Non-Violent Family Contract - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-10-2005, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to share this idea from my therapist who is, strangely enough, pro-spanking. We have been dealing with a lot of outright nastiness lately- agressive behavior, screaming, etc. It all came to a head when my 5-year-old son got in my face and yelled "YOU SHUT UP". I slapped him. I was horrified- it was such a gut reaction. I apologized to him and told him that it was wrong for me to do. I said that what he did was wrong also, and that we needed to work on being respectful to one another
We have family meetings, so what we did was write out a contract.
It said
"We are a peaceful family.
We do not hit. We have gentle hands.
We do not yell. We use loving words.
We forgive one another.
We ask forgiveness when we have done wrong.
We love one another as God has loved us"

We all signed it and hung it up where we can see it.

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#2 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 12:04 AM
 
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I might modify this and see if I can get dh to agree to it. I wonder if it would help my 3yo?
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#3 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 01:07 AM
 
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That is really beautiful!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#4 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 01:08 AM
 
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It is amazing the grace and beauty that can come from angst and turmoil when there is conscious intention to change!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#5 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 01:45 AM
 
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That is absolutely wonderful. I'm going to show this to DH right now.

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#6 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your support mamas!
Annette

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#7 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 03:34 PM
 
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What a wonderful reminder of your commitment as a family to become more peaceful
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#8 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 03:57 PM
 
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Wow, I like the contract. It is great. I love what it says.



And I would be changing therapists.

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#9 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 07:49 PM
 
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Beautiful idea!

Thank you for sharing your story with us. Moments like that are very painful.

I recently had a similar situation with dd, 3. I didn't hit her, but I picked her up by the jacket and scared her pretty bad. I was crying, she was crying, both ds1 and ds2 started crying. I just discussed with dh last night to do something as a family to ensure we are kind and respectful to one another. I think this may work!

Thanks Annettemarie!

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#10 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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That is a great idea. I'm a big fan of contracts in my personal life (umm... yeah, I am in law school, what about it?) but haven't yet had the opportunity to try them out with small people. Can I ask you, how do you see the contract working in the future? I'm assuming you have some ideas of how you will be able to use it to help the whole family funciton?
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#11 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know. (How's that for honest?) Thus far, it's a neutral reference point. Remeber the family contract? I can point to it if they hit, or scream rudely, and since they have signed it, they have to agree (well, they don't have to, but they don't know that). They have ownership in it. Family meetings are really helpful, too, because if Thing Two is running around like a maniac during quiet time, I can say, what did we agree would happen if you didn't have a quiet time? And she says, I'll have to have an early bedtime and I will miss story (we consider this a logical consequence- we all need a certain amount of rest and if you don't get it in the afternoon you'll have to make up for it at night). And then she makes a choice- and it truly is her own choice. We all agreed to the consequence, we all agreed and made compromises on quiet time, and we all abide by what we've decided.
I'm not sure if that's what you meant!
Annette

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#12 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 11:04 PM
 
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I think when children feel a part of the "problem solving process", that it gives them a sense of ownership and resonibility to abide by the agreements they helped forge. It probably won't make everybody behave like angels overnight, but it will give everyone a clear understanding of what's expected of them, and what values your family holds dear, without the kids feeling like it's something forced on them (and thus a power struggle). Good job!

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#13 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You said what I was trying to say much more concisely!
Annette

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#14 of 14 Old 02-11-2005, 11:31 PM
 
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I love this! This is how I try to engage w/ grown ups I care about. Trying to engage w/ my kid the same way? What a f-in' revolutionary concept! I almost can't wait for him to hurry up and get big enough to negotiate contracts with me! :LOL (But not really.)
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