Whats wrong with "no!"? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 08:55 AM
 
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Okay, well fair enough. But then when these people call it GD, which I notice is a very frequently used label for passive ineffective parenting, then where does the seperation between this and 'real' GD begin and end? And, what a coinkidink that this type of parenting is so often called GD. Doesn't that denote that GD philosophy, if 'real' GD can be objectively defined, is contributing in some way to erring on the side of ineffectual?
No. No. Put that argument down now. No.

(This thread is really bringing out some of my most sarcastic tendencies.)

For two reasons

First, logically, because "gentle discipline" is an umbrella term for a variety of parenting strategies, as should be obvious from this forum. Some of them involve using other words than "no" and some don't.

Second, anecdotally, because my friend's mom used to hit her with her copy of Haim Ginott's book on how to parent without spanking back in the 1960s. Because my mom used to start out with Parent Effectiveness Training speak and then lose her temper and hit me, in the 1970s. I do not blame Haim Ginott, great advocate of gentle discipline because his book was used to smack a kid. I just don't think that the parenting philosophy is at fault for either abusive or spineless parenting.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#92 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 08:59 AM
 
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Okay but if you are getting hit with a copy of a 'don't hit' book, there is no connection between the philosophy and you getting hit. The philosophy is not advocating hitting.

But, there are connections between what people call "GD" and ineffective parenting IMO. I see a lot of parent blame for children's bad behaviour, like this pressure that if the child does something wrong it's actually always your fault and you need to look for why. Seriously, I've been told that, and recently, on this forum. And this taboo on consequences, that non-consequences is somehow more 'evolved,' and that my child's trust will be broken and she will feel unloved if I give her (respectful, not overly harsh) consequences.

Pretty direct connection between these things and ineffective parenting IMO. I have seen these things directly applied to children in the name of GD in what becomes a pathetic, toothless attempt to halt absolutely out of bounds behaviour.

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#93 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 09:03 AM
 
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I think that there is nothing with telling a child "no". I do not understand people who never, ever say that word, no matter what, but hey, to each their own. However, I also believe that "no" can be overused and lose it's effectiveness.

Moderation in everything, is my motto.
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#94 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 09:55 AM
 
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Sure. But, then it's not *GD* that's producing over indulgent kids--it's something else that people are calling GD. Which, frankly, kind of makes it neither here nor there in terms of what most people are practicing.
:

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Okay, well fair enough. But then when these people call it GD, which I notice is a very frequently used label for passive ineffective parenting, then where does the seperation between this and 'real' GD begin and end? And, what a coinkidink that this type of parenting is so often called GD. Doesn't that denote that GD philosophy, if 'real' GD can be objectively defined, is contributing in some way to erring on the side of ineffectual?
Personally, I think there has to be the "D" in there, the teaching of what we want their eventual outcome to be, the enforcing of the limit that's been set, or else it's just "G"....wait, didn't someone else already say that? So I see your point about a parent being just "gentle" with their child without offering them any guidance as being a contribution from 'real' GD, since we all strive to be kind to our children. Gentle Discipline by its own name has discipline in it - so if there is no guidance, no teaching of socially acceptable behaviors, no presentation of the affects their actions have on others - then it's really not discipline. And gentleness in and of itself, while pleasant, isn't necessarily very helpful when trying to learn something.

I also think that society is so wrapped up in the "they need to be punished!" mindframe that when they see a parent who is just being gentle and nicey nice and not teaching their child anything, and a parent who IS teaching their child something but not punishing them (not "doing anything"), they both get lumped into the same category, whether or not the parent is claiming to use GD. IMHO, we need to get society over that hump that kids always need something punitive "done" to them when they mess up or -they're getting away with something/they'll be shocked once they're in the real world - in order to better understand what gentle discipline is really about. I was punished exactly once as a child/teen...and am about as law abiding and well adjusted as they come (if I do say so myself... )

Setting and enforcing limits and boundaries around your child, yourself, around others, and around property DOES effectively teach your child, without piling anything on top of it to 'teach' your child a lesson, a vast majority of the time. The enforcing of the limit IS the lesson. Sometimes those boundaries include things that wind up as a consequence, sometimes they don't. It would seem it's the 'enforcing the limit' part that the milquetoast parents that I've seen just aren't 'getting' - the ones who do the singsongy voice asking sweetly 10 times for their kid to stop doing whatever without actually helping them stop, and/or find something better to do. Setting a limit, but not enforcing it, is not doing anyone any favors (and even on the one far end of "real" GD, consensually living parents have their own limits and boundaries they enforce).

