Disapointed with AP - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 103 Old 07-19-2004, 06:18 PM
 
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Yeah, see my problem with AP is that it is often touted as the path to perfectly behaved children, or at least, that they will be a breeze to discipline because they are attached. "A child that feels right, acts right" I have second lilyka. It just ain't so. I read Aletha Solter's list from the link above and I do many if not all the things she listed and when they don't work, I have no other tools and wind up yelling and sometimes spanking. I just don't know what else to do. I can't tell you how much I wish that gentle discipline worked, but I can't honestly say that I believe it does.

One thing that I haven't done is try holding dd1 when she is acting obnoxiously or aggressively. I'll give it a go and see how it works. I would love to forgo the negative effects of nongentle discipline.

SMC to Sophia, age 15, and Eleanor, age 9, and mother hen to too many nursing students to count!

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#92 of 103 Old 07-19-2004, 06:23 PM
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Agreeing with Kara.

AP is half of the have good children equation.

Starting off with unconditional love and acceptance is important but consistancy and good discipline is the other (and you cannot overlook the child's basic temperment!!!)

I am ap but I'm strict as well.

No surprise I have well behaved children.

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#93 of 103 Old 07-19-2004, 06:43 PM
 
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Debra, I don't suppose you can condense this into a single post, but how is it that you are "strict", what does that look like in action? I'm assuming you do not yell or spank, so what do you do?

I find that what I'm working on is changing basic attitudes and outlooks on life at this point. She is seven and a half, so misbehavior is usually being uncooperative, contrary/contradictory, rude, inconsiderate, stuff like that, mostly getting along with others kind of stuff. She seems to me to be somewhat pessimistic, so we talk a lot about "cup half full" vs. "cup half empty" and keeping a grateful journal a la Oprah. : I have been working on this kind of stuff for awhile now and it is very frustrating. She seems to leap to the negative conclusion first, rather than last, i.e. so and so stepped on her foot on purpose rather than because they stumbled into her. I do try to look to myself for some of it and try to change my attitude, tone of voice, etc., but I'm pretty laid back, optimistic, tend to give people the benefit of the doubt etc. so it's not all me. She does have a little friend at school who has a pretty foul mouth. I really don't know.

When I think about my day with her, the things I would like to change are the constant complaining, about having to get up, not liking what we to eat in the house for breakfast, for making lunch, her sister's annoying toddler behaviors, the fact that the toddler gets more attention, that she has to go to school, that there is no school today, that she has to help me, that she has to do her chores today and everyday, (those darn cats, cant' just feed 'em once and have done with it!), that she has to take shower, you get the picture. I also would like less back talk/nasty comments/rude tone of voice. Things like "Why can't you shut that baby up?" Actually, I would like none of that! :LOL And the constant back talk is driving everybody mad. It's like a nervous tic. "Boy the sky sure is blue today", "No, I see several clouds" "Ellie you need to sit still for a minute", "No, she can roll around if she wants to", "It just rained buckets!" "It was just a little rain" and so on. She is also very loud. How do you teach a child to use a quieter voice? Repeated reminding for that last five years has made only a small dent!

In her more stellar moments she is enthusiatic, cooperative, helps out without being asked, and can entertain herself with books, art supplies, small toys, and one of the biggest imaginations I have ever seen.

SMC to Sophia, age 15, and Eleanor, age 9, and mother hen to too many nursing students to count!

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#94 of 103 Old 07-19-2004, 08:11 PM
 
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I do most of my posting on the Special Needs forum, but this has been rattling around in my head for a few days now, so I'm going to throw it out there in hopes that someone can benefit from it.

Someone posted previously that there seems to be a lot more child labeling on MDC that there is on other message boards. My "home" is Special Needs, and we do label there, but it isn't because of anything negative. On the contrary, it's for the purpose of creating something positive. In Special Needs, a label is used as a diagnosis, not an excuse. I think there is a lot more discussion of our children's labels here at MDC because this is a powerful place. I don't post on most mainstream special needs boards because the usual welcome to a newcomer asks what medication is being used. The mamas at MDC seek to avoid medicating their kids, and those who must have tried everything else first -- they are not blindly following a doctor's advice. And this is where the label gives power -- naming the problem provides a launching pad from which we can find ways to help our children. When my son was having problems, I struggled to find a way to help him, and I just got lost in the myriad of options. Finding out that the problem had a name (a label) gave me a direction -- I could target my search for methods that would help my child with his problem.

