Liberated Parents Liberated Children: Your Guide to a Happier Family

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ADELE FABER and ELAINE MAZLISH tell how the principles of the famed child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott have inspired their own highly successful child-care methods, used in parent workshops from coast to coast. Sharing their own and others' parenting experiences, Faber and Mazlish provide moving and convincing testimony to this approach, one which has proved to bring out the best in both children and parents. Find out how the mood in your home ...

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ADELE FABER and ELAINE MAZLISH tell how the principles of the famed child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott have inspired their own highly successful child-care methods, used in parent workshops from coast to coast. Sharing their own and others' parenting experiences, Faber and Mazlish provide moving and convincing testimony to this approach, one which has proved to bring out the best in both children and parents. Find out how the mood in your home can change when you respond:

To Feelings — "A SCRATCH CAN HURT."
(Instead of) "Stop crying. It's only a scratch."

(Instead of) "Now look what you did!"

(Instead of) "Bad boy! No more crayons for you!"

They also speak to the countless ways your use of language can,build self-esteem, inspire confidence, and encourage responsibility.

Author Biography: Marion Morra is the Associate Director of the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut. She is Associate Research Scientist at the Yale School of Medicine and Associate Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Nursing. Marion is widely published, having written articles and authored books for both health professionals and the public, with emphasis on health, especially in the field of cancer. She serves on major national committees for the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.Eve Potts has been writing on medical subjects for more than 30 years. Her expertise is in making difficult medical information easy to understand. She has served as a medical writer and consultant to the Department of Health andHuman Services and many medically oriented companies and institutions. Her interest in history is represented by another book, Westport A Special Place, 1987The two authors who are sisters, have collaborated on five other books: three editions of the best-selling book for cancer patients Choices (Avon Books, 1980, 1987, and 1994), Triumph: Getting Back to Normal When You Have Cancer (Avon Books, 1990), and Understanding Your Immune System (1986). In 1993, the authors received the Natalie Davis Springarn Writer's Award from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivors for "their valuable contributions to the literature of survivorship and for their books, Choices and Triumph." They also were awarded the 1995 National Health Information Silver Award, which honors the nation's best consumer health information programs and materials, for Choices.

The renowned authors of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk reintroduce their vital primer for parents of kids of all ages--a guide filled with anecdotes, observations, dialogues, and practical suggestions any parent can learn from and use.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380004669
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1976
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 256

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

In the Beginning Were the Words

It didn't add up.

If what I was doing was right, then why was so much going wrong?

There wasn't a doubt in my mind that if I praised my children-let them know how much I valued each effort, each achievement-that they would automatically become self-confident.

'Men why was Jill so unsure of herself?

I was convinced that if I reasoned with the children — explained calmly and logically why certain things had to be done-that they would, in hum, respond reasonably.

Then why did every explanation trigger an argu. ment from David?

I really believed that if I didn't hover over the children — if I let them do for themselves whatever they could do — that they would learn to be independent

Then why did Andy cling and whine?

It was all a little unnerving. But what worried me most was the way I had been acting lately. The irony of it all! 1, who was going to be the mother of the century — I, who had always felt so superior to those shrill, arm-yanking, "mean" mothers in the supermarket — I, who was determined -that the mistakes of my Parents would never be visited upon my children — I, who felt I had so much to give-my warmth, vast patience, my joy in just being alive-had walked into the children's room this morning, looked at the floor smeared with flngerpaints, and unleashed a shriek that made the supermarket mother sound like the good fairy. But most bitter to me were the things I had said: "Disgusting ... slobs ... can't I trust you for a minute?" These were the very words I had heard and hated in my own childhood.

Whathad happened to my vast patience? Where was all that joy I was going to bring? How could I have drifted so far from my original dream?

I was in this mood when I came across a noticefrom the nursery school reminding parents that therewas to be a lecture tonight by a child psychologist. Iwas tired, but I knew I would go. Could I convinceHelen to come with me?

It was doubtful. Helen had often expressed her distrust of the experts. She prefers to rely upon what she calls "common sense and natural instincts." Unlike me, she doesn't make as many demands upon herself as a mother, nor does she worry about her children in terms of long-range goals. Maybe it's because she's a sculptor and has outside interests. Anyway, sometimes I envied her easygoing manner, her total faith in herself. She always seems to have everything under control.... Although lately she has been complaining about the children. Evidently for the past few weeks they've been at each others' throats, and nothing she says or does makes any difference. It seems that neither her instinct nor common sense are enough to help her cope with their daily running battles.

