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


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Another parenting expert who has written many books is John Rosemond. He is the author or "Ending the Homework Hassle" and "The New Six Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children."

For a long time, Rosemond has maintained that kids today are overpraised and not held accountable for their actions which has led to a generation of kids with severe entitlement issues. He is not mentioned much on the board because he probably is the antithesis of Ross Greene. However, in my humble opinion, he has a lot of great, straight-forward, no-nonsense ideas that I wish that I had at my disposal when my kids were young.

Here is a copy of an article he wrote about self-respect versus self-esteem. I think it contributes a lot to this discussion:


Study: Too much self-esteem means little self-control

John Rosemond
6/24/2004 03:41 pm

A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the Universities of Nebraska and Virginia has corroborated what I’ve been saying in this column for nigh unto 20 years: High self-esteem is a problem, not a solution to a problem.

Researchers have discovered that people with high self-esteem tend to have low self-control. That makes sense, as only regard for the rights of others keeps one’s more nasty impulses in tether, and the more regard for one’s self, the less regard for the other guy. I have often said what I will now repeat: The desired goal should be self-respect, not self-esteem.

“Well, John,” a fellow recently said, “I think you’re mincing words. You’re really talking about the same thing.”

The fellow’s challenge reflects the fact that our national obsession with attaining the supposed “cure all” of high self-esteem (and making sure our children acquire it in abundance) has resulted in semantic confusion. People tend to think that self-confidence, self-respect and self-esteem are one and the same.

Common also is the notion that “true” self-esteem is acquired not by being praised a lot but through accomplishment.

So, let’s examine these issues in whatever depth this column will allow.

To take the last first, if self-esteem is all about accomplishment, then it is an un-American notion. Why? Because it would mean that those who, by virtue of endowment, are not capable of much in the way of accomplishment are not due a lot of self-esteem. The meritocracy of self-esteem should not appeal to anyone other than people with high self-esteem, who tend, so the research says, to delight in the notion that they are a cut above the rest of us.

As for self-esteem and self-confidence being one and the same, and speaking personally, I don’t have a lot of confidence when it comes to certain things. I pride myself, in fact, on knowing what I do well, and knowing what I do not do well. The research says that people with high self-esteem do not seem able to assess their own abilities accurately. They tend to think they are good, or capable of being good, at everything. This is the sort of pride that goes before a big fall. It is simply not functional to be confident across the board. Rather, it is smart to know what situations one would do best to avoid and when to ask for help. That most sensible trait is not characteristic of people with high opinions of themselves.

Which brings us to the difference between self-respect and self-esteem. The former is acquired as a consequence of giving respect away, of doing things for others. The more respect for others that goes around, the more self-respect comes around. Self-esteem, on the other hand, is acquired as a consequence of people doing things for you — praising you indiscriminately, creating artificial success experiences for you, giving you material things and generally treating you like the potentate we all, deep inside, want to be.

People with high self-respect feel a sense of obligation to others. People with high self-esteem, on the other hand, feel that others are obligated to them. They feel entitled, and the feeling that one is entitled leads directly to all manner of rude, ill-mannered, anti-social behavior — lying, bullying, temper tantrums, and worse. Sounds like some children you know? Maybe some adults? Right, because the high self-esteem child is “father” not to a caring, compassionate, charitable man or woman, but to an overgrown high self-esteem perpetual child whose personal motto is “What I want, I deserve to have, and no one has a right to stand in my way.”

No, the difference between self-esteem and self-respect is not a mere matter of mincing words. The real difference produces two entirely different sorts of people, and therefore two entirely different sorts of culture. If you’ve traveled abroad to any significant degree, then you know exactly what I mean.

John Rosemond is a family psychologist and columnist for Knight Ridder Newspapers.

Tribune News service.


by the way, Janna, I agree with you. There is nothing wrong with saying "Great Job" when in fact the child has done a great job. The problem comes when saying that when it is really a mediocre effort at best simply to make the child "feel good about themselves."

I also agree with the poster who said every child does not deserve a medal just for participating in an activity. Life is full of healthy competition and I think kids need to learn that early. It drives me crazy that many schools have done away with honor rolls and award ceremonies. Once they graduate, the corporate world is full of rewards (ie. raises, bonuses, trips) for good work. I don't think we are preparing this generation for the real world (me included ~ both of my girls have entitlement issues).



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I don't agree with whoever this author is. It is just his opinion. I will continue to tell all five of my kids (even grown ones) good job, in more adult terms, of course. I can't see it's ever hurt a kid of mine.


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Ah! I have definitely read most of those. Some of the names are relatively common so I wanted to make sure.
I don't think that Rosemond is a 100% antithesis of Greene because I think they're talking about apples and oranges. I've seen a few things by Rosemond that address PDDs... he's generally addressing behavior, rather than pervasive developmental issues... how do I explain, iow, he always makes it a point to put aspies in a diff. category when he's discussing behavior and he cuts a lot more slack for them. He also expects the reader to know that, and I think that's why so much of the gen'l public misunderstands him. He assumes readers are all as well versed as we are on this bb! LOL!

I'm re-reading The Explosive Child right now. It did me absolutely no good today... difficult child was home with-a cold 2 days in a row, plus, the handyman was here, plus the carpet cleaners were here... I tried to get difficult child to take his pill by just walking away and letting him do it by himself (he complained to the therapist and to me that I hound him, so I thought I'd let him do it himself). NOT! He took full advantage of that. A few min. later, I sat on the couch with-him and tried again, and then the carpet guy needed my attention and I told him to wait but I couldn't sit there forever with-difficult child and he knew it, took advantage of that, too... I sent him to his room and he went out to the kitchen, made eggs, made popcorn, (I went to the bathroom, and wrote a check to the carpet cleaners... what, 5, 10 min?), difficult child turned on the TV, I turned off the TV and sent him back to his room... KABOOM! (as the book says). Turning off the TV with-no warning did it.
The popcorn flew across the room, chairs were knocked over...
he finally went to his room, only to destroy it, including kicking a hole in the wall (or maybe it was a thrown toy car?).
So, his computer privileges are gone. Nada. He had it for one whole day!!!! After waiting a month.
At least he doesn't hit me any more. He shook his fist in my face but that was all. I can be thankful for some restraint on his part. I guess that's what it's all about... baby steps.

Sometimes that book makes no sense. Am I supposed to walk into the LR where difficult child is sitting on the LazyBoy like a king, popcorn all over, TV blaring, after he's already been sent to his room, and I'm supposed to calmly say, "I'm very upset with-you, Sweetkins, for leaving your room, so I'm going to give you two options; either turn off the TV now or I'll turn off the TV now" and then expect him to say, "No problem, Mom, I'll just turn it off this second and go straight back to my room and whistle and smile all the way."
I can't have an hr-long discussion every time something happens.

And why isn't there a section in that book that teaches kids how to give their parents Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C, because parents go KABOOM! ?

Mostly, I just remind myself by looking at the cover of the book that I have an unsual child, and seeing the title validates it. And sometimes that's enough.


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in my humble opinion, a healthy balance of all of these things is the best way. Any parenting method to an extreme is probably not the healthiest. And we have seen time and time again, what works for one of your children may not work for another one, even in the same household.
I think it is difficult to balance parenting with a difficult child. I tend to swing myself to whatever is working best at keeping peace in the home at that point in time. Seriously, I have had so much success with detachment it is not even funny. It may seem like I am less involved, but actually I get much more information from my difficult child when I am detached.


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Terry ~ I haven't read anything on what Rosemond says on Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and I'm glad that he recognizes Autism as a condition that can't be "cured" or "handled" with good old-fashioned discipline. I have read a great deal about his thoughts on ADHD, however. He seems to believe that there is a rush to label good old-fashioned bad behavior as a diagnosed disorder.

He doesn't discount disorders like ADHD but feels they are vastly over diagnosed. I have to say that I agree. It seems like at least half of my students are medicated nowadays.

Allan ~ I didn't mean to hijact your thread with a discussion on the merits of John Rosemond. I just thought what he said on self-esteem versus self-respect added to the discussion.

Thanks for starting an interesting thread!



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<font color="blue">back in the day when i first found this site doug riley was all the rage here & even posted here. i read his book....read it twice as a matter of fact. by the time i finished reading it someone mentioned ross greene's explosive child.

riley's defiant child methods would never have worked for jarrod. he was deeply depressed & the more you pushed him to do something the harder he fought back. i heaved a huge sigh of relief when i finished reading the explosive child. i knew this would work much better for my son. that being said, i can tell you he figured out *the plan* in less than a week lol.

while i'm a huge greene fan that is not to say that i didn't/don't hold my kids accountable for their decisions. I DO!!!

there is, i believe, a middle ground to be found. there is a delicacy to parenting. that fine line between hardcore behavior mod & the gentler approach used by greene.

eventually our kids will grow up & become adults. at that point society takes over & society will hold them accountable whether we like it or not. even kids/people who suffer from a mental illness needs to be held accountable for their poor choices. we must, at some point ~~~ & i think sooner rather than later is better ~~~ stop rescuing them & making excuses for their poor choices.

kris </font>


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I'm finally getting the time and energy to get to this thread - I knew it would require more concentration than I've been able to spare lately!

