others comparing GD-ed kids to non-GD-ed kids - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 38 Old 03-21-2011, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry for the crappy title, I wasn't sure exactly what I was trying to say.

Tonight my dh and I took our almost 2 year old dd to a concert by my old college choir. We live far away and they were doing a tour that only happens every few years, so we really wanted to go and I wanted to bring dd to meet everyone. She behaved decently, about what you would expect from a 1 1/2 year old. DH took her out a lot, so she wasn't bothering anyone very often. We did get a lot of comments about how cute she was and all.

At the end of the concert, the director (who was my director and I know he's a super nice guy) took a moment to shake hands with 2 little boys (like 5 and 7-ish) who were sitting in the front and had been super well-behaved the whole time. The thing is, I know that family and I know those boys would never move or make noise, because they would definitely be punished. When we were pregnant, the mom "helped us out" by recommending all of the Pearl family books greensad.gif. We broke ties and aren't friends with them anymore because it just kills me to see their little boys, who are obviously very obedient but I know the cost. It's so not worth it. 

It just bothers me, though, to know that someday others may think poorly of my dd because she doesn't behave like those kinds of kids. And honestly, it makes me feel bad that others may think I'm not doing a good job as a parent if my dd doesn't just listen and do as she is told. I don't want that to be my measuring stick for how I judge my parenting and my family, but it's so hard when that's what gets kids noticed and what makes others praise them. Obviously, I know that at this point, my dd is much younger than those boys and I'm sure no one was directly comparing them tonight, but I also know that as she gets older, without the threat of violence, I won't be able to "make" her behave like those children do. I don't even know what I'm looking for, just wondering if anyone else has had these thoughts? Do you feel judged because you don't punish your children like others think you should?

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#2 of 38 Old 03-22-2011, 04:23 AM
 
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I just want to say that using gentle disciple does NOT mean your children will wild.  While certainly fear of punishment is one reason children could be quiet at a concert, others could be enjoying listening to the music, respecting the people around them, and understanding the expectations for such an event. 

 

People comment all the time on how kind, polite, and well behaved our son is.  We don't take him to events that we do not think he can handle.  He sat for several hours happily at age 2.5 at Cirque du Solei because he was mesmerized, but even now I wouldn't expect more than 5 or 10 minutes of quiet sitting at a concert simply because he prefers to enjoy music by dancing to it. 

 

I wouldn't probably consider it now, at age 3, however at age 6, if there was an event of, for example, classical music that I wanted him to attend with me I would start introducing the music quite a while in advance - first modeling sitting or lying quietly to soak it in, then inviting him to try the same with me, suggesting he close his eyes, breath with the music, let his mind make pictures to it, etc.  I would also talk to him about how other people enjoy having quiet when they listen to this type of music so that can hear it with no distractions.   Then IF I thought he could appreciate this type of event, I would be happy to bring him.  If not, I would make other arrangements.

 

Harsh discipline teaches kids to behave when they think they will get caught, it doesn't teach them to do what's right because it's the right thing to do.  Gentle discipline includes limits, age appropriate expectations, structure, and appropriate consequences.  Your 1.5 year old sounds like a normal 1.5 year old but, even without rewards and punishments, as she gets older she can learn to function in the world you live in. 

 

I wouldn't worry!

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#3 of 38 Old 03-22-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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I completely agree with eli - punitive discipline id by far not the only way to have well-behaved kids! When my twin boys were 4, we took a 36-hour train ride. We had a sleeping car, so we were by ourselves much of the time, but we ate all our meals in the dining car, and hung out in the observation car. Several people commented to us about how quiet and well-behaved the boys were - in fact, the people in the compartment next to ours said they hardly knew we were there. The boys loved the train,a nd we had a whole suitcase full of toys, puzzles, games, and snacks to keep them content. Meeting their needs does a LOT more for their behavior than threat of punishment. They also understood about respecting others - because they were treated with respect. As Eli said, when kids know what is expected of them, they can strive to meet those expectation.


