Whats wrong with "no!"? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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We have to differentiate between a child's understanding of a word and their developmental need to separate and/or individuate. A child knows the 'meaning' of the word 'no' long before he/she gains the ability to put self in the place of other, and until then, mama or daddy will have to step in, on occasion to protect the rights of others.
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#32 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
I think it's hard for most young children to separate their behavior from themselves. An older child, yes, they can understand that they are not made entirely of what they do. But a two year old? I don't think so. You tell them, "Hitting is bad!" I think they're going to hear, "You are bad!"
ITA. Little kids don't process that stuff well.

Also, there is a HUGE difference between:

"NO! Do not throw toys!"

and

"It's not nice to throw toys, even if you are really mad. Somebody can get hurt. Let's let Katie have a turn with the toy first, and when she is done, it can be your turn..." and so on.

But if you jump to that knee-jerk "No! Bad! Wrong!" reaction, there is a really good chance that you're going to end up with a really upset, ashamed little kid, and that will ruin your chances of having an actual productive conversation in the matter. Especially if you have a sensitive kid who interprets: "hitting is bad" = "you are bad" = "I don't like you!"

ETA: There is nothing wrong with saying no and setting boundaries, and I do believe that it is very important to set boundaries. I just think that you have to be very careful about how you do it.
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#33 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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I'm with you, anothermama, I don't think there is a thing wrong with 'no,' and I have seen GD turned into over-passivity waaaaay too much!
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#34 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by anothermama View Post
They will often act before thinking and thats ok, but I don't think it's helping them to just go on as if their actions have no negative consequences. My son got to a point where if he pushed or hit he'd immediately look at me, because he knew it was a no no. Actually, now, my son is to the point where if he hits or pushes, I just say his name, and he cries because he knows he's going to not be able to play with his friends.
ah, I think I see where you're coming from- are you saying that they need to experience negative consequences in order to learn not to do certain things? Perhaps I'm misreading it though.

That could be the big difference in our opinions. I don't think that kids need to experience negative consequences in order to learn not to hit. I think that my ds did learn that there were negative consequences when he hit- and that negative consequence was that I didn't like it. But there were never any consequences imposed on him.
He did learn very quickly not to hit (ie, a few times hitting over a few days, max). I didn't want to teach him that hitting has negative consequences, I wanted to teach him what to do instead of hitting to express himself and get his needs met.

On the same note, the grabbing toys is improving quickly too. When two other kids are fighting over the same toy, I hear ds trying to give them information, and trying to find a solution.

eta- just wanted to say again that I'm agreeing with you that there's nothing wrong with saying "no."

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#35 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I think a more reasonable explanation is that by saying "don't run" you don't give them anything else to think about. They're still thinking about running. If, instead, you say "walk!" then they can think about walking.

Or take yourself as an example. If a you're talking to a friend in a restaurant, and they say "Don't look over your shoulder, but...." what's your first instinct? To look over your shoulder! But, if were looking over your shoulder and your friend said "Hey, look up there!" You'd look up there.
exactly. Don't think of a pink elephant...

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#36 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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I think a good, firm "no" has it's place - like if someone is about to get hurt. I prefer to say "stop" instead, though. Ex - "Stop hitting me." I also agree that whatever words you do use shouldn't be "sing- songy".
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#37 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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There is a time and a place for "no." But there are reasons to limit its use too.

We don't use "no" with our infants, for example, because we just don't feel it serves a purpose. Infants haven't yet developed impulse control and so commanding them "no!" doesn't make much sense IMO. We prefer re-direction in a positive, encouraging manner. So if, for instance, one of my babes was hitting me, I'd probably grab her hand and show her gentle touch rather than just saying "no."

Also, we really want to encourage exploration and we like to create as positive an environment for this as possible. Studies show that kids who get their hands slapped exhibit less curiosity. I think overuse of "no" and "stop" and "don't", etc. can have the same stifling effect.

With older kids, we do use "no" at times but we try not to overuse it because it can lose its emphasis and because overuse can create a lot of negativity. If possible, we prefer to show our kids what TO do rather than what NOT to do. Our goal is to gently and respectfully guide and teach our children. So no, "no" is not always bad or wrong, but if overused or used in place of active teaching, I do think it does more harm than good.
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#38 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
What if he can't see you? What if he knows you aren't watching? Then what does he do? Cry? Or do the wheels start turning about what he can get away with next?
I'm always watching..............mwahahahahahaha

Ok, seriously, I just don't really leave him unsupervised with other kids his age......I mean, he's only 3. Is that weird?

