"lack of discipline" thread now titled "OT Essays and Rants" - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-20-2005, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry, I just had to get this off my chest.

I know some people, both online and IRL, who equate gentle discipline with no real routines or boundaries or consequences. They make a bad impression on others about what GD really is and it is starting to push me away from using that "label" myself.

I have a friend whose toddler "doesn't need naps anymore." The poor toddler is whiny, cranky, and irritable all day long... doesn't really talk, play, anything. Why does mom assume that the toddler doesn't need naps anymore? Because she won't just lay down and go to sleep. She's never had a nap routine or anything, so when she got into the stubborn toddler years, she simply wouldn't lay down without protest. So apparently a toddler is capable of making perfectly rational judgements regarding her health and well being.

I understand that there are many shades of gray... I am FAR FAR from a perfect parent, as my previous posts here can attest . But it really goads me when parents equate their own laziness with "acceptance" and "gentle discipline". If a child is very sick and must be seen by a doctor, you don't NOT go simply because your child throws a fit and doesn't want to. You don't let your toddler stop taking naps simply because she doesn't want to, when it is OBVIOUS that they are suffering because of it. (I understand there are some toddlers who function perfectly fine without a nap... I'm not talking about them).

Being a parent means respecting your children as individuals and always having lines of communication open and in use. HOWEVER, it also means making decisions for your children that they may not agree with and like, because they don't have the developmental capacity to do these things themselves!

Sorry. Rant over now.
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Old 01-20-2005, 12:58 AM
 
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OMG I totally agreee. I sometimes get those snide words or looks implying that I couldn't possible be disciplining sinced I don't spank or yell (Notsaying I haven't slipped but it is my goal not to do any) I get "Oh you'll see" instead of being commended for trying to be a kind loveing mommy who really has a well behaved 2 year old (So well behaved I worry )
I couldn't possibly know what I am talking about since I just have one..."Oh first time mommy" comments drive me crazy!! I once had alady laugh at me for dring the cart seat in teh supermarket b/c it was out in the rain and I didn't want to put DD in a wet seat. She laughed, Oh this must be your first. I sure hope I never have so many kids that I would plop their butts into a wet cold seat. Sorry..you got me going!!

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Old 01-20-2005, 01:10 AM
 
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Just be patient. People don't always know what to do instead of spanking and they get not CIO confused with never letting their child cry about anything. Sometimes they scream *because* you are meeting their needs!

It's a pretty big paradigm shift when it isn't what you grew up with and/or you have really intense kid.

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Old 01-20-2005, 01:17 AM
 
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Well, while I generally agree with the message of your post, I had that non-napping-but-miserable toddler. My question was, and remains, how do you force a toddler to sleep? My many efforts were unsuccessful..... so miserable, non-napping toddler it was.
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:25 AM
 
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It is strange that people think that if you're not spanking/punishing/putting your kid in time-out that you've completely washed your hands of parenting! I think there is so much more going on if you are using gentle discipline--mainly because it's not a quick-fix, conditioning your kid to "behave"--it takes a lot of work to guide, to empower, to build trust, to model, to assume the best, and look beyond the symptoms.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:09 AM
 
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: this bothers me a LOT. IL's especially give us (me) a hard time about it. MIL made this really offensive comment about how DD must be stupid in order to not know the word "no" (she was 15 months at the time). We don't like to use negative words and instead tell her what she should do INSTEAD and why we don't want her to continue... 'no' doesn't tell her anything, or help her learn how to make better choices or understand us.


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Old 01-20-2005, 03:41 AM
 
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candiland-i totally feel you. My sister would definitely fall in your category. she would let her ds, when a toddler, just run around all night until he finally passed out, at like mindnight or 1 in the morning. He was unbearable to be around the whole time, naturally, and then just as unbearable the whole next day. My sister would say these wishy washy "oh, he'll fall asleep when he's supposed to, he's in touch with his own clock." but really it had more to do with her not wanting to establish any kind of routine whatsoever, because she is a far bigger disorganized slacker than i could be on my worst day-and that's sayinig something.

the funny thing is, she recently married someone who is her polar opposite. He's ex-military, very into schedules, so now she has her dc on one, and naturally he is alot more pleasant to be around.
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:36 AM
 
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While I can see what you're saying (I think... foggy brain tonight, it's been a long day here lol). My family has never had any real schedules or "organization". Neither of my children were ever forced to nap against their will. They were encouraged, layed with and cuddled if that is what they wanted, read to, and etc... but there would never have been a battle about napping in my home if they hadn't wanted to take one. Same thing with bedtimes. The children do not have them. Not having schedules, naps, and the like doesn't mean a "lack of discipline" for everyone.

