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Product Description

You Can Stop Fighting With Your Chidren!

Here is the bestselling book that will give you the know–how you need to be more effective with your children and more supportive of yourself. Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down–to–earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding.

Their methods of communication, illustrated with delightful cartoons showing the skills in action, offer innovative ways to solve common problems.

Review

An exceptional work, not simply just another ''how to'' bookAll parents can use these methods to improve the everyday quality of their relationships with their children. -- Fort Worth Star Telegram

"Designed to bring adults to the level of children, and children to the level of adults, so that this happy meeting ground can truly make for harmony in the home." -- Los Angeles Times

"Faber and Mazlish are doing for parenting today what Dr. Spock did for our generation." -- Parent Magazine

"Practical, sensible, lucid the approaches Faber and Mazlish lay out are so logical you wonder why you read them with such a burst of discovery." -- Family Journal

"The parenting bible." -- Boston Globe

"Will bring about more cooperation from children than all the yelling and pleading in the world." -- Christian Science Monitor

About the Author

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish are internationally acclaimed, award-winning experts on adult-child communication. Both lecture nationwide, and their group workshop programs are used by thousands of groups throughout the world to improve communication between children and adults.

From The Washington Post

"An excellent book that''s applicable to any relationship."

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Helping Children Deal with Their Feelings

Part One

I was a wonderful parent before I had children. I was an expert on why everyone else was having problems with theirs. Then I had three of my own.

Living with real children can be humbling. Every morning I would tell myself, "Today is going to be different," and every morning was a variation of the one before. "You gave her more than me!" . . . "That''s the pink cup. I want the blue cup." . . . "This oatmeal looks like ''throw-up.''" . . . "He punched me." . . . "I never touched him!" "I won''t go to my room. You''re not the boss over me!"

They finally wore me down. And though it was the last thing I ever dreamed I''d be doing, I joined a parent group. The group met at a local child guidance center and was led by a young psychologist, Dr. Haim Ginott.

The meeting was intriguing. The subject was "children''s feelings," and the two hours sped by. I came home with a head spinning with new thoughts and a notebook full of undigested ideas:

Direct connection between how kids feel and how they behave.

When kids feel right, they''ll behave right.

How do we help them to feel right?

By accepting their feelings!

Problem--Parents don''t usually accept their children''s feelings; for example: "You don''t really feel that way." "You''re just saying that because you''re tired." "There''s no reason to be so upset."

Steady denial of feelings can confuse and enrage kids. Also teaches them not to know what their feelings are--not to trust them.

After the session I remember thinking, "Maybe other parents do that. I don''t." Then I started listening to myself. Here are some sample conversations from my home--just from a single day.

CHILD: Mommy, I''m tired.

ME:     You couldn''t be tired. You just napped.

CHILD: (louder) But I''m tired.

ME:     You''re not tired. You''re just a little sleepy. Let''s get dressed.

CHILD: (wailing) No, I''m tired!

CHILD: Mommy, it''s hot in here.

ME:     It''s cold. Keep your sweater on.

CHILD: No, I''m hot.

ME:     I said, "Keep your sweater on!"

CHILD: No, I''m hot.

CHILD: That TV show was boring.

ME:     No it wasn''t. It was very interesting.

CHILD: It was stupid.

ME:     It was educational.

CHILD: It stunk.

ME:     Don''t talk that way!

Can you see what was happening? Not only were all our conversations turning into arguments, I was also telling my children over and over again not to trust their own perceptions, but to rely upon mine instead.

Once I was aware of what I was doing. I was determined to change. But I wasn''t sure of how to go about it. What finally helped me most was actually putting myself in my children''s shoes. I asked myself, "Suppose I were a child who was tired, or hot or bored? And suppose I wanted that all-important grown-up in my life to know what I was feeling . . . ?"

Over the next weeks I tried to tune in to what I felt my children might be experiencing; and when I did, my words seemed to follow naturally. I wasn''t just using a technique. I really meant it when I said, "So you''re still feeling tired--even though you just napped." Or "I''m cold, but for you it''s hot in here." Or "I can see you didn''t care much for that show." After all we were two separate people, capable of having two different sets of feelings. Neither of us was right or wrong. We each felt what we felt.

