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#31 of 45 Old 09-24-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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I also don't know "the" secret, and I guess I've stopped trying. Instead I try to figure out what I want to be like in my interactions with them, what I want them to learn from me. And then we figure out how to set up their days to make that most likely to happen. And I'm trying to get a handle on how my own issues cause most of my angry and yelling moments with the kids. She's Gonna Blow! has been a helpful read for me around that.

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(**to clarify, I love parenting books and have learned a lot from some of them. I value learning and building on my skills as a parent, both from experience and from advice others have to give. But I found that at some point I needed to take a break from books and advice in order to listen to my children and myself.)
I totally agree with this! For the past two years, I've declared November my "no-parenting books month." It's been great! I do really love parenting books but taking a break from them has really helped cut down my inner critic and helped me to be more fully attuned to my kids.

Married to DH since 2006.  Adoptive mom to DD1 (June 2002), DS (Jan 2006), and bio mom to DD2 (May 2009).

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#32 of 45 Old 09-25-2010, 03:11 AM
 
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I'm far, far from perfect, but what I've noticed on my good days:

1) I give my kids enough of the type of attention they want (one-on-one talking, playing, etc. Not telling them what to do). Someone else mentioned this as well.

2) Remember that they aren't trying to piss you off. Intent counts for something, so cut them a little slack.

3) Don't lie to them to get them to do what you want.

4) When you're arguing over something, give them an "out" that allows them to save face. A symbolic compromise can make a huge difference.

5) Don't read parenting books!

6) Patience, patience, and more patience...
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#33 of 45 Old 09-25-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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I love the "take no credit; accept no blame" idea!

Here are my two tips I can share:

1. Be real with your kids. I love the idea of the bike ride description and you just kind of "freaking out" saying something like, "Ahh...stop! I can't deal with this right now. I feel like this is totally unsafe and that no one's listening to me and it's just not fun for me at all. We need to go home." In time (at least for my DC) she learned that everyone has more fun when everyone is enjoying themselves. This is *the* keystone of my parenting philosophy.

2. Yes days. When DC was younger we would have 'yes' days. When I felt like we had gone a stretch kind of bickering and I felt like I was always saying no to everything, I would have a day where I tried to say yes to as many things as possible. It always seemed to clear the slate.

ETA: one more thing that has already been mentioned: If you can get yourself to rephrase "no" answers into "what they can do" answers that can really help. With a bit of practice this will start to come really naturally. Actually, this helps throughout life, IMO. Even adults and certainly school friends, neighbor kids and etc. prefer to hear what they *can* do rather than a no.

Re: the high expectations. I think this is a really good concept but it's really difficult to grasp. I've been able to see glimpses of this throughout DC's life but it's hard to put into words and even harder to distinguish. It's not so much that you have high expectations but that internally you truly believe your children to behave in a particular way. It's a distinction that I think kids are aware of on some level.

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#34 of 45 Old 09-25-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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I totally agree with this! For the past two years, I've declared November my "no-parenting books month." It's been great! I do really love parenting books but taking a break from them has really helped cut down my inner critic and helped me to be more fully attuned to my kids.
I've always preferred child development books that told be about the stages of childhood. What to expect when sort of books. Your (age of child) Year Old books were the most helpful in determining what was normal behavior for that age. Once I knew what was normal, then I could tailor my response appropriately. The only parenting books I've read were Dr. Dobson's The Strong-Willed Child (back when Erica was 2-3; the first and only book at that time that came close to Erica's personality), and a copy of Ezzo (forget the title, it was the infant one) when Dylan was a baby. I got that one from the library to see what he was all about after reading about him on a debate board. Didn't finish the book--he was so wrong and had no clue about raising children. I knew more about raising children than he did and I had only raised 3 to that point. Neither one was all that helpful in dealing with Erica or Dylan. I've read some of Dr. Sears when my grandson was born. If the more recent books on high needs children had been around back in the 80s, I might have had read them. But they weren't.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#35 of 45 Old 09-25-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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Dobson and Ezzo...no wonder you didn't like parenting books.

Re: books. I think it's a matter of finding a few that sit will with you and certainly a bit of perspective that they're not a magic cure.

A couple of my favorites were Becoming the Parent You Want to Be and Unconditional Parenting. I also really like Taking Children Seriously but I took an actual class in that book and don't think I would have gotten much from the book alone.

In TCC the absolute GEM of advice I got was that silence can solve 90% or your communication problems with your kids. The essential idea is that a parent's quick, impulsive response to what a child says can actually really hinder their forthcomingness. Often if you just remain silent or just say a little to encourage the rest of the idea you get a breakthrough.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#36 of 45 Old 09-26-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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Dobson and Ezzo...no wonder you didn't like parenting books.

Re: books. I think it's a matter of finding a few that sit will with you and certainly a bit of perspective that they're not a magic cure.

