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Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads: Dealing with the Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and Counselors Who Can Make--or Break--Your Child's Future Hardcover – March 7, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

8 Things You'll Learn from Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads

Rosalind Wiseman was gracious enough to give us a sneak peek at the advice found in her new book, and we're kind enough to share. So, if you've ever found yourself in any of the following situations, Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads is the book for you:

1. Your kid, who attends every practice diligently, gets lots of "pine time" on the bench, while other kids who aren't nearly as good get more play time. Should you say anything to the coach?

2. Your daughter fights with her best friend, who shuts her out of the clique. The best friend's Mom says, "I really think the girls should work it out, don't you?"

3. An angry father shouts down the principal at the PTA meeting, saying, "I know I speak for all parents here when I say..." while you disagree completely. Should you speak up?

4. You walk by two women and overhear them saying about a girl nearby, "She looks like such a slut." That's your daughter they're talking about. Should you confront them?

5. Your son goes to a party where there's drinking. When the cops bust up the party, your kid gets suspended too, even though he wasn't drinking. Should you protest?

6. Your daughter doesn't get invited to "the" party of the season, which is being given by one of her good friends. Should you call the other mother?

7. They're putting the squeeze on you to join yet another school committee, but you're already stretched thin with your full-time job. How can you say no?

8. The principal busts your kid for cheating, and now his chances for getting into a good college are ruined. It was a one-time offense, and you think the principal is making too big a deal of the incident. Should you challenge the school to get it expunged from his high school transcript?

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. If Wiseman was bold in her bestselling Queen Bees & Wannabes by telling the truth about entitled girls and their excesses, she's even more daring here. The subject this time is parents, and the phrase "we have met the enemy and he is us" may be a little too true for comfort. As cofounder of the Empower Program, which teaches kids to stop violence, Wiseman works with more than 10,000 children annually; she knows her territory. She explains that she wants to help parents navigate "the unspoken rules of Perfect Parent World" so they can find their own "happy medium between overprotective parenting and frightened passivity." While she's used to seeing through most adolescent subterfuges, she's worked with enough parents to know their evil sides, too—how they curse out school counselors, threaten to sue principals, exclude other parents at meetings and one-up other parents over their kids' college plans. Wiseman wants to show people how to behave better; she even includes sample scripts for difficult situations. Her bottom line: parents have to model good behavior if they want to end up with good kids. And since we all live in the same communities, good kids are in everyone's best interest. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; English Language edition (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400083001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400083008
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,133,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book does contain some helpful information. I specifically appreciate the parts on decoding what others are saying and things you are to never say (like "I don't know what you're teaching your kids, but we teach ours to be polite"). I also really enjoyed the quotes from teachers, counselors, coaches and principals.

However, some of the suggestions for dealing with conflict boggle my mind. For instance, the author says if someone else schedules a birthday party on the same day as your child's party, you should call up the other parents, and suggest a joint party or give them the chance to "do the right thing," which is apparently for those parents to cancel/reschedule their child's party. I find this to be absurd, impractical, and potentially embarrassing to your child. First of all, if you are the one with the problem with the parties, you should reschedule your child's party. Why are you trying to make your problem their problem? Perhaps you could make a joint party work, but either that child wasn't invited to your child's party in the first place, or that child WAS invited but decided to have his own party. Either way, it doesn't bode well for a joint party. I think another suggestion was for the parents of both kids to send out a joint letter stating that they expect the kids to honor their first commitment to one of the parties. Again, I find this micromanaging and awkward.

There are other instances of this but I think you can get the idea. First she says don't micromanage your child's social life and then seems to suggest you do that very thing. There is helpful information here, just don't swallow everything without a little common sense.
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Format: Hardcover
Rosalind Wiseman delivers wonderfully on the promise of providing greater understanding of the extra-parental adults who wield amazing power in our childrens' unfolding lives. In doing so, she also demands that we tame the Queen Bee or Kingpin lurking within or that, in the absence of these personality traits, gain the confidence and self-regard to step-up in ways that empower ourselves and our kids.

Even better, Ms. Wiseman seems to understand kids as they really are (as opposed to how parents want them to be) and presents the information square on, with the feel of a friend who knows you well enough to tell you the truth unflinchingly. When she mentions that her son's abiding passion - over studying - is his X-Box, we know what she means. When she discusses her desire for her sons to know that "mom will always find out" if they've done something ill-considered, one nods in understanding.

So for every parent who wonders who to guide their kids' relationships - with other kids and adults alike - in positive, healthy, non-meddling, and non-social-death (in the words of a 13 year old I know) ways, I can't think of a better resource. From descriptions of the parental personality types one is likely to encounter at the PTA meeting or fundraiser and how to deal with them to frank suggestions on the it's-good-for-all-of-us need to keep Bat Mitzvah celebrations to reasonably minimums, refrain from writing your kids' college aps and confront a friend who you believe might be taking a parenting misstep while preserving the relationship, Ms. Wiseman covers it all well and thoroughly.

I don't live in Perfect Parent World, do you? And with this book, I feel like I've got a map to find my way around.
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Format: Hardcover
At its core, the book calls on us all to maintain a civil discourse when dealing with the other adults in our child's life. I found something relating to my daily life in each chapter. Here are some ideas from Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads that I have already used since I bought the book two weeks ago...

1. Frank descriptions about how parents of different races see each other...

My daughter's school is majority minority. The PTA is majority white. The book has helped me figure out the dynamics of the group and take small steps to get them to consider this as a problem.

2. Remember that all parent s want what is best for their children....

Our school listserv was getting out of hand last week with an argument about how colds were spread (seriously!). I pulled a quote from the book and reminded everyone that we need to assume that fellow parents are coming from a good and positive place regarding their children. If you can imagine how much that other mom loves her child, maybe you can have some empathy for her rather than just react negatively to what she says.

3. Make a plan to make change...

A girl was gossiping about my 1st grader and making her school day miserable. Using the steps in the book I helped my child take necessary action to confront her classmate, then had a very successful conversation with the other mom that resulted in positive change instead of a defensive argument.

4. Look at your own reaction to other parents...

There were several chapters in the book that helped me focus on my own reactions. Like freaking out when someone talks about a program her child is in - maybe it is better than what my kids are signed up for! Or not letting a bragging mom make me feel inferior.
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