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Hidden Messages: What Our Words and Actions Are Really Telling Our Children Paperback – Sep 22 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (Sept. 22 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809297701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809297702
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #443,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A must read for all parents." -- Ray & Lynne Heinrich, Ontario Stepfamily Association, Canada

"Don't miss the empowering, supportive advice found here to help children feel loved and become healthy, happy, capable adults." -- Shelley Butler & Deb Kratz, Authors, The Field Guide to Parenting

"It's refreshing to finally find an author whose life is so parallel to the common family." -- Janice Boyles, Publisher, Choosing Home, The Newsletter for At-home/work-at-home Moms

"No other parenting book that I've read covers this topic so thoroughly and thoughtfully." -- Keri Baker, Creator and Webmaster,

"Respectful to parents, clear and readable and absolutely helpful." -- Kathy Lynn, President, Parenting Today

"Reveals the subtle but significant ways that parent's words and actions influence their child's behavior and development." -- Bobbi Conner, Host, The Parent's Journal, heard nationwide on Public Radio

"Shows us concrete ways to use positive language and productive actions to direct our children towards more successful futures." -- Jill Whalen, Editor, Parentsroom Website

From the Back Cover

Even the best-informed parents will be shocked to discover that they have unintentionally been sending their kids the wrong messages. In this book, these hidden messages are revealed through intriguing stories that will make you laugh, cry, and reflect upon your own family life. Hidden Messages will teach you about yourself and encourage you to look at what's really going on between you and your children. Through specific action plans, it will help you uncover the best ways to raise your children to be happy, successful people. Elizabeth Pantley is a parent educator who speaks to parenting groups around the country. Her informative newsletter, Parent Tips, is distributed through schools nationwide. She is also the author of Perfect Parenting: The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips and Kid Cooperation. She lives with her husband and their four children in Washington State.

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Inside This Book

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Curt, a bright sixteen-year-old, was bursting with excitement over his newly earned driver's licence. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Oh please. The examples were all cheesey, and it was so obvious what the "hidden message" was. Parenting would be EASY if all you had to do was be as obvious as the examples given. I bought the book expecting a more complex treatment of hidden messages and child development, but all we get are a bunch of vignettes which are pretty easy to avoid in your own life if you're paying any attention at all.
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Format: Paperback
Everything we do is giving a message to our children. A scary thought? Certainly, especially when we realise that often we are unknowingly giving them entirely the WRONG message. Sometimes we are inadvertently teaching our children the exact OPPOSITE of what we would like to. The good news is that we can learn to give our kids the messages we really WANT them to get! Hidden Messages: What our words and actions are really telling our children is a book that EVERY parent needs to read.
As always, Elizabeth Pantley challenges us to think about our parenting and teaches us how to make changes that can have dramatic effects on the lives of our families. Her style is gentle and positive. As Dr. William Sears writes in his foreword, "Sure to gently tweak the consciences of even the best parents, inspire them to raise their children in a more conscious and sensitive manner - and tug at the heartstrings as a reminder to give constructive messages to our children".
This book is DIFFERENT! Elizabeth Pantley uses stories (some real, some partly contrived) to illustrate a whole variety of parenting lessons. This is very effective indeed. Many parents will be able to see themselves in some of the examples. As I read, I felt at times shocked, at times amazed, at times I even shed a tear or two. I learnt a great deal about myself, my parenting, and how to make some important changes. When you read this book, be prepared to be moved.
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By A Customer on Nov. 9 2000
Format: Paperback
"Hidden Messages" puts the reader back into the mind and heart of the child, and moves the reader to think more carefully about the things s/he says to, does for, and behaves around children. The book is based on the premise that most of us are "good parents" trying our best and incites us to think things through as we go through our everyday routines. The main thrust of the book is "walking a mile" in our children's shoes. Each section describes a common, everyday occurrence in family life, an incident that might not otherwise provoke a moment of thought...until viewed through a child's eyes. It then describes the child's possible interpretation, and discusses approaches.
When I read this book, I found myself saying over and over again, "Yes, I've done that...I've never thought of things that way..."
The book provokes thought on behalf of our children in a wise, witty, warm way that made me want to hug my children at the conclusion of every chapter. It offered reassurance that I'm just like most parents, yet gives me ways I can improve my communication style and be more mindful of the examples I set. I can't think of anyone who could not benefit from reading it.
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By A Customer on Nov. 28 2000
Format: Paperback
I was SO surprised to find that some of the things I have been doing to/for/with my children actually can have the opposite effect as what I had planned! Here I was thinking that I was being such a great mother, when huge mistakes were lurking beneath the surface. I hate to give away the punchline, so I won't give exact details, except to say that I have really changed my way of raising my children.
Another really great thing about this book is that it doesn't read like a million other boring parenting books -- the format is set up in stories that are a real joy to read. I found myself laughing and crying my way through them. The "Hidden Message" after each story often took my breath away - WOW! (I would think) I've never thought of it that way before.
I highly recommend this book - you'll learn things that you never expected to learn. It'll change your life. It did mine.
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Format: Paperback
Once again Pantley has done it. What a fabulous window into myself and my children. I must confess that I think I am a most devoted and conscientious parent. With a background in early childhood education, I feel well prepared to competently reer my two boys. But Elizabeth's book has me re-examining some of my everyday decisions, such as cleaning up after my three year old or staying after him to do it. More importantly, reading certain scenarios was a reminder to me that every interaction with my children has an impact on their fragile little developing personalities. And frequently the impact is more far reaching than I anticipate.
Hidden Messages is not only valuable information. It also compellingly written by an author who is as competent and experienced as she is earnest and compassionate.
This book is a "must read" for parents!
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