As I dialed Helen's number I thought that maybe, with the recent turn of events, she might put aside her prejudice toward the professionals and come with me.

But Helen was adamant.

She said she wouldn't go to another lecture on child psychology if Sigmund Freud, himself, were speaking.

She said she was tired of hearing those: pious platitudes about how children must have love, security, firm limits, love, consistency, love, flexibility, love....

She said that the last time she had gone to such a meeting, she walked around the house for three days afterwards nervously Measuring her output of "love.*

She said she hadn't recuperated sufficiently from that experience to expose herself to -any more anxiety-producing generalizations.

A scream came from Helen's end of the phone.

"I'm gonna tell! Im gonna tell!"

'You tell and Ill. do it again!"

"Mommy, Billy threw a block at me.!

"She stepped on my finger!"

"I did not. You!re a big dooty!"

"Oh God,"Helen moaned, "they're at it again! Anything to get out of this house!"

I picked her up at eight.

The speaker on the program that evening was Dr. Haim Ginott, child psychologist and author of a new book, Between Parent and Child. He began his lecture by asking this question: "What is it about the language I use with children that is different?'

We looked at each other blankly.

"The language I use," he continued, "does not evaluate. I avoid expressions which judge a child's character or ability. I steer clear of words like 'stupid, clumsy, bad: and even words like 'beautiful, good, wonderful,' because they are not helpful; they get in a child's way. Instead I use words that describe. I describe what I see; I describe what I feel.

"Recently a little girl in my playroom brought me a painting and asked, 'Is it good?' I looked at it and answered, I see a purple house, a red sun, a striped sky, and lots of flowers. It makes me feel as though I were in the country.' She smiled and said, Im going to make another!"

"Suppose I had answered, 'Beautiful, you're a great artist!' I can guarantee that that would have been the last painting she did that day. After all, where can one go from 'beautiful' and 'great? I'm convinced: words that evaluate, hinder a child. Words that describe, set him free.

"I also like descriptive words," he continued, "because they invite a child to work out his own solutions to problems. Here's an example: If a child were to spill a glass of milk, I would say to him, I see the milk spilled,' and then I'd band him a sponge. In this way, I avoid blame and put the emphasis where it belongs-on what needs to be done.

"If I were to say instead, 'Stupid. You always spill everything. You'll never learn, will...

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Best Parenting Book Ever Written

    I am a school psychologist and a parent of two grown children. I first read this book when my children were toddlers and I was starting out in my career. I figured if I could find a parenting book that made sense to me, I would have something to recommend to parents who frequently asked me if I could recommend a book on parenting. Off to Barnes and Noble I went. I tried reading many books on parenting but could barely get through the first few pages. They are mostly written by men who probably never stayed home with a child for more than a day let alone for years at a time. The tone of most books was often condescending and unrealistic. Liberated Parents, Liberated Children was written by women for women. It is never condescending and although it isn't possible to be the perfect parent, it certainly provides realistic strategies and attitudes for not straying too far from the most rewarding path. These books saved my family. I read them many times and have recommended them many times. They are often copied and many other authors of parenting books have plagerized their ideas but none have come anywhere close to the tone and wisdom of these two women.

    I also recommend all of the other books they have written. They are all very readable and I feel that Liberated Parents,Liberated Children and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen are really like two volumes of the same set and should be read as a pair.

    I also recommend Dr. Harvey Karp's book, The Happiest Toddler on the Block. It is the Faber/Mazlich method translated for use with the youngest children. It's great for giving voice to children who are speech delayed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2001

    This book has been my 'bible' for 26 years

    I have used this book as my 'parenting base' and shared it with parents groups and Girl Scouts after school leaders. It can change your life with your children if you practice, practice, practice. It helps to share with another parent and work on the 'new words' together. The authors guide you with realistic situations and exact words to use until you are comfortable enough to come up with words that work for you. To share with other 'at wit's end parents'-- I have bought over 30 issues of this book since my first purchased issue in 1975.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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