Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I’m so enamored with Alfie’s work. It’s validating to hear researchers coming to progressive conclusions about child-rearing.

But what struck me the most about this book was how practical and actionable the advice was, how very non-progressive it is. For instance, if most adults reject autocratic rule, why would we want that for our own children (“Do it because I said so”)? For that matter, why do we (particularly if we’ve been raised in such an authority structure) feel threatened by the idea of seeking compromise or rational discourse with our kids?

I was also very fascinated by the intersection of Kohn’s psychology concepts with that of faith and religion. There are so many points of intersection with fundamentalist or Evangelical notions of authority, image of God, masculinity, punishment, shame, love and forgiveness — most of which have toxic baggage for those of us who have escaped.

I can’t recommend Alfie Kohn’s work enough.



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