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Kids Are Worth It!: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline

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The parenting classic, now revised with new chapters, checklists, and information about today's most pressing issues regarding our children This bestselling guide rejects "quick-fix" solutions and focuses on helping kids develop their own self-discipline by owning up to their mistakes, thinking through solutions, and correcting their misdeeds while leaving their dignity int The parenting classic, now revised with new chapters, checklists, and information about today's most pressing issues regarding our children This bestselling guide rejects "quick-fix" solutions and focuses on helping kids develop their own self-discipline by owning up to their mistakes, thinking through solutions, and correcting their misdeeds while leaving their dignity intact. Barbara Coloroso shows these principles in action through dozens of examples -- from sibling rivalry to teenage rebellion; from common misbehaviors to substance abuse and antisocial behavior. She also explains how to parent strong-willed children, effective alternatives to time-outs, bribes, and threats, and how to help kids resolve disputes and serious injustices such as bullying. Filled with practical suggestions for handling the ordinary and extraordinary tribulations of growing up, kids are worth it! helps you help your children grow into responsible, resilient, resourceful adults -- not because you tell them to, but because they want to.

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The parenting classic, now revised with new chapters, checklists, and information about today's most pressing issues regarding our children This bestselling guide rejects "quick-fix" solutions and focuses on helping kids develop their own self-discipline by owning up to their mistakes, thinking through solutions, and correcting their misdeeds while leaving their dignity int The parenting classic, now revised with new chapters, checklists, and information about today's most pressing issues regarding our children This bestselling guide rejects "quick-fix" solutions and focuses on helping kids develop their own self-discipline by owning up to their mistakes, thinking through solutions, and correcting their misdeeds while leaving their dignity intact. Barbara Coloroso shows these principles in action through dozens of examples -- from sibling rivalry to teenage rebellion; from common misbehaviors to substance abuse and antisocial behavior. She also explains how to parent strong-willed children, effective alternatives to time-outs, bribes, and threats, and how to help kids resolve disputes and serious injustices such as bullying. Filled with practical suggestions for handling the ordinary and extraordinary tribulations of growing up, kids are worth it! helps you help your children grow into responsible, resilient, resourceful adults -- not because you tell them to, but because they want to.

30 review for Kids Are Worth It!: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    Well, 2 stars might seem to be a bit harsh, but i'll leave it at that. The book is not that bad, it is OK, it;s written in rather simple, lively manner, which is easy to digest and relate to. However my problem with this book is that it simplifies things too much. obvious statements, the likes of "gentle guidance", "respect",etc, etc.. i agree with all that, no doubt, but it's like stating the facts of grass being green and the sky being blue... Moreover, reactions of different children to the same Well, 2 stars might seem to be a bit harsh, but i'll leave it at that. The book is not that bad, it is OK, it;s written in rather simple, lively manner, which is easy to digest and relate to. However my problem with this book is that it simplifies things too much. obvious statements, the likes of "gentle guidance", "respect",etc, etc.. i agree with all that, no doubt, but it's like stating the facts of grass being green and the sky being blue... Moreover, reactions of different children to the same tactics can vary quite dramatically. What works for one, can be absolutely useless for another. The book did not go very far on the subject of those cases. So, nothing really new, though pleasant, easy read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kressel Housman

    To me, the measure of a good parenting or psychology book is if it changes my life, and by that standard, this book was EXCELLENT. It divides parenting styles into three basic types: 1) brickwall = "My way OR ELSE"; 2) jellyfish = house rules are rarely and inconsistently applied; and 3) backbone = the right approach, flexible yet firm. It was unpleasant to see what a jellyfish I've been, but while I was reading the book, I really felt myself developing backbone. The author gives specific ways yo To me, the measure of a good parenting or psychology book is if it changes my life, and by that standard, this book was EXCELLENT. It divides parenting styles into three basic types: 1) brickwall = "My way OR ELSE"; 2) jellyfish = house rules are rarely and inconsistently applied; and 3) backbone = the right approach, flexible yet firm. It was unpleasant to see what a jellyfish I've been, but while I was reading the book, I really felt myself developing backbone. The author gives specific ways you can do this. Basically, rules should be so logical that they needn't take too much thinking on the parents' part. I've slacked off a bit without the book, but it was so worth it, I think I'll buy my own copy and look into it to keep the lessons fresh. Highly recommended, even if your kids are still little.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emily Madill

