Book recommendation: parenting

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
John Bailout
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 4:21 pm

Book recommendation: parenting

Post by John Bailout » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:18 pm

Hey Parents,

Looking for a book to give me some good guidance on how to raise a kid, in particular when it comes to discipline / good parenting.

I have some ideas, concepts from how I was raised, but am looking for some good reading people here recommend. I think wife and I generally fall in the more structured, kind-but-firm category, and not in the let-em-run-wild camp, but that's just a hunch :)

Junior is 12 mos old, and starting to show a temper, so I want respond with a thoughtful and consistent approach. Hoping that a good book might teach me to a better job

I already read and implemented "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" - great advice, worked like a charm, saved our sanity (that said, it is one of the worst written books I have seen in a while, the critical info could be condensed on a single page).

I saw the other thread and earlier threads going on, but those were more about becoming a new parent, I want to learn how to be a good parent for a growing child.

Thanks!

harrychan
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by harrychan » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:34 pm

I've enjoyed "Dare to Discipline" by James Dobson. He is a Christian author and his methods are more old school then the predominan 'new age' parenting where you seem to hear everywhere.

I also enjoyed reading "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua. Note that the latter book is NOT an instruction manual for parenting. It is a memoir of how Amy Chua raised her daughters intending to be a uber strict mother but failed. Regardless of how Wall St. Journal spinned her book, it gives you a glimpse of Western vs. Eastern ways of parenting.

Enjoy!
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

rainyday1
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:22 am
Location: London

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by rainyday1 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:59 am

Try John Rosemond's " Making the Terrible Twos Terrific" - a life-saver when the oldest was a toddler.

and "Simplicity Parenting" - not so much about discipline but an excellent read before kids' stuff gets out of control and multiplies...

Pediatrician recommended "1,2,3 Magic" by James Phelan ( I think that's the author's name) for my difficult youngest child. Haven't picked it up yet, but thought I would pass it along

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:22 am

I recommend books that cover evidenced-based parenting. That is, books that recommend methods proven to work by research and experimentation.

The best is probably the Kazdin Method:

http://www.alankazdin.com/

It has a DVD and is easy to absorb.

Note that many, perhaps most, books on parenting are opinion-based and some are counter-productive in the sense that they recommend methods that are known to increase rather than decrease the unwanted behaviors.

Other books:

Incredible Years is a book from a training course so it's not as good for stand-alone self instruction as is the Kazdin method:

http://www.amazon.com/Incredible-Years- ... 497&sr=1-2

Parenting with Reason covers topics broader than just disipline:

http://www.parentingwithreason.com/

Here's an article on evidence based methods:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles ... ut-control

Note that the author mentions studies, hypothesis tests, research findings. You will not find this in most parenting books.

I found that evidence-based methods worked like a charm.

bungalow10
Posts: 2207
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:28 am
Location: Chicago North Shore

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by bungalow10 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:07 am

We like Love and Logic. There are several books, videos, classes, etc.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

Kuota Rider
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by Kuota Rider » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:10 am

I second anything by John Rosemond; very old school discipline.

epilnk
Posts: 2633
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by epilnk » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:58 pm

There is NO ONE CORRECT way to parent a child. Many people do believe they've found "the way", and will tell you so. Most of these people have only one child. :lol: There are no magic instruction manuals with "the answers", no matter how hard your favorite sister in law evangelizes about her favorite guru. The approach that works for her child, or even most children, may not work for yours.

There will be some approaches more suited to you than others. No book or method will be successful if you don't buy into the approach, or are unable to suspend your skepticism for long enough to give it a fair trial. There are many many books that have helpful suggestions, many with valid approaches that contradict one another, so you will need to wade through a few of them to find the ones that 1) click with you and 2) click with your child(ren). I recommend checking out an armload of books at the library, skimming them to weed most out, then returning to check out a more selective subset. FWIW this is how I became a boglehead - I skimmed a bunch of investment books until I figured out which were sensible, which naturally led to Vanguard. Parenting books are less straightforward, though - I mentioned in another thread that I loved the advice in Healthly Sleep Happy Child, but my son turned out to be a Ferber baby. You need to watch, listen, and adapt.

