Saturday, August 30, 2003
Raising Your Spirited Child
I read this article.
I wrote this response:
Your review of the book Raising Your Spirited Child is a poor one. It's widely popular because it offers answers and strategies to parents whose children fit Kurcinka's descriptions. It's usefulness is progressive; it's not a book meant to be read and then put on a shelf to gather dust. It supports a very active, involved parenting that must be refined and revisited often as the child grows.
I'll not address the ADD issue direct except to say that in your passion to be of support to ADD effected children and family members, you have lost the ability to be objective. You do not acknowledge the fact that some challenging children are in fact not ADD.
I find it unsettling that you dismiss and disparage the work and research that has proven to help thousands of families.
Kurcinka's book is an awesome resource; it's not a panacea and it's not presented as one. She encourages seeking outside medical evaluation and she gives some guidelines as to when that might be needed.
I kept it short, because otherwise I would have submitted my manuscript. ;) The more I think about it (which is too much, really) the more irritated I get with the author of the article. Her bias is apparent in very line of her article. RYSC is a book that can help the family of any "more" child, including ADD ones (whatever the real percentage is). RYSC calls parents out of passivity and into action.
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
I had the opportunity to answer the "real world" question (yet again) about reward/punishment in child rearing:
Ah, yes the "real world" arguement. My children are *in* the real world. Fortunately for all involved, I am not the police, the judge, the IRS, the government or the boss who pays them. I am their parent. I do not need to make my parenting decisions based on a relationship between adults in the real world.
The reward/punishment paradigm (aka behavior modification) can "work". However, I find its usefulness limited and it's motive creepy. I expect my kids to behave because it's the right thing. Not because they will get arbitrarily punished if they don't or rewarded if they do.
Many children parented outside the reward/punishment paradigm *are* in fact disciplined and held to a high standard. They are held accountable, develop self control and grow in accountability. I just see no reason to withold game boy or offer a lolipop in order to teach good behavior in the long term.
Lack of arbitrary punishment as a child does not equal permissivenss.