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

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  5,310 Ratings  ·  616 Reviews
Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published April 1st 1987)
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Tamara
Feb 19, 2009 Tamara rated it really liked it
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
...more
Francisco Herrero
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca
Sep 26, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it
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
...more
Vonette
Aug 23, 2010 Vonette rated it liked it
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
Laura
Oct 14, 2010 Laura rated it liked it
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
...more
Andrea Thorpe
Jul 03, 2011 Andrea Thorpe rated it really liked it
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
Wendy Yu
Aug 18, 2016 Wendy Yu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Format, the cartoons (even a poem at the end!) are sooooooooo cheesy, but I can handle a retro vibe if the advice is good. The horror stories are (I hope!) too dramatic where siblings hate each other, themselves and their parents. It made me very scared to have two kids, but, oh well, too late!

1. Acknowledge negative feelings, don't dismiss them (e.g. "Bobby said I'm a moron" DON'T RESPOND WITH "oh, just ignore him" say "a comment like that could make you mad!"). Identify the feeling or talk abo
...more
Amy
May 13, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah Jamison
In my circles, this book is pretty well gospel for those with more than one kid. Written as a piece of narrative, instructive non-fiction, Siblings Without Rivalry discusses how to deal with your kids when they fight. The goal is to be aware of their motivations, your actions and reactions, and how to set up a house where, even if everyone is not at peace with one another, then at least everyone is respectful of each other.

Faber and Mazlish preface their work with a note that this book is an ou
...more
Sean
Jul 03, 2016 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adele Faber is the author of the bestselling "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk". In "Siblings Without Rivalry", she shares her materials from classes that she conducts to help parents deal with siblings who fight or don't get along. She shares the basic concepts, which are fairly straightforward, along with some great stories from parents who have made use of her suggestions in their own families.

The core idea of dealing with kids who fight with each other is to ref
...more
Amy
Oct 03, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
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
Abby
Feb 03, 2017 Abby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid book with tons of useful information to elicit better communicate between siblings. I walked away from this book with several ideas on how to help my kids work through their differences. It's been several months since reading and implementing some of the ideas, and I have definitely seen a little more peace in our home. Definitely worth the read for any parent struggling with getting their kids to get along.
Shaikha Al-Riyami
Feb 22, 2017 Shaikha Al-Riyami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Well narrated, wasn't boring and so many examples.
Gail
Apr 03, 2014 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dolly
Feb 11, 2016 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
I have enjoyed listening to the audio CD editions of the parenting books by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. And I have found that their advice, their anecdotal stories, as well as their reassurance about what behaviors are considered age-appropriate, have helped me greatly in my parenting journey.

As an only child, I have struggled with the fact that our girls could be incredibly close at one moment and at each other's throats the next. Whenever I confront behavior that I find to be inappropriat
...more
PhilorChelsy
Jan 12, 2012 PhilorChelsy rated it really liked it
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
...more
Jessie
Apr 25, 2010 Jessie rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Lewis Manalo
May 09, 2012 Lewis Manalo rated it it was ok
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
...more
Ricki
Feb 27, 2016 Ricki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't feel that there was much new material here that wasn't already in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Some of it kinda felt like a no-brainer.

There is also one definite problem. I was reading an older copy and maybe this is fixed in newer editions, but this book advises the reader to ask their child to show their aggression to a surrogate object (such as by punching a doll in lieu of a sibling). Supposedly, this enables the parent to show the child that they
...more
Erica
Dec 23, 2014 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
...more
Krzysiek
Dec 27, 2014 Krzysiek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kristen
Sep 21, 2016 Kristen rated it really liked it
I did like the practical ideas and what exactly to say in certain situations. But at the same time, I felt a little overwhelmed that I could never (not that I would, but unconsciously) compare my children, show favoritism, say anything positive about one child in front of the other, etc. All the stories about grown-up children having problems with their siblings and why made me nervous... I hope my kids will grow up having good relationships with each other. Interesting to read about how sibling ...more
Mehrsa
Dec 15, 2008 Mehrsa rated it really liked it
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
Amy
May 27, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
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.
Shannon
Jun 09, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Heather
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.
Mary
Feb 10, 2013 Mary rated it liked it
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.
Stephanie Sheaffer
While not spellbinding in format, "Siblings Without Rivalry" offers great food-for-thought regarding sibling relationships...and how to nurture positive ones for your children.

This would be a smart pick for a book club as it would be sure to stimulate further discussion.
Hannah Barry
Jun 03, 2012 Hannah Barry rated it really liked it


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!
Sylvia
Jun 16, 2012 Sylvia rated it it was amazing
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.
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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.” 1 likes
“Imagine,” I thought, “a world in which brothers and sisters grow up in homes where hurting isn’t allowed; where children are taught to express their anger at each other sanely and safely; where each child is valued as an individual, not in relation to the others; where cooperation, rather than competition is the norm; where no one is trapped in a role; where children have daily experience and guidance in resolving their differences.” 1 likes
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