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How to talk so kids will listen and Listen so kids will talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Posted on: July 11, 2016

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will TalkHow to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A must read for all parents. A book that will minimize conflict, if not eliminate it, from a parent child relationship and will lead to mature grown ups.

The first chapter of the book is about how to help the children deal with their feelings. The following are the suggested ways to handle the situation
1. Instead of half listening, listen quietly and attentively.
2. Instead of questions and advice, acknowledge the feelings with a word.
3. Instead of denying the feeling, give the feeling a name.
4. Instead of explanation and logic, give the child her wishes in fantasy.

The second chapter is about how to elicit cooperation from the children. The following are the desisted from
1. Blaming and Accusing
2. Name calling
3. Threats
4. Commands
5. Lecturing and Moralizing
6. Warnings
7. Martyrdom statements
8. Comparisons
9. Sarcasm
10. Prophecy

1. Describe the problem “Lights on in the bathroom”
2. Give information about the consequences of the problem: “Keeping the light on consumes electricity”.
3. Say it with a word: “Bathroom light”
4. Talk about your feelings: “I don’t feel nice when the utility bill shoots up due to lights not switched off”.
5. Write a note: A note “Switch of the light when not in use” outside the bathroom.

The third chapter suggests some alternatives to punishment:
1. Point out a way to be helpful, instead of them being a nuisance.
2. Express strong disapproval (without attacking character)
3. State your expectations
4. Show the child how to make amends
5. Offer a choice
6. Take action
7. Allow the child to experience the consequence of his misbehaviour

To solve a problem
1. Talk about the child’s feelings and needs.
2. Talk about your feelings and needs
3. Brainstorm together to find a mutually agreeable solution
4. Write down all the ideas – without evaluating
5. Decide on which suggestions you like, which you don’t like and which you plan to follow through on.

The fourth talks about how to encourage the child to be autonomous so that they can become independent, responsible citizens. The following are suggested
1. Let children make choices
2. Show respect for child’s struggle, do not help them immediately all the time, instead suggest how they could solve it by themselves.
3. Don’t ask too many questions
4. Don’t rush to answer questions. Let them think on their own.
5. Encourage children to use sources outside the home.
6. Don’t take away hope.

The fifth chapters talks about the right way to praise a child. If given in the wrong way it can lead to wrong consequences like a child becoming too proud, or becoming stressed out as they try to keep up their reputation. The suggestions are offered are
1. Describe what is praiseworthy. “I see a clean floor, a smooth bed, and books neatly lined up on the shelf”
2. Describe what you feel: “It is a pleasure to walk into the room”
3. Sum up the child’s praiseworthy behaviour with a word: “You sorted out your Legos, cars, and farm animals and put them in separate boxes. Thats what I call organization”

The sixth chapter is about how we push children into playing roles without realizing. Speaking about their characteristics (especially the not so good ones) with others or criticising them makes the children start playing that role. The suggestions provided to get the child out of playing a bad role are as follows:
1. Look for opportunities to show the child a new picture of himself or herself.
2. Put the children in situations where they can see themselves differently
3. Let children overhear you say something positive about them.
4. Model the behaviour you’d like to see
5. Be a storehouse for your child’s special moments so that when they get discouraged you can remind them of their good deeds
6. When you child behaves according to the old label, state your feelings and/or your expectations.

All in all a wonderful book to read before starting to rear or manage children. These techniques should help deal with problematic adults too.

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