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Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World: Seven Building Blocks for Developing Capable Young People

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Bestselling authors H. Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelsen have helped hundreds of thousands of parents raise capable, independent children with Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World. On its tenth anniversary, this parenting classic returns with fresh, up-to-date information to offer you inspiring and workable ideas for developing a trusting relationship wi Bestselling authors H. Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelsen have helped hundreds of thousands of parents raise capable, independent children with Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World. On its tenth anniversary, this parenting classic returns with fresh, up-to-date information to offer you inspiring and workable ideas for developing a trusting relationship with children, as well as the skills to implement the necessary discipline to help your child become a responsible adult. Those who think in terms of leniency versus strictness will be surprised. This book goes beyond these issues to teach children to be responsible and self-reliant—not through outer-directed concerns, such as fear and intimidation, but through inner-directed behavior, such as feeling accountable for one's commitments. Inside, you'll discover how to instill character-building values and traits in your child that last a lifetime.


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Bestselling authors H. Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelsen have helped hundreds of thousands of parents raise capable, independent children with Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World. On its tenth anniversary, this parenting classic returns with fresh, up-to-date information to offer you inspiring and workable ideas for developing a trusting relationship wi Bestselling authors H. Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelsen have helped hundreds of thousands of parents raise capable, independent children with Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World. On its tenth anniversary, this parenting classic returns with fresh, up-to-date information to offer you inspiring and workable ideas for developing a trusting relationship with children, as well as the skills to implement the necessary discipline to help your child become a responsible adult. Those who think in terms of leniency versus strictness will be surprised. This book goes beyond these issues to teach children to be responsible and self-reliant—not through outer-directed concerns, such as fear and intimidation, but through inner-directed behavior, such as feeling accountable for one's commitments. Inside, you'll discover how to instill character-building values and traits in your child that last a lifetime.

30 review for Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World: Seven Building Blocks for Developing Capable Young People

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kiersten

    Don't read this while you're falling asleep--it takes brain power and it a bit of a snoozer at times, but oh, what a great parenting book. Wish I had read it 10 years ago. Follows the parenting themes of Love & Logic. Two things that hit me the hardest: page 91 "Why do we always give generic praise and specific criticism?" It's so true! Specific praise can be just as effective--THIS is what you did really well. I have really started to take a look at what I'm offering up in terms of praise and c Don't read this while you're falling asleep--it takes brain power and it a bit of a snoozer at times, but oh, what a great parenting book. Wish I had read it 10 years ago. Follows the parenting themes of Love & Logic. Two things that hit me the hardest: page 91 "Why do we always give generic praise and specific criticism?" It's so true! Specific praise can be just as effective--THIS is what you did really well. I have really started to take a look at what I'm offering up in terms of praise and criticism now. Second thing: Adultisms and other barriers page 70. All the barriers are completely useless forms of communication. I do a lot of these. I'm going to start asking more leading questions...thinking questions instead.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Great, logical information! Best if you start young, but applicable even if your kids are older. I have to admit, I have a hard time doing some of the things that the book suggests. When my middle-schooler calls me frantic and on the verge of tears because he walked out of the house without his backpack and an assignment is due, I will, 90% of the time, bring it to him. But it's always good to know where I can improve. Great, logical information! Best if you start young, but applicable even if your kids are older. I have to admit, I have a hard time doing some of the things that the book suggests. When my middle-schooler calls me frantic and on the verge of tears because he walked out of the house without his backpack and an assignment is due, I will, 90% of the time, bring it to him. But it's always good to know where I can improve.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Radwa

    I really feel blessed to have come across this book. If you don't have time to go cover to cover, the least to do is read the chapter on Developing Strong Perceptions of Personal Capabilities. This can help beyond parenting to the scope of relationships in its wider range. I really feel blessed to have come across this book. If you don't have time to go cover to cover, the least to do is read the chapter on Developing Strong Perceptions of Personal Capabilities. This can help beyond parenting to the scope of relationships in its wider range.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kate McMurry

