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Posted On 11-17-2012 3:21 PM
Your Name: Jeri Reid
Email Address:
Location: Connecticut
How did you find our site?: not paying attention
Comment: How delightful! You are all about natural flow! You are all about thwarting manmade doctrines, the "should be's" of life... you confirm freedom of thought and being... and with that I commend your messege and confirmation for all who find your work to be of sound inner peace! 

Posted On 11-08-2012 9:15 AM
Your Name: Dr Gordon Gregory
Email Address:
Organization: none
Location: Sheffield, UK
How did you find our site?: google

I only discovered Mr Kohn's books about 3 weeks ago and have got half way through "punished by rewards".

First I would like to express complete confusion at the number of internet critics who claim Mr Kohn’s books to be biased and one sided in their interpretation of behaviourist literature.  In fact the account of the behaviourist point of view was so balanced that it almost convinced me of its validity (to an extent)
I am really enjoying the book for a number of reasons but most particularly as I realised and developed a similar philosophy as a teenager and after becoming a dad at 19, I have bought up my children in a similar philosophy....

I would like to recount a perfect experience of the intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation in me.  When I qualified as a doctor I loved my job and worked for a fairly good salary, working beyond my hours, as we all do, with no resentment.  I was happy in my job, even when it was a bit crappy.

Then I became a locum doctors for 2 years.  This meant I was paid per hour.  My earning sky-rocketed, but I then found my enjoyment of the job went, my bank balance, even with me consciously telling myself not to let it, became my extrinsic motivation. I have now moved back to a salary but the trick away from extrinsic motivation is far harder than the trip to it...

[edited for length]

Posted On 10-23-2012 9:50 AM
Your Name: Brian
Email Address:
Location: Milford, NJ
How did you find our site?: Very inviting...just kidding, via Google search
Comment: I've been a fan of Mr. Kohn's since "You Know What They Say" which I read back in 1992. I think quite often about Mr. Kohn's criticism of rewards, and about a process he suggests could be used to eliminate a behavior (reward it for a period of time, and then take the reward away).  As I was thinking about using this method with the behaviors I don't like in my own kids, I first of all was wondering if any parents have attempted this, and if so, what the results were.  It seems a little perverse to actually reward "bad behavior", and so I'm wondering perhaps if what rewards do effectively, is convey values, what authorities regard as important, even if they do not induce compliance.  So, transitioning from parenting to the workplace, even if the use of raises or merit pay does not directly lead to workplace achievement, it does at the very least convey the message that achievement and merit are important.


Posted On 10-10-2012 1:27 PM
Your Name: Diane Carothers
Email Address:
Location: Carol Stream, IL
How did you find our site?: It was mentioned at the talk last night.
Comment: I attended your talk at Glenbard South High School last night and first of all, Will you marry me? Just kidding. (sort of) Second, I would like to encourage you to keep going out and speaking to people because everybody needs to hear what you have to say. It was obvious to me that several people didn't really hear you but hopefully you have planted a seed in their minds. Even if you only opened the eyes (and mind) of one person, just think of what that will mean for their children and their descendants. You definitely inspired me to change my ways.

Posted On 10-09-2012 10:03 PM
Your Name: Monika Moro
Email Address:
Location: Lombard IL
How did you find our site?: GPS presentation
Comment: Thank you very much for the lecture tonight, it was brilliant.


I wish for all people to hear your message and be able to change and live it. Let's teach our kids love and not fear. Instead of believing that life is tough and training our kids to be tough to survive, we can choose to change the world to be kind, loving and fair, so it is safe for our kids to be kind, loving, fair and gentle too.

Posted On 10-08-2012 8:18 AM
Your Name: Sheila Woodby
How did you find our site?: Family Circle Magazine
Comment: I read your article on to much homework for kids. I just want to tell you that it is the most intelligent article that I have read in a long time. I agree with you 100% ,when my boys were in school the afternoons were pure hell with all the homework they had to do before ball practice, bed or anything els. I was SO glad when they got out of school. NO MORE HOMEWORK. Keep up the good work. Maybe someday kids and patents will not have to go through what I we did when they go to school. Sheila

Posted On 10-07-2012 7:30 AM
Your Name: Richard Hill
Location: Sacramentto
How did you find our site?: Google
Comment: Wow, I am so glad to find this site! Alfie has a great works and I admire him. Thank you so much for sharing this info with us! Regards from CA!

