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kids are worth it! Revised Edition: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  1,142 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
The parenting classic, now revised with new chapters, checklists, and information about today's most pressing issues regarding our children

This bestselling guide rejects "quick-fix" solutions and focuses on helping kids develop their own self-discipline by owning up to their mistakes, thinking through solutions, and correcting their misdeeds while leaving their dignity int
ebook, 352 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1994)
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Kressel Housman
Sep 15, 2008 Kressel Housman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, even of little kids and babies
To me, the measure of a good parenting or psychology book is if it changes my life, and by that standard, this book was EXCELLENT. It divides parenting styles into three basic types: 1) brickwall = "My way OR ELSE"; 2) jellyfish = house rules are rarely and inconsistently applied; and 3) backbone = the right approach, flexible yet firm.

It was unpleasant to see what a jellyfish I've been, but while I was reading the book, I really felt myself developing backbone. The author gives specific ways yo
Emily Madill
Sep 27, 2012 Emily Madill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Kids are worth it!” is an informative and functional parenting book. The main initiative of the book is to raise children to be confident self-disciplined and comfortable thinking for themselves. Through examples and stories, Coloroso gives suggestions and tools that offer children opportunities to make decisions and feel empowered. In her book Coloroso describes three different parenting philosophies and the importance in becoming ‘aware’ of the tools that lead to destruction, and tools that l ...more
Nov 03, 2011 Mandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Can't say I got much out of this book. Its premise is a good one, and I appreciate the general advice about treating kids with dignity and respect even when correcting them - especially when correcting them.
But for a book on positive parenting, its tone is quite judgmental. The author classifies parenting styles into 3 types - two are horrid and the third is ideal. The problem with this approach, as I see it, is that not many people are going to want to identify with the exaggeratedly awful par
Dory Hamlin
May 04, 2015 Dory Hamlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, but especially parents & people who have friends with kids
Recommended to Dory by: Stumbled across it
Shelves: parenting
Our job as parents is not to control our children, but to teach & guide them. To teach them how to think, not what to think, so that they learn how to be functional, respectful, thinking adults.

I just finished reading this book for the 3rd time - I read it first several years ago before I had any kids, and now have read it twice since the birth of my own child. I have read (& continue to read) a lot of parenting books, and books of the science of brain growth. I keep coming back to thi
Marissa Morrison
I could tell right away that I was going to like this book, because Coloroso includes quotes from wonderful authors like Alfi Kohn and Gavin De Becker. She advocates not treating children in a way that you yourself wouldn't want to be treated, and to only discipline using techniques that leave a kid's dignity in tact.

Some tips from this book:

When you have to criticize, criticize the problem, not the kid. An effective way to do this is to say, "That's not right" rather than "that's wrong." "That
Sep 03, 2008 Ruby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring mothers
Recommended to Ruby by: friend from work
I am highly impressed with this book. The author was a nun who saw the pontential in having a family. I thought her ideas of parenting ideal. I thought her approach of making three different category types of parents useful. A controlling parent,strict,putting lots of pressure on your kid(Brick Wall) to the polar opposite she labels (Jelly fish). Someone who is lazy or inconsistent. The Backbone Parent tries to teach their child how to think for themselves and make good decisions without making ...more
Susan Bazzett-griffith
Meh. This book is basically the same as Love and Logic (also meh). I didn't learn much about specific tools to hone "inner discipline" in my son, as the title implies. And though I understand the sentiment behind the constant theme of "treat the child in a way so that they can retain their dignity", I often found myself thinking about scenes from my son's childhood where he would do things like run through the house naked with half a turd hanging from his ass because he didn't want to poop on th ...more
Courtney Lotzer
Jan 05, 2012 Courtney Lotzer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book defines three types of families, which really put life with children in perspective. It is amazing the influence your own parents have on the way you do things...