For a while my new skill was a big help. There was a noticeable reduction in the number of arguments between the children and me. Then one day my daughter announced, "I hate Grandma," and it was my mother she was talking about. I never hesitated for a second. "That is a terrible thing to say," I snapped. "You know you don''t mean it. I don''t ever want to hear that coming out of your mouth again."

That little exchange taught me something else about myself. I could be very accepting about most of the feelings the children had, but let one of them tell me something that made me angry or anxious and I''d instantly revert to my old way.

I''ve since learned that my reaction was not that unusual. On the following page you''ll find examples of other statements children make that often lead to an automatic denial from their parents. Please read each statement and jot down what you think a parent might say if he were denying his child''s feelings.

Did you find yourself writing things like:

"That''s not so. I know in your heart you really love the baby."

"What are you talking about? You had a wonderful party--ice cream, birthday cake, balloons. Well, that''s the last party you''ll ever have!"

"Your bite-plate can''t hurt that much. After all the money we''ve invested in your mouth, you''ll wear that thing whether you like it or not!"

"You have no right to be mad at the teacher. It''s your fault. You should have been on time."

Somehow this kind of talk comes easily to many of us. But how do children feel when they hear it? In order to get a sense of what it''s like to have one''s feelings disregarded, try the following exercise:

Imagine that you''re at work. Your employer asks you to do an extra job for him. He wants it ready by the end of the day.

You mean to take care of it immediately, but because of a series of emergencies that come up, you completely forget. Things are so hectic, you barely have time for your own lunch.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
374 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Wgtlifter
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Need support for communicating with your kids or kids in general?
Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2021
This is an updated of the original book which I have. I purchased this copy for a friend who is now working with children. After listening to some of his situations, I mentioned the book to him and he wanted to have it. As a gift for some work he did for me, I... See more
This is an updated of the original book which I have. I purchased this copy for a friend who is now working
with children. After listening to some of his situations, I mentioned the book to him and he wanted to have
it. As a gift for some work he did for me, I purchased this book for him. I am waiting to hear back! I can say that Faber and Mazilash have written a terrific book to help parents and adults working with kids to talk to kids, to express their concerns in a non-threatening way and open discussion with children. The results of practicing their suggestions results in a positive and healthy relationship with children and enables discussion and problem-solving in a cooperative fashion.
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Daniel P. Sniderman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Discipline without coercion, bribery, or yelling? Sign me up!
Reviewed in the United States on July 26, 2010
I am so glad a friend recommended this book! Our 4-year-old daughter had been struggling with some anxiety and "acting out" with the imminent arrival of her baby brother, and we''d been feeling lost about how to respond empathetically while still setting clear limits with... See more
I am so glad a friend recommended this book! Our 4-year-old daughter had been struggling with some anxiety and "acting out" with the imminent arrival of her baby brother, and we''d been feeling lost about how to respond empathetically while still setting clear limits with her. By using a few simple principles in this book, we''ve seen our daughter become much more communicative, attached, and secure. She even does things without asking, that used to involve a huge power struggle! The most helpful suggestions, for us, have been a) offering our kid choices that make sense to her; b) involving her in problem-solving; and c) acknowledging her feelings and providing examples from our own lives.

I''m a clinical social worker, but somehow, as a sometimes-exhausted parent, I can''t always apply the same basic principles of respect, empathy, and encouragement of autonomy that I use in my practice! I''d been feeling as if raising my voice and bribing/coercing my kid was the wrong thing to do-- this book explains exactly why that''s the case, without making me feel as if I was a bad parent. The authors are empathetic to what parents go through, and how easy it is to fail to appreciate the child''s point of view or work through problems collaboratively. Not once did I feel "preached to." Their stance is that kids are resilient in the face of our lapses in judgment, particularly when we own them and make amends, and that parent-child relationships can always change for the better even when faulty patterns have gotten established.

This book strikes a wonderful balance between respecting a child''s point of view, and having clear expectations for the child''s behavior that encourage growth and pride in oneself. I especially appreciated the chapter on praise, and how important it is to point out examples of behavior and skills as they occur, letting the child draw her own conclusions about herself, rather than labeling the child or making it about what WE want or what WE are proud of.

