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Help--My Kid is Driving Me Crazy: The 17 Ways Kids Manipulate Their Parents, and What You Can Do About It Paperback – September 1, 2009

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Swanson, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Encino, California, treats children, teens, and families suffering from anxiety disorders, behavioral difficulties, and social problems to improve parent-child relationships. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Books; First Edition, September 2009 edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399535268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399535260
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #835,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. David Swanson, a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Encino, CA, treats children and teens suffering from Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), oppositional and defiant behavior, anxiety, depression, and social problems.

As a married father of three boys, Dr. Swanson lends plenty of hands-on experience. From potty training to sleep training: play dates to piano lessons: sports to academics: and discipline to cuddles, he knows first hands the current issues families face today. He is well known throughout the community because of his success with children, teens and parents. As a result, hundreds of families have turned to him for help - be it academic, behavioral, social or emotional. As part of his treatment regimen, Dr. Swanson educates parents on specific parenting strategies and normal child development.

Dr. Swanson's experience is extensive. He has worked with children who have endured severe physical and emotional abuse at Children's Health Care Campus and The Glen Roberts Child Study Center, both in Southern California. He also has worked with families to strengthen communication and the overall quality of life within the home at The Child and Family Guidance Center (Northridge, CA.). And, he has supervised classroom settings at Northpoint (Northridge, CA) and The Sycamores (Altadena, CA).



Dr. Swanson holds two Master's Degrees and a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology and has been trained in biofeedback at the Staff and Faculty Counseling Center of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), giving him unique insights into the impact and treatment of stress. While at UCLA, Dr. Swanson held stress management workshops across the campus and was a sought after speaker at the School of Dentistry and the Chancellor's Office. After UCLA, he went on to create The Stress Management Workshop where his clients included HealthNet Wellness Programs and a host of Southern California attorneys. In fact, Dr. Swanson's program, The Keys to Reducing Stress, is approved for continuing education by the State Bar of California.



Dr. Swanson frequently serves as a media consultant and has appeared on television news programs including The TODAY Show (NBC) The Early Show (CBS) and also has been a guest on the nationally televised EXTRA. He has been interviewed by local and national radio across the country including CNN, ABC Talk Radio and Family Life Radio. Stories featuring Dr. Swanson have appeared in The Daily News, The San Diego Tribune, LA Parent and Ladies Home Journal. In addition, he had addressed media-related corporate groups including DreamWorks, SKG.



In 2003, Dr. Swanson established Swanson, Conti and Associates (www.SwansonContiandAssociates.com). SCA is a private practice psychological corporation that focuses on treating the needs of children, teens and families. Having worked with hundreds of families, Dr. Swanson has received praise from clients and other professionals for his sensitivity, compassion and dedication to the health and welfare of his clients. Being "down to earth," "knowledgeable," and "really caring" are phrases often repeated with respect to Dr. Swanson. In his ongoing efforts to help children and families live happier, healthier lives, Dr. Swanson created The Healthy Child (www.TheHealthyChild.INFO), an online newsletter, which provides a forum for Los Angeles-based professionals to share valuable insights to parents. The Healthy Child has become one of the fastest growing child-focused newsletters in Los Angeles as it reaches parents, schools, professionals and corporate groups.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Robbins on May 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Every hand book that I have occasionally read or glanced through reads exactly like a book. Why shouldn't it, its at a book store. But every parent I've ever met has never had the time to sit and read a book, let alone a book on what to do when frustrating moments come to pass with raising a child. This book doesn't. It a good read for sure, but designed as a reference guide to immediately identify the problem and solution. It helps to reinforce what parents do correctly, what not to do, and how to break cycles in bad habits.

There truly are only 17 ways kids manipulate. And manipulate is not used with malicious intent, but what kids do to satisfy their wants- very simply. I sent this book to my brother and his wife after they had their first child. He felt more confident in the choices they will use to guide their child and his wife also identified some of the manipulation techniques that she noticed in either my brother or her friends and co-workers. (As in this book doesn't just work for parents to kids). She mentioned that to my parents and they read this book. They have also noticed things my brother and I have done when we were kids and how they wish this book by Dr. Swanson was available when they were raising us.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Dr. David Swanson during his book signing and found that he wrote this book not only based on 15 years as a child and family therapist, but also with his own experience as a father of three.

In short, you have only to gain in getting this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronda Cesarani on April 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Thank you Dr. OMG are you right on the money!!! It is also clear now. The fog has lifted. I see and recognize the manipulation now. I see the artistry of it all. My son is quite gifted in the delivery of his artistry. My husband and I laughed out loud as we read your book. Sometimes the laughter - really should be tears of another kind, but we chose to see it all from a humorous stand point when the issues were manipulation. We learned a lot and are constantly re-examining our responses when we are weak and he manages to break us or wear us down. We get right back up on the proverbial horse that you have provided us. Your book is not only about light hearted or gentle manipulation and does get into some very serious issues that I hope we never have to face. Whether we face them or not, there will be others in our lives that have to and it will touch us in some way. Thank you for the road map and specific exercises to employ in our defense. This book is a blessing!

R. Cesarani
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Junkie on February 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is provides a practical guide for parents who are worn out from the daily battles of parenthood. It's amazing how easy it is to control the daily trials and little quarrels that seems "normal" during the children's growing years once you learn the tactics children use in an attempt to get what they want. Once you learn these clever manipulations, it becomes relatively easy to thwart these attempts and the previous arguments seems to fade away. By understanding what your kids really need and how you can more effectively respond to their actions, your home can be once again a more peaceful place for everyone. A must read for every parent!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By donna waterman on October 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tells how kids manipulate their parents & how the parents can do something about it. I bought this for my daughter in NC-she has 10 yr. old twins (almost 11) that she has to tell at least
3 or 4 times before they do what they are asked & there is a lot of yelling. Hope my daughter is reading this book, but I seriously doubt it. I bought another book for her to read when the twins were much younger & they didn't have their 2 sisters now. I don't think she read that. The twins are very intelligent, but lack any form of discipline & know no social graces. I'm very concerned. I'm going to buy this book for myself at a used book store.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kym Eisner on December 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book. Dr. Swanson has not only allowed me to see things through a different lense, but he has made me feel normal! I love my kids, I want to do all I can for them, but sometimes, I just don't know how. Keeping my cool can be hard when the kids are invested in getting what they want. With this book, I now feel that I have a guide to refer to that will help me remember, I am a good mom, my kids are just being kids and that there are concrete steps to take to move us past the momentary meltdowns. Thank you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many parenting books on dealing with our challenging son. This is the most helpful book I have read! It gives practical strategies on dealing with behaviors and it helped me to understand why my son acts the way he does.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Huntington on June 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dr. David Swanson's book for active parents is so on top of it. I wish it were available when my wife and I were raising our two boys. Many of the 17 ways kids manipulate their parents are so recognizable in this book. And the best part, he shows you the antidote for that behavior. He makes you realize that children us these skills just to gain their own happiness, for the moment, and you as a parent are made to realize the importance of making the parental choices for safety before their self indulgences. He shows you the priorities that are necessary for a child to grow into a responsible adult and productive citizen. This book is very readable for any parent, and is quite essential. I know I will keep his advice in mind as I relate to my grandson. I do recommend it for all parents.
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