    I wrote this review in 2001 on Amazon and have currently recommended this classic child-rearing manual to my daughter for rearing her own daughter. 5.0 out of 5 stars Time-tested, workable ideas! November 24, 2001 By Kate McMurry This review is from: Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World: Seven Building Blocks for Developing Capable Young People (Paperback) I first discovered this book by Dr. Stephen Glenn and Dr. Jane Nelsen just before my son was born in 1988, when my daughter wa I wrote this review in 2001 on Amazon and have currently recommended this classic child-rearing manual to my daughter for rearing her own daughter. 5.0 out of 5 stars Time-tested, workable ideas! November 24, 2001 By Kate McMurry This review is from: Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World: Seven Building Blocks for Developing Capable Young People (Paperback) I first discovered this book by Dr. Stephen Glenn and Dr. Jane Nelsen just before my son was born in 1988, when my daughter was three. I was very impressed with their ideas and have consistently used them ever since, with excellent results. Glenn & Nelsen state that self-reliance and self-responsibility will never stop being crucial, in any society, at any time in history. But, unfortunately for parents today, we receive very little help from the society at large (especially the public schools) in teaching these values to our children. This means that modern parenting is far more complicated than simply enjoying and loving our children. There are essential attitudes and skills they need to know in order to grow into decent, self-reliant adults which no one is likely to teach them if we don't. But in order to do this, we first need to know what these attitudes and skills are and what techniques work for teaching them, and then apply those techniques regularly by spending frequent one-on-one time with our children. I believe that though many parents will find the ideas in this book inspiring, a big barrier stands in the way of them actually following its advice--they are already strongly established in the convenient, no-thinking-required, typical tradition of parenting in the U.S.: (1) eating dinner together as a family group as many nights a week as possible; (2) nagging the kids daily to clean their rooms, do their homework and chores; (3) going on family outings, such as a fast food place or a movie, several times a month; (4) telling the kids if they complain about bullying from siblings or schoolmates to "stop tattling and work it out yourselves;" (5) ignoring each other the rest of the time as much as possible. When parents are used to an uncomplicated pattern like this, implementing Glenn & Nelsen's time-consuming and thought-involving ideas will require a huge lifestyle change, which may be very uncomfortable. Here are some examples of these ideas, which I have found extremely helpful, but are anything but simple or easy to apply: (1) Stay calm. When you get upset at the kids, Glenn & Nelsen suggest getting out your anger and frustration by yelling, privately, at the mirror in the bathroom, and after the worst is over and you are not so upset, only then go talk with your child and discuss what went wrong and what can be done differently next time. (2) Treating children with dignity and respect. Philosophically, many people these days believe it's a good idea to treat all human beings with dignity and respect, but in practice, even people to whom these beliefs are sacred frequently instinctively speak disrespectfully to family members, especially their children. When people hold no such belief, then the odds are it is only an accident of a fleeting good mood that will cause them to speak with respect to their children. (3) Planning ahead. Glenn & Nelsen suggest discussing important situations in the child's life ahead of time and coming up with an agreement that spells out meaningful consequences if the child does not live up to the agreement. Glenn & Nelsen openly admit in this book that positive, assertive (vs. oppressive or permissive) parenting is top-heavy on the work involved when you are first starting it, because it is never easy to learn new habits. However, without this effort, early on and consistently, our children all too often drift away from us over the years, some to the point of becoming almost totally emotionally disconnected during the dangerous teen years. At that point, to start the work of positive, assertive parenting can be a nightmare of endless, painfully frustrating work, with no guaranteed outcome, no matter how hard we try. For this reason, I recommend this book most strongly to people who are expecting their first child, or to parents with small children. These ideas will still work for parents of teenagers, but it is far better to head off future bad outcomes by preventing them. Update 8/06: I first posted this review 11/01, and my kids are now grown, my son 18 and my daughter 21. I am delighted at how they have turned out, and I am convinced that the valuable parenting skills I learned from this book, and used consistently through their whole childhood, contributed massively to them becoming productive, emotionally healthy, financially independent adults. I see both of them frequently, and we have become very close friends, in large part, in my opinion, due to the mutual respect and emotional intimacy that the parenting skills this book teaches have promoted between us. In my experience, every investment you make following the wisdom of Drs. Glenn and Nelsen pays off a thousandfold in your children's lives--and in the richly rewarding relationship you are able to enjoy with them as adults.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Really wonderful straightforward instruction on exactly how and why to teach children by allowing consequences, how to build bridges from our adultisms (those things we throw at kids that don't make sense to them - "do you want me to spank you!") to true communication and parenting. Really wonderful straightforward instruction on exactly how and why to teach children by allowing consequences, how to build bridges from our adultisms (those things we throw at kids that don't make sense to them - "do you want me to spank you!") to true communication and parenting.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lee Ann