    ‘Kids are worth it!” is an informative and functional parenting book. The main initiative of the book is to raise children to be confident self-disciplined and comfortable thinking for themselves. Through examples and stories, Coloroso gives suggestions and tools that offer children opportunities to make decisions and feel empowered. In her book Coloroso describes three different parenting philosophies and the importance in becoming ‘aware’ of the tools that lead to destruction, and tools that l ‘Kids are worth it!” is an informative and functional parenting book. The main initiative of the book is to raise children to be confident self-disciplined and comfortable thinking for themselves. Through examples and stories, Coloroso gives suggestions and tools that offer children opportunities to make decisions and feel empowered. In her book Coloroso describes three different parenting philosophies and the importance in becoming ‘aware’ of the tools that lead to destruction, and tools that lead to success in raising resilient, responsible children and teenagers. I like that she used examples for two year old tantrums, and at the same time addressed some of the issues that arise in the teenage years. I like that her examples and suggestions are applicable to real life situations and that she believes quick-fixes are not long term solutions. One of the most poignant points in the book for me is when Barbara Coloroso quotes a conversation she had with parents of a teenager who thought their son had changed from being a great kid to a ‘problem child’. In the book Barbara says to the parents: “You know what? He hasn’t changed. From the time he was young, he dressed the way you told him to dress; he acted the way you told him to act; he said the things you told him to say. He’s been listening to somebody else tell him what to do. He’s been doing it. He hasn’t changed. He is still listening to somebody else tell him what to do. The problem is, it isn’t you anymore; it’s his peers. The kid hasn’t learned how to think.” Barbara is an internationally renowned author and presenter on topics relating to parenting, teaching, and school discipline among others. She has an extensive background in the classroom and first hand experience being a mother of three. Her website (listed above) has more information on her workshops as well as resources and handouts on anti-bullying. Barbara is a powerful role model to parents, educators and women; after reading her book, I’m a huge fan! My mother-in-law gave this book to our family as a gift the Christmas before she passed away. She was a mother of three amazing kids who turned into amazing adults (one of whom is my husband), she was a primary teacher for over twenty years and educated and parented using the same philosophies Barbara writes about. It has been almost a year since my Mom in law passed, and it felt like the perfect time to bring out this book. I am thankful for the lessons and tools presented in this book. It is even more special as it feels like they came as a gift from my children’s Nana. If you have children, plan to have children or are in the education field, this book is an excellent resource. It is one I plan to keep readily available to help me with the different things that come up in raising responsible children. ‘Kids are worth it!’ is available worldwide through Amazon and other major book retailers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    Can't say I got much out of this book. Its premise is a good one, and I appreciate the general advice about treating kids with dignity and respect even when correcting them - especially when correcting them. But for a book on positive parenting, its tone is quite judgmental. The author classifies parenting styles into 3 types - two are horrid and the third is ideal. The problem with this approach, as I see it, is that not many people are going to want to identify with the exaggeratedly awful par Can't say I got much out of this book. Its premise is a good one, and I appreciate the general advice about treating kids with dignity and respect even when correcting them - especially when correcting them. But for a book on positive parenting, its tone is quite judgmental. The author classifies parenting styles into 3 types - two are horrid and the third is ideal. The problem with this approach, as I see it, is that not many people are going to want to identify with the exaggeratedly awful parenting styles and thus resist any comparison to them. This creates a roadblock to learning instead of being helpful. Moreover, the description of the ideal parenting style is often so vague as to be impossible to emulate. Finally, the later chapters attempt to provide advice on specific problem areas like mealtime and toilet training. But these areas are covered in such a cursory and vague manner even these chapters were not helpful. I forced myself to finish, hoping to find some nugget in there somewhere. Not sure whether I did.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dory Hamlin

