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Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  2,192 Ratings  ·  391 Reviews
Change your child's behavior--fast!

Want a kid without the attitude? Without the behavior that makes you slink away in the grocery store and pretend you're not the parent? A kid with character who isn't a character? If you're tired of defiant attitudes and power struggles with your little ankle-biters or the disrespectful hormone group, read this book and follow the simple
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published (first published March 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa Topp
Sep 11, 2008 Lisa Topp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all moms/dads
Recommended to Lisa by: Focus on the Family
Shelves: non-fiction
By the end of the summer I was losing my mind with my older daughters, ages 9 and 7. This book suggestion popped up in a weekly e-mail, and I really needed new kids by Friday - if not sooner! A few chapters in, (I read more than one a day - I need to get the program going!)I really like the common sense approach, and the fact that you are shaping attitute, behavior and character - they are all intertwined. I started changing my approach already today, and we made it all the way to bedtime with n ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Kimberly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Confession--this was a book my husband INSISTED that I read, not one that I picked out by choice.

I have to say that overall, I felt that Leman only made two valid points throughout the entire book, and that the rest was just filler (or letters from "grateful" readers, plugging this book). The first point that I felt merited some thought was to not encourage/engage in arguing with your child. Later, when they want some favor or treat, you say "no"--if they ask why, you explain--once--that you di
Mar 03, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Thanks to my MiL for getting this book for me. She was right...some of the ideas this guy uses are excellent. He is practical and has a down-to-earth approach to problems we all face as parents. That being said, I did NOT like all of his personal examples. They read a lot like this, "My children are so angelic. We are such awesome parents. We have never made a mistake and our children are perfect. Just listen to what my daughter/son did..." It was HIGHLY annoying! Common sense says that parents ...more
May 13, 2009 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Leman makes some good points about setting the appropriate tone for a parent-child relationship, about boundaries and respect. In fact, I agree with most of his broader statements about kids and their needs. His "talk and walk away" approach is probably only effective with some kids, though. I think my personality is far to direct to get involved in child psychology. I've probably formed my parenting habits from my Mom, who was a pretty no-nonsense person. (She spoke as though our not doing ...more
Christie Hagerman
Jun 03, 2008 Christie Hagerman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any parents
Shelves: family
This has some good pointers overall, but most of it didn't apply to our particular family, since we're homeschoolers who don't have the typical American family/schedule. I liked the suggestions for practical consequences to unwanted behaviors but was disappointed at how many don't apply to us.
Adriane Devries
Dr. Kevin Leman’s title, Have a New Kid By Friday, fools parents into thinking that this book will change their kid’s rotten behavior, when in reality it is the parent who must change first. He knew no one would buy a book called “I’m a Lousy Parent, I Need A Fast-Track Remedial Course.” This hilarious book is a wonderful source of practical, easy-to-remember gems like, “Say it once, turn your back, and walk away;” and “B doesn’t happen until A is done.” Leman’s primary premise is that kids are ...more
Oct 07, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-nonfiction
Came close to giving it 1 star because parts of it were SO bad I almost didn't finish it. But I must reluctantly admit that his main message is powerful enough to be of help to many people:
-say it once, then walk away
-B doesn't happen until A happens
-don't get angry (but apologize if you do)

However, his main points are buried in a book dominated by so many flaws that I found it painful to read. The most important of these flaws are covered by other reviews, but to list a few that bugged me:
Laura G
Jun 27, 2008 Laura G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, teachers
In surfing bestsellers this came up. The title seemed so funny that I had to get more info.

After reading the book and testing out some of the ideas in a modified way in my classroom, I have to say that this stuff really does seem to work as far as getting difficult kids to see that it is time for them to change. Not only did it give me some new techniques for working with kids, but the advice that really helped me was that of not feeling guilty about offering true guidance to kids, which sometim
Becky Giovagnoni
I didn't care for this book. He's a little too conservative for me, although that's not my main issue. My main problem with his parenting advice is that much of what he recommends to correct or change a child's behavior shame-based. He says if you allow your child to be in a situation where he is ashamed or embarrassed in front of his peers, he will quickly change his behavior.

