The Everyday Parenting Toolkit: The Kazdin Method for Easy, Step-By-Step, Lasting Change for You and Your Child Hardcover – 1 Mar 2014
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From the Back Cover
Alan Kazdin delivers the evidence-based, gold-standard method for parents who want simple, effective responses to the everyday challenging behaviors of their children. Martin E. P. Seligman, author of "Flourish "and "The Optimistic Child"
Alan Kazdin s "The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child" is the gold standard for research-backed advice on being a better parent for difficult children. But what about children who are not defiant ? Now, in "The Everyday Parenting Toolkit," Dr. Kazdin addresses how parents can deal with the routine challenges that come with raising a child.
Dr. Kazdin s methods are based on the most up-to-date research and are implemented in real-world ways. These are the problems that plague parents on a day-to-day basis: from getting ready for school on time to expanding the palates of picky eaters to limiting computer time, no parenting book does a better job at helping parents understand and correct problematic behaviors. Dr. Kazdin s methods foster lifelong positive character traits such as respectfulness, honesty, kindness, and altruism. With "The Everyday Parenting Toolkit," Dr. Kazdin helps transform parenting and helps develop ideal child-parent relationships.
Jam-packed with solid advice any parent can use. "BookPage"
A useful guide to eliminating stress, improving communication and providing a more nurturing family environment. "Kirkus Reviews"
[AU PHOTO] Alan E. Kazdin, Ph.D., is the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry at Yale University and Director of the Yale Parenting Center. His work on parenting and child rearing has been featured on NPR, PBS, CNN, and the BBC, and he has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, ABC News, 20/20, and Dr. Phil. He frequently lectures to parents, educators, and business groups interested in learning the latest research and techniques of child rearing.
" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Alan E. Kazdin, Ph.D., is the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry at Yale University and Director of the Yale Parenting Center. His work on parenting and childrearing has been featured on NPR, PBS, the BBC, and he has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News, 20/20, and Dr. Phil. He frequently lectures to parents, educators, and business groups interested in learning the latest research and techniques of childrearing.
Carlo Rotella is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Boston College. He is author of "October Cities "(California, 1998) and a regular contributor to the "Washington Post Magazine. "His essays have appeared in "The American Scholar, DoubleTake, "and "Harper's, " and his work is included in "Best American Essays 2001." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I expected this book to be the same, and was prepared to be disappointed with it. However, instead, I found a refreshingly different take on parenting that seems to have been gleaned from successful sales techniques and how to win friends and influence people type methodologies (sounds odd, but when you read it, it does make sense...).
Essentially, the message is that yelling, intimidation, threats, wheedling and whining wont get you the behavior you want from your child. Rather, you need to 'set up' the situation to maximize the odds that your child will give you the behavior you seek. The theories are based on sound psychological theories that are most often utilized in sales and marketing. If you think about it, who more wants to influence people's behavior than the person or business trying to sell you something?
The gist of the whole thing is that you need to utilize particular techniques in order to best obtain the behavior you want. Key techniques discussed in the book include what the author calls the "ABC's" - which stands for the A = Antecedents (preparing the situation or setting the scene in a way that increases the odds of your child giving you the desired behavior), B = the Behavior, and C = Consequences (which the author says we over use and without the A & B we're essentially setting ourselves up for frustration and failure). There is also significant emphasis on the "how" - you can have the tools, but if you implement them incorrectly they will not work. There are tons of examples and scenarios to help you understand the different ways to use the techniques.
The term antecedents isn't the most intuitive, so here is a description from the book that gives you a better idea of what the author means by atecedents: "What happens before each of these behaviors, or before the moment you want it to happen, greatly affects the likelihood that the behavior will occur.....The way you use antecedents can influence whether your child will do what you wish, or adamantly refuse to do it." The author also discusses research into "priming", which is another name for antecedents. For example: "Showing test participants a briefcase - seemingly incidentally - before asking them to complete a task made them more competitive, but a glimpse of a backpack made them more cooperative with others, and the smell of all-purpose cleaner made them neater." Priming research looks at the things that unconsciously influence us every day, those 'antecedents' that have a strong effect on our thoughts, feelings and actions. The author has taken this information on priming and applied it to parenting - it's really a great idea and method to use.
The author really spends a good deal of time on the antecedents and I think this is really valuable as it is something that we often don't consider, and especially when we're feeling exasperated with our child and are trying to get them to do something. The information on this is so valuable, that I've highlighted about 1/2 to 2/3 of almost every page on this subject.
There is absolutely a lot more to the book than the antecedents, but that is the area that I've especially keyed in on personally, and it is also the area I've begun to focus on implementing as a parent. I can honestly say that with just that skill alone I've already begun to have a much easier time getting my child to do what I want and without her whining, complaining, or other such behaviors. Instead, she does it with a smile and is happy to do it - all just through the use of antecedents.
