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Unconditional Parenting - Chapter 2 (Giving and Withholding Love) - Page 2

post #21 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublyblessed View Post
is expressing appreciation ok? if i say something to my dc like, "i appreciate your help w/ the recycling" or somethinng...
I think the thing to be aware of with that is that you're putting the child's focus on *your* response. Which is sometimes appropriate, depending on the situation, but an alternative is describe the behavior itself, i.e. "It was very considerate of you to help with the recycling". Which leads more to the child thinking 'Hey, I'm a considerate person!' and less to 'It makes mom happy when I do this!'. Which in turn leads to developing more intrinsic motivation ('I will do this because it's the right thing to do') and less extrinsic ('I will do this because otherwise mom will be upset').

The two things I try really hard to keep in mind when 'praising' my kids are:

1. Why am I wanting to praise my child right now? Is it out of genuine enthusiasm? Am I trying to manipulate their behavior? There's nothing wrong with wanting to get a child to behave a certain way, I just would rather be direct about it and *tell* them then try to get around asking/telling them what to do by faking praise to encourage them to keep it up. "I expect you to be gentle with your brother......Thank you for being gentle with him" feels more honest than "Wow, you were really gentle with the baby! Good job!!" (most of the time, anyway). I often used to use "good job!" when I really meant "thank you". There's nothing wrong with thank you


2. Where am I directing their attention, and is that where I *want* to direct their attention?" Sometimes I do want them to be thinking about the effect their actions have on other people, sometimes I want them to to be thinking about how *they* feel about what they just did, and sometimes I don't want to direct their attention at all.

There's a difference between:
-"Look at DS2's face! I think he is happy to have that toy."
-"It was very thoughtful of you to give your brother a turn",
-"You let your brother have a turn with that toy even though you really enjoy playing with it"

And I think that all of those type of responses have their place, and all of them are way better, imo, then "Good job sharing!!!! It makes Mommy happy when you share!"
post #22 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Materfamilias View Post
I like the information about praise, and Kohn seems to back it up with research (though there are probably people who could quote studies that say the opposite ) but it is hard to figure out what to say ... I've been trying to move away from "good job" etc myself. I believe in How to Talk there are examples to use where you can avoid value-laden statements like "good" and "bad". IRL though, the kids are going to encounter job performance reviews in which their superiors rate their performance based on criteria that do use value judgments -- i.e. performance was good/bad (starting with grades in school). Can we 1) evaluate their performance based on merit without using subjective criteria (am I making sense? there may be more than one way to offer critique of a performance) and 2) can we make the child see that we are critiquing performance, not them?
I think PP had a lot of helpful hints.
As far as evaluating and critiquing performance goes, perhaps we need to get away from that all together and focus more on the performance itself. I mean we can't let what we know already get in the way of what they need to find out. It 's hard! According to Kohn the child can definitely confuse the critique of an action with a critique of her person.
post #23 of 69
oh DARN. i figured by now at least someone from here would have posted...i'm embarassed that i'm here posting yet again........please forgive me! hopefully i'm not appearing obnoxious to any of you...............

i have a question...i mentioned my dd had screamed I HATE YOU!!! out the window to her friend D's mother when they were leaving...dd was so utterly disappointed that D's mother showed up earlier than we'd anticipated and there was no warning...bummer)

so i didn't punish my dd...i just simply said we do not speak to people like that...it isn't ok...it isn't nice, it isn't loving. i know you are disappointed...i know you are hurting and angry. i didn't know what else to say or do. i didn't want her to feel badly for saying that to her friends mom...and i didn't want to correct her and say don't ever do that again...i was embarassed more than anything because i know that my dd's friend doesn't act like my dd does...dd's friend is extremely calm, passive and slow moving. she is the opposite of my dd who is assertive, energetic and on the ball so to speak...

so what else could i have done? or did i do ok? should i apologize to the mom? i feel that that is what my dd was feeling...of course the more i model for her not to talk that way, the less she will talk that way. she has heard me curse and complain wayyyy too much and for too long when i've been stressed/sad/scared/angry/annoyed, etc. so that is probably where she gets it...

