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Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days Paperback – April 1, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
Today's kids are unionized, and they've got a game plan to drive you up the wall. But you don't have to let them call the shots. If you picked up this book, you did so for a reason. You'd like to see a few things--or many--change in your house. Have a New Kid by Friday is a game plan guaranteed to work. All it takes is sticking to some simple strategies--strategies any parent can carry out. I'll be blunt. You've got a big job to do and a short window in which to do it. If you believe that you are to be in healthy authority over your child, this book is for you. If you don't, put it down right now and buy another. After you read Have a New Kid by Friday, you'll tell yourself, "I can't wait for my kids to misbehave. I'm ready for them!" I promise. Let the fun begin. . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Change your child's behavior--fast!
Want a kid without the attitude? Without the behavior that makes you slink away in the grocery store and pretend you're not the parent? A kid with character who isn't a character? If you're tired of defiant attitudes and power struggles with your little ankle-biters or the disrespectful hormone group, read this book and follow the simple principles, and you'll have a new kid by Friday. Guaranteed!
Have a New Kid by Friday is your 5-day action plan that really works! With his signature wit and commonsense psychology, internationally recognized family expert Dr. Kevin Leman reveals why your kids do what they do and what you can do about it--starting right now.
Anyone can do it. All it takes is you deciding to stand up and take charge. Want a great kid? Want to be a great parent? Then take the 5-day challenge. Someday your kid will thank you for it.
Special Feature: "Ask Dr. Leman"
Gutsy advice on over 100 of the hottest topics for parents, including bedtime battles, lying, argumentative attitudes, sibling rivalry, talking back, and many more.
Satisfied customers say . . .
"It should be required reading."
"I recommend it to all parents."
"I wish I could give it more than five stars!"
"Entertaining and practical advice."
Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known psychologist, humorist, and New York Times bestselling author of many books, including The Birth Order Book, Have a New Husband by Friday, Have a New You by Friday, Have a New Teenager by Friday, and Making Children Mind without Losing Yours. He is former consulting psychologist for Good Morning America and is a frequent guest on national media, including Fox & Friends, Fox Good Day, Oprah, CNN's American Morning, The Today Show, The Early Show, The View, and Focus on the Family. He and his wife, Sande, live in Tucson, Arizona. They have five children and four grandchildren.
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Top customer reviews
Even though they are rambunctious and rowdy boys, the principles in this book have helped us treat them with respect instead of bullying (i.e. "I'm bigger than you so you have to do what I say") or authoritarian-style parenting (i.e. "because I said so"). It has helped us create a family environment where there is no guesswork, the boys always know what the consequences are, and we don't waste time or energy with threats, bribes, or worse yet, counting to three! Our kids don't need three seconds to disobey us -- they behave from the get-go because we have used the principles in this book to create a consistent disciplinary tactics based on mutual respect. And when they make a mistake (which is bound to happen as you rear young children!), they understand the related consequences and learn a valuable lesson -- not just some temporary pain (i.e. taking toys away) that doesn't make any sense.
I highly recommend this book! And of course, Dr. Leman's "Have a New Husband by Friday" is also an AMAZING read!! Has saved many of my friends' marriages that were in dire trouble.
Personally, I can't stand the parenting psychobabble that's out there. The self-esteem movement and the "anything you say or do as a parent will damage them forever" concepts that radiate on parenting blogs and websites today. It has led to households where parents are afraid to parent their child. On a good note, this book is not that. I agree with the author's parenting philosophy. However, I didn't find too many new ideas in the book to help me along. Granted, much of the book and questions in the back are geared towards issues of older children. Mine are 6, 4, and 2.
For example, the "Say it once and walk away" concept is great if you have one child. But when you have multiple children, I'm not going to do this and let the uncooperative child ruin the activities of the others. If I'm trying to get all the children in the car to get to a piano lesson for child A, and child C is being uncooperative, I'm not going to let Child C control the situation by not allowing Child A to go to their piano lesson. Currently, I would just ask again with a consequence to Child C (ie...."You have two minutes to get your shoes on....if you are not in the car you may not bring a toy with you" for example). And it does work temporarily, but I was hoping to hear more ideas or other solutions to situations like this.
