Category Archives: OTHER AUTHORS

Chuck’s comments on parenting approaches and techniques recommended by other authors

Parenting Authors: An Old School to New School Continuum

Parenting Authors: An Old School to New School Continuum

At this link, more than two dozen authors of parenting books, and the tiltles of their books, are placed on a 10-point continuum between Old School and New School. This is how I (Chuck Adam) see their parenting philosophy, as well as some characteristics of an Old School and a New School approach to parenting.

Please click on the following link to see a PDF version of the continuum of parenting authors.

Parenting Authors Continuum

Example: At the far left side is Supernanny (Jo Frost), who I see as extremely Old School. At the far right side is Alfie Kohn, who I see as extremely New School.

NOTE: I make no judgment on this chart of the value of these authors’ positions, or their helpfulness to parents. For example, although Supernanny is very Old School, she is also extremely good at it, and has been very helpful to many parents with young, high-energy children.

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3 Steps to Parent-Child Harmony is my book  that describes in detail the differences between the Old School Parenting model and the New School Parenting model.  Please see these links if you are interested in more information or wish to purchase.

     Learn more.    Buy Now.   Table of Contents & Intro

Thoughts About Alfie Kohn: Excerpts from “Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason”

Thoughts About Alfie Kohn:
Excerpts from Unconditional Parenting

I (Chuck) really like Alfie Kohn and his ideas on parenting. I present here some extended excerpts from the Introduction of Unconditional Parenting on short-term and long-term parenting goals. This material is relevant to and meaningful for parents of any age. A few of my own comments follow in the Conclusion to this post.

Obedience: The Temptation to Control Children
We may be tempted to focus our energies on overcoming children’s resistance to our requests and getting them to do what we tell them. If we’re not careful, this can become our primary goal. We may find ourselves joining all those people around us who prize docility in children and value short-term obedience above all. I realized that this is what many people in our society seem to want most from children: not that they are caring or creative or curious, but simply that they are well behaved. A “good” child–from infancy to adolescence–is one who isn’t too much trouble to us grown-ups.
Over the last couple of generations, the strategies for trying to produce that result may well have changed. Where kids were once routinely subjected to harsh corporal punishment, they may now be sentenced to time-outs or, perhaps, offered rewards when they obey us. But don’t mistake new means for new ends. The goal continues to be control, even if we secure it with more modern methods.
Long-term Objectives of Parenting
In my parent workshops I like to start off asking, “What are your long-term goals for your children? What word or phrase describes how you’d like them to turn out, what you want them to be like once they’ve grown?”
Take a moment to think about how you would answer that question. When I invite groups of parents to come up with the most important long-term goals they have for their kids, I hear remarkably similar responses across the country. Continue reading

Thoughts About James Lehman’s Total Transformation Program

Thoughts About James Lehman’s
Total Transformation Program

This program has pluses and minuses. Consequently,  there are a lot of things I like about James Lehman’s Total Transformation Program, and a lot things I do not like about it. The following comments are based on a study of Lehman’s Total Transformation Program Workbook, without the benefit of having listened to the extensive audio or the video programs. Still, I think my comments are a relatively accurate and complete summary of Lehman’s concepts and his approach to parenting children with extremely difficult behaviors.

The comments which follow are a brief overview of a more in-depth analysis of the Total Transformation Program. If you would like a free copy of my more comprehensive critique, please click here.

Things I Like About the Total Transformation Program

First of all, I like the fact that Lehman presents parents with a coherent, well-designed, and extensive program for dealing with very assertive, obnoxious, and abusive (both physical and verbal) child behavior.
Second, I like the fact that he identifies faulty thinking on the part of the child as the real cause of disrespectful, obnoxious, and abusive behavior.
Third, Lehman presents the program in a structured set of lessons, Continue reading

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s Old School Approach to Discipline (Short Version)

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s
Old School Approach to Discipline (Short Version)

John Rosemond’s book The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy, Children is quite interesting and quite provocative. Rosemond is a psychologist who has been around a while, who says he doesn’t believe in psychology, who has done a lot of work with parents, and who has published numerous other books, including: Teen-Proofing; Because I Said So!; Parent Power: A Common-Sense Approach to Parenting in the 90’s and Beyond; John Rosemond’s New Parent Power; and others.

