The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Oppositional Child, by Alan Kazdin.
The name of the book is misleading. This is a book about positive, solution-focused, empathic parenting. The typical phrases I hear from parents after they read this book is: “We (parents and kids) prepared a reward chart together,” and, “The nagging at home disappeared!” When I ask kids if they want to continue the reward chart, they answer: “Yes! I like the reward chart.” This book models solution-focused, positive parenting.
This book also clearly presents the concept that parenting programs do not always equal parents imposing their wishes on their kids. I recently heard a popular parenting book writer (not Dr. Kazdin) state basically, “Parenting programs equal parents imposing their wishes on their children, completely ignoring the feelings of their children, etc.” I imagine this bright and well-intentioned professional came to this extreme view from his frustration of learning about kids’ views and wishes being completely ignored in some parenting programs. I see where he is coming from, and I share his frustration, but the methods of Dr. Kazdin are definitely not like this stereotype.
I have read over 20 parenting books, and I have found this book to be the best one by far. Highly recommended. I have myself purchased over 10 copies of this book for lending to families at our clinic in Manitoba. School principals at our community have read this book and implemented the program at their schools with amazing results. Definitily worth the money and the time invested in reading and implementing the wisdom that Dr. Kazdin shares with us in this landmark book.
Dr. Kazdin book should really be called "How to Develop, Collaborating with Your Kids, A Behavioural Plan for the Entire Family Including Rules, Routines, and Focusing on Strengths." The blurb should say, “Follow our program and you all (parents and kids) will be happier and you will have the time and peace of mind to develop more meaningful connections with your children!” The title would be long. It would probably also shun the parents that need the book the most — the ones currently focused only on bad behaviours —so Dr. Kazdin’s title is probably a better title for his book. I bet he thought a lot about it!
Watch too the video:
Run, Jump, Learn! How Exercise can Transform our Schools: John J. Ratey, MD at TEDxManhattanBeach: