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You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), Revised and Updated Edition: Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child
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You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), Revised and Updated Edition: Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  28 reviews
“I love the practical strategies and valuable insights from the hearts and lives of strong-willed kids.… You’ll defi nitely want to make this book part of your parenting library.”
—Dr. Kevin Leman, New York Times best-selling author of Have a New Kid by Friday

Turn Conflict into Cooperation

Many parents suspect their strong-willed child is deliberately trying to drive them cr...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by WaterBrook Press (first published September 21st 2011)
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Chris Stevens
Best book for advice & understanding of Strong Willed children, teenagers & adults!

Best book for advice & understanding of Strong Willed children, teenagers & adults!

This book was recommended to me by my son's Kindergarten teacher when he had pushed me to my breaking point. Very glad she did as reading the tips and traits of Strong Willed people gave me understanding of my own actions as well as how to relate to all my kids better. I have 3 SWC's with my middle & only boy bei...more
Leslie Fisher
This was a really great book for adult "strong-willed-children" and parents of strong willed children. It gives lots of practical hints and tips for dealing with a strong willed child with the overall goal of saving your relationship with them. I am a "strong-willed adult" with a strong-willed 3-year-old daughter, and this book really helped me to identify my actions in dealing with her that were not helping our situation, understand the reasons behind it, and show me how to deal with it better....more
Mary Messall
As a former "strong willed child" myself, I appreciated the point that some kids will accept any punishment rather than apologize when they think they did nothing wrong or go along with a rule which seems unjust, and parents, in practice, can't control such a child. But in the attempt they can destroy their relationship. This is framed with Christian religious language, which while not my thing, is at least a refreshing departure from authoritarian religious parenting advice I've seen elsewhere.
“Instead of becoming exasperated and irritated with the [strong willed children] in your life, you can honor and value what they do best while still holding them accountable for moral and spiritual values.”

In this revised and edited version of Tobias’ 1999 book, the author describes the strong willed child (SWC) and attempts to relate how a parent a child who is “difficult to discipline and seemingly impossible to motivate.” These children may struggle with obeying authority, following rules, a...more
Camille Millar
I think I have a very strong willed child. See, I don’t know, because he’s my first! Maybe he’s just a typical toddler, but I do think he’s much tougher than other sweet children his age, and he’s certainly gotten me looking for some literature guidance on how to raise him up right! Whether he is or he isn’t, wasn’t or will be, I found this book comforting and interesting on many levels.

I thought this book was perfectly informative, humorous, pleasant, and non-judgmental, as the author classifie...more
I was listening to Focus on the Family late last year and Cynthia Ulrich Tobias was a guest on their show. I enjoyed listening to her talk about strong-willed children and mentioned her book, You Can't Make Me [But I Can Be Persuaded]. I checked to see if Blogging For Books had a review copy and they did.

I enjoyed reading Cynthia Tobias' book and since she was a strong-willed child (swc) herself, she definitely knows what she's talking about when sharing her thoughts on dealing with children. I...more
Jalynn Patterson
About the Book:

Turn Conflict into Cooperation

Many parents suspect their strong-willed child is deliberately trying to drive them crazy. Difficult to discipline and seemingly impossible to motivate, these children present unique, exhausting, and often-frustrating challenges to the those who love them.

But strong will is not a negative trait. These same children have firm convictions, high spirits, a sense of adventure—all the makings of a great adult. In this book you’ll discover how to channel th...more
I would give this book 3.5 stars. First, it is short, so even if it is of no value, it doesn't take long to get through. It is definitely not perfect, but having a child that has some strong will tendencies, I found that it has some helpful strategies.

The very things that are needed to succeed in many jobs, such as independent thought and confidence are the same traits that we can try to train out of our children.