I think those are a couple ways that GD gets a bad name.

JMHO. Take it or leave it!

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#95 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 09:59 AM
 
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The4OfUs I you and agree with everything you said.
Likewise!!



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She can either figure it out herself, after perhaps a few failed ideas, or an adult can give her some ideas to give her a head start in succeeding.

It's almost like making it easier for them to comply. I'm all for making my life easier!
: I am ALL about easier right now.

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#96 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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It sounds like no matter what kind of evidence anyone else presents for why they are doing something different from you, you are going to continue to insist that their methods are harmful and yours are right. (I guess that means you fit in well here! )
.
Yeah, this is the impression I get as well.

I think you're blaming GD, when what you actually mean is a failure to communicate effectively with one's child.

Let's take some examples. First, yours (slightly exaggerated). Suzie hits Judy and takes her truck. Judy cries. Suzie's mama swoops in and says, "Oh, Snuggly Snookums, did you hit Judy? You must be tired, my poor Snuggly Wuggly. Let's get ice cream." You say the parent isn't effectively communicating that hitting is wrong. I agree. The "discipline" in "gentle discipline" means guidance--in this case, the parent is not guiding her child.

Example 2. Suzie hits Judy. Suzie's mama says, "No!" in a firm voice. Suzie stops. Ten minutes later she hits again. Suzie's mama says, "No!" Suzie stops. Half an hour later she hits again. Suzie's mama continues to say "No!" and Suzie's behavior always stops temporarily, but then she returns to it. Suzie is frustrated and wants Judy's toys. She is mostly pre-verbal and doesn't know how to "ask nicely." Here, too, I would say that the parent is communicating ineffectively--Suzie needs further guidance and mama is only interested in stopping the behavior in the present, not getting to the root of it or preventing it in the future.

Example 3. This one, sadly, is true. There's a child we sometimes see at the park who is constantly aggressive with younger kids. He gave a girl a black eye one day. He pushed dd over once. If you tell his mother what happened, she walks over to her child, tells him he's misbehaved and then proceeds to smack him. This puts the rest of us in an uncomfortable position--if we "tell" on the child, he gets hit. Again, this mother is communicating ineffectively. She is *telling* her child that hitting and pushing are bad, but she is demonstrating to him that bigger people work out their frustrations and disapproval of littler people by hitting them. The latter message is the one the child takes away.

It has nothing to do with GD or mainstream parenting or punitive discipline, IMO. It has everything to do with the fact that the parent seems not to understand that what they're doing isn't producing the results they want. You can scapegoat GD, but I think the problem exists all across the disciplinary spectrum.

You have heard from parents on this thread who say they do not generally use the word no, but still manage to effectively enforce boundaries. You have heard from parents who do use "no" sometimes, but find it much more effective when coupled with positive suggestions. People have also provided some "expert' opinions that confirms these experiences. And yet you seem to believe these experiences are invalid. Perhaps something else works better for *your* children, but do you really find it so hard to believe that parents can practice GD without "coddling" or failing to enforce boundaries?
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#97 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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I send my kid to daycare, and I'm pretty happy with the way they do discipline, in part because it doesn't consist of saying "No Johnny!" I would be worried, if I saw the teachers resolving children's conflicts that way, because I would think that they weren't providing adequate verbal stimulation for my child when I left him there.
I agree. Further, if I saw the exchange that the OP described where she says her child's name after he does something wrong and the child starts to cry, it would give me great pause. YMMV.

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And this taboo on consequences, that non-consequences is somehow more 'evolved,' and that my child's trust will be broken and she will feel unloved if I give her (respectful, not overly harsh) consequences.
Right, and just as you know that "your" GD is not resulting in your child's trust being broken and feeling unloved, I guess other people know that "their" GD is not resulting in kids who are entitled, social misfits, who can't behave reasonably in public.

