At what age do you begin discipline? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 53 Old 03-29-2011, 10:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Calm View Post
 

 

Sometimes they have a build up of emotions that need releasing and will have what we call the BCS (broken cookie syndrome).  It's where they melt down over something like a broken cookie but really it is just they can no longer hold on to their feelings - past hurts or current ones - and it pours out over something unrelated and relatively small.

 

My son will be eight in three months; and it has been a long time since he has had a "tantrum".  But a couple of days ago, he went skiing for 8 hours with my husband. He was exhausted; but really wanted to go see an old timers NHL hockey game. So they went; and had a great time.  When I picked them up, he accidentally hit his ear on the car door when he was opening it.  He started to cry. Actually to wale. In the car he sounded like a cat in heat  He didn't want to be held or comforted. He just wanted  to sit in the car while we drove and  howl.   It had been so long since I had seen my son get so upset. It brought back memories of when he would just cry and cry and cry sometimes.   My husband was great; he knew my son was overtired, and while we were driving he kept gently saying "It's ok, just let it out. And my son would cry harder. (he seemed to know this is what he needed to do)" If my husband and I started to try and talk -he would have begin to cry a loud frustrated type of cry.  We realized he needed this space; and for us to just hold it for him. .  At one point I offered him a kleenex, he sobbed thank you.  And then just continued to cry. When we got home he had just startled to settle down.  He was calm and we carried him inside. He got his teeth brushed and went to bed where I read him a story.  He was so peaceful.    In this case it was because he was tired. But I remember when he was younger;  it could be anything that he had been holding in and needed to release.  I found ie) holding him and rubbing his back; or if he wanted space - giving him the space and checking in on him; and sometimes talking to him about the "hurt" (sometimes this was after the emotions had subsided) seemed to help him process through the emotions.   It has been a almost three  years since I can remember the last time he really freaked out. I think it is healthy for  children  to not repress emotions; but help them go through them in a safe way.

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#32 of 53 Old 03-30-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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I know you were asking Calm, but I have insomnia and am butting in!  I think it helps a lot to stop thinking of it or calling it misbehavior, and instead think of it the way you explained it above, as needing attention/feeling frustrated.  The more you can help with that, the less the undesirable behavior will occur.  When I act out, it's generally because I haven't had enough sleep, or I'm stressed and need a hug and some empathy.  Or a long break.  Maybe think what makes you feel better when you're at your breaking point and try to give that to your son.  Does he need to get out (to the park)?  Does the day need to be less hectic (make a conscious effort to slow down, turn off talk radio, skip errands for a day, whatever)?  Or just read books together all day (working around the four week old, of course--but at least that age is usually easy to read books around).  Fill him up with love, recharge him.  Maybe take a break from telling him what's not allowed.  He probably already knows (since those are the things he's doing when frustrated).  Oh, and talk to him about how he feels, let him know that you understand.  Even tell him that you feel that way sometimes and what you find helpful at those times.  Just like you said above, what helps you when you throw a tantrum.  Sounds like you're on the right track :)

 

I'm going to go try to sleep now so I can be nice to my kids all day tomorrow ;-)

 

I hope you were able to get some sleep!  Thank you so much for taking your middle of the night time to reply :)  I found what you said to be very helpful!  I desperately feel like my DS and I need to have kind of another "babymoon" of our own while I just spend time showing him love and giving the "don'ts" a break.  Here's what worries me though--I don't want him to think that what he is doing is acceptable (yelling in the baby's ear, etc.) and these things are happening even when I am giving him lots of positive attention...I know I need to give him even more, but I don't think the behavior is 100% preventable even with tons of focused attention.  So what should my reaction be if he does these things?  Thank you in advance for any advice!!


Kat, Mama to M (July 2008) and another babe due in Feb '11
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#33 of 53 Old 03-30-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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I hope you were able to get some sleep!  Thank you so much for taking your middle of the night time to reply :)  I found what you said to be very helpful!  I desperately feel like my DS and I need to have kind of another "babymoon" of our own while I just spend time showing him love and giving the "don'ts" a break.  Here's what worries me though--I don't want him to think that what he is doing is acceptable (yelling in the baby's ear, etc.) and these things are happening even when I am giving him lots of positive attention...I know I need to give him even more, but I don't think the behavior is 100% preventable even with tons of focused attention.  So what should my reaction be if he does these things?  Thank you in advance for any advice!!



When he DS's tantrum interfere with the health and safety of his sister or myself or DH we physically remove him to a safe place.  Once for example he had a terrible melt down in the car while his dad was driving down a busy highway and he was kicking and screaming.   It was dangerous.

 

We pulled over and took him out of the car seat and held him until he calmed down.  It took about a half hour.  DH called our friends and let them know we would be late and DS sat on my lap until he was ready to go back in the car seat.  Calmly.

 

When DS gets so upset now that his flailing is dangerous he is taken to his room or my room where he can have his feelings safely.

 

Screaming in the baby's ear sounds like he has some serious anger towards the LO...any chance he has some unresolved feelings about having a new baby in the family?