He can be super sneaky when he's alone, but at least he's not hurting anyone else.
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#39 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamabear&babybear View Post
After carefully reading your post it seems to me that you have more of a problem with people who seemingly don't discipline than with people who don't use the word no. I try not to tell my girls no but that doesn't mean that I let them hit me either. I also don't always use a sweet, doting voice. If they hit me I use an assertive voice to tell them that hitting hurts and then as a pp said give them alternatives to hitting. The latter part is the reason to figure out why they are hitting. I don't try to keep my dc from feeling bad about/owning their actions. I do help them cope with those feelings, make amends for their actions and sometimes remove themselves from the situation.


I think there is a difference between letting them feel negative consequences for their actions and imposing illogical consequences for their actions.
Well, you're right, but it often seems that all goes hand in hand..........

And I agree, I don't think illogical consequences help them learn a darn thing, but I think natural negative consequences can be a good thing. I don't think of it as a bad thing if my kid feels badly about what they did to someone else. And there seems to be this kind of running theme among moms I know who GD in that they don't EVER want to MAKE their kid feel badly, ykwim?
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#40 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Deva33mommy View Post
ah, I think I see where you're coming from- are you saying that they need to experience negative consequences in order to learn not to do certain things? Perhaps I'm misreading it though.

That could be the big difference in our opinions. I don't think that kids need to experience negative consequences in order to learn not to hit. I think that my ds did learn that there were negative consequences when he hit- and that negative consequence was that I didn't like it. But there were never any consequences imposed on him.
He did learn very quickly not to hit (ie, a few times hitting over a few days, max). I didn't want to teach him that hitting has negative consequences, I wanted to teach him what to do instead of hitting to express himself and get his needs met.

On the same note, the grabbing toys is improving quickly too. When two other kids are fighting over the same toy, I hear ds trying to give them information, and trying to find a solution.

eta- just wanted to say again that I'm agreeing with you that there's nothing wrong with saying "no."
I think maybe we're two sides of the same coin.......you said it yourself, your son learned there was a negative consequence to hitting you.

And that's all I mean.......it seems like there is a huge part of parents who GD, not just here but that I know IRL, who avoid letting their child experience ANYTHING negative at all in regards to their actions.......and if all their behavior results in positive attention, whats teaching them what is right and wrong??
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#41 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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I remember being about 8 months pregnant and having a friend over. She was feeling sick and run-down and just needed some nurturing. She had brought over her dd, who was about 6 at the time. Her daughter wanted to go outside in our backyard, but her mother would have had to go out with her. Her mother wanted to stay and visit with me and wasn't really up for playing outside, anyway. And it was raining. And I was about to serve supper. Her daughter had already pitched a couple of fits during the visit; pretty major ones, too, over stuff that seemed pretty minor (mind you, I had yet to have my own child!). Anyway, the mom proceeded to give every imaginable reason why her dd could not go outside. She tried to offer alternatives. But the girl just wouldn't let up. What I noticed was that the mother never actually said the word 'no.' She said "well, it's raining" and "we're here to visit, and "you can play outside when we get home," etc. And it seemed in that situation that, by not just saying 'no,' which is clearly what she meant, the child kept thinking there was room to negotiate. Needless to say, another meltdown ensued. I promised myself, then and there, that my child would learn to hear the word 'no.' Not in a mean way, just a matter-of-fact, ask me for what you want; sometimes the answer will be yes, and sometimes no. I wanted her to learn to hear the word 'no,' experience disappointment and learn to work through it and get over it, while she was young. I wanted 'no' to feel like a normal part of life, not a catastrophe. So I use 'no' right away if that's the honest answer to a request and there really isn't room for negotiation. Anything else just isn't fair, IMO, in those situations. That's actually mostly how I use the word, actually. And I DO try to say yes a lot, try to compromise, etc. But if she's just not hearing 'no' when that's what I mean, I'll say very clearly, "I'm saying no" or "the answer to your question is no. Now let's go find a yes." Just so there's no confusion.
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#42 of 125 Old 11-13-2007, 10:59 PM
 
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I'm actually seeing a lot more agreeing than disagreeing.

