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post #81 of 192
The thing that bothers me about blanket training is that it is "training".

An infant (or any child for that matter) should not be trained. IMO that is.

However, I am surprised that people on this forum are so opposed. I have seen positive reinforcement, charts, and consequences advocated on here many a time which is pretty much the same thing. Is it the age that bothers people? If so, at what age does it become OK to use conditioning to modify behavior?

There have been lots of good suggestions here. Either you can remain comfortable with training methods, you can babyproof, or you can supervise 100% of the time. I do not think there are any other alternatives.
post #82 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by simonee
I don't see why everyone's jumping on Brigianna as if she were advocating something bad? Is it because she calls her technique the same as some other members here call a technique that's something completely different and despicable?

It sounds like she's doing what I did, too, namely childproofing hte house as best I could and then tell dd "just stay here with the soft toys while I go pee, okay?" and sometimes she would and I'd be all excited and sometimes she'd toddle after me and maybe try to pull over the lamp on the way. Some of you may know that I"'m a tcs-leaning parent, definitely not into any type of less than gentle discipline and very limited on any form of coercion or manipulation.

The OP seems to work at agreeing on something with her kids, when they seem old enough to understand, she agrees with them to stay in a certain place for a little while, and it seems to work. I don't think she tells them to go on the blanket and then checks on them after having her nails done and eaten her lunch. She's babyproofed the house, but she knows that a kid will always find something to eat or otherwise get in trouble with, so she tries to reduce the risk by doing the thing with the blanket.
Yes, that's pretty much what I do. But I think the "controversial" part is that I actively *teach* staying on the blanket by putting them back on it, which I gather some people think is mean and punative. But I don't punish them or "enforce" it any way like that.

Quote:
Truly, I honestly think the name "blanket training" is the big trigger here, but attacking brigianna's childrearing practices because of it is like rolling your eyes over someone who weans a child at 3yo because he kept biting instead of fighting the nurses who hand out formula after birth.
Well, maybe that's not such a good example because I did wean my kids shortly after they turned 2... but it was happy and mutual (but I got a lot of "you're *still* nursing?!"... I can't win)
post #83 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by familylove
Brigianna, it sounds like you have a genuine concern for keeping your kids safe without the use of "captivity" devices. I can certainly respect that decision. But, as many pps have pointed out, I think this provides a false sense of security. It also, IMO, takes away learning experiences and turns them into rules. IE: If baby crawls toward a (whatever you consider dangerous), instead of making them sit on the blanket, why not use those same repetitive technique ("stay on the blanket") to repeat the safety lesson? "We don't put things in our mouth". We hyper-babyproofed. We removed sharp furniture, anything with glass, cleaned the floor several times a day, nothing within baby's reach that was harmful, gated off the basement and upper stairs, removed dog/cat food and cat litter, chemicals, all utensils and knives out of reach, any heavy pans out of reach. And then, I followed my baby EVERYWHERE he went. I figured this was my job as a parent...I am the responsible one who understands the dangers. It is my job to impart this knowledge to him when he is capable of understanding. As far as showers and going to the bathroom, he went with me everytime...the bathroom was babyproofed too and he could crawl freely. For showers, he sat in a bouncie when he was small and then I let him crawl around while I kept the shower door open, maintaining visual and auditorory contact.

I'm sorry if I've repeated much of the advice given already, but I really feel that what others pp's have suggested are great ways to keep baby out of danger while still allowing him/her to be a baby.

No disrespect intended, Brigianna, I just feel that 8 mos is a bit young to expect that kind of "obedience" out of a child. I think one of the main arguements among parents and "parenting experts" is the true nature of children. Some would argue, as has been said before, that they are merely adults in training and think the training start early and often. Others believe that children have lots of time to grow and learn to make healthy, smart decisions. I believe that we have the responsibility for protecting without expecting too much.
I understand what you're saying, and you would *think* I could teach them not to put stuff in their mouths if I could teach them to stay on the blanket, but it was actually much harder. I *did* use those same methods and others, but it took several months for them to "get it."

