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The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends [Paperback]

Natalie Madorsky Elman , Eileen Kennedy-Moore (Author)
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 3, 2003
This practical and compassionate handbook helps parents sharpen any child's social skills by identifying the "unwritten rules" that govern all relationships.

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The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends + How to Make & Keep Friends: Tips for Kids to Overcome  50 Common Social Challenges + * Social Rules for Kids-The Top 100 Social Rules Kids Need to Succeed
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Elman, director of the Summit Center for Learning in Summit, N.J., and Kennedy-Moore, a Westfield, N.J., psychotherapist, offer a detailed examination of the different ways children interact with their peers. Often, otherwise bright and "normal" children behave in ways that cause other children, family members and teachers to label them as disruptive, unhappy or troublesome. There are nine types of children, according to the authors, including the "short-fused," "little adult," "born leader" and "different drummer." Parents will immediately be able to identify their child from the detailed descriptions included. For example, "Short-Fused Children may appear to be strong, but inside they feel vulnerable. These children are extremely sensitive. They often believe that the whole world is against them. Because they feel threatened, they respond angrily, instinctively fighting to protect themselves." As they explain the various types of behaviors, the authors depict a number of scenarios to show the difficulties children can have relating to others. The challenge for the parents is to help their children learn "the Unwritten Rules" so they have fewer problems and form happier, more productive relationships. The authors provide specific sentences that both parents and children can use to change these destructive behavior patterns, but some parents will probably hope for even more specific do's and don'ts. Given that other childrearing tomes rarely cover this topic, this book is a welcome addition to the parenting library.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Natalie Madorsky Elman, Ph.D., is director of the Summit Center for Learning in New Jersey. She also has been a consultant to the New Jersey Department of Education.Eileen Kennedy-Moore has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She works with adults and children in Westfield, NJ.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (September 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316917303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316917308
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
(32)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Godsend and Ideal For All Ages March 27, 2005
Format:Paperback
This book will help many a shy adult as well as people of all ages with Asperger's Syndrome. This book is an excellent navigational tool in decoding the Tacit Social Codes & Rules. Asperger's Syndrome, which is in the autism spectrum includes a lack of intuitive knowledge of these Social Codes & Rules and their accompanying skills. This book reaches people on the spectrum on the cognitive level and helps many to compensate cognitively for what is lacked intuitively.

I like the way it empowers parents and educators to realize that not everybody can just approach a peer and make an instant friend. Instead of relying on tired cliches such as constant reassurance at best or criticism/blame at worst, this book acts as a "how to" guide in order to improve social skills. No promises are made and encouragement is given instead. Had this book existed when I was a child, much sorrow and shame might have been avoided. Compassion is the tone of the book and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

If I could give this book a higher rating, I would cheerfully do so.
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96 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish my parents had this when I was a kid August 9, 2005
Format:Paperback
As a shy child who had troubles making friends, this book would have been enormously helpful. I bought it because I realized my daughter was having the same problems I used to have, and I felt helpless to know what to tell her to help her. I didn't want her to suffer as I had, but I wasn't exactly qualified to tell another person how to make friends! I am so glad I got this book. It is full of practical, detailed advice on what you can do to teach your child social skills. I'm finding it useful too! I would recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone who is in the same situation I was in.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grateful Mental Health Counselor... November 6, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is an absolute must for parents AND teachers who want to guide children through the mastering of essential social skills for building friendships. The all inclusive presentation of means and methods for knowing and implementing The Unwritten Rules will spare many children from the pain of unknowingly inviting social rejection. It's all within The Unwritten Rules...clearly visible to the mind and heart. The authors admirably and impressively answer many children's calls for help.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars required reading July 30, 2005
By Pen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has an eye-catching title, but really the title suggests just a small portion of what this book provides. A real look at how to really raise children with different emotional needs, treating them like individuals and people - and offering concrete and specific suggestions and techniques, not the usual cliche drivel. Every parent or future parent should receive a copy of this book. Not a bad resource for non-parents too.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mother of a shy child loved this book! October 12, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have watched my child suffer from shyness. This book made me realize that there are some specific skills that she could learn that would help her feel more confident and be more successful in social situations. Instead of saying to her, "Of course they will want to play with you, you're such a great kid," I now give her specific tips, like: "Smile and say hello and say the person's name when you see them" or "If all the kids are playing tag, just join the game, instead of waiting for them to ask you to join." I am so glad that I found this book while she is in early elementary school so we can work on the skills together and avoid some unhappiness down the road. This book offers very practical advice that will help parents guide their children to learn "friendship skills". What greater gift can we give our children? I found Unwritten Rules to be very compassionate towards all kinds of children. I gave a copy of it to my friend who was at her wit's end with her child who has been taking on the role of bully of the playground. She found it helpful too!
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Normal Kids. Not For Aspies April 20, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Overall, the book is well organized. It provides practical tips and exercises to teach children appropriate social behaviors. It can serve as a reference for all those good and bad social actions that a parent may not remember to discuss.