 


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#34 of 53 Old 03-30-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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Sorry--I feel like I'm getting off topic from the OP and taking a lot of attention here!  I think I overstated my DS's screaming--I should say screaming near DD's ear--he's not yelling at her, just trying to get my attention and since the babe is usually in the carrier on me or in my arms nursing, he's quite close to her ears.  His behavior is not aggressive, angry, or dangerous, just attention-seeking, but that doesn't make it much easier to handle (if it was, I think your example of just holding the child or giving them a safe space to act is a good one)!  I'm quite sure he has unresolved feelings about the baby--she's only been here for 4 weeks and he's used to being the center of our attention 100% of the time...


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#35 of 53 Old 03-30-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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Discipline as in teaching, from birth like the others have said.

Discipline as in having certain expectations that will be enforced gently (such as "you are not allowed on the table while other people are eating"), probably starting slowly around 18mos. This would also include saying "no" when you have to, and not distracting them from being upset. Though I always try to redirect to something similar that is acceptable to us both.

Discipline as in punishment (including time outs), never. winky.gif (though sometimes I do take away the object of misbehavior. Ie: if he's hitting the dog with a stick, I take the stick away and explain that I'm going to take away the temptation to hit the dog with it. I don't do it in a "you were bad, so now you must suffer" type of way, so I see it somewhat less than punishment, kwim?)

 

I think enforcing boundaries is always ok, though you do need to keep in mind that kiddos have limited coping abilities and are very curious about everything. I think that not allowing a kid to squash a banana is ok, no matter the age, if it truly does matter to the person who is saying no. But I also think it's ok to let them squash the banana, if it IS ok. So for me, saying no depends on if it's a true no, or if one is saying no just to "assert their authority." I don't like the latter at all, personally.


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#36 of 53 Old 03-30-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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It depends on what you mean by discipline. I mean, if my child throws something over the balcony, I say no. If he does it again, I give him time out. He is 19 months old tomorrow but was given his first time out at 17 months old (it was 60 seconds long). A couple days ago, he wanted to play outside, but it was raining and cold. So, he started screaming bloody murder until I told him we would not have that screaming. Oddly, he just stopped and found something else to do. That was kind of funny because I did not think he would stop based on that.

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#37 of 53 Old 03-30-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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Im a big beliver in starting disipline from birth.... meaning building a trusting relationship so when later on you have to say no they are more likely to trust what your saying because you have never broken their trust. But it sounds like your a mother who believes in that too. Ive found that for most children( and adults) if you get down at eye level and explain why....  it helps to ease the frustration from the no. Also trying a differnt word or phrase, instead of saying "No"   try   " Not right now" or ( for an example) " can i hold the banana?".... "Daddy's holding the banana right now you can have it after after dinner"    ( just a silly example but you get the point : ) ) 


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#38 of 53 Old 03-30-2011, 07:20 PM
 
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You ladies rock! This thread is eye-opening. DS is 22 months old and sometimes a handful. Being a stay-at-home mom and responsible for most of the disciplining can take a toll on my sanity, but all the suggestions I read here make it so much easier. Thanks!!!! {{hugs}}


 


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#39 of 53 Old 03-31-2011, 03:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kateye View Post


This thread has been very informative--thanks to all the posters!  Calm, I'm so interested in your take, it's very refreshing!  I know that as an adult I still have tantrums (embarrassing but true!) and the thing I need most at that time is a huge hug from my husband, not a big lecture about how I'm misbehaving.  I had a day yesterday with my toddler where he was constantly pushing my buttons--throwing toys, putting toys in his mouth, throwing his books on the floor, drooling drinks and chewed food out of his mouth, etc.  ALL DAY.  I know this is probably a reaction to our new babe (4 weeks old) and that he was just needing attention/feeling frustrated.  I was trying to be firm by telling him he is not allowed to do those things but also trying to give him the undivided attention he surely needs but the behavior did not really improve.  We did have a great morning today, but I'm sure there will be many more days of "acting out".  Just wondering how you deal with the "misbehaviors" as the come and how you prepare yourself and the environment for the upcoming meltdown.  Or if there are other resources for how you do things, could you point me to them?

Thank you! 



 

 


You're welcome, Kat.  Sorry for the delay, I broke my foot!  orngbiggrin.gif  

 

It's hard to explain this and do it any justice and it not be a novel, so here's the short version, followed by the longer version... 

 

Aletha Solter of Aware Parenting has books and articles on this.  

 

Books


10 Principles

 

articles such as...

 

Why do Children Misbehave?

 

Understanding Tears and Tantrums

 

 

Dealing with behaviour I don't like and preparing would, in short, be first making sure I am in the right head space so I don't react from a place of either frustration or even anger.   Whatever I'm doing: the net, cooking... I stop and tell myself "gentle, patience, this isn't about me, this is about him, he is doing exactly what he should be doing, I have to find out why he is doing it." and get on his level and empathise.  I might take him to our releasing space to cry or rage in my arms.  Or I do play/laughter. 

