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Customer Review

108 of 128 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good parenting book, but with one significant weakness., 26 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: What Every Parent Needs to Know: The incredible effects of love, nurture and play on your child's development (Paperback)
Most of this book is excellent and I would recommend it very highly but for one very important chapter: All about discipline.

The author simply has no idea of the difference between punishments and consequences - and it is a crucial difference that parents must understand if they are to discipline with love and kindness.

A consequence is something that repairs damage or makes restitution in some way. A punishment, on the other hand, extracts retribution.

Assume that your child writes on the wall. A consequence of this would be that she has to clean it up. An alternative consequence may be that she has to sit in a chair in silence while watching an obviously irritated Dad clean it up. A punishment would be something like not allowing her to watch a TV program or something else completely unrelated to the "crime."

The crucial difference is that children will accept and learn from consequences but will inevitably resent punishments.

(And it should be noted that "Time Out" is a punishment. You are thinking that your child in "Time Out" is considering the error of her ways. She is, in fact, seething inside at the injustice you have heaped upon her. She may come out of "Time Out" a bit calmer, but I promise you that she is no wiser.)

Apart from this, the book is very good and makes clear explanations of the neuroscience behind children's development and how best to help your children grow up into happy and healthy individuals.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Mar 2012, 21:05:12 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Mar 2012, 21:06:03 GMT
adc says:
In Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason, Alfie Kohn argues that "consequences", from the kid's point of view, means the same as punishment.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2012, 12:54:27 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Sep 2012, 17:21:15 BST
Then I respectfully suggest that Alfie Kohn has no idea what he's talking about.

Child scribbles on wall ...
Consequence: Child helps clean up mess and understands that we want to live in a lovely house where everyone feels comfortable.

Punishment: yelled at and sent to bed without any supper.

They are by no means the same.

Posted on 18 Dec 2015, 01:27:16 GMT
Nasco says:
Seymour, I agree - Could you recommend a book that does cover consequence and punishment correctly?
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