Does Gental discipline=No discipline?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After reading some posts and trying to figure out exactly what GD means i feel like it = no discipline. GD is a wonderful theory but from what i have seen when parents use this form of "discipline" it usually means their kids run the show and arnt respectful of any adult or authority figure. I really think its for the chilrens own good that they have consistancy, rules, and real discipline (none of which needs to be done with spanking, name calling, or hurting our child emotionally). Can GD be all those things too?? Does GD mean no concequences, no punishment for bad behavior?? what wrong with taking away privilages??

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#2 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Stayathomemommy
After reading some posts and trying to figure out exactly what GD means i feel like it = no discipline. GD is a wonderful theory but from what i have seen when parents use this form of "discipline" it usually means their kids run the show and arnt respectful of any adult or authority figure. I really think its for the chilrens own good that they have consistancy, rules, and real discipline (none of which needs to be done with spanking, name calling, or hurting our child emotionally). Can GD be all those things too?? Does GD mean no concequences, no punishment for bad behavior?? what wrong with taking away privilages??
GD means different things to different parents and families.
There are those of us here of every shade of the spectrum.
In my home discipline is how you describe. GD is about no spanking, yelling, shaming, and about being aware of my childrens needs and abilities.
In other homes you will likely find GD defined differently.
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#3 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:51 AM
 
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We have no punishments, we have some consequences, but we try very hard to limit those to natural ones. And my dd doesn't run wild, yet. She's almost three. Well, sometimes she runs wild, but like I said, she's almost three. I'm not big on showing respect to authority figures, I think EVERYONE should be shown equal respect, and we stress that in my family. We talk a lot about ways to show respect to everyone, and we show a lot of respect to her. She doesn't "run the show", as in she doesn't get to do everything she wants, or even close, but I respect her DESIRE to do those things.

As far as what's wrong with taking away priveleges, I don't feel that her "priveleges" are mine to remove. We have no "punishment for bad behavior", in fact we have no "bad behavior". We might have "undesired behavior." But, IMO, a punishment deflects a child from learning the correct way to act. It angers them, it is an unecessary show of power, and it may even create an atmosphere where misbehavior is more likely, as there can be a trade of "misbehavior" for "punishment". That's what I have against it. Like I said, she's still a toddler, but it's working pretty well for us so far.

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#4 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Stayathomemommy
Does GD mean no concequences, no punishment for bad behavior?? what wrong with taking away privilages??
A few problems with punishment (taking away privileges being an example) are that it can set up an adversarial relationship, it might encourage kids to be dishonest (do the wrong thing when no one is looking....), and that it robs the child of an opportunity to truly face the natural consequences of their actions and "make good".

That said, GD does not nec = no punishment for everyone.

The good news is that there are ways to teach responsible behavior without punishment. Barbara Coloroso's book "Kid's are Worth It!" is a great read on parenting without punishment. Alfie Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting" is great, too....but, imo, more theory and less substance.
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#5 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 03:01 AM
 
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After reading some posts and trying to figure out exactly what GD means i feel like it = no discipline. GD is a wonderful theory but from what i have seen when parents use this form of "discipline" it usually means their kids run the show and arnt respectful of any adult or authority figure. I really think its for the chilrens own good that they have consistancy, rules, and real discipline (none of which needs to be done with spanking, name calling, or hurting our child emotionally). Can GD be all those things too?? Does GD mean no concequences, no punishment for bad behavior?? what wrong with taking away privilages??
IMO no two parents GD or otherwise parent exactly alike. If you're not spanking, name calling, or hurting your children emotionally it sounds to me like you are GDing. IMO punishments and removal of 'privileges' could be emotionally hurtful though. I am human, sometimes I am not respectful of other people, occaisonally I am a jacka**. Usually this happens when I am either over tired, super hungry, frustrated, angry, or hurting inside. I expect no more or less from my dc. I do take into account they have less experience and impulse control. When they do act disrespectful (definitely NOT a usual thing) I look for the reason and help them accordingly. This is not always easy and it is not doing nothing. If their actions are affecting another person negatively I talk to them about that, just as a I would want someone to tell me if something I was doing was affecting them negatively. I believe many people here are comfortable with setting rules, consistency, and/or using logical and/or natural consequences as GD. There are also people who GD and they also strive to live consensually and/or be non-coercive. I've learned alot reading things here. I take what is useful/ meaningful/ thought-provoking for ME and leave the rest behind just as I do when reading a book.