 

My kids beg for rough and physical play with us, they love it, and if they don't get it at least once a day, they aren't as easy to deal with.  It builds connection, and with connection, you have power over all behaviour.  I found it helpful to learn many years ago that it isn't attention a child craves but connection.  The difference is hard to describe but you can give someone attention just by looking, you can't connect with someone just by looking.  When parents dismiss a child's behaviour as "oh he just wants attention" they have it ass backwards.  Connection is what they are hard wired to build from birth.  Always question the connection, and you'll find a direct link between shoddy behaviour and a lack of connection with you.  Remember to go back to the connection, that's "baseline".  

 

Because that's deficient, I've gone into more detail...

 

First, to explain what "he should be doing that" means, this 3 minute video by Naomi Aldort might help: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H75gbkLvIRA

 

Accepting release of emotions is a unique parenting approach in our culture, I've discovered over the years of looking and interacting.  AP tends to be a big prevention philosophy, which has limits that become evident as soon as something was failed to be prevented.  Then AP is big on distraction, which I find very dismissing and invalidating.  When prevention and distraction fail and the tears are inevitable, it is big on doing whatever it takes to stop the crying/raging.  These issues are where this style is different to AP... DH and I don't distract, invalidate, or turn inside out trying to stop emotional release with rocking, pacifiers, breast feeding, blankets or toys. But at the same time, punishments, bribes and rewards are not required.  I've been parenting for 9 years without them, if they were necessary, surely I'd have needed them by now.  We have tried to stop a crying child, of course, and we've tried distraction and definitely live trying to prevent things occurring but we didn't feel a sense of rightness about some of those things.  

 

How it works for us for instance... we first have to examine ourselves to make sure that what he is doing is actually unacceptable behaviour and in need of curtailing.  Most of it can be put down to experimenting with cause and effect because it is a favourite past time of the toddler set.  (eg, I dropped something yesterday and it bounced... if I drop this vase, what happens?).  

 

If he is upset, that one is obvious, but if it is behaviour that disrupts his sister or interferes with others in some way or he's clingy, whiny, demanding... I stop what I'm doing, go to him and crouch down and if he lets me, I hug him, I ask if he needs to get some feelings out and he usually says, "swing chair swing chair".  We go to the swing chair (we have one bolted to our bedroom ceiling) and he has some sort of release and I listen and occasionally try to give his feelings words (you sound sad; that must have been very frustrating... that kind of thing).  For six months now, if I get it wrong, he corrects me, like one time, "you sound very cranky, darling."  and he said, "No.  No cranky.  I sad."  This has been very helpful to learn more about him.

 

He almost always demands something.  Like "stand up stand up", if I stand up, he demands I sit down... this used to go on an on, and no matter what I did, he was unsatisfied.  I eventually cottoned on to his needs... he needs a reason to release, so he creates one.   Things are much faster now, he asks for something, I say "you can have it soon, let's get some feelings out first" and he melts down.  He never wants it when we're finished, btw.

 

Yesterday morning is an example of how I use play and laughter for healing and switching his behaviour. The slightest provocation had him screaming at someone and he was really clingy with me.  I said "let's go get some feelings out" and he put a teddy on the chair and said, "mama get it."  I took my cue and said, "I'll get it soon" and he started screaming "mama get it mama get it and we went to the swing chair.  In a couple of minutes he looked at me and it felt like an appropriate time so I said, "You can't push ME over, I'm too big and strong!" and he shoved my chest a little and I pretended to be shocked at his strength and he smiled and did it again with more strength.  This time I said WHOA and fell backwards and he giggled.  I kept provoking him but letting him tackle me and win.

 

This gives him a sense of power that he is trying to get by harassing his sister, and a release valve of all kinds of feelings via laughter.  Even better if the  play is appropriate to whatever my son wants to play/process.  If a dog scared him for instance, I will pretend he is a big scary dog and (without mocking him) I'll be fearful but funny and he thinks that is hilarious and wants to play it repetitively for a while.  Best examples found in the book Playful Parenting

 

Kids live in a world where they have little control.  Aggression is a sign that they feel powerless, paradoxically.  Here is a vid of a boy in such play that heals aggression


 

My son just recently finished a stage of tossing all the books from one of his bookshelves onto the floor.  I now know most behaviour ends as mysteriously as it began, whether you smack 'em, put them in time out, yell at them, threaten or lecture... the only true remedy is time, patience, tolerance and creating an environment friendly to children.  

 

With the books I didn't shame him about it with a look or a word, I just picked a time when he was in a good mood and made a game of picking them back up, I said, "if you're finished sorting the books... shall we put them back this way or this way?" (one laying on the side, one upright) and he decided all laying down was best.  He threw them off the shelves a couple of times a week after that and each time I managed to get him to put them back away and I think he got tired of picking them up.  Books stay on the shelf now.

 

Our home is very zen, everything we care one iota about is packed away and we live with only the bare essentials of couch and bookshelves.  All kitchen breakables are in a magnetically locked cupboard but the rest of the kitchen equipment he can use.  Which means that yes, almost every day the kitchen floor was strewn with stuff but I try to remember ... what else would I expect he do?  Sit in a corner and read??  We've a few years to go for that yet.

