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Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  9,428 ratings  ·  1,036 reviews
Already best-selling authors with How to Talk So Kids Will Listen Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish turned their minds to the battle of the siblings. Parents themselves, they were determined to figure out how to help their children get along. The result was Siblings Without Rivalry. This wise, groundbreaking book gives parents the practical tools the ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 9th 2012 by W. W. Norton Company (first published April 1st 1987)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  9,428 ratings  ·  1,036 reviews

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Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too

I am going to record my notes, so I have a place to keep them.
- When siblings complaining, just try and repeat back what they are saying (helps them understand and validate feelings)
- If younger child gets pushed down accidentally, say, "Oh know you didn't want that to happen, you were having so much fun together (reminds of good relationship)
- Write signs on kids to remind the older sibling. (ex. "When I scream
Francisco Herrero
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eh, it was okay. I know I said I liked it, but it's really because it did what it promised to do - gave me a few things to try in my home to help my children get along better with each other. Not trying to treat kids equally, spending quality time with each, helping them problems solve... good information, crappy format and perspective.

The writing was literally painful for two reasons. First, the "discussion" format got old after about page 3, and second I take serious issue with the analogy of
There is some helpful info here, and it reads quickly. But the writing style got on my nerves after about 3 chapters! It's written in a pseudo-narrative format including dialogue, told from the point of view of the leader of a group of parents who are learning how to help their children get along. The dialogue sounds canned and repetitive. The note at the beginning makes it clear that the whole narrative is fictionalized -- based on true experiences of real parents but after awhile it all starts ...more
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
September 28, 2011

At the rate we're going, some of us won't make it out alive. It could be me. It could be one of the girls. Or both of them! Or all three of us! Desperate times. Hoping for a miracle here.

October 4, 2011

I don't know how many stars to give this book, because I haven't fully put it to the test yet. Four for now. I've tried a few little changes and they've actually helped tremendously!!! But I'm trying to not get too excited. I'll come back and update in a month or so. This is the
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I didn't feel that there was much new material here that wasn't already in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Some of it kinda felt like a no-brainer.

There is also one definite problem. I was reading an older copy and maybe this is fixed in newer editions, but this book advises the reader to ask their child to show their aggression to a surrogate object (such as by punching a doll in lieu of a sibling). Supposedly, this enables the parent to show the child that they acce
Lewis Manalo
This book probably isn't 100% useless, but it's pretty damn near. It takes for granted that our children have no minds of their own, and that as parents we are almost entirely responsible for who our kids grow up to be.

- The early chapters use a ridiculous polygamy metaphor to try to illustrate how children feel about siblings, depicting jealousy as the only emotion two people loved by the same person could feel for one another.

- The book offers nothing other than anecdotal evidence for the so
Wendy Yu
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Format, the cartoons (even a poem at the end!) are sooooooooo cheesy, but I can handle a retro vibe if the advice is good. The horror stories are (I hope!) too dramatic where siblings hate each other, themselves and their parents. It made me very scared to have two kids, but, oh well, too late!

1. Acknowledge negative feelings, don't dismiss them (e.g. "Bobby said I'm a moron" DON'T RESPOND WITH "oh, just ignore him" say "a comment like that could make you mad!"). Identify the feeling or talk abo
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book almost made me cry (and I don't cry easily for books). Just reading/hearing the words coming out of parents mouths from the examples in the book, from parents around me, and from myself and then seeing the contrast described in the book was an indescribable experience for me.

I would wager that the vast majority of us have specific issues, big or small, because of the labeling whether implied or said outloud, from our parents. It is amazing how much trauma this causes. This is something
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 / 5 stars, rounded up to 4.

Does it work? I don't know... perhaps if my flying monkeys had read it, the strategies would be more effective, but I'm trying to implement them so we'll see....

