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Showing posts with label parenting book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting book review. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk- A Book Review

I didn't like reading this book...

but I like the book. 


I know that may sound bizarre or weird, most definitely confusing. 

You see, it was hard for me to read this book because the parenting style in this book is the opposite of my parenting style. I would actually get mad as I would read. 

"You can't let your kids run the house like that!" or "You need to discipline the kids now, so they know they're not in charge!" would run through my head constantly. 

The thing is, as I would continue to read the book, I realized that the books style of parenting  was actually pretty effective and when those thoughts would run through my mind, I would decide to try out their different strategies. 

So it took me a while to finish reading the book and an even greater while to write this review because I was trying out the methods.

This is what I learned:

Every fiber of my being wants to get my kids in trouble the moment they act out. It was how I was raised and by letting them yell at me or complain, it felt like I was telling them it was ok walk all over me and that they were in charge, not me.

But Becky Harling says to wait it out. Using Biblical teachings, she points out that we shouldn't speak out in anger because when we do, we will shut our kids up. So take a minute to calm yourself before you react in a way that loses trust.

"But Becky! I can't let the kids win! Doesn't that let them think that they can get away with disrespecting me like that?"

Ugh- did I just use the word disrespecting? I heard that word so much growing up, it started to feel like the word was losing its meaning. 

But by taking a minute to calm down and come back to the situation, I was able to talk to my kids without using mean words that would possibly slip out while I was yelling back at them. (You know, a defense mechanism with that "fight or flight" response.) I was able to listen to their feelings and could get to the root of the problem a lot sooner. 

"Oh! School was really frustrating for them today. They weren't able to understand the math problem and when they tried to ask the teacher, the teacher misunderstood and yelled at them. This problem began and built up since class, earlier today."

Now I know how to approach the problem. I can tell my child, "Everyone is human and while the teacher yelled at you, it wasn't your fault." The teacher didn't take the time to understand the question and took it personally that his method of teaching wasn't understood. Now my child and I can work together to make the situation right. By not reacting to their frustration right away, I was able to figure out why my child was huffy and instead of lashing out, we were able to talk through it and now I know my child will come back to me with their problems and talk to me, perhaps more calmly than they did before. 

Another thing that I actually really liked and didn't feel insulted by or called out for was the talking suggestions that Becky gives in the book. 

I have three kids, so I know sometimes, when one of my kids is acting out, I take a look at what is really happening and I realize that this child has been feeling pretty left out lately. 

So it made sense when I'd read about taking time for each kid, perhaps during the nightly tucking in routine, right before prayers, where you'd just talk to your child. 

My favorite night was when I told my kids, "You can tell me anything without me getting mad. I want your honest answers." and then I asked, "What is something that you like that we do together?", "What is something you'd like for me to do more often?", "What can I do, to be a better mommy?" and my kids answered very honestly. For the most part, the answers were, "Spend more time together" and "Listen better."

So we did this every night. I'd ask them different weird and silly questions and tell them stories and let them tell me their stories. My phone was put away and I made a better effort to really listen. I noticed that they opened up to me way more when we did that every night. 

When we would all sit at the table and I'd have them put everything away for dinner, dinner was more interactive. The kids were talking more and we all really enjoyed talking with one another. 


I didn't like reading this book because it's completely different parenting style called me out. I though it was pretty "Hippy"ish and very "free range" but by giving some of the things a try, it did open up a lot of conversations with my kids. 

It was an interesting read and one that takes a lot of experimentation. Don't completely dismiss this book, especially when you start to get mad. Because while there were somethings I just didn't agree upon, there were so much more that was valuable and works.  

About Me

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Hello! My name is Brittany and I'm a writer, obviously. As a stay-at-home mom, there are many things that I have to figure out in order to run a house that appears to be more sane than insane. It's not easy to be a parent and I hope that this blog is able to encourage other moms out there to live life happily and to understand that there can be mishaps along the way, but those mishaps don't define you and anything can be overcome with perseverance and will.

How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk- A Book Review

I didn't like reading this book... but I like the book.    I know that may sound bizarre or weird, most definitely confusing.  You see, ...