    Something else for me to work on and get better in the area of teaching. There are some good ideas and reminders of the right way to build indepent, self reliant kids. I'm working on it. Something else for me to work on and get better in the area of teaching. There are some good ideas and reminders of the right way to build indepent, self reliant kids. I'm working on it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    Things I agreed with in this book: - Kids need to be useful and feel useful, which they mostly don't in our modern world. We can give them more meaningful opportunities to contribute to our families. - We can use developmental questions to help kids develop their sense of responsibility rather than rescuing them when they do it wrong or blaming them for not knowing how to do it right. - Kids need interactions with people of all different ages for their development (vs the hyper-peer-focused environ Things I agreed with in this book: - Kids need to be useful and feel useful, which they mostly don't in our modern world. We can give them more meaningful opportunities to contribute to our families. - We can use developmental questions to help kids develop their sense of responsibility rather than rescuing them when they do it wrong or blaming them for not knowing how to do it right. - Kids need interactions with people of all different ages for their development (vs the hyper-peer-focused environments we tend to create). - It's not good for kids to be given everything. Even if your family is financially comfortable, you should offer your child an "economy class" way of life with the option for them to upgrade to "first class" using their own money or resources. E.g. "I can pay $xx for your jeans. If you want more expensive jeans, you can save up your allowance to pay the extra." Things I had a problem with: - The glorification of "yesteryear," when families all sat around after dinner having deep interpersonal interaction for hours until bedtime. The authors make some good points about cultural changes, but others seemed inaccurate, or were stated in such a hyperbolic way as to be unconvincing. For instance: "We traded our wagons, which moved so slowly that we had no alternative but to talk to one another, for metal cylinders that race down freeways while cassette tape players and FM radios absorb our attention. It is now possible to travel all the way across the country and never have to say more than, 'Are you sure you have to go now?'" (p. 7) "This extended family network usually provided a nurturing environment for children. If a father disciplined his son too heavily, Grandma was often there to soothe and say, 'He was like that when he was a boy, too, but you had better go along and do what he says.' In this way, even the strictest, most authoritarian discipline could be moderated, given positive meaning and thus made more acceptable." (p. 5) "Interaction within nuclear families today amounts to only a few minutes a day. Of these few minutes, more than half are not true interactions. Rather, they are one-way communications delivered in a negative tone." (p. 8) - Similarly to the "Love and Logic" approach, the authors' approach to letting your kids take more responsibility for themselves sometimes seems callous or uncaring. Of course you should help your kid learn to be responsible, but that doesn't mean you need to be an asshole. Like this example: "If a child loses her baseball mitt, the natural consequence would be for her to live without a baseball mitt. However, most parents cannot stand to see their little darlings do without, especially if this means they might miss a Little League game. ... A better response from the parent would be 'Gee, honey, I'm sorry you lost your mitt. That must be very disappointing.' No matter how much the child begs and cries for a new mitt, the subject would be closed. Children are much less likely to be irresponsible when they have to experience such natural consequences of their own behavior." Come on now. Adults have power and resources that children don't have. In this case, adults have access to money in a way that children don't. As the gatekeeper of the child's finances, it seems particularly obnoxious to be so controlling and unhelpful. Also, is your child losing stuff all the time? In that case, this might be an approach you need to take on a regular basis to help them learn responsibility. But for an average child, this just doesn't seem necessary. We all make mistakes sometimes, and being forgiving and kind doesn't necessarily encourage people to make more mistakes. In a larger sense, it felt to me like this approach could lead to every interaction between parent and child being a transactional one: If you want X, you have to do Y. The author suggests the parent can tell the child they'll take her to the store for a new mitt if she has saved enough money from her allowance, but since she has a very busy schedule and going to the store will take half an hour, the child will have to do half an hour of chores first. Does everything we do for our children have to be "purchased" or earned? I could see doing this if your day is REALLY that busy, but if it's just a regular day, it seems like it wouldn't kill you to spend half an hour taking your kid to the store. P.S. I got a kick out of the outdated slang! "'Dad, I can't wear $18 jeans. They're generic to the max. Don't be a terminal nerd.'" LOL.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I can’t believe this book is only rated 4 stars. It is the single best parenting book I have ever read. This book changed my parenting life from one of screaming and threatening to one of dignity and respect. Now that both of my children are grown and self-reliant, I largely have this book to thank. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Wang