    Our job as parents is not to control our children, but to teach & guide them. To teach them how to think, not what to think, so that they learn how to be functional, respectful, thinking adults. I just finished reading this book for the 3rd time - I read it first several years ago before I had any kids, and now have read it twice since the birth of my own child. I have read (& continue to read) a lot of parenting books, and books of the science of brain growth. I keep coming back to thi Our job as parents is not to control our children, but to teach & guide them. To teach them how to think, not what to think, so that they learn how to be functional, respectful, thinking adults. I just finished reading this book for the 3rd time - I read it first several years ago before I had any kids, and now have read it twice since the birth of my own child. I have read (& continue to read) a lot of parenting books, and books of the science of brain growth. I keep coming back to this book as the "if you read only 1 parenting book, read THIS one." http://www.kidsareworthit.com/uploads... Unlike many parenting books on the market, this is not a personal theory that hasn't really been tested on kids or maybe only tested on the author's kids - these tools were developed & tested on hundreds of kids, many of them being "special needs" or "difficult" kids. (To quote from her website: Her uniquely effective parenting and teaching strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education, and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor, university instructor, seminar leader, volunteer in Rwanda, and mother of three grown children." Even though the author does not use the following terms, her parenting tools absolutely fit under parenting styles of "Gentle-Parenting" & "Grace-Based Discipline" & "Attachment Parenting." The author stresses the importance of giving children as much choice as possible at every stage of life, because it is by having choices & making decisions that children learn how to make good decisions. Things like creating a choice where there isn't choice (at bedtime, rather than "put your PJs on now." The parent can ask "Do you want Mom to help put your PJs on, or Dad to help?") By giving kids choices, we give them ownership of their lives & of what happens to them. Having ownership (control) of themselves effectively diffuses rebellion before it begins. Or, as the author points out, children will always rebel - either in little steps throughout toddlerhood, or all at once as teenagers. You can't choose IF your child rebels, only when. I have personally seen the effective of this approach with my own dau. While all the parents around me talk about how "no" is their toddler's favorite word, I have a 2-yr old that is strong-willed, independent, happy, energetic & yet rarely does she respond with "No!" While No is definitely a word that children need to hear, using it too much causes it to lose meaning & value, so the author offers 3 alternatives: "yes, later" (hard for them to fight a yes, and later can be 5 sec later or 5 days later); "Give me a minute" (which can allow the parent time to think through the child's request & give a good response instead of a fast but wrong response); and "convince me" (which requires the child to think through the issue themselves & come up with reasons to change the parent's mind - which, in turn, teaches the child how to THINK instead of just acting on their wants).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan Bazzett-Griffith

    Meh. This book is basically the same as Love and Logic (also meh). I didn't learn much about specific tools to hone "inner discipline" in my son, as the title implies. And though I understand the sentiment behind the constant theme of "treat the child in a way so that they can retain their dignity", I often found myself thinking about scenes from my son's childhood where he would do things like run through the house naked with half a turd hanging from his ass because he didn't want to poop on th Meh. This book is basically the same as Love and Logic (also meh). I didn't learn much about specific tools to hone "inner discipline" in my son, as the title implies. And though I understand the sentiment behind the constant theme of "treat the child in a way so that they can retain their dignity", I often found myself thinking about scenes from my son's childhood where he would do things like run through the house naked with half a turd hanging from his ass because he didn't want to poop on the toilet, and wondering, "Really? He had dignity? I don't think so." The constant referrals to the Brick Wall, Jellyfish, and Backbone parent also grated on my nerves, as the three styles are just cutesy-renamed versions of authoritarian, permissive (jellyfish a, or "hands off" is called jellyfish b, sigh) and authoritative. Nothing original, no original thoughts as to what is best and why. Two stars because there were a couple of useful tidbits that I will try to be better about incorporating into my own parenting, my favorite being instead of saying, "No," to a lot of requests, I like the idea of "yes, later" instead. Also appreciated the examples of ways for a child to make his/her mistakes right with acts of restitution and contrition. Overall, though, not a read I would recommend specifically to any friends or family.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robin Penney

