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How it began

Founder Heleen de Hertog’s own parenting experiences first inspired Howtotalk 15 years ago. Her eldest son Thomas was a “feisty little man”, with whom she had more than her fair share of struggles. “Through reading the bestseller How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk, I learned that my difficulties with Thomas were mainly caused by the way I communicated with him,” Heleen explains. “How you handle your child’s feelings has a huge impact on how they express themselves.”

Heleen adapted the book for the Dutch market, as well as a follow-up focusing on sibling rivalry, and published them under the name How2talk2kids. More than 130,000 copies have now been sold in the Netherlands alone.

Heleen: ‘My difficulties with my son were mainly due to the way I communicated with him’

In the years that followed, Heleen developed the Howtotalk method into an interactive training given by a team of trainers to parents and professionals in childcare.

Thomas, meanwhile, was studying in the US and thanks to his innovative, tech-forward approach, the digitalization of Howtotalk was realized. Together, they founded Howtogrow, and he adapted the method into a training program within an app. Howtogrow has since become a conscious parenting platform with numerous experts in the fields of sleep, nutrition, and communication, of which Howtotalk is a part. The app will soon be expanded with an interactive community.

In line with Howtotalk and Howtogrow, it was a logical step to further support parents in their parenting journey with the most optimal development of their child. Together with Thomas, who had since graduated, they expanded their activities with Howtoplay, focusing on playful development from day one.

Thomas: “It’s remarkable to see how we can support parents in their parenting journey. And it’s cool that as founders we are now working so closely together; Howtotalk has definitely contributed to that.”

Howtotalk: parenting coach in your pocket

Want more from parenthood? Howtotalk can help. Learn new ways to handle your emotions and see how the atmosphere at home improves, while your child becomes grows in independence and confidence.