Unconditional Parenting: Chapter 1: Conditional Parenting

Disclaimer: Let’s all agree that we are doing our best with what we’ve got to work with, which means some things we are proud of and some things we are not. Let’s withhold judgment, from ourselves and each other, so that we can be honest and learn and grow together. These ideas are deep and wide and take some time to digest and integrate. Let’s all be patient, again with ourselves and each other as we strive to be our best selves.

BIG IDEAS:

  • How we love matters, and each child may need to be loved differently. This goes against the idea that all love is equally desirable.  (p.10)
  • Conditional parenting is loving kids for what they do; unconditional parenting is loving kids for who they are.
  • Conditional parenting is generally based on behaviorism (B. F. Skinner and operant conditioning). Two points in this type of behaviorism are that only what can be seen and measured is important (behaviors), and all behaviors occur based on reinforcement.
  •  Unconditional parenting means loving children “for no good reason.” It is important that children feel loved (despite mistakes and such), not just that our intentions are loving. (p.11-12)
  • It is the child who engages in a behavior that matters, not just the behavior itself. (p.15)
  • Our modern view of children is “awfully sour.” The underlying assumptions and beliefs are that children are bad. (p.16)
  • Children (and everyone) should earn everything, including love. For children, this leads to the idea of privileges vs. rights.  (p.18)
  • Because conditional parenting is about obtaining a certain outcome, it is more about doing to a child (using consequences to get them to do what you want). In unconditional parenting the emphasis is working with a child (reflecting, problem-solving together to understand what is going on with the whole child). (p.19)
  • How we feel about our kids isn’t as important as how children experience those feelings and how they regard the way we treat them. (p. 20)

QUESTIONS to CONSIDER:

  • Do you make your child say sorry or please and thank you? Why or why not? (p.12)
  • How/when do you talk about behaviors and feelings with your child(ren)? (p. 15)
  • How has your view of children changed over time– since you were younger, became a parent? (p.16)
  • Are children able to develop compassion, cooperation, altruism independently? Is it in their nature? (p. 17)
  • What privileges do your children have? What do you think are a few rights they have? (p.18)

Online Resources:

2 responses to this post.

  1. […] them obey.” I know I would never hit my daughter, but that is just one extreme of conditional parenting. If I manipulate my daughter through punishment (withdrawal of love or attention), bribery, […]

    Reply

  2. […] them obey.” I know I would never hit my daughter, but that is just one extreme of conditional parenting. If I manipulate my daughter through punishment (withdrawal of love or attention), bribery, […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: