Do you "punish" your child? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 04:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tippytoes26
If my 3.5 year old chooses not to wash her hands after playing in the indoor playground, she could become very ill ...I feel it is my DUTY as a parent to impose more than just a disapproving look or attitude.
I feel it is my duty to get her hands washed in the MOST matter of fact way WITHOUT the disapproving look or attitude.

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If I get stopped for speading, the cop doesn't just give me a disapproving look and explain to me how he doesn't approve of what I've done. He does sometimes remind me that speeding can cause accidents and isn't safe.
I'd much rather the guy just write me the ticket matter-of-factly. I sped, I'm getting fined, yup! I HATE it and react so strongly when the cop has some of attitude.

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#122 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 05:29 PM
 
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Potty Diva,

Sorry if I missed this, but a few questions:

Do you have these problems everywhere, or just day care?

Did the situation start/get worse after you started working there?

I ask because for 1 1/2 years I worked as Director of a preschool where my 2 younger dds attended. The baby had no problems, but my middle daughter's behavior deteriorated to the point where I could have (but didn't) spank her. I ended up leaving and now I work from home. Her behavior (and our relationship) have totally changed for the better. I really believe that the situation of having mommy be a teacher was just too much for her. She really needed me to just be her mommy.

I don't know if this applies to your situation, but I wanted to share my experiences just in case. I didn't see it at first and wasn't even completely sure that was the problem before I quit. I'm so glad I did.
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#123 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 05:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tippytoes26
... how do your children react when you aren't around? What about school? after they are out on their own? Everywhere else if they misbehave, they will be punshied.
I accept that at my day care, time outs will occur. When my 2.5 yo tries to impose them on her dolls, I talk to the doll and sit with her (the doll) in timeout. I'm serious. We talk about WHY baby might hit. Baby needed a litte more space from doggie. Baby didn't have the words to say "''scuse me." Baby was feeling a little sad and wanting more loving and holding, and didn't know how to say that.

I follow the Continuum-Concept which describes what we might think of as a punishment-free culture. No one person ever imposes their will on another. This includes small children.

On thievery: Why do you not steal from your family? Is is the threat of punishment? Or because you see yourself as part of the greater whole? You'd only be "stealing" from yourself.

I like the quote "You cannot get another person to behave better by making them feel worse," and think this applies at any age.

Too much else to answer.

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#124 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 06:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tippytoes26


If you never have any final consequences.. how do your children react when you aren't around? What about school? after they are out on their own? Everywhere else if they misbehave, they will be punshied.... Rules and punishment for non-compliance are in place in every culture around the world.
Well, my children behave mostly the same way out in the world as they do at home (actually they are better behaved at school than at home, but overall well behaved in both). The school my children attend have a "you break it, you fix it" approach to things, which is fine by me. The school also has a very extensive "social curriculum." They are all very capable of "fixing" things whether it's someones feelings, or a ripped book. Teachers help children with working out difficulties, help them put feelings into words, and help them understand eachother. Every "negative" behaviour is seen as a chance for learning, and is not brushed off but worked with in the moment. "Punishment" is a real, real rarity.
Just because we don't use "punishments" in our house, doesn't mean that undesired behaviour is simply ignored. You mentioned what do you do if one kid hits another? Well, we talk about how hitting is not OK- which is usually followed by the hitter explaining to me why they hit, which is folllowed by me explaining again why hitting is not ok, and a discussion is sparked about what the child could have done instead of hitting. This has happend in my house, and so far the child who was hit has not felt jilted to my knowledge.
We do a lot of talking in our house. We talk about all kinds of behaviour situations, real and hypothetical. Kids ask lots of questions, I answer honestly. We talk all the time about how to treat one another, and analyze situations we witness IRL or on TV, and talk about what other people do in thier homes. When my kids see other children in the store or wherever who's parents are shreiking at them, or timeouting them or spewing empty threats, they ask questions and we talk about it. I do want them to "do the right thing" because it feels good in thier hearts. I know that is what I do. I don't walk through this world doing the right thing because I fear being put in jail. I do it because that's what feels right to me.
Also, working with kids everyday, I really believe that it's the kids who do get punished at home, and/or hit at home who have the worst behaviour of all at school. I don't think the idea of punishment at home = compliance out in the world is true at all.
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#125 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 08:43 PM
 
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Ok so I was a wench, sorry. i am just so stressed and the comment about me not using Gd sent me over the top.

Kailey is GREAT at home and elsewhere, except at granny's which is kind of stressful. But, we have time and energy to work through things with her. Her behavior is scray when she is in a room with me at childcare(generally she is not since i have the older kids but lately we have been low in numbers and combining classes. Today however i had Kailey go with her own teacher, and took another child- she had a great day. Also to add to the problem of yesterday, she didn't go to sleep until 1 am, didn't eat breakfast(didn't want it) and no nap. DUH. so ya I feel like an ass of a mother for not getting the lightbulb on earlier or I would have handled the situation much more appropriately. UGH!

Although the center where i work is wonderful and quiet and loving, easy going, etc...there is something about ME being in the center that sends Kailey over the top. We also had a teacher change a few months ago. It took her six months when she first started to get used to her old teacher. So now we are starting all over again. It pains me to see her go through such strong emotions. I KNOW why she is stressing and it kills me.

I would love to stay home with her again, but RIGHT now it is impossible. My DH only works F,Sat, and Sun as it is and goes to school during the week. I work all day and and come August 15th will be going to school in the am and working until 5:30. Kailey will be there most of the day without me.

I am also feeling crappy that I lowered myself to spanking. Thanks for tolerating my posts.
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#126 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 08:45 PM
 
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Also, working with kids everyday, I really believe that it's the kids who do get punished at home, and/or hit at home who have the worst behaviour of all at school. I don't think the idea of punishment at home = compliance out in the world is true at all.
Before having my child I completely agreed, but I guess we are an exception to that rule. Please see above post.

in fact most children who are spanked will behave in front of the punisher, but out of sight will act out aggressively.
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#127 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 08:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Potty Diva
Before having my child I completely agreed, but I guess we are an exception to that rule. Please see above post.

in fact most children who are spanked will behave in front of the punisher, but out of sight will act out aggressively.
And it seems that children who aren't spanked and who trust their parents often seem to have "worse" (or more authentic, anyway) behavior when with their parents. Which might explain, at least in part, why your daughter does better when she's not in the same daycare room with you, PD. When you're there, she can really be herself. And maybe she's jealous of the attention that the other children are receiving from you, too?

Overall, I guess that's a good thing. It's better than the opposite problem, right? At least she's not hiding everything from you.

I'm glad you all had a better day today.
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#128 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 09:01 PM
 
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Dragon~ Another thing my Psyche Prof said is that, children who are raised with gd discipline act out in front of parents because they feel safe to do so. That always kept me going. he said i would see consistant results until she was 5 or 6. I guess I just forget sometimes, yk? Gawd I hate being human
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#129 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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I was beaten almost daily as a kid. I was a scrawny lil kid with a 200lb father who would wail on me very regularly. I was chased down the street often trying to get away with no intervention from neighbors. I did hear as a young adult from a few that they really felt sorry for me back then. The last time my father hit me I was in my 20's. I was disowned over 8 years ago when he found out I was gay. I miss my mom, but not him. I also grew up to be a bully through grammar school and junior high. I was also beaten whenever I hit others. The irony kills me. When at friends houses I was very very well behaved. The only people I was pretty mean to was other kids who made fun or said mean stuff to me. Anyone who "sounded like" my parents with demeaning statements I would rage at. Other than that I was also known for being a protector of small or shy kids. I hated seeing anyone get picked on.

My point is, what is done to us, what we go through at home, in the world.....we all process differently. One child can be left to CIO and may not suffer, another may have lifelong trauma. I don't believe in CIO or "punitive" discipline. I think the test if my actions would be ok to a friend or stranger to see if they are ok for my child is a good one. Not the only one but a good one. I lose it sometimes because of my own "baggage", NOT because of anything Bliss does. When I lose it bad I yell, it is something he does not deserve, ever, and I am working on it. I am so incredibly HONORED to be allowed to be his mother and help guide him for a short time that it takes my breath away. Personally I view parenting as me trying to keep growing healthy enough and fast enough to keep up with him. Safety is my responsibility, training is not IMO.

I want him to know he is respected and valued as another fellow human being, a beautiful wonderous being.


my 2 bits more
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#130 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 09:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bleurae

I think the test if my actions would be ok to a friend or stranger to see if they are ok for my child is a good one.
:

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I am so incredibly HONORED to be allowed to be his mother and help guide him for a short time that it takes my breath away. Personally I view parenting as me trying to keep growing healthy enough and fast enough to keep up with him. Safety is my responsibility, training is not IMO.

I want him to know he is respected and valued as another fellow human being, a beautiful wonderous being.
Well, now I'm all teary-eyed.

I used to work with kids who were abused. Without exception, every one of those parents had been abused when THEY were children. I think it takes amazing strength to break that cycle.

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#131 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 09:18 PM
 
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Thanks Joan,
I was thinking about it today and sometimes I am so frustrated at where I am starting from ykwim? I think wow what if I had had parents like so many women here, think how much further/calmer/wiser/grounded I would be when dealing with Bliss. I ADORE the GD boards and practice it in my homw to my best ability with constant room for improvement, but I wish I was better. I read about the other terms for 'good job" type of threads, and I work on it, but I feel like the ga I am bridging is soooo wide sometimes. I try not to get on myself to hard, but I do sometimes get so irked at my upbringing for those reasons.
I ultimately sit back, take a deep breath and try to have the sensitivity for myself as I do for Bliss but it is a definate process.
It sure does make a BIG difference to be able to come to these threads and hear such wisdom and grace and stumbles and falls all rolled up from such wonderful women trying to do the best job they can with their beloved children.
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#132 of 154 Old 08-09-2005, 10:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Potty Diva
Dragon~ Another thing my Psyche Prof said is that, children who are raised with gd discipline act out in front of parents because they feel safe to do so. That always kept me going. he said i would see consistant results until she was 5 or 6. I guess I just forget sometimes, yk? Gawd I hate being human
I hear you. :LOL Sometimes I wish I could be robot super mommy. I just have to remind myself that every time I drop my basket, there's an opportunity for valuable learning for both myself and ds.
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#133 of 154 Old 08-10-2005, 12:40 AM
 
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WHEW! Just got through the whole thing. I am right there with the food allergy moms. Dairy, wheat or beef and my beautiful boy becomes the troll from hell.

Someone asked for concrete ideas that worked. I have some. This works for my almost three and half year old, and I think it may be an age thing. I fully expect it to stop working as he matures.

We were having a problem with his not doing what I asked when it was necessary (stop screaming down the hallway when the baby is sleeping, no running across the parking lot and not holding my hand, things like this). So I asked him, "What can I do to get you to understand when something is not a choice, but something that has to be done?" He told me to put my hand up like a traffic policeman. It works. I use it very sparingly, but when the hand goes up, he stops and looks at me like, "Foiled again!"

We were having trouble leaving places (with plenty of warning and time for transition) without having total, horrible meltdowns. I asked him what I should do so that he knew we needed to leave and that I did not want a big fit to ensue. "Put your leg in the air like this" (imagine dog hiking leg--very attractive). It works.

Another thing is that when meltdown ensues, I have to get him to remove himself from it physically and mentally. I start with a few simple commands: Touch your head. Rub your tummy. Scratch your ears. When he gets in the groove, I give him something intellectual: Put your hands on your face and count your nostrils. Make a circle with your fingers and count the leaves you see in the circle. Either he is laughing at the end, or at least calm enough that we can work together to find a solution.

HTH!
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#134 of 154 Old 08-10-2005, 01:57 AM
 
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I love those ideas of him thinking up signals for you go give when you "mean it". It involves him in the process even of things he wouldnt usually be involved in. And he has more ownership of the process.
This is something I have not tried.
Joline
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#135 of 154 Old 08-10-2005, 02:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by annab
WHEW! Just got through the whole thing. I am right there with the food allergy moms. Dairy, wheat or beef and my beautiful boy becomes the troll from hell.