It seems that the mamas that don't want to overdue "no" are not totally against saying it, and still will sometimes allow natural, potentially negative consequences for their child. I am the same way, we don't go around yelling "No! No! No!" but try to give more guidance than that.

But, as a former nanny, I think I know what the OP is talking about w/ parents that use that sing-songy voice and don't want child to experience *any* negativity which ends up creating Little Autumn's and Andrew's that have every whim catered to, b/c the Little Darling needs to ONLY have positive-ness in their precious life.

It made me want to :Puke then and makes me want to :Puke now.
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#43 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 12:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by anothermama View Post
And there seems to be this kind of running theme among moms I know who GD in that they don't EVER want to MAKE their kid feel badly, ykwim?
Well, I don't ever want to make my kid feel bad. I have, lots of times. But I don't want to, and I don't know that when I did it was the best choice.

I don't have a problem w/my kids hitting me. I can't think of the last time they did. I would like to think that is because I'm really good at maintaining my boundaries. But I also have to be honest and admit that it might have something to do with that "scary mommy" that comes out once in a while. The one that yells and gets super mad and sometimes spanks.

So I guess if I could trade, it would be okay if my kids hit me more because they were more trusting of me. Because kids grow out of hitting, but I don't think they grow out of trust issues.

Anyway, my point is that people come to GD, and to all parenting, from lots of different backgrounds. Maybe those parents that you are disparaging that don't say "no" clearly enough are trying to avoid being the dictators that their parents were. Who knows?

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#44 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 12:46 AM
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I dunno, I just think that in many cases "no!" is not nearly as effective as positive phrasing and giving children (and adults too!) the tools and knowledge of what *to* do.

Imagine this, imagine I am at a job and my superior comes up to me "I DID NOT WANT THE REPORT DONE IN THIS WAY!" and walks away. Is that effective? Sure, (s)he communicated their displeasure and yeah I sure got the message that they don't want something. Now what to do? Sit on my hands not knowing what the heck to do, why they didn't like it, what exactly was displeasing? Do I ask or are they too upset? Do I change it or is it ruined? I would respond so much better to "you know what, in the future could you make your references clearer, this is so hard for me to read!" ( or whatever ). It isn't that they are "coddling" me, or "making sure" I am never "upset", it is that the most effective and respectful (and imo kind) way to work with someone instead of against them is to empower them with the knowledge of knowing what *to* do.

Or my husband... say I come up to him "hey babe, do you want to order out tonight?"

NO.


Um.... okay...."Do you want to *go* out?"


NO.


Um....

How rude. Does he want to cook? Does he want me to cook? Did he already eat? Is there something else he wants to do? What the heck is going on here?

I imagine that is how children must feel a lot of times.

We rarely use *no* around here -- we almost always tell dd what we would prefer or spell our boundaries out. Instead of NO HITTING when she was little, we would say "touch gently" --- instead of NO RUNNING! we would say, please walk slowly (near water or whatever). This is tremendously effective in our experience, as it sets us all up for success rather than confusion, failure, and adversarial exchanges.

So while I don't think no is "wrong" neccessarily, it certainly isn't my first option...

...and what exactly is wrong with not wanting to hurt my child's feelings? I am not saying I never have or will, but it certainly is never, ever, ever my goal and I think that is a beautiful goal to aspire to.

Sarah, thanks for your post
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#45 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 12:58 AM
 
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I don't think most of us are just arbitrarily saying 'no' with no further communication, explanation, or elaboration.
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#46 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 01:00 AM
 
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I don't think most of us are just arbitrarily saying 'no' with no further communication, explanation, or elaboration.


Right. I feel like the context of the OP has been a bit lost.
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#47 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 02:43 AM
 
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Sarah, thanks for your post
Thank you!

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#48 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 06:27 AM
 
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Your post is very negative but perhaps its just because you dont really understand Gentle Dicipline....or maybe even that of attatchment parenting.

