A couple of months ago I was laying in bed. Awake after not quite enough sleep. I wasn’t ready to get up.
My brain started turning over the kind of stuff brains turn over when it’s way too early in the morning. The stuff that makes it really hard to go back to sleep.
I finally stumbled upon a parenting issue that’s been just under the surface. The way I talk with my kids is changing. We’re at the end the tween stage for one and the beginning of teen stage for the other.
I know how to talk to kids. It’s one of my parenting strengths.
But as they get older, how I talk to them is changing. Sometimes I feel good about the changes… sometimes I wonder if there’s a better way.
Suddenly a parenting book title flashed in my mind. It was one I’d seen mentioned a lot, but I’d never read.
I grabbed my phone, scrolled to Scribd (my very favorite way to listen to audio books) and quickly found the book I was looking for.
After saving that title for later… I rolled over and was back to sleep in no time.
It turned out to be just what I needed, right when I needed it.
I want to help match you with the parenting book you need right now.
This is the first post in a series of parenting book reviews. Over the next few months, I’ll be reading through and reporting on parenting books.
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First up is one of my new favorites…
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
This link is an affiliate link. If you purchase using this link I will be compensated.
When to Read It
This book is great for any period of parenting. Because it focuses on conversations, I would recommend reading it when your kids are 4 and up.
The skills and techniques you’ll learn will become the foundation for any issues you tackle.
How to Read It
There are a lot of ways to read a parenting book. You can listen to the audiobook, check it out from the library or buy it. Most of the time I opt for one of the first two choices.
For this book, I recommend buying it. (Affiliate link).
It’s meant to be read slowly. The authors suggest reading a chapter, completing the written exercises and practicing the lessons with your kids.
If you own it, you will be able to write in your copy and you won’t have to worry about rushing through it to return it.
There are also a lot of visuals that make holding the book in hand better than the audio version.
What to Take Away
There are so many things that can be taken away from How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Simple phrases to use that offer your kids’ opportunities to express their feelings.
- Tips for being present and connected without offering advice.
- Amazing ways to promote problem-solving that work perfectly with my favorite conflict resolution technique.
- Reminders that we, as parents, are constantly growing. No matter how many times we “do it right” or “do it less than right”, kids will always give us another chance to practice.
- Examples and exact sentences that make it easy to get started.
Keep In Mind
… when reading any parenting book… that growth is the goal. It isn’t necessary to follow every suggestion. Sometimes really great parenting tips just don’t fit for us or our kids.
Here’s my example from this book:
One piece of advice stuck out to me. “Don’t ask your kids if they had fun.”
The reason behind avoiding this question is that it puts extra pressure on the kids. Did they need to have fun? What if they didn’t have fun?
This idea made sense to me, so I immediately started watching for this question. I quickly realized I ask this question A LOT. I went to work to eliminate this from my conversations.
It was hard. Harder, then it should have been.
Then I started feeling really bad and second-guessing all of our conversations. I had taken one small token from this book and put so much stake in it that I didn’t see all the good that was coming from the other great information.
I stopped. Took a few minutes to examine the actual situation in our house, in our conversations and in our relationship.
This question is not hurting us. I am getting a solid reaction and the kids will tell me if they didn’t have fun. There are plenty of techniques I can take from this book that will improve our ability to communicate.
This is not one of them. I can let it go
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish are so fun to watch in this video clip from way back.
A note about Scribd: I mentioned Scribd is my favorite way to listen to audio books. I pay $8.99 a month and have access to pretty much any audiobook I want. If you sign up using the link above you will receive a 2-month free trial and I will receive one month free.