Philosophical Discussion - Do our children really need our feedback? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Urgh... I lost my post.

I was saying that I can think of several reasons why a parent would give negative attention:

*Limited support for more effective discipline strategies
*Cultural expectations for behavior that is not developmental
*Lifestyle choices that are not appropriate for childhood (ie. spending hours in front of the TV and then being expected to sit still for dinner with grandma)

I think it better to address the reasons for why parents are limited to addressing unwanted behavior than it is to add positive attention on top.

I am unfamiliar with a lot of the training methods you posted (have you taken many of those). I have taken one that is ranked a level 3 on the list you linked. It was quite good and as I recall free from a whole lot of feedback. In fact, it was the course where I learned the value of asking before giving an opinion.

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#32 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 09:17 AM
 
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I was saying that I can think of several reasons why a parent would give negative attention:

*Limited support for more effective discipline strategies
*Cultural expectations for behavior that is not developmental
*Lifestyle choices that are not appropriate for childhood (ie. spending hours in front of the TV and then being expected to sit still for dinner with grandma)

I think it better to address the reasons for why parents are limited to addressing unwanted behavior than it is to add positive attention on top.
Concerning negative attention and other counter-productive actions, in responding to posts I have read the posts and identified anything counter-productive that they say they are doing and addressed those specific actions. I don't just say layer positive attention on top. I tell them to redirect their attention, if the redirect then that requires them to stop the negative attention.

I can see it might be better to address the big picture in some cases, but that's a tall order. Sometimes learning few skills and making a few adjustments can go a long ways, I think.

But, if you make progress on that other track, I will be all eyes to see what we learn.
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#33 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do agree that adding positive attention (praise, even) is probably a pretty quick fix for a kid who responds well to praise. Especially a child who experiences a lot of criticism. Even when we decide that a quick fix or patch is a good idea for a bigger problem, I would say it's always good to address the big picture. In fact, I would say that not addressing the big picture is another contributing factor to why parents may resort to attending to unwanted behavior - it's a symptom fix, not a problem fix.

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#34 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 09:35 AM
 
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I am unfamiliar with a lot of the training methods you posted (have you taken many of those). I have taken one that is ranked a level 3 on the list you linked. It was quite good and as I recall free from a whole lot of feedback. In fact, it was the course where I learned the value of asking before giving an opinion.
I have not taken any of those courses. There are two at level 1. I have read the primary text for "Incredible Years". The course material for the Oregon Model is hard to find, but parenting books by the head of the Yale Conduct Clinic are a version of the Oregon Model.

I had some on-the-job training while working at a day care and the methods worked well. Took me a while to figure out where the methods came from. 300 parenting books are published every year and maybe 1 in 1000 focus on the methods at the top of that California evaluation.
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#35 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I took PET (level 3). It was good. I have often considered going through the training to become an instructor. One of the very first things we were taught was that silence could solve 90% of communication problems between parents and children. The idea is that parents talk too much and don't listen nearly enough.
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#36 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 09:43 AM
 
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I do agree that adding positive attention (praise, even) is probably a pretty quick fix for a kid who responds well to praise. Especially a child who experiences a lot of criticism. Even when we decide that a quick fix or patch is a good idea for a bigger problem, I would say it's always good to address the big picture. In fact, I would say that not addressing the big picture is another contributing factor to why parents may resort to attending to unwanted behavior - it's a symptom fix, not a problem fix.
Parent Effectiveness Training does not address causes or the big picture either. It's just a bunch of techniques.
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#37 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Parent Effectiveness Training does not address causes or the big picture either. It's just a bunch of techniques.
Where did you hear this? It has been a while since I read the book but the workshop does address big picture issues - almost entirely.

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#38 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 09:47 AM
 
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I took PET (level 3). It was good. I have often considered going through the training to become an instructor. One of the very first things we were taught was that silence could solve 90% of communication problems between parents and children. The idea is that parents talk too much and don't listen nearly enough.
I agree with that. "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk" is one of my favorite books and we made much practical use of it.
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#39 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 09:50 AM
 
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Where did you hear this? It has been a while since I read the book but the workshop does address big picture issues - almost entirely.
I have read the book. Maybe we mean something different by big picture issues. I was thinking about parents who need psychological help for themselves. PET does have a big picture philosophy.
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#40 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 10:06 AM
 
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Here's a pictorial outline of Incredible Years:



To get a bigger image, click on this link:

http://r2lp.org/wp-content/uploads/2...d-in-color.jpg

The base level is pretty much PET. But everything above that is against the PET philosophy, I think.
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#41 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I like that...

