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Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,988 ratings  ·  454 reviews
Every kid in America will hate this book! But moms will love it!

Tired of defiant attitudes and power struggles with your little ankle-biters? Then you need this book. With his signature wit and wisdom, internationally recognized family expert Dr. Kevin Leman reveals why your kids do what they do and what you can do about it. He gives you simple principles that can give y

Hardcover, 300 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Lisa Topp
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all moms/dads
Recommended to Lisa by: Focus on the Family
Shelves: non-fiction
By the end of the summer I was losing my mind with my older daughters, ages 9 and 7. This book suggestion popped up in a weekly e-mail, and I really needed new kids by Friday - if not sooner! A few chapters in, (I read more than one a day - I need to get the program going!)I really like the common sense approach, and the fact that you are shaping attitute, behavior and character - they are all intertwined. I started changing my approach already today, and we made it all the way to bedtime with n ...more
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Confession--this was a book my husband INSISTED that I read, not one that I picked out by choice.

I have to say that overall, I felt that Leman only made two valid points throughout the entire book, and that the rest was just filler (or letters from "grateful" readers, plugging this book). The first point that I felt merited some thought was to not encourage/engage in arguing with your child. Later, when they want some favor or treat, you say "no"--if they ask why, you explain--once--that you di
Jan 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Thanks to my MiL for getting this book for me. She was right...some of the ideas this guy uses are excellent. He is practical and has a down-to-earth approach to problems we all face as parents. That being said, I did NOT like all of his personal examples. They read a lot like this, "My children are so angelic. We are such awesome parents. We have never made a mistake and our children are perfect. Just listen to what my daughter/son did..." It was HIGHLY annoying! Common sense says that parents ...more
Adriane Devries
Dr. Kevin Leman’s title, Have a New Kid By Friday, fools parents into thinking that this book will change their kid’s rotten behavior, when in reality it is the parent who must change first. He knew no one would buy a book called “I’m a Lousy Parent, I Need A Fast-Track Remedial Course.” This hilarious book is a wonderful source of practical, easy-to-remember gems like, “Say it once, turn your back, and walk away;” and “B doesn’t happen until A is done.” Leman’s primary premise is that kids are ...more
May 13, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Leman makes some good points about setting the appropriate tone for a parent-child relationship, about boundaries and respect. In fact, I agree with most of his broader statements about kids and their needs. His "talk and walk away" approach is probably only effective with some kids, though. I think my personality is far to direct to get involved in child psychology. I've probably formed my parenting habits from my Mom, who was a pretty no-nonsense person. (She spoke as though our not doing ...more
Christie Hagerman
Jun 03, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any parents
Shelves: family
This has some good pointers overall, but most of it didn't apply to our particular family, since we're homeschoolers who don't have the typical American family/schedule. I liked the suggestions for practical consequences to unwanted behaviors but was disappointed at how many don't apply to us.
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-nonfiction
Came close to giving it 1 star because parts of it were SO bad I almost didn't finish it. But I must reluctantly admit that his main message is powerful enough to be of help to many people:
-say it once, then walk away
-B doesn't happen until A happens
-don't get angry (but apologize if you do)

However, his main points are buried in a book dominated by so many flaws that I found it painful to read. The most important of these flaws are covered by other reviews, but to list a few that bugged me:
Becky Giovagnoni
I didn't care for this book. He's a little too conservative for me, although that's not my main issue. My main problem with his parenting advice is that much of what he recommends to correct or change a child's behavior shame-based. He says if you allow your child to be in a situation where he is ashamed or embarrassed in front of his peers, he will quickly change his behavior.

The LAST thing I want to convey to my children is a sense of shame. The main purpose of how I parent is to teach them t
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I hate the title. I am all for accepting kids for who they are. But I have to say this parenting book was a good fit for me. I learned/was reminded of some very important things, especially how not to nag. AND it has really helped.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so amazing. It has opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking about parenting. Reality is a way better teacher than I will ever be and I have to remember to be more of a guide for my children rather than a tyrant. This helped me to understand the reasons my children behave and have the reactions they do! I love this book and recommend it to anyone who wants to treat their children better and have a better stress free life. My kids are 10 and 12 and even though we are just startin ...more
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good, but also VERY difficult to put into practice. Goes against a lot of the general ideas of how a lot of us parent today. I never thought of praising my kids as doing them a disservice, but after reading his thoughts, I agree. Encouragement is good, but that is different than praising, which is what most of us do.

The first chapters are about the general principles of his parenting theory, which I would sum up as parents need to stay in control, not get angry, say it once and walk away,
Laura G
May 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, teachers
In surfing bestsellers this came up. The title seemed so funny that I had to get more info.

After reading the book and testing out some of the ideas in a modified way in my classroom, I have to say that this stuff really does seem to work as far as getting difficult kids to see that it is time for them to change. Not only did it give me some new techniques for working with kids, but the advice that really helped me was that of not feeling guilty about offering true guidance to kids, which sometim
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource that every parent should read! Even if you do not have a "trouble" child, this book gives excellent ideas of how to build good attitudes, behavior, and character in your children. It also helps you discover what kind of parent you are and what changes you can make in yourself to be a better parent!

It is a helpful resource for anyone working with children as well. The techniques and lessons can be applied to the children you work with.

