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Do you know a toddler who refuses to budge? Has a preschooler ever called you stupid? Our natural reaction to these kinds of situations is often annoyance, ramped up authority, and words that just don’t work. What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children is an essential guide for bringing awareness to the way you communicate with young children. It provides a simple framework of techniques that will help you respond differently (instead of reacting!). Simple additions like silliness and focused preventative attention can help you and a child change course—why struggle! Whether parent, teacher, grandparent, or nanny, this book will help you see the importance of not only your role as parent or caregiver, but the relationship, too. Changes in your approach, words, and tone can have lasting beneficial effects in your relationship with a child and on that child’s behavior as well.


“Sarah MacLaughlin explains how to speak respectfully to children while setting clear limits; how to respond to what they really need from us in ways that leave us feeling good about ourselves as parents and teachers.” -Jane Katch, MST, author of They Don’t Like Me and Under Deadman’s Skin

“The way adults talk with young children defines how well we are understanding them and getting them to understand us. This book is like a flashlight: it helps you see just how your words sound to a child, and shows you ways to say things better.” –Martha Sears, co-author with Dr. William Sears of The Baby Book, The Discipline Book, and others in the Sears Parenting Library