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#6 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Stayathomemommy
i feel like it = no discipline. it usually means their kids run the show and arnt respectful of any adult or authority figure.
Just as there are many ways to be a parent, there are many ways to discipline a child. Discipline sometimes refers to punitive measures but in its most literal form, it means to teach or train. A disciple is a student. Thus, it is pretty darn near impossible to be a parent and not be disciplining your child no matter what you do.

What you are really thinking about is what makes for effective parenting. There are many ways to parent effectively and there are many ways to parent ineffectively. There are people in the world who have been brought up with punishments and consequences who consider themselves to be well-rounded and emotionally healthy. There are those who were brought up with punishments and consequences who consider themselves damaged. The label you give your parenting does not automatically make it effective or ineffective. You can be an ineffective gentle disciplinarian, which is what you are describing, just as you can be an ineffective punitive disciplinarian. It is the actions you take and their consequences and results that make your parenting effective or not.

That being said, there are many ways to be a gentle disciplinarian and not have children running the show and being disrespectful. There are so many different types of gentle discipline that merely using that as a label does not say a whole lot about how you are parenting. It is like saying "I am teaching." So what? What are you teaching? How are you teaching it? When you get down to the actual act of disciplining or the art of it, gentle parenting can involve consequences and taking away privileges. There are some who think of gentle discipline as that which simply does not involve corporal punishment. There are others who do not want to use bribes or threats or punishments, by any name.

Now, if what you are really asking is how can one be an effective parent and not exert authority in a punitive manner of one's children, the answer is in the question "what kind of relationship do you want to have with your children?" In my experience as an elementary school teacher, the children brought up in the most punitive households often had the most trouble being cooperative and respectful in the classroom. At the other end of the parenting spectrum, the children who were brought up without punitive measures but were also not held accountable in any way for their actions nor were they taught in any way how to behave like a civilized and polite person also have great difficulty being polite and respectful. These are both examples of ineffective parenting, in my opinion, and yet they are extreme opposites.

So, back to the question: What kind of relationship do you want to have with your child? Do you want to teach them by force and bribes or do you want to get to know them and teach them by example and through deep understanding of them as persons? Or, are you somewhere in the middle?

I am not really expecting answers to these questions. But, I would recommend two books to you. Read these and I believe you will be able to answer your own questions in a different way than you would right now.

Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser

Unconditional parenting by Alfie Kohn

Author names and specific information can be found in the gentle discipline book list at the top of this forum's main page.

Good luck in your quest for greater understanding.
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#7 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 06:38 AM
 
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Boongirl, you are describing me, my parenting and my children. I know I am hijacking the thread but really I need advice. My problem is exactly there. I am an ineffective gentle parent. When you say about "kids that were not punished and also not held accountable in any way for their actions nor were they taught in any way how to behave like a civilized and polite person" well, that's us.
How can I turn this around without punishments? Everyone who sees my kids says: "You've got to punish them for what they do". I do not want to go that way, but the situation is like this.
My dd (age 5) takes to pulling a cord down. The cord is attached to the curtain thing on the window. I say, no pulling the chord. It will break. I say it twice and she says "I do what I want". So I remove her. She starts screaming and I have to hold her or she will go back to pulling the chord. I hold her for half an hour and she pulls my hair so hard and scratches me .... Later we talk about it. She says, yes, yes, yes mommy OK OK... teenage style...
What am I doing wrong?
The little one meanwhile asks for an egg. It is almost dinnertime. Because I am busy with dd1 screaming and I cannot prepare the egg immediately she throws egg on the floor. I say please clean the egg from the floor. Instead she runs away and tells me I am going to take a shower now. I have barely the time to say something due to the situation and she is in the shower bathing in cold water in a dirty shower. I don't know. I am trying really hard. I work full time but I do give the kids a lot of attention. I play with them a lot. Yet things are going from very bad to much worse.
Am I the worse mother?
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#8 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 06:58 AM
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gaialice, You are not the worst mother. And, I don't have any easy answers for you. I am still learning. Something that might work for you is positive discipline and having family meetings. Kids really respond to being a part of the democratic process. Basically, you have a meeting where everyone gets to present any problems they are having with the family and you all try to solve it together. Of course, as parent, you do have to lay some ground rules like all solutions must be safe, respectful and responsible and the parent gets the final say on how to define those. Jane Nelson has written some great books, all of which are very easy to read and often short. www.positivediscipline.com for more information.