I personally despise 1,2,3 Magic and [edit] did not care for Love and Logic. But these approaches do work for some families and you should certainly not reject them just because I don't like them. My personal favorite parenting books are written by Alfie Kohn (Punished by Rewards, Unconditional Parenting). Most people are frustrated by Kohn because he's useless if you're looking for answers (he tells you what not to do, but not what to do). But he works for us. One of my kids always seems to be 2 standard deviations off the mean on any given trait and there's not a book on the planet that can be used as an owner's manual for him. Nobody seems to know what to do with him, including me; he inspires much laughter and headshaking and throwing up of hands from all who know him. But he's turning out pretty well nevertheless. Trial and error is the most useful of parenting techniques.
Last edited by epilnk on Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bungalow10
Posts: 2207
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:28 am
Location: Chicago North Shore

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by bungalow10 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:12 pm

epilnk wrote:I personally despise 1,2,3 Magic and Love and Logic.
I've never heard of the first, but I'd love to know why you despise Love and Logic (despise is a strong word). It's worked so well for us, and I like that it teaches my kids to consider the consequences of their behaviors (good or bad). It also seems to work well with small children, especially the idea that you give kids two options and they get to choose - I think with my kids it fosters independence (although they are pretty independent by nature anyway).
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

epilnk
Posts: 2633
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by epilnk » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:55 pm

bungalow10 wrote:
epilnk wrote:I personally despise 1,2,3 Magic and Love and Logic.
I've never heard of the first, but I'd love to know why you despise Love and Logic (despise is a strong word). It's worked so well for us, and I like that it teaches my kids to consider the consequences of their behaviors (good or bad). It also seems to work well with small children, especially the idea that you give kids two options and they get to choose - I think with my kids it fosters independence (although they are pretty independent by nature anyway).
You're right - despise is much too strong a word for L&L, I shouldn't have lumped those together. I'll go back and edit my post. It's been a long time now and I don't recall everything I disliked about L&L but I believe I found it too simplistic, prescriptive, and formulaic. Some of the ideas were good but those tended to be ones I was already using (I didn't read this book until I was parenting my more challenging second child), such as the two option choice. And while I'm a big believer in allowing children to make choices and experience natural consequences, I don't think I liked their approach. But as I said, I'm fuzzy on the details.

livesoft
Posts: 62776
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by livesoft » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:07 pm

My parents beat the crap out of their kids. I know that doesn't work.

A mantra I've used is to give the kids a sense of control. Note the words "sense of".
Examples:
a. You can clean up your room now and be able to have a sleep over tonight or you can clean up your room tomorrow morning, but no sleepover this weekend. It's your choice.
b. You can mow the yard today before it rains or you can mow the yard tomorrow while it is raining. It's your choice.
c. What would you rather do: Take your bath now and get dessert afterwards or keep playing and take your bath later, but no dessert?

I also personally believe that kids are meant to test your limits. So make those limits clear and never never never renege on them. So don't make any threats that you are not willing to follow through on immediately. As in, "Hey you in the back seat. Stop poking your brother or I will stop the car and you will walk home from here." A nice 5 mile walk does wonders. Plus the next time you say "... or you will walk home from here" they know you really mean it. You might want to start with a 2 mile walk home though.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Atilla
Posts: 1257
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by Atilla » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:47 pm

Consistency, a regular schedule and loving discipline/guidance in line with the kid's mental ability to absorb it. Stay loose and let the little midget run around naked in the summer in the back yard. Don't sweat the small stuff and make darn sure your marriage is healthy.

That's all you really need to know. The rest will work itself out.

Kids really are like dogs in a way. They're happiest when someone else is in charge...and like Livesoft says - say what you mean and mean what you say. No ifs, ands or buts.
The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.

vtalyan
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:47 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by vtalyan » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:33 pm

I read a lot of books but never considered reading a book after I had my kids. My kids are now 6 and 4 and I agree with Livesoft's advice.

