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Observations of traditional discipline - Page 3

post #41 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
If you believe you have no choice, you don't, I get that.
Yes! And of course, brainstorming is usually the prerequisite to realizing how many choices we really have.

But, again, we're not as likely to seriously brainstorm if we see it as a good thing, and a positive learning experience, for kids to sometimes have to be dragged where they don't want to go.

Someone who sees it as a "positive learning experience" is liable to berate the parent who's always trying to brainstorm creative solutions that make everyone happy -- and to accuse the brainstorming parent of depriving her kids of the chance to "build character" by having to deal with difficult situations.
post #42 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by gargirl View Post
Heh, for me bookstore trips are an outing I enjoy and if my 5 year old wants to be a bear about it then thats what he's going to do. I do lots of things I truly do not enjoy just because he enjoys them and he can return the favor on occasion.
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by gargirl View Post
I do love the shift in perspective the OP had. It really is a different world when you really believe kids matter and their opinions count.
:

xoe
post #43 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
...... If we eat cereal for dinner happy, it's better than a 4 course meal pissed at each other......
mind if i put this quote up in my kitchen? i can get mighty pissed if my elaborate cooking plans are interrupted, so i need the reminder!

xoe
post #44 of 188
I am someone that has to bring my kids everywhere whether they like it or not. I am a single parent and can't just leave them home alone. SOmetimes it's the groery store, sometimes the mall sometimes a bookstore, which actually is needed as we are homeschoolers. I understand perfectly well when they do not want to be somewhere but I will not drop everything just because they "don't wanna". If they were sick or hurt etc then sure I would drop everything in a heart beat, but if they simply want to tantrum because they want to be somewhere else oh well, we will finish what we were there for. I don't think I will ever fully be into GD partly for this line of thinking. OVerall I am the parent they are th children, they do not get 100% say in what we do. FOr example, if we are at a bookstore and 2 kids want to be there, but 1 would rather be at the pet store, there is no way I am going to ahul them all out to appease the one jsut because they "don't wanna".

ETA: about cereal for dinner,t hat is great, but when I hit the grocery store it is because we truely are out of everything. I have anxiety when it comes to grocery shopping so I put it uoff as long as possible, by the time we go we are out of cereal, milk, fruit, veggies, bread etc if I leave the cart and go home with nothing becuase one of my kids doesn't want to be there we go hungry that night. Typically I have my groceries delivered to avoid this but it is not always possible.
post #45 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Someone who sees it as a "positive learning experience" is liable to berate the parent who's always trying to brainstorm creative solutions that make everyone happy -- and to accuse the brainstorming parent of depriving her kids of the chance to "build character" by having to deal with difficult situations.
I would hardly berate someone for that, but I do actually think that sometimes we have to do things in life we do not always enjoy. I want my kids to learn that, and to learn effective ways of handling their emotions when they have to do something they don't want to do. And I have found that when I brainstorm solutions to make everyone happy, the only ones who are usually happy are the kids. While there's nothing wrong with that, I simply cannot form my day to day schedule 100% around making sure my kids never get upset with me. It is impossible, for one, and I really have no desire to, tbh. :
post #46 of 188
LOVE what you wrote mammal mama!

This especially resonates with me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
In contrast, the idea that it's good for people to get what they want is conducive to a view that we can find ways to achieve this. We may be momentarily too tired or stressed to keep looking at the situation from different angles until the best solution is found: we're only human. But since we see it as a good thing to help our children be happy, we're naturally going to be more open to thinking about other options -- which tends to result in a reality where our options are continually increasing and no one's having to "bite the bullet."
post #47 of 188
I haven't tried the delivery thing, but I know folks who swear by it. One grocery store here will shop for you for $5 and you can pick it up at the door. Haven't done that either, but I can see it working. One person has said the $5it costs, she saves because the store shoppers stick to her list and don't impulse buy!!