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I have seen these things directly applied to children in the name of GD in what becomes a pathetic, toothless attempt to halt absolutely out of bounds behaviour.
Absolutely. I think we all have. I, personally, got really tired of going on outings with some other babywearing, bfing parents whose kids were running, screaming, and DESTROYING other people's property. Not only b/c I think it's total and complete b.s.--but also b/c I think it DOES reflect badly on AP and GD. But those moms still used plenty of time-outs and consequences and other "stricter" GD methods--so I dunno......I've seen plenty of parents out in public who act that way right up to the point where they smack the tar out of the kid. I don't think it's the fault of philosophy that they subscribe to. I think it's a million other things: lack of knowledge, primarily; laziness; different standards; life/health circumstances; and on and on.

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Personally, I think there has to be the "D" in there, the teaching of what we want their eventual outcome to be, the enforcing of the limit that's been set, or else it's just "G"....wait, didn't someone else already say that? So I see your point about a parent being just "gentle" with their child without offering them any guidance as being a contribution from 'real' GD, since we all strive to be kind to our children. Gentle Discipline by its own name has discipline in it - so if there is no guidance, no teaching of socially acceptable behaviors, no presentation of the affects their actions have on others - then it's really not discipline. And gentleness in and of itself, while pleasant, isn't necessarily very helpful when trying to learn something.

I also think that society is so wrapped up in the "they need to be punished!" mindframe that when they see a parent who is just being gentle and nicey nice and not teaching their child anything, and a parent who IS teaching their child something but not punishing them (not "doing anything"), they both get lumped into the same category, whether or not the parent is claiming to use GD. IMHO, we need to get society over that hump that kids always need something punitive "done" to them when they mess up or -they're getting away with something/they'll be shocked once they're in the real world - in order to better understand what gentle discipline is really about. I was punished exactly once as a child/teen...and am about as law abiding and well adjusted as they come (if I do say so myself... )

Setting and enforcing limits and boundaries around your child, yourself, around others, and around property DOES effectively teach your child, without piling anything on top of it to 'teach' your child a lesson, a vast majority of the time. The enforcing of the limit IS the lesson. Sometimes those boundaries include things that wind up as a consequence, sometimes they don't. It would seem it's the 'enforcing the limit' part that the milquetoast parents that I've seen just aren't 'getting' - the ones who do the singsongy voice asking sweetly 10 times for their kid to stop doing whatever without actually helping them stop, and/or find something better to do. Setting a limit, but not enforcing it, is not doing anyone any favors (and even on the one far end of "real" GD, consensually living parents have their own limits and boundaries they enforce).

I think those are a couple ways that GD gets a bad name.

JMHO. Take it or leave it!
I'll take it! I think this was spot on.

And, really, if people had seen me dealing with my oldest son when he was 2 or 3 and was hitting all the time, they might have thought that my gentle techniques of talking to him, showing him soft touch, encouraging him to check in with the kid was all very ineffective--b/c it didn't STOP him from hitting. Now, I did physically intervene and I followed him around like a hawk so I could prevent him from hurting another child, but that, too, was "ineffective." If people had seen the times where I lost my cool and yelled, "NO!!! STOP HITTING ME!!!!" they might have thought that was ineffective, too. Because it didn't stop him from hitting. And if they had seen the several occasions where I went bat-shit crazy and smacked him back, they probably would have thought that was ineffective, too. Because, again, it didn't stop him from hitting.

What did stop him eventually? When we stopped feeding him all manner of foods that he was allergic to. It was like someone flipped a switch.

Likewise, if a kid is in the middle of a divorce or a new baby has just entered the scene or whatever other stressors are happening.....*I* want to know that. I do care why the kid is hitting. Because, in my experience, you can attempt to modify the behavior all day long, but the underlying issue is not getting resolved. And even if that particular behavior stops, then something else is likely going to pop right up b/c that underlying issue is still there.

