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Is child punishment ever necessary? - Page 8

post #141 of 170

ack, how do I erase it ?

post #142 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeacemongerMom View Post

ack, how do I erase it ?

You don't exactly.  You click on the "edit" icon, lower left, delete the body and substitute a * or whatever, or leave it as is.  I've noticed it's been happening all over MDC in the last few days, so the Peeves joke was not entirely out of the ballpark.  Digital-Peeves!

post #143 of 170
Interesting thread! We run a punishment-free household and so far its working really well with my 4 and 7YOs. I've never heard of Alfie Kohn, but I'd love to learn more. Anyone have any good book suggestions? smile.gif
post #144 of 170

You know, it gets me that a lot of people now a days are still following Dr. Spock's particular theories for educating children and how man of you know that his son ended up killing himself? Not one I would want to follow. I'd rather follow what the Bible says. God created us and knows what's better for us and yes, I understand some criminals are in prison because of mental illness but this country in the last 40 years has abandoned its traditional ways of life where mom would be at home and dad would go to work and there was always someone there to take care of the kids. Now kids grow up on tv and video games, alone and many children never even know who  their fathers are and I think that has greatly contributed to the high rate of crime.

post #145 of 170

Where in the bible does it give you step by step instructions for what to do, say, during temper tantrums with school aged children who are testing the limits?

post #146 of 170

PeacemongerMow wrote "She would say things like when a child made bad choices they would model the correct behavior. It didn't help my son."

 

This is so true! And I dont think I've ever seen it articulated before.

 

My oldest, a boy just doesn't notice when people model stuff. He's off with the fairies a lot of the time really. He's very absorbed in his own world. He wants clear, quick answers, in the, to him, non-ideal situation that he can't just do as he likes :rotflmao. But where these answers don't coincide with what brings him joy, he then sometimes kicks off or does as he likes. 

 

My daughters, totally different. They pick up on the cues, the hints. They notice that we speak quieter and take our shoes off when we enter the house. Generally they do it. And ds is still there singing loudly in his mucky trainers.

 

There is a level on which we use punishment, time out etc because it is the only way ds actually notices.

 

Oh and before anyone suggests that I must have spent the last 10 years yelling and giving out gold stars, nope. We unschool, and we have really tried to avoid any punishments where possible. Oh and I can call them consequences. We are talking stuff like, right, you walked mud through the house so you need to go and wipe it up.  To me thats a punishment actually, and fulfils the same top-down function as one. I have to say, to me consequences is a semantic nicety.

post #147 of 170
Neither of Dr. Spock's sons committed suicide. His grandson did, however he suffered from schizophrenia.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallah22 View Post

You know, it gets me that a lot of people now a days are still following Dr. Spock's particular theories for educating children and how man of you know that his son ended up killing himself? Not one I would want to follow. I'd rather follow what the Bible says. God created us and knows what's better for us and yes, I understand some criminals are in prison because of mental illness but this country in the last 40 years has abandoned its traditional ways of life where mom would be at home and dad would go to work and there was always someone there to take care of the kids. Now kids grow up on tv and video games, alone and many children never even know who  their fathers are and I think that has greatly contributed to the high rate of crime.
post #148 of 170

" I'd rather follow what the Bible says. God created us and knows what's better for us and yes, I understand some criminals are in prison because of mental illness but this country in the last 40 years has abandoned its traditional ways of life where mom would be at home and dad would go to work and there was always someone there to take care of the kids. Now kids grow up on tv and video games, alone and many children never even know who  their fathers are and I think that has greatly contributed to the high rate of crime."

 

OTOH I'd rather have rights for women and employment and legal protection for those who want it. I'd rather women and men could make realistic choices about parenthood, work and not be forced into either. I'd rather domestic violence and rape within marriage be a criminal offence. I'd rather children had rights and were listened to and didn't have to go to work or starve. I'd rather a woman had the right to choose. I'd rather discrimination based on gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, race and culture be not only illegal but also socially unacceptable. I'd rather people knew not to drink and drive. I'm glad we've been to the moon and are sending probes to the furthest reaches of the solar system. I think the advances in medical technology, that interplay nicely with the technological world our next generation grows up in, have done so much to improve peoples qualities of life, kept families together for longer.

