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Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,392 Ratings  ·  542 Reviews
Already best-selling authors with How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish turned their minds to the battle of the siblings. Parents themselves, they were determined to figure out how to help their children get along. The result was Siblings Without Rivalry. This wise, groundbreaking book gives parents the practical too ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 9th 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published April 1st 1987)
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Feb 22, 2009 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too

I am going to record my notes, so I have a place to keep them.
- When siblings complaining, just try and repeat back what they are saying (helps them understand and validate feelings)
- If younger child gets pushed down accidentally, say, "Oh know you didn't want that to happen, you were having so much fun together (reminds of good relationship)
- Write signs on kids to remind the older sibling. (ex. "When I scream
Francisco Herrero
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 04, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
September 28, 2011

At the rate we're going, some of us won't make it out alive. It could be me. It could be one of the girls. Or both of them! Or all three of us! Desperate times. Hoping for a miracle here.

October 4, 2011

I don't know how many stars to give this book, because I haven't fully put it to the test yet. Four for now. I've tried a few little changes and they've actually helped tremendously!!! But I'm trying to not get too excited. I'll come back and update in a month or so. This is the
There is some helpful info here, and it reads quickly. But the writing style got on my nerves after about 3 chapters! It's written in a pseudo-narrative format including dialogue, told from the point of view of the leader of a group of parents who are learning how to help their children get along. The dialogue sounds canned and repetitive. The note at the beginning makes it clear that the whole narrative is fictionalized -- based on true experiences of real parents but after awhile it all starts ...more
Nov 12, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eh, it was okay. I know I said I liked it, but it's really because it did what it promised to do - gave me a few things to try in my home to help my children get along better with each other. Not trying to treat kids equally, spending quality time with each, helping them problems solve... good information, crappy format and perspective.

The writing was literally painful for two reasons. First, the "discussion" format got old after about page 3, and second I take serious issue with the analogy of
Oct 03, 2009 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by the same authors of "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk." As with most of these types of books, all that they needed to say could probably be summed up in a chapter or two, but they pad it with a lot of stories. The most helpful points I found were illustrated in cartoon form. If you got the book and just read the cartoons, you'd have about 90% of the meat of the book. The strongest advice is accepting the children's feelings, even bad feelings toward one a ...more
Andrea Thorpe
Jul 19, 2011 Andrea Thorpe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really easy read and I got a lot out of it. I think the biggest challenge for me is to stay out of my boys fights and not create a triangle. This book helped cure me of that. This topic is a work in progress! It reminded me that sibling rivalry is a natural part of growing up. And, that not taking sides brings them closer together, because they don't feel that mom is giving one of them preferential treatment. This book is filled with anecdotal evidence and stories from people that are ...more
Apr 03, 2014 Gail rated it really liked it
In “Siblings Without Rivalry,” Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish do something they didn’t manage to accomplish in “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk”: they set themselves apart from the rest of the parenting prescription pack. Though I found the book’s central conceit – that it retells the exchanges of one composite parenting workshop – perpetually annoying, the actual advice specific to fostering healthy and happy sibling relationships has proved invaluable in my house ...more
Jul 16, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it
Another great book by Faber and Mazlish, I decided to read this after reading their other book a few years ago (How to Talk so Kids will Listen...). Now my girls are 9 and 7 years old, and although they get along nicely occasionally, there are plenty of (daily, hourly) fights, bickering, arguing over things, screaming at each other, etc. So I've been eager for a little helpful wisdom regarding sibling issues and the best way to handle it. Just like their other book, it is full of very practical ...more
May 27, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so happy my book club decided to read Siblings without Rivalry before school gets out. This title has been languishing on my to read list for awhile. I thought I would get some tips on how to stop the bickering, but the book is more than that. It isn't just for parents. I was constantly reflecting on my own upbringing. I had a real "moment" with this book. I clearly see why I have the relationship that I do with my brother. Moving forward I'm so motivated to change my approach to my kids.
Sep 14, 2010 Jessie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, grandparents, teachers
Recommended to Jessie by: LLL Leader
I found their advice to treat children uniquely rather than equally to make a ton of sense!

The book is making me think back to my childhood a LOT and has so many awesome solutions for some of my memories growing up with 2 brothers & 2 sisters and the way my parents chose to handle things. It's funny, I always thought that one day when I was a parent, I was going to be as fair as Solomon and came up with all the right answers... yet reading the book I've learned that no matter what decision t
Jan 12, 2012 PhilorChelsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chelsys-readings
Use Words for feelings, make wishes, do a creative/symbolic activity (Hang a "private property" sign on door)
"People are not for hurting." (tell with words)
Draw a pictures
Write it out
"Insisting upon good feelings between children leads to bad feelings.
Allowing for bad feelings between siblings leads to good feelings."

Don't try to make equal: focus on individual NEEDS (feelings, time, etc) and uniqueness of each child
Don't give attention to the aggressor: pay attention to the injured party instea
Lewis Manalo
This book probably isn't 100% useless, but it's pretty damn near. It takes for granted that our children have no minds of their own, and that as parents we are almost entirely responsible for who our kids grow up to be.

- The early chapters use a ridiculous polygamy metaphor to try to illustrate how children feel about siblings, depicting jealousy as the only emotion two people loved by the same person could feel for one another.

- The book offers nothing other than anecdotal evidence for the so
Jun 11, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, 2015-nonfiction
Second time through. Still quite good and "real," in spite of the cartoons, which are aspirational at best. But the concepts are solid. I would like them to just come live in my house for a week, observe, and give me feedback. Or, take over any time any of my children are interacting with one another.

