An American author, lecturer, specialist in the field of education, parenting and human behaviour, Alfie Kohn, is a controversial figure. Each of his publications have been widely commented upon, attacked or supported by the crowds of enemies and admirers. Today, a few words about his interesting book - "Education without rewards and punishments, unconditional parenting". This publication is accompanied by a guiding assumption, the questions are directed to the parents - how do they imagine their own children in the future? What are they like? Subordinated to others, well-behaved and docile, or joyful, energetic and implementing plans? Let's see what really is a healthy lifestyle for children.
Constantly ask yourself this question
Alfie Kohn encourages the reader to constantly ask the above question, every day. In the end, this is the role of a parent, they must take responsibility for the future of their child. Most parents would happily welcome their child being polite and obedient, because it would be easier and many things could be resolved without unnecessary fuss. But is this really the right way?
Alfie Kohn sensitises parents to watch closely how they try to model their child. Most of us, unfortunately, refer to methods known from our own childhood. Usually, fairly outdated and ineffective methods - the award for completing a command, or punishment for failing to do so. Many parents use the method of "a carrot and a stick", which the researcher tips upside down in his book.
Stick always has two ends
Kohn says bluntly - both punishment and reward are only two poles of the same educational method, which has a lot to do with taming (pet owners know very well what we are talking about). Raising a child is no different in that case from the experimental method of Pavlov and his famous dog.
Kohn talks in his book about the concept of love and the conditional and unconditional upbringing. While the first focuses on the child's behaviour, the latter - on the child as a human being, on what he feels, does and thinks. According to the rules of conditional upbringing, love must be earned (according to the principle - "if you do something, I do something"). In the unconditional upbringing, the love of a parent is a gift that the child is entitled to.
The carrot and stick method is not very effective
Kohn says that the educational method of "a carrot and a stick" is not just harmful, but it yields very short-term results. Rewards and punishments help the parent achieve temporary results but also teaches the child the forceful problem solving. Not only that, but punishments and rewards spoil the future relationship with your child. Punishing forces a child to continuous subordination, which raises negative emotions - rebellion, anger, a sense of helplessness and then the desire to do what they want in every situation. Praise is also causing pressure - it lets the child know how they must behave in a certain way to get something for it. It does not matter whether the child feels that it is in their nature, whether they actually want to react like this. They are very much trained. They do what is expected of them to get what they want.
So how can you raise a happy child, a wholesome human being who would cope well with the challenges of adulthood? You will learn everything from the book of this American scientist.
It is worth reading - you may learn something
Many of you were probably annoyed by reading the above, because "our parents punished and praised us and we are good people." Maybe you are right and maybe not quite. It makes no sense to argue, while not giving the opponent an opportunity to speak. That is why - we encourage you to read the book "Education without rewards and punishments, unconditional parenting" by Alfie Kohn.
Do not assume that you already know everything about raising your child just because you are their parents. Maybe Kohn, however, is quite right? Kohn, as a scientist, does not build a metaphysical vision, but is supported by numerous, very logical arguments. Once you read the book, then it will be time for (possible) indignation and denying him the correctness of his hypothesis.
Author: Bien Magazine