No More Misbehavin': 38 Bad Behaviors and How to Stop Them

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"This will be the only discipline book you'll ever need to raise good kids."
-from the Foreword by Jack Canfield, coauthor, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul

"Michele Borba offers insightful, realistic, and straightforward advice that is sure to get immediate results."
-Editor-in-Chief, Parents Magazine

"A sensitive, thoughtful, eminently practical book that will help parents help their children change behaviors that will improve the child's, and ...

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"This will be the only discipline book you'll ever need to raise good kids."
-from the Foreword by Jack Canfield, coauthor, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul

"Michele Borba offers insightful, realistic, and straightforward advice that is sure to get immediate results."
-Editor-in-Chief, Parents Magazine

"A sensitive, thoughtful, eminently practical book that will help parents help their children change behaviors that will improve the child's, and the entire family's, well being and happiness. A wonderful contribution!"
-Alvin Rosenfeld, M.D., child psychiatrist and coauthor, Over-Scheduled Child

Anger, Anxiety, Biting, Bossy, Bullied, Bullying, Chore Wars, Cynical, Defiant, Doesn't Listen, Fighting, Gives Up Easily, Hitting, Homework Battles, Hooked on Rewards, Impulsivity, Intolerant, Lying and Cheating, Materialistic, Mean, Negative Peer Pressure, No Friends, Over-Perfectionism, Poor Sportsmanship, Put-Downs, Rude, Selfish, Sibling Battles, Short Attention Span, Shy, Stealing, Swearing, Talking Back, Tattling, Teased, Temper Tantrums, Whining, Yelling.

Parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba tackles the most common bad behaviors that kids ages 3 to 12 repeat over and over behaviors that drive parents crazy. In this enormously useful, simple-to-use book she shows how to change these behaviors for good. For each negative behavior Dr. Borba offers a series of key tips and guidelines and outlines a step-by-step plan for a customized makeover that really works! Using the steps outlined in No More Misbehavin' will give you the help you need to raise kids with strong values and good character.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787966171
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/21/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 354
  • Sales rank: 476,145
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Michele Borba, Ed.D.— internationally renownedconsultant and educator— is the recipient of the NationalEducator Award and the author of eighteen books including ParentsDo Make a Difference (Jossey-Bass), which was named by Childmagazine as an "outstanding parenting book of the year," andBuilding Moral Intelligence which Publishers Weeklycalled "One of the most significant books published this year." Sheis a frequent guest expert on television and National Public Radiotalk shows including The View, Fox & Friends, and TheParent Table. She is an expert columnist for OxygenMedia, an honorary advisory board member for Parentsmagazine, and is quoted in numerous national publications. Shelives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and threeteenaged sons. You can find her on the web at www.MicheleBorba.comor

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Read an Excerpt

No More Misbehavin'

38 Difficult Behaviours and How to Stop Them
By Michele Borba

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7879-6617-7

Chapter One

Preparing to Make Changes

Be not afraid of moving slowly; be afraid only of standing still. -Chinese proverb


I can't believe I'm admitting this, but my kid is driving me crazy. He's ten and basically a good boy, but the way he acts sometimes makes me wonder if he's had a brain transplant. I've tried sticker charts, grounding him, taking away privileges, even bribing him. They work for a while, then he starts doing the same obnoxious behaviors again. I'm running out of ideas and am at my absolute wit's end. How do I get my kid to behave-and stay behaving-while still maintaining my sanity? There has to be a better way! -Carolyn, a single mom from Seattle, Washington

"How many times do I have to tell you?"

"That's enough! Stop it!"

"Why can't you just behave?"

Sound familiar? Well, you're not alone. One of the biggest concerns of parents is how to get their kids to behave. I know so not only because I'm a mother of three teenagers, but also a former classroom teacher, expert parenting columnist at Oxygen Media, advisory board member to Parents magazine, and parent workshop leader. Through the years, I've received hundreds of questions from distraught parents and have seen two main similarities in all of them.

First, parents almost always ask about thesame bad behaviors. Getting kids to listen, bullying, whining, and talking back have topped their lists. Then they go on to complain about anger, anxiety, fighting, and on and on. I started keeping track and discovered thirty-eight key bad behaviors that seemed to trouble them most.

