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When Your Kids Push Your Buttons: And What You Can Do About It Paperback – July 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Laced with Wisdom, humanity, and uncommon sense...a must-read." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

"BONNIE HARRIS, M.S.ED., is a parent educator, counselor, and coach who received her master's degree from Bank Street College in New York City. She founded The Parent Guidance Center and has designed numerous parenting workshops, including her popular When Your Kids Push Your Buttons™, which inspired this book. The mother of two grown children, she lives with her husband in New Hampshire.

I spent my first fifteen years after college in New York struggling to become a famous actress. I did some theater, a tiny bit of film and a lot of television commercials. But fame eluded me. Actually steady work eluded me. Meanwhile, my husband and I renovated a brownstone ourselves, built a timberframe house from scratch (I built a 30 ft. high fieldstone fireplace) and renovated and built two more homes after moving to New Hampshire. But after my first child was born, I found that what I loved doing most was figuring out what goes on in a child's mind and talking to other parents about raising children. After fifteen more years of teaching and learning from parents, I had to write this book. Getting it published was a daunting pie-in-the-sky dream. But now that dream has come true. One thing after another fell into place, and I got an agent and a publisher within two months. How could I have been so lucky? Now I have the opportunity to tell what I know and believe to thousands perhaps millions, and I am in awe of this opportunity." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446692859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446692854
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ltp1 on July 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"It never works to expect our child to act like the grown-up first" (page 9).
Contains some "A-ha!" moments for parents who lose their cool with their kids. Bonnie Harris knows what you?re going through. You will recognize yourself here.
Here's the gist: By looking through your child's annoying behaviors to their underlying agendas and being aware of your own emotional hang-ups, you can avoid that ineffective state Harris calls "the road rage of parenting." That's an extreme example of button-pushing, which is when your response is automatic, not well thought out, and usually regrettable.

The book contains a wealth of suggestions for defusing your buttons (which could help you not just with your kids, but with everyone else in your life). There?s the Approval Button, the Fix-It Button, the Resentment Button?. Once you understand your baggage, you can stop taking your child?s antics personally. You still hold her accountable and set limits, but you also own up to your own emotional responses. Do not make your child responsible for YOUR feelings. (Even if this was done to you by your parents.)
Kids don't articulate their agendas, but they have them just like we do. You see a child playing with trains. What you don't realize is that the child is directing traffic and the toy milkman has to get the pretend milk delivered before lunchtime! So give him a couple minutes' warning before you make him leave the toys. Stop and think what your child is really up to in his own mind, rather than just what you see on the surface and what it does to YOU. Cut some slack when you can. When you can't, be nice about it.
It's about "finding a place in the middle, a balance where both you and your child are respected and understood." (p.
Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Natural Mama on February 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book fills a void in parenting support books. Most books I have read (many wonderful books) focus on the child/behavior and what to do about it. Tools and interventions generally directed at supporting the parent in managing the child behavoirs. But what about the times when we feel unable to follow through on the advice books? Sometimes no matter how good our resolution when we awaken in the moring, to do things better, differently, we find ourselves in the same powerstruggles, cycle of parenting we wish we could do differently. Or we feel so angry or frustrated we can't follow through on the good ideas we have learned. This book is for parents. This book recognizes that we all deal with our own baggage, issues, ,habits, pains that we bring to our relationship with our children. It complicates the interactions, confuses the issues and makes parenting the way we want to that much harder. One of my favorite phrases in the book is early in the beginning. It has become my mantra. (paraphrased) ' It never works to expect the child to be the adult first!' Anytime I find myself digging my heels in with my 6.5 year old, and him doing the same, I remember this phrase and it knocks me back out of my reactive brain and into my thinking brain. It is just enough support to remember it is up to me to change the tone and move us forward to solution. I have read many parenting books, (and loved many including the Mary Kurcinka books and the Jane Nelson books). This is a permanent addition to my bookshelf. This book is well worth the time to read, I highly recommend it!!!

A mom of two spirited, young boys in Seattle
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Becoming a mother had been my dream come true. So when my expectations of what this would be like were not met I became very frustrated and felt that I had failed as a mother and what was I thinking I am no good at this. I felt very alone in this plight of mine and looked at my children as problems that had to be solved. Mind you I had all good intentions and of course love my kids with all my heart which is why I knew I had to fix everything and make them into model citizens for there sake, or so I thought. What I learned from Bonnie�s book, "When your kids Push Your Buttons" that was life changing for me was that it is not my job to fix everything or to solve everything for my kids. To me this was a revelation. Growing up I lived in a home where my mother was frequently in and out of hospitals sometimes for extended periods of time and my only sibling who was mentally and physically disabled required alot of attention. So my "job" was not to make waves and to smooth things over, trying to make everything all better, quite a monumental feat for a young girl. I just knew that my parents had enough to deal with so I better just be as good as I can. This fixing and solving things followed me into adult life and into motherhood, because that was what I thought I was supposed to do. So when I learned I didn�t need to do that anymore and that it actually is better not to because they need to work things out to learn, a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I felt freed. My children are very capable of learning through experience how to do problem solving for themselves, sometimes with a little guidance from mom. I was constantly trying to make my three children happy all at once and this just is not possible, hence all the frustration I was feeling. This book is a must read for parents, it could change your life.
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