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Ain't Misbehavin': Tactics for Tantrums, Meltdowns, Bedtime Blues and Other Perfectly Normal Kid Behaviors [Paperback]

Alyson Schafer
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 8 2011
Bestselling author, psychotherapist, and leading parenting expert on tackling any child's worst behavior

Following her phenomenally successful, Honey, I Wrecked the Kids, parenting guru Alyson Schaefer addresses every parent's secret fear: their child is the one no parenting book can possibly help. In her newest book, she conquers, one by one, all those behavioral bugaboos that can make a child seem, at times, impossible-and a parent's life hell. With explicit, life-saving tips on the perfect thing to say or do when things get out of control, Ain't Misbehavin' offers parents a sensible, democratic solution to meeting even the toughest discipline challenges.

  • Includes first-person accounts of literally hundreds of parenting conundrums-with practical insights on what exactly to do
  • Full of detailed "how to do it" advice for a multitude of situations parents inevitably face

While acknowledging the daily reality that parents face, Schaefer's humor and experience make this book a must for parents who want to preserve the peace and also the joy of raising a child.

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"Alyson Schafer's book will be a boon for parents and anyone else who wants to raise humane, well-behaved children. With wit, heart and research Alyson provides a treasure chest of parent-friendly solutions to common, everyday parenting dilemmas.  I hope this book finds its way into homes all over the country."
 – Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions

“Who doesn’t love learning and laughing at the same time? Alyson Schafer has a way of peeking into our front hallways where we’re dealing with the tantrummy toddler, the independent tween and the insolent teen, and being the voice in our head that provides us with sage, educated advice in easy terms we can all understand. Warm up your neck muscles before reading, because her approach to parenting, with a capital “P”, delivered in a conversational, humourous and smart manner will have you nodding your head every few minutes. Ain’t Misbehavin’ is the perfect addition to the Good Mom Myth and Honey, I Wrecked The Kids library I recommend all parents have in their homes.
– Kathy Buckworth, author of Shut Up & Eat and The Secret Life of SuperMom and parenting feature writer for

"Clear some prime real estate in your home for Alyson Schafer's latest round of insight and wisdom: Ain't Misbehavin' is an invaluable resource for every parent, every day. Written in Alyson's charming conversational style, it is arranged in a super-easy-to-use-in-the-midst-of-a-parenting-crisis way. Though I sort of hate to admit it, this is a book I know I will use again and again and again!"
– Gill Deacon, bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster

"Perfect, bite-sized parenting advice that is sensible, humane and eminently workable."
– Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

“Who wouldn’t want Alyson Schafer’s help with parenting? Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want Alyson to parent THEM.  Immediately after reading Ain’t Misbehavin’, I was inspired to start implementing Alyson Schafer's suggestions, which are based deeply in respect for the individual and the family as a whole. We noticed changes right away – a reduction in conflict and an increase in understanding. Alyson Schafer has written a passionate and philosophically energizing guidebook for parents that we can use daily. Her book identifies and analyses dozens of real-life parenting nightmares, offers solutions and examples, and she does that one thing many parenting books avoid: she suggests alternate solutions in the event that her first suggestion just doesn’t work for your child. Every parent can relate to this book, and every parent and child can benefit.”
– Diane Flacks, writer, actor, CBC radio parenting columnist and author of Bear With Me: What They Don't Tell You About Parenting and New Motherhood

“Alyson manages to reassure parents that their kid’s behavior is normal while reminding them not to put up with it at the same time. What makes her book even more appealing is the simplicity with which she offers her parenting solutions. Readers feel empowered to make the changes she recommends without turning their worlds upside down. We give it a SavvyMom thumbs up, for sure.”
– Minnow Hamilton, Managing Editor and Co-Founder of

“Smart, funny, practical.  Alyson explains why kids behave the way they do, then offers easy, practical advice on how to deal with the challenges. I guarantee this book will make your family life better. Alyson really gets it...parenting can be challenging!  With humour and warmth, Alyson helps make it easier. This is not your typical earnest, preachy parenting book -- it’s honest and funny with straight-up advice on how to deal with common ‘misbehaviours’. Alyson targets common ‘misbehaviours’ and gives step by step advice on how to deal with them.  She helps you understand why kids do what they do, and that makes it so much easier to deal with the challenges. This book is really about understanding your kids and making your family life better.  Alyson gives you practical tips on how to do both.”
– Cheryl Jackson, Host and Producer of TVO’s Your Voice

“We all know that kids tell it like it is. There’s no beating around the bush or sugar-coating things when little people speak their mind. The same can be said for Alyson Schafer. She tackles every possible parenting concern in an educated, straightforward, no-nonsense manner—all the while maintaining an irresistible sense of humour and warmth. Her new book is an invaluable resource for parents of kids of all ages, not just because of its practical suggestions to overcome everything from whining to cheating but also because Schafer’s tips are grounded in solid research. Best of all, she’s never condescending. Rather, her advice is smart, empathetic stuff, laid out in an easy-to-read format, all underscored by Schafer’s firm belief in having fun. Her book helps men and women be the best parents they can be, all the while keeping their cool and enjoying the ride.”
– Gail Johnson, Managing Editor of and mother of two

"Alyson Schafer combines practical advice with an intelligent, philosophical grounding and a friendly, been-there voice. Whether you're worried about kids' sleeping, schooling or swearing, you'll find this book both realistic and reassuring."
– Jacqueline Kovacks, Deputy Editor, Today’s Parent magazine
“Written with humour and compassion from the perspective of someone who understands what sets kids (and parents!) off, this handy guide will give you all the tools you need to manage any misbehaviour and respectfully keep the peace.”
– Sydney Loney, parenting journalist and Co-Founder of and
“Alyson Schafer's advice is grounded in love and respect for the child and compassion for today's stressed parent. Her techniques flow from the recognition that, above all, parenting is not a matter of methods but of understanding and honouring our relationships with our children.”
– Gabor Maté, M.D., co-author of Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need To Matter More Than Peers

"A spectacular resource. So easy to find the issue you're trying to deal with and get simple, direct and positive advice. Alyson's democratic approach feels natural and means that families are working together on these issues instead of parent versus child."
– Pedro Mendes, Host of CBC Radio 3’s Manthropology

“Humorous, humane, and truly helpful, any parent could benefit from the practical wisdom in this splendid book.”
– Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D., author of Why Good Kids Act Cruel

“Alyson Schafer has a wonderful way of making Adlerian Psychology easy to understand and practical to use.  This book should make a great addition to any parenting library.”
– Dr. Michael Popkin, author of Active Parenting and Taming the Spirited Child

"What I love about Alyson's book is that it tells you what you need to know without making you feel as if you are not parenting correctly. It is a wonderful combination of inspiration and pragmatic ways to solve big and small challenges that we all face with our children. It may be overused, but I think of Alyson as my parent whisperer."
– Ellie Rubin, international speaker, media personality and bestselling author of Ambition: 7 Rules for Getting There and Bulldog: Spirit of the New Entrepreneur

"Alyson Schafer gives parents some great advice on how to respectfully, and democratically, help kids through their most troubling behaviours. Here's a great resource before any family seeks counselling. There's lots of pearls of wisdom like Take Time for Training and ways to encourage independence. Well indexed, this book is a great one to have on every parent's bookshelf. I'll be passing copies to my clients for sure!"
– Michael Ungar, Ph.D., author of Too Safe for their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive and We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Kids

“Finally, a parenting book that answers the "what do I do now?" question that haunts every parent daily. Alyson Schafer empowers parents to feel like they can make a difference, and her clear advice and sense of humour make Ain't Misbehavin' the kind of easy-to-use parenting bible you want in your back pocket at all times. ”
– Emma Waverman, blogger for MSN’s and co-author of Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them

From the Back Cover


Are you out of ideas for dealing with tantrums, whining, potty-mouth, poor manners, bedtime disruptions and other attention-seeking manoeuvres and power-plays?

We've all been there. Those moments when our children behave in ways that seem calculated to drive us crazy. But threats, punishments and other angry responses will only make the behaviour persist -- or worsen. Before you reach your wits' end, you need a playbook, a tactical blueprint for swift and satisfying results. Here it is: Ain't Misbehavin' provides practical advice from an expert -- Alyson Schafer, a bestselling author, psychotherapist and (mostly) delighted parent of teenagers.

Alyson's democratic parenting approach is based on psychotherapeutic principles, but Ain't Misbehavin' isn't parenting theory, it's parenting action. Need ideas to help you manage everyday, real-life misbehaviors? Here are the quick-and-dirty solutions: scripts, tactics and defusing one-liners, available now, when you need them.

"Alyson Schafer combines practical advice with an intelligent, philosophical grounding and a friendly, been-there voice. Whether you're worried about kids' sleeping, schooling or swearing, you'll find this book both realistic and reassuring."
Jacqueline Kovacs, Deputy editor, Today's Parent

"Perfect, bite-sized parenting advice that is sensible, humane and eminently workable."
—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

"A treasure chest of witty, heartfelt solutions to everyday parenting dilemmas."
—Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions

"Humorous, humane, and truly helpful, any parent could benefit from the practical wisdom in this splendid book."
Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D., author of Why Good Kids Act Cruel

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars but good read. June 29 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't agree with everything in there, but good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great March 30 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a mom of 2 boys under 4 yrs of age, it was great and very detailed but a little much for my husband to read he found Food Fights& Bedtime Battles by, Tim Jordan really good and got right to the point and it was the same strategies
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ain't Misbehavin Sept. 11 2012
By Sip
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the greatest Revolutions at large. Please read and join Alyson's quest for a more socially just and sane family environment. If you are stressed about kids and life in general I recommend this book to see things from a fresh perspective! I have 3 boys 5, 3 and 1. I wish I had 3 or 4 of these books laying around so when I encounter a situation I can pick it up immediately. It definitely scratches where it itches!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book! March 16 2011
By Reader
I have read all of Alison's books but, I must say this book is fantastic!! It is so practical in nature and gives so many great ideas. I normally read books in order but, I was so keen to get to the chapter on Sibling Issues and I have already started implementing her ideas and they are helping. I would highly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very handy to have on hand! July 25 2011
This is a great book for the busy parent who does not have time to read parenting books from cover to cover, and/or who needs instant advice. I have found it extremely helpful to have as a companion to "Honey I Wrecked the Kids" by the same author, and have recommended it to almost all of my friends who are parents. Both this book and "Honey I Wrecked the Kids" are so empowering in that they give positive ideas on ways to respond to children's behaviours when nothing else seems to work. I find the suggestions help me to feel more capable and less frustrated and angry when things are going not-to-plan at home or out-and-about with my toddlers. I can see it will be useful as they grow as well, as there are parenting tips for a wide range of age groups.
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