A couple of my favorites were Becoming the Parent You Want to Be and Unconditional Parenting. I also really like Taking Children Seriously but I took an actual class in that book and don't think I would have gotten much from the book alone.

In TCC the absolute GEM of advice I got was that silence can solve 90% or your communication problems with your kids. The essential idea is that a parent's quick, impulsive response to what a child says can actually really hinder their forthcomingness. Often if you just remain silent or just say a little to encourage the rest of the idea you get a breakthrough.
It wasn't until recently that I found out how little I really took away from reading The Strong-Willed Child. I reread it after my first grandson was born, only to realize that I had not put into practice anything from the book. The only thing I got from that book was the sheer relief that there were other children similar to Erica and that she wasn't the only one. That one idea was a life saver for me. There was one other thing I got from that book--that spanking didn't work on strong-willed children--only to find out that that idea isn't even in the book. I didn't even know about Ezzo until Dylan was almost 2.

One the most effective discipline idea I developed came from history, not a child development book. Teddy Roosevelt's "Speak softly and carry a big stick" works as equally well with children as it does nations.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#37 of 45 Old 09-26-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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Discipline can include, but is not limited to, hyperbole, humor, redirection, time-outs (or time-ins; removal from situation), hugs, talking it out, leading by example, agreed upon rules, education, rewards, consequences.
There's a reason I had "discipline" in quotes.

I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure my 3 ideas (very little TV, good nutrition, filling up their tanks in the morning) fall under your definition (hyperbole, humor, redirection, etc) either. I guess they are a bit under "leading by example" because I eat the same food they do, but that's about it.

These 3 things are things I would do anyway as part of my family culture, so I don't think of them as part of the disciplinary process, just how we live by our values. But I have noticed that it's harder to maintain discipline if I start slacking in these areas by skipping snacks, letting them watch TV while I make some phone calls, etc. So basically I was talking about how non-disciplinary measures (lifestyle choices) affect how the kids behave and how much other discipline (such as your examples) I use.

Hope that clarifies what I was trying to say.
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#38 of 45 Old 09-27-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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There's a reason I had "discipline" in quotes.

I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure my 3 ideas (very little TV, good nutrition, filling up their tanks in the morning) fall under your definition (hyperbole, humor, redirection, etc) either. I guess they are a bit under "leading by example" because I eat the same food they do, but that's about it.

These 3 things are things I would do anyway as part of my family culture, so I don't think of them as part of the disciplinary process, just how we live by our values. But I have noticed that it's harder to maintain discipline if I start slacking in these areas by skipping snacks, letting them watch TV while I make some phone calls, etc. So basically I was talking about how non-disciplinary measures (lifestyle choices) affect how the kids behave and how much other discipline (such as your examples) I use.

Hope that clarifies what I was trying to say.
It does. The idea that discipline only = punishment is just a sore point with me. And your post just was the current straw and you got the fall out. I get what you are saying and to me it does fall within discipline because I view discipline as the way I and my family live. Just like diet really describes what and how one eats but has come to mean denial of certain foods in order to lose weight, discipline has come to mean just one thing.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#39 of 45 Old 09-28-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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It does. The idea that discipline only = punishment is just a sore point with me. And your post just was the current straw and you got the fall out. I get what you are saying and to me it does fall within discipline because I view discipline as the way I and my family live. Just like diet really describes what and how one eats but has come to mean denial of certain foods in order to lose weight, discipline has come to mean just one thing.
I'm not sure where I said discipline=punishment???? I don't punish my kids so I think you're reading something that's not there.

I see those 3 items (TV, nutrition/blood sugar mgmt, giving the kiddos more attention) as something much bigger than discipline, I see them as the basis of actual biological development and would do them even if they made our day-to-day family life more difficult. (Luckily they make it easier!) And when I said "without discipline" I meant "external to", not "lack of".

So--A top layer of these 3 items which are based for me in biology, and underneath a long list very similar to the list you mentioned, with a few other items you didn't, none of which are punishment.

I could have easily written your post but I wrote mine instead. To me the two are not mutually exclusive at all. We just think of it differently.
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#40 of 45 Old 09-29-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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What a great thread... I read it all...
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#41 of 45 Old 09-29-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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What a fantastic thread, I'm going to read this again when I'm less exhausted. Heck, I might even contribute. Thanks so much everyone, for sharing!

GOOD moms let their kids lick the beaters. GREAT moms turn off the mixer first!
Humanist Woman Wife , & Friend Plus Mama to 6 (3 mos, 2, 9, 13, 17, 20)
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#42 of 45 Old 09-29-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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I'm not sure where I said discipline=punishment???? I don't punish my kids so I think you're reading something that's not there.

I see those 3 items (TV, nutrition/blood sugar mgmt, giving the kiddos more attention) as something much bigger than discipline, I see them as the basis of actual biological development and would do them even if they made our day-to-day family life more difficult. (Luckily they make it easier!) And when I said "without discipline" I meant "external to", not "lack of".