I would definitely have a different pyramid. In our house tier two and three would be flipped (although consistency and obedience would be removed). I like the visual of how small consequences is in comparison to the bottom. They even include logical, which is good. I think they should remove the "natural" though as it does not make sense there, IMO. In my opinion "natural consequences" belongs on the very bottom row.

You are right that it does look different from PET but it looks fine and is probably a pretty great start to parents who are not all that attentive to the bottom of the pyramid.

The question I would ask (related to this thread) is this. DOES praise raise social skills, thinking skills, and motivation? Because, for my kids, I do not think it does.

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#42 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 10:29 AM
 
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For the day to day things I have clear rules and expectations and I did teach them to my child along with the reasons I had them. I do a lot of modelling what I want to see dd do eventually but there was also a point when I got tired of waiting on her to start doing simple things and found myself holding too much in and snapping. I find it is better for dd and for our relationship to give feedback in the moment and reinforce expectations than it was to just wait and hope she picked it up through modeling. Modeling is awesome for some things but I find it quicker and easier on both of us to also give dd feedback about the behavior and actions I want to see and the ones I never want to see again.

How to talk so kids will listen... is a great book for getting ideas for giving feedback gently but it is still feedback even if the approach and solutions are more focused on the children coming up with solutions. Conversations were you express your feelings or a desire to see a change are still feedback for most kids because they care about how their parents feel and will come up with ideas or a plan for changing their behavior after a conversation.

As for praise, I really don't feel strongly one way or another about it. I find conversation works the best when a change needs to happen but I've also found some things so annoying I was willing to try praise and a reward scheme.

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#43 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would also add "age appropriate expectations" on the way bottom! Then I would encourage parents to work their way up from the bottom. Meaning we deal with those "big picture" problems (like empathy, communication, problem solving) before moving up the pyramid to other behavior modification techniques.

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#44 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For the day to day things I have clear rules and expectations and I did teach them to my child along with the reasons I had them. I do a lot of modelling what I want to see dd do eventually but there was also a point when I got tired of waiting on her to start doing simple things and found myself holding too much in and snapping. I find it is better for dd and for our relationship to give feedback in the moment and reinforce expectations than it was to just wait and hope she picked it up through modeling. Modeling is awesome for some things but I find it quicker and easier on both of us to also give dd feedback about the behavior and actions I want to see and the ones I never want to see
Oh, I feel you! For me, I tend to give pretty direct instruction over what I consider "feedback". More to that...

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How to talk so kids will listen... is a great book for getting ideas for giving feedback gently but it is still feedback even if the approach and solutions are more focused on the children coming up with solutions. Conversations were you express your feelings or a desire to see a change are still feedback for most kids because they care about how their parents feel.
I did not like HTTSKWL. It's been forever since I read it but I remember it really not resonating with me. If it was feedback based, that makes sense.

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Conversations were you express your feelings or a desire to see a change are still feedback for most kids because they care about how their parents feel.
I have two things to respond to about this last statement. First, I want to acknowledge that my kids get all sorts of feedback from me. It doesn't need to come in specifically directed comments about their behavior. They can tell when I am calmly supportive of a challenge or sharing in their joy. They can also tell when I'm exasperated - even if I am trying my best to remain supportive. I do try to not be as invested in their own work as perhaps another parent. I'd rather respond to how they feel about it than share my opinions. And that's where I say I don't like to give feedback.

Now, I also give feedback in the form of saying something like, "I do not want you to bring your phone to the party." I mean, that is feedback, I suppose, but it's not what I am talking about.

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#45 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 01:02 PM
 
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The question I would ask (related to this thread) is this. DOES praise raise social skills, thinking skills, and motivation? Because, for my kids, I do not think it does.
Funny, when I was getting ready to post that image, I was looking it over with critical eye (kind of thinking in terms of your critical eye when you saw it) and I was thinking that none of those methods actually raise social skills or thinking skills per se.

Praise and other social reinforcers can raise motivation. But, used incorrectly, then can undermine motivation. Praising genetic endowments instead of effort can undermine motivation. Constant praise can make motivation end when the parent is no longer around to praise, so you need to fade it to occasional reminders that you admire the kid's efforts, character, etc. And there is some evidence that praise can undermine intrinsic motivation when intrinsic motivation is high, and that praise can signal "you have made it, no need for further progress".
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#46 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 01:06 PM
 
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I like that...
I like the visual of how small consequences is in comparison to the bottom. They even include logical, which is good. I think they should remove the "natural" though as it does not make sense there, IMO. In my opinion "natural consequences" belongs on the very bottom row.
Yeah, consequences are used only for aggression.

