Originally Posted by Piglet68
She screamed "No! Put me down! I don't want to go!" but I carried her anyways and when we got in there I soon found ways to soothe her and within a minute or two of us arriving in the bedrom she was happily climbing in bed with another book. (yes, I pat myself on the back in moments like this because I have many moments where i screw it all up, lol!).
I thought about this example all night and how it WAS coercion on my part to carry her in there. But why wasn't it punishment? I know, but find it hard to write out.
Its funny, but as I read your account of last night, I thought the opposite: It WAS punishment, but it was NOT coersion
I think its punishment because:
1. It appeared to be unpleasant for her.
2. Even though you said it wasn't a kind of threat ("If you stop screaming I won't carry you out") the truth probably is that if she HAD settled down on her own and chosen a different book, you probably WOULDN'T have carried her out.
3. Her problematic behavior ceased after the "punishment."
I also think you did the best thing for everyone involved, including your son, who probably was being "punished" by her behavior as he couldn't read his book in peace.
I think its probably theoretically possible to parent without punishment. I think it would take a great deal of planning in advance, knowing what the triggers are, having only one child (because frequently one child's behavior "punishes" another child's) and no pets. I don't think its realistic, though, and I'm not certain its in the child's best interests, as shown by your example, and many other examples on this forum.
I DO think its possible to parent without coersion (saying, "If you don't stop X, I will do Y" or "If you do X, I will not do Y," meant as a warning or threat).