and how to react to it. He clearly has plenty of experience and is very well informed. If I could purchase this book cheaply I wouldn't mind having it around for reference.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    A friend let me borrow this book when I was having a difficult time with a particular phase my daughter was going through. It definitely helped me understand her a bit better and I used some of his techniques to help work through the problems - they helped a lot. Offers some great, practical advice on how to deal with behaviors. I also love that it focuses on how, as parents, we need to behave and be consistent (we are often the cause or aggrevators of problems with our kids!)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cam

    This book had a lot of good reminders, but it sure repeated them A LOT! Most of the book focused on giving your kids positive feedback- something I have resolved to be better at. My favorite discipline book is, "1,2,3 Magic" and if I actually started doing the '1,2,3' and incorporated more positive feedback into parenting, I think I would feel less stressed out as a mom. I hope I improve before my kids are old enough to remember my mistakes! This book had a lot of good reminders, but it sure repeated them A LOT! Most of the book focused on giving your kids positive feedback- something I have resolved to be better at. My favorite discipline book is, "1,2,3 Magic" and if I actually started doing the '1,2,3' and incorporated more positive feedback into parenting, I think I would feel less stressed out as a mom. I hope I improve before my kids are old enough to remember my mistakes!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I absolutely loved this book. The most important things I learned are 1) Be positive and say encouraging words to your children. 2) Don't let your children push your buttons, know when to take a time out, laugh, and ignore. 3) Use time outs consistently and strive for cooperation not control. There was lots of good information in this book that I wrote down and plan on going back to when needing reminders. I absolutely loved this book. The most important things I learned are 1) Be positive and say encouraging words to your children. 2) Don't let your children push your buttons, know when to take a time out, laugh, and ignore. 3) Use time outs consistently and strive for cooperation not control. There was lots of good information in this book that I wrote down and plan on going back to when needing reminders.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris George

    This book provides helpful ideas and suggestions on raising children, from toddlers to teenagers. For me, a lot of it seemed like common sense, but that is because I was raised that way. However, I put it on my "to-try-again-later" list because I would like to refer back to it as my son grows. He is only just now 2 years old, and there is not as much information in there for this age group as there is for older children. I liked it enough that I will use it as a resource in the future. This book provides helpful ideas and suggestions on raising children, from toddlers to teenagers. For me, a lot of it seemed like common sense, but that is because I was raised that way. However, I put it on my "to-try-again-later" list because I would like to refer back to it as my son grows. He is only just now 2 years old, and there is not as much information in there for this age group as there is for older children. I liked it enough that I will use it as a resource in the future.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This is a decent book that reminds parents to be consistent and stay calm when dealing with a kid who's acting out. It does a good job of pointing out what parents are doing right and offers food for thought for what they can do better. There isn't really anything that new or innovative in it, and some of the suggestions seem a bit harsh, but as with all these sorts of books, you take what works for you and leave the rest. This is a decent book that reminds parents to be consistent and stay calm when dealing with a kid who's acting out. It does a good job of pointing out what parents are doing right and offers food for thought for what they can do better. There isn't really anything that new or innovative in it, and some of the suggestions seem a bit harsh, but as with all these sorts of books, you take what works for you and leave the rest.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    A basic "common sense" guide to parenting. Good for reminding ourselves stuff we should know anyway. It doesn't hold to any one particular philosophy and has a lot of tools for the parenting toolbox. However, the book is fairly broad in its approach and the author doesn't give enough practical examples for individual concepts. Of course, if he did it would probably be too big. A basic "common sense" guide to parenting. Good for reminding ourselves stuff we should know anyway. It doesn't hold to any one particular philosophy and has a lot of tools for the parenting toolbox. However, the book is fairly broad in its approach and the author doesn't give enough practical examples for individual concepts. Of course, if he did it would probably be too big.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    I enjoyed this book. It had some good ideas and suggestions. I think I would have been better served by the "How to Behave So Your Toddler Will, Too!" version, since my kids are on the younger end of the spectrum. Much of the info in this book wasn't applicable to their current ages, but would probably be great in a few years. I enjoyed this book. It had some good ideas and suggestions. I think I would have been better served by the "How to Behave So Your Toddler Will, Too!" version, since my kids are on the younger end of the spectrum. Much of the info in this book wasn't applicable to their current ages, but would probably be great in a few years.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    This was a nice little treasure. Full of good ideas--many were common sense, but refreshing nonetheless. It's good to be reminded of things I can do to help my children behave better. My kids really responded to these ideas immediately! They've been making my bed and asking to do extra jobs around the house since I started implementing the ideas in this book. This was a nice little treasure. Full of good ideas--many were common sense, but refreshing nonetheless. It's good to be reminded of things I can do to help my children behave better. My kids really responded to these ideas immediately! They've been making my bed and asking to do extra jobs around the house since I started implementing the ideas in this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    This book is a MUST READ for anyone with kids. While there are more examples in it for children aged 6+, there is definitely a lot of information that EVERYONE can take away from this book. I really enjoyed reading this and look forward to implementing some of the strategies. I also look forward to really enjoying my children more :D

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    I like to read a variety of parenting books and take ideas from each one to incorporate into my life. I liked some aspects of this book, particularly his focus on consistency and calmness by parents. However, I thought it felt a little too focused on simple behavioral manipulation and I felt some of his ideas were too harsh.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sara Snarr

    We used to own this until Jeff gave it away. Stinker. I need another copy. It's one of our parenting bibles. It's research-based, but very accessable. It's a great read cover to cover, but works just as well as a trouble shooting reference. We used to own this until Jeff gave it away. Stinker. I need another copy. It's one of our parenting bibles. It's research-based, but very accessable. It's a great read cover to cover, but works just as well as a trouble shooting reference.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chantal

    I thought this book was pretty common sense. Overall theme - be consistent with your kids. There were a few biases on the part of the author that I didn't agree with. All in all, though, it was pretty straightforward. I thought this book was pretty common sense. Overall theme - be consistent with your kids. There were a few biases on the part of the author that I didn't agree with. All in all, though, it was pretty straightforward.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    watched part of a VHS workshop - was really good. now I want to read the book. best thing I learned from the workshop is a list of how to not get frustrated with your kids. I need to print them and put them on my fridge!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I read this years ago, but still remember the message. If you are demanding and impatient, your kids will be too. Model the behavior you want your kids to emulate. It is one of those things that sounds easy, but is not always the easiest to put in play :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I really liked it. Mostly common sense ideas, but with some great ways to implement them. Also some helps for parents to stay consistant. We're trying a few of the ideas and they're working really well. I really liked it. Mostly common sense ideas, but with some great ways to implement them. Also some helps for parents to stay consistant. We're trying a few of the ideas and they're working really well.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    This book does a good job reminding parents to stay positive and recognize good choices and behavior rather than just punishing bad behavior. It isn't life-changing by any means, but it offers another perspective. This book does a good job reminding parents to stay positive and recognize good choices and behavior rather than just punishing bad behavior. It isn't life-changing by any means, but it offers another perspective.

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