When a child is young he or she does not understand the consequences of their action and punishment does not help. As the kid gets closer to 3 years old, it becomes important to set expectations, and follow through with any punishments.

Both my kids went through a Montessori daycare system and we found the Montessori education system to be very helpful. I find the Montessori philosophy to be very practical and also the teachers are very helpful in understanding the various stages of a child's development.

I think it is much more important to know your kid and if you always act in the kid's best interest you will be good parent.

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:23 am

A startling percentage of child-behavior books are filled with advice that sounds reasonable, fits in with what parents believe already about child-rearing, and is—as Dr. Kazdin proves—guaranteed to fail.
http://www.alankazdin.com/

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:48 am

Most, perhaps all, books, even the good ones, recommend using time out. The good books recommend time out for behaviors that can't be ignored.

I think the view is that time out offers a mild punishment and allows the kid time to get control.

The interesting thing about time out is that it has an Achilles' heel: the kid must cooperate for you to even put them is time-out, but if they were cooperating in the first place they would not need punishment. Therefore, you sometimes need the threat of another punishment in order to get a kid into time out. Kazdin recommends taking away a favorite toy - it must be something that does not require cooperation from the kid.

I never had to use it much.

If you use it, learn how to do it. If you do it wrong then it can be counter-productive because the kid gets the reward of lots of attention.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:32 am

John Bailout wrote:I think wife and I generally fall in the more structured, kind-but-firm category, and not in the let-em-run-wild camp, but that's just a hunch.
Have you noticed all the parents that are in the structured, firm camp who have kids that are out of control?

If you don't have a effective strategy for sorting out the effective and ineffective disipline methods or you don't master effective methods you sort out, then your camp or category don't matter.

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:23 am

Many parents think of disipline means punishment for unwanted behavior. But the first definition and the root of disipline is "training"

Praise of wanted behaviors is perhaps the most important principle of disipline.

It's striking how many parenting books never even mention praise. Just go to Amazon and search some of them. Of course, these books tend not to mention evidence either since they don't expect the reader to demand evidence that the methods they recommend actually work.

livesoft
Posts: 62776
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by livesoft » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:04 am

Praise works, but start it early and be consistent. It does almost no good to tell a 17-year old for the first time: "Thanks for calling me when you got to Mary's house. I was worried." However, if you let your 11-year old run over to Mary's house in the dark for a sleepover, you can ask, "Please call me when you get there since it is dark and I need to know that you made it." Then both that night and the next day, "I really appreciate that you didn't forget to call me when you got to Mary's safely."
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:05 am

livesoft wrote:Praise works, but start it early and be consistent. It does almost no good to tell a 17-year old for the first time: "Thanks for calling me when you got to Mary's house. I was worried." However, if you let your 11-year old run over to Mary's house in the dark for a sleepover, you can ask, "Please call me when you get there since it is dark and I need to know that you made it." Then both that night and the next day, "I really appreciate that you didn't forget to call me when you got to Mary's safely."
:thumbsup

zinnia
Posts: 262
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by zinnia » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:21 pm

find a DVD of the movie The Great Santini and watch it

WhiskeyJ
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:27 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by WhiskeyJ » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:10 pm

+1 for happiest baby on the block.
2 young kids, it's the only book I recommend to expecting parents, and we probably read 5 different parenting books.

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:13 pm

John Ballout wrote: think wife and I generally fall in the more structured, kind-but-firm category
I am perhaps over-scrutinizing the OP's post, but it's because I think that pre-conceived notions are perhaps the main reasons parents fail or have difficulty.

If a kid is having a tantrum, what's the kind thing to do? Is it expressing sympathy, lavishing attention, trying to reason?

Or, is it robotically pretending to ignore, appearing to completely withdraw attention, not saying a word, turning your back, putting the kid in what amounts to "timeout in place"?

