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Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  508 ratings  ·  66 reviews

Parents and kids pitted against one another, opposing forces pulling in different directions - both determined to win! Every family experiences power struggles, but these daily tugs of war are not inevitable. In Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka presents real strategies for getting to the root of the emotions and needs that can creates daily hassles.
Published August 16th 2005 by HarperAudio (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,244)
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Fantastic parenting book. Possibly the best I've read. I think a good tagline would be: Know yourself, know your kids, know success. It covers all sorts of ways to get to the root of the problems that parents and children face every day, through all stages of life. It's easy to think your main task is to get your kids to change, but this book really helps readers as parents see how their own behaviors contribute to the struggles, and most importantly I think, how to work together with your kids ...more
I just love this author! All of her books are awesome! (I'm wishing she would write one about "shy" children right now!) She always gives really hands on advice and cushions it with lots of stories from other families. It helps me know I'm not alone--and sparks a lot of good ideas--some of which actually work.

I think my biggest take away from this book was anger management--first for myself and secondly to teach my kids better solutions. Current power struggles have definitely up-ed the ante in
I love the concepts in this book. I've always wondered how I could get my kids to trust/confident me once they're teenagers. This book discusses building a lasting relationship with your children by teaching them about how to deal w their emotions and working with them and not against them. It is definitely a challenge to live by it but by just trying it I have seen the differences in how they express themselves and how I am able to help them do this.
This is likely my favorite AND most useful parenting book of all time. Great tips on how to talk to kids, treat them like people while at the same time raising them with boundaries and expectations of polite behaviour.
This book was full of practical insight. One I most likely will return to again and again.

Highly recommended.
Oct 13, 2008 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: BTC - Ann Marie Read
Shelves: parenting
This is one to buy and read and re-read and re-read...
This well-written book is a fine, worthy follow up to the very useful Raising Your Spirited Child. The author uses the work of Daniel Goleman on Emotional Intelligence to help parents learn to avoid power struggles with their children. The author advocates the need for parents to both ddevelop their own emotional intelligence and to help their children develop this qualities.

Part one gives a good, if not detailed enough, overview of what emotional intelligence is and why it's important. She cou
Thought I would add this to my bookshelf. I have read this book about a billion times over the course of my parenting. I started reading it when my oldest daughter was two years old. My copy is really worn and the only book that I never pack in boxes when I move (I always make sure it is handy). Not that the information changes, but the kids change all the time. Whenever I need advice, I read it and I find a new way to understand my kiddos. Plus it gives me a script for how to handle a lot of th ...more
I really appreciated this book. I was familiar with temperament types, extroverted and introverted, and knew I was dealing with a spirited child. But, I found great insight when she discussed thinker vs. feeler types. I am an extroverted - feeler, my husband is an introverted - thinker, my youngest daughter is an introverted - feeler and my older daughter is an extroverted - thinker.

Most of the power struggles have come about with my extroverted - thinker. I used to think she was 'cold', and 'me
I have a three and a half year old who is giving me a run for my money. I picked this because I feel like I need to up my parenting game and add some skills to by arsenal. I think this book illuminated a lot of great concepts - choosing to connect with my son rather than trying to intimidate or overpower him during disputes, understanding what my own emotional state and temperament bring to the table and how I can better choose to bring down the intensity level, thinking about how to give my chi ...more
Dawn Buffham-Bates
This is one of those parenting books that you will never stop reading. Why? Because your children never stop growing up and you never stop learning about their development.

For me this book has been one of the best I have ever had the to pleasure to read, and yes it is a pleasure to read.

I have learnt as much about my behaviour and how to adapt it, as well as the behaviours of my husband and children. At some points in the book, it seems as if Mrs Kurcinka studied our family and then wrote the b
I hated reading this book. It bored my pants off. BUT...I want to say that I learned more about myself and how to deal with me than my kids and this is important. I learned that I am an introvert and that I probably need to start telling my kids to give me time to think before I make decisions, otherwise I am prone to say no because I get overwhelmed. I learned that I am sensitive to noise and activity and that if I try to parent in that kind of situation, I am probably not going to be at my bes ...more
Beth A.
I enjoyed reading this book. Kurcinka maintains that children are not "out to get" parents. When they misbehave they are trying to get a need met or responding to a stress or problem in their lives.

She covers personality characteristics, stresses, and medical problems, and how they can affect children's behavior.

