Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

Unconditional Parenting

By Alfie Kohn

  • Publication Date: 2006-03-28
  • Genre: Parenting
4 Score: 4 (From 52 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

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 them.
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.

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Latest User Reviews

  • A must read.

    By Joanne Dougan, M.Ed.
    I've read this book several times and always gain new insights about how to handle everyone, not only my kid. One of three books I recommend to all my clients.
  • Every parent should read this!!

    By Aschmidt87
    Make that parent, grandparent, guardian, teacher, and babysitter! This is a real eye opener. A new wonderful and different look at parenting that could make this world a better place. I will be reading it again and again, as old ways die hard. Wonderful.
  • Eye opening

    By Jhawkev
    This book is amazing and a wonderful gift for all parents, especially first timers. Recommend it to everyone I know!