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Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected
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Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Do you ever find yourself asking . . .

• How can you get your children to do their homework without meltdowns, threats or bribes?

• How can you have a drama-free morning where the kids actually get out the door in time for school?

• How can you better manage your kids’ screen time without making them want to hide what they’re...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Atria Books (first published 2009)
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I love to read this book before falling asleep at night. It clears my head. Her parenting style is one of love and kindness and focusing on the emotional needs of kids. That style reminds me of John Gottman's Emotion Coaching.
She has taken ideas from cognitive therapy and put it into other ways of looking at it, some easier and some more complicated than plain old cognitive therapy. I like her "little fear guy" that puts negative thoughts into everyone's head.
I had not heard of the stages of...more
I can only do a chapter a day on this. I figure if the suggestions don't work I can always throw the book at them!! :)
Kate Hyde
This was just the book I needed at just the right time. I love that the focus is on connecting with your kids, rather than disciplining them. I think all parents would love a quick fix when it comes to our children's tantrums or disobedience, but the truth is, my 5-year-old daughter gives me much less trouble when we are really connected with each other. I've starting planning a mommy/daughter date with her at least once a month (the last two have been McDonald's and then a movie, and Chuck E Ch...more
I give this book 4 stars for the parenting advice. Really great metaphors on being captain of the ship, staying calm, and assessing parenting decisions.

I give this book ZERO STARS once it launched into denying ADD as an actual condition. Kids with ADHD are not "ADD-ish" who need diet changes and exercise. I put it down at this point.

Anyone who is a medical professional working with children should not discard DECADES of scientific evidence. Don't get me started on the statistics of issue...more
This was a pleasant surprise that I found while looking for a different parenting book. Usually parenting books have to drill into the reader that theirs is the best technique and why you must read this book (I'm already reading your book, just get on with it!). I didn't feel that with this book and most of her philosophies are in harmony with my own. I felt like I got some good, concrete tools from this book, although its mostly targeted for children older than mine.

This one was alright. I felt like the good tips and tricks have been covered in other books I've read - and in a better way. This one was a little too new age and touchy feely for me, though it did have some interesting and good tips for parenting. Though I think my biggest problem with this book was the audio version - the author read it and I really did not like listening to her. Her voice cut in and out in tone and pitch and she swallowed a lot of word endings. I kept thinking to my...more
Great book! I definitely want to come back to this one.

A few key points:
Help your child when things aren't going the way they want. Help them get from anger and bargaining to sadness. After they are sad that it can't be the way they want, they can move to acceptance and back to happiness.

Don't attempt to reason while they are upset. They are functioning in the other half of brain. No "why are you feeling upset?" That requires thinking. Just "That's sad" and similar clucking like a mother hen.

I actually read this book quite a while ago, so my review is based only on memory.

Some of the ideas in this book I've heard before, but the new ones all seemed very useful. The author emphasizes helping children learn to recognize and manage their emotions, not on "discipline" and punishment, but make no mistake - this is not "soft" or permissive parenting by any stretch of the imagination. You will see the most impact from her methods in children who are more strong-willed or in chaotic environ...more
Susan Stiffelman seems to be a wonderful therapist with a talent for generating specific, feasible strategies for caregivers in need of guidance; her book, however, adds little to the parenting advice genre.

In order to create joyful, resilient kids, Stiffelman urges parents to take a “Captain of the Ship” role which derives unwavering authority from a foundation of empathy-based parenting. Her approach essentially combines “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child” – the empathy bible – and “Par...more
A good starter book for those with particularly willful kids. I view this type of book as putting more tools in my parenting "kit" so to speak, and will try some of its various strategies to see if they work for us.