I thought it was a great read. It made me feel really good about my parenting philosophy and the relationships I have with the kids. I am happy to say I am 90% "Backbone" parent. It also really defined my childhood (jellyfish).

I also related to one of the negative family types (brickwall), which explained the harm you can do
Sep 04, 2010 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be an interesting look at how both parents and teachers can treat their children and students with respect. However, I think that parents could misinterpret when they begin to put Coloroso's parenting theories into practice. I could definitely see how some parents could use her ideas and feel that they are granting their child independence, when in reality they are being "jellyfish" parents by letting their child do whatever he or she wants in order to exert this "independence". ...more
Feb 09, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Within a few chapters of starting this book, I was already changing the way I parent. While we don't often need to punish our kids (luckily), we were resorting to a lot of bribing and negotiating to get things to happen. Coloroso explains why this isn't helping kids think for themselves or behave for the right reasons. It's actually not that hard to rephrase and change how I communicate, now that I'm aware of it. I also want to get my kids helping with chores more consistently now that I read th ...more
Robin Penney
Jan 08, 2010 Robin Penney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned so much from this book. It has changed the way I treat my children. I give them ownership for the mistakes they make, and help them to feel okay about making those mistakes in the first place. I no longer believe that punishment has to include an element of "feeling bad" about what you did. Instead, I help them to fix the problem. But I don't rescue them, or clean up for them, like I did before.

Also, no more rewards! Threw out the sticker charts! Teaching them that they do things beca
Apr 02, 2008 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with kids.
Recommended to Maggie by: Suzuki book club
Shelves: suzuki-book-club
I haven't finished yet, but this book is by far the best parenting book I've ever read! It guides you how to teach your kids to make good decisions. It's not about controlling your kids. You need to teach them that they can handle anything life throws at them. This book shows you how to give them the tools from a very early age. FANTASTIC! I can't wait to read the chapter on sibling rivalry.
I like some of her advice but definately didn't agree with all of it. Example: she suggests that when your teenage daughter asks you if she can go to a party where drinking will be involved and you don't want her to, she says to use the phrase "convince me"...doesn't that just mean, "come on, argue with me"? I don't know, I don't find her to be very realistic.
Moshe Mikanovsky
Jun 09, 2015 Moshe Mikanovsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
If you have kids, you owe it to yourself and to them to read this book. Its never too late!
If you are an author, you got to read this book, and understand the different types of families out there and how they interact with each other.
Jan 04, 2012 Jasmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an insightful book! Barbara gives many specific examples how being either a brick wall, jellyfish or backbone parent affects our children in profound ways. So much to learn with our children. Amazing resource for all parents or for anyone who has children in their life.
Jul 24, 2008 Ardra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Didn't quite finish this one before it was due back at the library. Definitely want to revisit this book.
Jan 19, 2012 Tamara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite parenting books. Good advice for young children as well as teens. A good one to add to home library as I will be returning to it over the years.
Christine Fonseca
Jul 04, 2012 Christine Fonseca rated it it was amazing
By FAR one of the best parenting books on the market. And this revised edition - even better than the first!!!
One of my very favorite parenting books, along with How to Talk so Kids Will Listen. I read it every year or so it seems. Fantastic book with great suggestions. Get a copy. DO IT.
Sep 23, 2007 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plan to re-read this book over time, too. She helped me understand respectful parenting in a broad, longterm perspective, from tot to teens.
Delia Huitema
Love her and loved the book! It made me a better parent.
Sarah Whitney
Good book. Pretty much the same core idea behind it as Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, but probably a better main-stream pick for the harder-to-convince parents, especially those who came from and swear by a brickwall kind of family. Brickwall? You know: 'Our way or the highway' parents who gave out spankings and groundings freely. It actually describes the three common types of families: Brickwall (just mentioned), Jellyfish (there are two sub-types), and Backbone (the one you should s ...more
Jennifer Heise
May 08, 2014 Jennifer Heise rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Ok, the author has a point about authoritarian and jellyfish parenting styles (parenting styles that are either too restrictive or too wishy-washy). But that could have been boiled down easily to: be kind, be decent, be consistent, and be firm.

