NOTE: Page numbers enclosed in parentheses are citations from The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler: A systematic presentation in selections from his writings. (H. L. and R. R. Ansbacher, Eds.).© 1964. Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. Used by permission of Perseus Books Group.
“As the child needs training, so do the parents” (Dreikurs, 1964, p. viii).
Dreikurs conducted open forum family counseling to help parents and children (who volunteered to work with him in the public setting) understand, address, and resolve their difficulties. Simultaneously, he taught his method and approach to those who observed the sessions: other parents, counselors and therapists, teachers, and other professionals.
Since Dreikurs’s innovation, beginning in 1938, based on the child guidance work of Alfred Adler in New York City and Vienna (which Dreikurs had been privileged to observe) a host of materials on parenting (books, classes, trainings, seminars, workshops, video and electronic opportunities by numerous authors) have become available and eagerly used by parents everywhere. Why is this necessary? Why is it that for the first time in history (as Dreikurs provocatively asked) a living creature has appeared on the planet that doesn’t know how to raise its own young?
Adler and Dreikurs became aware that the old order, which broadly supported promises, rewards, and, praise (on one hand) and threats, rewards, and punishment (on the other hand) for the training of children, was breaking down. In its place the evolving culture of freedom and equality was shaping the world of the young. Parents, at a loss, needed an approach suitable to the new order. Dreikurs, applying the basic principles of Adlerian Psychology, emphasized respect for the dignity of the child. Instead of rewards, he stressed taking pleasure in what the child accomplishes for the child’s sake rather than for parental aggrandizement: “You must have enjoyed getting that ‘A.’ ” Instead of praise, he stressed the importance of encouragement: “The important thing is the effort you put into the project.” Instead of punishment, he stressed the importance of family council (family meeting) for solving family problems and the use of natural or agreed-upon logical consequences in training children in responsibility. [See Mistaken Goals of the Discouraged Child.]
See Dreikurs, R. (1964); Dinkmeyer, D. C., Jr. & McKay, G. D. (1998); Grunwald, B. B. & McAbee, H. V. (1999); McKay, G. D. & Maybell, S. A. (2004); Nelson, J. (1996); Platt, J. M., (1989); Popkin, M. (1993); Walton, F. X. & Powers, R. L. (1974).
© Griffith, J., & Powers, R. L. (2007). The Lexicon of Adlerian Psychology: 106 terms Associated with the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler (2nd ed.). Port Townsend, WA: Adlerian Psychology Associates (p. 79).
Definitions of concepts are used by permission of Jane Griffith. A comprehensive list of concepts and definitions can be found in The Lexicon of Adlerian Psychology: 106 Terms Associated with the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler by Jane Griffith and Robert L. Powers, available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Dinkmeyer, D. C., Jr., & McKay, G. D. (1998). STEP/Teen. Bowling Green, KY: STEP.
Dreikurs, R. (with Soltz, V.). (1964). Children: The Challenge. New York: Hawthorn.
Grunwald, B. B., & McAbee, H. V. (1999). Guiding the family: Practical counseling solutions
(2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Accelerated Development.
McKay, G. D., & Maybell, S. A. (2004). Calming the family storm: Anger management for moms, dads, and all the kids. Atascadero, CA: Impact.
Nelson, J. (1996). Positive discipline. New York: Ballantine.
Platt, J. M. (1989). Life in the family zoo. Sacramento, CA: Dynamic Training and Seminars.
Popkin, M. H. (1993). Active parenting today. Kennesaw, GA: Active Parenting.
Walton, F. X., & Powers, R. L. (1974). Winning children over. Columbia, SC: Adlerian Child Care Books.