If I could pick just one book for parents to read it would be this book.
“How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish is AWESOME. First of all it has pictures… who doesn’t love a book with pictures?! I think that is why I love it- and best of all… it is so simple. There are so many parenting philosophies out there that can get so complex and overwhelming. How often do we as parents run behind our child screaming “Don’t do that, Get off of that!, STOP!, Cut it out!” Get the idea? We are so busy telling our children what we DON’T want them to do, that we forget to tell them what we want them to do. It is a hard habit to break…
Try it! Next time your child is doing something you don’t want them to do- try telling them in a concise two or three word statement what you want them to do instead. Example: Instead of: “ STOP running Billy- you know how I hate it when you run around the house- it drives me CRAZY!!!!” Try: “Walking feet please.” Worth a shot right?
I am telling you it Works! I started my career back in 2000 working for a Behavioral outpatient program in Salt Lake City for children ages 2-5 who had severe emotional and behavioral issues. I had a class of 4 and 5 year olds. Not just any 4 and 5 year olds. Many of these kiddos were kicked out of their preschool for their behavior and let me tell you…they were hard! Throwing chairs, spitting, and cussing at one another including us “big people” (adults) were daily occurrences when they first entered into the program. So, as a new therapists, we were advised to read this book. I thought really- another parenting book? But, I thought I would give it a whirl one day when I saw a boy in my class running up and down on the table. I calmly said: “Feet on the floor Buddy” and to my amazement- without missing a beat he came bouncing of the table with a smile on his face. I knew right then- there is an art form when communicating with children. I am not saying it will work all the time…but it is great practice to find a different way of positively communicating with our young children rather than the negative. More to come on this book in the future- that’s just scratching the surface! For now-go out and read it and tell me what you think!