Books, Kids

What kids need to hear

I mentioned this book on our Family Reads list back from July, but I ended up setting it aside when we went up north and then I never really picked it back up again until recently.

I finished it the other day. Overall, I think I liked the more general first half of the book the best, which explored teenager’s brains, mindsets and attitudes. The latter part of the book is a lot of “troubleshooting” different issues, which range from relationship issues to rule following to school problems to drugs and eating disorders. 

At the end there was a section about thinking about future careers/ college choices and how to help kids explore this in advance and guide them. I feel like picking a college major/ career at 18 years old is SO overwhelming and can have such a huge potential negative impact on people’s lives forever, really, if you end up in a career that is not well suited to you….so I would really like to explore this topic more and figure out what I can do to help them really learn about themselves, what they enjoy/ are good at and what they might “actually” want to “be when they grow up”. 

Some of the book felt very irrelevant to me right now, but overall it was a fun, easy read that at least got my wheels spinning on thinking about some of these upcoming “teen” issues. 

We have our moments even now, with Ethan being 12, that we definitely get glimpses of “teenager-esque” behaviors. I actually heard last night, for the first time ever, the phrase, “Well, when I’m 18, I will technically be an adult so I won’t have to do whatever you say anymore.” REALLY, now?! We are going there already??? Ha.

I also liked this list that the author included at the end:

The Seven Things Every Teen Needs to Hear

1. I love you

2. I’m proud of you

3. I’m sorry

4.  I forgive you

5. I’m listening

6. This is your responsibility

7. You’ve got what it takes

8. (bonus item!) No. 


I think these apply for all kids, not just teens. I especially like #2, #5 and #6. 

The author emphasizes applauding and expressing pride when kids exhibit strong EFFORT over achievement, LISTENING and ASKING QUESTIONS instead of trying to “control” your child and acting more like a coach- preparing them, cheering for them but then STAYING OFF THE FIELD. Let them do their thing, face their own mistakes and learn to fix them and take responsibility without intervening constantly. 

He also includes a list of questions to ask your kids after school. I know lots of kids aren’t back in physical school right now, but since mine just went back, I took a hard look at this list. A few that stood out to me:


-If you were a teacher, what class would you teach?

-Who do you think you could be nicer to?

-What do you think you should do more of at school?

-What are the top three things that you hear people say in the halls?

-Who did you help today? Who helped you?

-What part of the day do you look forward to? What part of the day do you dread?

-If you had to go to only one class every day, which class would it be? 


Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for time spent reading this weekend and the chance to clean my house yesterday! Feels good 🙂 

4 thoughts on “What kids need to hear

  1. I will have to keep this book in mind when Pablo is older. I haven't read many parenting books but now that he's fully in the toddler stage, I want to try to read a book a quarter or something like that. I've heard good things about 'how to talk so kids will listen/listen so kids will talk' so I think I will buy that at some point! I like the like of 7-8 things kids need to hear every day. Totally agree that they need to hear no!

  2. When I had my niece last year, I used a list of questions to ask after school to get her to talk more about her feelings! It was a great tool. I don't need to with Reece because she talks all the time and tells me everything.
    Love and agree with the list of things every teen should hear!

  3. great ideas! I agree that many of these apply to kids of every age.

    on career path… I have so much thoughts about it… choosing a career at such a young age is so hard but so important too. I know few classmates from high school that had to switch careers many times and still don't know what to do with life. So I'm not so sure if its that they chose the wrong career when young or it's in their personality that can't commit to anything. food for thoughts.

  4. Haha that's awesome that Reece is a little chatterbox!! Definitely makes it easier. Mine get talking a lot about some topics, but they usually don't share TOO much about school without me having to pry a bit. The questions list helps for sure.

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