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20th century
Faber, Adele (mother)



The advice here is the same as in the other How to Talk books, but people like examples and this is full of them! I'd been having conflicts with my otherwise cooperative 7yo trying to get out of the door on time in the mornings. I felt like I was trying everything and nothing was working, so I went back to Faber & King. And then I asked myself:

Was I acknowledging my kid's feelings?
Was I including my kid in problem-solving?
Was I offering my kid choices?
Was I taking action without insult?

I was acknowledging feelings, but in a judgmental way ("You want to stay in bed. Great! So do I! Cool! Cool cool cool.").

I was trying to problem-solve in the heat of the moment instead of at a calmer time.

I was offering choices that were really more like threats ("Do you want to get dressed or do you want to make me late for work?").

I was taking action by treating my 2nd grader like a baby and doing things for her instead of letting her do them herself because she was doing everything so slow. (And, yes, there were mild insults involved like "Wow, are you part sloth?")

In the end, problem-solving with my daughter when we were both feeling happy and relaxed has made a big difference. She is practicing tying her shoes so she can do it faster. We are waking up a little earlier. I am working on being less sarcastic in the morning no matter how grumpy I feel. We are not morning people, so we need to try extra hard to make mornings pleasant for us both.

Thanks, Joanna Faber and Julie King! Shout out to the OGs Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, too.
… (mere)
LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
Good book, with a lot of really good info on communicating with children (and honestly just communication in general).

The original book was written decades ago, and presents all the topics and information to the reader, to incredible success. This book, is actually a follow up, and uses all the information in the real world, with real examples. It tries to make it much more applicable and memorable.

I was looking for the original and accidentally grabbed this one instead, and I can't say I'm disappointed. The applications and examples made the info easy to digest, but I have no idea how it compares to the original. There were a few chapters where they overdid it with the examples, and it got a little repetitive.… (mere)
Andjhostet | 8 andre anmeldelser | Jul 4, 2023 |
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
fernandie | 8 andre anmeldelser | Sep 15, 2022 |
In this book, Joanna Faber and Julia King discuss tools for getting little kids to listen. Part one discusses the core tools. Each chapter describes the tools along with illustrative stories. Each chapter ends with a useful summary of the tools and the key tips. Part two applies these core rules to many common parenting scenarios. Each chapter contains more stories and highlights how to apply the rules in that situation. It is definitely worth reading part one in full. Part two can be read in full but may be more effective read "à la carte", focusing on the problems that are relevant to you. The book phrases advice in terms of parents and children, but these tips are valuable for any interaction between adults and children.

One of the things I liked about this book is that many of the stories involved siblings. There are a lot of parenting books that focus on the parent/child interaction without acknowledging that when multiple children are involved, there's a whole nother layer of complexity going on. The authors also acknowledge that parents have feelings too and provide tools for helping parents respond in the least harmful way possible when they are the ones feeling overwhelmed.

Before we go into a bit more detail, let's start with the basics: if children are hungry, sleep depreprived, need recovery time, feel overwhelmed, or aren't developmentally ready for what you're asking of them, the tools in this book won't work. Take care of the basics before expecting children to be flexible.

At the core of Faber and King's methodology is treating children with respect. We need to help children handle their emotions, not dismiss them. Acknowledging children's emotions helps children to learn how to handle them on their own. Also, it's what they want as people. No one likes to have their feelings dismissed or minimized.

Only after children have calmed down can we focus on getting them to cooperate. The commonality among the tools the authors describe is that we can give children agency within bounds. We can give them choices between acceptable options, make it a game, put them in charge of part of what needs to be done, and more. Giving children agency goes a long way. When it doesn't work, we need to take action without insult. We do what we need to do — strap them in the car seat, leave for work, etc., — but without lecturing or berating them.

Faber and King believe that punishment is not effective and should be avoided. Instead of punishment, we want to focus on the ultimate goal: we want to teach children to handle their emotions appropriately and to solve problems in acceptable ways. Often, it can be enough to express our feelings strongly (with "I" statements), acknowledge their feelings, and help the child understand what are acceptable things they can do. When that's not enough — if the child is causing damage or harming themselves or others — we can take action without insult. Once everyone is calm, we can try problem solving to resolve the cause of the issue and help children resolve problems more effectively in the future.

Problem solving is a key technique, so is worth describing in more length. To problem solve: (1) Acknowledge the child's feelings. (2) Describe the problem. (3) Ask for ideas. Write all of them down, even the ones that are infeasible. (4) Decide which ideas everyone likes. (5) Try out your solutions. (From experience, i've learned that the infeasible ideas can be the best. "Let's put it on the ceiling!" can turn tears to giggles.)

A chapter on praise reminds us that praise given badly can be harmful. It can lock children into a fixed mindset. Instead of empty praise — "That's so neat!" — we can show our children we are really paying attention. We can describe what we see, the positive effect the child is having on others, their progress. We can turn this into a conversation. One thing we should always avoid is praise by comparison; we don't want praise to become a competition.

Before going into the detailed looks at food, morning routines, sibling rivalry, shopping, lies, and more, the authors take a look at how to modify these tools for differently wired children. These children often have different needs and a different perspective on their world than neurotypical children. They have a different perspective on the world, and parents will need to do more to try to get into the mindset of the child's perspective.

While at times this book felt repetitive and belabored (mostly in part two, hence the à la carte suggestion), overall it contains solid advice in a well organized, easy to read format. The use of stories helps to ground the tools in the nuance of real scenarios. Overall, I would recommend this book for parents of young children.
… (mere)
eri_kars | 8 andre anmeldelser | Jul 10, 2022 |

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Associated Authors

Adele Faber Foreword
Coco Faber Illustrator
Tracey Faber Illustrator
Sam Faber Manning Illustrator


½ 4.3

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