Quote:
After carefully reading your post it seems to me that you have more of a problem with people who seemingly don't discipline than with people who don't use the word no.
:

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It seems like the GD pendulum, if you will, has really swung to an almost dysfunctional extreme of being nice to your kids no matter what.
No it hasnt. And if this is what you honestly think about GD - then its clear you dont understand what GD is.

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But the worst part is that she'd say these phrases in a kind, sweet, doting voice. Her daughter would hit her in the face violently and she'd sweetly say "Please don't hit mama!!!". What the heck is that teaching the kid
?

I wouldnt call that GD either. I would in fact use the same words though. 'Please dont hit' - but I wont be using a kind sweet doting voice...I wont be shouting either. My voice would be neutral. A simple phrase, a simple direction, a simple request - 'please do not hit me'.
and...
Quote:
Well, I think that also teaches a kid really poor methods of enforcing boundaries. I agree that it's very unhealthy, but not because of the "negative/positive" attention thing.
:
I will also say there that I think alot of people can get confused by GD. GD does not mean no dicipline. But people can think it does because they associate dicipline with punishment. We ourselves do not punish in this house - but we do use dicipline and dicipline in this house is exactly what it says it is - teaching.

Also - Did she say she was 'ap'. Did she say she was using GD? Because I wouldnt assume anything about anyone - even if thats what they told me because actions can speak louder than words. Their child, their business - not my place to sit back and judge them. And they shouldnt need to explain anything to you either.

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Originally Posted by anothermama
I see a lot of posts here where parents ask for help with a big issue.........hitting, biting, other violent behavior.......and the first response is "well why are they doing it". I'm sorry, but I don't CARE WHY my 3 year old hit another kid, it's no ok. We'll talk about it and share our feelings AFTER he knows that it's not ok. It seems like it's just making excuses for bad behavior to say "Well, she hit because she was really tired". So you're teaching your kid that it's ok to be violent to others if you have a good excuse to do so?
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You really don't care? You don't think it would make any difference in your discipline if you knew the exact reason your three year old hit someone? What if it was because a bigger kid kept taking away her toys? What if it was because she was resentful of a younger sibling?

Don't get me wrong, I don't think you should condone hitting. But I think most people post because they have a CHRONIC hitting problem, and want to stop it. If that's the case, you've got to look at the causes.

I don't think GD is about being "nice" to your child at all costs. Just like all of AP, it's about being proactive rather than reactive. Instead of focusing on the punishment that will be harsh or scary enough to get your dc to stop hitting, GD parents tend to focus on setting their children up for success. What can be wrong with that?
: <<< couldnt have said it better myself!

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ITA. With kids, especially young ones, they act out because they are not mature enough to get a good handle on their emotions. So they resort to tantrums, hitting, grabbing, etc.

You can't fix a problem if you don't know what caused it. The whole point of GD is to teach kids to work through their feelings, rather than arbitrarily punishing them, which serves no purpose.

If a child misbehaves and your immediate reaction is to tell them that it is wrong or not ok, then it puts the child on the defensive (and IMO, it is shaming), which makes it really difficult to have any kind of meaningful discussion about feelings, or how to better handle themselves the next time.
and that! lol

In fact - it was the whole word 'NO!' that brought me to GD.
When I had my son I was determined to not have a child run around shoutting 'NO!' aggressivly at me, anyone all the time. In fact, I was to find that it was these mothers who just use 'NO!' all the time with their children that have these children. So I told myself I would not use the word 'no'. This does not mean I dont dicipline or dont help to set boundaries with my child. This also doesnt mean I have a child who walks all over me. In fact, not to boast ...lol....I think we are a pretty good exampl of GD! I have a kind, polite, considerate, well manned, positivly behaved young man on my hands and hes such a terrific two! : lol...

We do on the other hand use the word 'stop'...if...get this!...we want him to 'stop a behaviour'...if we want him to stop a behaviour why would be use no? 'Stop' is much more effective and appropriate. We do of course use the world 'no' but appropriatly in context. 'Would you like some more peas? No? Okay!'...Not just 'NO!'.... If overused it also looses its effectivness. I have seen this. Treat your children how you want to be treated because eventually they will certainly copy you and treat you the way you treat them. I dont know how many parents I have seen have their children shoutting 'NO!' aggressivly at them...its not very nice is it?!

