I have read articles by this guy and it super informed my parenting. Now, with my kid almost 5, I have finally read his book. Has anyone else read Unconditional Parenting? I found it to be really good for helping me constantly evaluate my relationship with my child, and the ways I interact with her.
The only problems I have with it, have more to do with society making it hard for me to make a lot of those parenting decisions, as opposed to having problems with the decisions themselves. Luckily, Kohn also is critical of culture and not just parents.
I hate misogynist blame mommy books. But I also hate the hyper-post-feminist "no one ever challenge/judge me on how I parent" attitude. I think its really useful to be able to reconsider our actions, and have dialogue around issues that different families have. I feel like I mostly see the pendulum swing one way or the other. On one hand people are so afraid of judgment (and rightfully so! our society is so unfriendly to families) that they think its inappropriate to suggest that something they are doing might not be effective, or might have shitty consequences. Or on the other side, people expect us to be supermoms, and have a happy child that never cries and only eats organic super food, and we do it all alone, most likely in our big house while the husband is at work. I like to think that I have agency in how I parent, can raise her in positive ways despite my vaguely self employed punk hippie status, and am open to suggestions. But I also experience hardships and oppression and sometimes act in ways that, upon reflection, I don't like. I felt like this book left room for that, which is awesome.
Seriously, I think everyone should read it. If for no other reason than to question conventional ideas about discipline that maybe a lot of us in American culture take for granted.