PARENTSPEAK

What's Wrong with How We Talk to Our Children — and What to Say Instead

Imagine if every time you praise your child with “Good job!” you’re actually doing more harm than good? Or that prodding “Can you say thank you?” is exactly the wrong way to go about teaching manners? And would you still say “I’m going to tickle you!” if you knew it had as much potential to terrorize as to delight? In this thoughtful, surprisingly funny manifesto against catchphrase parenting—the constant use of seemingly harmless phrases that turn out to manipulate, invalidate, micro-manage, and threaten—Jennifer Lehr argues for a fresh and conscious approach to talking to children rooted in compassion and respect for them as individuals.

"Lehr offers a substantive and subversive message of respect for kids." 
    — ALFIE KOHN, author of Unconditional Parenting

"Important for all parents; I will be recommending it to everyone."
    — DR. LAURA MARKHAM, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids