5 reasons to stop saying ' Good Job ' - Alfie Kohn

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Allan-Matlem, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Hi,
    in a previous thread I put rewards, punishments and praise in one box as manipulative tools.
    Here is a short article by Alfie Kohn ( my computer does not give the detailed link )

    YOUNG CHILDREN

    September 2001


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Five Reasons to Stop Saying "Good Job!"

    By Alfie Kohn

    NOTE: An abridged version of this article was published in Parents magazine in May 2000 with the title "Hooked on Praise." For a more detailed look at the issues discussed here, please see the books
    Punished by Rewards and Unconditional Parenting.


    Hang out at a playground, visit a school, or show up at a child’s birthday party, and there’s one phrase you can count on hearing repeatedly: "Good job!" Even tiny infants are praised for smacking their hands together ("Good clapping!"). Many of us blurt out these judgments of our children to the point that it has become almost a verbal tic.

    Plenty of books and articles advise us against relying on punishment, from spanking to forcible isolation ("time out"). Occasionally someone will even ask us to rethink the practice of bribing children with stickers or food. But you’ll have to look awfully hard to find a discouraging word about what is euphemistically called positive reinforcement.

    Lest there be any misunderstanding, the point here is not to call into question the importance of supporting and encouraging children, the need to love them and hug them and help them feel good about themselves. Praise, however, is a different story entirely. Here's why.

    1. Manipulating children. Suppose you offer a verbal reward to reinforce the behavior of a two-year-old who eats without spilling, or a five-year-old who cleans up her art supplies. Who benefits from this? Is it possible that telling kids they’ve done a good job may have less to do with their emotional needs than with our convenience?

    Rheta DeVries, a professor of education at the University of Northern Iowa, refers to this as "sugar-coated control." Very much like tangible rewards – or, for that matter, punishments – it’s a way of doing something to children to get them to comply with our wishes. It may be effective at producing this result (at least for a while), but it’s very different from working with kids – for example, by engaging them in conversation about what makes a classroom (or family) function smoothly, or how other people are affected by what we have done -- or failed to do. The latter approach is not only more respectful but more likely to help kids become thoughtful people.

    The reason praise can work in the short run is that young children are hungry for our approval. But we have a responsibility not to exploit that dependence for our own convenience. A "Good job!" to reinforce something that makes our lives a little easier can be an example of taking advantage of children’s dependence. Kids may also come to feel manipulated by this, even if they can’t quite explain why.

    2. Creating praise junkies. To be sure, not every use of praise is a calculated tactic to control children’s behavior. Sometimes we compliment kids just because we’re genuinely pleased by what they’ve done. Even then, however, it’s worth looking more closely. Rather than bolstering a child’s self-esteem, praise may increase kids’ dependence on us. The more we say, "I like the way you…." or "Good ______ing," the more kids come to rely on our evaluations, our decisions about what’s good and bad, rather than learning to form their own judgments. It leads them to measure their worth in terms of what will lead us to smile and dole out some more approval.

    Mary Budd Rowe, a researcher at the University of Florida, discovered that students who were praised lavishly by their teachers were more tentative in their responses, more apt to answer in a questioning tone of voice ("Um, seven?"). They tended to back off from an idea they had proposed as soon as an adult disagreed with them. And they were less likely to persist with difficult tasks or share their ideas with other students.

    In short, "Good job!" doesn’t reassure children; ultimately, it makes them feel less secure. It may even create a vicious circle such that the more we slather on the praise, the more kids seem to need it, so we praise them some more. Sadly, some of these kids will grow into adults who continue to need someone else to pat them on the head and tell them whether what they did was OK. Surely this is not what we want for our daughters and sons.

    3. Stealing a child’s pleasure. Apart from the issue of dependence, a child deserves to take delight in her accomplishments, to feel pride in what she’s learned how to do. She also deserves to decide when to feel that way. Every time we say, "Good job!", though, we’re telling a child how to feel.

    To be sure, there are times when our evaluations are appropriate and our guidance is necessary -- especially with toddlers and preschoolers. But a constant stream of value judgments is neither necessary nor useful for children’s development. Unfortunately, we may not have realized that "Good job!" is just as much an evaluation as "Bad job!" The most notable feature of a positive judgment isn’t that it’s positive, but that it’s a judgment. And people, including kids, don’t like being judged.

    I cherish the occasions when my daughter manages to do something for the first time, or does something better than she’s ever done it before. But I try to resist the knee-jerk tendency to say, "Good job!" because I don’t want to dilute her joy. I want her to share her pleasure with me, not look to me for a verdict. I want her to exclaim, "I did it!" (which she often does) instead of asking me uncertainly, "Was that good?"

    4. Losing interest. "Good painting!" may get children to keep painting for as long as we keep watching and praising. But, warns Lilian Katz, one of the country’s leading authorities on early childhood education, "once attention is withdrawn, many kids won’t touch the activity again." Indeed, an impressive body of scientific research has shown that the more we reward people for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward. Now the point isn’t to draw, to read, to think, to create – the point is to get the goody, whether it’s an ice cream, a sticker, or a "Good job!"

    In a troubling study conducted by Joan Grusec at the University of Toronto, young children who were frequently praised for displays of generosity tended to be slightly less generous on an everyday basis than other children were. Every time they had heard "Good sharing!" or "I’m so proud of you for helping," they became a little less interested in sharing or helping. Those actions came to be seen not as something valuable in their own right but as something they had to do to get that reaction again from an adult. Generosity became a means to an end.

    Does praise motivate kids? Sure. It motivates kids to get praise. Alas, that’s often at the expense of commitment to whatever they were doing that prompted the praise.

    5. Reducing achievement. As if it weren’t bad enough that "Good job!" can undermine independence, pleasure, and interest, it can also interfere with how good a job children actually do. Researchers keep finding that kids who are praised for doing well at a creative task tend to stumble at the next task – and they don’t do as well as children who weren’t praised to begin with.

    Why does this happen? Partly because the praise creates pressure to "keep up the good work" that gets in the way of doing so. Partly because their interest in what they’re doing may have declined. Partly because they become less likely to take risks – a prerequisite for creativity – once they start thinking about how to keep those positive comments coming.

    More generally, "Good job!" is a remnant of an approach to psychology that reduces all of human life to behaviors that can be seen and measured. Unfortunately, this ignores the thoughts, feelings, and values that lie behind behaviors. For example, a child may share a snack with a friend as a way of attracting praise, or as a way of making sure the other child has enough to eat. Praise for sharing ignores these different motives. Worse, it actually promotes the less desirable motive by making children more likely to fish for praise in the future.

    *


    Once you start to see praise for what it is – and what it does – these constant little evaluative eruptions from adults start to produce the same effect as fingernails being dragged down a blackboard. You begin to root for a child to give his teachers or parents a taste of their own treacle by turning around to them and saying (in the same saccharine tone of voice), "Good praising!"

    Still, it’s not an easy habit to break. It can seem strange, at least at first, to stop praising; it can feel as though you’re being chilly or withholding something. But that, it soon becomes clear, suggests that we praise more because we need to say it than because children need to hear it. Whenever that’s true, it’s time to rethink what we’re doing.

    What kids do need is unconditional support, love with no strings attached. That’s not just different from praise – it’s the opposite of praise. "Good job!" is conditional. It means we’re offering attention and acknowledgement and approval for jumping through our hoops, for doing things that please us.

    This point, you’ll notice, is very different from a criticism that some people offer to the effect that we give kids too much approval, or give it too easily. They recommend that we become more miserly with our praise and demand that kids "earn" it. But the real problem isn’t that children expect to be praised for everything they do these days. It’s that we’re tempted to take shortcuts, to manipulate kids with rewards instead of explaining and helping them to develop needed skills and good values.

    So what’s the alternative? That depends on the situation, but whatever we decide to say instead has to be offered in the context of genuine affection and love for who kids are rather than for what they’ve done. When unconditional support is present, "Good job!" isn’t necessary; when it’s absent, "Good job!" won’t help.

    If we’re praising positive actions as a way of discouraging misbehavior, this is unlikely to be effective for long. Even when it works, we can’t really say the child is now "behaving himself"; it would be more accurate to say the praise is behaving him. The alternative is to work with the child, to figure out the reasons he’s acting that way. We may have to reconsider our own requests rather than just looking for a way to get kids to obey. (Instead of using "Good job!" to get a four-year-old to sit quietly through a long class meeting or family dinner, perhaps we should ask whether it’s reasonable to expect a child to do so.)

    We also need to bring kids in on the process of making decisions. If a child is doing something that disturbs others, then sitting down with her later and asking, "What do you think we can do to solve this problem?" will likely be more effective than bribes or threats. It also helps a child learn how to solve problems and teaches that her ideas and feelings are important. Of course, this process takes time and talent, care and courage. Tossing off a "Good job!" when the child acts in the way we deem appropriate takes none of those things, which helps to explain why "doing to" strategies are a lot more popular than "working with" strategies.

