Need to vent about my almost 3 yo...NVC, CL, UP - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 06:31 AM
 
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One parenting book that is good for the overlap of teaching ethical values and dealing with toddler and pre-school stuff is Becoming the Parent You Want to Be.
Oh, I LOVED that book and even took a parenting course by one of the authors (Janice Kaiser)! She was wonderful.

I agree with you on a lot of the above. I found myself curious to know how much attention the kids in the 1960's study were getting. Ideally, I think kids should just be getting all sorts of attention, conversation, interaction, working together, and etc. so that whether we give or withdraw attention for a behavior has less impact on their need for attention.

As it happens my 3 year old often benefits from talking about other things (once I know she knows understands the reasons for expectations).

I think the reasons we see BOTH of these approaches work is because kids receiving adequate attention are less likely to be behaving in a way that is driven by the desire for attention. Just a theory!

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#32 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 07:22 AM
 
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Seeing both sides (I DO think that using attention to influence behavior is manipulative), I think that maybe what we have is that Tadasmar is, perhaps, more upfront with the ways in which parents adapt their interaction with their kids with the intent to manage behavior. I think that comes off (initially) to CL folks and lots of GD folks as behaviorist, which I think many of us like to avoid where possible.

I think that is because behaviorist approaches often "ignore" the whole picture. What are we trying to do here? Manage a single behavior? No, right? Ultimately we want our kids to understand how to physically interact with the dog in a way that makes the dog feel safe and loved and creates a life-long bond between the boy and his dog.
I don't think behaviorism is always bad. Behavior mod often happens naturally and/or unintentionally. Behavior mod can be overused. It amounts to "doing to" instead of "working with" the kid (as AK says) and exclusive use of "working with" approaches is preferred when they are sufficient. But I think "working with" approaches are not always enough, particular with younger kids, with certain difficult kids, and in situations where the parents ramped up unwanted behavior to a high level via unintentional behavior mod.

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I think Tadasmar is trying to caution us to not inadvertently create a situation where we are adding value to behavior that we don't want to see. Right? I mean, it's frustrating enough that our kids are experimenting with things like hitting the dog. We sometimes struggle to understand what they are getting out of that sort of behavior. I do agree that we should take caution to not add a whole other layer of complexity to behaviors like this by reacting in ways that our kids may find confusing, interesting, or entertaining. They are learning about he world, afterall.

My DH is not the world's most natural disciplinarian so I have seen situations in our own home where he or my 12 year old have added a layer if interest (or even pleasure) onto unwanted behaviors. This is actually how I have interpreted "playful parenting" oftentimes and why I don't love that philosophy.
Yes, I that is what I am trying to do.

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ALL of that said, I think that really thoughtful parents are probably not in the demographic of parents who are unintentionally giving heaps of negative attention. And, hopefully not parents who are not giving enough attention during the rest of the time. I have ABSOLUTELY seen that dynamic (and it is frustrating to witness) but I wonder if the OP is really struggling with this. I'm guessing not.
There are a good many OPs here where parents say they are doing things that seem to amount reacting to unwanted behavior by giving it attention and are frustrated by the results. This is not necessarily the demographic, it's just a subset that are having a hard time and looking for help.

It's always hard to be sure what root problem is when responding to a post here. The OP did say that she was going to shift some of her interventions to somewhat reduce attention as a reaction to unwanted behavior. Fortunately, one can expect this method cause a noticeable improvement less than two weeks. If you don't see improvement, you either need to debug your method or you have shown that attention is not a cause.

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#33 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 07:42 AM
 
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I know you think that Kohn is doing something behaviorist by telling the parent to praise specific things about a child's behavior rather than saying "Good job!" Perhaps you're right, but if he is, it's an inconsistency in his argument which overall is against manipulating behavior and against time-outs and the withdrawal of attention.
It's not an inconsistency in his argument. He's just not as extreme as you think he is. Not only does Kohn advocate non-evaluative attention, he says evaluations are appropriate especially for toddlers and preschoolers. Here's Kohn saying it:

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To be sure, there are times when our evaluations are appropriate and our guidance is necessary -- especially with toddlers and preschoolers.
http://www.alfiekohn.org/parenting/gj.htm

He seems extreme because he is extremely against those who push behaviorism in situations where working with the kid to find a solution will suffice.