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#4 of 38 Old 03-22-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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Using punitive parenting methods no more guarantees well behaved children in the same way that GD does not guarantee your children will misbehave or be unable to handle themselves in such an environment. shrug.gif

 

We are pretty much AP and are absolutely GD and have a very well behaved child who would have sat quietly during a concert. He has attended Broadway plays from an early age and we dine regularly at higher end restaurants. At 9 he can handle himself well in any social situation and you know what?  We have never beaten him with a stick! winky.gif

 

 

 

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#5 of 38 Old 03-22-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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At dh's company Christmas party, they had a magic kind of show (the "bubbleman") for the kids. Most of the kids were jumping up and yelling... these were school-aged kids who I'd assume would know how to sit for an assembly and not be crazy. The "bubbleman" had to keep asking them to sit down. My 4 and 3 yr olds sat so nicely (i was chasing the baby off to the side, but could see them). I was sort of shocked and impressed. I don't think they're mutually exclusive

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#6 of 38 Old 03-22-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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DD has never been threatened with violence, has never had a time out. She is a polite well behaved kid (most of the time ;) ). So I agree with PP's that GD does not equal kids behaving in inappropriate ways just because they aren't scared of getting hit or punished. Our relationship is based on mutual respect which is why she generally listens to me etc. She also expects me to listen to her and lets me know when I am not!

 

I do think temperament plays into it as well...this is just the kind of kid she is--she's quiet. It's got nothing to do with my parenting. My Niece has a more fiery temper and has also been raised "GD" style. She is the one more likely to act out in public, not because her parents are doing anything "wrong" but just because that's her temperament.

 

So I think comparing kids and "blaming" parents for parenting wrong is a slippery slope--no matter which way you look at it. I mean someone could look at my quiet DD and assume I'd crushed her spirit with harsh discipline or whatever.

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#7 of 38 Old 03-28-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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This gets much easier when your kids are older. Because then the proof is in the pudding. As others have said, GD kids aren't necessarily wild. They are actually self-disciplined so their non-GD'd peers are MORE likely (in my experience) to be wild and crazy in situations where they think they can get away with it (which seems to grow as they get older and test and test and test).

 

I have been in several situations lately where very violent parents of preschoolers have casually mentioned beating their own kids, the necessity of beating kids in general and how XYZ Well Behaved Child is obviously beaten regularly. You don't really hear much of this from parents of older kids. I feel like it's because parents of preschoolers who beat their kids feel the need to justify what they do by convincing themselves (and everyone else) that violent parenting = better behaved children. I wonder if they feel guilty or unsure? I don't really feel the need to make similar claims about GD to total strangers when I see well behaved children. In fact I don't even wonder such things, generally. It is so strange to me. If I'm feeling up to it, I'll say something back about how my kids have never been punished and they are well-behaved too but generally I know it's falling on deaf ears and is exactly opposite of what they want to hear so I don't bother.

 

I have to say, to answer your question, I've had the opposite experience now that my oldest kids are teens. People comment all the time on what great kids they are. One is calmer than the other by nature but they are both very self-disciplined.


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#8 of 38 Old 03-28-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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You know, I don't think that the general public really thinks about all of the different "methods" of discipline when they look at a kid's behavior.  I don't think a lot of people even know about GD, or what it's really about.  At least I wasn't aware of all of the different kinds of discipline that there are before I had kids.  People just tend to think either that kid is well behaved or not.  Then again, I could be completely naive.shrug.gif


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#9 of 38 Old 03-30-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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We get complimented all the time on how well my 8 year old behaves in public.  It wasn't always that way though.  There were a couple of times in his younger years that he was acting up and we had to leave whatever activity we were doing.  He learned that acting up in public will get him taken home and not back to that activity for whatever amount of time.  When we would leave we would have a discussion on the behavior that was inappropriate and tell him what should've been done in the situation, as he got older, we would ask him what should've been done.  We haven't had any problems in public with him for a very long time now.

 

Hang in there, it can be done!

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#10 of 38 Old 03-30-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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I was not gentle disciplined and once I gained some independence I immediately began having sex and doing drugs. I'm not kidding! Who cares what others think. What you are doing is ensuring a lifetime of self-confident behavior.

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#11 of 38 Old 04-01-2011, 01:02 AM
 
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yes, i think its important to remember that a lot of gd kids WILL behave at concerts. I took my 5 yo and 7 yo to a local coffee morning concert recently and they just sat rapt through some, it thought, quite challenging Bartok. They like music. 

 

 

The other side to this is that I wouldn't take them if I didn't think they were ready or willing to sit through it. It wouldh't be fair on anyone. My 3 yo LOVES music but in a concert she will want to get up and dance, and that isn't the done thing (sadly-historically it should be, as I understand it). And so I leave her at home.

