Saturday, 12 March 2011

Stop Arguing with Your Kids: How to Win the Battle of Wills by Making Your Children Feel Heard

Stop Arguing with Your Kids: How to Win the Battle of Wills by Making Your Children Feel Heard
Michael P. Nichols PhD | 2004-03-10 00:00:00 | The Guilford Press | 229 | Mental Health
For parents fed up with constant challenges to their authority-but who dread becoming tyrants in their own homes-this book provides a powerful new alternative to "because I said so." Trusted family therapist and author Michael P. Nichols takes on the number-one problem of parents today with the insight and humor that has made his earlier The Lost Art of Listening an enduring bestseller. Presented is a simple, easy-to-follow, yet remarkably effective way to put an end to arguments by refusing to argue back. Instead, the techniques of responsive listening help parents open up better communication in the family; create an atmosphere of respect and cooperation; and take children's feelings into account-without giving in to their demands. Loads of realistic examples help parents defuse whining and defiance and manage common conflicts with preschoolers to teens.

I checked this book out at the library. After finishing it last night, I am very glad I didn't spend any money on it! The first part of the book isn't too bad. The author gives fairly straight-forward advice in the first half of the book. I liked his suggestion to not worry so much about why your child is arguing, but focus instead on breaking the cycle of arguing. He has an easy to read writing style that doesn't get bogged down in psychobabble. It isn't anything new...How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen...does a better job.

However, by the middle of the book I started wondering if I was still reading the same book. The tone changes, and there are some really weird off the wall comments ("You guys work it out, I'm going to mix a pitcher of martinis..") He seems to assume that all teenagers will experiment with drugs and premarital sex, and treat their parents like dirt, so we should just make sure we don't argue with them about it. Toward the end he actually says "Parenting is an impossible job". That's why I was reading this book! I don't need to read a book to find out being a parent is a hard job and I just need to lighten up! The book has an abrupt ending. It left me with a feeling that the author just said "Our time is up", and walked out of the room.

Don't waste your time reading this one. The author obviously felt he was wasting his time writing it toward the end.
Psychology professor Michael P. Nichols, Ph.D. presents Stop Arguing With Your Kids: How To Win The Battle Of Wills By Making Your Children Feel Heard, a guide for parents to showing one's children that their feelings and thoughts matter without necessarily giving into their demands. The key to the method is refusing to argue back - one can make and stick to tough decisions, while still listening to what one's children have to say. A superb guide to the basics of responsive listening and how to break bad habits, get closer in touch with one's children, and weather the inevitable storms of adolescence. Highly recommended.

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