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Is child punishment ever necessary? - Page 2

post #21 of 170

After raising two daughters, I say NO.

 

What is important is to give children consequences of their actions, so they have real learning. Examples: "You took your seat belt off. I don't drive unless every one is wearing their seat belt. I have stopped the car and will wait until you put your seat belt on to keep driving." "I told you that if you slammed your bedroom door one more time, I would take it away. As you just slammed your bedroom door again, I am now taking it off the hinges."  "I don't feel like going out now, because the kitchen is a mess. If you help me clean it up, we can go out sooner."

 

No threats. No punishments. Real consequences.

 

Always keep in mind that small children need lots of good food often, because they are growing and their metabolism is faster than adults. No one behaves well when hungry or tired or thirsty.

 

@NikkiLeeHealth

 

www.breastfeedingalwaysbest.com

post #22 of 170

What if you can't stop the car and wait for them to make the right choice? I can't always pull over in our metro area. We have tollways that cost money to get on and off of, traffic jams, and other circumstances where you literally cannot just pull over.

 

In the situation where I "Could" pull over, I don't always have the time to wait for my children to choose safety over fun. If we are going to the doctor, or to another appointment that we are expected to be at promptly I doubt my kids would care if I started driving again anytime soon. Just saying, it can't always be about them and their "right to choose". I for one would not have the respect of anyone in my life if I constantly made it "all about my kids" and showed a disregard for other peoples valuable time. And I would feel like the only thing that I was teaching my kids would be that they are in control of not only themselves but of me as well. 

post #23 of 170

I try to avoid punishment.  But that doesn't mean I let my kids do whatever they want.  I often insist that they do what I want them to do (brush their teeth, pick up their clothes, take a shower.)  Sometimes when I'm trying to get my kid to do something he doesn't want to do I find myself saying, "Do X or Y will happen" because it feels like I need that threat to motivate the kid.  But actually, I've found that it works just as well if I leave off the threat and just continue to insist that I need the kid to do X. 

 

If my kid does something I find unacceptable, I may not punish him but that doesn't mean I just ignore the behavior and let him keep doing it all he wants.  If my kid hit another kid with a shovel, you can bet I'd stop that right away, let the kid know it was totally unacceptable, and do what I could to make sure it didn't happen again.  But I can do all that without imposing any punishment.  I think punishing a kid often just makes him feel sorry for himself and/or angry about the punishment and takes the focus away from the wrongness of what he did and how it affected other people.

 

Of course, when my kid does something like hit another kid, he does usually end up getting punished in a way, even if I don't deliberately impose a punishment like timeout or leaving the park.  If I get mad, or act shocked or disappointed, that's a punishment.  And that kind of punishment is really unavoidable.  Some of the things your kids do are going to make you mad and you're not always going to be able to hide it.  You probably wouldn't want to hide it even if you could.  Kids need to learn how other people feel about being hit, or having their things broken, or being lied to.  I suppose you could say your angry reaction is a natural consequence and not a punishment, but it has the same effect as a punishment.

 

For anyone who's skeptical about the no-punishment, no-reward idea, but interested enough to want to read more about it, I highly recommend Unconditional Parenting.  It made a lot of sense to me.

post #24 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by breastbabyclc View Post

What if you can't stop the car and wait for them to make the right choice? I can't always pull over in our metro area. We have tollways that cost money to get on and off of, traffic jams, and other circumstances where you literally cannot just pull over.

In the situation where I "Could" pull over, I don't always have the time to wait for my children to choose safety over fun. If we are going to the doctor, or to another appointment that we are expected to be at promptly I doubt my kids would care if I started driving again anytime soon. Just saying, it can't always be about them and their "right to choose". I for one would not have the respect of anyone in my life if I constantly made it "all about my kids" and showed a disregard for other peoples valuable time. And I would feel like the only thing that I was teaching my kids would be that they are in control of not only themselves but of me as well. 

