Originally Posted by towsonmama
Do you insist on the boundaries by your interventions when the boundaries are not being respected? Is time out/quiet time considered a consequence or part of redirection?
(Does that make sense? I'm trying to figure out what discipline without consequences would look like.)
Well, I'm transitioning right now to a less punitive method. I have done time out in the past as a simple "punishment" - you did something you weren't supposed to, go to time out. But I have used time out in another way that I don't feel is a punishment. "OK, you are getting out of control; you need to take a break."
I'll try an example:
DD takes a toy from DS.
"DD give that back to DS; we don't take toys from each other; we share."
*usually that is enough
DD doesn't give toy back.
I walk over "DD give the toy back to DS now please."
*that would probably work but if not...
DD doesn't give the toy back and starts whining.
I put my hand out "DD give me the toy please."
*She gives it to me and I hand it back to DS. "Please remember that we do not take toys from each other."
* Or she throws the toy across the room and falls in the floor whining.
"OK, you are getting out of control; it's time for a break." I take her to the foyer of our house to disengage her from the situation and have her calm down. (And that has never taken long - she's not aggressive.) I don't revisit the toy incident by trying to talk about it. There will be more teachable opportunities in the future.
I'm not saying there is never a need for consequences - but I'm trying to do with less punishment. For example the other day, dd tore up one of ds's books - so I had her get in her piggy bank and get some money to put in ds's piggy bank to pay for the book. I don't think that is punishment, that is retribution.
DH and I were both raised with discipline that was very consequence driven. We had a long talk last night about it - "What would you have done if you got a girl pregnant in high school/got pregnant in high school?" Would you have felt you could talk with your parents or would the consequences (apart from the natural consequences which are already so high!) have deterred you from talking? DH felt that he would have been terrified to tell his parents. I felt my parents would have been ok, but the church we were in at the time was so strict and would stand pregnant girls up in front of the congregation to announce what had happened (to "deter gossip") and that was horrifying to me. We don't want to be so consequence oriented that our children see our primary role as doling out consequences and wouldn't come to us for help or advice.
I like the 1,2,3 Magic technique, and I think it is a good fall back, but I found I had to dole out a lot of consequences (punishments) because so many things were automatic "3s". I walk in a find that dd has gotten into my things and made a mess - automatic time out? I've found shaking my head and saying "oh, dd, you tore my stuff up, that's not nice, I'm sad." and calmly picking up works just as well with dd because she is an empathetic child. I have to think having her stand there observing the natural consequences is more effective than sending her off to time out which would have her focused on her own plight. I know some kids lack empathy though, so I would have to focus on how to foster empathy - in that case maybe having the child do some of the work? Or do some work to make up for being destructive? Not sure, still learning...
But anyway, I have found in just giving "simply insisting" a try and not immediately jumping to consequences, it does work far more often than I ever thought possible. DH and I both tend to jump right to the question - "what if she doesn't do what we say?" But that's really not the issue we thought it was going to be.