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Unconditional Parenting - Chapter 1 (Conditional Parenting)

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Please share any parts of this chapter that you have strong feelings about - whether in agreement or disagreement with what was said. Share any quotes that really stood out to you. How has what you read effected you?
post #2 of 38
Thread Starter 
I can see why some people may feel offended by the book, though I didnt find it offensive personally. To feel the author is saying their parenting is "conditional" but the important message in the first chapter is that its not about whether or not you love your child unconditionally, its about whether or not THEY know you love them unconditionally. and of course, actions speak louder then words! Or should I say, some words speak louder then others! Much like my mom would tell me time and time again that I could tell her anything and she will still love me, I probably believed her because she said that a lot - believed that she loved me that is - but I didnt believe I could tell her anything.

I will discuss more as others post
post #3 of 38
I knew I was going to like this book, and that it was going to help me, when I read the first example the author used from his daughter Abigail. He poses the question of how to respond after she didn't do what she said she would. Carry on with the evening plan as normal or impose a "consequence"? Considering the "consequence" action he says (pg 12), "What's more, I have to admit that it would have been satisfying on some level for me to lay down the law because I was seriously annoyed by Abigail's defiance."

I can so relate to that feeling! It rises up in me and I'm almost unable to back off, especially if I'm already not in a good mood for whatever reason. I would consider myself to be a GD parent, but when I related to that feeling so much I realized that this book was going to challenge and help me a lot!

The important ideas in this chapter for me are:

*As Super Glue Mommy said,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
...the important message in the first chapter is that its not about whether or not you love your child unconditionally, its about whether or not THEY know you love them unconditionally.
*It's what kids are learning(hearing) that's important, not what you think you are teaching(telling) them.

*(pg 15) "Children are not pets to be trained, nor are they computers, programmed to respond predictably to an input. They act this way rather than that way for many different reasons, some of which may be hard to tease apart. But we can't just ignore those reasons and respond only to the effects (that is, the behaviors).

Question: This is my first online book group discussion. Anything newbies like me need to know?
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 
this is my first online discussion as well, I'm so glad you are joining! I agree with Kohn that we need to respond to the cause, not the effect. (ie: the emotions behing the behavior, not the behavior themselves)

I also think when we do this, and when we meet a child's needs, we prevent "problem" behavior. when you only approach the behavior you *may* rid of that behavior (and may not), but if you approach the need you can rid of that behavior, and any other behaviors that may later be caused by that unmet need.
post #5 of 38
I read this chapter a long time ago and have never gotten beyond that. I'll have to go reread it so I can take part in the discussion. It's hard with two little one's and a wahm job. AGGGGRRRRRHHHH! If only I had more hours in the day!
post #6 of 38
Hi! Thanks for starting this thread. I love this book.
My DD is only 14 months, so we aren't yet really at a place where we are facing any kind of "discipline" issues, but I feel fortunate to be moving forward with a mindset that Mr. Kohn's book has helped me to achieve.
I think this first chapter has been so helpful in the way I think when relating to ALL people, child or not. It is a profound notion that the message we intend to deliver is not nearly so important as the message that's perceived. I find myself, much more often, now, really trying to see things from my daughter's or husband's perspective.
I really look forward to hearing what others think. I've yet to meet anyone IRL who has even heard of this book.
Leigh Ann
post #7 of 38
Well, I'm a bit of a slacker. I haven't acquired the book yet. But I'm subbing, nonetheless, in hopes of learning something from the thread.
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by peggersispreggers View Post
Question: This is my first online book group discussion. Anything newbies like me need to know?
Enjoy!

As a special ed teacher, I hear so much weight being put on behavior. Kohn's reference to this on the bottom of p13, "we're acting as though nothing matters but what's on the surface" struck home.

p.15 "UC parenting assumes that behaviors are just the outward expression of feeling and thoughts, needs and intentions." : Let's go!