I do disagree with the author on some points. One I remember is this often-used philosophy of "if your child throws a tantrum in the store you should leave your cart right there and exit the store." I do not get this AT ALL. Why should I let a 3 year old control whether or not I'm allowed to go grocery shopping? If they learn that by throwing a tantrum we get to leave, what have I accomplished?
There is also a lot of money involved in his suggestions. For example, "if the child doesn't clean their room, the sister or mom should do it for then and they'll have to pay sister or mom out of the allowance." This is fine for older kids, but my 6 year old doesn't get much of an allowance, doesn't really fully understand the concept of the value of money, and I think would honestly rather pay me his 50 cents allowance than clean up himself. I can see this working with a 12-year-old or teenager who needs money to hang out with friends or buy that item they've been saving up for. But for a 6 year old, I need some different ideas. Along the same lines, many suggestions for changing behavior have to do with leaving the child out of "fun" activities, like leaving them home when they are acting up or mouthing off. Obviously I can't do that with young children. I do make them "sit out" on the bench with me if we go to the park, or maybe they have to sit with us while the rest of the family gets ice cream and they don't. But, I guess I was just hoping for some new ideas.
We do fit the "authoritative" parenting style Dr. Leman's says is ideal and MOST days are great days with our kids. We kind of have worked into a good family routine and system up until now and had things down pretty well. But as our eldest child grows older and becomes more independent and headstrong we are needing to adapt our parenting style. Our biggest issue right now is with our 6-year-old talking back, sassiness, and sarcasm.
After reading the book, I still don't have any new ideas for dealing with this. If I ask him to clean his room, and he says "No, I don't want to!" the suggestion in the book is to say it once, walk away, and the next time they want something say "no" even if it is several hours later. Let them know if they are going to be disrespectful and disobedient, than you will not fulfill their requests. That's fine for the most part, but I don't always have the luxury of time. Sometimes I need things done right now. There are no suggestions for dealing with that (beyond do it yourself and take it out of their allowance which won't work for us either right now). Plus, when a child is intentionally rude, mean, disrespectful, and hurtful, I am out of ideas for dealing with it. I already kind of followed the principles the book suggests. I pretty much send the child away (to time out or their room), and welcome them back once their attitude has been corrected and they apologize. For particularly bad situations, I take away privileges and/or leave them to do formally "mom" activities on their own. A common saying in our house is that "our love in unconditional, but your privileges are conditional." So if they are not going to be part of the team, talk with kindness and respect, then they don't get the benefits of the team until their attitude improves. A child that is disrespectful in our house will not be getting the family dinner, but will be making their own (which is basically cereal or a sandwich at this age), will be doing their own laundry, cleaning rooms by themselves (which we all normally do together), etc. While this is occurring we have good conversations with the child and he clearly gets the concept of what led to the consequence. It just doesn't seem to be taking hold long-term. Perhaps I'm expecting too much too soon.
I also found the author chose to speak to some unnecessary topics. Extended breastfeeding and Homeschooling are two in particular. Regarding EBF, he basically said moms should stop at one year. I do agree with one point that if the mother is doing it for the mother only than that is not a good reason. But medical science clearly touts the benefits of EBF for the child, so making a generalized "after a year is enough" statement is really kind of ridiculous. He also writes a section on homeschooling (he is not a homeschooler) where he gives his opinion on how school needs to happen in the home. His suggestion is really to imitate the public school structure and schedule in the home. If you talk to most leaders and average families in the homeschool world, this is exactly what they are trying to avoid. It is just a silly topic for a non-homeschooler to take on in a few paragraphs. It should have just been left out.
I do think this book is worth reading. If you only pick up a few ideas here and there than that's ok. It is a quick read and has some good concepts. I suppose with all the good reviews I was just expecting a little more. But, for some families with children at the right ages, the book is likely very helpful.
If anyone has good suggestions for parenting books (faith-based is fine) for children in the 5-10 age range, I'd love to hear suggestions.
Works within a couple of days. Altho Dr. Lehman has followed with books about having
new husband+++ this one works great on any age human being that is difficult to deal with.
My favorite: Say it once. If you get an argument, do not engage!! Turn your back & walk away.
And Dr. Lehman is also a very very funny man.