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#34 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 08:11 AM
 
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The research on which I based my parenting when my son was three was the Hart and Risley research into language acquisition. It is summarized on this webpage.

It did not lead to 40 times more unwanted behavior. Anyway, how do you quantify how many times more unwanted behavior you get in one kid? When he's THREE? Geez. That seems like a fallacious argument.
Speak of the Devil, Hart is the first author on the paper that showed that attention leads to 40 times more unwanted behavior:

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=...1965-04540-001

Here's a more detailed description of the study:

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In a study done many years ago, psychologist Betty Hart, Ph.D., and her colleagues at the University of Washington, studied the effects of attention on Bill, a 4-year-old "crybaby" enrolled in a morning preschool. Each morning Bill had between five and 10 crying spells: He cried when he fell, bumped his head or if another child took away a toy. Each time Bill cried a teacher went to him to offer comfort. Hart and her colleagues reasoned that this adult attention, though intended to reassure and comfort Bill, might actually be the reason for all his crying.

To test their hypothesis, the researchers asked the teachers to try a new strategy. Now when Bill cried, the teachers glanced at him to be sure he was not injured but did not go to him, speak to him or look at him. If he happened to cry when a teacher was nearby, she turned her back or walked away. Teachers paid special attention to Bill only when he suffered a mishap without crying. If he fell, for example, and went about his business without a whimper, a teacher would go to him and compliment him on his grown-up behavior. The result of this new approach: In five days the frequency of Bill's crying spells fell from an average of about seven per morning to almost zero.

To be certain that Bill's change in behavior was because of the new strategy, Hart and colleagues asked the teachers to once again pay attention to Bill when he cried. Bill returned to crying several times a day. When the teachers again ignored the crying and attended to Bill only when he acted maturely, the crying spells dropped sharply. Hart and her coworkers repeated this experiment with another "crybaby," Alan, and got nearly identical results.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/artic...re-out-control
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#35 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 09:17 AM
 
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We were posting at the same time so I didn't see this...

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But to me, this is basically the same thing is worrying that you are rewarding bad behavior if you give a kid a hug to end a tantrum.
I think it really depends on intent. I have definitely done things that on the outside seemed "wrong" or insensitive but they were things that I felt my kid needed in the moment. Both of my kids, for instance, went through a phase where they needed to cry for a release. Sometimes they would "use me" to get there. They would ask for increasingly more ridiculous things until I eventually said "no", at which point they would let go and cry. In a situation like this, I am giving my child what they need - and are really telling me in the best way they can what they need.

When my younger child puts her mouth on me - she is telling me that she needs some strong physical interaction. She doesn't need to bite but she needs some nice snuggles and 100% attention. I don't need to tell her not to bite but I DO need to hear what she is asking for.

When she asks for the third time to go to the kitchen -- I don't need to tell her that she's bored. (I think that's too complex for her anyway). I need to find something more interesting for her to do.

If Tadasmar is saying that we need to address our kid's reasons for their actions over using our words to repeat what has undoubtedly been said many times already, I totally agree - this is a good suggestion for a kid who has been told time and again about something but still has trouble.

I have no doubt that there are kids who really thrive on lots of discussion. I think my kids were more physical. I haven't looked at your link yet but I will. My kids both have STRONG verbal skills and we talk all day but in terms of direction, being physical (showing, moving, doing with) was always the stronger message for them.

*When verbal instruction worked well (and this resonates with something Tadismar was saying) is in the evenings. I do sometimes revisit challenges (and positive things!) in the night before bed - free from emotion and stress.


Off to read the rest of the thread... and back much later today.

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#36 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 09:39 AM
 
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I don't think behaviorism is always bad. Behavior mod often happens naturally and/or unintentionally. Behavior mod can be overused. It amounts to "doing to" instead of "working with" the kid (as AK says) and exclusive use of "working with" approaches is preferred when they are sufficient. But I think "working with" approaches are not always enough, particular with younger kids, with certain difficult kids, and in situations where the parents ramped up unwanted behavior to a high level via intentional behavior mod.
You mean here unintentional behavior mod, right?

Obviously, there are always times when flexibility is good. I think what I've been objecting to here is your insistence that stating the rule is providing unintentional reinforcement. No matter how you slice it, the OP can't allow the child to hit the dogs. (Or the one dog to bite the child!) So there's going to be some negative attention on this situation no matter what. The question is really, when and how to talk to the child about his behavior to get the behavior to stop. What will calm him down, and what will have the best long term impact on how he treats animals?

