Blue field like crop rows and burgundy border, saying "Don't Just Survive - Thrive

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

by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Chapter 1: Helping 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. (You are angry!)
  4. Give them their wishes in fantasy (I wish I had that right now, too)
Chapter 2: Engaging Cooperation
  1. Describe what you see and the problem. (The milk has spilled and is just all over the counter where it will get sticky and smelly.)
  2. Give information. (The dog poo collects and then smells when it’s not picked up.)
  3. Say it with a word. (Pajamas!)
  4. Talk about your feelings. (It bothers me when the door’s left open because the dogs can run away.)
  5. Write a note. (Leave it somewhere to remind them. Make it neutral – about the thing (like, “Love, Towel”)
Chapter 3: Alternatives to Punishment
  1. Point out ways to be helpful (redirect the behavior)
  2. Express strong disapproval – without attacking character (I don’t like this because . . .)
  3. State expectations.
  4. Show the child how to make amends
  5. Give a choice. (No running – you can walk or you can sit in the cart. You decide.)
  6. Take action. (Kid ran, then you make the decision and say that she is the one that made the decision)
  7. Allow the child to experience the consequences of his misbehavior (Follow through and explain why)
Chapter 4: Encouraging Autonomy
  1. Let children makes choices. (Grey or red pants?)
  2. Show respect for a child’s struggle. (A jar can be hard to open, knocking it on the counter can help.)
  3. Don’t ask too many questions. (Let them have their life.)
  4. Don’t rush to answer questions. (Let them work it out – “Why does it rain?” “Why do YOU think it rains?”
  5. Encourage children to use sources outside the home. (You research the guitar teachers!)
  6. Don’t take away hope. (Acknowledge dreams, even if impossible.)
Chapter 5: Praise
  1. Acknowledge achievement and give it a name. (You worked hard to memorize things, that takes perseverence!)
  2. Instead of eavaluating, describe! 
    1. Describe what you see (Wow, this room is so clean, smooth floor, organized books)
    2. Describe what you feel (It is such a pleasure to walk into this room)
    3. Sum up the child’s praiseworthy behavior with a word (That’s what I call ORGANIZATION!)
  3. Cautions about Praise
    1. Make sure your praise is appropriate to your child’s age and level of ability.
    2. Avoid praise that hints at past weakness or failure.
    3. Be aware that excessive enthusiasm can interfere with a child’s desire to accomplish for herself.
    4. Be prepared for a lot of repetition of the same activity when you describe what the child is doing appreciatively.
Chapter 6: Freeing Children from Playing Roles
  1. Look for opportunities to show the child a new picture of himself or herself. (Take away “destructive” by pointing out how long a toy’s been well cared for)
  2. Put children in situations where they can see themselves differently. (Scatterbrain? Give them opportunities to focus on organization. Ask them to do things dextrously if they’ve previously been clumsy.)
  3. Let children overhear you can say something positive about them. (Brag)
  4. Model the behavior you’d like to see. (Verbalize choices to exhibit good behavior.)
  5. Be a storehouse for your child’s speical moments. (Remind them when other people diminish them that they have proofs against that.)
  6. When your child acts according to the old label, state your feelings and/or your expectations. (I don’t like the way you phrased that. Can you say it another way?)