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Adele Faber on "But Dad lets me do it!"

The co-author of the seminal "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" offers an example of how to respond to this wily kid comment.

By Leslie Crawford

“Ah, you noticed that Mom/Dad and I don't agree about everything. We each have our strong convictions, but lucky for you, we both want to make sure you're safe.” This is classic Faber-speak from the bestselling co-author of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. To build a  long-lasting relationship built on honesty, trust, and mutual respect, and to help children build their problem-solving skills, Adele Faber emphasizes that parents work with the child towards a solution. Here’s how Faber suggests following up:

“Now, about crossing that busy intersection by yourself: I'm okay with it, but Mom/Dad feels it's too dangerous. She/he may be right. Suppose we do some practice crossings together when the traffic isn't so heavy? We can review what to look out for, time the lights, and figure out the safest way for you to get to where you want to go. Then we can show Mom/Dad what you learned and see if that gives her/him the confidence to give you the go-ahead.”

There's more! Here's how 4 other child development insiders suggest dealing with this parenting dilemma.

Richard WeissbourdRichard Weissbourd: Are the parents on the same highway? If not...

Erica ReischerErica Reischer: Give your child credit for trying to persuade you. Then...

Jane NelsenJane Nelsen: Keep the response to your child simple and clear...

Heidi Allen GarvinHeidi Allen Garvin: This can present an opportunity for the family...


is a senior editor at GreatSchools.