That Hart crybaby study you cite had filtered its way into my childhood. I found it with Google; it was first published in 1964. So yeah, that was "some years back" as your article describes it. Fifty years. It's a study of two children and their "operant crying." Two children? Seriously? Can I just publish what I've been doing at home with my one child and call it a study?

At least the Hart and Risley study about language acquisition was from the 1990s and included 42 children. At least I didn't realize Betty Hart was responsible for the idea that comforting a crying child would make him a crybaby. It would have undercut my belief in the vocabulary study to know that.

That operant crying study is the reason that parents of kids in my generation were reluctant to calm their crying children. I definitely heard parents discuss this as a concept.

I chose to parent differently than my mother did. I chose to trust myself to understand my kid's behavior, and I trusted my kid to be honest about what he needed from me. It has worked really well.

Of course, my kid isn't three anymore.

A very recent article on using reinforcement and conditioning on the NPR website points out the aspect of this stuff that I did try to do, which is the part about creating the conditions for the desired behavior.

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#37 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 09:44 AM
 
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Two children? Seriously?
It is crazy. That's part of why I take a lot of the behavior/learning theory stuff with a grain of salt. Piaget, anyone?

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#38 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 10:43 AM
 
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"How can a parenting philosophy be a good idea if it leads to 40 times more unwanted behavior and 40 time less wanted behavior?"

^ is very funny!

I think all parenting involves some manipulation and that threes nothing wrong with wanting to influence behaviour. I know a couple who are extremely permissive and they don't believe in private property and I have to say I feel bad for their children. The poor young girl had this favourite bottle that she liked to play with and my ds showed a lot of interest in it when we went there and the parent a were like "take anything you want" and the poor little girl was so upset. Obviously I didn't let ds take it home because I have other valued I want to teach him. This is a bit ot except I don't think there is that much difference between wanting to teach our children things we value and re-direction, it's all directed towards us trying to influence what they do, which isn't a bad thing.
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#39 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 11:25 AM
 
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Obviously, there are always times when flexibility is good. I think what I've been objecting to here is your insistence that stating the rule is providing unintentional reinforcement. No matter how you slice it, the OP can't allow the child to hit the dogs. (Or the one dog to bite the child!) So there's going to be some negative attention on this situation no matter what. The question is really, when and how to talk to the child about his behavior to get the behavior to stop. What will calm him down, and what will have the best long term impact on how he treats animals?
The mother can separate them while minimizing attention.

Stating the rule as an immediate response can provide unintentional reinforcement. Stating the rule later cannot provide unintentional reinforcement.

When her toddler whined, my stepson's wife always immediately turned toward the DD and said "Use your words" (stated the rule in other words). The DD is 5 now and still whining when her Mom is around. We watched her and her little brother for a few days recently while the parents went on vacation. The DD did not even try whining for the whole time she was with us. She started whining within minutes after her parents return. Her mom immediately looked toward her and said "No whining" (stated the rule in other words). DD did a little pout with her face and then her mom went over and hugged her. One could not improve on this as a way to reinforce whining. From what I have seen, I'd say this "kid breaks the rule, mom gives kid attention, mom states the rule" pattern of reinforced practice of whining has been going on consistently for 3 years straight from around age 2 till age 5.

Her dad sometime threatens time-out for whining. Do you know what threatening time-out is? Threatening time-out is...time-in! It's the opposite of time-out and it tends to have the the opposite effect.

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#40 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 01:06 PM
 
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You mean here unintentional behavior mod, right?
Yes that that last use at the end should have been "unintentional behavior mod"

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#41 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 03:49 PM
 
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...which is the part about creating the conditions for the desired behavior.
This is great phrasing!

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#42 of 71 Old 06-24-2014, 04:48 PM
 
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Watching my three year old with the cat today, I thought of a less "behavior management" solution. OP, have you considered involving your child in the care and feeding of the dog? Being on water duty, helping to fill the food bowls. Perhaps giving a daily treat?

