As you all know... I LOVE parenting. And most of all I love ALL THINGS "positive parenting" related.
Well this article by Alfie Kohn is going to challenge your perceptions on what it means to be a good parent. I read it a few years ago and this, among other books, articles, and childhood development classes like it, completely changed the way I parent. I wasn't a bad parent- but constantly looking for ways to become a better one is in my nature- I bet it's in a lot of parent's natures.
Let me give you a teaser quote before I send you off to read:
"....... loving our children isn’t enough. We have to love them unconditionally – for who they are, not for what they do.
As a father, I know this is a tall order, but it becomes even more challenging now that so much of the advice we are given amounts to exactly the opposite. In effect, we’re given tips in conditional parenting, which comes in two flavors: turn up the affection when they’re good, withhold affection when they’re not.
Thus, TV’s “Dr. Phil” McGraw tells us in his book Family First that what children need or enjoy should be offered contingently, turned into rewards to be doled out or withheld so they “behave according to your wishes.” And “one of the most powerful currencies for a child,” he adds, “is the parents’ acceptance and approval.” (Steph's Sidenote: This makes me so sad. To suggest that you use LOVE and acceptance as a manipulative tool to shape your child's behavior is sickening. )
Likewise, Jo Frost of “Supernanny,” in her book of the same name, says, “The best rewards are attention, praise, and love,” and these should be held back “when the child behaves badly . . . until she says she is sorry,” at which point the love is turned back on." -Alfie Kohn (Steph's sidenote: Again- ridiculous. Attention, praise, and love are NOT REWARDS! They should be unconditional!)
And now I'll send you off to read and ponder:)