"Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 151 Old 04-04-2005, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This new book is wonderful on so many levels I don't even know where to begin. In many ways, for me, it's preaching to the choir. At least, theoretically. Lately however, I've had this nagging feeling that at times, my parenting philosophy and my actions are not one and the same. Although I tell myself that I love my child unconditionally, I do often wonder if that is getting across to my son.

Quote:
How we feel about our kids isn't as important as how they experience those feelings and how they regard the way we treat them. - Alfie Kohn
This book has confirmed for me that there are indeed some inconsistencies that pop up in my parenting (particularly when I start to concern myself with what others may think). But overall, it's helped me feel pretty good about things. And has taught and/or reinforced some ideas I needed to replay in my head. It's also lended me just that much more insight and appreciation for treating our children with the respect and kindness they so deserve. And for me, who overthinks things to death, it's helped me to relax--keeping my long-term goals in mind rather than being concerned with every little obedience in the moment. You know, like allowing my child be the four year old he is and stop sweating things so much as I've been tending to do lately. *sigh* I just don't know what's gotten into me lately, but I'm thankful this book happened about when it did. Just what I needed!

Of course, it's a fav now and will have to be eventually purchased (I'm reading a library copy) and put up on the shelf right next to "Playful Parenting." The two will make one heckuva reference section!

Anyone else reading? If not, I HIGHLY recommend.

Anyone care to discuss?

The best,
Em

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#2 of 151 Old 04-05-2005, 12:05 AM
 
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Wow.. what you quoted really hit home. I've been ruminating over this one lately. How does ds perceive me loving and taking care of him? He's a totally new person and undoubtedly sees things in his own unique way and very possibly different from our perspectives (dh and I). I've been reading From Here to Serenity by Jane Nelsen and on the concept of separate realities. That is so true. This book by Alfie Kohn intrigues me.

I would LOVE to read this book. I saw it at B&N and was tempted. However, I already have so many books! I love all my books, but I'm so interested in parenting, psychology, children, etc. that I'm compelled to read (and.. gulp.. buy) more.

No copy at my local library, unfortunately.

Just curious: are there any bad words in the book? I was reading a review on Amazon and one reviewer was appalled that in one of Alfie Kohn's books the children were saying bad words/obscenities to their parents. I'm a stickler about that since I don't swear at all. Since you're reading it, Embee, I had to ask

Seems mighty interesting, Unconditional Parenting!
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#3 of 151 Old 04-05-2005, 12:19 AM
 
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I didn't know he had a new book out - that sounds really interesting! I loved punished by rewards. I will definitely check it out.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#4 of 151 Old 04-05-2005, 12:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sagira
Wow.. what you quoted really hit home. I've been ruminating over this one lately. How does ds perceive me loving and taking care of him? He's a totally new person and undoubtedly sees things in his own unique way and very possibly different from our perspectives (dh and I). I've been reading From Here to Serenity by Jane Nelsen and on the concept of separate realities. That is so true.
Sagira - would you mind sharing your experiences : with your DS? What have you done exactly?

We are stuck in a pattern... DS is being aggressive to the baby (trying to flick her with his finger). He gets a kick out of it. When I confront him - "why are you doing that? Do you feel angry?" He says "I dunno..." and wants to leave, get away, not face it... denies any angry feelings or any aggression.

So it keeps happening, and I have to remain calm : and non-punitive. And now I've got my sister telling me to watch Supernanny.

Buying too many books.
Sagira - buy the book. It's OK... all us parents need all the help we can get! A book is cheap - compared to taking a class, going to psychotherapy :LOL or having a private consultation with the author (I'm going to do this with Aletha Solter.) A good book is a gift to yourself, your child, and the world. Do not feel guilty. Get it!

My parenting library keeps growing too. I do not feel this is a bad thing.

DH told me something that I hope will change my life... he said I can listen to books on tape with an IPOD. WOW - the first thing I'm going to do is get Becky Bailey's books or CDs and turn them into MP3!!! That will help me soooo much!!! My problem is I buy them and don't make time to read them.

