Recommended Reading

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Language of Listening® Books
by Our Coaches:

SAY WHAT YOU SEE® for Parents and Teachers: More hugs. More respect. Elegantly Simple.

by Sandra Blackard*


Add three simple coaching skills to your parent or teacher tool kit with Sandy’s classic. This short “how-to” handbook makes reward-free, punishment-free interactions with children easy. Imagine always knowing what to say and do. Now you can!

*Sandra Blackard is founder of Language of Listening® and coauthor of CPRT Treatment Manual (below)


Language of Listening® Phrase Booklets (PDFs)—Know Just What To SAY

by Rose Clark and Camilla Miller

3 Language of Listening® Phrase Booklets

You just want to know what to say or do…RIGHT NOW!!! And you love examples! Two of our Authorized Language of Listening® coaches, Rose Clark and Camilla Miller, partnered to create this set of 3 example booklets (downloadable, printable PDF’s). Booklets include HUNDREDS of examples of EXACTLY what to say to your child in MOMENTS YOU FACE EVERYDAY. Print your favorite pages to post on your fridge as reminders!


Keeping Your Cool Parenting Workbook – From Toddlers to Teens

by Camilla Miller

Keeping Your Cool Parenting Workbook

This 334-page interactive workbook for parents is a self-contained coaching course. Written by Authorized Language of Listening® Master Coach Camilla Miller and edited by our founder, Sandy Blackard, the entertaining illustrations, client examples, personal stories, and exercises make learning easy! 

In this workbook, Camilla gives you a new understanding of what works with children from toddlers to teens (and what doesn’t). She shows you why typical parenting struggles keep happening and gives you everything you need to get unstuck in your thinking and your interactions with your child. In short, this workbook can take you from where you are right now to where you want to be in your family life. And the responses you give to the thoughtful prompts she includes will turn the workbook into a journal that documents your journey.

F For a peek inside or to order in the UK, go to: Keeping Your Cool Parenting


If Mama Ain’t Happy

by Rachel Norman


In this countercultural book, Authorized Language of Listening® Coach Rachel Norman shows you how to cultivate a life you aren’t trying to constantly escape. As a mom of five kids in five years, she knows! She teaches you how to discover and claim your own limits and boundaries and shape your daily life and values around the few things that really matter. If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. But when mama is at peace? Everybody benefits.


Zero to Five

by Tracy Cutchlow


Want to save time? This easy-to-read book of 70 tips summarizes current research on interacting with babies and young children. The clear, one-page-per-topic layout includes sleeping, feeding, screen time, potty training, discipline, and more. Tracy, an Authorized Language of Listening® Speaker, also includes a section on how to use our simple coaching skills!


Parenting Books
by Play Therapists and Psychologists:

The Parent Survival Guide: From Chaos to Harmony in Ten Weeks or Less

by Dr. Theresa Kellam*


Create life-changing playtimes with your own child one week at a time. Theresa provides detailed instruction and shares her compelling story of the difference “special playtime” made for her family. It’s the therapy version of our Language of Listening® Mastery Class.

*Dr. Theresa Kellam is coauthor of CPRT Treatment Manual (below)


Between Parent & Child

by Dr. Haim Ginott


MUST READ CLASSIC! The child-centered play therapy roots of Language of Listening® and Faber and Mazlish’s How to Talk… books are evident in this revised version of the 1965 classic on listening respectfully to children. Loaded with everyday examples of effective communication.


Playful Parenting

by Dr. Lawrence Cohen


MUST READ CLASSIC! Playful Parenting is a psychological look at what works with kids. “Pretend… that we’re really gonna be late and you’re really mad.” Imagine your child saying that when you’re grumpy and trying to get out the door in the morning. As Larry demonstrates, games work for kids and parents, too.

The Art of Roughhousing, Larry’s book co-authored by Anthony DeBenedet, M.D., shows how appropriate rough-and-tumble play can nurture close connections, solve behavior problems, boost confidence, and more.

The Opposite of Worry, Larry’s most recent book, gives you easy-to-implement, playful solutions and strategies so you and your child can let go of worry, anxiety, and fear and embrace connection, trust, and joy.


How to Talk… Books

by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish


The How to Talk… series’ authors studied with child-centered play therapist Dr. Haim Ginott whose influence is clear in every volume. These interactive books contain comic strip illustrations of the situations parents and teachers encounter daily, exercises, and lots of examples of what to say (in the same vein as Language of Listening®).


Strength Switch

by Dr. Lea Waters


Strengths are an important part of our Language of Listening® coaching model. Lea’s book explores the effect of ‘throwing the strengths switch.’ As she says, her book “demonstrates how we can not only help our children [and teens] build resilience, optimism, and achievement but we can also help inoculate them against today’s pandemic of depression and anxiety.”


Dr. Alfie Kohn’s Books

by Dr. Alfie Kohn


Unconditional Parenting: In this classic, needs-based parenting book, rather than asking, “How can we get kids to do what they’re told?” Alfie begins by asking, “What do kids need, and how can we meet those needs?” A philosophical match for Language of Listening®.

Punished By Rewards: Instead of “do this and you’ll get that,” Alfie points the way to a more successful strategy based on working with people instead of doing things to them: “Do rewards motivate people? Yes. They motivate people to get rewards.” Seasoned with humor and familiar examples.

The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Parents are accused of being both permissive and overprotective, unwilling to set limits and afraid to let their kids fail. In his lively, contrarian style, Alfie systematically debunks these beliefs. New research reveals that helicopter parenting is quite rare and, surprisingly, may do more good than harm when it does occur. The major threat to healthy child development, he argues, is parenting that is too controlling rather than too indulgent.