Slightly off topic

Quote:
Young children have a hard time understanding negative words. I remember an ECE professor in college telling me that when you say to a young child "Don't run" they actually hear "Do run."
Its because children hear the last word that you say - so they are hearing run. Changing 'donts' to 'do' is being positive -but it also sets boundaries. Its not saying dont ever say no - its just changing no around so that your children will hear you. Its being respectful of them. Instead of saying 'dont run' you could say 'please walk'...they will hear 'walk' not 'run' then. This is why GD focuses on a positive 'YES!' environment. Its not saying that GD never say no or set boundaries! lol Some people have said they dont agree with this? - perhaps its the way the person I have quoted has explained it. But its really amazing (and worth trying if you dont already) - subtle linguistic ques really make a difference!

My friend had the daughter who agressively would shout 'NO!' at you. My son one day said it to her daughter. My friend was complely taken aback. She said 'but you dont say no!'...without offending her I suggested that he probably picked it up from other children (kinda hinting to her)... She stopped and though a bit and said 'You know, I probably do say 'no' to my daughter alot'. I gave her some tips on how to not use no/dont and how to change it to a 'do' instead. She started to do this and you should have seen the transformation it made in her daughter! For one she was running around shoutting 'NO!' agressivly at anyone anymore - in turn my son stopped saying this! lol

So whats wrong with no you ask?

Quote:
This is where I have a hard time with mainstream discipline. My goal of disciplining my children is to get them to do 3 things:

1. Understand how their actions affect others.
2. Think their way through a series of potential actions.
3. Be sorry when they slip up - acknowledge the mistake, fix it, and prevent it in the future.

Saying "no" does not afford my children these lessons. Which gives more information:
That hurts!
or
No! ?

Giving them the information they need gives them the tools to use next time. Discipline is a progressive thing.


Sorry ive quoted a lot of people - but you have all said it before I could! haha
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#49 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Right. I feel like the context of the OP has been a bit lost.
Yes, thank you.
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#50 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
Your post is very negative but perhaps its just because you dont really understand Gentle Dicipline....or maybe even that of attatchment parenting.
..

Sorry ive quoted a lot of people - but you have all said it before I could! haha
Your opening statement was so offensive I really couldn't read much further............
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#51 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 12:23 PM
 
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Your opening statement was so offensive I really couldn't read much further............
ITA. I am totally with you on this issue (and apparently on a few others). And I am very AP, and I consider myself GD also (although I do say no and everything is not a consensus based decision). I am a loving, respectful parent, and I also do not coddle my child or walk on eggshells lest I destroy her fragile psyche.

If you wanna say no, dude! Say no. They will live on and they will also have far more important things to talk about in therapy than 'my mother said no instead of finding creative sing song alternatives whenever I screwed up.'

eta - I also wonder about the real lives of folks who can be so rude to other mamas on the subject of how important it is to be nice to children.
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#52 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ITA. I am totally with you on this issue (and apparently on a few others). And I am very AP, and I consider myself GD also (although I do say no and everything is not a consensus based decision). I am a loving, respectful parent, and I also do not coddle my child or walk on eggshells lest I destroy her fragile psyche.

If you wanna say no, dude! Say no. They will live on and they will also have far more important things to talk about in therapy than 'my mother said no instead of finding creative sing song alternatives whenever I screwed up.'

eta - I also wonder about the real lives of folks who can be so rude to other mamas on the subject of how important it is to be nice to children.
Dude, are we the same person??:
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#53 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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thismama, I swear, I want to start a fan club for you.

Ditto what she said.

We say NO and DON'T when it's the most succinct way to quickly communicate the inappropriateness of an action. If there is no urgency it is much easier to find a "positive" way to phrase it.

ITA with whoever pointed out that sometimes if you give alternative instructions (what *to* do instead of what *not* to do, or "it is raining outside" instead of "we cannot go outside right now; it is raining") kids are confused - well, can we go outside or not?

Don't get me wrong, I try very hard to find mutually agreeable solutions with my child whenever possible and I do think that the overuse of "no" and "don't" is unhelpful.

But, there is definitely a place for "no" in our household and it does not make us any less GD/AP.
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#54 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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thismama, I swear, I want to start a fan club for you.
Well, I'm actually anothermama. My secret is out.
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#55 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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I dunno, I just think that in many cases "no!" is not nearly as effective as positive phrasing and giving children (and adults too!) the tools and knowledge of what *to* do.

