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Any other gentle discipline moms with very high expectations of behavior?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Sometimes I read threads and think, "jeesh, I'm such a hard a**". I have really high expectations of DDs behavior. I insist on manners. If she wants something she needs to ask in a polite tone and say something like "could I have some milk please, mommy". I will not give her anything unless she asks me nicely. I also tell her to say thank you to cashiers, waitresses, anyone who gives us a service. I don't let her run in our apartment, because I don't want to disturb our downstairs neighbors. I also don't let her talk loudly in restaurants or in public spaces in general. I'll also tell her when I think her behavior is inappropriate, like if she has a fit over something small and she usually stops. I'm really cheery and kind when I correct her. I never get mad at her when she breaks the "rules" or punish her, I just remind her how to act. I dunno, it seems to be paying off. She's definitely much more polite than most toddlers. She always says please and thank you and rarely acts demanding. It's really cute, and people compliment her manners a lot. But sometimes I feel like I'm the most uptight mom about this stuff. I'm not at all uptight about messes or anything, just manners and social interactions. Anyone else like this? Or am I just an old fuddy duddy?
post #2 of 32

I'm with you 110%.  I want to set them up for successful and emotionally-rewarding social interactions.  They won't know where to start if we don't teach them.  

 

We try to always be polite, especially in public.  We find that we're frequently treated with greater respect/courtesy than the customers before us who neglected to exercise basic manners.  We have even been thanked for being polite.  It means a great deal to others to be treated with respect.

post #3 of 32

I don't think you are alone. 

 

I do think there are certain things that are age appropriate though, too.  So when DS was between 18 mos and 2, we didn't insist on please and thank you for basic requests, but would model before handing things over.  So if he asked for water, I was not going to withhold the water but would look to DH who would say "may I have some water, mommy?" and I would say "Yes, honey." and he would say "Thank you, Mommy."

 

and then we'd give it to DS, and wait a moment and then say "You're welcome."

 

But as he got older and was capable of meeting his OWN needs we then did at times insist on a politeness system.  For example, he did not NEED me to get the water at the age of 3, he could go to the water cooler himself and get some in his own cup, but if he wanted me to I was happy to if he asked nicely (not necessarily please and thank you, BTW).

 

In public he has just seemed to pick up the politeness required of him to get what he wants.  We never insisted.  I guess he just watched the way we treat people and modelled that.  I don't know though.  Whenever we have tried to correct him most people poo-poo our efforts and say "that's okay, he's only a small boy, relax!"  But I do feel it is important to treat others, especially those in the service industry who are often taken for granted, with kindeness, dignity and respect. 

 

What do you do if she continues an unwanted behavior after asking her nicely to stop/reminding her of manners?

post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

I don't think you are alone. 

 

I do think there are certain things that are age appropriate though, too.  So when DS was between 18 mos and 2, we didn't insist on please and thank you for basic requests, but would model before handing things over.  So if he asked for water, I was not going to withhold the water but would look to DH who would say "may I have some water, mommy?" and I would say "Yes, honey." and he would say "Thank you, Mommy."

 

and then we'd give it to DS, and wait a moment and then say "You're welcome."

 

But as he got older and was capable of meeting his OWN needs we then did at times insist on a politeness system.  For example, he did not NEED me to get the water at the age of 3, he could go to the water cooler himself and get some in his own cup, but if he wanted me to I was happy to if he asked nicely (not necessarily please and thank you, BTW).

 

In public he has just seemed to pick up the politeness required of him to get what he wants.  We never insisted.  I guess he just watched the way we treat people and modelled that.  I don't know though.  Whenever we have tried to correct him most people poo-poo our efforts and say "that's okay, he's only a small boy, relax!"  But I do feel it is important to treat others, especially those in the service industry who are often taken for granted, with kindeness, dignity and respect. 

 

What do you do if she continues an unwanted behavior after asking her nicely to stop/reminding her of manners?


