Posts Tagged ‘Sandra R. Blackard’

Excellent Tools for Maintaining Consistent Respect for Our Children in Blackard’s “Say What You See”

“When we demonstrate love and respect, that’s what we get back(pg 5).


You know what’s so cool about this book? It IS a nutshell. It’s a little 50 page handbook that you can read in a half hour. I discovered the book at my daughter’s Montessori preschool.  They were hosting a Language of Listening: Say What You See workshop for parents and had a stack of books available for purchase.  I missed the workshop but was happy to purchase this $8 quick read that had the school’s recommendation.

Sandra Blackard put together her “Say What You See®” handbook and seminars based on communication concepts and techniques that she gleaned from play therapist, Dr. Garry L. Landreth, the author of Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship.

She presents the concepts and techniques in a simple, easy-to-retain way that every sleep-deprived, toddler-challenged parent will appreciate.

The premise of the book is centered around the idea that loving, respectful relationships flourish when we see the good in our children regardless of their behavior — a great reminder and often difficult to put in practice. When we focus on the healthy need every behavior demonstrates rather than the behavior itself, we can build a new level of understanding and a deeper connection with our children.

“Say What You See” is broken down into six basic communication concepts that allow us to redirect our impulse to judge or express anger and instead see the good in our children in all circumstances.

1) “Responding to the Good in Children”.  According to Blackard, when you say what you see, love and respect are automatic.

2)  “Listening to Understand”.  Everything children do and say is their way of communicating and they must continue to do so until they feel understood. You can listen to understand your child’s perspective by saying what you see and your understanding works like a fire extinguisher for their upset.

3)  “Demonstrating Understanding”. You can do this by giving children your full attention at their eye level and matching the child’s mood with words, actions and facial expressions.

4)  “Saying What You See.”   Making observational statements about what you see as they relate to what the child is doing, saying, feeling and thinking.

5) “Adding Strength”.  To acknowledge your child, Blackard suggests refraining from generic “good job” praise which only leads a child to develop a dependency on parental approval and instead help build your child’s sense of self by adding statements about your child’s strengths after you say what you see.

6) When setting boundaries or rules, you can encourage self-control and creative problem solving by adding what your child can do after you say what you see.


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Posted in AP Book Snapshots, Empathetic Parenting, Say What You See | 4 Comments


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