How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk Book Review
Punishment , Relationship Building / December 3, 2015

Parenting is no easy task and one of the biggest worries for parents remains their relationship with their kids. There is nothing more worrying for a mother than her child not speaking to her or not listening to what she has to say. Children are often difficult to understand and while a mother is probably in the best position to understand their child’s behavior, there are a number of instances when the mother can become clueless too. It is for these situations where the book named ‘How to Listen so that Kids will talk and how to talk so that kids will listen’ comes up with the best solutions. Adele Farber is the brains behind the book and Elaine Mazlish is the co-author.

Basic Overview of the Book

The book basically consists of content that draws out a number of different scenarios and then gives you an idea about what you should do as a mother in order to improve your relationship with your child. Mothers often understand the reasoning behind their child’s behavior and also know the rational thing to do in the situation. However, in the heat of the moment, mothers end up doing things that end up alienating their child a bit more. The book puts great emphasis on training the mothers for these specific situations so that they don’t lose their cool and use the right words to coax their child into co-operating with them.

Different Chapters and the Topics Covered

The book focuses on a vast number of areas in different chapters and has a worksheet-esque format at the end of each chapter so that mothers can practice what they have learnt on paper first before doing the same with their child.

The first chapter works on the mother’s ability to guide the child about things he/she feels strongly about. The core idea in the chapter is how to handle the situation and how not to ‘enforce’ your opinion on the child.

Another chapter works on ways to increase your child’s co-operation with you with the main focus of the chapter being scenarios where your child might not be co-operating and how you can turn the situation in your favor.

Another chapter covers punishments and how mothers can actually avoid giving their children punishments. The chapter is titled ‘Alternatives to Punishments’ and the book discusses a few alternatives that can be tried which can not only teach the child the lesson you want to teach but can also strengthen your bond with the child at the same time.

A couple of chapters also deal with the concept of autonomy for children and how much should mothers give their child the space to make his/her own decision. It’s always a testing topic for mothers as they want to be involved in their child’s every decision and the book offers quite a few solutions for the mothers to ensure that they give their child the autonomy to make decisions but cultivate such a sense of responsibility in the child that the decisions made are always for his/her own good.

The Bottom Line

The most amazing thing about the book is that it helps mothers with choosing the right phrases with communicating with their children and helps them understand a child’s predicament in a number of different situations. The book may just be 368 pages long but it surely is a gospel for mothers who want a strong and respectful relationship with their young children.


The book definitely deserves a 5 out of 5 rating.

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