Grr... your punishment just crushed MY kid! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-29-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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Well, I didn't mean that putting locks on the doors was to be used as some sort of punishment, like if the parents said "Since you are such a bad boy we will put LOCKS ON THE DOORS to keep you locked up!" It might just be a thing one could choose to do for safety (or not, if it's illegal in some states as was mentioned above). Excactly the same way that I sometimes lock the door with the extra security lock to prevent my two-year-old from running out into the road. Nothing to do with discipline at all.

I don't even know whether putting locks on the doors would be necessary or the right thing for the family in question, I just meant that by definition locking the doors has a logical connection with children going out without leave, whereas stopping them from going to a party is completely unconnected.



I think they should just explain to him why he shouldn't run off like that. :
I'm undecided on the lock issue. Part of me really wants to put another deadbolt high up, the other part says "what if there is a fire and they need to get out..."

fire...playing in street...fire.....playing in street......hhhm.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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I don't buy that this punishment was a logical consequence because it kept the child safe unless the mother also didn't take the kid with her to the grocery store, to the bank, etc. If it was just the birthday party but the child still left the house for other reasons, then it had nothing to do with keeping him safe. It was simply a punishment. And pretty unrelated.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:03 PM
 
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I think that not going to the party was appropriate since it was the second time he did it in the same week. I assume, however, that things were not handled in an effective way the first time since it happened again so I see why OP would question their discipline techniques.

Running outside is extremely serious and should be treated as such. If that means using a punishment for those parents, so be it. It is always better than having the kid getting run over by a car or kidnapped or just going on to think that what he did was not that bad. If my DD would even so much as put one foot in the street or start running in the opposite direction, I would most certainly not drop the issue until I knew for sure that she either understood why she cant do that or that she was too scared to dare try that again. I live in the city so I might be more sensitive to that, but that is a very serious thing to me.

I dont know how much missing a birthday party is going to help achieve anything, but I completely understand that it is serious enough to warrant such extreme measures. She should have called in advance or have her son call (I like that idea a lot).

As for the OPs son, it is unfortunate for him, but that can also be a goos learning opportunity. I think he may learn from that that actions can have consequences on other people too, that you need to respect other people s decisions even if it is not what their parents would do and that we sometimes get very disappointed by things out of our control.

Finally, I think that anyone who sees another parent that seems to be struggling with appropriate discipline can offer advice as long as it is in a polite, non-confrontational way. If a parent cannot handle constructive, caring criticism, I dont know how they can effectively discipline their children.

Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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I think that was a very reasonable punishment. I honestly think you're making this way more about you/your son than it needs to be. Life is full of disappointments.

Mommy to THREE sweet boys & ONE sweet girl + a newb due in February!  I need a nap. 
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
I
Child runs and hides from mom, laughing while doing so...
natural consequence: Mom doesn't feel up to taking child back to the same place because she lacks the energy and desire to chase child again....resulting in an imposed consequence of declining the next invitation.
We went through a period when DS was younger when his huge meltdowns anytime we had to leave meant that I stopped going some places with him, period.

Imposed consequence, yes. Necessary for the sanity of everyone in the family? Also yes.

Sure, every time he said "I want to go to the castle park," i could have said "Honey, the last time we went, it was time to go get Daddy from work and you pitched a fit and refused to come with me and I had to climb into the castle to get you, so if we go there you have to promise not to pitch a fit." and just gone..... in fact, we did that a few times. And it was setting everyone up for failure. And I was 8.5 months pregnant and could no longer squeeze into the play structure to retrieve him.

So we didn't go, even when he asked, and when he asked, the answer was "I don't want to chase you and have to carry you out of the park when you have a fit." So it was a punishment, in that sense, and it was imposed - but it made no sense whatsoever to keep banging our heads against that wall.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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Old 04-29-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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I really feel like some of the responses here are coming from the more wishy washy side of GD...
I'm probably one of the people you are referring to. There's not a thing in the world wishy washy about me. Not being defensive, just the facts.

I've often said it's a weak mom that feels a need to hit their kid. By the same token, it takes a strong mom who loves herself and her children to stand against bringing punishment into the home, focusing rather on building a relationship experience by experience as we grow together.

If my 6 year old went to a neighbor's house without telling me and then ran from me, taking away a birthday party wouldn't solve whatever caused that to happen. It would be a giant heads up to me that my attention was needed in an immediate way to figure out what had gone so horribly awry.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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I haven't read any of the other replies, but I think the mother did the right thing. I have done the same thing, and will do the same thing in the future.

