View Full Version : How to talk to teens (and kids) so they will listen and listen so they will talk.

03-03-2016, 02:33 PM
I wholeheartedly want to recommend a book my husband and I had recommended to us. It's called "How to talk so teens will listen, and listen so teens will talk." by Faber and Mazlish. There is a book for parents with young kids under the same title, only instead of the word "teens" it says "kids". You can find both on Amazon. I found the teen book at my library.

First, I wish I'd found this book when my oldest was still a teenager. I think our communication skills would have been better and our relationship stronger. We are rebuilding now and I have this book to thank. In fact, I just used one of her methods to address something that would have set my son off (he still lives at home for now), but instead, we came to a peaceful resolution. Amazing!

But the BIGGEST influence this book has had, has been with the communication between my youngest and us. She is explosive. Her emotions are always out of control. We have been frustrated and angry at her and not known how to communicate in a way that is productive. This book has been a huge help. In 2 weeks, things at our house have calmed down and her behavior has changed dramatically. Although we haven't been perfect, it's been a beautiful work in progress. She's also learned how to problem solve herself to feel empowered to make changes needed to succeed.

This book is an easy read that teaches communication skills that validate emotions, but helps kids come to their own conclusions on how to solve their problems. It aims at mending the teen/parent relationship angst by teaching how to communicate issues effectively so problems are solved. In some instances, I've had to use several of her methods in one conversation and it's worked really well!


03-05-2016, 12:54 PM
i have this book right now in the living room. Maybe i'll go read it! lol

03-05-2016, 04:06 PM
Signed up for the waitlist for the kid one. Thanks!

03-06-2016, 02:03 AM
I read two of their books - the "how to talk..." for kids and "Siblings Without Rivalry" way back when my teenager was a baby. They earned a permanent spot on my shelf, along with Barbara Coloroso, and I think they really informed my parenting style.

03-06-2016, 07:49 AM
This is a good read. It's also very popular in the Suzuki circles that I'm involved in.

There are a lot of techniques that they outline; but most importantly it's a reminder that empathy isn't just an attitude, it's a technique. (And I mean that in a non-manipulative way.) I used to teach a course to med students and residents on communication skills. We spent a lot of the time practicing what empathic communication sounds and feels like. When they were able to break out of the objective/information-gathering/controlling mode of communication, it made the whole interview go better.

Even the old Stephen Covey, "7 Habits..." book dealt with a lot of this. "Seek first to understand, then be understood." and "Deal first with emotions." I guess we need reminders...