 


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#12 of 38 Old 04-01-2011, 01:27 AM
 
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I think you have a lot of assumptions going on here.  First you have the assuption that the ONLY reason those kids were so well behaved was because they are afraid of being punished.  As if they couldn't possibly have been so well behaved because they were actually enjoying the show.  Then there's the assumption that goes along with that, that kids who are punished are NEVER taught right from wrong and would therefore never do the right thing just because it's the right thing to do.   Just because a kid gets a time out or has to write sentences or whatever as a punishment when incorrect behavior is exhibited that doesn't mean that the kids are never talked to, right and wrong are never explained and so on. 

 

Then, moving into your chosen style of discipline, you seem to assume it's not going to work.  If you assume that your child will be running around out of control at 6 or 7, why are you following a discipline style that is not going to teach your child any self control?  And you are making assumptions that people are going to judge you for it.

 

I have to say that I think your post seems to be as judgemental and uninformed about parenting styles different from yours as you seem to assume others feel about you. 

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#13 of 38 Old 04-01-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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I don't think she was talking about time outs.

Sigh... it never takes long for a thread to go bad.

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#14 of 38 Old 04-03-2011, 09:03 AM
 
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Don't worry.  Kids are disciplined in lots of different ways.  One the biggest differences IMO is that a GD parent is slightly better (just my opinion) as reading their child's cues, because they are more interested in talking and finding solutions than the parent who has a read a book and decided THAT is the way to parent ALL children.  This means you will be better equipped in the future to decide if going to a concert is the right decision for your kids or not, and it means that if you HAVE to bring them you will probably bring appropirate tools to help them cope like snacks and a coloring books rather than just threats.

 

Its possible those kids' parents do all those things, too.  Even those parents who decide in infancy that stricter even sadly violent punishment methods are appropriate for their families also generally develop a whole bag of tricks by the age of 5 that never would occurr to you at age 2.  You learn to bring a change of clothes, a pack crayons, a sheet of stickers, a toy car, a pair of head phones and portable DVD player, god knows what.  You learn that even the threat of violence is not enough if a child is bored, hungry, restless, tired, sad, or whatever, and if their behavior is your key objective, you would never ever rely on spankings as your only deterrent.  You might resort to bribery, but who among us with older children never has? (don't answer that.  If you really have managed to get to 5yo without ever bribing, I am in too much awe to fathom it! :p)

 

I have had to bring my DS to work with me on occassion and that has meant having him in my office or my classroom.  We have always been a GD family as much as we can (we're only human), and he is really well behaved when I have to bring him to work because he understands the expectations, we have practiced a lot, and I keep the snacks and activities flowing big time.  coloring books, markers, balls in the field, water, juice, crackers, cheese, fruit...etc etc etc.  And I leave as soon as I can.  This is a lot like your DH taking your DD out when she couldn't handle it anymore.

 

Trust me, the kids learn how to behave by watching more than you'd think.

 

Also do not under estimate that at 5 and 7 they are children not toddlers and fully capable of enjoying a concert quietly if they have been taught to enjoy that sort of thing (not to say that some toddlers couldn't do that too, but most do not have the core strength to sit still for that long).  Not all kids are wild hellions by nature controlled only by violence.  My son (6) would be quite happy to enjoy a film or a concert quietly for 2-3 hours if it was something he was interested in.  He has watched all the LIFE videos by the BBC (about 6 hours in total) with only 2 30 minutes breaks between.  If it was rock music he'd have to get up and dance, but classical, he'd probably quite enjoy that.  We've never beat him up or threatened to. 

 

I think the important question to ask is: Why do you think your methods of discipline won't work to give your DD the control she needs to handle events like this at that age?  What makes you think GD is about letting kids run riot in public without any limits?  Maybe you are new to this because your DD is so young and presumably is the only one, but I think you really underestimate the work and effort that goes into GD and how effective it is to teach even young children that they deserve respect and ergo others around them do too. I think your fears about it not being firm enough may have more to do with the preconceived notion that GD doesn't really work to reign kids in.  Keep reading on this board and I think you'll find it is effective and it WILL give your children the sort of guidance, respect and care they need to reflect that into the world.

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#15 of 38 Old 04-06-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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We GD as much as possible; with me coming from an abusive background it can be difficult to keep the yelling out.  My brother and his wife are pretty gentle, but they repress crying and will spank and did CIO.  My niece and my son, BuggaBoo, are 7 months apart, my DS being the elder of the two.

