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You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded): Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1 edition (August 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578561930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578561933
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

It's easy to recognize a strong-willed child. Difficult to discipline, at times impossible to motivate, strong-willed children present unique, frustrating, and often exhausting challenges to those who care for them. But now, the miracle parents long for can happen. Offering new hope, achievable goals, and a breath of fresh air to families and teachers, Cynthia Tobias explains how the mind of a strong-willed child works - and how to use that information to the child's best advantage.

About the Author

Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is the founder, manager, and CEO of Apple St. L.L.C. (Applied Learning Styles) and president of Learning Styles Unlimited, Inc. She coordinates the Apple St. education and commerce programs and administers various learning styles projects throughout North America and internationally. Cynthia is a popular speaker at workshops, classes, and seminars for businesses, government agencies, churches, and school districts. And she's the best-selling author of The Way They Learn, They Way We Work, Every Child Can Succeed, Bringing Out the Best in Your Child, and Do You Know What I Like About You? Cynthia, her husband, and their twin boys live in the Seattle, Washington area.

More About the Author

Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is founder and CEO of AppLe St. (Applied Learning Styles) and coordinates education and commerce programs throughout North America and internationally. She is a speaker and the best-selling author of several books including Every Child Can Succeed, Bring out the Best in Your Child, Do You Know What I Like About You? and You Can't Make Me (But I Can be Persuaded). She lives near Seattle, Washington.

Customer Reviews

Reading this book left me with the feeling you get from talking to a good friend.
Cracked Harp
As a parent of a very strong willed child (SWC), and a former SWC myself, I grabbed up this book as soon as I heard about it.
Sonny L
It really helped me see why they so often seem to choose to do things the hard way.
Karen Dembia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 131 people found the following review helpful By "merski4" on June 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For a long time I thought that I must be doing something wrong in my parenting style to make my child so disobedient and mean. This book helped me realize that I was right. My style of parenting worked wonderfully for my older son, but trying those same harsh, disciplinary actions with my three year old, strong-willed son, have been disasterous. This book did a fantastic job of helping me realize that my child is unique and my ways of dealing with him must adjust to fit his needs. Especially helpful was the chapter on "the line between right and wrong". I could not see, until reading this book, that it is not a sin to be strong-willed, or determined, or even stubborn. God has created us each in a specific way with certain desires for us to searve him individually. God made my strong-willed child that way for a purpose. My job in parenting is to help my son find that purpose through love and understanding. This book was wonderful, and I would recommend it to anyone who needs good Christian advice on raising a strong-willed child. The elderly ladies at my church, one in particular, often comment on how they can see the evil in my son's eyes. I find this incredibly sad, for where they see evil, I see a determination to not walk the straight line, and a potential to change the world.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Donna on May 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My daughter is more of an independent child than a strong willed child, but this book was very insiteful on HOW to talk to your children. Get them to do what you want by letting them think it's their idea. . . Wonderful book, some of the ideas even work on husbands ;)
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
All of Cynthia's books are well-written and easy to read. She packs them full of interesting anecdotes which bring home her point while amusing and entertaining the reader. This book may be the most valuable yet in terms of saving parents sanity and preserving a great relationship with ALL your children--including the difficult ones! Give this book to someone who struggles with a defiant or strong-willed child, or read it yourself. The child you save may be your own!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Cracked Harp on February 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I finally finished reading a parenting book and didn't have one single urge to throw it across the room in frustration when I was finished! Cynthia Tobias really knows how a SWC thinks and talks. I laughed out loud because so much of what she wrote sounds just like things my son says, or things I remember thinking as a child.

Reading this book left me with the feeling you get from talking to a good friend. It isn't that I haven't read these strategies before, but I haven't had them presented in a way that makes me feel like "I can do this. We're going to be fine". If you haven't read a lot of parenting books, this one may be a little light on the "how-to". If you have read LOTS of them, then this one may be the last one you need to read.

I am going to gleefully go donate a few of my old parenting books now....
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rachel B. Ramey VINE VOICE on September 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My younger daughter has had me at a complete loss since she learned to walk and talk. Other parents have communicated that if I would just try harder, or be more consistent, then everything would be fine. Frustrated and discouraged, I knew that what we were doing was just not working. What works for most other children simply does not work for this one. (We have an older child, and have worked with numerous other children, so this is not just talk. We have had reasonable success in the past - just not with this particular child.)

Reading You Can't Make Me... was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, somebody "gets it"! Somebody, somewhere, actually understands what it is like to live with this child. Nothing seems to motivate her, she's willing to just "accept" any consequence we can dish out, and EVERYTHING turns into World War III, no matter how minor it was to start with. The truly scary thing? This child is barely three!

Therein lies the biggest complaint I have with the book, and my reason for rating it as only three stars. Most of the concrete suggestions don't really seem to be applicable to small children. I feel like I could derive a lot more benefit from the book if we were willing to put it on the shelf and pretend we don't have this child for at least another two years. Obviously, that is not an option.

I also felt that there was some inconsistency, at times, between what certain illustrations seemed to illustrate and what the author's stated intent was. This makes the author sound a bit wishy-washy about truth and standards and authority, when I believe this is largely a matter of poorly-chosen illustrations. To quote from the book,

"Contrary to what some popular theories propose, I believe...that there are absolutes.
Read more ›
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is very valuable information. A purely authoritarian approach to parenting a strong-willed child may win you some battles, but you will lose your child. It's not worth it--Read this book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Uruviel Ancalímon on December 17, 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
Ok, so I listened to the audiobook. It actually was better to listen to the audiobook because I could hear the author reading her book with her emotion and specific points accentuating specific things, like how something should be said, or a tone you could try with your kids.
I have to say that this book has given me more ideas than anything I've read so far in any book about strong willed kids. Basically I need to find what motivates my child and never, ever, give orders. It just doesn't work. The author places a lot of focus on incentive, rather than punishment. She doesn't advocate that kids should be able to run wild, or use being "strong-willed" as either a character defect OR an excuse for "bad" behavior.
There is some focus on being Christian, just an FYI. This may be good for some people, but not others.
In all, fantastic book!!
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