The LAST thing I want to convey to my children is a sense of shame. The main purpose of how I parent is to teach them t
Dec 25, 2008 Chase rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent resource that every parent should read! Even if you do not have a "trouble" child, this book gives excellent ideas of how to build good attitudes, behavior, and character in your children. It also helps you discover what kind of parent you are and what changes you can make in yourself to be a better parent!

It is a helpful resource for anyone working with children as well. The techniques and lessons can be applied to the children you work with.

Nov 03, 2008 Tracy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition was ok. The author's attitude was a bit off-putting. And while I love the idea of natural consequences, I think it is somewhat difficult to implement because not every situation really has a tidy resolution like this author implies. Still, it was a good common sense guide and a reminder to not play into my children's dramas.
Feb 03, 2015 Tanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book with strategies that work to restore order, calm, and RESPECT to a family. Some of the ideas in certain situations strike me as a little harsh, but I also understand that the purpose is to get the child's attention and quickly change negative attitude, character, and behavior. I really like the strategy "B doesn't happen until A is complete." I also like the reminder to not warn/remind children continually: they are smart people! If I don't nag them, there's a greater chance they'll l ...more
May 23, 2008 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I truly enjoyed this book. It was plainly written with some good ideas that are easy to implement. A no nonsense approach. Wish it had been around when my kids were young. A great shower gift for the new mom!
Tiffany Allen
Sep 10, 2008 Tiffany Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book to help you see what you need help on as a parent...oh I have so much to learn!
May 31, 2013 Go2therock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Years ago I spied a friend reading a book titled, "How to Make Kids Mind Without Losing Your's." I was intrigued ;D, but I never got around to borrowing it.

A few weeks ago I saw this book, by the same author, lying in our Library Sale stack. What a gem! Mr. Leman is clear and to the point. A few things I especially appreciated is the way he placed focus on the need your children have for time with you (building relationship.) They might not be conscious of this, either because they are 2, 12, or
Nov 22, 2011 Jodi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good, but also VERY difficult to put into practice. Goes against a lot of the general ideas of how a lot of us parent today. I never thought of praising my kids as doing them a disservice, but after reading his thoughts, I agree. Encouragement is good, but that is different than praising, which is what most of us do.

The first chapters are about the general principles of his parenting theory, which I would sum up as parents need to stay in control, not get angry, say it once and walk away,
Jul 06, 2008 Sheridan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
On my quest to improve my parenting, I have read many, many, many, many books. A lot were really good, some were just ok.

I just read Have a New Kid by Friday by, Dr. Kevin Leman. It was pretty good. I would give it 4 or 5 stars. Easy to read, simple steps to implement, reminders of what really I already know, but it is often so hard to DO what we know we should.

I guess I don't know for sure if it works yet, because as we all know, it means I need to change, in order for it to work.

Jenn is doi
Adrian Charles
This book is brilliant in its simplicity and rooted in sound principles. It's a good, quick read for anyone struggling with a strong-willed child, and has the potential to be very helpful. However:
- It's strongly rooted in American Christian Conservative cultural values, and may be less palatable to those of other backgrounds;
- It makes false assurances of 100% effectiveness that make it sound unnecessarily like snake-oil.

"Just walk away— your child *will* back down" is advice that succeeds most
Aug 21, 2014 Helen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Leman is a psychologist who has 5 kids and has written 30 books. Here's his scenario: Kid behaves badly, Mum says no to cookies and milk:
'"Honey, I told you we're not having cookies and milk today." Matthew was stunned. He opened his mouth to argue, then walked away sadly.'
Here's what would happen in real life: Matthew was stunned. He screamed for 2 hours and threw a chair at the wall.
Or: Matthew was stunned. He argued all afternoon, all night, and continued arguing until his parents were
Jan 30, 2015 Karin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What stuck with me the most from this book is: if Dr Leman ever gives you a ride somewhere, you'd better say thank you. At least three times. But spitting out his car windows is a-ok.

