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How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too!
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How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too!

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  383 ratings  ·  69 reviews
In this eye-opening resource, Dr. Sal Severe taps his twenty-five years of experience as a school psychologist and parenting workshop leader to show that a child's behavior is often a reflection of the parent's behavior, and by making changes themselves, parents can achieve dramatic results in their children. Instead of focusing on what children do wrong, Dr. Severe teache ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 29th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published July 1st 1997)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  383 ratings  ·  69 reviews


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Jenelle
Jan 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently read this book outloud to my husband on a 22 hour car ride.

Most of the information was nothing new, and some of the writing is tedious and redundant, but I think what makes it work is that the author is actually using his technique of repetion and consistency on the reader to reinforce his point: it's quite clever actually!

It was really quite enlightening in certain areas, to realize that our struggles as parents are in many ways our own fault. Not that he tells you you are a horrib
...more
Danielle DeVane Wells
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most practical books on parenting I've ever read! There are so many ideas and examples that fill the pages of this book: how to motivate and reward, charts for good behavior, using punishment effectively, sibling rivalry, chores, self esteem, etc. I will totally read this again.
Niki
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Okay. I really shouldn't be judging this book since I'm no where near expecting kids or anything like that. I kinda just read it because my parents left it in my room with a million other things. Anyways, I found that the book could definitely be helpful, but it was kind of repetetive and some of the stuff towards the end was pretty dumb. When I say dumb, I mean that there were example conversations that were a little stupid. For example, I read a part near the end saying to compliment your teen ...more
Lisa
This book was clearly written. The author gave logical solutions to common parenting problems. But, overall, pretty unremarkable. Main area's of emphasis: consistency, which the author states as the number one most important aspect of parenting (with which I agree); and positive feedback for behavior modifiction. Using positive reinforcement as 90% of discipline, and punishment only 10% of the time.
Lucy
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
This book needs to be required reading for parents everywhere. I read it with my husband and carefully applied techniques in this book to none other but ourselves first. With our behavior modified - and keep in mind, you must also want to change! - we were able to instill better discipline in our family. Our son's discipline has strengthened.

This isn't some parenting fad - this is for life. We learned the important differences between discipline and punishment; authority and power; respect and f
...more
Samantha Chapnick
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-office
Parents set themselves up for disappointment and distress. Kids rarely do anything wrong--it is the parents who set unrealistic expectations children are not ready to meet, or put the children in situations they are ill-equipped to handle.

How many times have you seen kids screaming in the checkout lane at your local box store because the parents didn't make it clear what they could or could not buy, how long they would be there and poorly handled hunger and tiredness issues.

This book will cut d
...more
Cathy Peschke
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read a number of books on parenting. This is the best book yet. I think people should read this book before they even decide to marry or have children. Proper parenting is essential for a child's well being having two parents present and in the home is essential as well. The book discusses the effects of divorce on children as well as a plethora of other information to raise great human beings who or confident and capable. I would suggest this book to any new parent.

The book is not only
...more
Susan
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended reading by a caseworker and the book certainly has merit but I'm docking a point because at least half of the book was about what I consider to be common sense parenting - consistency. It just got irritating.

There were a few nuggets of insight in the second half I found quite useful and illuminating to our present situation as foster parents. IE it had never occurred to me, or at least never really sunk in, that a child would feed on the emotional turmoil and havoc they wreak. Sure,
...more
Ange
Mar 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in being a better parent
Recommended to Ange by: I can't remember
Shelves: parenting
Great insight on how many of our difficulties with our kids are actually taught by/exacerbated by the ways WE behave. The author gives great insight on how to quickly correct these problems and deal with a host of others. He discusses discipline and punishment and the use of charts and contracts. The chapters were short, cut into even shorter sections which made it easy for me to read small amounts as time allowed. I did feel that the book was a little long. Although not all situations with kids ...more
Rachael
Mar 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this book. I found it both practical and easily written; that is to say, it had enough examples for me to understand exactly what the author was talking about, and it also avoided being dry and pedantic. I didn't totally align with all the principles he espoused, but I thought there were some excellent points (for instance, asking a misbehaving child "what did you do?" rather than "why did you do that?" as "why" implies that they should offer an excuse or reason, and there isn't ...more
Beth A.
May 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, parenting
I enjoyed this book and learned something, too. It has good information in an easy to read format.

Some of the things I learned were...

Emphasize cooperation, not control. Encourage your child to control her own behavior.

Charts can be used to encourage positive behavior. The child earns privileges or rewards by amassing points on a chart.

