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Making Children Mind without Losing Yours

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,564 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
Making Children Mind without Losing Yours
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Revell (first published 1983)
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Community Reviews

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Nov 24, 2011 rated it liked it
I don't know why I pick up so many parenting books. It's not like I expect them to give you a one-all answer but I do like pulling ideas from several different view points. That being said, I started reading Leman's book based on reality discipline just to gather some more ideas.

He defines reality discipline as "consistent, decisive and respectful way for parents to love not 'punish.'" Basically it's the idea to give kids choices but hold them accountable. I have to admit that I was bothered by
Mar 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Excerpt from front page:
" Dr. Leman's action-oriented method puts you back in command. He shows you:
*how children learn
*how to be the authority in your home without being authoritarian
*why reward and punishment no longer work
*why-and how-reality discipline does"

The Seven Principles or reality discipline:
1.Establish a healthy authority over your children
2. hold your children accountable for their actions
3. let reality be the teacher
4. Use actions more than words
5. stick to your guns, but don't sh
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
While there are some good points in this book and I agree with the reality discipline approach, there were so many things I did NOT agree with and that went against my mother's heart....I couldn't list this as one of the best parenting books I've read. His continual reference to kids as "little buzzards", his insistence that moms and dads need time away from their children - date nights as soon as a week after a new baby is born, Moms Day Out stuff each week, etc...wrong. Letting children cry it ...more
Mar 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, normally I don't go for books that are overtly 'Christian' because usually they spend more time proving their religion than their point. However, this one was sent to me by my reincarnation, karma weilding mother in law, so I figured it couldn't be too bad. And it was great! (for a self help book)
Leman uses the term 'Reality Discipline' to describe his style (I know, not so original, but it was written in the early 80s, when it was a bit different). I love the emphasis on logical consequence
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
The frustration I felt for this book's condescending tone, coupled with what felt like a removed male perspective on child-rearing, just made for an insurmountable barrier to enjoying any part of this. The points made in this book are valid enough, but not earth-shattering revelations to be sure. Many of them are the same bits of tried and true dross you can find in any one-paragraph parenting-tip column.

While I agree that parents still need adult time and dedicated time as a couple, the idea t
Emily Tsesmeloglou
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I really enjoyed Kevin Leman's Birth Order Book and his parenting advice there, so I was interested in reading more from him. I can't say that I totally agree with this book (e.g. his application of "discipline" to infants by leaving them with babysitters soon after birth), but I think I really benefited from reading about what he calls "reality discipline." I've grown wary of the Christian books that basically have a one-size-fits-all, spanking-is-the-only-way-in-every-situation position, so I ...more
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents
Recommended to Alexa by: my sister
This is the first parenting/discipline book I have read, and overall I found it to be really sound advice! I have already began implementing some of the suggestions and have found some success with both my five year old and my two year old.

If you are a parent who wants to find a way to successfully discipline your children, and develop responsible, respectful children, this book is a great fit for you! Although Dr. Leman doesn't completely rule out the use of spanking as a punishment, he qualifi
Melissa T
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a succinct, uncomplicated approach to parenting. I liked the author so much from a previous book, I decided to see what advice he had for being a better parent. And the advice boils down to this, natural and logical consequences. There are tons of really good examples and explanations packed into these pages, and if you are interested, it is well worth your time. He even provides guidance for blended families and different life situations, just to provide a little extra understanding. B ...more
Aug 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
Okay, I didn't read EVERY word of the book, but I got the jest of it- as a parent it's best to be somewhere in between authoritative and permissive. Leman promotes "reality discipline"- giving children the opportunity to make choices and learn from the natural consequences. He conveys the importance of loving and building up your children and making home a safe place to be.