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#5 of 151 Old 04-05-2005, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanibani
We are stuck in a pattern... DS is being aggressive to the baby (trying to flick her with his finger). He gets a kick out of it. When I confront him - "why are you doing that? Do you feel angry?" He says "I dunno..." and wants to leave, get away, not face it... denies any angry feelings or any aggression.
Tanya, I used to ask my DS "why" alot and of course, he'd always say "i dunno" or come up with some crazy unrelated reason such as the blue dog ran up the tree.?. And then I read that asking a child why they do something isn't a question most can easily answer - most adults don't know why they do what they do and react how they do. It takes a lot of self knowledge to answer that.

So, now I ask him what he's feeling after doing what he did and if he remembers what he was feeling before. I think being a bit more specific (what are you feeling rather than why did you do that) has helped us. He still can't always iterate his feelings so there's still times when there's a big question mark in the motivation category, but that's true for myself and my actions and feelings some days. I do try to model what I'm looking from him in this, so when I swear or cry or slam the door a little loudly on the way out etc I try to remember to let him know why (he often asks that). "wow. I didn't mean to slam the door so loudly. I was so frustrated I couldn't find my wallet and worried we were going to be late. I hope I didn't scare you/ hurt your ears, whatever."

On topic:

I can't wait to read this book. It's definitely the next book I'm buying.
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#6 of 151 Old 04-05-2005, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by nicole lisa
Tanya, I used to ask my DS "why" alot and of course, he'd always say "i dunno" or come up with some crazy unrelated reason such as the blue dog ran up the tree.?. And then I read that asking a child why they do something isn't a question most can easily answer - most adults don't know why they do what they do and react how they do. It takes a lot of self knowledge to answer that.
Please tell me where you read this. I *know* this already, but DH won't take my word for it! Perhaps seeing it written somewhere will hold more authority with him.
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#7 of 151 Old 04-05-2005, 03:10 PM
 
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maybelle....one book you can read it in is "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" by Becky Bailey. I just happen to be reading it right now. I was going to post the same reply to TaniBani. Kids can't really answer that question (as is true for many adults). Kids just ACT on emotions, and often don't know what they are feeling or why they act the way they do. So you should never ask them "why did you do X" or "are you angry". Instead use teaching phrases like "your fists are all balled up, your face is scrunched up, you seem angry" or "i think you wanted your baby sister to move out of your way, but you didn't know how to tell her so you pushed her". stuff like that. Bailey's book has a whole section that deals with this.

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#8 of 151 Old 04-05-2005, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sagira
I would LOVE to read this book. I saw it at B&N and was tempted. However, I already have so many books! I love all my books, but I'm so interested in parenting, psychology, children, etc. that I'm compelled to read (and.. gulp.. buy) more.

No copy at my local library, unfortunately.
Sagira, I'm a book person too. I've had the pleasure of reading many excellent parenting books (Kids Are Worth It, Kids, Parents and Power Struggles, How To Talk..., Raising Cain, etc.) This book in particular has really helped me to articulate my own philosophy even to myself. I mentioned in my OP, that between it and Playful Parenting, I feel I have what I need to really think about what's important... rather than focusing way too much on certain behaviors, I'm realizing more and more (and more!) that it's about the relationship I have with DS that makes all the difference.

Incidentally, I've been trying to curb the book buying as well. Our library has an on-line service where you can make purchasing suggestions. I asked them to order it and they did! The held it for me right away! Woopee!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagira
Just curious: are there any bad words in the book? I was reading a review on Amazon and one reviewer was appalled that in one of Alfie Kohn's books the children were saying bad words/obscenities to their parents. I'm a stickler about that since I don't swear at all. Since you're reading it, Embee, I had to ask
Bad words? Um, no. Strange. Could the reviewer have been referring perhaps to a reference to a certain behavior explained in one of his other books? I've heard punished by rewards is also excellent. This is the first book I've read by him and I'd be thrilled to read more. His language is very readable and it continues to "hit home" sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, page after page.

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#9 of 151 Old 04-05-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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I've been planning on writing a cogent, thought out and thorough review of this book, but will instead jump in and ramble!!