 

He's sick to death of his toys, as am I, so it only makes sense that my stuff is more appealing... until he tires of it, which he did.  My daughter has her bedroom and she knows that if she leaves something unattended anywhere else in the house it is subject to being lost or ruined ... there's only so much blame can be passed to children, depending on age.  At a toddler's age, around here they are blameless... if they broke something, who is the idiot that left it where they could get it?  It was shown it you give a baby an object they will smell it, taste it, listen to it, feel it, then they will try to break it to see how it works... all in the space of 90 seconds.  Toddlers are less fast, perhaps because we've trained this efficiency out of them, but they still put objects through their paces... expecting them not to is setting both yourself and your child up for heartache and arguments and time outs that are really the parent's fault.  

 

A jungle environment is what they are driven to explore in, finding a way to make one helps.  Having outside water play, playdough, sticks, rocks, leaves, stuff to break, open, tear and throw... that kind of thing.  It's usually a choice between many years of battles, or organising his environment to fit his maturity and readjusting how you see childish behaviour.  What makes sense to him won't make sense to you... and along the way, as the bookshelf example shows, we still model what we want, and show them how we'd prefer they behave, but we also bend to the fact that we have a toddler in the house therefore it is a science lab so protect all valuables and then get out of the way.  lol.gif

 

People used to promise me that children must be taught and molded into how to behave in society.  "oh if you don't show them firm boundaries now they'll walk all over you or become criminals"  I called "bullshit" based on years of anthropological studies.  My kids were never taught manners for example, but they are very polite.  My son, who is three on Saturday, has said, "you're welcome" when he is thanked since he turned 2.  Relax into the knowledge that they will not be doing this stuff in a few years, each stage brings the same new challenges of that age as they lay to rest the challenges of the past stages... no matter WHAT you do.  All you do if you try to force these stages faster is create a rift and go to bed wishing you'd been a nicer parent.  

 

With yelling in the baby's ear, this is an example of:

 

- first protect the baby.

 

- the child should be doing it, because he is doing it; the question is why is he doing it.  Sometimes the reason is obvious (feeling jealous etc), sometimes not so obvious.  Usually, it is a lack of connection.

 

- assess his reaction when asked to stop or when prevented.  If he melts down, see point below.  If he resists, insists, rebels, does it again, etc, we want to tease out the release of feelings, which in this age bracket is almost never verbal; get on his level and go through feelings and needs (courtesy of Non-Violent Communication)... with little ones, you have to try to be their mouthpiece, older kids are easier in this regard... offer words for his feelings "it's hard to have a new baby in the house; do you feel angry and frustrated?" "You are very loved, you are my special boy." (if the need to feel valued has been threatened)  

 

- if he melts down, just be there, listen, empathise, hold him if he wants it.  If he gets aggressive, he might benefit from rough play or you can show him how to punch a pillow while you give him feedback like,  "my my, you ARE angry!"  The success of this process is not only due to the release of emotion, but to the establishment of a firm connection.

 

- at other times, play scenes out where he can work through the issue, allow him to lead, maybe try something like, "Hippo has a new baby sister.  He doesn't like her, he wants her to go away." and see if he shows interest.

 

Ack.  It really isn't easy to write because one thing leads to another.  Essentially though, it is about maintaining connection, and reestablishing it after even the shortest of separations, and again throughout the day... and with that, you'll be able to divine from that connection all the information about his needs.  Without connection, we need rules, protocols, time out, books, plans... sigh... it just becomes too hard.  


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#40 of 53 Old 03-31-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UmmRiyam View Post

Rewards and punishments exist in so many ways in our lives.  It's also the way of many religions.  Many believe that there will be a judgment day, and everyone will be judged by God for our actions and then be rewarded or punished.  Many people believe in heaven and hell.  So, how is that so damaging to us to want rewards and fear punishments?  Doesn't it make us want to be better and do better?  Why not use that with our kids in some situations? 

 

 

Hi UmmRiyam  smile.gif.  

 

 

This book goes into great detail, highly recommended: 

Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes

 

I don't think the fact that rewards and punishment exist in our culture is sound evidence they are a good thing.  Many awful things also exists in our culture, doesn't make them something to emulate.  Plus, anything that exists in our culture is evidence that it is a bad thing, generally, considering the state of our people, society, and the planet - which we're destroying.  We've messed everything up, and a ridiculously high percentage of people are medicated or at the very least, highly dissatisfied with life.  I don't think anything we do is evidence we should continue to do it, quite the opposite.  In fact, I use as my yard stick "which culture does this, and how well functioning is this culture?" therefore, when it comes to the white western culture... eeeerk.  I'm not interested because we're such a self-obsessed, unhealthy, obnoxious, greedy bunch of brats - and it's no secret, it's a cliche for a reason.