Someone asked for concrete ideas that worked. I have some. This works for my almost three and half year old, and I think it may be an age thing. I fully expect it to stop working as he matures.

We were having a problem with his not doing what I asked when it was necessary (stop screaming down the hallway when the baby is sleeping, no running across the parking lot and not holding my hand, things like this). So I asked him, "What can I do to get you to understand when something is not a choice, but something that has to be done?" He told me to put my hand up like a traffic policeman. It works. I use it very sparingly, but when the hand goes up, he stops and looks at me like, "Foiled again!"

We were having trouble leaving places (with plenty of warning and time for transition) without having total, horrible meltdowns. I asked him what I should do so that he knew we needed to leave and that I did not want a big fit to ensue. "Put your leg in the air like this" (imagine dog hiking leg--very attractive). It works.

Another thing is that when meltdown ensues, I have to get him to remove himself from it physically and mentally. I start with a few simple commands: Touch your head. Rub your tummy. Scratch your ears. When he gets in the groove, I give him something intellectual: Put your hands on your face and count your nostrils. Make a circle with your fingers and count the leaves you see in the circle. Either he is laughing at the end, or at least calm enough that we can work together to find a solution.

HTH!

Wow, what fabulous ideas!! I am going to try to remember them for when my DS is a little older.
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#136 of 154 Old 08-10-2005, 09:06 AM
 
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WHEW! So I asked him, "What can I do to get you to understand when something is not a choice, but something that has to be done?"
This is the part I like the best. We do this in our house. When kids are part of the process, and the feel ownership over it, they are WAY more likely to respond when needed. One of the reasons I think my kids "follow the rules" almost all of time is because...they made them up! We sit down and have family meetings often, and talk about what is working , and what is not. The kids write down "house rules" and refer to them often if they see somone breaking them. They feel much more inclined to follow them, when it was they themselves who imposed them, not me.
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#137 of 154 Old 08-10-2005, 03:24 PM
 
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Bleurae
Your post had me in tears. I'm so sorry that you had that growing up. I'm even more sorry that no one tried to protect you. How awful.
It's great that you are breaking the cycle, and I'm so glad you found this forum for support.
I guess I don't really have much to say but that.

Becky

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#138 of 154 Old 08-10-2005, 04:54 PM
 
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Thanks Becky,
The sad part for me is that it is so common, that so many of my friends have the same stories.
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#139 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 06:26 AM
 
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i'll keep reading, though, and trying things, and looking for new ways. otherwise i'll end up with one of those 13yo's that get brought home at 3am by the police, drunk out of his mind...~shakes head~ i really, really hope not...i hope i find something that gets him to be more social, more caring, better behaved, more respectful...before then.

pamela

pamela, I'm not through this thread either, (and I hope I'm not just bringing it out of from the dust...I don't even know if it's still active!) but I just wanted to say I really recommend you read some actual books, like Kids are Worth It by Coloroso, in addition to this board. When I first started reading this board, I thought most of what the "non-punishing" people had to say was crazy, permissive, wouldn't really work in real life, kids need limits, etc, etc. Then I read the books. I learned the true meaning and explanation behind the terms. Authors of books put much more time and research into what they write than what we have time to type out on this board, and because of that, books are much better at explaining these concepts so that they make sense and actually seem possible. After reading a few books, now I'm back to reading these threads, and I really do agree with what the [previously referred to as crazy] non-punishers say!

Honestly, a few months ago, I would have totally agreed with Joline, and I can really see where she's coming from. But now I am SO on the side of not wanting to do something to shame or cause pain to my child for the sole purpose of making them pay for what they did. I don't believe that will TEACH them anything, and I think that if you're lucky and it does make them any more likely not to do it again, the reason is FEAR. They wouldn't be not doing it because they've internalized the moral lesson and realize/understand why it's bad. No, if they "obey" after being punished, it is because they don't want to get in trouble! Maybe some day, down the road, they will internalize it and eventually understand that it's not right, but it won't be because of any punishment you've imposed on them.