"-let go of the belief that I can control my children's behavior.
-let go of the belief that I should control my children's behavior
-let go of the belief that if I'm a good mother, if I'm using the right techniques, my kids will not misbehave
-let go of the need or desire to have other people think I'm a good mother, to let go of caring what other adults think
-let go of the word "misbehavior", of the idea that kids do things we don't like out of choice and to test limits "

This quote from Sledg in her other thread really seems to sum up Kohn's theme to me. I loved the first part of the book where he explains why this is so important, and sites studies and explains why.

I thought the second part of the book, the part with the "suggestions" was a little weak. But not in a bad way. I think he definitely feels the relationship is the important thing, so doesn't give specific suggestions on purpose. I don't know how popular this book will be with "mainstream" parents he seems to think are his audience. There are no Magical steps to follow, or no "new language" to speak, so I think those types who want a quick fix (and who need to radically change things the most) won't bother reading it. I think the people reading, though, like Embee, are mostly in his choir.

I have to look thru the book again and come up with more...
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#10 of 151 Old 04-05-2005, 11:27 PM
 
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Saw this at B&N, too. And, like you, Embee, I'm feeling that my goals for parenting and my daily parenting are not always one in the same. Gotta figure that one out...
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#11 of 151 Old 04-06-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lizamann
There are no Magical steps to follow, or no "new language" to speak, so I think those types who want a quick fix (and who need to radically change things the most) won't bother reading it.
I haven't read this one, but I found this to be the case with Punished by Rewards too - the first half of the book really reeled me in and made me totally question using praise and how we talk to our kids, but then the second half didn't tell me how I should talk to them, I didn't feel like I really finished with a clear idea of what I was supposed to do. But I read that book over a year and a half ago before my daughter was verbal and I've found that subconsciously what he said stuck with me and I just don't use the constant praise and judgement words at all - I've found my own way around it. In some way its better because I dont' feel like I 'didn't say the right thing' - I'm still just being me.

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#12 of 151 Old 04-06-2005, 12:12 AM
 
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Tanibani, I apologize for getting your hopes up and not being clear enough I meant that when my son was born, he was born a totally new person, a unique human being with unique perspectives.

And I keep that in mind when I interact with him and as he gets older and more verbal (he's 19 mos. now) I will ask him "What" and "How" questions to gain understanding of his unique perspective on life. I'm truly curious how he thinks, what makes him tick, etc.

Tanibani and Embee: Hehe.. I've got reasons to justify buying the book now -- thanks! Perhaps, I AM studying.. I'm planning on becoming a child psychologist with a focus on parenting in five years or so..

Embee: Great idea on the request! I haven't thought of that. See if they'll listen to me. If not I can always buy the book, read it, then donate it to the library so others can read it and I can always borrow it again

OK.. Tanibani, I know other mamas have already replied to your situation, but I may be able to contribute something. You could ask your ds (with genuine curiosity, no accusatory tone, if you need to wait until you're calm before you do this): What were you trying to do?

Or you could also try to guess his feelings. Sit down with him on the couch (like suggested in Playful Parenting: the couch part, not what's next) "I'm guessing sometimes you're happy with baby but other times you're angry at baby". Then listen to him talk about his feelings.

If he doesn't want to talk, wait until he's in a better and more receptive mood before you bring up anything. In the heat of the moment our reptilian brain takes over and what do we do? Fight or flight. Not a good thing for either parent or child when trying to solve a conflict!

Hope I could have been of some help. Yes, I agree with the mamas that "Why" questions can be perceived as an inquisition and many times we ourselves don't know why we did something.

I just thought of one more: you could also try to describe what you see, e.g. I see a baby who has been flicked off and is now upset. What can do about this? Invite the child to solve the problem, it be a hug, etc.

I guess it depends on your child, but there are always more than two suggestions you can try. Let us know if anything seemed to work!

