Ask More Tell Less
Greg Warburton, MS, LPC
Outskirts Press (2016)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (7/17)
“Ask More Tell Less” by Greg Warburton is an excellent book that provides detailed guidance on how to establish a more positive parenting style. Many of us as parents have yelled, screamed, lectured and threatened till we are blue in the face to no avail.
The author provides numerous examples of what works and what doesn’t work through case studies, thought provoking questions, and ideas on how we need to let go of control and give children more opportunities to develop self-awareness and positive choices. He relates that we often spend large amounts of time telling children how they think, feel, and should act. When in reality we don’t know what they are thinking or what leads up to the behaviors. Parents don’t often ask the child what he/she believes. This type of parenting style dead-ends communication and cooperation. Often parents focus on problem behavior and don’t acknowledge any positives. We “expect” appropriate behaviors.
We often ask “Why can’t I get my child to behave?” The author relates “Not only is it not your job to make them behave, you can’t make them behave.” Yelling, telling, reminding, and nagging, teaches a child not to think, talk, listen, or decide for themselves. They learn to let others handle life for them and blame others when things don’t work out.
I loved that the author did not chastise, blame or negate parents (readers). He encourages and provides numerous ways to change how we react and parent children. Children want the opportunity to explore, talk about and try out (within safe boundaries) running their lives moment-by-moment and day-to-day.
He addresses qualities of a self-reliant parent and provides excellent thought provoking questions.
Many parents will say, “I know my child(ren) so well I always know what they are thinking and will do.”But do you really? Have you asked them? This new approach to help avoid arguments saves time and takes pressure off the parent. It also helps children to learn to let go of negative, frozen – identity beliefs, i.e., stupid, bad, or incapable.
The author writes with passion and a knowledgeable style. It is like he is having a conversation with you and elicits your response. It was interesting to read his ideas on the different parenting styles that have always been drummed into our heads. There is no one parenting style that works, we have to use a combination depending on the situation. The chapters on Time-Out and Rejection were extremely interesting and important.
“Ask More Tell Less” by Greg Warburton is easy to read and follow the suggestions. Readers will feel motivated throughout the book.