Okay, I guess I'm going on a little more than I planned! I have thought about this a lot. My childhood was NOT very good--I was spanked for sure, among other much worse things. Since moving out, going to college, getting a degree basically in Child Development, having a child, and doing lots more research, my views have changed from "spanking isn't terrible and is some times necessary, but I don't want to do it a lot" to "Spanking isn't good, but other forms of punishment are definetly necessary so that kids have limits, etc," to "punishment really isn't a teaching tool, it's a shaming and power tool, and not something I want to use."

I really don't want to exert complete control over my children. From what I read in Joline's posts, you want your kids to CHOOSE to do what you want them to do, and if they don't choose it automatically, you will do everything you can to talk them into it, persuade them, reason with them, etc, etc, but when all that fails and they still choose NOT to do it, you can't handle that. You're going to MAKE them do it. Or else. They DON'T have control over themselves at all. They HAVE to do what you want them to do or they will be punished.

But please don't get me wrong--I'm NOT saying we should just let them do anything they want! Certainly not. I believe we can STOP them from doing something without punishing them for it. For example, the food throwing thing. There are many things you can do to stop it--usually if they're throwing food, they're not hungry anymore, so [kindly, gently!] get them down from the table. But you don't have to put them in time out. You can still be considerate of them. (If they ARE still hungry, you need to try something else, because it would be punishment if you're making them go hungry!) I don’t see the need to add some kind of shame on top of just stopping the behavior.

It’s 3:15 in the morning and my eyes are getting blurry. I apologize if this isn’t the most well written, coherent post ever! But I wanted to share some of my thoughts, and mostly say, I’ve been where some of you have been (Joline, Pamela, others), and I can see your reasoning for sure. But after reading some very well written explanations of the nonpunishment viewpoint, I have to say it really makes sense to me. I don’t think punishment is effective as a teaching tool. Many of you have said that. If it is not an effective teaching tool, what is it and why is it used? It’s a power tool, it’s spite, it’s, you didn’t “mind” me, so now you’re in trouble! There’s no learning involved. Well, I take that back. Some things are learned. Like, “Mom claims I can choose for myself, but if I don’t do what she wants, I get in trouble, so I guess I really don’t have much of a choice.” Or maybe, “I can’t do this around Mom or I’ll have to go to time out. But I don’t really see any reason not to do it when she’s not around.” I’m going to finally shut up and go to bed now!
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#140 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 10:08 AM
 
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I really enjoyed your post, Happee. It is cool to see someone's parenting evolution.
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#141 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 12:32 PM
 
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Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for this discussion

Dh and I are/were in a very bad place. We were the parents that threaten to punish but don't. We felt like we had to use punishments to get "results" but were never comfortable with punishing....so we were caught.....until I started lurking on this thread. I read most if not all (this is a very active thread ) of the responses here and then sat down with Dh. I thought he might think I was crazy but it really resonated with him as well and it took one sentence for me to convince him to try new things and to not threaten to punish Ds
We are now trying to unlearn everything we have learned from our own childhood and society's expectations of us. Over the last week or so I have bitten my toung several times when my natural reaction has been "Ds I need you to do X and if not Y will happen". But, it feels so much better not to say that. And, Ds is happier as well.
It has been such a relief to feel like we have support for our instincts (that we were not listening to by the way) and now that I feel I can trust them there have been many ideas that have been cropping up during times of stress for/with the kids. And, when I put them into action they actually work. I will start looking for some of the recommended reading at the library too, to keep my mind fresh with alternative ideas.....it is always helpful fo me to have new things to try when I come up against and unexpected road block.
The biggest hurdle for Dh and I has been curbing our own frustration and anger. I think for us, using threats of punishment has been our outlet for releasing our own emotions....which makes me understand even more why using these threats of punishment was not OK. My kid should never be my "outlet". It has taken a lot of work but a lot of strategies I have read here at MDC have assisted us in beginning to learn to curb our own emotions, and to not allow them to happen at all (reminding myself to remember it isn't personal is a HUGE one, but there are others too).
I really appreciate this discussion for turning me back to the things I believe in and helping me to let go of the things that I was doing because I felt "expected" to do them. I'm not sure why it happened with discipline when in many other aspects of my parenting self and my own self I refuse to subscribe to society's expectations.....but it happened and I am very grateful to you mammas and pappas for helping me return to my true beliefs about my child
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#142 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 12:55 PM
 
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I enjoyed your thoughtful post.
I would like to point out however that for those of us who do choose to use punishment as a last resort we are NOT
"to do something to shame or cause pain to my child for the sole purpose of making them pay for what they did. "
Certainly anybody who believes that is the nature of all punishment, would be well advised to not use it.
I however do not think a brief timeout shames or causes pain to my child. I also do not do it to "make them pay" that is not nor has it ever been my purpose.
I respect that some parents choose not to use punishment because to them it would be "to make their child pay" however I want to point out very clearly that this is certainly not the motivation for all of us who do use punishment occasionally.

I agree that punishment is a power tool 100%. I argue however that power does not equal spite. And even when I find myself in the position of punishing my children spite or revenge has never been a part of it.
Joline
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#143 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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I really appreciate this discussion for turning me back to the things I believe in and helping me to let go of the things that I was doing because I felt "expected" to do them. I'm not sure why it happened with discipline when in many other aspects of my parenting self and my own self I refuse to subscribe to society's expectations.....but it happened and I am very grateful to you mammas and pappas for helping me return to my true beliefs about my child
Each day we all have the opportunity to do better by our children. Not everyone seizes the opportunity, but you are and I think that is wonderful!!!!
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#144 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by johub
And even when I find myself in the position of punishing my children spite or revenge has never been a part of it.
So what IS the purpose then? When you do choose to punish, what is your point if it os not revenge, or spite, or to "make them pay" for what they have done? Just curious, not argumentative.
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#145 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 01:55 PM
 
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I am happy to answer, and I can see that you are just curious!

Anyway. When I choose to punish it is a memory device. A reminder.
I want everythign to stop for a minute for my child to really understand that I am serious about this particular rule.
I never choose a punishment when I am angry.
There have been times when I have told my oldest she was going to have a punishment out of spite, but if that has happenned (and I am in tune with my emotions well enough to recognise it when it does) as soon as I calm down and take a deep breath I go back to her and remove the punishment and apologise. "I'm sorry I said you were grounded off the phone for a week. I was feeling angry, and it was not the right response. YOu are certainly not grounded off the phone."

Spite and revenge are about ME. I never punish my children to make Me feel better or to vent my emotions on them.
Sometimes when I know they understand the rules, know they are capable of following them, and I have tried to gently persuade them to choose to do so voluntarily and it does not work I do of two things. 1. I choose my battles and decide if this is really important. and then 2. Respond accordingly: either continue to try to find ways to help them perfect this skill in a patient manner (toy picking up is one of those smallies) or give a punishment (time out for my 3 year old, somethign specifically related to the "crime" for my 13 year old) to serve as a reminder that "I mean business."

In this way , yes it is about power. Everythign stops and I have to remind my children that even though I want them to be happy and have lots of freedoms, I have to insist on this particular rule.
But it is not because I am angry or spiteful or want revenge etc. . .
It is only a way to draw attention to the moment and make it different from the preceeding and following moments so as to have a longer effect on the memory than my previous efforts have had.

Joline
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#146 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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I think this may be a place where we need to agree to disagree. Unless you wanna try reading the books.

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#147 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 02:25 PM
 
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Oh I think it is true that we shall agree to disagree
We come from two different philosophical viewpoints.
It is like religion.
The Catholics and the Baptists will likely never get along! LOL (at least that is how it looks in my family) And both are pretty certain they have it right.

I am not trying to convince anybdy to use punishment.
I only wish to clarify that punishment means different things to different people and we are all not cut from the same cloth.

Oh and btw, I just got Wolf's book Yesterday. I cant wait to read it.
I still disagree with his statment about "all punishment is about suffering" and it was strange how he put that odd statment in the middle of discussion about why harsh punishments are bad. But again, I am beginning to understand that we all have disagreements about the very definition of punishment.
As long as people define punishment as "infliction of suffering" or " spite" I suppose I can take statements against punishment with a "grain of salt" because we are certainly talking about two very different things.
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#148 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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I only wish to clarify that punishment means different things to different people and we are all not cut from the same cloth.
I'd like to respectfully suggest that it doesn't really matter what punishment means to grown people. What matters is how it is perceived by children.

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Oh and btw, I just got Wolf's book Yesterday. I cant wait to read it.
I still disagree with his statment about "all punishment is about suffering" and it was strange how he put that odd statment in the middle of discussion about why harsh punishments are bad.
As I'm sure you know, I'd agree with Wolf's statement. Setting that aside for a moment, though, and going back to your statement about why you use punishment, I have to ask: How does punishment serve as a memory tool for your children if it is not linked to suffering (such as a feeling of isolation, anguish over loss of "privilege," etc.)? For example, isn't the reality of a time-out that the child is forced into isolation (which, for most children, is a negative, anxiety-producing experience)? (Time-outs are generally said not to "work" if the child is enjoying himself in isolation.) If the suffering isn't a key element of the memory tool, then couldn't you just as easily trigger the memory by taking a moment where you sit with your child and discuss the situation with him/her?
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#149 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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I'd like to respectfully suggest that it doesn't really matter what punishment means to grown people. What matters is how it is perceived by children.
I certainly agree with you. I also happen to think that as a parent I am in a better position to understand how my children perceive things than an author or other who has never met them. I think it is reasonable to assume that parents know their children best.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I have to ask: How does punishment serve as a memory tool for your children if it is not linked to suffering (such as a feeling of isolation, anguish over loss of "privilege," etc.)? For example, isn't the reality of a time-out that the child is forced into isolation (which, for most children, is a negative, anxiety-producing experience)? (Time-outs are generally said not to "work" if the child is enjoying himself in isolation.) ?
The reality of time-out is that my child is asked to sit on a perfectly comfortable chair for 3 minutes. This is the same chair he might choose to sit in of his own accord for longer periods at any time of the day. I think it is a serious misuse of the word suffering to use it in this regard. The important thing is that everythign stops. As I mentioned above. In addition, when someone says "most children" they are assuming that they know a parents child better than that parent. Which certainly is not the case.
I would imagine the tone in which the parent sent the child into time out and her attitude towards the child at that time is probably more responsible for any feeling of anxiety etc. . . than sitting for 3 minutes on a chair.
The same goes for revoking privileges for a teenager. While the idea of not using the phone for a few days may be somewhat unpleasant.
To use the term "suffering" is disrespectful to real suffering.


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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
If the suffering isn't a key element of the memory tool, then couldn't you just as easily trigger the memory by taking a moment where you sit with your child and discuss the situation with him/her?
Absolutely. And it would stop there if it worked.

It simply is beyond my personal belief system and understandig of the word "suffering" to think that having a child forgo doing something they want to do for a short period is suffering at all.
Pain is suffering. Loss is suffering.
Transitory disappointments or not getting your way is not suffering.
If that were true it would be causing our children suffering every time we say the word "no".

I can understand and respect that some parents feel that the slightest amount of discomfort and disappointment is too much for their child and they should never be the source of those things.
I can even understand if based on the knowledge you have of your child and your childs temperament that these things might actually cause sufferign to that child.
However, all children and all parents are different.
I can say with confidence that when I (rarely) get to the point of punishing my children, I am not doing it to make them suffer , make them pay , enact revenge or any of the above mentioned ideas about punishment.
I can also say with confidence that they also do not feel that they are being ill used or that they are suffering.

Joline
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#150 of 154 Old 08-14-2005, 04:19 PM
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If it's all about making the episode memorable and not about suffering (or "unpleasantness", maybe, if suffering is too strong of a word), why not make the episode memorable in another way. Maybe you could put a fruit bowl on your head and stick bananas in your ears and then reiterate the rule, or stand stock-still for 3 minutes in the middle of the kitchen. That would be memorable, no?

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