It is no surprise to anyone who knows my oldest boy that the bold red words "STRONG-WILLED CHILD" on the front cover were the only encouragement I needed to check it out at the library in the first place. Second was the promise to eliminate conflict. Lately I have felt like all I have with this soon-to-be 8-year-old is conflict, contention, arguing and frustration. Our home was not a peaceful place, and I honestly felt like I really did not know how to change it.
The suggestions given in this book have helped me realize more than anything, that I had just become lax in my setting of limits. I think this happened in the natural process of this oldest child growing up, combined with my inability to reconcile how to give him some deserved independence while still commanding respect and making myself the in-charge parent. It felt like a loss of control, and in fact, it was.
The author doesn't give any new or earth-shattering suggestions, in fact, just the opposite, which is why the book is so readable and easy-to-implement. His ideas are basic and simple and stated with clear, real-life examples of children and their parents. I just needed to remind myself how to be in charge, but, like it also says on the cover, by establishing CLEAR, firm and RESPECTFUL boundaries.
I think that all children are strong-willed in their own right, but he has another version of the book, simply called: Setting Limits: How to Raise Responsible, Independent Children by Providing Clear Boundaries, which I would guess presents similar ideas but perhaps without all the comparisons made between extremely strong-willed children vs. compliant children. My second child is definitely compliant, so those comparisons were not lost on me.