How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
By: Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Scribner; Updated edition (February 7, 2012)
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk is a classic parenting book. Much of this book is about showing a learning child that you understand what they are feeling. Honestly, this can have a calming impact on all of us, no matter our age. My favorite tip shared was the idea of granting wishes in fantasy. So, for example, if your child is upset that X is not an option, you say – “I wish that too.” – and spend five minutes elaborating on every awesome thing you would do together if you did X.
Two of my favorite quotes:
We’ve heard many stories about angry children who have felt calmer after punching pillows, hammering old grocery cartons, pounding and kneading clay, roaring like a lion, throwing darts. But the one activity that seems most comfortable for parents to watch, and most satisfying for children to do, is to draw their feelings.
Of the four skills you’ve just seen illustrated, perhaps the most difficult is to have to listen to a child’s emotional outpourings and then “give a name to the feeling.” It takes practice and concentration to be able to look into and beyond what a child says in order to identify what he or she might be feeling. Yet it’s important that we give our children a vocabulary for their inner reality. Once they have the words for what they’re experiencing, they can begin to help themselves.