The book titled Hot to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk is by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich. It is one of my all time favorite books because it works wonders in learning how to deal with children. It is an excellent communication tool with video case based scenarios that will explain how to deal with all sorts of situations that you may encounter while trying to raise your children. This book teaches some basic lessons to parents that can be used in any arena, even in the business and medical world. It teaches parents that children like adults demand respect and attention. The basic premise of the book is that one should treat all people with the utmost respect and despite how much you may disagree with their point of view, never ever deny their emotions or their perspective because everyone is an individual. Finally, the book teaches people to stick to the facts and of course listen to what people are actually saying as well as giving praise and recognition when it is deserved.
This is a very practical book, it does not provide too much abstract ideas about childhood behavior and relationships. It tries to show parents that this is much simpler than we make it out to be and that one need not resort to harmful and fear based and threatening strategies to get kids to do what you ask of them. These authors not only teach you how to communicate with children, but it also teaches you a new way to think about the child-parent dynamics and transcends the whole idea of either being too lenient or too strict mentality.
I still recall taking this class and medical school and seeing the real life scenarios, one in particular was very amusing in that it was about a child being disciplined and in the video scenario the father explains to the child why he is not happy with his sons behavior and asks the son to pick an appropriate discipline for his actions. I think that is a great idea because it empowers both the child and the father.
This book offers innovative ways to solve common problems with children and it teaches parents how to cope with a child’s negative feelings by allowing children to express their anger. It shows parents how to set firm limits, but still maintain a positive relationship with the child. It teaches parents about how to use alternatives to punishment like the one I mentioned above.
Some people do have issues with the book because it teaches that one of the highest goals of all children is independence and that parents should never preach to their children. I do not think that is the message the book is trying to send, rather, we should be there to guide children on the right path, but also recognize that many times, they will have their own idea on what path that is.