Submission to authority (GD from a Biblical point of view) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 129 Old 12-21-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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Wow, I stumbled across this in new posts, and YES! This is the kind of thing that turned me off to GD initially, because the places where I was seeing it (I thought) were families where the kids were out of control and the parents seemed to be pushovers.
On the one hand, I agree with being gentle (absolutely), but I am not ok with being a pushover, and I definitely want my kids to respect me, each other, and other people.
I've opted to look to Christ as an example--He set rules, and He absolutely expected them to be obeyed. He allowed natural consequences to occur, and sometimes imposed consequences to help people learn, but was gentle and understanding, and used those times as teaching moments--to explain the rules and encourage forgiveness and future obedience.
If someone really broke a rule, He was willing to get them in big trouble (I think of Him in the temple chasing out the money changers).
He was always respectful--both to authority figures, and to those who saw him as the authority figure. This is the biggest thing to me. It's not that I see my children as being equal to me in authority--they do have to obey me--BUT as fellow children of God, they are equal to me, so I do my best to treat them kindly and respectfully, including when I tell them they must do something, or when I need to discipline them over something. I try to see their point of view, and remember/respect their feelings. I use natural and logical consequences, but I try to use them in a respectful way...

I hope that all makes sense. I kinda feel like I'm talking in circles here, but hopefully it makes sense.

~Jenni, rural frugal Alaskan, eternally married to Dragon
loving my wild things DS Wolf (12), 3 angels, DS Bear (6) & DS Eagle (3)
 

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#62 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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#63 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WhaleinGaloshes View Post
Among the central messages I find in the Bible is, put somewhat indelicately, "work on yourself."
It's "attraction not promotion", which is the Christian message IMO.

(I realize that doesn't get your kids out the door any faster )
are you a 12 stepper?

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#64 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 01:35 AM
 
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are you a 12 stepper?
Yeah, a long time now. The cliches are too ingrained to edit them out
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#65 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ages of my littles:

Ds 9 (just turned), dd6 (7 in Jan), ds4 (just turned), dd2 (just turned), and new baby girl due April 09

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#66 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 12:50 PM
 
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I've opted to look to Christ as an example--He set rules, and He absolutely expected them to be obeyed.
This is an odd choice of words to me. Perhaps I'm not understanding you completely. It seems to me, that he does NOt expect to be obeyed consistently at all. In fact, he pretty much planned for us not to-- what with the Atonement and all. But, He did say "If you love me you will keep my commandments." So at least He expects us to try. But I don't see Him as expecting obedience. Just one example-- remember Peter's denial? He knew that Peter would deny Him (betray Him!). He was prepared for it and forgiving and compassionate about it.

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He allowed natural consequences to occur, and sometimes imposed consequences to help people learn, but was gentle and understanding, and used those times as teaching moments--to explain the rules and encourage forgiveness and future obedience.
If someone really broke a rule, He was willing to get them in big trouble (I think of Him in the temple chasing out the money changers).
I don't know, I don't see God ever actively imposing consequences as a tool to help people become disciplined or more righteous. In the situation with the money changers, He was being emotionally honest in expressing his righteous anger. (Interesting to note that Jesus ALWAYS expresses His emotions quite openly-- he just didn't have any destructive emotions ever! His only anger was non-punitive, non-vengeful righteous anger.) One of the natural consequences of one's actions is reaping the fallout of emotional expression of others in reaction to one's choices. This is why I let my kids see my displeasure when they act hurtful.

He was also doing something quite practical in asserting his personal boundaries (the temple was kind of His own personal space. ) You never see him barge into someone else's personal home and kick people out for doing sinful things-- no matter how hardened those people's hearts were. It wasn't His personal space so there was no need for Him to assert boundaries there. So, why did He chase the money changers out of the temple? Not because He expected them to change, but only because He wanted to purify His Father's temple. The whipping wasn't to train them, it was just to physically get them out of there. In fact, the people He still had hope to educate and have them grow, He never acted so "punitively" with. I believe He knew that punishment does not cause people to change.

I see natural consequences in parenting as being things like expressing your displeasure where appropriate, asserting your boundaries (or those of a younger child who cannot for themselves) and basically standing up for yourself while also treating your child as an equal.

Creating artificial consequences is the same as punishment, in my opinion. Now, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world, and when I'm at the end of my rope sometimes I do it too, but I don't think it's ideal or Christlike and I feel like there is always a better way.