    I learned so much from this book. It has changed the way I treat my children. I give them ownership for the mistakes they make, and help them to feel okay about making those mistakes in the first place. I no longer believe that punishment has to include an element of "feeling bad" about what you did. Instead, I help them to fix the problem. But I don't rescue them, or clean up for them, like I did before. Also, no more rewards! Threw out the sticker charts! Teaching them that they do things beca I learned so much from this book. It has changed the way I treat my children. I give them ownership for the mistakes they make, and help them to feel okay about making those mistakes in the first place. I no longer believe that punishment has to include an element of "feeling bad" about what you did. Instead, I help them to fix the problem. But I don't rescue them, or clean up for them, like I did before. Also, no more rewards! Threw out the sticker charts! Teaching them that they do things becasue they are the right things to do, not because you are going to get something for it. So much more, but these are my main take-aways from this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marissa Morrison

    I could tell right away that I was going to like this book, because Coloroso includes quotes from wonderful authors like Alfi Kohn and Gavin De Becker. She advocates not treating children in a way that you yourself wouldn't want to be treated, and to only discipline using techniques that leave a kid's dignity in tact. Some tips from this book: When you have to criticize, criticize the problem, not the kid. An effective way to do this is to say, "That's not right" rather than "that's wrong." "That I could tell right away that I was going to like this book, because Coloroso includes quotes from wonderful authors like Alfi Kohn and Gavin De Becker. She advocates not treating children in a way that you yourself wouldn't want to be treated, and to only discipline using techniques that leave a kid's dignity in tact. Some tips from this book: When you have to criticize, criticize the problem, not the kid. An effective way to do this is to say, "That's not right" rather than "that's wrong." "That's not right" encourages a child to figure out what needs fixing. Her four steps of discipline are (1) Show children what they have done wrong, (2) Give them ownership of the problem, (3) Help them find ways of solving the problem, and (4) Leave their dignity intact. Number three can include restitution (cleaning up, fixing damaged items, etc.), resolution (figuring out ways to prevent this situation from happening again), and reconciliation (healing with the person who has been hurt). Some alternatives to "no": "You can do it later." "Give me a minute to think about this." "Convince me." One technique for conflict resolution is to give the two people one notebook and one pen and ask them to write down one version of the story. An alternative to time outs is to have the kid take as much time alone as needed to calm down. Give three options (because two options can make it seem like one's good and one's bad, and because reflecting on three options takes some thinking, which is likely to help the kid calm down)-- e.g. "Do you want to calm down on the couch, in your bedroom, or in the rocking chair?" If the child refuses to select a place, then she gets to calm down in the current location. When dealing with an angry kid who is being aggressive, give a hug and rock the child in your arms. Even if this doesn't calm her down, you will feel better and be less temped to become aggressive in response. Coloroso is generally opposed to rewards and punishments. When a consequence is necessary, she advices making positive statements. Instead of saying "Make your bed or you can't go out tonight," she would say, "You can go out after you make your bed." No matter what kind of a response parents get (arguing, sulking, etc.), she recommends sticking with a straightforward phrase like "You can go out after you make your bed" and repeating it as necessary.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Lotzer