I'm not criticizing anybody, but I think a feel-good thread about how amazing it feels when your perspective shifts is a great thing. Thank you to the OP for posting.
post #48 of 188
I pay $10 to have it delivered to my door at a time that works for us during a 2 hour window. What I usualy do is pop on a movie at the start of that window, by the time the movie is over, my groceries are here and put away. Only downside is no shopping for great deals. SO when our grocery store had dollar days in concjection with 10% Tuesday, so I got things like a bag of carrots for 0.90 etc I could not pass up those deals for delivery from another store, and had to take all 4 kids on that day to get the savings no matter what
post #49 of 188
Mammal_mama, I think you put it very well, and your phrasing was free of judgment. You have a rare gift, and I hope you can tell I mean that sincerely.

It sums up fairly succinctly why this board has so much... drama, and why I don't think I can do GD.

As someone whose kid is currently on the inside and therefore perfect in every way (), I categorically refuse to choose a parenting method at this time. I need to see what his personality is like before I choose a method, for heaven's sake. But I am trying to do my research in advance, and figure out what I can do/live with/learn. Obviously GD is something I needed to learn more about before making that call, since more mainstream methods are all around me. Lurking here has been... educational, and I've been forming opinions.

I read the OP, and after all my reading here, I too immediately thought "that small child is trying to communicate that he wants to leave the bookstore, and feels unheard." It seems like this thread split into two camps - those who thought that the mother and child should therefore leave the store, and those who thought the mother and child should complete the errand.

I want my son to be happy and successful in a world that is neither gentle nor fair. It usually IS someone's turn to bite the bullet when it comes to unpleasant but necessary tasks. If I can teach him to do so with grace, without being a doormat, I will have succeeded at the only thing I'll ever do that really matters. It seems like teaching him from a very early age that his needs, preferences, and whims are always the final veto will set him up to fail in life, and to be a very unhappy person in general. That may not be the intent of GD, but it sounds, to me, as though that is the way it is practiced by the most zealous of the method's adherents.

I wish there was a discipline forum with a bit of a happy medium, because I expect that's where most of us fall.
post #50 of 188
I'm not saying that it's always easy -- and I fully realize that some parents are more stretched than others.

I've just found, in my own life, that deciding a particular state is desirable, makes me more inclined to try to figure out ways to make it possible. If I don't think it's even desirable, then I'm way more inclined to dismiss it as not possible.

Why would I want to make something possible, if it's not even something I want in the first place?

I certainly wouldn't look at a parent in a difficult situation, and assume that the parent was any less GD, or any less in-tune with her children, than I am. Children have a wide range of different temperaments, and I also agree with the poster who said we shouldn't try to evaluate, for someone else, whether a particular shopping-trip is really "necessary."

For me, the issue is whether I'm willing to see things from my children's perspectives in difficult situations, and whether I view the range of available choices as finite or infinite: It's not about whether someone on the outside thinks we made a bad choice by coming to the store when we did, or thinks I'm an insensitive parent or my child wouldn't be having a meltdown.
post #51 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Writerbird View Post
It seems like this thread split into two camps - those who thought that the mother and child should therefore leave the store, and those who thought the mother and child should complete the errand.
Don't forget those who thought he shouldn't have been there in the first place

I think on any given day my decision on what would happen if that were me and my child at the bookstore would be different.

If I had driven specifically to pick up a certain book or a book I had ordered and lived far away from the store I would continue on and get the book all the while helping my child with her emotions about the whole thing.

If I were just browsing the bookstore, with no particular reason for being there except to see if anything were on sale I would probably say "ok baby, let's go"

If someone was sick, there was a snowstorm or something..or if baby hadn't slept and was particularly irritable..maybe I would choose not to go at all

Sometimes my needs are greater. I need to not go to town more than once a week because I need to stay within our budget so that we can eat and I need to read for my sanity, particularly in this cold weather when quite often we are isolated by snowstorms etc. So if I made it to town, my book was in and I was at the store my child's needs would have to wait a moment.

It's always a balance.

and just because my child's wants/needs don't always get met right then and there doesn't mean I don't discipline gently.

And I understand that the world isn't fair...what I try to teach my kids is that it "ought to be fair" and part of that is sometime you have to wait and I have to do something.

Of course it's easier now that my children are older(my baby is 2)

I also do make sure they are fed, dry, have slept well, have something to play with etc. when I do make those excursions that might be less than pleasant for them.