The book deals with parents' reactions (or not) to their kids' behaviors, and does a good job of describing a variety of ways of connecting with our kids, taking into account their varied and diverse personalities, forms of intelligence, and fears/anxieties.
This is a good book if you are struggling with a busy life and an unhappy child. However, the book could be summed up in a few key points: claim your authority as a parent, come alongside your child and help him/her work through difficult emotions, and embrace that children need to learn to accept disappointment and frustrations. It is your job as a parent to guide your child through those disappointments, not fix them or lecture your child on what they could do better. There are a few helpful t...more
I read the beginning and the end, while skimming the middle. Perhaps my children are just too young for many of these suggestions or maybe it's just not my style.
Major Doug
Listened to this book: good 'questions/suggestions' portions; however, it was a bit too liberal in the theory portions of the write-up.
I have come to expect that parenting books will have a few ideas to consider, and most of them will express those ideas using far too many pages. This one was a partial exception, because each chapter presented a concrete concept complete with flow chart and examples. While i think it is, perhaps, more useful to consider these ideas for an older child (or partner) than mine, i found them to be interesting to think about.
I particularly appreciated some of the discussion surrounding parental butto...more
Marsha Bennett
The premise of the book is that a child's positive behaviour comes from strong attachment and connection with their parent(s).
There were a lot of practical tips and specific ideas about things to say and do in challenging situations, which was helpful.
The examples in the book mostly assume that a child will respond in a positive and specific way each time, which I found a bit corny and unrealistic. The book totally lost me when the author went completely off-track and into factless woowoo, i.e....more
Shana Jespersen
I enjoyed her insightful approach to raising well adjusted children. as an audio book though I wasn't able to benifit from the referenced pdf's as my time to listen to books is while I'm driving.
I'm not to impressed with this book. I have a hard time getting through it. #1 it's written by a woman with only 1 child. I prefer information by people with more real world child raising skills. #2 I felt it was more older children from dysfunctional or abusive homes. So far the only thing I've really like is her model for a good parent child relationship. Which outlines certain age groups what a parent and child should be focusing on the develop a good relationship.
Loved the tone of this book. The author has some great suggestions about interacting with your kids to help form a positive relationship. The biggest suggestions have to do with listening, putting yourself in your kids' shoes, and making authentic connections with your kids. I loved the charts she included at the end of each chapter. Since reading the book, I really find myself thinking about her practices the more I interact with my kids.
A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I thought it had great ideas in it for parenting without losing control. I liked the analogy of parents being the captain of the ship - staying in charge while remaining calm. I hope I can apply the ideas in the book such as building stronger attachments with my children rather than trying to improve their behavior and helping my children deal with frustration without lecturing.
Krystal Scarbrough
This is a wonderful book full of strategies that will help one avoid power struggles with her children. It highlights the importance of strong connections with children, as well as not having extensive expectations regarding their behavior. "Parenting without Power Struggles" was a fascinating read that goes into in-depth explanations about better parenting strategies.
Some of the approaches in this book were just too Zen for me. I can see the value of considering your child's point of view, but sometimes you just need them to get their shoes on and get in the car. I've had success with some of the techniques, especially getting my kids to say "yes" to something tangential before I ask them to do a specific task.
good information..i hope i can retain it :)
Sarah Whitney
Good. Particularly agreed with her stance on power struggles (p 146). Especially enjoyed the following chapters: Chapter 8 - Celebrate the Child You've Got, Chapter 11 - Being Present and Mindful, and Unwinding Without Electricity, and Chapter 12 - Empowering Kids to Create Their Very Best Lives. Solid information and advice.
I read this because I deal with a lot of parents who need advice and heard that this was a good book. Overall I enjoyed it and if I ever have little ones I plan on implementing some of the techniques. I do agree with the basic principle that as the parent you have to be the calm and sure captain of the "family ship."
A sufficient guide. Not a whole lot of new info. I've read lots of books on parenting, and I find I get just a few new tricks for my bag from each one. I like Stiffelman's approach. Lots of encouragement to "stay calm," which isn't exactly my strong suit. I would recommend this book. Worth the time to read it.
Not a bad book on parenting but nothing earth shattering. I just wonder what types of children the author has run into to come up with such corny scenarios where a child will kindly and calmly agree with the parent to do something right away when the parent asks. A little far stretched from real life...
Lee Anne
Some good pointers on how to "come alongside instead of at" your child to prevent meltdowns and keep the lines of communication open. The imagined dialogues are corny as hell, and the end devolves into a little too much new age-y, Law of Attraction mumbo-jumbo, but overall, a helpful book.
Sabrina Moser
Excellent book! Loved her description of thoughts effecting our behaviour like drugs and that we are under no obligation to believe the negative voices in our heads! Learned a lot for me personally beyond my role as a parent.
Erin Gaita
This book has SO many helpful, insightful tips and advice on how to help parents parent effectively without a power struggle. It's helped quite a bit, and I still refer back to certain chapters. Highly recommend this book.
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