 

 

The difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic, is with extrinsic you need the motivator to get the job done.  Intrinsic motivation gets something done without that need.  In fact, studies have shown that extrinsic rewards eliminate the desire to do the task at all.  For example they studied children doing art work:  they all started doing it just out of the joy of doing the art.  Some of the children were rewarded for their art, and after a while, those ones lost enthusiasm for the art, most eventually quit unless the reward became greater and greater.  The kids who were not interfered with in such a way kept the same level of enthusiasm.  

 

There are areas of our life that are called "rewards" but really aren't.  We are not "rewarded" for our jobs for instance, we are paid in much the same way barter functioned - you can have this lettuce if I can have that cabbage.  That isn't a reward and can't be compared to one.  So when it all boils down, our society doesn't really reward you often at all once you are an adult.  There are sports and so on, but how many of us really get a reward of any sort for doing anything?  We all deserve them, but we don't get them.  So in childhood we were first messed with by shown that when you do something you get something in return other than the satisfaction of the task itself - only to be disillusioned in adulthood by the fact that there are actually NO rewards, we're expected to do all we do just because it needs to be done.  

 

I learned from this disillusionment by trying something different with my kids.  I show them the joy of a task, how to extract the greatest reward from the task itself.  My father taught me that, he did not reward us like the rest of society did, but he modeled great joy in all he did, from the dirtiest, sweat inducing jobs through to simply washing dishes  - he sang, he made funny songs and jokes, and he could be found doing this even when he thought he was home alone.  He didn't seem to distinguish between work and play... it was all play.  With the bookshelf example in my last post, I sing, I play, and nothing motivates them to join me in a task more than seeing me enjoying it.  

 

As for religion, there are many who do not need religion to do the right thing.  The religious still kill each other and act like total brats, so it doesn't seem to be something that actually works to keep us plebs in check anyway.  It's another example of how fear and rewards are limited, at best, as control tactics.

 

 

Quote:
 
 I believe there should be a balance between GD and other forms of discipline. 

I don't quite understand this.  There should be a balance between gentle discipline and non-gentle discipline?  


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#41 of 53 Old 04-01-2011, 07:31 AM
 
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Hi UmmRiyam  smile.gif.  

 

 

This book goes into great detail, highly recommended: 

Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes

 

I don't think the fact that rewards and punishment exist in our culture is sound evidence they are a good thing.  Many awful things also exists in our culture, doesn't make them something to emulate.  Plus, anything that exists in our culture is evidence that it is a bad thing, generally, considering the state of our people, society, and the planet - which we're destroying.  We've messed everything up, and a ridiculously high percentage of people are medicated or at the very least, highly dissatisfied with life.  I don't think anything we do is evidence we should continue to do it, quite the opposite.  In fact, I use as my yard stick "which culture does this, and how well functioning is this culture?" therefore, when it comes to the white western culture... eeeerk.  I'm not interested because we're such a self-obsessed, unhealthy, obnoxious, greedy bunch of brats - and it's no secret, it's a cliche for a reason.

 

 

The difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic, is with extrinsic you need the motivator to get the job done.  Intrinsic motivation gets something done without that need.  In fact, studies have shown that extrinsic rewards eliminate the desire to do the task at all.  For example they studied children doing art work:  they all started doing it just out of the joy of doing the art.  Some of the children were rewarded for their art, and after a while, those ones lost enthusiasm for the art, most eventually quit unless the reward became greater and greater.  The kids who were not interfered with in such a way kept the same level of enthusiasm.  

 

There are areas of our life that are called "rewards" but really aren't.  We are not "rewarded" for our jobs for instance, we are paid in much the same way barter functioned - you can have this lettuce if I can have that cabbage.  That isn't a reward and can't be compared to one.  So when it all boils down, our society doesn't really reward you often at all once you are an adult.  There are sports and so on, but how many of us really get a reward of any sort for doing anything?  We all deserve them, but we don't get them.  So in childhood we were first messed with by shown that when you do something you get something in return other than the satisfaction of the task itself - only to be disillusioned in adulthood by the fact that there are actually NO rewards, we're expected to do all we do just because it needs to be done.  

 

I agree with almost everything you have written here, Calm, but I disagree with this.  I get bonuses for doing extra jobs above and beyond my normal job expectations or if my job is particularly well done, and our admin team regularly reards staff with pats on the back, small gifts or special days/events as a reward for a job well done.  I do not think this is abnormal and I see my salary as a reward, too.  I could be paid much less for what I do, but because I do it well, I am paid accordingly.  I used to earn minimum wage, but now with time and experience I earn more. I  think of this as a reward and it is motivation for doing my job.  The more we are rewarded in the job the more motivated we feel to do the job and do it well.  I love my job and love doing it and have at times done my job without being paid very much but we always have been recognized and rewarded for a job well done be it monetarily, in material gifts, or with special treats...it is a key tool of Human resources and not at all a myth.

 

I learned from this disillusionment by trying something different with my kids.  I show them the joy of a task, how to extract the greatest reward from the task itself.  My father taught me that, he did not reward us like the rest of society did, but he modeled great joy in all he did, from the dirtiest, sweat inducing jobs through to simply washing dishes  - he sang, he made funny songs and jokes, and he could be found doing this even when he thought he was home alone.  He didn't seem to distinguish between work and play... it was all play.  With the bookshelf example in my last post, I sing, I play, and nothing motivates them to join me in a task more than seeing me enjoying it.  