She almost always says it back nicely, after I remind her. Of course, if she's really tired or upset about something else it's not something I insist on (although I always repeat back to her how I would want to hear it). It never seems to distress her at all.
I know what you mean about people saying it's not a big deal and that they're just kids, blah, blah. I guess I feel like they need these lessons young so they become habits. I know so many rude children, and I so don't want mine to be like that! It seriously grates on my nerves when kids don't say please and thank you or ask for things in a demanding voice.
post #5 of 32

Good for you!  I also insist on polite manners and proper behavior, and believe I do so in a developmentally appropriate and gentle manner.  I  believe it pays off, too--My son is now 15, and I must admit it is very gratifying  when adults with whom he interacts at school or in the community compliment me on his great manners and respectful behavior! 

post #6 of 32
I'm with you. We taught manners to our daughter at a very young age, and along with that we demonstrated sincere gratitude and appreciation for many day-to-day situations, so that she would learn to see and model that behavior. As a result I have a kind, considerate, polite, and empathetic child who is a pleasure to have anywhere with me in public and at home. She is seven years old now, but people commented on her manners even at age two. I know that she will thank the wait-staff when someone brings her food and water, she thanks parants when she has a playdate at a friend's home, she holds the door for people to go through, she is usually aware of her noise level in public places, she is sincerely thankful for her food... and she is also one of the most happy and "free" children that I know.

We have been very strong believers in gentle dicipline from day one. I personally don't think that guidance and correction in manners and behavior is anti-GD in any way. People that know how to think of others and treat them kindly, and who know how to expect the same treatment in return, will wind up having much better social interactions in their lives, IMO.
post #7 of 32

Subbing ... I'll be back later to comment as I've got dinner going right now, but yes, count me in too! 

post #8 of 32

I'm not a hard ass but I deeply value treating all people with respect and kindness-which is at base what "manners" means to me. So I treat people with kindness and respect and we have always modeled polite behavior (we did not demand it, but consistently modeled it). And we have discussed with DD what is considered polite and what is considered rude, so that she is aware of social whatchamajiggers (can't think of the word).

 

So for example I don't do alot of saying things like "Use your manners" or "Can you say please/thank you" and stuff like that. Instead if I notice DD wants someone's attention I might say "you'd like to talk to so-and-so? Go up to her put your hand on her arm and say excuse me please, and she'll probably be happy to talk with you." Or if she want's to call her cousin or grandmother on the phone I might suggest that she say "Hello, this is DD calling may I speak with Cousin?" So that she knows the polite way to talk on the phone or get someone's attention. Or if there is a situation in which she should say thank you, but she doesn't I will say it for her.... I actually did that more when she was little, now I might quietly say to her "Oh you forgot to tell so and so thanks you," and she'll run over and do it.

 

In other words I give her tools or strategies for talking politely with people. We've been doing this since she was quite young (18 months or so) and she is generally a pretty polite person.One funny thing I feel like I've noticed from time to time is people acting like their child should instinctively know how to be polite, like you should come out of the womb saying thank you and excuse me, and they seem absolutely astounded when their kids don't "use their manners" instinctively. I think politeness is a learned cultural behavior--a series of skills for navigating in society that need to be taught and explained. It's one of my jobs as a parent to teach DD those skills.

post #9 of 32

I agree with all of the above.  thumb.gif

post #10 of 32

I have fairly high standards for politeness and quite high standards for behavior. At the same time, I also have a child who would not imitate anything verbally. Ever. He's got a stubborn streak a mile wide. If we had made him say "please" before he got something, he would have chosen to go without. (Seriously, this is the child who spent an hour sitting next to his rain boots at daycare because he wanted the teacher to put them on, and she knew he could do it. He had the choice of putting his own boots on or playing inside. He chose to sit by his boots.) Also, a lot of 2 year olds aren't verbal enough to string together the words "could I have some milk please, mommy" (ds was, but wouldn't at age 2.)

