Friday, September 30, 2016

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen...

...And Listen so Kids Will Talk. A parenting classic. Written by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish many moons ago, this gem has stood the test of time and has been updated by Faber's daughter for today's family. The book deals with communication skills that show respect for the children and the parents. It focuses on helping children deal with their feelings, engaging cooperation, alternatives to punishment, encouraging autonomy, praise, and freeing children from playing roles. Each heading is backed with pertinent advice, techniques, and engaging cartoon illustrations to set the ideas more firmly in your mind.

And it works. That's the real reason for the endurance of this book. I've tried just a couple of these ideas with my children in the past two weeks as I've read. We had an open relationship before, good rapport. Since just acknowledging her feelings, my youngest daughter seems much more relaxed and eager to share hugs. My middle child, a son, can hardly stop talking. My fourth, another daughter, is learning it's okay to share even negative feelings in a respectful manner. Before, in the role of "the good girl", you wouldn't know she had negative feelings!

They will be emotionally healthier if I can change the way I speak to them, modeling for them respectful ways to speak to each other. These "techniques" become a way of life; really listening and effectively speaking to everyone you come in contact with. I look forward to that. I borrowed this from the library and took copious notes. I may have to get my own copy.

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