    I wished I read this a few years back (when I bought this book). The authors mentioned that "it is NEVER too late" for change. I am still happy and grateful that I finished reading this book. I am going to read another book, which I also bough at the same time, "positive discipline" by one of the author (Jane Nelson). I wished I read this a few years back (when I bought this book). The authors mentioned that "it is NEVER too late" for change. I am still happy and grateful that I finished reading this book. I am going to read another book, which I also bough at the same time, "positive discipline" by one of the author (Jane Nelson).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    I originally read this book back in college. One of my education professors had recommended it, and I somehow managed to read it in between studying and student teaching. Honestly, I think I was meant to read it, because I normally would not have spent the time to read something not on the required list. That was quite a few years ago, but the lesson I learned from this book has always stayed with me: children will not learn to be capable if we don't give them opportunities to be capable! If we I originally read this book back in college. One of my education professors had recommended it, and I somehow managed to read it in between studying and student teaching. Honestly, I think I was meant to read it, because I normally would not have spent the time to read something not on the required list. That was quite a few years ago, but the lesson I learned from this book has always stayed with me: children will not learn to be capable if we don't give them opportunities to be capable! If we do everything for them, how will they learn to do anything for themselves? I didn't have any children at the time I read this book; I was looking at it from more of a teacher perspective. But now, as a mother, I find the lessons I learned from this book invaluable as I try to raise my son. It's easy to want to do everything for him-- to allow him to just enjoy his childhood without any stress or responsiblity. But if I didn't teach him responsibility, I would be cheating him. He needs to take out the trash so he'll understand that it doesn't take itself out. He needs to make his own sandwiches and heat up his own soup in the microwave so he won't be reliant on someone else to feed him. The wonderful thing is that he feels more confident and happy being able to do these things on his own. We all want our kids to grow up to be happy, capable, responsible adults. I found this book to be very helpful in staying focused on that goal. I recently found a copy and plan to read it again!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    Only a bit in but so far I'm amused by the authors' quaint terror about such new and terrifying technologies as Radio, television, and the TELEPHONE. What's next, LASERS??? But that aside, I've been thinking about the point they have made so far: kids have to feel-- and actually BE crucially important to the survival of the family. But I don't believe in some lost idyllic family life-- the Best Generation was always about 3 generations ago, people. Even Pliny thought the golden age was past and Only a bit in but so far I'm amused by the authors' quaint terror about such new and terrifying technologies as Radio, television, and the TELEPHONE. What's next, LASERS??? But that aside, I've been thinking about the point they have made so far: kids have to feel-- and actually BE crucially important to the survival of the family. But I don't believe in some lost idyllic family life-- the Best Generation was always about 3 generations ago, people. Even Pliny thought the golden age was past and "kids these days just ain't like they used to be"... See The Way We Never Were for more about the ways families have been the last 200 years or so. But that's a central premise for the authors: kids used to be respectful, honest, hardworking... not like this good-for-nothing class of 1983! Buncha layabouts. What can they possibly amount to? But the usefulness thing, yes. I agree. Kids need to contribute to the family. That's a keeper.