Guess which one works to reduce the duration of the tantrums and eventually extinguish the unwanted behavior according research findings? Guess which increases the duration, frequency, and intensity of tantrums according to research findings?

(By the way, it's probably OK and right to express a limited amount of human kindness during those early tantrums, but don't overdo it.)

The best technique to keep tantrums to a minimum is arguably neither kind nor firm. Expressing either kindness or firmness involves giving the kid attention for unwanted behavior, attention (even scolding and other negative attention) is rewarding, you get more of what you reward.

Praising the kid when he shows any progress on self-control is the right thing to do. It's kind but I don't think one can call it firm.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

epilnk
Posts: 2633
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by epilnk » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:11 pm

livesoft wrote:My parents beat the crap out of their kids. I know that doesn't work.

A mantra I've used is to give the kids a sense of control. Note the words "sense of".
Examples:
a. You can clean up your room now and be able to have a sleep over tonight or you can clean up your room tomorrow morning, but no sleepover this weekend. It's your choice.
b. You can mow the yard today before it rains or you can mow the yard tomorrow while it is raining. It's your choice.
c. What would you rather do: Take your bath now and get dessert afterwards or keep playing and take your bath later, but no dessert?

I also personally believe that kids are meant to test your limits. So make those limits clear and never never never renege on them. So don't make any threats that you are not willing to follow through on immediately. As in, "Hey you in the back seat. Stop poking your brother or I will stop the car and you will walk home from here." A nice 5 mile walk does wonders. Plus the next time you say "... or you will walk home from here" they know you really mean it. You might want to start with a 2 mile walk home though.
This is similar in practice to what we do, though I tend to frame these differently. Presenting a binary either/or choice usually prompts the challenging one to demand option 3; even as a baby, asking him to point to the blue shirt or the red shirt would prompt him to scream for a green shirt. So I would be more likely to say, "Sleepover? No, because your room is too trashed for guests." "You can have dessert after your shower. Kitchen closes at 8." In neither case have I told the child what to do, I have simply stated my limits and left room for negotiation. This invariably leads to "How about if we clean up...?" and a scurry of activity, and usually leads to two clean kids (10% chance of a screaming fit from 7:55 to 8:30: "I already showered last week! You never let me have dessert, just him! I don't want to get wet!").

I agree on the never ever ever reneging. I avoid making both threats and promises, because once made I consider it important to follow through and often after making a threat a better solution presents itself. But I also prefer to avoid saying "do this or else" and leaving them to decide whether to push it. Only once after asking/telling them to stop fighting did I calmly say, "it's really not safe for me to drive like this, but you can walk from here" and let them out. A couple of times I quietly pulled over and put the car in park and let them sit in uncomfortable silence, but it's been a long time since I've had to do even that. I don't need to make threats or raise my voice when they know my limits.

lovelorne
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:25 am

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by lovelorne » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:15 pm

I followed Dr. Sears. My kids are 23, 18, and 18. Let me brag a bit:

The oldest was high school valedictorian, graduated from University of Florida cum laude, and has the job of her dreams with a major corporation.

One of the twins graduated with high honors, IB, and is in the honors program at UCF (University of Central Florida). She is planning to be a physical therapist.

The other twin has Asperger's, graduated with high honors and finished her Engineering specialty, and stayed closer to home to start college. She is on the dean's list and will transfer to UCF when she finishes her AA in statistics.

They are definitely smart, but more important, they are all nice people. They were involved socially and athletically - they were all in Girl Scouts, and they all earned athletic letters in high school.

My advice? Pick your battles. Insist on personal safety and the safety of others, but let the little battles go. Win the war.

Live what you preach. Your kids will watch you and follow your behavior. If you are a hypocrite, you will lose all respect. If you are compassionate and consistent, your kids will see that and emulate you.

