Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Just Tell Me What to Say: Simple Scripts for Perplexed Parents” as Want to Read:
Just Tell Me What to Say: Simple Scripts for Perplexed Parents
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Just Tell Me What to Say: Simple Scripts for Perplexed Parents

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Parents are often perplexed by their children's typical behaviors and inevitable questions. This down-to-earth guide provides "Tips and Scripts" for handling everything from sibling rivalry and the food wars to questions about death, divorce, sex, and "whyyyy?" Betsy Brown Braun blends humor with her expertise as a child development specialist, popular parent educator, and ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published December 1st 1975)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Just Tell Me What to Say, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Just Tell Me What to Say

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 278)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nate Morse
This was a good read for parents of kids between the ages of 2 and 6. It deals with communication, discipline and how to answer those difficult questions that kids have between those ages. I skipped a few chapters on topics that have not come up yet like Divorce and Serious Illness, but I did read the ones on Death, Sex (Where do Babies come from?) and Natural Disasters.

I would recommend this book based off the first to chapters about communication and discipline. The author talks about how not
Denise Morse
A very well written and helpful book about what to say in response to difficult questions, which is why we picked it up. However more than what to say, we have been using the helpful tips about how to handle tantrums, not listening and other fun four year old behavior. We just started using it but are hopeful about it working.
All in all, I liked this one. Not so much "parenting" (dealing with day-to-day issues) as it was communication. Very practical, scripted conversations to have with children ages 2 to 6, regarding some of the big issues (and some of the small ones) they will deal with. Death, manners, divorce, sex - it's all covered. I think I will likely refer to this one again as my kids get older and I need to shift the conversation to the next things their brain can handle.

The advice followed what I believe t
Ok book. I read a lot of parenting books. I found her suggestions for consequences a bit harsh. I found most of the book common sense but the scripts might come in handy some day. I like the suggestions in the chapters on nose picking (and other embarrassing public behaviors). I found that chapter helpful for my 2.5 year old.
Aug 06, 2008 Alexandra rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any parents of 2-6 year olds!
Recommended to Alexandra by: read about it in a NYT article given to me by my mother
This is by far the best parenting book I have read geared towards ages 2-6. I look forward to trying the tips about table manners and discipline. It was well-written, easy to read and gave lots of tips. You could pick and choose chapters that were appropriate (I read all but the sibling chapter as my son is an only child). This book had great information for helping kids dealing with divorce, family illness, and understanding difficult concepts like death and the impact the news media has. Just ...more
I'm a therapist and liked and agreed with a lot of aspects in this book. Only a few I disagreed in. :) recommend it!
Despite its title, this book is better at explaining why your kid is acting the way s/he is acting than telling you what to say about it. Which is useful. I definitely felt less angry at my kid when I understood why he was refusing to eat his dinner (because he wants to control something, anything, in his little life). But the "script" to get him to eat dinner didn't really help. The chapter on explaining death to your kid, though, was great...explaining that everything has a "life cycle," etc. ...more
This isn't exactly what I was looking for, but it is a useful resource. I am focused right now on the discipline issue, and there is one chapter on that, and a general chapter on communication. The rest of the book deals with specific circumstances - divorce, death, etc. I picked up a few great tips with respect to making sure I am saying what I mean, such as not making a request when I mean to give a direction, not allowing myself to suggest there are options when there aren't, shaping my state ...more
Good tips! I just hope I can remember them! It's all about how you talk to the kids.
I really can't recommend this books enough. This is the third time I've read it and I have numerous pages folded down to come back to for future reminders and reference. The tips on dealing with whining, tantrums, sibling rivalries, talking to kids about hard subjects, etcetera etcetera are very, very good. I'm not saying I'm good at putting them all into practice, but the ones I have, have worked!
This is a great book! I found several examples of good ideas on how to talk to kids about tough topics, and different ways to handle the issues at various ages and developmental stages. It was particularly helpful with a situation that just came up with our family, so I've already used some of the suggestions! I'm going to buy a used copy to keep on hand at home for reference. Recommended!
Great for reading and getting suggestions on how to answer those difficult questions from your kids before they ask them (or even after). I didn't agree with the section on tattling, but thought the rest was insightful. I'm not so nervous about the questions about sex, death, etc that will be coming.
I was amazed that this woman actually makes a living giving advice. Her advice is contradictory and just plain bad. I do not recommend this book. I started to write down all the things I didn't like about this book but there was just too much.
I went to find a copy for Brig of Playful Parenting at a used book store so we could read it together and found this instead. She has a lot of the same philosophies as Playful Parenting and it is so simple to read and refer back to!
Great reference book for parents. It gives positive solutions to dealing with a variety of issues that can arise when dealing with children. I had checked this out from the library, but enjoyed it so much, I bought the book.
Kate Hastings
Good suggestions, but nobody seems to be able to tell me how to respond to my 4 year-old who hits himself on the head and says, "I'm stupid and I hate myself" over and over again.
This was an absolutely wonderful parenting book with such practical and straight-forward advice. Im already implementing alot of the advice and tips.
Another great parenting book (with a cheesy title) that I'll need close-by on the longer, harder days. It's already worked wonders with whining...
Really helpful parenting advice. Lives in our city - very popular therapist. Highly reccommend for needed moments of young children.
I thought the book was very helpful in certain areas like explaining death, but in other areas much of the advice seemed like common sense.
Jun 20, 2008 Kathy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So many useful lessons about communication... and not just applicable to kids --> could definitely apply to spousal discourse!! hehe
Pepper Gerstner
Well, I think this one might have been better to read when the kids were babies. Not much help now...
Very realistic and practical help on a variety of subjects.
i'm going to recommend it to any mother.
For the novice parent.
Nothing outstanding.
I like the author, she seems very logical
Maddmum M
So many different ideas
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Making the "Terrible" Twos Terrific
  • The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children
  • Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment
  • Discipline Without Distress: 135 Tools for Raising Caring, Responsible Children Without Time-Out, Spanking, Punishment, or Bribery
  • Positive Discipline for Preschoolers: For Their Early Years - Raising Children Who Are Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful (Revised 2nd Ed)
  • From Diapers to Dating: A Parent's Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children
  • A Symphony in the Brain: The Evolution of the New Brain Wave Biofeedback
  • Ten Powerful Things to Say to Your Kids: Creating the Relationship You Want with the Most Important People in Your Life
  • Help Yourself Help Yourself
  • The Self-Esteem Trap: Raising Confident and Compassionate Kids in an Age of Self-Importance
  • Donny and Ursula Save the World
  • What to Expect: The Second Year: For the 13th to 24th Month, this Step-by-Step Guide Explains Everything You Need to Know About Your Toddler
  • The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to Help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy
  • 52 Things Kids Need from a Mom: What Mothers Can Do to Make a Lifelong Difference
  • Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun.
  • Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir
  • The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers
  • Superbaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years
You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-proofing Your Four- to Twelve-Year-Old Child You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-proofing Your Four- to Twelve-Year-Old Child Just Tell Me What to Say You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-proofing Your Four- to Twelve-Year-Old Child

Share This Book

“Remember, parenting is not a popularity contest. Your child does not have to like you, nor do all his friends need to think you are the best daddy. In fact, there will be countless times when your child doesn’t like you one bit. You are going to have to make unpopular decisions and impose consequences that he will not like. So be it. It’s your job. You are the parent. Now act like one.” 0 likes
More quotes…