    And what can we say when kids just do something impressive? Consider three possible responses:

    * Say nothing. Some people insist a helpful act must be "reinforced" because, secretly or unconsciously, they believe it was a fluke. If children are basically evil, then they have to be given an artificial reason for being nice (namely, to get a verbal reward). But if that cynicism is unfounded – and a lot of research suggests that it is – then praise may not be necessary.

    * Say what you saw. A simple, evaluation-free statement ("You put your shoes on by yourself" or even just "You did it") tells your child that you noticed. It also lets her take pride in what she did. In other cases, a more elaborate description may make sense. If your child draws a picture, you might provide feedback – not judgment – about what you noticed: "This mountain is huge!" "Boy, you sure used a lot of purple today!"

    If a child does something caring or generous, you might gently draw his attention to the effect of his action on the other person: "Look at Abigail’s face! She seems pretty happy now that you gave her some of your snack." This is completely different from praise, where the emphasis is on how you feel about her sharing

    * Talk less, ask more. Even better than descriptions are questions. Why tell him what part of his drawing impressed you when you can ask him what he likes best about it? Asking "What was the hardest part to draw?" or "How did you figure out how to make the feet the right size?" is likely to nourish his interest in drawing. Saying "Good job!", as we’ve seen, may have exactly the opposite effect.

    This doesn’t mean that all compliments, all thank-you’s, all expressions of delight are harmful. We need to consider our motives for what we say (a genuine expression of enthusiasm is better than a desire to manipulate the child’s future behavior) as well as the actual effects of doing so. Are our reactions helping the child to feel a sense of control over her life -- or to constantly look to us for approval? Are they helping her to become more excited about what she’s doing in its own right – or turning it into something she just wants to get through in order to receive a pat on the head

    It’s not a matter of memorizing a new script, but of keeping in mind our long-term goals for our children and watching for the effects of what we say. The bad news is that the use of positive reinforcement really isn’t so positive. The good news is that you don’t have to evaluate in order to encourage.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Copyright © 2001 by Alfie Kohn. This article may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained in order to reprint this article in a published work or in order to offer it for sale in any form. Please write to the address indicated on the Contact page at www.alfiekohn.org.





    www.alfiekohn.org -- © Alfie Kohn
     
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Allan, I've attended classes and taught at the Parent Encouragement Program in Kensington, MD (www.parentencouragement.org), since my difficult child 1 was 4 years old. One of the earliest techniques we're taught is using encouragement instead of praise with our children. In our classes, we also cite Alfie Kohn's research as a reason for not lavishing rewards on children for getting them to behave a certain way. husband and I have fought using reward-based behavior plans with our children, even when our mental health professionals shake their heads in dismay (it seems rewards are the mainstay in their behavior toolboxes, which honestly is a sad state of affairs).

    Thanks for posting. I couldn't agree with Alfie Kohn more.
     
  3. helpmehelphim

    helpmehelphim New Member

    Smallworld, like you, we have fought this too. We used to use a lot of praise and even followed some of the Barkley stuff (which is helpful to some long term but wasn't for us once it stopped). It wasn't long before we could see that actually both kids took situations that were without praise as very negative and that they had done something wrong. They didn't seem as able to tap into the intrinsic feelings created by achieving something.

    I remember discussing this issue with the school psychologist a couple of years ago because the school was big into praise and rewards (which at certain ages can be quite demeaning to some children and can turn things upside down. Take AR for example, all of a sudden, some kids aren't reading for enjoyment, they are reading for the prizes, parties and grades). I love the word "encouragement". It conjures up the image of helping in me. I need that a lot in my world, especially lately.

    Thanks for the post Allan. I agree too and have seen the power of this in our home.
     
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The other day, difficult child told me she received a 100 on her civics test (first time ever) and instead of the 'tic' response, "Excellent, great job!", I asked her, "Wow, how does THAT feel?" and she smiled broadly and said, "Excellent, like I'm not such a loser, like I can do this!" and that was the end of that conversation. SHE felt good about her work. I was happy for her. Yes, I felt pride and wanted to clap her on the back, but it was more important that SHE congratulate herself than I.