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#43 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 08:19 AM
 
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That Hart crybaby study you cite had filtered its way into my childhood. I found it with Google; it was first published in 1964. So yeah, that was "some years back" as your article describes it. Fifty years. It's a study of two children and their "operant crying." Two children? Seriously? Can I just publish what I've been doing at home with my one child and call it a study?
It's a single subject reversal study. The group that Hart was in did several studies using redirection of attention to solve problems: a kid who isolated herself, a kid who was regressing to crawling, motor skills development. Risley also did some of this research. Back then, the prevailing view was that Freudian methods were needed and they did not work well, so it was amazing when Hart and Risely and others could solve these problems in less than two weeks. The group save one defiant kid from blindness by getting him to wear required glasses. Today, the methods are currently in widespread use by tens of thousands of behavior analysts. Redirection of attention is a component of all parent training courses that score highest in modern evidence-based rankings.

Hart and Risley certainly do not support chatting up a kid as a reaction to their bad behavior.

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Avery recent article on using reinforcement and conditioning on the NPR website points out the aspect of this stuff that I did try to do, which is the part about creating the conditions for the desired behavior.
That's on the work of Alan Kazdin, Head of the Yale Conduct Center. His advocates redirection of attention (including planned ignoring):

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All of the following tips are based on this simple principle: Attention to bad behavior increases bad behavior (yelling, lecturing, scolding, spanking and punishing are all forms of negative attention), while attention to good behavior increases good behavior.
http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/10-t...ory?id=8549664

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...when it comes to changing behavior, the rage-ball and the patient explainer are startlingly close neighbors on the ineffective end of the spectrum.
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/f...y_tyrants.html

You are right that planned ignoring can be considered punishment:

http://wps.prenhall.com/chet_cooper_....cw/index.html

I think you are a good mother, and clearly methods that don't include planned ignoring have worked to your satisfaction. I commend you for using some positive reinforcement methods even though many parenting gurus who are popular here reject such methods.

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#44 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 08:56 AM
 
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Tadasmar, do you work in the field? I can't really tell if your links are from searching for research related to the topic/debate or if your perspective of the available research is coming from a well-rounded knowledge of the field.

I have taken several child development courses and find the subject interesting but can't tease out the current trends - mostly because it's been so long since I've taken a class. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that a trend towards the value of the behaviorist approach was happening. Do you know? Regardless, a long view of the field can inform us that these are trends and are likely to shift.

These shifting trends and new studies and etc. are very interesting, for sure. I love this stuff. But, we must remember that these are limited in their application to raising our kids. Sure, we find things that fit with who we want to be and how we want to parent and the things that click with the needs of our kids.

But the current research or the trends in these related field seem to me to be pretty theoretical and more like an evolving body of study rather than a prescription for how to parent.

And on a complete aside, I think the word "ignore" may be a source of the confusion here. I haven't read all the links posted yet but I am wondering if this word is used in any of the research?

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#45 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 09:04 AM
 
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captain optimism, I noticed that in a thread on picky eating you said:

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Or maybe my kid is just too easy. He doesn't like everything, but through the magic of just not freaking out about it, I am managing to feed him a healthful diet.
That's basically the idea, attention (even negative attention) with lots of emotion is particularly effective at reinforcing behavior (including picky eating). Muting one's response helps.
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#46 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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Another thought on theories and studies -- what I most appreciate about CD theories is what they can tell us about what is going on at a deep level with our kids. What can the theory of conservation tell us about why a toddler may freak out about a broken cookie? What can object permanence tell us about why a child may develop separation anxiety?

To me, a study that shows that kids do more of X behavior when Y happens does not, to me, offer the insight of *WHY* a child is responding in this way. That is the meat, IMO.

What we may be able to take away is that from the behavior study linked above is that children desire interaction from their caregivers in such a profound way that they are willing to behave in such a way to provoke ANY sort of interaction from their caregiver. If that is a good theory (I think it is) - that is GREAT information. It tells us that our kids may need A LOT more interaction than what they get in our culture. We can then take that foundation and apply it easily to whatever type of parenting that resonates with us.

For CO, that may mean lots and lots of conversation. And that will "work" because it is the attention the child is craving - NOT the behavior. I may decide that my DC and I need to do a lot of projects together. That is what I like to do and it is what feels good to both me and my kids. The OP may decide that the best way apply this theory is to interact with both her toddler and the dog on a more frequent basis. Again, the child is getting their needs met based on the foundations established by theories and research.

It's too simple to say you do X and then you get Y. We need to know why this is in order to make any real (and authentic!) use of the research being discussed.

Does that make sense?

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#47 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 09:26 AM
 
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Here is an example from just now...