Always remember that your job is to let go. Every day you will teach that child to walk on her own. At 12 months, that day may seem an eternity away. I assure you it is not.

livesoft
Posts: 62776
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by livesoft » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:31 pm

Good replies here. I like them.
lovelorne wrote:....Always remember that your job is to let go. Every day you will teach that child to walk on her own. At 12 months, that day may seem an eternity away. I assure you it is not.
This is so true, but you have to plan for it. It is not just walking (yes,I know that was figurative).

As an example, I had an intern whose parents would not let her drive on the freeway. What a mistake! She will graduate from college without the practice of driving on the freeway and possibly lack of confidence to do so.

When your kid asks you if they can drive to Austin (or any other place many hours away), will you feel afraid and say "No" since you never let them drive to places even closer or will you feel confident that they can accomplish this since they have already driven there with you earlier in their lives a few times?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

CherylMcL
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by CherylMcL » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:42 pm

There's a great new book by Paul Axtell, a communications and personal effectiveness expert, called Ten Powerful Things to Say to Your Kids: Creating the Relationship You Want with the Most Important People in Your Life. It talks more about how to create great relationships with your kids so that you end up having fewer issues with discipline to begin with.

Your words have the power to hurt as well as to nurture. The pattern of your conversations creates an environment that can be healthy or detrimental. The primary conversations that surround your children are your conver­sations—both with them directly and with others while your children are present. And those are the conversations you have the power to change.
One of my favorite sections is about trust, and how you have to begin from a place of trust--not make your kids earn it. It's advice I wish I'd had when my daughter was going through tough times as a teen.

You can find the book at Amazon or download a free chapter from the book's website, tenpowerfulthingstosay.com.

Die Hard
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: West of the Pacific

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by Die Hard » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:55 pm

I'll bet you read all the books and you won't find the answers.

Love your children as if you were their grandparents and they will be just fine.
The best way to teach your children about money is to not have any.............

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:00 am

harrychan wrote:I've enjoyed "Dare to Discipline" by James Dobson. He is a Christian author and his methods are more old school then the predominan 'new age' parenting where you seem to hear everywhere.
Dobson is way out of the mainstream. He thinks a parent should threaten to spank a kid again if the parent does not like the tone or duration of the kid's crying after being spanked the first time:
Real crying usually lasts two minutes or less but may continue for five. After that point, the child is merely complaining, and the change can be recognized in the tone and intensity of his voice. I would require him to stop the protest crying, usually by offering him a little more of whatever caused the original tears.
http://www.troubledwith.com/ParentingCh ... discipline

Most child psychologists recommend that spanking should not be used. A minority recommend "conditional spanking" used as a threat to get kids to cooperate with other forms of punishment like "time out". Most are influenced by the research that indicates that spanking is a factor in poor outcomes for older kids and adults, and view it as unnecessary for parents who master the most effective disipline methods.

In spite of his training, Dobson's stuff is not evidence-based.

Brody
Posts: 983
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:21 am

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by Brody » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:29 am

This is another one of those issues that goes to philosophies.

For instance, I believe a fairly heavy handed (severe consequences) consistent disciplined approach could give me children who were almost always excellently behaved in my presence. However, my goal isn't to have the best behaved children. My goal is to have children who will be ready to take their place in the world without the help of their parents.

I know little of Dobson, but it seems to me that his methods would do the exact opposite of what I want to accomplish. The kids would be well behaved at home out of fear, but would use less safe places to test their limits.

For what it's worth, my children are frequently misbehaved. Yet, everybody tells me what great kids we have and what excellent parents we are. I'm guessing that we are doing something right. The children misbehave when they are at home, but I know that if they are at school or with friends, they don't.

My guess is that if a kid is better out of the parent's presence than in the parent's presence, it is a good sign. I'm also guessing if a kid is behaved at home, and this good behavior is done out of fear of discipline, that kid will be much worse in situations when the fear of discipline is not there.

Also, for what it's worth, most of the misbehavior of my children seems to be simply a function of their ages and their age proximity. We had 4 kids in 40 months and they range from 8 years old to 5 years old. Most of our issues is with their interactions between each other. We are getting much better at NOT handling these interactions, which in turn, is solving much of these issues.

