You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), Revised and Updated Edition

  • by Cynthia Tobias
  • Narrated by Cynthia Tobias
  • 3 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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

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What the Critics Say

"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)

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Customer Reviews

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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.

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- A. Musser

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.
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- Nothing really matters

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-18-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio