Haim Ginott

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Haim G. Ginott
Haim G. Ginzburg

(1922-08-05)August 5, 1922
DiedNovember 4, 1973(1973-11-04) (aged 51)
Known forBetween Parent and Child

Haim G. Ginott (originally Ginzburg; August 5, 1922 – November 4, 1973) was a school teacher,[1] a child psychologist and psychotherapist and a parent educator. He pioneered techniques for conversing with children that are still taught today. His book, Between Parent and Child,[1] stayed on the best seller list for over a year and is still popular today. This book sets out to give "specific advice derived from basic communication principles that will guide parents in living with children in mutual respect and dignity."[1]


Ginott's career began as an Elementary School teacher in Israel in 1947. After emigrating to the United States he studied psychology at Columbia University, where he earned a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1952.[2]

Communications Approach[edit]

The following serve to illustrate Dr. Ginott's communications approach:

  • Never deny or ignore a child's feelings.
  • Only behavior is treated as unacceptable, not the child.
  • Depersonalize negative interactions by mentioning only the problem. "I see a messy room."
  • Attach rules to things, e.g., "Little sisters are not for hitting."
  • Dependence breeds hostility. Let children do for themselves what they can.
  • Children need to learn to choose, but within the safety of limits. "Would you like to wear this blue shirt or this red one?"
  • Limit criticism to a specific event—don't say "never", "always", as in: "You never listen," "You always manage to spill things", etc.
  • Refrain from using words that you would not want the child to repeat.
  • Ignore irrelevant behavior

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish were members of a parenting group run by Dr. Ginott, and state in an introduction that Dr. Ginott's classes were the inspiration for the books they wrote.[3][4]

Quotes from Between Parent and Teenager[edit]

  • "Rebellion follows rejection."[5]
  • "Truth for its own sake can be a deadly weapon in family relations. Truth without compassion can destroy love. Some parents try too hard to prove exactly how, where and why they have been right. This approach will bring bitterness and disappointment. When attitudes are hostile, facts are unconvincing."[5] (p. 38)

Quotes from Teacher and Child[edit]

I have come to a frightening conclusion.
I am the decisive element in the classroom.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis
will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized[6]
  • "If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others."


  • Between Parent and Child (1965, Macmillan)[1]
  • Between Parent and Teenager (1967, Macmillan)[5]
  • Teacher and Child (1972, Macmillan)[6]


See also[edit]

  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk[3]
  • Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Ginott, Dr., Haim (2003). Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication (Revised and Updated). New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80988-1.
  2. ^ Goddard, H. W., & Ginott, A. (2002). Haim Ginott. In N. J. Salkind (Ed.), Macmillan psychology reference series, Vol. 1: Child development (pp. 167-168). New York: Macmillan Reference.
  3. ^ a b Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish; illustrations by Kimberly Ann Coe (1999). How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk. New York, N.Y: Avon books. ISBN 0-380-81196-0.
  4. ^ a b Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish. Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too. Perennial Currents. ISBN 0-380-79900-6.
  5. ^ a b c Dr. Haim G. Ginott (1969), Between Parent and Teenager, New York, NY: Scribner. ISBN 0-02-543350-4.
  6. ^ a b Dr. Haim G. Ginott (1975), Teacher and child: A book for parents and teachers, New York, NY: Macmillan. ISBN 0-380-00323-6.

External links[edit]