So--A top layer of these 3 items which are based for me in biology, and underneath a long list very similar to the list you mentioned, with a few other items you didn't, none of which are punishment.

I could have easily written your post but I wrote mine instead. To me the two are not mutually exclusive at all. We just think of it differently.
I agree. I didn't mean to imply that I thought that you did punish. I apologize for any implication of that.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#43 of 45 Old 09-29-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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The only thing I can think of to add is this one: pick your battles. Granted, my LO is only 10 months old so our days of GD are just beginning, but I think it is necessary to do this so I am not exhausted before he even hits his 1st birthday.

For example: biting while nursing is a no-compromise thing. I can't have him do that. tearing up old newspapers and making a huge mess . . . . yeah I don't like it, but hey, it is just a mess. it can be cleaned up.

I haven't read any parenting books . . .I don't know if I want to after reading this thread! LOL

I second finding mother(s) or parent(s) whose children and behaviours you would like to emulate or duplicate. That is a big one for us. More so even than any book, seeing this in action is what really helps, I think.

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#44 of 45 Old 10-06-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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I feel like we have high expectations and thus the constant correcting. So how can you have high expectations and NOT be a nag?

A few of you mentioned going outside - we do a walk, bike ride almost every day. It is more of a headache than a pleasure. "Stay on the edge" "Stay near me" "Don't get too far ahead" etc.... I'm constantly shouting out directions and it's not relaxing. Yesterday, I took bike rides away for a week because they got so far ahead I couldn't see them. So we did a walk today and it was all complaining - it was all I could do to not turn around because they need it.
I know this thread is getting looooong, but this caught my eye and I didn't see it addressed elsewhere.

We live in the city, and so riding bikes/trikes safety is REALLY important. If DS (age 3.5 now) keeps riding into the intersection, he could get killed, but it's fun to ride your trike to the park, and it's good exercise. So I pick my battle: Safety. Not perfection. Safety. And do as much in advance as possible so the expectations are high.

So, before we go out the door, helmet is on or we don't leave. Then we have a talk. "When Mommy says Red Light, you stop. When Mommy says Green Light, you can go." (And at this age we've added in yellow light.) Before we go out the door, he has to tell me what Red Light and Green Light mean. I ask him if, when mommy says Red Light, if that means stop RIGHT AWAY, or keep going a little bit and then stop. He's gotta get that answer right before we go out the door. And then one more question: "What happens if mommy says Red Light and you don't stop RIGHT AWAY?" Answer: "Mommy takes the tricycle away."

Once the expectations are set up and clear, we can finally step outside and have fun! Yep, he's had the trike taken away on many occasions. But when he does stop, I praise him for listening well and stopping right away. Red Light keeps him from getting too far ahead of me, so there are usually 4 or 5 Red Lights per block--it's not just reserved for the intersection or driveways. And he thinks it's a fun game to play. But a Red Light is a Red Light: if he doesn't stop right away, it doesn't matter what the excuse was (claiming he couldn't hear me, or that the sidewalk was sloping downward, or that there weren't any cars in that particular driveway or whatever), I take the trike.

The other really important thing is that the consequence is that it's spelled out in advance, and I follow through with it, but it's not excessive. I don't take the trike for a whole week: he's only 3, and a week is a VERY long time when you are 3! Plus, how can he practice following the rules if you he so infrequently gets the chance to practice? Nor does he lose our fun time at the park. The infraction was about the trike, and the trike only.

We finish going to the park, but I carry the trike. And I carry it back. The next time he wants to ride his trike to the park, be that tomorrow or a few days from now, we start over from the very beginning. He has to wear his helmet. We review the rules about Red Light and Green Light. He has to tell me whether he has to stop RIGHT AWAY or if he can keep going a little bit and then stop. He tells me what happens if he doesn't stop RIGHT AWAY. And only then do we step out the door.

If he makes it 90% of the way to the park before losing the trike, I still praise him for having listened so well for so long, but yep, the trike is taken away, and we walk the rest of the way. Recognize that at age 3 it's really hard to focus on following the rules for soooooo long, and absolutely give your kid credit for doing such a great job. But getting excited because you see the park and then getting yourself killed is not gonna cut it--thus, mommy takes the trike away, and we walk the rest of the way to the park and back.

We've made it all the way TO the park quite a few times; I don't think we've ever made it all the way there AND back home. LOL! But you know what? DS is learning how to meet some very high expectations for his behavior, and we are very proud of him for that. Other people who see him triking along the sidewalk are always impressed how well he's listening too, and generally also give him some kudos for being such a big boy and being so safe and listening to Mommy. So I think following very strict rules can be taught, but you do have to realize that it is a process that requires a high degree of self-control, persistence, and practice! Like any new skill, your kids aren't going to be perfect at it the first time around, but with continued practice, they can learn. And cheer them along in the process, because these skills that we take for granted really are not easy skills to learn.

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#45 of 45 Old 10-06-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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the only trick I"ve learned so far is to have a thick skin.

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