I am also the mom you will see running through the mall with the stroller pretending it's a rocket ship to mars or a runaway train. Yep...I will do anything to make them happy

I always get kind of sad when I hear people say "I can't do GD" because of something they read and just don't particularly agree with.

Gentle discipline is simply disciplining gently. That's all. I think with the right tools and respect for our own personal boundaries combined with a respect for our children as human beings we can all do that.

It's just going to look different to different people is all.
post #52 of 188
Quote:
. . . I do actually think that sometimes we have to do things in life we do not always enjoy. I want my kids to learn that, and to learn effective ways of handling their emotions when they have to do something they don't want to do.
I just want pluck this idea out and kick it around.

I don't want my kids to learn that they have to do things they don't want to. I want them to be 100% in charge of their bodies and minds and not do anything they are not willing to do just b/c someone else tells them "they have to."

I think "have to" is sort of "victim speak." When I say "I have to do xzy..." I've taken my responsibility, choice, and free will out of the matter. And there are not any times I can think of that I've TRULY had to do something against my will.

Sometimes I don't feel like doing the mountain of dishes. But I don't HAVE TO do them. I choose to. Because I'd rather have a clean kitchen. I may not be dancing around singing a happy song while I do them, but it IS a choice. Shoot I could throw them all out and buy more. Or switch to paper. Or eat out lots. Or I could decide that I'm done with the thing and get a one way ticket to St. Bart's.

I don't choose to do those things. But I could. And that paradigm shift gives me a little less resentment and self-pity and martyrdom in my kitchen around 7 pm every night.

Choices are good. Better than "have to" I think. "Have to" seems like a burden I don't want my kids to "have to" have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Writerbird View Post
It seems like this thread split into two camps - those who thought that the mother and child should therefore leave the store, and those who thought the mother and child should complete the errand.
I definitely don't think those are the only two choices. There are ways to "hear" a child and make her discomfort more comfortable that don't necessarily involve bailing on the errand.
post #53 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by swellmomma View Post
I understand perfectly well when they do not want to be somewhere but I will not drop everything just because they "don't wanna". If they were sick or hurt etc then sure I would drop everything in a heart beat, but if they simply want to tantrum because they want to be somewhere else oh well, we will finish what we were there for. I don't think I will ever fully be into GD partly for this line of thinking. OVerall I am the parent they are th children, they do not get 100% say in what we do. FOr example, if we are at a bookstore and 2 kids want to be there, but 1 would rather be at the pet store, there is no way I am going to ahul them all out to appease the one jsut because they "don't wanna".

.
I really liked your post and ITA except the part I bolded. I believe it's 100% possible to do both. It's just how one defines GD that's causing the differences. Personally, I know I am always gentle with my child. GD isn't the same as consensual living. Granted, I don't agree with the way the mother described in the OP was handling her toddler, but I don't agree that if you don't leave a store every time your child cries you're into "traditional discipline" whatever that means. I do take my child's feelings into consideration, and I don't view tantruming toddlers as misbehaving, but I think sometimes it's a good thing for them to realize that they can tantrum, mama will keep shopping and being nice to them, and the world will keep spinning. I know if I was a toddler, if I was guaranteed a ticket home every time I threw a fit, I'd sure catch on quickly! The behaviors that were listed for the 17 month old sounds very normal to me, and I used to run a toddler room at a daycare- hey, it's really hard sometimes. But I'm glad I've always brought DD everywhere and she's learned, slowly, over time, to deal with short feelings of frustration and not let them turn into overwhelming angry tantrums- unless she's tired, or hungry, of course. She loves the bookstore though, so what do I know
post #54 of 188
Writerbird,

We cross-posted!

I just wanted to let you know that GD was something I grew into, as I grew as a mother and got to know my children. When my oldest started asking me, a few years ago, "What privilege will I lose if I do this or that?" -- I finally realized something was breaking down, because we'd had a much better connection when she was a toddler and I just explained things to her: she seemed much more interested in hearing my perspectives then.

So I stopped the punishments and started working to get that in-tune-ness back, and I'm glad I did!

