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Punishment-free parents: need help with a biggie - Page 2

post #21 of 83
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for this wonderful discussion. I'm not actually considering using any kind of punishment or consequence. That just isn't a practice that we use in our household. I think I'm just more looking for where things are wrong, I guess. I think that my expectations of dd are too high and that's where we got off track. ooohhh, cryaing baby, gotta go, but thanks!!!!!!
post #22 of 83
Oceanbaby wrote:
Quote:
I consider seeing me burst into tears over the destruction of something that was important to me to be their natural consequence.
I was raised with GD, and one of my strongest motivators to avoid misbehavior was the knowledge that it might hurt my parents' feelings. Be sure to show your feelings. Just avoid blaming, angry, "You did this to me!" attitude--it isn't necessary.

My child is just a few months older than yours, and I disagree that he doesn't understand about value. Sure, he doesn't quite get MONETARY value, but he understands that people value things, and even if he personally does not value a thing, he can understand that the thing is valuable to another person if their words or actions indicate it.
post #23 of 83
I think that the natural consequences would be as follows:

1) I would be upset. My DD would notice and probably ask why I was upset. I do moderate my feelings - but I don't hide them from her. So I would tell her that I was upset because the table was ruined.

- I think that it is VERY valuable to teach children how their actions impact other people.

2) She would lose freedom. I would reduce what she was allowed to do without me supervising. I think that's a very natural consequence. She broke something while you were unloading the dishwasher - so now she needs to help you unload the dishwasher. (My 2yo helps us every time she's awake and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded - so it's well within the reach of a 4yo). if you go into the basement to do laundry - she comes with and helps to unload the dryer. It might take longer to do things at first - but it will be worth it.

3) I would put away ALL craft supplies that could cause damage. The markers, scissors, glue, paints, stickers... They would all be put out of her reach. We currently have an easel with paints out for our 2yo. She has free access to them as long as she only paints on the paper and when she's done painting the brushes go in the kitchen sink and the lids go back on the paint pots. We've only had to put them up once since she got them because she painted on the wall.
post #24 of 83
2 & 3 are not "natural," they are imposed by you. you have chosen to act this way towards her... they didn't naturally flow from what happened.

natural consequences are things that would happen no matter who did the breaking or writing. the spouse, a friend, or even the OP herself.

a natural consequence would be: you can't use that vase to put flowers in anymore.
post #25 of 83
Yes, those are logical consequences, and ones that I do think fall into the GD realm for sure, but they are not natural, they are parent imposed.
post #26 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
You know, we just don't buy expensive furniture right now. .... My kids aren't in the habit of destroying things on purpose, but there are certainly enough toys and balls that accidentally go flying through the air.


The only imposed consequence around here would be having them clean up the mess they made. If it was something really terrible, I might tell them that they need to go be somewhere else right now because I am too mad to be around anyone.
i agree with this entire post but edited to highlight the parts that i agree with most.

i havent had very expensive furniture in a long time. i consider my furniture nice but not something that i have spent a ton of money on. i have a dining room table right now with marker marks on it (b/c i think it bled through the paper ds2 was writing on). it sucks but you cant see it alot and it was a mistake (i could have easily made).

we have a much more expensive dining room table that we just shipped off up north to a BIL b/c he loves it (its a family heirloom) and we KNOW that our kids are too young to appreciate the care needed around it (its teak so very very soft wood). it will be missed but we will get it back when kids are around 7ish or so (maybe).


Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybeedreams View Post

my DS destroyed something at some one else's house and the mom ended the friendship. he didn't get to play with the kids anymore. while it wasn't the outcome i would have preferred or wanted... he did learn that some people value things more than relationships and he needs to be really careful to not destroy things at other people's houses anymore.
wow...what could have been more valuable than a friendship? i just cant imagine.

if one of my son's destroyed something at someone else's house, i would offer to pay for whatever it was....but wow! i just cant imagine ending a friendship over a possession.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin4kids View Post
I think sometimes we take something and swing it to the extreme.
what do you mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin4kids View Post
This being said I really don't understand why anyone has ANY coloring on the walls. I have a daycare and 5 kids and only a couple times have my kids or the daycare written on the wall. (By the way have you used the Magic Erase yet? It is truly magical!) If someone writes on the walls or furniture. I tell them that we write only on paper and I only allow the crayons or markers to be out when i am watching. Now with this said I leave crayons, markers and paper out 24/7. I have only put them up a couple times.
thats incredible. like, seriously incredible to me. i only have 4 boys but i have had things written on for the last 18 years. i cant imagine a group of 5 kids plus day care and only rarely a wall written on. however, you are probably right there with them most of the time, giving little chance of writing. if you aren't, i guess you just got lucky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin4kids View Post
I also believe that not everything need to be packed away. What will happen if you visit a friend or relative. Kids need to understand that we don't touch or play with some things period. The consequence for breaking something on purpose is you need to be within my eye site and we can't go in the room with valuables.
packing things away works best for us (or shipping it away, as the case may be).

