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Kids Are Worth It! Revised Edition: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline

Kids Are Worth It! Revised Edition: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline

4.5 8
by Barbara Coloroso

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The parenting classic, now revised with new chapters, checklists, and information about today's most pressing issues regarding our children

This bestselling guide rejects "quick-fix" solutions and focuses on helping kids develop their own self-discipline by owning up to their mistakes, thinking through solutions, and correcting their misdeeds while


The parenting classic, now revised with new chapters, checklists, and information about today's most pressing issues regarding our children

This bestselling guide rejects "quick-fix" solutions and focuses on helping kids develop their own self-discipline by owning up to their mistakes, thinking through solutions, and correcting their misdeeds while leaving their dignity intact. Barbara Coloroso shows these principles in action through dozens of examples — from sibling rivalry to teenage rebellion; from common misbehaviors to substance abuse and antisocial behavior. She also explains how to parent strong-willed children, effective alternatives to time-outs, bribes, and threats, and how to help kids resolve disputes and serious injustices such as bullying.

Filled with practical suggestions for handling the ordinary and extraordinary tribulations of growing up, kids are worth it! helps you help your children grow into responsible, resilient, resourceful adults — not because you tell them to, but because they want to.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Coloroso urges parents to teach children to take responsibility for their actions. (Aug.)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
A Harperresource Book Series
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Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

Read an Excerpt

kids are worth it! Revised Edition
Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline Chapter One
Kids Are Worth It!

Believe nothing merely because you have been told it.... Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.

— Buddhist Aphorism

You have come here to find what you already have.

— Buddhist Aphorism

There are no quick fixes, easy answers, or recipes for parenting, but I believe most of us have the tools we need to be good parents if only we could find them. Our problem is that these tools are often covered over at the bottom of our mental toolboxes. The tools that come first to hand do not serve us well. These tools were given to us, often unintentionally and without malice by our parents, grandparents, siblings, and extended family, as well as by our society. Often, when a hammer would best serve our needs, we reach into the toolbox and come out with a hatchet without realizing it. It is no wonder that some of our parenting carpentry is such a mess.

To get the tools we need, we must first become aware of the inappropriate, ineffective, or destructive tools that we are using Then we must be willing to let go of the old tools and begin using those that can serve us and our children better.

Some of the ineffective tools you may never have used or even thought of; others you'll swear were at your dinner table last night. Look them over and decide which ones you need to change.

Talk to your kids about them and ask your kids to help you. It's unnerving to be in a crowd at the city park and have my son tell me I'm giving him a minilecture when I am right in the middle of a good one, or to have one of my daughters tell me, rightfully so, that the question I just asked was really dumb. But in both situations the kids were right, and I got the opportunity to stop and start over using more appropriate tools. Are you uncomfortable with the way you handled your teenager last night? Did you "lose it" when your toddler decorated the walls with permanent marker? Are you angry, hurt, or embarrassed? Questioning and exploring are the first steps toward change. It's a two-way street; when you talk to your children about helping you stop using inappropriate tools or doing things that get in the way of their growth, you can also show them that the temper tantrum they are throwing in the grocery store just isn't going to get them the cereal they want.

As you begin to identify the ineffective tools that are a part of your parenting toolbox, you will also realize that you have the opportunity to unpack them and replace them with lighter, more responsible, constructive tools that do not weigh you down.

Before identifying and sorting the tools, it helps to know what kind of mental toolbox we are using to carry them around. The toolbox is defined by the answers to two basic questions:

1. What is my parenting philosophy?

2. What is my goal in parenting — to influence and empower my children or to control them and make them mind?

What Is My Parenting Philosophy?

Few of us explore our philosophy of parenting before we become parents. Then, after we have our children, when we are tired and worn out, we tend to parent the way we were parented. Our mother's words roll off our tongue even though we swore we'd never talk like her. Our hand swings to hit our child just as our father's hand swung to hit us, and yet we swore we'd never hit our children. In a panic we frantically read parenting books and attend every lecture on parenting offered in our community.