I can relate to being annoyed when someone (my in-laws often lol) thinks that gentle guidance/discipline means the children are evil out of control little demons who don't respect their parents. Ughh.

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Old 01-20-2005, 02:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
. Not having schedules, naps, and the like doesn't mean a "lack of discipline" for everyone.
no, absolutely not. but when a particular child would really benefit from one, and the parents won't out of some belief that it "stifles their creativity" or what have you, then it does come down to that.

i don't have a schedule, per se. our life doesn't really allow for anything to be on a strict timeline. we have more of a typical order of events that happen when they happen. but if dd was clearly needing something more defined, i'd move heaven and earth to give it to her.
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candiland
I'm sorry, I just had to get this off my chest.

Sorry. Rant over now.
I tire of being told I'm not disciplining my child if I don't force said child to eat, sleep, crap on demand.

I tire of being called "lazy" for not doing things the way others see fit.

I tire of parents who engage in daily power struggles telling me I should.

Sorry. Rant just beginning. :
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:44 PM
 
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devi-respectfully-if your child and family are thriving with whatever form of discipline you do (or don't do), then you are not being discussed here.
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:50 PM
 
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It's not your job or mine to decide when anothers child is "thriving" or not.
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:57 PM
 
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well, in my sister's case, when noone, not even his grandparent's who adore him wanted to be within 100 feet of him, it was pretty obvious. When he got kicked out of 2 preschools, one for punching a teacher in the face, it was pretty obvious. When she started putting him on a schedule, and he completely changed within like 2 days, it was pretty obvious.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama ganoush
well, in my sister's case, when noone, not even his grandparent's who adore him wanted to be within 100 feet of him, it was pretty obvious. When he got kicked out of 2 preschools, one for punching a teacher in the face, it was pretty obvious. When she started putting him on a schedule, and he completely changed within like 2 days, it was pretty obvious.
Your sister is not here to defend herself.

It's my guess that her story may differ from yours? Perhaps the kid just reached a new stage of development. Perhaps the child has a different temperment than yours?

Everything has a cost/benefit. It's up to "thoughtful" parents to decide what the cost/benefit is for doing things in a manner they see fit.

The OP equated medical neglect with a mothers choice not to nap a child. That is a rather outrageous comparison.

Perhaps that child would be up till 5 am had he/she napped? WE don't know.

Again, it's not up to YOU or ME to decide these things. Hopefully AP Moms will be in touch with the needs of their child/family and make decisions that meet the needs of their children/themselves.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:09 PM
 
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actually, the story is from my sister. she honestly couldn't believe how his just getting enough sleep totally changed his personality for the better.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama ganoush
actually, the story is from my sister. she honestly couldn't believe how his just getting enough sleep totally changed his personality for the better.
Good for her. She certainly doesn't sound "lazy" or "neglectful" to me in this specific situation. Sounds like she weighed things and came to a decision that HER child needed naps.

Do you think she should be equated to a parent who doesn't seek necessary medical attention?

I don't.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:31 PM
 
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no. absolutely not. But, and you need to know that my sister and i are close-and we both are very aware of each other's faults-had she not recently married this man who insisted that her dc was behaving so poorly due to a lack of sleep and some simple boundaries, she still would be saying things like "well, when he wants to go to bed he will." while at the exact same time her then 2 year old dc would be screaming, crying, hitting people, pulling his mom's hair, throwing things, just literally several hours of non-stop meltdowns. And my gentle and out of love "honey, he is telling you he wants to go to bed in the best way he knows how and you are ignoring that" fell on deaf, i don't want to dampen his spirits ears.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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Devi--
You are describing much of my situation when dd was a toddler. Naps ended at 20 months--and, yes, she was miserable. Cranky and tantrumy and miserable. And, yes, I tried to get her to nap. Not happening.

And the occasional nap that slipped in would have her up until well past midnight.

You know what my ped said at her 24 mo exam (when I was begging for advice about our sleep issues)? "Don't let her nap. If she is only going to sleep 10 hours in every 24 hour period, make sure it is all at night."

You know, there is an old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes.....it is hard enough to have a miserable toddler that can't/won't nap. The last thing that mama needs is criticism piled on. I can tell you that from experience
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnmama
Devi--
You are describing much of my situation when dd was a toddler. Naps ended at 20 months--and, yes, she was miserable. Cranky and tantrumy and miserable. And, yes, I tried to get her to nap. Not happening.

And the occasional nap that slipped in would have her up until well past midnight.

You know what my ped said at her 24 mo exam (when I was begging for advice about our sleep issues)? "Don't let her nap. If she is only going to sleep 10 hours in every 24 hour period, make sure it is all at night."
You know, there is an old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes.....it is hard enough to have a miserable toddler that can't/won't nap. The last thing that mama needs is criticism piled on. I can tell you that from experience
Exactly!

Temperment is also tied very much to sleep issues. People who don't have a child with said temperment may not know, and thus point fingers saying "AAAAH HAH!"

I felt a 'restful' nights sleep was more important for my child, than taking a nap and tossing and turning all night. That's my choice, and it was a "thoughtful" one. My dd is 6.5 now, and the finger pointers can no longer blame naps on issues of temperment.

"Walk a mile in my shoes" that very phrase came to my mind as well.

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Old 01-20-2005, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Devi - sorry, I guess we don't know the same people. When something is affecting a child's health and the parents don't want to do anything about it, it is a problem. And can you please point me to the sentence in which I say "a toddler who doesn't take naps and is miserable all the time is just as bad as a severely ill child who doesn't want to see the doctor and is not forced to do so?" TIA.

I consider "discipline" guiding a child respectfully and gently... it doesn't mean "controlling" or giving time outs or spanking. : But there are some things that kids must do for their own health and well being, even if they really don't want to. It's very unhealthy for kids to not have boundaries set. We all know this here on the GD board (I hope). This is real life, and unless you live totally outside of contact with society, then kids need to be able to function in it. Otherwise you are doing them and those around you a grave disservice.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama ganoush
no. absolutely not. But, and you need to know that my sister and i are close-and we both are very aware of each other's faults-had she not recently married this man who insisted that her dc was behaving so poorly due to a lack of sleep and some simple boundaries, she still would be saying things like "well, when he wants to go to bed he will." while at the exact same time her then 2 year old dc would be screaming, crying, hitting people, pulling his mom's hair, throwing things, just literally several hours of non-stop meltdowns. And my gentle and out of love "honey, he is telling you he wants to go to bed in the best way he knows how and you are ignoring that" fell on deaf, i don't want to dampen his spirits ears.
Your sisters situation sounds different than many others who know when their child won't nap or sleep well if they do.

I'm glad you don't equate her to a lazy and neglectful mother in the process of discussing her situation. Had that not been done in this thread, I'd have skimmed right on over it.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We also went through the refusal to take naps thing. Me or my dh would lay with dd or ds until they fell asleep, no matter how much they protested. It WAS affecting their physical and emotional health, and I don't play around with that. Just like no matter how much my toddler tantrumed because he wanted to eat a bag of sugar, I wouldn't let him do it. It could make him sick and he doesn't have the rational ability to think it through on his own...... that's what he has parents for.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and I do know a lazy parent. Sorry, but I hung out with her on a daily basis and saw it firsthand. Her dd would repeatedly hit my daughter, push her down onto concrete walkways, take everything from her... and her mom would laugh and say "Oh, let them work it out by themselves!" She was too irresponsible to deal with the behavior so she chose to ignore it. I got sick of the abuse and stopped hanging out with her. And yes, she labeled this parenting "gentle discipline". Ummmm, nope, sorry, it's a total lack of discipline.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candiland
Devi - sorry, I guess we don't know the same people. When something is affecting a child's health and the parents don't want to do anything about it, it is a problem. And can you please point me to the sentence in which I say "a toddler who doesn't take naps and is miserable all the time is just as bad as a severely ill child who doesn't want to see the doctor and is not forced to do so?" TIA.