This quote from Peggy O'Mara in the GD forum guidelines has really been true in my experience:
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Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behavior and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.
And now my "hitter" is almost 6 and he doesn't hit any more, but he's got a toolbox FULL of gentle techniques he can use when he gets angry or wants something someone else has, or if he's mediating between other people who are in conflict. So, really, all that gentle talking and showing was effective in the long term b/c it gave him some life skills. The telling him, "NO!" was OK, but he pretty much already had that tool, you know?
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#98 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, well fair enough. But then when these people call it GD, which I notice is a very frequently used label for passive ineffective parenting, then where does the seperation between this and 'real' GD begin and end? And, what a coinkidink that this type of parenting is so often called GD. Doesn't that denote that GD philosophy, if 'real' GD can be objectively defined, is contributing in some way to erring on the side of ineffectual?
:
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#99 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 12:08 PM
 
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I have been doing my best to resist the urge to participate in this thread. This thread is a perfect example of why I try to avoid the GD forum. The original post feels like a thinly veiled way to say "I think everyone who does not do things my way is wrong wrong wrong". There is no true interest in finding out why people might avoid the word "no" as the title suggests.

FTR, I have seen all sorts of ineffective discipline under the name of GD and every other "discipline method" out there. Frankly, a lot of parents are doing the best they can. When witnessing something I might do differently, I seldom know the history behind the relationship. Who knows what brought the parent there? Perhaps the sing-song coddle method that is driving some people nuts is actually the most effective tool that particular parent has come across? Perhaps that family is healing from spanking or other abusive discipline methods? Perhaps their child is very sensitive or shy or whatever? Perhaps perhaps perhaps...... I see absolutely no point in bashing them or their methods unless we are dealing with true abuse that should be reported.

We do avoid using "no" as a end-all discipline method. I remember my mom rolling her eyes at me the first time we asked her to not bark it at our just exploring 6 month old. She is retired from a 40+ year stint as a pediatric nurse. That along with raising her two cherubs makes her think she is by far the most qualified child expert to ever hit the scene She went on and on about "parents today and the word NO.....". Cracked me up. I pointed out to her that she did not raise us that way. Oh yeah. "Well, you two were exceptionally well behaved children......" Ha ha. Well, perhaps we were "well behaved" because things were calmly explained to us, our impulses were honored, and no one barked or slapped their way into shaping us. I do not remember either of my parents ever saying "no" and leaving it at that. This is not some new phenomenon.

As to "parent blaming"..... It seems the to that the OP is suggesting that any ill behavior of "other kids" must be purely because they are not used to being told "NO!" enough. Seems like parent blaming is being dished out all over the place, eh? Blame is a complicated concept. If a parent is using "discipline" that is ineffective, then whose fault is it? Complicated, eh? Over and over, there will be posters here that just want everyone to say it is the child's fault. These are the posters that will dismiss any sort of advice given with a "yeah, but.....". IME, using curt, non-explanatory messages, such as "no", to guide my child's behavior is ineffective and results in "bad behavior" Also, IME, ignoring root causes and influences also leads to "ineffective discipline". I am the adult and often have more control and experience to recognize issues and adjust the situation when possible. When I fail to do so, I do not "blame" myself but I sure take note to aid me in the same situation later. Some people might call that "blame", I call it "learning from past experiences". Either way, I would say the parent that chooses to not do that and go forward with whatever discipline method regardless of the outcome is creating their own misery. And then wants everyone to say it is their kid's fault. Hmmmmm. Then we could call this forum "let's bash our kid forum". Discipline is about guiding our children and so I define this forum as being a place to discuss *our* actions in the guidance journey.

If the OP and others on this thread that feel "NO" is the best discipline method are happy with it, great! I see no point in engaging many people in a dialog in the spirit of questioning "why" when there really is no desire to understand why. If you just want to bash people, be honest in the OP.
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#100 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, this is the impression I get as well.




