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Posted On 04-20-2008 8:07 PM
Your Name: Megan DiPiero
Email Address: floridamegan@comcast.net
Location: Fort Myers, FL
How did you find our site?: google search after reading Unconditional Parenting
Comment: Loved the Unconditional Parenting DVD!

As a full-time mom, I take my day-to-day work very seriously.  I welcome a thoughful challenge and appreciate the insights of Alfie Kohn and other progressive parent/child advocates.  Alfie Kohn's latest book "Unconditional Parenting" has helped me reevaluate my child-rearing tactics and consider a more loving, respectful, and creative way of relating to my children.  I've been putting the theories to work over the last two weeks and have noticed a positive change in my household.  My two year old son shines when he offers his own suggestions for how to resolve conflicts, and I find that I am more patient and loving even when things are not going as smoothly as I would like. 

The DVD version of the book made sharing Alfie's insights with my husband very easy.  We had an uplifting discussion afterwards and he couldn't wait to put some of the skills to use the following morning.  I especially appreciated how Alfie elaborated on the Ten Principles of Unconditional Parenting.  Alfie is a very engaging speaker and did a fine job including the best points from the book. 

P.S.  Since I so enjoyed this DVD, I hope others will be available in the future.  I would really love to hear more on the topic of "Raising Rebels."   


Posted On 04-04-2008 9:19 PM
Your Name: Lara Wechsler
Email Address: lwechsler@mindspring.com
Location: Brooklyn
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: In the book the conditional parenting is equated with behaviorism, but I also see this unconditional parenting also a behaviorism also. That either way that both ways of thinking, the way the book presents conditional and unconditional parenting is still working off of the old Skinner type psychology. It is just that in the book Kohn feels that unconditional parenting will get better behavioral results in the long run that conditional parenting. On the one hand I really like the book and I really like it because it breaks me of some traditions I do think are a bit controlling and agree are not so important to establish this controlling behavior. But on the other hand I think not all parents can be these kind of "good" parents based on their lifestyle and personalities. I also think that children are separate individuals from the beginning and that they are smart enough to know when parents truly love them even when they get punished or rewarded or any of that stuff mentioned as conditional in the book. I was punished in all the "conditional" type ways said in the book and I always knew at every moment that my parents loved me even when I ranted and threw fits about how much I hated them. My parents may not have been perfect parents in many ways but one thing I did always know about my parents is that they always loved me and still do, but as a child as young as I can remember I knew that all people have their personality quarks in dealing with things, my parents too. I would explain that to my friends even, they would say things like boy your parents yell a lot and I would say, well they are from a certain hot kind of cultural background that is louder then others and my mom's voice sounds harsh but she really is not, etc. Now as an adult even though my parents are of mediterranean background hot tempered and all, I am not.

Posted On 04-02-2008 10:17 PM
Your Name: A Massey
Email Address: alesia_massey@earthlink.net
Location: Oakland, California
How did you find our site?: Book
Comment: Aron M: I think Alfie's book leads us exactly to the point you are implicating. Children who are reared with conditional love grow up to be adults who create societies that manifest those values on every level. Want to change the world? Start rearing children with unconditional love. Next step? Check out Non-violent Communication (www.cnvc.org). I couldn't help but wonder if there was cross-pollination. The NVC organization teaches the same principles that Alfie K does when it comes to communicating non-violently with children. If you appreciate Unconditional Parenting, you will also appreciate NVC (aka Compassionate Communication), which takes these principles and teaches us how to apply them to ourselves and EVERYONE.

Posted On 03-30-2008 5:43 AM
Your Name: Tim McIntire
Email Address: timothy.mcintire@carneysandoe.com
Organization: Carney Sandoe and Associates
Location: Boston and San Diego
How did you find our site?: NAIS Independent School Magazine
Comment: On the way to something else, I finally made time to read Alfie Kohn's article in Independent School magazine on Progressive Education.  While I found it so well informed and accurate, it was numbing to me in the sense of responsibility.  You see, I have been the head of a school that claims to be progressive, but the article so clearly speaks to all the ways my former school -- Francis Parker in San Diego -- is so much more Traditional than Progressive.  The reasons for this are quite understandable and even organic, perhaps,but somehow, ttoday the vision for educating progressively has little currency and is but the occasional unintended consequence,as opposed to the outcome from an intentionally progressive program.  Given the pressures that Dr. Kohn articulates and the realities of running "a business" that gives the clients -- the parents, the universities, and the government -- what they say they want, is ultimately difficult to sell or sustain progressive vision much less progressive praxis.  Fortunately, that the issue is raised so clearly is helpful in our practicing education and our understanding what happens in learning and teaching.  Thanks for a provocative and eminently helpful article.