Yet a lot of crazy, unproductive, or unhealthy techniques in parenting are advocated by so-called experts. If we haven't looked at our own parenting philosophy, we won't be able to separate the good from the bad; we won't be able to challenge with conviction " the way it has always been done," or to reject such invalid premises as "if it was good enough for me, it's good enough for my children." However, if we know our own philosophy, we can examine various parenting tools including those we are using right now. If a tool doesn't fit, with our philosophy, regardless of who said it or what kind of research is behind it, we can choose not to use it. I have found three tenets to be the most useful in evaluating my own and other people's recommended parenting techniques:

1. Kids are worth it. I'm sure you believe this, too, because I know you're not in parenting for the money.

2. I will not treat a child in a way I myself would not want to be treated. If I wouldn't want it done to me, I have no business doing it to my child.

3. If it works and leaves a child's and my own dignity intact, do it. just because it works doesn't make it good; it must work and leave the child's and my own dignity intact.

Kids Are Worth It!

They are worth it because they are children and for no other reason. They have dignity and worth simply because they are. They don't need to prove their value as human beings; they don't have to prove their worthiness to us; nor do they need to earn our affection. Our love for them cannot be conditional, although our likes and dislikes can be. We don't have to like their hairdos, the earring in the nose, or their strange — looking shoes. Our love for them does have to be something they can count on, something they know will always be there, even when they are in trouble and we'd probably rather not be there. Being there when they are resting comfortably in our arms, smiling up at us for the first time, is easy; being there when they are cutting teeth, colicky, and crying through the night is not. Being there when they learn to ride a two-wheeler is easy; being there when they have wrecked the family car is not. Being there when they are performing in the school play is easy; being there when they call from the police station is not.

kids are worth it! Revised Edition
Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline
. Copyright © by Barbara Coloroso. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Barbara Coloroso is the author of the international bestseller Kids Are Worth It! and Parenting Through Crisis and is an acclaimed speaker on parenting, teaching, conflict, resolution, and grieving. Featured in Time, the New York Times, and on many radio and television shows, she lives with her husband in Littleton, Colorado.

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Kids Are Worth It! Revised Edition: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read about being a parent. Not just to help to be a parent it also helped me to understand why I am the way I am with my kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book before my 11 year old was born, and since then, I've read it twice more. It is a great resource that parents everywhere should use!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This should be mandatory reading for all parents. Great ideas! Easy and fun to read! And most importantly... doable! Thanks Ms. Coloroso
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best child rearing book ever - I have been parenting 3 children for 22 years, and got this book when my kids were young. I kept re-reading it over the years when different issues arose. Her methods are common sense and if you try them & keep using them you all will be happier! As a result, my kids have been nice to be around at home, with other kids and out in the world. I now have 3 lovely people who are close to adult hood now. Thank you Barbara for giving me and my children this gift!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book contains most of the common childhood problems (along with some of the not-so-common ones), the explanations on dealing with them, and the solutions to preventing unhealthy parenting. I read the book completely and now refer to it daily for assistance. I have recommended this book, numerous times, to my friends and many of my parents dealing with discipline issues. It is outstanding!! And I only hope that I may someday hear Mrs. Coloroso in person. Check out her website: http://www.kidsareworthit.com
Guest More than 1 year ago
Barbara Colorosa does a fabulous job of making good parenting seem plausible. She gives specific suggestions in how to handle specific situations which makes all this seem like I can actually do it. The other day, during one of my kids' insistence on not doing what I asked, I thought of Barbara's advice in handling manipulative behavior (I was skeptical it would work...), and gave it a shot. It WORKED! My kids don't quite know what to do, but I can tell you I'm a believer. We are all MUCH happier! I think we would all have happier kids and parents if everyone read her book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Too idealistic,and accusatory for my liking, I bought the book in the hopes of improving my parenting skills, but all that I got out of it was a specific label for my bad parenting strategies! I bet her kids were raised by a nanny 99.9% of the time anyway so I am not going to read any more of her books.