You would be amazed at how kids take to this. You can present the problems you wrote about here, tell the kids why these are problems for you and ask them what they could do to change the situation.

In the meantime, try some childproofing. There are gadgets you can buy so that they cannot open the fridge, pull the cord, or turn on the water by themselves. To protect them while they are learning how to be responsible, you might just have to limit their activities.

And, to quote Dr. Sears
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#9 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 08:15 AM
 
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I try to just follow "the golden rule" and treat my kids the way I would want to be treated. If I made a mistake at work, would I want my boss to hit me, or scream at me? NO. So just because I know that my boss isn't going to beat me, do I screw up at work just because "I can" NO.
For me, I think that expectations are enough. I don't use spanking or punitive measures with my kids, and yet they are very "well behaved" (they are 5,7, and 9). I do talk about expectations, model the kind of behaviour I expect, and treat them the way I'd like to be treated. If there is a problem, we talk about it.
I do think one of the major keys to this is consistancy though. Just because you are not spending the day dreaming up punishments, or setting time out timers or whatever people do, doesn't mean you just sit back and do nothing. Discipline is teaching. It's a full time job. Sometimes I think gentle discipline is more difficult because it takes more time, creativity and patience than just reaching out and swatting someone or getting some kind of instant gratification by screaming your own frustration at them KWIM?
I think that is how some people end up with "out of control" kids. They know they want to use GD, but then are faced with a tricky behaviour situation, and they don't know what to do, so they do nothing- then that snowballs over time. The kids get out of control, because they don't have any kind of guidlines to follow or the parent hasn't set any expectations, because the parent doesn't even know what thier expectations are. I think parents do need to be in control- not control OVER thier children, but in control of themselves and thier emotions so they can teach thier children how to get along in this world.
Please keep in mind I'm generalizing here. I'm not suggesting that anyone here who is having a tough time with thier kid right now is just being lazy or anything. We've all been there! As someone else mentioned there are a lot of different families out there. For some families what some of us see as "out of control kids" is just fine with them. They want thier kids to do whatever they want, whenever they want, how ever they want. That is thier choice.
But for me, like the OP, I do believe that kids (or at least my kids) need boundarys, expectations, and guidelines and I strongly, strongly believe that those can be communicated w/o punishments.
Gosh I hope that made sense, it's really early
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#10 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 10:09 AM
 
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A lot of people here tell me I am not GD because I use parent-imposed consequences to discipline my children (not all the time, of course, but they are in my parenting bag). However, I don't scream at my kids, hit them, berate them, humiliate them, etc. I believe I discipline gently.

I certainly believe one can be GD and still be "in charge." I'm not willing to let my kids run the show or twist myself in knots so that my kids don't throw fits. I don't believe in letting kids' desires come first just because they are kids, and I don't believe the power imbalance inherent in the parent-child relationship is a bad thing.

However, I don't strive to be GD or any other label. I just do what works for our family.

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#11 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 10:15 AM
 
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I do talk about expectations, model the kind of behaviour I expect, and treat them the way I'd like to be treated. If there is a problem, we talk about it.
I do think one of the major keys to this is consistancy though. Just because you are not spending the day dreaming up punishments, or setting time out timers or whatever people do, doesn't mean you just sit back and do nothing. Discipline is teaching. It's a full time job. Sometimes I think gentle discipline is more difficult because it takes more time, creativity and patience than just reaching out and swatting someone or getting some kind of instant gratification by screaming your own frustration at them KWIM?
EXACTLY the way I feel about GD. To the OP - we're a GD household, but I'm very strict in terms of my expectations and boundaries. It's very important to me, though, to respect my children. What was helpful to me is learning about where my children were developmentally - cognitively and emotionally. Trying to really understand their abilities, limitations, and how they see the world has shaped how we approach discipline.

Because I'm dealing with a toddler (DS - 2 1/2) we're more in the world of spanking v. non-spanking because he's so young (as opposed to some of the punishments used for older kids.) Spanking and yelling aren't an option in our house. And yes, I do think GD takes more energy, creativity and down-right "roll up your sleeves and get to work" parenting than simply smacking your kid on the fanny when you're mad at them. Like others have said, the role of discipline is to teach - and hitting your kid teaches them nothing except that hitting is acceptable. It's a short -cut (and lazy parenting, IMO.) OP - I know you specifically excluded spanking from your post, my commentary on that isn't directed to you.

