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Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason Paperback – 6 Apr 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1st Atria Books Trade Pbk. Ed edition (6 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743487486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743487481
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

""Unconditional Parenting" is going to make you think--hard--about the type of relationship you want to have with your child, about your parenting priorities, and about how to avoid many of the mistakes of our predecessors. It's what we've come to expect from Alfie Kohn, and this is unquestionably one of his most persuasive, important works. For your sake and your child's...read it!"

--Ross W. Greene, "The Explosive Child"

"This book underscores an important parenting principle: Discipline is more about having the right relationship with your child than having the right techniques."

--William Sears, "The Baby Book and The Discipline Book"

"A gift to parents! Armed with voluminous research, Alfie Kohn exposes the harm inherent in widely accepted disciplinary practices and offers a variety of powerful alternatives that make it possible for children to become their most thoughtful, caring, responsible selves."

--Adele Faber, "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk"

"Alfie Kohn holds a crucial position in the American dialogue on parenting. "Unconditional Parenting" is a very important book that can challenge, support, and even change our perspective on what parents do."

--Michael Gurian, "The Wonder of Boys and The Wonder of Girls"

"Alfie Kohn does it again: He takes a topic (parenting) that has been studied and written about for years and gives us a wise way of adjusting our lenses so that we really see it clearly. He doesn't give simple rules, he gives deep understanding and a core foundation for parents."

--JoAnn Deak, "Girls Will Be Girls"

"Powerful alternatives to help children become their most caring, responsible selves." -- Adele Faber, coauthor of "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen . . ."

About the Author

Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and parenting. The author of fourteen books and scores of articles, he lectures at education conferences and universities as well as to parent groups and corporations. He lives in the Boston area.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like most parents, I have tried star-charts, time-outs, naughty chair, sticker books, you name it. But at the back of my mind there had always been a niggling feeling that these traditional 'methods' were not the right way forward. Unconditional Parenting gave me the power to question those traditional beliefs and the tools to work with my child, to treat him with the respect and unconditional love that every child deserves. So often we enter into parenthood weighted down by our past - how we were treated by our parents. I'm so glad to be able to break that cycle. Read this book and stop treating your children as enemies who must be tamed and controlled.
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Alfie Kohn uses real research to back up his conclusions. The book is very readable and easy to understand but the ideas it contains could very well change your life and your children's lives. Very highly recommended by someone who has read a LOT of parenting books and has never before felt compelled to recommend one.
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Format: Paperback
I was given this book to read by a friend of mine who reads all parenting and birthing and other children related books, and I mean all of them, all she can lay her hands on :) This she recommended as an absolute must and now after reading it, I agree with her. Alfie Kohn tells not only about why punishment is wrong (even such punishment we do not call punishment, because we are those parents who do not punish their kids, right). He also tells, and more importantly in my opinion, why praise and rewarding in the classical way is equally bad for your child. Obviously he offers alternatives and also admits that pitfalls lay ahead of each parent, him including.

Read it. It is liberating.
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Format: Paperback
I have found this book fascinating and its really changed the way I parent. The 'using any method to get children to behave' principle is ingrained in our culture but the author argues very convincingly that this is very shortsighted.

Has really helped me view what I am doing with my children in another light and changed what I do
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been on a bit of a roller coaster since reading this book. and have managed to bring my opinion round in a full circle!
I was at a bit of a loss as to how to deal with my 3 year olds daily acts of defiance and felt a bit lacking in control. Up until quite recently, we actually hadn't needed an awful lot of "discipline" so to speak, our daughter has been fairly amenable and laid back. But NOT NOW!
So i got this book on suggestion from a forum, and at first i wanted to throw it straight in the bin! It seemed pretty irritating in its idealised view of parenting and i wasn't really agreeing with it. BUT then i read a bit more and it really started to open my eyes as to just how punishment can (perhaps) be perceived by the child....it sprung up loads of questions for me as to whether harsh punishments actually work in TEACHING a child a moral lesson or what is deemed "acceptable behaviour"

The part about rewards i totally agree with, as to say to a child "if your are really well behaved, we will get you an ice cream!" i just think this encourages the wrong kind of self motivation and makes the child think of selfish gains he can get by "behaving" in a certain way. Id rather just treat my girl to something every now and again just because i love her and its a nice thing to do.

The general concept of this approach, is that punishment and consequences are not affective in teaching a child how to BE a nice/compassionate/caring/sharing person. The alternative generally, is to talk to your child, explaining just why its bad to hit (for example) but not to punish them as this could lead to a child feeling that they are not "acceptable" when they are behaving in a negative way.
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Format: Paperback
I really liked the central concept of the book, that is you should love your child unconditionally, success or failure, naughty or good, and that the child should know that they are loved unconditionally so that they can grow up secure. However I was very disappointed with the actual substance about the nitty gritty daily life and how you manage things. There were lots of don'ts - don't praise your child when they've been good, don't punish them when they've been bad - but I felt it was lacking on the what you are supposed to do.
1 Comment 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I had high hopes for this book considering the other reviews, while there are some very valid points and it definitely makes you stop and think about how you parent your children, which is great but there is little in the way of proper direction and I felt a lot of Kohns suggestions are just theory and difficult to implement. The reality is that out children will constantly have to conform to societies expectation of what is acceptable behaviour, it will be the same in school, college and their work environment...Kohn is somewhat snide and at times childish in how he refers to "normal Parenting techniques"...Personally I don't think that providing boundaries and a framework for your kids is such a bad thing, I love my children unconditionally, I nuture their creativity, there sense of self, I never slap, shame or demand behaviour of them beyond their years, I was specifically looking for fresh ideas and useful techniques that encourage less sibling rivarly between my two daughters and what are the alternatives to time out & confiscating toys etc, none of which I am comfortable with or work.. however I certainly didn't find the answer here.
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