• Unconditional Parenting Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Unconditional Parenting Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Download Unconditional Parenting Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason PDF
  • Unconditional Parenting Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Unconditional Parenting Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Unconditional Parenting Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Unconditional Parenting Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Unconditional Parenting Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Unconditional Parenting Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Alfie Kohn
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Most parenting guides begin with the question “How can we get kids to do what they're told?” and then proceed to offer various techniques for controlling them. In this truly groundbreaking book, nationally respected educator Alfie Kohn begins instead by asking, “What do kids need—and how can we meet those needs?” What follows from that question are ideas for working with children rather than doing things to them.

One basic need all children have, Kohn argues, is to be loved unconditionally, to know that they will be accepted even if they screw up or fall short. Yet conventional approaches to parenting such as punishments (including “time-outs”), rewards (including positive reinforcement), and other forms of control teach children that they are loved only when they please us or impress us. Kohn cites a body of powerful, and largely unknown, research detailing the damage caused by leading children to believe they must earn our approval. That's precisely the message children derive from common discipline techniques, even though it's not the message most parents intend to send.

More than just another book about discipline, though, Unconditional Parenting addresses the ways parents think about, feel about, and act with their children. It invites them to question their most basic assumptions about raising kids while offering a wealth of practical strategies for shifting from “doing to” to “working with” parenting—including how to replace praise with the unconditional support that children need to grow into healthy, caring, responsible people. This is an eye-opening, paradigm-shattering book that will reconnect readers to their own best instincts and inspire them to become better parents.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743487486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743487481
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces

Customer Reviews

Best parenting book

One person found this helpful.
 on August 29, 2016
By Sarah Carstens
I bought this book when I was struggling with parenting my rebellious 7-year-old. I tried everything I thought I was supposed to be doing and nothing worked. This book totally changed how I felt about my children (and even my own parents). It has improved the relationships in my life so much that I recommend this book to everyone. I bought a few copies because it makes a great gift for new parents. Read it with an open mind because it will challenge everything you thought you knew about how to be a good parent, but if you stick with it it makes perfect sense!

Future mom

 on April 2, 2016
By Brchev
As I plan to begin a family, my instincts were to either do what my parents did or do the opposite. I’m so glad I heard about this book. Although this will not be my only parenting book, I did change much of my perspective about the kind of mother I will be. The author asks the reader to question what sort of adult you wish your child will grow into. It’s an obvious but valid question!

incredible ideas here

4 people found this helpful.
 on December 7, 2016
By Amazon Customer
This book is amazing. It has brought me to think so fundamentally about how I parent and what our actions really say to our children. I am so inspired by the ideas Kohn puts out there in this book. I feel inspired to find the strength to do better than what I myself have experienced, and through awareness and really contemplating what unconditional love looks/sounds/feels like, I have come to an understanding. I can see how I want to manifest unconditional love in my family, through my own actions and intentions with my child. He is truly a gem with so much to share. I wasn’t head over heels for this book at the beginning, it is forthright a little dense, but once I started opening up to what he has to say my mind starting shifting and moving and growing. I think everyone, parent or not, should be asking these questions of themselves according to the kind of world they have part in creating.

This is not a how-to book!

 on February 8, 2013
By A. Bartke
I’ll start by repeating my review title – this is not a parenting how-to book. If you’ve read any Alfie Kohn before, you’ll recognize the style. This book is a thoughtful, research-based presentation of a parenting philosophy and a really thorough discussion of what is often wrong with current parenting styles and what could be done differently. It’s thought-provoking and after reading it I immediately noticed that I was seeing interactions with my children through a different lense and that my own perception change was leading to a subtle change in my parenting – which, in turn, has led to many, many fewer “drama moments” with my toddler. My husband, who’s more of an advice-book skeptic than I am, also really enjoyed this book and found it helpful.

Great ideas, little guidance

2 people found this helpful.
 on June 19, 2012
By Summer
I have to commend this book and recommend it. It really opens your eyes and makes you think about parenting in a whole new light. I really enjoyed the read and liked the amount of research that Kohn had to back up his claims. The only thing I would like to see changed is that he doesn’t offer a lot of guidance. You read through the whole book really motivated and inspired to make a change and then I feel that he only lists a few bullet points of things you could try but without concrete examples. I think this book could benefit from some more practical examples of every day parenting. Otherwise, fantastic book!

Good Points

3 people found this helpful.
 on May 13, 2010
By A. C. Martin
This books brings up some very good points about the way children are raised and treated in North American culture. He does admit, however, that he doesn’t know how to fix the issue, only that there is a problem, which he goes on to explain in depth. He gives a few guidelines on how children might be treated better (mostly to do with giving a child respect when disciplining) in order to give them a stronger upbringing which will ultimately result in more confident, self-sufficient and ego-stable people. It’s hard to un-learn one’s first teaching (from our parents) on how to raise children, but it’s worth it. And while, Alfie doesn’t know the real answers to his questions, he makes a parent think and try to figure out how to best deal with the problems.

What Would Alphie Do?

 on August 14, 2017
By b.gunn
Just ask yourself: What Would Alphie Do?

It changes your perspective

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 13, 2012
By Amazon Customer
When my son was about to turn 2, he began acting up and I started to think about the issue of discipline. I read other books that focused on tips to make your child behave better, or how to deal with the outbursts. But this book addresses the overall picture and the attitude of parents toward their kids. It really changed my perspective. I went from wanting to “discipline” my child and change his behavior, to respecting him and REALLY showing unconditional love. Actions speak louder than words. I really recommend it.


3 people found this helpful.
 on December 20, 2014
By Li Ying
I’m a new mom , so much to learn. This book describes what my parents inclined to do to parent me, it reminds me how to avoid the bad parent ing style

I recommend this way of thinking to any parent!

2 people found this helpful.
 on October 21, 2012
By Seastar
We had heard many great things about this book. I decided to order online instead of trying to track it down at a used book store in town. The thinking and skillset offered in this book is a very different from the norm way of thinking/acting! I highly recommend this book to anyone considered to be a parent, teacher, or in a meaningful relationship! This kind of idea set would make this world a better place to be and grow if everyone could adopt this way of thinking over the “old school” ways of thinking/parenting!!