DC was learning to use a glue stick today. As she shifted focus to just the glue stick (how it swiveled up and down) she started to realize how similar it to chapstick. So, she naturally decided to put it all over her lips. Then she asked me if she could put it on her cheeks. I explained (this was new info so it did need to be said) that glue was for paper. I acknowledged that she had become interested in smearing stuff on her face so I asked her to find the lid to the glue and offered her the chance to go upstairs and put makeup on (a rare treat). Easy peasy.

ETA: Another bonus of CL is that kids aren't in a mindset of fighting for their needs/wants. DC and I went upstairs to clean the glue and she ended up so engrossed in that process that I got a shower, time to pick and outfit (something I choose to not normally make time for) and we had some amusing conversations about how fuzz sticks to glue. I didn't even end up needing to do the makeup part. If we were going to be together for the day I would probably have reminded her (out of respect) but she's going to aunties and I'll pass on that this time.

This is CL in toddlerhood, IME. Find out what the value is that the child is getting. If it's attention (and perhaps it often is) I do we need to address that. If it's something else, I don't really think all the debate over attention is that useful.

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#48 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 10:04 AM
 
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A very recent article on using reinforcement and conditioning on the NPR website points out the aspect of this stuff that I did try to do, which is the part about creating the conditions for the desired behavior.
Nice article...

Here are my two favorite quotes:

"In other words, we can try to change our own environments to trigger and reinforce the right behaviors, work on making those behaviors routine, and change the way we construe situations — if not the situations themselves — to change the way we feel and the way we act. For instance, construing a toddler's misbehavior as deliberate provocation will likely elicit a different emotional response (and different parental behavior) from construing the same misdeed as the little tyke's exploration of her social world — an experiment in figuring out how you work."

And:

"After all, unconstructive self-judgment is itself a form of punishment and not a very effective one. Instead, I'm trying to create circumstances for better parenting, and to pat myself on the back when I pull it off. I can't control how much I'm judged by others. But I can begin to change how much I judge myself."

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#49 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 10:14 AM
 
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I don't work in the field. I was taught the power of redirecting attention when I was working at a university day care in college. I used it with my own kids and it worked well. Later when my first step-kid was starting a family I noticed that the lavished attention on unwanted behavior and thought "this will turn out badly". The kid eventually had to be put in day-care because his mom could not handle his tantrums.

His mom seemed to read all the parenting books and I was surprised that she did not do better. I started looking for parenting books and popular articles about redirecting attention in the late 1990's and they seemed to be few and far between. Since she seemed to use ideas from books, I thought if I could give her a book or article it might help. Maybe I am a bad researcher, but I took me years to find a few parenting books that covered the subject and so I did a lot of research.

Concerning trends. When a government or foundation these days tries to find parenting methods to support and takes an evidence-based approach, they end up supporting methods with some component of behaviorism. There are government and foundation supported programs in the US and Europe of this sort, more so in the more socialist countries I think. So there is a trend in that direction. Obamacare includes a home visiting program (MIECHV) that includes an evidenced-based parent training component. But I am not sure about trends outside of that. PET dates back to the 1960s and it was quite popular back then, so I am not sure there is a current trend toward PET/CL/UP type methods.

There has been a battle of behaviorism vs PET/attachment/UP for decades. Not sure what the trend is. Note that PET type programs reject behaviorism. But the methods that include behaviorism don't reject PET methods but they may not emphasize them enough.

One ironic thing in the US. There a good many parenting courses for the poor and all are evidence-based and have a component of behaviorism. Parents who are remanded to take a parenting course by a judge in the US will get such a course. But the likelihood of a middle-class parents without legal trouble finding this type of course or book seems to be relatively low.

I don't think the term "ignore" is shunned in the scientific literature, they might use "witholding reinforcement" or "extinction". I use the term redirection of attention: pay more attention to wanted behavior and less to unwanted, not just ignoring. The best way is to first pay more attention to wanted behavior and later pay less to unwanted. You don't want to overall reduce the amount of attention that the kid gets. Sometimes subtle ignoring is recommended, so subtle that the kid does not seem to notice it, but the behavior changes anyway.

One of the problems is that most parents think change happens slowly because they have not using been the most powerful methods. When I suggest something, they don't understand that it will work in two weeks, there is not a lot of ignoring involved.

