These books are foundational when it comes to communication with your children.
Between Parent and Child: Revised and Updated: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionised Parent-Child Communication by by Dr. Haim G. Ginott
This is a parenting book that you would be wise to put on your beside table so that you can digest it page by page and then review again and again as your children grow. As a parent, grandparent and educator I have certainly done that over the years.
I remember clearly the first time I was reading it. My then 7 year old granddaughter climbed into bed with me and asked what I was reading. I had just finished the first story that Dr. Ginott shares about "how children speak in code." She asked "What does speaking in code mean" - I answered "A little boy was asking his father about abandoned children in different parts of the world and was not getting satisfied by his father's answers." I proceeded to read the story and then asked her, "What do you think he was really asking his father?" Without hesitation she replied. "He was worried about being abandoned!" She then asked if she could continue to read the chapter herself and I handed her the book. After a few pages she clutched the book to her chest and declared." Granny, every parent should read this book!" I HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDING THIS BOOK EVER SINCE!
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Liberated Parents Liberated Child by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
For over 5 years Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish were part of a parent workshop under the guidance of Dr. Haim Ginott - child psychologist, lecturer and author of "Between Parent and Child". This is the first of several books they have written that I believe every parent should read and keep reading. The title says it all. You will discover foundational principles of relating to your children that will inspire you to make changes that can drastically improve your relationships with them and be much kinder to yourself in the process.
The premise of Liberated parents, Liberated Children for me is something Dr. Ginott told them - “parents don’t need more love for their children, they need skills." There came a point both personally as a mother of 4, and professionally running parent and toddler Montessori sessions that I felt inadequately skilled to communicate effectively and this book changed everything for me and that’s why I refer to it as “a parenting bible!”
How to talk so kids will listen by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This is the most practical “How to” book on communication skills that I have read. When I saw the difference using the skills made to my interactions with my children and gaining understanding and practise using them with the toddlers in my centre, I like Faber and Mazlish became passionate about sharing what I’d learned and became a facilitator of the Parenting Workshop series based on this book.
The numerous real life stories that have been shared by Faber and Mazlish make you feel like you are not alone in your struggles as a parent. One of biggest paradigm shifts to my thinking and what is still requiring lots of practise more than 15 years later is that what our children feel needs to be acknowledged and accepted as a first mode of our interactions because feelings precede behaviour. The first time you announce “Ow, falling over hurts!” rather than “You’re Ok!” it certainly will sound strange but I encourage you to stick with it because you will witness the little miracles that result when you do.
The best gift we can give our children is being prepared to put time and energy into developing our parenting skills. I promise these 3 books will help you to do just that.
If you've read or are reading any of these I'd love to hear your thoughts!