Second, parents want to know how to discipline their kids, not only to stop the bad behavior on the spot but also completely eliminate it-and do so without reminders, pleading, coaxing, yelling, threatening, and bribing.

I found I was repeating the same answers over and over and giving the same behavior tips again and again, until one parent finally asked, "Can't you write this in a book?" and that's how No More Misbehavin' came to be. The letters you read in this book are real ones I've received from parents, and the answers are ones I've given countless times. There's one big difference: although I will give you proven, simple strategies you need to change your child's bad behaviors, I'm asking you to take one more step. Please don't just read these ideas: commit to changing your child's behavior by creating an action plan to help him succeed and then consistently using it until you do see change. That's what I call a Behavior Makeover, and that's what this book helps you do.

I'll help you write each plan, but it's you who must carry out it out. And if you do, here's a guarantee: your relationship with your child will improve, your family life will be more harmonious, parenting will be more enjoyable, and your child will behave the way you hope he will. Those are big guarantees, and to achieve them will take work on your part. But isn't that what parenting is all about? After all, we all have one big goal as parents: to raise our kids to be happy, well-behaved, good, and decent human beings. And that's exactly what you'll be gaining when you put into action your Behavior Makeover plans. Let's get started.


All of the strategies you need to help you change your kid's behavior are provided in this book. But after working with hundreds of parents with these ideas, I'm convinced there are a few supplies and ideas that will help your makeover efforts. I strongly recommend you follow the five key tasks of preparation each time you try a new makeover to achieve long-term behavior change:

Use a Makeover Journal. Each makeover poses questions to help you think about your kid's behavior. I urge you to write your thoughts and action plan in what I call a Makeover Journal. It could be a nice leather journal or a plain spiral notebook; either is fine. But be sure to write in it consistently every day. You'll be able to reread your notations, see behavior patterns that you otherwise might have missed, and track your kid's progress. Even the most reluctant parents have found that using a Makeover Journal has been invaluable for their efforts.

Talk to essential caregivers. Consult others who know your child well-family, grandparents, teachers, day care providers, relatives, coaches, scout leaders, Sunday school teachers, ministers, babysitters-to find out their perspective on your child's behavior. For instance: Does your child act the same way with them? What do they think is causing the misbehavior? How do they respond? Does it work? What suggestions do they have? When you develop any makeover plan, share it with them. The more you work together, the quicker you'll be in stopping the problem behavior. Consistency is a critical part of an effective makeover.

Track the targeted behavior on a calendar. An important makeover tool is a monthly calendar. Find one that has space for you to write a few sentences each day about your kid's behavior progress. For instance, note the date the behavior began. Once the makeover begins, every day jot down the number of times your kid displays the misbehavior. If your behavior plan is effective, you'll gradually see a decline in the frequency of misbehaviors, and you'll know your plan is working.

Read the resources. Following each makeover is a list of further reading. Some are for you, and others are for your child. They provide a more thorough background about the behavior and offer more helpful hints for your makeover. Read a selection or two each time you target a behavior to make over.

Form a parent support group. One of the best ways to use this book is by discussing these issues with other parents. You'll realize that other parents' kids have similar behavior problems as yours-which is always a bit comforting-as well as have the chance to hear their suggestions of what works or doesn't work in ridding bad behaviors. So form or join a group. Any size is fine; even one other parent will do. Just make sure you all enjoy one another and will commit to meeting regularly.


All of the makeovers in this book follow a general plan that is simple to follow and easy to use. Here are the elements of each makeover:

1. A letter I've received from a concerned parent about a real problem with his or her child's behavior. These letters represent the most common and frequently mentioned behavior problems that I've received.

2. A one- or two-sentence Behavior Tip that provides the essence of a successful approach to changing this behavior.

3. A major section of strategies that have been shown to improve each specific behavior problem. These techniques are culled from empirical research produced by the best professionals, scholars, and practitioners in the field of child development and psychology. Please study these methods carefully and see which ones might apply best for your child.

4. The Behavior Makeover Plan, which shows you how to apply these guidelines to your specific situation. This section is the key to creating your own action plan to change your kid's behavior. It asks you to reflect on your own behavior problems, past and present, to help you create the context and make the connection between you and your kid. It will help you understand what's working and what's not working in your reactions as a parent to your kid's problem so far. Most important, it will ask you to work hard to understand why your kid is acting the way he is. It will encourage you to write your thoughts, responses, and greatest concerns in your Makeover Journal. Next, your job will be to make a plan based on reviewing the strategies in the first section and applying them to your child. Be sure to write this plan in your Makeover Journal.

