ParentingRecommended Reading

Book review: “How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk”

Here is a book that will change the way you communicate with your teens – for the better!

The teen years can be difficult for the whole family.  Most parents want to protect and guide their teenagers, and most teens feel the need to detach from their parents, experiment and find their own direction.  “Both parents and teenagers need caring, respectful communication skills to help them cope with the conflicts and frustrations that are a natural outcome of the teen growth and separation process.” (Faber and Mazlish).

At less than 200 pages, and over a quarter of them in cartoon strip form, this little book is an easy read that packs a punch. It is full of true stories from the authors workshops – these resonated with me, and other mothers who read it with me. In fact, at times you may wonder whether the authors have spent some time eavesdropping in your home!



I really like the books format, with realistic scenarios, clear and insightful tips in the form of comic strips (see above), and ‘reminder’ pages that summarise each chapters important points in one clear example. Topics covered include how to: promote cooperation; deal with teenage frustration, disappointment and anger; express anger and disappointment without being hurtful; set limits whilst maintaining goodwill; promote self-discipline; encourage positive relationships between your children; and resolve family conflicts peacefully.

I believe that if parents use these methods, teens are much more likely to open up to us, begin to problem solve, exercise good judgment and perhaps even seek our advice. This book truly demonstrates communication skills that will help parents gain and enjoy a mutually respectful relationship with their teenage son or daughter. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I am saying this book helps make it possible!

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, “How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk”, 2006, Piccadilly Press, UK.  Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CRO 4YY

‘That’s the big challenge, to shift our thinking from ‘how do I fix things?’ to ‘how do I enable my kids to fix things for themselves?’ (Faber and Mazlish)

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