Posted On 10-01-2012 1:33 PM
Your Name: Collin
Email Address:
How did you find our site?: Read book
Comment: I am a sophomore in high school, and I recently read "The Case Against Standardized Tests" and I agreed with alot of the points in the book. I remember being the one that asked too many questions in grade school and middle school, and being taught to conform, and the book had almost a liberating effect. I wish more of today's students, as well as the adults, would stand up for themselves, and not be led like sheep.

Posted On 09-23-2012 2:33 PM
Your Name: Mehrenfeld
Email Address:
Organization: Self
Location: New York
How did you find our site?: Family circle mag
Comment: It is about time the issue of homework is looked at I am in my sixty four have four children All finished with collage I had to. Work many hours to do this and so homework was stealing family time Children crying at night Nervous about a test or I did not get poster board Either because I was at work or did not have funds The system is unfair The rich who have time, money and education Have great homework projects And the child is graded The fact that we were a farming nation and children brought the school work home in order to bring in the cows on time Every one has forgotten Especially teachers who think ther work time is more important then the change in society to an industrial nation Look at Germany work. Is done in school so are sports Holidays are sis weeks in he summer with ther family We need to have all workers coinsiged with an industrial society not a farming

Posted On 09-15-2012 7:46 PM
Your Name: Anna Cox
Email Address:
How did you find our site?: Oct. Family Circle
Comment: You are probably a member of Mensa; I am not.  I know this is a fast-paced, computer-obsessed world(After all, people have to compete with computers to get a job!), but  I have to object to the idea that homework is unnecessary.  As you know, there are all types of learners-auditory,etc.  In order to help EVERYBODY(fast, slow,etc.), I think tolerance is necessaary.  Homework gives one discipline, self expression and time to coordinate unique ideas at times.  It does not have to be lengthy(depends on the assignment) but takes into consideration our individual differences and avoids self-gratification.


Posted On 09-10-2012 2:02 AM
Your Name: Marilee Miller
Email Address:
Organization: Palm Springs Unified
Location: Desert Hot Springs
How did you find our site?: Researching 9/11
Comment: Thank you so much for your writing on teaching compassion to our students. I came across it as I was preparing a lesson to remember the importance of Sept. 11.  It's a tall order to teach 8th graders about compassion for all, but I will do my best on the anniversary of 9/11. This will be the first year I am going to trust my instincts and teach to the future rather than teaching to a test.

Posted On 09-09-2012 8:58 PM
Your Name: Allison Garcia
Email Address:
Location: San Antonio, TX
How did you find our site?: I read the book
Comment: I’m a freshman in an all girls Preparatory school. I have always been the kid that teachers dread having in class; I have even got in a heated debate with my religion teacher during the first week of 8th grade about politics. One day I was watching the documentary "The War on Kids" during the summer, still looking for a non-fiction summer reading assignment book. I saw Alfie Kohn speak on the documentary and under his name it said " the Homework Myth" I knew I had to do this one. We did some pointless writing assignment over the summer, but now I have to do an oral report tomorrow in front of my class and teacher. I’m honestly am a little excited but overall terrifyed. Thanks to Mr. Kohn I can continue to be the one kid who pushes her first right more then anyone else. Mr. Kohn You are my role model.

Posted On 09-08-2012 9:23 AM
Your Name: Anne Ulbrich
Email Address:
How did you find our site?: Family Cirlce
Comment: My children are now 25 and 21 years old.  My daughter went to a high school that offered block scheduling (four courses a day for 1 1/2 hours) she had at least 3 - 4 hours of homework per night.  My son went to a high school that offered 8 classes per day he had little if no homework.  I can say from experience that my daughter flew through college with little or no need to adapt to studying or homework or projects.  Her roommates, each with little or not homework throughout high school, struggled throughout college learning how to study, what it was like to have hours of homework or projects.  My son is not a senior in college and he had a lot of trouble acclimating to the demands of homework, studying and projects.  He spent so much time adjusting to all this at college that he didn't have the time my daughter did to socialize and get to enjoy college.  He now had caught up but it was almost four years later.  So, like many I disagreed with the amount of homework kids got but through experience I see it's worth it.