 

I wish I could get it up for doing the dishes or washing clothes...I just can't.  How do you do it?!

 

As for religion, there are many who do not need religion to do the right thing.  The religious still kill each other and act like total brats, so it doesn't seem to be something that actually works to keep us plebs in check anyway.  It's another example of how fear and rewards are limited, at best, as control tactics.

 

 

 

I don't quite understand this.  There should be a balance between gentle discipline and non-gentle discipline?  



I was wondering the same thing!

 


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#42 of 53 Old 04-01-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Calm--THANK YOU!!  so very much--this is just the kind of thing I have been desperately looking for.  Off to do more reading/research....hope your foot heals quickly!!


Kat, Mama to M (July 2008) and another babe due in Feb '11
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The bigger issue to me is the inconsistency played out in front of the kids.  If daddy gave a consequence (short of being abusive) Mom needs to support it in front of the kids.  Then later discuss it and decide on the best approach for next time.  My DH and I have these discussions often, but we always back each other up in front of the kids.  THis makes for a more consistent household and a better marriage.

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#44 of 53 Old 04-01-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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I've never been rewarded as an adult, Rebekah.  I'm not saying it never happens, some people compete in sports, too.  But most of us are not rewarded... esp not in the way we reward children "you tidied your room, here's a gold star... you finished your homework, here's a candy...".  That's just not sustainable and teaches nothing.  I can't see payment for work as a reward though... that is an exchange.  If we can see any payment (even that which we think is more than we're worth) then we must by extension see any payment for services a reward, and obviously they're not.  When I treat a client, they aren't rewarding me with money, they are paying me in an exchange for services rendered... this exchange is legally enforced, too.  If I do my job well, I am paid more but again, it's not a reward, it's what my services are worth.  The rest of what you mentioned is a reward.. the pats on the back and bonuses, I agree with that.  blowkiss.gif


Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#45 of 53 Old 04-02-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post

I've never been rewarded as an adult, Rebekah.  I'm not saying it never happens, some people compete in sports, too.  But most of us are not rewarded... esp not in the way we reward children "you tidied your room, here's a gold star... you finished your homework, here's a candy...".  That's just not sustainable and teaches nothing.  I can't see payment for work as a reward though... that is an exchange.  If we can see any payment (even that which we think is more than we're worth) then we must by extension see any payment for services a reward, and obviously they're not.  When I treat a client, they aren't rewarding me with money, they are paying me in an exchange for services rendered... this exchange is legally enforced, too.  If I do my job well, I am paid more but again, it's not a reward, it's what my services are worth. 

The rest of what you mentioned is a reward.. the pats on the back and bonuses, I agree with that.  blowkiss.gif



So by that logic a child who renders a service could get paid in the currency of their choice be it gold stars, candy or cash?  I guess I am not sure what the difference is?  I don't mean to be obtuse, but since I pay a house keeper to clean my room, if DS cleaned his room (ergo meaning I would not need to pay the housekeeper to clean his room, shouldn't he get payment in exchange?  I mean aren't chores and duties services rendered? (not finishing homework though....that's part of learning.  The reward is learning something new and gaining practice with a new skill.  That is the "exchange" between teacher and student.)

 

So...Do your clients ever tip you?  Would you see that as areward for services they deemed above and beyond, or just a reflection of what they felt you were worth?  I think I may have a harder time separating the two than you do.  Some things are chores and I will never be convinced that anybody genuinely enjoys cleaning or doing laundry.  I am more than happy to pay someone else to do it, be it my housekeeper or my child. 

 

Is it really that rare to get rewards at work or in real life?  I really don't think it is.  I worked in HR out of University.  It was pretty common practice back then and still is in all the places I have worked....am I just extremely lucky?  Do you not get a notice in the company newsletter acknowledging a job well done after a large successful project?  Even if you wrk for yourself, do you not occassionally reward yourself with a day off or a bottle of champagne to celebrate your success? Even in our consumerism we are rewarded for our loyalty to a store or restaurant, by occassional free cups of coffee or an extra bagel in the bag.  In what way is that different from the gold star for meeting or exceeding expectations or responsibilities at home as a child?  Do you see what I mean? 

 

Obviously I am not trying to convince you, I'm just trying to understand what you think the difference is...mainly because I quite admire the things you have posted here and I wonder if I could be doing this better with my kids somehow.


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#46 of 53 Old 04-02-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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The best thing I can say is to read that book Punished By Rewards.  He answers all those types of questions and then some.

 

Rewarding ourselves is the way it should be, it's not ideal, but at least we are then relying on ourselves which is partially intrinsic.  

