From a Harvard faculty member and oral language specialist, an invaluable guide that gives readers evidence-based tools and techniques to communicate more effectively with children in ways that let them foster relationships with less conflict and more joy and kindness.
Science has shown that the best way to help our kids become independent, confident, kind, empathetic, and happy is by talking with them. Yet, so often, parents, educators, and caregivers have trouble communicating with kids. Conversations can feel trivial or strained—or worse, are marked by constant conflict.
In The Art of Talking with Children, Rebecca Rolland, a Harvard faculty member, speech pathologist, and mother, arms adults with practical tools to help them have productive and meaningful conversations with children of all ages—whether it’s engaging an obstinate toddler or getting the most monosyllabic adolescent to open up.
The Art of Talking with Children shows us how quality communication—or rich talk—can help us build the skills and capacities children need to thrive.
Rebecca Rolland is a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and serves on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. She is also an oral and written language specialist in the Neurology Department of Boston Children's Hospital. As a nationally certified speech-language pathologist, she has worked clinically with populations ranging from early childhood through high school and has provided teacher professional development. She has an Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the MGH Institute of Health Professions, an M.A. in English from Boston University, and a B.A. in English from Yale.
"In this thoughtful and thorough exploration of “rich talk,” Rolland dives deep into the how and why of meaningful conversations with kids. Using compelling research and engaging anecdotes, Rolland offers a powerful and pragmatic guide to one of the most underappreciated skills for building and strengthening our relationships with our children and supporting their learning, independence, and confidence in almost every aspect of their lives. THE ART OF TALKING WITH CHILDREN is an important read for parents, educators, clinicians, and anyone who regularly talks to kids." — Carla Naumburg, PhD, LICSW, author of How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids
"Readers of such volumes as How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk will find further help here in developing strong relational communication." — Library Journal
"News Flash! Kids don't like it when we always have the answer. Rolland's book opens us to being the kind of thoughtful, curious, fun people ANYONE wants to talk to -- including those still young enough to suck applesauce from a pouch." — Lenore Skenazy, president of Let Grow, author of Free-Range Kids
"This book is full of life-changing insights, wise advice, and easy-to-adopt habits – every chapter is a new “a ha” moment. Learning the secrets of “rich talk” can strengthen your connection with your kids, help you be a more effective parent, and empower everyone in your family to express themselves and celebrate each other more fully. The Art of Talking with Children is sure to be a new timeless classic for parents. I am so glad I read this landmark book, and I am giving it to every parent I know!" — Jane McGonigal, PhD, New York Times Bestselling author of Reality is Broken and SuperBetter
"Conversations are the foundation of our human relationships. In The Art of Talking with Children, Dr. Rebecca Rolland offers beautiful stories, powerful science, and accessible strategies to help us and the children for whom we care to develop as powerful conversational partners at home, in schools, and beyond." — Karen Brennan, Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
"In this highly readable book, Rebecca Rolland develops the concept of “rich talk” within families, conversations that are open, flexible and validating in which parents and children learn to listen to each other. Through reviewing the scientific research and recounting engaging personal anecdotes, Rolland shows how rich talk sparks curiosity, creativity, confidence and empathy, and she provides real-world strategies for harried families to begin to engage in more of these conversations in their everyday interactions." — Dr. Robyn Fivush, the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Emory University
“A helpful guides for parents that offers reasonable, solid advice on almost every page.” — Booklist