In circumstances like that, when I feel that something *has* to be done I offer the choices "do you want to do it or shall I do it for you?" It still gives them some control but makes it clear that the action is not a negotiable one. And I only ask the question once, I don't spend 5 minutes asking her. If she says "do it myself" then I say "ok, off you go" or some similar prompt. If she doesn't do it then I immediately do it for her, no further discussion.
post #25 of 170

Teaching consequences also means respecting your feelings as well as theirs. "I don't want to go to the movie anymore; I don't feel like it after our last discussion. Go find something else to do this evening. I want to do other things."

 

It also means children seeing you upset with consequences. "Why is daddy in a bad mood?"   "He got a speeding ticket."

 

On one of our neighorhood streets, I did stop on the road instantly. Cars piled up behind us. Tension rose. "I can't drive unless everyone has their seatbelt on." She eventually put hers on, although it felt like it took hours, it was probably 60 seconds. 

 

There is nothing easy or perfect about raising little humans; humans are complex, no matter what their age. Child raising is about bringing children into a social structure; they have to be supported in this (making sure they are fed, watered, and rested). 

 

I insisted that my toddler hold my hand in the parking lot, otherwise she could end up like "mashed potatoes".  Having seen me make mashed potatoes, this analogy made sense to her, and she made a little song, "No mashed potatoes Vanessa" as she reached for my hand.

 

With my oldest, and my nearly obsessive desire to be the perfect mother that my own mother was not, I believed that if I met her needs, she would naturally grow up to be perfect person. I thought if I set boundaries, she would feel about me the way I felt about my own mother. HAH! We are still both recovering from that, decades later. With my second, I learned to be comfortable setting boundaries, and reacting appropriately if they were broken. 

 

When boundaries are clear and reasonable, there are consequences for breaking them. This is different to punishment for not breaking them. I drive at a safe speed through neighborhoods because I value safety, not because I am afraid of a ticket. 

 

I think that homeschooling also helped with my second; my first went through the school system that adds a degree of tension, worry, and lack of respect to life. With my oldest, I gave her a mental health day every month. She could choose to stay home one day a month if she felt like it. I didn't pretend that her teachers were wonderful and that all the work made sense. 

 

Speaking truth with a loving heart makes relationships easier. And, I have to say, there is a degree of luck.

post #26 of 170

As parenting is so individual, there is never one recipe. You evolve your own style, based on so many things. I am sharing some of the things that I did. 

 

When I made a mistake, I took responsibility for it. That is important for children to see. I also referred to myself as "I" when I was talking with my children, because it always bothered me when a mother would say to her chlild "Give it to mommy" when she meant "Give it to me". I never understood the value of speaking about one's self in the 3rd person as part of daily discourse. Perhaps this is confusing to a child?

 

Picking battles is important. I only ever disagreed enough to protest about a few outfits my daughters wanted to wear. 99% of the time, they wore what they wanted from the clothes I bought them. They were the ones that had to deal with the consequence of how they were perceived, not me. I would fight about the seat belt though.

 

Maybe fighting for an important principle is different to punishment? 

 

I've seen a mother buffalo kick her calf away from her when it kept banging its head on her udder. There was no punishment, just a swift and proportionate reaction. My second baby kept biting me when nursing. She was about  7 months old. She wouldn't stop. I tried everything that La Leche League and all my friends suggested. It didn't work. Finally, one day I swatted her on the thigh after a bite, like swatting a fly away. No threat, just immediate and appropriate reaction. This got her attention. She never bit me again. I was desperate to get her to stop because I wanted to keep our breastfeeding relationship going and nothing was working. My reaction worked and we nursed for over 5 years. 

 

Maybe we need a definition of punishment in this dialogue,  because the words "never" and "always" are such extreme ones?

 

@NikkiLeeHeatlh

post #27 of 170

 a teen kicked a ball that hit a teacher in the face and the teacher fell . the teen ran away , why 

parents and teachers are the last to know if kids screw up - why 

 

because punishment teaches kids to be immoral and not be caught - moral behavior means offering the teacher help , the fear of punishment teaches otherwise 

 

in a world of values , parents and teachers should be there for kids to help them get back on track , solve problems in a collaborative way and encourage them to engage in an autonomous way in the moral act of restitution or making amends instead of imposing consequences on them . Punishment does not help kids to ask what type of person I want to be , instead what's it it for me , what pays - the real world is full of people - enron - etc who think of the consequences for themselves , usually a quick buck . How do you want to prepare your kids for the real world - give them the skills to articulate their concerns and perspectives, engage in collaborative problem solving finding mutually satisfying solutions or being compliant because of punishment . Imho giving kids cps skills and how to foster trust and relationships would help them in the real world more than teaching compliance.

post #28 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by breastbabyclc View Post

What if you can't stop the car and wait for them to make the right choice? I can't always pull over in our metro area. We have tollways that cost money to get on and off of, traffic jams, and other circumstances where you literally cannot just pull over.

