How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King

how-to-talkA survival guide to life with children ages 2-7 – says the subtitle of the book. It immediately caught my attention. What is this book about? How can it really help improve life with very young kids which is so demanding? What solutions can it offer to the never ending challenges of raising children? I kept reading about the book.

“It’s hard to be a little kid. It’s hard to be an adult responsible for that little kid. And it’s really hard to think about effective communication when the toast is burning, the baby is crying and you’re exhausted.” Still holds my attention. I have to take a look into the book. Here it is, Joanna’s words from the How it All Started chapter: “What I discovered as a parent was that there is a certain twenty-four-hours-a-day relentlessness to caring for young children that makes it hard to think straight. Even though I thought I would be a natural, when it comes to handling all those constant needs and emotions day after day, night after night, there is no such thing as easy and perfect. Sometimes simple survival is a good goal.” That was persuasive enough to buy a copy immediately.

I read the book while my baby was having her daily nap on my chest and my older daughter was playing or watching TV. I got great ideas and tips for arranging our daily life, like buying a timer where children can really see time go by. My daughter can be so annoying from time to time when she expects a friend or about to go somewhere. However, the reason I highly recommend this book to parents, grandparents or anyone who works with children, is the unconventional approach to dealing with early childhood problems. Instead of rejecting negative feeling we should accept them and there are many suggestions how to handle them. There’s no place for blaming and accusations, warnings, lectures, name callings and threats in the process of engaging cooperation. Moreover, it suggests a different type of praise and appreciation. But for me, problem-solving in place of punishment was the most significant advice. With problem-solving we are modeling the attitude we want our kids to take toward conflict in their lives. Instead of wasting energy to fight each other, we try to find solutions to our problems together. This is what I want my daughters to learn.


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