Educational Book Review

Review: Sulky, Rowdy, Rude? by Bo Hejlskov Elven and Tina Wiman

I’ve been reading Sulky, Rowdy, Rude?By Bo Hejlskov Elven and Tina Wiman this week- a useful and insightful book which aims to explain why children sometimes misbehave in certain situations. It also provides advice for what we, as parents and carers can do in these situations to minimise stress, anger and frustration and avoid an escalation of negative behaviour.

Sulky, Rowdy, Rude? focuses on the ‘low arousal approach’ of behaviour management, whereby parents try to avoid children’s melt downs and episodes of anger, by reducing their anxiety and making situations less stressful.

What did I like about it?

  • Takes the ‘blame’ Away from Children. I particular like that this book gets the reader to think about ‘why’ children misbehave in certain situations. It helps us to reflect on our own parenting and how we and other factors may cause the negative behaviour our children exhibit. This allows us to make purposeful changes to parenting and behaviour management in a positive way.
  • Examples– I found the examples of situations really useful, they made me think about what I would do in those instances with my own children.


  • Informal style– This book has a lovely, relaxed and informal style making it easy to read and a book that you can dip into when you get a few (rare!) spare minutes.

  • Aim-Although I didn’t agree with every point made in this book, I loved it’s aim to help promote positive relationship between parents and their children. It encourages showing respect to our children, listening to their needs and thinking about situations from their point of view. The part that sticks with me the most is how we shouldn’t aim to have obedient children- but children who ‘learn to make wise decisions…’

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