Is there a more practical verson of Alfie Kohn books? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 12-11-2011, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I read "Punished By Rewards" a while back, and while I agree with much of it, I find that it tells more of what not to do, vs what TO do, as far as motivation getting kids to do things, rewards/punshments.

 

I'm looking for a book recomondation that explains in a more practical way ideas on how to handle these things.    I teach a group of young kids and now have an assistant teacher, and I'm having a hard time explaining why we don't use gold stars (she literally wants to) as an insentive program, and why I dont say "Good job" every 5 seconds (she tends to!).    Ideas on how to easily explain the book would be great as well! 

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#2 of 11 Old 12-11-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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I really like Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids, it's a NVC based parenting book. NVC is based on the belief that all behavior stems from feelings and needs, it literally teaches you a respectful way of speaking, I've heard many refer to it as almost like learning a new language.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Respectful-Parents-Kids-Conflict-Cooperation/dp/1892005220/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323632936&sr=8-1


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#3 of 11 Old 12-11-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Discipline for Life by Madelyn Swift. We actually watched her DVD series at my son's preschool and I loved it. The book is a bit pricey on Amazon (hardcover), but it can be purchased for much less on half.com. She is also not an advocate for punishment/rewards, and I found her info very matter of fact, palatable and sensible.
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#4 of 11 Old 12-11-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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I often recommend Jane Nelsen's Positive Discipline books for people who are new to the whole concept. I consider Alfie Kohn "advanced" Gentle Discipline in that it's all theory. Nelsen's work is more "beginner" but it helps get people started. She's got a book on Positive Discipline for the Preschooler that has at least one chapter for teachers. (I'm assuming here that you're at a daycare preschool.) Oooh, look at this, she's got one for daycare providers: Positive discipline for child care providers

 

The old standard "How to Talk So Children Will Listen.." is also a good read before tackling non-violent communication.

 

I really like Dan Siegel's Whole Brain Child, but it may not be practical enough.

 

does your state child care division have training resources? They might have a book list that would be good.

 

 


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#5 of 11 Old 12-12-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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Playful Parenting describes lots of ways to turn difficult situations into a laugh.

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#6 of 11 Old 12-12-2011, 09:03 PM
 
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I just recently took out the book "Easy to Live, Difficult to Discipline"

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Love-Difficult-Discipline-Cooperation/dp/0060007753

 

...from the library, and so far I am loving it. It focuses on operating from a position of love, not fear or control. She makes numerous references to Alfie Kohn and/or the concept of unconditional love.

 

 

 

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#7 of 11 Old 12-13-2011, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the recomondations, I will look at all of those (hopefully the library has some too!)

 

The kids I'm working with now are a sunday school type group.  Its a Unitarian Universalist Church, so natural parenting/teaching techniques fit right in.  My new assistant came from a traditional school background/training and doesn't have kids herself, so I think she pretty much 'goes by the book' on what she was taught in early childhood education classes about how to deal with challenging kids. 

 

We have kids from 3-13, most are 4-7yr olds, the 13yr old is autistic (which is a challenge in of itself, but I'm teaching him some sign language and it seems to help a lot!).  We also have a 7yr old who is VERY hyper, so its hard to get him to sit still for more than 2 seconds at a time, and a 5yr old who was recently adopted from an abusive foster care situation who has a lot of behavior issues.   And then 2 of the kids (my 4yr old and the 3yr old) are very gifted. 

 

 

So its a difficult group!   (but lots of fun!).      Because of the special needs and the philosophies of the church though, I really think that these kids would benefit more from looking at the kids needs versus punishing and rewarding the little things, a lot of these kids have a much bigger picture to look at if that makes sense. 

 

 

I'm starting a school soon at the church (3-6yr olds), it will be an "alternate" preschool - unusual hours, parent involvment, child led learning through play and exploration, lots of playing in the dirt and getting their hands in things like kids should be doing!   That should be getting going soon, so I want to kind of 'set up' the techniques for handling difficult kids in the smaller/more controlled setting of the sunday school group, so when we expand, its all ready to go as far as getting new teachers on the same page. 

 

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#8 of 11 Old 12-13-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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I've read the other book recommendations and in my opinion, they're not very helpful in a hands on, things you can apply type of way. The whole Kohn philosophy is just that a philosophy a perspective but not techniques. IMO, Positive Discipline and How to Talk are going to tell you a lot of the same, change your perspective, see it from the child's point of view, compromise.

There's a book I've been reading " If I Have to Tell You One More Time" that gives a lot of everyday examples and specific suggestions for dealing with them. She does suggest natural and logical consequences for repeated problems, so it's not entirely non punitive but a similar mindset to many of the books mentioned here. I'm not that far through it yet so I can't make a strong recommendation but I would strongly recommend you look it up at Amazon or in the library and take a look.

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#9 of 11 Old 12-14-2011, 06:00 AM
 
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My two favorites are Between Parent and Child and Parent Effectiveness Training (there is also a teachers version - Teacher Effectiveness Training, but I haven't personally read that one).


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#10 of 11 Old 12-14-2011, 03:36 PM
 
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I like Unconditional Parenting and Parent Effectiveness Training.


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#11 of 11 Old 12-15-2011, 12:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceMongerMama View Post

I've read the other book recommendations and in my opinion, they're not very helpful in a hands on, things you can apply type of way. The whole Kohn philosophy is just that a philosophy a perspective but not techniques. IMO, Positive Discipline and How to Talk are going to tell you a lot of the same, change your perspective, see it from the child's point of view, compromise.

There's a book I've been reading " If I Have to Tell You One More Time" that gives a lot of everyday examples and specific suggestions for dealing with them. She does suggest natural and logical consequences for repeated problems, so it's not entirely non punitive but a similar mindset to many of the books mentioned here. I'm not that far through it yet so I can't make a strong recommendation but I would strongly recommend you look it up at Amazon or in the library and take a look.


Hmm... I'd have to disagree -- I think that How to Talk in particular gives a lot of very specific suggestions. Positive Discipline is more of a combination, but I think this teacher really needs some education about that whole perspective. Disciplining when  you understand and assume that children have a reason for their actions is a very different mindset than the "children must be taught how to behave because they're going to be bad" mindset that so many people have.

 

As one of my favorite parenting books (Parenting with Purpose by Lynda Madison) says in its introduction (I'm paraphrasing): Discipline "techniques" won't work unless you know why you're implementing them. Trying to explain to someone new to the mindset that they need to do XYZ won't help unless they understand some of the theory behind XYZ. Kohn is just a little advanced for someone new to those ideas.

 

OP: I wish I knew which discipline philosophy our kids' former daycare used. It was very positive, never shaming and they used NVC to help kids work things out. In the rare times that they had to take kids away from a situation, a teacher always went with them and stayed with them while they calmed down. The entire school was set up with a calm, predictable rhythm with lots of time to explore individual ideas and interests. It was very much the kind of atmosphere you want to establish. So it is possible -- but I know they had to do a lot of teacher training.

 

One thing to think about is whether there are any resources for daycare providers that might help. Is there a community college or a university nearby that has an early childhood ed program? Someone there might have some good ideas about readings. (It really depends on the place, obviously. Some places are very rewards/punishment oriented, others aren't.) Good luck, it sounds like a great idea!

 


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