    When the kids were little and played on various sports teams, they all would receive a trophy at the end of the season's BBQ in town. EVERY kid got a trophy, whether they were on the winning team or not, whether they were last place or 2nd. Almost weekly, the coaches would host a pizza party or give them ice pops after games. H and I were so confused by this...we wondered why they were getting trophies, pizza parties, etc., especially when they hadn't done anything special or even worked hard to make any wins. BOth our daughter's were on losing teams (equally on winning ones as well) and they still carried home a trophy. I have so many trophies packed in boxes - what will we do with them all? Anyway, one time this other parent said, "Isn't it wonderful that all the kids get to feel like winners at the end of the season? Isn't it nice they all get to bring home a trophy?" And both H and I simultaneously said, "No, not really..." and the women looked at us as if we'd slapped her. She went on to say how important it is for the child's self esteem to be recognized for at least 'trying'. "How ridiculous" H said, "don't you think these kids realize that they didn't earn the award? Don't you think we're setting them up for unrealistic expectations and massive disappointment down the line? Should they be rewarded for just existing? What is the point of competing if everyone wins?" We had to leave at that point because people were starting to give us strange looks. lol -
     
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    All of the reward systems & "good jobs" have taught the tweedles a sense of entitlement. I'm reminded of the episode of Everyone Loves Raymond where grandma rants on & on about stickers. A sticker for going potty, good job is the line that stuck with me the most.

    When kt is home, I thank her for going the extra step in her chores & whatnot. Other than that, I encourage her to make good choices & reiterate the feeling of having done the "right thing" as a reward.

    Fighting the reward mentality in both kt & wm is an ongoing battle for us. wm, especially, is so very stuck on our visits being all about spending money on him, rather than spending time playing a game, taking a walk or reading together. Our visits, therefore, aren't always pleasant.

    Thanks for posting this.
     
  6. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Hi,
    in my humble opinion the greatest tool a parent has with a kid is conversation and dialog. By using dialog questions we can help a kid reflect on what he has done , take perspectives. We can problem solve , work things through together , all this promotes so many cognitive skills .Praise stops conversations.

    from a previous thread on praise

    My kid has never responded well to praise seeing it as an attempt to control or stroke him , or when I praised him for not yelling , he put me down by saying Dad , am I such a bad kid that you have to praise me for not yelling ! So I was pretty excited about the following I read in Myrna Shure's book Thinking parent, Thinking child
    A problem with too much praise is that children start performing to please you instead of THEMSELVES , instead of becoming motivated by their own desire to do well or by their own enjoyment of what they are doing
    So scripts like you worked very hard, how do you feel about what you did?
    Tell me more about the game , test etc
    What were you thinking about when you drew the dog , scored the goal
    Comments like these focus your child's attention on her feelings and thoughts rather than achievements teaches that it is the trying that counts
    kids really enjoy and feel good when they talk and celebrate what happened to an appreciative audience

    Allan
     
  7. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    this is good stuff! hey I have a three yr old grandson coming up and can use it and get a do-over! :smile:
     
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I've never been one to over praise a child. Although I'll hand out a hardy Good Job to a child who has worked hard and earned it.

    I caught on to all the over praising when I was a kid. Honestlly, it got on my nerves when people did it. Most especially when teachers did it. And believe me, sometimes they would praise the most ridiculous things.

    I'm seeing it again in college now. It still gets on my nerves. lol My human biology professor is one of the most intelligent and nicest men you could ever meet. I really like the guy. But he goes way over board on the praise. I think he'd be mortified if he ever thought he'd actually hurt a student's feelings. lol

    But if he tells me how amazingly intelligent I am one more time, I'm gonna gag. Okay, so I get an A in his class. And yes, I'm from what seems to be the dumbest county in the state. (you wouldn't believe it if I told you) But while I'm far from stupid, I'm not amazingly intelligent either. I do the work and I actually study. And I WANT to learn what he has to teach.

    Back when easy child was young she got mad at us because we stopped praising her A report card and papers. An A for her was the *norm*. While we were proud, I made sure we found other things to praise. Things she really had to work to acheive. But geez, by the time the school was done praising her for her grades, the kid had a head the size of the good year blimp! She didn't need anymore in that area. So I picked things like when she spent the day attempting to draw a picture of something special. Drawing is and never was something that comes easily for her. Or when she'd dare to drift into something completely new.

    I think when you praise a kid for every little thing, the value of praise soon begins to mean nothing. So that once they do something big and you praise them, it has no real meaning for them anymore.

    Does that make sense?
     
