Deirdre Knowles, MA, LMHC

Therapist,Workshop Leader, Parent Consultant

6000 Southcenter Boulevard, Suite 16
Tukwila, WA 98188


Parenting Series

Based on the book by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.


How do you handle these problems in your family? As a parent you're on the firing line every day, confronted by enough problems to confound a Solomon. And yet, if you're like most parents, you have had little or no preparation for the job you have to do. It seems somehow that the arrival of a child is automatically supposed to confer instant wisdom upon a mother and father. Every other occupation, from driving a truck to performing surgery, requires months or years of intensive training. Only for the job of parenting is there the unspoken expectation that love, instinct, and common sense will be enough. And sometimes it is. More often, however, the most well-intentioned parents find themselves frustrated, angry, bewildered, guilty and alone. Like members of any other professional group, you and your fellow parents should have the opportunity to get together to share your common problems and receive continuing training in the skills needed to do your jobs better. Now you have that opportunity.

Join other parents in a series of workshops on
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
(Book by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish)


Deirdre Knowles, MA, LMHC Family Therapist, Parent Educator and Mother of 5


I am available to lead these workshops for your church, school or neighborhood group.
For further information, or to arrange a presentation for your group, contact me.



How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

Based on the book by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

  1. Helping Children Deal with Feelings

    • Understand how children react when their feelings are denied.
    • Understand the importance of acknowledging children's feelings.
    • Learn specific skills for accepting feelings.

      To Show Children Their Feelings are Accepted and Respected...

      1. Listen quietly and attentively
      2. Acknowledge their feelings with a word
      3. Give the feeling a name
      4. Give them their wishes in fantasy

  2. Engaging Cooperation

    • Examine methods typically used to get children behave.
    • Understand why these methods are self-defeating and lower self-esteem.
    • Learn six methods for engaging cooperation that invite children to assume responsibility and at the same time leave them with positive feelings about themselves and the adult in their lives.

      To Engage a Child's Cooperation...

      1. Describe what you see, or describe the problem.
      2. Give information.
      3. Say it with a word.
      4. Describe what you feel.
      5. Write a note.

  3. Alternatives to Punishment

    • Understand the effects of punishment as a means of discipline
    • Explore alternatives punishment
    • Learn specific skills, including problem solving that enable parents to express strong disapproval and at the same time encourage responsible behavior

    Instead of Punishment...

    1. Express your feelings strongly, without attacking character.
    2. State your expectations.
    3. Show the child how to make amends.
    4. Give the child a choice.
    5. Let child experience consequences of the action.
    6. Problem solve:
      1. Talk about the child's feelings and concerns.
      2. Talk about your own feelings.
      3. Brainstorm together.
      4. Decide which ideas to follow through on. Set up a plan to follow through.
      5. Check back later to see how plan is working.

  4. Encouraging Autonomy

    • Understand the importance of helping children become separate, self-governing people who can one day function on their own.
    • Understand the relationship between spanking and a child's diminished sense of self.
    • Learn specific skills that encourage self-reliance.

    Encouraging Children's Sense of Autonomy

    1. Help children to help themselves.
    2. Give information - "Sometimes it helps..."
    3. Don't ask too many questions.
    4. Don't rush to answer questions.
    5. Encourage children to use sources outside the home.
    6. Don't take away hope. Don't prepare for disappointment.

  5. Praise

    • Examine the relationship between praise and self-esteem.
    • Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise.
    • Learn specific skills that enable children to praise themselves.

    To Praise Without Evaluating, You Can...

    1. Describe what you see
    2. Describe what you feel
    3. Sum up the child's praiseworthy behavior with words

  6. Freeing Children from Playing Roles

    • Understand the effect of casting children in roles.
    • Understand how even a positive role can be unhelpful.
    • Learn specific skills that enable children to see themselves differently.

      To free children from playing roles, you can ..

      1. Look for opportunities to give a child a new picture of herself.
      2. Put a child in a situation where she can see herself differently.
      3. Let a child overhear you say something positive about him.
      4. Model the behavior you'd like to see.
      5. Be a storehouse for your child's special moments.
      6. State your feelings and/or expectations.



Questions, comments, suggestions? E-mail me at


©2010 Deirdre Knowles, MA, LMHC