Even if you cannot sit and read the whole book, it''s laid out in a browsing-friendly format, with illustrations and summary pages. Even if you cannot apply every single technique, the authors frequently reiterate the basic ideas behind the techniques, so you can "wing it" in the moment. Highly recommended, especially if you find yourself in a lot of futile power struggles with your child and want to find a more positive way to interact.
9 people found this helpful
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Manhattan Daisy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The best book on parenting ever--even for kid with LD
Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2010
I have two kids, one of whom was challenging developmentally. This book gave me the language to work with him so that he could learn to help himself. He has grown into an extremely sensitive pre-teen, a joy to be around. When I was desperate with my children, a... See more
I have two kids, one of whom was challenging developmentally. This book gave me the language to work with him so that he could learn to help himself. He has grown into an extremely sensitive pre-teen, a joy to be around.

When I was desperate with my children, a friend handed me this book. I''m the kind of person who tends to not like parenting books and I though the comics were stupid looking. Lo and behold, when I started reading this book, it literally changed my life. The telling incident came when I was stuck on the tarmac of an airport. My anxious and antsy child had already been sitting for three hours. The plane, now landed and waiting to taxi for deplaning, was getting hot in the Florida sun. He started to explode. Thanks to this book, I could "talk" to my almost pre-verbal kid. I handed him the barf bag from the seat in front of me and a pen and I said, "I can see you''re uncomfortable. Draw me how you feel." And boy did he draw! He could finally express himself. The situation defused instantly and I really understood--and he felt understood.

During the visit with his cousins, I used the techniques in the book to help him figure out strategy for dealing with group situation. Over time, I used every technique in the book.

After asking permission of parents, I''ve bought this book and handed it to them, just as my friend handed the book to me.

My challenging (and challenged LD child) has grown into a lovely pre-teen, gentle and understood, thanks to the techniques in this book.
2 people found this helpful
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J. H.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Invaluable resource!!
Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2002
During my first pregnancy, my husband would have loved for me to write HIM a book about childrearing so that he''d know what to do. He''s never worked with kids, doesn''t know much about early childhood development, and pretty much wanted me to set the tone for how we would... See more
During my first pregnancy, my husband would have loved for me to write HIM a book about childrearing so that he''d know what to do. He''s never worked with kids, doesn''t know much about early childhood development, and pretty much wanted me to set the tone for how we would raise and discipline ours.

I didn''t think I''d find a book that hit the nail on the head as perfectly as this one, but lo and behold; this book is flawless. It''s a light read, but PACKED with truly useful content.

There were several "AHA!" moments in reading it... I would say to myself, "Of COURSE! That''s exactly how I felt as a kid!" [helpless, insulted, powerless, resigned, apathetic]. I could look back and admit how much better I would have behaved if I had felt respected, acknowledged, and empowered to help resolve a situation.

The exercises and examples do an excellent job of putting up a mirror to the reader''s face. They challenge the parent to experience their own words from the child''s perspective. It''s difficult to back away from the controlling habit; it''s tough for parents to let go of the "I''m the parent, and I''m in charge here" card. But when the book asks point-blank, "How would you feel if someone responded to you in this way...? How about if they responded like this instead...?", there is just no room for argument. It suddenly ''clicks'' to the reader just how fruitless these power-struggles really are. And the book replaces these old habits with better tools - ones that will really get results.

I love that the authors stress putting yourself in the child''s shoes. Too few "experts" willingly concede that kids are human beings deserving of (and craving) the same respect we want for ourselves. I also love that the case studies show that kids whose feelings are respected are more likely to learn to respect others'' feelings. That is such a simple truth, and so many child-rearing books overlook it.
14 people found this helpful
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CJMMM
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Best book ever written for working with both kids and adults!!
Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2017
Best book ever written for working with both kids and adults!! It is a quick read, then you can start to work through it as you need. Changed my conversations with my sons and greatly improved how I addressed any issues with adults. Highly recommend.
6 people found this helpful
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Citizen, not Consumer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
How to talk....to people
Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2010
Ah, the parents'' condundrum: How to treat children respectfully and also get them to LISTEN? to Cooperate? They are not mini-adults, so they don''t think about things the same way we do. It is not my goal to have my children "obey-without-question;" it is my goal to raise... See more
Ah, the parents'' condundrum: How to treat children respectfully and also get them to LISTEN? to Cooperate? They are not mini-adults, so they don''t think about things the same way we do. It is not my goal to have my children "obey-without-question;" it is my goal to raise critical thinkers! But it is nonetheless essential that children obey without question at times -- with my very young children, 2 and 3 at the time of this review, safety issues in particular are hot buttons.

