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 and a team of experts led many training courses to teach the skills to parents. And in 2021, they put all this information together on one app to make it even more accessible.

So how did things turn out for Thomas? Fifteen years on, he’s an enterprising adult who’s still reaping the benefits of the Howtotalk method. “I’m sure Howtotalk taught me skills for life,” he says. Thomas now works with Heleen to ensure Howtotalk’s formula for success. Indeed, it’s thanks to his innovative, tech-forward approach that the Howtotalk app first came about.

Howtotalk gives every parent new insights, Heleen promises. “By embracing the method as I did, you can create an atmosphere of peace, respect and trust WITHOUT forgetting anyone – least of all yourself.”

Thomas: ‘I’m sure Howtotalk has taught me skills for life’

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.