 

In the situation where I "Could" pull over, I don't always have the time to wait for my children to choose safety over fun. If we are going to the doctor, or to another appointment that we are expected to be at promptly I doubt my kids would care if I started driving again anytime soon. Just saying, it can't always be about them and their "right to choose". I for one would not have the respect of anyone in my life if I constantly made it "all about my kids" and showed a disregard for other peoples valuable time. And I would feel like the only thing that I was teaching my kids would be that they are in control of not only themselves but of me as well. 

If it's a safety issue, it would be all about my kids.  Buy anyway.....

 

First I would try to pull over, or stop, even in traffic if it's safe enough.  If not, then I would channel my grandfather and not mince words.  "If we get into an accident with you unbuckled you will fly through the front window and be dead."  Assuming, of course, it is the likely scenario, not stop-and-go or slow traffic in which case I would use equally dire but more likely scenarios.  AND you will not get to ride in the car next time.  However inconvenient it is for me, I will wait until I can drive without you in the car to do my errands.

 

This is probably "punishment" because it's being threatened and not a direct consequence.  ???  But it is absolutely genuine and connected.  It doesn't matter to me whether semantics fall on the side of "consequence" or "punishment" here.  Certainly making momma scared enough to shriek her lungs out has to be a natural consequence!  But if this scenario is punishment, well, I'm OK with that.  

 

Is it ever necessary?  First you would have to parse out the definition with exactness, and I personally doubt that's possible.

 

ETA: In the park scenario mentioned, I would absolutely fall on the side of a time-in.  But what if the behavior doesn't stop after mommy so lovingly steps in?  I'd leave the park.  With the kid, of course.  But what if she doesn't want to come and physically protests?  It's all about what to do when they don't comply and don't comply and then... don't comply!

post #29 of 170
Thread Starter 
I think it's worth noting again that not punishing doesn't mean not having any boundaries. It just means not enforcing boundaries with punishment. "We will eat after you wash your hands" isn't a punishment, but "If you don't wash your hands you won't get any dessert after dinner" is. You can see why I said that what is a punishment gets confusing though, which is why I said I try not to punish and don't set out to punish, because just living life includes stuff happening kids don't want and I'm sure they feel punished by things I don't intend as punishment.

But my kids don't run free. They have plenty of expectations. I just don't enforce those expectations by punishing when they don't do what I want, or threatening a punishment, or even rewarding when they do something I do want. I don't drive the car if someone's seat belt isn't fastened. That is simple safety. If I said, "If you don't fasten your seatbelt by the time I count to three, we won't go to the movie" then it would be a punishment. But I'd feel fine just waiting until a seatbelt was fastened. I certainly wouldn't drive a car if one of my kids wasn't safe in it.

I wouldn't swat a kid for biting when nursing either. But I have a natural reaction to being bit and I'm sure my "Ouch!" and taking a baby off my breast to see how bad the bite is feels like a punishment even if I don't intend it to be one.

"I don't feel like going to the movies anymore because of your behavior" does feel like a punishment to me. Yes, kids' behavior might make me feel upset, but acting upon it in that way isn't a natural consequence, it's a choice.

I guess the difference between punishing and not punishing is intent, because when it's done, if I didn't want it to happen and it happened anyway I remain on my kids' "side" the whole time. "Oh, that's disappointing. We don't have time to get to the movie now. I wonder if there's time to get to a later one, or if we can go another day." Where a punishment puts you and your child on different "sides." It's about your choice to do something negative to them, or to allow something negative to happen to them.

I don't think choosing not to intentionally punish is the only option, but I do think it's a viable way of parenting.
post #30 of 170

I struggle with explaining the way "no punishment" works. It is a hard concept to verbalize for me (not sure why). My children are now 14 and 10 and we have been at this for a long time. We lived through the all the early stages of child dev. and stuck to the Alfie Kohn-ish method. We set up boundaries in the form of a prepared environment when they were small. We very much expected that a 2 year old would act 2 and planned accordingly. For example, having a bedtime that was reasonable, having protein snacks available, having age appropriate expectations and toys.

We also learned a lot about "emotional coaching" and worked with them to express "big feelings" without hurting themselves or others.

The early years were VERY physically tiring. I remember being tired a lot.

We also had "house rules" - nothing posted or anything, but I might respond to a child being "harsh" to a sibling with things like, "In our house, we talk kindly to each other. Let's think about what you need to say and say it with kindness and respect."  This is how we would respond when someone did something that needed course correction. It was more "coming alongside" to assist than being over a child demanding.

I worked to make our house a pleasant place, a peaceful place, to live together. This is not always easy - and we had hard times that were not as peaceful as others, but I am well pleased with the results to date.

My children today are very self-regulating. They are polite, respectful, and easy to get along with. They will now mirror back language to us when things get sticky. Like the other day when I was very crabby, my 10 year old son approached gently and said, "Mom, do you think you need a protein snack?". I laughed and realized that I did, indeed, need a protein snack. When you live in a house with people whose blood sugar has some issues, protein snacks can help improve behavior. :)

I have been a no-punishment mommy for 12 years now - we started out using a more traditional approach, but switched when my oldest daughter was almost 3. I saw an immediate positive change in her and have been delighted over the years to see the results of no-punishment. It has changed my life for the better in many ways - even in my dealings with my husband.

Just a few thoughts on the topic - I am so happy that I found out about this method when mine were young. It has made a HUGE difference in all of our lives for the better.

post #31 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmee View Post

I struggle with explaining the way "no punishment" works. It is a hard concept to verbalize for me (not sure why). My children are now 14 and 10 and we have been at this for a long time. We lived through the all the early stages of child dev. and stuck to the Alfie Kohn-ish method. We set up boundaries in the form of a prepared environment when they were small. We very much expected that a 2 year old would act 2 and planned accordingly. For example, having a bedtime that was reasonable, having protein snacks available, having age appropriate expectations and toys.

We also learned a lot about "emotional coaching" and worked with them to express "big feelings" without hurting themselves or others.

The early years were VERY physically tiring. I remember being tired a lot.

We also had "house rules" - nothing posted or anything, but I might respond to a child being "harsh" to a sibling with things like, "In our house, we talk kindly to each other. Let's think about what you need to say and say it with kindness and respect."  This is how we would respond when someone did something that needed course correction. It was more "coming alongside" to assist than being over a child demanding.

I worked to make our house a pleasant place, a peaceful place, to live together. This is not always easy - and we had hard times that were not as peaceful as others, but I am well pleased with the results to date.

My children today are very self-regulating. They are polite, respectful, and easy to get along with. They will now mirror back language to us when things get sticky. Like the other day when I was very crabby, my 10 year old son approached gently and said, "Mom, do you think you need a protein snack?". I laughed and realized that I did, indeed, need a protein snack. When you live in a house with people whose blood sugar has some issues, protein snacks can help improve behavior. :)

I have been a no-punishment mommy for 12 years now - we started out using a more traditional approach, but switched when my oldest daughter was almost 3. I saw an immediate positive change in her and have been delighted over the years to see the results of no-punishment. It has changed my life for the better in many ways - even in my dealings with my husband.

Just a few thoughts on the topic - I am so happy that I found out about this method when mine were young. It has made a HUGE difference in all of our lives for the better.

 

What a great testimony!  Although I don't (yet) have teenagers, I often use the coming teenage years to justify our non-punitive Kohn-esque way of parenting.