 

What I have found in my extended family is this:

 

1)  If my sons acts up, it is attributed to our "leniency".  If he doesn't nap, we're not being strict enough as parents.  If he wakes at night, well, we should have just done CIO.  If he demands to nurse, well, that's because we let him and we didn't wean him at one.  If he screams, well, he'll stop that quick if we would just pop him one.  If he cries, well, he doesn't have a good reason for it, and he's a BOY.

 

2)  If my niece acts up, she must be having a bad day.  If she doesn't want to nap, then she must really not need one that day.  If she wakes up at night, it must have been a bad dream.  If she asks to nurse, (which she does sometimes when she sees me nurse BuggaBoo, even though she was weaned at 14 months), then she's in need of extra snuggles.  If she screams, it's just the terrible twos and threes.  If she's cries, and they try to repress it and it doesn't work, again with the snuggles, because she must really need to, and she's a GIRL.

 

I have to say that in the cases of screaming and socially unacceptable behaviors both families will immediately start disciplining their own child, so it's not like we're leaving BuggaBoo to just scream, we just do it differently.

 

So it seems to me that oftentimes our children act the same.  Those actions, however, are perceived differently because of our different parenting styles.  "Obviously" my brother and sister-in-law are doing all they can, so when my niece gets worked up it's the choice of my niece.  We, however, parent "defectively", so therefore my son acting up is OUR problem.  It also doesn't help that, even though my niece is 7 months behind BuggaBoo developmentally, the children are both firstborn and therefore seen as about the same age.  So when he started his screaming phase she wasn't there yet, and in the minds of the extended family it didn't look food for my son.

 

Annnnd, that's my $0.02.

 

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#16 of 38 Old 04-08-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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i think i get what you mean, and i tried reading the other posts but they were getting long.

 

its like, if my child doesnt behave the way that is "acceptable" in the general public, those people are going to think that as a parent, i am not doing my job. i get that feeling from time to time. GD, esp in my area and most esp in my family, is almost unheard of. when my ds does something that, although age appropriate and trivial (like say, knock his baby brother over) the majority of the people surrounding us might think that just because i told him "gentle hands" instead of spanking his butt, will think that im not "disciplining" him. 

 

and yes, that is judgmental of other parents, but i grew up with alot of these people, i know my culture and i see how mainstream shows show how to "discipline" (like supernanny)

 

it seems like alot of mamas on MDC dont care what other people think. thats really awesome, i strive to be like that, but for now, like you OP, i still feel the pressure of mainstream parents to do it "right"


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#17 of 38 Old 04-08-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBombMama View Post

it seems like alot of mamas on MDC dont care what other people think. thats really awesome, i strive to be like that, but for now, like you OP, i still feel the pressure of mainstream parents to do it "right"



But I believe in my heart that a lot of the behavioral issues that other parents see in their kids or mine is largely to due with how they parent their children, more specifically their own perceptions in the moment.  They pick and choose when a child's behavior is bad and when it's just kids being kids based on their own feelings at the time.  My MIL is notorious for this and I LOATHE it. It's pretty damn unfair to kids.  In the example you give they might say "she's just having a bad day"  but likely not before they try to find a way of coaxing, cajoling or threatening her to stop and "behave". 

 

I don't speak for everyone, but it's not at all that I do not care what they think.  I believe they are not parenting unintelligently and I argue it at every chance I get.  In fact I DO care, because I believe they are doing themselves and their children a great disservice and I am passionate and confident in my choices as a teacher/parent enough so that I do what I can convince them of my beliefs.  Being punitive is NOT being a disiplinarian. Especially if the punitive nature is entirely subjective to the mood swings of the authoritarian in charge.  


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#18 of 38 Old 04-08-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

What you are doing is ensuring a lifetime of self-confident behavior.


No it isn't. There are no guarantees in child raising.

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#19 of 38 Old 04-08-2011, 01:34 PM
 
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HappySmileyLady - I would agree with some of your points, except for the reference the OP to the obedient/quiet boys' parents' recommended parenting source: the Pearl family books.  Check it out on Amazon, it's not gentle.  We're not talking time-outs, we're talking beating. 