Tracy Miller was ok. The author's attitude was a bit off-putting. And while I love the idea of natural consequences, I think it is somewhat difficult to implement because not every situation really has a tidy resolution like this author implies. Still, it was a good common sense guide and a reminder to not play into my children's dramas.
Tiffany Allen
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book to help you see what you need help on as a parent...oh I have so much to learn!
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly simple and common-sense book for the off-hand title. I keep failing on one of the most important points, though. I repeat my orders over and over. That's going to be tough to change. Especially since I never know if he's heard me over his god-awful incessant racket.
Elizabeth Meadows
Great advice in a very easy to read format.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Years ago I spied a friend reading a book titled, "How to Make Kids Mind Without Losing Your's." I was intrigued ;D, but I never got around to borrowing it.

A few weeks ago I saw this book, by the same author, lying in our Library Sale stack. What a gem! Mr. Leman is clear and to the point. A few things I especially appreciated is the way he placed focus on the need your children have for time with you (building relationship.) They might not be conscious of this, either because they are 2, 12, or
Deanna Dreher
The Good:

1. Kids need acceptance, belonging, and competency to thrive.
2. When it comes to discipline/expectations: say it once. Turn your back. Walk away. I.e., don't nag.
3. Let reality be the teacher. Learn to respond rather than react. (Let natural consequences teach.)
4. B doesn’t happen until A is completed. I.e., The next fun thing doesn't come until current expectations are met.

These are important concepts and certainly merit consideration, if you have not yet thought about them and impleme
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book with strategies that work to restore order, calm, and RESPECT to a family. Some of the ideas in certain situations strike me as a little harsh, but I also understand that the purpose is to get the child's attention and quickly change negative attitude, character, and behavior. I really like the strategy "B doesn't happen until A is complete." I also like the reminder to not warn/remind children continually: they are smart people! If I don't nag them, there's a greater chance they'll l ...more
Jul 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
On my quest to improve my parenting, I have read many, many, many, many books. A lot were really good, some were just ok.

I just read Have a New Kid by Friday by, Dr. Kevin Leman. It was pretty good. I would give it 4 or 5 stars. Easy to read, simple steps to implement, reminders of what really I already know, but it is often so hard to DO what we know we should.

I guess I don't know for sure if it works yet, because as we all know, it means I need to change, in order for it to work.

Jenn is doi
Adrian Charles
This book is brilliant in its simplicity and rooted in sound principles. It's a good, quick read for anyone struggling with a strong-willed child, and has the potential to be very helpful. However:
- It's strongly rooted in American Christian Conservative cultural values, and may be less palatable to those of other backgrounds;
- It makes false assurances of 100% effectiveness that make it sound unnecessarily like snake-oil.

"Just walk away— your child *will* back down" is advice that succeeds most
Aug 21, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Leman is a psychologist who has 5 kids and has written 30 books. Here's his scenario: Kid behaves badly, Mum says no to cookies and milk:
'"Honey, I told you we're not having cookies and milk today." Matthew was stunned. He opened his mouth to argue, then walked away sadly.'
Here's what would happen in real life: Matthew was stunned. He screamed for 2 hours and threw a chair at the wall.
Or: Matthew was stunned. He argued all afternoon, all night, and continued arguing until his parents were
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What stuck with me the most from this book is: if Dr Leman ever gives you a ride somewhere, you'd better say thank you. At least three times. But spitting out his car windows is a-ok.

Seriously, aside from a random rant warning against nursing past one (how does this have anything to do with discipline?) and some rather horrifying advice (lock a kid who refuses to stay in bed outside for 10 minutes) the guiding principle of this book is good (when B, then A). I tried it last night after finishing
Nov 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Despite the fact that I was irked by the audacious claim of a 100% guarantee this parenting method will work in 5 days, I liked this book. The first 1/3 introduced a new strategy for dealing with behavior issues for Monday through Friday. The next 2/3 of the book applied the strategies to specific problems from A-Z (allowances to youth groups). It seems like a version of Love and Logic. It sounds sensible to me and gave me some good tips for dealing with my preschoolers. A lot of this will be mo ...more
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Think harsh...but very interesting approach. Straightforward, no nonsense. Not too harsh if implemented as soon as child starts to think for himself but pretty harsh if implemented later in life. But it is a really funny read and I actually implemented a few things and got immediate results. I'm waiting for Don to read because he says what I've told him so far goes against my total constitution.
Sep 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like his technique, but sometimes harder to pull off than suggested. Example: I am at home before taking the kids somewhere. The kids start being disobedient, very disobedient. I am feeling claustrophobic in my little house with momentarily disobedient kids. Am I likely to pull the we-are-not-going-anywhere-afterall card? Not likely!! But done right, his techniques are stellar!!
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still waiting for my new kid to arrive in the mail. My son saw the book and actually asked if we were going to get a new kid. I told him that yes, we were going to get a new replace the old ones....he thought that was so funny.

Good ideas, helpful info. In all actuality, after reading this book, I realized that my kids are actually GREAT kids afterall! :)
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
We were so needing a big change around here and my mother-in-law sent this one to us. It is a lot of commonsense information but sometimes we just need to be hit over the head with it for it to sink in. I read this in just a couple of days and started implementing the ideas. Surprisingly we are already seeing a change in our headstrong, difficult child.
Paula Blanton
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Dr. Leman and he has some excellent ideas on raising kids. Only problem that I had was that my child did not always respond to the situation like Dr. Leman thought the child would!! Hence, I did not have a new kid by Friday!! I kind-of liked the kid I have anyway!! Dr. Leman is very entertaining!!
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Dr. Kevin Leman, an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker, has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and commonsense psychology. The best-selling and award-winning author has made house calls for hundreds of radio and television programs, including The View with Barbara Walters, The Today Show, Oprah, CBS's The Early Show, Live with Reg ...more

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