Thursday, December 18, 2008

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

**From the Stacks Challenge**

About four years ago, I received this book as a baby shower gift for the birth of my first child. I finally got around to reading it!! How horrible is that?!?! I guess it is better late than never, right?! I have actually read quite a few parenting books, some of which that I have reviewed on this site. I sometimes find reviewing them difficult. Afterall, isn't there only so much you can write about when it comes to discipline? However, this one is definitely worth sharing! I will start by including a synopsis of the book below that is on the back cover . . .

Here is the bestselling book that will give you the know-how you need to be more effective with your children - and more supportive of yourself. Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. Now, in this Twentieth Anniversary Edition, these award-winning experts share their latest insights and suggestions based upon feedback they've received over the years.

Their methods of communication - illustrated with delightful cartoons showing the skills in action - offer innovative ways to solve common problems. You'll learn how to:
  • Cope with your child's negative feelings - frustration, disappointment, anger, etc.
  • Express your anger without being hurtful
  • Engage your child's willing cooperation
  • Set firm limits and still maintain goodwill
  • Use alternatives to punishment
  • Resolve family conflicts peacefully

When I began reading this book, I at first was a bit frustrated as a reader. The authors were speaking to me as if I used punishment and physical means to discipline my child. I kept thinking to myself, "Talk about using extreme examples." or "I don't smack my child around!" I then began thinking, "When was this book originally published?" So, I looked it up . . . 1980! Badda-bing . . . there was my answer!!! Methods of discipline were much different at the time of the original publication date. Today, many of the methods are much more well-known and something I, among many others, already live by.

The book was designed to be read over a longer period of time, with homework for the reader. I mentally made notes while reading the book, but did not actually do a lot of the exercises myself. I felt that I already had many of the items discussed in practice thanks to my extended experience with Love and Logic. However, it was a very nice refresher for me!! I actually discovered that I was in need of a refresher as I was reading the book! Though I do not agree with everything written in the book, I thought it was a great book overall. It covered many important parenting tips, from empathy to the alternatives to punishment to encouraging a child's independence. What I really enjoyed about this book was not only that it was more interactive, but that it was an easy read and can be used for a great quick reference in the future because of the illustrated comic strips. The illustrations a parent can literally flip through the book to get some ideas for those harder times! Just what a busy mom and/or dad really needs!

Would I recommend this read to others? Of course! And, I already have!!

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