Gentle Discipline is a very broad term, which (I believe) at the heart simply means: viewing our children as little people who want to live in positive, mutually beneficial relationships with others, but simply need our help and guidance to be able to navigate the world and deal with difficult emotions. In other words, we believe that gentle guidance is what children need -- and that hitting and other punishments are harmful and counterproductive to our goals.

Therefore, the umbrella of Gentle Discipline covers people with a wide range of different perspectives, when it comes to things like children's autonomy. I'm attempting to live consensually with my children, but many parents who practice Gentle Discipline don't see this issue the same way that I do. There's room for all of us!
post #55 of 188
So you know, it's 7 pm and I'm taking a moment of self care before I get on those dishes........

And I was thinking how this thread reminded me of Jan Hunt's article, A New Way of Seeing Children, where she gives an example of a child getting antsy waiting in a long line at an observatory.
http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/new_way.html

In part:

Quote:
A child's rambunctiousness in public embarrasses parents, because our society expects children to remain silent and to behave as though they are mature adults - a most unrealistic and uncaring expectation. Expecting the impossible can of course only lead to disappointment and frustration for both parents and children. Just like adults, children feel most cooperative when treated with kindness, understanding, and faith in their inherent good intentions. No adult feels cooperative when treated in a threatening, angry way by a spouse, employer, or friend. In fact, we feel hurt and resentful when treated that way, and far from cooperating, we often resist or retaliate. Why then do we expect children to respond with good behavior when treated with anger, threats, or punishment?
I like this sort of problem solving thinking:
Quote:
As a child advocate, what could I have said to Aaron's mother? I might have validated Aaron's feelings and offered a solution to his mother. To Aaron, I might have said, "It's so hard to wait when you're looking forward to something!" To his mother, I could have said "You know, airlines have the right idea; they always board children first. Why don't I ask if you could go to the head of the line?" I could have offered help: "It's so hard for children to wait in long lines. If you'd like to take him for a walk, I'll be glad to hold your place." Or I might simply have encouraged her: "It's so hard for a child to be quiet and patient at the end of a long day, waiting to do something exciting. I think he's doing really well!"
Many options to "hear" the child, support him, and seek out solutions which leave neither party to "bite the bullet" or remain miserable/uncomfortable.

OK, choosing to go do my dishes now, so I can relax on the couch with some Celebrity Apprentice later!
post #56 of 188
Thanks for posting that Monkey's Mom
post #57 of 188
What's wrong with a parent taking a child shopping??? I don't get it.

I don't remember my parents not going shopping because their children didn't have it at the top of their lists of favourite things to do that day.... and I sure don't plan on becoming a shut-in once our baby is born and our future children arrive.

Yes, shopping is over-stimulating and confusing sometimes, even for adults! But that's how we gather food and supplies for our day to day lives, and children need to learn how to function in our world. Or, if they're not interested in learning about shopping, errands, etc, that day, they need to learn how to cope with things that are tedious or boring.

I find it odd that some folk think that children should be sheltered from every single thing that they aren't thrilled about. How are they going to learn patience and adjusting to things that aren't immediatly thrilling, etc??

I can't count the number of times I waited in line at the BANK with my Mom. How boring!!!

Did I scream and kick and flail and demand that I be entertained? No. Did Mom wait at home until a neighbour could watch us before she could leave the house and go to the bank? NO.

Mom just said to us: "We're going into the bank and it will probably be boring, but you MUST be quiet and not run around." So, I took some of the deposit slips and drew on them, making my own money and cheques and such. In other words, I dealt with it, as my parent EXPECTED me to. Jeez, and this was with a five year old and THREE two year olds, with no spanking!

I think there's such a thing as expecting too LITTLE of children. Life is not always going to be perfect and tailored to their whims and preferences, they live as part of a functioning family, not little Kings and Queens, and shopping and errands need to be done!

Now, don't even get me started on CHORES! I'll get my parents investigated for child labour!

Trin.

PS: MamaOutThere, I really wasn't meaning to pick on you, it was the general topic that you raised that I was responding to, not you personally. It's often discussed in GD on MDC so I thought it was cool to chime in, as it didn't seem like dog-piling.
post #58 of 188
Double post!
post #59 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinitty View Post
What's wrong with a parent taking a child shopping???
Absolutely nothing!