It's helpful to keep in mind that young tired children simply don't have the ability to handle their emotions at times.
Your actions count. Your words don't mean so much.
Love your spouse. Your wife needs to be your top priority as opposed to your children. Want to have a happy family life? Have a happy spouse.
Hugs.
Kisses.
"I love yous."
I am the poster formerly known as Oneanddone.

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:05 am

Here is a good summary of most the the main ideas in Alan Kazdin's book:

http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/10-tips ... id=8549664

Here's what I know is in the book that is missing from that list:

1. Game-playing techniques to make kids more likely to engage in good (or improved) behavior so the parent can ramp it up with the special praising technique (enthusiastic, very specific praise with a smile or touch).

2. Methods for "debugging" your approach to make sure you are doing the effective stuff in the case where it does not appear to be working.

His method is 80% effective with cases that come to the Yale Parenting Center and these are the hard cases, referred by the courts or doctors in some cases, or kids throwing really out there tantrums or engaging in extreme destructive, violent, or dangerous defiance.

IMO, Kazdin's and similar stuff is Parenting 101. But the most effective methods tend to get associated with solving the hard cases. Most parents can get by reading books that are worthless or even counterproductive. Very few parents have an absolute need for disipline methods that work better than the stuff they would do if they never read any books.

John Bailout
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 4:21 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by John Bailout » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:35 pm

Thanks all!

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:30 am

Alfie Kohn (author of Unconditional Parenting) is pretty much the anti-Kazdin. I had never heard of him till I was scanning the thread yesterday and saw that eplink recommends him.

To the extent I understand it, he believes in working with your kid rather than trying to control the kid by praising/bribing/ignoring. Reminds me of one of my parenting mistakes. I tried to get my daughter to learn piano by bribing her with a dog. It did not work well since she had no inherent interest in piano and had stage-fright during recitals. Later she pointed out that we should have encouraged her in art, something she did have an interest in and, of course, did not have to perform in public.

You don't have to control a kid when they are inherently motivated engage in good behavior.

Kohn is the anti-Kazin. But, unlike many parents, he has a very good understanding of Kazdin's stuff and does not commit the cardinal sin of disipline. The cardinal sin of disipline is diligently and persistently using a method that is counter-productive, a method that has been shown to actually increases the unwanted behavior that you are trying to reduce.

snyder66
Posts: 1055
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:46 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by snyder66 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:36 am

We read a ton of books before our first born. I would like to think they helped. But, Nothing can really prepare you for that first night alone with your first child. Scariest moment of my life. I think at a certain point in parenting, your natural instincts and personalities take over. Sure, There is a lot of psycho-babble out there that may or may not help. I think the next you can do is be there, be supportive, but not overbearing. And, Just support their personality and interests.

epilnk
Posts: 2633
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by epilnk » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:54 pm

tadamsmar wrote:Alfie Kohn (author of Unconditional Parenting) is pretty much the anti-Kazdin. I had never heard of him till I was scanning the thread yesterday and saw that eplink recommends him.

To the extent I understand it, he believes in working with your kid rather than trying to control the kid by praising/bribing/ignoring. Reminds me of one of my parenting mistakes. I tried to get my daughter to learn piano by bribing her with a dog. It did not work well since she had no inherent interest in piano and had stage-fright during recitals. Later she pointed out that we should have encouraged her in art, something she did have an interest in and, of course, did not have to perform in public.

You don't have to control a kid when they are inherently motivated engage in good behavior.
I have one who is NOT inherently motivated to engage is good behavior. He never has been. This is the baby mentioned above who when offered a choice between red and blue would scream for green because I didn't offer it. If he so much as suspects the kind of manipulative behavior Kadzin recommends it sends him into full on battle mode. His superpower is willpower. And yet he's turning out well.

