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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2003
This book has so many ideas to try with children of all ages. I'm sure I will continue to consult it as my children get older. I really like the "How To Step In So You Can Step Out" strategy that teaches parents how to intervene by acknowledging the feelings of both kids in the heat of the moment which defuses the situation so the kids can work it out themselves. I like the simple cartoons that clearly illustrate the communication "do's" and "don�ts" with quibbling siblings. I also like the way the discipline tips maintain the dignity of both the parent and the child. When I am able to resist "automatic parenting" reactions like yelling and threatening, and use some of the great techniques I've learned, I feel so much more competent as a parent. Because I have three young children (5, 3, and 2 months), I would like to also recommend a new pocket-sized book that has been very helpful addressing my specific current sibling issues. Appropriately entitled "The Pocket Parent", the entire book is written for parents with normal, but often challenging preschoolers. There are hundreds of short bulleted suggestions addressing sibling issues such as: "the new baby", "comparing and labeling", "sibling rivalry", "hitting and hurting others", "biting", "bad words", "I hate you's", "listening", "power struggles", and "traveling with the kids". These two books with exactly the same discipline philosophy compliment each other--both having great examples of the exact words to try in many sibling situations.
One of the strategies suggested in both books that has really reduced my frustration level is to redefine being "fair" as "meeting each child's needs" rather than focusing on being totally "equal" at all times. This thought is very helpful because my kids seem to always keep score...and I, no matter how hard I try--will often lose! Although it doesn't come naturally, I am learning to change my behavior to address needs. For example, Sunday morning I painstakingly tried to serve the exact same pancake presentation to each of the kids--and my son whined, "Mommy, that's not fa-a-ir!" and he continued to scream that his sister's pancakes were much bigger and browner than his ( his mind, proof that I love her more). Instead of really losing it and yelling back that he was absolutely wrong, lunging for my ruler to prove it...I PAUSED...And, before I responded, I took a deep breath (...maybe 2 deep breaths) and focused my response on solving the jealousy problem. In total control of the situation, I looked my son directly in his eyes, put my hand gently on his shoulder as I replied in a very calm voice, "Hmmmmmmm. It sounds like you're still hungry, Brian...Here are two more delicious pancakes just for you!" GREAT ADVICE...and it worked!! Bad news...It does take practice, but feels so good when your thoughtful response avoids a no-win power struggle.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2003
I am in love with this book. When my second child was first
born, I read the first chapter or two of this book and found it
very useful for dealing with my older child's jealous behavior.
Now that my second is 1 1/2 and the two children are playing
together and having so many conflicts, I picked the book back
up and read it from cover to cover. There are so many helpful
anecdotes. The book has given me words to handle so many
frustrating situations. It is one of my favorite
books on child-raising!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2001
This book contains excellent ideas, but it's obvious that its 13 years old. The examples are most useful for the traditional family with at-home mom. I found the cartoons and text a little too simple for my tastes. The concept bothered me a bit because the authors assume that all siblings hate each other. My kids do fight, but they are friends, too. For good ideas on raising siblings try these books: Loving Each One Best and Kid Cooperation (There's a chapter about siblings, but the whole book has ideas that are helpful when it comes to raising more than one.)and The 10 Greatest Gifts to Give Your Children (Not about siblings, but all the ideas covered do apply.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2013
I read this book around 20 yrs ago when I had 3 young kids. I used what I learned on my children & it really works. One of the greatest compliments I get is that people notice how well my kids get along. There is no visible signs of sibling rivalry. For years after reading this book & the other book "how to talk so kids will listen...", I would lie in bed with each child & just listen to them tell me about their day. The house rule was that according to age, each child went to bed 1/2 hr earlier than the next. So I had plenty of time to listen to each child. To this day, my kids still like to tell me their "stuff".
Barbara Coloroso's book is also a "must read". These 3 books were the reason my kids have turned out so great. They are all happily married, two grandkids & more to come. They all actually like coming home every Saturday with their extended families to hang out with us.
Just read the book over & over. If you make a mistake in how you react, don't sweat it. Try again next time or reword your reaction. It seems forced at first but it becomes second nature after a while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2002
Are you tired of your children fighting over everything big or small? Are your nerves frayed at their ends? Are you spending too much time setteling your childrens' agruments? This excellent book teaches parents all these different techniques to help children help themselves solve their sibling problems without violence and parental intervention.
When investigating the problem of sibling rivalry, the culprit and the root of the problem comes from parents' attitudes toward their children. Are you a parent that has labeled your children? Sometimes parents attach a label to their children without realising it and the consequences are creating excesive pressure on the children to play a certain roll that they have no desire to but continue to act it out in order not to hurt the parent.