if we visit friends/family that have lots of valuables out around the young kids, then i am super diligent and right on top of them...but thats no fun for me or them, so i would venture to say that those visits would be infrequent. no one i know has a house like that though. most of the ppl i know have homes that are very kid friendly b/c most of them have young kids and dont use punitive punishments (b/c i just cant be around parents who do..its not something that i am comfortable around).

young kids (i dont even know of an age limit really) dont really understand not to touch something...that makes it more attractive for my brood. its just beyond their understanding at this age (my youngest are nb and 3 but i would hold to that rule until around 5ish probably).

i do believe in explaining it but at 4 i dont think the comprehension is there.

i also cant imagine having a room where kids cant go in their own home. my parents had something like that (it wasnt attractive to us anyway) and i don't know...i hated being in that room and thought it was a waste of space..we dont have a small home but a room like that in our home would be a waste and as it is, we use every part of our home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin4kids View Post
You have to have consequences of some kind. Life is not without them .You speed=you get a ticket. You break something in a store=you buy it, you hurt someone=you may get sued.
Just my thoughts. Good luck.
there are natural consequences. i believe my kids are upset when they see that i am upset at something...but i dont feel they need to be "punished" b/c of a mistake or accident. incidents in the OP are mistakes or accidents. Sometimes relationships are more important. I hit my friend's car door a few weeks ago (well, the wind blew my car door into hers). She wasn't around when I did it. I still called and told her that my door hit hers. Her response was "accidents happen, don't worry about it". I couldn't leave it like that..I am paying for her repairs to teh car (not much, but still unbudgeted... b/c i caused an accident). I attempt to model behavior to my children that I want them to replicate...not simply punish them due to accidents or mistakes.
post #27 of 83
Regarding the whole "if you speed you get a ticket" thing. This is an example that has been floating around in my head for a long time. I would really be in agreement with GD, but then I would think to myself "But the only reason I don't speed is I might get a ticket. I know it's dangerous, but that's not what stops me. It's the punishment. So, maybe this whole no punishment thing is a big mistake?"

All of a sudden, it came to me why that's not a good reason to use punishment. Because the relationship I want with my children is a different relationship than I have with the police. The police officer's job is to enforce laws, not raise healthy, secure children.
post #28 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybeedreams View Post
2 & 3 are not "natural," they are imposed by you. you have chosen to act this way towards her... they didn't naturally flow from what happened.

natural consequences are things that would happen no matter who did the breaking or writing. the spouse, a friend, or even the OP herself.

a natural consequence would be: you can't use that vase to put flowers in anymore.
No - they are natural. They are ALSO logical.

There can be overlap between those.

If you do inappropriate things with art supplies while not being supervised - then it's perfectly natural (since it's following human nature) to not be allowed to be unsupervised with the art supplies.

Watch adults and children interact. That "consequence" is VERY natural. It's one that transcends different discipline models. I've seen parents who spank do it - and I've also seen parents who wax eloquently about consensual living non coercive parenting reach up and take from their child the thing that's being used inappropriately.

In fact one time I was at my local AP group meet up. One kid was hitting his mother with a toy while she was telling the group about her recent breakthrough WRT unconditional parenting. And yet - she still (and I think she wasn't fully aware she was doing it - it was just a natural reaction) reached up and took that toy from her son to protect herself and then had a very nice interaction with him about how it hurt her and she didn't like it.

Parent imposed does not mean it's not a natural consequence. It just means that the force of nature is the parent.

Would you consider being scratched by a cat a "natural" consequence for bugging the cat? What about other kids not wanting to play with a kid who isn't nice to them? I would - but by your reasoning those are consequences "imposed" by someone/something else. And that seems like a very limited definition for the term.
post #29 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
This is all true IMO; I *think* the OP (and please correct me if I'm wrong), was asking about using GD versus a punitive solution, like, "you wrote on the table so no dessert tonight" or, "you broke my heirloom lamp so no playdates this week". Those are arbitrary, unrelated consequences to the situation.

