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Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your…

Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You… (1987)

by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7501412,394 (4.13)7
  1. 00
    "Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me!": The Solution to Sibling Bickering by Anthony Wolf (anngeht)
    anngeht: Similar philosophy, written in a similarly easy-to-digest style.
  2. 00
    How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber (dchaikin)
    dchaikin: Same authors and structure. Actually, read How to Talk before you read this one.

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» See also 7 mentions

English (13)  Czech (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
This is a very readable book, with the approach of finding good solutions to sibling problems, and helping children learn to get along without parental interference, wherever possible.

The first chapter is introductory, giving examples of the kinds of problems many parents experience: children fighting, putting each other down, and so on. The rest of the book helps parents to see when it’s appropriate to get involved, and how to see issues from a child's point of view.

While none of the material was new to me (I first read this over twenty years ago), it was a useful reminder about parents’ and other adults' roles in helping children learn to deal with problems that arise. The book is so readable, and so interesting that I read the whole thing, including the supplementary chapters to the 10th anniversary edition, in just a few hours.

The ideas won't necessarily work first time, but are well worth considering if one's current approach is not having any success. I recommend this book highly to any adult dealing with children who can’t get along at all, or who are worn down with children fighting. ( )
  SueinCyprus | May 16, 2016 |
Not a very good book, didn't help much, they're immature people living in the same house, quarreling over limited resources...gotta live with that. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Dec 22, 2013 |
This book drives me nuts. I've had it recommended frequently, and the ideas make sense, but the chatty, fake-therapy-session format is so hard for me to read I kept giving up part way through. I finally decided to read one chapter at a time and see if that helped.

1. Kids need to learn the skills that are necessary to building caring relationships and dealing with others who are different than they are. Parents should focus on teaching those skills rather than worrying about the current drama or imposing their ideas about family life.

2. Parents should empathize and mirror their children's expressed negative feelings. Restating them as wishes can be helpful, as can recasting them as creative activity. Kids who injure their siblings need to be redirected into non-violent expressions. It's usually better to model the behavior yourself than to describe it.

3. Comparing children only creates bad feelings and problems. Stick to describing the behavior you see (or want to see) and your feelings about it. Try not to mention other children at all.

4. Parents and kids want to be fair, but trying to make everything equal leads to madness and resentment. Better to focus on giving each child what they need. This can be physical ("Are you still hungry?") or emotional ("It's hard to be patient when it seems like she is the center of attention.") Try to give attention to what is unique and valued in each child.

5. No child should be identified as "the ______ one." It traps that child in the role and keeps other children from exploring that part of their personality. Focus on the child's behavior. Emphasize abilities rather than problems, and avoid labels.

6. How to respond to fighting depends on how serious it is. Kids can't be allowed to hurt each other, and minor disagreements can be ignored. For serious arguments: acknowledge their anger; state each child's position; describe the problem; say you know they can solve it fairly; leave the room. Ask if they are playing or fighting if you can't tell. Describe what you see and if necessary, separate them.
1 vote teckelvik | Sep 13, 2012 |
This book challenges the idea that constant, unpleasant conflict is natural and unavoidable, and in action-oriented, easy to understand anecdotes and stories shows the many ways you can teach your children how to get alone. ( )
  LLLSouthCentralMiami | Apr 26, 2010 |
Indispensible for anyone with more than one child. ( )
  stephaniechase | Mar 16, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adele Faberprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mazlish, Elainemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity."
The Book of Psalms
To all the grown-up siblings
who still have a
hurt child inside them.
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I secretly believed that sibling rivalry was something that happened to other people's children.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380799006, Paperback)

With a title like this, it's no surprise that authors Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish had a monster bestseller on their hands when the book first appeared in 1988. From the subsequent deluge of readers' stories, questions, and issues, they have created nearly 50 pages of new material for this, the 10th anniversary edition. The central message remains the same, and sounds almost too simple: avoid comparisons. But parents know that's easier said than done. The value of Faber and Mazlish's discussions is precisely that they talk you through umpteen different situations and outcomes to help you teach your brawling offspring a new set of responses. The highly informative text is punctuated with helpful summary/reminder boxes and cartoons illustrating key points. It's a must-read for parents with (or planning on) multiple children. But parents of young children who get along fine (so far) should read it too--as the authors make very clear, rivalry is inevitable. The only question is how to manage the rivalry with intelligence and compassion, and on that subject they offer a wealth of good advice. --Richard Farr

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:36 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Authors Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish refused to accept the idea that constant teasing, tattling, and battling is the price that must be paid for having more than one child. Drawing on their own experience and the hundreds of workshops they conducted throughout the country, the authors have developed simple yet astonishingly effective ways to reduce conflict and generate goodwill between siblings. Each skill is illustrated by the thoughts and stories of real parents." --Front flap.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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