So, if my child acts up in the grocery store, I might not take him grocery shopping with me for a while. Not a punishment, but me asserting my boundaries in a healthy way is a natural consequence-- the same kind of thing I would do with an adult friend. If my child cannot play appropriately with a toy, I might take away the toy-- not a punishment, but again, me asserting healthy boundaries in a non-punitive way. None of this is done with anger and resentment, but with a an aggreeable and cheerful attitude-- "I know you're having a hard time with this toy right now so we'll just give it a break for now". And then if they're upset about it, validate and listen to their feelings. And then help them move on by introducing a new line of thinking or activity.

To me, an imposed artifical consequence would be something like, "If you don't quiet down and get off of the table I'm not giving you any hot chocolate!" And um, yes, I said that last night in a moment of irritability.

What would have been more Christlike would have been to 1.) give them less hot chocolate than I may have been going to originally, without saying anything about it, because it's not a punishment but because I realized they are not in a position to handle much sugar at the moment, 2.) be patient with them because their climbing on the table and yelling was mostly outside of their control at that point (they had a friend over, they'd been cooped up iside most of the day, and they were excited abotu the snow, oh and they were tired.) and 3.) be more respectful of MYSELF and my own boundaries, and realized that all of the noisiness and yelling was getting to me, so I ought to have found a way to try to take care of my needs without taking my frustration out on the boys. It would have been fine if I had stepped away for a moment to breathe and recenter, or put on some soothing music I enjoy, or asked DH to take over for a few.

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#67 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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So, if my child acts up in the grocery store, I might not take him grocery shopping with me for a while. Not a punishment, but me asserting my boundaries in a healthy way is a natural consequence-- the same kind of thing I would do with an adult friend. If my child cannot play appropriately with a toy, I might take away the toy-- not a punishment, but again, me asserting healthy boundaries in a non-punitive way.
i totally agree with this. i see these as logical consequences & i use approaches like this when natural consequences don't fit the bill.

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#68 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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and 3.) be more respectful of MYSELF and my own boundaries, and realized that all of the noisiness and yelling was getting to me, so I ought to have found a way to try to take care of my needs without taking my frustration out on the boys. It would have been fine if I had stepped away for a moment to breathe and recenter, or put on some soothing music I enjoy, or asked DH to take over for a few.
Oh, this reminded me of one other thing-- an idea I encounter a LOT is that to have dignity or self-respect, one must take care of one's own emotional needs by trying to control other people or change other people. The implication is that in some way, other people are responsible for how we feel.

This is an important myth to debunk, not just in aspect to our relationships with our children, but with our spouses, parents, friends, and anyone. If someone else is bothering us, we can't make them change, and if even if we could wouldn't that be messing up their own spiritual growth path?-- we can only do things within our own power, that is, change ourselves. Depending on the situation, what we can do is either remove ourselves from the situation, change the way we interact the other person (which may change how they are reacting to us), or change how we react to them.

Taking responsibility for how someone else feels is a tricky area. I see it as more of a gift in some ways, although it can also be unhealthy and codependent in some situations. That's a whole other topic. But long story short, we should never EXPECT other people to take responsibility for our emotional needs. When they do, we can accept it graciously, but not require it.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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#69 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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It's nice to say you won't take your child grocery shopping if they act up, but this is not possible for everyone. For me, my children need to come grocery shopping, and they need to not act like wild animals. I feel as a mother, it is definitely within my realm to 'change someone' insofar as this kind of behavioural expectation is concerned. When my DD was younger, if she couldn't behave walking on her own, she would ride on my back in the pouch. Kinda hilarious to have a toddler screaming 'no!' while you put them on your back, a bit of the antithesis of babywearing, but it did the trick. Nowadays it's a nonissue but I would not hesitate to take away the treat she looks forward to at teh end of the trip for wrong behaviour.
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#70 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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This is a great thread, and you all are giving me so much to think about!!
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#71 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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It's nice to say you won't take your child grocery shopping if they act up, but this is not possible for everyone.
Right, it wasn't intended as the ultimate solution for all people, it was just an example of one appropriate consequence.

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For me, my children need to come grocery shopping, and they need to not act like wild animals. I feel as a mother, it is definitely within my realm to 'change someone' insofar as this kind of behavioural expectation is concerned.
Why do they need to not act like wild animals? I would say it is preferable if they do not act like wild animals, but not completely within the realm of your control.