Natural and logical consequences do have a place in GD, for sure - but for the things she described, other than making amends and making sure the opportunities are reduced, there are not many other natural or logical consequences that I can think of...which I think was the point of the post, she wanted to know what people who don't arbitrarily punish would do about things like this.
Oh, well from the original post and this-
Quote:
Originally Posted by RootBeerFloat View Post
Thank you all for this wonderful discussion. I'm not actually considering using any kind of punishment or consequence. That just isn't a practice that we use in our household. I think I'm just more looking for where things are wrong, I guess. I think that my expectations of dd are too high and that's where we got off track. ooohhh, cryaing baby, gotta go, but thanks!!!!!!
I got that she does not use consequences at all.
I just don't see how that works..
child destroys something, and we just go on about our day..
how do they learn not to do that, then?
post #30 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by RootBeerFloat View Post
I don't create consequences for her undesirable behavior ...
I am very interested to see what responses you receive to this (I haven't had chance to read them) but honestly, I think the comments you've already made might give you a clue as to what you need to change.

Why don't you create consequences for her undesirable behaviour? You've described her as a destructive, difficult child, and yet you admit that you are doing very little to change it. Children need - crave, in fact - boundaries from their parents. What is acceptable, what is not. You can discipline without shame (discpline does in fact mean teach, and not punish.) Although in the interests of full disclosure, I also think there are times when a quick dose of punishment is in order, too.

Bottom line is, it won't be very long before her peers start showing her certain boundaries. Such as when they don't want to have playdates with her because she broke a toy, or when they have a party and don't invite her along. (I see this with a friend's child who genuinely doesn't understand why the behaviours that are tolerated at home are causing him to be very unpopular at pre-school). Do your child a favour, and teach her what is acceptable. And if you are angered by her actions, it's quite alright to show her. (That doesn't mean being physical with her, of course, but I don't think the occasional raised voice does any harm whatsoever.)

Good luck with your daughter - I know it's not going to be easy, changing the way you interact with her, but she really needs for you to do that.
post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunanthem View Post
Oh, well from the original post and this-


I got that she does not use consequences at all.
I just don't see how that works..
child destroys something, and we just go on about our day..
how do they learn not to do that, then?
They get old enough to understand. DD #1 wrote on walls and furniture when she was that age. I didn't punish. She doesn't do it anymore. Why? Because she's 7 now. I don't understand the urge to punish for something that will improve regardless as kids get older.
post #32 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunanthem View Post
I got that she does not use consequences at all.
I just don't see how that works..
child destroys something, and we just go on about our day..
how do they learn not to do that, then?
Not punishing doesn't mean just going on about your day as if nothing had happened, at least not in my house. If my kid destroys something, I'm certainly going to let him know I'm unhappy, and make sure he understands how his behavior caused the damage, and what he could have done differently to prevent it. But I don't see any need to go beyond that. I wouldn't give him a timeout, or take away a privilege, or make him help me clean up.
post #33 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybeedreams;reak a13263159
that could easily have been her spouse or friend that broke that vase or wrote on the table. would we be talking about consequences then?
If my DH wrote all over the kitchen table, he'd be paying for a new one. That would be his logical consequence. I'm all for gentle discipline, but kids need to know that if they ruin things, there are consequences. Like have to stick to mommy like velcro for a while (I like that idea).

As for speeding and tickets, I am willing to take the chance of getting a ticket, so therefore I speed. That punishment isn't harsh enough for me. I weigh the risks and benefits and figure I'm willing to take the risk. Same thing can happen with kids and punishment. So, Im' not saying you need to use punishment, but she still needs to understand that no matter what thevlaue of the table was, it wasn't the right place to draw.
post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
Not punishing doesn't mean just going on about your day as if nothing had happened, at least not in my house. If my kid destroys something, I'm certainly going to let him know I'm unhappy, and make sure he understands how his behavior caused the damage, and what he could have done differently to prevent it. But I don't see any need to go beyond that. I wouldn't give him a timeout, or take away a privilege, or make him help me clean up.
Why not make him help clean up???????

I agree with no time-outs.