 

I think parenting today is radically different, better more consensual than it was 40 years ago. Generally, spanking and emotional abuse is unacceptable. If parents badly screw up, there is some kind of a care system which has an inkling of what kids need, even if it struggles to achieve it. Teachers are better, kinder. I grew up nearly 40 years ago. The world today is a much nicer one for our kids. 

post #149 of 170
Thank you, fillyjonk! joy.gif
I've been struggling with a response, and ultimately couldn't trust myself to stay within the UA. Thank you so much for standing up and singing with such a clear, beautiful voice! I'm in the choir with you, friend!

ps. And can I have your post printed on a T-shirt please?
post #150 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallah22 View Post
 

 I'd rather follow what the Bible says.

As in "he that spareth his rod hateth his son"?  Doesn't sound like really gentle discipline to me.

post #151 of 170

aw starlinganddiesel, what a nice thing to see! Thank you. 

 

I do feel a bit strongly about this, as you can see ;-)

post #152 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post

why he's still hitting.  Is it lack of self-control?  If so, punishment probably won't help, because when he's mad enough to hit he's not going to be in control enough to think about the punishment he's going to get and stop himself in order to avoid it.  Is he not yet old enough to think about other people's feelings?  If he just doesn't yet fully understand the wrongness of hitting, he's probably not going to understand the rightness of punishment for hitting, either.  So the punishment is more likely to make him mad at me and sorry for himself than sorry for hurting someone else.  I don't think punishment is a good way of helping kids develop an intrinsic sense of right and wrong.

long thread, been reading through it off and on in free moments from my phone, this is where i'm up to, so forgive me if i end up saying anything that gets duplicated in someone else's comments i haven't read yet!

i like everything you said here, and i would add: if we notice kiddo is having impulse control – or does kiddo think things that feel uncomfortable or unfair warrant swift action (which in their limited repertoire comes out in the flailing or dragging of limbs or voice)? – isn't the only way to ensure we are modeling a different way (of responding) to make sure that even a necessary consequence taken to protect one or more parties is done in a way that doesn't feel at all like what the child just did?

obviously if the kid hits another kid, and you fly over to them and hit them, we can all so readily and obviously see the hypocrisy and how the parent is sending a much clearer message with modeling hitting behavior than whatever directives are being verbalized. but without getting into semantics, i think it seems important to think about what all the teeny tiny clues you are sending with your body language and attitude may be, and – forget about the entire concept of punishment for a moment – does it feel/seem to the kid a lot like what they just did, from their limited perspective? and if so, isn't it just better, pragmatically speaking, to find another way?

i see this group hasn't come to consensus about whether you need to drive home a lesson about hitting, and maybe if you don't feel how i do, this idea won't work for you. but i absolutely believe that without ever being taught they did it wrong, the kid will outgrow the impulse as long as everything you model for them is positive, gentle, calm, loving, cooperative – unless they're nearly incapable (such as lower functioning autism spectrum kids). but we all know in kids who don't voluntarily choose cooperation due to cognitive inability don't respond to harshness, either, so i can't see any reason not to just use modeling, since any kid you feasibly could get compliant through punishment will just model their behavior after yours naturally anyway. ok, so that opinion aside and (i think) fairly well explained, where i was going was...

if (and perhaps only if) you see eye to eye with me on that last point, what about applying the baby falling concept to hitting? that is, baby falls, and you either go, "uh oh!" or "whoopsy-daisy!" as calm and cool as a cucumber and help them up, and then they only freak out if they are truly injured. you haven't overlaid unnecessary meaning onto it, creating additional distress baby wouldn't naturally need to feel. how bout if we did this with hitting? might take willingness from both kids' parents, but imagine if you basically go, "whoops!" like as if they did it on accident, even if it seemed rather deliberate (b/c chances are, they don't do it with the intent of causing the amount of pain it may possibly cause). no one is blamed. you are helping them up, basically (this is the moment of separation), giving both kids a moment to feel what they feel without any adult overlay. if it hurt the other kid, really and truly, and your kid sees that the only consequence of their action was that inflicted pain, they are learning what there really is to be learned – that hitting hurts. if it didn't hurt the other kid, we can at least rest assured it won't act as a natural positive reinforcement, since they didn't "get their way" as a result. you know, you just basically be like, "oops, not that, try again" in attitude, and then there's no chance the kid sees your response as an increasing escalation?

i mean, even with puppies, who don't have anywhere near human cognitive ability, but definitely show tendency toward what can probably rightly be called social behavior and empathy of the variety we value in our kids – they respond best to learning not to bite our skin (only chew on toys) when we act nonchalant in making the switcheroo: oops, got my hand (maybe a little yelp if it hurt, not the same as scolding), but here's the toy, clumsy little puppy. you don't have to reward them for selecting the toy or punish them for accidentally nipping flesh. even dogs naturally intuit that this is how it's done in this social sphere to which they enjoy belonging. not every dog every time, obviously, but even the best dog isn't as smart as a toddler in the verbal logic and reasoning department and no dog can ever understand your explanation. so isn't the important trait the social nature of the being, and the corresponding ability to empathize?

i feel like we all GET that attaching a punishment to a morally reprehensible action takes the focus off the morality of the action and substitutes avoidance of the behavior for the right reasons with avoidance for fear of being punished (leading them to sneak, deceive, cheat). but what about the subtle nuances of this principle? that even too quick a movement, too panicked a reaction from us, can likewise distract from the very building block lessons in empathy by injecting too much parental reaction? i am not at all saying we don't redirect, and guide, the kid, promptly. but if the kid can pick up your disapproving expression, can't they pick up the hurt look on the other toddler's face?

these are just thought experiments i want to throw out there. b/c maybe unconditional parenting is hard not only because of the patience it calls on us to muster, but because sometimes our own body language betrays the true spirit of the technique. maybe some of the people who contend it just didn't work don't mean it couldn't work, but they themselves just weren't good at internalizing it. the people who get really quickly defensive about their need to be the parent, set firm boundaries, enact discipline, etc., just don't strike me as people whose current attitudes and body language are likely to send the supportive "we're in this together, kiddo" message that you've got to be able to send if you're saying that you actually gave this parenting style a try. i know that sounds super judgmental, but bear with me – i'm asking this of myself as much as anyone else. some people just are calm, take-it-in-stride, gentle-mannered folks, and others are the teeth-grinding, hand-wringing, sweating type, and our temperaments (or perhaps some of it the results of our own upbringing) fall everywhere in between. i am naturally more high-strung than relaxed, which means i am going to have to be so incredibly mindful to enact unconditional parenting. and i'm bracing myself for the fact i won't get it perfect all the time. but i think it is more likely that the success or failure of it (just my opinion) rests on how successfully it is carried out. not in my over-achieving, list-checking way, but in the spirit in which i carry it out, as perceived by my kid.

and so, long story short, are our different views about semantics? or perhaps about something we can't bring to a message board at all? – our body language and the attitudes conveyed to our kids (regardless of what we say)?

and just because it's harder for some of us than others to give our kids what they most deserve obviously doesn't mean we don't owe it to them to work harder to rise to the challenge. as the saying goes, after all, they didn't ask to be born – we chose to have them.
post #153 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallah22 View Post

You know, it gets me that a lot of people now a days are still following Dr. Spock's particular theories for educating children and how man of you know that his son ended up killing himself? Not one I would want to follow. I'd rather follow what the Bible says. God created us and knows what's better for us and yes, I understand some criminals are in prison because of mental illness but this country in the last 40 years has abandoned its traditional ways of life where mom would be at home and dad would go to work and there was always someone there to take care of the kids. Now kids grow up on tv and video games, alone and many children never even know who  their fathers are and I think that has greatly contributed to the high rate of crime.


http://www.snopes.com/medical/doctor/drspock.asp


Please know your facts before you post. Bearing false witness is not cool. And I'm an atheist.
post #154 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by filamentary View Post



i absolutely believe that without ever being taught they did it wrong, the kid will outgrow the impulse as long as everything you model for them is positive, gentle, calm, loving, cooperative – unless they're nearly incapable (such as lower functioning autism spectrum kids). but we all know in kids who don't voluntarily choose cooperation due to cognitive inability don't respond to harshness, either, so i can't see any reason not to just use modeling, since any kid you feasibly could get compliant through punishment will just model their behavior after yours naturally anyway.

So well put! Yes!
post #155 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by filamentary View Post



maybe unconditional parenting is hard not only because of the patience it calls on us to muster, but because sometimes our own body language betrays the true spirit of the technique. maybe some of the people who contend it just didn't work don't mean it couldn't work, but they themselves just weren't good at internalizing it. the people who get really quickly defensive about their need to be the parent, set firm boundaries, enact discipline, etc., just don't strike me as people whose current attitudes and body language are likely to send the supportive "we're in this together, kiddo" message that you've got to be able to send if you're saying that you actually gave this parenting style a try. i know that sounds super judgmental, but bear with me – i'm asking this of myself as much as anyone else. some people just are calm, take-it-in-stride, gentle-mannered folks, and others are the teeth-grinding, hand-wringing, sweating type, and our temperaments (or perhaps some of it the results of our own upbringing) fall everywhere in between. i am naturally more high-strung than relaxed, which means i am going to have to be so incredibly mindful to enact unconditional parenting. and i'm bracing myself for the fact i won't get it perfect all the time. but i think it is more likely that the success or failure of it (just my opinion) rests on how successfully it is carried out. not in my over-achieving, list-checking way, but in the spirit in which i carry it out, as perceived by my kid.

This is where my struggle lies. I can have the intention, but sometimes in the heat of the moment my tone and body language will betray my best intentions and undo the gentle and non-coercive angles I was aiming for. Those times are our hardest times. When our hearts are all in it together, it's so much smoother.
post #156 of 170

"i absolutely believe that without ever being taught they did it wrong, the kid will outgrow the impulse as long as everything you model for them is positive, gentle, calm, loving, cooperative – unless they're nearly incapable" from filamentry sorry can't quote for some reason

 

I think yes and no. I think yes for some kids. My girls, basically, yes. My son, no.  

 

I think some kids-disproportionately boys, though I'm always reluctant to reduce anything to gender terms- seem to be amazingly unobservant and you can model til the cows come home but its not going to work. Because they don't really notice what other people are doing. Not, I assure you, because they've been ignored their whole lives. Actually one of my son's friends, who is awful for this, was an only child with a highly involved (what some might call an extreme helicopter) mother til about a year ago. I think some kids, like my oldest, actually need to be told that certain behaviours just aren't ok. Again, and again. He will not notice the effect of his behaviour on others and I have no idea why (he's not on the spectrum afaik, and many of his friends are the same). Modelling isn't always enough. And of course, this is behaviour that is unpleasant for others. Eventually you get to a point where you just have to put some lines in the sand, else you do end up with a kid who no one else wants to play with. Sometimes you need to be able to put clear, quick consequences in place so that everyone gets freedom. If I say to my son, "if you hurt anyone with your whirlwind impressions you will have to sit with me for ten minutes" then everyone gets to go to the park and everyone gets to stay at the park. He is happier as a result. And I promise, he has not been raised in an environment where people continually wave their arms around or rush about with their eyes shut. No one is modelling being a whirlwind. And there is nothing wrong with a 10 year old wanting the sensory feedback and group fun from doing that, except that they need to be more aware so younger kids are safe.

