Review: How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk

Jen Bradbury
Feb 08 · 5 min read

I’m an introverted youth pastor who has, for years, considered myself to be a pretty good listener. Sadly, I fear that I sometimes listen BETTER to other people’s kids than I do my own. Having recognized this in myself, I was excited to read Becky Harling’s How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk.

How To Listen

I enjoyed this book immensely, which combines Scriptural threads with anecdotes from Becky’s life as a parent and grandparent.

While I didn’t always agree with Becky’s scriptural exposition, I wholeheartedly appreciated the practical aspects of this book. In particular, I loved her “Wisdom for the Ages” section that closed each chapter. As a parent and youth pastor, I greatly appreciated how Becky gave detailed suggestions for three different age groups: Preschoolers, Grade Schoolers, and Tweens.

I found two chapters of How to Listen So Your Kids will Talk particularly thought-provoking and helpful. The first was the opening chapter of the book, “Give Them a Voice”, in which Becky challenges her reads to consider whether their child might have the “spirit of Deborah” and how we might “cultivate rather than silence it”. I’ve found myself thinking about this a lot in the moments when I get frustrated with my 5-year old – Hope’s - desire to negotiate EVERYTHING. It’s been a helpful frame for me to see Hope in.

After nearly a year of being safe at home, I also really appreciated Becky’s chapter on conflict. In my house, at least, it seems like the more time our family has spent together, the more we’ve fought. Once again, Becky’s sage wisdom here helped give me a new lens through which to approach conflict and a needed reminder that “You can be firm without bringing in a harsh tone.”

All in all, How to Listen So Your Kids will Talk is a worthwhile, quick read for parents who want to learn to listen to their child (of any age!) better.


I was honored to receive a copy of How to Listen So Your Kids will Talk from Bethany House Publishers and chose to review the book. All opinions are my own.