    This book defines three types of families, which really put life with children in perspective. It is amazing the influence your own parents have on the way you do things... I thought it was a great read. It made me feel really good about my parenting philosophy and the relationships I have with the kids. I am happy to say I am 90% "Backbone" parent. It also really defined my childhood (jellyfish). I also related to one of the negative family types (brickwall), which explained the harm you can do This book defines three types of families, which really put life with children in perspective. It is amazing the influence your own parents have on the way you do things... I thought it was a great read. It made me feel really good about my parenting philosophy and the relationships I have with the kids. I am happy to say I am 90% "Backbone" parent. It also really defined my childhood (jellyfish). I also related to one of the negative family types (brickwall), which explained the harm you can do to your children with this style. I have always believed this, but never knew how to put it into words. It is amazing that parents actually think this is the right way to do things, but again, it is all in the way you were brought up. The Brickwall Family... "Kids are controlled, manipulated, and made to mind. Their feelings are ignored, ridiculed, or negated. Parents direct, supervise, lecture, order, threaten, remind and worry over. the brickwall family is in essence a dictatorship, perhaps a benevolent one but a dictatorship nevertheless. Power in a brickwall family equals control, and it all comes from the top." I borrowed this book fromt the library, but am going to pick up my own copy to reference for years down the road.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I found this to be an interesting look at how both parents and teachers can treat their children and students with respect. However, I think that parents could misinterpret when they begin to put Coloroso's parenting theories into practice. I could definitely see how some parents could use her ideas and feel that they are granting their child independence, when in reality they are being "jellyfish" parents by letting their child do whatever he or she wants in order to exert this "independence". I found this to be an interesting look at how both parents and teachers can treat their children and students with respect. However, I think that parents could misinterpret when they begin to put Coloroso's parenting theories into practice. I could definitely see how some parents could use her ideas and feel that they are granting their child independence, when in reality they are being "jellyfish" parents by letting their child do whatever he or she wants in order to exert this "independence". I also wonder about Coloroso's view of praise, which she sees as detrimental to the child's development. While I agree that constant praise has negative effects, there is a difference between praise and recognition. As mentioned in "Classroom Instruction that Works", by Marzano et. al., being a role model and providing recognition when a child does well improves their attitude and willingness to complete the same task. Overall, this book offers some great ideas, but other materials should be read in order to have a well-rounded view of how children need to be raised and cared for.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Within a few chapters of starting this book, I was already changing the way I parent. While we don't often need to punish our kids (luckily), we were resorting to a lot of bribing and negotiating to get things to happen. Coloroso explains why this isn't helping kids think for themselves or behave for the right reasons. It's actually not that hard to rephrase and change how I communicate, now that I'm aware of it. I also want to get my kids helping with chores more consistently now that I read th Within a few chapters of starting this book, I was already changing the way I parent. While we don't often need to punish our kids (luckily), we were resorting to a lot of bribing and negotiating to get things to happen. Coloroso explains why this isn't helping kids think for themselves or behave for the right reasons. It's actually not that hard to rephrase and change how I communicate, now that I'm aware of it. I also want to get my kids helping with chores more consistently now that I read this. One quote I'd like to remember, so I'll just write it here, is, "Children don't need many no's, any minilectures, unnecessary questions, empty threats, ultimatums, put-downs, warnings, or dictates. What they do need is support, explanations, encouragement, opportunities to be responsible, and invitations to think for themselves." (p. 101)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    I haven't finished yet, but this book is by far the best parenting book I've ever read! It guides you how to teach your kids to make good decisions. It's not about controlling your kids. You need to teach them that they can handle anything life throws at them. This book shows you how to give them the tools from a very early age. FANTASTIC! I can't wait to read the chapter on sibling rivalry.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jaye

    I like some of her advice but definately didn't agree with all of it. Example: she suggests that when your teenage daughter asks you if she can go to a party where drinking will be involved and you don't want her to, she says to use the phrase "convince me"...doesn't that just mean, "come on, argue with me"? I don't know, I don't find her to be very realistic.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Moshe Mikanovsky

