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Children: The Challenge : The Classic Work on Improving Parent-Child Relations--Intelligent, Humane & Eminently Practical (Plume) Paperback – December 26, 1991

4.7 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rudolf Dreikurs, M.D., was an eminent child-psychiatrist who practiced in Chicago. He was the author of many child-rearing and family guides.
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Product Details

  • Series: Plume
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (December 26, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452266556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801590108
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My in-laws raised my husband on this book, and he is quite a wonderful person. We intend to raise our children this way, too.

The book IS outdated, and I don't agree with 100% of it.

For example, research done since the book was written has shown that quick, consistent, loving response to a baby's cries builds trust and communication between the baby and its parents. So I would disregard the advice to leave a baby to cry.

Dreikurs is opposed to spanking, but it's because he doesn't think it works very well, not because he thinks it's inherently harmful or dangerous. So his advice to let other significant adults in your child's life use corporal punishment if they want to is off, I think.

Other parts of the book are outdated as well, but not in ways that would matter as far as changing parenting techniques. Well, you shouldn't leave your kids alone in a car, obviously, but other than that....

Why am I still giving his book five stars even with all of the above reservations? Because even WITH all of my reservations, I still think this is the best childrearing book I have ever read--and I've read a lot of them. It clearly outlines a parenting style that is neither authoritarian nor permissive, and contributes to loving relationships where people take responsibility for their actions. I can't recommend it more highly. If you have children or if you interact with them at all, do yourself a favor and read this book!
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Format: Paperback
I've gone through so many parenting books and magazines - and this book is reaaly the first helpful book I've come across. I found results in my home in days - more cooperative children, a lot less fighting, and a calmer, happier mother. The author demonstrates clearly how to maintain disciipline and order while also respecting children and their free agency. When I first found the book I called my mother, "I finally found a book that IS my philosophy of child rearing!" Ironically, it is an old edition of the same book that my mother read over and over when I was growing up.
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By A Customer on August 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a 47 year old mother of three sons. I was given this book many years ago by a friend and I have recommended it many times. It is a practical, easy to follow concept: Help your children make wise choices and live with the consequences! It eliminates the power struggle between parent (authority) and child (rebellion). You help explain their choices, possible outcomes of those choices, and what you will or will not do in any given situation. For example, "I cannot drive this car with so much shouting. If you continue to shout (argue) I will stop the car". If shouting persists, stop the car and get outside until everything is quiet. A few stops like this and all you need to do is put on the turn signal. They learn that if they choose to argue and make noise in the car, the car will stop. One son decided he did not like his winter coat the first day it was cold enough to wear it. I said, "ok" and didn't push the issue. However, when he arrived at school, he wasn't allowed outside for recess. The next day he took the coat and never complained about it again. BUY THIS BOOK.
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Format: Paperback
My son was about 2 1/2 years old when I found "Children the Challenge" in a box of books I bought at auction. I started reading it and realized it put into words things I felt but couldn't articulate. All the things I said I wouldn't do to my children ( and found myself doing because my parents did ) I was able to change almost overnight! I guided 3 preteen step-children from wild uncontrolled children to at least respecting ( becaused they were respected ) and more coopertive members of our family. My son was raised on this book -- succesfully. Today, he is 15 years old, we are very close, he is very loving, and 97% of the time way talk our way through our problems. My mother, though all of this said most of what I was doing wouldn't work, but every 6-12 months she says how pride she is of him and what a good job I'm doing ( we've see her weekly all his life ). I've been a single mother for the last 8 years and I've kept his father very involved in his life ( don't fight-using the kids. READ THE BOOK ! ) This book really is the best. Two years ago my father checked Amazon.com for the book ( I couldn't find copies of it anywhere else, ( lost my original book when I loaned it to a co-worker)), and I ordered two copies, one for me and a friend. I'm going to order more for gifts ! I thank God I found it again. Questions ? E-mail me Chewbacca-wooky@juno.com
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Format: Paperback
This is the best book I have ever, ever read. I went to a seminar given by a local published psychologist and he told us it was the best book on child discipline he had ever read. That is why I got it. In one week my life has been changed by this book. I have learned techniques to motivate my children and avoid power struggles which had been a part of my daily life for the last five years. My only regret is that I did not get this book sooner. I could not be more impressed. This is something that really works. I have told all my friends. I want the world to know too.
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