 

In a lot of ways, the teen years are a lot like the toddler years - experimenting with independence, vacillating wildly from hugs and kisses to I-hate-you-get-away, testing boundaries, etc.  It's easier to see the effect of punishment on a teen than a toddler - you give a teen their version of a time-out: grounding.  We can all probably remember being grounded.  It sucks.  It's isolating, it causes you to resent your parents, it teaches you how to not get caught in the future.  It strains the parent-child relationship.  Savvy teens will just sneak around the punishment anyway.  During  a time when you REALLY need to have trust in a relationship, very open lines of communication, and mutual respect, punishment becomes a wedge.  

 

Another really great example of why not to punish - I can't find the original source, but I don't think this statistic is off-base at all - an article mentioned that 90-something percent of American kids, when asked why they shouldn't hit/hurt someone, responded, "Because you might get caught/get in trouble."  Nothing mentioned about the other person at all - punishment drives self-centeredness and impedes empathy.

post #32 of 170

Punishment is necessary. If we don't discipline our children someway they will be disobedient and will end up being criminals. Our justice system and our jails are full of people who weren't disciplined by their parents and that's why they are there. If children don't learn consequences they will not have a shot at being moral human beings and at having a bright future. Obedience is necessary not only in childhood but as adults. If we don't obey our bosses at work we get fired. And we are the only ones as parents that can teach them obedience and the only way they will learn it is through discipline. Natural consequences don't always happen. If you child steals a candy bar from a local store and he doesn't get caught there are no consequences. So we as parents need to make those consequences happen, in this case, go back to the store, apologize to the manager/owner and pay for what he stole.

post #33 of 170
@NikkiLeeHealth - is there a book you recommend? Thanks for sharing. You seem to have balanced things well.
post #34 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallah22 View Post

Punishment is necessary. If we don't discipline our children someway they will be disobedient and will end up being criminals. Our justice system and our jails are full of people who weren't disciplined by their parents and that's why they are there. If children don't learn consequences they will not have a shot at being moral human beings and at having a bright future. Obedience is necessary not only in childhood but as adults. If we don't obey our bosses at work we get fired. And we are the only ones as parents that can teach them obedience and the only way they will learn it is through discipline. Natural consequences don't always happen. If you child steals a candy bar from a local store and he doesn't get caught there are no consequences. So we as parents need to make those consequences happen, in this case, go back to the store, apologize to the manager/owner and pay for what he stole.

It would be great if things were this simple, but they just aren't. I have worked a lot with children and adults in the justice system. Trust me, they were all punished as children. No one here, who doesn't punish, is going to end up with kids in prison. The parents here are paying great attention to their children's needs and thus creating adults who will care greatly for others as well.

Criminals, depending on what kind of criminal they are, are born from children who were neglected, shamed, abused, and/or severely punished. They are also born from untreated mental illness. And sometimes, criminals just happen. They can't find themselves in the world and so they find themselves in prison.

I could go on but I need to get up and do some things. Perhaps I'll have more later. I am so grateful for this thread because it has just validated my non-punitive parenting style.
post #35 of 170

I'm going to ignore Kallah's response because I have WAY too much to say about it and I doubt it would change her thinking.  

 

.....

 

 

Oh geez, can't ignore it.

ARGH.

 

Okay, as for 'no punishment' resulting in packed jails and such, I'll just say that those people's parents did/didn't do a whole lot more than simply 'not punishing.'  And I bet that the majority of folks in prison were indeed punished as children ... harshly, even.  

And as for their parents, they may have been dealing with mental health issues, addiction, poverty, PTSD.  

They may have had no idea how to meaningfully connect with their children.  

They may have been recovering from their own wretched childhoods.

They might have neglected their children, hit them, shamed them, ignored them, raged at them, assaulted them ... all in the name of 'punishment.' 

 

 

Sigh.  Moving on.  

post #36 of 170

With regards to punishment/no punishment and the discussion ...

 

 

I've been thinking about consequences a lot lately, and how I can sometimes spin a consequence when really I feel an urge to punish.  I need to be careful to keep the consequences as natural as possible, and not to conjure or cajole one into being to serve my own purpose.

We do a lot of 'waiting for the bus' parenting in our family.  As in, asking or expecting something from the kids, and then waiting for them to do it.  The waiting looks pretty boring, as if you are in fact waiting for the bus.  I don't make eye contact, and I don't comment, or nag, or even sigh.  I just wait.  

 

This works well after I've asked them to do something, and it's not happening.  

