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Reviewed by Phyllis Ruedinger
Wow! Finally a book that really helps you understand and manage your relationships with your children, the children in your care, or even your spouse or significant other!
Several aspects of Ms. Pantley's book, KID Cooperation, make it a standout in the crowded field of 'self-help' books addressing children's discipline. Ms. Pantley uses easy to understand language - not techno-jargon or politically correct phraseology. KID Cooperation is actually a page turner (no kidding) just because it is so easy to digest.
The situations and advice in the book cover a wide range of ages, from toddlers to teenagers. Some are just plain universal, common to the human species at any age. Ms. Pantley offers multiple solutions to common problems. She recognizes that not all children act/react the same way. The book gives explanations of why children do some things at certain developmental stages and offers suggestions on the best ways to act/react to situations based on the child's stage of development.
The solutions given were practical and realistic, including common sense things we adults need to be reminded of from time to time. The examples of actual situations and the way real people have handled them effectively was particularly helpful. The end of chapter summaries were a good way to reinforce the key points contained within the chapter, very useful for readers like myself who cannot always read a chapter from start to finish uninterrupted.
I found the sample forms for how to make up rules, policies, and guidelines and how to stick with them both practical and realistic.
Most importantly, when reading KID Cooperation you realize you aren't alone, that your children and your family are not unique and many of us share common challenges in child rearing.
Ms. Pantley stresses positive reinforcement and helps you develop a positive approach to discipline. She recognizes that one cannot implement all of the suggestions made in her book at the same time. Our behavior is a habit, and we need to change these instinctive responses one at a time. I found myself acting instead of reacting with my children more after reading this book. It has helped me as a parent to step back and assess my own reactions - and to realize that often a reaction is a result of events in your own life, not something the child has really done. And most importantly (for me anyway), I was reminded that effective discipline must have consequences that relate directly to what was done wrong. The child that doesn't put their bike away in the garage will learn more by having bike privileges removed for a period of time than by doing the dishes for a week as a consequence.
A lot of the techniques in KID Cooperation can be used to improve your relationship with your spouse or significant other, not just for dealings with children in your care. Whether you are raising your own children or caring for another family's children, I recommend a careful reading of KID Cooperation.
KID Cooperation, Elizabeth Pantley, New Harbinger Publications, Inc., Oakland CA 1996.
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Phyllis Ruedinger, a veteran of HomeWork Solutions employee since 1996, has supported Nanny employers with a variety of payroll and tax services. For More Information.
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