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How to Really Love Your Child

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  526 Ratings  ·  78 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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Jan 15, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Anthony Barden
Feb 09, 2014 Anthony Barden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, christian
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
Jun 05, 2011 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great parenting book. Simple, not overwhelming with advice, and gives you simple guidelines to show your children that they are safe and lived.
This is a really great read for any parent, but especially those parents who have multiple children. Not all children respond to the same forms of affection and this book helps to point out why showing affection in the form each individual child understands is so important.

The book offers practical advice and techniques on how to connect with your child, as well as offers explanation as to the "why" of each. Even incorporating a few of these techiniques in your interaction with your children, r
Ginny Pennekamp
Oct 10, 2011 Ginny Pennekamp rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 21, 2010 Pumpkinbear rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
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
May 10, 2010 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, to-buy
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
Oct 05, 2010 Ruben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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
May 07, 2014 Faire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 31, 2010 Kerin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica Pool
Aug 15, 2015 Jessica Pool rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read.

This book has really challenged me to make a better effort to really love my children. So often as a parent we get caught up in all the responsibilities and task that come with parenting and we lose sight of what matters most - Showing Gods love and our love to our children. For me, it is taking the time to stop, look and listen to each child as they need me each day!
Mar 14, 2016 Angela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
"I think many loving parents would be greatly helped in this difficult area if they realized that: (1) every child, regardless of age, needs appropriate physical contact; (2) to have some occasional sexual feelings or fleeting sexual fantasies regarding a child is normal;..."

"Notice that I did not say unconditional love will abolish the need for corporal punishment. How I wish it could, but it won’t."

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
Sep 18, 2011 Shanon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 03, 2010 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah Cosper
Jan 02, 2016 Sarah Cosper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book I keep go back to. So many parenting books are overwhelming and Christian parenting books often give you a lot of rules and shoulds that are unrealistic. This one encourages unconditional love, eye contact, affirmation and thoughtful guidance.
Feb 02, 2015 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been really encouraging and helpful to me as a parent, especially regarding helping my child through a big transition or change. I saw a difference in my kid and our connection pretty immediately upon focusing on the principles here. The only reason I didn't give it a full five stars is because I know I can't recommend it across the board to everyone I know. The author gets into areas I know would be controversial to some people (particular the appropriate/inappropriate love chapte ...more
Sep 02, 2015 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
100% good book for all parents! Easy and quick to read! So many things to note (and remember!). If we would follow Dr's advice given in this book, it would be much easier to parent, understand, love and discipline our kids.
Dec 13, 2015 Backslash rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Good book. The only other 2 books I have read on parenting were read dare to discipline by dobson and babywise (I forgot the author). This was a good book to lay in parallel with dare to discipline. It was also good to read this at my current stage of parenting with kids who are early elementary. I thought the key advice of demonstrating love to your kids through positive eye contact, touch, and good listening were good reminders.

I didn't give it 4 stars because the semi-palagian theology at th
Jan 22, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-book-list
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
Mar 23, 2014 Talvi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 24, 2015 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite parenting books! I'd first read Ross Campbell with his book Relational Parenting. This is just a condensed version of that book. I'm looking for a newer edition to buy. I found a 1990 version at my library. Read this parenting book!
Jul 23, 2012 Kerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Bechtold
Jun 03, 2016 John Bechtold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book - Provides practical advice on how to show your kids you love them
May 05, 2016 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best parenting book I ever read (ok, the title is a little annoying but never mind).
Christa Cordova
Dec 23, 2014 Christa Cordova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most practical basic parenting book I've read to date. This is going to be my new baby gift for new parents!
Carlito Centeno
May 15, 2009 Carlito Centeno rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jan 01, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, parenting
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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
More about D. Ross Campbell...

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“The most important relationship in the family is the marital relationship. It takes primacy over all others, including the parent-child relationship. Both the quality of the parent-child bond and the child’s security largely depend on the quality of the marital bond. You” 0 likes
“one out of every six kids appears before the Juvenile Court. If you want to make sure one of your kids isn’t included, you’d better hop to it and give them what they need instead of looking after yourself.” 0 likes
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