How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen

A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7
Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,144 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A must-have resource for anyone who lives or works with young kids, with an introduction by Adele Faber, coauthor of the international best-seller The Boston Globe dubbed "The Parenting Bible".

For over 35 years, parents have turned to How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk for its respectful and effective solutions to the unending challenges of raising children. Now, in response to growing demand, Adele's daughter, Joanna Faber, along with Julie King, tailor How to Talk's powerful communication skills to children ages two to seven.

Faber and King, each a parenting expert in her own right, share their wisdom accumulated over years of conducting How To Talk workshops with parents and a broad variety of professionals. With a lively combination of storytelling, cartoons, and fly-on-the-wall discussions from their workshops, they provide concrete tools and tips that will transform your relationship with the young kids in your life.

What do you do with a little kid who...won't brush her teeth...screams in his car seat...pinches the baby...refuses to eat vegetables...runs rampant in the supermarket? Organized according to common challenges and conflicts, this book is an essential emergency first-aid manual of communication strategies, including a chapter that addresses the special needs of children with sensory processing and autism spectrum disorders.

This user-friendly guide will empower parents and caregivers to forge rewarding, joyful relationships with terrible two-year-olds, truculent three-year-olds, ferocious four-year-olds, foolhardy five-year-olds, self-centered six-year-olds, and the occasional semi-civilized seven-year-old. And, it will help little kids grow into self-reliant big kids who are cooperative and connected to their parents, teachers, siblings, and peers.

©2017 Joanna Faber and Julie King (P)2017 Simon & Schuster

Featured Article: 10 Best Parenting Audiobooks


As many parents know all too well, there’s no official guide on how to raise your child. From all the ways you can show love and affection to the more difficult acts of helping them grow through discipline, each kid—and each family—is unique in what they need. A one-size-fits all approach doesn’t exist, which is why finding the advice and resources that best speak to you are so important. With our list of 10 best parenting audiobooks, we’ve pooled together the top resources on parenting for all different styles and families, and parents looking for a wide breadth of advice.

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What listeners say about How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen

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Interesting, practical, useful.

Thank you for writing this! I recommend to any parent. Was extremely helpful. Already seen improvements and got me thinking about it scientifically again instead if just flabbergasted parent.

19 people found this helpful

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The message is great but the narration and writing style cringey

I love the message of this book and the way it is telling you to communicate etc, that is spot on and helpful

However the way this book is written is so cringey.
Constantly hearing “and the group replied back “
“And then the group”
“Insert a bunch of replies that sound so made up and straight out of a 80s sitcom over and over”


It just makes it SO hard to listen too. I hate it, I’ve stopped listening about 3 hours in.

The narrator voice also compounds this problem, I’m sorry to say.


Coming from listening to Laura Markhams audiobook really highlighted how hard this is to listen to or read.

17 people found this helpful

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Changed my life

This book completely changed my perspective about how I should talk to my children. It radically changed what I say to my children. I have both the print and audio editions and really enjoyed listening to it so the parental voices became someone else's besides my own.

26 people found this helpful

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I want to be just like the authors

These authors emphasize the importance of remembering what it's like to be a kid. Big takeaways for me were to acknowledge feelings, describe what I see, be playful, give choices, and describe their wish fantasies. I've used these tools--now my daughter is hopping into her pajamas and likes to be carried to bed upside down. Really resonated with me and made me re-think how I talk to my daughter. Thanks!

18 people found this helpful

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A cloying, long-winded, pointless cash grab

The original "How to Talk" is a seminal classic. This book offers virtually nothing new, just a lot of blathering chatter to fill pages, delivered with a grating, nasal voice.

It feels like they're just milking the brand. Please, do yourself a favor and read the original - it's nothing short of life changing - and avoid this garbage.

6 people found this helpful

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It works

Just by starting to acknowledge feelings there is a noticeable progress. I am happy the authors noticed the previous book was neglecting children in the age range.

13 people found this helpful

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Loved the book! Not so much some narration parts.

Any additional comments?

The person who narrates "Sarah" uses mutliple upward inflections in the wrong places and emphasizes parts of speech that shouldn't need it. It becomes so annoying that I began skipping her stories altogether. This is still a great listen/read and I would still recommend it to any parents with a toddler.

18 people found this helpful

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Did not like the narrator!

I own a paper copy of this book so I was excited to see that the narrated version was on Audible. However, the narrator of this book is terrible! She uses a very condescending and pretentious tone that negates the original authors purpose and meaning. I couldn’t even make it through the first chapter listening to her voice.

4 people found this helpful

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Wish every parent in the world could read this

I think a solution to world peace is if every parent could read and try to follow this book. Seriously. The skills taught in this book could be applied for a life time. Sometimes I feel like the book were a perfect parent speaking to me pointing out ways I could improve on my own life, learning with my toddler.

I've read the famous How to Talk book by her mother, but this is still an excellent read specifically targeted towards younger children's challenges.

What I love most is how practical it is, even acknowledging that kids do turn parents crazy sometimes and how to deal with those tough times!

4 people found this helpful

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Must read for parents of small kids!

Would you consider the audio edition of How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen to be better than the print version?

I loved this book. My only regret is that I didn't read it earlier. My daughter is 5 and I learned a lot still.