Imagine this, imagine I am at a job and my superior comes up to me "I DID NOT WANT THE REPORT DONE IN THIS WAY!" and walks away. Is that effective? Sure, (s)he communicated their displeasure and yeah I sure got the message that they don't want something. Now what to do? Sit on my hands not knowing what the heck to do, why they didn't like it, what exactly was displeasing? Do I ask or are they too upset? Do I change it or is it ruined? I would respond so much better to "you know what, in the future could you make your references clearer, this is so hard for me to read!" ( or whatever ). It isn't that they are "coddling" me, or "making sure" I am never "upset", it is that the most effective and respectful (and imo kind) way to work with someone instead of against them is to empower them with the knowledge of knowing what *to* do.
That's what I was trying to say earlier, only your example is better.
You *could* end up figuring out what to do about the report, but it's much easier if your boss tells you exactly what to do to fix it. Less trial and error- you might think it was spelling errors, and fix it all only to find out that wasn't the problem at all!
Only difference with me, is that I think that saying "I don't want the report this long." followed by a "what to do" sometimes is more clear than leaving out the negative "instruction" but I definitely agree that the positive is most helpful.


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I don't think most of us are just arbitrarily saying 'no' with no further communication, explanation, or elaboration.
Except that the op said
Quote:
Just saying "dont hit!" certain does teach them that they need to find other ways to get your attention/get what they want! Kids are SMART! If Timmy can't hit to get your attention, he WILL find another way to get it. Caudling it seems counterproductive, in practice, to me.
I was saying that telling them what to do instead is much more helpful then having them go through the trial and error of coming up with that alternative themselves.


(I swear I'm not picking on you anothermama. I like these types of discussions)
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My son got to a point where if he pushed or hit he'd immediately look at me, because he knew it was a no no. Actually, now, my son is to the point where if he hits or pushes, I just say his name, and he cries because he knows he's going to not be able to play with his friends.
Here, it really sounds like you're saying that YOU are imposing a related consequence. If he hits, and knows that he can't play anymore, I'm guessing that you are the one deciding play time is over.

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I think maybe we're two sides of the same coin.......you said it yourself, your son learned there was a negative consequence to hitting you.

And that's all I mean.......it seems like there is a huge part of parents who GD, not just here but that I know IRL, who avoid letting their child experience ANYTHING negative at all in regards to their actions.......and if all their behavior results in positive attention, whats teaching them what is right and wrong??
I'm all for kids learning that there are consequences to their actions. Natural ones. It's natural for me to be upset if ds hits me. But I wouldn't impose a "time to stop playing" consequence if he hit me or a friend.
I definitely leave my 3yo unsupervised with friends! What else is the point of play dates, if not to be able to get some stuff done! lol

But, after all this, I think I see that your original point is against those who refuse to let their kids see that there's anything wrong with what they do. I've never been that type (though when ds went through his super sensitive phase, I did watch my wording and tone very carefully. If someone made it sound like he did something wrong, and he should have known better, he'd burst out in tears. It was much more effective to say it as "oops, this happened, don't do that for this reason. Do this instead"). I tell ds "I don't really feel like going outside. It's cold." and "No, I am not getting up from my dinner to make lemonade for you." but I do offer some suggestions like "We can play trains in here" or "I'll make it for you after dinner."

It reminds me of my aunt- ds was about 18 mos old and he hit her (for fun, I guess). I said something like "Don't hit. People don't like to be hit. If you want to x, do y instead." My Aunt jumped in right away and said "oh no it didn't hurt! he can hit me. he didn't do anything wrong..." like she was protecting him from my wrath!!! lol.

Actually, thinking about it more, I have seen what you're talking about (I was reminded by your "what's teaching them right from wrong" line). I remember wondering the same thing about people who always talk in a pleasant voice, even when they're being hit. Then they're surprised that their kid keeps hitting! lol. I don't know that I think it's because the kid interprets it as positive reinforcement. Just that...the kid isn't being taught what not to do, and what to do instead. So, yeah, if those parents were more willing to show their honest feelings, I'm sure it would be much more clear to the kids what's acceptable and what's not. They don't have to hurt their kids feelings, just don't sugarcoat their honest feelings.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#56 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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I wouldn't impose a 'time to stop playing' consequence for occasional hitting either. But I also know kids who hit a LOT. And, they don't care if someone else is upset, truly, at least not enough to stop the behaviour. So you get these mothers repeatedly explaining ad nauseum in sing songy tones that "hitting hurts our friends!"

