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Honey, I Wrecked the Kids: When Yelling, Screaming, Threats, Bribes, Time–outs, Sticker Charts and Removing Privileges All Don′t Work
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Honey, I Wrecked the Kids: When Yelling, Screaming, Threats, Bribes, Time–outs, Sticker Charts and Removing Privileges All Don′t Work

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  392 ratings  ·  60 reviews
More life-saving parenting advice from the bestselling author of Breaking the Good Mom Myth Bringing the same perceptive and actionable advice that made Breaking the Good Mom Myth an international bestseller, TV host and psychotherapist Alyson Schafer again comes to the rescue of desperate parents everywhere.
Paperback, 255 pages
Published March 6th 2009 by John Wiley & Sons (first published February 17th 2009)
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Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Some good tips but difficult to execute. If you have one child and infinite amounts of time it would be perfect. But after a day and a half of trying to implement these techniques, I'm exhausted. I'm constantly trying to come up with choices and constantly trying to remember all the stupid phrases I'm supposed to use to protect my fragile snowflakes' egos. It really works when you have the time and emotional energy but most of us don't.

Edit: I wrote this in a fit of frustration in trying to mak
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting, psychology
I picked up this book despite it's cutesy title which had me expecting a different type of book. Instead I was pleasantly surprised an impressed with what the book provides. The language, while light, was much less dumbed down than some other parenting books I've seen and the book is concise without much filler or repetition.

Th author, Alyson Shafer is a psychotherapist (of the Alfred Adler school of psychology) and in the book uses an Adlerian approach to solving the impasses that we run into r
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I don't agree completely with the author's philosophy -- I think she overestimates how rational children often are with some of her suggestions -- but overall still a good read. Not all new information but lots of practical ideas, useful even if other discipline methods are working ok. ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I haven't read a lot of parenting books but the ones I've read were only meh... until this book. This is the first one where everything I have been experiencing with my daughter is what the author is talking about in the book. And in a really concise, to-the-point way. The other books talk about understanding your child, to showing the right kind of love. I know all that. I want to know how to handle these specific behaviors that are causing grief in my family. The author does this in a great wa ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This seems to be the perfect middle ground between mainstream/reality parenting and idealised tribal/attachment. I say attachment because within that philosophy is the radical idea that children are people too, deserving of respect... yet how to we parent within that understanding and not be overrun by tyrannical children? This book shows how to do that, fairly and without sacrificing mainstream lifestyles nor running into the jungle and ditching mainstream altogether. I loved it, it was exactly ...more
Teodora Nikolova
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really good parenting book. Usually in those types of books there is lots and lots of words before you get to the actually useful information (that is around a chapter long) but here I was pleasantly surprised from start till end. Lots of useful examples, suggestions and explanations that actually make sense. I’ve intentionally prolonged the time for reading it so I have the opportunity to test a little from each section and I was honestly amazed how willingly my children responded. Obviously I ...more
Genesis Hansen
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Pretty easy read for a parenting book - not as dry as some. I found some very helpful insights and suggestions here, but taken all together it felt a bit overwhelming.
Andrea Nair
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Must-read for parents. This book helps reduce the stresses of parenting.
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
In “Honey I Wrecked the Kids,” Alyson Schafer argues for raising cooperative children, rather than obedient ones, by “[s]hifting from a punishment-and-reward model of parenting to a democratic model that is brimming with respect.” She explains that a child who doesn’t feel connected, capable, counted, and courageous will feel discouragement, “and misbehavior is always the result of feeling discouraged.” In other words, Schafer urges parents to see that misbehavior comes from an unmet need and to ...more
Tibby (she/her)
Ah, parenting books. I think these are hard to rate and review. Mostly because, as with everything in parenting, you have to find what works for your family. That being said I liked this book. Alyson Schafer lays out her democratic parenting style in which parents release tasks and freedoms to their children with the expectation that children will handle them with responsibility. As soon as children do not manage their lives with responsibility parents step in and help. Families are encouraged t ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of our munchkins is having a hard time dealing with emotions right now, and despite all the things we tried - and that used to work quite effectively - nothing seemed to help, and things were just getting worse. We sometimes would helplessly watch a meltdown occur and wonder if some lesser spawn of a demon had possessed our child; more than anything, we felt terrible that something was distressing this kiddo to the level it was, and we weren't able to make it better. I asked for a meeting wi ...more
The Which
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
While this was a fairly engaging read, I don't think it was a particularly novel approach. The main point is still "don't reinforce negative behaviors," with a lot of lingo about how to tell what your child is mistakenly trying to achieve with their behavior. It requires you to really pay attention to both your behavior and feelings and your child's response. I'm not terribly good at doing those things in the heat of the moment, obviously, or I wouldn't need to read books like this.

I did find t
Abigale Miller
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't read a lot of parenting books, but the series by Alyson Schafer was recommended by a friend I trust. I really like the approach in this book - helping kids take responsibility for themselves and for their role in the family.
I've read all 3 of the parenting books by Alyson Schafer, and I liked this one the best. It does the best job of explaining the theories behind different child misbehaviours, and sets out steps to address them. All 3 books introduce the concept of family meetings, an
Carling Barker
Oct 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have to say this is the BEST parenting book I've read! It was fun & easy to read & the examples in it were very common situations and problems I often find myself in with my kids.

