How to Talk so Kids Will Listen

Category: Parenting
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About This Book

The ultimate “parenting bible” (The Boston Globe) with a new Foreword—and available as an eBook for the first time—a timeless, beloved book on how to effectively communicate with your child from the #1 New York Times bestselling authors.

Internationally acclaimed experts on communication between parents and children, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish “are doing for parenting today what Dr. Spock did for our generation” (Parent Magazine).  Now, this bestselling classic includes fresh insights and suggestions as well as the author’s time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships, including innovative ways to:
·      Cope with your child's negative feelings, such as frustration, anger, and disappointment
·      Express your strong feelings without being hurtful
·      Engage your child's willing cooperation
·      Set firm limits and maintain goodwill
·      Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline
·      Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise
·      Resolve family conflicts peacefully

Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. 


by Doparoo   2019-11-17

Your question's wording reminded me of "the book."

How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk.

by also_HIM   2019-11-17

When I was reading your description...

>My son said Ant Man - which wasn't even an option - and so I asked my SD (6) what her choice would be. She chose Spider Man. So I picked Spider Man since it actually WAS an option. Well, my son didn't like that. seemed pretty obvious to me that, unless you left out a lot of intermediate steps, from his perspective you asked him what he wanted and then immediately and unilaterally dismissed it. You didn't even attempt to explain until it was too late and emotions were boiling over. He didn't understand why it happened, he had no opportunity to correct and choose an existing option, and he had no opportunity to collaborate on a solution with his sister.

If you can imagine your husband asking you and your daughter your opinions on where to eat out, then simply saying "Ok, we are going to Daughter's restaurant" without a hint of discussion, you can imagine how dismissed you would feel. It would have been nice if he'd simply said, "the Italian place isn't open on Sundays, do you have another idea?"

Ignoring harmless "bad" behavior whenever possible is one of the primary strategies recommended by behaviorists (it is well supported by research; even negative attention works as a reinforcer), so the latter part of your interaction was perfect from that perspective. One of the issues I have with behaviorism, though, is that it is primarily reactive and doesn't do anything to address underlying causes. In this case, the tantrum could have been easily avoided to begin with. If you're curious about strategies in that vein, you should take a look at How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and (in regards to cooperating on choosing a story) Siblings Without Rivalry.

by searedscallops   2019-11-17

Verbalize your empathy for him: "It sounds like you wish you didn't have to share. Sharing is so tough sometimes, huh? I wish we had a million bags of pretzels so no one had to share!"

Also, read this book:

by codegeek   2018-12-02
Parent of 2 young kids. Wife got this book from Amazon [0] called "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen...And Listen So Kids Will Talk" which surprisingly is really good.


As a parent, I have observed that kids observe YOU. Plain and simple. You want them to do something? You do it first and show them. For example, eating together as a family on Dining Table. My wife and I would just eat on the sofa and kids started expecting the same. They would run around during dinner time. One day, we decided to stick to a plan that we will eat only on the table. It took a bit of a time but kids are now eating on the table 90% of the time (not quite there with 100% yet but that is how it is with kids. No absolutes :))

So before you think about setting up systems for THEM, setup systems for YOU which they will just follow. Really hard as adults to change our own habits but it does wonders.

All the best. Raising kids is the hardest thing I have ever done and I have done a lot of hard things in my life. You will need a bit of luck, tons of support from family and most importantly: a clear head :)