  12. 5 out of 5

    papasteve

    This is the second time I've read this book. The first time my children were young. Stephen Glenn came out to western Kansas where we were living, brought in by the educational co-op. What I like about him, hearing and seeing him in person, were the stories he told that let us know he wasn't a super parent. Just because he had so much wisdom, still things with your kids doesn't always go perfectly. I bought his book, way back then, and used a lot of his wisdom in raising my kids. Now they are ad This is the second time I've read this book. The first time my children were young. Stephen Glenn came out to western Kansas where we were living, brought in by the educational co-op. What I like about him, hearing and seeing him in person, were the stories he told that let us know he wasn't a super parent. Just because he had so much wisdom, still things with your kids doesn't always go perfectly. I bought his book, way back then, and used a lot of his wisdom in raising my kids. Now they are adults, and doing so well. I owe some of that to the wisdom in this book. Now I'm training a group of adults who will be mentors to at-risk children. I came back to this book to use for our training, hoping that in the short time we will have with our proteges, some of this timeless wisdom of Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelson will see us through. All the adults being trained as mentors have said they wished they'd read this book when they were raising their children. But most of them also have grandchildren, so it's never too late. There are always new opportunities to raise self-reliant children, proteges and grandchildren.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cherre

    This book focuses on equipping our children with perceptions and skills that will help them develop self-esteem and self-reliance. It discusses how we as parents need to be learners, as the world in which we live today is changing at a rapid face, faster than any other generation. The book discusses how things are quite different today than previous generations... when children were needed on the family farm and made major contributions: they knew they were needed in the family. Today, children' This book focuses on equipping our children with perceptions and skills that will help them develop self-esteem and self-reliance. It discusses how we as parents need to be learners, as the world in which we live today is changing at a rapid face, faster than any other generation. The book discusses how things are quite different today than previous generations... when children were needed on the family farm and made major contributions: they knew they were needed in the family. Today, children's roles are much different and without teaching skills and giving them responsibilities, they may not feel needed and as a result, they're turning to peer groups, drugs, etc. to gain a sense of belonging or escape feelings of worthlessness. I think this book will give insight and methods that will help me raise my children with good self-esteem and good work ethic.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Liz Dean

    All of the parents at my son's elementary school were encouraged to read this book over the summer. It was a good reminder of why positive discipline strategies are important & has motivated me to rethink some of my communication w/ Charlie. The advice that resonated most with me was that children need to feel like a necessary component of the family structure, not just objects to keep stimulated. I am going to work on that over the next few months. Things that were not great about the book: it' All of the parents at my son's elementary school were encouraged to read this book over the summer. It was a good reminder of why positive discipline strategies are important & has motivated me to rethink some of my communication w/ Charlie. The advice that resonated most with me was that children need to feel like a necessary component of the family structure, not just objects to keep stimulated. I am going to work on that over the next few months. Things that were not great about the book: it's so dated! All the examples are from the 80s. It is too dreamy about the "good old days" of agricultural life with no evidence to back it up. And finally midway through the book I was convinced I was doing everything wrong & totally depressed. I wish the tone had not been so scolding. Overall though, I'm glad to have read it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A lot of what was in this books I learned in my Family Science classes at BYU, but it was a good refresher course. The principles in this book are true. They pinpoint so clearly the things we do to our children to take away their self-respect, responsibility, and self-image. I was horrified to read how many of those bad parenting habits I have developed! (doing too much for our kids, rescuing,etc) What I appreciated in this book was that it gave real life experiences, testimonies & examples, and A lot of what was in this books I learned in my Family Science classes at BYU, but it was a good refresher course. The principles in this book are true. They pinpoint so clearly the things we do to our children to take away their self-respect, responsibility, and self-image. I was horrified to read how many of those bad parenting habits I have developed! (doing too much for our kids, rescuing,etc) What I appreciated in this book was that it gave real life experiences, testimonies & examples, and dialogues to use in your own family. The part of this book I liked the best was where it clearly delineates habits/principles for parents to adapt to help their children become confident, responsible, and self-reliant. Great parent resource book! Especially for those with teenagers!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Brukiewa

