Book Review: How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Communicating with children is an art form, especially when it comes to eliciting desired behaviors.  That’s what the book How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk is all about.  The book is written by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, experts on communication between adults and children who studied under expert child psychologist, Dr. Haim Ginott. They have written other New York Times bestsellers such as Siblings without Rivalry, and have also created several books designed to help children with communication skills. 

How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk is an easy and enjoyable read filled with stories, anecdotes, assignments to help you apply the suggestions, and even comic strips illustrating the principles outlined in the book.  Whether you are a parent, teacher, or therapist, this book provides wonderful ideas on how to communicate with children, divided into sections about how to deal with children’s feelings, engaging cooperation, alternatives to punishment, encouraging autonomy, praise, freeing children from playing roles, and putting it all together.  Each chapter focuses on specific communication situations between adults and children, providing examples of typical exchanges and how those exchanges can be altered to encourage the child to communicate more appropriately or cooperate more fully.

 I really enjoyed the way the authors outlined “instead of…try…” suggestions, which helps us see how we have been communicating, and how we can change the way we communicate to be more successful.  Additionally, each chapter provides comments, questions, and parent stories which are an excellent way to see how the communication strategies can work in real life situations.  One of my favorite aspects of the book were the “quick reminder” pages which provide an overview of the strategies, and can even be copied and kept to help remind ourselves of the things we can be doing throughout the day when communicating with our little ones.  An example of the “quick reminder” page for Engaging Cooperation includes:

  1. Describe what you see, or describe the problem – “There’s a wet towel on the bed”
  2. Give information – “The towel is getting my blanket wet”
  3. Say it with one word – “Towel”
  4. Describe what you feel – “I don’t like sleeping in a wet bed!”
  5. Write a note – (above towel rack) “Please put me back so I can dry”

I personally made copies of these quick reminder pages for myself, to easily reference in the future.  My favorite part of the suggestions and strategies is that they are simple, straightforward, and they make sense.  Children of all abilities need to have their feelings acknowledged, and they need to know they have some autonomy.  By communicating more directly and concisely with children with communication difficulties, we can help lessen frustrations and help them become more successful (and that makes everyone happier!)

 Whether you work with children or have children of your own, this book will resonate and you will find yourself thinking back to the strategies in a variety of situations.  Since reading the book, I have even found myself using some of the communication strategies with other adults! 

In my opinion, this book is 5 stars.  If you want an easy read that will immediately help you gain a new perspective on the way you communicate with children, this is the book for you!

Blog By: Rebekah Greer, MS, CCC-SLP

For further information contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

Book Review: “Brain Rules for Baby”

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child form Zero to Five

Brain Rules for Baby is written by John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and research consultant.  He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Brain Rules:  12 Principals for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School.   You might think that with all these accolades, Brain Rules for Baby would be dry and boring. We found it to be quite the opposite!  The author adds facts, mixed with humor and real-life scenarios, which will challenge you to question your current parenting process or lay the foundation for a future child.

John Medina divides the book into specific brain rules in the areas of: pregnancy, relationships, smart baby, happy baby, and moral baby.  Within these “chapters,” if you will, are answers to questions we have all asked ourselves regarding genetics, nature vs. nurture, psychological characteristics, emotional control, diet, technology, character building, etc.   At the end of each chapter he reviews “Key Points.”  These key points are a nice review and allow you to digest the facts that were presented in a more simplified version.  We personally dogeared these pages as a way to quick-reference in the future.  This book will resonate with you whether you are trying to conceive, are currently pregnant, or have a newborn, toddler, or school-aged child.  What you are doing right now will affect your child for the rest of his or her life.  You will learn to see your child in a whole new light after reading this book.

We give this book 5 stars!  If you have ever had any questions regarding parenting and how your day-to-day decisions affect the growth and moral development of your child, this book is a must-read!

Written by: Michelle Adams, OTR/L, IMC

Laugh and Learn Self-Help Series for Ages 8-13

We have recently discovered this amazing series of books that range in topics from disorganization to homework help. They address one specific topic in each book in a relate-able and easily understood manner. The formatting of each book is designed to engage them quickly, and encourage your child to independently begin to use the strategies they offer. With catchy titles and minimal text per page your child should be excited to peek inside and learn some new tricks.

Some of our favorites in the series include:

“How to Do Homework without Throwing Up” By:Trevor Romain

“Get Organized Without Losing It” By: Janet S. Fox

“Stress Can Really Get on Your NERVES!” By: Trevor Romain and Elisabeth Verdick

This Series of books includes titles relating to Bullying, Procrastination, Rudeness, Anger and conflict resolution, and how to deal with siblings.They also carrying some of these in DVD format as well.  Check out this series, as well as, some additional books that address a wide variety of self-help topic for a various age ranges at www.freespirit.com

Blog by: Laney London, COTA/L, IMC

For further information contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com

Book Review: Yummy Tummy Rainbow Garden

The Yummy Tummy Rainbow Garden was written by Karen Leonetti as a teaching tool for children of all ages.  Her wish is that all children may have healthy bodies and brains from eating “Grow Foods” everyday!  With childhood obesity at an all-time high, Karen set out to educate children and adults regarding healthy eating.  This book takes you on the journey of two children (with the help of a treasure map) on the way to the Yummy Tummy Rainbow Garden.  Once in the garden, the children discover various signs that state the name and function of each food item.  This book is wonderfully illustrated as the fresh fruits and vegetables will make your mouth water!  Comparing a balanced diet to all the colors of the rainbow is sure to give your child a visual they won’t forget.  Decreasing screen time and enhancing outdoor play is also a constant theme throughout the book.   At the end of the book, Karen included recipes, notes, and hints to make healthy eating fun and easy.  We hope you enjoy this book as much as we did!

Rating: 5/5

 

 

Book Review-”The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism”

Written by Naoki Higashida and Translated by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell

This book was written by a 13-year-old child diagnosed with Autism who lives in Japan.  Naoki Higashida uses an alphabet grid to communicate and answer questions set forth.  The book is set-up in an interview-like fashion with over 100 pages of questions.  Naoki’s raw answers to questions, we all wish we could ask of our children on the Autism Spectrum, were nothing short of thought provoking.  Examples of such questions include: “Why do you need cues and prompts?” “Why do you flap your fingers and hands in front of your face?” and “Why are you too sensitive or insensitive to pain?” Naoki’s responses are written referring to both himself, specifically, and children with Autism as a whole. One verse that is repeated and underlying in most answered questions was simply this, “We don’t want you to give up on us.  Please, keep battling alongside us.”  Tearing jerking at times, this book was a good read for insight.  Some points were well-received, but some were questioned and very subjective in nature.  Overall, we give The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism 3.5/5 stars.

 

“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show