What parent doesn't want to avoid whining, nagging and yelling when it comes to dealing with their children? Kid Cooperation, by Elizabeth Pantley, is a fantastic source of tips, tools and ideas to help parents learn to deal with their children calmly and respectfully, while at the same time, teach their children cooperation, good manners and self-discipline.
In the forward for the book, Dr. William Sears states, "Elizabeth teaches
parents how to listen to, and control, their anger - how to nip
in the bud situations that can push parents over the edge into rage.
As you practice the techniques in this book, you'll find that the
occasions when you feel really frustrated and angry will grow fewer
and farther between."
book offers flexible tips and techniques that any parent could immediately
begin using. What is so wonderful about the book is the tone - you
really feel like what she is recommending is not only doable, but
will work, as well. She is an encouraging author and speaks not
only from her own experience raising three children, but also from
years of listening to other parents, observing parenting strategies
in action and leading parenting workshops.
book begins with a quiz in Chapter 1, designed to show the reader
what his or her parenting style currently is. Chapters 2 through
8 are the heart of the book, laying out the tools and techniques.
Chapter 9 is called "Ideas - Not Answers" and is really a Q & A,
where situations are presented and Elizabeth offers one or more
possible ways to handle them. The book is easy to read and very
well organized. In addition, at the end of each chapter are "Reminder
Pages" that sum up the ideas presented in each chapter. So after
reading through a chapter, a quick scan of the Reminder Page will
be enough to help you remember what that chapter was all about.
Elizabeth recommends photocopying the Reminder Pages and taping
them up in conspicuous areas of the house (the refrigerator, for
example) while readers are still in the process of learning the
techniques and incorporating them into their daily lives.
2 through 8 deal with the following issues: successful parenting;
cooperation; punishment versus discipline; sibling relationships;
anger; and, taking care of yourself and those around you. Every
chapter presents great ideas that will cause you to think about
how to be the best parent you can be.
2 includes five especially wonderful "rules:" take charge; think;
when you say it, mean it; use skill; and, mistakes to avoid.
By taking charge, she says to "Expect your children to obey. No
guilt, no excuses." In a time when it seems overly permissive parenting
in on the rise, this is a refreshing "rule" to read about. "Think"
refers to having a parenting plan, rather than winging it day by
day, hour to hour, situation to situation. Children need consistency,
and having a plan helps establish that consistency. Saying what
you mean and meaning what you say is a part of developing that consistency
for your children. It is also a good reminder to not make idle threats
that you can't or won't follow through with. Elizabeth describes
the "use skill" rule in this way: "What is the goal? What skill
will help me achieve my goal?" Finally, she outlines four mistakes
to avoid: giving in; having fuzzy expectations; allowing bad manners;
and, being inconsistent.
I found so terrific while reading this book was that Elizabeth's
techniques put the parent in charge while still validating and respecting
the child's feelings and views. She gives compelling arguments against
yelling, spanking and other such parenting techniques. And, she
offers alternative tools to replace the more negative ones. The
book has sample parent-child dialogues throughout the chapters to
illustrate the various tools in action. I found that very helpful.
She makes sure to show the "wrong" way and the "right" way side
by side, for comparison's sake.
of the other tools that I particularly liked are in Chapter 3, the
chapter on cooperation. One idea is called "Grandma's Rule" and
it works like this: "You may _____ after you _____." For example,
"You may play outside with your friends after you have put the dishes
in the dishwasher." I like how this technique starts with something
positive that the child wants to do, but emphasizes that there are
still certain things that need to be done first in order to earn
the desired privilege. I also like the notion of "giving clear instructions."
Instead of saying, "Be good," she suggests telling your child exactly
what behavior you want from them, such as don't talk with your mouth
full, don't throw food, and so on.
