Logical Consquences - GD? or NOT GD? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-10-2006, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Logical Consequences are a core part of "Positive Discipline". I've posted before to try and tease out differences, if any, between PD v. GD -- and I recall most thought they were very similar if not identical.

This question is based on another thread where the topic of logical consequences is being discussed. Some posters feel LCs are NOT GD? This is a new one for me -- so I want to hear from GD mommas here - are Logical Consequences - in your opinions - GD?

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Old 01-10-2006, 05:44 PM
 
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At the risk of sounding as though I alone get to decide what constitutes "GD"...

I would be willing to concede that "logical consequences" CAN fall under the umbrella of GD, depending on how far the parent takes their definition of "logical". However, since I think consequences of any sort imposed by parents constitute punishment, I don't believe they are necessary or optimal. So, one can practice GD without ever using them, but at the same time I can see how some could use them and still be GD.

Does that make sense?

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Old 01-10-2006, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Piglet68
At the risk of sounding as though I alone get to decide what constitutes "GD"...

I would be willing to concede that "logical consequences" CAN fall under the umbrella of GD, depending on how far the parent takes their definition of "logical". However, since I think consequences of any sort imposed by parents constitute punishment, I don't believe they are necessary or optimal. So, one can practice GD without ever using them, but at the same time I can see how some could use them and still be GD.

Does that make sense?
Yes. Its what I think too . . in other words, there are a lot of "Logical Consequences" that are not GD.

However, I am wondering how many people think that any consequences at all are not GD? This is not my interpretation of PD or GD.

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Old 01-10-2006, 05:58 PM
 
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Count me in the "are GD" side, when used properly.
But yes they can be used in Non GD ways. No doubt.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:02 PM
 
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Well, even though I don't come here and post, I do lurk. Seems to me that we cannot keep our children from experiencing the consequences of their actions. Ones that are introduced by the parents, however, are additional consequences and can be taken too far. That's my .02!

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Old 01-10-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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Yeah, I am kind of thinking the same thing. Most people call things logical consequences that I would consider punishment. I like natural consequences better- things that happen that I don't "make" happen. If my son climbs onto a chair and falls... natural consequence. Consequences should work like gravity! Sometimes I get frustrated with my kids and get impatient and even yell... if I need to go hide in my room until I can be a good mommy- that feels like a natural consequence. I guess I don't see the "logic" in most logical consequences.

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Old 01-10-2006, 06:07 PM
 
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hehehe I agree it depends on how they're used. I posted something about it on the other thread.
Suffice it to say, it matters how its done, why, and how the child interprets it.
"You keep throwing the ball, so now I'm taking it" is punishment imo.
"Lets put the ball up, to take away the temptation to throw it, and we'll find something else to do" is not imo.
(I've recently decided I'm only comfortable with that in situations where someone or something is likely to be harmed)

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Old 01-10-2006, 06:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TripMom
However, I am wondering how many people think that any consequences at all are not GD? This is not my interpretation of PD or GD.
:

I haven't completely thought this through but it seems to me that logical consequences can seem gentle from a parent's perspective because the parent is comparing them to other forms of punishment and also understands his/her own intent. I have a hard time seeing how a child would perceive any imposed consequence as gentle within his/her own framework.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:22 PM
 
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well..following that then there must be natural consequences that are not GD as well...

child runs into street~consequence is eventually gets hit by a car~natural consequence..but not very gentle though.

I guess falling of the chair is the same..a "not so gentle" natural consequence.

nothing is ever black and white though is it.

I am a gentle parent. I am sure I use logical consequences. For example I have taken a bike away for not wearing a helmet(she's 11)...I could have left it to natural consequences but I rather my child not get a serious head injury or I get a fine(it's illegal where I live to ride without a helmet" and I had tried all the reasoning but if you have a preteen who doesn't want to mess up their hair then sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I didn't do it to be mean though, I did it to be safe. Do intentions count? I think so. She was angry but she wasn't hurt. And she understood why, she was more angry at herself after the first hour or so.

But I didn't do it to punish her and she actually got her bike back before the week was up after we came to a compromise and talked some more. I haven't ever taken the bike away for leaving it outside however it did get stolen and run over so now she has no bike...big time natural consequences. How hard it was not to do "I told you so" because we had but instead I did "oh, that's too bad your bike got stolen and run over, you don't have a bike now, you must be so upset"

I like making them part of the solution now...as they get older...for example...once she gets a new bike I am going to discuss what we can do to make sure 1.helmet gets worn 2. bike doesn't get stolen again. I bet she will say I can take the bike away if she forgets her helmet.