I agree that children are not little adults, but I also think that people (not anyone on this site necessarily, but society in general) underestimates children's capacities and abilities. And, let me point out again, blanket-training *did work* for both of my kids. They did learn to stay on the blanket sooner than they learned about oral safety. So I guess that is my only response to the point that they can't do it--some of them can, and mine did. So I don't think blanket-training and the idea that children are children are mutually exclusive.
post #84 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
It isn't conditioning because, once they've been taught, they're staying on the blanket of their own free will because I've asked them to, not because there's a gate there.
I have figuired out what my basic problem is with this. It is conditioning. It like conditioning an elephant from infancy.

Get a baby elephant. Put a leash around it's leg it isn't strong enough to break. It stops trying. As it grows the leash stays the same. The full grown elephant is big enough to break the leash but doesn't because it was never able to before.

Blanket training is the same kind of conditioning. You put the child in the same place after it moves. Making it an impossible "chain" for the child to break. It learns it can't "break" the "chain" and stops trying.

Just because the chain your using is a 3ftx3ft square of fabric makes it no less of a chain than the baby elephants.
post #85 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pynki
I have figuired out what my basic problem is with this. It is conditioning. It like conditioning an elephant from infancy.

Get a baby elephant. Put a leash around it's leg it isn't strong enough to break. It stops trying. As it grows the leash stays the same. The full grown elephant is big enough to break the leash but doesn't because it was never able to before.

Blanket training is the same kind of conditioning. You put the child in the same place after it moves. Making it an impossible "chain" for the child to break. It learns it can't "break" the "chain" and stops trying.

Just because the chain your using is a 3ftx3ft square of fabric makes it no less of a chain than the baby elephants.
exactly. it is called 'learned helplessness'.
post #86 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
I'm confused and distressed by this thread.

The OP seems to have had no problem training two 8 mo babies to sit on a blanket when she was out of sight range. I find this odd b/c object permanence is shaky at best in the average 8 mo. When Mom is out of sight, Mom is gone from the face of the earth, to most children this age.

So, perhaps they developed object permanence at an abnormally young age. This I believe, is one of the disconnects here. The huge majority of babies will crawl after Mom at this age, unless conditioned by a much stronger method than, "please stay here." Ie: being violently struck and/or frightened into it.

Next: Brigianna admits her dcs had strong oral needs. She was not able to "teach" (condition) them to not put inappropriate things in their mouths for a long long time. Brig, don't you see, most mothers here can not "teach" their kids to stay on a blanket for a similar reason, by merely asking them to? Did you have to say "Please take that out of your mouth" for months and yrs on end (not 2 days)? Did the child object when the object was taken away? Did he find something else to mouth a few minutes later, when he tired of the boring old pacifier you gave as a substitute?

Babies put things in their mouths to explore their world through the senses of taste and touch.

Babies can not be trusted to stay on a blanket b/c of their need to explore their world, as well as for the instinct to be in the same room as their mother, who they see as an extension of themselves.

Now, you say both your kids stubbornly put things in their mouths for a long time, yet both at 8 mos could be trusted after 2 days of mild reproof, to stay on a blanket. Similarly, you say the toddler could be trusted to never touch the baby as well.

Do you not see the average baby can NOT be trusted to stay on a blanket (unless violent methods are used), and the average toddler can NOT be trusted to never touch a baby?

[...]

Please step out of your box of personal experience and see that your exp is not typical.
I don't know whether my experience is typical or not. I know I'm not the only parent to have used blanket training. But I'm not saying that it would work for every child. Obviously, every child is different, every parent is different, every situation is different.

I don't think my kids are all that atypical though. My dd I know is "advanced" for her age--she learned to read at 4 and thinks very logically. Ds is less mental and more physical--he's smart but he's a tactile learner. And yet both of them were able to learn staying on the blanket with very little effort. Again, I'm not saying it would work for everyone or even necessarily most people. But I don't think it's as rare as you're suggesting.

