Unconditional Parenting Book Club - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 59 Old 03-07-2009, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn is a parenting/discipline book that focuses on ideas for working with children rather then doing things tothem.

You can learn more about the book here:
http://www.alfiekohn.org/up/index.html

The book is available to order through amazon, and there are reviews there as well:
http://www.amazon.com/Unconditional-.../dp/0743487486

From what I have heard about this book, it will really challenge the way you think, and I think the discussions will be really interesting! If you are planning on reading this book anytime soon, please let me know, or if you have read the book and are willing to join us for discussion or re read it that would be great too!

I plan to host a discussion on each chapter, starting a new discussion weekly. People are welcome to join in the discussion at any time though, so if you start later, or read at a slower pace, just join in on the threads as you read.

I would like the discussions to focus on what concepts we felt were most challenging towards our current beliefs, what struck a chord with us - what sounded good in a way we never thought of before as well as anything we disagree with. We can share quotes from the chapter that stood out to us, personal experience we have had that relate to the chapter, etc.

Chapter 1 Discussion
Chapter 2 Discussion
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#2 of 59 Old 03-07-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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I'd like to join. need to order the book though
it does seem to get mentioned a lot.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#3 of 59 Old 03-08-2009, 01:45 AM
 
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I'd love to join!

Dalila, mom to two boys, 7 and 5

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#4 of 59 Old 03-08-2009, 08:23 AM
 
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I just ordered the book (it's been on my list-so now I had the perfect excuse). I should have it in just over a week.

There is also a club around "Raising our children, Raising ourselves" by Naomi Aldort (it also gets mentioned a lot), if anyone wants to join in the discussion. Welcome!

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and 2 rescued greyhounds
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#5 of 59 Old 03-08-2009, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I have that book on my list to order as well. I just ordered like 6 books last week though lol, but will be joining in on that discussion probably "after the fact" hope thats okay!
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#6 of 59 Old 03-08-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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I'm in! I've read the book with a local book club, but I don't think I could ever read it too many times.
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#7 of 59 Old 03-09-2009, 01:12 AM
 
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I have been wanting to read this book for a couple years now, ever since I saw Kohn speak at an early learning conference. I just ordered it from the library. Thursday is our usual field trip day, so hopefully it will be in by then

SGM ~ The link in your siggy to this thread is broken!

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#8 of 59 Old 03-09-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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We just talked about this book at our last API meeting! Got the book on a loan from our leader An online discussion would be nice.... not too many people in our group were in love with this book.
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#9 of 59 Old 03-09-2009, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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really glad to see some interest. I plan to post the first discussion sometime between the 21st and 23rd

fixed the link too, thanks!
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#10 of 59 Old 03-09-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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I'll sub to this. Been reading this a few times over lately after picking it up cheap. It's a great book.
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#11 of 59 Old 03-10-2009, 07:57 AM
 
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We just talked about this book at our last API meeting! Got the book on a loan from our leader An online discussion would be nice.... not too many people in our group were in love with this book.
Wow! That surprises me! What was the general feeling for not liking the book?
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#12 of 59 Old 03-10-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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ooo. I think I want to join this club. I've read this book, but think I could reread and study it a bit more. Especially now that I have 2 kids.
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#13 of 59 Old 03-10-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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A lot of moms (especially) seemed to feel a little guilted by the book and wanted to argue that doing "x,y or z" did not make them a bad parent, as they felt Kohn suggested. They seemed defensive more than anything. And this at an API meeting! I haven't read the book yet, though. I'm sure reading it will give me a better perspective on their comments. Looking forward to discussion here!

SAHM to 2 nurslings :
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#14 of 59 Old 03-11-2009, 09:35 AM
 
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Is the book considered pretty radical?
While we're waiting for people to get their books, and the discussion to start, would it be OK for everyone to sort of introduce themselves and say how they came to practice GD?
I'm a convert to it myself. We did not practice GD with my 6 yo adopted son and it's become pretty obvious that traditional parenting has not been the best for him. I've known about GD for years but haven't really explored it, since I thought it equated with permissive parenting. Since my daughter's been born I've been reading a lot, though, and have been trying to incorporate new techniques and question MOST of my assumptions. I think it's been working and I really like how much more relaxed I feel and how much more connected to my son I am. Some of the old habits die hard, but I'm pretty determined to kill 'em off!

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#15 of 59 Old 03-11-2009, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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A lot of moms (especially) seemed to feel a little guilted by the book and wanted to argue that doing "x,y or z" did not make them a bad parent, as they felt Kohn suggested. They seemed defensive more than anything. And this at an API meeting! I haven't read the book yet, though. I'm sure reading it will give me a better perspective on their comments. Looking forward to discussion here!

SAHM to 2 nurslings :
I think all people feel guilted when their ideals are challenged. I haven't read the book so I can't say, but I do find that sometimes people will say "that article/book makes the person feel guilty" but it's not the fault of the book or article, its the person who is reading it who is allowing themselves to feel bad. When looked at in a healthy way guilt is not necessary you can say "well that is the authors opinion but I disagree and I think my way is very good despite what that article/book says" or you can say "wow, the author makes a great point. I have done some things in the past that after reading this I don't think were the best. I will make changes in the future" I think this book probably challenged GD mama's in the way that other gentle discipline books would challenge a person who believes in spanking. People who spank who read a book on GD will probably feel the author is trying to guilt them - or get defensive and think that its a load of rubbish. Neither is necessary or due to the article/book. It is due to the person reading it.

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Is the book considered pretty radical?
While we're waiting for people to get their books, and the discussion to start, would it be OK for everyone to sort of introduce themselves and say how they came to practice GD?
I'm a convert to it myself. We did not practice GD with my 6 yo adopted son and it's become pretty obvious that traditional parenting has not been the best for him. I've known about GD for years but haven't really explored it, since I thought it equated with permissive parenting. Since my daughter's been born I've been reading a lot, though, and have been trying to incorporate new techniques and question MOST of my assumptions. I think it's been working and I really like how much more relaxed I feel and how much more connected to my son I am. Some of the old habits die hard, but I'm pretty determined to kill 'em off!
from what I understand, this book will really challenge what gentle discipline people think. I have heard of some people who had to read the book again a few months after initially reading it - that sometimes it takes a while to allow in. You really have to have an open mind I think - and at the same time, if you don't agree not take it personally ya know? Good for you for working to change your ways. I have always practiced gentle discipline, but I am learning more and more and my approach has been changing a lot ("more" gentle lol) I was raised in a traditional home and could never do that to my own children. However I realize I make mistakes of my own. I am often learning things I have done in the past were not so bright. I don't feel bad, I know I did at the time what I thought was best based on my knowledge and capabilities. The more I learn, the more I grow. The more I'm challenged the better! Challenging my thinking will either help me to grow through change or to grow in strength (as in when I am challenged about something that in the end I still believe what I believed before, only I am more confident in that belief) GD is in no way permissive, but that is a common misconception. Goals shift though from teaching your child to follow your every command (mindless obedience - which often still isn't achieved even with a traditional approach) to the goal being to teach self discipline and the way the world around them works etc. I am excited about this book, I WELCOME challenge to my thinking, always. I really don't think I will find the book making me feel guilty - I know how I usually accept these types of things so the book will probably either enlighten me or strengthen me in what I already believe

I find it helps if you are confident that you are doing your best, but humble enough to change when it turns out there is in fact a better way... but strong enough to be able to decide for YOURSELF whether or not it really is a better way.
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#16 of 59 Old 03-11-2009, 10:43 AM
 
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I'm in- hope i get it in time otherwise I'll be lurking for a while
I have a 2yr old and 1 month old. while i was raised traditionally I fell into GD once I had my first cause it just felt right. But I'm still finding my way as I realize that while spanking and yelling obviously didn't feel right neither do time outs or other so called gentle techniques. And sometimes I think I'm approaching the situation right to later realize that it wasn't what I intended at all. I hope UP gives me some insight and ways I can guide my boys with out punitive measure or manipulation and that it can provide some solid persuasions and reasoning I can share with my DH and extended family who see no problem with a more traditional mainstream approach to discipline- high hopes but i think Kohn might be able to pull it off.
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#17 of 59 Old 03-13-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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i would love to be involved
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#18 of 59 Old 03-13-2009, 04:15 AM
 
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I picked up my copy from the library today, woo hoo! I started reading the epilogue about class and race at the end b/c I didn't have the time to really start the book. That chapter is not challenging, really just a lot of info about research, pretty boring!

I honestly have NO idea what I expect to gain from reading this book! I just know that I have wanted to read it for a couple years now and forgot that the library existed (really!). I remember having deeply conflicting feelings after hearing Kohn speak. I was working at a daycare at the time & I remember thinking that his ideas were great if you were dealing w/ a couple kids, but in dealing w/ 10 toddlers at once, there would be no way to keep order in your classroom w/out hard and fast rules. Other teachers w/ whom I spoke seemed to agree. At any rate, having gotten a degree in child development and working at a daycare, I have a lot of experience not using spanking or time-outs, w/ talking w/ kids, etc. I had long planned on using time-outs w/ my own children, but now I have no idea if I will or not. I absolutely cannot stand to hear my dd cry when she is scared or hurt, or to see her face when we are in a moment of conflict/disconnect. It is such a rift in our smooth relationship, it's almost perverse. SO, I guess what I would like from this book is something along the lines of what I liked about "Between Parent and Child." That book made so much sense and gave me a stronger base for respectful discourse, esp w/ children. I do not consider myself GD, mostly b/c I do not have to D yet! Also b/c GD always makes me think, "Ick, blech blech!" I do not want to talk w/ you about why you should not cut a hole in my couch, just stop doing it! I'm definitely more of a, "Dude, just stop acting like a butt & go play," type of parent, lol!

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#19 of 59 Old 03-13-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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I'd love to discuss the book. I haven't read it in a while but I've been a big fan of Kohn's work since I first started teaching.
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#20 of 59 Old 03-14-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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I haven't done any real book reading since before Abigail was born. I haven't visited the library since before Sophia was born. I suppose I could think about buying it through Amazon, if it's really, really, super cheap, but I've really not wanted to buy books for a long time since my youngest likes to shred them. I'll definitely stay tuned and glean what I can from the thread, though, whether or not I acquire the book.

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#21 of 59 Old 03-14-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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...Also b/c GD always makes me think, "Ick, blech blech!" I do not want to talk w/ you about why you should not cut a hole in my couch, just stop doing it! I'm definitely more of a, "Dude, just stop acting like a butt & go play," type of parent, lol!
I'd have to agree.

I try to be gentle but some behaviors are just so childish they drive me bonkers. I am a work in progress, so are my children. Remembering to take the long view helps. "Will this matter in a week? month? year? decade? Is there a positive spin on this behavior? Will this personality trait serve my child well as an adult?

I read this book two summers ago and am going to stick it back on my go-to shelf and join in this discussion. Thanks, Super Glue Mommy.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#22 of 59 Old 03-14-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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Id love to join. I read the book about 6-7months ago and in changed our lives...!

Lindsay: DS#1 (06/06) DD#1 (09/07) DS#2 (10/08) DD#2 (06/09). AND A BABY DUE NOVEMBER 2013

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#23 of 59 Old 03-14-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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I'm in! I've had this book on loan from my library for the past three weeks and this is just the motivation I need to actually start reading it

J - Birth doula and *very* grateful mama to bouncy Q, fancy F, and mighty F!

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#24 of 59 Old 03-14-2009, 11:40 PM
 
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I'm in! I've had this book on loan from my library for the past three weeks and this is just the motivation I need to actually start reading it
I forgot that you can order a book from the library. Maybe I'll call the branch nearest to home/husband's work and have them hold it so he can pick it up, or maybe I'll convince him to take us tomorrow. I just really hate having to leave the house if I don't have to.

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#25 of 59 Old 03-15-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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Just started reading this a few days ago and would love to join in on the discussion!

Wife to DH (9/02) Homeschooling Mama to DD1 (2/03) DD2 (11/06) DD3(9/10)
 
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#26 of 59 Old 03-15-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I'd love to join y'all!

I have always parented this way, but just found the book a couple months ago, and have only read a couple chapters. My kids are 27, 13, 12 (with autism), 8 (soon to be adopted from foster care), and her 2 - 5 year old sisters will probably be joining us this summer. And there is some chance I will be raising my grandbabies (now 6 months, and 2 years)- I had them a few months last year, and the situation is still unsettled. In some ways, I am quite set in my radical ways, and just looking for validation/support. In others, I am open to learning, as I find that each child is so different, with different needs and strengths.

IRL, I facilitate book clubs and discussion groups on parenting subjects, for my foster agency. For now, Unconditional Parenting is too radical for those folks, but a gentle nudge never hurt.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#27 of 59 Old 03-15-2009, 09:00 PM
 
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I've finally got it from Amazon and have been flying through it. I can't wait til the discussion starts! I'll be visiting my dad from the 20th through the 28th so I may have to jump in after that...

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#28 of 59 Old 03-16-2009, 04:13 AM
 
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Count me in the ordering from the library contingency! (My library has the DVD too!)

I already checked them both out, but I never got the book read... The DVD was really inspiring!
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#29 of 59 Old 03-16-2009, 08:01 PM
 
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Joining in! My DH and I watched the DVD last year. It took us about four weeks to get through because we would start it, then pause every time we had something to relate to or discuss about our upbringing. Well worth the extra library fines.

I purchased the book a while back for more reference and in-depth review of the concepts. As my DD quickly (too quickly!) approaches two, I feel that I need to really delve more into GD and what my ultimate goal is for myself, my child, and my family. What Kohn said in the DVD really resonated with myself and DH, but I find it hard to practice sometimes. I'm hoping that joining in on this group will help me read the book with an open and critical mind.

Thanks for starting this!

Ecstatic mama to our one and only Aurora (Apr 07)
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#30 of 59 Old 03-19-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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hmmmm I might join. I am looking for some serious help with my family. I want to live consensually but we have LOTS of work to do before we get there.


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