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‘How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen’: Advice from the author- Washington Post
Joanna Faber, the author of the best-selling book, “How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen” kept hearing from parents things like, ‘I love this approach, but what do I do when my 2-year-old won’t put his shoes on?’ So in this new book, “How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life With Children Ages 2-7,” she sets out a practical guide for situations like these. This interview with Faber talks about why kids tune out parents, the power of playfulness and why giving commands can backfire.

Washington Post: What’s a quick strategy parents can use if they need kids to do something?
Joanna Faber: Kids love it if an adult can be playful. One way is making an inanimate object talk. Instead of clamping down on your 3-year-old’s leg and saying ‘stop squirming’ when trying to get a shoe on, if you can animate the sock and say ‘I feel so flat and empty, won’t someone stick a nice warm foot in me?’ all of a sudden the kid is delighted to stick his foot in the sock. The mood has changed. Instead of fighting we are working together. We are doing it through play.

What the Research Says: Impact of Specific Toys on Play- NAEYC
Trying to decide which toys to buy for your child? Early childhood education researches talk about their toy research and the impact different types of toys have on play. “The most important finding emerging from our studies is that different toys impact children’s behavior in different ways. Some toys have a powerful influence on children’s thinking, interaction with peers, and creative expression. Other toys do not. Some of the toys that look most interesting to adults are not particularly effective in promoting development.”

NAEYC: What message about toys do you think families of young children could take from your research?
Professor Trawick-Smith: We are cautious about recommending specific toys to families. This is because play interests vary greatly across cultures, children and families. However, one trend that is emerging from our studies can serve as a guide to families as they choose toys: Basic is better. The highest-scoring toys so far have been quite simple: hardwood blocks, a set of wooden vehicles and road signs, and classic wooden construction toys. These toys are relatively open-ended, so children can use them in multiple ways. Also, they have all been around for a long time. There may be a reason these toys have been enjoyed by children over the generations! Simple, classic toys would be our recommendation for families.