    If you have kids, you owe it to yourself and to them to read this book. Its never too late! If you are an author, you got to read this book, and understand the different types of families out there and how they interact with each other.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    What an insightful book! Barbara gives many specific examples how being either a brick wall, jellyfish or backbone parent affects our children in profound ways. So much to learn with our children. Amazing resource for all parents or for anyone who has children in their life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Plan to re-read this book over time, too. She helped me understand respectful parenting in a broad, longterm perspective, from tot to teens.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christine Fonseca

    By FAR one of the best parenting books on the market. And this revised edition - even better than the first!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Delia Huitema

    Love her and loved the book! It made me a better parent.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ardra

    Didn't quite finish this one before it was due back at the library. Definitely want to revisit this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    One of my favorite parenting books. Good advice for young children as well as teens. A good one to add to home library as I will be returning to it over the years.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    One of my very favorite parenting books, along with How to Talk so Kids Will Listen. I read it every year or so it seems. Fantastic book with great suggestions. Get a copy. DO IT.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Hollie

    One of the best parenting books I've read!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Whitney

    Good book. Pretty much the same core idea behind it as Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, but probably a better main-stream pick for the harder-to-convince parents, especially those who came from and swear by a brickwall kind of family. Brickwall? You know: 'Our way or the highway' parents who gave out spankings and groundings freely. It actually describes the three common types of families: Brickwall (just mentioned), Jellyfish (there are two sub-types), and Backbone (the one you should s Good book. Pretty much the same core idea behind it as Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, but probably a better main-stream pick for the harder-to-convince parents, especially those who came from and swear by a brickwall kind of family. Brickwall? You know: 'Our way or the highway' parents who gave out spankings and groundings freely. It actually describes the three common types of families: Brickwall (just mentioned), Jellyfish (there are two sub-types), and Backbone (the one you should strive for). It was interesting to compare these styles with my own upbringing, and even the bit I know about my parents upbringings. Not my favorite parenting book, but a good one, and I value it in the fact that it might get the message across to folks who may be too rigid or too warped themselves from their own childhoods to open their minds to How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk; Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves; Liberated Parents, Liberated Children; Unconditional Parenting; and books of the like. - - - - A Few Quotes: A good check of a parenting tool is "Would I want it done to me?" As simple a question as it appears to be, it can make the difference in how we parent this next generation. I believe that for the first time in our history we have the tools necessary to break the cycles of dysfunction, abuse, and neglect. We now have the individual and collective awareness of the damages that physical and emotional abuse can cause a child, a family, and a society. I am not naive enough to believe that it will be simple to make the necessary changes. There will be strong opposition from those who believe children are property to be owned and controlled. Some will fight to the bitter end to assert their "right" to abuse their children physically, emotionally, and sexually. I also know that those of us committed to making a change must also fight the demons from within, for we carry in our mental toolboxes destructive tools that are well-worn family heirlooms, passed on from generation to generation. page 15 Jellyfish families of both types have little external or internal structures. A permissive, laissez-faire atmosphere prevails. Children are smothered or abandoned, humiliated, embarrassed, and manipulated. They become obnoxious and spoiled and/or scared and vindictive. Since they receive no affirming life messages from their parents, they view themselves and the world around them with a lack of optimism. They end up being afraid of expressing themselves. They keep their feelings under guard and spontaneity in check; or they swing to the other extreme and become reckless, uncaring, uncontrollable risk takers. page 49 Many attempted suicides are not failed attempts but desperate cries for help. Both the brickwall family and the jellyfish family can set the stage for these desperate cries. The brickwall parent has told the child for years to stifle his feelings of hurt, anger, and frustration. ("Don't cry." "Don't walk away from me. You will listen to me." "Do what I tell you to do, and no arguments, please.") Solutions for problems are dictated by the parent to the child, with no opportunity for discussion or dialogue. ("You will bring your test scores up by studying every night for two hours." "You will replace Mr. Smith's planter, and tell him you are sorry." "Share that toy with your brother, right now.") Love is held out as a reward for behavior the parent approves of, and withheld for behaviors the parent doesn't like. ("If you are well behaved, I love you. If you are not, I won't." "Get away from me. You are a bad girl." "Let Mommy give her big girl a big kiss for winning the spelling bee.") Perfection is good. Mistakes are bad. (For example, an honor student gets a B and thinks his whole world should come to an end. A young girl starves herself to become like the model waifs who are the "ideal" weight.) The jellyfish parent has been inconsistent in his own expression of feelings, one moment flying off the handle for a minor infraction, the next laughing at something his child got punished for yesterday. The child's feelings are ignored ("Go to your bedroom right now and stay there until morning. That should teach you to talk to me like that." "Did you hear how he told his teach off? What guts he has." "He's not sad. He has nothing to be sad about.") Problems are not solved. They are ignored or glossed over. ("Don't worry about Mr. Smith. He'll get over his anger. It was only an old planter, and I know you didn't hit it on purpose." "Three D's and four F's. That's not as bad as it looks. You should have seen my report card when I was your age.") Love is also highly conditional. However, in a jellyfish family the conditions for it are inconsistent. One day a hug is given, "just because I wanted to give you a hug." The next day a hug is withheld because the child "upset Dad." Reaching adolescence with a sense of learned helplessness, coupled with hurt and anger, a teen from either family can become depressed and self-destructive when faced with the normal frustrations of the age. Wanting help, but not knowing how to ask for it, he physically hurts himself to get someone to notice his real pain. If the anger is greater than the hurt, the teen might attempt suicide to punish his parents. "See what you did to me? I'm going to make you suffer now." If the hurt, the anger, and the depression become chronic, a teen may see no way out of the pain except death. Then the attempt is not a cry for help; it is really a botched suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of teen deaths, with accidents and acts of violence being first and second. Some accidents are actually veiled suicide attempts. Taking drugs can be a slow form of suicide. A backbone family is rarely confronted with attempted suicides. The environment the child grows up in where his feelings are accepted, his ideas count, his basic needs met, and his mistakes seen as learning opportunities provides the structure to flesh out a sense of his true self and the tools necessary to help him solve the myriad problems he will face. Nevertheless no cry for help is ignored, laughed at, or dismissed as foolish. pp 124-6 It's going to take example, guidance, and instruction from us to impart to our children the wisdom of peacemakers: Violence is "the knot of bondage"' aggression only begets more aggression; passivity invites it; and assertion can dissipate it. Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the embracing of conflict as a challenge and an opportunity to grow. page 148