You have heard from parents on this thread who say they do not generally use the word no, but still manage to effectively enforce boundaries. You have heard from parents who do use "no" sometimes, but find it much more effective when coupled with positive suggestions. People have also provided some "expert' opinions that confirms these experiences. And yet you seem to believe these experiences are invalid. Perhaps something else works better for *your* children, but do you really find it so hard to believe that parents can practice GD without "coddling" or failing to enforce boundaries?
No, not at all. I think what is honestly happening here is that a few people are getting bent out of shape and are starting to play the "Let's be as extreme as we can" internet communication game, insisting that somehow I'm some ignorant child abuser who screams "NO" at kids all the time. Your examples were extremes, and failed to show a middle ground, which there always is, and which I believe happens.

And I also think what is happening is that I am not, in fact, finding their experiences invalid, but there are a couple people who have valid points, or who are sharing good experiences, we just happen to disagree on the perspective. That doesn't mean I find them invalid, per say, it just means we see the situation from a different POV. For example, some of what Deva44mommy has said.........I've said that I think we're just talking about two sides of the same coin. I really find it hard to take seriously someone trying to attack my POV when they ignore very obvious statements I've made.

I "blame" GD because, honestly, I see it enforced. When I see parents being ineffective, I see their actions being affirmed by people who advocate GD methods. And, like the4oufus said, there has to be a "D" in "GD" right? I don't want to point fingers or make anyone feel badly, but I see it on this board a lot........a child will, for example, be violent to, say, a sibling or younger smaller kid, and I see a lot of people responding with things like "Well WHY did Suzy punch the crap out of Johnny" or "She must have been very frustrated, you need to acknowledge that!". It seems like it's NOT ok to ever advocate being firm or, again, for example, that violence isn't ok. (And, ITS JUST AN EXAMPLE and I'm really not interested in being persecuted for providing an example.)

I see a lot of parents in real life who say that they practice GD, heck I've even met parents who talk about Mothering recommending such and such book. Who knows......maybe there is a disconnect between what they read and what they practice? Maybe these authors are just ineffective authors? I don't know.

I don't agree with just screaming "NO" at a kid and thats all. But I also don't agree with being nicey nice to a kid when they misbehave, that's all. I don't agree with the FIRST option all the time being "Lets talk about our feelings why you punched Judy in the eye".

Anyways...........I feel like I'm saying what I've said before. Most of the people in this discussion have taken ALL the things that I've said and responded really nicely and given me a lot to think about and I appreciate it. However, because this in the internet, of course there are a few who are going to pick and chose what they want to hear from me and attack certain things and make disparaging comments, however subtle, on my character, just because we don't agree. And since I've said all I have to say, I'll probably bow out at this point. Again, I appreciate those who've really provided interesting points and things for me to think about. Overall, I feel a lot better that maybe just the parents I know IRL are just ineffective parents who don't understand GD I guess.
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#101 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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s" If you just want to bash people, be honest in the OP.
Yeah, really.:
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#102 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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Yeah, really.:
Well, you asked a question "What's wrong with no?". Some people agreed that "no" has it's place. Some other people gave you their reasons for what they thought was "wrong" with "no". Then you have systematically dismissed each one and continued the original rant that the problem with GD today is that everyone is doing it "wrong" in your opinion. I just think that you would get more of what you wanted out of the thread if it was more like "I hate it went parents do not use the word "no", I think it is wrong, can everyone that agrees with me please post in this thread".

You are happy with the way you discipline, right? Great! I would guess that you have a lot of great advice for people that ask for it. Advice that might be different than what others do. But I just do not see the point in continually saying that you think other methods are wrong and ineffective when others have said they DO find other methods effective and right for them. I guess I am missing the point?

I personally really do not care what others call GD. Some people call themselves GD when I disagree that what they are doing is GD. Perhaps *I* think it is too harsh to be considered GD or too ineffective to be called "discipline" at all. But so what? How does this matter to my own discipline methods and relationship with my child? Perhaps it is because I do not ID myself as GD. I am not sure I have ever used the label in a conversation outside of this site. I do not find that it comes up in regular life outside of MDC. We just do what we do and I am sure someone on a message board somewhere is complaining about it
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#103 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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..... but I see it on this board a lot........a child will, for example, be violent to, say, a sibling or younger smaller kid, and I see a lot of people responding with things like "Well WHY did Suzy punch the crap out of Johnny" or "She must have been very frustrated, you need to acknowledge that!". It seems like it's NOT ok to ever advocate being firm or, again, for example, that violence isn't ok.
But one of the main premises of this forum (set out by the owner of this board and the editor of Mothering magazine) is that there is a "WHY" and that it is worth looking at.