7 is another one of my favorites - dealing with anger. She offers
four steps for staying calm when you feel yourself moving towards
anger and rage. In step 1, she says to stop, put space between you
and your child, breathe and count. In step 2, she recommends trying
to "see yourself on TV" and try to see yourself from an outside
perspective. As she says on page 128, "You may be surprised to see
that you are about to wring your kid's neck because she won't eat
her broccoli!" Step 3 suggests adjusting your expectations and your
thinking, and step 4 is about choosing the skill you'll use. She
concludes the chapter nicely: "With practice, you may find that
following these steps to staying calm may actually help you avoid
getting angry in the first place. But even if you do get mad, your
anger will not feel out of control, and you'll have a plan for dealing
enjoyed reading Kid Cooperation very much and am happy to have it on my bookshelf.
After years of being a classroom teacher, it was especially refreshing
for me to see that many of the same techniques I learned for classroom
management that worked in a group setting - being consistent, giving
clear directions, controlling my anger - are the same ones that
can be used with my own child. Elizabeth's style is humorous, warm
and friendly, and as Dr. Sears says, "Best of all, after putting
Elizabeth's ideas into practice, you'll be much more able to enjoy
your children, and to enjoy the experience of being a parent."
How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading
and Get Kids to Cooperate
by Elizabeth Pantley
would have to be the most difficult (yet rewarding!) job in the
world. Of all parenting challenges, discipline is probably at the
top of most parents' list. Every parent wants to raise kids who
are responsible and caring people. But HOW on earth are we supposed
to achieve this? Often the only blueprint we have for discipline
comes from our own parents, and involves methods such as spanking
and shouting, which are neither effective nor respectful to children.
goodness for Elizabeth Pantley and her wonderful book Kid
Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids
to Cooperate! I must admit to being somewhat sceptical when
I come across claims such as those in this book title. "If it sounds
too good to be true then it probably is," rings in my ears. However,
I am delighted to be able to say that this book not only lives up
these claims but MORE.
Kid Cooperation, Elizabeth Pantley shares parenting skills that
are life-changing! I do not say that lightly! This book will change
your life! The wonderful thing is that the skills outlined are easy
to learn and implement, they actually WORK, and probably most importantly
in my opinion, they are kind to and respectful of children. Elizabeth's
style is very readable, positive and not at all preachy. She allows
you to determine areas needing improvement in a way that leaves
you feeling both hopeful and positive.
first chapter comprises a quiz to determine your current discipline
style. Are you permissive, democratic, balanced or autocratic? (I
erred on the "too democratic" side!) The good news is that, whatever
your current style, you CAN find help in this wonderful book.
remaining chapters contain the gems of wisdom which fulfil the claims
on the front cover! Chapter 2 teaches the keys to successful parenting
- take charge; think; when you say it, mean it; use skill. Chapter
3 covers cooperation and how to achieve it in your home. Chapter
4 discusses punishment versus discipline. Chapter 5 teaches ways
to build your child's self-esteem. Chapter 6 is all about sibling
relationships. Chapter 7 deals with parent anger. Chapter 8 discusses
ways to look after yourself and the relationship with your parenting
partner. Chapter 9 consists of some common discipline questions
with several suggestions on how to deal effectively with each. Each
chapter ends with a very helpful "reminder page," which can be copied
and placed in appropriate spots around the home. This really makes
learning the new skills manageable!
the book, examples of situations and dialogue (some from the author's
own family experiences) make understanding easy. Many readers will
see themselves and their kids in the examples (I did!) Elizabeth
makes it simple to identify ineffective parenting AND to replace
it with techniques that actually WORK. I have personally used many
of the skills taught in this book with my own child and am thrilled
to report the improvement in harmony in our household. Some examples
which have been particularly useful to us are the "5-3-1-go" (when
leaving a playground for example), making objects talk (great for
things like teeth cleaning time!), and using happy faces and sad
faces on a daily chart.
thoroughly recommend this book! My ONLY complaint is that I didn't
get it when my child was younger!
• Kid Cooperation at Amazon.com
• Kid Cooperation Amazon UK
• Kid Cooperation at Amazon Canada
Also on StorkNet by Elizabeth Pantley:
• Interview with StorkNet members
• Articles on StorkNet
• Hidden Messages review
• Perfect Parenting review
• No-Cry Sleep Solution review
Visit Elizabeth's website