 

Because of that, we didn't really start working on verbal manners with ds until age 3. We did a lot of modeling. A ton. We also gave him non-verbal options wherever possible (you hurt your sister, do you want to say "i'm sorry" or give her a hug?), and he'd invariably choose the non-verbal option. We did start prompting for 'can I have.." type requests until closer to 4. We started with "Is that the same as "Can I have some water please momma?" and moved on to "how do you say that more politely?" By middle-late 4, I could just raise my eyebrows and he'd often rephrase. Funny enough, though, he'd never use please and thank you, even with "Can I have some water" type statements. It wasn't until age 5 when he spent an afternoon with a friend and stayed to dinner that I realized he even would. His friends' mom commented on how nicely ds said please and thank you and my jaw dropped.

 

As for loud voices or running - that really depends on your child. If my kids were too loud in a public place, I'd take them out. Not as punishment, but as a courtesy to other diners/shoppers/patrons. I think it's unrealistic to expect all toddlers to be able to keep quiet and still in public places. I worry that people who say "I don't tolerate that in my child" simply have a fairly easy-going child. Ds was "beautifully behaved" in public if you looked at him. He stuck to us like glue. He was selectively mute. He loved to observe. Dd was not. She was loud, impatient, and wiggly. She would dash off in the opposite direction in a minute. She loved to 'talk' (read, screech as an infant), and still has to be reminded to keep her voice at a reasonable level. She explores by touching, not observing. We 'solved' the issue by simply not going out much with her when she was a toddler. We didn't eat out. We knew that when we took her to church, she'd last about 10 minutes and then either need the nursery, or better yet, to run in the narthex. We didn't take her shopping.

 

So, for me, I try to keep my expectations age appropriate and tailor them to the child. My children are polite, kind and helpful most of the time. We get complements on their behavior a lot. They're even polite to each other at  times. Ds needed help with something the other day, and I overheard him saying "Hey M, can you do me a favor please? Can you come hold this while I tape it on?" "Sure," she replied. He taped it and said "Thank you." Pretty good from a kid who couldn't be bribed to say "thank you" at all when he was 2.

 

 

post #11 of 32

I'm like this, too. I'm interested in reading all the responses because I've sort of come to the conclusion after reading this board for months that "Gentle Discipline" (as defined on this board) isn't for me. I know that GD is such a broad thing though, and I've hoped that there's maybe somewhere on the spectrum I could fall. As it is I seem to fall on the "way too harsh" end lol. I don't like how sometimes "age-appropriateness" is used to justify what, IMO, is bad behavior. Yes, I said it....bad behavior. Anyhow....I'm sorta kidding and obviously I'm not dismissing the whole thing or I wouldn't be here, and I am speaking very generally. But interested to read some more replies. My own baby is only 8 months and the rest of my direct experience is with other children in my family (niece, nephew, cousins....)

 

Sorry for typos, nak

post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post

I'm like this, too. I'm interested in reading all the responses because I've sort of come to the conclusion after reading this board for months that "Gentle Discipline" (as defined on this board) isn't for me. I know that GD is such a broad thing though, and I've hoped that there's maybe somewhere on the spectrum I could fall. As it is I seem to fall on the "way too harsh" end lol. I don't like how sometimes "age-appropriateness" is used to justify what, IMO, is bad behavior. Yes, I said it....bad behavior. Anyhow....I'm sorta kidding and obviously I'm not dismissing the whole thing or I wouldn't be here, and I am speaking very generally. But interested to read some more replies. My own baby is only 8 months and the rest of my direct experience is with other children in my family (niece, nephew, cousins....)