 

I also think that not everyone dislikes washing... some dislike making beds but love dishes, some dislike laundry but love mowing.  You dislike cleaning and doing laundry but I'm sure you don't mean you couldn't believe others don't dislike that.  My father loved life, and life is all those things, we can't isolate parts of it, esp the parts that are in it every day, and say we don't like it - not without suffering.  Which is what most people do, they dislike something because culture has told them it is a task that sucks.  But just because culture tells us that, doesn't make it true.  What's the difference between dipping photo paper under the developing liquid and a dish under detergent water?  Only our mind tells us there is a difference... the photographer tells herself there is more reward in the photo development.

 

No matter what we do, we're just doing something ordinary with a different backdrop... we're still inhaling, exhaling, walking, sitting, talking... it's not what we're doing that makes an experience good or bad, but our perception.  The most fundamental secret to happiness is also the most simple.  Captured in the cliche, "Happiness is not the destination, it is the journey."  If we are always looking beyond what is into what could be or what we'd prefer to be doing, then we miss the constant, present opportunity for joy and contentment.  

 

The joy is not derived from the task but from our perception of the task.  Joy is either within you in the moment or it isn't.  Have you ever, even just once, enjoyed cleaning?  Did you ever do it with a giddy feeling of wonder and joy?  If you have, you'll remember that it wasn't that the task was any different, it was that you were different.  When we are truly present in this very moment right now, then we can only experience joy.  If we are too busy thinking about yesterday, that girl at the mall, all the things I could be achieving instead of mopping this floor... then there is no joy there.  

 

When we are here now, in this moment, whatever we are doing is where the joy is... whether the backdrop is a gorgeous tropical sunset or a cloudy rainy concrete London street - that's just a backdrop.  If we are not here now, then we may indeed rely on a reward, which only intensifies our distraction from this moment and puts it firmly on "later": ie, "When I'm finished THIS bunch of crap, I'll get THAT bunch of good stuff", the current moment is definitely elusive to the person focused on rewards.

 

I do think it is rare to get rewards in adult life.  Unless you count a pay check.  Ask any mother... what rewards do you get?   She won't have any extrinsic ones on that list.  Me personally, I get no extrinsic rewards, not even for work (which I don't currently do for payment, I treat occasionally for free, but I'm including when I do work for money).  And if we count freebies for loyalty and so on, there are rare rewards but can we say that is the same, in any context, to rewarding a child for doing what needs to be done?  It may be just as manipulative, to reward a customer for loyalty or reward a child for cleaning... true.  We do it for the same purpose: we want them to repeat that behaviour.  We are hoping to encourage the behaviour because we don't think the coffee, or cleaning, in itself, is enough to entice that.  

 

Rewards may occur, on a rare occasion, or more if you live a city/social/working/sporting life, but overall, it is not common for most of us, and is generally not comparable to the reward system children are introduced to.

 

Whether we agree or not that payment for services is a reward, the fact is, rewards perpetuate and encourage a life of illusions.  A life lived "tomorrow", a life where we are never truly here now, but in constant chasing of the bigger better moment.  America was cursed with "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".  What they should have written is simply "Life, liberty and happiness".  Then perhaps they would stop pursuing it and start to be it.

 


Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#47 of 53 Old 04-02-2011, 03:52 PM
 
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Thanks for that.  I see what you're saying.  I still will never find joy in cleaning.  Never have, never will.  It's no more or less awful than eating dry unsalted lima beans.  But then that's why I pay someone else to do it for me so I can spend my time doing things that I truly enjoy.  Maybe that's why I see my salary as a reward, because  I love my job and it's like total gravy that I get money for it!

 

I also feel very much rewarded when my son draws me a picture or my daughter (like she just did this second) looks up and gives me a milky grin like I am the best thing in her life.  They're not the sort of rewards most kids in a materialistic society are given, that's true.  But they feel very much to me like the gold stars I got at school when I was a kid.  There I was just doing what I wanted to do anyway, what was expected of me, what made me happy, and out of nowhere this lovely little acknowledgement, a tiny token of appreciation to remind me that I'm special.  It was nice especially when the task was especially hard, painful or tedious.

 

I'm not being obtuse, I can see what the dangers are and how they can be overused and become a warped expression of value, how the achievement can be all about the reward.  I usually spend the first semester of any school year untraining kids to expect As and 100s, stickers, and sweeties for merely showing up and following instructions or caring one iota about learning, and to stop expecting rewards just for following basic student guidelines.  It is an arduous task to undue unhealthy rewards systems, but then when they do achieve that A , they see it as a symbol for what the true reward is, knowledge and stronger skills.   I do get that, and I see the dangers first hand.  On the other hand, I also need a reward to force myself to eat my lima beans, so to speak, if the lima beans must be eaten .  I just have a hard time comparing photo developing with dish washing...I know what the dish is going to look like when I take it out of the water...it will be the same as before, but with less food on it.  A photo will be a piece of art, unique and is a discovery.  As a result, I have a hard time not offering the odd spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down, ya know?  Like blowing bubbles off the terrace when we're done with doing dishes, or taking the boy out for ice cream if he tidies his toys up without complaining.  Not to the point where he expects the reward, but now and then to say "THANKS!  You're awesome!" 

