I often find myself sounding like a broken record every time I try to get my kids to listen to me. One of the biggest frustrations in parenthood is getting our children to behave and just listen! I bark orders on most days:

“Wash your hands!”
“Flush the toilet!”
“Go to bed!”

And then it becomes a battle of wills. “You do as I say… or else [insert threat or bribe here]”. It leads to lecturing, multiple warnings and then out of sheer frustration, I yell…”Can’t you ever do anything right!??”

Does this sound familiar?

I realized I lack skills on how to engage cooperation with my children. So this book “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish was really helpful. I extracted some tips into a little video and I hope it helps you as much as it helps me.

To Engage Cooperation:
1. Describe. Describe what you see or describe the problem.
2. Give information.
3. Say it with a word.
4. Talk about your feelings.
5. Write a note.

As you’re watching, do remember that not every one of these tips work with every child – its contextual – and not every skill may suit your personality, as the authors have also mentioned. Still, Faber and Mazlish encourage these practices to “create a climate of respect in which the spirit of cooperation can begin to grow”.

What do you think of these tips and have you found them to be useful? I’d love to hear from you!


Leave a Reply