Kids, parents, and power struggles--the inseparable triad of family life. What if you could avoid Machiavellian peacekeeping maneuverings and instead turn difficult situations with your child into jumping-off points to having a better and more productive relationship? Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's new book gives a concise, practical, and often humorous account of how to achieve this turnaround. Kurcinka doesn't promise miracle cures or overnight success, but by building on Daniel Goleman's groundbreaking work in Emotional Intelligence
, she offers creative techniques for using power struggles as pathways to better understanding within any family. Drawing on her clinical experience with numerous real-life families, Kurcinka builds up an image of the parent as an "emotion coach," whose role is to build a strong, connected "team" by understanding the players' strengths and weaknesses and showing by instruction and example how best to play the game. The techniques she outlines are useful for children of any age--in fact, the younger, the better--and are based on firm guidelines and mutual respect. In sections such as "Bringing Down the Intensity," "Enforcing Your Standards," and "Teaching Life's Essential Skills," Kurcinka addresses the causes of power struggles rather than just the symptoms, so that families can reduce the pain of repeated conflict. By the end of the book, any parent should feel confident in applying the principles. --Katherine Ferguson
"Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles
is a helpful addition to the parenting literature and a delight to read. Kurcinka's vivid descriptions bring to light common conflicts, but her primary lesson is that power struggles give parents an opportunity to teach their children better ways of expressing frustration, anger, jealousy, and other emotions. Kurcinka also helps us recognize the role that temperament, both our own and out child's, plays in family life--and that continued success depends on respecting our differences."
-- Stella Chess, M.D., professor of child psychiatry, New York University Medical School, author of Goodness of Fit
"Mary Sheedy Kurcinka has written another excellent book for parents, this one about the seemingly inevitable power struggles between parents and their children. She provides wise, practical, and clear suggestions on how to avoid these conflicts and manage them better, chiefly by understanding the emotions that are fueling them. If only we all had this book a generation ago!" -- William B. Carey, M.D., director of behavioral pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, author of Understandng Your Child's Temperament