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Unconditional Parenting : Moving from…

Unconditional Parenting : Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and… (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Alfie Kohn

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5341218,880 (4.23)3
Title:Unconditional Parenting : Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
Authors:Alfie Kohn
Info:Atria (2005), Hardcover
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:2005, non-fiction, parenting

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Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn (2005)


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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This book has given me lots to think about. ( )
  Susanna.Dilliott | Apr 23, 2014 |
there are a number of great things in and about this book. it's probably the best parenting book i've read but i'm starting to feel that all parenting books fall into the same traps. blanket statements (usually about how terrible things will be if...) and gross generalizations, not taking into account the individuality of kids and parents. still, this books rings true to me on a deep level, and if it weren't for those things, this would get a 5 from me. it actually calls out the perfectly awful parenting book that i read last year and was horrified by. so i was definitely primed to agree with this author on all or most counts.

he helps by actually citing studies and research, something most parenting books really don't do. he makes clear statements and arguments and as what he is saying is something we've been trying as parents to do anyway, i found this both helpful and also easy to get on board with. i wish there were more details about the "how to" portion, with maybe more examples. obviously there isn't a script and i wouldn't want there to be one, but some further guidance would be nice. still, this is important and a worthy read if you're interested in being the kind of parent that doesn't rely on rewards, punishments, and controlling your kid's behavior. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Apr 15, 2014 |
Just ten pages in: Very thought-provoking.


Forty pages in: Not an easy read; it's like looking into a bright light shining in my eyes.

One thing I wish he'd done: Write a little blurb like "if you're with me so far and want to change what you're doing, glance at p. 157; it may not make total sense if you haven't read everything to that point, but you may find it helpful in the meantime".
  sben | Feb 11, 2014 |
Very good. The first half shows you all the things you are doing 'to' your children and the associated issues that can arise. You are left with a lot of questions and a bafflement as to how it will work, if you release the yoke of parental control.
The second half shows you how to change, and answers the annoying questions I had after the first - 'yes, but how?' Because the focus of the parenting strategy endorsed in the book, there is an acknowledgement that perfection will never be achieved, but it shows how such questions are less important than one thinks: what is more important - actually, what is paramount, is the unconditional nature of parenting. Under such a mindset, one knows that things will take longer, will involve more work from the parent in explaining and loving, and the short-term goals will not always be achieved.
But what is the point of being a parent? What does a child need? I would suggest it is to be given everything necessary so that one's children grow up to be happy, motivated, emotionally congruent adults, with the knowledge they can deal with life on their own, and are not afraid to ask for help if they need it. This is a long-term goal, and this book reminds us that we are dealing with children, and all their inconsistencies, frustrations and above all, their learning. They must be allowed to get it wrong, so they can understand why they should get it right.
As such, this book provides a framework for the parent to feel comfortable in a role where the short-term failures are actually for the benefit of the long-term successes. ( )
  Drakhir | Apr 3, 2013 |
Well intentioned advice, but difficult to implement. Quite preachy, which was offputting. Still, I'd recommend it as I liked its advice to think more deeply about how simple things that we do affect our kids. ( )
  vkurup | Sep 23, 2009 |
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How much more precious is a little humanity than all the rules in the world. -- Jean Piaget
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743487486, Paperback)

Most parenting guides begin with the question "How can we get kids to do what they're told?" and then proceed to offer various techniques for controlling them. In this truly groundbreaking book, nationally respected educator Alfie Kohn begins instead by asking, "What do kids need -- and how can we meet those needs?" What follows from that question are ideas for working with children rather than doing things to them.

One basic need all children have, Kohn argues, is to be loved unconditionally, to know that they will be accepted even if they screw up or fall short. Yet conventional approaches to parenting such as punishments (including "time-outs"), rewards (including positive reinforcement), and other forms of control teach children that they are loved only when they please us or impress us. Kohn cites a body of powerful, and largely unknown, research detailing the damage caused by leading children to believe they must earn our approval. That's precisely the message children derive from common discipline techniques, even though it's not the message most parents intend to send.

More than just another book about discipline, though, Unconditional Parenting addresses the ways parents think about, feel about, and act with their children. It invites them to question their most basic assumptions about raising kids while offering a wealth of practical strategies for shifting from "doing to" to "working with" parenting -- including how to replace praise with the unconditional support that children need to grow into healthy, caring, responsible people. This is an eye-opening, paradigm-shattering book that will reconnect readers to their own best instincts and inspire them to become better parents.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:32 -0400)

The author presents parenting theories and techniques that promote desired child qualities through unconditional support, while arguing against practices that teach children that they must earn a parent's approval.

(summary from another edition)

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