I believe in modeling desired behavior. Being raised in a more authoritarian-styled household, I found myself searching for ways to get children to listen without becoming a spanker, a yeller or a nag, because I think all of those things model negative behavior. But on the flip side, I can''t have kids who grab toys or who run in the parking lot or say "no" and run away when it''s time to leave.

I''d read Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason and liked the general philosophy, but needed actual tactics for real-life scenarios and that''s what I found from this book! Simple, concise examples for how to present things objectively and help children learn to assess and make GOOD decisions! Great examples of how to correct without becoming critical or nagging!

I constantly receive comments on my children''s polite behavior when they interact with other people and other children. They are not perfect, but we continue to work/practice to treat others kindly and respectfully. In my experience, this type of approach yields individuals who are empathetic and compassionate and who are internally-motivated to treat others well instead of doing it because they fear punishment. I think the best way to teach others about respect is by demonstrating respect FOR them, especially in the parent-child relationship where one individual has so much authority over the other. If you agree with that philosophy, then this book has tools that you will use again and again.
25 people found this helpful
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J. Tutton
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Recommended by a children''s therapist
Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2004
As a children''s therapist, I was recommended this by a profressor of mine who specializes in working with children and their families. This book is easy to understand for both parents and clinicians alike. Its kind of no-nonsense approach seems easy to adapt as a parent,... See more
As a children''s therapist, I was recommended this by a profressor of mine who specializes in working with children and their families. This book is easy to understand for both parents and clinicians alike. Its kind of no-nonsense approach seems easy to adapt as a parent, and also easy to explain as a clinician. It''s not preachy or anything like that, and I think it really hits home with some clients. I highly recommend this book.

Editted to add: As a therapist for several years, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. To the writer who says every child is different- yes they are. And the book acknowledges that. However, I do believe if this book isn''t working, it''s because the parent hasn''t used it consistently enough. Kids know when you are not being consistent, and this causes acting out behavior.

Try it out for a week- exactly the way it says don''t change it as you feel it''s wrong- and I do believe you will have success!

Kids don''t have the words for why they are acting the way they do, but use this book to learn how to see things from their point of view so you can learn to be a better parent.
7 people found this helpful
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Dana C. Ahmad
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Works with some practice.
Reviewed in the United States on March 30, 2009
This book had a lot of great ideas for just changing the wording of what you say to your kids or how you say or ask questions. I tried them all and to my surprise they really worked for me. My problem with the book is the way it was written. I didn''t care to much for the... See more
This book had a lot of great ideas for just changing the wording of what you say to your kids or how you say or ask questions. I tried them all and to my surprise they really worked for me. My problem with the book is the way it was written. I didn''t care to much for the cartoon format of the book. I think for me this made it hard for me to remember what I was reading to retain the information to use later. I found my self thinking about the pictures and not really the phrases I should be using. I don''t think it would be to nice to keep peeking at the book while I was talking to my son. Or write my self little notes on my hand. But with practice it got better :) So I would suggest this book to parents.
2 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2016
Great info, practical tips! toward a mindful parent and child.
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Dreamweaver
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
One of the best books ever written in this field
Reviewed in Canada on January 16, 2018
One of the best books ever written in this field. I have bought almost all the additions of the book since 2007. For sure, there is a huge difference between solutions that come merely from a theory of education and another one that come from both theory and practice. The...See more
One of the best books ever written in this field. I have bought almost all the additions of the book since 2007. For sure, there is a huge difference between solutions that come merely from a theory of education and another one that come from both theory and practice. The authors have also another book for educators based on this book as well. "how to talk so kids will learn". Job well done I almost have all the additions of the book since 2007. For sure, there is a huge difference between solutions that come merely from a theory of education and another one that come from both theory and practice. Job well done.
7 people found this helpful
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SG
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I have recommended this book countless times to other moms
Reviewed in Canada on December 9, 2014
This book is a must have for any parent. So many "ah ha" moments as you turn each page. If you''re not much of a reader, just look at the comics/illustrations throughout the book. I have recommended this book countless times to other moms.
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Birgit Mindek
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Every parent should have this book!
Reviewed in Canada on January 24, 2019
It really reinforces to let the child speak without the adult giving input. I found they opened up way more. Helps for teenagers too!
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VA
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Only 1 book is received
Reviewed in India on August 3, 2019
Only 1 book is received, the cover image is misleading
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