You can certainly TRY to encourage your children to act differently in several ways, but you cannot count on them being able to "behave" short of hurting them, in which case they are only cooperating out of fear or shame and in that case, inside they have not learned anything constructive.

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When my DD was younger, if she couldn't behave walking on her own, she would ride on my back in the pouch. Kinda hilarious to have a toddler screaming 'no!' while you put them on your back, a bit of the antithesis of babywearing, but it did the trick. Nowadays it's a nonissue but I would not hesitate to take away the treat she looks forward to at teh end of the trip for wrong behaviour.
I don't see anything wrong with that. I also don't see that as controlling her or making her change-- just enforcing your boundaries in the best way you could given the situation. Again, you were doing what you had to do in the most respectful way you could-- respectful to her and to you.

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#72 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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If my children acted like wild animals at the grocery store, I would be very displeased to say the least. They do *need* to act appropriately in situations they are in, and I cannot and will not conform all situations to them so that they never meet up with this requirement in their childhoods.

IME you do *not* need to hurt children to enforce good behaviour. Why is it around here whenever parent imposed consequences are raised as a tool in discipline it goes right to worries about abuse? There is a huge area between conforming situations to the child rather than requiring decent behaviour, vs. physically assaulting children. HUGE area.

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I don't see anything wrong with that. I also don't see that as controlling her or making her change-- just enforcing your boundaries in the best way you could given the situation. Again, you were doing what you had to do in the most respectful way you could-- respectful to her and to you.
It is definitely controlling her though vs just enforcing my own boundaries. Physically putting her in the carrier? Yes that does directly control her. I also use removal of privileges when necessary to enforce good behaviour (of course not as a first response, first I explain the behaviour that is necessary, and the why of it, and I genuinely expect her to understand which she usually does). But parent imposed consequences do include putting the child in the carrier or in the cart, or removing this or that from them.
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#73 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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I gotta say too, I don't get the 'they aren't learning anything!' arugment. Sometimes they need to learn that it is not all about them and what they are getting out of everything, it is about being cooperative and part of a group of people, prioritizing someone else's needs or family needs over their own desires at that moment in time. Yk? It's like: Dude we need to get this done. Here is why. Now behave yourself so it can happen. Vs: Oh how are you feeeeeeeeeling as you dump the coffee beans all over the floor? Do you really *get* why not to do that? Or maybe there is something I'm not seeing why it's important to make this giant mess and risk people falling down and getting hurt?

Sometimes making them the centre of everything, never enforcing our own needs/agenda as the priority, can do much harm IMO.
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#74 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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If my children acted like wild animals at the grocery store, I would be very displeased to say the least.
I feel displeased when my children acted like that, too. But I do not expect them to act convenient to me or to be responsible for my comfort.

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They do *need* to act appropriately in situations they are in, and I cannot and will not conform all situations to them so that they never meet up with this requirement in their childhoods.
I think we are defining "need" differently.

You cannot conform all situations to them, and in some situations you shouldn't. A lot of times this is how they learn-- by being faced with situations that stretch their abilities.

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It is definitely controlling her though vs just enforcing my own boundaries. Physically putting her in the carrier? Yes that does directly control her.
Yes it is controlling her actions in that you are containing them, but it is not controllinh her mind or behavior. The difference seems to me to be, that one is done to make everyone's life easier, whereas one is done to "train" them to be a certain way.

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#75 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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I feel displeased when my children acted like that, too. But I do not expect them to act convenient to me or to be responsible for my comfort.
Oh, I do. Insofar as my comfort is affected by whether they act like hellions or not, I definitely do expect things from them.

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I think we are defining "need" differently.

You cannot conform all situations to them, and in some situations you shouldn't. A lot of times this is how they learn-- by being faced with situations that stretch their abilities.
ITA.

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Yes it is controlling her actions in that you are containing them, but it is not controllinh her mind or behavior. The difference seems to me to be, that one is done to make everyone's life easier, whereas one is done to "train" them to be a certain way.
Not sure where you are seeing people talking about training? IMO it's about parent imposed consequences or not.
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#76 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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AngelBee, I am a Christian and I can share my take on it with you. It is true that you can judge by the fruits...and you sound very very clear that something is not working in your situation.

Have you called a gathering of the family to talk to them about how little respect you feel from them? How you feel you are not getting cooperation in getting out the door?

One of the things that "works" with my two is to slow down myself trying to get out the door. I wonder sometimes if that what "works" about giving kids timeouts when they don't cooperate going out the door.

I tend to push myself a little harder as the time of leaving approaches. I get stressed out because I can't be late.

Obvious solutions like prepping well beforehand and leaving adequate time work to a point, but in the actual moment of leaving, I found the kids were responding to *my* stress about whether I was going to be late.

When I can let that go, they move faster and more cooperatively. Ironic, I know.

Some learned Christian mom here once defined being an authority as being a "learned guide." I love that description and strive for it in my own ways of thinking about my interactions with my children.

Another thing that helps is really knowing that families that punish still have the older kids wake the younger kids up during naptime sometimes. Really, I promise.

There is a certain level of chaos that comes with having a large family of closely spaced children, whatever the training people say. Just keeping the noise and mess level down to something habitable is enough some days. Children may be a blessing, but they are loud, noisy blessings.

Make sure you are asking them for real genuine help. Make sure they know what you need as far in advance as you can give them a heads up. Make sure they know that you consider yourself worthy of their respect and love.
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#77 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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thismama, i totally get you on kids not acting like wild animals in the store. i feel the same way! my kids are 7 & almost 5 now, so that's not an issue anymore. they can now help me shop, stand on the back of the cart while i push it and they usually behave great. but man, my ds has had some serious tantrums in public when he was 2 & 3 years old. i have had to leave a store, the park, a playdate, etc. when his behavior was unacceptable like that. he would get a warning first & if he continued....we left. heck, just several months ago we were going to eat at pizza hut (which is a huge treat for my kids). my ds was completely misbehaving inside. my dh warned him to stop. ds continued. we left. it was the logical consequence though & unfortunately, we all were effected by one person's behavior. but he learned from it & hasn't done it since.

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#78 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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Sometimes they need to learn that it is not all about them and what they are getting out of everything, it is about being cooperative and part of a group of people, prioritizing someone else's needs or family needs over their own desires at that moment in time. Yk?
I have faith that they already want to be cooperative and be part of a group of people. I have faith that they will naturally develop selflessness and thoughtfulness in time, when they get to that developmental stage, and when they can comprehend it, and by learning by example. I do not need to make them be cooperative and sociable-- indeed I cannot-- they already have that innate desire-- all I can do is kill it, or nurture it. If it is being overridden by selfishness, it is because 1.) they do not understand something (possibly that they don't have the capacity to, ie they're two years old, for instance) or 2.) they are not feeling loved, connected, bonded and so are acting from a place of self-preservation/survival and fear.

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It's like: Dude we need to get this done. Here is why. Now behave yourself so it can happen. Vs: Oh how are you feeeeeeeeeling as you dump the coffee beans all over the floor? Do you really *get* why not to do that? Or maybe there is something I'm not seeing why it's important to make this giant mess and risk people falling down and getting hurt?
Well, in the first example you gave, the first two sentences are in line with my methods of parenting [we need to get this done. Here is why] because you are giving the child information she may not have had (reminding her, helping to guide her), which is respectful to her. But you are not giving it in a way like, "you should know this what the heck were you thinking?" Which would be disrespectful and create distance in the relationship (ecourage her to not want to cooperate). The last sentence seems disrespectful to me [Now behave yourself so it can happen] because you are implying that she did not already have the desire to behave or be respectful to you. And if you assume she does not, she will feel insulted and it will hurt her self-confidence-- she will see herself as having a natural disposition to misbehave.

I would simply give the first two sentences and then expect her to behave without saying anything about it. Normally this alone works for me. If she did not, I will continue to assume that she will behave when she has the understanding and feels loved, so, first I will give her more information, and then if she is still being uncooperative, I will kindly state my wishes, and of she STILL isn't being cooperative I will help her pick up the beans (or pick them up myself if necessary) and then address her non-connectedness in a more appropriate time and place (soon!) In the meantime, I would not act angry or punitive. I would say, "it makes me feel ___ when you do ___. I don't feel like it's very kind/loving/friendly/whatever. I want us to be loving/friends/whatever with each other again, but right now I need to ____. How about we talk about it later." And if she was aggreeable to it, I would give her a hug and a smile at that time. Remember, all of this is with the intention of courting the child back into a bonded place again, because bonded children seek to please. Of course, if she was being extremely difficult, and I was upset about it, I would forego the hug and smile-- no good to fake it! So in that case we would just take some "space" from each other just until I could act patient and forgiving again.