Children want to be heard and adults must first learn to listen and acknowledge the childrens' feelings. When children are mad or angry, it is important that we help the describe what they are feeling and let them know that it is alright to be mad, sad, angry or disappointed, however it is not acceptable to hurt the person with whom they are having conflict. The whole idea of this solution sounds like it was concieved in some fairy tale but it works about 90 percent of the time to reduce the tension between the fighting children in our family. After the tensions have subsided between the siblings, the parents suggest the children find a solution to their problem and they actually come up with some creative things.
The authors have integrated numerous real live scenarios they have encountered from parents who have participated in their seminars over several years.
Two years ago I purchased a book from the same authors, "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and How to Listen so Kids Will Talk" which brought a lot of peace and sanity between parents and children. As our family expanded, the conflicts and bickingering between siblings started to increase and with the help of this book they are now on the decline.
An excellent book that all parents should read.
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on March 14, 2001
Contrary to what one reviewer wrote, this is not the *only* book on parenting you should read. I'd recommend Faber and Maslish's other books, How to Talk so Kids will Listen..., and How to Talk so Kids Can Learn... I give this book four stars, simply because I've given the others five stars each, and I wanted to show that you should perhaps read these books first.
I found this one in the library, somewhat desperate at a time when my two-year old was regularly trying to pinch and scratch my newborn baby. What to do? It felt awful. I clutched Siblings Without Rivalry to me like a lifebuoy.
Did it help? Emphatically, yes! There is tons of helpful material here, especially the stuff about helping children to express their feelings appropriately, and the advice to treat children uniquely rather than equally. I was worried that the authors might just rehash what they said in How to Talk so Kids Will Listen..., but they don't. The format is familiar - case studies, cartoons etc, as is the general approach to life, but the content is a real development.
I have to admit that some of the book is less relevant when one of the siblings in question is still a young baby. But I'm glad I read it when I did. I'll be coming back to it in the future.
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I find that most parenting books just end up making a person feel guilty or like there is no way they can possibly do all the things the book suggests. In this book (although it certainly helps you to see how far you have to go!) I have found that putting the suggestions into practice is made so much easier. I still sometimes find myself saying something unrecommended, but I catch myself and step back. And then I start over again. Other people have even commented on things that I say to the children (that i got directly from this book!) and it makes me so proud! We are all trying to do the best we can with our children, and having two or more children can be so hard at times. How do you keep both children happy? When you have only one it seems a bit easier, and having two seems like such a good idea! Then when the second child comes along things are so different! I think large families are wonderful, but I also think this is the ideal manual. Every parent (and/or sibling) should read it!
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on February 13, 2015
I don’t have multiple children (yet) but I bought this book because I wanted to understand how to prevent sibling rivalry. I have not spoken to my older sister for 8 years now because of her perceived rivalry. For her, she needed to achieve everything before me. I was not allowed to do anything that she didn't do first including attending my own graduation, learning new skills, having a boyfriend, getting married, and most likely having children. This book taught me that it was largely our upbringing. All our lives we were brought up being compared, her being told that she's older. As children, when we gave alms in church, she was always given more money to put in the basket because she was older. If not these scenarios, then we'd have to do coin tosses or split our chicken wings evenly. These reinforcements communicated that she always either needed to have more or tolerate being even. I know what not to do now if I have more than 1 child.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2004
This book was EXACTLY what I was looking for. In dealing with my two stepsons as well as my own two daughters, ranging in age from one to seven, I felt there HAD to be a way to prevent some of this fierce competitive and unkind nature between kids. I refused to believe there was nothing much we parents could do about it. The perspective it gave in how to treat the children each as individuals, without reference or comparison to their siblings in any way seemed obvious, yet for most of us parents, we do these things unconsciously in various daily situations. I began realizing how even the smallest comments, however well-intended, could induce rivalry between the kids and have found the ideas and suggestions in this book to be of immeasurable value to my family. In some areas, I do feel that it gets a little too extreme to be realistic, however, the main concept behind the advice and suggestions is very helpful.
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on March 8, 2002
I bought this book because my toddler (2) was being very aggressive toward my newborn. While, I think the theories in this book require at least one child to be emotionally and verbally developed enough to express their emotions and thoughts, it has helped me look at her aggression in a new light. And treat her in a more positive manner even when I don't like her behavior. There are also some very valuable lessons to foster good relations between siblings - that's the best lesson I learned. My children may have personality differences that keep them from being best friends but there are things that I can and MUST to to foster an respectful and caring relationship. EVERYONE with more than one child needs to read this book.
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