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Though a lot of the book is dealing with older kids and teens, there was still plenty of good perspective for myself, being a first-time parent with a toddler. Coloroso uses a spectrum of strictness-laxity to show how being either too strict (the brick-wall parent) or too lax (the jellyfish parent) will hinder your kids' ability to develop the self-discipline they need to become "resilient, responsible, compassionate kids", as the sub-title puts it. Her theory is that parenting on either of thes Though a lot of the book is dealing with older kids and teens, there was still plenty of good perspective for myself, being a first-time parent with a toddler. Coloroso uses a spectrum of strictness-laxity to show how being either too strict (the brick-wall parent) or too lax (the jellyfish parent) will hinder your kids' ability to develop the self-discipline they need to become "resilient, responsible, compassionate kids", as the sub-title puts it. Her theory is that parenting on either of these extremes increases the likelihood that kids will experiment with risky behavior like drugs and promiscuity. The healthy middle way is the "backbone parent". The books covers all kinds of topics like sibling rivalry, punishment and rewards, chores, money, toilet training, etc. In particular I really liked the distinction she makes between telling and tattling: "If it will only get another child in trouble, don't tell me. If it will get another child out of trouble, tell me, if it is both, I want to know." Maybe not such an easy distinction to teach, but rather than just saying to kids "don't be a tattle-tale", this approach addresses the importance of kids reporting situations like bullying or violence that needs adult intervention.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anand Mandapati

