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How do you get your kids to appreciate/respect what they have? - Page 2

post #21 of 32

Bit harsh.

post #22 of 32


Which part was harsh?  Saying we want our kids to make the right choices because they understand natural consequences rather than enforcing punitive consequences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzyTheTerrible View Post

Bit harsh.



 

post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzyTheTerrible View Post

Bit harsh.



I agree, I think the whole "you will comply" method is a bit harsh, too.  But if it works for some I can totally respect that. 

 

 

I just have a different parenting style.  So far, not asking for total compliance from my kids and working with natural, and logical consequences, as well as restorative Justice principles has been really really effective. I see follow through as going beyond the consequence up to the larger lesson learned.  It's not just about being consistent with the what you say but being consistent, too, with your morals and principles.  And I speak as someone who has tried the "you will comply or I will make your life miserable" route and discovered it's not in line with my long term parenting philosophy or goals.  I cannot see the long term benefits as the kind of choices I want my kids making.

 

In our family we follow rules because the rules are there to keep people safe and make sure everyone has a fair shot as happiness, not just because we say so.  It's just not a value that makes sense to me if I want him to change the world.  We question rules all the time, in school, and in the world and when rules are outdated  or no longer make sense, we change them even if the powers that be don't like it very much. If we all grew up complying with all the rules set by the state instead of questioning their moral value and ethical standing, men would still legally have the right, even our sons, to beat us into submission when we did not obey their arbitrary commands or sell us into slavery to pay off their debts (in fact this still does happen in many parts of the world where women have no agency to change things).  Questioning the order of things is good (scary and hard to manage in the short term, but essentially and eventually very good), and I think it has to start at home.  But again, if that's not the sort of home you want, I can totally respect that. 

 

I am just expanding the spotlight to discuss the bigger picture, that's all.


Edited by hakeber - 11/13/11 at 8:27am
post #24 of 32

I think what works about BCFD's method is that her children believe her.  That method cuts the drama entirely.  I think alot of us getting into this mode of arguing, cajoling, pleading, and trying to fair and gentle, and we forget that our children are...children.  Little children need concrete things to work with.  The abstract is difficult for them to grasp for quite some time.  In an effort to be gentle and fair, I have noticed a lot of children just seem confused.  Their outward behavior could be labeled defiant, disrespectful, etc, but they aren't really that way.  They just don't know what's what and are trying so hard to figure it out. 

 

So, if a child finally learns that when mom says hand me the lego, she isn't going to mess around.  Then the kid hands over the lego, and that's that.  There are benefits here, specifically to the calmness of the child in the security of the situation, and the general peace in the home.

 

I do think that it isn't necessary to go the domination route to teach your child to believe you.  But, that is the root of it...do your kids believe you mean what you say?  Do they think you are a waffling liar?  Or a pushover that really doesn't have standards?  Because then why should they?

post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

I think what works about BCFD's method is that her children believe her.  That method cuts the drama entirely.  I think alot of us getting into this mode of arguing, cajoling, pleading, and trying to fair and gentle, and we forget that our children are...children.  Little children need concrete things to work with.  The abstract is difficult for them to grasp for quite some time.  In an effort to be gentle and fair, I have noticed a lot of children just seem confused.  Their outward behavior could be labeled defiant, disrespectful, etc, but they aren't really that way.  They just don't know what's what and are trying so hard to figure it out. 

 

So, if a child finally learns that when mom says hand me the lego, she isn't going to mess around.  Then the kid hands over the lego, and that's that.  There are benefits here, specifically to the calmness of the child in the security of the situation, and the general peace in the home.

 

I do think that it isn't necessary to go the domination route to teach your child to believe you.  But, that is the root of it...do your kids believe you mean what you say?  Do they think you are a waffling liar?  Or a pushover that really doesn't have standards?  Because then why should they?