Cheers,
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#13 of 151 Old 04-07-2005, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizamann
"-let go of the belief that I can control my children's behavior.
-let go of the belief that I should control my children's behavior
-let go of the belief that if I'm a good mother, if I'm using the right techniques, my kids will not misbehave
-let go of the need or desire to have other people think I'm a good mother, to let go of caring what other adults think
-let go of the word "misbehavior", of the idea that kids do things we don't like out of choice and to test limits "
These are the very points in the book that have helped me to RELAX. What a relief to say the least! In particular, I can't believe how many of my parenting ideals have been washed out lately by my concern about what other people are thinking. Indeed, DS at four is a totally brand-new person: more unpredictable, more of a dare-devil, more vocal, more emotionally raw. It's the first time I've had a difficult time adjusting to new and exciting behaviors, and I think because so much of the "rawness" seems to come out in public places like for instance, the library. At any rate, since reading the book, it's been much easier to focus on DS in these instances and realize that he's just being a kid. When I'm not worried about what others are thinking, I can actually think clearly and help DS (and me!) get through a difficult spot. I'm much less likely to resort to coercion. He and I can truly connect and we both, for the most part, stay calm and work through it together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizamann
This quote from Sledg in her other thread really seems to sum up Kohn's theme to me. I loved the first part of the book where he explains why this is so important, and sites studies and explains why.

I thought the second part of the book, the part with the "suggestions" was a little weak. But not in a bad way. I think he definitely feels the relationship is the important thing, so doesn't give specific suggestions on purpose.
Reading this book has has been an interesting transtion for me. The first parenting/discipline book I ever read was Kids Are Worth It by Barbara Coloroso. I remember liking it's overall theme, but being frustrated by the lack of specific advice and examples. Being new to the discipline arena, this was very important to me at the time. Then, I read How To Talk... and it was like, "ahhhh." A book written in a similar mindset as Kids, but with tons of examples and techniques. I realized the importance of overall philosophy, but what I thought I really needed was "my words" available for any given situation.

Apparently however, my needs are shifting. When I began reading Kohn's book, one of the first items he addressed was that when we focus too much on "behavior" and obtaining obedience in the moment, we can easily allow our long-term goals for our child to slip through the cracks. Ya know, like self-security, confidence, ability to think for him/herself... eek.

Quote:
It's the child who engages in a behavior, not just the behavior itself, that matters. - Alfie Kohn
Statements like these have not only hit home for me, but helped me tap into my own resources for answers. I realize I've had them all along, but somehow they get lost among all sorts of needless external factors. As I've read on, I have quite literally felt tension easing out of my body. Indeed, I've cringed at some of the things he points out that I could be doing much better, but overall, I know it's within my power to change those things. I'd go so far as to say that "Unconditional Parenting" is the first of a more "general philosophy" book that has truly empowered me. Before, it was like, "This sounds great, but I just don't have the implementation skills." Now, it's ever so clear that behavior itself is neither here nor there, but the "relationship I have with my child" that truly dictates the weather. (Hey, maybe this is some sort of personal growth thing for me! ) At any rate, DH and I were so relieved by this mainly because we already know exactly the things we need do to keep the relationship between DS and ourselves on good footing: we spend time with him. Truly focused time. We play as much as possible, and here he takes the lead. We don't expect more of him than is develpmentally appropriate, we say YES a lot and realize that there are enough non-negotiable NOs in his life that we don't need to add to them for our own convenience or because we're feeling too lazy to help him make things happen. We talk less, listen more, involve him in decisions, yada yada yada... you get the picture.

Yikes, serious rambling here. I really can't say enough about this wonderfully insightful book. Alas, my husband and son are jamming VERY LOUDLY in the background and my concentration is a bit limited.

Hope this disussion grows and more people read the book! Can't wait to read more perspectives and experiences!