Rosemond’s Six-Point Pla

Here are the chapter headings of his six-point plan: 1) The Parent-Centered Family; 2) The Voice of Authority; 3) The Roots of Responsibility; 4) The Fruits of Frustration (the child’s frustration–CA); 5) Toys and Play–The Right Stuff; and 6) Television, Computers, and Video Games–More Than Meets the Eye. Point number seven is Love ‘Em Enough to Do the First Six!

He also presents, in an afterword, Rosemond’s Bill of Rights for Children, which are, essentially, that children have the right to be bossed around by their parents.

The New Six Point Plan really challengied me to think about and question my “New School” approach to parenting.  He refers to himself as “old fashioned,” and  I’d say he is certainly in the running for the title “King of the Old School Approach to Parenting.” If Supernanny (Jo Frost) can be considered “Queen of the Old School Approach to Parenting” (I think she can), John Rosemond is the king. Now there’s a match made in heaven!

Old School Is Not Necessarily Bad or Wrong

I have said from the start of my talking and writing about New and Old School parenting that the Old School methods aren’t necessarily bad, but that they are not working so well with many of today’s savvy, autonomous, well-connected, and even defiant children–of all ages. For some of those kids, on the “defiant” end of the “compliant-defiant continuum,” the Old School methods just make things worse.

However, for many other kids, toward the other end of the continuum, who are more compliant, they do work fine, just like they did for us when we were kids.
It’s that group of kids in the middle, who are resistive, rebellious, and strong-willed  enough to cause behavior problems that I’m wondering about. Continue reading

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s Old School Approach to Parenting (Short Version)

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s Old School Approach
to Parenting
(Short Version)

(Short Version of Chuck’s Idea Letter #10)

I’ve been reading an interesting book by John Rosemond called The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy, Children. He’s a psychologist who has been around a while, says he doesn’t believe in psychology, has done a lot of work with parents, writes a nationally syndicated column on parenting, and has published 12 books on parenting, including: Because I Said So!, Parent Power: A Common-Sense Approach to Parenting in the 90’s and Beyond, John Rosemond’s New Parent Power and Teen-Proofing.

I find him challenging because he’s very articulate, obviously very experienced, very creative, and whole-heartedly committed to Old School parenting methods. He maintains that they are the best possible approach to parenting, with many examples of behavioral interventions for parents to “solve” behavior problems their kids are presenting.

The Six-Point Plan

Continue reading

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children Parenting (Long Version)

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s 
Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children

(Long version of Chuck’s Idea Letter #10)

I’ve been thinking about discipline a lot lately–partly because I’m currently teaching a course on disciplining children at Parents Place.

But in addition I’ve also been reading a very interesting book by John Rosemond called The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy, Children. He’s a psychologist who has been around a while, who says he doesn’t believe in psychology, who has done a lot of work with parents, and who has published numerous other books, including: Teen-Proofing; Because I Said So!; Parent Power: A Common-Sense Approach to Parenting in the 90’s and Beyond; John Rosemond’s New Parent Power; and others.

Rosemond’s Six-Point Plan

Here are the chapter headings of his six-point plan: 1) The Parent-Centered Family; 2) The Voice of Authority; 3) The Roots of Responsibility; 4) The Fruits of Frustration (the child’s frustration–CA); 5) Toys and Play–The Right Stuff; and 6) Television, Computers, and Video Games–More Than Meets the Eye. Point number seven is Love ‘Em Enough to Do the First Six! He also presents, in an afterword, Rosemond’s Bill of Rights for Children, which are, essentially, that children have the right to be bossed around by their parents.

I’m really enjoying this book, The New Six Point Plan, partly because it is really challenging me to think about and question my “New School” approach to parenting. He refers to himself as “old fashioned,” and I’d say he is certainly in the running for the title “King of the Old School Approach to Parenting.” If Supernanny (Jo Frost) can be considered “Queen of the Old School Approach to Parenting” (I think she can), John Rosemond is the king. Now there’s a match made in heaven!

Old School Is Not Necessarily Bad Continue reading

Thoughts About Love & Logic: Limitations of the Choices Technique

Thoughts About Love & Logic:
Limitations of the Choices Technique

In another article I described what I like about Love and Logic’s technique for offering a child choices that allow the parent to essentially give a command and/or pose the threat of a punishment in such a way that the child actually is responsible for making the choice, rather than the parent being responsible for imposing a command and a threat of punishment.

I like this technique a lot, and many parents in my classes have found it to be very useful, especially with younger children. It does provide children with a certain amount of “say” in the little everyday things that affect their lives (such as whether to eat what served or go to bed without eating till breakfast). Here I will describe the limitations of this technique. (See “Thoughts About Love & Logic: The Choices Technique” for a description of this technique.)