I totally get that part of it.  I think that's why things work in our house, too.  My kids believe consequences, both positive and negative, will be handed out swiftly and consistently.  They also know they will not be arbitrary or punitive.  But then that absolute faith in a forthcoming consequence was why I listened to my parents...when they said jump, I said how high, because I knew if I didn't I was gonna get it, and when I got too big to be spanked or smacked, I knew I was gonna get grounded from whatever thing or event most connected me to the world, which they saw as a privilege, but I saw as a need for autonomy, connection, community, etc.  It was a "privilege" I didn't want to lose, so I did whatever they said...as far as they knew.  I learned not to get caught because the consequence was so undesirable.  I never understood why I had to do what they said or how their rules were keeping me safe, and most times their rules didn't make sense.  They had created a false sense of peace and calm.  On the surface I seemed obedient and we seemed to have a safe, calm home, but underneath I grew to resent them and mistrust them and do everything I could to defy them without getting caught, until finally I just walked out.  Meanwhile in my mother's house where she spoke to me like a person and didn't try to train me, I felt safe and calm and loved in genuine ways.  I didn't get sick as often, I didn't feel anxious all the time.  I didn't feel afraid to make mistakes or disappoint anyone. 

 

I never want my kids to live in a home where they feel they have to "mind" everything I say only because I said so.  I love my parents, and they did the best they could, but I don't think it was wise to raise us that way, and they agree.  We have had open discussions on the matter and they regret the way they ran our home.  Peace and calm only count when it is genuine and by the time my siblings and I all reached adolescence it was pretty clear that we were all without exception either paying lip service to compliance and shining our halos at night, or openly defying them as if to show them the total lack of control they had created....some of my siblings still do this...maybe we all do in our own ways.

 

Given my life history, I can't condone the idea that it is okay to demand total compliance from a child regardless of their needs.

 

I don't think you have to be totalitarian to gain absolute trust and faith from your kids, and I find that at least with MY kids (and I concede again here that every family is different and will have different needs and end-goals), the "My way or the highway" routine built anger and resentment and even more defiance, and I saw my childhood repeating before me.  I agree that kids need few choices, swift consequences and clear instruction, but they don't need purely punitive measures and despotic rule to get there, and outside of the toddler years, most children over the age of 5 of average intelligence can contribute actively to their own discipline process.

post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post



hmmmmmm, so are you saying if there was no fine or punitive consequence at all you'd wrecklessly endanger your life and the life of other drivers and their passengers or pedestrians and cyclists by speeding and running stop signs?  Ethics, general conscientiousness and basic safe driving doesn't factor in at all to that?

 

I am pretty sure I don't want my kids making decisions like that, but I am glad that analogy works for your kids.



Well, of course not!  But when you get that yellow light, knowing there are video and still cameras taking your picture, it makes you think, "Hmm...do I want to gun it?  Or should I hit the brakes?"  Of course when my children are of driving age they will learn how to drive safely, but when talking about small children I think it's imperative to understand from a young age that if they do X, consequence Y is going to happen.  I certainly hope that I don't have to have my 15 year old in a "time out". That's why we decided to do the program while she was 6.  So, that is why I recommended what I learned in PCIT to the OP.

post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

I think what works about BCFD's method is that her children believe her.  That method cuts the drama entirely.  I think alot of us getting into this mode of arguing, cajoling, pleading, and trying to fair and gentle, and we forget that our children are...children.  Little children need concrete things to work with.  The abstract is difficult for them to grasp for quite some time.  In an effort to be gentle and fair, I have noticed a lot of children just seem confused.  Their outward behavior could be labeled defiant, disrespectful, etc, but they aren't really that way.  They just don't know what's what and are trying so hard to figure it out. 

 

So, if a child finally learns that when mom says hand me the lego, she isn't going to mess around.  Then the kid hands over the lego, and that's that.  There are benefits here, specifically to the calmness of the child in the security of the situation, and the general peace in the home.

 

I do think that it isn't necessary to go the domination route to teach your child to believe you.  But, that is the root of it...do your kids believe you mean what you say?  Do they think you are a waffling liar?  Or a pushover that really doesn't have standards?  Because then why should they?


Yes! This exactly.  My kids attend a Montessori school where everything was very concrete up until 2nd grade where I am now seeing their works becoming a bit more abstract. It's what I expected.  I didn't expect to see a pink tower in a room with 3rd graders.  By now, they have seen the pink tower since they were infants, and the learning must progress as they get older.

