Bear with me here...this thread contains independent thoughts
I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about Gentle Discipline since I discovered this board a few months back, and I really like what I see.
I've discovered that good parenting goes far beyond my vow to never hit a child. (I mean, I knew that, but I didn't realize that just saying, "I don't hit" didn't mean I was disciplining effectively)
I truly like the idea of natural consequences and not punishing.
But sometimes, the natural consequence of an undesired behavior is just too extreme for me.
For example, my toddler likes to tear away from me in public and run as fast as his short little legs can carry him (run, baby, run!
Now, an authoritarian might curb this in the bud with a little child-hitting.
And a no-punishment parent might simply try to redirect the child without any 'unnatural punishment'.
The problem I have with that is that the natural consequence of my toddler running away in public is not something I particularly want him to experience. I'd just as soon he not get run over by a car or kidnapped by a pedophile. Crazy me.
I also think that saying, "You ran away from mommy and now I'm going to put you in time-out" makes no sense. It's like saying, "You ran away and now I'm going to punish you by KEEPING you away, right?"
So what about 'sensible' consequences? Not punishments...they aren't meant to demean or humiliate, but since they ARE parent-imposed, they aren't natural consequences, either.
For example, DS runs away public, the 'sensible' consequence is that DS must now ride in the stroller. Even if he's protesting and screaming, I can't run the inherent risks of a toddler running loose without a mother. Right? right?
Someone tell me if I'm making sense here?