Verbal judo

Verbal judo is a training program developed for police officers. What does this have to do with parenting? When I listened to Mike Manley, Verbal Judo instructor, speak to Ross Reynolds on National Public Radio, I realized the techniques he teaches are also good for parents.

On the radio program Manley emphasized the basics of using empathy and good listening skills when dealing with someone who is experiencing a problem. These are the same skills that work well when your children come to you with a problem!

He also discussed being in control of your own emotions so that you don’t add fuel to the fire. This is another skill I teach in my parenting classes.

Manley explained that they recommend officers ask somone to cooperate rather than commanding them. He gave some examples of commands and the unspoken message that goes along:

“Sit down!” Idiot is implied at the end of it.
“Stand over there.” Stupid is implied at the end of that command.
“Sir, could I ask you to stand over here.” Rather than saying “Hey, you, stand over there.”
To ask someone is much more courteous.

These Verbal Judo ideas are great for parents as well as officers!


Unknown said...


Thanks for your blog on Verbal Judo. I hope it helps your readers. Also helpful might be our new Verbal Judo program for parents who want a step-by-step guide to help your child prevent and stop bullying. Our Manage Bullying program can be ordered at:

Mike Manley
Verbal Judo Institute

Unknown said...

Hey Kathy!
I'm also a huge fan of Mike Manley. FYI he also contributes to the Verbal Judo bullying forum at
Kathy Mangold

Kathy Slattengren said...

Hi Mike and Kathy,

Thanks so much for the information on preventing bullying. This is certainly a big issue for many parents and their children. I look forward to learning more about your bullying program.

Kathy Slattengren

K.S. HYUN said...

Nice post.I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts. Thanks for this information.I really appreciate your work, keep it up.

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