good news is dd's teacher commented to me today that dd has had a really great week and that dd has been so helpful and kind. wooop! that means this UP stuff is sooooooo good for her...and for dc in general. i'm so thrilled. i knew it would work as it was but to hear it from others is so great. i want to tell her teacher its cuz i'm UPing her!!!

any advice on how i could have handled that situation w/ dd differently? do i just allow her to throw shoes and socks and such down on our heads or do i somehow stop it or just run for cover til the storm is over? lol
post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
I think the thing to be aware of with that is that you're putting the child's focus on *your* response. Which is sometimes appropriate, depending on the situation, but an alternative is describe the behavior itself, i.e. "It was very considerate of you to help with the recycling". Which leads more to the child thinking 'Hey, I'm a considerate person!' and less to 'It makes mom happy when I do this!'. Which in turn leads to developing more intrinsic motivation ('I will do this because it's the right thing to do') and less extrinsic ('I will do this because otherwise mom will be upset').

!"
this is so great. so simple yet we often make it so much more complex and about US. this makes me realize yet again how self centered parenting can be and how its so often about US. i don't believe in my heart it is about US. its about THEM. one reason i EBF my dc...if they NEED me and FEEL good about my giving them my milk for comfort and security (and nutrients) than so be it...its worth being woken up every few hours. (thankfully we cosleep!) thank you for this! i'll work on it. but why do i forget and become at a loss for what to say... my dd and her friend are outside playing... they rang the doorbell and it took me longer than usual cuz i wasn't racing to the door like i usually do...so when i opened the door my dd actually didn't complain about my being so slow or anything and i felt like i wanted to tell her how patient she was waiting for me to open the door. instead i just smiled lovingly as i opened the door and kept my mouth shut. i was afraid i'd stumble and say something about ME. lol i think even just saying nothing but emanating my love in my smile and silence told her so MUCH about how to feel about herself, me and how to treat others with love and respect. :
post #25 of 69
I have never had an adversarial/manipulative relationship with my kids - so I am fortunate that I am not needing to reverse course - I really admire those who can see changes that need to be made, and try to implement new ideas. I don't mean I am so perfect a parent I have nothing to learn - see below, I have a huge challenging project coming up!

In general, I speak to my kids about the same way I speak to an adult friend. I would never say good job, or good boy to a friend, but I probably would say "thank you". I don't think it's a bad thing to do something to help out someone you love - so if Johnny is peeing in the toilet, and that seems like a good thing, I could say, "Thanks - one less diaper today!" or "Look, we don't have to change your sheets this morning!" I also don't do bubbly false enthusiasm - I find it patronizing and would not want anyone to speak to me like that. But I know my kids want me to notice and comment on nice/good/useful things they have done, just like I would. So when my 13 YO cleans the kitchen while I sleep (yes, this really happens , I make a point of thanking her. I don't pay or reward her, but honest appreciation is called for.

OK - the brief version or the challenging project I am starting:

My foster daughter, 8, comes from a background of extreme neglect and abuse - the kind of situation that made the national news. At first she was placed with a highly religious, very punitive family, who, in addition to time outs convinced her she would "burn in hell" if she misbehaved. She has been with me a year and a half, and I will be adopting her. She has been thriving and blossoming in my home with unconditional love, and a "we're all on the same team" attitude. Her extreme behavioral challenges have necessitated some variations to keep her safe, but I found that Alfie's book, and The Explosive Child really validated what I have been doing all along.

But she is not the extreme challenge I was talking about. This summer, I will be adding her 5 year old twin sisters, and perhaps a 6 year old brother. All came from the same awful background, and their behavioral needs are much higher than hers, which I partly attribute to the excessive use of time-outs, and various behavioral methods the other foster homes have been using.

I don't really know how it will work - I am going to play it by ear. But these kids have no idea of unconditional love, except among the siblings. I mean from adults, they have never been loved in this way - with no sticker charts, no time outs, no good job.