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Sometimes making them the centre of everything, never enforcing our own needs/agenda as the priority, can do much harm IMO.
I agree. I don't see my methods as making them the center of anything. I just try to afford them the same respect and consideration I would want to be afforded.

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#79 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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I have faith that they already want to be cooperative and be part of a group of people. I have faith that they will naturally develop selflessness and thoughtfulness in time, when they get to that developmental stage, and when they can comprehend it, and by learning by example. I do not need to make them be cooperative and sociable-- indeed I cannot-- they already have that innate desire-- all I can do is kill it, or nurture it. If it is being overridden by selfishness, it is because 1.) they do not understand something (possibly that they don't have the capacity to, ie they're two years old, for instance) or 2.) they are not feeling loved, connected, bonded and so are acting from a place of self-preservation/survival and fear.
I dunno. Definitely at 2 years old they cannot understand things, I agree. But beyond that, I think they can. And I don't think bad behaviour is always about feeling unloved. I personally know two boys, in separate families, who are loved and doted on and whose parents do not impose consequences. Both boys are aggressive hellions. I think there is something about power dynamics in all human relations, and when parents behave as pushovers who are too worried about damaging the fragile child's psyche to assert themselves, an imbalance results and parents can be walked upon.

I think it's interesting how many upper class white women are called to 'GD' that encourages total passivity with children, and that alleges that any use of power will ruin the child for life. The whole rhetoric sends up alarm bells for me.

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Well, in the first example you gave, the first two sentences are in line with my methods of parenting [we need to get this done. Here is why] because you are giving the child information she may not have had (reminding her, helping to guide her), which is respectful to her. But you are not giving it in a way like, "you should know this what the heck were you thinking?" Which would be disrespectful and create distance in the relationship (ecourage her to not want to cooperate). The last sentence seems disrespectful to me [Now behave yourself so it can happen] because you are implying that she did not already have the desire to behave or be respectful to you. And if you assume she does not, she will feel insulted and it will hurt her self-confidence-- she will see herself as having a natural disposition to misbehave.
Oh I definitely think parent imposed consequences can be respectful. That is entirely my point! My last line, 'now behave yourself so it can happen' is not a line I would deliver directly to a child, but more is what I am thinking in my approach. However I do not see it as assumptive; fact is the child is already misbehaving. It is simply an observation of what needs to happen. I know we have seen much disrespectul, shame based parenting in the past, but my point is do not throw out the baby with the bathwater here. Asserting power, imposing consequences, do not have to correlate with shame or disrespect.

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I don't see my methods as making them the center of anything. I just try to afford them the same respect and consideration I would want to be afforded.
Point is though how much respect and consideration would you expect to be given for the same behaviour? I would imagine much less than *any* of us afford our children. There are always consequences in the world for our behaviour. The nature of the parent/child relationship is that many of the bigger consequences are absorbed by parents. If, in a situation where behaviour is intentional and repetitive, we do not then turn and put some form of consequence back toward the child, it just ends up creating an artificial situation where the child's misbehaviour affects everyone but themselves. That is not real, and it's not doing the child any favours to put them in that sort of bubble IMO.
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#80 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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I dunno. Definitely at 2 years old they cannot understand things, I agree. But beyond that, I think they can.
I think it depends. Some situations are more complex than what they can grasp without reminders or help.

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And I don't think bad behaviour is always about feeling unloved. I personally know two boys, in separate families, who are loved and doted on and whose parents do not impose consequences. Both boys are aggressive hellions.
Being loved and feeling loved are two entirely different htings. One need that children have (which they require to feel loved) is having their parent/guide be confident and have some degree of certainty and firmness to them. If the parents are pushovers, the children feel insecure, which makes them act out-- not because they want their parents to suffer for the fun of it but because they are subconciously trying to push to find the firm confident place. Undortunately, some parents equate being firm with being unloving or "tough". Firm and loving and kind and thoughtful and confident can all go together. And confidence can go hand in hand with a certain degree of vulnerability and flexibility.

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I think there is something about power dynamics in all human relations, and when parents behave as pushovers who are too worried about damaging the fragile child's psyche to assert themselves, an imbalance results and parents can be walked upon.
Absolutely.

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I think it's interesting how many upper class white women are called to 'GD' that encourages total passivity with children, and that alleges that any use of power will ruin the child for life. The whole rhetoric sends up alarm bells for me.
I son't think it encourages passivity in children. I think it will encourage them to be leaders, strong, assertive, and free.