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#20 of 38 Old 04-08-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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-


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#21 of 38 Old 04-08-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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 I understand what youre saying and where youre coming from, but i got the impression that the OP was getting pressure from "mainstream" parents to parent as they do. sometimes i feel this way too, so i was just relating to her.  :)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by hakeber View Post





But I believe in my heart that a lot of the behavioral issues that other parents see in their kids or mine is largely to due with how they parent their children, more specifically their own perceptions in the moment.  They pick and choose when a child's behavior is bad and when it's just kids being kids based on their own feelings at the time.  My MIL is notorious for this and I LOATHE it. It's pretty damn unfair to kids.  In the example you give they might say "she's just having a bad day"  but likely not before they try to find a way of coaxing, cajoling or threatening her to stop and "behave". 

 

I don't speak for everyone, but it's not at all that I do not care what they think.  I believe they are not parenting unintelligently and I argue it at every chance I get.  In fact I DO care, because I believe they are doing themselves and their children a great disservice and I am passionate and confident in my choices as a teacher/parent enough so that I do what I can convince them of my beliefs.  Being punitive is NOT being a disiplinarian. Especially if the punitive nature is entirely subjective to the mood swings of the authoritarian in charge.  



 


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#22 of 38 Old 04-09-2011, 05:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBombMama View Post



 I understand what youre saying and where youre coming from, but i got the impression that the OP was getting pressure from "mainstream" parents to parent as they do. sometimes i feel this way too, so i was just relating to her.  :)

 

Quote:



 



I get that.  I think we all get that.  But I guess I was just asking, if you have chosen GD, why aren't you confident enough to believe not only that it is the best way but more importantly that IT WILL WORK just as well as if not better than violent methods in teaching children how to self-edit and control their behavoir choices?  Why choose a method of discipline you didn't have 110% faith in, especially one that takes so much thought and energy and patience on the parents' part?  Ya know?  If underneath you think the Pearls might be on to something?

 

Or, more worryingly, in my POV, does she think children should be welcome to those events regardless of their self-monitoring skills and be given free reign as children in any venue to "just be kids"?  because that is NOT GD, that is just inconsiderate parenting.

 

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#23 of 38 Old 04-09-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Regardless of how the kids are normally disciplined, I think it's cool that the director went over and complimented them.  I'm all for other members of society using positive discipline with kids--it doesn't need to be just parents who recognize when things go right--and if those boys are beaten, that makes me feel even better about them getting positive enforcement from other people.  It also makes a difference to me that he complimented the kids directly, not focusing on their mom. 

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#24 of 38 Old 04-09-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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sometimes i have self doubt, that doesnt mean that i dont completely believe in GD. sometimes others perceptions of me get the best of me, and seemingly, the OP as well. what is so wrong about that? why does that have to mean that we dont believe in GD? please dont discourage or make others feel bad or question their sincerity about not feeling completely confident in parenting choices. mamas should encourage and reassure each other that feelings of doubt or insecurity is normal. 

 

this thread is getting off topic

 

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I get that.  I think we all get that.  But I guess I was just asking, if you have chosen GD, why aren't you confident enough to believe not only that it is the best way but more importantly that IT WILL WORK just as well as if not better than violent methods in teaching children how to self-edit and control their behavoir choices?  Why choose a method of discipline you didn't have 110% faith in, especially one that takes so much thought and energy and patience on the parents' part?  Ya know?  If underneath you think the Pearls might be on to something?

 

Or, more worryingly, in my POV, does she think children should be welcome to those events regardless of their self-monitoring skills and be given free reign as children in any venue to "just be kids"?  because that is NOT GD, that is just inconsiderate parenting.

 



 


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#25 of 38 Old 04-09-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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No it isn't. There are no guarantees in child raising.


Perhaps you are right, but I can guarantee that striking or shaming a child does not lead to confident behavior in the least.

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#26 of 38 Old 04-09-2011, 11:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CherryBombMama View Post


sometimes i have self doubt, that doesnt mean that i dont completely believe in GD. sometimes others perceptions of me get the best of me, and seemingly, the OP as well. what is so wrong about that? why does that have to mean that we dont believe in GD? please dont discourage or make others feel bad or question their sincerity about not feeling completely confident in parenting choices. mamas should encourage and reassure each other that feelings of doubt or insecurity is normal. 