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself and my pretty radical perspective on our extreme situation. I look forward to rereading this book, and looking it more consciously through this group.
post #26 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodmachine View Post
Hitting is a tactile thing and the underlying need can sometimes be met by providing some serious tactile stimulation. PP talks about the super tool of physical closeness. In the case of hitting the tactile need may be so great that you may need to duck the swings and get that baby up into loving strong arms with lots of rocking, singing, and soft words. I've used this with pre-school children in my work as a special ed teacher. It is so great to feel them relax into your arms. At this point my soft words would be some validation (Naomi Aldort stuff) which I'm just learning about.

I love this chapter! Down with TO's!

this reminds me of what a time in would be...and also kind of reminds me of what my dd's teachers do...although if a child didn't want to be held/touched/close to us right away i think the UPing way w/b to just let them be and when they are ready they will come to us for that 'touch', however that may present itself in the moment... the way dd's teacher does this 'time in' w/ them seems very CPing as i've shared in PP.

i agree that soft words make such a world of difference. just being calm despite the behavior lets the dc know we still love and care about them and that they are safe and its ok to not be 'perfect' and yet that they ARE perfect just as they are. and like another PP mentioned, that playful parenting book by cohen. i often use playfulness to redirect what could be a tense situation/moment. like when my dd was throwing socks and shoes from upstairs all around our heads i just said to the other mom and her dd 'why don't we go duck in here so we are safe'. lol i didn't make my dd out to be naughty or rude and just let it be... i did semi-blame my dd by saying she is quite the scorpio... which, looking back, isn't fair to her either. dd's friend is a scorpio and she is the opposite, like i said...deep like my dd... but calm.

so would you apologize to dd's friends mom if your dc yelled out the window to her that they hated her???

i think what i'm going to do first off is call her mom and/or grandma (whoever is picking up dd's friend tonight from their 'playdate') to please call 15 minutes ahead of arriving so my dd can prepare for her friend to leave...hopefully that will give my dd time to gear up for that...
post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post
I have never had an adversarial/manipulative relationship with my kids - so I am fortunate that I am not needing to reverse course - I really admire those who can see changes that need to be made, and try to implement new ideas. I don't mean I am so perfect a parent I have nothing to learn - see below, I have a huge challenging project coming up!

In general, I speak to my kids about the same way I speak to an adult friend. I would never say good job, or good boy to a friend, but I probably would say "thank you". I don't think it's a bad thing to do something to help out someone you love - so if Johnny is peeing in the toilet, and that seems like a good thing, I could say, "Thanks - one less diaper today!" or "Look, we don't have to change your sheets this morning!" I also don't do bubbly false enthusiasm - I find it patronizing and would not want anyone to speak to me like that. But I know my kids want me to notice and comment on nice/good/useful things they have done, just like I would. So when my 13 YO cleans the kitchen while I sleep (yes, this really happens , I make a point of thanking her. I don't pay or reward her, but honest appreciation is called for.

OK - the brief version or the challenging project I am starting:

My foster daughter, 8, comes from a background of extreme neglect and abuse - the kind of situation that made the national news. At first she was placed with a highly religious, very punitive family, who, in addition to time outs convinced her she would "burn in hell" if she misbehaved. She has been with me a year and a half, and I will be adopting her. She has been thriving and blossoming in my home with unconditional love, and a "we're all on the same team" attitude. Her extreme behavioral challenges have necessitated some variations to keep her safe, but I found that Alfie's book, and The Explosive Child really validated what I have been doing all along.

But she is not the extreme challenge I was talking about. This summer, I will be adding her 5 year old twin sisters, and perhaps a 6 year old brother. All came from the same awful background, and their behavioral needs are much higher than hers, which I partly attribute to the excessive use of time-outs, and various behavioral methods the other foster homes have been using.

I don't really know how it will work - I am going to play it by ear. But these kids have no idea of unconditional love, except among the siblings. I mean from adults, they have never been loved in this way - with no sticker charts, no time outs, no good job.