Some children get a "pay-off" when their parents get angry. Some just like the attention, some enjoy the feeling of power the get from controlling their parent's
...more
Leslie
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
This book taught me in the heat of the moment, when my Parker pee's in his sock, which is fabric, and then tries walking from his bedroom to the bathroom to pour it out into the toliet (to his suprise when he gets there it is all gone, there's nothing to pour because there is a trail from the bedroom to the bathroom, plus some all over him) and it's okay. I can embrace the moment, becasue it won't last, and I will patiently clean everything up, and record it in my journal so I can share with his ...more
Sarah
Apr 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
I think if this had been the first parenting book I'd read it would have gotten a five. Very good. Very informative. A lot of it was stuff I already know but it's always good to be reminded. He also tended to go further than just giving the advice- he would give examples of what your kid might(and most likely would) do after you implement the intervention and how to react to it. He clearly has plenty of experience and is very well informed. If I could purchase this book cheaply I wouldn't mind h ...more
Deanna
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend let me borrow this book when I was having a difficult time with a particular phase my daughter was going through. It definitely helped me understand her a bit better and I used some of his techniques to help work through the problems - they helped a lot. Offers some great, practical advice on how to deal with behaviors. I also love that it focuses on how, as parents, we need to behave and be consistent (we are often the cause or aggrevators of problems with our kids!)
Cam
Sep 24, 2008 added it
Shelves: 2008
This book had a lot of good reminders, but it sure repeated them A LOT! Most of the book focused on giving your kids positive feedback- something I have resolved to be better at. My favorite discipline book is, "1,2,3 Magic" and if I actually started doing the '1,2,3' and incorporated more positive feedback into parenting, I think I would feel less stressed out as a mom. I hope I improve before my kids are old enough to remember my mistakes!
Jenny
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. The most important things I learned are 1) Be positive and say encouraging words to your children. 2) Don't let your children push your buttons, know when to take a time out, laugh, and ignore. 3) Use time outs consistently and strive for cooperation not control. There was lots of good information in this book that I wrote down and plan on going back to when needing reminders.
Christina
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it
This book provides helpful ideas and suggestions on raising children, from toddlers to teenagers.

For me, a lot of it seemed like common sense, but that is because I was raised that way. However, I put it on my "to-try-again-later" list because I would like to refer back to it as my son grows. He is only just now 2 years old, and there is not as much information in there for this age group as there is for older children.

I liked it enough that I will use it as a resource in the future.
Erin
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
This is a decent book that reminds parents to be consistent and stay calm when dealing with a kid who's acting out. It does a good job of pointing out what parents are doing right and offers food for thought for what they can do better. There isn't really anything that new or innovative in it, and some of the suggestions seem a bit harsh, but as with all these sorts of books, you take what works for you and leave the rest.
Holly
Apr 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
A basic "common sense" guide to parenting. Good for reminding ourselves stuff we should know anyway. It doesn't hold to any one particular philosophy and has a lot of tools for the parenting toolbox. However, the book is fairly broad in its approach and the author doesn't give enough practical examples for individual concepts. Of course, if he did it would probably be too big.
Shelly
Apr 19, 2009 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed this book. It had some good ideas and suggestions. I think I would have been better served by the "How to Behave So Your Toddler Will, Too!" version, since my kids are on the younger end of the spectrum. Much of the info in this book wasn't applicable to their current ages, but would probably be great in a few years.
Denise
May 10, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a nice little treasure. Full of good ideas--many were common sense, but refreshing nonetheless. It's good to be reminded of things I can do to help my children behave better. My kids really responded to these ideas immediately! They've been making my bed and asking to do extra jobs around the house since I started implementing the ideas in this book.
Trisha
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a MUST READ for anyone with kids. While there are more examples in it for children aged 6+, there is definitely a lot of information that EVERYONE can take away from this book. I really enjoyed reading this and look forward to implementing some of the strategies. I also look forward to really enjoying my children more :D
Jessie
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I like to read a variety of parenting books and take ideas from each one to incorporate into my life. I liked some aspects of this book, particularly his focus on consistency and calmness by parents. However, I thought it felt a little too focused on simple behavioral manipulation and I felt some of his ideas were too harsh.
Sara Snarr
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
We used to own this until Jeff gave it away. Stinker. I need another copy. It's one of our parenting bibles. It's research-based, but very accessable. It's a great read cover to cover, but works just as well as a trouble shooting reference.
Chantal
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
I thought this book was pretty common sense. Overall theme - be consistent with your kids. There were a few biases on the part of the author that I didn't agree with. All in all, though, it was pretty straightforward.
Jen
Jun 07, 2008 marked it as to-read
watched part of a VHS workshop - was really good. now I want to read the book. best thing I learned from the workshop is a list of how to not get frustrated with your kids. I need to print them and put them on my fridge!
Kelly
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this years ago, but still remember the message. If you are demanding and impatient, your kids will be too. Model the behavior you want your kids to emulate. It is one of those things that sounds easy, but is not always the easiest to put in play :)
Natalie
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really liked it. Mostly common sense ideas, but with some great ways to implement them. Also some helps for parents to stay consistant. We're trying a few of the ideas and they're working really well.
Judy
Sep 30, 2013 rated it liked it
This book does a good job reminding parents to stay positive and recognize good choices and behavior rather than just punishing bad behavior. It isn't life-changing by any means, but it offers another perspective.
Sarah
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read this years ago and it is one of the only parenting books I read. I have to credit my well-behaved teen boys to things I learned years ago. My favorite part is the analogy of being a slot machine parent. Ha!
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