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Publisher's Summary

Turn conflict into cooperation....

Many parents suspect their strong-willed child is deliberately trying to drive them crazy. Difficult to discipline and seemingly impossible to motivate, these children present unique, exhausting, and often-frustrating challenges to the those who love them.

But strong will is not a negative trait. These same children have firm convictions, high spirits, a sense of adventure - all the makings of a great adult. In this book you'll discover how to channel that passion and determination in positive ways as you build a healthy relationship. Through insights gained from strong-willed people of all ages, you'll...

  • Better understand how their minds really work.
  • Discover positive ways to motivate your strong-willed child.
  • Learn how to share control without compromising parental authority.
  • Apply key tactics to survive a meltdown.
  • Get practical tips for parents who disagree, blended families, and single parents.

Packed with immediately useful strategies to drastically reduce the level of tension in the home (or in the classroom), You Can't Make Me shows how you can start today to build a stronger, more positive relationship with your strong-willed child.

Includes...

  • Top Ten Tips for Bringing Out the Best in a Strong-Willed Child of Any Age
  • A Strong-Willed Child Emergency Kit
©2012 Cynthia Tobias (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"I love the practical strategies and valuable insights from the hearts and lives of strong-willed kids—including Cynthia herself! You'll definitely want to make this book part of your parenting library." (Dr. Kevin Leman, New York Times best-selling author of Have a New Kid by Friday)
"In You Can't Make Me, Cynthia Tobias provides help and hope for all of us with a strong-willed child of any age. Her extremely practical and time-tested tips will show you how to provide the strong-willed child love balanced with limits, relationship balanced with rules, coaching balanced with cheerleading, and discipleship balanced with discipline. This book will be worth its weight in gold to you and your strong-willed child." (Walt Larimore, MD, best-selling author of God's Design for the Highly Healthy Teen and Why A.D.H.D. Doesn't Mean Disaster)
"Parenting was never designed to be easy, and parenting a strong-willed child can be daunting. Cynthia Tobias has written a book designed to encourage parents to celebrate their children - yes, even if they are strong willed! I love how she has provided tried and true strategies that will bring out the best in our children. Her inclusion of stories from parents who are "in the trenches" serves to remind us that successful parenting is possible for all of us. I love Cynthia's wisdom, but her heart for children made me love this book!" (Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated talk-show host)

What members say

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Thank you!

Any additional comments?

As a career woman that put off marriage until my mid 30's, I was stunned (and so was my husband) to inherit a 7-year old child only a month after our wedding. Add to it that the child was reported to have behavior problems and was on powerful antipsychotics and mood stabilizers and we were more than just a little concerned for how to help her deal with the sudden changes.

However, it quickly became apparent that our new daughter wasn't psychotic, she hadn't ever had boundaries or consequences. When expecting obedience for obedience sake failed, I realized I needed some advice on how to deal with a child that wasn't compliant and had a strong will.

I'm happy to report that this book was EXACTLY the blueprint I needed to proceed and undo 7 years of no discipline. We are working with a psychiatrist now to wean her off her medications because by using the techniques in this book, we are coming along very well and we haven't had a "tantrum" in weeks. She still sometimes tests her boundaries but thanks to this book, they don't ruin our day or week any longer. We deal with the issue and whatever resulting consequences there may be and we move on. I especially appreciate the advice to "either write the ticket (consequence) or give the lecture...not both" If she might not understand the reason, we go with the lecture and defining expectations for next time. If she understands, we go with the consequence which includes a written apology so she can prove to us she understands without us having to go through a lecture.

(side note, the written apology idea didn't come from this book, it came from a blog. But when she's punished, she gets a reasonable consequence and she has to write a 4 part apology and the apology has become the most effective part of the punishment. It has to say (1) what she did wrong and apologize for it. (2) why it was wrong (3) how she thinks it made us or whoever she wronged feel and (4) how she will choose to behave next time. For example, yesterday she got in trouble for painting her nails AFTER I'd told her not to (the punishment was for disobedience and not for the nails). Her apology was: "I'm sorry that I disobeyed you and painted my nails after you told me not to. It was wrong because I am supposed to obey. It probably made you feel angry and like I don't respect you. Next time I am tempted to disobey, I will remember to respect you and trust that you know what is best for me." The consequence is that she didn't get to go with me to the nail salon yesterday afternoon like I'd planned as a surprise. Now she knows that when I make a decision she doesn't like, it might be because I didn't give her all the information and she needs to trust me.)

I appreciated that the book didn't dwell for long drawn out intervals beating a dead horse. The author explains the concept, gives some examples, and moves on. I hate parenting books that act as though I'm not smart enough to learn the concept if they don't repeat themselves for 4 chapters.

This book has made a difference in our house. We give her the expected results and time limits and I'm constantly awed at how smart and creative she can be at getting to those results when I let her have control of her process. Sometimes she falls short but by giving her our clear expectations, she almost always chooses to meet or exceed them and we are so proud of her progress given the set of unfortunate circumstances that led to her being here with us.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Don't let religious comments keep you away.

I highly recommend this book. I found it very, very helpful in understanding and dealing more more effectively with my strong-willed daughter. I also realised I was a stong-willed child myself (this surprised no one but me).

Another reviewer criticised this book for its religious references. I'm agnostic and had no problem with them. The book is not riddled with hard-core religiosity, so don't let what is really a non-issue keep you away from a very helpful parenting tool. That said, if you are just sitting around and waiting to be offended, cut the author a break and read something else.

Happy reading.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Most helpful book ever!

I have to say that this book is a godsend! I have struggled with my now 11 year old on a near daily basis since she was a beautiful little toddler! EVERYTHING has been a battle with her. when she was smaller we tried time-out. She would NOT stay! Hours on in and she would NEVER give up! I kid you not! We could not figure out what the problem was. We were doing everything we saw in the self help books and on Nanny 911, to no avail. She refused to do her homework and just was in direct defiance of absolutely everything. if I said the sky was blue, she'd say, "No it isn't. It's actually gray." There was no winning with her. I was always left more exhausted than it was worth, because the outcome was never positive.
Enter this audiobook. Praise God! Thank you Jesus for this!!! Only about an hour into it I felt like A weight was lifting! I just finished it and I feel like I just met my daughter for the first time! This book described her the letter! I have only used two of the techniques Listed in the book so far ( mainly "ok") and Wow! It has changed everything! You HAVE to give them that choice. I just can't get over how pleasant my child has been since incorporating these! She's even gone to bed AND awakened on time- NO FIGHTS! That alone is a miracle!
If you have a strong-willed child, PLEASE do yourself a favor and get this book as fast as you can! I have looked high and low and this is the one! Real-world solutions!
Thank you, Cindy Ulrich Tobias for writing f this book! It is saving families, no doubt about it! God bless you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A must for all parents!

Parents and those who works with children and even strong willed adults should read this book and take to heart the recommendations given.

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excellent! life changing!

If you have a strong willed child or if you, yourself, are strong willed this is a must read book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Encouraging book at just the right time!

I feel that God sent this book to me at just the right time! I have always prayed for my strong willed daughter, but as she has recently turned 11, our relationship has been struggling. The strategies in this book have proven to be very helpful. But, I think what has benefited me the most is the way the author paints the strong-willed child in such a positive light. I am now looking at my daughter in a much more positive light and seeing all of her beauty and the wonderful characteristics God has placed in her! Thank you for sharing your heart and knowledge about strong willed children. PS on that 11 point checklist, our daughter hits all 11!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Difficult to get past the religious aspects of the book

There are some helpful strategies in the book but there are many religious references. So many that it's a distraction from the core content in my opinion. If you're on the same religious page as the author then you will likely appreciate this but for me it subtracted from the helpfulness of the book and simply added extraneous content. Tried to appreciate even that aspect of the book but was overwhelmed by it and had to stop listening to it.

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Best parenting book I've read!

This was recommended to me by a friend and it is by far the best parenting book I've read so far. I am so encouraged in parenting my SWC (strong willed child) and I have a lot of new insights and strategies as well. Also, very fun to hear it narrated by the author!

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The advice covers "SWCs" at many different ages.

Would you listen to You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), Revised and Updated Edition again? Why?

It depends on how life is going. More than likely, I would just listen to certain chapters.

What did you like best about this story?

It was full of practical advice, almost no "filler."

Which scene was your favorite?

The top 10 list at the end of the book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

A scene that touched me was when she told a story about a mother who hadn't talked to her daughter in years.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Sound advice and insight once you filter out the Christianity.

The mindset and techniques worked almost immediately. I could have done without the preaching, but it didn't negate the primary message.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lidia
  • 05-22-18

great book

i enjoyed learning the mindset behind the strong willed child. gave me perspective, insight and compassion.
If your not a Christian, its still worth reading if you go past the spiritual side.