Of course, AK criticism is correct that this is "doing to" the kid rather than "working with" the kid. In some of the methods with behavioral components, there is too little emphasis on the fact you should prefer to use the "working with" approach and always be trying to transition away from "doing to" and toward "working with".

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#50 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 10:57 AM
 
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One mistake a made relative to the root cause of behavior. I tried to motivate my DD with money for good grades and threats of taking away privileges for bad grades.

But she had difficulties anyway, and the way things turned out, what she really needed was certain types of skills training, not more motivation. At least, skills training seemed to solve the problem.

Also, the threats caused her to deceive us about grades, which complicated matters. (One of the problems with punishment is that it encourages sneakiness.)

And a reward on the interval of a grading period is considered to be a lousy motivator even by experts who are not anti-rewards.(And there's the idea that rewards undermine intrinsic motivation.)

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#51 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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You certainly seem to speak with a lot of authority on the subject. I feel like there is a lot more room for broader ways to think about this, and certainly many, many more schools of thought to factor. I also parented in two different countries so I can say that I think your perspective on behaviorism in the US and Europe may be a bit off (or too much of a generalization on the similarities of European culture of child rearing). Also, having taken a PET program I don't think your assessment of "rejecting behaviorism" is accurate. I think it is far more nuanced than that.

ETA: One other thing that occurs to me is that your reading has not been applied in practice as a parent. I think that can really help give a deeper understanding of the limitations of this as well as the more nuanced ways that it can/should be applied in a family.

Wouldn't you say?

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#52 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 11:22 AM
 
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One mistake a made relative to the root cause of behavior.
One umbrella theory that we haven't really touched on (and one that fits with toddlerhood) is the whole AP thing. I think meeting needs and identifying underlying causes for behavior are strong elements of AP. One of the problems with behaviorism (and rewards, and punishments and all forms of behavior management) is that much of it should be avoided by addressing more basic needs - even if that need is for attention.

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#53 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 12:25 PM
 
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. Also, having taken a PET program I don't think your assessment of "rejecting behaviorism" is accurate. I think it is far more nuanced than that.
Interesting that behaviorism gets a nuanced treatment in PET classes these days. I read the PET book and saw nothing but total unqualified rejection of behaviorism. UP is less of a rejection because AK includes some qualifying statements.

Maybe the modern courses have deviated from the book. The book was written in 1970. I have a recent Kindle edition but maybe the book is not up-to-date relative to the course.
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#54 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 12:46 PM
 
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Interesting that behaviorism gets a nuanced treatment in PET classes these days.
It could come down to how much of a spectrum we think behaviorism is. I've been parenting with the idea of CL for a while and what that has showed me is that a lot of this stuff is very nuanced.

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#55 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 12:58 PM
 
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ETA: One other thing that occurs to me is that your reading has not been applied in practice as a parent. I think that can really help give a deeper understanding of the limitations of this as well as the more nuanced ways that it can/should be applied in a family.

Wouldn't you say?
My training in the day care was before I became a parent. So I
used directed attention (planned ignoring, positive reinforcement with attention) at lot in my parenting. But I had no reading on behaviorism as it related to parenting then. And I knew less about behaviorism then than I do now. I also had no exposure to PET or anything like that.

The first book on using behaviorism in parenting was Living with Children and the 1st edition must have been just after 1968, but I did not know about till maybe 2008.

Of course "time-out" (or some deformed version of it) had escaped the lab and propagated all around early on. I never even tried to use it or learn about. Redirecting attention was sufficient and my kids never did anything aggressive or hurtful that could not be ignored.

I married into a family with a 2 year-old in the early 1980's (plus two older kids) and I had another in 1984.

The second book on behaviorism in parenting was The Power of Positive Parenting, published in 1994. But I did know about it till years later.

There was not much for parents to read in the area of behaviorism when we were raising our kids. Even today, there are only about 3 other books that I know of.

We use our reading with my grandchildren. I have a rep for being good with kids. But we only care for them a few days at a time.

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#56 of 71 Old 06-25-2014, 01:48 PM
 
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Here's something fairly recent from the PET people on behaviorism:

http://www.gordontraining.com/free-p...ea-of-rewards/

Do you see any nuance?

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In that tiny article? No, I guess not. Is your last post an attempt to dig deep into PET? I'm happy to do that on another thread. A quick browse though PET and PET in Action remind me how very current and progressive these books are still today!

