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The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids Paperback – March 2, 1998
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From the Inside Flap
Why do so many of our kids--raised in the most affluent nation on earth--fail to thrive and strive and enter adulthood lacking appropriate and effective coping skills? Drs. Swihart and Cotter have come up with a revolutionary theory on why our kids are having such a tough time of it today: It is because we allow our children to manipulate us, and the world around them, rather than teaching them how to respond to life and life's tough situations. The result is that manipulative behavior is directly tied to low self-esteem, which only heightens its negative impact on kids, families, and the larger communities we live in. The good news is that Drs. Swihart and Cotter have created a radical and clinically proven program for breaking manipulative behavior and getting our kids back on track. The program teaches parents to say no without feeling guilt; to resist the urge to feel responsible for their child's happiness; to view their children as emotionally competent and resilient; and most importantly, to realize that effective parenting means allowing your child to make mistakes and develop a sense of competence, which leads to enhanced self-esteem and an ability to live independently and successfully in the real world.
Drawing on their twenty-five years in private practice, the authors illustrate their program with examples of successful kids, as well as case studies of how parents have regained control and effectively blocked their children's manipulative behavior. The positive results will enlighten, and even astound you, and give you the tools needed to become a better parent.
About the Author
Ernest W. Swihart Jr. was a behavioral pediatrician and the co-author, with Patrick Cotter, of The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids. He lived in South Dakota, and died in 2014.
Patrick Cotter is a child psychologist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the co-author, with Ernest W. Swihart Jr., of The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Resourceful, and Independent Kids.
Top customer reviews
A friend of mine let me read her copy of this book a few years ago. Her son is about 12 years older than my son. I was telling her how challenging things were with my son and she told me "You need to get those tantrums under control now because four year old tantrums turn into fifteen year old property destruction and calling the police." I am so happy I listened to her. This book has changed the dynamic of our family. When I apply the advice in this book I like being a parent. As things go well, sometimes I slip and forget to use the techniques and we have chaos again. This is entirely my own fault and I recognize this. I am currently re-reading the book to regain peace in the house. I come from a long line of manipulators and am working at breaking the cycle once and for all. This book has helped me recognize the manipulation in my mother's family so I can see the situation for what it is. Manipulation turns into easily manipulated as a parent. I can see it in myself. I can see it in how I was raised. I am certain I was a manipulative child, and my mom was afraid to say "no". It is not always easy to say "no" when you get such resistance. When you hold your ground, after the initial breaking in period, you no longer get the resistance. It seems the more manipulative the child, the bigger the resistance. It is worth it to stick it out though! Do not beat yourself up if your child is out of control. Instead do what you can to correct the problem and feel empowered. Use it as motivation to find the solution.
I read one of the reviews about this book where the parent said something to the effect of this is like dog training. Yes, it seems like it to me also. Doesn't bother me though. It is more important to me that my children behave and have self control (some dogs have more self control than kids). The key is to do it lovingly and without yelling, just matter of fact. Yes, I have made my three kids sit (like dogs) at the store when misbehaving. I simply have them sit wherever they are and then when they are calm, we go about our business.
The best part about using this technique: I hear "Mommy, I love you" often every day! It is astonishing to me how often I hear this from all my kids. The more firm (but loving and kind) I am with them, the more they tell me they love me. Who would have thought?
You MUST try this before you decide if it works or not, and you must get through the tough part where your child desperately rebels. If you simply have not tried something, how will you know whether or not it works? You owe it it yourself and your family to commit to this for a period of time before you decide if it works or not. Your sanity as a parent can depend on it. Believe me, I have seen much chaos in my family when not using this. There are times when I just wanted to get away. When I use this stuff, I enjoy my kids, and they enjoy life more as well.
Nothing worth while is ever easy, but the work done to get great results shows you that you're strong enough to stick it through. When you crack this book open, its a bit like opening Pandora's Box. You will find that each member of the family plays into the behavior we're trying to stop (avoid). If you can't take a bit of self-criticism, you'll miss valuable clues into the drama at hand. The book is not direct in the sense that it openly says 'parents are idiots and do everything wrong', but speaks to us in a gentler way by describing how our being manipulated serves something within ourselves as well.
So, as much as we would like to focus on the child (which this book does), we also need to run a parallel thought process on the hand -we- play.
There are 'assignments' provided which invite you to delve deeper and become better at identifying what you've just learned. It also provides clear information to resolving manipulation behavior and its fallout.
Its refreshing to read a book with such emphasis on self responsibility and integrity. I'm so happy I ordered this book, I think lessons learned will bleed over into other aspects of my life and allow me to improve at parenting and myself! Time to stand up and be the parents our children need us to be!
Most recent customer reviews
This is the best book on parenting I've ever read. My son is gifted and a master manipulator.Read more