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Kids Are Worth It!: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline Paperback – Feb 1998


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Somerville House Books (February 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1895897572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1895897579
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #466,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Coloroso urges parents to teach children to take responsibility for their actions.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Coloroso says that there are three types of parents--Jellyfish, Brickwall, and Backbone. The first two muck it up royally by being too wishy-washy or too firm. The parent with a backbone, however, can be stern when necessary and provide structure yet have the flexibility that children and families need. Coloroso applies these models to a variety of parenting situations, from toilet training to curfew setting. Like the Cosby show, it looks and sounds so easy when the script is already written, but there are plenty of good ideas here for keeping parents' sanity intact. Portions of the book are taken directly from the author's excellent video Winning at Parenting as well as from her popular lecture series. Denise Perry Donavin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 17 2001
Format: Paperback
Having just heard Ms. Coloroso speak, I can say with certainty that her critics here online who claim she teaches kids new-age ideas and is anti-family discipline are wrong. Her emphasis is emphatically on teaching kids to be respectful of themselves, people in authority, and their communities. She says that if you teach kids to do what you say just because you say so, they'll grow up to do what people in their peer groups do because they can't think for themselves. But you're still the parent and the one who draws the line in matters of security, morality, and legality. One of her shorthand references shows the differences between punishment and discipline. Her idea of discipline is to show kids what they've done wrong, and give them ways to solve the problems they've created, but allow them to keep their dignity. If your idea of traditional discipline involves shaming children when they make honest mistakes or "explaining" decisions by saying, "Because I said so, that's why," then she's not your kind of disciplinarian. But if you want to teach your children to think for themselves so that they can grow up to be less influenced by their peer groups and work well with other people at home and in their communities, her theories are worth a look. And as for the London reader who says the book is "Typically American," I suggest that person spend some time familiarizing himself or herself with the styles of parenting that actually prevail in this country. If her attitude were typically American, there'd be no need for this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Graham on Jan. 26 2009
Format: Paperback
The main message in this book as I remember it is:

If a situation is not immoral, unhealthy or life threatening, let it be!
If your kids screw up, give them responsibility of the problem by letting find a solution for themselves.

This is good advice indeed. Teach the kids how to be responsible for their actions and hopefully, make better choices.

The author divides families in 3 categories. The Jellyfish and brickwall families have the wrong approach according to this book. I did not think that it was useful to tell us how the jellyfish and brickwall parents will react to situations in every chapters. After a few examples, you get the point. Repeating how the Jellyfish and brickwall parents would react to a situation over and over again is bothersome. The backbone families have the right approach. This is what parents are intested in. The book could have been much shorter by skipping the repetition.

Too much repetition but good message overall. Still worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ms Diva on June 29 2000
Format: Paperback
Although the book is focussed on parenting, the ideas and philosophies the author promotes apply to anyone who works with kids. I have found that using the techniques suggested in this book as made me 100 times more effective in my job. Colorosso understands the value of self-awareness and an internal locus on control in healthy development. The book not only helped me in work with kids, it also gave me insight into myself, my experiences, and my relationships in general. I believe that the 3 types of families - backbone, brickwall, or jellyfish - also can be seen as 3 personality styles, so that we are not only brickwall, jellyfish, or backbone people with kids, we are that way in general, where our relationships are concerned. If you look at it this way the book will go a long way to giving you tools to deal with all sorts of conflicts in your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 28 2013
Format: Paperback
Barbara Coloroso's definitive book, "Kids are worth it!", begins with the premise that children merit the effort of conscious, dedicated parenting because of their inherent worth as human beings. Coloroso shows how to parent with respect, flexibility and consistency by describing the differences between three parenting styles: brick wall, jellyfish and backbone. Brick wall parents demand obedience, jellyfish parents fail to enforce meaningful limits for a child, but backbone parents work with their children to provide a structure that grows with them.

Instead of using rewards and punishments, Coloroso advocates using a child's misbehavior as an opportunity to teach him/her about consequences and problem solving. The book contains many relevant examples for parents wanting to use meaningful and relevant discipline with their children. The only limitation of her discussion is that most of these examples apply to older children and teenagers instead of to toddlers.

"Kids are worth it!" has the power to change a parent's approach in a fundamental way. By distinguishing between teaching and controlling, Coloroso empowers parents to discipline their children with love and respect; she provides clear strategies for parents who seek to move away from punishment and towards natural and relevant consequences. Learning a new way to parent takes dedication and effort but, as the book proves, "kids are worth it!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "kangarex" on Dec 8 2000
Format: Paperback
If you don't want to put effort into raising your kids, this is not the book for you. But if you want clear-thinking, responsible kids, and don't mind some effort getting there, you can't have a better reference. Ms Coloroso's advice is clear, and should make you think hard about how you interact with your children. Yes my son is 3 and I'm 30. Yes I'm the parent, but he still has opinions about his life, and some are worth paying attention to. And sometimes I'm wrong. Being the parent doesn't make me God. Also note, I'm usually in the right, listening means that I pay attention to my sons' opinions and wants, not that I cave in to them every time.
Believe me it's much, much harder making a 3 year old take the consequence of a misbehavior, and helping him try to fix his problem himself than it would be to punish him for it and fix things myself, but oh boy does he learn more when I put in the effort.
This is not minimum effort parenting, and it's not about letting your kids always having their own way. It's about teaching them how to think rather than what to think.
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