I am stoked to be writing my first review for The Single Crunch. :) And as soon as I started the book, What Not To Say: Tools For Talking With Young Children, written by Sarah MacLaughlin, I knew I would love it. I so appreciate being guided in how to communicate effectively with my children, and this book is a gem.
Every parent is busy, and I appreciate that this book gets straight to the point. Sarah starts off pointing out some of the reasons many parents say the things we say; which I love beacuse I think understanding why is so important to changing what we do. And she reminds us to cut ourselves some slack as well:
“If you catch yourself saying something ineffective—or worse—don’t be hard on yourself, and
remember that awareness always precedes change. Rather than dwelling
on occasional poor form, focus on your intention to improve.”
Awareness always precedes change. I love that. It’s so refreshing to be reminded that even if we aren’t getting everything just right, we are at least aware that we have work to do – and that is the first step to improving.
The format of the book is very clear and easy to understand. Sarah starts a paragraph with a commonly used phrase, such as, “Don’t even think about it,” and goes on to explain why it doesn’t work the way we think it should. What she writes made so much sense to me. In the case of the latter phrase, she explains:
“This popular warning is a real head-scratcher for the younger set.
When it does work and stops a child in her tracks, she is probably re-
sponding more to your tone than your words. If a child is approaching
kindergarten age and worth her salt at arguing, you could hear, “I wasn’t
thinking about anything” or, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
This might start a quarrel that could easily be avoided. Simplify your
message to a straightforward request: “Please do not touch that wet
paint.” In this case your tone of voice is useful—low and authoritative
can work wonders.”
See? There’s nothing to buy, no magic wand. Just carefully chosen words. We can all benefit from this book, and I know from the comments I exchange with my readers that we are constantly searching for ways to improve our relationships with our children. This book has helped me to change the way I want to communicate with all children.
As an added bonus, Sarah has taken the time to include a children’s book that relates to different phrases discussed, at the close of many of the paragraphs. My children have learned so much from reading together, and often a book is a great way to introduce a topic that I’m unsure how to approach. I think it’s a wonderful addition to all of the useful information in the book.
I know none of us have lots of extra time, and we often mention how even our bathroom time isn’t personal. I downloaded this book as a PDF and read it whenever I got a chance, on my phone, or my computer. Once I started though, I was really interested to learn so it was easy to finish. Sarah writes as though she’s just talking to a girlfriend, in a very relaxed manner. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better relate to their children, even if you feel you already have a good relationship. Let me know what you think!
Please comment about how your perception of a situation, shapes your reaction to your children, so that you can enter to win an ebook copy of What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children, in the format of your choice: PDF, epub, or Kindle format. Sarah will be giving away one copy at each blog stop and will announce it on the comments of this post tomorrow. (Other stops during this Blog Tour are listed here: http://sarahsbalancingact.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour.html)
Also, be sure to enter at Sarah’s site (http://sarahsbalancingact.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour.html) for the Grand Prize Giveaway: a Kindle Touch. Winner will be announced at the end of the tour after July 15th.