Wednesday, September 20, 2006,2:50 PM
Unconditional Parenting
Since my recent posts have sparked so much debate (I cant wait for the mudslinging the linguistic profile post will spark...) I'll keep the trend going with more controversial stuff.

I posted awhile back about reading Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. His books have really caused me to rethink a lot of stuff about education and parenting. I like what he says and generally agree with his ideas. Discussing them with friends and family has been fun. What has been hard is putting them into practice. He says a lot about what's bad for kids, but gives little specifics as to how to do things differently. So I recently got over to his website and its message boards. There are a lot of resources there and the message boards are a great place to discuss practical ideas (and general philosophy of parenting) with others. I've mostly been lurking, but hope to jump in on the conversation soon.

What is interesting is how almost anti-religious the boards are. Many people there see religious people as cruel parents who show only conditional love to children and support stuff like spanking and harsh disciplene. I was attracted to Kohn's ideas because I am a Christian and dislike the conceptions they have of most christians (although I admit the conception is based in truth). I think it will be fun to join the discussion and learn things. Perhaps I can be a new kind of christian there, but I mostly want to be a mom trying to discover how best to love her daughter.

Anyway as for the controversial stuff... I read this great quote on one of the threads that I wanted to share -
"When a child hits a child, we call it aggression.
When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility.
When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault.
When an adult hits a child, we call it discipline." - Haim Ginott
So thats where I'm at. Trying to discover how to love, model, and teach without resorting to manipulation or violence. And I'm discovering that's its way harder than it seems. I find myself so focused on "me" and "my needs" that I try to manipulate and control Emma all the time. So I'm grateful for a place to test ideas, dialogue, and learn.


posted by Julie at 2:50 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 9/22/2006 12:11:00 AM, Blogger Charlotte Wyncoop

    And when an adult hits a child how often is it anger or frustration not teaching.

    On the other hand, I'm looking forward to following your link and seeing if they've got good ideas...

  • At 9/25/2006 07:48:00 AM, Blogger Shoshana

    Unfortunately, some kids will ignore you until they're spanked. But I do agree that there is a BIG difference between spanking in anger, and spanking as punishment. (interesting the quote about an adult hitting an adult being assault. Some cultures still use corporal punishment on adults.) If I lose my temper at my kids, I like to give myself a time out (if feasible). Mommy doesn't mind going to her room for a while, and it makes a big difference in my patience level.


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