It reinforces all the things one learns at parenting courses about making sure your child is heard, and has their feelings acknowledged. I skipped over the last section of adults telling stories about their own childhood, and how damaged they became by their parents less-than-spectacular parenting 'cause
Andrea Thorpe
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really easy read and I got a lot out of it. I think the biggest challenge for me is to stay out of my boys fights and not create a triangle. This book helped cure me of that. This topic is a work in progress! It reminded me that sibling rivalry is a natural part of growing up. And, that not taking sides brings them closer together, because they don't feel that mom is giving one of them preferential treatment. This book is filled with anecdotal evidence and stories from people that are ...more
Kaytee Cobb
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is absolutely going on my shelves. I wanted to highlight the whole thing, except I listened to it as an audiobook. The examples, the classroom sessions, they are so useful. I love that it's not JUST Faber and Mazlish's experience as parents, but those of their students as well. And I love that the updated edition includes additional information and letters received after the release of the book. This is a MUST for any parent that has more than one child. And I almost want to give it as ...more
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another great book by Faber and Mazlish, I decided to read this after reading their other book a few years ago (How to Talk so Kids will Listen...). Now my girls are 9 and 7 years old, and although they get along nicely occasionally, there are plenty of (daily, hourly) fights, bickering, arguing over things, screaming at each other, etc. So I've been eager for a little helpful wisdom regarding sibling issues and the best way to handle it. Just like their other book, it is full of very practical ...more
In my circles, this book is pretty well gospel for those with more than one kid. Written as a piece of narrative, instructive non-fiction, Siblings Without Rivalry discusses how to deal with your kids when they fight. The goal is to be aware of their motivations, your actions and reactions, and how to set up a house where, even if everyone is not at peace with one another, then at least everyone is respectful of each other.

Faber and Mazlish preface their work with a note that this book is an ou
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Adele Faber is the author of the bestselling "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk". In "Siblings Without Rivalry", she shares her materials from classes that she conducts to help parents deal with siblings who fight or don't get along. She shares the basic concepts, which are fairly straightforward, along with some great stories from parents who have made use of her suggestions in their own families.

The core idea of dealing with kids who fight with each other is to reflect
Oct 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by the same authors of "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk." As with most of these types of books, all that they needed to say could probably be summed up in a chapter or two, but they pad it with a lot of stories. The most helpful points I found were illustrated in cartoon form. If you got the book and just read the cartoons, you'd have about 90% of the meat of the book. The strongest advice is accepting the children's feelings, even bad feelings toward one anoth ...more
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I know this won't fix every problem my kids have with each other. I know that I have to keep praying for them and help shaping their hearts with God's Word. But I like the way this book made me re-evaluate how I react when my kids squabble, and I like the suggestions and examples of how to get the kids thinking towards positive solutions they come up with themselves. I hope that I can put these ideas in to practice and enjoy some peace from time to time. ...more
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read this pretty soon after our second son was born. Nine years later looking at the other reviews, I realize how much of this book I incorporated into our parenting. Our two sons have a really good relationship and a lot of it can be attributed to reading this book.

Best pieces of advice: don't get sucked into their arguments! And let each child know how much he/she is loved individually.
Nawal Q Casiano
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this up because my older two kids are really mean to each other, and after recently having a fourth kid, my husband and I have struggled to "do right" by each of our children. I feel we are always saying the wrong things, putting our kids in 'roles' -- either by birth order or labeling them as the 'whiner,' 'the artist' etc. And then, we don't have the words when they argue and fight..and then I dropped the book after reading a few chapters, because these types of practical texts feel r ...more
Danielle K
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this has been a helpful book but I had to take away a star for the first chapter because of the dumb analogy of adding a child is like adding another spouse.
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
In “Siblings Without Rivalry,” Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish do something they didn’t manage to accomplish in “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk”: they set themselves apart from the rest of the parenting prescription pack. Though I found the book’s central conceit – that it retells the exchanges of one composite parenting workshop – perpetually annoying, the actual advice specific to fostering healthy and happy sibling relationships has proved invaluable in my household ...more
Jolène Fender
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've noticed in the last few months my 3 year old acting out more towards her younger sister. It seemed to have coincided with her becoming mobile and grabbing onto toys and demanding more of my attention.

