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Duct Tape Parenting: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids
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Duct Tape Parenting: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  485 ratings  ·  64 reviews
There’s a new set of 3Rs for our kids—respect, responsibility, and resilience—to better prepare them for life in the real world. Once developed, these skills let kids take charge, and let parents step back, to the benefit of all. Casting hover mothers and helicopter parents aside, Vicki Hoefle encourages a different, counter-intuitive—yet much more effective—approach: for ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Bibliomotion
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  485 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Start your review of Duct Tape Parenting: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, abandoned
Here's the thing I hate about parenting books, that I've just now figured out: I want them to be newspaper or magazine article length. I don't want 300 pages of sales pitches and exposition and fictional examples. I picked up the book because it had a title that spoke to me - so now just tell me what the course of action is, with an example or two if it helps illustrate the point. I have literally piles of books I want to read for pleasure, and my uninterrupted reading time is so scarce, that it ...more
Jessica Ambler
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I gave myself the goal of reading at least one parenting book a year. This wasn't "fun" reading but I definitely got something from it. I hope to make some positive changes to my parenting style that will allow my boys to grow into independent and resilient young men.
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this 10 stars I absolutely would. Traditionally I am not a fan of parenting books - I feel they are too manipulative and unreal, blah blah blah. When I would try to follow parenting books I always felt I was looking for my kids to screw up so that I could follow the script from the book that I couldn't remember anyway. Not fun, not effective. A friend mentioned this book to me and briefly described it and I was instantly hooked. So much so, that I implemented a few of the things ...more
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
4-5 stars for philosophy and overall parenting approach but book is significantly less effective than it could be in terms of how it is written. W-a-y too many anecdotes and not enough on a practical plan for implementing these ideas. I also don't think the title and book cover do justice - it makes it look like it's a funny book about keeping our mouths shut but there is much more covered in here. I love the timeline from 0-18 with the goal of 18 year olds being fully independent and functional ...more
Lacey B
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the first parenting book that didn't make me roll my eyes. It actually has some really practical information. I love the approach of trusting your kids to take on some responsibility. We do so much for our children that we train them to let us do it all when they are perfectly capable. It helped me recognize my own parenting hang ups like micromanaging, doing it myself so it's done "right", and bailing them out instead of letting them make their own mistakes and deal with the natural ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
While there are definitley some truth nuggets here, I found this book extremely difficult to get through. So. Darn. Sluggish. Too many stories about "clients" of hers (seriously, who pays for someone to come and tell them how to parent their kids?!). There are a few things I'll take away from this as a parent, but won't ever get back all the time I tried to spend reading it. :p In my opinion, could be condensed to about half of what it is and made more readable.
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it

4-star advice, but like almost every advice book, it's 40% too long- if you skim over the rather repetitive anecdotes and examples (like I did), you can distill some really valuable insight and feel better about yourself as a parent (some of these parent-students are wacko), in about 4 hours! Hooray! That's how much time you have!
Lucy Andrews
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've never encountered a book where the author quotes herself at the beginning of a chapter . . . and, like many of these guides, it is very repetitive. Make a point, illustrate with some anecdotes, make the point again. Maybe come at it from a slightly different angle and go through that process several times. That said, the points Hoefle makes are solid. You owe it to your children to prepare them in a steady and sensible and thoughtful way for adult life. No matter how much you enjoy them as ...more
Daniel Sperling
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When my wife and I were travelling in France last year we came upon a playground somewhere in the heart of Paris where the children were, it seemed, completely unsupervised. Where were the parents? We wondered. They were nearby, on a patch of grass, drinking wine, and having a great time while their children had a great time, leaving each other the F alone. This is great, we thought. Wouldn’t taking our baby girl to the playground be so much fun if we can loll in the grass and drink wine while ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
There were many things I liked and agreed with the author about in this book. Having taught for 11 years, I've gotten a front row seat to seeing many different parenting styles and many different parent-child relationships. Im in the early stages of parenting, with only a 15 month old, but I'm definitely on board with many of her practices: natural consequences, all family members contributing to the household, fostering independence, etc. I don't think I'm fully on board with the extent of her ...more
Michael Siliski
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall a solid approach I generally agree with (expect more, intervene less, natural consequences). Rather obnoxious to read as the author takes a pretty condescending tone. Could have done with fewer magical success stories and more real world application advice, just in case your kids aren't quite as naturally industrious as the author's.
Christine Fitzgerald
I really liked the idea and practical advice here but maybe it could have been accomplished in fewer pages. Inspiring stories of parents and children. All good ideas and hopes for my family but too few clear cut strategies for accomplishing these great parenting goals.
Rebecca Heneghan
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Our school is reading this for a principal book club. Loved some of the advice and know that my kids are capable of doing more.... didn't love all of the stories and lack of actual ways to do things.
Sara Fox
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this books. I want this for my family's lives so badly. It's very transformational but you have to be willing to change your thinking. However as Vicki says, we aren't raising kids, we are raising adults. I highly recommend this for all parents.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really great ideas in here many of which are sticking with me. I do feel like there’s a missing aspect which I wish I could counsel with the author about but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and am grateful for a fresh perspective on this monumental job of parenting
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting approach. Good reminders that we’re not raising children, rather we’re raising future adults.
Sarah Seitz
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I completely agree with Corinne. Great concept and good examples provided in this book, but 200 pages too long.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
3.5 Good strategies that I will implement, but by the end the praise of her own family success grew tiresome. ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good ideas in theory, but I wish she went into more depth about the details and the how-to rather than touting how great her kids are. Not a lot of input on the issues you can't ignore such as when one sibling hurts another.
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mom-helps
I keep putting off a review of this book because I want to successfully duct tape parent before I write all my thoughts down. But I've decided I'll never use this method of parenting as perfectly as I'd like. So here goes ...