It would have been nice if she could have called and warned you tho. Although I did this once and then spent 5 mins on the phone justifying my decision while they insisted that it wasn't fair for my daughter not to attend a birthday party as a consequence of her actions. :
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:54 AM
 
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I'm probably one of the people you are referring to. There's not a thing in the world wishy washy about me. Not being defensive, just the facts.

I've often said it's a weak mom that feels a need to hit their kid. By the same token, it takes a strong mom who loves herself and her children to stand against bringing punishment into the home, focusing rather on building a relationship experience by experience as we grow together.

If my 6 year old went to a neighbor's house without telling me and then ran from me, taking away a birthday party wouldn't solve whatever caused that to happen. It would be a giant heads up to me that my attention was needed in an immediate way to figure out what had gone so horribly awry.
Well I don't know what you read in my post that suggested that I do anything different than what you just outlined.
ITA with it...

It just seems like this whole thing has been blown out of proportion...like she beat her kid, or grounded him for a month.

What she did, keeping him home from the party, might be less than ideal, sure. But it isn't child abuse, and I am sure that the kid will be alright. I think that what he did was a really big deal, very dangerous, and in most households it would have earned him a spanking.
I would have imposed a consequence of some sort, and I try to avoid that at all costs.

I just feel like a lot of pp's are glazing over the seriousness of his actions in this instance. Like it is no big deal what he did. I don;t think he needs to be punished, but he needs to understand that he can NEVER do that again.

I don't think that what the mom did was all that serious considering the circumstances.
It is not what I would have done personally, but it really isn't worth it to me to pass some sort of judgment on her based on such a little thing. Sheesh!

She isn't even the OP...I wonder how she feels about dozens of strangers grading her parenting practices/decisions on the internet?
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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On another note, parents whose children run away from them. Well, DH and I call to our children before they get too far away that "we are going this way and we hope they come with us" (we've explained to our children that we will never ever leave them, but sometimes we need to go a different way and it would be really sucky if they went another way); most of the time this works. I almost never run after my children (unless they are in danger); I definately would not have chased my child for 30 minutes (I probably would have said, "Well, I'm going home now and going to bed. . .I'll probably lock the door so I hope you come too so you don't have to sleep outside).
.
tried it....he didn't care.....he was excited to stay with his friend...it encouraged him to hide and made the sit. worse. He really didn't want to go home, he was having fun. We NEEDED to get home, I had a daycare mom that would be there soon....depending on me to watch her kid so she could go to work....and I depend on the income to feed my children.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:32 AM
 
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mamazee, thank you for offering such gentle solutions.

peace
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
..but it is definitely a consequence the mom is free to throw out...
i agree - except that it is a punishment that the mom is free to throw out. the words consequence and punishment are not synonymous...

peace
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LotusBirthMama View Post
Do not confuse gentle discipline with never having a punishment.
i think that being non-punitive is a pillar of gentle discipline.

my take is this: do not confuse non-punitive with permissive.

peace
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:43 AM
 
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Do not confuse gentle discipline with never having a punishment.
:

:Mama to 2 :
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:26 AM
 
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i agree - except that it is a punishment that the mom is free to throw out. the words consequence and punishment are not synonymous...

peace
Well, I guess I must differ than a lot of GD moms here in that I think parental intervention in discipline is sometimes nessecary, and good. In my mind, safety issues take precedence and fall under a different category. There are only so many tricks in my bag and hardly any of them would work if the child wanted to do something risky and dangerous.

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Old 04-30-2008, 07:15 AM
 
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yes, while he laughed at me, dodged inbetween other people's houses and behind them...all along a boat canal. I think my feelings after being disrespected like that ARE very natural...AND my natural feelings are valid. When he asked to go to that friends house next time, I didn't feel like dealing with that crap again, so I said "no"....I don't want to chase you. We'll try again another time.
Well I wasn't surprised that he let you chase him or that he laughed at you, but that you actually engaged in chasing him for 30 minutes. That just seems incredibly odd to me. I know better than to chase my dog, much less my kid. There's always a faster way to get them to come!

You could still have a discussion on the way home and he could still miss out on the next play date (if you feel that will be effective).
At least in your case it was the same place you were not going to visit again so soon and you did tell him you'd try again another time. There is some logic to it.

Your DS' friend can deal with him not coming over for a playdate right away because one: unlike a birthday party there hasn't been this big build-up to it and importance around it, and two: he witnessed the reason why you declined the playdate invitation.

OP, I feel really bad for your DS. I guess some people just think GD means no physical punishment because many responses on this thread are not at all GD as I understand it.

