I have found that the best time to read parenting books, especially those dealing with behavior and/or discipline issues, is during times of smooth sailing. In the moment, quick fix ideas from books when I’ve been knee deep in poor communication and frustration never seem to work long term for me.
Lately, I’ve been rereading How to Talk so Kids can Learn and it remains the most practical and effective parenting advice book that I have read. I find that a refresher course now and then keeps fresh communication suggestions at the top of my head, instead of the quick or unhelpful comments that tend to spring to mind first.
There are few parenting books (or ‘teaching kids’ books) that I have really found useful. This is one of only a couple that I turn to again and again and feel like I can recommend to others who love and interact with kids. If you find yourself yelling or turning blue from asking or are getting frustrated while talking with your kids, I would really suggest finding a copy and giving their methods a try. We have seen our interactions with our children become more respectful, less confrontational and more enjoyable all around.
(I should mention that the authors wrote another book before this, How to Talk so Kids will Listen & How to Listen so Kids Will Talk, that much of this book is drawn from. I don’t think I have read it, simply because our library doesn’t have a copy of it on the ‘parent’s shelves’ in the children’s room and, with two chatty kids in tow, I rarely make it upstairs to where the grown ups books are kept! I have a feeling it is awesome, too.)