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself and my pretty radical perspective on our extreme situation. I look forward to rereading this book, and looking it more consciously through this group.
WOW. you GO, mama! love 'em up! they may not be used to that and it may be a challenge and push/pull thing for a while if you do have her siblings there too but i think for sure in time they will soften...and they are younger so believe there is much hope for all...oh that is so very beautiful. they are so so blessed to have you loving them!!! keep us posted. it just goes to show that LOVE truly IS the answer... LOVE will find a way... yeah. peace out.
post #28 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublyblessed View Post
so would you apologize to dd's friends mom if your dc yelled out the window to her that they hated her???

i think what i'm going to do first off is call her mom and/or grandma (whoever is picking up dd's friend tonight from their 'playdate') to please call 15 minutes ahead of arriving so my dd can prepare for her friend to leave...hopefully that will give my dd time to gear up for that...
It may make you feel better to say to something like, "I'm sorry if my daughter hurt your feelings." And then ask for the 15 minute warning call. Both these things tell the other mom you care. Good luck.
post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by poiyt View Post
As for praise. Its not about not providing feedback. Its about providing specific feedback. Rather than "good boy!" when they pee on the potty, something like "look, you peed on the potty for the 3rd time today" Or about letting the child determine the praise. Instead of "what a pretty drawing, good girl!" something like "what do you think of the drawing? I like the colour blue the best!" Its about being specific. You are still giving them feedback, its just more specific.
Yes, I agree w/ this, and this is what we do.

Quote:
In terms of making people happy (your johnny example). I attempt to deter, and this is JMO, dd from it being her job to make people happy. No one's happiness is dependant on her, and nor should it be. We do nice things for others because it makes *us* feel good. We notice that Johnny smiled, and is having fun with the ball - but I dont like things like "look how happy your actions made johnny". I dont want her to ever think that other people's happiness is her job. I know I felt that way growing up - and it sucked! That being said, Kohn never says what I believe, I just took Kohn's philosophies and applied them to thing I believe.
I disagree w/ this to an extent. While I agree that it is not our job to make other people happy, we do often do things b/c they make other people happy w/out regards to our own happiness. This is selflessness, and it is a good quality to have. If I were only nice to others b/c it made ME feel good, I would not be that nice at all. I don't want to sing Patty Cake 3948 times, but I do it b/c it makes my daughter happy. I don't want to make dinner every night, but I do it b/c it makes my husband happy. I don't want dd to only do nice things for others b/c she feels like it, but b/c it is the right thing to do.

On the flip side, say my daughter hits Jon and he cries. I can tell her, "It hurts when you hit people, see how Jon is crying?" Social referencing is a v useful way of relaying info b/c I do not have to tell her hitting wasn't nice or bad or that she shouldn't do it. She can plainly see the effects her actions have on others. She will develop an understanding w/out me having to discipline her.

In chapter 8, Kohn does suggest explaining the effects of the child's action on other people as acceptable.
post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublyblessed View Post
do i just allow her to throw shoes and socks and such down on our heads or do i somehow stop it or just run for cover til the storm is over? lol
This is another place where things get bumpy for me. How do I let my children know that their behavior is unacceptable, but that THEY are always accepted?

In that situation, I would also want to model for my kids how to behave if someone was doing something like that to THEM.

I think sometimes recruiting their help can be a good idea."It's not okay to throw shoes at other people. I can see that you're very angry- let's think of a different way you could let me know how angry you are." However much we accept our children unconditionally, there are some behaviors that I am not willing to accept- nor do I want my children to accept it if someone did it to them.

(Hey, I'm really good at this on the internet! If only I was nearly as competent in real life.... )
post #31 of 69
Doublyblessed ~ You could also have your daughter come up w/ ideas of things she could say or do when she feels disappointed by a situation. If you remind her of her idea when she is mad, it is not you telling her what to do, it was her idea. If she decides not to do it, you can brainstorm again and say something like, "You changed your mind about your idea, why don't we think of another one."

Kohn gets into some conversation ideas later in the book. One suggestion is asking rather than judging. When your daughter yelled out the window, you could've said something like, "What made you decide to yell out the window at so-and-so?" I know I have jumped ahead in replying to these last two posts, but that is where I got my answers!
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
This is another place where things get bumpy for me. How do I let my children know that their behavior is unacceptable, but that THEY are always accepted?