I must admit, I don't fully agree with withholding praise where it's appropriate. I can't change what I do that I have found that works. I WILL share this with easy child 2/difficult child 2 in her new role as child care student ; let her have as much information and resources as possible so she can draw her own conclusions.

My take on all this - we need, in all our dealings with our children, to use HONESTY. We can bite our tongues at times instead of falling into a shrieking rage which will do no good at all ("WHY did you cut your hair with the nail scissors!??!? I don't care if your best friend Stephanie turned up at school with a new haircut which everybody says looks lovely; THEY'RE disgustingly rich, HER mother took her to the hairdresser to the stars, do you have any idea how much that man charges??!? And you somehow thought that you, at four years old and with NO training as well as no decent fine motor skills, thought you could do a comparable job on YOUR hair, in the dark inside the wardrobe??!?"). Sometimes we need to not talk. Like the time easy child 2/difficult child 2 "did her own make-up" using Permanent Markers.

Other times, we need to say something. Without some initial encouragement, some kids will not persist. And I can't see how some praise will make children MORE hesitant. I've found it does the opposite. I often coach kids 1:1 on subjects they are doing poorly in. These kids have poor self-esteem and a hunched look that screams, "I've been told I'm no good at this." I start them off on some gentle exercises and encourage every time they get it right. I try and match what I say to them, to what I feel they need to hear (keeping it honest, always). And what do I see? Increasing confidence in reaching for the answer, because they are learning that I will not think badly of them if they get it wrong. I will, instead, help them find the right answer without criticism. "Wow! You just solved a really tricky maths problem, you've learnt so much!" I don't see anything wrong with credit where credit is due.

HOWEVER - I see a LOT wrong with "good job!" where the job was mediocre. A lot of kids, especially ones like mine, it seems, do not respond well to 'blanket praise'. difficult child 3 is actually very scathing about what he considers inappropriate praise. There have been times when I've praised him and he's accused me of exaggerating the effort. "Come on, Mum, it wasn't THAT great!" But if I think it was, I'll tell him so, and why. If he's caught me out, I will admit it and then say, "I just wanted to encourage you. But I can see I don't need to do that." And maybe make light of it.
The recent work that my kids were involved in over the holidays, with the film shoot - the producers hired a Special Education worker trained in autism to work with the kids, as a support and to help resolve any stress the kids were having. At one stage she took difficult child 3 outside for a break when he seemed to be getting over-anxious. And all the time, when she spoke to the kids (including quite a number who are well into adulthood, and even the 'normal' siblings) her tone of voice was patronising. It's all I can call it. She was a lovely lady, but even talking to us parents she sounded false. And the kids picked up on it. They would rehearse the scene, she would say, "That was GREAT!" in slow, exaggerated tones with big hand gestures, and the kids would mumble, "yeah, whatever..." and difficult child 3 would say, "What do you mean, it was great? We made all sorts of mistakes!" easy child 2/difficult child 2 came up to me quietly soon after she began working with the kids and said, "Is she for real?"
And I think this is endemic to the species ("Special Education teacher trained in autism") because difficult child 3's drama class has one of these denizens whose job is to greet the kids on arrival, make sure we sign the book and to tell us any information we need about meetings, etc. And she greets the kids with the same, pseudo-jolly levity that has me cringing. "My, Adam! How you've grown! I love your shirt - did Mummy buy it?" Adam is about 20, works at a local supermarket. it's not so much the words, it's HOW it's said - the jolly falseness of it all. And my kids really react badly to it.

When people praise using THAT tone of voice, then it's perceived, especially by a lot of Aspies and autistic kids, to be false. These kids are constantly studying human behaviour and are extremely sensitive about honesty and following rules. While I have found praise works, I have to ration it carefully and use it wisely.

I strongly believe that under those conditions of use, praise is one of the best things we can do for our children.



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Im a Riley fan. Greene simply doesnt make sense with my kid who would argue with a fence post and win. He is way too manipulative for that. I should have used Riley much more consistently and effectively but Cory was good at beating me at my own game there too.

