Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mommy College: Unconditional Parenting

My stack of books has been sitting. I've renewed it twice, but there just isn't enough time to get it all from page to brain.

I realized that one of my books was overdue because someone else had put a hold on it, and so I have to turn it in ASAP AND pay a fee. I almost just returned it, but instead I picked it up to see if I could get something out of it for my $3.25. And let me tell you, this book totally blew my mind.

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason By Alfie Kohn
A Provacative Challenge to the Conventional Wisdom About Discipline

I have read through as much as I can as fast as I can, because I have to return it. It is introducing me to a whole new way of doing this thing called parenting, which is something that I do quite a lot of these days.

I just bought it on Amazon, because I need to finish it.

In a nutshell, every conceivable parenting technique that I have tried is no good! And I have to relearn the entire thing.

Of course, I read all of these books with a grain of salt. This one in particular, I was extremely defensive at the beginning, but now I feel my mind opening and I hope that once I have read the rest I will be able to exhibit more unconditional love (I believe I HAVE this, but not sure if I SHOW it).

Here is just a quick list of food for thought from UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING by Alfie Kohn:

"Principles of Unconditional Parenting

1. Be Reflective.
2. Reconsider your requests.
3. Keep your eye on your long-term goals.
4. Put the relationship first.
5. Change how you see, not just how you act.
6. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
7. Be authentic.
8. Talk less, ask more.
9. Keep their ages in mind.
10. Attribute to children the best possible motive consistent with the facts.
11. Don't stick your no's in unnecessarily.
12. Dont be rigid.
13. Don't be in a hurry."

I love this list. Lately I have been working on 1, 4, 9, 10, and 13. And #3? I couldn't even pretend to answer that for you. So, as of right now, also working on 3.


kristie sessions said...

just put it on hold at my library...

Anonymous said...

The best secular knowledge is based in gospel principles, and you can see that with this list.

Specifically speaking to #10, Elder Holland says, "Think the best of each other, especially of those you say you love. Assume the good and doubt the bad. Encourage in yourself what Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature" (First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1861)."

Also, many of the suggestions remind me of a section of the RS pres training that talks about how to help sisters with their problems. The book counsels to listen closely, express your love and avoid giving advice even when the answers seem obvious. Often when you give advice you take from the other person the experience of seeking and receiving guidance from God. I've thought a lot about the counsel in terms of parenting.

Rachel H said...

definately goes deeper than my standard parental responses! I think we could definately be better in all those areas as well.
I know for me- my parental intentions start out great...but in the "heat" of the moment I usually resort to something less amazing.

Great quotes by Anon too!

HHRose said...

That reminds me of a statement my pediatrician made when the boy was fresh outta the womb: "Newborns are incapable of manipulation. He's not crying with the intention of making you miserable. That's just the bonus."

Now toddlers and older children, on the other hand....

I applaud you for wanting to continue to learn.