 

ie. toothbrushing:  my 2 yo likes to avoid it, so I invite him to the sink with the toothbrush ready to go, and start the song we sing while brushing his teeth.  He balks, turns away, laughs, takes off.  I stand there and wait for the bus.  It doesn't take long, perhaps because my kids have a sense that the rhythm of the day stops while I'm waiting for the bus.  No bedtime snuggles or nursing, no stories, no sleeping.  He comes back, lets me brush his teeth, and then we move on.

 

ie; cleaning up: we clean up together as family before bedtime, but sometimes the kids don't want to.  I give them the usual choices ("Are you going to put away the dominoes or the blankets?"), they choose, and if they don't follow through, I wait.  Pretty much freeze in place and wait.  When they're ready, I might hand them the thing they agreed to put away, but they do it.  

 

For issues involving safety (ie. seatbelts), I'd be the parent to pull over and wait.  I don't care if we miss the doctor appointment or play or what have you.  I bet it'd be only once, and then they'd know the deal.

 

For holding hands whilst crossing the road, I expect that of my 2yo, but not my 4yo.  She's traffic-savvy.  If the 2yo can't do it, I carry him across.  If he does it, right on. 

 

My 4yo is testing the waters recently, and finding her power (read: 'talking back' or whatever), and when it becomes disrespectful, we offer her an out.  For example, my grown neice was over for supper last night and the kids were crawling all over her and being quit rough.  Which was fine until my niece asked them to stop.  The little one did, but my 4yo got quite rude and insistent, so I told her she could take some space if she wasn't able to be gentle.  She refused.  So I said I'd help her take some space to calm down, if that would help.  She refused.  So I said, "Let's go up to your room and cuddle and calm down together.  Shall I carry you or will you walk?" She refused to bug and started begging to be allowed to stay downstairs.  But by then, she was quite wound up and she did need to calm down.  So I put her on my hip and carried her upstairs and we sat together in her room, snuggling until she could calm down.  

Once she was calm, I did tell her that's she needed to check in with her cousin before she could stay downstairs again.  To see if she was okay, and to apologize.

She did, and that was that.  

 

All that to say that I need to be careful to keep the consequences on an even keel, which I'm not sure that I'm always doing.  

 

And as for 'waiting for the bus' ... we've set up a family rhythm that allows for that.  We're unschoolers, we don't have outside classes or lessons at the moment, and I'm not opposed to cancelling obligations if moods are going to make it unpleasant.  That also means not committing to things unless I know that we'll be into it.  Today for example.  The city's dyke march and pride festivities are this weekend, but my 4yo is exhausted from a week of camping and being outside 24/7 and so she's into laying low.  I haven't told her about the events, and so she doesn't have to feel like she's 'missing' them if we don't go.  We'll play it by ear and see how the weekend progresses.  We avoid minor disappointments by not setting ourselves up for it.  Makes sense?  There are enough natural disappointments to learn and grown from, I don't think we need to add more just because.    When my 4yo does experience a natural consequence, I always tell her that she can try again, and I never make a big deal about it.  

post #37 of 170

My 3 sons are now adults and I avoided using punishments. They never even had time-outs or any kind of being grounded (other people find that hard to believe). Because of an individual child's maturity, ability, previous behavior, ect. there are times it parent's responsibility to limit what they can or can't do especially when the dhild's or other people's safety is involved. Being an effective parent involves building a repertoir of parenting skills. Some well-meaning parents have read a lot of parenting philosophy but don't have any parenting skills. They have no role models and they don't know how to learn skills. 

 

Not using punishment doesn't mean you are permissive. Sometimes natural or logical consequences are in our child's best interest and sometimes not. For each situation you need to decide. For example you could let you child ride a bike without a helment and have the natural consequence of a coma if they have a bad fall. It happened to a relative of ours. I choose to let the boys pick out their helmets, educated them about why they had to wear them, and told them "helmets before you ride" from the time they were little. This was not common in the 80's. They wore helmets and then that translated to other safe behaviors like seat belts. I avoided situations that could lead to punishment by shaping behavior from the time they were young. That translated to other behaviors. 

