The right words for every situation.
Do you find yourself in those maddening situations where you sound like a broken record when talking to your child? Your preschooler won’t decide what she wants to wear, regardless of how many times you insist that she just choose; your struggling third grader says “I can't do math,” and your “Sure you can!” reassurance falls like a dead weight; your daughter smears on black eyeliner just before the bus arrives, and your daily protests are muted by hers.
What’s left to say? Lots.
In Parent Talk, a must-have for every parent with a preschool to high school-age child, Chick Moorman tells you what to say so that you can communicate more effectively—and peacefully—with your child in every circumstance, including:
-The morning mad dash to dress, eat, and leave the house on time
-The nightly struggle to focus on homework
-The endless car ride of exhaustion-induced whining
-The meltdown in the mall
For instance, Moorman’s antidote to the “I can’t” loop is “Act as if you’ve done this before.” With Moorman’s help, you’ll learn the words to use and the words to avoid to end power struggles and the fruitless conversation loops you’re stuck in.
Language acquisition isn't just a toddler's job: Moorman takes parenting common sense--the notion that affirming, loving speech is crucial to a child's growth and self-esteem--to the level of a"skills-based program" of parenting language in this earnest volume. In a new introduction (Moorman originally self-published the book), he encourages parents to select a few of his"Parent Talk" phrases and practice them until they come naturally; gradually, they can move on to fluency. Parents, he says, should use language that encourages their child to make choices, learn"response-ability" (healthy responses to challenges and setbacks) and seek solutions--e.g.,"How come you picked your grumpy mood?";"So your dad says you're grounded. How did you produce that result?"; and"I know you can handle it." Some of Moorman's phrases sound extremely awkward, while some familiar ones--"You did a good job"--are verboten. (Praise that evaluates rather than describes or appreciates can make children into"praise junkies" whose sense of worth is dependent on others' compliments instead of their own confidence, Moorman warns.) It would take an extremely conscientious parent to employ all these phrases consistently, but Moorman's basic message of encouraging child empowerment and family solidarity through healthy parental communication is an important one, and many of his suggestions feel right on target.