  9. helpmehelphim

    helpmehelphim New Member

    Lisa- I like what you said about the praise losing meaning when it's done so much. It can seem manipulative, I think. And as my kids have proven over the years, if there's no praise, they feel like they haven't done well for some reason. The same holds true here for rewards, sticker charts and the like. All of a sudden they are doing things for the reward as opposed to doing things for the intrinsic value. Then it became a "what's in it for me". It took little time for them to go to "what do you give me for doing this? Or "what will we do after I do this?" They learned all right, just not what I had intended. It did little to help us with- behavior. As Allan says, the most changes have come from conversation. It's taken a long time and we have a long way to go but I see the changes in our relationships, which helps us all here. It's the long road I think, but I'm not sure there's a short road in this business..... there's just learning and living.
     
  10. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I find it insulting that you are all here laying down bricks on charts, rewards, consequences and behavioral modification.

    I truly believe that this here is partly what is wrong with our children nowadays.

    There is nothing, not one single thing, wrong with telling kids "good job". There is nothing wrong with doing behavioral modification, using rewards, charts, and consistent consequences to change behaviors in children.

    Using rewards does not mean having to spend money. You can use rewards like extra time with mom, reading stories, playing an extra game before bed, and all the like, over monetary "prizes".

    I don't have issues with all the issues the majority of you do because of the fact that I have done the behavior modification with outstanding results. In all honesty, my child that was once severe ODD is NO LONGER ODD, and we have actually removed his ODD diagnosis from his Axis I.

    I wonder how that happened if behavior mod/rewards is so bad? Not only that, my son is a very happy go lucky kid that is HAPPY HE IS GOOD, because HE KNOWS HE IS GOOD, BECAUSE I TAUGHT HIM THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD CHOICES AND BAD, NOT CODDLING OVER HIM BECAUSE OF EVERY LITTLE THING.

    And for the record, we no longer USE the charts. It's a step process.

    Not everyone believes in Alfie whatever his name is or Ross Greene. You should try to remember some of us have solid rules, and diagnosis or not, the child should have to obey them. That, my friends, is partially what is wrong with the kids in our society. Let's baby them. Let's listen to all their anxietys and feelings. Let's not make them accountable because, awwww, we may hurt their feelings.

    This here really burns me up. Stop condemning using behavior modification. Just because you don't feel like fighting with your kids to get them to do what you want them to do doesn't mean the rest of us may not want to try. Obviously, you're all entitled to your opinions, as am I.

    Janna
     
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    helpme - I couldn't do sticker charts and such for the same reason. My kids are all smart. Took them less than a week to come up with the attitude of "what are you willing to give me for doing this?" whenever I tried something like that. I couldn't do allowance either.
    The best I ever managed was payment for doing chores that were above and beyond what they were expected to do. And with that they had to be willing to work cheap. lol
     
  12. helpmehelphim

    helpmehelphim New Member

    Janna, I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm coming down on behavior modification. Honestly, if Barkley or Riley had worked for me (and using his rewards which he relies heavily on) I probably wouldn't have kept searching and found Alfie Kohn or Ross Greene. But, it didn't work for my son. And quite honestly made things worse. But that was my house and my kid.

    I believe that what we are doing in supporting each other is trading information that we find useful. We are both right and the other people here who use other approaches and find other ways to teach their children are right too. The "right" comes from what gives our children and ourselves relief from these illnesses. I believe in behavior modification and see it work for some kids. I believe in working with as well and see approaches like Greene work for other kids. We are all different and it makes complete sense to me that different approaches are going to help different kids. I do not believe that what I find helpful is what everyone "should" find helpful. I only offer my best information in an effort to give back what this board has graciously given me. I usually try and say "take what might help and leave the rest".

    I apologize if it seemed that I was saying that this is all there is and it is the only "right". It was my poor wording if that is the case. I do not feel that way. I used other approaches first and I tried them with seriousness and great effort. They were approaches provided by counselors over the years and we've been to many. It was actually through this board that I even found Greene and Kohn. I owe this board a lot and to me that means that I owe each and every parent on this board a great deal. Whatever we do that helps and teaches is right and I want every parent to know that I respect that.
     
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    We've used reward systems and charts to keep difficult child on target with her chores and school work. They worked sometimes and they didn't others. We were consistent in our expectations, however, we always had to come up with different methodologies to help her make the connection. Like I said, I don't think any ONE thing works. I think each child is different and requires a different approach. I do agree with the article (and Lisa) in the respect that constantly praising our kids seems to not be special after a while. And I also agree that always rewarding them for every little thing they do, things that EVERYONE has to do, creates an environment in which they won't do a thing without an outside reward rather than simple satisfaction of a job well done.

