34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
I am a grandmother. My parents used to say "little kids: little problems; big kids: big problems." In today's world, even if your kids are little, there can be big problems. My own generation of parents didn't have to deal with the internet, or violence in the schools, or an increasingly violent, permissive, and sexually explicit society. Sure, problems existed--but somewhere else. Now they are in your own back yard, regardless of where your back yard is.
From the moment my daughter got pregnant, I realized the parenting environment has changed. I expected that methods of putting the baby to sleep would be different of course--that changes every few years--but questioning vaccinations? I decided I had to read up on the new thinking.
I have to confess that I was worried. I have seen so many spoiled children in stores, restaurants, and other public places that I had reached the conclusion that modern parents either didn't believe in discipline or didn't want to bother. What I realized from this book is that, although many of the problems are different (and pretty serious and complex), the underlying methodology, the basic philosophies of good parenting, and the goals and purpose of good parents have not changed.
I have great sympathy for today's parents. Their battle to instill character and values is much more difficult than mine was, even though we brought up our children in the age of conspicuous consumption and a snobbish concern for designer labels. This societal message made children think that they were what they had or what they wore and it was a challenge to get them to define themselves according to real values. (Apparently, that problem is still ongoing, as it is directly addressed, and very well, under the topic of "Materialistic".)
But so are many other topics that might (or might not) affect you at some time: Is your child bossy with her friends? Is he ungrateful or selfish or spoiled? Is he gifted? Is he defiant and hot-tempered? Is she suffering due to the end of a friendship? Hooked on rewards? Watches too much television? Shy? A bully (or the victim of a bully)? You name it. It is here.
This book, which is encyclopedic in its scope, covers each topic with sensitivity, intelligence, practicality, great common sense and with a stress on intervening early to deal with the problem behavior or situation. It breaks up the problem into its components: first the signs and symptoms, then the immediate steps to address the problem, then the long-term changes that need to be implemented. It also tells you how that behavior is manifested in different ages and what you should expect from a child depending on his age. There is also recommended reading on the topic in case you want to research it further.
It is a great resource, not only for parents who are trying to bring up their children from pre-school through the pre-teen years, but also for grandparents who need to understand what our children and grandchildren are up against so we can offer help, support and, only occasionally, advice.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2009
When you see this book, you will realize this includes Michele Borba's work over the last 20 years. It is one BIG BOOK! She has accumulated over 20 years worth of research and includes the most up to date issues parents face today. This is not meant to read through in one sitting. It is meant to be a reference book that you come back to again and again.
This book includes up to date topics such as cell phones, video games, cyberbullying, and internet safety. One section addresses school and includes topics on special needs ranging from ADHD, Gifted, Learning Disabilities, Weight Issues and even Depression. In addition, Michele Borba addresses issues related to family, behavior, character and emotions. For the most part, any topic you will need to address from toddler to tween is included.
Dr. Michele Borba is frequently featured as a Parent Expert on the TODAY Show. Just this past month, I have seen her on the show 3 times. I enjoy watching her because she comes across as if she is having a conversation with you instead of just passing along information. It is easy to pick up on her passion for parenting when you watch her talk. This book is where she shares practical information and solutions that she has collected over the years.
As a parent that needs one book, one resource to go to, I highly recommend this book.
If you only get one parenting book, this is the one I would recommend for dealing with kids ages 3-13.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2009
I highly recommend this book to any parent. I have had my share of parenting challenges and have turned to a slew of other parenting books looking for solutions. I may have found nuggets of information in each book, but each book ultimately was narrowily focused on one issue or point of view. But never before have I seen anything so comprehensive and smart as this book. When I first received The Big Book of Parenting (apply named...it IS big!), I started paging through it. It is setup like a reference book - you look for the topic that you are interested in. My kids were fighting at the moment, so I looked at sibling rivalry. Then I was thinking about how my son has been indecisive lately, to the point that it concerned me. Low and behold, there is a section on indecision. I was so surprised. How did she know I was worried about this??
Not only are the topics comprehensive, they are pertinent to today's parent. Just flipping through, I see topics like, "Growing Up Too Fast," "Disciplining Other Kids," "Organized Sports," "TV Addiction," and "Hooked on Rewards." And of course, Michele covers the classic parenting dilemas like sibling rivalry, stealing, and separation anxiety. I particularly appreciated the section on birth order - the traits and challenges of the first child, middle child, only child, etc., and the section titled, "The Deadliest Forms of Parenting."
More than other books, The Big Book of Parenting provides so much substance on each topic. Signs and symptoms of the problem, why you should work toward change, multiple solutions from multiple angles, creative ideas from other parents, the latest research, what to expect age by age, and other references to consult. It is simply packed with substance from which any parent can glean clarity and take away immediate action steps. And you walk away feeling not like you have to buy into one expert's point of view, but rather that you have gathered the best of the best research and advice. Thank you, Michele, for this valuable resource.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Parents often say, "I wish kids came with a manual." This book could be it.
This is a very comprehensive book about raising children and covers so many topics that it should be good for most parents.
Major sections include: Family (adopted, divorce, middle child, new baby, etc.); Behavior (argues, back talk, biting, bossy, etc.); Character (bad manners, cheats, insensitive, intolerant, etc.); Emotions (angry, dependent, fearful, grief, etc.); Social Scene (bad friends, bullied, bullying, cliques, etc.); School (day care, gives up, homework, leadership, etc.); Special Needs (attention deficit, autism spectrum disorder, depressed, gifted, etc.); Day to Day (bathroom battles, boredom, chores, communicating, etc.); Electronics (cell phone, cyberbullying, internet safety, tv addiction, etc.).