Quote:
These horrifying "containment devices" you can't even look at (perhaps you were left in them for hours as a baby) are used by the majority of mothers here to keep the baby safe for a few minutes, not to confine it as in a jail for hours at a time. Most babies can't be trusted to stay on blankets. Can you not step out of your own headspace and see that just as you could not trust your child to not mouth everything in sight, so most parents can not trust babies not to crawl off a blanket and onto stairs, or pulling to stand and then falling and clunking their head, etc (name your danger)?
I'm sure that most parents especially on a gd board like this are using the containment devices responsibly and not keeping the baby there all day, just as I didn't keep mine on the blanket all day. Actually I wasn't left in a pen as a baby, or if I was I don't remember it, but I do know that I was blanket-trained.

Quote:
And one more thing that has not been addressed is, your kids slept in "bassinets" for 8 mos, I think you said. A bassinet is a containment device. Then they moved to a bed? Alone? Did it have rails? Do you not see the sides of a bassinet as creating a containment device b/c they are woven reeds and not bars?

BTW, my kids outgrew bassinets at 4 mos. Not 8. We mostly co-slept however and I could trust my kids to sleep in the big bed for naps alone, but they would always call to me upon awaking. I understand some babies won't do this. They will crawl off the bed. Other mothers can't let their crawling babies sleep alone in the family bed at this age. I understand this is so, b/c I know all kids are different. They must put the mattress on the floor. I didn't have to but I understand others may have to.
They slept in a bassinet until about 1 (it was a big bassinet). After that they moved into a grown-up bed with guard-rails. The difference I think is in intent. The purpose of the walls of a bassinet or the guard-rails on a bed is to keep baby from rolling out of bed in his sleep, not to confine him when he doesn't want to be there. As soon as they were of crawling age they could crawl out of the bassinet when they wanted to and I didn't try to stop them. Also, bassinets and guard-rails don't look like cages. They aren't symbols of captivity. So I'm not bothered by looking at them.

Co-sleeping is a good idea but it wasn't an option for our family.
post #87 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madre Piadosa
It may not be the name that's objected to by some, but those of us who are familiar with Gothard's teachings- the name conjors up some horrible awful images. I can't find the link but "blanket training" is a term coined by him to describe putting an infant on a blanket- swatting the edges of that blanket with a wooden spoon (which by this age the infant should be very familiar with ) and using that wooden spoon to swat the infant as they leave the blanket repeatedly. I cannot get that image out of my head while discussing this topic. If you truly believe you are doing something right and nessesary- then you may want to call it something else.
Dana
That is just sick. What is it with these people and their child torture fetishes? How old is this baby supposed to be? Because I don't see how that could not cause serious injury.
post #88 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebraBaker
There is a strong association between blanket training and punitive teachers like Gary Ezzo and the Pearls.

I think that is enough not to have it advocated on a gentle parenting board.

Confining a baby and limiting their exploration is not good for their development.

Generally, parents need to employ negative reinforcement to keep them on the blanket making a playpen (something I never owned) sort of like a fenced in yard, and blanket training like the invisible fence.

I'm wondering what sort of shock to the collar is an acceptable means of delivering the usually negative reinforcement to keep a baby passively on a blanket.

DB
I am not using any negative reinforcement, nor am I keeping them on the blanket for such amounts of time as to really have an effect on their exploration or development. I don't think this is a fair criticism. Just because something is advocated by someone you don't agree with doesn't ipso facto make it a bad idea.
post #89 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Do you release your baby from her "Stay" on the blanket when you come back in the room? Do you say OK! and snap your fingers?
I usually came and joined her on the blanket. And when she wanted to get up I picked her up.
post #90 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebraBaker
Perhaps you wave your want and say, "Expectro=patronis"

db
Sorry, my Latin isn't what it once was --something expelled from the country?
post #91 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodWillHunter
Blanket training is for animals, not humans.
I don't even think animals deserve that kind of treatment, or should be expected to comply with MY schedule in that way. And we are animals after all.
But I agree that's parents should be responsible for their children, and teach them to "keep themselves safe" only when they are developmentally able to do so. Blanket training just seems like the ultimate in parent convenience, sort of the "children should been seen and not heard" mentality where children are left with no free will.
My opinion.