 

Sorry for typos, nak


I know! Sometimes I feel like I am way more strict than other moms. Although I am very playful and fun loving and generally a very "sweet" mom there are some things I simply expect and frankly feel like I deserve. Is that awful? One of the habits I'd like to break dd of, although I think she's still too young, is the constant asking for various foods and drinks when we sit down for lunch. I think it's my fault because I generally serve lunch in stages. For instance I'll slice up an apple and let her eat it while I prepare a sandwich, so I think she has this idea that lunch is a free for all and it's my job to get her juice, then milk, oh no water, etc. On the one hand I love her and I want to give her anything she wants, but on the other I don't want her to think of me as her personal gofer yk?
post #13 of 32

I think that LynnS6 made some really good points.  I'm coming from a background where GD was unheard of (in fact, anything less than corporal punishment was seen as parental neglect and kids would grow up to be felons, etc.).  Funny, but corporal punishment in my household was often a result of an angry and frustrated parent.  Things just weren't thought through.  "Discipline" was quickly administered and no one asked any questions.  Fear of pain usually dictated behavior.  My personal opinion (and perhaps the opinions of others):  that doesn't instill a sense of morality or even an understanding of social graces.  It is simply a cause and effect sort of thing.  

 

Gentle discipline in my opinion involves an intense engagement with the child on the rights and wrongs and it is a lot of work.  Despite the hardness of it, I think it is supremely important that children learn how to appropriately behave in society and how to appropriately interact with other individuals.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I do think there is a way to act in public and I think that respect of others' space is important.  I mean, how many times on MDC do we hear of moms/dads complaining that others have crossed personal boundaries?  Little people don't learn this stuff on their own (arguably they may learn through trial and error, but why subject them to that?).  As PPs discussed above, age appropriateness plays a big role, but the whole wild child thing past the point of toddlerhood or other special condition should not be an issue if we are teaching our children to properly act in public (or even in familial situations).  

 

I'm surround by rude adults everyday, and sometimes I stare them down in their rudeness.  People who walk around like they are the only person in the universe and all us schlubs should just step out onto the street so they can pass really PMO.  irked.gif  Sorry, ranting here, but I strive to teach DD not to be one of them.  It is important to me that she be empathetic of others, and that empathy is not a weakness, and that standing up for yourself doesn't have to reach the level of rude unless extreme circumstances require otherwise.  It is entirely possible to teach this through GD. In fact, I wouldn't even call this GD, I would just call these moments teachable moments.  If the child doesn't know, then why are they being disciplined for same?  It is a learning process.

post #14 of 32
I probably belong here as well. I'm definitely not a permissive parent nor am I a consensual one.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post

I'm like this, too. I'm interested in reading all the responses because I've sort of come to the conclusion after reading this board for months that "Gentle Discipline" (as defined on this board) isn't for me. I know that GD is such a broad thing though, and I've hoped that there's maybe somewhere on the spectrum I could fall. As it is I seem to fall on the "way too harsh" end lol. I don't like how sometimes "age-appropriateness" is used to justify what, IMO, is bad behavior. Yes, I said it....bad behavior. Anyhow....I'm sorta kidding and obviously I'm not dismissing the whole thing or I wouldn't be here, and I am speaking very generally. But interested to read some more replies. My own baby is only 8 months and the rest of my direct experience is with other children in my family (niece, nephew, cousins....)

 

Sorry for typos, nak

Well I definitely consider myself to be a practitioner of GD and have learned tons of great things from the more experienced mamas on this board. I don't think practicing GD means that you don't care about manners etc. As I said up thread, manners--at least for me--are about treating others with respect and kindness AND (for me) so is practicing GD. I expect my children to treat others with respect and I treat my children with the same respect I expect them to show to others. The way I see it manners and GD have a completely symbiotic relationship--they are not at all mutually exclusive.

 

Having said that I also think that sometimes people confuse being permissive (or just not really dealing with you child) with GD; and that is not the kind of gentle discipline I practice.
 