What I liked: I found that her advice about choosing your battles to be very good....more
I chose to read and review this book because I have two children, one of who I believe is pretty strong willed. After reading the author’s description of a SWC (strong willed child), I don’t know if I have what she would describe as one of those children. Because of that, there was a lot of material in this book that didn’t really apply to me, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing; just something I wanted to mention.
That being said, I felt that there were a lot of strategies shared that are so si...more
This was pretty much a plagarized version of Jim Fay's "Love and Logic" re-created to justify shelving at your local Maranatha Christian Bookstore. While working with youth on a daily basis in a therapeutic setting, I am able to transfer some of Tobias' insight into my own philosophies and practices surrounding relationship, behavior management, and the celebration of the child as individual. I am a fan and practitioner of Jim Fay's techniques. However, some of Tobias' justifications for a SWC (...more
Bethany Geffken
A great book to keep on the shelf to read on days when I feel out of tricks. I'm copying page 171 top ten strategies here for a great reference.
1. Value my ability to see the world from a unique perspective.
(Find ways to appreciate and make the most of my strengths, even when I annoy you).

2. Remember, we need compelling problems to solve, not just chores to do.
(Don't be the "big boss." I'll respect your authority more when you tell me the point).

3. Ask for my input; keep me in the information...more
Athena Nagel

This book will be so helpful in my family. I don’t think there are any personalities in our home that are not strong willed – except me of course. Seriously! My kids are very strong willed and Cynthia lays out many steps and tips to help through many challenges in a family when dealing with a strong willed child. First and foremost is communication – you must have strong communication and appropriate communication to help a strong willed child. I really enjoyed the section in the book where some...more
Michael Boling
The reality of the difficulty of parenting is something for which I am increasingly becoming aware. With that said, it is the most satisfying duty I have ever had. An important element of being a parent is that of knowing how to properly approach your child’s behavior which includes understanding their personality and what the Proverbs call their bent. Those with children who have what could be labeled as an overly expressive demeanor are rightly called strong willed children. Cynthia Tobias, in...more
Now here's a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way--but for what is right--using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you'll live, really live, and not complacently just get by...more
I think the cover of this book is slightly deceptive because it has a picture of a little boy, but I felt like 80% of the book was geared towards parenting teenagers. I feel like I picked up a few insights but the rest was either fluff, things I had heard before, or for older children that I didn't relate to. Maybe I will find this book more helpful in 10 years.
I listened to Cynthia Tobias speak on one of Focus On The Family's broadcasts. I was so intrigued by her insight with strong-willed children that I just had to listen to her book. I think she pretty much nailed it! Oh my goodness it sure explains a lot, and I've since changed my approach without letting up!
Steven Brumer
Great strategies for dealing with a strong-willed child (SWT). The advice is clear and helps a parent to understand how the SWT thinks. If your child seems too willing to accept consequences, this book explains why.
Great reference with plenty of ideas to help you with a Strong-Willed Child (or adult).
This is a good book to add to your shelf if you are a parent of a very strong-willed child, such as I am. I love this book and continue to seek it's refuge when in trying times with my son. Tobias has a lot of interesting points in the book and great strategies. I recommend this book daily to friends and relatives seeking guidance with their kids and offer them to read as well! I think this book deserves no less then 4 stars. This was a book won on goodreads from firstreads and i am most thankfu...more
There is some useful information in here. I like the way she uses the term SWC vs the other words people often use to describe Strong Willed Children. I would highly recommend this book if you are open minded and are really going to try to use the tactics. They are easy but often as parents we forget sometimes that our children are just as strong willed as we are.
This book is fantastic! My poor SWC got all of her stubbornness from me so it can be challenging in the communication department in my household. This book gives me a completely different outlook on how she thinks and the way she needs me to communicate with her. ~sincerely, your strong willed adult.
Excellent read for anyone who has a strong-willed child (or is married to a former one!) The book is easy to read and has concrete steps and ideas. It is from a Christian perspective, which I like. Tobias reminds the reader that God trusted us a lot to give us this strong-willed child to raise.
I thought the book had a few good points - but any parenting book that thinks "praying" is a reasonable option loses credibility with me.
such a great read. not all of the interventions work well with my strong willed child, but they helped me see his learning style better
Not very useful in real-world terms. It doesn't offer many strategies I haven't herd before. I really didn't get much out of it.
I am anxious to apply the concepts in this book. I plan on reading it again!
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Tara marked it as to-read
Oct 09, 2014
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Cynthia Tobias received her Master’s Degree from Seattle Pacific University. Her successful background includes 25 years of private practice, 8 years of teaching public high school, and 6 years in law enforcement. She is a best-selling author of 9 books, a featured guest on radio and television, a popular presenter for business, government agencies, churches and schools throughout the U.S. and the...more
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