 

this thread is getting off topic

 



 



hmmm, okay?  I guess That IS my way of encouraging mothers who lose faith, by letting you and the OP know that I believe so whole heartedly in this, I refuse to validate the judgements or passive agression of authoritarian and violent parents.  By asking deeply reflective questions for which I seek true honest open answers to begin a real dialogue. By asking hard questions that might inspire a catharsis and eventually an epiphany of confidence about one's choices.  That's how *I* encourage confidence. We clearly encourage in different ways.  I sometimes think too much empathy and cuddles and validating of these sort of fears is actually very detrimental to other's convictions.  It would be for me.  I would turn and run in the opposite direction if I didn't KNOW how many admirable confident and powerful women believed in this, women I trust and believe in.   So ya know, having an array of points of view is usually what makes these threads so healthy, a little something for everyone.

 

I also do not think this is off topic, at all.  This is a discussion about why we lose faith, and we all do at times, but more imporatantly why we should never falter in the knowledge that even by BEING on this board we are searching for ways to parent not JUST more gently but BETTER.  Just my two cents.

 

I am sorry you felt attacked.  That was not my intention. I certainly never meant to discourage or invalidate anyone's feelings.  I think anyone who read my first post all the way through could see that. Quite the contrary...we just have different ways of expressing emotional support, I think. 

 


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#27 of 38 Old 04-09-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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I do not hit my children, yet, they sit through concerts (symphony) and even Mass (we are not Catholic but go on occassion with relatives). My oldest was spanked when he was young. He never sat through anything either, regardless of spanking. He is obviously not spanked any more and none of the other kids were spanked. So I do not think GD is the key to a child being poorly behaved. There is a lot more that plays in to it. Plus, sometimes, I see people post about parenting issues, where it really comes down to them not disciplining their children at all, not just GD. Or not setting up expectations at all.

 

But I can tell you, with my first born, it would not have mattered what I did ever, he never would have sat through anything at all for even 5 minutes. But with the rest of my children, no problems. Except now with the 19 month old, he wants to stand and shake his little bottom dancing during orchestra concerts and I can see him trying to inch away. We probably will stop bringing him for a while if this becomes an issue. I don't want to set a precedent with him of running away where I cannot retrain him. So I just won't give him a challenge he cannot possibly meet. I am shocked he has set still for as long as he has.

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#28 of 38 Old 04-09-2011, 04:38 PM
 
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"I just don't want to set a precendent where I have to retrain him...."

 

Lisa1970, I totally agree with that idea.  I don't like to set my kids up for failure, and it is right to notice that whatever we allow/don't allow our kids to do, that we are framing their sense of "normal."  If normal to your toddler is getting up and running away from you, then don't be surprised when he keeps doing it for the next several years.  You can make a battle of it, you can ignore it and wait for it to go away, or you can avoid the scenerio to prevent teaching him that running off is the thing to do.  You can take him back when you know that he won't run off, and avoid that battle entirely.  But, if you do take him, you have to do something, or he will learn that it is okay, and you'll have a lot of undoing to do.  I think this applies to SO many things, and works in reverse, too.  If my child can't handle something, it's time to back off and work up to it again.  Spanking doesn't and can't make a child ready for something they just aren't ready to do. 

 

As for the two boys in the OP, I doubt they were sitting still from fear.  They were sitting still because they have been taught, "That's what you do."  And, they are older,  I'd guess MOST five and seven year olds could sit still.  They are used to sitting at school, too, you know.


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#29 of 38 Old 04-11-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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OP, I completely understand how you feel.  I am a 100% believer in the efficacy and superiority of GD ... IN THE LONG RUN.  But does GD always "work" in the moment or in the short term, in the way that society thinks it should? (e.g. stopping something like being too loud or active in a public place immediately)  No.  Maybe with some kids, but not with all.  My oldest is spirited.  He is not a good listener despite use of GD techniques, and he is defiant.  He doesn't like being corrected, and he wants things to be his way all the time.  We spend a ton of time redirecting, teaching, explaining, correcting, and I believe that he has a good foundation of empathy and morality but he is 3.5 and still selfish and has poor impulse control (although much better than it used to be -- he has improved a lot over time).  He has never been spanked, and my parents have commented from time to time if we are having a challenging moment with him that if we would just ... which I think is BS.  His personality is what it is, and all spanking would do is make him angry and humiliated and destroy our relationship with him, which in the end would make it less likely that he will grow up to be a good person.  (IMO). 

