Summary and book reviews of The Seven Worst Things Parents Do by John & Linda Friel

The Seven Worst Things Parents Do

by John & Linda Friel

The Seven Worst Things Parents Do
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  • Paperback:
    Feb 1999, 194 pages

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Book Summary

An enormously readable and infinitely practical book that explores some of the worst mistakes we can make, and guides us through examples and ideas on how to change.

Psychologists John and Linda Friel have written an enormously readable and infinitely practical book that explores some of the worst mistakes we can make as parents, and guides us through examples and ideas on how change can be effected immediately.

The Friels examine the seven most ineffective and self-defeating behaviors that parents display again and again. Working from the ideas that even small changes can have big results, the authors give parents concrete steps they can take to end these behaviors and improve the quality of their parenting.

Whether you're contemplating starting a family, have children who haven't entered school yet, are struggling with rebellious teenagers, or are empty-nesters wondering how to be better parents to your grown children, you can't afford not to read this book.

With the same clarity and concrete examples that have sold over 350,000 copies of their books, the Friels offer readers forty years of combined experience as practicing psychologists, and fifty years of combined experience as blended-family parents. The material in The 7 Worst Things Parents Can Do has been field-tested in the authors' own household, with hundreds of their clients, and with thousands of their workshop and Clearlife Clinic participants. It will cause immediate changes in your behavior, in your child's behavior and will improve the lives you share together.

Chapter 1

The Seven Worst Things Parents Do



"What could turn intelligent, independent-minded adults into virtual wimps?"

Barbara Walters asked this question at the beginning of a recent ABC News 20/20 segment about small children tyrannically controlling their parents. During this valuable piece of television journalism, viewers were subjected to videotaped scenes of a mother climbing in and out of bed with her little child. For several hours, the child manipulated the mother, bargained, sabotaged and pretty much ran the show, and Mom just kept playing the game. We watched another child who had a whole cup filled with toothbrushes in an obviously failed attempt to get the child to brush his teeth by giving him "choices." We watched a child whine about wanting a can of soda with breakfast. Her mother said "no," but her father almost immediately turned around and gave the soda to his daughter "to keep peace." It's ...

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Audiofile

The authors are experienced family psychologists whose wisdom about raising children comes through in this audio program. Despite the title, this is a positive, rational approach to parenting that is kind to parents and an excellent learning experience. The abridgment is paced well, partitioned nicely with attractive music, and well balanced between abstract exposition and illustrative vignettes. The authors only speak briefly at the beginning and end of the program (summarizing and offering caveats and encouragement). The main text is read by the producer, Jeffrey Hedquist, whose words are alive and in tune with the program but don't compete with the content. The program ranks among the best and should be on everyone's short list of recommended parenting titles. (Refers to the audio edition).

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