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#48 of 53 Old 04-03-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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I don't think you're being obtuse at all.   I'm just the same when I don't agree with something... it's like, well, teach me or explain further because I just ain't seein' it, luv.  It's a shame we're all a little worried about going deep into any issue, we fear looking pushy, "harping" on an issue... all number of things that prevent us from truly diving deep into things and pressing each other for more intimacy, depth, mental processing.  I also find it interesting that people can't disagree without making it personal.  I often message people I haven't agreed with on a thread as a personal courtesy, as a human contact thing.. I mean after all, we're human and aren't we trying to model to our kids all this stuff?  Yet you'd be surprised (or perhaps not) at how often I am outright ignored - they just can't cope with leaving an issue with the topic, not the person.  

 

What you mentioned above... that's ok by me... we can call anything we want a reward.  As long as we realise that when it is used as bait or a bribe or if it is required to get the job done then it is probably best kept from children and left with us adults... we can drink a bottle of plonk and call it a reward if it floats our boat.  We're the one labeling it a reward not someone else, and that's the first step to healing from reward addiction.

 

My parents never rewarded me, they didn't give me any kind of thing as thanks or for a job well done - but they never punished me either.  Yet I always knew they felt I was the best thing since sliced bread.  And I was never in any doubt when they were happy or upset with me.  I think in the end we are most comfortable to parent in the way we ourselves were parented... no matter how much we loved or hated their methods.  

 

I understand how it can be difficult to do something, and initially have to do it mindfully until it becomes automatic.  I found it hard not to praise my kids but I try very hard not to.  I instead had had to learn how to feedback the details.  Instead of "good boy!" I say, "thank you for putting the glass in the sink"  instead of "what a nice painting" I say, "I love the way you used pink for the tree".  Although not easy for me initially, I resonated with the reason why this is more useful and less judgmental.  I know that if I do something, I feel the person really saw it if they give feedback instead of an overall judgement of good/bad.  


Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#49 of 53 Old 04-06-2011, 08:53 AM
 
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This is awesome! With a baby and 3 year old I rarely have time at night to discuss and then forgot the next day. This is a great reminder that I need to make a better effort to make sure we are on the same page. Right now my DH is so hard on my son, and I really want him to be more compassionate and parent encouraging more intrinsic behavior as discussed above. It's so hard! And we end up arguing in front of my son. UGH. We really need some alone time to discuss this! THanks!

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#50 of 53 Old 04-08-2011, 09:21 PM
 
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wow this is exactly like my husband and I. Dead frickin on. Exactly. Etc. lol

well ours is younger (18 months( but this is exactly our interaction about this...

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#51 of 53 Old 04-11-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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Birth, begin having expectations as soon as possible.:) If you a re positive, as you state you try to be, then this will carry you for a while. I like to be positive and teach what TO DO not what NOT to do. However you will have to say no or not for baby or not now sometimes. When child accepts it the first time, praise praise praise.

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#52 of 53 Old 04-12-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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This is a great thread, lots of really good information.

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Originally Posted by kateye View Post


This thread has been very informative--thanks to all the posters!  Calm, I'm so interested in your take, it's very refreshing!  I know that as an adult I still have tantrums (embarrassing but true!) and the thing I need most at that time is a huge hug from my husband, not a big lecture about how I'm misbehaving.  I had a day yesterday with my toddler where he was constantly pushing my buttons--throwing toys, putting toys in his mouth, throwing his books on the floor, drooling drinks and chewed food out of his mouth, etc.  ALL DAY.  I know this is probably a reaction to our new babe (4 weeks old) and that he was just needing attention/feeling frustrated.  I was trying to be firm by telling him he is not allowed to do those things but also trying to give him the undivided attention he surely needs but the behavior did not really improve.  We did have a great morning today, but I'm sure there will be many more days of "acting out".  Just wondering how you deal with the "misbehaviors" as the come and how you prepare yourself and the environment for the upcoming meltdown.  Or if there are other resources for how you do things, could you point me to them?

Thank you! 



 


 

I agree this thread has been greatly informative! Especially since I am relatively new to AP & GD. I feel so confident with DD (10 weeks) because it's all I've done with her, but DS' infancy was not as ideal - like someone else mentioned, I absolutely did what I thought was best, but in some areas I was sorely undereducated or misinformed. Just wanted to reply to your post and let you know DS (now 2 years 8 months) had some very similar behavior issues when DH returned to work and it started being just the 3 of us during the day. I tried to be firm in the beginning and it also backfired, and I realized it was because he was just needing love, love, love, love. It took a few weeks, a million hugs, and endless "I love you sweeties" "I know this is frustrating for you" "I understand it makes you angry when I am nursing Jeana" and "Mom still has all the time in the world to play and cook and cuddle with you" .... but now 10 weeks out, he is just happy as a clam, and the only person my DD loves as much as me is her big brother!!! He talks to her and tries to play with her and include her in everything and etc... the adjustment is hard for a toddler who is so used to 100% of your attention, but just keep reassuring him and he will get there! :)


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"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb

 

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