- krista
post #92 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Simonee I'm refering to the other thread. She said she "began training at 8 months" and that even if the baby frowned and tried to leave the blanket, he was put back on it. This training continued until she felt sure the baby understood he could not leave the blanket when asked to stay there. At one point she said that training "began" at 8 months to clarify that they did not understand in the beginning what was expected, but eventually made the association that when she instructed them to stay on the blanket, they were not leave it. So I think I'm a bit confused. How would a baby protest if not by frowning and trying to get off the blanket? If you put him back, then he is not "free to leave" as your daughter is? You seem to be comparing two very different examples, and saying they are similiar since one aspect in similiar. Sure, I would say to ds "Will you wait here for mommy?" if I thought it was necessary to ask, and of course, he was free to disagree with that. This would be a TCS or consensual exchange, and I *think* it's what you are saying you did in your home? This is completely different than saying "please stay here" and then, if he chooses not too, repeatedly putting him back "there" until he stays.

And I don't want to pick on the OP by delving into this. I don't think she's doing something shocking or abusive. I just think there are better ways to support attachment and keep the baby safe.
I do understand your point, but I think when I started training them they crawled off the blanket because they didn't understand, not because they were consciously choosing to do something different from what I asked. So I put them back on the blanket to reinforce what I was saying.

And this is why I don't agree that it's conditioning--I started out with conditioning, if you want to call it that, but after they'd learned it I just trusted them. Maybe at 8 months they didn't know any better, but at 15 months when I was out of the room, nothing was holding baby to the blanket except his own free will and desire to do what I asked.
post #93 of 192
Thread Starter 
I really don't know what y'all are talking about with the elephants and dogs and stuff... people have a lot more free will than animals. So I don't think you could train a person the way you train an animal. And I don't see the comparison to a leash or electric collar. There is no physical punishment involved.

And blanket-training is, in my opinion, significantly different from a pen or gate. Blanket-training is based on a relationship of trust--I trust baby to stay on the blanket, and baby trusts me not to leave him there forever. Also, my kids never minded blanket-training, but they hated and still do hate physical restraints. Finally, a blanket is not a symbol of captivity I have to look at everyday. Having a pen or gate or crib in my house where I could see it would be harmful to my mental health, no matter how sparingly I used it. It's just not an option.

I am trying to be open-minded and I am listening to y'all's suggestions, but I don't know what some of you want me to admit--that I really did beat my children into submission and I'm just denying it now? I didn't. Please take my word for it, or this discussion is meaningless.
post #94 of 192
I think we have a basic disconnect if you can't see why so many of us here make that connection in ourminds and you can't see it. I don't know that there is ANY way we can describe it that you would understand where our feelings come from.

I don't know if you've taken any psychology courses, but any basic psychology text would maybe be able to show you why it's conditioning.

You admit it started as conditioning and now she just does it. Well, your child does it BECAUSE they were conditioned to. One is a causation for the other.
post #95 of 192
I guess I just don't see the need to blanket train. I use to just keep them with me. (what baby doesn't want come along with mommy on an adventure?) The only places that I couldn't really hold them is in the bathroom (although sometimes I did) and cooking. I had an excersauser (which is a toy, not a confinement device) that was used just for those times.

V.
post #96 of 192
Quote:
I am not using any negative reinforcement,
Respectfully, I think putting the baby back when he tries to crawl off, because you want him to learn to stay on the blanket, is the negative reinforcement. What would you call it?

Negative-expressing negation, refusal, or denail.
Reinforcement-to strengthen; support

Negative reinforcement as it relates to behavior doesn't have to mean hitting or yelling. It means to reinforce a desired behavior by actively denying the alternatives. That is what happens when the baby crawls off the blanket and finds himself right back on it. He frowns, tries again, finds himself back on it. Eventually he accepts the desired goal of staying put, because the alternative was denied. Negative reinforcement.

A postive reinforcment uses "a display of affirmation" to reinforce the desired behavior. When he crawls on the blanket, he gets a postive affirmation which then reinforces the behavior as desirable. The baby chooses to go back to the blanket because he associates it with a positive experience.
post #97 of 192
wanted to add that I Daryllls point about the abilities of an 8-month old is very valid. Your children are not "trusting" you to come back. That is a developmentally inappropriate belief.