She has tips to help you teach children to recognize and communicate their emotions and needs so they do not have to struggle against their parents. Rather they can work together to find
I was very impressed with this book, took notes. Felt like it was written specifically for the types of issues I am dealing with. The suggestions are practical and they work.
I got this from the library and didn't completely finish it before I had to return it, but it was FULL of great ideas for helping me with my son. I read her first book- about Spirited Kids. I liked that book to help me understand my kid a little better, but this book really gave me practical advice about how to parent, and help him with his powerful emotions, instead of just trying to "discipline" him. I feel like it's helping, but I still want to buy the book to go back to as a resource when we ...more
Good read for any parent wanting help communicating with kids of all ages. Discusses Emotional Intelligence. Coaching. Temperament.
This is a valuable book for parents as well as educators, anyone who works with or cares for children.
This book had a lot of helpful ideas on making your days easier as a parent. It's worth the listen.
This book also touches on different areas on how you and your child behaves, why they do what they do to some extent and how you can help not only yourself but your child to become better people. You have to teach them the way even though you are still learning. No one said parenting was easy.

The only thing that I didn't like about this book was the author going back and forth between he and she.
Kateri Limmer
This book is very enlightening. My 3 year old son has started responding positively and I can literally see him thinking things through. I can also say that this book helps a parent discover themselves as well as their child. I know my personality better, and I see the similarities with my son. The references at the end are definitely on my reading list!
Not a book with easy quick fixes for behavior problems, but a good read. For me however, this book didn't contain too much new info since I always seem to read parenting books with similar philosophies. This book uses emotional coaching and understanding your child's and your own temperaments as the way to have an easier time parenting. I believe in the premise, but find it hard to put into practice with the day to day tasks to accomplish and myself being so tired and emotionally drained most of ...more
Erin M Nagel
Great book for any parent!
I finished this book and then read several sections again. The title is misleading. This book encourages parents to understand their emotional styles and their children's emotional styles and to work with those to resolve conflicts. Kurcinka balances practical advice with general perspective on the ways in which we learn, for better or worse, to manage emotions. This is one parenting book I will return to read as my boys get older.
Jul 20, 2012 Eve rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All parents!
Shelves: parenting
The wisdom in Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's books is nothing short of miraculous. I love her RAISING YOUR SPIRITED CHILD, and this book is equally excellent. Face it—regardless of upbringing in either generation, every parent and every child are going to have power struggles of some kind, so look no further: Here's the instruction manual you've been looking for. Read it, and be amazed at the results. It's that good. Thank you, Dr. Mary.
Her book Raising Your Spirited Child is better. I liked the theory and background that this book shares, but it is very short on practical techniques, what exactly to say or do in the moment. You can be as sensitive as possible to your child's needs and temperament, and yet still times will arise when you just need to get something done and be the authority figure. This book isn't very helpful in accomplishing that.
Brenda Wharton
4.5 stars
Great book with lots of practical advice on dealing with strong willed kids. Helps you to see what may be going on beneath the surface of the power struggles, how to coach them through it and helps you understand introverts and extroverts, thinkers and feelers
Was skeptical going in that there would be any new info for me, but I must admit that the book had tremendously practical info that's helping me tremendously to get my hands and head around the three-year-old age.
Heidi Poelman
What a great book for learning to deal with toddlers who are testing limits and wanting independence. I love the way the author writes about teaching your child to work with you respectfully, the importance of teaching negotiation skills, dealing with different temperaments, and what it means to be an emotion coach as a parent. Great, great book for parents with kids of any age, in my opinion.
Jun 30, 2010 Kate is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am about halfway through this book and so far it has been very helpful with providing ways to understand why my child and I react the way we do in certain situations and how we can get better at avoiding arguments. Rather than simply suggesting ways to discipline, the book discusses the context behind why behaviors happen so you can understand both yourself and your child better.
Kate Hyde
This book starts out slow, but once I got to the part about comparing your child's temperament with your own, I was hooked. I also really liked the chapter about how kids deal with stress. This was an eye opener of a book. Not only does it explain why your kid may be acting up, but it gives you techniques to diffuse the tension. I definitely recommend this book!
I loved the section about discovering your own & your child's temperament. I learned a lot about myself that I hadn't realized. I also found myself agreeing with Kurcinka's view on reasons why children act out and that addressing the cause is much more successful than reacting to the behaviors. Highly recommend this book for anyone who interacts with children.
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Mary Sheedy Kurcinka is a best-selling author and internationally recognized lecturer and parent educator. Her books Raising Your Spirited Child, Raising Your Spirited Child Workbook; Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles; and Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving or Missing Sleep have been translated into ten languages.

As director of, Mary provides training nationally
More about Mary Sheedy Kurcinka...
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving...or Missing Sleep? Raising Your Spirited Child Workbook

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