9 people found this helpful

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  • PT Shaun
  • 07-08-19

You have no idea what you're doing

You think you know how to communicate with your child effectively, heck, you even think you know how to communicate to your wife effectively. You don't. I didn't. I still don't, but I'm working on it. This book is one that I don't think I'll ever forget, and already at 19 months, we're seeing great benefits with our son. Every situation is a problem to be solved, and if you have an empty tool box then all you've got is what your instincts tell you, and what you were exposed to when growing up. Your mother read Mills and Boon, that's why you guys don't get on. If you want better relationships with the people around you, especially your child, this book will open your eyes. It's not preachy and doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but it's better than the answers you've got.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Szabolcs S.
  • 11-11-17

very-very-very good

Excellent performance from all the narrators and authors! Really enjoyable to listen and very informative. I'm still in progress to change how I'm with my kids along the advises from this book, but can say that after a week - loosely using the tools that are presented in the book - got some very positive changes.
It also had some life gems for me. Never really understood why I couldn't take praises when I was a child myself, but after listening the part about praises, now finally understood what mistakes most of us do when praising one and another.
The authors are not pretending to give you a 100% working examples, since all kids are different this would be impossible, but rather many-many good techniques and advises.

Must "read" for all busy/stressed/normal parents :)

20 people found this helpful

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  • Portia
  • 06-24-19

Not for (my) toddler

Whilst the approaches suggested in this book sound like a good idea, I really couldn’t tell you whether they work or not, because I’m miles off from being able to use them with my 2 year old son. The book promises to offer techniques for kids 2-7, but all of them rely on reasoning and explanation, some of them even on writing! And I’m not just talking about basic explanations here, these explanations are so nuanced that articular words and their order are suggested for greater impact. Subtle choices between one thing and another. My 2 year old son has a vocab of about 80 words (mainly nouns) and doesn’t understand yet how to choose between two things. In fact he doesn’t understand much of anything, and I’m sure this inability of the two of us to be able to communicate effectively with words and reason is at the core of his tantrums and frustration. I really felt disappointed to find so little (besides trying to be amusing or fun) that I could use in such a highly rated book. From what I understood, 2 is the really tough time and the perfect time to start laying the basis for positive discipline, however I didn’t find the tools needed in the book for 2 year old. I must commend the explanations for why punishment and praise won’t work. I will definitely revisit this book when my son is older.

4 people found this helpful

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  • LdC
  • 03-09-19

High level sound advice

the main points the authors make are useful and I'll be implementing myself in my parenting. It was ironic that they recommend against commanding and using negative language, but the examples of what but to do and the key points section are presented in this way to the reader! I feel like more example of what parents could do should have been given instead, and using the word "don't" less towards the parents reading these books. We learn best by example after all!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Miss Janetta Chung
  • 10-16-19

Some good tips

Some good tips on various scenarios. The overall message is that you have be creative in your responses, even if all you want is a simple task to be done.

3 people found this helpful

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  • lami
  • 02-19-19

Tools to navigate parenting

The stories in this book reflect everyday struggles I go through with my 3 hound ones. It has given me practical steps which I am able to use most of the time.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr C.
  • 10-21-19

Great book full a different ideas and insights.

Great book full a different ideas and insights. I would recommend this book to others

2 people found this helpful

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  • c j heaps
  • 10-02-19

Great read for new parents

Lots of very useful stuff to be had here. Wished I’d have listened to it sooner, makes a lot of sense and really isn’t that difficult to apply. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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  • lv
  • 09-17-17

Never too late to try different approaches

It's not a magic wound - nothing is. But there are some good tips and explanations. Happy I bought it.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-29-19

Useful!

Easy to listen to. Useful tools for parenting my toddler. It's like attending a parenting class without leaving the house.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Romy Norich
  • 02-19-20

Empowering parenting tools

Most important book a parent can read!
I feel like I want to listen to it over and over again to just instil all of the amazing tools into my natural way of responding. I also found it does not just help with lids but actually with all relationships. All my relationships have improved by bringing these communication techniques into all interactions. Thank you so much!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 11-28-19

highly recommended

Ive already recommended it to loads of friends! Its a valuable resource for parents like me with little people.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-19

Worth persevering with!

I found the voices reading VERY American, in tone and accent, which was a bit hard to slog through. And some of the comments seem snarky or sarcastic, to me.

However, persevering with the book was very worth it. I am now on my third reading of it, and am using as many of the "tools" offered as I can. I am genuinely seeing a difference in my emotional, stubborn, tantrum-y little 3 y/o boy. It is hard to remember in the heat of the moment, but I can feel it starting to become our "natural" way of parenting, and the more we practice the better we are becoming. I wish you luck with your parenting journey, and I hope this will help!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ruth
  • 02-20-17

Very Helpful & Comes With PDF Concept Summary

Rich in examples used by varied parents/kids. General applicability, less useful for behavioural disorders.

The PDF summary is a fantastic resource for time-poor parents.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-20

so much help

a really honest and practical help with partnering from a fresh perspective and it works

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  • Karl
  • 08-21-20

So many great tools to use

Loved the book, there is a wealth of information in this book to help with raising children. I couldn't recommend it enough.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-13-20

A book all parents and educators should read

This book was great. There was so much in there that was useful and doable. I haven't has to honer to become a parent yet but I'm a childcare educator and using the metodes in this book really has helped out with the kids.

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  • Tingting Jia
  • 07-14-20

LOVE IT!

One of the best parenting books I have read. Very relatable and suggestions are very useful. Thank you Joanna and Julie!

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  • CONSCIOUSSHELF
  • 05-17-20

Brilliant!

I wasn't looking at the ages 2-7 part when I bought this. I was on a mission to find a book on healthy and efficient communication (for adults).

This book is filled with a examples of what not to do and why and then what to do instead and why -- you will literally see the difference. This is so amazing.

It's all about perspective. This book can change your life.

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  • Luke
  • 03-02-20

Poor narration

Julie is the only narrator in this audio book who doesn't sound terrible.

The content itself is decent, but the narration is generally hard to listen to.

At least half of the anacdotes and/or scenarios used in the book are directed at mothers. There is no reason why the book couldn't have said "your partner" instead of "your husband" in most places.