The best,
Em

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#14 of 151 Old 04-07-2005, 12:17 PM
 
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Embee-Thanks Your last post above has confirmed for me that I should get or borrow this book if it hits our library. I really can relate to your words and some of your parenting struggles.
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#15 of 151 Old 04-07-2005, 03:44 PM
 
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I'm reading this, not done (no time lately). I agree it's a great book, and seems to me to focus first and foremost on the relationship between parent and child and not so much on concrete suggestions about what to do when this or that happens, what to say, etc. It's the kind of book that I would have found frustrating even a year ago, because of the lack of "when they do this, you do that" type of advice-that's what I was looking for then. I think he does a nicer job explaining what books like "Easy to Love" and "Kids Are Worth It" and others are trying to say. I wish he'd written it years ago, because I think what he's saying is the absolute best parenting advice. The whole idea of letting go of the desire to control and (in his words) "working with" rather than "doing to" our children is really, I think, the key to parenting well. First, get in the "working with" mindset then the use the techniques-the active listening, the nonviolent communication, giving choices, etc. I can tell you all that when active listening isn't getting us anywhere, it's because I'm still trying to control my kids and make them do something-I can say "I hear that you're sad" until I'm blue in the face but I'm going to be really frustrated (and so are they) as long as what I'm trying to do is make them stop crying (whereas if my goal is simply to help my kids feel heard and to empathize, they might still be crying but I'm not frustrated and they know I love and accept them-and things don't escalate to something worse). KWIM?

Definitely worth reading, IMO. I even think it was worth splurging and buying it in hardcover (I never buy books in hardcover-too expensive).
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#16 of 151 Old 04-07-2005, 11:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagira
OK.. Tanibani, I know other mamas have already replied to your situation, but I may be able to contribute something. You could ask your ds (with genuine curiosity, no accusatory tone, if you need to wait until you're calm before you do this): What were you trying to do?


Actually, I've been doing * something * right because he is opening up lately... FINALLY! (BTW, I'm skimming the P.E.T. book which has helped me get the whole concept that Kohn is trying to say with his book - be partners, not adversaries...)

and instead of saying "WHY did you do that!" after the fact, I have been asking "wow, you must really be feeling angry inside."

anyway today he admitted to me that he feels rushed in the mornings and I'm always rushing, rushing, rushing him. I think he feels bossed around and powerless.

nak

sledg - i think u hit the nail on the head.

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#17 of 151 Old 04-07-2005, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think he does a nicer job explaining what books like "Easy to Love" and "Kids Are Worth It" and others are trying to say. I wish he'd written it years ago, because I think what he's saying is the absolute best parenting advice.
ITA! The one thing that keeps going through my mind as I read is, I wish he'd written this about 3 or 4 years ago. Not that I haven't read some great books (and gotten some excellent advice right here at MDC). BUT, there is certainly something about his writing/thought process that is truly getting through and sort of effortlessly helping me to apply it to real life. Does that make any sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg
The whole idea of letting go of the desire to control and (in his words) "working with" rather than "doing to" our children is really, I think, the key to parenting well. First, get in the "working with" mindset then the use the techniques-the active listening, the nonviolent communication, giving choices, etc. I can tell you all that when active listening isn't getting us anywhere, it's because I'm still trying to control my kids and make them do something-I can say "I hear that you're sad" until I'm blue in the face but I'm going to be really frustrated (and so are they) as long as what I'm trying to do is make them stop crying (whereas if my goal is simply to help my kids feel heard and to empathize, they might still be crying but I'm not frustrated and they know I love and accept them-and things don't escalate to something worse). KWIM?
Wow, talk about hitting home. Our intentions count for so much. Trying to control what is not within my control has been a life-long battle for me. Through DS though, I'm learning. I'm learning. Indeed, when things go awry and my inner voice is saying "This is ok. It's normal. Just be there for him and give him time to work it through." I can get through anything and help DS through anything. OTOH, if my inner voice is fixated on what that lady in the other grocery line is thinking, I might as well forget it. Ain't nothin' gonna save me when other people's thoughts of me or my DS crowd out my clear, sensitive thinking. What can I say? I, like DS am a work in progress.

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#18 of 151 Old 04-08-2005, 12:08 AM
 
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sounds like one of those books i'm just gonna have to go out and buy.