How does that relate here? I think the label-as-launching-pad idea has applications outside of special needs, too. Yes, labels can be used as excuses, but they can also be used as tools. A parent who labels a child as "clingy" and walks away is not helping her child. But one who identifies the problem as "clinginess" and asks the follow-up questions (Why is my child insecure? Is this a recent development? Is this actually a problem with the child or just a problem with my perception?) is in a position to help that child. And someone who is disappointed with AP really does need to "label" what AP is to them, and what parts of it are not working. And why they are not working -- AP parenting is wonderful, but it should never overshadow the importance of being that specific child's parent.

Please note that I am discussing a particular type of labeling here. I am not considering labels that are tossed around for the purpose of giving offense. If no one thinks this is valid, that's okay. It works in the Special Needs world where I live, and since it truly is a beautiful place, I'm going to head back there now.

With good intentions,

Tara
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#95 of 103 Old 07-19-2004, 08:20 PM
 
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That was very helpful, thoesly, thank you! I was afraid I was going to get called on the carpet for even hinting at labeling Sophia "pessimistic", but it has helped me figure out how to help her.

SMC to Sophia, age 15, and Eleanor, age 9, and mother hen to too many nursing students to count!

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#96 of 103 Old 07-19-2004, 10:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofiamomma
"Boy the sky sure is blue today", "No, I see several clouds" "Ellie you need to sit still for a minute", "No, she can roll around if she wants to", "It just rained buckets!" "It was just a little rain" and so on.
Maybe it's the age. My oldest is 6 1/2 and he's like this too. I'm hoping it's a phase!
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#97 of 103 Old 07-20-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofiamomma
Yeah, see my problem with AP is that it is often touted as the path to perfectly behaved children, or at least, that they will be a breeze to discipline because they are attached. "A child that feels right, acts right" I have second lilyka. It just ain't so. I read Aletha Solter's list....and when they don't work, I....wind up yelling and sometimes spanking. I just don't know what else to do. I can't tell you how much I wish that gentle discipline worked, but I can't honestly say that I believe it does.
A couple of thoughts.

I think parenting authors such as Solter, Sears do parents a disservice if they say or imply that their methods will cause all children to be perfect angels.
Children will misbehave, they are not perfect, and they will grow up just fine and mentally healthier if they are not struck when they misbehave. I'm having a very hard time putting it into words...someone mentioned unconditional love above. It's also about making choices as parents that we can hold our heads up when we remember them, being glad we treated our children with dignity even when they were out of control, and it's also about parents healing their own wounds if they are resorting to methods they don't really believe in (spanking etc.) because they want to end the cycle with them but it's harder in reality than in theory and some authors make it sound too easy.

Being disapppointed in AP, saying it doesn't work....maybe it would be more accurate to say disappointed in the experience of parenthood itself?
AP should never be presented as a way to create perfectly behaving children.

Has anyone spent time with elders? We may be mean and cranky some day (because we have pain, or because we miss our health or independence and old friends and relatives who have died, or because we resent being treated like children at our nursing home, by staff members who talk to us in sing song preschool-teacher voices.) We may even become aggressive sometimes. But do we really want people to hit us to try to get us to behave, or leave us crying alone so that we will learn some lesson about independence?

I still don't think I'm saying this right.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#98 of 103 Old 07-20-2004, 01:07 PM
 
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Actually, I think it was beautifully said, Momtwice.
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#99 of 103 Old 07-20-2004, 03:49 PM
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You don't need to yell or spank to be strict.

I have high standards for my children, I tell them they have high standards because they're Bakers and to whom much is given much is expected.

I am firm with my standards, I will listen to them but there are things that are givens.

I try to pick my battles so I reserve the battle of the wills for important things and the things that don't count (but many parents push) just don't show up on my radar. I don't care about their dressing (beyond very basic modesty) I don't care what they eat or what music they listen to.

The Golden Rule is key as is a good work ethic especially with their school work.


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#100 of 103 Old 07-20-2004, 04:38 PM
 
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momtwice I think you put it well.

i think people complain about GD or AP not working, when it doesnt' produce perfect kids. That's not the point.

I also think it has to do with expectations of what "good" kids act like, what is acceptable behaviour, etc. One person's "failure" is another's success.

