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"lack of discipline" thread now titled "OT Essays and Rants"

post #1 of 138
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry, I just had to get this off my chest.

I know some people, both online and IRL, who equate gentle discipline with no real routines or boundaries or consequences. They make a bad impression on others about what GD really is and it is starting to push me away from using that "label" myself.

I have a friend whose toddler "doesn't need naps anymore." The poor toddler is whiny, cranky, and irritable all day long... doesn't really talk, play, anything. Why does mom assume that the toddler doesn't need naps anymore? Because she won't just lay down and go to sleep. She's never had a nap routine or anything, so when she got into the stubborn toddler years, she simply wouldn't lay down without protest. So apparently a toddler is capable of making perfectly rational judgements regarding her health and well being.

I understand that there are many shades of gray... I am FAR FAR from a perfect parent, as my previous posts here can attest . But it really goads me when parents equate their own laziness with "acceptance" and "gentle discipline". If a child is very sick and must be seen by a doctor, you don't NOT go simply because your child throws a fit and doesn't want to. You don't let your toddler stop taking naps simply because she doesn't want to, when it is OBVIOUS that they are suffering because of it. (I understand there are some toddlers who function perfectly fine without a nap... I'm not talking about them).

Being a parent means respecting your children as individuals and always having lines of communication open and in use. HOWEVER, it also means making decisions for your children that they may not agree with and like, because they don't have the developmental capacity to do these things themselves!

Sorry. Rant over now.
post #2 of 138
OMG I totally agreee. I sometimes get those snide words or looks implying that I couldn't possible be disciplining sinced I don't spank or yell (Notsaying I haven't slipped but it is my goal not to do any) I get "Oh you'll see" instead of being commended for trying to be a kind loveing mommy who really has a well behaved 2 year old (So well behaved I worry )
I couldn't possibly know what I am talking about since I just have one..."Oh first time mommy" comments drive me crazy!! I once had alady laugh at me for dring the cart seat in teh supermarket b/c it was out in the rain and I didn't want to put DD in a wet seat. She laughed, Oh this must be your first. I sure hope I never have so many kids that I would plop their butts into a wet cold seat. Sorry..you got me going!!
post #3 of 138
Just be patient. People don't always know what to do instead of spanking and they get not CIO confused with never letting their child cry about anything. Sometimes they scream *because* you are meeting their needs!

It's a pretty big paradigm shift when it isn't what you grew up with and/or you have really intense kid.
post #4 of 138
Well, while I generally agree with the message of your post, I had that non-napping-but-miserable toddler. My question was, and remains, how do you force a toddler to sleep? My many efforts were unsuccessful..... so miserable, non-napping toddler it was.
post #5 of 138
It is strange that people think that if you're not spanking/punishing/putting your kid in time-out that you've completely washed your hands of parenting! I think there is so much more going on if you are using gentle discipline--mainly because it's not a quick-fix, conditioning your kid to "behave"--it takes a lot of work to guide, to empower, to build trust, to model, to assume the best, and look beyond the symptoms.
post #6 of 138
: this bothers me a LOT. IL's especially give us (me) a hard time about it. MIL made this really offensive comment about how DD must be stupid in order to not know the word "no" (she was 15 months at the time). We don't like to use negative words and instead tell her what she should do INSTEAD and why we don't want her to continue... 'no' doesn't tell her anything, or help her learn how to make better choices or understand us.

post #7 of 138
candiland-i totally feel you. My sister would definitely fall in your category. she would let her ds, when a toddler, just run around all night until he finally passed out, at like mindnight or 1 in the morning. He was unbearable to be around the whole time, naturally, and then just as unbearable the whole next day. My sister would say these wishy washy "oh, he'll fall asleep when he's supposed to, he's in touch with his own clock." but really it had more to do with her not wanting to establish any kind of routine whatsoever, because she is a far bigger disorganized slacker than i could be on my worst day-and that's sayinig something.

the funny thing is, she recently married someone who is her polar opposite. He's ex-military, very into schedules, so now she has her dc on one, and naturally he is alot more pleasant to be around.
post #8 of 138
While I can see what you're saying (I think... foggy brain tonight, it's been a long day here lol). My family has never had any real schedules or "organization". Neither of my children were ever forced to nap against their will. They were encouraged, layed with and cuddled if that is what they wanted, read to, and etc... but there would never have been a battle about napping in my home if they hadn't wanted to take one. Same thing with bedtimes. The children do not have them. Not having schedules, naps, and the like doesn't mean a "lack of discipline" for everyone.

I can relate to being annoyed when someone (my in-laws often lol) thinks that gentle guidance/discipline means the children are evil out of control little demons who don't respect their parents. Ughh.
post #9 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
. Not having schedules, naps, and the like doesn't mean a "lack of discipline" for everyone.
no, absolutely not. but when a particular child would really benefit from one, and the parents won't out of some belief that it "stifles their creativity" or what have you, then it does come down to that.

i don't have a schedule, per se. our life doesn't really allow for anything to be on a strict timeline. we have more of a typical order of events that happen when they happen. but if dd was clearly needing something more defined, i'd move heaven and earth to give it to her.
post #10 of 138

I tire of a desire to control being called discipline - period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by candiland
I'm sorry, I just had to get this off my chest.

