Parenting Without Power Struggles

Parenting Without Power Struggles

Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected

Do you ever find yourself asking . . .

• How can you get your children to do their homework without meltdowns, threats or bribes?

• How can you have a drama-free morning where the kids actually get out the door in time for school?

• How can you better manage your kids’ screen time without making them want to hide what they’re doing from you?

Family therapist Susan Stiffelman is here to help. While most parenting programs are designed to coerce kids to change, Parenting Without Power Struggles does something innovative, showing you how to come alongside your children to awaken their natural instincts to cooperate, rather than at them with threats or bribes, which inevitably fuels their resistance. By staying calm and being the confident “Captain of the ship” your child needs, you will learn how to parent from a place of strong, durable connection, and you’ll be better able to help your kids navigate the challenging moments of growing up.

Drawing upon her successful practice and packed with real-life stories, Parenting Without Power Struggles is an extraordinary guidebook for transforming the day-to-day lives of busy parents—and the children they love.
Choose a format:
  • Atria Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451667660 | 
  • March 2012
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Be the Captain of the Parenting Ship

How to be the "Captain of the Ship." Susan Stiffelman, author of PARENTING WITHOUT POWER STRUGGLES helps parents become the calm authority in their children's lives.

Read an Excerpt


It probably comes as no surprise that my work with children and parents reflects the truth that we teach what we most need to learn. Like many of us growing up in the fifties and sixties (not to mention the thirties and forties, and seventies and eighties), my parents were caring, well intentioned, and fairly clueless about how to raise kids. They did the best they could, shooting from the hip, consulting Dr. Spock, and more or less following whatever conventional parenting wisdom was available in their day and age. The result was a bit iffy.

I love my parents and thank them deeply for all they did to raise me... see more
How to Be the Captain of the Ship Through Calm and Stormy Seas

A frightened Captain makes a frightened crew.


If you’re a passenger on a cruise ship, it’s kind of cool if the Captain joins you for dinner. But his true value isn’t as a social companion; you want and need him to be the guy who oversees the smooth sailing you signed up for, steering the ship through storms or around icebergs while you blithely sing your heart out at the karaoke bar. You want to be able to depend on the Captain, whether or not you like him or understand everything he’s... see more

About the Author

Susan Stiffelman
Photograph by Bruce Stanford

Susan Stiffelman

Susan Stiffelman is a licensed psychotherapist and marriage/family therapist in Malibu, California. She holds a BA in developmental psychology and an MA in clinical psychology. Through her presence as AOL’s parenting expert (AdviceMama), her private work with adults, couples, teens and children, her frequent public presentations, her phone coaching, articles, interviews and active website (, Susan has become a source of advice and support for hundreds of thousands of parents longing to raise joyful and resilient kids in a fast-paced world.




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