The author is the Director of the Yale parenting center and the techniques in the book are the same ones that he teaches parents to use in the center. He's had plenty of time to perfect the skills and techniques, so we are luckily able to benefit from his knowledge. This book has moved to my all-time top 10 for parenting books. I highly recommend it.
SUMMARY: Easy to implement techniques, that really work, in order to obtain the behaviors you want from your child - highly recommended.
For Easy, Step-by-Step, Lasting Change for You and Your Child"
Written by Alan Kazdin
This is a streamlined update of Alan Kazdin's excellent book on child rearing, fashioned here in more of a practical, how-to format. Kazdin is best known as a proponent of point systems, with an eye towards positive reinforcement at every possible opportunity. Some of his methods run counter to many cultural norms of parenting and to the human instinct towards finding and correcting faults -- his techniques may sound wrong or feel weird when you try them, but the results speak for themselves. To begin with, Kazdin suggests you try asking your child to do things -- say please -- rather than command them, so that they feel they have a choice, rather than being bossed around. You think, oh no, that makes me look weak, but it really works.
But it makes sense: if your goal is to minimize bad behavior, the smart thing is to set kids up for situations where they behave well. Cooperation and harmony will replace misbehavior and conflict, even moreso if you can point out the changes and praise your child for what they're doing right. I know, it sounds goofy and touchy-feelie, but it works. I started asking please along with Kazdin's other recommendations, and it's made a huge difference. This book is simply written and easy to read, without a lot of made-up technical terminology or complicated plans. It's pretty straightfoward and easy to understand... and it works! Highly recommended! (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain children's book reviews)
It seems to go beyond just the specific things you might try and also goes into the WAY you might try them. It's one thing to tell someone to do something, it's another to consider tone of voice, whether you're commanding or giving someone the "opportunity" or "choice" to comply and respecting their decision. People want to be respected and made part of the process, so this book seems to emphasize using constructive methods and "opportunities" or "choices" to involve the learner in the learning process, rather than simply instilling consequences and lots of yelling.
It seems like this could be a useful tool in learning to better interact with people, especially children... Worth a read, in my opinion.
We bought Dr. Kazdin's previous book, The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child, and it was truly life changing for our family. What made
Dr. Kazdin's book different than pretty much every other parenting book I had read were two things:
1) They were backed up by years of experience in his lab.
2) He included a DVD for free with the book that showed you exactly how to implement his technique.
The DVD was key. It really made all the difference in the world. Now, I've received an advanced copy of "The Everyday Parenting Toolkit." No DVD is included, nor is one mentioned. So I'm assuming there isn't one included. If that's the case, then I strongly urge Dr. Kazdin to record at least some youtube shorts that can go along with the book to help parents. Seeing a technique demonstrated makes all the difference.
Having said all this, Dr. Kazdin's book is a short read, and easily actionable. I've been trying it out some of the techniques with my 9, 7, 5, and 2 year old. Are there new things here from other parenting books? Not really, but how they are presented is different.
He talks about your antecedents tool kit... everything that happens before a behavior occurs. Dr. Kazdin goes into "prompts"...how to use them... as well as fading (getting rid of them/using them less often). He speaks about "setting events"--things that can indirectly influence behavior/set the stage for behavior...one example being dress codes."High and low-proability requests." High probability requests are things that your kids are likely to do if you ask...so come and cuddle with me, give me a kiss, etc. He says that starting with a high-probabilty request makes it more likely that your child will comply with a low-probability request. (Personally, I always did it backwards.)
He then goes into behaviors and consequences. (He spends a lot of time on consequences.) The book is filled with a lot of real-life examples, and features kids from toddlers up to teens. Problem is, you can't really search by issue you're having, such as with The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries or Positive Discipline A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems (Positive Discipline Library)
It's good, but would be better with a DVD and having more real-life, searchable examples IMHO.
I do like this book and the methods, though at times I felt the examples and repetition were over-done. Kazdin promotes a mainly positive reinforcement method of shaping behavior, but that's not to say kids should be praised for everything or without discretion. Instead, his method, if followed, leads you through really defining what good behavior looks like, your child's current behavior, and how to best remediate the gap between the two.
This forces you as a parent to understand what success will look like both in your child and in you as a parent. Defining achievable baby-steps from current state to end state sets both of you up for success, but that's not to say success will be easily won.
I recommend starting out with this book - it's more focused on the average family situations we encounter and the normal challenges of parenting. While his 'Defiant Child' book is really the root of this book, I think it dives deeper into more extreme cases, and quite frankly, has a bad title which has lead to this book at its side.