Um, they know that, and sometimes that is the whole point. It just becomes ridiculous, and pathetic, and kids can see that. If sing songy explanations about harm done don't work, time to move on up to something else, because repeated hitting is not okay.
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#57 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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If sing songy explanations about harm done don't work, time to move on up to something else, because repeated hitting is not okay.
Quite true!

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#58 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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I dunno, I just think that in many cases "no!" is not nearly as effective as positive phrasing and giving children (and adults too!) the tools and knowledge of what *to* do.

Imagine this, imagine I am at a job and my superior comes up to me "I DID NOT WANT THE REPORT DONE IN THIS WAY!" and walks away. Is that effective? Sure, (s)he communicated their displeasure and yeah I sure got the message that they don't want something. Now what to do? Sit on my hands not knowing what the heck to do, why they didn't like it, what exactly was displeasing? Do I ask or are they too upset? Do I change it or is it ruined? I would respond so much better to "you know what, in the future could you make your references clearer, this is so hard for me to read!" ( or whatever ). It isn't that they are "coddling" me, or "making sure" I am never "upset", it is that the most effective and respectful (and imo kind) way to work with someone instead of against them is to empower them with the knowledge of knowing what *to* do.

Or my husband... say I come up to him "hey babe, do you want to order out tonight?"

NO.


Um.... okay...."Do you want to *go* out?"


NO.


Um....

How rude. Does he want to cook? Does he want me to cook? Did he already eat? Is there something else he wants to do? What the heck is going on here?

I imagine that is how children must feel a lot of times.

We rarely use *no* around here -- we almost always tell dd what we would prefer or spell our boundaries out. Instead of NO HITTING when she was little, we would say "touch gently" --- instead of NO RUNNING! we would say, please walk slowly (near water or whatever). This is tremendously effective in our experience, as it sets us all up for success rather than confusion, failure, and adversarial exchanges.

So while I don't think no is "wrong" neccessarily, it certainly isn't my first option...

...and what exactly is wrong with not wanting to hurt my child's feelings? I am not saying I never have or will, but it certainly is never, ever, ever my goal and I think that is a beautiful goal to aspire to.

Sarah, thanks for your post
CC, again I am in awe of your parenting! This was such a good post and why I aspire to be more like you. What a terrific example.

And Sarah, I love reading your posts too because I've seen a lot of similarities between us before and I'm always impressed with what you have to say. It also helps me remember that it's a journey and I won't necessarily be able to be completely GD, even though it's my ideal, all the time. And that it's okay, I haven't failed, I just need to move on and try hard to do better next time.
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#59 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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What I said was offensive?....Well I am sorry but I did find your post very negative. If anything, it was you being quite offensive to this mother you used as an example and having a go at GD/AP. Thats exactly how I read it since thats exactly what you were ranting about.
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#60 of 125 Old 11-14-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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ITA. Little kids don't process that stuff well.

Also, there is a HUGE difference between:

"NO! Do not throw toys!"

and

"It's not nice to throw toys, even if you are really mad. Somebody can get hurt. Let's let Katie have a turn with the toy first, and when she is done, it can be your turn..." and so on.
Why does it have to be either/or? My response would usually sound like a combination of the two; a stern warning (which usually stopped the behavior) followed by an explanation, if I felt that the situation warranted it. Mind you, I'm not talking about toddlers here, and I'm not talking about nitpicking every little instance of annoying behavior. By the time my girls were 4-5, they were very well aware of certain ground rules. If one of them hit the other, the hitter was not going to get an earful about how hitting hurts and it's not ok - she'd known that for years! A "Hey! You know better. If you two can't respect each other, you need to separate yourselves." was all that was needed, and now that they're older, they don't even need that anymore. Has anyone here claimed that yelling "No! Don't do that!" is, in and of itself, the most that a parent should ever need to say to a kid about the issue at hand? Because I haven't seen it, just a lot of insinuations that it's been suggested.
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