I consider "discipline" guiding a child respectfully and gently... it doesn't mean "controlling" or giving time outs or spanking. : But there are some things that kids must do for their own health and well being, even if they really don't want to. It's very unhealthy for kids to not have boundaries set. We all know this here on the GD board (I hope). This is real life, and unless you live totally outside of contact with society, then kids need to be able to function in it. Otherwise you are doing them and those around you a grave disservice.
Of course kids must do things they don't always want to, but you don't get to decide what those things are for other people. If your friends child is unhealthy and crabby, you don't have to subject yourself to said child.

And, once again are equating this childs nap situation with neglecting health. Do share the evidence that this child is unhealthy because he/she are not napping like your child is.

Had you not used inflamatory language, I'd not have replied.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by candiland
We also went through the refusal to take naps thing. Me or my dh would lay with dd or ds until they fell asleep, no matter how much they protested. It WAS affecting their physical and emotional health, and I don't play around with that. Just like no matter how much my toddler tantrumed because he wanted to eat a bag of sugar, I wouldn't let him do it. It could make him sick and he doesn't have the rational ability to think it through on his own...... that's what he has parents for.
What does eating a bag of sugar have to do with napping?
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm..... not being able to socialize, play, and engage in physical activities because they just sit there and whine and cry all day long certainly doesn't sound like it's healthy. I'm pretty sure you'd have to find evidence to DISPROVE it......
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Old 01-20-2005, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What does a bag of sugar have to with napping????? Are you totally serious???? I'm saying that as parents, we have to make healthy decisions for our children. We can't give in to their every whim.... THAT'S WHAT THEY HAVE PARENTS FOR. THEY CAN'T FULLY UNDERSTAND THESE THINGS THEMSELVES. I don't think anything could be much clearer.... you're just purposefully overanalyzing everything because you are feeling incredibly defensive, for whatever reason that may be.
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Old 01-20-2005, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by candiland
We also went through the refusal to take naps thing. Me or my dh would lay with dd or ds until they fell asleep, no matter how much they protested. It WAS affecting their physical and emotional health, and I don't play around with that. Just like no matter how much my toddler tantrumed because he wanted to eat a bag of sugar, I wouldn't let him do it. It could make him sick and he doesn't have the rational ability to think it through on his own...... that's what he has parents for.
That's your choice. I too layed down with my daughter (when she stopped napping) for hours at times trying to encourage naps, and if I was lucky enough to get her to sleep, she was up all night.

Each situation is different Candiland. I think we have to recognize that.
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Old 01-20-2005, 04:01 PM
 
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Okay, threads like this make me feel cranky. People are going to criticize your parenting. People are going to criticize your parenting whether or not my kids take a nap. People are going to criticize your parenting whether my kids follows a routine you recognize or not.

The folks who don't understand the concept of gentle discipline aren't going to "get it" because I parent differently.

These threads start up in the GD forum every now and then. It seems like it's about reassuring ourselves that the hard work of GD is worth it.

My feeling is that my parenting relationship is none of anyone else's business, so I don't care who criticizes it. Some of the stuff I do and don't do might strike an uninvolved party as off. The hard work of GD is worth to me to forge a good relationship with a person I will know and love for the rest of my life. I don't see a reason in the world to care whether anyone else likes it, or even if it makes someone else's mother-in-law (who wasn't going to like your gentle parenting anyway) make an off-comment.

Yup, these threads make me cranky....

(btw, mama g, I think offering your sister advice and support is a different thing than being critical. I'm glad her little one is feeling better.)
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Old 01-20-2005, 04:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candiland
What does a bag of sugar have to with napping????? Are you totally serious???? I'm saying that as parents, we have to make healthy decisions for our children. We can't give in to their every whim.... THAT'S WHAT THEY HAVE PARENTS FOR. THEY CAN'T FULLY UNDERSTAND THESE THINGS THEMSELVES. I don't think anything could be much clearer.... you're just purposefully overanalyzing everything because you are feeling incredibly defensive, for whatever reason that may be.
Actually your equating letting a child eat a bag of sugar, and neglecting a childs health with a child not napping. That's a seriously irresponsible comparison and it deserves a response.

I haven't much more time to participate in this thread because I've got things to do. But, many parents who desire to control their children use all kinds of non-related metaphors.

Ever here this one about spanking:

"What if your child ran out on to the street?!" It has nothing to do with the decision not to spank, but controlling parents use it to justify their actions. Your using the "bag of sugar and neglecting health" metaphors as means to judge your friends.

I'm not angry Candiland, I just wish you'd practice a little "live and let live" is all.

Peace
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