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Old 06-25-2012, 06:27 PM   #11
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Since we had DD2, DD1 has gone from an easygoing toddler to a clingy and argumentative. I have considered so many strategies from time outs, positive reinforcement, etc. I really was feeling desperate as I searched through my Nook to find a parenting book with a philosophy that made sense to me. Then I came across the book Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. I remember the author from some articles I read in my teacher education and I agreed with so much of what he wrote then. His philosophies are pretty controversial because they are completely opposite of how most people (including me) are taught and raised.

So in the introduction I literally smacked my forehead and thought "why didn't I realize this before?" I think the quote that summed it up for me was "amazingly well-behaved children do what their parents want them to become, but often at the price of losing a sense of themselves." I completely related to this idea because I was that "well-behaved" child, and I'm still struggling with my sense of identity so much as an adult. I don't want to do that to my children.

Alfie Kohn then goes on to describe how so much of our love and attention requires that our child(ren) behave in the way we want them to, or we withhold that love and attention and/or include punishment. He proposes that our love and attention should be unconditional. I found myself nodding my head and highlighting lots of passages throughout the book. It has completely changed the way I think about myself and my parenting. I have tried some strategies from this book already and I have to say, it's been so nice to stop worrying so much about getting DD to "listen" and "behave." He also offers alternatives to traditional parenting strategies that make a ton of sense to me.

I just wanted to offer this in case anyone out there is like me, and is struggling to find a parenting philosophy that works. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Got this. We need help here. Everything 20 month old ds says is either "ummmmm, no" or "AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHH! NNNNNOOOOOO!" I only get mmm-hmmm If I ask if he wants cereal or a popscicle.

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Old 06-25-2012, 06:50 PM   #12
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Re: Just wanted to share this parenting philosophy

I had this checked out from the library and really liked what I got through. I need to buy it!
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:12 PM   #13
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Re: Just wanted to share this parenting philosophy

I haven't read this book, but I loved Alfie Kohn's book "Punished by Rewards" - as a teacher (at the time), it totally changed by approach to discipline/put into words a philosophy that I had always felt was true deep in my heart. I will have to check out Unconditional Parenting, too.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:46 PM   #14
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Re: Just wanted to share this parenting philosophy

I would love to read this book. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:48 AM   #15
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Re: Just wanted to share this parenting philosophy

Sounds similar to a book I enjoyed called Discipline without Distress. I loved finding an author who shared my view that punishment (timeouts, bribery, spanking, etc.) doesn't work. He is such a happy child - I would hate to do anything to change that! I will definitely check out your recommendation!

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Old 06-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #16
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Re: Just wanted to share this parenting philosophy

Does he address what to do if I already wrecked my kid with the usual parenting philosophies?

I like to parent from a buffet of parenting styles, but I easily slip into old habits. I'm guessing when I'm not pregnant and exhausted that might change....
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by badmisterkitty
Does he address what to do if I already wrecked my kid with the usual parenting philosophies?

I like to parent from a buffet of parenting styles, but I easily slip into old habits. I'm guessing when I'm not pregnant and exhausted that might change....
This made me lol. Habits are so hard to break!
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:43 AM   #18
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Re: Just wanted to share this parenting philosophy

Will have to check this out, thank you
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:16 AM   #19
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Re: Just wanted to share this parenting philosophy

Didn't read the whole thread, but I don't see why there can't be a balance? My children are (generally) very well behaved, and I don't feel like they have lost any sense of themselves. They all very much have their own personalities, styles, likes, dislikes, and yet, I still require obedience and respect, and we require it from them for every adult. There are times when they CAN just run around, be silly, be themselves, etc. but there are times when they also MUST behave. A lot of times, I get angry and want to hit people on the head, I want to say unkind things, and want to cover everything in tons of colors....that doesn't mean I do it.

Love is only love if it IS unconditional. My children know I and their father love them completely and unconditionally. We love them when they are good and when they are...well, not. But that does not mean that just because they *want* to go jump off a high bridge, yell at an adult because they don;t want to do what they are asked, or take bottles of paint and squirt them just to see what happens, they should. I feel as parents we are to cultivate who they are and who God made them to be, while training them to be self-controlled, serving, loving, patient, kind, and considerate of others at the same time. Just my 2 cents. Who knows. Maybe I am way off from the whole thread :P

All I know is that my kids are happy, well adjusted children who love to have fun, play, experiment....and I can wholly trust them and know that they will think of others first (ok, most of the time....ha! THey are NOT perfect little angels by any means), obey whatever adult they are with, and like to jump off furniture desginated by me for jumping. Hah!

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Old 06-27-2012, 11:24 AM   #20
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Re: Just wanted to share this parenting philosophy

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Originally Posted by badmisterkitty View Post
I like to parent from a buffet of parenting styles,

Me too. I want a free thinker. But, I want a child who puts others first sometimes, Has empathy and is respectful to adults. Kids learn that from having it modeled.

Instead of saying "I deserve to eat out at a nice restaurant, and everybody else should mind their own business" I would say "Lets take you outside to run so all these people can have some quiet to enjoy their own conversation".


The parent is understanding that the child needs to run and jump, but that other people need to have a nice conversation without a disturbance. Kids see this.

Alfie Kohn doesn't expect perfect behavior, but he doesn't expect kids to railroad everybody else out of extreme specialness.
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