Dr. Daniel Siegel’s Books

by Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. Tina Bryson



Neuroscience meets parenting:

In No Drama Discipline, Dan and co-author Tina explain how to connect and redirect. Their book explores the link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior. If you’ve seen anyone make a fist and open their fingers to demonstrate ‘flipping your lid,’ that’s Dan’s model.

Aware is Dan’s hands-on guide with another visual model that will enable you to become more focused and present, as well as more energized and emotionally resilient in the face of stress and the everyday challenges life throws your way. Great tool for cultivating “a state of receptive awareness” that will benefit you and your child.

In Brainstorm, Dan busts many commonly-held myths about adolescence. Drawing on important new research in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, he explores exciting ways in which understanding how the brain functions can improve the lives of adolescents, making their relationships more fulfilling, less lonely, and less distressing on both sides of the generational divide.


Dibs in Search of Self

by Virginia Axline



Dibs will not talk. He will not play. Virginia’s client-based story takes you through his long journey from being labeled as “mentally defective,” to emerging as a gifted and lovable young man. A captivating account that introduced play therapy to the world. Though we’ve removed questions and added boundaries, the play therapy roots of our Language of Listening® Mastery Class are clear in Axline’s book.


Parenting Books
by Teachers:

Parenting Infants

by Janet Lansbury


If you want examples of Language of Listening®-type interactions with infants and young toddlers, Janet’s books and blog are the perfect choice. As a Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) teacher and student of pioneering child specialist Magda Gerber, Janet teaches parents and caregivers how to respectfully observe, follow, and trust the child from birth.

Elevating Child Care: A guide to respectful parenting is a collection of 30 popular and widely read articles from Janet’s blog that focus on some of the most common infant issues: eating, sleeping, diaper changes, communication, separation, focus and attention span, creativity, boundaries, and more.

No Bad Kids: Toddler discipline without shame, is a collection of Janet’s most popular and widely read articles pertaining to common toddler behaviors and how respectful parenting practices can be applied to benefit both parents and children.


Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful

by Donna Goertz


This book written by the founder of the internationally acclaimed Austin Montessori School demonstrates the value of validation in the classroom for helping children turn their lives around. The skills Donna uses are very similar to those we teach in Language of Listening® Mastery Class.


Simone Davie’s Montessori Books

by Simone Davies and Junnifa Uzodike


Dr. Maria Montessori’s work was child-centered and respectful, making it a great match for the Language of Listening® coaching approach. Simone and Junnifa’s books help you bring Montessori’s principles into your home. Both authors are AMI-trained Montessori educators; Junnifa also has RIE training (Resources for Infant Educarers).


Hands Free Mama Books: Letting Go of Screens & Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!

by Rachel Macy Stafford

Hands Free Mama

These books are strongly motivating and inspiring! Follow Rachel’s weekly suggestions in Hands Free Mama, and by the end of the book, you’ll be looking your loved ones in the eye and giving them the gift of your undivided attention.

Hands Free Life gives you nine intentional habits to help you take your new-found ability to be present into the rest of your life.

Only Love Today sustains you with four seasons of inspiration, hope and encouragement.

Live Love Now gives you tools for connecting with teens, preteens, and yourself, and a big sigh of relief.


Nothing’s Wrong With You… Books

by Cheri Huber


There Is Nothing Wrong With You: Going Beyond Self-hate outlines “a compassionate process for learning to accept yourself exactly as you are.” Great book for anyone seeking the peace (and peaceful parenting) that comes from loving oneself more. Profound topic, simply presented.

There Is Nothing Wrong With You – For Teens, helps teens find self-acceptance right when they need it most, and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and others. Simple presentation, fun and easy to read. Highly recommended to open important conversations with teens!


Books for Play Therapists and Psychologists:

Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)

by Dr. Garry Landreth & Dr. Sue Bratton


Definitive textbook for professionals co-authored by Dr. Garry Landreth, world-renowned play therapist and mentor to the founder of Language of Listening.® Contains partial transcripts of his 10-session CPRT training.

Note: A revised 2nd edition by Landreth and Bratton is now available through UNT – Center for Play Therapy.


CPRT Treatment Manual (1st ed.)

by Bratton, Landreth, Kellam & Blackard


This 1st ed. treatment manual is the 2006 companion to CPRT textbook. CPRT Treatment Manual is a comprehensive instructional manual for professionals who wish to train parents to become therapeutic agents for their own children as Dr. Landreth did for coauthors Dr. Theresa Kellam and Sandra Blackard. It includes 10-session CPRT outline, parent handouts, etc.

CPRT Treatment Manual was inspired by a manual written by Sandra, the founder of Language of Listening®, to bring Dr. Landreth’s teachings to parents beyond the world of therapy. Sandra’s manual later inspired our 201 Mastery Class.

Note: A revised 2nd edition by Bratton and Landreth is now available through UNT – Center for Play Therapy.


Books for Children:

My Mommy’s an Organizational Psychologist

by Sevelyn Crosby & Blake Beckmann


This picture book uses relatable examples and engaging illustrations to communicate what an organizational psychologist does to audiences of all ages. It also helps parents who are consultants in any field answer their child’s question, “Where do you work?”


My Mommy’s on a Business Trip

by Phaedra Cucina & Shelley Johannes


A delightful children’s book showing how play reveals a little girl’s thoughts of mommy away on a business trip. Great for easing children’s fears.