Chapter 8

Chapter Eight — Changing the Future

Chapter Eight — Changing the Future (continuted)


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After you read SWYS and try it, please leave us a comment below.

We’d love to hear what you think and how it works for you!

P.S. We don’t advertise, so please also let us know how you found us.


26 thoughts on “Chapter 8”

  1. As an early childhood educator and parent, this handbook should be a required reading for all prior to receiving their certificates/diplomas/degrees. It is written in a way that is easily accessible to all. Thank you for sharing the strategies and for free.

    1. Sandy Blackard

      Jacqui, you recognized right away the value of our simple coaching skills shared in this handbook! Reaching as many parents and teachers as possible is our goal. We would love to see our handbook added to teacher-training curricula everywhere. If you know people in institutions who could help us get that done, please contact us here:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment and inspire us onward!

  2. I am in Rachel’s (A Mother Far from Home) Nurture and Play course, and I am soaking up all these amazing resources. So simple, yet so impactful, even in the short amount of time I’ve been practicing them. I am so grateful to Rachel for making these accessible via her cohort, and to you Sandy for creating these resources to share with the world!

    1. Steph, “simple yet impactful.” You got right to the heart of my coaching model! You’ve only been practicing these new skills for a short amount of time and can already see their potential. And you haven’t even begun your playtimes in the Mastery Class with Rachel yet! Sounds like you are off to a great start. Your excitement is inspiring! Thank you for sharing it with me!

  3. I am a school social worker in a public elementary school. I was reading the blog How to Motivate Kids and Bring out their very best from and the author hyperlinked SayWhatYouSee@

    Your handbook was an excellent resource that I plan to share with some of our teachers who are struggling with managing unexpected, disruptive behaviors in the classroom. I’ve already talked with these teachers about building a connection with these “challenging” students and we have completed functional behavior assessments to determine the function (or need) of the students’ behavior. Your 3 step process which addresses using neutral language to #1 state what you see and gives #2 options for unexpected behavior to tell the child what s/he can do as well as #3 options for expected behavior to state for the child a character strength they are displaying (in order to help build the student’s self esteem) is wonderful! Thank you for sharing such a thought provoking resource with real life examples.

    1. Sandy Blackard

      Berkeley, thank you so much for letting me know of your plans to share my handbook with some of the teachers in the public elementary school you serve. Connecting with students they find challenging and helping those students meet their needs and discover their strengths truly changes lives – the children’s and the teachers. I’m excited that you recognized the potential in my 3-step coaching model as presented in my SWYS handboook. Thank you for helping me get it into the hands of more teachers!

  4. I was searching for information to help me guide a very defiant toddler. I also found your site referenced on I’m excited to start using this language tomorrow!

    1. Jo, I’m so glad you found us and am happy to hear you found one of our coaches’ websites, Lauren Tamm’s, as well. Welcome!

      “Defiant” tells you your child is trying to be heard. That’s why listening, seeing your child’s point of view, and providing guidance from there can turn challenging moments around in a heartbeat. There are many more resources on Lauren’s website and mine to help you master this simple coaching model and the coaching mindset behind it that makes it all flow smoothly. I’d love to hear how it goes for you and your child!

  5. Thank you for sharing this resource for free! I was reading a post on the website, who mentioned and linked to your Language of Listening. I strongly agree that children needs to be heard and seen and understood. As an early childhood educator, I use acknowledgement (focus on child) a lot and can see the changes in children’s behavior. We have always to be cameras and broadcasters in the classroom:)

    1. Amy, thank you for letting me know how you found us and for sharing how effective acknowledgment can be in the classroom. Feel free to share this resource with your friends and colleagues. Ensuring that children are seen and heard is my mission. So glad we are on the same team!

  6. Edie, so glad you let me know how you found me and that you found my coaching model easy to use. Its simplicity makes it a great fit for a blog about Recipes for Raising Kids. I checked it out.

    Thank you for your lifetime of service to children and families to create a better world for us all. Running Camp Tamarack must have been fantastic! I hope it’s been spared from the recent fire destruction.

    I would be honored for you to include this SAY WHAT YOU SEE® Handbook link on your recommended reading page:
    [ ]
    or include the main website link in your posts whenever you refer to my coaching model or other ideas integral to my work:
    [ ]

    Helping us spread the word about Language of Listening® is always welcome!

  7. I have been a parent educator for years and have taught all of the tools you suggest. However, never in such an easy to understand, easy to use way. Thank you. I will work to incorporate your words into my teaching. I will mention your website and this resource on my blog Recipes for Raising Kids. I found you through your presentation on the Fine Parent 2020 Parenting Conference. Thank you for being there.

  8. Alison, very glad you found my book and took a moment to let me know. If you want to play along with me and respond here, I bet we can find a hidden STRENGTH.

    Consider how you know your daughter has wee’d. Think of what you see her doing, saying, feeling, and/or thinking when you discover she is wet, then tell me what SWYS would sound like in response to that. Then think how she might respond to your SWYS statement, and tell me that. And if you want to try the next step on your own, too, tell me what SWYS would sound like in response to her response, and we’ll go from there.

    If you are interested, the printed and Kindle versions of this handbook provide solid examples of how to use my 3 Basic Needs tool to find hidden STRENGTHs, too. Lauren and I both reference that tool in our blog posts if you would rather search there.

  9. I’m so glad I came across this book. Language of Listening was mentioned on and I googled it.
    I have a question, How do I approach Say What You See, and Strengths when my daughter (3yo) doesn’t make it to the toilet, and doesn’t let me know she needed to go, and doesn’t tell me she’s wee’d

  10. Wow Thank you for sharing this book!! I came across this thru This book is truly helpful and inspiring! Reading thru I kept getting flash backs of my interactions with my kiddos, they are 4 and 7 both of them are smart, strong-willed and full of energy needless to say it can become a bit challenging at times especially now with my 4 year old. I realize now how much I needed this info since day one, but I am glad I came across it now:) The last 7 months have been extra challenging so I have been doing research on how to become of better service to my little ones. I am excited and empowered to know that navigating this parenting journey can be enjoyable for both me and my children, so THANK YOU VERY MUCH for writing this book!

    1. Sandy Blackard


      I’m delighted to hear that you found my book through Lauren’s blog. Now you have both resources to help you make your parenting journey more fun, just like you knew it could be! Your perspective–“how to become of better service to my little ones”–is the key.

      Your excitement is inspiring and is exactly how I felt while writing the book and every day since then as I help parents master these tools. Like Lauren and I, I suspect you will feel it again and again as you see your children’s faces light up at being heard, and in using these tools you will inspire others to try them, too.

      Thank you for sharing your excitement here with me and my readers today, and for being part of our Language of Listening® community and helping it grow.


  11. Thank you for sharing this. I have used information from your website for a few months now and have learned so much in how to handle my wilful granddaughter with much success. I so wish this information was around when my son was young (41 years ago).

    1. Lynn,

      I’m so glad these coaching tools are helping to improve your interactions with your granddaughter. Grandmother-granddaughter is an important relationship for you both. Thank you for letting me know.

      Even though you didn’t have this information when your son was young, it sounds like you started putting it to good use as soon as you got it. And it is likely that your granddaughter will take at least some of what you are modeling for her on into the future with her.


  12. What a blessing to find your book this morning! The examples addressed areas that have been challenges for me in my interactions with my daughter. Thanks for providing a framework for how to address the emotions and behavior in a positive way that communicates love and respect.

    1. Diane,

      Thank you for letting me know that my book was helpful to you. It sounds like you found exactly what you were looking for. So glad my framework can help you turn around your challenging moments and demonstrate love and respect instead.


  13. Sandy Blackard


    I’m so glad you found it helpful and let me know! When you get the book, be sure to check out the supplemental information at the back, especially the discussion of the three basic needs in the preview section. That’s another invaluable tool.

    I’d love to hear how your child(ren) responds when you start Saying What You See!


    1. Leigh,

      It’s nice to hear you enjoyed the handbook. Thank you for taking the time to let me know! Please send your friends!


    1. Sarah,

      Thank you for letting me know how you found us. I’m eager to hear how it goes for you!


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