Since my latest posts have been a little heavy, I decided to post on a lighter subject and share one of my favorite parenting books–a book that’s helped me immensely to stay connected to my kiddo. I also share my PDF printable notes on the book below, so enjoy!
If you’re parent and you’ve done a little sleuthing, you’ve probably heard of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. It has, and deserves, a reputation as the modern parenting bible. If you haven’t checked it out—whether you find it difficult to manage your kid(s) or not—I highly recommend that you do.
This is the best parenting book I’ve ever read for a very simple reason; it clearly and effectively lays out an actionable parenting strategy. This strategy involves maintaining boundaries without being a tyrant, being authoritative without being authoritarian, and connecting to your kid on their level, in a way they can understand.
It uses simple, straightforward language and comic strip examples to make everything super clear, relatable, and actionable.
The Proverbial Parenting Manual
It literally helped me wrap my head around parenting for the first time. Before that, I was pretty much at a loss. Not to mention, it made it fun. It gave me the tools to turn daily struggles into games, and meltdowns into heart-to-hearts. Obviously, this isn’t the case every time, because that’s life, but it was after reading this book that my experience of parenting did a complete one-eighty.
After I read it, I was so eager for more that I went straight to the authors’ other work, Liberated Parents, Liberated Children, and then even further to that of their mentor, Dr. Haim Ganott’s Between Parent and Child. The first is something like a Q&A after the first book, with real life stories of parents putting the skills they learned into practice.
The latter of the two lays out more of the theory behind the practical strategies of the first book, along with child development concepts and the beautiful premise that when children are treated with humanity, they become authentic, compassionate humans.
I loved HTTSKWL (as I call it) so much that I made myself a detailed outline and posted it on my bulletin board so I can refer back to it frequently, which I do. I also implemented it in my classroom when I taught preschool, and had wonderful results (of course, the techniques work A LOT better when it’s not your own kid. That’s just the parenting curse).
Get Your Printable!
Whenever I notice things are starting to spin a little at home, I revisit these simple strategies and it nearly always gets things back on track.
My favorite thing about them is that they make my kiddo feel heard. They teach how to validate, how to just listen, how to not immediately jump into trying to solve every problem for your kid, but instead simply hearing them and what they are experiencing.
They also teach how to allow natural consequences to undesirable behaviors arise on their own, without blaming, shaming, or labeling. It’s the furthest thing from the ‘be seen and not heard’ philosophy you can get.
The Faber Mazlish website offers lots of resources, including workshops all over the world where parents can gather, work on the techniques together, and build community.
If you live in the San Francisco bay area or France and are interested in attending a workshop, please be in touch!