Posted On 09-07-2012 8:53 AM
Your Name: Casey Basciano
Email Address:
Location: Philadelphia, PA
How did you find our site?: Family Circle 10/2012 issue
After reading a few lines of Alfie Kohn's article "The Case Against Homework", I could not believe my eyes. I would like to say it was refreshing to read and I am glad that he wrote this article and that Family Circle published it. I am in total compliance with everything he stated in the article. I am a mother of two and a fulltime college student. My oldest daughter who is in 7th grade now is having a tough time adjusting to now having 8 courses in school and coming home to at least two hours of homework. Why? Because she's done all these things already while in class. It's a bit unnerving but in order to pass the 7th grade she has to do it. I believe educators (teachers, principles, school officials) need to come up with a new strategy on how to approach different styles in learning. I say that because all children do not have the same learning pattern. Why force more homework on children whose classwork and tests clearly show that they have caught onto the assignment being taught while in class. ... I believe Alfie Kohns' approach to putting the word out there about unnecessary work loads in great and he should really keep up the good work!
[edited for length]

Posted On 09-05-2012 1:18 PM
Your Name: todd martin
Email Address:
Organization: Riley
Location: maine
How did you find our site?: I am on here often reading articles.
Comment: check out my blog For our faculty meetings we often discuss Kohn articles. Our school is truly progressive and is entering its 40 year.

Posted On 09-02-2012 3:42 PM
Your Name: Stacey
Email Address: Stacey
Location: Greece
How did you find our site?: Through book
Comment: I'd been following certain techniques like the naughty chair even though every now and again I doubted what I was doing but couldn't quite put my finger on why. After reading your book I could see things really clearly and stopped using these techniques but the transition for my son and for me has not been easy and I was hoping when I came to this site - and would really love to see - an organised forum for parents to share their questions, experiences and ideas based around unconditional parenting. My biggest problems with my eldest son is when he whines or makes noises to get my attention or get what he wants, when he gives up when trying to do something and just says "I can't do it" and storms off and when he gets very angry and screams. I tell him to ask me in a normal voice if he wants something and to ask for help if he can't do something but am not sure if this is ' not allowing him to express his true feelings' or how long I can keep saying it every day before I lose my patience. With the angry outbursts how long do I let him express himself for before it becomes out of hand. How do I teach him to handle his emotions better? With my younger son who is only 18 months I find it really tough as he keeps throwing things ( off the balcony, food all over the dining room, things at the computer, toys at his big brother). I tell him throwing can hurt someone and show him the object is hard but let him have it back but it is just constant and Shona my patience is wearing thin. Today I compromised on the naughty step and took him to a spot in the house and told him very firmly not to throw every time he threw something but again I feel a bit lost in the application of this well expressed unconditional parenting philosophy, even though I agree with it so wholeheartedly.

Posted On 08-16-2012 9:12 PM
Your Name: Miss Grizzle
Comment: I'm currently experiencing frustration with a school and a system that just doesn't get it, and can't even begin to imagine anything beyond the 'way it's always been done'. So Mr Kohn's works are really hitting the spot for me right now. Any talks in Australia any time soon? :)

Posted On 08-08-2012 3:13 PM
Your Name: Marc Mantasoot
Email Address:
Location: Hoffman Estates Illinois
How did you find our site?: google
Comment: I've been reading No Contest and other "competition" related articles by Alfie Kohn.  Though I agree that we emphasize at times too much competition in America, I wonder if we can see competition as the highest form of cooperation.  Doesn't an Olympian or anyone who competes in anything push others to reach their potential by pursuing his/her own potential.  An athlete sees another athelete break a world record and thinks that they might in their own creative way break that world record and in the meantime inspire all people to pursue their own potential.  Don't we need models to show us what's possible in any realm of life?  Aren't we then cooperating by leading each other to greater potential?  I love how thought-provoking Kohn's work is.  I would love a response. 

Posted On 08-02-2012 11:09 AM
Your Name: Heather
Email Address:
Organization: Wisconsin Innovative Schools Network
Location: Madison, WI
How did you find our site?: I have been a fan of Alfie's for a long time
Comment: I just read this article: and am so disgusted by it. I think as long as information like this continues to hit the media we must stay vigilant on our beliefs about rewards. Note that nowhere in the article are long-term implications discussed.

Posted On 07-31-2012 7:27 AM
Your Name: R. Salcedo
Email Address:
Location: NYC
How did you find our site?: Searching for better info.

Unconditional Parenting has been such an amazing book- I am so happy to have found it. I see it as wonderful fact-based philosophy. Alfie proposes ground breaking ideas in an easy to understand manner. His writing style has allowed me to painlessly dive into my own parenting history and analyze the decisions I’ve made so far without fear of hurting my ego... thus allowing me to be more objective.

I absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking to develop a strong and lasting relationship with their children.


Posted On 07-23-2012 1:17 AM
Your Name: Justine
Comment: My family were visiting an old friend of mine, he had a then-2-yr-old. The toddler, Henni, was absolutely gorgeous, and very obviously growing up wild on their beautiful property out in the Australian Bush. We went to a pub for lunch, and were understandably confused when, after resting her bare feet on the table, no-one chastised or sought to restrain her behaviour. Just out of curiosity, I asked my old friend what his stance on table manners was? He then told me about your book "Unconditional Parenting" and the "don't stick your no's in unnecessarily" part. He also related to me the results of a study where kids were compared in their reaction to "No's" and quite simply no control at all, and how there was no difference in the results! I thought it all sounded amazingly interesting, and with a 1-yr-old of my own, was looking for some kind of alternative to the outdated child-rearing (horrible term!) i was subjected to.
I studied Music and Anthropology in my BA, and have enjoyed applying your philosophy, in conjunction with my creativity and cultural-science-education to enriching the relationship development with my first child (now toddler), and we are enjoying ourselves thoroughly! My toddler only goes to creche half of the week now, as I take every opportunity possible to take him on outings and spend time with him. The positive outcomes of 1) letting him be in control of things and 2) being patient and flexible are quite simply countless. I am so proud of our friendship and am looking forward to the future (rather than dreading it like so many parents unfortunately do!).
I would also like to make an observation about bringing up children in today's society. There are so many things which influence kids' decisions to go along with our own agendas, and they can never be underestimated. For instance, I think that modern technology like warm clothes and central-heating are probably a big factor in the difficulty of maintaining the dependent child-adult bond. I mean, that kids don't have to necessarily get in the car, or follow you home when they're anyway all bundled up in gore-tex, and they won't feel so motivated to get under the covers and snuggle up if they're anyway swanning around in 40 degrees celcius... just a thought, but it is probably a good argument for turning off the heating at night!
In conclusion, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and my child's, for saving the life and soul of yet another little spirit.
Maybe you should call your next book "Save the Animals"!

Posted On 07-22-2012 8:04 PM
Your Name: Anna
Organization: Student at Reed College
Location: Portland, OR
How did you find our site?: Lots of wandering the Internet
Comment: Howdy! I came across the wonderful article on rubrics a while ago, back when I was trying to understand my resistance to the International Baccalaureate program. I encountered AK's work again recently when trying to figure out why it was so difficult to motivate myself to study over the summer without being in class. I just want to say, thanks so much for Punished by Rewards. It has made sense of a lot of what has happened during my years at school that I didn't understand. Almost by luck, I've found myself at a university that allows for much more freedom, and summers no longer contain "summer homework," so I was glad to find this book in the midst of deprogramming myself from my behaviorism-governed past. Going forward, I wish you all the best.

Posted On 07-22-2012 3:36 PM
Your Name: Phil Freeman
Email Address:
Organization: Smithville High School
Location: Texas
How did you find our site?: Been a fan of Alfie Kohn's a long time.
Comment: I would love to hear Mr. Kohn's opinions on the current state of education for students with autism.  The complete dominance of ABA as the only recognized way to teach has me disturbed but without alternatives. 

Posted On 07-21-2012 5:46 PM
Your Name: Barbara Morgan
Email Address:
Organization: AMI,AMS
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
How did you find our site?: Linked-in
Comment: i agree with the article and am becoming more and more horrified at the militaristic attitude by those who make the school 'rules'......licensing, politicians etc. Everyone needs to become familiar with the END THE RACE - THE RACE TO NOWHERE movement to see where all these 'rules' are taking our children. Our culture has become so stressful with long work hours because of high expectations from employers (. $$$corporations) no one knows HOW to relax and regroup and this is being passed on to the children of today. I don't know the answer....but I do see the damage. well written Alfie. ! Barbara

Posted On 06-11-2012 1:57 PM
Your Name: J. Laurent
Email Address: jyw5 AT
Location: near Boston, MA
How did you find our site?: via book
Comment: I've been really affected by Unconditional Parenting and am struggling to apply the ideas to parenting my 18 month old.  So many of the methods and ideas espoused seem impossible with a barely-verbal child.  Anyone out there find a great toddler-appropriate book or article with similar ideas?  What does an Unconditional parent do during a tantrum or when you simply need your child to go up and down stairs? 


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