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#19 of 151 Old 04-08-2005, 01:35 AM
 
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sounds like one of those books i'm just gonna have to go out and buy.
Ayup!
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#20 of 151 Old 04-08-2005, 06:28 AM
 
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The whole idea of letting go of the desire to control and (in his words) "working with" rather than "doing to" our children is really, I think, the key to parenting well.
This is something that resonates with me. One thing that I struggle with is discussing ‘tactics, strategies, methods and etc.’ when we talk about our relationship with our kids. Yea, I need some of this to get through the day and I share what “works” (another phrase I don’t like) but it still feels wrong to me somehow.


Checking for the book...

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#21 of 151 Old 04-08-2005, 02:43 PM
 
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I'm not finished yet, but I am absolutely loving this book. It's the first one that has actually made me stop and think about my entire mindset.

Last night, for instance, my 5 (almost 6!) year old was doing his typical refusal to settle down for sleep. This isn't something I've ever fought with him about (he has autism -- sleep issues are a part of that for him), but it is something that has irritated me -- especially since his 3 (almost 4!) year old sister refuses to leave him and she *needs* more sleep. So last night while I was irritated about the "behavior problem," I read the part in the book about how what we define as "behavior problems" are often legitimate conflicts -- we just get to call them "behavior problems" because we have more power. That stopped me cold. I realized that my son had a legitimate conflict -- I wanted him to sleep and he just wasn't tired yet. So instead of doing my usual routine of coaxing and reasoning (doesn't work when his body's needs are more pressing), I let him alone. I took his sister in to her bed to cuddle since she was ready for sleep but couldn't leave big brother on her own. She was asleep within 2 minutes. Within 10 minutes, my son came into the room to cuddle with us. 10 minutes after that, he took himself off to his own room and went to bed.

Now that I'm considering everything else with that mindset, I realize that I can probably change most of our rough areas. I don't need strategies so that isn't a problem for me -- I just needed a shift of view.

Thanks for listening -- this is probably too long, but I was so excited I wanted to share.
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#22 of 151 Old 04-11-2005, 04:48 PM
 
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I had to comment that I'm about a third of the way in and I LOVE THIS BOOK.

It's so great, interesting, well written.

I love the fact that it's all backed up by research and how well Mr. Kohn describes the methodology of the research. He's much more specific than the vague "studies show" junk in most parenting books.

I could go on and on....

The best thing about a good pareting book is how it helps us understand ourselves and our motivations as well. this one goes so deep to getting at the roots of our values when it comes to kids, acheivement, behavior, etc.

Really groundbreaking!
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#23 of 151 Old 04-11-2005, 04:52 PM
 
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Oh- I wanted to throw in that I love his commentary on "natural consequences" and how it teaches kids not to trust is to help them when they need it.

I've gone through this both about food (dinner) and clothes (jacket) and I totally agree that using a kid's choices againt him or her is kinda mean, and that a better way is to help them figure out how to get out of the predicament they are in, and help them learn to make good decision (rather than basically allowing them to get punished for bad decisions.)

I mean sometimes I decide not to eat and later realize it was stupid. I'd be annoyed if someone suggested I not stop for food because "I'd made a choice and had to learn to pay the consequences."

Totally interesting...
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#24 of 151 Old 04-13-2005, 04:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommyofshmoo
I love the fact that it's all backed up by research and how well Mr. Kohn describes the methodology of the research. He's much more specific than the vague "studies show" junk in most parenting books.
Yes! This is what I like most about this book. I like a book with a bibliography! I just requested a bunch of his other books because this one really resonated with me.
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#25 of 151 Old 04-14-2005, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofshmoo
Oh- I wanted to throw in that I love his commentary on "natural consequences" and how it teaches kids not to trust is to help them when they need it.

I've gone through this both about food (dinner) and clothes (jacket) and I totally agree that using a kid's choices againt him or her is kinda mean, and that a better way is to help them figure out how to get out of the predicament they are in, and help them learn to make good decision (rather than basically allowing them to get punished for bad decisions.)

I mean sometimes I decide not to eat and later realize it was stupid. I'd be annoyed if someone suggested I not stop for food because "I'd made a choice and had to learn to pay the consequences."