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My last line, 'now behave yourself so it can happen' is not a line I would deliver directly to a child, but more is what I am thinking in my approach.
Well that makes a big difference.

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However I do not see it as assumptive; fact is the child is already misbehaving.
I just think it's sad to label it that way and not leave room for understanding. Just because they were previously being uncooperative doesn't mean they wanted to or don't want to please you if they thought they could or knew how.

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Point is though how much respect and consideration would you expect to be given for the same behaviour? I would imagine much less than *any* of us afford our children.
I don't think so. Seriously, if I had the same level of understanding and ability as they do, I would be mentally challenged, and I would hope that people would act compassionately and understandingly with me. As an adult with normal adult abilities, of course people expect more cooperative and understanding behavior of me.

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The nature of the parent/child relationship is that many of the bigger consequences are absorbed by parents.
As they should be, and as Christ and God often do for us-- absorbing consequences in some situations while offering gentle guidance and giving information (ie warnings). And then, if we are not listening/learning from that approach, and as appropriate, they then allow us to suffer the natural consequences.

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If, in a situation where behaviour is intentional and repetitive, we do not then turn and put some form of consequence back toward the child, it just ends up creating an artificial situation where the child's misbehaviour affects everyone but themselves. That is not real, and it's not doing the child any favours to put them in that sort of bubble IMO.
In a "situation where behaviour is intentional and repetitive" there is a deep disconnect and the child is calling out for help. At that point the child-parent relationship needs to be mended and the responsibility for that is fully on the shoulders of the parent.

I do not think that parents need to directly and parallely model the child's future relationship with the rest of the world and community. That is, you are NOT the "real world" or neighborhood to your child-- you are Mommy. And we ARE directly modeling and paralleling the child's future relationship with God, which is very different (hopefully) than their relationship with the rest of the world. It is okay for mom (and God) to have a different and more understanding relationship with the child than, say, an employer will someday. For instance, if you were to treat your child like an employee so that someday they will be ready for the workplace, you would be doing your child a great disservice.

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#81 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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I do not think all misbehaviour is about not feeling loved. I do not think the solution to misbehaviour is always to worry about how I must have deeply failed my child in some intangible way and try try try to 'reconnect.' I think in loving relationships, people act like jerks sometimes or push other people to see how far they can go, and I think that as the parent/child relationship is the first prototype for intimacy it is natural for children to push against boundaries. I think reasserting these boundaries is a perfectly appropriate parental task, and where consequences are absorbed by the parent for the child's misbehaviour, I think it is good and important to translate those consequences back upon the child in a milder way.

That's really it.
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#82 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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I guess what bugs me about the no consequences ever GDers is: how passive woman prototype is it that when someone we are in relationship to acts badly, repeatedly and intentionally, we blame ourselves for not being loving enough, and we worry that if we assert our power in any way we will deeply and traumatically injure them? Yk? It's like a cliche, man! I know these are children, but the OP is describing some children outta control, and I personally *know* some children outta control whose parents are unable to be anything but passive about it in the name of GD.

Meanwhile, my very well behaved empathic 5 year old has been on the receiving end of aggressive behaviour that has not seen consequences beyond nagging and mumbled insincere apologies. These are not unloved children, nor are they children who IMO do not 'feel loved.' They are simply children looking for some boundaries, constantly seeking them and never finding them, while their behaviour becomes more and more out of the realm of acceptable.

I have seen this time again in real life and online and the answer always comes back from a particular GD sect: 'Blame yourself. Stay passive. Be more loving. Your child is wounded in a vague and mysterious way, that you will never find, but that you can always blame his/her behaviour on. And it's all your fault.'

Kwim? Gets old, man.
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I do not think all misbehaviour is about not feeling loved. <snip>

I think in loving relationships, people act like jerks sometimes or push other people to see how far they can go....
Yeah, I guess we just disagree about that.

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#84 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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I guess what bugs me about the no consequences ever GDers is: how passive woman prototype is it that when someone we are in relationship to acts badly, repeatedly and intentionally, we blame ourselves for not being loving enough, and we worry that if we assert our power in any way we will deeply and traumatically injure them? Yk? It's like a cliche, man! I know these are children, but the OP is describing some children outta control, and I personally *know* some children outta control whose parents are unable to be anything but passive about it in the name of GD.

