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Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too Paperback – December 14, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 283 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With a title like this, it's no surprise that authors Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish had a monster bestseller on their hands when the book first appeared in 1988. From the subsequent deluge of readers' stories, questions, and issues, they have created nearly 50 pages of new material for this, the 10th anniversary edition. The central message remains the same, and sounds almost too simple: avoid comparisons. But parents know that's easier said than done. The value of Faber and Mazlish's discussions is precisely that they talk you through umpteen different situations and outcomes to help you teach your brawling offspring a new set of responses. The highly informative text is punctuated with helpful summary/reminder boxes and cartoons illustrating key points. It's a must-read for parents with (or planning on) multiple children. But parents of young children who get along fine (so far) should read it too--as the authors make very clear, rivalry is inevitable. The only question is how to manage the rivalry with intelligence and compassion, and on that subject they offer a wealth of good advice. --Richard Farr

From Library Journal

Disciples of the late Haim Ginott, a child psychologist, Faber and Mazlish have conducted workshops on family relationships and co-authored Liberated Parents, Liberated Children (Avon, 1975) and How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk (Rawson Wade, 1980). The present book states that sibling rivalry stems from jealousy similar to that a spouse might feel if asked to welcome another husband or wife into the household. It outlines ways to defuse such explosive situations as comparing, assigning roles, or taking sides and suggests specific remedies to avoid conflict. Cartoon-like illustrations and "quick reminders" help reinforce new behavior. A welcome assist over the rough times that too often leave lifetime scars. Suzanne Druehl, Little Rock Public Library, Ark.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Expanded edition (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380799006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380799008
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Griffiths on March 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Contrary to what one reviewer wrote, this is not the *only* book on parenting you should read. I'd recommend Faber and Maslish's other books, How to Talk so Kids will Listen..., and How to Talk so Kids Can Learn... I give this book four stars, simply because I've given the others five stars each, and I wanted to show that you should perhaps read these books first.
I found this one in the library, somewhat desperate at a time when my two-year old was regularly trying to pinch and scratch my newborn baby. What to do? It felt awful. I clutched Siblings Without Rivalry to me like a lifebuoy.
Did it help? Emphatically, yes! There is tons of helpful material here, especially the stuff about helping children to express their feelings appropriately, and the advice to treat children uniquely rather than equally. I was worried that the authors might just rehash what they said in How to Talk so Kids Will Listen..., but they don't. The format is familiar - case studies, cartoons etc, as is the general approach to life, but the content is a real development.
I have to admit that some of the book is less relevant when one of the siblings in question is still a young baby. But I'm glad I read it when I did. I'll be coming back to it in the future.
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Format: Paperback
This book has so many ideas to try with children of all ages. I'm sure I will continue to consult it as my children get older. I really like the "How To Step In So You Can Step Out" strategy that teaches parents how to intervene by acknowledging the feelings of both kids in the heat of the moment which defuses the situation so the kids can work it out themselves. I like the simple cartoons that clearly illustrate the communication "do's" and "don�ts" with quibbling siblings. I also like the way the discipline tips maintain the dignity of both the parent and the child. When I am able to resist "automatic parenting" reactions like yelling and threatening, and use some of the great techniques I've learned, I feel so much more competent as a parent. Because I have three young children (5, 3, and 2 months), I would like to also recommend a new pocket-sized book that has been very helpful addressing my specific current sibling issues. Appropriately entitled "The Pocket Parent", the entire book is written for parents with normal, but often challenging preschoolers. There are hundreds of short bulleted suggestions addressing sibling issues such as: "the new baby", "comparing and labeling", "sibling rivalry", "hitting and hurting others", "biting", "bad words", "I hate you's", "listening", "power struggles", and "traveling with the kids". These two books with exactly the same discipline philosophy compliment each other--both having great examples of the exact words to try in many sibling situations.
One of the strategies suggested in both books that has really reduced my frustration level is to redefine being "fair" as "meeting each child's needs" rather than focusing on being totally "equal" at all times. This thought is very helpful because my kids seem to always keep score...
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Format: Paperback
My sister spoke very early and her first words were "I'm telling mommy!" From the moment she arrived home from the hospital, we were locked in mortal combat. Our rivalry finally ended when I left home at 18. We are now good friends, but I wish that my parents had read this book during our childhood.
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, authors of "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk", share years of experience gained through their own parenting trials and through those of the thousands of parents who have attended their workshops. Their aim is to teach parents the skills and techniques necessary to redirect rivalry into cooperation. Topics such as teaching parents to stop treating their children equally instead of uniquely, helping children express their angry feelings acceptably, motivating children to solve their own problems, and handling fighting are expertly covered.
This best-selling book puts the reader right into the middle of a fictional workshop, sitting with other frustrated parents, asking questions and working out solutions. Each chapter begins with questions aimed at helping parents to understand and acknowledge the feelings behind a common problem. The book then describes the communication skills necessary to defuse the rivalry and gain cooperation instead of arguments. Theory is put into practice in cartoon form. A problem is presented in a cartoon, which shows the "typical" way an untrained parent would respond, and then the way the problem could be resolved using the new techniques the authors teach. The last chapter of the book explores ways in which we can mend fences and renew our relationships with our own adult siblings.
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If you have more than one child and want to understand the rivalry and bickering and arguing - AND gain insight on useful, practical ways to improve your children's relationship with each other - then read this book. What makes this book so valuable is that the powerful ideas are presented in a very down-to-earth, easy-to-read format that you'll enjoy.
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