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Even some of the better parenting books, whose approach is reasonably respectful of children, seem to invite parody.  For example, they not only advise us to use “reflective listening” so that kids know they’ve been heard, but sell this technique as though it had magical powers to produce instant results.

            Child:  That is so unfair!  You always do this to me!  I hate you!!!  (bursts into tears)

            Parent:  Hmmm.  It sounds like you think what I’ve proposed isn’t fair.  That makes you feel angry, doesn’t it?

            Child:   Yes!  (sniffs)  But …well …I guess I can live with it.  (pause)  Gosh, thanks for taking the time to understand me!  I feel all better now!

 

 

-- from Unconditional Parenting

 www.alfiekohn.org -- Alfie Kohn