My 4 year old son (I sometimes refer to him as 'spirited' lol) is the one who I've been having trouble with lately & have tried everything with him from time-outs, taking away his toys to threatening & nothing seems to work! After reading this book I have new found hope that my relationship with my son can change & ev
Lee-Ann Sleegers
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm always looking for new/additional methods for nurturing my daughter and make sure we aren't getting into never ending battles. This book was an eye-opening read as Alyson seemed to have insight into what is happening in my family/my head. One of the challenges Alyson presents is to go a week without saying no to your child. This is something I'm tackling and must admit not doing well with, but I plan to stick with it because when I get it right it makes life much easier. What I like in parti ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, nonfiction
I didn't always care for the tone, but I really appreciated the perspective offered in this book -- moving away from seeing misbehavior as kids just being bad, and instead viewing it with compassion as kids' misguided attempts to fulfill their needs to be connected, to be counted, to be capable, and to be courageous. The analogy that stuck with me was of a dog who lashes out because it has a thorn in its paw -- we need to focus on helping kids overcome the things that are hurting them, rather th ...more
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Out of all the parenting books my husband and I have slogged through trying to find any sort of advice about our very spirited, language-delayed, discipline-resistant three-year-old, this one and The Explosive Child were the only two that really resonated. This book lays out a strong foundation to assist struggling parents in rebuilding healthy relationships with challenging kids. There are some elements I don't agree with, but not many. Think of this as a more practical, reasonable and readable ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some great advice and reminders of things that help raise children positively. I went over a few points with the family and they got it. Will keep referring to this! It does put a lot of pressure on the parent to be perfectly calm & reasonable in all situations, with the risk of ruining a child's life because of inadequate responses to the child's behavior. We can do our best to try & be mindful, positive & thoughtful in all our interactions and forgive ourselves and our children when things don ...more
Theresa Cummins
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very helpful in pinpointing what category my son falls into when misbehaving and ways I can adjust my behavior to get the reactions I want. According to the book, misbehavior is caused by certains needs that aren't met for the child so he/she reacts in certain ways. It helped me see the holes in my discipline tactics and in our family dynamic that needed some attention. It's a whole new way of disciplining for me and takes a lot of patience to administer but I've seen great results with my son. ...more
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I haven't read many parenting books, but I really enjoyed this one. It was easy to read and seemed to have lots of down to earth, practical solutions. It's more about your overall attitudes and behaviours as a parent rather than specific strategies for dealing with behaviours. I think it would be a great read for any parent, and I'm looking forward to incorporating more of her suggestions in my own parenting. ...more
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A understandable and very thorough explanation of why children do what they do, why you shouldn't bother asking "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?", and how to figure out what to do instead. I like the philosophy preached inside for child democracy, and I like the logic behind it. Even if you don't agree with the underlying philosophy, this way of looking at your child's behavior is extremely useful. Being able to figure out WHY is extremely powerful. ...more
Oct 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I ran to borders the other night to escape the mess i seem to have created with respect to respect in my house.... so far this book makes TOTAL SENSE to me...
Despite the unfortunate title, this is probably the best parenting book for school aged kids I've read (and I've read, well, started but not finished, many parenting books).
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, _ebook, _owned
While many of the ideas and suggestions were common sense to me, I still recommend this book to any parent, even if their kids are not exactly "wrecked". It gives a good, overarching perspective over much of the stuff that you think about and wonder whether you're doing right as a parent, giving you more confidence in some, and proposing alternative approaches in others. ...more
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was a little worried when the first thing the author said is....we do not want our kids to be obedient. Once I understood what she was getting at...I.e. training your child to WANT to do the right thing...I totally got it. Love the idea of democratic parenting and giving your child the right to choose and then suffer natural consequences.
Miller Sherling
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
I hope she gets a more thorough editor for the second edition (appalling number of apostrophe errors, really), but this is really good stuff. I'm excited to try out her ideas in my own family, and really want to start the family meetings, which, I gotta say, are revolutionary compared to what my own upbringing, or that of anyone I know, really, was like. \ ...more
Ankit Gupta
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredible book with so many anecdotes and simple solutions. You are literally on a journey with the author and everything seems doable. As I read this book slowly while reflecting and trying some solutions with my kid, I was amazed with the efficacy of those and the positive impact it led to. Highly recommended.
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading books to help me reinforce certain parenting philosophies that I strive to follow. This one certainly has some good words of wisdom, as well as lots of examples which I find helpful. Calm respectful parenting without being permissive or a push over. Good read so far.
David Bushong
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a parenting book that for us falls into the "aspirational" category. We buy the premise, we think it's the right way to treat a human being (even a young one), but it's really, really hard.

May 04, 2012 rated it liked it
The best and most useful part of this book are the charts inside that help you identify the cause of behavior and appropriate reactions or consequences. I've used that chart not only with my own child, but with my social work clients. ...more
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All parents with "difficult"children who feel isolated
After my best friend read me a section of this book - I knew I couldn't NOT read it. I've only just started it and already I have a great sense of being validated & understood - not generally something that has come with parenting my beautiful boy.

Can't wait to finish it.
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