Seriously, aside from a random rant warning against nursing past one (how does this have anything to do with discipline?) and some rather horrifying advice (lock a kid who refuses to stay in bed outside for 10 minutes) the guiding principle of this book is good (when B, then A). I tried it last night after finishing
Nov 18, 2009 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Despite the fact that I was irked by the audacious claim of a 100% guarantee this parenting method will work in 5 days, I liked this book. The first 1/3 introduced a new strategy for dealing with behavior issues for Monday through Friday. The next 2/3 of the book applied the strategies to specific problems from A-Z (allowances to youth groups). It seems like a version of Love and Logic. It sounds sensible to me and gave me some good tips for dealing with my preschoolers. A lot of this will be mo ...more
Sep 15, 2016 Martha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's an okay book with many great tools, but the arrangement and how it is written is very odd.

The majority of the book is only halfway. Then after that, it is a topical opinion piece on everything you may encounter in child rearing. Two things bothered me about the book, while the rest were very helpful. Those two things were that he subscribes to the old fashioned idea that ADHD is a made up things and will be solved if parents spend more time with their children. While I am sure that is true
Shari Macdonald
This book was recommended to me by someone whose parenting I admire. There are a few really solid tips in here to help parents get out of the nagging/frustration trap: tell your child something once, then walk away and have a (reasonable) consequence if the child doesn't do it; A has to happen before you will do B for child; know when to let stuff go, don't engage in arguments with your child, etc. All great advice, but enough for a pamphlet, really; not enough for a whole book. There was a ton ...more
Amanda Tranmer
Apr 22, 2015 Amanda Tranmer rated it really liked it
The only reason I'm not giving this book 5 stars is that I don't know if the principles in the book will work in real life yet, since I couldn't put it down and haven't had time to fully try it out. The book is full of practical, easy to understand principles that are repeated and reinforced throughout the book with lots of real life examples. The repetition was a positive thing. I think Dr. Leman understands that simple principles are easy to lose sight of in unpredictable specific real life ci ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I really enjoyed how practical this book is. Leman lays out the steps to working with your child better and resetting bad attitudes (from your child and you). Each chapter represents a weekday, and the goal is to put that action into place on that day.

I've been butting heads on occasion with one of my children for the last few weeks, and while it wasn't awful (or likely nothing outside of normal) I knew if I didn't figure something out it would get much, much worse. I didn't want to excuse the b
Jun 03, 2015 Krista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I learned some new techniques to add to my parenting "trick bag" which are very helpful. I think my biggest takeaway is that all parents have a tremendous amount of power over their children, but we don't always realize it. Children are masters at manipulating us to get what they want. I have implemented his method of say it once and walk away. For example, I don't have to continually remind my child to take out the garbage. I can say it once and leave it at that. If ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such great reminders for we imperfect parents!
Jan 04, 2009 Belinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Think harsh...but very interesting approach. Straightforward, no nonsense. Not too harsh if implemented as soon as child starts to think for himself but pretty harsh if implemented later in life. But it is a really funny read and I actually implemented a few things and got immediate results. I'm waiting for Don to read because he says what I've told him so far goes against my total constitution.
Feb 11, 2015 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was falling into the trap of letting my teen rule the roost a bit. Things like him saying that he would do such and such when he got his own way and I sometimes let him. So this book was a good reminder that there are consequences to actions, and that yelling matches with each other just do not work. It's still a work in progress, for example when his allowance is dramatically cut next week because he hasn't done most things he's expected to do I'm sure there will be arguments but I will be ca ...more
Sep 18, 2008 Nel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like his technique, but sometimes harder to pull off than suggested. Example: I am at home before taking the kids somewhere. The kids start being disobedient, very disobedient. I am feeling claustrophobic in my little house with momentarily disobedient kids. Am I likely to pull the we-are-not-going-anywhere-afterall card? Not likely!! But done right, his techniques are stellar!!
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Do I need the workbook? 1 7 Oct 23, 2012 03:12AM  
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Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally recognized psychologist, author, and media personality. He was the first to popularize Adlerian psychological concepts in the United States, which are based on birth-order and family dynamics. Dr. Leman holds Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Leman is the founder and president of "Couples of P
More about Kevin Leman...

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“Your child needs not only your attention but also a relationship with you.” 3 likes
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