I see people advocate being firm and telling kids that violence isn't OK all the time here.

I don't see the two as mutually exclusive (talking about the WHY and being firm). I see them both as GD and that some folks lean more to the WHY and some folks lean more to the firm. Lots of room for both!
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#104 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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We just do what we do and I am sure someone on a message board somewhere is complaining about it
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#105 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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I say no all the time. I have no patience for the extreme GD view. I don't spank my kids or shame them but I am not afraid to tell my kids no. I'm not going to walk on egg shells.

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#106 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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The words "coddling", "walking on eggshells", and "protecting their fragile egos" is just as offensive to parents that choose words other than "no" as it is for the other side to call parents that do choose to use it "tyrannical", "mean", or "abusive".

Perhaps that is my big problem here.

Can we not discuss this without flinging names at each other?

And I keep my eggshells in the garbage. I do not walk on them. We try not to use punishment and we do avoid the word "no" (less and less now that dd is old enough to start figuring out alternatives on her own BTW) but that does not mean I am sitting here all afraid that I am going to say the wrong thing. Our interactions are very natural. I do not have a problem talking about how I feel in situations even if how I feel is not very pretty at the moment. I see that as an entirely different issue from "discipline". I suppose there are people that walk around in fear of saying the wrong thing to their kids, but that can happen no matter what side of the spectrum you lay on. No?
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#107 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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And I also think what is happening is that I am not, in fact, finding their experiences invalid, but there are a couple people who have valid points, or who are sharing good experiences, we just happen to disagree on the perspective. That doesn't mean I find them invalid, per say, it just means we see the situation from a different POV. For example, some of what Deva44mommy has said.........I've said that I think we're just talking about two sides of the same coin. I really find it hard to take seriously someone trying to attack my POV when they ignore very obvious statements I've made.
Wait, do you feel like I attacked your POV? Please let me know, because I didn't intend to. Perhaps it's just a misunderstanding. Or maybe you weren't referring to me in the last sentence?

(And while we're being open and honest, I'll say that I did find it a bit harsh when you said "I really hate that approach." I understood what you were referring to, and explained my use of that approach, and didn't get anything in response from you. Or if so, I missed it somehow.)

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I "blame" GD because, honestly, I see it enforced. When I see parents being ineffective, I see their actions being affirmed by people who advocate GD methods. And, like the4oufus said, there has to be a "D" in "GD" right? I don't want to point fingers or make anyone feel badly, but I see it on this board a lot........a child will, for example, be violent to, say, a sibling or younger smaller kid, and I see a lot of people responding with things like "Well WHY did Suzy punch the crap out of Johnny" or "She must have been very frustrated, you need to acknowledge that!". It seems like it's NOT ok to ever advocate being firm or, again, for example, that violence isn't ok. (And, ITS JUST AN EXAMPLE and I'm really not interested in being persecuted for providing an example.)
I think there's a huge gap between *knowing* what's effective discipline and *using* effective discipline. I generally know the best way to deal with a situation. But I have a hard time actually doing it. I used to end up yelling or shaming, instead of doing what I was quite sure would actually work.

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#108 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 02:23 PM
 
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II see it on this board a lot........a child will, for example, be violent to, say, a sibling or younger smaller kid, and I see a lot of people responding with things like "Well WHY did Suzy punch the crap out of Johnny" or "She must have been very frustrated, you need to acknowledge that!". It seems like it's NOT ok to ever advocate being firm or, again, for example, that violence isn't ok. .

I can relate to where you are coming from, anothermama.....I have had some struggles recently with dd, and I had to get MUCH more firm to find peace in our home. And I had to use some methods that are not advocated by the likes of Alfie Kohn, for example. And now dd is much happier, so I am assuming that I did the right thing for her.

But, if you truly read a lot here, there are plenty of posters who advocate being firm, and setting firm limits. Look up my posts about dd, maybe, and you'll find them . I got a lot of support when I thought GD had "failed" us, and the posters here helped me to understand that I can set firm limits and have consequences for over-the-top behavior and still be GD.