 

The reason we went through PCIT is not because my children are defiant, it was because our oldest has serious anxiety issues that paralyzes her with fear!!  Does she sometimes scream and run away calling me, "the meanest Mommy in the world"? Oh yeah! (I try SO hard to wipe the smirk off of my face when she does this!)

 

The funny thing to me is that she is such a gentle, sweet child.  I have rarely had to struggle with her.  It's been like that since the day she came to us (adoption).  Now, my third child will make me say things 5 times before she listens.  Every single chance she gets she chooses to power struggle with me.  So, honestly, SHE is the one that the PCIT therapy has come in handy with.  Just today at the library I asked her to please put away her book and lets go get her big sisters (gave her a 5 minute warning and she said, "NO! SIX MINUTES!" LOL! See??)  So, when it was time to go, I kept a calm, neutral tone and said, "Let's go, love."  She did listen to me, so I said it again.  She TOTALLY ignored me and I said, "1, 2, 3...." and she jumped up and said, "Ok ok ok ok ok...I'm coming."  There was NO fighting about it, no drama, no scene in the middle of the library.....it was a simple reminder that if she did not come with me I was going to give her a consequence (and she knows all too well about Mommy-follow-through! LOL!).  She knows Mommy loves her and she has plenty of time to question rules. As she gets older she will also have plenty chances to question rules. I am as stubborn as an ox and question EVERYTHING! Hehehehe... However, there are certain times when she absolutely HAS to listen to me.  Today her big sister's were waiting for us at art class and we could NOT be late. 

 

I am working on my own struggles with anxiety and crazy mood swings.  So, between my own therapy and therapy that involves my kids (PCIT is a very gentle way of disciplining children or I absolutely would not be there!) it is making our world a little better.  Nothing worse than having a crazy, out of control, screaming Mom!  I do not want to be that type of parent.  

post #28 of 32

How did this one morph?

post #29 of 32

I'll just speak for myself, but I don't have any problem with you presenting what has worked for you, and I'm glad you've found something. I don't like it when people present what has worked for them as if it is necessary for other people's kids, as when people say that kids *need* consequences placed upon them to learn to do right, or learn how to follow road rules when they turn 16.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BCFD View Post




Yes! This exactly.  My kids attend a Montessori school where everything was very concrete up until 2nd grade where I am now seeing their works becoming a bit more abstract. It's what I expected.  I didn't expect to see a pink tower in a room with 3rd graders.  By now, they have seen the pink tower since they were infants, and the learning must progress as they get older.

 

The reason we went through PCIT is not because my children are defiant, it was because our oldest has serious anxiety issues that paralyzes her with fear!!  Does she sometimes scream and run away calling me, "the meanest Mommy in the world"? Oh yeah! (I try SO hard to wipe the smirk off of my face when she does this!)

 

The funny thing to me is that she is such a gentle, sweet child.  I have rarely had to struggle with her.  It's been like that since the day she came to us (adoption).  Now, my third child will make me say things 5 times before she listens.  Every single chance she gets she chooses to power struggle with me.  So, honestly, SHE is the one that the PCIT therapy has come in handy with.  Just today at the library I asked her to please put away her book and lets go get her big sisters (gave her a 5 minute warning and she said, "NO! SIX MINUTES!" LOL! See??)  So, when it was time to go, I kept a calm, neutral tone and said, "Let's go, love."  She did listen to me, so I said it again.  She TOTALLY ignored me and I said, "1, 2, 3...." and she jumped up and said, "Ok ok ok ok ok...I'm coming."  There was NO fighting about it, no drama, no scene in the middle of the library.....it was a simple reminder that if she did not come with me I was going to give her a consequence (and she knows all too well about Mommy-follow-through! LOL!).  She knows Mommy loves her and she has plenty of time to question rules. As she gets older she will also have plenty chances to question rules. I am as stubborn as an ox and question EVERYTHING! Hehehehe... However, there are certain times when she absolutely HAS to listen to me.  Today her big sister's were waiting for us at art class and we could NOT be late. 

 

I am working on my own struggles with anxiety and crazy mood swings.  So, between my own therapy and therapy that involves my kids (PCIT is a very gentle way of disciplining children or I absolutely would not be there!) it is making our world a little better.  Nothing worse than having a crazy, out of control, screaming Mom!  I do not want to be that type of parent.  



 

 

post #30 of 32

This used to be a big issue for me, too.  Then I read something that helped me to appreciate my kids' perspective.  It was from A.S. Neill's book Summerhill, about the well-known democratic school in England:

 

"Adults find it very hard to realize that young children have no regard for property.  They do not destroy it deliberately--they destroy it unconsciously.  I once saw a normal, happy girl burning holes with a red-hot poker into the walnut mantelpiece in our staff room.  When challenged, she started and seemed quite surpirsed.  'I did it without thinking,' she said, and she spoke truthfully. . . . .The fact is that adults are possessive about things of value and children are not.   Any living together between children and adults must therefore result in conflict over material things. . . . The argument of the disciplinarian who says that children must be compelled to respect property does not appeal to me, for it always means some sacrifice of childhood's play life.  My view is that a child should arrive at a sense of value out of his own free choice. As children leave the stage of preadolescent indifference to property, they become respecters of property.  When children have freedom to live out their indifference to property, they have little chance of ever becomig profiteers and exploiters."

 

And Neill says this about the food issue:

 

"Akin to punishment is the parental demand that a child should not bite off more than it can chew.  Literally--for often a child's eye is bigger than his stomach and he will demand a plateful that he cannot consume.  Good parenthood is the power of identifying oneself with a child, understanding his motives, realizing his limitations, without harboring ulterior motives or resentment."

 

So yes, I've tried to make sure the kids don't have so much stuff they're overwhelmed, and I've organized it well so that everything has a place, and I do ask them to help me pick up mid-day and before bed.  My eight-year-old nearly always helps, my six-year-old sometimes does, and my four-year-old often refuses.  And it's all okay.  Stuff does get broken sometimes, and I do remind them that leaving something on the floor may result in breakage.  And I may or may not replace the broken item.  And sometimes, if I see a pricey toy left in the middle of the floor, I just pick it up myself. And I expect that occasionally, the dishwasher door may get a big dent in it, or someone may leave an uncapped marker oozing on the couch, or whatever.  I no longer take it personally, in other words.  I have come to believe that the nagging I used to do did nothing to help them develop a sense of "respect" for stuff.  In fact, their lack of concern with material stuff actually shows that they just aren't that materialistic.  DH still gets upset when the kids leave their money lying around, but the truth is that they don't seem too upset if they lose a few quarters. Which is, in a way, a good thing.

 

I realize that this is an entirely different way of looking at things, but it has vastly improved my relationship with my children.  I think they feel more respected.  I mean, I wouldn't want DH going on and on every time I leave a yard rake out in the rain, or if I break an expensive handmade coffee mug because I'm juggling too many things in my hands.  Because MDC types (I'm included) tend to have such a strong sense of social justice, and such an aversion to waste, I think it's easy to feel it's our job to teach this to very young children.  But I now think this can't truly occur until the right amount of brain development takes place.  For example, my eight-year-old has recently become more conscious of his belongings, of not wasting food, etc.

 

 

 

 

Edited for typos.


Edited by Luckiestgirl - 11/23/11 at 7:45pm
post #31 of 32

Thank you for posting the excerpt from Summerhill. I'd like to get that book. My son attended a democratic free school a few years ago (he is now 8) and it was delightful. Unfortunately it had very low membership, we lost a few kids due to scheduling conflict with their other programs, and the school closed instead of growing. I cried. The freedom inherent in that environment was wonderful for my son. I realize, as confirmed in this quote, that we inherited a lot of crazy, materialistic ideas from our parents' generation. My dad, for instance, used to half-jokingly refer to us kids as "subhuman" because we were not earning our keep. And you see it in politicians. The other day in a debate, Newt Gingrich was actually suggesting that union school janitors be let go, and instead, the school children could do the work cleaning their school, earn money and "begin to rise" -- to me this reflected a worldview that earning money is a child's goal and a child's way to rise up....It was not a foreign concept to me at all, but I don't think it's right. I think they need to be earning other things at that age.

 

My son (8) is just now starting to earn money because he wants to save up for toys that he has his eye on. It was his own idea. He is selling his own homemade bookmarks (he's quite the artist), and he is thrilled to do it because he's working toward a goal. But I never pushed that on him.

 

Thanks for your post.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckiestgirl View Post

This used to be a big issue for me, too.  Then I read something that helped me to appreciate my kids' perspective.  It was from A.S. Neill's book Summerhill, about the well-known democratic school in England:

 

"Adults find it very hard to realize that young children have no regard for property.  They do not destroy it deliberately--they destroy it unconsciously.  I once saw a normal, happy girl burning holes with a red-hot poker into the walnut mantelpiece in our staff room.  When challenged, she started and seemed quite surpirsed.  'I did it without thinking,' she said, and she spoke truthfully. . . . .The fact is that adults are possessive about things of value and children are not.   Any living together between children and adults must therefore result in conflict over material things. . . . The argument of the disciplinarian who says that children must be compelled to respect property does not appeal to me, for it always means some sacrifice of childhood's play life.  My view is that a child should arrive at a sense of value out of his own free choice. As children leave the stage of preadolescent indifference to property, they become respecters of property.  When children have freedom to live out their indifference to property, they have little chance of ever becomig profiteers and exploiters."

 

And Neill says this about the food issue:

 

"Akin to punishment is the parental demand that a child should not bite off more than it can chew.  Literally--for often a child's eye is bigger than his stomach and he will demand a plateful that he cannot consume.  Good parenthood is the power of identifying oneself with a child, understanding his motives, realizing his limitations, without harboring ulterior motives or resentment."

 

So yes, I've tried to make sure the kids don't have so much stuff they're overwhelmed, and I've organized it well so that everything has a place, and I do ask them to help me pick up mid-day and before bed.  My eight-year-old nearly always helps, my six-year-old sometimes does, and my four-year-old often refuses.  And it's all okay.  Stuff does get broken sometimes, and I do remind them that leaving something on the floor may result in breakage.  And I may or may not replace the broken item.  And sometimes, if I see a pricey toy left in the middle of the floor, I just pick it up myself. And I expect that occasionally, the dishwasher door may get a big dent in it, or someone may leave an uncapped marker oozing on the couch, or whatever.  I no longer take it personally, in other words.  I have come to believe that the nagging I used to do did nothing to help them develop a sense of "respect" for stuff.  In fact, their lack of concern with material stuff actually shows that they just aren't that materialistic.  DH still gets upset when the kids leave their money lying around, but the truth is that they don't seem too upset if they lose a few quarters. Which is, in a way, a good thing.

 

I realize that this is an entirely different way of looking at things, but it has vastly improved my relationship with my children.  I think they feel more respected.  I mean, I wouldn't want DH going on and on every time I leave a yard rake out in the rain, or if I break an expensive handmade coffee mug because I'm juggling too many things in my hands.  Because MDC types (I'm included) tend to have such a strong sense of social justice, and such an aversion to waste, I think it's easy to feel it's our job to teach this to very young children.  But I now think this can't truly occur until the right amount of brain development takes place.  For example, my eight-year-old has recently become more conscious of his belongings, of not wasting food, etc.

 

 

 

 

Edited for typos.



 

post #32 of 32

We take care of our own stuff and expect the same from the kids.  We don't have a ton of toys but we do have plenty and we are always reinforcing that you put things in their place, keep all the pieces together etc.  If something gets wrecked or drawn on I tape it or wash it or whatever, or ask my 5yo to do it herself, so she hasn't got the idea that type of behavior is OK.

 

DD is only 5 so I still keep an eye on all her stuff.  I do make her round everything up at the day home, pack her backpack the night before, make sure to take her pack with her etc. I try to make as much of this as possible part of the routine.

 

For gratitude we haven't done as much as maybe we should but we do "appreciations" at family meetings where we go around the table and say thank you to at least one person for something during the week. Hannukah and birthdays we write thank-you notes.  So far it's going pretty well.

 

 

 

FWIW I use timeout but not generally to deal with cleanup.  If something doesn't get cleaned up, then it has to be done later, and fun activities are going to get pre-empted.  I say you have to use the right discipline tool for the job.  I will give timeouts for disrespect (5yo only, 2yo is too young) I don't think this is teaching mindless obedience - DD is allowed to question authority plenty as long as she does it politely. 

 

 

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