It is a book written for "normal" and young children. The exercises seem to be directed to children younger than sixth grade. The book may be of some use to Asperger's children if they are elementary school aged, but beyond that, I doubt it would be of much value. For the record, I have an Asperger's son.

The book is broken into sections based on personality types: The Vulnerable Child, The Different Drummer, The Little Adult, etc. This structure makes it possible to quickly identify where your child fits, primarily, and to focus on those behaviors first. Each section stands on its own, and thoroughly describes how that personality typically acts in social settings. Exercises are provided to assist you in teaching your child the rules for each section (personality). There are nine personality types explained, and if any are missing, I can't think of one.

Parents of Asperger's children should not view this book as a primary resource. It is written for "normal kids who struggle to be accepted by their peers," as it states on page 8. The exercises may be helpful in some cases where the child can learn a cognitive method of behavior; however, there is no effort or attempt at addressing the underlying anxieties and thought processes that dictate the behaviors of an Aspie. Any cognitive efforts would have to be done at an early age. I find it highly unlikely that a middle-school or older Aspie would benefit much from this book.

The disappointing part of the book is its maddeningly naïve approach to bullying.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read for mothers
This book brought a new perspective and new understanding for what goes on (and why) in the relationships of young girls. Read more
Published 10 months ago by KimS
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource if your child is struggling with friendships
It's painful when children are struggling with friendships. Many of the rules of friendship are unwritten and some kids catch on to those rules while others do not. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Kathy Slattengren
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guidance for kids AND adults
This is a fantastic book that summarizes the unwritten rules for how to get along with people of any age. Highly recommend.
Published 18 months ago by Em
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I see a little bit of each of my children in several chapters, very helpful.
Great referance book. Thank you.
Published 19 months ago by T. McCormack
5.0 out of 5 stars This book helps my daughter
I bought this book to read with my 10 yo daughter. We read it together and talk about each lesson. The chapters are organized by different behaviors so you can skip to the ones... Read more
Published 21 months ago by DS
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book
This book was an eye opener for me. It helped me understand my childrens feelings about friendship, and teached me how to deal with it effectively. A must read for any parent.
Published 22 months ago by Melisa
5.0 out of 5 stars so far, it's a great book....
I haven't gotten through all of it yet, but so far, this is a great resource. The info about different types of personalities of children is really enlightening. Read more
Published on October 25, 2012 by researchbeforeyoubuy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource - Exactly What I Needed to Help My Daughter
This book enabled me to help my daughter with ongoing issues when playing with other girls. Issues that weren't really quite bullying, though they sometimes seemed like it. Read more
Published on September 28, 2012 by Mother of Two
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of helpful information
I have only had this book for a week, and already I have learned so much about how to help both of my children with a variety of social struggles they've had. Read more
Published on July 29, 2012 by Rebekah
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend this to all my friends
I cannot express how this book has benefited both my 6 yr old son and me, as a Mom. It has very simply "games" or activities to play together. I used to lecture a lot. Read more
Published on February 23, 2012 by Tracy
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