 

I did rarely use consequences. Since it was rare it made an impression on them. My 16 year old really wanted to take my station wagon on a Boy Scout campout. I told him to leave the car in the parking lot because it was muddy at the camp. He drove the car back into the camp, slid off the road, and hit 3 trees. No one was hurt (he had his seat belt on) but the car had minimal insurance that wasn't going to cover the accident. He couldn't work (health insurance reasons & an expensive genetic medical condition) so he couldn't pay for car repairs. The car was important but I was more concerned about his life. I didn't feel comfortable with him driving my car out of town any more - for years. He said he wished I was a punishing mom and he would have just been grounded for a month. I didn't trust him (horrible of me to say - or insightful). The desire to do what he wanted with a car was stronger than his will to do what he had been told. His younger brothers were allowed to drive the car out of town and there were no problems with them. Limiting his driving was a logical consequence.

 

In the TV punching situation above, not allowing the child to watch TV would be a punishment. Moving the TV where the child can't reach it would be a safe idea for the child and the TV and would solve TV punching problems. Understanding why the child punched the TV may be important. 

 

Elizabeth Crary can be a good place to start with building parenting skills. I don't agree with giving children stickers for rewards but that is just one part of her STAR system. Her book Without Spanking or Spoiling is very good. 

post #38 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

I'm going to ignore Kallah's response because I have WAY too much to say about it and I doubt it would change her thinking.  

.....


Oh geez, can't ignore it.
ARGH.

Okay, as for 'no punishment' resulting in packed jails and such, I'll just say that those people's parents did/didn't do a whole lot more than simply 'not punishing.'  And I bet that the majority of folks in prison were indeed punished as children ... harshly, even.  
And as for their parents, they may have been dealing with mental health issues, addiction, poverty, PTSD.  
They may have had no idea how to meaningfully connect with their children.  
They may have been recovering from their own wretched childhoods.
They might have neglected their children, hit them, shamed them, ignored them, raged at them, assaulted them ... all in the name of 'punishment.' 


Sigh.  Moving on.  

This is everything I wanted to say but I'm not as eloquent!
post #39 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallah22 View Post

Punishment is necessary. If we don't discipline our children someway they will be disobedient and will end up being criminals. Our justice system and our jails are full of people who weren't disciplined by their parents and that's why they are there. If children don't learn consequences they will not have a shot at being moral human beings and at having a bright future. Obedience is necessary not only in childhood but as adults. If we don't obey our bosses at work we get fired. And we are the only ones as parents that can teach them obedience and the only way they will learn it is through discipline. Natural consequences don't always happen. If you child steals a candy bar from a local store and he doesn't get caught there are no consequences. So we as parents need to make those consequences happen, in this case, go back to the store, apologize to the manager/owner and pay for what he stole.

I don't think anyone here is saying that they don't discipline, I think there is just a range of ideas of what that means. Your ideas seem to be very black and white, which is not the way that I choose to view the world...especially the way I choose to view my children. They are bright, capable people who will someday choose their own directions. I would like to hope that I will have set the stage for my children to feel loved and valued, and to feel capable of making wise decisions on their own. Hopefully they will have some natural empathy, and hopefully my empathy will also be modeled some. I don't think that forcing artificial consequences on a child will be the key to making sure they are moral human beings with bright futures. I see myself as their guide while they are little, someone who models good behavior for them and gently guides them to see things with clarity on their own. If they choose to be criminals, then they choose to be criminals. Making them stand in the corner is not what will stop them from choosing that someday. Actually, I think it will cause much anger and confusion. Does it make sense to assume that if children are disciplined in this way, they will someday feel more comfortable with this sort of negative choice/unfitting consequence..and then in turn commit crimes and go to jail because it is most familiar to them? 

I am raising 3 good people. I cherish them, value them, and I have faith in them. I will continue to love them unconditionally and guide them, but not punish them. Someday this sort of parenting should foster a confidence and independance that will come naturally because...they are human beings with empathy and brains. 

post #40 of 170
Foreverinbluejeans, I would LOVE to move the TV but its not possible. It's huge. And there is a whole entertainment center attached to it. I think he understands from our talk that he can't hit the TV. We're working on it...
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