    Bottom line: There is a time and a place for rewards.
     
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janna

    I wasn't condemning either. I used praise when it is appropriate. As for my opinion on the over-use of praise, it stands as I stated. It is my opinion based on many years of experience with many children, not just my own. The charts and such never worked in my house. I had to use other methods that did work for my kids.

    Each of us use what works best for our own kids. No offense was intended.
     
  15. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I agree with HMHH. I have an ex-difficult child who spent all HIS time as a child trying to defeat b-mod until it became a very un-funny game. I really believe that his ODD came from his need to counter-control all the b-mod at school.

    I am analytically oriented and chose his therapists based on those beliefs. However, that choice doesn't help you get from point A to point B with an oppositional kid on a day-to-day basis at home. That is why I was so happy to find Ross Greene shortly after the first edition of his book was published. He outlined a home method that worked with a kid who could not LET others control him and was compatible with intrapsychic therapy.

    The problem with b-mod with depressed kids (boys especially) is that they take what Allan started pointing out about reinforcers and and take it to the inversed max. They say in effect--"take your reinforcers and put them where where the sun don't shine." Unfortunately, then they do self-destructive and self-punitive things in a twisted sort of "getting even" with the punisher.

    Years ago, there were many discussions on these boards, some heated, about the relative merits of Riley/Barkley vs Greene. It was intuitively obvious to me that if I did a "full Riley" on my ex-difficult child, he would be in the ER shortly due to suicidal thoughts/gestures or attempts. He wasn't being manipulative--being punished by having things taken away made him feel so badly about himself he wanted to die. This is clearly not a productive strategy for a kid who feels this way.

    It's not that I am permissive--I'm not and I think that many parents of young, currently easy child, children are so permissive and/or disengaged, that they will have problems when their children are adolescents.

    So I hope that everyone will realize that there are many styles of parenting and many kids who do not respond as the authors of books intended. Greene's techniques greatly reduced exgfg's ODDness. He has no diagnosis's at all now although, of course, he remains biologically at risk for depressive relapse. It seems that finding the right match for the kid's needs and the parent's style is really what makes a positive difference.

    Martie
     
  16. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Martie,

    You are describing my oldest difficult child exactly. We used to say that he would go to the nuclear option rather than do something he didn't want to do. The less heavy handed we got we him the better. B-mod was a total failure, among other reasons because my kids weren't capable of complying. and yes paying in whatever currency to get results either resulted in frustration on their part when they couldn't be successful or a sense of pay me or I won't do it. with my oldest now that he is more stabilized, he seems to want to do his best more and more out of sense of feeling good internally.

    I hope that if you are reading this thread and finding that b-mod is not giving you and your family the desired results will consider reading Kohn. It was a really eye-opening read for me. Also Greene has some material in Exp. Child about why behavior mod doesn't work on certain kids.

    Thanks Allan for posting it.

    Chris
     
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    They say in effect--"take your reinforcers and put them where where the sun don't shine."
    LOL! Good point.


    Years ago, there were many discussions on these boards, some heated, about the relative merits of Riley/Barkley vs Greene.

    Could you please post these dr's full names and a book title or two? I'm not sure these are the same authors I've seen.
    Thanks!

    Great discussion, by the way. Thanks again.
     
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think we should try different things until they work. And there's nothing wrong with using a method that may work well in one particular situation, and a different method in another. Maybe "Good job" isn't bad, maybe something else is needed sometimes.

    It worries me that anyone would have a hard and fast rule against praising their children. Each situation deserves it's own recognition. We aren't machines and neither are our children.
     
  19. helpmehelphim

    helpmehelphim New Member

    Terry, I've got all these books on my shelves, so I'd be happy to post the names. I still pull them out to look up references, etc. There are others too, but these are the ones that have been discussed in this thread. They are:

    Brien Riley, "The Defiant Child"

    Russell Barkley, "Your Defiant Child, 8 Steps to Better Behavior" and many other books as well. (as an aside, I spent 2 plus years following Barkley)

    Ross Greene, "The Explosive Child" as well as "Treating the Explosive Child".

    and I'm sure Allan gave this in his quotes above,

    Alfie Kohn, "Unconditional Parenting" and many others.

    I hope that helps!
     
  20. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Terry, on the homepage along the left side is a section on books. If you click on the subjects it will give you all kinds of information. :smile:

    http://www.conductdisorders.com/

    Suz
     
Loading...