Quote:
I don't get it.
Well, it would be presumptuous for me to tell someone else whether they "get it" or not -- but I sure don't perceive this discussion as being about whether or not parents and children can/should go shopping together. Of course, our perceptions of any discussion are going to be influenced by the paradigms we each held going into the discussion. So you may get things I don't get, and vice-versa.

Quote:
I don't remember my parents not going shopping because their children didn't have it at the top of their lists of favourite things to do that day....
I don't think anyone here has been advocating parents "not going shopping" (or not doing any of the other things that parents need to do or enjoy doing), based on their children not having "it at the top of their lists." Some of us have simply been advocating a creative approach whereby we look for other options besides the parents being martyrs, or the parents dragging the children along when they don't want to be there.

Quote:
and I sure don't plan on becoming a shut-in once our baby is born and our future children arrive.
I'm not a shut-in, either! -- though I often go for long periods of time where I don't feel a need to venture outside of my house and yard. If I feel a need, I certainly do find a way to get out there -- but I work to do it in such a way that my children are happy, too (and it's actually no fun for me otherwise).

Quote:
Yes, shopping is over-stimulating and confusing sometimes, even for adults! But that's how we gather food and supplies for our day to day lives, and children need to learn how to function in our world.
In my experience, children are intensely interested in learning "how to function in our world." They just do better when they have the freedom to explore the adult world more or less on their own terms -- in other words, to break away and focus on something else when they feel the need.

As an example, I recall Jean Liedloff talked in The Continuum Concept about how the South American Indians she lived among let the little girls join in with the manioc-grating as they got the urge, going off to play when they tired of it, without any repercussions from the adult women, or any insistence that they finish what they started. Yet at some point, all the girls grew to fully participate in adult society. By choice.

Of course, I'm sure the mamas carried their little ones with them to bathe or gather food without asking "permission," but just stopped mid-task to nurse as the children expressed the need. I think in our culture, there tends to be a mindset of "You just nursed before we came into the store, now you can wait 'til we get to the car ... or til we get home" -- especially with older babies or toddlers. "I'm going to finish what I set out to do -- then I'll tend to your needs."

We (in Western culture) are generally not as comfortable with taking care of things in little chunks, interspersed with breaks to nurse or just stop and play. I'm not speaking for every single person, I'm just saying it seems to be a prevalent attitude.

Quote:
Or, if they're not interested in learning about shopping, errands, etc, that day, they need to learn how to cope with things that are tedious or boring.

I find it odd that some folk think that children should be sheltered from every single thing that they aren't thrilled about. How are they going to learn patience and adjusting to things that aren't immediatly thrilling, etc??
All I can say is that there are other ways of looking at this. In my own experience, I see my children developing patience as they work to learn skills that they're interested in. As monkey's mom has mentioned, we sometimes choose to do things we don't feel like doing -- not because we're forced but because we like the results of having them done.

One of the things that has helped me to enjoy housework more, is the realization that I'm free to approach it in my own way, in a way that's enjoyable to me. After so many years of hearing things like "Work first, play later," there's this lump of guilt that wells up when I decide to play now, work later. I keep having to re-condition myself to feel okay about it, and I'd like for my children to associate work with joy and sense of accomplishment, rather than guilt.
post #60 of 188
Rebecca / OP:

I totally can see why you started this thread, and I think it's a really interesting discussion to have!! Don't feel bad! I hope my post didn't seem like I was beating up on you.

I've had a similar shift in perspective as I've matured. I used to think that little ones in situations that you described were just "acting up" and now I know that a lot of the time, (not all of the time) but most of the time, they are trying to be HEARD.

And, interestingly, I had the second shift in views that you did too, I now (being pregnant) try to be compassionate towards the parent in the situation too, rather than making snap judgements. It's all about personal growth, and I think it's really neat that you brought it up in a thread!

Trin.

Added:

Mammal Mamma, I was commenting on the one line from one poster who wondered why a parent would take a child shopping. She said "sorry" for it, and while I certainly didn't think an apology was needed, I found the idea interesting, and thus I posted. I'm just reading through the rest of the posts now.
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