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Publisher's Summary

One basic need all children have, educator Alfie 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, 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.
©2005 Alfie Kohn (P)2016 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

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By Heather on 08-18-16

Best parenting book I've read!

Funny, practical, filled with anecdotes and puns between research and a lot of reality checks. It just makes scary sense. I wish the whole world could get this as a required course for having kids and getting into a relationship. The world would be a better place. No scripts for when child said A you say B, but an entire paradigm shift about what you really want your child to become and whether your immediate B will even get you there. This is a total wakeup call, even if you think you're on the right track. We parents can always learn a little more and do a little better so our kids end up stronger, more empathetic as well as independent and healthy.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Sid Horadagoda on 02-28-17

Eye opening, great audio.

Really enjoyed this book. Lots of studies quoted. A must read for those of us living in the west

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By pepperstree on 02-22-17

must read

In the multitude of trends and advice on disciplining practices this book is a breath of fresh air, concentrating on principles of education. When you love your child this way is a no brainier as it does not require that you be mean or manipulative. The only but is that it is really hard work as it requires sooo much patience and often time.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By sarah on 04-15-17

This book has been thought provoking and a revelation.

This audio has been so thought provoking I felt I needed to leave a review (the first I've ever written).

This audio has challenged the way I have been interacting with my child on every level. It's made me stop and think and treat my 5 year old with respect and as little human being in his own right with his own thoughts and feelings.

I'd fallen into the trap of do this, do that, do as I say and then getting cross with him when he didn't, leaving me struggling to get him to comply.

The best words of advice from this audio... talk less, listen more!

We now discuss things, work out solutions together. Explain why we are doing things or not to do things. I'm teaching my son empathy, problem solving, negotiating skills instead of teaching him to just follow rules!

We've a long way to go but Ina few short weeks we're connecting more, have less tears, life is easier and more fun!

Although a little slow to get going, do bare with it because the tools you will take away will be invaluable.

Highly recommended.

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By Dr Jesse J Harvey on 01-22-17

every parent should read this

got through this very easily, great book, easy to listen to, changed the way I view my parenting and my parents

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