5. The Makeover Pledge for each behavior problem. This pledge asks how you write exactly what you agree to do within the next twenty-four hours. Then do it. Research has proven that you have a 90 percent greater likelihood of success if you begin your plan within the next twenty-four hours. Don't wait!

6. The Makeover Results, with space to record your child's progress for the next three weeks. Research shows real behavior change takes a minimum of twenty-one days of repetition, so don't give up too soon.

7. Resources, which provide further reading on the problem behavior for parents as well as kids of varying ages.


Studies reveal that 85 percent of all parents of children under twelve years of age use spanking when they're frustrated, yet less than 10 percent feel that it is effective. Sixty-five percent of parents surveyed said they'd rather discipline their kids by using consequences and encouraging improved behavior. The reason they resort to spanking instead? They don't know more effective discipline approaches.


Excerpted from No More Misbehavin' by Michele Borba Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Foreword by Jack Canfield.

PART ONE: Preparing to Make Changes.

PART TWO: Behavior Makeover Basic.

PART THREE: Thirty-Eight Behavior Makeovers.

1. Anger.

2. Anxiety.

3. Biting.

4. Bossiness.

5. Bullied.

6. Bullying.

7. Chore Wars.

8. Cynicism.

9. Defiance.

10. Doesn’t Listen.

11. Fighting.

12. Giving Up Easily.

13. Hitting.

14. Homework Battles.

15. Hooked on Rewards.

16. Impulsivity.

17. Intolerance.

18. Lack of Friends.

19. Lying and Cheating.

20. Materialistic.

21. Meanness.

22. Negative Peer Pressure.

23. Overperfectionism.

24. Poor Sportsmanship.

25. Put-Downs.

26. Rudeness.

27. Selfishness.

28. Short Attention Span.

29. Shyness.

30. Sibling Battles.

31. Stealing.

32. Swearing.

33. Talking Back.

34. Tattling.

35. Teased.

36. Temper Tantrums.

37. Whining.

38. Yelling.

PART FOUR: How to Use Consequences.

PART FIVE: Don’t Forget to Tell Your Kids YouLove Them!


About the Author.


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Customer Reviews

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( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Misbehavior is reversible

    The voyage through the pages of No more misbehavin¿ reveals one of the most threatening phenomena of our modern world: the decline of dialogue. How many parents worry about potential misconduct until that becomes a reality? How many parents-to-be even consider the possibility of a troublemaking son or daughter in the midst of their elation? Not many progenitors acknowledge the changes of having a misbehaving child on the contrary most parents tend to hold high expectations and hopes for their descendants. Only when undesired or unexpected conducts flourish and unhealthily progress, parents may be ¿caught off guard¿. Michelle Borba provides through her No more misbehavin¿, with a reflective tool for parents to address thirty-eight misbehaviors that may pose a threat to the yearned familiar harmony. Simply constructed, Borba organizes the chapters in a repetitive four step structure: behavior example, conduct elimination and makeover plan, pledge and results. Although this simplicity may seem effortless and tedious, the author models, through this very predictable reading, the consistency that she repeatedly defends throughout the book and that transmits the caring message for attention that all children unremittingly seek for. The behaviors that Borba denounces, typical of children from three to twelve years old, have been persistent through generations and therefore need to be addressed from an angle that prioritizes prevention. The fact that generation after generation of parents have to deal with similar displays of behaviors, demonstrates that adults are not listening to or are not understanding the results of research on this particular topic. Borba attempts to arrive to those adults inserting resources between each chapter that invite to further investigation as well as brief data based notes that alert and rapidly inform the reader about a particular fact. Exhibiting a very optimistic and straightforward style, the author shuns giving solutions, rather she calls for inner reflection and insight. Her innovative contribution is the ability to transport the reader to his/her childhood seeking the cause of his/her own child¿s present misbehavior, what she calls the ¿ looking in the mirror ¿. Hence Borba¿s tone eludes punitive or coercive measures but, instead, adult proactive acts that build on dialogue, reflection and children¿s positive attributes. While the conducts depicted in the book are bona fide, other behaviors that are emerging as product of a fast evolving technological society are neglected in No more misbehavin¿. Current parental concerns related to the use and abuse of technology, values, or massive product consumption are some realities that are influencing today¿s youth from earlier ages as well and that are impacting families, schools and society. Associated to that, another remarkable suggestion in No more misbehavin¿ is that the behaviors are not portrayed as a child¿s illness that needs to be treated and cured, contrarily, a misconduct is understood by the author as a possible reaction to other adult or parental behaviors (dysfunctions) that can not be properly articulated or vocalized by a youngster between the ages of three to twelve. Consequently, the title of the book must not swindle the reader about who is the actual protagonist of it. The thirty-eight behaviors are an excuse to cogitate about the adult¿s role and liability toward a child¿s education. This book is explicitly and implicitly about the parents, Borba does not mention other institutions or individuals equally accountable but only as a support, hence parents are not excused from what their main duty is. Only when all the possibilities offered in the book are exhausted and decisive persistency against recurrence fails, may parents seek professional help. I appreciated the exemplification of a certain behavior introducing each chapter, extracted from letters that Michelle Borba receives from overwhelmed par

