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Kids Are Worth It!
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Kids Are Worth It!

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,418 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Barbara Coloroso's powerful message is that good parenting begins with treating kids with respect. It means giving them a sense of power in their own lives, and offering them opportunities to make decisions, take responsibility for their actions, and learn from their own successes and mistakes. Rejecting the "quick fix" solutions of punishment and reward, she uses everyday ...more
Published August 1st 1995 by Harpperen (first published January 1st 1994)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  1,418 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, 2 stars might seem to be a bit harsh, but i'll leave it at that.
The book is not that bad, it is OK, it;s written in rather simple, lively manner, which is easy to digest and relate to.
However my problem with this book is that it simplifies things too much. obvious statements, the likes of "gentle guidance", "respect",etc, etc..
i agree with all that, no doubt, but it's like stating the facts of grass being green and the sky being blue...
Moreover, reactions of differe
Kressel Housman
Sep 15, 2008 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 spec
Dory Hamlin
May 04, 2015 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 this book as the "if you
Emily Madill
Sep 27, 2012 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 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
Robin Penney
Jan 08, 2010 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
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
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 w
Courtney Lotzer
Jan 05, 2012 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
Sep 04, 2010 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 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
Apr 02, 2008 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 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 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.
Sep 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Plan to re-read this book over time, too. She helped me understand respectful parenting in a broad, longterm perspective, from tot to teens.
Christine Fonseca
By FAR one of the best parenting books on the market. And this revised edition - even better than the first!!!
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic
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.
Jul 24, 2008 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 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.
Delia Huitema
Love her and loved the book! It made me a better parent.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best parenting books I've read!
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 strive for) ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though a lot of the book is dealing with older kids and teens, there was still plenty of good perspective for myself, being a first-time parent with a toddler. Coloroso uses a spectrum of strictness-laxity to show how being either too strict (the brick-wall parent) or too lax (the jellyfish parent) will hinder your kids' ability to develop the self-discipline they need to become "resilient, responsible, compassionate kids", as the sub-title puts it. Her theory is that parenting on either of thes ...more
Anand Mandapati
Good Philosophy Marred By Scaremongering

This book boils down to treat your kids with dignity and respect, set a structure that is flexible, and let your kids fail unless it's life-threatening. A very good philosophy that I want to follow with my kids. But, she also says if you don't do exactly that, they will end up doing drugs, having sex, and committing suicide. And I'm really only exaggerating a bit here. I could complain that the book is repetitive, that many of her examples of good parenting cou
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I probably would have rated this more highly if I had read it earlier. The author quotes heavily from several other works I have read, so a lot of it sounded familiar. Her main go-to metaphor of the "brick wall, jellyfish, or backbone" types of parent seemed like cariacatures and didn't resonate hugely with me. Her principles seem like they might be more useful to me as my children grow older--not a lot here that applies specifically for the toddler era.

But all in all, a fine book ab
Nirbhay Pundir
Atleast 50% of the book comprises of quotations. then there are multiple repetitions of author's core concepts. Hence, the book could have been much more concise. Then, naming of the chapters could have been more soothing rather than chapter#1/2/3 & so on (trivial, but could have helped me refer back to the relevant section as the kid grows up).

I liked the approaches suggested, and the notions recommended for the upbringing. Hope to put them to action. Would recommend to all pare
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am halfway through this book right now, which means that the author has severely ripped apart my parenting style and I agree with her on almost all accounts. Now I just need to finish it so that I can get new ideas for the type of parent I want to be. My favorite idea from the book so far is, "it is my job to influence and empower, not to control or coerce." (That is also written on my bathroom mirror.)
Apr 25, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Arrggg! What a horrible book! I only got about 20 pages into it before returning it to the library. The whole time I just got the impression that the author assumes everyone abuses their kids and that really bothered me. There are probably good things that could be learned from this book, but I'm not willing to put myself through the aggravation of reading it to find the pearls of wisdom. They're probably fake pearls anyway....
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book uses the "golden rule" as a basis for parenting. Sure, kids need discipline, but that really means compassionate teaching, natural consequences and letting kids choose whenever possible. As far as discipline goes, don't use it unless "it leaves your and your child's dignity intact." Her mantra is "if it's not dangerous, immoral or bad for their health, let them try it" and they'll soon gain experience in making good choices, but with your guidance.
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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.
“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.” 11 likes
“Each small task of everyday life is part of the total harmony of the universe. —SAINT TERESA OF LISIEUX” 1 likes
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