And it is conditioning. Conditioning happens all the time in societies. Heck, I am trying to condition my child to not pick her nose by saying "gross" when she does it. What people are trying to tell you is that the conditioning that you are doing is not age-appropriate, there are better ways, and it is affording you a false sense of security.

V.
post #98 of 192
Quote:
I do understand your point, but I think when I started training them they crawled off the blanket because they didn't understand, not because they were consciously choosing to do something different from what I asked. So I put them back on the blanket to reinforce what I was saying.
I agree they did not understand what you were asking. When they crawled away they only knew they wanted to crawl away. I am saying, it wasn't necessary to stop them in order to communicate the blanket as desirable, especially if your children are this mellow. You could work cooperatively, or you could use positive reinforcement. I think you just need to tweek your view of the crawling away, so that you don't see it as something you have a right to stop. In that moment there was no immediate danger and it was valid for the baby to crawl away. I would really encourage you to think about that.

Quote:
And this is why I don't agree that it's conditioning--I started out with conditioning, if you want to call it that, but after they'd learned it I just trusted them. Maybe at 8 months they didn't know any better, but at 15 months when I was out of the room, nothing was holding baby to the blanket except his own free will and desire to do what I asked.
I feel like sighing a bit here, because honestly I wonder if you really, really think it is this simple? Have you ever seen a battered wife go back to her husband? I am *not* comparing you to that, I am making a point about conditioning and free will. Free will doesn't explain any number of predictable patterns of behavior every one of us possesses. It is so much more complicated than looking at a person and saying "If they don't like this, they can risk the alternative, they have free will". It negates a whole other set of human conditions that are ever present~the need for approval, the fear of abandonment, etc.

I am actually curious as to your aversion to things that represent a cage. I am not asking you to share your reasons. But it does make me wonder if something in your own past has persisted into your present. It certainly is true for me, that I can trace back some of my strongest aversions to aspects of my childhood that still influence me.
post #99 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Victorian
I guess I just don't see the need to blanket train. I use to just keep them with me. (what baby doesn't want come along with mommy on an adventure?) The only places that I couldn't really hold them is in the bathroom (although sometimes I did) and cooking. I had an excersauser (which is a toy, not a confinement device) that was used just for those times.

V.
ITA with this. I cannot imagine the use of this, even if my baby hated the excersaucer, if I had to put her in it for 10 minutes to do something dangerous, ie use a sharp knife or hot stove, it would not be discouraging her from normal development or punishing her for normal baby behavior, which is what the baby WILL perceive if you are consistently stopping them from moving off the blanket. anyone who doesn't get that really, really needs to think about taking a infant development course.
post #100 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pynki
I think we have a basic disconnect if you can't see why so many of us here make that connection in ourminds and you can't see it. I don't know that there is ANY way we can describe it that you would understand where our feelings come from.

I don't know if you've taken any psychology courses, but any basic psychology text would maybe be able to show you why it's conditioning.

You admit it started as conditioning and now she just does it. Well, your child does it BECAUSE they were conditioned to. One is a causation for the other.
I do understand the arguments y'all are making against blanket-training--you think it's unnecessary, it's punative, it doesn't work, it creates learned helplessness, and it prevents them from learning. I understand these points. I don't agree with them, but I understand them. What I don't understand is the comparison to a leash or electric collar. Those are physical restraints--what I'm trying to avoid. Blanket-training isn't like putting an electrical collar on a dog to keep him in the yard, it's more like *showing* the dog the boundaries of the yard and teaching him to stay within them so he doesn't need a fence or electrical collar.

I have taken psychology classes, but I don't agree with most of mainstream psychology. I know that to most people that's like saying I don't agree that the earth is round, but while I think there is some truth to mainstream psychology, I consider it mostly a lot of prejudices and speculations dressed up in scientific language--let's come up with an arbitrary standard of "normal" and then try to explain what's wrong with all the people who deviate from that. It's a vertical integration type of thing. Anyway, this concept of conditioning is one of the many problems I have with mainstream psychology. But that is really a topic all its own.
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