 


Posted On 03-23-2008 7:05 AM
Your Name: chris r.
Email Address: bendyford@hotmail.com
Location: new york city
How did you find our site?: google after reading book
Comment: As the mother of a special needs child I found your book to be enlightening and frustrating at times, because a lot of theory behind special needs is based in skinner and "rewarding" good behavior or even speech, in my son's case.  But I did identify with the less control and unconditional parenting part, because I've always done that.  The other mothers look at me as a laid back or worse, "slacker", mom, when I know what I'm doing is raising independent thinkers.  I wish you would write a book or have more talks about raising special needs kids within the unconditonal parenting umbrella.  thank you.

Posted On 03-21-2008 8:12 PM
Your Name: Veronica Legion
Email Address: dutchess2288@yahoo.com
Organization: A.R.M. of NH
Comment: I felt as though the topics discussed in his literature are very well suited to be applied to modern issues at hand.

Posted On 03-18-2008 4:23 PM
Your Name: Michele Hyndman
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: I loved Unconditional Parenting.  It really changed the way I parent my daughter.  It's been a while since I read it so don't remember if it refers to research done by Daniel Siegel.  I think the principles are very interconnected.

Here's a link to an article:
http://www.maximumbalance.com/community/node/919

Posted On 03-18-2008 9:38 AM
Your Name: Aaron M
Email Address: roni240@msn.com
How did you find our site?: my wife
Comment: I wanted to know the thoughts of Alfie or anyone else who has read and understood Alfie Kohn's books, if what the core beliefs in the books can also apply to our society? For example, how we have policies and laws that punish behavier instead of looking for the True problem of what caused the behavier. Maybe taking a look at not just the person's behaveir but also the environment and circumstances that may have been a factor in one's behavier. Can we apply the principles in Alfie's books to deal with todays societies problems, like crime, poverty, etc.? It almost seems as if the principles put part of the blame on the environment, or taking a stand on understanding one's behavier to truely help then to dicount the needs of human weakness.

 What I want to mainly address is by using these principles of understanding, if you may, to fix problems of inequality and poverty. I hear a lot of people argue the fact that "poor people are lazy and just don't want to work". "If you don't work, then that person deserves to not have basic needs. evidently saying that caring, giving, charity, is not exeptable unless you meet my standards. Like the book "Unconditional Parenting", is it also possible and probable to have an unconditional society as a whole, providing for the least among us without strings attached?...


Posted On 03-16-2008 6:05 PM
Your Name: Dianna Wilson
Email Address: dmwilson1965@yahoo.com
Organization: student, business education program
Location: Connecticut
How did you find our site?: Unconditional Parenting book
Comment: Has everyone, including Mr. Kohn, heard of John Rosemond, a popular lecturer and family psychologist who writes a weekly column in our state's biggest paper about children and their behavior?  Well, he just came to our area and here are some quotes from his lecture, as published by the Hartford Courant:

 "Children shouldn't be able to carry on a comfortable conversation with adults. Children should be intimidated by adults," said Rosemond. "Fifty years ago, children were afraid of their parents.  Today, parents are afraid of their children."  He went on to say, "The greatest service you can give to American children is to get uninvolved with them and to disregard them as the simple, little people that they are."

Of course, he said much more, but I did not attend his lecture and am pulling from the newspaper article.  I was wondering what other people, especially Mr. Kohn, says about Mr. Rosemond's view.  Apparently, Rosemond has a book called, "Parenting by the
Book: Biblical Wisdom for Raising Your Child."  He is also writing one called, "The Diseasing of America's Children," which he says will "blow the lid off of this whole ADD farce."

No wonder educators and parents are so confused about what to do!  Is this guy, Rosemond, helping or hurting?  I'd like to hear your thoughts.


Posted On 03-13-2008 11:33 AM
Your Name: Audrey May
Email Address: elb1279@yahoo.com
Location: New York
How did you find our site?: Back of book
Comment: I read the book, Unconditional Parenting.  What an eye opener.  As a teacher and mother, I will use your tips and keep the research alive in my mind. Thank you for the work you have done and all that you contribute to our society.  While reading Unconditional Parenting all I could keep thinking was how everything just made sense.  I've been practicing not using punishments or rewards with my 3 year old (previously used rewards and time-outs) and I consider him to be in a form of "detox." He still uses terms such as I "earned" it didn't I? We're adjusting though, and I feel so excited and thankful to have read your book.  How true that time-outs only breed misbehavior.  In just a week's time my son works with me and I with him.  He even says I love you three times as much (as a guess).  I can see him feel empowered and he flourishes because of it.  Gone are his days of looking frustrated and out of control.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Posted On 03-11-2008 4:18 PM
Your Name: Kerry Thorne
Email Address: kerrythorne@yahoo.com
Location: Los Angeles
How did you find our site?: I read Unconditional Parenting
Comment: I am a counselor at an agency that conducts parent workshops using the curriculum called "The Incredible Years."  This curriculum uses praise and stickers among other things.  Has Alfie Kohn done any critique of this curriculum or do you any know of any articles critical of it.  I haven't been able to find any.  Perhaps I need to write something myself.  Alas, if I only had more time. Thanks!
Kerry Thorne