That does not mean that I don't think this is nuanced. I think that if you, unlike me and the OP, have not tried to parent consensually with a toddler, then you don't know that things can get a bit fuzzy. I can say that where a book or article may be able to gloss over the hard stuff, a workshop or class is not.

I took that workshop with Janice Kaiser and remember her saying, "Hey, in some families yelling is an authentic way to communicate."

ETA: (The chapter on "Value Collisions" may be of particular interest to those wanting to dig into those grey, complicated areas).

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#59 of 71 Old 06-26-2014, 10:16 AM
 
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One mistake a made relative to the root cause of behavior. I tried to motivate my DD with money for good grades and threats of taking away privileges for bad grades.

But she had difficulties anyway, and the way things turned out, what she really needed was certain types of skills training, not more motivation. At least, skills training seemed to solve the problem.

Also, the threats caused her to deceive us about grades, which complicated matters. (One of the problems with punishment is that it encourages sneakiness.)

And a reward on the interval of a grading period is considered to be a lousy motivator even by experts who are not anti-rewards.(And there's the idea that rewards undermine intrinsic motivation.)
This is what I didn't like about using forms of reinforcement with younger children, too. I think it undermines their intrinsic motivations. Plus, we know for sure that all three-year-olds lack information and skills for living in society, because they're very new people. Trying to teach skills and information first makes sense.

But I think it is true that I did use some aspects of reinforcement when my son was three. We both tended to try to repeat routines that gave us both pleasure. You can't beat a trip to the public library with a playground session and a nice snack on the special tables outside the library. In fact, you can't beat an annoyingly long wait at the parking department when you have a picture book with you.

If he shows that he likes something by acting pleasant and pleased, you do it again. Or maybe that's him reinforcing MY good behavior.

Anyway, if I were the OP and I knew a lot about dogs, I would start a campaign to make my three-year-old a dog EXPERT. I would make myself the authority and him the apprentice, and then I would brag like a fool to anyone who would listen when he learned difficult concepts in dog handling. Because I'm a weirdo! That's how I handled toilet training. We had several months of diaper changes with the kid asking me to tell him the story of poop, and me naming all the parts of the digestive tract.

And then, one day, he decided to use the toilet! I still don't know how that worked when everything else failed, but it did.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#60 of 71 Old 06-26-2014, 11:48 AM
 
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Another thought on theories and studies -- what I most appreciate about CD theories is what they can tell us about what is going on at a deep level with our kids. What can the theory of conservation tell us about why a toddler may freak out about a broken cookie? What can object permanence tell us about why a child may develop separation anxiety?

To me, a study that shows that kids do more of X behavior when Y happens does not, to me, offer the insight of *WHY* a child is responding in this way. That is the meat, IMO.

What we may be able to take away is that from the behavior study linked above is that children desire interaction from their caregivers in such a profound way that they are willing to behave in such a way to provoke ANY sort of interaction from their caregiver. If that is a good theory (I think it is) - that is GREAT information. It tells us that our kids may need A LOT more interaction than what they get in our culture. We can then take that foundation and apply it easily to whatever type of parenting that resonates with us.

For CO, that may mean lots and lots of conversation. And that will "work" because it is the attention the child is craving - NOT the behavior. I may decide that my DC and I need to do a lot of projects together. That is what I like to do and it is what feels good to both me and my kids. The OP may decide that the best way apply this theory is to interact with both her toddler and the dog on a more frequent basis. Again, the child is getting their needs met based on the foundations established by theories and research.

It's too simple to say you do X and then you get Y. We need to know why this is in order to make any real (and authentic!) use of the research being discussed.

Does that make sense?
Not sure if it is possible to satiate the desire for attention. There is evidence that it involves the dopamine response and may be kind of addictive. Dog trainers think dogs become bigger attention-seekers if they get more attention, but I don't know if that carries over to kids.

Some kids react badly to a decline in the amount of attention they get, so keeping it at least steady over time is good, but hard to do when a new baby arrives without additional support. Therefore trying to give them more attention in an attempt to satiate it might backfire. You have perhaps now have to keep it at a higher level to prevent problems.

My advice is a change of mindset.

Old mindset: attention getting is a problem. how can we make it go away?

New mindset: attention getting is normal, the real problem is that I as a parent direct my behavior-getting attention too much toward unwanted behavior rather than wanted behavior.
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