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2003

    Must Have Resource for Parents and Teachers

    Parents are always looking for great ideas on how to improve their kids behavior. Michele Borba's new book offers strategies that are easy and fun to use and that actually work! So many parenting books are based on theory. No More Misbehavin' offers proven and practical ways to address 38 specific behaviors in a way that provides results...and within a short period of time. There is also another unique and important benefit Dr. Borba's book offers...the results are permanent. She shows parents and teachers how to change a behavior and replace it with a more desired behavior. This is what makes her book way ahead of the pack of the many 'discipline' books available today. Keep this book close to your nightstand. It will become an indespensible resource. Anne Leedom Editor/Publisher

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2003

    Sensible advice for correcting worrisome kid behaviors

    It is so helpful to have a book that is designed for easy access to a specific topic of concern. I bought this book for some school concerns that we were having with our grade-schoolers. Many of the major hot-button isuues are covered in this book that were of current interest to me. I have found the tips and steps to correct the behavior to be sensible and for the most part easy to implement; we have already seen positive changes in the homework and school behavior of our two sons (ages 9 and 11). Additionally, we as parents are yelling, nagging, threatening, and complaining much less and that feels so good as far as the general ambiance in our home. On a good day, we seem to have found a few more minutes of 'hanging out' down time together as a family. Another book we highly recommend that we have been using with our 2 and 4 year old is The Pocket Parent. This book is also an A-Z compedium of worrisome behaviors with many sanity saving suggestions that have also worked well for us. I like both quick-read reference books becasue they include very specific strategies of what you might say and do to change the undesirable, often annoying behavior. Both have a sense of humor and compassion throughout, and they are both reasonably priced.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2003

    No More Misbehavin': 38 Bad Behaviors and How to Stop Them

    Let me begin by applauding Dr. Borba for once again giving us a resource that is both practical and realistic. While this book is a wealth of behavior tips, background information, and anecdotes based on real parent letters, its real value lies in its down-to-earth, step-by-step approach to handling difficult behaviors that challenge (or will challenge) every parent, every grandparent, and every teacher. But the comprehensive discussion of 38 troublesome behaviors is just the beginning. This book truly lays the foundation for creating peace in the home by developing a positive attitude and meaningful relationship with children¿a relationship built on fairness, honesty, and respect. Bringing this book into your home will change your life. For me, it was about accepting responsibility, sharing that responsibility, and taking on the challenge of understanding and modifying behavior. But, in the end, I see that it's even more about improving the overall quality of my life, and that of my children, through changing the dynamics of an entire family. Discipline is not a four-letter word. It is the starting point for making this world a better place¿one child, one family at a time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2003

    No More Misbehavin': 38 Bad Behaviors and How to Stop Them

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. From the moment I opened this book, I felt as if it was written for me. Now, my children don¿t even come close to exhibiting all the behaviors covered in this book, but the author has set the tone through realistic strategies and step-by-step recommendations that will serve me well for years to come. I have even given copies of No More Misbehavin¿ to my parents and in-laws, and now we are definitely (and finally!) on the same page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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