Each topic defines the problem, gives you 'red flags' to look for, reasons to change, signs and symptoms, and multiple solutions. Often there are research notes as well as solutions that worked specifically from another parent's perspective.
The solutions are practical, make sense, and don't ask parents to do things that they might not be comfortable with. Parents are often asked to look at themselves as well - how do I react when this happens? Am I encouraging the bad behavior with my actions or words?
This is a very thorough, well written and easy to understand reference book. You may start by reading through some chapters and then going back to specific issues as they arise. It is not really a book that you will read cover to cover and retain all the information.
If you have an issue with your child, the book will only change what you are willing to work on. As with any parenting solution, to get to a different place, it does require behavior changes and commitment or the behavior will continue and parents will be frustrated.
Each section is comprehensive but it is not a complete guide to every problem. If your child has attention deficit disorder, this book will not tell you everything you need to know about that specific problem. It will give you an overview, it will help you better understand if your child had a friend with ADD, but further research into your child's specific problem will probably be necessary.
Overall, this is one of the best and easiest to use guides I've seen. I would highly recommend this book for any parent, even if your child is does not have any specific issues at this time.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2011
If the size(694 pages)and weight of this book does not intimidate you then page after page containing single spaced walls of text will. This is not a quick reference guide, it is a whole-spectrum child psychology book. Looking in this book to find advice on how to deal with a three year old requires you to sift through data about children of all ages. Searching through this book makes me feel like I'm searching for the proverbial "needle in the haystack".
As a tired mom of a three year old I don't have the time or energy to wade through chapters of single spaced pages. My child is three, I don't care about twelve year olds at this moment. And, when I have a twelve year old, I won't care about three year olds. But to get information from this text, I have to read it all.
I would recommend this book to child psychology students, or someone with a LOT of time on their hands. I would not recommend this book to busy parents in the trenches.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
As a mom, I am always on the look-out for parenting books. There have been days when I am overwhelmed with raising kids and wish for some common-sensical guidance and this book is a huge resource for all parents. It's full of parenting resources and the topics are geared from children age 3 to 13. It is a huge book ... I definitely wasn't expecting this size. I am not kidding when I say it's a doorstopper ... with almost 700 pages full of advice, ideas and reading suggestions. She has even included "Late-Breaking News" with a little section on the topic of whatever chapter she's on.
For example, on the "Dependent" chapter, she breaks it down into "The Problem." Then she includes, the red flag, the change to parent for, the explanation for why change, signs and symptoms, a little blurb of the "late-breaking news," and then she provides The Solution. She often puts in other solutions in a box ... with ideas to help parents communicate to the children. Then she provides steps, such as The Solution (like I mentioned above), Rapid Response, Develop Habits for Change, and importantly, "What To Expect by Stages and Ages." This is all covered in one short chapter on "Dependent."
The graphics are crisp and clean. The writing style is precise and helpful. She includes suggestions, reading titles and more. She even offers advice from other parents that have worked for them. She covers a wide range of subjects such as Materialistic to Not Knowing From Right From Wrong to parenting twins/multiples, to Internet Safety. Each section may be short but she writes clearly and offers other resources that can provide parents more reading material to go in more depth of the subject she's writing about. She even provides cross-references to other subjects for parents to get a better understanding of the issue on hand.
I have never heard of Michele Borba. I just picked this book because I do like parenting books and there are days when I wish I had some answers for myself whenever I come across a difficult issue. I definitely didn't expect a resource of this size and it's great! My twins are only 7 and this will come in handy as they approach more issues at school and in their growing up years.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
There are a million parenting books out there, most of which fall into two categories: lengthy prose going into great detail about a few specific areas, and collections of lighter anecdotes and suggestions covering a wide variety of subjects. The former can be a chore for busy parents who don't have much time (and might not be interested in the academic level of depth often found within them), while the latter don't always contain enough information to be useful. The Big Book of Parenting Solutions finds a great middle ground -- it devotes several pages to each of dozens of different topics, including a fair amount of detail in a very accessible manner. One can flip to a section and read through useful advice for all age levels in just a few minutes. As a bonus, each section includes a bibliography of further sources on that particular topic. Each chapter is relatively brief, but they add up to a very thick tome. As an everyday guide to parenting practice, this is about as good a choice as I've seen.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2010
AWESOME BOOK! Very easy navigation - great solutions for every circumstance. For example, I tried out the recommended techniques in the chapter on "listening" (that's always a challenge with a 5 year old), and they have been working GREAT! In the beginning we had some ups and downs, to the point where my daughter was yelling at me because she was frustrated with the consequences of not listening. I quickly took a time out, ran to my room, and read the chapter on "yelling". I used those techniques simultaneously and everything worked out smoothly. I have been highly recommending this book to all the parents at my daughter's school - even the teachers are commenting on what a great book this is! I know it will come in very handy throughout the next few years being that it covers quite a large age range (3-13) with many emotional and behavioral sections.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2009
Michele Borba's Parenting Solutions book is one of the good parenting books that offers solutions for everyday parenting struggles.It gives scenarios, suggestions, examples, research studies and models how to tackle challenges in bringing up kids ages 3-13 yrs. It is written in a very simple language and the book has been divided into various topics for easy reference. Although the book looks big, it has been very well-organized with subheadings, bullets and it also has helpful advice and parents answer section. This book has signs and symptoms which you can read and watch for in your kids. I especially liked sections like behavior, character, emotions and school. I have followed few of the suggestions and ideas offered in this book and it has really worked very well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This huge volume on various parenting topics is a wonderful resource for problem's faced by today's parents. In my work as a family support specialist, I often need to educate parents in effective techniques for parenting their children. The resources I can provide that back up my basic information reinforces for my clients what to do and when to do it. This book does all of that in an organized and understandable way.