The basic idea proposed by Hoefle is that parents should use a "hands off" parenting approach. I don't know that this an accurate portrayal of her advice. Yes, she is encouraging parents to duct tape their mouths, eyes, ears, butts, hands -- whatever it takes -- in order to
Djinni Field
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People read this parenting book and you won't believe what happens

... you actually learn something . Perhaps not something new, but certainly put in a way that makes the thinking behind this book easy to grasp and implement. I found it easy to put into practice and felt it took away some of the parenting stress I had been under. This is s very good addition to any parenting book shelf.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
Yet another parenting book. I feel like I'm jumping the gun by rating it already. I suppose this rating should be updated when my child is in her 20s and can properly critique the effectiveness of duct tape parenting.

I will say that the ideas proposed in this book are in line with a more tradition approach, in my opinion. Traditional as in evolution. Not in traditional Western culture. Not being your kid's maid and servant only happens where there isn't a massive media event when one child in
Leigh Hurd
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I took some great tips from this book but have to admit I have not implemented wholeheartedly. Although I was on a family trip while I read it and definitely took a step back and let things roll more. I definitely relate to so much being our perception of what people think. And I was comforted to know that letting our 12 to 13 year old boy skip out on wearing a jacket most of the New England winter was not the worst parenting example i have set. I have definitely learned to pick my battles so I ...more
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-this-book
Fantastic!! I feel like this book could change my life. It is a good general road map for how to move towards a more hands-off, relationship-based approach to parenting. I'm sold.

But I do find myself with many, many questions and not entirely sure where to turn for specific help. How do we introduce this idea to our family? What is a sample agenda for a family meeting, and how long does it take. What are some examples of "contributions" appropriate at different ages and abilities, and how does
Catherine Gillespie
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
You’ll notice that the cover of Duct Tape Parenting: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids shows the tape NOT on the kid, but on the parents.

One of the main premises of the book is that parents often unconsciously feed their child’s negative behaviors, and that if you could just keep from nagging and lecturing and carrying on about everything, and instead teach your children what they need to know to be independent (in age appropriate ways), you’d have a
Liss Carmody
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
As a book, this was not particularly great, and the first half in particular was an annoyance to read. Basically, though, I agree with a lot of the author's sentiments, and she has some unique and specific ideas for how to foster that sort of parenting style. I would benefit more from a shorter rehashing of the techniques suggested, like a bullet-point list. Some others have mentioned that it reads a bit like an infomercial and that's fairly true! And the 'duct tape' metaphor got old really ...more
Renee Rubin Ross
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some interesting suggestions. Her premise that parents should do less and say less, and create opportunities for kids to take on more responsibility, is a useful one.

My main critique of the book is that Hoefle does not deal with/address the underlying feelings that most parents have when parenting does not go as expected, and becomes stressful, frustrating, etc. It seems to me that, in order to change their behavior as suggested in the book, parents need support to choose a different reaction. I
Jenn S
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I give this book, as a book 3 stars, but most ideas in this I think are 5 stars so I met in the middle. Skip the first half of the book and ignore the sometimes negative tone and there is a lot that is good to be gleaned in this. My takeaways are relationships with kids should be built on trust, and discipline should be based on that first, not coercion. I also like her tips on how to stop being the maid, which we have partly implemented and like what we see. Children truly are capable of lots ...more
Andrea Nair
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Often when we read non-fiction books, we forget all but 10% of the information. For this book, the theme itself along with a few simple concepts to remember about the parent-child relationship are enough to make positive change with your child. There are helpful anecdotes to narrate the suggestions, but if you choose to skim over those, you could find useful information in a short amount of time; because if you are a parent, you likely don't have much!

The key concepts in this book are sure to
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: spawning
Decent book with a terrible title. I must have seen this book three times, but only picked it up because another author I trusted recommended it.

The parenting philosophy in this book resonates with me, but Hoefle spends most of her time trying to convince parents that this philosophy works with testimonials. This would be fine, but she abandons several of the case studies she introduces in the first chapter. For example, I was very interested in the case of the child who was chronically
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“PLEASE NOTE: I am not suggesting that you stop parenting. All I am suggesting is that you stop using anything that interferes with the relationship you have with your children and their ability to become independent, responsible, respectful, and resilient people. If” 1 likes
“Parents have no right to expect more from their children than they expect from themselves. When a parent has personal permission to throw temper tantrums, lash out, yell, belittle, or disrespect, it is reasonable to extend that same courtesy to the children. I have a little secret to share—your children are not picking up their pesky behaviors and attitudes from the other children in class, or from video games, television, music, or the “naughty” cousin they see on holidays. They are mimicking you.” 0 likes
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