Posted On 03-04-2008 11:11 AM
Your Name: Julie H.
Email Address: swedishsun@yahoo.com
Organization: parent
Location: Mt. Laurel, NJ
How did you find our site?: book cover
Comment: Your ideas are so great, valid & well-supported by research.

Wondered if you'd be available to speak to school districts? I would love my 6 year old daughter's school district to hear your ideas.  


Posted On 02-23-2008 4:01 AM
Your Name: Julie Gerland
Email Address: julie@suryoma.com
Organization: The Holistic Parenting Program: Preconception to Birth & Beyond...
Location: France
How did you find our site?: internet
Comment: Thank you Alfie for a wonderful and much needed wake up call to the power and overwhelming need of children for this unconditional love. We've all been children and we all need this love! But, if we haven't had it it is not so easy to pass it on as parents. However it is possible for each and every one of us to contact their perfect inner (archetypal) parents to receive this love at any time of life, then passing this on to their children becomes the most natural thing in the world. As part of our program we accompany parents in the pre-conception preparation period to heal their early childhood trauma's (many are even before birth and around the birth) and change limiting core beliefs resulting from these traumas about themwelves and the world in which they live. We see the damage and years of pain and suffering inflicted through unconscious parenting. Our clients reveal, each time, the underlying need to be recognised,accepted and loved for who they are. Not receiving this leads to rage, violence and/or depression and dis-ease. Alfie your insistance on "meeting our needs" is VITAL! On all levels of our existence: physical (biochemical), emotional, mental and spritual. If we wish to live in happy, abundant and healthy societies we need to teach everyone what our basic needs are and how to fulfil them. Your book, Unconditional Parenting is now on our essential reading list for students on our (international) Holsitic Parenting Educator Program. (I haven't read the others yet!) Once again, thank you, and keep up the good work! Please let me know when you books are available in French and Spanish. best wishes, Julie

Posted On 02-22-2008 3:28 PM
Your Name: Gina M. Bettelyoun
Email Address: gina.bettelyoun@k12.sd.us
Location: Rapid City, Sout Dakota
How did you find our site?: www.teachers.net
Comment: Hello, Mr. Kohn. The "Homework Myth" is right on the target. I did my thesis on the benefits of homework and found the same to be true. I was just discussing this topic with some of my fellow teachers and they were astonished that homework didn't actually benefit the students like they thought it did.

I don't think it's just a matter of teachers who keep handing out homework day after day. I think a majority of the teachers just don't know the research. I am now sharing the teachers.net site with all my fellow teachers to bring awareness and get them talking about this topic.  Thanks for sharing your work with us.


Posted On 02-19-2008 1:25 AM
Your Name: Vidia Kusumasari
Email Address: vidia.kusumasari@gmail.com
Organization: Centre for Children's Education and Psychological Study in Indonesia
Location: Indonesia
How did you find our site?: by google
Comment:

I am interested in your paradigm about the better education for children, especially about standarized testing. I am in Indonesia and nowadays that is the issue in our education's system. it's all about UAN (Ujian Akhir Nasional - The state's standarized testing for the last grade in elementary, junior high and senior high school). the government made this policy in order (like they said) to increase the education's quality in our country. therefore they decide that standard score which must be obtained by students so that they are acquired to be passed from the school. yap, it's very strange and bizzare, even to think about.

i am now running the NGO, and i want to make research about UAN so that i can ensure all of those policy maker to realize how useless the UAN they've made. and now, i am still finding and collecting any ideas and opinions to do my research.


Posted On 02-18-2008 8:48 PM
Your Name: John Morse
Email Address: jmscreb@verizon.net
Organization: Innovative Learning Center
Location: Albany NY area
How did you find our site?: Referral by Jim Matthews of Siena College, NY
Comment:

It's wonderful to see a resource such as yours, describing the way that 'teaching' (I prefer 'facilitation') really could and should take place in group settings.  Sorry to say, the schools I visited still have individual desks, all lined up in tidy rows, all facing forward, with minimum of students' work on walls; one classroom's walls showed only tests with 90% or higher grades.  That's bound to cause a lot of resentment among students.


