How to Really Love Your Child
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How to Really Love Your Child

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  327 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Dr. Campbell's best-seller (Over 600,000 copies sold!) teaches parents how to make children feel loved and accepted. Features a new chapter on a child's anger.
Paperback, 250 pages
Published April 25th 2003 by David C. Cook (first published August 1st 1977)
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I would have NEVER picked this book to read based on the title and cover, but I'm so glad a friend recommended it to me! The author points out quickly that we may love our children, but the child may not be feeling loved or perceive love based on our actions. Really good to encourage you to examine what you're currently doing and thru examples showing you pitfalls to avoid and what you should be focusing on. I love that he gives simple things one can do as you look at your child's behavior that...more
Anthony Barden
First off the list of the parenting books I intend to read.

Quite an easy read, two 45 minute sessions over two days. The book make a really strong argument for unconditional love. Which as Dr. Campbell points out is love for a person "no matter what". With regards to children, loving them regardless of who they are, of how they live up to expectations, regardless of their behaviour.

With this as the foundation the book, Dr. Campbell then proceeds to detail how unconditional love can be expressed...more
Great parenting book. Simple, not overwhelming with advice, and gives you simple guidelines to show your children that they are safe and lived.
Like many others, I totally judged this book by its cover and would not have read it if we weren't doing it as part of our Mom's Bible study at church. I think it has some fantastic practical advice on how to show your children love and I recommend it for that. However I think his approach to discipline is lax, and his assertion that being angry with your child has "horrific" ramifications is absent of the gospel. According to my pastor's wife, it is a good companion book to "Shepherding Your Ch...more
Ginny Pennekamp
Kyle's parents gave us this book to read, because it's how they raised their children. And that's exactly what made this book relatively unhelpful to us. It's exactly how we were raised. It's the cutting edge of theories in 1982: which is to say a mix of "share emotions with your child" that are now widely accepted, and "make your child feel they're special" which are now somewhat controversial and out of fashion.

The only good reason to read this book: IF YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR CHILD AWAY FROM TH...more
Kyle Pennekamp
My parents gave me this book when they found out Ginny was pregnant... they'd read it in 1982 when I was a little one. Its basic premise is that of course everyone (well, you know what I mean) loves their child... not everyone is good is showing their child their love. It stresses eye contact, physical contact, and focused attention. It reminds you that "discipline" should be the GOAL, not just an action. Basically... make sure your child's "emotional tank" is full before you take any further st...more
I am NOT interested in Christian-themed books, but this one is absolutely readable even so. I read this book as a compantion, really, to Unconditional Parenting, and frankly, I found this one to be much more practical in the short term. Unconditional Parenting goes on and on and on about how not to parent your kids, so much so that the first time I read it, I gave up on it before I even got past that, and was left thinking, "Well, what DO I do?"

How to Really Love Your Child, on the other hand, o...more
I can see why another reviewer has called it the best book on parenting, ever. The basic premise is one I first learned back in Human Relations in college: kids need their "love bucket" filled by their parents and a bucket that is lacking will be shown in current or future problems. Our children are asking "Do you love me?" with their behavior constantly and the answer they receive is the most important thing in their lives. Only if their emotional tank is full can kids be at their best and do t...more
A bunch of us frazzled moms did a study using this book and it was immensely beneficial - certainly it's cut down on the mommy-tantrums around our house!

Campbell's premises are basic, but for me this book was a reminder to take a step back and assess the bigger picture, rather then quickly getting sucked into a screaming contest. He uses his experience both professionally and as a father of four to highlight that children often act out when their emotional love tank is low (and goes into detail...more
I don't typically enjoy child-rearing books, so the fact that I didn't have a great time reading this doesn't say much about the usefulness of the information. In short, it's very helpful.

The good: the main argument, that children can't always interpret the subtleties of adult communication, is well made. We need to show our love to our children in unmistakable ways. Mr. Campbell seems to have written the book with the chapters in a very particular order. For example, loving eye contact and focu...more
The book is written for parents with one goal in mind: explaining that the fact that we love our children does not mean automatically that they feel like that, and uncovering how can we change that. It is readable, simple, gives practical ways to show your love that seem to be no brainer but challenge us to reevaluate how well are we really doing that. An extra resource, and a very useful one, is on handling children anger - this one might be eye opener for many.
While this book is directed at parent/child interactions, the relational theories are really applicable to many different relationships in life. It caused me to really look closely at my interactions with people, and analyze areas I might be loving them conditionally. Recognizing that people's, and specifically, my children's immediate behavior is often a reflection of feelings and insecurities deeper than the immediate situation reveals has helped me to ask myself questions about whether they a...more
Jun 23, 2008 Malbadeen marked it as books-ill-never-read  ·  review of another edition
I was at a thrift store the other day and saw this book. I love the image of some mom out there shuffling her 2.5 kids from soccer, to dance class, to summer camp, her calendar color coded with all the events and obligations. I can see her in the mini-van tossing the McDonalds bags to her kids, I can hear her bargening with them at Target to leave the toy aisle (they're throwing a fit again and she's embarrassed and exhausted but she'll be damned if she walks out of there with out the summer fie...more
I was hoping for useful information that I didn't already know. Not much here. He added some anecdotal stories. I could have gotten the information from notes or outline. Just not much 'meat' here. Agreed with theories though. I'm sure a lot of problems with kids would disappear if they felt unconditional love.