Riley is quite similar to what is used in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s as far as level systems.


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Perhaps I'm not understanding some of the posts because it's late and I work most nights, I'm pretty tired but I did want to clarify something. Ross Greene doesn't say anywhere that a parent should give up on accountability or expectations. I made an appointment and waited 10 months to see him. My son and I met with him for a couple of hours. He had read my entire notebook full of medical history as well as my written narrative. He talked a whole lot about expectations and even shared with me his own family information and some of the expectations he has for his kids. He even talks about behavior modification and how it works for many kiddos. He adds that if it doesn't, there are other approaches, with his being one.

Greene's approach is about helping kids with cognitive deficits and lagging or blocked skills/pathways. He gives an approach that in the end, can help kids get around those blockages and learn the skills that others were perhaps born with and don't have to learn like language, social, executive functioning and cognitive. I have not found that with my son, I could try and collaborate from the beginning and think that he's going to "get it". It's a process that we do over and over and over. Dr. Greene helped us role play when we were there. One of the main things that I tell my son is this (and Greene told him too):

I can help you, I can collaborate with you and share my concerns while listening to yours and I want to do that. I cannot however, do it for you. You have the responsibility of being part of the solution. We are solving problems by finding solutions...I'm not doing that for you. He knows that he has a responsibility to get out of the muck and try. He may feel badly, things may be difficult--they will not change though until he brings his part to the table.

I think that is key here. This isn't about me coddling him or being permissive, this is about me trying my best (as we all are) to teach him to take responsibility for himself, his problems, etc. This is about teaching him that regardless of diagnosis or disorder, or deficits, he has a part and a responsibility in living. And Greene freely told him that. Greene works with Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s for goodness sakes and with juvenile justice all over this country and Canada. He has the Center for Collaborative Problem Solving that is part of Boston Medical and Harvard University.

His ideas may not work for all kids, but for some, they offer a chance at living and learning how to deal with others and problem solve. The approach has helped my son take more responsibility and accountability (not to mention become more flexible and less frustrated). Someone may be reading this that needs some hope, I know I needed it so badly. And the more options we all give them, the better for them. I just don't want someone to think that Greene is the "easy answer" or the "permissive way". because his approach is not. It's been hard as heck for us...but that's parenting...hard, isn't it?


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Often when parenting a difficult child we are so concerned with putting out fires, making our homes functional that we lose the bigger picture of ' parenting'. Being very passionate about Collaborative problem solving approach - Ross Greene - The explosive child, Edward de Bono - Teach your child how to think , The Myrna Shure series - Raising a thinking child etc , the book Unconditional parenting - moving away from Rewards and punishments to love and reason helped complete and round off the paradigm shift that the Explosive child started for me.
In his foreword Kohn asks parents - what are your long term objectives for your children ? what word or phrase comes to your mind to describe how you would like them to turn out , what would you want them to be once they are grown ? Most parents said that they wanted their kids to be happy, balanced independent, fulfilled, thoughtful , loving , caring etc. Kohn then argues that interactions with children that evoke discussion, examination and reflection of who they are and their impact on others will help with these goals. Rewards and punishments may in the short-term produce compliance but engraves on the kid's mind the question , what's in it for me , what will I get if I do this , what will be done to me if I do this. Parenting is not just getting behavior , doing kind acts but rather becoming a kind person.

from an interview with Alfie Kohn
I do an exercise with teachers or parents in which I ask them a simple question: What do you want your kids to be like long after they've left you and left school? And everywhere people say: We want our kids to be caring, compassionate, creative, curious, lifelong learners, responsible decision-makers, good communicators, and so on. So then the question becomes: Can we best pursue these goals by using the same teacher-centered traditional model under which we were taught? You say you want kids to be caring and responsible, and yet you're using rewards and consequences that undermine a sense of responsibility and get kids hooked on trying to avoid the punishment and get the reward. The research clearly shows that kids who are rewarded or praised are less generous than their peers. It shows that kids raised in an environment of clear black-and-white rules, which they are expected to obey on pain of punitive consequence, are less likely to become ethically sophisticated. And if we're talking about the academic domain, the research shows that schools using traditional grading produce kids for whom three things are true: 1) they think less critically about the issues in front of them; 2) they prefer easier tasks if given the choice and will go out of their way to avoid challenge; and 3) they're less interested in learning.

For me, it's all about understanding the difference between reasonable, ambitious goals for kids and the worn out, illegitimate practices of teaching (which are now being made worse in the name of raising standards).

self esteem
Alfie Kohn gave me some great answers about praise and self esteem. Often ODD kids don't have a problem of self esteem and ego. Research suggests that low self esteem is negative for a peson but high self esteem does not neccessary lead to positive or prosocial behavior . It depends on the ' self ' of the self esteem , how self centered the kid is. Boys that have high self esteem are often involved in risky sexual behavior , usually girls with low self esteem are involved in risky sexual behavior Praise is often interpreted as an attempt to control and manipulate one and ODD kids pick this up very quickly . Kohn would argue that strategies used by Rosemond teach kids to ask what's in it for me


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in my humble opinion, a healthy balance of all of these things is the best way. Any parenting method to an extreme is probably not the healthiest. And we have seen time and time again, what works for one of your children may not work for another one, even in the same household.
I think it is difficult to balance parenting with a difficult child. I tend to swing myself to whatever is working best at keeping peace in the home at that point in time. Seriously, I have had so much success with detachment it is not even funny. It may seem like I am less involved, but actually I get much more information from my difficult child when I am detached.

I wholeheartedly agree with this: balance and adapting methods to the child and situation. My difficult child has responded extremely well to Green's methods and I know we wouldn't be where we are today if we had stuck with authoritarian parenting. But likewise, my difficult child responds well to limited and carefully selected behavioral mod and we've used that to get him over some big hurdles. In fact shortly after I found this place he hit his absolute low point due to anxiety and a bad rxn to two SSRI's, and it was the use of both methods in very extreme forms at the same time that got him turned around. It was exhausting and nothing I could have/would have sustained for a long period but it did the job and got him turned around without medication or hospitalization.


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This is a great thread. Lots to think about.
Can't recall who wrote the note about how her child could argue the point no matter what, so Greene's book wouldn't work with-that child, but would work with-another. That's part of my problem. We keep telling difficult child he's going to be a lawyer or a lobbyist--he never gives up!
I'm going back to the Doug Riley book.

LOL about the cutting the hair with-nail clippers, and the face painting with-permanent markers!

Teachers are usually great about stuff like that. They take one look and laugh and said, "Oh, we know what she's been up to this weekend!" No questions asked.


I agree that what works for one kid may or may not work with another - it is trial and error.

We tried the good ol' sticker chart routine with difficult child 1. It worked great! As long as you never stopped giving him stickers and the resulting reward. Phase it out, he phased out the accompanying behavior just as fast (or slow). He needs strict and specific rules and guidelines, he doesn't understand what it means to "have a second chance" (its just inconsistency to him) and everything must be laid out in black and white - all gray eliminated. easy child 1, however, would have turned into a difficult child had he been held to the same standards. He needs the freedom and room to problem solve. He's a bit (admittedly) ODD, so having everything laid out for him as we have to do for difficult child 1 would push him away.

difficult child 2 came into this setting and turned it topsy-turvey again. He needs the guidelines, like difficult child 1, and he's capable of learning them, even seems to be capable of dealing with some gray, and has a lot of easy child's need for freedom to think in him, however, he can't process much at once. We've got to break everything down into minute little pieces. It took a year to be able to take him to the grocery store, and, silly me, I think "Yeah, stores have been conquered!" No, GROCERY stores have been conquered. We are now working on Dollar General. I expect it will take a year to conquer Dollar General, maybe longer, they have more things that interest him.

I do, however, have to agree that for neuro-typical children, the overuse of praise can be detrimental. If you play a competitive game, someone will win, and someone will lose. Such is life. And pretending its not that way, or, that a mediocre performance is great and deserves a trophy or medal, just sets them up for future failure and disappointment.


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A lawyer maybe , and in his private life he will have problems because relationships are not about convincing people but ' working with them ', get along with them. A lobbyist needs more people's skills. Changing the dynamic in the home from a win-lose dynamic to a win-win dynamic is hard for the kid and equally hard for the parent. The kid needs the skills and also a belief that ' working with ' seves his interests. You don't argue or blame the kid , you learn with him , parallel thinking. You don't lecture to a kid , you use dialog questioning , you listen he talks , so you are working together , No argiung. Agreed that if a kid feels he is too powerful and he can win in any situation we have to deal with this sense of power. There was once in the archives a 7? part summary of Riley's book and one of the things it said about ODD kids ,
1 the believe that they will always win
2 they never learn from the past or their mistakes.

