Synopses & Reviews
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
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.
From a nationally respected educator, the author of "Punished by Rewards" and "The Schools Our Children Deserve," comes a provocative challenge to the conventional wisdom about raising children.
About the Author
Alfie Kohn is the author of nine previous books, including Punished by Rewards and The Schools Our Children Deserve, that have helped to shape the thinking of parents and educators across the country and abroad. He lectures widely and lives (actually) with his family in the Boston area and (virtually) at <>.
Table of Contents
1: Conditional Parenting
2: Giving and Withholding Love
3: Too Much Control
4: Punitive Damages
5: Pushed To Succeed
6: What Holds Us Back?
7: Principles of Unconditional Parenting
8: Love Without Strings Attached
9: Choices for Children
10: The Child¹s Perspective
Appendix Parenting Styles: The Relevance of Culture, Class, and Race