Similiar to the book '5 Love Languages' although he does not cover acts of service or words of affirmation. I suppose because we have to do acts of service for our younger children so perh...more
I loved this book. There is so much good parenting advice packed in this little book. The basic idea is that children need their "love tank" filled constantly and that without having that tank filled, they will tend to act out in inappropriate ways. He also emphasizes that the word "discipline" and the type of discipline known as punishment is WAY overused today and that if we work really hard at loving our children and helping to fill their needs, we shouldn't have to punish very often. I wish...more
It seems like a no-brainer but this book does an excellent job of talking about the power of unconditional love. Most parents probably say they love their kids unconditionally but the author points out that many parents aren't aware of the "how-to." He talks about the power of eye-contact. Think about how often you actually look in the eyes of your kids versus talking with them without eye-contact. He makes a powerful point about this. Focused attention, physical contact and training them by bei...more
An absolute must-read for every parent. This book has profoundly impacted my awareness of how to express love to my children in ways that they can receive and understand.
I have really gotten a lot out of this book. It's not all usable and it has very a Christian emphasis which is lost on me, but it focuses on the fact that while we may love our kids, we don;t know if they feel as loved as they are. It's helpful, especially now for me deep int he throes of sibling jealousy. It's helping me reconnect with my commitment to be an awesome parent, if I can, despite my desire to snuff out a preschoolers hurtful action toward the baby. Protecting them both is the goal,...more
Carlito Centeno
May 15, 2009 Carlito Centeno rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carlito by: Steve and Nancy Brinton
This book is a quick but resourceful read. The content will probably be very eye-opening for most parents. Though I'm aware of how important it is to make sure kids know their parents love them, I did not realize how, for instance, eye contact or the lack of can significantly impact a child. The author shares many examples that illustrate and validates his points, so the book is straightforward and practical.

I think this book has revolutionized my thinking on parenting. I'm very thankful to the...more
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Nov 13, 2011 Karlie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is another great book on how to love and understand your child. Things like eye contact, physical affection, active listening and so forth. So basic and common sense but yet I think we sometimes forget about doing these little things for our children (especially as they grow older) and how much of an impact they can have. I'm not perfect, but as I've read this I find myself really trying harder to give my kids that extra attention, to be more understanding of things.
JJ Vancil
How to Really Love Your Child, by D. Ross Campbell, is a simple, practical book about how to do exactly what the title suggests. This book is about not just “feeling” love for one’s child, but actually putting that love to action in an effective way. Following the advice of this book will have a significant impact on the health and maturity of your child. It had a laser-focused purpose and continued to it over and over again. It is a worthwhile read for anyone with children.
B.j. Larson
I have parented for over twelve years and read a lot of parenting books. I found this book to be one of the best. The author's foundational message of filling our children's "emotional tank" is refreshing and common sense in a sea of complicated or nebulous tactics focused mostly, if not only, on discipline or consequences. I have noted a marked difference in myself and my children since putting the principles from this book into practice.
I thought this book had a good, yet different focus than other parenting books I had read. He really stresses the important ways of showing your children unconditional love. Although, I think that particular behavior cannot be excused because of tiredness or need of attention, it has made me more aware of meeting my kids needs before automatically disciplining behavior that is a result of something else.
This book really helped us change the way we responded to our boys' bad behavior. When all four of them were small it seemed like chaos reigned and that we were dealing out way too many punishments. Dr. Campbell gave us some handles on how to address behavior issues that eliminated a lot of tears (on my part as well as the boy's!) One of the best books on parenting that I've ever read.
Of all of the child rearing books I read when my children were young(and there were many) this one fit best with my instincts as a mother. It is the only one of all of those books from which I remember any details and implemented specific strategies with any consistency. It is also the only one I have recommended to others. It isn't perfect, but I found it really helpful.
He really emphasizes unconditional love for your child and if you've already bought into that concept, you might want to skim the first half of the book. There are some helpful suggestions on how to love your kids well and give them loving boundaries and discipline. Also it helped me understand better what to expect from my young kids and where I might be expecting too much.
Amy Gomez
Best parenting book I have ever read. I believe every parent should read this and it is a disservice to your child if you don't. I also believe this should be a required book for all teachers, youth leaders, child and youth pastors, anyone working with children basically should read this and apply the principles learned here... An eye opening, revelation knowledge book!!!
Chris J
I read this per my wife's request. She had read it and wanted my take on Campbell's thoughts.

My evaluation is that his points are fairly obvious and that the book's mere existence is unnecessary. His writing style is, nicht sehr gut, making even a 141-page book laborious.

I would not recommend Campbell, but I still think my wife is really great.
This is a good, humbling and scary book. Scary for dads like me who already have kids that are 14, 12, 9 and 7 and wonder if I have missed too many opportunities. Humbling because of the great responsibility I have as a parent and good because it is spot on in what it challenges parents with. Every expectant parent should read this before their child is born.
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content 1 8 Oct 18, 2007 05:54PM  
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Dr. Campbell is a former Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He has counseled thousands of parents over three decades of practice. Having retired from active counseling, he focuses today on writing and lecturing on parenting topics for an ever-changing cultural world with its challenges for the modern family.

Librarian Note:...more
More about Ross Campbell...
How to Really Love Your Teenager How to Really Parent Your Child: Anticipating What a Child Needs Instead of Reacting to What a Child Does Relational Parenting Parenting Your Adult Child: How You Can Help Them Achieve Their Full Potential Kids in Danger

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“A child is the most needy person in our society, and the greatest need is love.” 0 likes
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