Book chats delve into parenting from the heart 

On Thursday, Oct. 8, parents and grandparents gathered to discuss the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk during the first book chat session at the Lower School. 

The group, facilitated by Norfolk Collegiate’s Lower School Guidance Counselor Jan Weintraub, spent a few hours sharing personal stories and useful parenting skills. Their stories reinforced the importance of a parent-child relationship and how to balance engagement with multiple children in the home along with everyday life. 

“The book chat served as a reminder of how to deal with things,” said Christy Howlett. “I have two sons who are really close in age, third and fifth graders, so they spend a lot of time together from school to sports to home; this session helped me to learn how to manage communication between the two."

Another topic during the chat explored the home being an extension of what a child is learning at school. Carrying the model of a responsive classroom into the home will help children learn good listening skills and patience. 

“It’s important to get into a comfort space with your child,” said Weintraub. “This is called a captive audience, riding in the car where there are no mobile devices or at the dinner table, having conversations during those downtimes are critical; your child will share more.”

The group continued their discussion and talked about dealing with frustration. 

“If your child is unable to verbalize what’s going bothering them, have them draw it out on a piece of paper,” said Weintraub. This activity acknowledges you are attentively listening while your child is in distress and validates that you care about his or her feelings.

Weintraub emphasized that empathy missed with an action becomes compassion. 

“I enjoy attending the book chats and reading the books. It allows me to learn strategies that help me become a better person and parent,” said Danielle Siegrist. “I recommend that parents come to a session, it will open their way of thinking and enhance their child’s emotional growth." 

“The book chats provide opportunities for attendees to link with other members of our NCS community as we explore a variety of inventive ways to parent from the heart,” said Weintraub.  

The second Fall Book Chat session will be Oct. 29 at 8:30 a.m. in the Lower School. For more information on the sessions, click here