I felt like I was reading lots of words but not getting lots of information. I wasn't fully appreciative of the author's sen
Apr 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read Kevin's book a few years back and then read it again as my family grew and just read it a 3rd time as we hit the maturation point of family numbers to a comfy 6 kids...
I am a stay-at-home dad who works 2 nights a week as a therapist. We foster 2 little boys and I home-school 2 of my children (boys). I keep this book on my shelf to remind me that it's not all about me and that there is a point to all this... chaos; The keen desire for my wife and I to raise kids to be healthy, adaptable a
Amanda Tranmer
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really like Dr. Leman's approach to discipline, his concept of "reality discipline" (letting children experience the natural consequences of their choices instead of "punishing" them or, conversely, bailing them out), his support of finding the authoratative ground between authoritarian parenting and permissive parenting. He strikes just the right note for me.
I read Have a New Kid By Friday several months before picking up this book, and I found most of this book covered the same ground in a
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents
This book describes the way I want to parent. It takes you through "authoritarian" vs. "permissive" parents and the pitfalls. The author takes you through what he terms "reality discipline" about making logical consequences based on reality. He's really into holding children accountable, letting them make some decisions, and letting reality of life be the teacher (Think-teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves). He also talks about letting your children fail sometimes so that ...more
Heather Choate
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Honestly, an answer to my prayers. I hate it when people profess that a book changed their life. It's a book. But, I've struggled so much with discipline with my four children (all under 5 years of age)that I was really needing solutions. Out of the slush pile of parenting advice books, this is the first one where I felt, this guy actually gets what it's like to be a parent!

His techniques are simple to understand, but not always easy to do. I've implement many of his teachings and found a HUGE
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Genialna książka, która ma szansę uratować Twoje życie :) Przedstawia metodę wychowawczą, którą autor nazywa "dyscypliną praktyczną"; jak się głębiej nad tym zastanowić, stanowi ona całkowite przeorientowanie paradygmatów, wg których większość z nas działa. Moim zdaniem ta książka ma spore szanse zamienić codzienną walkę w walkę . Bardzo to sensowne a zarazem zadziwiająco zdroworozsądkowe. Czytając te książkę będziesz się zastanawiać "dlaczego ja właściwie tak nie postępuję?!".

Uwaga, książka po
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mothers and Fathers
I was very apprehensive with the title because you really can't make your children do anything. But I was desperate and wanted some new ideas and thought I would see what he had to say. I was pleasantly surprised because the the whole book is about giving your children choices and letting them decide. It has a very Christian tone and quotes many scriptures. I have already implemented some of the techniques and ideas with my two boys and have seen some improvement in their behavior. One thing I w ...more
Joe Valenti
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, parenting
This is an excellent book. It was very helpful in pointing my wife and I to some fresh ways in which to use reality discipline. I thought that a lot of the methods that I was using were good - and some were. However, there were some areas where my discipline methods were not healthy and this book helped me understand why. We have been using the ideas contained in this volume over the last several weeks and are seeing benefits already.

I gave it 4 stars and not 5 because it assumes that when you p
Beth A.
Feb 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Beth A. by: Laura Dotson
Shelves: nonfiction, parenting
This is an enjoyable book to read with lots of good parenting advice. Leman believes in using "reality discipline". With this method the consequence is connected to the inappropriate behavior in a logical or natural way.

He says not to nag, but to use actions -not words- to get your message across. He says to act quickly and decisively.

He says to use encouragement instead of praise or rewards. Praise focuses on the child (good boy), but encouragement focuses on the effort or task.

He encourages yo
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a quick fun read on how to not nag, use reality discipline which he describes as much more natural consequences than just like grounding or time out such as if your child forgets to pack their lunch for school then your child goes hungry for the day. There are many more examples than that of a more natural consequence and they should only be applied at appropriate age levels and they are to teach your child to be autonomous. It's lovingly woven with kindness and God. I won't be abl ...more
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
There's not a whole lot of groundbreaking information here, but I really like the scriptural basis for the whole approach. It dovetails nicely with LDS scriptural teaching about reproving with sharpness or clarity and showing an increase of love afterward. This approach also uses a child's agency and natural consequences to teach. Though not terribly different than Dobson's methods, I found a few of the author's insights very useful, particularly on how to express love without making your love s ...more
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Of all of the parenting books I have read, this is hands-down THE BEST. Kevin Leman usually has good advice but this book is also full of practical application, which is what I was looking for! Leman explains how to parent lovingly using Reality Discipline which is what he describes as landing in the middle of being an authoritarian and too permissive. I definitely have a lot of work to do (in how I approach my children) but I noticed a difference in my child's reaction to what I was saying simp ...more
Apr 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a terrible title and cover for a book that I otherwise think is pretty great so far. In fact, I'm a little embarrassed to have it on my list and make recommendations about it because the packaging is SO misrepresentative of the content. In fact, the author would agree with me. Here's a great summary of the book taken from page 108 in my edition:

"Quite possibly, by now, you understand that there is one thing wrong with [the] title: You don't make your child mind. By using the concepts of
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: christain parents, mike, amy
I will be, have already, using some wisdom offered in this book. It mostly brings home the idea that childen need imediate and appropriate consiquences even if it hurts us to give it or let it happen. I liked this authors discussions regarding biblical advise on this subject. Spare the rod, spoil the child does not mean beating them with a rod. But it doea mean that we are responsible for guiding our children. Having my BS in psychology, and currently studing education, I found his "psychology" ...more
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am really glad that I am reading this book on parenting/discipline. It provides a wonderful middle ground between the permissive and authoritarian parent through what Leman describes as "reality discipline." It breaks down why punishment and reward really don't help your children or the long term goal of raising responsible adults. My only complaint is that he gets a little esoteric in the middle while talking about reality discipline when what I want are more, more and more concrete examples.
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great book from a person who is also a parent and helps families. Doesn't believe in the B.S. of it takes a village to raise a child, or media is raising your kid, but instead in reality. (Concept is called reality discipline). Your kid doesn't want to eat dinner, then they go to bed hungry, you don't make special exceptions for them> You also let them lose at some things (some dumb people people believe letting a child lose will damage them, again B.S.). You even let your kids get back grade ...more
Sep 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents with young children
Easy read with practical advice for parents. Can't say I learned anything earth-shattering, but Leman did remind me that we need to be "tougher" at meals. If our kids don't want to eat, don't make an issue out of it and NO food until the next meal so they learn to eat at meal times. Gulp! We try not to make an issue of meals in our house, but usually leave the plate on the table for the kids to come back to later. Guess we will stop that and listen to the whining for a few days until they "get w ...more
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
- Good starting book for someone who hasn't read a lot of parenting books. (There wasn't much new to me)
- Didn't like the frequent references to Biblical verses (of course if you are Christian, this will be an advantage).
- At times was a little preachy
- Liked his statements regarding allowing children to fail (grades, sports, etc.)
- Reality discipline is what he talks about which I know as logical consequences
- Didn't agree with spanking being allowed
(I had listened to the audiobook on CD)
Mar 15, 2009 rated it liked it
This book talks about using reality discipline to teach your children. He speaks of children fighting and says that it is good for children to learn to work it out on their own, but put them outside or somewhere else so they do not disturb the rest of the family. I have tried this a few times with my boys, and they decided they would rather stay inside and get along than go outside. He gives practical examples for teaching children to be responsible for their actions.
Jun 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: awful-donated
I bought this book at a used bookstore. I should have left it there! Had I thumbed through it a little more and seen the scripture and references to God throughout, I would have! It was just unnecessary and written in the most elementary, common sense way possible.

It was horrible and I really couldn't stand it after flipping through a few chapters. It went right into my "donate to the used bookstore" bag. Haha. Hopefully they will appreciate having it back!
Tony Bradshaw
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's a well written book, and I like most of his perspectives. I enjoyed his "voice" in that it seemed like I was hearing him speak, which was nice for an advice book that it wasn't just "do this" and "do that" but real examples mixed in with a conversational or speaking tone. Leman makes it clear he's human and has mistakes. There are few things I will change in my parenting, so I've either lost my mind or....
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book we referred to when raising our kids. I still use some of his guidelines.
The Seven Principles or reality discipline:
1.Establish a healthy authority over your children
2. hold your children accountable for their actions
3. let reality be the teacher
4. Use actions more than words
5. stick to your guns, but don't shoot yourself in the foot
6.relationships come before rules
7. live by your values

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Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally recognized psychologist, author, and media personality. He was the first to popularize Adlerian psychological concepts in the United States, which are based on birth-order and family dynamics. Dr. Leman holds Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Leman is the founder and president of "Couples of P
More about Kevin Leman...

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“Your home needs to be a place where your kids can fail—and learn from their failure. Surround them with love, show them how important they are to you, but don’t try to undo their failures. It’s not our job as parents to get our kids off the hook.” 8 likes
“Reality discipline steers a course between an authoritarian style and a permissive style, giving kids some choices but also holding them accountable.” 1 likes
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