 

I also do believe, based on seeing other kids in action, that lack of awareness of others, relative lack of empathy, is developmentally normal. I think we sometimes measure good parenting by how adult-like our kids are and I'm not really in favour of that. I think better to recognise that our kids are undergoing recognisable, if irritating, normal, and necessary childhood stages. I prefer to give them simple, enforced limits, and let them get on with being kids and take care of some of the grown up organisational stuff, reminding them about rules and boring stuff, myself. Empathy comes with age and development IME, its not really learnt and is generally modelled well enough in any non-abusive family.

 

I think, personally, you get the kids you get and you do your best. I think we overestimate the amount we can influence them really and I think we often fall into a trap of correlating adult/mature behaviour with good parenting. I think the reasons for parenting kindly and well are primarily moral ones really, and I think we have a better relationship with our kids when we are kind to them. I think its right to model kind, empathic behaviour because it is right to be kind and empathic to people and our kids, along with our partners, are hopefully the most important people in our lives. But I don't think its all we need to do, for many kids, and I don't think it would ever be right to conclude that a child who behaved in a way not considered socially acceptable was doing that because they had not had appropriate behaviour modelled to them. If only it were so simple!


Edited by Fillyjonk - 9/20/13 at 10:07am
post #157 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post


I think we sometimes measure good parenting by how adult-like our kids are and I'm not really in favour of that. I think better to recognise that our kids are undergoing recognisable, if irritating, normal, and necessary childhood stages.

yes! well said!
post #158 of 170
Thread Starter 
I am really geeked about how much amazing discussion there's been in this thread!
post #159 of 170

 



I think yes and no. I think yes for some kids. My girls, basically, yes. My son, no.  



 



This is an interesting perspective. I have 2 girls who behave pretty well with appropriate modeling and suggestions. Thinking back though, I remember my parents having a hard time getting my younger brother to behave. I seem to recall things like temper tantrums in public when he was well into grade school. He responded a lot better to rules/consequences, and as a result, my parents did more of that with him than with my sister or I.

I wonder why it is that girls seem to respond better to these methods? Is it really a biological/gender thing, or is it the gender specific expectations we have in our society. Anyone have any experience with boys/girls from different cultures? I wonder if behavior in other countries follows gender lines.
post #160 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSLaura View Post
 

 

 

I think yes and no. I think yes for some kids. My girls, basically, yes. My son, no.  

 

 



This is an interesting perspective. I have 2 girls who behave pretty well with appropriate modeling and suggestions. Thinking back though, I remember my parents having a hard time getting my younger brother to behave. I seem to recall things like temper tantrums in public when he was well into grade school. He responded a lot better to rules/consequences, and as a result, my parents did more of that with him than with my sister or I.

I wonder why it is that girls seem to respond better to these methods? Is it really a biological/gender thing, or is it the gender specific expectations we have in our society. Anyone have any experience with boys/girls from different cultures? I wonder if behavior in other countries follows gender lines.

 

 

Well, to respond directly about the kids in the above quote...what I can say is that my son was very, very sheltered from gender roles. Its something I'm highly aware of, have read about, and have never pushed. I actually kept his hours low at our Waldorf kindy because I did not appreciate the stereotyping. Til he was 6 or so, his favourite colour was pink (then he went to the Waldorf kindy...). Yes I am a SAHM but I've always been either working or studying (chemistry). His dad does equally his share around the house and he has good models in his grandfathers. He's been raised in an environment which celebrates diversity of gender and I have many friends whose gender and/or sexual identity is complex, or non mainstream. He's homeschooled, and we are in the UK where the default is secular.

 

Even now, at ten, he doesn't have an especially strong identity around being a boy. He's never been through the "girls are yuk" phase. He's entirely unbothered about wearing pink or purple and he'll play happily with his sisters. Until quite recently he had long hair and was often mistaken for a girl (he's also quite slight) and that never bothered him. It certainly didn't bother him enough to cut his hair.

 

But there are differences in how he processes information, what he notices, how he picks up on social cues. Whether that's a girl-boy thing I have no idea at all. However, if he is displaying this behaviour because of societal pressure, then I think there's little hope for the majority of kids. 

 

I think the best way to see this is as, yes, some kids will pick up on social cues. Others won't. How can we work with those who don't?

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