She exercises her dislike of 'bribing' children with praise all over the place, suffering from an "O Tempore! O Mores!" syndrome where she blames all the faults of the current generation on too much praise. (Coming from a strict and self-disciplined and s
Candice Rider
Helpful tools and ideas on respectful parenting.
A couple of times this book made me really mad. I think other people's (stupid) opinions about parenting do that to a lot of people. She just got my back up when she said that by not doing this you are ruining your kid. An example is that she said that overfeeding your infant is teaching them to not listen to their bodies and possibly develop eating disorders. Ahg! Sometimes you need to stuff your baby, so they will sleep for the babysitter. Also, you should know your infant, and if you think th ...more
Aug 06, 2008 Sera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents
Recommended to Sera by: Modern Mommies
Shelves: favorites, parenting, own
I found this book to be unique in that it shows parents how to teach kids to build self-esteem while learning how to resolve conflict, stand up for injustice, handle chores, etc. There is so much that this book covers about raising children from the toddler to teen years that I'm sure that I will use it as a resource for many years. I also convinced my husband to read it, because there are many practical tools in the book that we can use as a family, and I'm curious to see what he thinks about t ...more
LOVED this book a lot and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a parent. It guides you how to teach your kids to make good decisions. It's about respectful & loving parenting, basically using the "golden rule" as a basis for parenting.

A rational, logical, thoughtful approach to discipline. This book just made so much SENSE! Combines a loving child-rearing philosophy with real-life practical examples of how to handle various situations with your children so that they grow up with a strong c
Mar 06, 2009 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
Recommended to Jana by: Barb Forsberg
Shelves: re-read, parenting
I am finding such clarity here, and loving the whole idea of "inner discipline".

I rarely finish non-fiction works; I tend more often to scan them for the information I'm after...or get bored and set them aside. But I devoured every page of this book, and can confidently say it's the best parenting book I've read. It has helped us to set aside some of our differences with regard to discipline and find a healthier middle-ground.

She uses an anagram for her approach to creating consequences that I
Mark Schlatter
A few caveats:
1) I read an old edition.
2) I read this for school, so I was more interested in the basic philosophy (and how it might transfer to a classroom) than the parenting specifics, and thus...
3) ... I only read about half the book.

You can probably guess the tenor of the book from the number of quotes from spiritual sources and leaders (including about a dozen versions of the Golden Rule) --- Coloroso's emphasis is on the dignity of the parent and child. The focus is on encouragement and h
Nov 07, 2014 Elyse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This definitely goes in my top 5 parenting book recommendations. The beginning is admittedly a little preachy - the first 1/3rd of the book focuses more on what parents are doing wrong than I thought was necessary, (we're here reading the book, cut us a break!), but I'm glad that I stuck it out. I thought where the book really shined was in the explanations of how to talk to children about issues, like tattling, bullying, wants vs needs, money, etc. The authors; values and practices were in line ...more
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This is a classic 1 11 Nov 12, 2008 02:09PM  
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Barbara Coloroso is the author of the international bestseller Kids Are Worth It! and Parenting Through Crisis and is an acclaimed speaker on parenting, teaching, conflict, resolution, and grieving. Featured in Time, the New York Times, and on many radio and television shows, she lives with her husband in Littleton, Colorado.
More about Barbara Coloroso...

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“From the time he was young, he dressed the way you told him to dress; he acted the way you told him to act; he said the things you told him to say. He's been listening to somebody else tell him what to do... He hasn't changed. He is still listening to somebody else tell him what to do. The problem is, it isn't you any,ore; it's his peers.” 8 likes
“Each small task of everyday life is part of the total harmony of the universe. —SAINT TERESA OF LISIEUX” 0 likes
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