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You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), Revised and Updated Edition: Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child Paperback – September 18, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for You Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded)

“I love the practical strategies and valuable insights from the hearts and lives of strong-willed kids—including Cynthia herself! You’ll definitely want to make this book part of your parenting library.”
—Dr. Kevin Leman, New York Times best-selling author of Have a New Kid by Friday

“In You Can’t Make Me, Cynthia Tobias provides help and hope for all of us with a strong-willed child of any age. Her extremely practical and time-tested tips will show you how to provide the strong-willed child love balanced with limits, relationship balanced with rules, coaching balanced with cheerleading, and discipleship balanced with discipline. This book will be worth its weight in gold to you and your strong-willed child.”
—Walt Larimore, MD, best-selling author of God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Teen and Why A.D.H.D. Doesn’t Mean Disaster

“Parenting was never designed to be easy, and parenting a strong-willed child can be daunting. Cynthia Tobias has written a book designed to encourage parents to celebrate their children—yes, even if they are strong willed! I love how she has provided tried and true strategies that will bring out the best in our children. Her inclusion of stories from parents who are ‘in the trenches’ serves to remind us that successful parenting is possible for all of us. I love Cynthia’s wisdom, but her heart for children made me love this book!”
—Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated talk-show host

“At Focus on the Family, we often hear from parents who are frustrated and burned out by their strong-willed kids. Cynthia Tobias’s book is tailor-made for them. It will help moms and dads not only address the challenges but also embrace the blessings of having a strong-willed child.”
—Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family

You Can’t Make Me is a must-read for every parent of a strong-willed child. Cynthia Tobias is the go-to expert on this subject, and you can’t afford to miss out on her incredibly helpful guidance. This book is insightful, grounded, and immeasurably practical. Read it today and start bringing out the best in your strong-willed child!”
—Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, authors of The Parent You Want to Be

“What a great book! So simple yet so profound. Time and time again I have recommended this book to teachers and parents. Growing up a strong-willed child and having one, I know firsthand how valuable the tools and ideas are in this book. Every parent and teacher should read this!”
—Mary Rice Hopkins, popular family/children’s recording artist

About the Author

Cynthia Tobias received her master’s degree from Seattle Pacifi c University. Her successful background includes twenty-five years of private practice, eight years of teaching high school, and six years in law enforcement. The best-selling author of eight books, she is the busy mother of twin college-age sons. Cynthia and her husband live in the Seattle area.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Rev Upd edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578565650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578565658
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is founder and CEO of AppLe St. (Applied Learning Styles) and coordinates education and commerce programs throughout North America and internationally. She is a speaker and the best-selling author of several books including Every Child Can Succeed, Bring out the Best in Your Child, Do You Know What I Like About You? and You Can't Make Me (But I Can be Persuaded). She lives near Seattle, Washington.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Sonya Jeffords on November 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Overall I really liked this book. However, there is one key element I believe is missing, which I will come back to later.

The purpose for this book is to help parents learn to raise their strong-willed children. One thing I got out of this book, which I had not at all expected, was the understanding and realization that I myself was a "strong-willed child" and am still quite the strong-willed person. I'd never really recognized that about myself, because I've always been a generally compliant and submissive person, especially as a child, but this book showed me that being strong-willed is not necessarily about the outward behavior or a pattern of outward defiance. The more I read this book, the more I realized I was reading about myself.

Another thing I found in this book was that nearly all of the suggested parenting strategies are strategies I've already adopted and strive to keep, simply because I try to treat my children the way I myself would like to be treated. It's when I stray from those ideas (usually after being surrounded by ideas in the opposite direction) that my household becomes the most chaotic. One of the things about a SWC (strong-willed child) is that often, punishment backfires and results in a battle of wills. I know this is true for myself-if you try punishment to motivate me, my automatic response is to prove your punishment is not going to work, and as the author states several times, "There is nothing I have to do, except die, which I'm willing to do." I've found this to also be true for my children. I realized a long time ago that taking a mostly non-punitive stance in parenting tended to result in my daughters being far more compliant. It's not about "giving in" or being "permissive", it's about being more creative than punishment.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C. Adkisson on October 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Do you ever wonder if your child is strong-willed or just stubborn and defiant? While defiance can be seen as a heart issue, having a strong will can be quite beneficial in our world, if channeled properly. Being the parent to a strong-willed child is quite the challenge, but it doesn't have to be so frustrating that you want to throw up your hands and quit. Cynthia Tobias, parent of a strong-willed child herself, offers strategies and and tips to keep you from doing so as well as insight into the benefits of their strong will. As she states, "(your) child may change the world--after all, it's not likely that the world is going to change them"!

I ordered this book because I am the parent of a strong-willed child. I felt like I was reading a book written by some other mom about my child. I never realized that my child might feel as if I were taking all the power away from them or that they may not resent authority but may resent how that authority is communicated. I also felt like it was too late for me. After all, my children are both in their late teens. If you find yourself thinking the same thing, there is hope. Tobias offers strategies which will preserve your relationship with your child while also helping them to use that "gift" God has given them to accomplish great things. Like many parents, perhaps you may disagree with your spouse regarding how to deal with your child. Tobias has advise for these situations as well.

This book can easily be read in half a day making it something you can begin to put into practice immediately whether your child is a toddler, teen, or adult. Even if you feel you have blown it with your child, it isn't too late. To read the first chapter, check out [...]

I did receive this book free from Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way obligated to leave a positive review.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By whatwordscannotexpress(dot)weebly(dot)com on October 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of parenting books. A lot. I have donated them ALL because, even though they may have had a couple gems of advice, they were mostly inapplicable. It seems like they fell into the categories of being 1)written by someone who didn't have kids with strong wills or didn't remember what it was like when their strong willed kids were young 2) full of super-specific suggestions that worked for their children, as if my kids are exactly the same 3) encourage either an extremely sympathetic and permissive parenting style or a very rigid and authoritative parenting style and (my personal pet peeve) 4) parenting books which are great at describing the problem/issue/behavior needing correction, but lacking any substantial suggestions for resolution. It makes me think: thanks for getting my interest by perfectly describing the personality/circumstance/situation/behavior I'm dealing with and wasting my time by not having any wisdom to share on the matter! (I often wonder if those authors wrote an entire book just to vent, which would be reasonable given the stresses of parenting, but then, please refrain from marketing the book as a useful resources to others.)

You Can't Make Me [But I Can Be Persuaded] by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is not like any other parenting book I've ever read. I think the main difference is that the author isn't writing based only on personal experience and/or a college education or counseling career. Tobias has literally spoken to thousands of strong willed children (hereafter referred to as SWC) of varying ages and backgrounds. In essence, this book is like a compilation of the useful tips you can find scattered throughout many other bestselling parenting books.

I absolutely love that the tone of this book is positive and encouraging rather than critical.
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