Chapter 2 gets good. He blows time out out of the water.
post #9 of 38
I'd like to join if you guys don't mind... I'll have to grab my copy and dust it off. It's been a couple of years since I've read it, but My DS is 3 1/2 now and I've got number two on the way, so it's time to refresh myself. I'll contribute after I've got Chapter One read.
post #10 of 38
Thread Starter 
I started to get REALLY into it by chapter 3!! I will be re-reading the chapters as we discuss them
post #11 of 38
i missed that there would be a new thread so i'm joining in here late...
i think kohn really hits on the underlying motives for "traditional" discipline and how we all feel its pull occasionally in order to satisfy our need for control and, what seems to me to be, a kind of a vengeance for having annoyed/angered us.
i also like that he points out (as foodmachine quotes) that UC looks at what may be triggering a behavior rather than the simplistic outlook behaviorism takes. it saddens me that behaviorism is what is taught in school to our future teachers (and all who attend college & psch 101 in order to work with children).
ch 1 also makes me think of the quote "do as i say not as i do". for example it just doesn't make sense to teach not to hit by spanking a child when he hits his sibling. or that you love him but you don't take into consideration his feelings. i'm trying to make sure that i set an example for what i want dc to do- from saying thank you and speaking in a respectful tone to others to picking up, showing concern for others etc. at 2 it really helps as dc is in the imitate and be industrious stage, while dc doesn't always pick up his toys sometimes he does without my even asking and it just makes for better cooperation and easier going for everyone.
post #12 of 38
My book finally arrived from interlibrary loan today : As soon as I make it through Chapter 1 I'll be back
post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 
I totally agree mommabear! the lessons that seem to get through to my children in the strongest way are the ones I am modeling - not the ones I am trying to teach. I recently realize that I rarely say please! I always say thank you and your welcome. My children are the same... I ask nicely I just dont say please and they do the same. So Ive been working on saying please more. They probably say please more then I do, but I find that the other manners were learned effortlessly because they are just copying me.
post #14 of 38
oh yeah! i found you! i am so happy you are all doing this too...this is just what i'm needing right now...

ok...going to read chapter ONE again now...i'll be back! :
post #15 of 38
i'm loving how humble alfie is when he talks about how he still doesn't have it down and fumbles sometimes...makes me feel a little better about my imperfections...

loving his examples of his dd, abigail's behavior and he and his wife responding with love and acceptance despite her behavior...wow!

i also like how he says UP isn't about ignoring the behaviors or letting kids act however they want. wait is that what he said...let me grab my book... oops my baby had my book...ok got it. ok...yes, that is what alfie said (p. 13)...and also i love how he said "its very important (once the storm has passed) to teach, to reflect together...which is exactly what we did with our dd after we read her a story". (which of course, i am sure, included loads of snuggling and lovin' & sweet relating. that is truly what dd needed, afterall, isn't it? love that dd learned most likely from the unconditional acceptance & love she received then despite how she acted.

i'm curious now how and when he and his wife go about talking about the behavior/needs of their dc...onto reading more...

i am sooo glad you started this up superglue! i forgot exactly what this book had inside of it...this is what my heart truly believes...as naomi aldort once told me, "you are the tiger of my heart", i feel about alfie kohn. he is a trail blazer and i love him for this info & validation for how my heart truly beats.
post #16 of 38
I was grateful to hear what Kohn had to say about how so many parenting actions assume that kids "will take advantage of us". I hear other people talking (to me too) about how "you have to be careful you don't just give in to everything your kid wants" and am real appreciative to see someone talking about taking the time to recognize that behavior is driven by underlying needs.


What he talks about seeing human interactions as a kind of "economic transaction" is really intriguing as well. I think about it more deeply with other family/dh/friends etc than parenting personally. It's pretty easy (right now at least) to know that dd is not exactly in a position to reciprocate stuff. . . I mean she's 2, but I think about how I treat and think about other people and having expectations about interactions.
post #17 of 38
yeah that! my ex-fiance (my ds' "father") said this about my dd as i was parenting her the UP way & insistant that he do too...that's 1 huge reason why he's my EX now & why i moved back to the state i'm in leaving him behind in his own, many states away...

i used to feel guilty (false guilt, that is) up 'til this very moment!!! i now do NOT feel guilty or wrong for demanding supervised visits or ignoring his and his sister's b.s. a lot of my protection of my kids has to do w/ my passion to have UPing in their childhood (and beyond!). yay! i feel so much lighter now!!! the phoenix is now truly rising from the ashes!!! thanks for mentioning this mumkimum!

i know the courts, other parents, etc. would not agree w/ me but i don't care. i will do whatever i have to to keep him and his insane family away. they are truly nuts. my ds is merely a possession to them...ah but that is a whole 'nother story in itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkimum View Post
I was grateful to hear what Kohn had to say about how so many parenting actions assume that kids "will take advantage of us". I hear other people talking (to me too) about how "you have to be careful you don't just give in to everything your kid wants" and am real appreciative to see someone talking about taking the time to recognize that behavior is driven by underlying needs.


.
post #18 of 38
subbing! I just requested this from the library to re-read.
I read it a year ago and loved it, but now I need heeeeelp as my dd is almost 2 and it's time to put it into practice.
post #19 of 38
I'm so happy to have found this thread! Delaware mom, my ds is also 14 months old and I also haven't yet had to use the "d" part of gd, but I'm so happy to have discovered this forum so that I can share and learn. Anyways, I've been reading this book for the last week or so and it's starting to sink in. I'll going to go back and reread chapter 1 now.
post #20 of 38
I've got a January 08'er too! So we too, haven't gotten to the "D" and I am actually uncomfortable with the word. I am loving this book and this thread.
Time to move to Chapter 2? I think there are more Moms waiting to chime in when we get to the juicier bits. :
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