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Parents Do Make a Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts [Paperback]

Michele Borba
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 21 1999 Jossey-Bass Psychology Series
For Teachers and Parents of Children to Age 12

Finally, a book that shows you how to teach kids the eight indispensable skills-self-confidence, self-awareness, communication, problem solving, getting along, goal setting, perseverance, and empathy-they'll need for living confident, happy, and productive lives. Filled with step-by-step advice, practical ideas, and real-life examples, Parents Do Make a Difference puts field-tested tools into the hands of every parent and teacher who wants their children to succeed.

"The fact is this may well be the only book you'll ever need on raising great children."--from the Foreword by Jack Canfield, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul

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Parents Do Make a Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts + Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing
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In 1998, a fierce debate was sparked by Judith Rich Harris's The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do: Parents Matter Less Than You Think and Peers Matter More, a fairly scholarly book that posited, as clearly indicated by the subhead, the radical theory that children are more influenced by peers and siblings than they are by their parents. Parents Do Make a Difference, by Michele Borba, Ed.D., has clearly been marketed as a rebuttal. The title alone is a kind of bolster to parents' sagging self-esteem.

Once you open the book, though, it's just as clear that, marketing aside, the book was not actually written as part of the parents vs. peers debate, which it has absolutely nothing to do with. Nor is it a scholarly work, in the vein of Harris's book. The original title of this book was probably something like "The Eight Skills of Raising Successful Children." These simple skills, which Borba (author of 36 other educational publications) has researched and workshopped across the country, then implemented in the curriculum of three elementary schools, are commonsensical, feel-good affirmations for parents and kids. Borba uses lots of lists: the aforementioned eight skills, "four steps to developing positive self-beliefs," "four steps to enhancing social competence," and so on. The "success tips" and affirmations are pretty straightforward, as with this suggested "pillowgram": "Slip a message under your child's pillow. 'Kevin, I loved looking at your drawings today. You are so artistic! Sleep tight! Love, Dad.'" These are fine, basic self-esteem builders; unfortunately, they can sometimes veer too much on the cloying side. But for parents who want to help their children develop the eight skills (self-confidence, communication, getting along, perseverance, self-awareness, problem solving, goal setting, and caring), it should be of significant help.

Review

"The fact is this may well be the only book you'll ever need on raising great children." (from the Foreword by Jack Canfield, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul®)

"Packed with helpful suggestions and insights. This book is a wonderful guide to help kids become winners." (Louise Hart, author of The Winning Family: Increasing Self-Esteem in Your Children and Yourself and On the Wings of Self-Esteem)

"Parents Do Make a Difference makes a huge contribution to the well-being of children. It's positive, practical, and instantly usable. Kids across America will surely become more confident and self-reliant as a result of this wonderful book." (Naomi Drew, author of Learning the Skills of Peacemaking)

"Dr. Michele Borba's years of research and experience make her uniquely qualified as an expert in this field. The many practical and creative suggestions offered here are sound, effective ways of developing successful human beings. I'm certain that this outstanding book will become an extremely valuable guide and resource for both parents and teachers." (Robert W. Reasoner, president, International Council for Self-Esteem and retired school superintendent)

"Michele Borba's book is bursting with wise and practical ideas for helping kids develop the strengths of character-qualities like caring, self-discipline, and perseverance-that make us fully human." (Thomas Lickona, author of Educating for Character)

"Parents Do Make a Difference is a godsAnd for parents. Dr. Borba speaks clearly and authoritatively about the things that matter most to a child's success-not grades or test scores, but the ability to set goals, cooperate, and empathize with others, to be self-reliant and self-motivated, and above all, have high self-esteem." (Thomas Armstrong, author of Awakening Your Child's Natural Genius and In Their Own Way)

"Michele Borba's new book is invaluable. Drawing on a lifetime of rich experience, the author understands parents' concerns and speaks to them wisely and compassionately. Best of all, she spells out what parents need to know in easily accessible language and easily learnable stages." (Nathaniel Branden, author of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem and A Woman's Self-Esteem)

"Parents Do Make a Difference is able to address the core issues of parenting. Cross-culturally, Dr. Michele Borba has brought valuable insights to teaching professionals. Her parenting ideas have also been widely adopted by parent educators in Hong Kong." (Ivan Yiu, assistant community services secretary for children & youth, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Hong Kong)

