How to shape a childs behavior
Why punishment can actually increase bad behavior
How parents can use bad behavior to their advantage
How to manage resistant and oppositional children
How to use time-out correctly and effectively
Why parents often have to change their own behavior
Parents spend so much time and energy trying to make their
children behave, you would think they would have a deliberate, thought-out system for
accomplishing this goal. Most parents, however, lament that not only do they not
have a pre-determined plan, but that the "method" most of them use
punishment doesn't seem to work and it is very unpleasant to
administer. It seems that the majority of parents simply don't know any other way to
manage bad behavior in their children, so they resort to what their parents did with them
In his groundbreaking book, Dr. John Maag explains that
the problem with punishment is that it simply doesn't work. It is always contingent on a
child's bad behavior, it is based on principles of negative reinforcement and it is always
reactive in other words, a recipe for disaster. In its place, Dr. Maag suggests that parents try his method
a proactive approach that focuses on emphasizing and encouraging a child's good
behavior rather than trying to decrease his bad behavior. In addition, Dr. Maag suggests
using such bad behavior as a focal point for determining which behaviors need to be
changed. Although this might seem obvious, its much more complicated than one would
expect. Neither radical nor far-fetched, Maag's system, based on traditional applied
behavior analysis techniques, is completely sensible and effective.
Step-by-step directions, practical examples, fill-in charts and
questionnaires show parents how to effectively manage a wide range of problem behaviors in
their children, from minor problems to depression and attention deficit disorder (ADD)
Maag's method stresses consistency and positive reinforcement that will shape a child's
behavior far more profoundly than will punishment.
Filling a long-standing need,
Parenting Without Punishment
will help parents and teachers promote responsible, independent, creative and secure
"This book will help parents sort out the drivel from the worthwhile. Refreshingly full of common sense and well-worth reading.
"No other parenting book has so successfully taken principles
of behavior and transformed them into practical, easy-to-follow techniques.
Jo Webber (Former President of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders
"This excellent book has much to commend it. It should have
considerable appeal to parents
who have concerns about how to deal with their childrens problem behaviors.
It is likely to prove especially useful for therapists and counselors to give to parents
that they are assisting to implement behavioral procedures. It explains
principles of behavioral analysis in a clear manner, well illustrated with real-life examples.
It shows how the principles can be applied to a wide range of behavior problems, including some areas of major concern to many
parents ? attention deficits, depression and resistant behaviors.Throughout the book, Maag stresses
the need to apply behavioral principles correctly and consistently but also
positively, with the aim of enhancing the lives of both the children and the
parents. He argues for ensuring that behaviors seen as problematical really do need changing, for carefully analyzing the context in which they occur,
because many problem behaviors are undesirable ways of achieving desirable
outcomes, and for building up incompatible positive behaviors to shift from a
focus on what should not occur to what should occur.
For a long time, the use of punishment has been
decried by professionals without providing parents with positive alternatives. With the aim of enhancing the lives of both the
children and the parents, Parenting Without Punishment is an excellent exception and should be read by every parent."
Journal of Child and Family Studies
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A licensed psychotherapist, John W. Maag, PhD is Professor of Special Education and Communication Disorders at
University Nebraska at Lincoln where he specializes in the treatment of children
with emotional and behavioral disorders. Focusing on behavior management,
cognitive therapy and the use of strategic interventions, Dr. Maag is a
nationally recognized researcher, educator, editor, keynote
speaker and consultant. He is the recipient of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Distinguished Teacher Award and the father of three children.