Mama to DS (8) and DD (7) Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement.

 

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#12 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 10:54 AM
 
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ITA with dharmamama. According to what most of the posters in this forum seem to believe, I wouldn't be using "gentle discipline." However, we don't hit, we don't yell, and we don't shame. We try to be positive whenever possible.

I will punish my children under certain circumstances. You can call it "parent-imposed consequences" or you can call it punishment, as I do. I view that as semantics.
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#13 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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I agree that GD doesn't necessarily = no discipline. There are a wide range of opinions on what makes a parent GD. I find most of the debates to be interesting and informative. Others can get judgmental. Like any other parenting resource, I take what will work with my family and discard the rest. I try to take each situation and analyze what is needed. We do have expectations for our dds. Most issues that I find important are related to safety and repect of all people in our home, parents and siblings. While I try to meet their individual needs, I draw the line when that comes at the expense of another person in the house. For a great resource on discipline without punishment check out "The Secret of Parenting" by Anthony Wolf. Maya once suggested this book to me when I posted about an issue we were having in our home. The ideas in this book really resonated with me. You can discipline your child gently without punishment and have well behaved children. One doesn't have to be at the expense of the other.
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#14 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 12:09 PM
 
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Why does it seem like so many people (even on MDC!) think discipline = punishment? Discipline is guiding and teaching. The goal of discipline is to teach our children to be self-disciplined (think self-guided). I do not think punishment is an effective tool for teaching. I feel it takes the focus off of the lesson I am trying to teach, and erodes the trust between parent and child.

As an example lets say I want to teach my children to wear a helmet while biking. I could just tell them they have to wear it or I'll take away their bike. They will wear the helmet because they don't want the bike to go away. Then the focus is on "mom will take away my bike" not the real reason one should wear a helmet while biking. If you take the time and energy to teach them why it is important they will wear the helmet because they want to protect their head. If a someone is "behaving" out of fear of punishment (or want of praise) they have not really learned anything. Once mom's not there to punish there is no insentive to do the right thing.

I think gentle discipline is about a lot more than just not hitting your kids. It's about guidance, nurturing, cooperation and respect. When you've established a relationship based on mutual respect your children trust you. They believe you when you say "wear the helmet or you could hurt your brain if you fall." Does it mean they never question or challenge you? Of course not, questioning is part of learning. But my kids do know I'm on their side and that makes teaching so much easier.

This is from the forum guildlines sticky:
Effective discipline is based on loving guidance. It is based on the belief that children are born innately good and that our role as parents is to nurture their spirits as they learn about limits and boundaries, rather than to curb their tendencies toward wrongdoing. Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behavior and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.
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#15 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I certainly believe one can be GD and still be "in charge." I'm not willing to let my kids run the show or twist myself in knots so that my kids don't throw fits. I don't believe in letting kids' desires come first just because they are kids, and I don't believe the power imbalance inherent in the parent-child relationship is a bad thing.
This is how I feel as well.

The power imbalance between parents and children is the reason why, when my daughter hits me, she gets a gentle correction - when, if my husband hit me, I would leave him. It's why she gets fed instantly whenever she's hungry, and my husband might be told, "let me finish reading this article, and then I'll start dinner."

I see it as my responsibility to pitch my expectations of her to her developmental level, while at the same time providing gentle teaching and guidance to help her advance in skills and understanding. In that context, I am comfortable being the leader in our relationship.

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#16 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnysideup
As an example lets say I want to teach my children to wear a helmet while biking. I could just tell them they have to wear it or I'll take away their bike. They will wear the helmet because they don't want the bike to go away. Then the focus is on "mom will take away my bike" not the real reason one should wear a helmet while biking. If you take the time and energy to teach them why it is important they will wear the helmet because they want to protect their head.
Maybe. Or maybe the child will decide that the discomfort of the helmet is worse than the risk of head injury and go without the helmet.

Then it's up to the parent to decide whether the issue is "worth it" enough to them to set a limit.

It often seems that people who don't believe in using punishment assume that those of us who do punish jump straight to it without any other attempts to discipline. I think that is generally untrue. I think the main difference between myself and those who don't punish at all is their length of tolerance for a problem not being resolved. I am not willing to let certain problems drag on for days, weeks, or months.

