How many times have you uttered a standard, knee-jerk phrase when trying to counsel a young child or respond to irritating behavior? Even when it's clear our typical verbal reactions and directives aren't working, many adults just don't know what to say instead. Changing the way we talk may be a daunting prospect, but What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children succeeds in steering parents, teachers, nannies, and others in how to revamp their communication with 1- to 6-year-olds. By understanding the importance of what children hear from us and utilizing the book's practical tools, readers can begin to think twice and alter how they typically speak to the children in their lives. Confrontations and misunderstanding can be turned around with clarity, honesty, consistency, and humor.
Sarah MacLaughlin addresses the need for a succinct guidebook, one that is short on theory and long on practical help for busy, often overworked caregivers. Utilizing 66 common expressions--those things we have often heard and sometimes say ourselves--she explains why many everyday interactions with children can be ineffective, if not downright damaging. Offering empathy rather than guilt, MacLaughlin reveals how our words sound to a child and gives examples for replacing ineffective sayings with more positive and productive language for various situations.The book's chapters on important areas of communication--for example, labels and nicknames--provide a basic framework for assessing and guiding young children's behavior. Charming cartoons illustrate the themes and there is an up-to-date list of the best resource books for further reading. What Not to Say shows parents and caregivers how to have more positive interactions with young children--and better behaved, happier kids.
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Sarah MacLaughlin's commitment to children began in adolescence as a Red Cross babysitter. College studies in Early Childhood Education and Developmental Psychology, and a graduate program in Elementary Education, led to positions as a nanny and preschool teacher. Currently a licensed social worker in South Portland, Maine, she is a children's behavior specialist, foster family coordinator, parent educator, and group facilitator. In this capacity and as a private family consultant, Sarah has worked with countless families. She serves on the board of Birth Roots, a perinatal resource center, and has written articles for SWITCH, Kidz n Maine, and Parent & Family. Sarah MacLaughlin is a San Francisco Bay Area native who now lives in the woods of Maine with her husband and young son.
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