punishment=withdrawal of love - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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do you agree? why? why not?
(i'd like to hear good arguments )
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#2 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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No, I really don't agree.

When DS#1 didn't come home from a friend's house when he was supposed to and had everyone out looking for him after dark and I told him he was going to have to check in with me every hour on the hour for the next week...it was not a withdrawal of love. But it was DEFINATELY a punishment to him!! (He usually only has to check in with me when he leaves a friend's house, or goes somewhere else in our neighborhood. He has to keep me "updated" as to his whereabouts).

We explained that we were worried for him, that we love him and checking in on time is a requirement that we have in order to make sure he's okay.


Wait, is that what you even meant by punishment?? Or is that more "discipline"? *sigh* forget I said anything.
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#3 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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Are you kidding?

In love with Dh since 1998. We created Ds (7.1.03), Dd (10.16.06) and Dd (3.16.09).
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#4 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 05:45 PM
 
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who, me?
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#5 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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withdrawl of love is a type of discipline. Shaming, ignoring, being angry - all can be interpreted as withdrawl of love. They are also disciplinary actions. But not all discipline or punishment is withdrawl of love.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#6 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 05:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by attachedmamaof3 View Post
who, me?
No, the op.

In love with Dh since 1998. We created Ds (7.1.03), Dd (10.16.06) and Dd (3.16.09).
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#7 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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Are you asking if punishment, any and all, is a form of withdrawal of love or if withdrawal of love is a good form of punishment?

In love with Dh since 1998. We created Ds (7.1.03), Dd (10.16.06) and Dd (3.16.09).
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#8 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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oooooh..okay. I thought you meant me! I was all...OMG is what I did WRONG somehow?!?!?!!
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#9 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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I absolutly feel it is love withdrawl. It may not be the INTENT but I believe most children with percieve it that way. I remember feeling "noone loves me" and I would be pained to my core to allow my children to feel that way. :

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#10 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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Hmmm... this is a complex issue. I mean, even defining "punishment" is not always so easy... and "withdrawl of love" is a pretty serious event that hopfully would not be something that would happen with a single passing incident or a hard time. Could a child be "punished" but still know that even though their parents are unhappy that they are still loved? Sure. Does "sitting in the corner" immediately make a child feel profoundly rejected and unloved? Not necessarily (and I would argue that in a stable and loving relationship, and with your average child, no). Can a child never be punished but still feel unloved? Yes.

I think making the jump from a time out or a toy taken away or a parent unwilling to embrace every tantrum to a child feeling that they have had love withdrawn or used as a manipulative tool is quite an extreme conclusion. I think mostly, what the child feels is- Ooops. Mom is mad. Don't want to do that again...

Personally, I think this is one area of parenting and discipline that we can all find ways to torture ourselves with if we let ourselves get stuck in the machine- "If I put her in time-out, she'll think I don't love her anymore! If I yell or get upset, she will be scarred forever! Just one mistake and I'll ruin my child's emotional stability for life!" Sure, all kids are different. But in general, I think an overall healthy relationship that is based on love and stability and respect can weather the ups and downs and the trial and error we all go through as parents and as children.

Does this make punshment "good"? Again, not all that clear when you think about it. Punishment as the only tool and as manipulation is not a good long term strategy. Feeling punished all the time is demoralizing, as well as ineffective. But an occasional time-out for serious offenses, putting a toy away that has been used to injure, refusing to participate in every tantrum is not quite as hard line... it could be called "punishment", but can it be done in love and work for both the child and the parent? Maybe.

And just to say- most here are usually talking about younger children. I worked for about 15 years with children and teens in residential treatment who had issues with the law. Many of them desperately wanted "consequences". And not as self punishment for emotional pain, but to know that someone was watching, someone cared about their actions and someone was willing to fight (with them and for them) for them to do the right thing. They saw appropriate and sensitively applied "consequences" not as a withdrawl of love, but as a display of love. Someone cared enough about them to make sure they were safe and were doing well. The ones with "strict" parents (not abusive parents, but ones who had a tight ship) would talk about that with pride- that their mom cared. Were the discipline techniques perfect? Not by a long shot. But they got the message: "I love you. I won't let you do this because I love you. I do the best I can." Of course, these kids were not the picture of what you would hope for in a discipline sense, but it shows that somewhere in there, kids KNOW. They know the difference between someone that treats them coldly and truly withdrawls their love on a whim and someone who loves them enough to try to teach them the ropes.
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#11 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by starlein26 View Post
Are you asking if punishment, any and all, is a form of withdrawal of love or if withdrawal of love is a good form of punishment?
if punishment, any and all, is a form of withdrawal of love
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#12 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 06:21 PM
 
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well, I guess I technically agree with the OP's equation, but I don't think I'd define punishment the same way others do. I'd only call it punishment if the intention is solely to make the child suffer as payment for a misdeed. If the imposed consequence has a point, is logical and done without anger, and of course is physically gentle, I don't really think it's punitive and don't think it's experienced as love withdrawal ftmp.
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#13 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by attachedmamaof3 View Post
oooooh..okay. I thought you meant me! I was all...OMG is what I did WRONG somehow?!?!?!!
hey, i didn't do anything wrong either!
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#14 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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LOL

No that's not what I meant either!!:

So, I guess it depends on your definition of punishment. I don't think discipline and punishment are the same beast.
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#15 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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oooooh..okay. I thought you meant me! I was all...OMG is what I did WRONG somehow?!?!?!!

Aww, you know what you did I wouldn't call a punishment jsut because our children dont like our boundries rules or even conquences doesn't mean its punishment. For example my DD hates to wash her hands its a sensory thing we make it as plesant as possble (warm water foam easy to rinse soap) but she still has to wash and for her its "punishment" I wish it wasn't I hope in time shes wont be bothered by it but I cant say well no hand washing. Or when my the 4 year old had trouble obeying our no street or parking lot rules (apartment living) we had to tighten the reigns and for awhile she could not play outside unless I or DH as activly watching (VS the occasional peek out the door) it wasn't a punishment though she felt it was. Having him be accountable was a reasonable concquence and a way to keep him safe. Thats not a punishment even though he might have thought it so. You did not love him less if anything you were saying I need to know your safe caue I love you.
Punishment to me is placing unrelated conquences and instilling shame to drive home the message. Its purposly saying here take that feel bad. Its to me withholding love maybe not intentionally but yes.

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#16 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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Nobody did anything wrong, except me ...I initially misunderstood the question/comment.

I guess first one needs to define punishment. I agree that punishment is different than discipline and tends to involve some withdrawal of love.

In love with Dh since 1998. We created Ds (7.1.03), Dd (10.16.06) and Dd (3.16.09).
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#17 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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My own personal definition of 'punishment' is "I don't like what you did so I'm going to do something to you that will make you uncomfortable/unhappy so you learn a lesson." I looked it up in Merriam-Webster and found

Quote:
a: to impose a penalty on for a fault, offense, or violation b: to inflict a penalty for the commission of (an offense) in retribution or retaliation
...so I'm not too far off in my estimation. And I think that is love-withdrawal. The word (and spirit of) 'penalty' is the key to me here. Punitive time-outs ("I don't like what you did so you have to go and be by yourself now until I say you can come back") taking away a toy or privilege ("I don't like what you did so I'm going to take away something you enjoy so you'll get the point") also qualify as love-withdrawal to me; again it's the big guy causing the little guy discomfort to make a point.

And I do realise that there's a problem with my choice of "I don't like what you did" to describe the reason for the punishment, but I really think that that's what it boils down to and I am using it to include "what you did is unsafe" "what you did is unacceptable" "what you did could cause wanton destruction and all hell to break loose" in my phrase. I'm using "I don't like it" in part to signify that I don't think it's a matter of having a good enough reason. Punishment is still punishment even when the circumstances are more dire and/or the reason is a 'good' one.

Merriam-Webster has the second definition of discipline listed as "to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control" which I'm all in favor of and I believe can be achieved without imposed penalties.
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#18 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 10:14 PM
 
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My own personal definition of 'punishment' is "I don't like what you did so I'm going to do something to you that will make you uncomfortable/unhappy so you learn a lesson."
I have a very similar personal definition of punishment, and I think it is very likely that a child feels a type of love withdrawal when you intentionally make then uncomfortable/unhappy, especially if your main intention IS to make them unhappy to teach them a lesson. That probably applies more to unrelated consequences and punishments, than to related consequences, in many ways.
I imagine it would feel pretty cruddy to know that your parent is TRYING to make you unhappy.

When it comes to more related consequences, especially ones that are done specifically to keep someone safe, and there are talks about how to work it out so it is at least somewhat agreeable to dc, then I would think that not all of that would be felt by the child as love withdrawal.
So, if ds hits someone with a toy, and won't stop, and I take it away long enough to find an agreeable solution, I'm sure he might not perceive that as love withdrawal (though he may, as well).

It seems to me that there would be a difference between if Parent's main goal is to make dc unhappy (regret what you did), and if Parent's goal is to solve a problem while trying to find a MAS, but not stressing too much if they don't. I dunno... Maybe there's not that much of a difference.

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#19 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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withdrawl of love is a type of discipline. Shaming, ignoring, being angry - all can be interpreted as withdrawl of love. They are also disciplinary actions. But not all discipline or punishment is withdrawl of love.
Egg-zactly.
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#20 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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Interesting discussion.

It seems that the issue of "love withdrawal" has much more to do with the relationship and intention toward one another rather than discipline techniques. I agree very with much with a pp who worked in residential treatment. I have also worked in that environment and those kids are craving guidance, containment and consequences...it's how they know anyone gives a rip.

I grew up with no consequences or punishments. I actually wished I was grounded because it would show me that my mother noticed me enough and cared enough to discipline me. Her loose parenting style left me feeling quite unloved even though she never punished. And she was a loving, caring person. So for me, it was a matter of her spending the time and attention to discipline me that would have been important.
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#21 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 11:02 PM
 
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I agree with everyone that definitions of punishment and discipline can make the whole topic a bit hazy and hard to untangle. I do think it is entirely possible to "punish" a child BY withdrawing love, but no, I don't think all punishment equals withdrawal of love.

Actually, I think all too often the concept of "punishment" gets entangled with the concept of "love" in a way that is more harmful than if the two were mutually exclusive. "I am spanking you because I love you." Or "This hurts me more than it hurts you." Many of us grow up very confused about what it means to love and be loved, because we associate love with hurt.
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#22 of 29 Old 10-30-2007, 11:56 PM
 
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I do remember my mom being upset with me and thinking "Nobody loves me". That was my immature perception, but my mom didn't really take her love away. I just didn't like the consequence she set before me so I was sulking. I don't think shaming is so much taking the love away either; it's just not parenting in a loving way. (KWIM?) My love for my children, or the kids I nanny for, is unconditional. I wouldn't take that away because they were behaving badly. My 3yo is going through this sulky kind of thing right now. If we reprimand her, she'll get sad and say "be nice to me!" I'll let her sulk for a minute if she insists, but I like to sit with her and talk about why I used my firm voice.

Shaming has no place in discipline. I do tend to ignore behaviors I don't care for, and everyone gets angry sometimes. The trick is to be a good example to your dc and be rational even when you're angry or take a step back and cool down.

SO, do I agree that punishment = withdrawal of love? No.
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#23 of 29 Old 10-31-2007, 12:17 AM
 
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punishment is not a withdrawal of love. setting of defined behavioral parameters is one of the many duties parents/guardians have to perform. how this is carried out is key, ofcourse. but, even so, kids are never going to be happy about being punished, no matter what. it's only after one has grown up that one values the effort loved ones put in making sure you are safe (as are others around you)! it's one of those 'retrospect perspective' things.
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#24 of 29 Old 10-31-2007, 01:14 AM
 
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My 3yo is going through this sulky kind of thing right now. If we reprimand her, she'll get sad and say "be nice to me!"
That reminds me- when I don't give my ds exactly what he wants, he says "You hurt my feelings." This is true even when there is no way I CAN do what he wants, like when he wants cheerios, and we have none, and we can't get to the store.

So I guess it's true that LO's can take things way more personally than we mean them.

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#25 of 29 Old 10-31-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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I think it's possible for kids to still feel loved when they're punished, but I think it's probably more common for a punishment to feel like a withdrawal or lessening of love. I don't mean that every time a kid is punished, she concludes her parent really doesn't love her at all - I just mean that a kid is likely not to feel very loved(or as loved as she'd like to be) right at that moment, and for a while afterwards.
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#26 of 29 Old 10-31-2007, 01:08 PM
 
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I think most punishment (using a general definition of some kind of non-abusive consequence to an unwanted behavior) is a temporary withdrawal of approval, but not a withdrawal of love. Whether a child understands that distinction probably depends on his/her maturity level and personality.
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#27 of 29 Old 10-31-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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I think most punishment (using a general definition of some kind of non-abusive consequence to an unwanted behavior) is a temporary withdrawal of approval, but not a withdrawal of love. Whether a child understands that distinction probably depends on his/her maturity level and personality.
I agree. I think the phrase "love withdrawal" is pretty loaded and extreme. Withdrawal of approval, however, is a totally normal, natural and appropriate response to inappropriate behavior, IMO. And personally I want my child to feel my disapproval when he's doing something harmful or hurtful to someone or engaging in a behavior that isn't appropriate.
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#28 of 29 Old 11-02-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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I certainly had a mother who believe withdraw of love was THE only best form of punishment...

but let's say you run in the street and dirty your socks.... mom makes you hand scrub those socks clean again (of course why do the bottoms of our socks need to clean anyway but...) that would be an appropirate punishment that has nothing to do with love...

Punishment that involves the parent shutting down emotionally, or inflicting additional emotional pain or shame is all about withraw of love and not necessary obviously.

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#29 of 29 Old 11-02-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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A withdrawal of love is a terrible punishment but not one most parents do on purpose, it is more a stressed out reaction to something your child does that really pushes you over the edge. Many people view punishment as consequences: if you are late you have to come home early tomorrow, if you hit your sister you must leave the room until you regain your self-control and are ready to talk, if you whine in the store and have a tantrum we will leave with nothing, these are all types of punishments but they don't withdraw love a privelage, attention until the violence is gone, and the posibility of the end of shopping treat is removed but not love. A child may view it as that but children tend to view not getting their way as a removal of love sometimes to so the response to them would be to remind them of your unconditional love and your expectation that they will do things in a better way in the future, not to just give them their way, let them come and go as they please at all hours of the night, and let them tantrum in the store and disturb the peace of everyone else.
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