Posted On 02-16-2008 4:44 PM
Your Name: Peta Jones
Email Address: pajones@westnet.com.au
Location: Australia
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: How do I find schools in Melbourne, Australia that subscribe to the Alfie Kohn philosophy of education? Our daughter has just started school and on her first day, brought home a "Fifi Ferret's Flute" reader and a sticker for being "the best" at some game ! (and, yes, we did research the school before-hand!). Help. Peta.

Posted On 02-07-2008 10:20 AM
Your Name: Brandy Brow
Email Address: thebuildingbrows @ gmail . com
Location: Vermont
How did you find our site?: Wikipedia through a NCLB law Google search
Comment: Please check your schools for policies on health hazards like lice and if your nurses are complying with these policies.

We just learned that our district has a policy that requires removal of lice-infected children from the classroom and that they must prove nit-free upon inspection to return, but that the nurses are not following this policy. And two of three principals had no idea. They are shocked and angered.

The nurses cite direction from the Vermont Department of Education that they cannot prohibit a child from attending school due to the No Child Left Behind act regardless of health issues. Nor will our nurse notify all school parents of an incident--just parents in the classroom where it occurred despite the fact that several grades eat and play together.

As a result, I may pull my children from school (I have six children, four in school), and then MY children will be left behind because of health risks imposed by the NCLB act--or education official's misinterpretation of it. I'm still searching for what actual law states.

I urge all of us to fight this injustice.

Those wishing to contact me may reach me through my blog: http://www.thebuildingbrows.com The more of us who band together to fight this, the better chances we have of seeing success and unnecessary health risks to our children and families eliminated.

Posted On 01-25-2008 11:03 AM
Your Name: Earl
Email Address: earl.d.russell@us.army.mil
Location: California
How did you find our site?: Research
Comment: To Mr. Kohn and all readers of this site;

 

I must respond to a posting by one Rachel Brown. No matter what ones beliefs are, what color they are, what culture they came from, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Rachel you and many others like you wonder why some people choose not to follow certain religions and thoughts of those that do. Many are turned off by the level of hypocrisy that is evident in many of those that call themselves Christians. How can you call yourself a Christian and think that you are better than anyone else by labeling a person as ignorant? Would Jesus ever have spoken that way about anyone? I think not! You are so closed minded and think that only what you believe is correct because what you believe is written in a book that "must be" or "has to be" true. I believe in Jesus because that is what I choose to believe in but I have many questions that nobody can give an answer to other than the bible says so. What kind of answer is that? If we want to go that route then whatever is written in the satanic bible must be true too? How in the world can you claim to be or feel that you are any better than anyone else or any other group. You could have simply disagreed, there is nothing wrong with having a different opinion. Instead you posted comments that aimed to strike out at someone in a vengeful type of way and vowed to somehow try to tarnish what this man believes in by posting to all of your holy websites....who is the hypocrite now? Are you really conducting God's work by lashing out at someone? People claiming to be of religion often times are the ones verbally bashing people for what they believe in not realizing just how negative, hurtful, and anti Christian they are being. Choose one side of the fence or the other......be a devout Christian and serve God by being a good person and treating ALL people with respect or be an a$$ and pretend you are better than the person next to you because of what YOU perceive to be right and the best for mankind.

I do not completely agree with everything Kohn says but I tell you what, as an educator he is right on! I agree with some of his views concerning discipline but not with others. I agree with some of his views concerning religion but not others. I do know that he speaks, studies, and writes to expand people's knowledge therefore offering in many ways to help people.  Rachel what do you do in your everyday life to honestly help people?

By the way Rachel, you destroyed Kohn's book because you didn't believe what he had to say in it. Did you destroy your bible? Many people do not believe a lot of what is written in the bible so shouldn't you destroy it? I didn't think so. Once again you are blind to only what you believe in. What if all that you believe in isn't really true? Worse than that, what if everything that you believe in is true? God surely is unhappy with you for lashing out at a fellow human and trying to get others to do so. I truly feel sorry for you and hope that you find it in yourself to somehow become a better person. None of us are perfect and we need to acknowledge that while we also understand that others believe differently than we do. And people wonder why others do not want to be part of a "religious" community or following. Hmmmm I wonder why?