I am sure there is something I do on a daily basis that someone somewhere would look at and say "you are not GD" but I really don't care. I am a gentle parentand I discipline gently but I am not perfect.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:29 PM
 
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I couldnt agree more Allgirls.
One of the main reasions I use logical consequences is because they are MORE gentle than the natural consequences involved.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:30 PM
 
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I don't feel like I am an authority on what is or is not technically GD. There are a couple of different issues I see in the debate about "logical consequences." It would be so much easier if we were all dealing with the same definitions here. I see the term "logical consequences" used in such different ways. Sometimes it is used when talking about a parent putting up a toy that is being thrown, for example, which could be a gentle redirecting (the offending toy is put out of sight so the temptation to throw it isn't there and the child is given something else to play with. Not the same as "you can't have this if you can't play with it appropriatly" which seems like a punishment to me). Other times it is used to discribe an obvious punishment, and some GD parents don't punish. For me, punishments haven't been an effective way of teaching (and often are not very gentle), so I don't use them. For a lot of parents, when you start down the punishment path, a parent can get caught in a trap of having to find harsher and harsher punishments to try to "fix" a problem behavior -- when they should be looking at what is causing the behavior in the first place.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
:

I haven't completely thought this through but it seems to me that logical consequences can seem gentle from a parent's perspective because the parent is comparing them to other forms of punishment and also understands his/her own intent. I have a hard time seeing how a child would perceive any imposed consequence as gentle within his/her own framework.

I agree with this but it also depends on the age of the child. My older kids have that frame of reference because they have friends whose parents are not so gentle and very punitive. Now I am talking a 15 year old and an 11 year old. I rarely get told "but so and so is allowed to do XXX" because generally it's so and so who is grounded and can't do XXX while my kids generally get to do whatever they want(within the guidelines of school nights and me driving them etc. )

But my 2.5 year old doesn't have this frame of reference. But she still knows we are gentle simply because we are.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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I'm in the middle of Unconditional Parenting by Kohn and he does not have much good to say about the way the term "natural consequences" gets used today. I"ll include a longish quote because I think it's quite interesting. Up until reading this book, I would have thought that "natural consequences" are the way to go. Now, I see that it really depends on how we define "natural". IMHO, it is not natural to subject our children to every "consequence" of their actions. It is natural to protect them as much as possible and create an environment of trust and mutual aid. Here's what Kohn has to say about "natural consequences" which he defines as "refusing to help":
If a child is late for dinner, we're supposed to let her go hungry. If she leaves her raincoat at school, we're supposed to let her get wet the following day... The... lesson that she's likely to take away is that we could have helped--but didn't. [quoting two authors] "When you stand by and let bad things happen, your child experiences the twin disappointments that something went wrong and you did not seem to care enough about her to lift a finger to help prevent the mishap. The 'natural consequences' approach is really a form of punishment." --Kohn, p. 66
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:36 PM
 
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well..following that then there must be natural consequences that are not GD as well...

child runs into street~consequence is eventually gets hit by a car~natural consequence..but not very gentle though.

I guess falling of the chair is the same..a "not so gentle" natural consequence.
i can't imagine there is a parent here who would allow their child to suffer all of the natural consequences of life. It is a parent's job to pretect and guide their child, so we sheild them from a lot of the "natural consequences" they aren't ready to face on their own. That's why, when our children are small, we use baby gates and outlet covers, etc. So yes, it wouldn't be very gentle to allow your child to face many "natural consequences", it would be neglectful.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:38 PM
 
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I couldnt agree more Allgirls.
One of the main reasions I use logical consequences is because they are MORE gentle than the natural consequences involved.


Do you think we agree on things a bit more because we both have teens? I know my perspective is different than it once was regarding discipline...me with just toddlers and me with teens is about the same as me without kids and me with kids...
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by allgirls
well..following that then there must be natural consequences that are not GD as well...

child runs into street~consequence is eventually gets hit by a car~natural consequence..but not very gentle though.

I guess falling of the chair is the same..a "not so gentle" natural consequence.

nothing is ever black and white though is it.
Absolutely. The difference is that we're querying whether GD includes actions that the parent affirmatively imposes upon the child as a consequence of the child's behavior. The "gentle" in GD, IMO, is primarily about the the child's perception of the parent's behavior. So getting hit by a car and falling off of a chair, while definitely not things that a child would experience as gentle, are really part of another question.

