Thursday, September 17, 2009

Have a New Kid by Friday - Dr. Kevin Leman

Summary: Want a kid without the attitude? Without the behavior that makes you slink away in the grocery store and pretend you're not the parent? A kid with character who isn't a character? If you're tired of defiant attitudes and power struggles with your little ankle-biters or the disrespectful hormone group, read this book and follow the simple principles, and you'll have a new kid by Friday. Guaranteed!
(Cover photo from amazon.com, summary from book back)

My Review: I finally got fed up of repeating everything I said to my children over and over again only to have them fail to comply. I had tried everything I could think of - counting (annoying), threats (and following through with the feasible ones), rewards for good listening (only works if the reward is enticing enough), and raising my voice (really only results in a sore throat). So when I came across this book I was unsure if it would make much of a difference but thought I would give it a shot.

So how do you change your kid in a week? Well I guess it really comes down to changing yourself or rather your parenting style. I loved some of the authors advice, especially the part about getting the kids to listen. He recommends saying it once and then walking away and letting the children deal with the natural consequences of not doing as you asked. This works amazingly well!

Not all the ideas in this book were feasible with my children, mainly due to their ages. And some suggestions I don't really agree with. However I think the author lays the groundwork for parents to come up with some creative solutions on their own, all along letting reality be the teacher for the child. I especially enjoyed the section on sibling rivalry. I would have never imagined how quickly angry words turn into laughter once the children are locked together in a room to work things out by themselves (I stayed directly outside with my ear pressed to the door, of course!).

This is a super quick read to give parents a general idea of how to structure their parenting skills with the greatest efficiency. If there is one important lesson learned from a combination of past experience and reinforced within the pages of this book is that consistency is the secret to everything we as parents do. There is an index in the back of this book that covers most every topic under the sun: thumb sucking, unkindness, tantrums, messy rooms, and so much more. This is a fabulous resource and I am considering buying the book for this alone.

I do have to quickly mention that I absolutely hated the testimonials put in throughout the book. I felt like I was reading an infomercial. And what's the point? I am already reading the book, you don't need to sell me on it now. The real questions is do I believe that I can have a new kid in seven days? That's a bit unrealistic but I do think that parents can have a new perspective within this time frame making everyday battles easier to manage

My Rating: 4 Stars, I know quite a few parents who would benefit from one or two of these ideas

If I had to sum it up in one sentence: A quick read with many great parenting ideas.

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