Eventually they will learn. I did not think that was so encouranging and certainly I did not have the structure of a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to take on my kid using ' power'. The more I would use power , the more the kid would resist. So the logical answer would be to avoid power struggles , relax the atmosphere , show your kid that you are not interested in controlling him with consequences but you want to work together.
It is not easy , but even if the process fails or the kid does not follow through , you are working on a life skill, you will go back to the drawing board and use those problem solving skills. As Gordon Thomas , author of Parent Effectiveness Training said , when you use power , you have lost an opportuntity for learning.



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Shari, one of the things I found is that my difficult child didn't work for small change. If I wanted to help him overcome big hurdles, I had to hold up very desirable incentives. We were into the 4's for potty training, delayed by issues we were totally in the dark about, then delayed again by surgery. Nothing was working so I dangled Magic School Bus computer games in front of him and it did the job. Expensive, yes, but at his size so were disposable diapers. It did the job and we've had years of use out of the games.

Later, when he crashed I was desperate because the doctor he needed to see was on medical leave so I made a last ditch effort and again used large incentives (like Lego sets). At first I was rewarding very short periods of time such as two hours and worked up from there. I don't even want to think about the money we spent on that but there again, it was replacing medications and psychiatrist trips so maybe it was a wash, plus he learned some long term coping skills near the end. It wasn't a pretty process--if I had had a crystal ball and known exactly which medication would have worked I probably would have gone for it but after two back to back medication reactions I was willing to move heaven and earth to find another way.

I know this isn't a method that would work for every kid but I'll throw it in the pot for parents who are searching.


New Member
Thanks SRL for sharing that link. I've gotten a lot out of reading it. It really comes down to the child (and parent of course) and what helps them. I'm glad there are choices. I've found myself thinking that a lot lately during this new home school experience. What environments and learning styles work for so many, don't work for all. It was like trying to smash a square peg in a triangle...or something like that. It was actually pretty frustrating to me to try for years things that seemed to work for so many kids and see those same things only increase the frustration in my kiddo to the point where he did spend a few days in the hospital. And it was only out of desperation that I started trying other things because quite honestly, an approach like Greene scared me in that it was so completely foreign to me being raised in a very authoritarian and judgmental environment as I came from back in the day.

Again, thanks for sharing that.


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Thank you all. It's so hard when he's screaming in my face. I just have a hard time letting him have the last word when he's like that. I have to quietly remind him, "We don't shout like that here," and then turn my back. Sigh.

Andrea Danielle

New Member
Hello everyone, this has turned out to be a very interesting thread! I agree that a blend of both approaches can work, and it is up to us parents to figure out what the blend might be. I am mainly trying to implement the CPS approach and when I do it successfully with difficult child (or with easy child) it feels so great, I feel like I have really accomplished something great because we are both learning something from the experience. I could jump for joy when it works! When I revert back to the authoritative parenting style, I feel awful and it certainly doesn't work. I have tried a lot of different sticker charts with difficult child which did not work! He lost interest really fast and it didn't seem to help his behaviour, it has worked with easy child but he can be pretty greedy with rewards. One thing we have found really successful is our newest Behaviour Modification type plan which we call "Brother Points", I have a sheet with numbers 1-100 on a chart and whenever we see either of them doing a nice brotherly type thing, I give them a point. This way, it encourages them to be kind to each other, by sharing, playing nicely, hugging etc... Even if it is only easy child who is accumulating points one day, they both win out! They have huge sibling rivalry issues so this puts them on the same "team" and gives them something to work towards together. Next weekend we are taking them to Niagara Falls overnight because they have earned enough points. In fact, all of their rewards are fun things that they can do together, never material rewards. This is something that really does work. Other than this, we are Ross Greene all the way!



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One thing we have found really successful is our newest Behaviour Modification type plan which we call "Brother Points", I have a sheet with numbers 1-100 on a chart and whenever we see either of them doing a nice brotherly type thing, I give them a point. This way, it encourages them to be kind to each other, by sharing, playing nicely, hugging etc...

[/ QUOTE ]

Wow, I'm impressed by how much work goes into that! The summer that easy child Sr. and difficult child spent in nonstop fighting and nothing else worked I cut straight to the core and paid easy child Sr. to make good choices when it came to treating difficult child. Cost me 50 cents a day and was some of the best money I ever spent. It worked so well I would have been willing to go a dollar...

No hugging though. That would have cost too much.