    This has some very helpful techniques and insights that can help you teach your kids responsiblity and to make good choices. It does not, however, deal well with heart issues. It is a book focussed on behavior. I am a Christian so I believe there are issues to be addressed in the heart of a child. You can do all the right things and be sucessful and not be motivated by love. I prefer the book Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. It is basically the Love and Logic tools, but it addresses m This has some very helpful techniques and insights that can help you teach your kids responsiblity and to make good choices. It does not, however, deal well with heart issues. It is a book focussed on behavior. I am a Christian so I believe there are issues to be addressed in the heart of a child. You can do all the right things and be sucessful and not be motivated by love. I prefer the book Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. It is basically the Love and Logic tools, but it addresses more of the heart issues. I wrote a full review on that book that gets into more details about what I believe to be the advantages and pitfalls of this type of parenting that is taught in Raising Self-Reliant Children and Love and Logic type books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    kelli

    this is one of my favorite books. it has some great anecdoctal stories, but its message has really shaped my outlook on a lot of different aspects of life. it really helped shaped my belief that entrusting people with responsibilities is the best way to get people to do things. i've always wished that more business leaders would read this book. you can't give people petty jobs and expect them to be passionate about the work. the same is true for volunteer management. you can't ask people to do b this is one of my favorite books. it has some great anecdoctal stories, but its message has really shaped my outlook on a lot of different aspects of life. it really helped shaped my belief that entrusting people with responsibilities is the best way to get people to do things. i've always wished that more business leaders would read this book. you can't give people petty jobs and expect them to be passionate about the work. the same is true for volunteer management. you can't ask people to do boring grunt work and expect them to continue with your nonprofit organization long term. there are a lot of real life applications for the ideas in this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kristie J.

    This book has excellent concepts about the most successful way to talk to and deal with kids, and how to discipline kids with respect and dignity. Many of the techniques will be awkward at first but with practice can be valuable tools. For example, the EIAG process (Experience, Identification, Analysis, Generalization or the What? Why? How? process) teaches parents to ask kids questions to lead them to figure out the answers themselves instead of just lecturing them. Some places in the text read This book has excellent concepts about the most successful way to talk to and deal with kids, and how to discipline kids with respect and dignity. Many of the techniques will be awkward at first but with practice can be valuable tools. For example, the EIAG process (Experience, Identification, Analysis, Generalization or the What? Why? How? process) teaches parents to ask kids questions to lead them to figure out the answers themselves instead of just lecturing them. Some places in the text read like a textbook so I got "stuck" in my reading several times. However, it was well worth my time to read and I definitely want to re-read this book someday when I have kids.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I thought this book had some great theories as to why children, who are now adults since the book was written in 1989, are self-indulgent and had a few good suggestions as to how to intervene in the teen years to help children be more self-reliant and have an inner sense of responsibility rather than being tossed around by the ways of the world. But I think the real problem lies in the way we raise our children from birth through infancy. For a fabulous book on teaching kids real values from the I thought this book had some great theories as to why children, who are now adults since the book was written in 1989, are self-indulgent and had a few good suggestions as to how to intervene in the teen years to help children be more self-reliant and have an inner sense of responsibility rather than being tossed around by the ways of the world. But I think the real problem lies in the way we raise our children from birth through infancy. For a fabulous book on teaching kids real values from the very beginning and to learn about why our kids become indulgent read Dr. Sears book The Successful Child.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    This was not the best written parenting book I've ever read - the authors write in a very dry academic style, even though the book is filled with parenting anecdotes. I didn't take too much away, except for a reminder to consciously encourage my child to be a contributor to the family. I also find their ideas consistent with a habit I try to follow, praising effort rather than character - e.g. "You worked really hard at this, so that is why you got an A+" instead of "You are really smart, so tha This was not the best written parenting book I've ever read - the authors write in a very dry academic style, even though the book is filled with parenting anecdotes. I didn't take too much away, except for a reminder to consciously encourage my child to be a contributor to the family. I also find their ideas consistent with a habit I try to follow, praising effort rather than character - e.g. "You worked really hard at this, so that is why you got an A+" instead of "You are really smart, so that is why you got an A+". The latter attitude will set children up to doubt themselves when they do fail.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Talai

    I'm so glad I read this book pretty early on in my children's lives. There are so many real-life parenting strategies in this book and it made me want to change many of the the ways I parent. While I was reading this I saw how I fall into so many of the parenting traps and create barriers. In addition, I always want to protect my boys from everything and this book helped remind me why this is so detrimental to my kids growth, within reason, of course. My only complaint is that the research was o I'm so glad I read this book pretty early on in my children's lives. There are so many real-life parenting strategies in this book and it made me want to change many of the the ways I parent. While I was reading this I saw how I fall into so many of the parenting traps and create barriers. In addition, I always want to protect my boys from everything and this book helped remind me why this is so detrimental to my kids growth, within reason, of course. My only complaint is that the research was outdated. I'm not sure if the 2000 edition is better.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    This was a better than average parenting book. The first chapter is stupid because it basically says: "everything was great in the old days, we should go back to that". But, after that, the book has good philosophy and specific advice about respecting children, keeping your expectations reasonable, and running the house as a family rather than a dictatorship. I'd recommend it over Alfie Kohn's book. This was a better than average parenting book. The first chapter is stupid because it basically says: "everything was great in the old days, we should go back to that". But, after that, the book has good philosophy and specific advice about respecting children, keeping your expectations reasonable, and running the house as a family rather than a dictatorship. I'd recommend it over Alfie Kohn's book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I liked this book much more than I thought I would, for when I started reading it, I found myself so distracted by the cheesy dialogue and slightly outdated aspects that I wasn't seeing it for all the amazing info. Anywho, when I put aside the piddly things that bugged me, I discovered a great book with a lot of fabulous insight. Definitely recommended (just be forewarned about some of the cheesy bits). I liked this book much more than I thought I would, for when I started reading it, I found myself so distracted by the cheesy dialogue and slightly outdated aspects that I wasn't seeing it for all the amazing info. Anywho, when I put aside the piddly things that bugged me, I discovered a great book with a lot of fabulous insight. Definitely recommended (just be forewarned about some of the cheesy bits).

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Stackpoole

    Yes, the title is enticing and it has some good points, but the rest felt like a bunch of pointless junk text. Best take away is this - kids are born ready to help and to create but in many cases they are being taught to let mom & dad do all the work and consume TV, video games, computers. Let them participate and do stuff. That kind of message is very important, but it could have easily been summarized in less than a page.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Like others have said, this book is slow-going in order to process the concepts. As a mother of preschoolers, I think the ideas in this book will be helpful now and for years to come. Although some of the ideas about TV seem dated or unpopular, I personally think the authors are thoughtful and make good points, and their views apply now to other media in our lives, too. Overall, I recommend this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shae

    I got this book when my oldest was two. It was one of the most helpful, informative books in helping my husband and I define our philosophy about how to raise our kids. We use the concepts in this book daily and will continue to use them until our kids are out of the house. My husband also found the concepts helpful in dealing with difficult people at work and and church as well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz Hedgpeth

    LOVE this book. My husband and I both took classes based on this book and program. I thought it was GREAT for child raising, and my husband (who works in management) felt like a lot of it aplied not only to kids, but in management and work too. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to any parent of any kid of any age. LOVED it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    I read this in college and decided to re-read it as it applies to my parenting currently. It is a good book with some helpful insights that I plan to apply, but it is a text book snoozer as far as the way it is written and outlined. The things I liked best were the "builders" and " barriers" it focused on. I read this in college and decided to re-read it as it applies to my parenting currently. It is a good book with some helpful insights that I plan to apply, but it is a text book snoozer as far as the way it is written and outlined. The things I liked best were the "builders" and " barriers" it focused on.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I bought the book at a garage sale and wasn't able to really get anything out of it. It is written like a college thesis and it is really boring. But if you look at it in the library and scan the contents you may find it interesting yet. I bought the book at a garage sale and wasn't able to really get anything out of it. It is written like a college thesis and it is really boring. But if you look at it in the library and scan the contents you may find it interesting yet.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    A book rec.from the director at Austin's pre-school. She names this one the best books parents could read for kids in this area. There will be a book discussion about this book later in the year t the pre-school...so I thought I get started on it now. :) A book rec.from the director at Austin's pre-school. She names this one the best books parents could read for kids in this area. There will be a book discussion about this book later in the year t the pre-school...so I thought I get started on it now. :)

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