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how to talk to kids book cover

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish


When conflicts intensify and communication breaks down, this book is a wonderful guide to help parents put empathy first and begin steps toward communicating more effectively with their children. The sample scripts of discussions showing what to do and what not to do are incredibly helpful and will feel familiar to parents everywhere without engaging in parental judgment and shame. Basic concepts covered include dealing with your children's feelings, dealing with your own feelings, praise and cooperation, encouraging autonomy, and alternatives to punishment. If you have children, it's a must read.




"But the language of empathy does not come naturally to us. It's not part of our 'mother tongue.' Most of us grew up having our feelings denied. To become fluent in this new language of acceptance, we have to learn and practice its methods. Here are some ways to help children deal with their feelings. 1. Listen with full attention. 2. Acknowledge their feelings with a word — Oh' . . . "Mmm' . . . 'I see.' 3. Give their feelings a name. 4. Give them their wishes in a fantasy."

"It requires a great act of faith to believe that if we take the time to sit down and share our real feelings with a young person, and listen to their feelings, together we'll come up with solutions that will be right for both of us. There is an important message built into this approach. It says, 'When there is conflict between us, we no longer have to mobilize our forces against each other and worry about who will emerge victorious and who will go down in defeat. Instead, we can put our energy into searching for the kinds of solutions that respect both our needs as individuals.' We are teaching our children that they needn't be our victims or our enemies. We are giving them the tools that will enable them to be active participants in solving the problems that confront them — now, while they're at home, and in the difficult, complex world that awaits them."

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