There is a book with a terrific title: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (by the same ladies as Siblings Without Rivalry).
These books require homework though: deep thinking, talking to your partner, practicing on your kid, and observing the results.
As a modern mom, how could I not want to do both those things (talk and be
listened to obeyed AND also develop the kind of relationship where my kids tell me all the good stuff!)? But as a busy mom, where the heck would I find time (and motivation) to do all that stuff?!
Right. So, I did what any Type A Mom would do in this situation: I had one too many unproductive yelling sessions with my four-year old and I contacted a facilitator to lead me and a dozen friends and strangers through a HTTSYKWL workshop.
I arranged for the four weekly sessions to be at my house so I wouldn’t have to also pay for childcare and I could more easily get Alec to join in. Done and done. A few hundred emails later and I had my very own Wednesday night support group for unruly preschoolers and toddlers in my living room. Yay.
Julie King, a Bay Area parent educator, led us through the book’s concepts, gave us homework, and even led us in simple role play. All were much more effective than me skimming the book on my own and trying to imagine how the tactics would play out (without bothering to practice ’cause I’d be in too big a hurry!).
I’m going to write up each of the key lessons in an attempt to crystallize all my improved parenting skills. Before I forget. And start yelling again.