"Every child arrives in life with a birthright to healthy self-esteem and to be welcomed, nurtured, and inspired by parents who abide by the practices Michele Borba recommAnds in this book. Applying these principles would quickly help the world become a much healthier and happier place." (Senator John Vasconcellos, 13th District, California State Senate)

"Finally, a 'cookbook' for parents and educators on how to raise successful kids. My seminar attAndees have asked me for years, 'Wouldn't it be terrific if children could be exposed to these principles of self-esteem?' Michele, you've done it. The world needs your recipes for success-what a difference they'll make in our kids' futures!" (Bob Moawad, chairman/CEO, Edge Learning Institute, and past president, National Association for Self-Esteem)

"Michele Borba has done it again - she's written another must-have, must-read book! Parents of grown children will ask, 'Why didn't they have this when my kids were younger?' and then buy it for their grown kids so the grandkids will be raised sensibly. I highly recommAnd this book to anyone who cares about kids." (Hanoch McCarty, coeditor of A 4th Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul® and coauthor of Acts of Kindness)

"This book is loaded with practical, proven ideas for teachers and parents to use in their efforts to be the best influence they can be. Children of all ages will be helped to develop skills they need to be their personal best in the new millennium." (Dorothy Rouse, board member and former teacher, Los Gatos Union School District Los Gatos, California)

"By applying the strategies from Parents Do Make A Difference I experienced such stunning success with a severely disturbed foster child that it caused an astonished juvenile court judge to label her transformation "miraculous." He even lead his courtroom in a round of applause for her success and credited her rehabilitation to Dr. Borba's techniques. One could only imagine how using these techniques could profoundly impact the lives of all children." (Dawn Hamill, foster child advocate)

"As one who works with foster children, I consistently look to Michele Borba for her expertise, insightful guidance, and sound advice. I personally have seen miracles occur in the lives of foster children who have been touched by the skills detailed in Parents Do Make A Difference. Because of this book, foster children's lives are being changed - more importantly, their lives are being saved." (Madelene Hunter, recipient of the California Foster Parent's Association's President's Award; founder, Madelene Hunter Foundation Serving Foster Children, San Diego)

