The current model of parental discipline is as outdated as a rotary phone.
Why don't our kids do what we want them to do? Parents often take the blame for misbehavior, but this obscures a broader trend: in our modern, highly connected age, children have less self-control than ever. About half of the current generation of children will develop a mood or behavioral disorder or a substance addiction by age eighteen. Contemporary kids need to learn independence and responsibility, yet our old ideas of punishments and rewards are preventing this from happening.
To stem this growing crisis of self-regulation, journalist and parenting expert Katherine Reynolds Lewis articulates what she calls The Apprenticeship Model, a new theory of discipline that centers on learning the art of self-control. Blending new scientific research and powerful individual stories of change, Lewis shows that, if we trust our children to face consequences, they will learn to adapt and moderate their own behavior. She watches as chaotic homes become peaceful, bewildered teachers see progress, and her own family grows and evolves in light of these new ideas. You'll recognize your own family in Lewis's sensitive, realistic stories, and you'll find a path to making everyone in your home more capable, kinder, and happier -- including yourself.
About the Author
Katherine Reynolds Lewis is an award-winning independent journalist based in the Washington, DC, area who regularly writes for the Atlantic, Fortune, USA Today's magazine group, the Washington Post, and Working Mother magazine. Lewis's byline has also appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, MSN Money, Money, Mother Jones, the New York Times, Parade, Slate, and the Washington Post Magazine. Her work has won awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Chicago Headline Club.
She has received fellowships from the Carey Institute for Global Good, the National Press Foundation, the Poynter Institute, and the University of Maryland's Casey Journalism Center. Residencies include Le Moulin Ã ef, Ragdale, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her media appearances include CNN, NPR, Bloomberg television and radio, and HuffPost Live, as well as numerous radio programs nationally and internationally. In 2008, Lewis created a website on working moms for About.com, which she ran until 2014, attracting millions of readers to the site, its blog, and a weekly newsletter. She is a certified parent educator with the Parent Encouragement Program in Kensington, Maryland.
"Katherine Lewis has written a smart, compassionate book for the 21st century parent. Forget the carrot-and-stick approach to redirecting children's' behavior. We can help our kids develop their inner motivation for behaving well - while simultaneously forging lasting family bonds - by following the wise guidance in Bad Behavior."—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of When and Drive
"Childhood - and parenting - have radically changed in the past few decades, to the point where far more children today struggle to manage their behavior. That's the argument Katherine Reynolds Lewis makes in her new parenting book, The Good News About Bad Behavior."—NPR
"An engaging, conversational writer, Lewis intersperses the neurological deep-dive with fly-on-the-wall reporting on families in action and examples from her parent-training group... Lewis provides a reassuring road map forward. And a little more help with the laundry won't hurt, either."
"An approach to child-rearing that allows for 'the messiness of childhood.' As children today navigate tech and social media, a changing landscape of play, and a culture more oriented to personal success than family well-being, Lewis argues that we can no longer rely on old methods of discipline such as time outs."
"Lewis proposes ... that, instead of simply levying a punishment in the moment, parents come up with agreements with their kids and clearly define the consequences for violating them."
"Household jobs can build a child's capability, helping them practice independence and autonomy, foster connection with the family and help them become capable adults, according to "The Good News About Bad Behavior," an insightful new book."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Lewis wrote her book in response to what she sees as a crisis of self-regulation among kids today. This, she explains, is the reason why nearly half of today's children will develop a mood disorder, behavioral disorder or substance abuse problem by age 18."
"At a time when families are feeling pressed for time and stressed by
the demands of modern living, Katherine Reynolds Lewis makes an urgent case for
connection, communication and giving children space to develop their own
capability. With compelling stories and research, Lewis's book is a welcome
guide through the land mines of modern parenting."
—Brigid Schulte, award-winning journalist, director of TheBetter Life Lab at New America, and author of the New York Times bestsellerOverwhelmed
"Katherine Reynolds Lewis, armed with the latest behavioral science
research and her eye-opening journalistic inquiry, introduces a new discipline
model.... An absolute must-read for anyone raising or teaching 'difficult'
children, and insightful to anyone eager to teach kids how to regulate their
own behavior and ultimately thrive in society on their own."
—Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling authorof How to Raise an Adult and Real American
"The Good News About Bad Behavior is the book parents and teachers need in order to understand the link between empathy and genuine, human connection to positive behavioral outcomes. Lewis explains how children's lack of self-regulation and resilience is at the root of so many modern parenting dilemmas and gives practical, useful advice for how to do better for our kids. The Good News About Bad Behavior is an important addition to my parenting and education library."—Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure
"If you hate disciplining your kids with time-outs and punishments,
you're in for a treat. Instead of trying to control children, this timely book
shows how you can teach them to control themselves."
—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Giveand Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
"With a parent's compassion and a journalist's rigor, she offers advice from the trenches while providing a realistic roadmap towards a better family life. Blending solid science and highly readable storytelling, The Good News About Bad Behavior is sure to become a parent must-read."—Judith Warner, New York Times-bestselling author of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety and We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication
"A book that is both incredibly fascinating AND insanely helpful? That's
what you're holding in your hands. A great book! It is both reassuring and
fantastic to know that there's a way out of bad behavior, and a very rational
reason for why it exists in the first place!"
—Lenore Skenazy, president of Let Grow and author of Free-Range Kids
"Journalist and parenting coach Lewis documents a crisis seen in children of all ages. . . . plenty of practical advice . . . The Good News About Bad Behavior is a great addition to public and academic library parenting collections."—Joyce McIntosh, Booklist