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The Parents' Phrase Book: Hundreds of Easy, Useful Phrases, Scripts, and Techniques for Every Situation Paperback – January 1, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

An award-winning writer, Whit Honea has written for a number of popular parenting websites, including Babble, BabyCenter, GeekDad, DadCentric, the Huffington Post, and Parentables. He is the editor of the Dads & Families section at The Good Men Project.

Whit is also a speaker and panelist at a number of parenting and blogging conferences, and was invited by the White House to contribute to President Obama's official blog. Most importantly, he has also received the "Best Dad" coffee mug from his children two years running!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media (January 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440570744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440570742
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Whit Honea received his degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona. He misses his student basketball tickets. These days he lives outside of Los Angeles with his wife, their two sons, and too many pets. His fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and his take on parenting has appeared all across the Internet, but mostly at whithonea.com. He is the co-founder of Dads4Change.com, a site for social good.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Capen on January 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whit Honea is a funny writer. Let's start there. When I heard he was getting a book deal, I knew it was going to be worth the read, but as I've said to other people this book is like the funnier dead sea scrolls of parenting.

I am constantly trying to communicate with my son and Mr. Honea has a knack for summing up what I want to say and giving me great ideas on how to voice my thoughts. Parenting has so many boobytrapped topics, but with this book, I feel like I can actually speak the words I want and with a little bit of humor.

Bottom line: funny, useful and worth the purchase.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mike Adamick on January 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
Anyone who's spent time with kids knows just how many questions they can come up with. But what happens when the kids become older and the questions become ... tricky? I was really pleased and delighted to find some excellent answers and conversation starters in The Parents' Phrase Book, a sometimes sweet, sometimes wickedly funny how-to guide when it comes to difficult topics. It's like having your good friend available for backup.

From school issues to friend problems to losing at sports to dealing with a death in the family, there are straight-forward, no nonsense suggestions for having even the most difficult conversations with kids -- all laced with humor and heart. I had been struggling with talking to my daughter about the death of my brother, and I found the Parents Phrase Book had some just spot-on advice that I know will stick with me for a long time to come. Love this book in every way. A perfect gift for new parents or for anyone who might navigate the delightful world of questions from children and want a little help along the way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carter Gaddis on January 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're a parent, you've said the wrong thing. Don't deny it. Parents move through the day under duress, tired, distracted and -- let's be honest -- often on the verge of tears. Compounding the problem? Kids instinctively wait until the least opportune moments to spring the most difficult questions or weave the most awkward scenarios. Cue the inappropriate retort or out-of-proportion admonition, followed shortly thereafter by wave upon wave of crushing guilt and feelings of inadequacy as a parent.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a catalog of appropriate verbal responses at your disposal? Now, you do. Whit Honea, one of the most prolific and talented writers on the Internet, has published a must-have guide for parents who would prefer not to inflict verbal scars on the cerebral cortices of their offspring. The Parents' Phrase Book is, in short, short-hand for the short-sighted or long-winded or loud-mouthed among us. Or for any parent, really. Actually, though? It's full of the kind of advice that applies to all sorts of human communication, not just those conversations that call upon one set of people (parents) to say exactly the right thing, EVERY SINGLE TIME, so as to avoid a lifetime of confusion and possibly permanent emotional damage of another set of people (kids).

Throughout the book, Honea's wit and wisdom shine through. He presents with aplomb the complex situations parents face every day (including common variations on the themes), and lays out what to say -- and what not to say. He reminds us that listening to our children is just as important as saying the right things, and even though there is pressure to present the best example possible for our kids, it also is fun (and funny). "After all," Honea writes, "is there anything better than the sound of a child's laughter?"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zachary J. Rosenberg on February 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
I'll be frank: Whit Honea is a writer whose words can make you take a knee and lose your breath. If you're not familiar with his emotional and hilarious writing already, go seek it out. And in the meantime, "The Parents' Phrase Book" is a must-have manual for parenting. Not in the sense that Whit is telling you a step-by-step for raising your kid, but that he's offering you some indispensable "what to say" and "what not to say" tips. Even for a parent who thinks they have a grasp on what to say and when, Whit will change the way you react to your child when they tell you they're sad about a pet's death, when they say they almost got cooties at school, or when they are celebrating a win in little league.

I cannot underscore more that Whit is an incredible writer. Both new parents and veterans alike have something to gain from Whit's words. Read the introduction - graciously presented by Amazon - and you'll see the kind of wordsmithery you can expect from "The Parents' Phrase Book".

You're still reading what I wrote and you're not buying the book? God that makes you look like a fool.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
There’s been many a moment, too many to mention, too many to be comfortable with, too many to ever be considered a parenting ‘expert,’ where I’ve snapped, just completely lost my marbles while attempting to communicate some point, some lesson, some basic instruction to my daughters. It’s embarrassing, but it happens. In every single episode of the Poor Moments in Parenthood web series I am most certainly NOT creating, I’d have been a better dad had I first consulted The Parent’s Phrase Book by Whit Honea. And I mean, instant better dad.

Inside this paperback book are hundreds of common phrases and questions uttered by kids who don’t want to eat that, don’t want to go to bed now, want to know where babies come from (gulp) and if the tooth fairy is really real, want to quit their sport because they are not good at it yet, are apoplectic about not getting the lead in the school play, and are despondent over the loss of a pet. And in every case, every single one of them, we each have our own gut-reaction reaction (or grand plan of distraction, in the case of THE TALK: “who wants ice cream!!?”) but unlike the evidence laid out in Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, your first instinct in parenting communication is not always best. Children sometimes do need to hear the straight answer, yes, the hard truth, the black & white of it all, but more often than not a parent must employ a deft verbal touch, and quickly, as well as a nuanced story from the past or a well-crafted hypothetical situation, to best teach a lesson, impart wisdom, or just to get the adorable devil to stay in her own bed. In The Parent’s Phrase Book, Honea offers up alternative, measured, and thoughtful — yet 100% realistic — retorts to just about every childhood occurrence imaginable and slips in enough of his poetic storytelling to make The Parent's Phrase Book a terrific narrative read too.
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The Parents' Phrase Book: Hundreds of Easy, Useful Phrases, Scripts, and Techniques for Every Situation
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