But when we make a mess - we have to clean it up. That seems really basic and fundamental to how adult society works.
post #35 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunanthem View Post
Oh, well from the original post and this-


I got that she does not use consequences at all.
I just don't see how that works..
child destroys something, and we just go on about our day..
how do they learn not to do that, then?

hmmm... we have never ever used consequences in our home. my son knows not to write on walls or tables, he knows not to drop the cat out the window or flush things down the toilet, he handles DVDs and CDs carefully, is gentle (usually) with his baby sister, and mostly always uses scissors on paper! (LOL) ... sometimes he does stuff because he is impulsive, but he knows they are wrong and that he shouldn't do them.

how do you think he learned these things?

my bro and i had lots of punishment and consequences, we were horribly behaved children who did everything and i mean everything we shouldn't have done. including some pretty antisocial stuff when we were in our teens like robbing houses, dealing drugs and other stuff. how come we didn't learn not to do those things from our parents?

and "destroy" is a value judgement. if my son dismantles a broken radio, is that destroying? how does a 4 yo know the difference between that and the VCR? how about a child who takes things apart to see how they work? is that "destroying?" is it different if a parent supervises and then helps the child put it back together? a young child doesn't understand that exploration isn't always consensual!

and who ever said we just "go about our business?" if i spend time connecting with my child and discussing why he did something and what he learned from it, it that "nothing?"

punishment free parenting, esp consensual parenting doesn't seek to "teach children a lesson," it seeks to connect, grow and learn (on both sides).

the most important things the OP will learn about this episode isn't about discipline, but about herself, her child, and their relationship.
post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
They get old enough to understand. DD #1 wrote on walls and furniture when she was that age. I didn't punish. She doesn't do it anymore. Why? Because she's 7 now. I don't understand the urge to punish for something that will improve regardless as kids get older.
When my dd wrote on the walls, after we admired her work, we worked together to clean it up. It wasn't a punishment, but it is a natural consequence. You make a mess, you are responsible for it. I know that a 2 year old is not capable of cleaning her room by herself, or washing all of the walls by herself, so we do it together. No big production made of it. No shaming. It is just what has to happen.

At almost 3, she doesn't write on the walls. She writes on herself, though!
post #37 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunKessed View Post
Why not make him help clean up???????

I agree with no time-outs.

But when we make a mess - we have to clean it up. That seems really basic and fundamental to how adult society works.
I might encourage my kid to help clean up, but I wouldn't make him do it if he didn't want to, because he would see it as a punishment, and he would resent it and get angry at me. And then instead of (hopefully) thinking about what a shame it was he broke this thing I liked so much, he'd probably end up just thinking about how mean I was and how angry he was. Even if he ended up thinking, "Wow, cleaning up is a lot of work, I'd better try not to break things anymore," that wouldn't necessarily be the result I wanted. I don't want him to avoid breaking things simply out of self-interest.

Sure, adults normally clean up messes they make. But they don't do it because someone else forces them to; they do it out of consideration for others. So if I want my kid eventually to clean up his own messes, I need to encourage him to develop consideration for others. I think punishment discourages, rather than encourages, the development of consideration.
post #38 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by labdogs42 View Post
If my DH wrote all over the kitchen table, he'd be paying for a new one. That would be his logical consequence. I'm all for gentle discipline, but kids need to know that if they ruin things, there are consequences. Like have to stick to mommy like velcro for a while (I like that idea).

As for speeding and tickets, I am willing to take the chance of getting a ticket, so therefore I speed. That punishment isn't harsh enough for me. I weigh the risks and benefits and figure I'm willing to take the risk. Same thing can happen with kids and punishment. So, Im' not saying you need to use punishment, but she still needs to understand that no matter what thevlaue of the table was, it wasn't the right place to draw.
If dh wrote on the table, he'd be going to see a psychologist, because that's not really age appropriate behavior. And him buying a table would be the same as me buying the table since we share our money.

Your second paragraph pretty much proves that punishments don't work. You're going to do what you want to do no matter what the punishment. You'll try not to get caught, but if you do, you'll deal with it. That's not the relationship I'm trying to establish with my kids.
post #39 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post

Sure, adults normally clean up messes they make. But they don't do it because someone else forces them to; they do it out of consideration for others.
Many adults are forced to do things like pay restitution for minor crimes.

I think there's great value to a child repairing the damage they did. I really cannot imagine not having the expectation that my child always at least try to make things better.

We don't punish.

But that doesn't mean my DD is allowed to make a mess or damage something without being the one responsible for making things right.

And even at the age of 2 - she takes great delight in this. Because, you know what? I could care less if she dumps her snack on the ground as long as I'm not the one who has to pick it up. And I've seen her dump her raisins on the floor on purpose and exclaim "oh no - they are on the floor. I need to pick them up" and then put them back in her bowl. I really only draw the line at permanent damage.
post #40 of 83
My dd always helped me clean it up, but she LIKED cleaning it up so it certainly wasn't a way to keep her from doing it again. She liked cleaning it up almost more than doing it in the first place.
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