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1-Page Summary of How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen
The author has tried many different methods to get his kids to listen, but none of them worked. He then realized that there is a more effective way and came up with it.
In How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life With Children Ages 2-7 (2017), authors Joanna Faber and Julie King explain that parents, teachers, grandparents, caregivers and adults should talk to children with the understanding that their feelings are important. Parents need to take more time in explaining why they have a particular rule or standard for their child’s behavior. It is far better than punishing them when they misbehave because it helps them understand how they’re expected to act.
Acknowledging a child’s feelings can help the parent better understand and handle his or her behavior. For example, when a child is hungry, tired, or otherwise stressed out, telling them to calm down may make them more upset instead of less. If parents understand this effect on children’s emotions and moods, they can be better at handling their kids’ bad behavior. This will improve the relationship between parent and child because it shows that the adult cares about what the child is going through in life without necessarily being able to fix it right away.
Sometimes, when a child is sad or angry, it can seem like the cause of their feelings isn’t important. For example, they might be upset about losing something small and seemingly insignificant to an adult. However, as adults would not want friends to dismiss their concerns without understanding them fully, parents should also be careful not to belittle a child’s emotional distress over unimportant issues.
It’s important to understand that just because you accept a child’s feelings doesn’t mean you’re giving them free reign. A boy might be angry at his older sister, for example, but he can’t kick her or yell at her. You can accept your child’s feelings while still making sure they don’t hurt themselves or others (e.g., by kicking and yelling). In extreme cases where a child is in danger, an adult may have to physically stop the behavior; however, this shouldn’t come at the cost of damaging their self-esteem.
Children cannot be expected to behave at all times. If they’re not getting enough food or sleep, they will be incapable of consistently following any adult’s rules. In such a case, only eating or sleeping will restore order. In most situations, however, acknowledging a child’s feelings can be the first step to starting a dialogue with them about their behavior and how it affects others around them. The resulting conversation can then be used to brainstorm ideas for preventing similar problems in the future based on what works best for both parties involved (the parent and child). For example, if children are hitting their siblings when they touch his toys while he plays with them alone without asking permission from him first, then we acknowledge that he feels like his space is being invaded without his consent and ask him what he thinks would solve this problem better than just hitting someone else who might have been touching his toys anyway—he could offer an alternative toy instead if he wants some time alone playing by himself now that you’ve asked nicely rather than hit your brother/sister. It requires understanding where children are developmentally as well as having open communication with them so you know how to talk to kids about why certain things aren’t acceptable behavior yet but give them options on how things could work out differently in the future once everyone has had input into finding solutions together.