Sorry. Rant over now.
I tire of being told I'm not disciplining my child if I don't force said child to eat, sleep, crap on demand.

I tire of being called "lazy" for not doing things the way others see fit.

I tire of parents who engage in daily power struggles telling me I should.

Sorry. Rant just beginning. :
post #11 of 138
devi-respectfully-if your child and family are thriving with whatever form of discipline you do (or don't do), then you are not being discussed here.
post #12 of 138

Also respectfully ...

It's not your job or mine to decide when anothers child is "thriving" or not.
post #13 of 138
well, in my sister's case, when noone, not even his grandparent's who adore him wanted to be within 100 feet of him, it was pretty obvious. When he got kicked out of 2 preschools, one for punching a teacher in the face, it was pretty obvious. When she started putting him on a schedule, and he completely changed within like 2 days, it was pretty obvious.
post #14 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama ganoush
well, in my sister's case, when noone, not even his grandparent's who adore him wanted to be within 100 feet of him, it was pretty obvious. When he got kicked out of 2 preschools, one for punching a teacher in the face, it was pretty obvious. When she started putting him on a schedule, and he completely changed within like 2 days, it was pretty obvious.
Your sister is not here to defend herself.

It's my guess that her story may differ from yours? Perhaps the kid just reached a new stage of development. Perhaps the child has a different temperment than yours?

Everything has a cost/benefit. It's up to "thoughtful" parents to decide what the cost/benefit is for doing things in a manner they see fit.

The OP equated medical neglect with a mothers choice not to nap a child. That is a rather outrageous comparison.

Perhaps that child would be up till 5 am had he/she napped? WE don't know.

Again, it's not up to YOU or ME to decide these things. Hopefully AP Moms will be in touch with the needs of their child/family and make decisions that meet the needs of their children/themselves.
post #15 of 138
actually, the story is from my sister. she honestly couldn't believe how his just getting enough sleep totally changed his personality for the better.
post #16 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama ganoush
actually, the story is from my sister. she honestly couldn't believe how his just getting enough sleep totally changed his personality for the better.
Good for her. She certainly doesn't sound "lazy" or "neglectful" to me in this specific situation. Sounds like she weighed things and came to a decision that HER child needed naps.

Do you think she should be equated to a parent who doesn't seek necessary medical attention?

I don't.
post #17 of 138
no. absolutely not. But, and you need to know that my sister and i are close-and we both are very aware of each other's faults-had she not recently married this man who insisted that her dc was behaving so poorly due to a lack of sleep and some simple boundaries, she still would be saying things like "well, when he wants to go to bed he will." while at the exact same time her then 2 year old dc would be screaming, crying, hitting people, pulling his mom's hair, throwing things, just literally several hours of non-stop meltdowns. And my gentle and out of love "honey, he is telling you he wants to go to bed in the best way he knows how and you are ignoring that" fell on deaf, i don't want to dampen his spirits ears.
post #18 of 138
Devi--
You are describing much of my situation when dd was a toddler. Naps ended at 20 months--and, yes, she was miserable. Cranky and tantrumy and miserable. And, yes, I tried to get her to nap. Not happening.

And the occasional nap that slipped in would have her up until well past midnight.

You know what my ped said at her 24 mo exam (when I was begging for advice about our sleep issues)? "Don't let her nap. If she is only going to sleep 10 hours in every 24 hour period, make sure it is all at night."

You know, there is an old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes.....it is hard enough to have a miserable toddler that can't/won't nap. The last thing that mama needs is criticism piled on. I can tell you that from experience
post #19 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama
Devi--
You are describing much of my situation when dd was a toddler. Naps ended at 20 months--and, yes, she was miserable. Cranky and tantrumy and miserable. And, yes, I tried to get her to nap. Not happening.

And the occasional nap that slipped in would have her up until well past midnight.

You know what my ped said at her 24 mo exam (when I was begging for advice about our sleep issues)? "Don't let her nap. If she is only going to sleep 10 hours in every 24 hour period, make sure it is all at night."
You know, there is an old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes.....it is hard enough to have a miserable toddler that can't/won't nap. The last thing that mama needs is criticism piled on. I can tell you that from experience
Exactly!

Temperment is also tied very much to sleep issues. People who don't have a child with said temperment may not know, and thus point fingers saying "AAAAH HAH!"

I felt a 'restful' nights sleep was more important for my child, than taking a nap and tossing and turning all night. That's my choice, and it was a "thoughtful" one. My dd is 6.5 now, and the finger pointers can no longer blame naps on issues of temperment.

"Walk a mile in my shoes" that very phrase came to my mind as well.

post #20 of 138
Thread Starter 
Devi - sorry, I guess we don't know the same people. When something is affecting a child's health and the parents don't want to do anything about it, it is a problem. And can you please point me to the sentence in which I say "a toddler who doesn't take naps and is miserable all the time is just as bad as a severely ill child who doesn't want to see the doctor and is not forced to do so?" TIA.

I consider "discipline" guiding a child respectfully and gently... it doesn't mean "controlling" or giving time outs or spanking. : But there are some things that kids must do for their own health and well being, even if they really don't want to. It's very unhealthy for kids to not have boundaries set. We all know this here on the GD board (I hope). This is real life, and unless you live totally outside of contact with society, then kids need to be able to function in it. Otherwise you are doing them and those around you a grave disservice.
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