Rebecca's Reviews > How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber
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May 17, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: education, read2009
Read in May, 2009

I wasn't sure if this would be outdated and wishy-washy, but I found the advice to be straightforward, fresh and timeless. I mean, yes, I HAD figured out that it's better to validate kids' feelings than to "smack" them, thanks for the umpteenth reminder! But beyond that it clarified for me why some things I do work and others don't, and I've definitely come away with some simple and concrete strategies for getting kids to cooperate. For example, I'm looking forward to cutting down on the commanding/lecturing/moralizing. I can barely listen to myself when I fall into that mode, so imagine the reaction the kids have. Better to "describe the problem", "give information", or ideally "say it in one word." Even for things I generally do a good job of, they offer some great models of specific language to use.

Thoughtful sections on praise/punishment/building autonomy/freedom from roles. There's some eye rolling stuff about building self-esteem, but mostly the psychology is secondary. They emphasize that the old strategies are out because they just DON'T WORK and show you new strategies that DO work.

This is a quick read with lots of lists, cartoons, role-playing, and testimonials, easy to skim and use for reference. I could actually see myself using it to problem solve in the future.

Keeping one star in reserve to see how it works in practice...
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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura I read this when my sons were little and I liked it well, even kept a copy for reference. And I think it does work in practice as well. It certainly was a great place to turn when stressed, those rare times times one actually needs the reminder that smacking, yelling, running away are not useful and hurrah, here's another idea. Don't get me wrong, I didn't go around being mean to my kids but I had plenty of times when a timeout/time off for me would have been great.


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