 

post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post

I'm like this, too. I'm interested in reading all the responses because I've sort of come to the conclusion after reading this board for months that "Gentle Discipline" (as defined on this board) isn't for me. I know that GD is such a broad thing though, and I've hoped that there's maybe somewhere on the spectrum I could fall. As it is I seem to fall on the "way too harsh" end lol. I don't like how sometimes "age-appropriateness" is used to justify what, IMO, is bad behavior. Yes, I said it....bad behavior. Anyhow....I'm sorta kidding and obviously I'm not dismissing the whole thing or I wouldn't be here, and I am speaking very generally. But interested to read some more replies. My own baby is only 8 months and the rest of my direct experience is with other children in my family (niece, nephew, cousins....)

 

Sorry for typos, nak



At 8 months in, DH and I both thought that, too.  As they grow, so do we.  It's one of the most rewarding parts of choosing to parent like this.

post #17 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

I think that LynnS6 made some really good points.  I'm coming from a background where GD was unheard of (in fact, anything less than corporal punishment was seen as parental neglect and kids would grow up to be felons, etc.).  Funny, but corporal punishment in my household was often a result of an angry and frustrated parent.  Things just weren't thought through.  "Discipline" was quickly administered and no one asked any questions.  Fear of pain usually dictated behavior.  My personal opinion (and perhaps the opinions of others):  that doesn't instill a sense of morality or even an understanding of social graces.  It is simply a cause and effect sort of thing.  

 

Gentle discipline in my opinion involves an intense engagement with the child on the rights and wrongs and it is a lot of work.  Despite the hardness of it, I think it is supremely important that children learn how to appropriately behave in society and how to appropriately interact with other individuals.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I do think there is a way to act in public and I think that respect of others' space is important.  I mean, how many times on MDC do we hear of moms/dads complaining that others have crossed personal boundaries?  Little people don't learn this stuff on their own (arguably they may learn through trial and error, but why subject them to that?).  As PPs discussed above, age appropriateness plays a big role, but the whole wild child thing past the point of toddlerhood or other special condition should not be an issue if we are teaching our children to properly act in public (or even in familial situations).  

 

I'm surround by rude adults everyday, and sometimes I stare them down in their rudeness.  People who walk around like they are the only person in the universe and all us schlubs should just step out onto the street so they can pass really PMO.  irked.gif  Sorry, ranting here, but I strive to teach DD not to be one of them.  It is important to me that she be empathetic of others, and that empathy is not a weakness, and that standing up for yourself doesn't have to reach the level of rude unless extreme circumstances require otherwise.  It is entirely possible to teach this through GD. In fact, I wouldn't even call this GD, I would just call these moments teachable moments.  If the child doesn't know, then why are they being disciplined for same?  It is a learning process.


I totally love this post! Sometimes I feel like gentle discipline is similar to maintaining a clean home with natural cleaning products. If you clean the toilet often with baking soda you rarely need to use heavy duty cleaning products. Same with your oven etc.
I don't want to rag on other parents, but one thing I've noticed is that people get distracted and don't notice when their kid is whining until it gets out of hand. Then the mother yells "you're driving me crazy!". As hard as it is, I always try to address this stuff before it makes me nuts. The first time DD whines for something I try to always cheerfully correct her and demonstrate the proper way to ask for something. I have to say it's draining, but I think it's important to be consistent. I hope that eventually it won't even occur to DD to ask for something in a whiny voice. Fingers crossed!
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

 

Gentle discipline in my opinion involves an intense engagement with the child on the rights and wrongs and it is a lot of work.  Despite the hardness of it, I think it is supremely important that children learn how to appropriately behave in society and how to appropriately interact with other individuals.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I do think there is a way to act in public and I think that respect of others' space is important.  I mean, how many times on MDC do we hear of moms/dads complaining that others have crossed personal boundaries?  Little people don't learn this stuff on their own (arguably they may learn through trial and error, but why subject them to that?).  As PPs discussed above, age appropriateness plays a big role, but the whole wild child thing past the point of toddlerhood or other special condition should not be an issue if we are teaching our children to properly act in public (or even in familial situations).  

 

I'm surround by rude adults everyday, and sometimes I stare them down in their rudeness.  People who walk around like they are the only person in the universe and all us schlubs should just step out onto the street so they can pass really PMO.  irked.gif  Sorry, ranting here, but I strive to teach DD not to be one of them.  It is important to me that she be empathetic of others, and that empathy is not a weakness, and that standing up for yourself doesn't have to reach the level of rude unless extreme circumstances require otherwise.  It is entirely possible to teach this through GD. In fact, I wouldn't even call this GD, I would just call these moments teachable moments.  If the child doesn't know, then why are they being disciplined for same?  It is a learning process.


So true!  In fact I would go as faras to say that GD methods of modelling empathy and respect and then teaching how to find it is indeed the best ways to teach children this.  The GD parent is generally far more equipped to recognize the cues that lead up to unwanted behavior and nip it in the bud early (because we recognize the cause and effect factor of behavior such as low protein = cranky child, rather than viewing early childhood as a battle of wills to be won or lost by a group of pint sized puppet masters, and we believe that ultimately children WANT to behave well and please people and want to be happy and feel fulfilled), or remove them from other people's space before it gets out of hand...even before the end of toddlerhood, even from birth.

 

I think there is gentle discipline (teaching), permissive parenting (anarchy) and then their is authoritative parenting (opression). I think it takes time to untrain the habits of control we learn from our patriarchial and indeed opressive societies, but ultimately I believe discipline, like Socrates teaching his pupils, teaches children the skills to be communicators, critical thinkers (which does make life more difficult) and invested citizens of the world, but that anarchy will always fail the people by breeding selfishness and entitlement, and that opressive regimes are always toppled by the peope because the law of the land is ruling by strength and fear, not respect and cooperation. 

post #19 of 32



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post

I totally love this post! Sometimes I feel like gentle discipline is similar to maintaining a clean home with natural cleaning products. If you clean the toilet often with baking soda you rarely need to use heavy duty cleaning products. Same with your oven etc.
I don't want to rag on other parents, but one thing I've noticed is that people get distracted and don't notice when their kid is whining until it gets out of hand. Then the mother yells "you're driving me crazy!". As hard as it is, I always try to address this stuff before it makes me nuts. The first time DD whines for something I try to always cheerfully correct her and demonstrate the proper way to ask for something. I have to say it's draining, but I think it's important to be consistent. I hope that eventually it won't even occur to DD to ask for something in a whiny voice. Fingers crossed!



Definitely, and in fact you'll get better at figuring out why she's whining at all. I learned that DS, who I knew could ask nicely, had dips in protein levels, so he would whine and I would reach in my bag and grab a whole wheat cracker and peanut butter sandwich for him as I modelled the polite way to ask for his need to be met...I'd say "Eat this first, then try asking again like this: 'Mommy, can I ride on the carousel, please?' okay?", or if I heard him say something rude to his cousins, I'd call him over for a handful of nuts then while he sat on my lap we'd talk calmly about apologizing or having a nap and then apologizing.  He's learned to recognize his own cues, now too...sometimes.  And then there will be time where that doesn't work and you realize they are having a hormone surge that they can't control (like when you're pregnant and you start crying hysterically because the restaurant is out of sweet and sour soup, and that's all you waned,ALL DAY, and there isn't any, dammit and you think you may never recover...they hit those moments at about 5, 9 and then of course there is puberty, which can last anywhere from a day to 20 years, LOL), and you just have to ride it out with patience and calm and constancy.