The First Limitation
First, the technique is, in a sense, a sleight-of-hand maneuver. It provides the parent with a tool for limiting the child’s behavioral options to those that are acceptable to the parent–including the use of punishment if the child makes a choice that is disagreeable to the parent (say, NOT picking up his toys, and then suffering the negative consequence of that choice). This is a not bad thing. It is an Old School power-and-control technique to get a child to do what the parent wants, and it can be effective and relatively painless for both parent and child.

However, if the child is able to see that in fact he has other choices available than what the parent offers, the technique can just as easily lead to a power struggle. Continue reading

Thoughts About Love & Logic: The Choices Technique

Thoughts About Love & Logic: The Choices Technique

The beauty of offering a child a choice is that the child exercises control of his or her behavior with the parent’s blessing. The parent must be able to live with either choice the child makes. The first formula is a straightforward choice between two options. In the second formula, a positive consequence is proposed to the child if she makes one choice, and a negative consequence is proposed if she makes the other choice. In this way the child chooses the positive or negative consequence freely, freeing the parent from the blame for inflicting a punishment on the child.

Although the Love and Logic course presents several ways to phrase the choice, some of those ways actually sound like threats. The one that I think is by far the best is really not emphasized, but I find that has a power that the other formulations do not. Thus, I believe it is important that the parent start both options with “Would you rather…..” In this way the two options are clearly presented to the child as her choice. (The child essentially answers the question that is posed by saying, “I would rather do A instead of B.”) It is also important that both options be something the parent can live with, and can actually enforce without the child’s cooperation.
1st Formula: “Would you rather  A    OR would you rather   B    ?” Continue reading

Thoughts about Love & Logic: Things I Like and Things I Don’t Like About It

Thoughts about Love & Logic:
Things I Like and Things I Don’t Like About It

This critique is based on the parent manual ‘Becoming a Love and Logic Parent’ 1991,
which I like better than the later parent workbook ‘Parenting the Love and Logic Way’ 2012.
The main criticisms I have about the first version apply for the most part to the second, too. CA

Love and Logic is a very useful approach to parenting in many respects because it represents a move away from what I call an Old School parenting style, which was too punitive (based on punishments), and toward what I call a New School parenting style, which is based on empathy and dialogue.

Below I present twelve things I like and twelve things I don’t like about Love and Logic. (These comments are not intended to be paired up with each other, 1-1, 2-2, etc.) I present the things I don’t like in a spirit of suggesting enhancements to the Love and Logic parent, and as enhancements that, if they were written into the program, could increase the program’s already strong capacity to teach participants a strength-based approach to parenting.
Things I Like about Love & Logic

1. Control is identified as the basic parenting issue. This is a conclusion that I arrived at long ago (in the 1970s), working with children and parents as a family therapist.
2. Children need to feel some control over decisions that affect them. Continue reading

Thoughts About Ross Greene’s “The Explosive Child”

Thoughts About Ross Greene’s “The Explosive Child”

I appreciate the challenges I’ve received from Lisa, Bev, and Allan regarding my classification of Ross Greene as an Old School author. I’ve re-read my copy of The Explosive Child (second edition), and I must admit a) that I did misunderstand some of his approach, and b) that he belongs in the New School camp, and not the Old School. I have changed the chart (“Parenting Authors: A Continuum”) to reflect that.

In spite of the fact that I’ve had problems with some of Dr. Greene’s ideas (see below), I’ve loved the Behavior Baskets imagery and its usefulness as a working tool for parents. I developed a handout for parents in my classes, and use it often (with full credit to Dr. Greene), and some time ago posted this handout on this site. I also appreciate more now than before his emphasis on problem-solving based on understanding and empathy, and his teaching parents to ask the child for ideas on how to solve the problem after stating the two sides of the conflict. I also like his emphasis on parents intervening at the beginning stages of a meltdown (“vapor lock”), and the ineffectiveness of back-end strategies (punishments), that typically do not work well as a teaching tool, and can cause more harm than good.
Some of the problems I originally had with Dr. Green’s approach I still have. These are what got in the way of my appreciating the value of his front-end engagement of children in problem solving as a set of genuinely New School techniques that Old School parents and professionals don’t often use. The difficulties I’ve had (which he might have  addressed in a later edition) include the following. Continue reading