I'm still thinking about the rest of your post.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:43 PM
 
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Do you think we agree on things a bit more because we both have teens? I know my perspective is different than it once was regarding discipline...me with just toddlers and me with teens is about the same as me without kids and me with kids...
Could be. I am ashamed to admit that I now have less respect for a child's innate reasoning skills and sociality and desire to please their parents than I did before having a teen.
I also am face to face with real lifelong natural consequences that are much more serious than a bruise from falling out of a chair or being cold after forgetting a jacket.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnysideup
i can't imagine there is a parent here who would allow their child to suffer all of the natural consequences of life. It is a parent's job to pretect and guide their child, so we sheild them from a lot of the "natural consequences" they aren't ready to face on their own. That's why, when our children are small, we use baby gates and outlet covers, etc. So yes, it wouldn't be very gentle to allow your child to face many "natural consequences", it would be neglectful.
Oh...I wasn't suggesting anything like that...I was just making observations about how nothing is black and white...natural, logical..there are grey areas that's all.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CarenSwan
I'm in the middle of Unconditional Parenting by Kohn and he does not have much good to say about the way the term "natural consequences" gets used today. I"ll include a longish quote because I think it's quite interesting. Up until reading this book, I would have thought that "natural consequences" are the way to go. Now, I see that it really depends on how we define "natural". IMHO, it is not natural to subject our children to every "consequence" of their actions. It is natural to protect them as much as possible and create an environment of trust and mutual aid. Here's what Kohn has to say:
Another version of what might be called Punishment Lite is known as "natural consequences," which invites parents to discipline by inaction--that is, by refusing to help. If a child is late for dinner, we're supposed to let her go hungry. If she leaves her raincoat at school, we're supposed to let her get wet the following day. This is said to teach her to be more punctual, or less forgetful, or whatever. But the far more powerful lesson that she's likely to take away is that we could have helped--but didn't. As two authors note in their discussion of the practice, "When you stand by and let bad things happen, your child experiences the twin disappointments that something went wrong and you did not seem to care enough about her to lift a finger to help prevent the mishap. The 'natural consequences' approach is really a form of punishment." --Kohn, p. 66
Cool quote..kind of the anti "tough love" approach. Thanks for posting that.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by allgirls
child runs into street~consequence is eventually gets hit by a car~natural consequence..but not very gentle though.

I guess falling of the chair is the same..a "not so gentle" natural consequence.
You are right about the falling out of the chair part, but completely off-base with the car and street one. There is a huge difference between safety and consequences of behavior-actions, words, and thoughts.

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Originally Posted by allgirls
For example I have taken a bike away for not wearing a helmet(she's 11)...
I would never take my child's bike away. That is not gentle. Riding a bike without a helmet is a safety issue, if my children do not wear their helmets, then they do not ride the bike. There is no leeway when it comes to the safety of ourselves, and my children know this.
Just like wearing your seatbelt when in a vehicle.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:02 PM
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If a child is late for dinner, we're supposed to let her go hungry.
The natural consequence of missing dinner, is that you missed sitting with family and eating with us. It has nothing to do with making your child go hungry. If my child misses a meal or chooses not to eat the food that was prepared, there is a cupboard with food that they can eat. No, I will not cook an entirely different meal for each child, I am not their servant, I am their parent.
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Originally Posted by CarenSwan
As two authors note in their discussion of the practice, "When you stand by and let bad things happen, your child experiences the twin disappointments that something went wrong and you did not seem to care enough about her to lift a finger to help prevent the mishap. The 'natural consequences' approach is really a form of punishment." --Kohn, p. 66[/I]
ITA with the part of standing by while letting bad things happen to your child, but IMO, that is not a natural consequence, as it is natural to have parents who love and cherish you and will keep you safe.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Deva33mommy
Suffice it to say, it matters how its done, why, and how the child interprets it.
"You keep throwing the ball, so now I'm taking it" is punishment imo.
"Lets put the ball up, to take away the temptation to throw it, and we'll find something else to do" is not imo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I would never take my child's bike away. That is not gentle. Riding a bike without a helmet is a safety issue, if my children do not wear their helmets, then they do not ride the bike. There is no leeway when it comes to the safety of ourselves, and my children know this.
Just like wearing your seatbelt when in a vehicle.
Now granted, I'm fairly new to this board and I am probably more punative than some others here but these two things seem more an arguement of semantics than discipline. If a child cannot do something (in these cases because it is unsafe or something may be broken) the message is the same regardless of the delivery. You are still removing the object that is the focus of the unsafe behavior until the child is able to use it appropriately. Removal of said object is still a form of "punishment".
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:07 PM
 
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You are right about the falling out of the chair part, but completely off-base with the car and street one. There is a huge difference between safety and consequences of behavior-actions, words, and thoughts.


I would never take my child's bike away. That is not gentle. Riding a bike without a helmet is a safety issue, if my children do not wear their helmets, then they do not ride the bike. There is no leeway when it comes to the safety of ourselves, and my children know this.
Just like wearing your seatbelt when in a vehicle.

What is the difference between climbing up on chair and running in street besides the severity of the possible injury? I don't quite understand.

I am also a little confused about the second part....you say you wouldn't take your child's bike away, that it is not gentle but if your child doesn't wear the helmet, they do not ride the bike...isn't that the same thing?