Namaste!
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#17 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 12:46 PM
 
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I agree with dharmamama. There are some issues I am willing to negotiate with my girls. Safety isn't one of them. For me, wearing a helmet on a bike is like wearing a seatbelt in a car. It is not negotiable and it is the law. If they want to ride the bike, a helmet is part of the deal. Of course, I wouldn't jump right to the punishment either. I would try to discuss it and stress the importance of wearing the helmet. Some kids would try to go without it anyway. In that case, I would tell them they are welcome to ride, when they are willing to wear the helmet.
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#18 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
It often seems that people who don't believe in using punishment assume that those of us who do punish jump straight to it without any other attempts to discipline. I think that is generally untrue. I think the main difference between myself and those who don't punish at all is their length of tolerance for a problem not being resolved. I am not willing to let certain problems drag on for days, weeks, or months.
My feeling is that when you resort to punishment you erode the trust and respect, so your child is more likely to "disobey" you when you're not around. Getting at the root of problems and really teaching my children (rather than just putting a stop to a behavior) might have taken more time and energy-- I don't think so though. For sure it's a breeze at this point.

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Or maybe the child will decide that the discomfort of the helmet is worse than the risk of head injury and go without the helmet.
I believe if you have a relationship with a firm base of mutual respect and trust, and your kids really understand the reason to wear a helmet, then this doesn't happen. It's worked for us.
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#19 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnysideup
I believe if you have a relationship with a firm base of mutual respect and trust, and your kids really understand the reason to wear a helmet, then this doesn't happen.
I believe that that is too simplistic of an explanation for why kids "don't behave."

Namaste!
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#20 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by writermommy
I agree with dharmamama. There are some issues I am willing to negotiate with my girls. Safety isn't one of them. For me, wearing a helmet on a bike is like wearing a seatbelt in a car. It is not negotiable and it is the law. If they want to ride the bike, a helmet is part of the deal. Of course, I wouldn't jump right to the punishment either. I would try to discuss it and stress the importance of wearing the helmet. Some kids would try to go without it anyway. In that case, I would tell them they are welcome to ride, when they are willing to wear the helmet.
I get the impression that some here think that if you don't punish that means you have no authority. I believe that kids can view a parent as an authority figure and trust and respect them, without punishments. If I had to threaten punishment to get my child to do/not do something, I would figure I had failed in my job to teach them.
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I think the main difference between myself and those who don't punish at all is their length of tolerance for a problem not being resolved. I am not willing to let certain problems drag on for days, weeks, or months.
But what happens if that punishment doesn't work? Do you resort to harsher and harsher punishments?
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#21 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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To me it means offering alternatives. If not taken it is up to you to decide what to do. We know however that Yelling is only going to frustrate both of you and spanking is cruel. Would you like to be belittled? Humm it is a catch 22.
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#22 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I believe that that is too simplistic of an explanation for why kids "don't behave."

Namaste!
That wasn't an explination for why kids "don't behave." It seems that when someone says they don't use punishment then someone else will say "but what if your child does X?!" Implying that there is a point you get to where you must punish. I don't agree. I think that if you have a relationship based on trust and respect it makes teaching easier (that's what I was saying). There are lots of reasons kids "don't behave." That's another issue. You would want to look at the individual problem and try to figure out the reasons behind it.
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#23 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:26 PM
 
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Unlike other 'systems' for parenting, Gentle Discipline is based on basic theories of respect for children and being true to their needs and your long term goals for them (Happiness, etc). I would venture that most of the parents here are not GD because it 'works', they are GD because they have thought long and hard about what they feel is the best way to treat their kids and they are trying to help them become good people through that.

You find many different concepts of what 'Gentle Discipline' is because its not a handed down prescribed philosophy - its something most GDers have thought through for themselves and naturally different folks end up with different ideas of what the right way is. It is also not a quick fix - its based on establishing a trusting relationship with a child and working hard to teach them the real reason we want to do things a particular way - teach them so they can internalize it and want to do it for its own sake, not to please or prevent angering their parents.

When you see a mother in the schoolyard whose child is engaging in destructive or hurtful behavior and the mother doesn't seem to be doing anything about it is probably not a GD parent. A GD parent would take their child aside and talk to them about the right way to behave - regardless of the where on the spectrum of GD that parent falls, you would see them involved, not sitting back. What you are seeing is not GD.