 

Even adults whine when they are hungry, tired, overworked, or stressed out.  It is unrealistic to think she will ever not whine ever unless you can manage her stress, hunger, sleep, and comfort levels 24/7 with total perfection.  If you figure that out...let me know  how you did it.thumb.gif

 

post #20 of 32


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post

. I don't like how sometimes "age-appropriateness" is used to justify what, IMO, is bad behavior. Yes, I said it....bad behavior. Anyhow....I'm sorta kidding and obviously I'm not dismissing the whole thing or I wouldn't be here, and I am speaking very generally. But interested to read some more replies. My own baby is only 8 months and the rest of my direct experience is with other children in my family (niece, nephew, cousins....)

 

Sorry for typos, nak


But how you deal with that "bad" behavior or whether you consider it bad does depend on age-appropriateness. If a 9 month old pulls all the books of my mother's shelf, is that bad behavior? No, it's my fault for not preventing access or keeping an eye on the baby. If my 6 year old does that, then yes, it's not age-appropriate. If my 6 year old did that, you'd better believe she'd be helping me put those books back on the shelf and I wouldn't be pleased. However, I wouldn't punish, I'd figure out what she was doing, teach her how to fix the problem and let it go.

 

Another example: Our 6 year old had a major whining fest, bordering on tantrum, before dinner. She was hungry. She'd been out to a soccer match with dh and he hadn't brought a snack with. I got that. I'd given her some cheese. (I'd actually offered her some fruit snacks and she said "I don't want anything with sugar" telling me that she's getting a good sense for what her body needs.) But the rice wasn't ready and there wasn't anything I could do about it. I gave her cheese. I then offered my sympathy. She was escalating. So, after 3-5 minutes of whining, we asked her to go upstairs. She was not happy. But she went (mostly because we had marched her up there many times before). She had her fit (rather loudly) in our room. She came down about 3 minutes before dinner was ready, had dinner and was fine. Was her fit 'bad' behavior? I don't think so. She was hungry and tired and was not self-regulating. There was no punishment, just an insistence that she not inflict her whines on the rest of the family (who were also hungry).

 

For me, the essence of GD is teaching a child. Each child learns differently. Ds learns by repeated observation. Dd learns by doing. That means each child needs a different kind of "discipline". Each child also has different issues.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

 

Gentle discipline in my opinion involves an intense engagement with the child on the rights and wrongs and it is a lot of work.  Despite the hardness of it, I think it is supremely important that children learn how to appropriately behave in society and how to appropriately interact with other individuals.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I do think there is a way to act in public and I think that respect of others' space is important.  I mean, how many times on MDC do we hear of moms/dads complaining that others have crossed personal boundaries?  Little people don't learn this stuff on their own (arguably they may learn through trial and error, but why subject them to that?).  As PPs discussed above, age appropriateness plays a big role, but the whole wild child thing past the point of toddlerhood or other special condition should not be an issue if we are teaching our children to properly act in public (or even in familial situations).  

 

<snip>

It is entirely possible to teach this through GD. In fact, I wouldn't even call this GD, I would just call these moments teachable moments.  If the child doesn't know, then why are they being disciplined for same?  It is a learning process.


Yes, it does involve a lot of intense engagement, which is why I think fewer people practice it than punitive discipline. It feels, at times, easier to punish after the fact, than it is to work with a child to help them learn. I think that's short sighted, however, because the older children I know where were raised with GD really have learned and are generally responsible, pleasant kids. (Not without mistakes, but they take responsibility for their mistakes, usually.)

 

I disagree that teaching isn't GD. The key for GD for me is that it's teaching and learning.  As for 'teachable moments', for me these are the heart of GD. If I can teach my child to think through an action or a consequence, then I've achieved something because it means that they are more likely to be able to carry forward by themselves in the future. It's important to remember that children learn in different ways and different rates. There are kids who need a lot more physical action and aren't ready to sit still places at 4 or 5. If that's your child, then it makes sense to me to not put them in positions where they'd have to do that, and to give them lots of time for physical action. If your child is slow to warm up, then model social nicities, but don't punish them for not using them. Teach them, as we did our son, "when you don't say hello to people, they think you don't like them". And after about 50 repetitions, he got it.

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