Archive d’étiquettes pour : cooperation

It isn’t the first time that I read this , it was in the summary list of chapter 2 of How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk, but I rewrite it because I, who speak too much, really have trouble applying this: often, one word is enough!
The child already knows what we are talking about. There is no need to remind him that “Your shoes are in my room.” (While I’m at it, let us notice that I am already in a stage of description, not bad, I seize the opportunity to congratulate myself on my competences), a simple “your shoes” should suffice…

Note:  This simple technique turned out to be the most efficient for the parents of my first cycle of workshops…

Back to the book post

Here, we are close to the concept fo engaging cooperation, from How to talk so kids will listen…

Reading the book, and what some parents check with their teenager, I note that we do NOT check:
that he eats a good breakfast
that he does his homework
that he changes clothes
that he does not forget his things for school
that he practice his piano
what time he turns the lights off

But we check:
that he does bother his sister
that he doesn’t leave without telling us where
that he cleans up his stuff that are lying around
that he doesn’s spend too much time on his computer

In this chapter, it is suggested we change our approach a bit:

Rather than checking and being in control mode, communicate with the same techniques that are outlined in the chapter on cooperation of How to talk… supplemented by a few others which are not new, but are good to see again, and try and finally use!

1 – Rather than give orders (« Put this slice of pizza back! »), describe the problem (« it’s a small pizza, there is only one slice per person. »)
2 – Rather than attack the teen’s character (« I can’t count on you! »), describe what it feels like (« I’m disappointed, I thought that you’d do this before my return… » – Note the message I, and no « you disappoint me »)
3 – Instead of blaming your teen (« Look what you’ve done with my sweater! »), give information (« it’s a good idea to check the label before putting the laundry on. »)
4 – Instead to threatening, or giving orders, again, (« There is no way you wear that at the restaurant! If you don’t change, you stay home! »), give a choice (« we’re going to a fancy restaurant. You can wear a clean shirt, or hide this one under a sweater. »)
5 – instead of a long speech (« How many times have I told you not to put your bag on the counter? »), just use a word (Lise, your bag. »)
6 – instead of pointing out what’s wrong (« You’re being mean to your sister, you keep on criticizing her »), expose our values and expectations (« I don’t like people being put down in our family. If there is something that you think may be useful to your sister, I expect that you tell her in a way that is not offensive. »)
7 – instead of reacting angrily, react unexpectedly. (Going back to humor, as discussed in   Liberated parents…)
8 – instead of harassing, write a note.

Back to the book post

Shortly after reading the method for problem solving, at the end of Chapter 3 of How to talk so kids will listen, I decided to put this method in practice with Leon, 3 years, who was waking up his little brother Anatole every morning, to play with him a bit, then leave him in his cot crying, waking us as well…

We first talked about the situation, discussing the reasons for waking up his brother, and then why it bothered us. After that, begot a piece of paper to jot down any ideas of things he could do in the morning. Paper is in French, so you refer to the list in English…


Go in the living room and stay in the living room
Stay in the room
Prepare quiet activities in the evening
Prepare a small box / a small bag of cereals
Not return in the room
Play with Anatole gently
Having a notebook to write in
Build tracks with Anatole
Pool – not in the morning. Park either
Leave the room tiptoeing
Build tracks alone
We can’t go to the Park in the morning
We can’t go in the elevator alone

Then, we took these ideas, and many others, and we organized them in 2 categories:

What we have the right to do the morning alone


Eat cereal
Do Legos
Play forms
Make words with models
Turning lights on in the living room
Relax on the couch
Play with the train tracks
Make the ribbon snake
Look at books

What we can not do the morning alone


Get the chocolate
Go back to the room
Turn lights on in the room
Go on the balcony
Go in the elevator
Relax in the room
Go get your teddie bear
Take the pieces of the red box
Open the door of mum and dad’s room
Wake up Oscar, or Alice, or Jessi (our au pair)

And as a conclusion:

When Anatole is awake, we may

Go get your teddie bear, and your pillow, and your 2 bed sheets resolution-4

Go in your room

Well, it’s been very effective: the very next day, he stopped waking Anatole, and so for several weeks.

(In this chapter, a crucial step is missing, which is checking the issue again some time later, to discuss changing things, notice what still works or doesn’t.
This step is specified in the detailed presentation of the method in the book for teenagers.  The step I struggle to follow is this one. So we went through periods of « relapse », but that’s it. On this point in any case, the problem is now solved, Leon doesn’t wake Anatole anymore, and we sleep better in the morning!)

This is the first book I read from Adèle Faber and Elaine Mazlish. How - to's

It isn’t the first one they wrote, but definitely their most famous.

During our last year in Mexico (2013/2014), I was part of a book club for parents, organized by the school psychologist. Each month she would suggest some kind of parenting book, and we would then meet to discuss about it.

It was very interesting, except that a book per month was too much. We didn’t have time to really get the concepts and put them into practice!

I missed the January session, because I gave birth on the 31st of December.. And that turned out to be a good thing, because that session was about the book that people enjoyed most! Surprising reflexion? Well: I bought it anyway, and knew I would have more time to read it well!

And in deed, one country later, at the beginning of 2015, I began reading  Cómo hablar…


I spent several months on it, and I learned so many things!

My taste for parenting books was born before, but it’s really reading this one that it developed!

Table of contents:
Chapter 1: Helping children deal with their feelings
Chapter 2: Engaging cooperation
Chapter 3: Alternatives to punishment
Chapter 4: Encouraging autonomy
Chapter 5: Praise
Chapter 6: Freeing children from playing roles
Chapter 7: Putting it all together

(No link to Chapter 7, which is brief and doesn’t bring new knowledge)