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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is one of the best parenting books I've ever read! It's chock-full of advice on how to develop in our children the 8 skills most critical to success (according to parents, educators, and other experts): positive self-esteem, cultivating strengths, communicating, problem-solving, getting along, goal-setting, perseverance, and caring. The sub-title, "How to raise kids with solid character, strong minds, and caring hearts" is irresistible. Although I already own dozens of parenting books, I'm glad I still bought this. The author is obviously an educator; she has organized the book in a way that makes the activities simple and effective. Each chapter begins with two examples: one child has the skill, the other doesn't. what follows next is a checklist to determine a child's current level with the skill. Then Ms. Borba breaks down the task of developing the skill into 3-5 simple steps. Each step is explained thoroughly and clearly, with examples from real life. Success Tips intersperse the chapters. These give quick tips related to the skill, that parents can easily carry out. Finally, each chapter ends with Points to Remember that summarize the main points of the chapter. The strategies in this book are all simple and doable, but it doesn't occur to most of us to do them. For example, what to say when your child experiences failure, how to hold family meetings, and even how to respond to bullies. Ms. Borba advises parents and other readers to devote one month to concentrate on each skill. Even without following this strictly, the book will enable parents to recognize everyday experiences as learning opportunities for these skills. If you follow even half of what this book teaches, you will be the parent you wish you had! Our children and families will be all the happier for this book, and countries will certainly have fewer social problems if only more children (and adults) had these 8 critical skills. A must-read for all parents, teachers, caregivers -- anybody who relates to kids!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
Parents Do Make a Difference is more than a book, it's a handbook. Dr. Borba uses extensive use of checklists, exercises, helpful suggestions and real life examples to help parents teach the skills of personal, emotional and motivational success to their children.
In this book, Dr. Borba has woven personal experiences, and sometimes complex behavioral theories, into messages that are clear and comprehensive for all parents.
Readers will appreciate the practicality of the author's approach. For example, Dr. Borba points out, early in the book, that family conditions help nurture the self-esteem of children. Meaning, all of the exercise and tips in this book may be meaningless if the parent doesn't have the ability to authentically mirror the behaviors they are attempting to teach their children.
To assist in further action for parents, she has also included several resources (books, videos, and web sites) at the end of each chapter. ...
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Parenting is hard enough without having to spend all my time trying to figure out the latest greatest parenting book! Parents Do Make A Difference is exceptional and I truly believe it has all the elements a parent needs to overcome all the difficulties we encounter raising kids. Dr. Borba's book is so practical, and I loved the stories used to illustrate her premise. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for the right answers, not the best theories!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Once again, Michele Borba has provided excellent suggestions for helping the village that raises the child. I appreciate Dr. Borba's book from the perspective of both elementary school educator and parent. The "eight success skills" are necessary for all of our children! We can all help. This book would be excellent for a parent group who would like to discuss each skill and how they are being successful in enhancing their children's social skills. This book would be an excellent reference book for any elementary teacher as it wonderfully complements Borba's book Esteem Builders. I can see schools working closely with parent groups as the skills are taught and emphasized at both school and at home. It would make a wonderful curriculum for a social skills program!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2000
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is one of the best parenting books I've ever read! It's chock-full of advice on how to develop in our children the 8 skills most critical to success (according to parents, educators, and other experts): positive self-esteem, cultivating strengths, communicating, problem-solving, getting along, goal-setting, perseverance, and caring. The sub-title, "How to raise kids with solid character, strong minds, and caring hearts" is irresistible. Although I already own dozens of parenting books, I'm glad I still bought this. The author is obviously an educator; she has organized the book in a way that makes the activities simple and effective. Each chapter begins with two examples: one child has the skill, the other doesn't. what follows next is a checklist to determine a child's current level with the skill. Then Ms. Borba breaks down the task of developing the skill into 3-5 simple steps. Each step is explained thoroughly and clearly, with examples from real life. Success Tips intersperse the chapters. These give quick tips related to the skill, that parents can easily carry out. Finally, each chapter ends with Points to Remember that summarize the main points of the chapter. The strategies in this book are all simple and doable, but it doesn't occur to most of us to do them. For example, what to say when your child experiences failure, how to hold family meetings, and even how to respond to bullies. Ms. Borba advises parents and other readers to devote one month to concentrate on each skill. Even without following this strictly, the book will enable parents to recognize everyday experiences as learning opportunities for these skills. If you follow even half of what this book teaches, you will be the parent you wish you had! Our children and families will be all the happier for this book, and countries will certainly have fewer social problems if only more children (and adults) had these 8 critical skills. A must-read for all parents, teachers, caregivers -- anybody who relates to kids!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I consider myself to be a well educated, caring person with a lot of common sense, however this book has been a real eye opener on human nature and how to nurture our children to grow to their greatest potential. I'm only on page 50 but I feel compelled to write a review already!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is easy to read, well laid out and is packed with useful tips on how to help kids be their best selves. It's a real 'how to' guide, with lots of examples of actual situations & what to say to help your child overcome specific difficulties & be more successful. I like it so much I've ordered another copy to share with friends (gently & tactfully, of course!) Every parent should read this book - it's not about pushing your kids to achieve & driving them to prove what a great parent you are - this book is about nurturing their strengths & helping them believe in themselves & be more confident in who they are, just so they can be happy & enjoy life more.

Definitely worth the money & time spent reading it & putting it into practice. Does what it says on the cover!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've always wondered what really matters in helping to raise my children be successful as well as have strong character. Well, I no longer have to wonder. This book is absolutely wonderful! It's packed full of great but realistic ideas that I know will help me be a better parent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
It's about time a book told us what we can do right for our kids instead of emphasizing everything we're doing wrong. This is packed with solutions and fabulous ideas. I'm loving it!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Con: Contents are presented in a "textbook-y" way, making it seem less personal, abstract, and redundant.
Pro: Lists additional books, websites, movies, and other helpful resources related to the chapter material.
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