    Good Philosophy Marred By Scaremongering This book boils down to treat your kids with dignity and respect, set a structure that is flexible, and let your kids fail unless it's life-threatening. A very good philosophy that I want to follow with my kids. But, she also says if you don't do exactly that, they will end up doing drugs, having sex, and committing suicide. And I'm really only exaggerating a bit here. I could complain that the book is repetitive, that many of her examples of good parentin Good Philosophy Marred By Scaremongering This book boils down to treat your kids with dignity and respect, set a structure that is flexible, and let your kids fail unless it's life-threatening. A very good philosophy that I want to follow with my kids. But, she also says if you don't do exactly that, they will end up doing drugs, having sex, and committing suicide. And I'm really only exaggerating a bit here. I could complain that the book is repetitive, that many of her examples of good parenting could be borderline bad and vice versa according to her own philosophy, or that's it's just too long for the message it needs to give but those are common criticisms of almost every parenting book I've read. The problem with this one is it has the most common sense message presented in a digestible manner, yet she insists you will screw up your child irreparably if you don't listen to her and that's just maddening. Enough of the crap. Treat the reader with dignity and respect....

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ricki

    I probably would have rated this more highly if I had read it earlier. The author quotes heavily from several other works I have read, so a lot of it sounded familiar. Her main go-to metaphor of the "brick wall, jellyfish, or backbone" types of parent seemed like cariacatures and didn't resonate hugely with me. Her principles seem like they might be more useful to me as my children grow older--not a lot here that applies specifically for the toddler era. But all in all, a fine book about how to r I probably would have rated this more highly if I had read it earlier. The author quotes heavily from several other works I have read, so a lot of it sounded familiar. Her main go-to metaphor of the "brick wall, jellyfish, or backbone" types of parent seemed like cariacatures and didn't resonate hugely with me. Her principles seem like they might be more useful to me as my children grow older--not a lot here that applies specifically for the toddler era. But all in all, a fine book about how to relate to your kids and how to treat them, and it does have a few practical tips.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nirbhay Pundir

    Atleast 50% of the book comprises of quotations. then there are multiple repetitions of author's core concepts. Hence, the book could have been much more concise. Then, naming of the chapters could have been more soothing rather than chapter#1/2/3 & so on (trivial, but could have helped me refer back to the relevant section as the kid grows up). I liked the approaches suggested, and the notions recommended for the upbringing. Hope to put them to action. Would recommend to all parents of toddl Atleast 50% of the book comprises of quotations. then there are multiple repetitions of author's core concepts. Hence, the book could have been much more concise. Then, naming of the chapters could have been more soothing rather than chapter#1/2/3 & so on (trivial, but could have helped me refer back to the relevant section as the kid grows up). I liked the approaches suggested, and the notions recommended for the upbringing. Hope to put them to action. Would recommend to all parents of toddlers.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Very smart ideas on parenting...or in my case, teaching. We read this as a staff this summer, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy many of these ideas were to implement and use in a classroom. That being said, I will admit I didn't read all of the chapters (skipped toilet training and a couple of others), but I will likely come back to them when I have grandchildren. I wish I would have read this book when my children were young.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    This book provides good ideas for compassionate discipline, family relationships, and working with children. As an educator, I wanted to look into new ways to teach kids personal responsibility- something I see many kids and often adults struggle with often. Coloroso provided thoughts on ways to help children develop into more responsible adults, though does like to categorize more often than necessary and puts a lot of blame on parents for kid's choices.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    The content of this book is excellent, particularly her 3 tenets: kids are worth it, I won’t treat a child in a way that I wouldn’t want to be treated, and i will treat my child in a way that leaves both of our dignities intact. The author favors a “natural consequences” style of parenting and has good insights. However, the writing itself tends toward repetitiveness and the examples need to be updated.

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