The Incredible Years (Paperback)
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- Published: 01 March 2006
- Format: Paperback
- ISBN 13: 9781892222046 ISBN 10: 1892222043
- Sales rank: 5,569
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Reviews for The Incredible Years
The Incredible Years
In NZ this programme is being rolled out and funded by our government. Included is a free book. I have been attending the course for the past 12 weeks and have two weeks to go. I can honestly say it has changed my life and that of my family. It is brilliant, and the other mum's doing the course with me agree. As with any book, you don't take everything as gospel but work through those bits suitable for your family. My children are vocalising positive supportive comments and I have more confidence when selecting the best discipline behaviour. I can only say people need to do the course with this book. The Time OUt comment in the previous review is incorrect as maximum time out time is ten minutes, then it is backed up with loss of privilege and time out goes out the window. The course has a lot of very good clips to watch where things are being put in place and also where things are not going well. The discussions with other parents and role plays are invaluable.
In addition, in NZ, this course is offered for free! Who can complain about that? I would seriously recommend this to anyone whether they have a compliant child or non compliant one. I guarantee you will get plenty of strategies out of it!! by Brendon Perumal
Has some shortcomings.
At first I thought it was a good book but then several inappropriate things began to emerge.
The first chapter How to Play with Your Child was great with new ideas about play and its importance, reasons why games can end in tantrums. The chapter placed great importance on the value of parents spending time with their children and avoiding power struggles. Other chapters in this section included praise - the more praise the better, use of rewards, incentives, limit setting, ignoring certain behaviours. I was really enjoying the book until I got to chapter six, Time Out to Calm Down. Initially the topic started fairly safely with emphasis on love, support and positive attention plus reasons against using physical punishment. However the author then presentsng of a battle of wits to gain dominance over a child.
Webster-Stratton states a child must remain calm for the last 2 minutes of Time Out to be allowed out of Time Out. The book admits this could make Time Out really long eg 40 minutes. To add insult to injury after such a long battle the book states that the child must now perform the original request that created the Time Out. If this doesn't happen the Time Out must be repeated. This sounds like getting into a head to head battle of wills. Highly sensitive children will not respond to this treatment. In my experience they may be so heartbroken at being sent to a place associated with discipline and will be unable to calm themselves down or be quiet due to their feeling alienated from their parent. They will need a parent to help them calm down, they will have forgotten why they were sent there. A book The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron confirms the feelings of devastation that can be created in a highly sensitive child by this type of harsh punishment. Saying "Do not let them out" indicates use of cruel force, does not indicate respect for a child. How would a woman feel if her husband shut her in an empty room on Time-Out? Methinks she would be hating her partner and feeling contempt for him, same as a child will.
If a child won't go to Time Out for children under seven (page 96 ) the book says take the child to the Time Out room, if she won't stay there with the door open-close the door. A caption to a cartoon of parents outside a bedroom door says "Be prepared to ignore the child who tries to "huff and puff and blow the door down". I felt very concerned that the message was that you would be physically restraining them in the room. The chapter went to exaggerated lengths to justify the technique and defend it from criticism. It also reinforced repeatedly that this process would not be easy, children would resist, eventually they would comply. It struck me that if it was so hard to implement it probably wasn't right, it also reminded me of crying it out at night for a baby (inappropriate and damaging).
Time-out should not be humiliating, nor should it make children feel threatened or afraid. There should not be a special chair or area assigned for time-out this reinforces the idea that time-out is a punishment and may cause undue anxiety. Adults should never make a child feel ridiculed or isolated during time-out periods. The child should not be left alone, unless he wants to be. Young children need adults' support to work out their feelings. If adults show children that their feelings count, they will be more likely to respect the feelings of others.
Other chapters included behaviour in public, dawdling, sibling rivalry, disobedience, and resisting going to bed. In each of these time out is repeatedly mentioned as a solution although conversely the author even admits that these types of behaviour are all very normal. This made no sense to cruelly isolate a child for developmental norms.
Under the section on night-time wakening, many reasons are given explaining why children have fears, worries or physical needs at night. Having explained that it is very normal and how very real the worries are to the child I didn't feel the rest of the coverage seemed at all fair or understanding. A parent telling ghosts to "go away!" seems to me to reinforce that they exist. Ignoring crying seems cruel particularly in view of the numerous concerns children have at night and didn't seem to be at all respectful of their needs. Denying them the comfort of the parental bed also seemed unnecessary and since the parental bed has been used in most cultures since time began and makes a young child feel safe and loved I can't see the need to deprive any small child. I guess in hindsight the fact that Ferber is a reference in the recommended further reading section I shouldn't have been too surprised. I wonder if the author is aware of some well respected sleep experts on this topic and knows that many cultures encourage co-sleeping and they do not experience the long list of childhood nighttime worries as a consequence (see Sleeping With Your Baby by James Mckenna, Nighttime Parenting by Sears, Three in a Bed by Deborah Jackson)
Under bed wetting the author determined that the problem was usually physical but in turn suggested a sticker reward system for 4-6 year olds who had a dry bed. This didn't seem a fair system for a physical problem, how could stickers ever be gained except by chance?
Under a general "fears" section I felt that it was particularly lacking in acceptance of different developmental milestones. Each child is different, some may not be ready to separate from mum to go to nursery, to sleep alone etc... a mention of acceptance of children's needs ought to be worked into this section. Headaches may have a physical cause eg diet, and following the suggestions in the book may lead to this being overlooked assuming aches and pains are attention seeking.
Overall I couldn't recommend it to parents and am concerned that parenting courses are run based on it. Better books include those by Faber and Mazlish eg How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk. by Mrs Pearson-Glaze