That is one of the advantages of getting skilled at using and relying on redirection of attention during period from roughly age 2 to 6 for annoying behaviors that are harmless in the short run.

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#47 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 06:51 PM
 
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I'm a foster parent, and have worked as an early childhood education specialist (and preschool-third grade teacher.) There are many very effective, and respected, parent education programs that aren't even on that list.
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#48 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 07:13 PM
 
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The question I would ask (related to this thread) is this. DOES praise raise social skills, thinking skills, and motivation? Because, for my kids, I do not think it does.
No praise does not help any of those things you list. There is an extremely fine line between praise and manipulation. A great example was given by a pp, where she mentioned a "how nice you look today!" comment from a parent being interpreted by the child as "you normally look like crap and I find that disappointing" (paraphrased). This was how my mother talked to me, and you should have seen how I dressed/acted in my college years (dyed black hair, long hippie skirts, doc marten boots, smoker). I think it was my way of saying "I won't be what you wish I was". Her thoughts were largely administered via "praising" what she wanted to see.

I just finished reading both Unconditional Parenting and some of Kohn's essays on education they were all so satisfying to read. I think he's really got it figured out. One example I think of is my DD's weekly spelling tests. Every Friday we would get home from school and when the test came out of her folder, it just never felt right to say "AWESOME JOB!!" If I give a huge reaction to when she does well, how will she feel when she doesn't? Also, I don't actually care about the tests; I don't even think I first grader should have to take them. Sometimes I'll say "cool you got them all this week" or "tricky ones this week, whatever" when she doesn't get many right. My DD, unlike many or her peers, never has test anxiety. Her teacher actually complained to me about the fact that she is not interested in finishing artwork, writing, etc so that it can be hung in the hallway for all to see. "Who cares?" my DD told her. She listens intensely to the lessons and is interested in learning the new material...but praise? It's not on her radar. Academic motivation has to be intrinsic to last (and to be enjoyable!).

She's been offering to help set the table lately. We tried last year to have her set the table to earn an allowance (it never took off), yet here she is, doing it on her own for some reason. I mentioned to DH when she did this last night, how some might feel this is the appropriate time to praise her, to say "what a great helper!" or something, and if this was said, my next thought would be (if I were her) "what, do you think I'm such a lousy person that this is so surprising??"

It seems counterintuitive, but I think praise from parents can easily have a negative effect.

-Jen
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#49 of 88 Old 06-19-2014, 06:31 AM
 
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I'm a foster parent, and have worked as an early childhood education specialist (and preschool-third grade teacher.) There are many very effective, and respected, parent education programs that aren't even on that list.
Please tell us which ones? Or, just the best ones if there are too many.
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#50 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 06:42 AM
 
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My point is not to make you feel unwelcome but, rather to point out that if you are not here to learn but, rather give advice, please be aware that praise and withholding feedback, although fitting with GD (IMO), are both on the rather conservative end of the GD spectrum. I believe that if you were actually parenting right now (not grand parenting, which is miles different - and I have VERY involved parents), I think that some of the limitations of this type of discipline would be apparent in more than just a theoretical way.
(bringing this over from another thread where we were off topic)

You and I are about equal on non-theoretical experience.

My wife and I raised two kids (and I had two older step-kids), so, relative to other parents, I have a typical amount of non-theoretical experience with the limitations of these methods.

If someone posts advice on a forum like this without pointing out the limitations, typically someone else will point out the limitations.

My advice seems to help some parents here:

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Thanks so much! This is really great advice. In just the past week alone I've noticed how praising them more for acts of kindness and helpfulness has helped out daily. It makes a lot of sense, actually...if what they want is attention and they get it from cooperating and not misbehaving, it makes sense that they will cooperate more in order to get what they want. I don't expect miracles over night and I think he may continue to test the waters with me for awhile, but definitely...so far, so good. Our shopping trip this week was a little shaky, but they were more helpful and I had only one surprise item while unpacking groceries, which made me very happy. I really want to stay consistent with the praise because in these last few weeks of my pregnancy, anything that allows me to tell/show them how much I appreciate them feels really good. These are really special times. I'll stay patient and consistent with this strategy. Thanks for sharing w/ me!

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#51 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I feel better getting all philosophical (and all over the place) on a more general thread - especially one started by me.