I've often wondered about this term "strict" and what that means. We don't yell or spank or punish in any way, we are laid back about a lot of things, but we do have to put our foot down from time to time, and try to do this in a way that is respectful of DD's feelings, while still staying firm in our resolve. Is that "strict"? I dunno. But then I don't know any people who have no limits whatsoever, so I don't know what to compare it to.

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#101 of 103 Old 07-20-2004, 07:13 PM
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Piglet I agree.

I don't get upset when I have a contrary two year old or a mouthey four year old or a surley teenager, these are normal behaviors. I will not, for example, humor a tantrum or allow a four year old to continue running the mouth or honor a surley teen in any way but I won't overreact to a normal behavior. The lippy 4yo, for example, will get a cool response.

Children's individual temperments are also a factor.

By "strict" I mean that there are definate bounderies and codes of decent behavior for the family, adults as well as children. My children know they are put on this earth for a purpose and fulfilling that purpose is an important part of being viably human.

DB
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#102 of 103 Old 07-20-2004, 07:31 PM
 
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I was browsing and just wanted to jump in here. First off, Leonor, I am sorry that you are having such a rough time. I heart goes out to you, truly.
Second, I am just curious to know when everyone lost their sense of simply doing what works and feels right for your family? I don't subscribe to any one theory or method of parenting. I know how I was raised, and some was good, some of it not great. I see how others interact with their children, I learn from what I feel is good and let the rest go. I can only say that if strictly following an interpretation of AP is not working, than change it to fit what is comfortable and within your abilities. No one is perfect, nor are any of us an all-knowing higher power. As long as you have a firm grasp of what is good for YOUR child and what is not, I think the rest will fall into place.

To me, parenting is a constant re-negotiation of ideas. In our home, the only definate "nos" are hurting ourselves or others. Good manners are important to us, as is good hygeine. I don't feel we are overly strict but our children do have limits. They still have opinions and ideas, and feel free to express them. They have also learned that they will be listened to, but M&D have the final say. Simply because we have the knowledge as adults.

I think that finding YOUR balance is what would truly help. Do What Works!!! Please, Leonor, this is the best advice I can think of. I think too many people read one philosophy and get stuck on it. Adapt the pieces you like to work within your world. Your son will trust you more if he sees you are comfortable with yourself and your parenting decisions.

I am not trying to offend anyone with my wordy post, this is all what works for me. I just needed to pipe in on this one!
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#103 of 103 Old 07-20-2004, 09:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofiamomma
"A child that feels right, acts right" I have second lilyka. It just ain't so.
I do and don't agree with this. I definitely come from a behavior-based style of discipline, and that is also how my husband and I discipline. I believe that if a child acts right, for the most part he or she feels right, and *then* he or she will continue to act right. I see a lot of self-described AP parents putting what I consider to be an extreme emphasis on the emotions underlying behavior and spending so much time adressing the emotions that they never get around to addressing the behavior. (I personally think this creates self-centered kids.) They seem to feel that if they just make their kids feel good and loved and attached, their kids won't misbehave, and then a lot of them are mystified when their kids *do* misbehave anyway. I address the behavior first and the emotions second. We *always* address our kids' emotions, but not until we have addressed the behahvior and where and how it falls out of line with our family's values. That's why I consider myself a "strict" disciplinarian; we basically have a no-tolerance policy on some basic ground rules in our home. No matter how a person feels, there is no tolerance for certain behaviors.

I also feel that anyone who thinks there is no place for raised voices (not yelling, where you are just venting frustration or being hurtful, but raised voices, which get across the seriousness of the emotion and generally get the kid's attention) or, dare I say, punishments such a extra chores, etc., don't *really* remember what it's like to be a child. Sometimes children just act out because they are feeling snarky, the same as adults. Sometimes, all the touchy-feely in the world won't work to snap kids out of a bad behavior and into one that's in line with the family values. Sometimes sympathy and empathy just feed bad moods. Sometimes the unexpected is needed to reach kids. I *know* that people will disagree with me and may have a million stories to tell about how raised voices adversely affected them as children, etc. I'm not intending to get into a debate about it. I'm just stating my personal opinion, and that's that saying there is never a place for a raised voice or a non-abusive punishment (and I know we could also debate forever what is and isn't considered abuse) are just as guilty of dogmatism as those who say that children won't learn to behave if they aren't spanked (grounded, etc.). And I'm not advocating corporal punishment; through 21 kids, I have never used it.

Wilma
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