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How to Talk So Kids Will Listen  Listen So Kids Will Talk

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen Listen So Kids Will Talk

Product Summery

A Letter to Readers

Dear Reader,
The last thing we ever thought we’d be doing was writing a “how-to” book on communication skills for parents. The relationship between each parent and child is a very personal and private  matter. The idea of giving anyone instructions on how to talk in such a close relationship just didn’t feel right to us. In our first book, Liberated Parents/Liberated Children,we tried not to teach or  preach. We had a story to tell. Our years of workshops with the late child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott had affected our lives deeply. We were sure that if we told the story of how our new skills  had changed the way we treated both our children and ourselves, that our readers would catch the spirit behind the skills and be inspired to improvise on their own.
To some extent it did work that way. Many parents wrote to tell us proudly of what they had been able to accomplish in their homes just from reading about our experiences. But there were other  letters, and a common appeal ran through them all. They wanted a second book—a book with “lessons” . . . “practice exercises” . . . “rules of thumb” . . . “tear- out reminder pages” .  some kind of materials that would help them to learn the skills “step-by-step.”
For a while we considered the idea seriously, but our initial resistance returned and we pushed the thought to the back of our minds. Besides,we were too busy concentrating on the speeches  and workshops we were preparing for our lecture tours.
During the next few years we traveled around the country, conducting workshops for parents, teachers, school principals, hospital staffs,teenagers, and child-care workers. Wherever we went,  people shared with us their personal experiences with these new methods of communication —their doubts, their frustrations, and their enthusiasm. We were grateful to them for their openness  and we learned from them all. Our files were bulging with exciting new material.

Meanwhile, the mail continued to come in, not only from the United States but from France, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the Philippines,India. Mrs. Anagha Ganpule from New Delhi wrote: “There are so many problems about which I would like to take your advice. . . . Please let me know what I could do to study the subject in depth. I am at a dead end. The old ways do not  suit me, and I do not have the new skills. Please help me get over this.”That was the letter that did it.
We started to think again about the possibility of writing a book that showed “how.” The more we talked about it, the more comfortable we became with the idea. Why not a “how-to” book with  exercises so that parents could teach themselves the skills they wanted to know? Why not a book that would give parents a chance to practice what they’ve learned at their own pace—either by  themselves or with a friend? Why not a book with hundreds of examples of helpful dialogues so that parents could adapt this new language to their own personal style?The book could have  cartoons that would show the skills in action, so that a harried parent could glance at a picture and give himself or herself a quick refresher course.
We’d personalize the book. We’d talk about our own experiences,answer the most commonly asked questions, and include the stories and new insights that parents in our groups have shared  with us over the past six years. But, most important, we’d always keep sight of our larger goal—the constant search for methods that affirm the dignity and humanity of both parents and  children.
Suddenly our original uneasiness about writing a “how-to” book vanished. Every other art or science has its skill books. Why not one for parents who want to learn how to talk so their kids will  listen, and listen so their kids will talk?
Once we decided, we started writing rapidly. We hope to get a complimentary copy off to Mrs. Ganpule in New Delhi before her children are grown.

Kids Books