Totally interesting...
Indeed! Do I want my child to "suffer the consequences" so as he might "learn" something, or do I want my child to be the beneficiary of the kind of caring actions that he can see himself as capable of having?

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#26 of 151 Old 04-16-2005, 08:22 PM
 
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Thanks Embee for suggesting this book! I'm part way in but so far I find it so refreshing to read!

Of course, I realize as I'm reading I've got some more things to work on in my parenting
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#27 of 151 Old 04-17-2005, 01:55 AM
 
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This is kinda OT:
I am interested in Kohn's idea's about positive reinforcement. I have not read any of his books yet but maybe you guys can help me understand. As working mom I took my 6 wk off and read "Playful Parenting" and "How to talk..." I really don't know when I'll get to read again with my active little guy. Kohn's books sound very interesting and I hope to make the time to read them.
In the meantime, I find that I use praise ALOT to guide DS's behavior. Since he is only 12 months, I feel it's all I've got at times. Other than removal from the situation, distraction, and other play. I have been trying to say "Thank you" when he is doing the appropriate behavior. I think this is still just Praise though. Most of the current issues are around oral stuff. He likes to put everything in his mouth. Most stuff I can tolerate but dirt, wood chips, and rocks, I have a problem with.
So for any of you who have read Kohn's books does he discuss small children or is he mainly talking about older kids. DS doesn't have much reasoning skills yet.
Anyway thanks for any input.
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#28 of 151 Old 04-17-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by InochiZo
This is kinda OT:
I am interested in Kohn's idea's about positive reinforcement. I have not read any of his books yet but maybe you guys can help me understand. As working mom I took my 6 wk off and read "Playful Parenting" and "How to talk..." I really don't know when I'll get to read again with my active little guy. Kohn's books sound very interesting and I hope to make the time to read them.
In the meantime, I find that I use praise ALOT to guide DS's behavior. Since he is only 12 months, I feel it's all I've got at times. Other than removal from the situation, distraction, and other play. I have been trying to say "Thank you" when he is doing the appropriate behavior. I think this is still just Praise though. Most of the current issues are around oral stuff. He likes to put everything in his mouth. Most stuff I can tolerate but dirt, wood chips, and rocks, I have a problem with.
So for any of you who have read Kohn's books does he discuss small children or is he mainly talking about older kids. DS doesn't have much reasoning skills yet.
Anyway thanks for any input.
I like Mr. Kohn's point that if you are considering these issues, you are already on the right track. My dd is 2.5 and I too have to make many decisions for her, though of course not as many as for a one year old. I find that I feel most comfortable when I basically inform my dd that we simply have to do whatever it is, and I'lm very sorry if it makes her sad. I ask for her cooperation, but I don't grudge her if she can't give it to me.

Anyway- I gotta run, mor later.
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#29 of 151 Old 04-25-2005, 07:08 PM
 
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Because of this thread (which I haven't even read all the way through...) I had to go out and buy the book. On the cover it says "A provocative challenge to the conventional wisdom about discipline". I thought to myself "yeah, right...it's all been said before, just by different authors". Well, I was wrong. I have way too many discipline books...I can honestly say that this really is different. At the same time, it makes so much sense (so far). I can't wait to participate in a discussion about the book more fully.

DS 12 DS 9 DD 6
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#30 of 151 Old 04-26-2005, 10:22 AM
 
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This was painful reading for me. With other GD books, I am mostly going through the book and saying "nothing new, I always do this", or "I could easily do this", and I can easily pick up ideas and implement them "on the run". I do play a lot with the kids. I do say yes as often as I can. I do give them choices on small things like dressing and eating.
However, unconditional parenting made me realize I really need to rethink through so many things. For instance, he gives the example of "hiding the remote control" in order to limit TV viewing. Now, that's exactly what I do. I do not want arguments!
The "psedochoices" talk: now that's me! And, I did take it from the "How to talk so that kids will listen" which I have always thought is an excellent book.
I need to relax controlling them and it just scares me...
I also find that in many ways my apartment is so baby-proofed (we rented while I was pregnant and I arranged it in view of having a child) that it disempowers kids a lot.
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