Meanwhile, my very well behaved empathic 5 year old has been on the receiving end of aggressive behaviour that has not seen consequences beyond nagging and mumbled insincere apologies. These are not unloved children, nor are they children who IMO do not 'feel loved.' They are simply children looking for some boundaries, constantly seeking them and never finding them, while their behaviour becomes more and more out of the realm of acceptable.

I have seen this time again in real life and online and the answer always comes back from a particular GD sect: 'Blame yourself. Stay passive. Be more loving. Your child is wounded in a vague and mysterious way, that you will never find, but that you can always blame his/her behaviour on. And it's all your fault.'

Kwim? Gets old, man.
I think when you are coming from a place of trying to be a disciple of Christ (who was both meek and powerful) and modeling that for your children, it really makes the perspective different.

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#85 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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I think when you are coming from a place of trying to be a disciple of Christ (who was both meek and powerful) and modeling that for your children, it really makes the perspective different.
Maybe. But the hot chocolate example you gave? Like give 'em less but don't say anything about it? That's fine if you really *really* don't intend that as a punishment. But I think in relationships we do have an urge to have our voices heard, and that is good not bad, and relationships with our children are real. I think it would be very hard to not say anything about one's anger over negative behaviour, dish out less hot chocolate, and have that *truly* be coming from a 'Christlike' place. Otherwise it's just passive aggression, and that is not what we're aiming for. I think being honest with people, setting boundaries while respecting who they are and loving them, is very Christlike.
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I think it would be very hard to not say anything about one's anger over negative behaviour, dish out less hot chocolate, and have that *truly* be coming from a 'Christlike' place.
It is hard for me when I'm stressed-out because I revert back to my "old brain" and my childhood conditioning. But, as with any habit, it can be changed. Once you've made a habit of accepting and acknowledging your feelings to yourself, but not outloud to those who would be hurt by it, it is quite easy to:

1.) acknowledge your initial anger which stems from present situations which trigger old hurt 2.) understand that you are not actually being threatended by the current situation and 3.) the anger automatically dissipates and in nurturing your own inner hurt child, you develop a deep and compassionate place to nurture your child from.

I can do this easily when I'm feeling rested and calm, it's the end of the day and sleep-deprived and over-stimulated moments I'm working on.

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Otherwise it's just passive aggression, and that is not what we're aiming for. I think being honest with people, setting boundaries while respecting who they are and loving them, is very Christlike.
Not passive-aggressive at all. Not in my case. The key is to change my mindset from seeing them as "misbehaving" (which is such a vague label but they really weren't being "bad" is the point) to seeing them as just temporarily having a hard time being quiet and calm. So, in that case, what can I do to help them be calmer and quieter. Well, I can give them less sugar, for one thing!

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#87 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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I see what you are saying but I do think a lot of the 'no consequences, no anger, nothing but sunshine and roses or just remove yourself' GD does lead to encouragement of passive aggressive parenting. If we discourage assertiveness, discourage communication of genuine feelings, and blame the parent for vaguely not being loving enough, passive aggression is bound to happen IMO.

I *do* think that some behaviour leads to us actually being threatened in the moment; it is not always about 'healing our own inner child' at the expense of assertively addressing what is actually happening. Peace is threatened, feeling respected is threatened, joy is threatened, ability to go about our lives with our children is threatened. I think there is a place for examining our loving relationships with our children, and certainly there is a place for self examination, but there is also a place for saying, 'Enough' in the moment.
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#88 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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I'm confused about the OP's needs and want to clarify. Is this about whether it is possible to conform CL-style GD with Christian scripture or about whether not imposing consequences is a good idea?

AngelBee, would you be willing to clarify your needs?
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#89 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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I thought she was basically saying, 'Not doing consequences, kids are outta control, this is not the 'fruits' I expected, is it not Biblical to demonstrate authority and give them some consequences?'

Not sure if I've got that right but that was my impression.
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#90 of 129 Old 12-22-2008, 04:37 PM
 
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...If we discourage assertiveness...
Just wanted to address this snippet (since we've pretty much concluded that we have some fundamental disagreements in some other areas ).

I do not discourage assertiveness. It's all about what we are asserting. If we are asserting our own personal boundaries, and asserting our right to express ourselves kindly and non-hurtfully, and asserting our right to protect ourselves and our loved ones, great. Asserting control over other people's persons and other people's business and space is, in most cases, not a good thing, and expecting other people to take care of you or bend to your will is not assertive, it's bossy/insecure/controlling/entitled/etc.

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