• What Do You Say?

  • How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home
  • By: William Stixrud, Ned Johnson
  • Narrated by: Ned Johnson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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What Do You Say?

By: William Stixrud,Ned Johnson
Narrated by: Ned Johnson
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Publisher's Summary

A guide to effectively communicating with teenagers by the best-selling authors of The Self-Driven Child

If you're a parent, you've had a moment - maybe many of them - when you've thought, "How did that conversation go so badly?" At some point after the sixth grade, the same kid who asked "why" nonstop at age four suddenly stops talking to you. And the conversations that you wish you could have - ones fueled by your desire to see your kid not just safe and healthy, but passionately engaged--suddenly feel nearly impossible to execute. The good news is that effective communication can be cultivated, learned, and taught. And as you get better at this, so will your kids.

William Stixrud, PhD, and Ned Johnson have 60 years combined experience talking to kids one-on-one, and the most common question they get when out speaking to parents and educators is: What do you say? While many adults understand the importance and power of the philosophies behind the books that dominate the parenting bestseller list, parents are often left wondering how to put those concepts into action. In What Do You Say?, Johnson and Stixrud show how to engage in respectful and effective dialogue, beginning with defining and demonstrating the basic principles of listening and speaking. Then they show new ways to handle specific, thorny topics of the sort that usually end in parent/kid standoffs: delivering constructive feedback to kids; discussing boundaries around technology; explaining sleep and their brains; the anxiety of current events; and family problem-solving. What Do You Say? is a manual and map that will immediately transform parents' ability to navigate complex terrain and train their minds and hearts to communicate ever more successfully.

©2021 Ned Johnson and Bill Stixrud (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“In an age when childhood anxiety, depression, and suicide are on the rise, parents need, more than ever, tools for communicating effectively with children. What Do You Say? could not have arrived at a better time and is essential reading for today’s parents.” (Booklist)

"Full of easy-to-implement tips, this is a resource parents will return to." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“A must-read for any parent who finally wants to stop arguing, bickering, and negotiating with their kids, but who also wants their children to succeed and do well in life. Stixrud and Johnson provide clear, actionable guidance on how to motivate kids to do well school, to conquer their fears and anxieties, and ultimately to pursue activities that bring joy and happiness. The advice in this book has already helped me become a kinder, more effective mom.” (Michaeleen Doucleff, New York Times best-selling author of Hunt, Gather, Parent

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A must read for parenting

I downloaded the audio book and it was a great listen from beginning to end. Jewels in every chapter and what a gift these two men have given. Please don’t stop there and keep continuing this most important discourse on how to parent and talk with children.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent follow-up to their previous book

Enough new info to warrant a listen even if you've read The Self-Driven Child.

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Parenting college class worth paying for

If there were a college for parenting, but the kind where you loved the curriculum and didn’t feel bored lost or preached to, this would be one of the classes you’d want to take.

Whether you think you’re a good parent or not this book is perfect for you

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Absolute must for any parent!

I have very little kids (9 months and 3 years) but felt like this book has transformed my ideas of parenting in the best ways possible. It is full of practical advice that can be applied to nearly every situation. I've even used a lot of the advice for how I communicate with my husband and it has helped me feel like we have a much stronger relationship already!

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Feels like the right way to parent

Excellent presentation, and an amazing resource for parents. BUT - don’t judge what you’ve heard in this book until you put it into practice. Highly recommended.

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Excellent science based book.

This was wonderful. I will strive to implement these lessons in my daily life.

I would like a book suggestion that applies to the relationship with spouse.

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Parents of tweens and teens, read it

Especially chapters 8 & 9 about technology & sleep. The basic approach echoes most other parenting books out there but specific guidance on technology is hard to find. Others may find the section on how to deal w/lying helpful. I won't follow all their advice (like letting a 12yo girl sneak out with a friend because she woke me up to ask me? Ah, no.) But most of the examples are good and most of the advice is solid.