There is no one method that "works" for all kids. I suspect every method "works" on at least someone - I'm sure there are outstanding citizens out there who were beaten as kids. Parenting books are excellent places to get ideas and suggestions, but any book that says "do this and it will work" probably belongs in the recycling bin. My child is not a population.

livesoft
Posts: 62776
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by livesoft » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:25 pm

Isn't it amazing how much of ourselves we see in our kids?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Die Hard
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: West of the Pacific

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by Die Hard » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:30 pm

livesoft wrote:My parents beat the crap out of their kids. I know that doesn't work.

A mantra I've used is to give the kids a sense of control. Note the words "sense of".
Examples:
a. You can clean up your room now and be able to have a sleep over tonight or you can clean up your room tomorrow morning, but no sleepover this weekend. It's your choice.
b. You can mow the yard today before it rains or you can mow the yard tomorrow while it is raining. It's your choice.
c. What would you rather do: Take your bath now and get dessert afterwards or keep playing and take your bath later, but no dessert?

I also personally believe that kids are meant to test your limits. So make those limits clear and never never never renege on them. So don't make any threats that you are not willing to follow through on immediately. As in, "Hey you in the back seat. Stop poking your brother or I will stop the car and you will walk home from here." A nice 5 mile walk does wonders. Plus the next time you say "... or you will walk home from here" they know you really mean it. You might want to start with a 2 mile walk home though.
A great bit of wisdom! Thanks for sharing, livesoft
The best way to teach your children about money is to not have any.............

User avatar
tadamsmar
Posts: 7828
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Re: Book recommendation: parenting

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:46 am

epilnk wrote:
tadamsmar wrote:Alfie Kohn (author of Unconditional Parenting) is pretty much the anti-Kazdin. I had never heard of him till I was scanning the thread yesterday and saw that eplink recommends him.

To the extent I understand it, he believes in working with your kid rather than trying to control the kid by praising/bribing/ignoring. Reminds me of one of my parenting mistakes. I tried to get my daughter to learn piano by bribing her with a dog. It did not work well since she had no inherent interest in piano and had stage-fright during recitals. Later she pointed out that we should have encouraged her in art, something she did have an interest in and, of course, did not have to perform in public.

You don't have to control a kid when they are inherently motivated engage in good behavior.
I have one who is NOT inherently motivated to engage is good behavior. He never has been. This is the baby mentioned above who when offered a choice between red and blue would scream for green because I didn't offer it. If he so much as suspects the kind of manipulative behavior Kadzin recommends it sends him into full on battle mode. His superpower is willpower. And yet he's turning out well.

There is no one method that "works" for all kids. I suspect every method "works" on at least someone - I'm sure there are outstanding citizens out there who were beaten as kids. Parenting books are excellent places to get ideas and suggestions, but any book that says "do this and it will work" probably belongs in the recycling bin. My child is not a population.
Kazdin reports that the data from the Yale Parenting Center indicates that the methods work for 80% of the kids that show up at the Yale Parenting Center. The Yale Parenting Center only gets the hard cases. These are cases referred by the courts or doctors or cases of extreme, distructive, dangerous tantrums and/or defiance.

Kazdin reports that some of his methods commonly cause kids to initially go into something like full battle mode. For instance, if you start ignoring tantrums then the tantrums typically get worse for a while. This is not a real problem unless the tantrums are dangerous or destructive, and there are more advanced methods to deal with that circumstance.

By the way, "inherently motivated to engage is good behavior" is from Kohn's stuff, not from Kazdin.

Anyway, most parents have a high tolerance for ineffective or even counterproductive parenting methods. There are very few parents who feel a real need to improve their parenting. Most are sufficiently satisified with sub-optimal results to not bother with any truly serious search for something that works better.

I can see rejecting Kazdin stuff as manipulative. But, even if you intend do that, it's worth understanding Kazdin just to learn to avoid the common counterproductive methods that parents use. Parents often use methods that ramp up unwanted behavior. This is not intentional manipulation, but it amounts to the same thing. It's very common for parents that don't understand Kazdin's applied behaviorism to do this.

Post Reply