Tuesday, January 11, 2011

REVIEW - Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts? How to Avoid Devastating Parent Traps

Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts? How to Avoid Devastating Parent TrapsAre Your Kids Driving You Nuts? How to Avoid Devastating Parent Traps by James J. Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts? - How to Avoid Devastating Parent Traps” is a comprehensive 115 page parenting resource manual that deals with the issue of "control" and the traps parents can fall into when attempting to control their child's behavior. Dr. Jones has a down-to-earth (down right funny!) approach that teaches the principles of correct parenting with humor and common sense.
You will find practical, easy to understand solutions to many common parenting problems--and they really work! These include:
1. Parenting Myths, Falsehoods and Lies: Good parents raise good kids; bad parents raise bad kids.
2. Freedom of Choice: Must man be free to choose, or should he be forced to do what's right?
3. Mission Impossible: Can parents always be in control of their children?
4. What is a Parent Trap? The harder you try, the harder you fall.
5. The Control Trap: The greatest pitfall and misconception parents have.
6. The Trap of Anger: The key to understanding why we get angry.
7. The Trap of Rage: What is the Rage Gauge?
8. The Traps of Arguing and Contention: How do you stop the contention and arguing in your home?
9. The Traps of Lying and Inconsistency: Are you lying to your children?
10.The Traps of Being Critical and Unforgiving: Discounting, shaming and rejection.
11. The Teenage Retirement Trap: How are you retiring your children?
12. The Rescuing Trap: How kids are set up to be at high risk for drug abuse and suicide.
13. The Lecturing and Insight Traps: Boring! Don't they already know 99% of what you'll say?
14. The Nagging Trap: Kids don't see nagging as counsel or support.
15. The Traps of Conditional Love and Acceptance: I will only love you if you do what I want.
16. The Parental Disunity Trap: A house divided against itself cannot stand.
17. The Quick-Fix Trap and Making Exceptions: Avoiding the real problem.
18. The Trap of Misusing Rewards and Punishments: Without a plan...without a clue.
19. The Trap of Excessive Punishment: The more you punish, the less effective it becomes. <P>20. The Trap of Favoritism: The temptation to love the easiest child more than the difficult child. <P>21. The Surrogate Spouse Trap: Emotional incest. <P>22. The Scapegoat Trap: Finding a safe place to vent our negative emotions. <P>23. The Traps of Guilt, Unrealistic Expectations and Perfectionism: The formula for shaming and failure. <P>24. The Trap of Button-Pushing and Overreacting: Are the kids punching your hot buttons? <P>25. Toxic Parents: Undisciplined Disciplinarians <P>26. Escaping the Parent Traps <P>27. The Healthy Parent and Functional Family <P>28. Peace and Joy in Letting Go <P>29. The Parables  description from GoodReads

My answer to the question of the title is a resounding YES. (There are times I think I it would be more productive for me to be in a padded cell, straight jacket on, banging my head against the wall!)  Parenting is the hardest thing that I have ever done.  I was crazy enough to do it four times.  Not that I would trade any one of my children.  I am extremely grateful for them.  I cherish them and hope that I can raise well adjusted adults.

James J. Jones has a series of audio tapes that are designed to help adults become better parents. This book is a companion.  I heard the tapes a few years ago, and this book was a great reminder.  If you have not listened to the tapes, you could gain quite a bit of insight from the book alone.  I also had the priviledge of listening to him speak.  Unfortunately, this book sat on my shelf a few years.  I could have been trying the practices he mentions a few years ago. 

He explores different traps that parents fall into, and how to get out of those traps.  This book has some fabulous council for parents who truly want to love, accept, and help their children succeed. The point isn't to change our children, but to improve our parenting to help our children and maybe guide them into making their own changes.

I have highlighted many passages in the book that have particular meaning for me.  I hope that I get to the point where I feel more enjoyment from parenting and less frustration.

If you are interested in exploring and reading this book.  Here is a link to Amazon: Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts? How to Avoid Devastating Parent Traps

About the Author:  James J. Jones, Ph.D. is the author of several books including "Your Children Will Whistle While They Work!" and the acclaimed "Let's Fix the Kids!" Parenting Program.  he has apperared on many television and radio programs and in countless newspaper articles in the US and Canada.  (taken from the back cover of the book)  His website is http://www.familyhood.com/

This is the first book that I have completed for my book bucket reading challenge.  If you are interested in reading books that have been on your "to read" list the longest and making it your goal.  Please join me, the link is in the left upper side bar.


  1. Although my children are now almost all out of the house, this sounds like a book that I could have used when they were younger! I heard a quote last night; I think it was attributed to Clarence Darrow .. something like, "Your parents ruin the first half of your life; your children the second!"

  2. I don't know if anyone will even see this comment, but I have been to his seminar many years ago and have all his stuff! I loved it. He is funny and makes parenting fun. If we did things the way he told us to everything went perfect but the kids would catch it if we even let up once. Needless to say 3 of my kids are grown and married and want to do this too when they have kids!


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