The middle ground is definitely here. I think that the extremes just stand out a bit more.....or maybe they are a bit more likely to post....or maybe (and I think this may be the case) their posts just get more attention (both good and bad).

I do think, however, that all of the GD philosophies presented here are incredibly valuable. Not every philosophy will work for each family, but hopefully every family can find a GD lifestyle that really works for them. And remember....when you see people "failing".....we are all learning. We are all doing the best we can. And we are all in different situations. Please don't assume that their child's behavior problems would disappear if only they did things your way.....because that is not nec true! Their way may or may not be working....but your way may or may not work, as well.
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#109 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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I say no all the time. I have no patience for the extreme GD view. I don't spank my kids or shame them but I am not afraid to tell my kids no. I'm not going to walk on egg shells.
Perhaps this will help people who actually want to understand. I am not afraid. I am not afraid to use negative ways of interacting with my beloved family, I choose not to. I cherish them. They cherish me.

They are not violent. Sometimes my kids have hit me. It is not the same thing when a three year old hits as when an older person hits. It is not violence. It is a reflection of a problem I can help them solve. And they outgrew it as they developed more skills and outgrew early allergies.

I don't walk on eggshells. I do make sure they have plenty of opportunity for fresh air, fresh food, physical affection, engaging in a daily/weekly/yearly rhythm, talking and listening to me, interaction with other kind people who care deeply for them, non-scratchy clothes, protection from allergens and intrusive people, interesting interactions with people and things and learning opportunities that feed their interests.

I work and dp works. We do it without daycare because even though our early babysitting experiences were as good as they come, we found our children tended to thrive more with fewer transisitions.

I got wonderful advice from women who had mothered children to adulthood when I had dd1. The best advice was to imagine I had a brown paper bag with no's in it. I had no way of knowing how many no's I had. She said to make sure I didn't run out before they were in their teens.

So I've focused on saying yes. When they were toddlers and they hit, I dodged. When they asked for things that weren't safety issues, I tried to find a way to say yes.

Would they have been fine if I'd said they are testing their limits, they are looking for boundaries, they are violent and must know they their behavior is unacceptable? Yes, I'm sure they would. But *I* would have missed all these opportunities for fun and joy.

Taking the focus off changing their behavior, instead focusing on me, my relationship to them and the environment we live in has made our lives full of much more productive activity and joyful living than I imagined possible.
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#110 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 03:09 PM
 
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I think you can cherish someone and still tell them 'no.' In fact I think it is a very, very healthy and positive skill.
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#111 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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I think you can too. I think it's also just as possible to do it another way, and for me and mine, much more filled with joy.
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#112 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 03:14 PM
 
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I think you can too. I think it's also just as possible to do it another way, and for me and mine, much more filled with joy.
I don't think anyone here is advocating never doing anything but saying no. We all do 'other ways.' But boundaries are an okay thing to set with loved ones, and 'no' is an efficient and clear way of doing that. I find unwillingness to be direct to be a very frustrating trait, because you never really know where you stand with someone. I like straightforward, honest communication, and I also model that in my family. Nobody is all hurt and offended if someone says no to something. Unless that something is important to the other party and not really the first person's business, and then people can talk about that. But 'no' is not a dangerous or disrespectful, joy sucking word.
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#113 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 03:15 PM
 
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chfriend, you're my idol.

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#114 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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chfriend, you're my idol.
Mine too! I totally get what you're saying! And thank you for saying it so eloquently.
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#115 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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thismama, I'm not saying the things you say I'm saying.

I am a very direct communicator. So are my kids. Striving to find a yes does not mean a lack of boundaries. We all know where we begin and end (okay the 3 year old is still working on that part, but she's getting it.).

I go to work everyday. We eat 3 meals, plus snacks. The house is usually messy but clean enough not to cause disease. (Although, we think we may have found a new system of working together on it to keep it less messy. Hurray!!) The kids learn a ton. I learn a ton.

Yes is not a sucky word either. And yeses create boundaries exactly the same way nos do.