I recently read a quote that went something like, "I was never a yeller until I had a second child." Amen, sister. Sing it.

Aug 21, 2015 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mainly, this book scared me! I read it before I had my second child and there are a lot of pretty awful stories about how mean siblings can be to one another. It then occurred to me that most people will only read this book if they are already having problems with sibling rivalry--so it would not scare them!

My main takeaway (that I can already implement with my toddler and newborn) is to never compare the kids to each other. Even something as innocent as, "Sarah has on her shoes. John, can you p
Dec 15, 2008 Mehrsa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful tips, but I think it's geared more toward older children. It is a very readable book and story-based, which is helpful. It's also pretty sane parenting and the advice is practical. I have been trying some of the ideas with my toddlers, but the suggestions are all about talking through issues and it's harder to do that with a 3 and 1 year old than I thought it would be. It is a huge issue though and I would love recommendations on how to stop my girls from fighting (or more specifica ...more
Sep 17, 2015 Krzysztof rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents
My rating doesn't refer to effectiveness of book's proposed approach. However, it's certainly an inspiring and uplifting one. Again, like with "How to Talk so Kids Listen and Listen so Kids Talk", authors focus on giving as many examples as possible, with similar short comic stories which I find terrific as mnemonics. Some dialogues feel a bit odd, sometimes I found myself thinking "hmmm people don't talk like that". Anyway, the ideas of how to deal with conflicts between children seem pretty co ...more
Karen Earley
Feb 14, 2015 Karen Earley is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A girl can try, right?
Jan 26, 2016 Gabriela rated it it was ok
I could hardly be more disappointed in this book. It is partly because of the clash of reality with my expectations and partly because of the book's "structure" and style. The book is concieved as a story about a person (=the two authors merged together) leading a seminar for parents on how to improve relationships between siblings. This means that if the book has something interesting to say, some actual tips on what (not) to do, it is hidden in meaningless fluff... "I was so much looking forwa ...more
Nov 16, 2014 Craig rated it it was amazing
Perhaps every self-help book seems amazing to people who are lacking the skills it's trying to teach. That's certainly the case here with me. If you're the type of person from whom mediating disputes comes naturally, perhaps you'll find this book obvious and repetitive. But I found it an endless source of ideas and inspiration. It's not so much the general principles that struck me -- even I don't need to be told how pernicious it is to compare siblings, or to get into a place where I have to re ...more
Aria Yang
Sep 08, 2015 Aria Yang rated it it was amazing
Just finished this book, and the last chapter is almost the most touching one. It describes the stories of the parents who started to talk to their own sibling/mom to start a long past dued conversation, to resolve their old problems, to reconnect, after taking the class to solve their kids rivalry problems. If only they were allowed to express their own feelings at younger age, they were not casted into roles, their emotions were acknowldged, their relationship within the family will get a whol ...more
Nov 05, 2014 Miruna rated it liked it
Loved and took the advice. Should be reread once a year:)
Jessica Hicks
Jan 24, 2015 Jessica Hicks rated it really liked it
i was getting pretty annoyed reading this book because i could feel it wrapping up and i'd pretty much only gotten advice for children who were old enough to discuss things and see reason. luckily, i checked out a newer version with an extra "afterword" chapter! i guess a lot of people felt the book was missing advice on babies/toddlers so the authors were asked to write an additional chapter on that topic. it was only maybe 10 pages on that age group, but i got some helpful hints that i hope to ...more
Apr 11, 2014 Stacey rated it liked it
This book gave me some very good ideas about sibling relationships. As an only child, I was completely unaware of how to deal with sibling rivalry issues. The main take home messages I learned were 1) to(most of the time, at least) let siblings work out their issues and 2) to never say "I love you the same" to your kids. I disagreed with a few aspects of the book; notably, if my kids were doing anything truly hurtful (hitting or saying mean things, for example), I opted to intervene and teach th ...more
Feb 15, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and found it extremely useful. It really helped me see things from my kids' perspective and begin to understand how my standard statements to them are heard. Easy to read, but hard to put into practice. I'll be thinking about this book and working on the things that it has taught me for a long time.
Mar 13, 2013 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My kids are still very small, so I have yet to see if reading this book will bear fruit. If the techniques in this book don't work out, I'll just fall back on my own childhood experiences. All of my brothers and sisters turned out to be AWESOME so my parents must have done something very right.
May 11, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Easy read. Lots of good ideas and examples. I highly recommend!
Jun 24, 2009 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enormously helpful for me to understand how I can influence for good or bad the kids' relationships with each other. Really, really thought provoking to look back on my own childhood and to consider how I want to handle conflicts with our own kids.
Jun 16, 2012 Sylvia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great book with tons of examples and case studies. the tips are applicable. and i hope i can use these great tips on my 2 kids early on to build up some positive bonding and eliminate future sibling rivalry between them.
Hannah Barry
Jun 17, 2012 Hannah Barry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have 4 kids and lots of bickering between them. This book gave me lots of great ideas on how to respond when they are fighting, and how to treat them all uniquely, rather than equally. A great perspective!
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Adele Faber graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in theater and drama, earned her master's degree in education from New York University, and taught in the New York City high schools for eight years before joining the faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York and Family Life Institute of C.W. Post College of Long Island University. She is the mother of three children.
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“To be loved equally,” I continued, “is somehow to be loved less. To be loved uniquely—for one’s own special self—is to be loved as much as we need to be loved.” 0 likes
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