Earl


Posted On 01-21-2008 1:54 PM
Your Name: Daniel Leonard
Location: Orlando, Florida
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: I was looking for a book on education and a friend recommended The Homework Myth, so I googled it and found the site, but ended up choosing The Schools Our Children Deserve (though I do plan on reading The Homework Myth eventually for fun) to use in my research project for my AP English Language class, ironically to "prepare me" for the national exam at the end of the year.  I enjoyed the book very much- it put into words different things that I've seen in the many classes I've been in, both thought-provoking and mostly student run classes as well as classes ruled by tests and grading. 

Posted On 01-18-2008 8:52 AM
Your Name: M Jackson
Organization: Greensboro College
Location: North Carolina
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: Mr. Kohn has been assigned to me as a "Pioneer of Education".  I must present a short powerpoint in my college class on his beliefs and who he is.  Your site definately helps with all of that.  I am going to purchase a few of his books for reference as well.  It seems that he has some great new looks on education.  It is time to break the old mold and quit doing the same old thing.

Posted On 01-17-2008 6:55 AM
Your Name: Jack Stanesa
Email Address: Jack@stanesa.com
Organization: student, Lake Braddock Secondary School
Location: VA
How did you find our site?: School Project
Comment: I am an 8th grade student at Lake Braddock Secondary School doing a project about reducing or getting rid of homework. I want to petition to the principle to put regulations on homework. I often have more than 5 hours of homework a day. Also, every single day I get math homework, which seems like busy work. I have read allot of your views on homework, and I am wondering if you can offer any suggestions on how I can make a convincing point to school officials.  Thank you.

Posted On 01-11-2008 4:10 PM
Your Name: Debora Morey
Email Address: dkdreamscape@hotmail.com
Organization: student
Location: Torrington, Ct
How did you find our site?: researching an assignment
Comment: I was doing an assignment for school and came across -The Homework Myth- and and interview with Education World.    The topic for school was to write an essay on Education.

I have a ten year old boy with whom homework is an issue.  He refuses to do it and we go round and round.  So I made this my topic.  I  decided that if a child must do an assignment for school, why not let it be reading.  Most schools want children to read 20 minutes along with the homework.  I think reading should replace homework.

What do you think?  I have been reading through your articles and find them good reading.     Thanks for your input into my assignment.  (though unknownly)


Posted On 01-08-2008 6:22 PM
Your Name: Gail LeBow
Email Address: gail@SpanishSimplified.com
Organization: JRI Press
Location: Boise Idaho
How did you find our site?: Your USA Editorial (12/26/07)via HGSE email
Comment: Great editorial,  Alfie, and right on!!!  I especially liked the reference to Crisis in Education (1958) because that's the year I graduated from high school.  I graduated from Battin High School, now Elizabeth High School, and am writing because of  the comment (below) by Manuel Rodriguez (1.06/08) who is an ESL teacher there now. I was one of those high school kids  who really wanted to learn.  However, except for one or two teachers, learning was not high on the agenda then and it appears that not much has changed in 50 years.    I was frequently in trouble with my teachers and the administration.   Nevertheless I credit my high school education with inspiring me to become a teacher.  It was so bad that I was determined to find people who knew how to teach and to learn from them.   In spite of the Board and administration one teacher CAN make a difference.  It sure did for me.  So please hang in there if you possibly can. 

Posted On 01-06-2008 6:51 PM
Your Name: Manuel Rodriguez
Email Address: mnrod02@gmail.com
Organization: Elizabeth Board of Ed
Location: NJ
How did you find our site?: Reading about Standardized Tests
Comment: I am a teacher at Elizabeth High School, NJ. I teach ESL. My students and I are victims of the test-addition affecting our system. The state fires administrators, and as a result administrators want to have something to show the state as a "prove we are doing something". Teachers are bombarded with unnecessary paper work, and adminnistrators want to teach our classroom from behind their desk. They even tell you how to seat your students, how to teach, how to plan a lesson, and we are actually teaching for the students to pass the HSPA, not for the students to learn academic content. Teachers take administration courses and find the way to become administrators, and when that happens,  they feel in a position to dictate what teachers have to do. That is, in my opinion, totally wrong. I find it disrespectful.

 Our school daily schedule is from 7:30 AM to almost 4:00 PM, and on top of that, we should give homework everyday. Students are exhausted, and of course most of them do not do the homework. It will continue to get worse. Teachers are not seen as professionals anymore. We are treated as we were improvising or not knowing what we are doing.

I have had students who have failed standardized tests and are successful professionals nowadays.

We the teachers who care, together with you, should all get together and gain the respect we deserve as professionals.

Thank you for your website. I already ordered your book (The Case Against Standardized Testing) from amazon.com.


 

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