I think all experience becomes theoretical (in a way) when we are no longer practicing. I do think that the gusto that you have taken in the forum with a fairly clear message in favor of feedback reinforcement is a bit concerning - if only because I do think it is a somewhat "basic" look at GD and is unfortunate in that it is driven by addressing behavior not motivation.

And that's also where I think the problem with this being mainly theoretical. If you were giving advice on breastfeeding, let's say, and lots of time had passed between your experience and giving advice, you may well forget all the things that we are keeping track of. Discipline is even more complicated, IMO, because we are NOT (ideally) choosing just what "works" we are modeling an entire value system. To me, discipline is the most fundamental part of my relationship with my child - it IS the relationship.

So, something may well look good on paper and it may well work -- but put into practice it may not feel good. If consensual living appeals to someone, heavy behavior modification is probably not going to feel like a good fit, no matter what a bang-up job it can do in the short term.

There are a lot of forms of behavior modification that I have not ruled out - not "grounding", not behavior charts, not "bribes". None of it. I would never, ever hit my child (and if I did I would get help for that with every means possible) and I will feel terrible if I find myself resorting to shame (again and get help) but some of the other more traditional stuff has its place, IMO. If you NEED it.

Problem is that a lot of mainstream approaches put these patches above addressing basic issues.

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#52 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 08:43 AM
 
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Thanks! I feel better getting all philosophical (and all over the place) on a more general thread - especially one started by me.

I think all experience becomes theoretical (in a way) when we are no longer practicing. I do think that the gusto that you have taken in the forum with a fairly clear message in favor of feedback reinforcement is a bit concerning - if only because I do think it is a somewhat "basic" look at GD and is unfortunate in that it is driven by addressing behavior not motivation.

And that's also where I think the problem with this being mainly theoretical. If you were giving advice on breastfeeding, let's say, and lots of time had passed between your experience and giving advice, you may well forget all the things that we are keeping track of. Discipline is even more complicated, IMO, because we are NOT (ideally) choosing just what "works" we are modeling an entire value system. To me, discipline is the most fundamental part of my relationship with my child - it IS the relationship.

So, something may well look good on paper and it may well work -- but put into practice it may not feel good. If consensual living appeals to someone, heavy behavior modification is probably not going to feel like a good fit, no matter what a bang-up job it can do in the short term.

There are a lot of forms of behavior modification that I have not ruled out - not "grounding", not behavior charts, not "bribes". None of it. I would never, ever hit my child (and if I did I would get help for that with every means possible) and I will feel terrible if I find myself resorting to shame (again and get help) but some of the other more traditional stuff has its place, IMO. If you NEED it.

Problem is that a lot of mainstream approaches put these patches above addressing basic issues.
I think it is very inappropriate to call another mother's view of gentle discipline basic or to imply that a mother's view is not important because her kids are grown. Our community is so small that this type of name calling seems even more inappropriate coming from someone who is supposed to help the community maintain a level of respect that makes all members feel welcome.

I personally love hearing from mother's who have raised their children in gentle ways because I know how much I have learned just in the last 11 years, how much I have grown in my understanding of how children express love and want to feel love, how much I have grown towards being more open minded about how to discipline, and I feel that they have so much more to offer having even more experience. I may not always agree but there are more respectful ways to disagree than telling someone they are obsolete and only have a basic view of gd.

I think you are possibly feeling attacked by others and are lashing out because you feel they are implying you don't love your kids enough if they think that praise is important and you are wrong for not using it. I think that as mother's who use gd we do what we feel is right for our children. Nobody is questioning your love and connection to your children, you know what your children need and what makes them feel the most loved, so there is no need to lash out. It takes away from your message when you do.
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#53 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 09:17 AM
 
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I do think that the gusto that you have taken in the forum with a fairly clear message in favor of feedback reinforcement is a bit concerning - if only because I do think it is a somewhat "basic" look at GD and is unfortunate in that it is driven by addressing behavior not motivation.
You mean the parent's motivation?

I think it is driven by addressing the kid's motivation.
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#54 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you are possibly feeling attacked by others and are lashing out because you feel they are implying you don't love your kids enough if they think that praise is important and you are wrong for not using it.
I appreciate your opinion but I don't think that's what's going on for me. I think it does have something to do with the activity level on the forum and concern for a dominance of more mainstream views. It's not that I mind that perspective, because I don't - we have always had that and I have often been the more mainstream in the discussion.

But the forums are slow so members who post frequently become the voice of the forum. I do think behaviorism and the advice to address behavior through feedback is basic - meaning it does not go deep enough into the problem.

