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The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends Paperback – September 3, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Elman, director of the Summit Center for Learning in Summit, N.J., and Kennedy-Moore, a Westfield, N.J., psychotherapist, offer a detailed examination of the different ways children interact with their peers. Often, otherwise bright and "normal" children behave in ways that cause other children, family members and teachers to label them as disruptive, unhappy or troublesome. There are nine types of children, according to the authors, including the "short-fused," "little adult," "born leader" and "different drummer." Parents will immediately be able to identify their child from the detailed descriptions included. For example, "Short-Fused Children may appear to be strong, but inside they feel vulnerable. These children are extremely sensitive. They often believe that the whole world is against them. Because they feel threatened, they respond angrily, instinctively fighting to protect themselves." As they explain the various types of behaviors, the authors depict a number of scenarios to show the difficulties children can have relating to others. The challenge for the parents is to help their children learn "the Unwritten Rules" so they have fewer problems and form happier, more productive relationships. The authors provide specific sentences that both parents and children can use to change these destructive behavior patterns, but some parents will probably hope for even more specific do's and don'ts. Given that other childrearing tomes rarely cover this topic, this book is a welcome addition to the parenting library.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"At last--a book that gives due emphasis to the importance of children's relationships! In a vivid and engaging style, the authors show how to identify and avoid those behavior patterns that separate youngsters from the friendships they crave."
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My daughter's ongoing struggles have been so upsetting for her and for me. I have felt so helpless at times. This book allowed me to be a real resource for my daughter, so much so that she mentioned some other things that she wants my advice about. I'm thrilled!
One of the authors says in the introduction, "This book offers a message of hope... You can work *with* your child's personality rather than against it, and help your child grow and develop socially in ways that fit with his or her unique strengths." Wow - this is such a great approach, and so encouraging, both for me and my kids.
This book is broken down into 9 different main areas of struggle. Both of my girls are very different, so I'm reading multiple chapters for each child. There have been several lightbulb moments I've had so far, as I've realized something the authors are explaining makes complete sense for what is going on with my child's behavior, in a way I hadn't thought of before.
While it is easy to read, there is a lot of information in this book, so I've found myself getting overwhelmed with all that I'm reading. I've realized that this is more like a toolbox, with lots of ideas and suggestions that I will have to try over time, rather than a solution to apply once and be finished.
I'm so thankful the authors took the time to write this book. It is helping me understand my kids and how to help them become more aware of their social skills, both for now, and for their futures.
Edited to add: After an extensive professional evaluation, my son displays many symptoms of ADHD, which explains some of the social struggles "different drummers" go through. I don't mean to say that all different drummers have or may have ADHD, but it can be one underlying cause of that behavior.