Originally Posted by Daffodil
To me, punishment is something aversive that you do after a behavior occurs that makes that behavior less likely to occur in the future.
I was thinking last night about this. It seems to me that the intent of the parent does have something to do with whether I consider something punishment or not. (I realize that is not what you were saying exactly, but hear me out...)
So if I pick up my ds when he runs away from me in the store, and my *intention* is to teach him to not run away next time by making the consequence of running away negative for him, it's not likely that I would be willing to work with him to make being held agreeable to him. That would seem more likely to be a punishment to me, and I would *assume* for my ds as well.
If I pick him up, and my SOLE intention is to keep him close to me to keep him safe, I have no desire for this interaction to "teach him a lesson" so that he'll be less likely to run away next time, I'm really likely to do everything I can to make the situation as positive for him as possible. That would not seem like punishment to me, and I would hope that ds doesn't experience it as punishment, even if it does suck for him.
I know that's not what psychologist refer to as "punishment" (because that definition depends on the actual outcome, right?).
I don't want ds to "learn a lesson" from those negative experiences. He'll learn what he learns, of course. And that's why I only resort to those types of actions when it really is necessary for the safety of someone or their property (well, I guess my toys r us example in the other thread wasn't for someone's safety. hmmm...).
I think punishment teaches the totally wrong things. It hinders learning of the real reasons, and it reinforces kids to act for self centered reasons.
But I still think that I can consider myself a "non punisher" even though I would carry ds against his will, if I can't find another way to keep him close to me.
|But I DO think it's possible never to do the things that are more commonly seen as punishments - time outs, taking away privileges, "If you do X, I'll impose consequence Y." I don't do those things, and don't plan to.
I think that's the "easiest" way to use the term punishment. And its the use that most people probably mean when they say "we don't punish." Because, really, its evident from this conversation that a lot of us can't get to the point where we don't do anything negative to our dc ever.
Originally Posted by 2bluefish
We do not hurt people or animals.
That is a strict rule here. Actually the only real rule that stays true all the time. Not only do we not hurt people or animals, I go even further and don't allow ds to do things that annoy our dogs. He can't pet their fur backwards if it bothers them. He can't pet them (even gently) when they want to be left alone. I take their rights very seriously, and I am the one who needs to defend their rights.
I've never had any situation that called for punishment. I give him information and acceptable ways to express his particular impulse, and he uses the better way in the future.
I don't think punishment would teach him to be respectful to the dogs, or to even care what they like or don't like him to do. It might teach him that he better not hit, because he doesn't want a time out or whatever.
I've "punished" him for hitting me before (by leaving the room, etc). None of it did a dang bit of good. As soon as I realized the answer was to honor his impulse, and give him an acceptable way to express it, it only took a couple times, and the hitting stopped completely- he used the acceptable ways to express those impulses.
So for me, not only is punishment NOT necessary, but it is counter productive.
Originally Posted by thismama
That's a really good point, frenchie. I wonder if the people who are advocating for no punishment are against it for everyone, or just children? If those who advocate for no rules mean no rules for everyone, or just children?
Wait, who advocated no rules? I see people advocating no punishments, but I don't see anywhere people advocating no rules.
Children are children. They are born innately social. They want to behave in a socially acceptable manner, if they are able.
Sometimes, that gets screwed up along the way (by parents, by peers, whatever), which is why there are some adults who are NOT social (in the sense that they do the right things for the right reasons).
Adults are adults, and kids are kids. Kids are still learning about the world, about what is socially acceptable, and how to control their impulses. They need to be taught and gently guided to be able to gain that knowledge and those skills. (and imo, punishing does not equal teaching).