 

OTOH, my younger son is more compliant and much easier to parent.  We don't have to spend near as much time on discipline with him because he just has a more docile personality.  When we do, we use basically the same techniques ...but they work better and faster on him.  One example: my older son would run away at the playground to explore at age 1.5-2.5, and would run into the parking lot if we didn't catch him.  Saying "stop" or whatever was rarely effective -- it was like it just went over his head.  We had to follow up with specific action, e.g. getting in the stroller and going home, to teach him that it was unsafe to run away from Mommy and Daddy, in addition to words.  And we had to repeat it more than once before he started to get it.  The younger, now almost 2, will stop 9 times out of 10 when we say stop, and if we do need to leave he doesn't fight us on it for more than a minute (whereas DS1 would cry and scream all the way home).  That's just one example, but the differences between the two of them are amazing.  And they have nothing to do with parenting style -- they are based on inborn personality traits.

 

So I guess what I am saying is that if you have a spirited child, you are definitely going to get judged for being a GD parent because people want to see you putting the beat down on your kid if they do the slightest thing in public.  And we absolutely avoided a LOT of public situations that we knew DS1 couldn't handle (we did not go to a restaurant with him unless forced to from 18 months to 3 years old because we knew it would be a nightmare, and it always was ... whereas with DS2 we didn't need a blackout period, he does ok in restaurants).  But you can't always just hide in your house so sometimes you will be in a position to be judged, especially by family.  I know full well that my parents and in-laws blame us for DS1's personality and as much as I think they are 100% dead wrong, it still smarts to be judged that way.  People who have not had a spirited child do not understand what it is like.  Only now, having DS2, do I know for absolute sure that so much of what we go through with our kids is attributable to luck of the draw.  Yes, you can handle things better and worse, but personality is still a huge driver of behavior moreso than discipline IMO.  Most people don't see that, and I know that I get judged all the time for DS1's peccadilloes, and it is really annoying because we are doing the best we can.

 

That doesn't mean that I don't believe in GD ... but I don't believe that GD always gets results as immediate as more authoritarian methods can.  I strongly believe in taking the long view with parenting, and that's what GD is all about to me, laying a good foundation for the long term ... but in the meantime you will encounter judgmental a**holes who have age-inappropriate expectations of children and who will think that if you just beat your child you would get the desired behavior.  That may be true, but a GD parent would say at what cost?  And to some random stranger in public, and even to some extent with grandparents, they don't really care what the costs are.  We do.  At the end of the day that is what keeps me going strong despite the judgment -- because I know what the costs can be and I would not do that to my child no matter how convenient and easy it would be for me.  But I know how hard it is to feel judged.  Hang in there!


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#30 of 38 Old 04-12-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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But I guess I was just asking, if you have chosen GD, why aren't you confident enough to believe not only that it is the best way but more importantly that IT WILL WORK just as well as if not better than violent methods in teaching children how to self-edit and control their behavoir choices?  Why choose a method of discipline you didn't have 110% faith in, especially one that takes so much thought and energy and patience on the parents' part?  Ya know?  If underneath you think the Pearls might be on to something?

 


I think even someone with 110% faith in GD still has reason to worry about other people negatively judging her parenting and her kids.

 

For one, I've seen lots of dedicated GD'ers on this very forum say that GD'd kids are more unruly when they're younger, but it pays off in the long run. This is along the lines of what msmiranda said.

 

Secondly, a lot of "mainstream" folks believe in punishing kids for the stupidest things! irked.gif Here's a topic about it from just a few days ago! And during my own childhood, I was often punished for crying. A mom on here once told a story about how an old man suddenly came up to her in a restaurant and told her off about having such horribly behaved kids, and she was both shocked and sad because her kids had been perfectly behaved the whole time. Some of them insist that a child "has to be taught she can't ___________" some ridiculous thing. (Have you ever seen an adult going around stealing from dog food dishes and eating it? If kids really needed to be taught they can't do that, everyone who never had a pet as a kid would grow up to be like that.) Part of practicing GD is knowing that little things like that don't need to be punished away. I bet almost everyone in this topic who talked about how good their gently disciplined kids are have at least one person in their life who is (quietly) thinking that those are horrible little monster children and their moms really need to give them a good spanking already!

 

All else being equal (though it rarely is), I really do believe that a GD kid and a TTUAC kid are going to act differently, at least when they're very young. I don't even think that the latter is preferable behavior at all, regardless of what's necessary to achieve it. But some people obviously do think that behavior is better, and they advocate physically assaulting children in order to make them act that way.

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