In that situation, I would also want to model for my kids how to behave if someone was doing something like that to THEM.

I think sometimes recruiting their help can be a good idea."It's not okay to throw shoes at other people. I can see that you're very angry- let's think of a different way you could let me know how angry you are." However much we accept our children unconditionally, there are some behaviors that I am not willing to accept- nor do I want my children to accept it if someone did it to them.

(Hey, I'm really good at this on the internet! If only I was nearly as competent in real life.... )

oh well that is good. i realize i did model for her when i was protecting myself and the mom and my dd's friend by finding some shelter. "gimme shelter". sorry, flashback. and i actually did say something to the extent of what you posted here. so i done good.

as for expressing appreciation i am realizing that making observations & giving feedback of how i feel about something, or how i like how she drew that heart...is that ok? tell her how i feel ie. i feel love from that color on that heart. and the lines there are interesting...what do they mean to you?

is that sort of commenting/spoken observations ok?

oh how i complicate such simplicity... deschooling deschooling deschooling myself...

my dd is expressing herself so wonderfully lately...she is full of self assuredness and its so great to see!!!
post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post
Doublyblessed ~ You could also have your daughter come up w/ ideas of things she could say or do when she feels disappointed by a situation. If you remind her of her idea when she is mad, it is not you telling her what to do, it was her idea. If she decides not to do it, you can brainstorm again and say something like, "You changed your mind about your idea, why don't we think of another one."

Kohn gets into some conversation ideas later in the book. One suggestion is asking rather than judging. When your daughter yelled out the window, you could've said something like, "What made you decide to yell out the window at so-and-so?" I know I have jumped ahead in replying to these last two posts, but that is where I got my answers!
love it. i will do this tonight. you mamas are a blessing. : i will also peek at the other parts of the book tonight.

dd's friend just brought her painting that she did upstairs down and said to me 'i'm done w/ my painting...'. i simply looked up at it, smiled and said 'ooo, i like the colors you used...' and then said 'looks like you had fun with them'. i think i did good.
post #34 of 69
i just thought of one more time recently i think i used UPing real well...it was at my dd's painting class & the instuctor's 8yo dd was erasing what the other girls' were drawing on a wipe board after class and being really rude, telling my dd to give her pen back (when it wasn't HER pen, it was everyone's to use) and criticizing (in a downing/judgemental/negative way, that is) another girls' wipe board drawing of a cat...i assumed it probably was a cat but kept my thoughts to myself...the 8yo girl said 'that doesn't look like a cat, that looks like something else..............". (not in a sweet way, like i said...) another girl was trying to stand up for the girl by saying everyone does it differently or something...or actually maybe that was my dd...i can't remember now. so i said out loud (they weren't acknowledging my presence) real calmly and lovingly "isn't it so neat how everyone's art is so different? and how everyone sees art in different ways?". things seemed to calm down after that between the kids... it was cool and it felt so GOOD that i didn't make anyone wrong or feel embarassed and that i also made a point about how unique we all are and that its ok to express things in an abstract way... i'm going to do this more...it feels so good!
post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post
Doublyblessed ~ You could also have your daughter come up w/ ideas of things she could say or do when she feels disappointed by a situation. If you remind her of her idea when she is mad, it is not you telling her what to do, it was her idea. If she decides not to do it, you can brainstorm again and say something like, "You changed your mind about your idea, why don't we think of another one."