This *is* okay with me communicates something in a way that invites connection while acknowledging our separateness. For me that is preferable to focusing on this is *not* okay with me in situations where I can help it.

I was blessed with sensitive, "spirited" and complex children. I'm grateful for it because it challenged my parenting assumptions. I have lightened up and learned to laugh and enjoy them.

I don't mean that to sound like you are less evolved. I am sure that you have found the ways to maximize peace, harmony and productivity in your home.

I strongly object to holding "nice" parents up as ineffective. Other posters have done a much better job of explaining why that is not okay.

I am a nice person. I am a kind person. I am strong and powerful. I am a competent person. My kids know all those things. I hope that my modeling those characteristics most of the time, they can find those characteristics in themselves as they grow.

(Actually my children believe I am the strongest person in the world beside Pippi Longstocking, which considering I am a turning 48 year old woman is beyond funny. Now when I was 19.....)
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#116 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 04:45 PM
 
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I am sure that you have found the ways to maximize peace, harmony and productivity in your home.
I think that this forum would be so much more peaceful and productive if we could all assume this about each other! I mean, afterall, how many people really give *this* much thought to parenting?

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I am a turning 48 year old woman
Last week, I noticed that another mama here (who shares many of your philosophies) is similarly aged. So now I am wondering if I will be able to make those philosphies work better in my next decade .
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#117 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 06:05 PM
 
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Let me start by saying I don't agree with hitting or shaming. I don't agree with teaching a child with anger.

It seems like there is this whole movement in AP mom communities to not be negative AT ALL, and it seems to be to their detriment and the detriment of their child.

Example: I run a daycare and work with strictly toddlers. I have a family who was adamant about not using the world "No!". She really fell into this "positive discapline" thing to the extreme. Of course, she just had to come up with all sorts of "creative" ways to say "no"........"not for babies" "don't", etc etc. What's the point?

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? Oh yeah.......that you get positive attention when you hit! :

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. What's wrong with saying "no"? What's wrong with setting boundries and limits? What's wrong with letting children know there are negative consequences to some things? I don't think that letting them know, say, hitting is a bad thing means you have to beat them. But firmly letting them now that it's not ok to hit friends just teaches them that...........if you hit friends, people will be unhappy with you! In real life, not everyone is always going to give you positive attention for everything you do.

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?

I get a little worried at the AP label at times because it just seems so often lately it's associate with "those parents"..........those parents you see in the mall or the grocery store who have a child abusing the crud out of them and all the while the parent is gently cooing "Whats wrong bunny? Mommy doesn't like it when you hit me with that spatula!". YKWIM?

I guess what I want to know is..........why isn't it ok to say no? Why isn't it ok to teach children that they will evoke negative responses from people if they hurt them? I understand the concept of GD in terms of not wanting to abuse or harm a child. Does that mean it's not ok to allow a child to feel badly abut their actions?

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#118 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 06:10 PM
 
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Care to expound on your applause Heavenly? There are 115 posts between the OP and your applause and I'm not sure what you are responding to.
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#119 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 06:19 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.

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.
I think the child is likely to tune out that long spiel about respect and what not. From the toddlers I've known (and raised) I've come to see that little ones are less likely to listen if you talk a lot. If my toddler slaps her sister I think she is more likely to listen to, "No! We do not hit!" than she is to listen to, "Now Eliana, that wasn't the best choice to make. It isn't nice to hit. Are you trying to say you're mad? Are you mad because you want your sister's toy? Maybe we should ask her if you can have a turn, etc. etc. etc." In the first example I think the child would hear No! Do not hit! and in the second example they would probably tune out sometime after you say their name.

Ah, what good timing. As I was writing this my 21 month old went over and yanked her 5 year old sister's hair. She has had a problem with that for awhile. What was my response? "Eliana, NO, do NOT pull Olivia's hair." I don't see anything wrong with that response at all.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#120 of 125 Old 11-15-2007, 06:19 PM
 
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Care to expound on your applause Heavenly? There are 115 posts between the OP and your applause and I'm not sure what you are responding to.
Most likely applauding the part I quoted, hmmm?

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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