You asked what was wrong with punishment? I recommend you read Alfie Kohn's books. Punishment only focuses on the behavior and not on the reasons for why the child behaved as they did or why they should behave differently in the future. Punishment works - short term. Long term it makes the child less likely to want to engage in those behaviors on their own when they are out of your control.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#24 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysideup
I get the impression that some here think that if you don't punish that means you have no authority. I believe that kids can view a parent as an authority figure and trust and respect them, without punishments. If I had to threaten punishment to get my child to do/not do something, I would figure I had failed in my job to teach them. But what happens if that punishment doesn't work? Do you resort to harsher and harsher punishments?
I don't consider having a rule that you must wear a helmet to ride a bike to be a punishment. It's a matter of safety and a law in both states I have lived in. I would try to discuss the situation and stress the importance of staying safe first. But, some kids will do unsafe things in spite of our best efforts. In that case, I would not be afraid to intervene. They would be able to decide on their own to wear the helmet and ride the bike. It wouldn't be taken away for a period of time as a punishment, like a week or whatever. While I think having mutual respect, trust and attachment are important, I don't think this means a child will never do anything that could be dangerous or against the teachings of the parent.
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#25 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:37 PM
 
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I don't think GD=no discipline...I spend a lot of time disciplining my children, talking to them, explaining, redirecting, researching, worrying, hugging, kissing, trying new things. I try to make everything a teaching/learning opportunity and look for morals in everything we encounter in everyday life.

no discipline requires no effort...I make more effort because I choose to discipline gently.
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#26 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I am not willing to let certain problems drag on for days, weeks, or months.
That does sound exhausting! But just to clarify for my family (being one that doesn't use punishments) we've never had anything drag on for days, weeks or months - not even hours.
I've heard this misperception here before and just wanted to say something this time.

For me, I believe where I focus my energy is what grows so if I'm focusing on solving problems and having positive exchanges then that is what happens. We have been using the tools of consensual living for years (validation, reflective listening, problem solving) and each exchange we get better and better. It's really quite quick and it's all handled with positive energy.

Not trying to change anyone's mind but for those on the fence I didn't want them to think either it's punishment or DAYS of conflict.
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#27 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by writermommy
I don't consider having a rule that you must wear a helmet to ride a bike to be a punishment. It's a matter of safety and a law in both states I have lived in. I would try to discuss the situation and stress the importance of staying safe first. But, some kids will do unsafe things in spite of our best efforts. In that case, I would not be afraid to intervene. They would be able to decide on their own to wear the helmet and ride the bike. It wouldn't be taken away for a period of time as a punishment, like a week or whatever. While I think having mutual respect, trust and attachment are important, I don't think this means a child will never do anything that could be dangerous or against the teachings of the parent.
I didn't say I considered "rules" punishment. I think the important thing is understanding the parent's role as teacher. I don't believe that just because a parent threatens punishment the child will then always follow the wishes of the parent. In fact, I think it less likely. If you have to resort to threatening it seems to me the child doesn't understand the reasoning behind the rule and is therefore more likely to ignore it.
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#28 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 01:57 PM
 
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This is what you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysideup
I believe if you have a relationship with a firm base of mutual respect and trust, and your kids really understand the reason to wear a helmet, then this doesn't happen.
What I meant was, if the kid decides not to wear the helmet, I don't think that it's because you don't have a firm base of mutual respect and trust. I think that, in your instance, saying, "If my kids and I respect and trust each other, my kid will wear a helmet" is too simplistic.

Quote:
But what happens if that punishment doesn't work? Do you resort to harsher and harsher punishments?
Well, in your bike example, taking away the bike because the kid won't wear the helmet is probably a punishment. But no, you don't have to resort to a harsher punishment if this doesn't "work," because just taking the bike away solves the problem. The kid can have the bike back when he agrees to use the helmet. If he agrees but then starts riding the bike without the helmet, then the bike is gone again.

Namaste!
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#29 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 02:02 PM
 
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I personally feel it also depends on when you begin GD. The earlier the better. My DD is 20mo and getting really good with understanding and reasoning. I have GD with her since she was tiny. GD is a real brain teaser for parents sometimes because you have to think of creative alternatives that will really grab your DC's attention. I sometimes "feel" (just an opinion here) Spanking Yelling Etc is a lazy way out.
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#30 of 104 Old 01-26-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambdkf
That does sound exhausting! But just to clarify for my family (being one that doesn't use punishments) we've never had anything drag on for days, weeks or months - not even hours.
I believe you, but this board is filled with stories of problems that have dragged on for days, weeks, or months.

Namaste!
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