Kohn gets into some conversation ideas later in the book. One suggestion is asking rather than judging. When your daughter yelled out the window, you could've said something like, "What made you decide to yell out the window at so-and-so?" I know I have jumped ahead in replying to these last two posts, but that is where I got my answers!

ahhhh! i just took my dd aside and she could not think of any ideas...i asked her if she could maybe think of some things she could do when she feels mad or sad or disappointed or upset... now what? try to brainstorm again later on?
post #36 of 69
i don't know much about waldorf but i think i read somewhere a similar method of "gentle restraint" but it was only used in situations where dc could injure him/herself or others. the way the teacher is doing it def. sounds like misuse & punishment.IMO.
I think expressing gratitude is ok. and sets a good example for dc.
i won't apologize for the "i hate you" bit- i sounds to me like you may be feeling judged by the other mother and want to let her know that you know its not nice to yell "i hate you". i also wouldn't TELL dc to apologize but perhaps in talking to her about the incident you could help her come to that conclusion herself- after all i think we should apologize when we do something hurtful to someone else. i hope i'm not offending you with my assumptions!
post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommabear207 View Post
i don't know much about waldorf but i think i read somewhere a similar method of "gentle restraint" but it was only used in situations where dc could injure him/herself or others. the way the teacher is doing it def. sounds like misuse & punishment.IMO.
I think expressing gratitude is ok. and sets a good example for dc.
i won't apologize for the "i hate you" bit- i sounds to me like you may be feeling judged by the other mother and want to let her know that you know its not nice to yell "i hate you". i also wouldn't TELL dc to apologize but perhaps in talking to her about the incident you could help her come to that conclusion herself- after all i think we should apologize when we do something hurtful to someone else. i hope i'm not offending you with my assumptions!
i think so too about the waldorf teachers insistence that that helps kids who need to be held when they are frenzied or whatever is punitive, truly. i know she thinks she's doing the right thing for them but it really is punitive in the long run... thanks for replying about that. i feel i could request that the teachers do not do that w/ my dd...but i'm afraid of offending her and our relationship thus being tainted w/ resentment or distrust...sigh. that kind of confrontation is communicative yet often leaves some hurt and embarrasment. i don't think my dd will be there after she graduated kindergarten this june...so that is probably a good thing. compared to other schools though this school is awesome for my dd and dc in general.

i definitely won't make my dd apologize ever...i feel if its not from the heart why insist a child apologized to people...but when her friend is hurt by something my dd said i take my dd aside and tell her 'did you see ___'s face when you said that/did that? that really hurt her...' (or even better, ask how she thinks her friend felt when she said/did it...). i feel i want to apologize to the mom (if she even did hear what my dd said...) just because i worry about what she and her mom think of me...i like them and want to keep my dd's friend just that...a friend. to its really to appease them but also i feel badly about what MY dd said. it was hurtful and since i am her mama i feel i should take responsibility for it if my dd won't... ???

boy am i long winded today...again, i apologize...just thinking about UP a lot and doing my best to put it into play, and excited to see what you guys reply here to all the posters...

so do any of you have the UP dvd??? i looked at the mini clips on alfie's site and it looks good...my friend has it and i hope i can borrow it or have him burn it for me (sorry alfie but i'm poor as everyone is right now...)
post #38 of 69
Mamarhu --

I like the ideas of what do say in place of praise and how to deal with some tough situations. I have found with my 6 yo that he often cannot answer questions about "why" he did thus-and-so. It's like it doesn't compute. I don't know if this is because we haven't talked this way before and he's unused to it, or it's some kind of developmental thing. He can tell me what/where/when, just not why.
post #39 of 69
grrr. double post
post #40 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublyblessed View Post
ahhhh! i just took my dd aside and she could not think of any ideas...i asked her if she could maybe think of some things she could do when she feels mad or sad or disappointed or upset... now what? try to brainstorm again later on?
You can suggest ideas for her to get the ball rolling. I don't believe that she couldn't think of a single thing; she probably just didn't want to! I would def bring it up again and suggest ideas.

Many many many of the questions you have been asking are addressed in the book later on. The first half is all about what we should not do and why. The second half goes into what to do instead.

After reading the beginning of this book, I am really noticing when other people praise my daughter and it is getting on my nerves! She has been praised for crawling and for trying to walk ~ wtf??? Every time someone tells her "good job" I want to tell them to shut up! I know it's not damaging or anything for her to hear it in passing from others, but it is DANG ANNOYING. Anyone else noticing how much other people praise their kids now when you didn't before?
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