Someone from my mom group mentioned this book as being helpful identifying certain things we are doing or saying that may contribute to the sibling rivalry. So in effort to nip it on the bud... or at the very least have tools in my arsenal to tackle what's to come, I grabbed a copy.

The book r
Scout Collins

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish have wonderful, practical ideas for dealing with kids (and in this case, siblings).

The way their parenting books are designed/laid out are functional, organized and helpful. They describe concepts, show stories highlighting that concept, add comics with the "right" way and the "wrong" way of doing something, and neatly summarize at the end of the chapter.

In the first place they make things simple and practical, so you can start applying easily. They d
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
Excellent. I want to own it and buy a copy in Korean for my mom now. All so practical, with an easy time that earns my trust. I'm eager to read their other books now too.

I'm going to scan and print the comic strips comparing what not to do and what to do. Brilliant. It's all quite simple, but they have enough tips that I anticipate forgetting them.

I used to think that parenting books wouldn't really be helpful because they may be dramatic or overly anecdotal or even prescriptive. The few I've
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
I have enjoyed listening to the audio CD editions of the parenting books by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. And I have found that their advice, their anecdotal stories, as well as their reassurance about what behaviors are considered age-appropriate, have helped me greatly in my parenting journey.

As an only child, I have struggled with the fact that our girls could be incredibly close at one moment and at each other's throats the next. Whenever I confront behavior that I find to be inappropriat
Jannah Cloud Child
Again I find myself babbling in admiration for another of their books. I don't know if its because I had the paperback copies or if the content is just so relatable, that this was such a smooth fast read, which would have been even faster, had I not been distracted at times by the internet, since I was free most of the day.

Though this topic has been broached in a few of their books already, they really fully expanded on all the issues and it seems they updated the book further as I had an ext
I know everyone seems to love this book, but it's absolutely unreadable! The writing style is a dialogue between a parent educator and a parenting group, all composites of substantial research by the author. I got extremely frustrated digging through the conversation for nuggets of helpful info.

In summary, resist comparing your children to each other, resist outright judgments (opting instead for statements of observation in each case), and try not to artificially cast your children into "roles
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, parenting
Maybe it's because I was an only child. Maybe it's because having worked at a preschool that utilized conscious thought about how you phrase things when talking to children and helping them solve disputes. Maybe it's because I'm already of the mind to acknowledge feelings but not allow for bullying. Maybe it's because I've taken a rather in-depth course on conflict resolution. Maybe it's because only one of my children has been born yet and I'm just naive. Regardless, I found myself only skimmin ...more
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mainly, this book scared me! I read it before I had my second child and there are a lot of pretty awful stories about how mean siblings can be to one another. It then occurred to me that most people will only read this book if they are already having problems with sibling rivalry--so it would not scare them!

My main takeaway (that I can already implement with my toddler and newborn) is to never compare the kids to each other. Even something as innocent as, "Sarah has on her shoes. John, can you p
Dec 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful tips, but I think it's geared more toward older children. It is a very readable book and story-based, which is helpful. It's also pretty sane parenting and the advice is practical. I have been trying some of the ideas with my toddlers, but the suggestions are all about talking through issues and it's harder to do that with a 3 and 1 year old than I thought it would be. It is a huge issue though and I would love recommendations on how to stop my girls from fighting (or more specifica ...more
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Adele Faber graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in theater and drama, earned her master's degree in education from New York University, and taught in the New York City high schools for eight years before joining the faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York and Family Life Institute of C.W. Post College of Long Island University. She is the mother of three children. ...more

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"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." -Benjamin Spock Calling all parents who have ever found themselves wondering:...
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“It’s important to make a distinction between allowing feelings and allowing actions,” I replied. “We permit children to express all their feelings. We don’t permit them to hurt each other. Our job is to show them how to express their anger without doing damage.” 4 likes
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