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Adele Faber on "You're not the boss of me!"

Adele Faber, co-author of "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk," offers an approach that works toward mutual problem solving, even with young kids.

By Leslie Crawford

“Children, like most grownups, object to orders and commands," says How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk co-author Adele Faber. Knowing this, Faber advises parents to end relentless power struggles with an empathetic approach:

"One little girl told her mother, ‘Mommy, I'm so tired of all your instwuctions and diwections!’ The solution? When possible, consider acknowledging the child's feelings and offering a choice: ‘Oh, so you don't like being told what to do, do you? Well, let me say it another way: no ball playing in the living room, but let's think about where you can play. Hmm… Outdoors in the front of the house?… Or maybe in the backyard? Whichever you prefer. You decide."

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Richard WeissbourdRichard Weissbourd: Are you doing things that are unfair?

Christine CarterChristine Carter: I'm not the boss of you, but that means you need to...

Betsy Brown BraunBetsy Brown Braun: In 10 years, you don't have to listen to me...

Gabor MateGabor Mate: This shows a child is disconnected from the parent...


is a senior editor at GreatSchools.