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Hold On to Your Kids cover art

Hold On to Your Kids

Written by: Gordon Neufeld,Gabor Maté MD
Narrated by: Gabor Maté MD,Daniel Maté
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Publisher's Summary

This parenting classic on one of the most disturbing and misunderstood trends of our time - peers replacing parents in the lives of children - is now more relevant than ever. The latest edition includes new material on how social media and video game culture are affecting our children, and what parents can do.

In Hold On to Your Kids, Dr. Neufeld and Dr. Maté explore the phenomenon of peer orientation: the troubling tendency of children and youth to look to their peers for direction - for a sense of right and wrong, for values, identity and codes of behavior. But peer orientation undermines family cohesion, poisons the school atmosphere, and fosters an aggressively hostile and sexualized youth culture. It provides a powerful explanation for schoolyard bullying and youth violence; it is an escalating trend that has never been adequately described or contested until Hold On to Your Kids. Once understood, it becomes self-evident - as do the solutions.

©2008 Gabor Maté (P)2018 Vintage Canada

What the critics say

"Hold on to Your Kids blows in from Canada like a Blue Northern, bringing us genuinely new ideas and fresh perspectives on parenting. The authors integrate psychology, anthropology, neurology and their own personal and professional experiences as they examine the 'context' of parenting today. This is a worthy book with practical implications for mom and dad." (Dr. Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and The Shelter of Each Other)

"Hold on to Your Kids is visionary book that goes beyond the usual explanations to illuminate a crisis of unrecognized proportions. The authors show us how we are losing contact with our children and how this loss undermines their development and threatens the very fabric of society. Most importantly they offer, through concrete examples and clear suggestions, practical help for parents to fulfill their instinctual roles. A brilliant and well written book, one to be taken seriously, very seriously." (Peter A. Levine PhD, international teacher and author of the best-selling books Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma and It Won’t Hurt Forever, Guiding Your Child Through Trauma)

"The thoughts and perspectives presented by the authors are informative - even inspirational - for those who choose to dedicate their lives and energy to students." (Bulletin of the National Association of Secondary School Principals)

What listeners say about Hold On to Your Kids

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

long winded and heavy on theory

as a parent that is trying to better understand ways to form healthy happy relationships with my children and avoid common pitfalls, i often found myself frustrated with the amount of elaboration on theory. in chapter 9, when discussing maturity, the author seemed to feel it was necessary to discuss cell division.

to be fair, if i was choosing to read a hard copy it would be much easier to skip past this 'fluff' ...

the value i am looking for has not yet been apparent in the 9 chapters. i do not feel much closer to understanding how i can change my behavior in order to achieve the outcomes im looking for.

a summary of pitfalls, real examples and advice on shaping my own behavior would be much more helpful that the 16 hours of elaboration on theory, quotes from jerry seinfeld and meandering repetitive inner monologue that is presented here.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Informative & pertinent, but too repetitive

I bought the hard copy and realized I couldn’t get through it (as it was a bit dry), so I gave Audible a chance and listened to it while I was driving.

The only reason why this rating has lost a couple of stars was because of the boring tone of the speaker and repetitive nature of how the information was laid out. If possible, I would recommend a more concise version.

Overall I do recommend this book because there were key messages that have positively influenced my parenting/connection to our child...and we have noticed an improvement in his behaviour.

Not only was he more willing to be complaint with helping out or accepting boundaries, our increased level of connection has increased overall happiness and laughter in the house.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A great book parenting for teens!

did take a long time for me to finish, although I enjoyed the narrator and the teenage stories. has me thinking how I can be more considerate of their needs and holding balance in our lives.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great read for all parents

I love that this isn't another book with specific techniques on parenting, rather a book to help parents see how to best connect with their children in a natural way and to understand the root of the problems. I'm focusing my energy on what's truly improving as he suggests and have seen wonderful things happen with our teens. It's a game changer and one we need to share with others. I am so glad a friend shared this with me.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Should be a requirement for every parent

This work is vital in our society, if every person that has or works with children read this book - our society would permanently be changed for the better.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful and insightful book!

This book was so informative and applicable! What a gift to have received this help in raising our precious kids! Thank you!

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must-read if you have kids, especially teenagers

I needed this book! My own childhood taught me nothing about healthy loving relationships. I had to learn that for myself, from scratch. Gordon Neufeld decodes the issues that have teenagers separating from their parents, and gives concrete tools to maintain or repair the relationship, as needed. If you have a teenager or tween, this is the book!

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hold onto this book!

Loved it! Great insight. Well put together. I applaud the authors and the team behind the development of this book.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

loved this book, very informative and eye opening. I'm looking forward to trying to use these technics to improve my relationship with my children.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Informative about why we need our relationship to dominate peer but with very few how to

This books is informative about the dangers of peer orientation without tips on how to be the dominant relationship in their life. I feel like I know I need I be who they spend the most time with outside of school, but not how to do it since the author is down with tech. Not very useful.

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1 person found this helpful