Book: Parenting Your Powerful Child by Dr. Kevin Leman

Review: By Julie Subsavad, Marine Corps Spouse on 9/12/13

Note: Community Book Reviewers were supplied with a complimentary copy of the book for purposes of reviewing.

I had quite a few eye opening moments while reading Dr. Kevin Leman’s book, Parenting Your Powerful Child. I started out reading this book as I have other books dealing with family relationships thinking it was going to tell me exactly how to “fix” my powerful daughter. I think we all assume when we read these books that it’s always the other party in the relationship who needs to be helped, changed, our guided in another direction. We never really look inwardly at first. Well, Dr. Leman’s book forces you to look at yourself and your spouse as the root of the problem with your powerful child. He talks about how we were parented as a child influences greatly how we parent our kids. If you had a powerful parent as a child, then you will most likely raise a powerful child. History repeats itself in parenting styles, unless we break that cycle. His book identifies the different personalities and behavior types of powerful children. So, even your quiet, shy, innocent little child could be pulling some power plays on you.

I was very excited about reading this book since I struggle daily with my powerful child. It is always a battle about something.  We have argued over what she will wear, homework, and of course the normal sibling rivalry, just to name a few. This book gives you testimonials from parents who have tried Dr. Leman’s strategies and had success with them. He even gives you real life scenarios with the incorrect and correct ways to handle them. As I read through the scenarios, I could easily identify with them. They truly helped me discover new ways to address the difficult situations with my powerful kid.

The basic thing every powerful kid is longing for is attention. Dr. Leman tells you practical ways to meet that need in all your children to avoid the power struggle. He addresses the role birth order plays in the power struggle of children and how to help combat it. His style of writing is very easy to read and interesting. He even ties in humor and personal experiences which make this book more relatable. This is a very helpful book for any parent to read, but especially a military spouse since we are left to “solo parent” most of the time. He has written several books that are more age specific, birth order specific, or marriage specific, etc. I look forward to reading some more of his books. 

A personal note:  As I was about to have the usual homework power struggle battle with my child this evening, I tried some of the approaches I learned from Parenting Your Powerful Child. I am happy to say no screaming occurred, the homework was done in record time, and we were even laughing at the end of it. I’ll definitely be modifying a few of my daily interactions with my powerful child after reading this book.


Julie has been a military spouse for eleven years this January. She has three deployments and two kids under her belt.

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