That is what I mean by "taking the bike away" not permitting her to ride it.(I didn't take it away off the property, in fact it just went in the garage next to all the bikes where it's normally kept, it wasn't a physical taking away of the bike)

She took off on her bike without a helmet so she couldn't have the bike to ride for a while, I asked her to put it in the garage and then told her no more bike. I originally said a week.

I gave it back to her after we talked about it and she convinced me she wouldn't do it again. It probably wasn't particularly gentle, I was angry at her and had every right to be. Again, at that time it was something I could do to once again try to impress upon her the importance of wearing her helmet every time...oh, and for what it's worth..she's 11, she's been riding bike since she was 5, she would never have gone without an helmet in the first 5 years..but suddenly she's doing it. We live in a small town and the kids go off on their bikes on their own quite a bit.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:10 PM
 
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ITA with the part of standing by while letting bad things happen to your child, but IMO, that is not a natural consequence, as it is natural to have parents who love and cherish you and will keep you safe.
Good point...and it is equally natural for parents to want to keep their children safe.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:18 PM
 
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I think it depends on how they are used. Yes, in my opinion the intention does count. Logical consequences like taking away a marker when the child is writing on the wall aren't intended to punish the child, but to stop the action. Markers can be used on paper at the table for younger children in my house. Allowing her to write all over the walls is not an option for us. DH would seriously freak and that's not gentle for them or me. Sometimes people use punishment and call them logical consequences. It depends on how they are used.

Natural consequences can be good, but can also be punitive. I went to a parenting seminar once where the presentor said if your child forgets her lunch, the natural consequence is to go hungry for the day. That is ridiculous in my opinion. I could never and would never let her starve to teach her a lesson. I couldn't get through the day knowing she was hungry. She leaves for school at 7 am and barely eats breakfast, so that "natural consequence" feels like punishment to me. Also, at the same seminar they said if your child doesn't bring the dirty laundry to the hamper or laundry room, let them wear dirty clothes to school. Also, not an option for me. Yeah, I'll let her go dirty and get made fun of to teach her a lesson, right.

I think some natural and logical consequences can be good, but it depends on the situation and how they are used.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:19 PM
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Now granted, I'm fairly new to this board and I am probably more punative than some others here but these two things seem more an arguement of semantics than discipline. If a child cannot do something (in these cases because it is unsafe or something may be broken) the message is the same regardless of the delivery. You are still removing the object that is the focus of the unsafe behavior until the child is able to use it appropriately. Removal of said object is still a form of "punishment".
You are not understanding. I never removed the bike. They can push the bike, twirl the pedals, decorate it, etc., but they cannot ride it.
It is the riding part where the safety issues come into play, not the part about ownership.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by allgirls
What is the difference between climbing up on chair and running in street besides the severity of the possible injury? I don't quite understand.
We don't own a ladder, so, sometimes we need to use the chair. It is important that my children learn how to safely climb upon the chair.
You cannot always keep someone from falling off a chair.
You can keep someone from getting hit by a vehicle.

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I am also a little confused about the second part....you say you wouldn't take your child's bike away, that it is not gentle but if your child doesn't wear the helmet, they do not ride the bike...isn't that the same thing?
No. Just like i would never allow anyone to ride in my vehicle without using a seatbelt. Learning how to be safe is not a form of punishment.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:25 PM
 
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You are not understanding. I never removed the bike. They can push the bike, twirl the pedals, decorate it, etc., but they cannot ride it.
It is the riding part where the safety issues come into play, not the part about ownership.
ah(is there a lightbulb smiley?)..I was a bit confused about that. I am assuming your kids are younger than mine...my eleven year old only uses the bike for transportation. Also I think even when she was younger I might have had to remove it...she was very impulsive and it would have tortured her to not be able to ride it...I think it would have been meaner to leave it in sight than put it away Of course I probably would have been outside monitoring her play at a younger age anyway so it wouldn't have happened.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:27 PM
 
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(I've recently decided I'm only comfortable with that in situations where someone or something is likely to be harmed)

This is when I use logical consequences: to protect the person or property of another.

I think that it is GD in that circumstance.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
We don't own a ladder, so, sometimes we need to use the chair. It is important that my children learn how to safely climb upon the chair.
You cannot always keep someone from falling off a chair.
You can keep someone from getting hit by a vehicle.


No. Just like i would never allow anyone to ride in my vehicle without using a seatbelt. Learning how to be safe is not a form of punishment.

Well sometimes we have to cross the street and it's important that children learn how to safely go into the street. I am not really seeing a difference except in the degree of the injury. And you cannot keep someone from getting hit by a vehicle all the time either. An 11 year old and her dog were killed in a city nearby a couple days ago.

as to the second part. That's not what I was asking..I get that...I just didn't get how what you did was different from what I did..you explained it in another post though.
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