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4.6 out of 5 stars379
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 31 May 2006
I work with parents who are having a hard time with their children. This book is great to dip into and it's possible to offer often despairing parents genuine tools to effect small changes in their relationship with their children and then later, sit and 'debrief' the outcome of a few days' worth of trial of the exercises and suggestions. As a previous reviewer has suggested, this book is also about how one should consider communicating with people generally not only children and young people. Cheaper and more effective than many much grander academic tomes for the majority of most people's typically fractious experiences with some children. Excellent.
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We have two adopted children who although they seemed to settle well up to the end of primary school became extremely challenging on reaching their teens.
We got the whole lot. Theft, drugs, abuse, violence, problems at school and as parents general depression because we felt blamed and guilty because we reckoned we hadn't handled things well.
This book changed our lives and the way we handled both our children and other people. It doesn't tell you what your children should be, but simply helps you alter the way handle them. We were doing the right things, like praising, but in the wrong way.
The impact happens much more quickly than you expect, but it can take a little while to change your approach, simply because you've been so conditioned to the wrong ways of talking over your lifetime.
In the UK not so many people seem to have heard of this book or the authors, but I'm spreading the word.
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on 1 December 2002
As a preschool teacher and parent, I found this book to be the major influence in forming my communication style with children. In fact, this book has given me the skills to communicate more effectively with everyone... my friends, my husband, my boss, and even my mother-in-law! When I changed my approach in how I spoke to them, they often changed their behavior. The logical, respectful strategies really work! My only criticism is that the format of the chapters does not always fascilitate quick referral. For example, when I recently wanted to quickly look up a whining, or biting, or mealtime strategy for three of my preschoolers, I became frustrated and confused as to where in the book I had seen the information. These topics were not listed in the index and I began to flip through the pages trying to find the stories and suggestions that I thought I remembered seeing somewhere. Therefore, I would also like to recommend another wonderful new book with the very same philosophy that is organized differently...for quick use on the spot for very busy parents. THE POCKET PARENT is literally a pocket-sized A-Z guide exclusively written for parents and teacher of preschoolers (2's, 3's, 4's, & 5's). It is loaded with hundreds of easy to find quick-read bullet answers (called "sanity savers") to 40 common behavior problems of 2- to 5-year-olds. I recommend these two books for every mom and dad with a 2- to 5-year-old. Both books are permissive with feelings, but strict with behavior while preserving the dignity of both parent and child. Both books are full of humor and compassion from authors that have "been there," too. For help on the spot as well as long term understanding ...keep both books handy!
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on 28 March 2007
This book is brilliant!

I have a child of my own and I also work with children, many who have challenging behavior. This book has made my life so much easier, as a result of reading this book I feel I have a better relationship and understanding of the children I'm in contact with.
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on 30 May 2009
I read this book when my son was three. I was being the mother I so did not want to be with him. I was screaming at him, hitting him and being generally horrible. I was out of control did not know what to do. I was confused and anxious. Here was my beautiful baby starting to defy me and I did not know what to do except scream and shout and lash out. I found this book by chance. I read a christmas book list in the Guardian and Susie Orbach recommended it. She said she kept it in her loo and it kept her sane. I knew instantly that I had to go and get this book. It was in 1992 so no internet or Amazon. I searched London and found it in a obscure bookshop mainly full of psycho-therapy books! I went and bought it and devoured it in a cafe, making notes, crying with relieve and knowing that I would now have the skills, hints and tips to deal with my own feelings that were surfacing that I had no idea how to deal with except by blaming my son. The next morning instead of going into to my son and saying - get dressed and insisting on him putting on the clothes I had prepared I said, lovely to see you and offered him a choice of clothes, the same with breakfast, the same with whether he wanted to put on his shoes or his coat first. For the first day in many many months we left the house relaxed and happy. I was in tears as I dropped him off at his nursery and so full of gratitude that I had found this book which was going to save my relationship with my son. My lovely son is now a delightful, happy, talented and inspired young man. What more could I wish for, nothing. It became possible because of these delightful mums who wrote this book. I have given it to many friends, I dont know whether they have gained as much as me, all I know is that it allowed me to be the mother I so wanted to be.
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on 2 November 2000
I have a 4 yr old and a 7mth old baby. The book has helped me lessen the conflicts with my eldest daughter. Sometimes when I put an excerise into practice and get an immediate positive response I just feel like kissing the book! It is a book that has to be read from time to time to refresh your memory and attitude towards your children.
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on 18 October 2004
How to Talk so Kids will Listen is a very good book. Its nice to see a book out there that actually promotes intimacy and empathy in the parent child relationship. I just wish more people would talk about these subjects and actually incorporate them into their interactions. This book did leave me with a few how and why questions - questions about the origins of our behaviors and why making change can often be a difficult process. I would suggest that this book be read with Systemic Parenting: An Exploration of the Parenting Big Picture (Gaskill). These books are very complimentary of each other. How to Talk so Kids will Listen is a bit more lighthearted than Systemic Parenting but Gaskill provides a lot of detail that is missing from the former. Both should be a wonderful addition to any parent's library.
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on 14 July 2007
This book really does what it says on the cover. The advice is relevant for all parents who want non-confrontational ways of disciplining their children. There are many examples given and old/new ways of dealing with situations. I found myself re-reading chapters as incidents arose within my home. Although changes won't occur overnight there should be improvements in a few days. As a teacher, I also found some of the techniques and suggestions relevant for school, I certainly intend to use them in future.
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on 9 September 2001
I thought this book might be about how to use praise and language to avoid facing discipline issues with children but it is not like that at all. It teaches parents to be authorative and send the right messages without micro managing their children. The suggested changes are fairly straight forward and common sense, but may require some practice. Fortunately thare are many well illustrated examples and practical exercises to reinforce these ideas. This book stictly sticks to the topic of comunication and establishing cooperation which makes it an excellent supplement to any parents existing parenting style. Teaches mutual respect without surrendering parental authourity. A very good read.
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on 31 May 2011
I bought this book, with some scepticism, on the advice of a friend, and I have to say I'm glad I did.

The way it works is you read through it (I recommend taking notes) then you complete 'assignments' based on the new 'skills' you have discovered, which basically means take a break from reading and wait for the opportunity to try out each new 'skill' then return to the book and read on! So you do take your time with it, which is how it then becomes learnt.

It is very American (no offence meant) and personally I have chosen to adjust the advice to suit me and my kids, but I think that's probably how it's meant to be used as what works with an 8 year old may be no good for a 4 year old etc. and each situation is different, so you have to adjust how you carry out your new 'skills' to suit you!

Where I haven't followed the book to the letter, I have found that it's given me new ideas of my own to try!

I think this book is a useful tool for parents seeking fresh ideas which may actually help, and for the money it is worth giving it a go!!
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