"I strong Andorse Michele Borba's new book, Parents Do Make a Difference. Grounded in solid research, her message has the potential to truly help parents help their children be more successful in school and in life." (Richard Herzberg, executive director, Bureau of Education & Research)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
"Parents Do Make a Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts" is a delightful book. I think Borba hits the nail on the head with this one. It would be nice if more fathers read this book. My only complaint is that it does not provide enough detail. Maybe that's just a father thing. The generalities of this book might be well supplemented with the detail that I found in another - "Systemic Parenting: An Exploration of the Parenting Big Picture" (Gaskill). These books are very complimentary of each other. Systemic Parenting just fills in some of the gaps left open in Parents Do Make a Difference. Both have been very important to developing my skills as a parent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The book to become the parent you wish you had Feb. 8 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is one of the best parenting books I've ever read! It's chock-full of advice on how to develop in our children the 8 skills most critical to success (according to parents, educators, and other experts): positive self-esteem, cultivating strengths, communicating, problem-solving, getting along, goal-setting, perseverance, and caring. The sub-title, "How to raise kids with solid character, strong minds, and caring hearts" is irresistible. Although I already own dozens of parenting books, I'm glad I still bought this. The author is obviously an educator; she has organized the book in a way that makes the activities simple and effective. Each chapter begins with two examples: one child has the skill, the other doesn't. what follows next is a checklist to determine a child's current level with the skill. Then Ms. Borba breaks down the task of developing the skill into 3-5 simple steps. Each step is explained thoroughly and clearly, with examples from real life. Success Tips intersperse the chapters. These give quick tips related to the skill, that parents can easily carry out. Finally, each chapter ends with Points to Remember that summarize the main points of the chapter. The strategies in this book are all simple and doable, but it doesn't occur to most of us to do them. For example, what to say when your child experiences failure, how to hold family meetings, and even how to respond to bullies. Ms. Borba advises parents and other readers to devote one month to concentrate on each skill. Even without following this strictly, the book will enable parents to recognize everyday experiences as learning opportunities for these skills. If you follow even half of what this book teaches, you will be the parent you wish you had! Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars The book to become the parent you wish you had Feb. 8 2000
Format:Paperback
This is one of the best parenting books I've ever read! It's chock-full of advice on how to develop in our children the 8 skills most critical to success (according to parents, educators, and other experts): positive self-esteem, cultivating strengths, communicating, problem-solving, getting along, goal-setting, perseverance, and caring. The sub-title, "How to raise kids with solid character, strong minds, and caring hearts" is irresistible. Although I already own dozens of parenting books, I'm glad I still bought this. The author is obviously an educator; she has organized the book in a way that makes the activities simple and effective. Each chapter begins with two examples: one child has the skill, the other doesn't. what follows next is a checklist to determine a child's current level with the skill. Then Ms. Borba breaks down the task of developing the skill into 3-5 simple steps. Each step is explained thoroughly and clearly, with examples from real life. Success Tips intersperse the chapters. These give quick tips related to the skill, that parents can easily carry out. Finally, each chapter ends with Points to Remember that summarize the main points of the chapter. The strategies in this book are all simple and doable, but it doesn't occur to most of us to do them. For example, what to say when your child experiences failure, how to hold family meetings, and even how to respond to bullies. Ms. Borba advises parents and other readers to devote one month to concentrate on each skill. Even without following this strictly, the book will enable parents to recognize everyday experiences as learning opportunities for these skills. If you follow even half of what this book teaches, you will be the parent you wish you had! Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than A Book... It's A Handbook Jan. 22 2001
Format:Paperback
Parents Do Make a Difference is more than a book, it's a handbook. Dr. Borba uses extensive use of checklists, exercises, helpful suggestions and real life examples to help parents teach the skills of personal, emotional and motivational success to their children.
In this book, Dr. Borba has woven personal experiences, and sometimes complex behavioral theories, into messages that are clear and comprehensive for all parents.
Readers will appreciate the practicality of the author's approach. For example, Dr. Borba points out, early in the book, that family conditions help nurture the self-esteem of children. Meaning, all of the exercise and tips in this book may be meaningless if the parent doesn't have the ability to authentically mirror the behaviors they are attempting to teach their children.
To assist in further action for parents, she has also included several resources (books, videos, and web sites) at the end of each chapter. ...
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars All Diamonds In The Rough Need Polishing
This book is one of the gems -- a diamond in the rough -- on parenting. Written in simple language, it's the "basic course" on "HOW TO RAISE KIDS WITH SOLID... Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2001 by "conare"
5.0 out of 5 stars All Diamonds In The Rough Need Polishing
This book is one of the gems -- a diamond in the rough -- on parenting. Written in simple language, it's the "basic course" on "HOW TO RAISE KIDS WITH SOLID... Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2001 by "conare"
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and fun!
Parenting is hard enough without having to spend all my time trying to figure out the latest greatest parenting book! Read more
Published on April 17 2000 by Anne Mattos-Leedom
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for parents and teachers!
Once again, Michele Borba has provided excellent suggestions for helping the village that raises the child. I appreciate Dr. Read more
Published on July 26 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Parenting Book Out
It's about time a book told us what we can do right for our kids instead of emphasizing everything we're doing wrong. This is packed with solutions and fabulous ideas. Read more
Published on July 21 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Definite 5 stars! A must-have parenting book.
I've always wondered what really matters in helping to raise my children be successful as well as have strong character. Well, I no longer have to wonder. Read more
Published on July 20 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Teachers and Parents
For years I've been wondering why all books about helping people become successful are for adults. Michele Borba has written an incredible book that we (TEACHERS AND PARENTS) can... Read more
Published on July 20 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Parent Book...practical and USEABLE
This is one of the most parenting books (if not the best) I own. It's one of the only books that actually helps us parents teach our kids the skills that will matter most in their... Read more
Published on July 18 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding parent resource. A must for every parent.
This is a definite 2 thumbs of parenting book! It's packed with practical ways to help my child be the best she can be and I've already seen a difference. Read more
Published on July 17 1999
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