FTR, this is sort of spin off from several threads that I requested to have moved over, so there may be a bunch of layers lost because of that. I think probably a new spin-off would have been clearer but Tadasmar chose to post back here and I am continuing a discussion that started in part on another thread. Apologies if that is confusing or if the other members who participated in the original topic on this thread feel left in the lurch.

Tadasmar and I could always take it to PM but I do appreciate other perspectives as well.

I feel quite confidently NOT defensive, which surprised me earlier in the thread.

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#55 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it is driven by addressing the kid's motivation.
I wish I heard more about the child's motivation. I feel like it gets teased in discussion but when we talk about behaviorism, I feel like it's not the first thing that is discussed and, therefore, it feels like the underlying issues take a back burner to behavior.

For me, it works better (and feels more "holistic") to flip it around.

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#56 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 09:32 AM
 
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There are a lot of forms of behavior modification that I have not ruled out - not "grounding", not behavior charts, not "bribes". None of it. I would never, ever hit my child (and if I did I would get help for that with every means possible) and I will feel terrible if I find myself resorting to shame (again and get help) but some of the other more traditional stuff has its place, IMO. If you NEED it.
Hitting and shaming is not part of any parenting method I would recommend.
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#57 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 10:03 AM
 
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IdentityCrisisMama, you seem you want me to stop recommending certain practices on this forum that are on your own personal list of acceptable practices.
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#58 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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There are a lot of forms of behavior modification that I have not ruled out - not "grounding", not behavior charts, not "bribes". None of it. I would never, ever hit my child (and if I did I would get help for that with every means possible) and I will feel terrible if I find myself resorting to shame (again and get help) but some of the other more traditional stuff has its place, IMO. If you NEED it.
Yes! If you omit all the "traditional stuff" from CL, you get a parenting method that will not give you the tools you need.

Alan Kazdin, the head of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Center says PET is "necessary and not sufficient". (I know you don't view it that way, but PET generally viewed as omitting all the "traditional stuff", and I have not seen a shred of evidence to the contrary.)

The "traditional stuff" I recommend to parents who seem to need it is not your Mama's traditional stuff. It has been improved and debugged by decades of more recent research.

Last edited by tadamsmar; 06-27-2014 at 10:51 AM.
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#59 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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IdentityCrisisMama, you seem you want me to stop recommending certain practices on this forum that are on your own personal list of acceptable practices.
No, I don't. I will be honest and say that I am not exactly sure what my issue is. If I were to guess, I think it is the different approach to advice giving. I really value the combination of experience the theoretical. The theoretical gives us a chance to be the best we can be and to be very thoughtful and intentional. And the experience is humbling and allows us to see how the theories play out in reality.

This is really a spin off that is not especially relevant to this thread but since we're talking here I suppose I will just re-cap.

I felt like there was a lot of weigh being thrown behind the behaviorist approach (saying that all respected parenting approaches held it as a component, for instance, or the suggestion that your advice was backed by research) and I think that combined with the fact that you discovered this after your kids were grown, and in response to your daughter-in-laws parenting, made me want to dig deeper into all of that.

I think there is a little misunderstanding of my intentions as we try to patch together a long conversation over on a new thread but, to reiterate, I am not saying you shouldn't share your opinions. Not that it would be my place to say that in the first place. But, if any of us have an idea that has really not been put to the test, I think it fair enough to bring that into the conversation.

I did not mean to get overly personal with you and if I did I really do apologize - genuinely. I think you and I were in the mood to talk (am I assuming correctly?) and we got off track on a lot of issues, all of which I found interesting and enriching.

A long while back we tried to have a discussion of a variety of GD theories. Members would choose a theory they knew about or wanted to research and share information to launch a discussion. It would have been great to have you around then!

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif

Last edited by IdentityCrisisMama; 06-27-2014 at 10:56 AM.
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#60 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes! If you omit all the "traditional stuff" from CL, you get a parenting method that will not give you the tools you need.

Alan Kazdin, the head of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Center says PET is "necessary and not sufficient".
For what, though? It would be helpful to have some links for me to see because I can't tell if this is an evaluation of PET as a parenting book/strategy or an evaluation of PET as to whether it should be recommended as a government sponsored parenting program.

It happens that PET was required of me (and paid for!) as a parent of my DC's PUBLIC school. Wild, right? At the time I was pretty into CL so PET didn't seem all that radical to me but looking at the books this week reminds me that it is pretty CL, as you say.

But I do not think PET would be appropriate for a government program. You are right that it doesn't address things like anger management (that I know of) and I think it would just be generally difficult for parents used to harsh forms of discipline to implement.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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