And yes you (general you) should be careful how much your punishments inconvenience (and in the OP's case, hurt) other people.
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:24 AM
 
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Do some of you all really think it is somehow damaging and horrible to deny a child a birthday party as a consequence for taking off to the neighbours and refusing to come home, running away from your parents when they come for you, instigating an hour long drama... TWICE in a week? Does it really matter so much if the consequence is 'natural' or 'logical' or simply the parent saying: No way, dude, you don't pull that crap without fallout?

This is where 'GD' kinda gets off track for me. IMO there is NOTHING wrong with a parent refusing a b-day party after that, and it does not have to be simply about keeping a child safe in the moment... which some folks here seem to think makes it invalid or not gentle or somehow crushing to the child's delicate psyche.

I mean, back in the day there was a lot of parental punishment that was disrespectful, mean, and really out of line. But we don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater here! Our children are not delicate flowers who can't handle a bit of actual parenting. I think some of us advocate going so far the other way, questioning always ourselves and not the kids (a la 'omg why would you chase him??'), and the kids just do whatever they please while we sit around psychoanalyzing and taking such pains to not damage the little sweeties that we render ourselves inert. Yk???
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:25 AM
 
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I don't think it damages kids, but I think it can damage our relationship with our kids. If I had a bad few days and my mom took away something as important to a child as a birthday party, then next time I was having a rough time, I sure wouldn't tell my mom about it. Punishing the behavior instead of finding out what problem is causing the behavior just doesn't make sense to me. I appreciate that it can be done gently, but I don't think it's effective - effective at stopping the behavior, yes; but not effective at solving the problem behind the behavior or keeping communication open for solving future problems.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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Well, there is having a rough time, and then there is taking off and refusing to come home. I think letting kids away with disrespectful things that negatively affect other family members damages relationships - I think it makes kids think they are the centre of the universe, especially when they pull drama and mama and daddy sit around questioning themselves ad nauseum and acting like the kid is made of glass. Yk?

I mean, I would want to find out what's going on that my kid took off twice in a week and wouldn't come home. For sure. But unless there was a seriously good reason, I would feel comfortable with removing a wanted privilege over it.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:48 AM
 
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It sounded from the OP like the kid didn't know he shouldn't go to a friend's house after school without telling his parents. I did the exact same thing when I was in kindergarten so I'm certainly identifying with this kid. My mom grounded me and physically punished me. My impression is that the running away was probably as a result of him being punished for this first thing. So if the first issue had been handled better, maybe the other two issues (the two times he ran away) wouldn't have come up. I see this as a good example of how punishment makes things worse.

If my daughter didn't come home after school and I'd found out she was at a friend's house, I wouldn't hide my anger and fear, and she'd see that and I'd talk to her about why it scared me. But I wouldn't punish her.

I also don't understand why the parent whose house the boy in the OP was at didn't call the parents to find out why an unexpected kid was at their house. If a child showed up here unannounced, I'd think of it as my responsibility to make sure the parents knew where he/she was. I wouldn't consider it the responsibility of a little kid. That age is where kids are just learning that they aren't the center of the universe. By 7 or 8, kids know better how everything they do (not just hurting people but even just playing somewhere) effects those around them. At 6, they know if they hit someone or don't share it effects others, but they don't get that even seemingly good behavior (playing well with another child) can negatively effect others (mom doesn't know where you're playing well with another child). I see this as a developmental issue rather than a behavior issue. And potentially a good learning experience if handled well. Instead, though, the child is running away from his parents, and the situation is even worse.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:50 AM
 
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I think you're adding details that aren't necessarily true. The first time maybe he didn't know any better, but then there is the refusing to come home for an hour. And by the second time, kid knew better. Was he punished the first time? Doesn't sound like it to me.

ITA that if a kindergarten age kid showed up at my house I would make sure the parents knew where s/he was.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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It sounds to me like he probably was punished the first time. And I thought maybe he was refusing to come home because he knew when he got home he'd get punished.

I guess we're just seeing the same story through different eyes.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
Well, I guess I must differ than a lot of GD moms here in that I think parental intervention in discipline is sometimes nessecary, and good. In my mind, safety issues take precedence and fall under a different category. There are only so many tricks in my bag and hardly any of them would work if the child wanted to do something risky and dangerous.
i suppose it depends on how you define parental intervention.

if your bag o' tricks includes such intervention as a swat on the rear-end, time outs, and grounding, then we disagree. and that's ok.

if, however, your definition of intervention means parenting proactively, lots of instruction with practicing and training, and correction that is focused on the heart, then we are on the same sheet of music.

peace
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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It just seems like the root of the problem is a less than optimal relationship with the parents, and this punishment is not very likely to fix it.

I also don't think there was a huge, real danger to the child. As long as he knows well enough not to run into the street or climb over fences with big dogs behind them or anything like that, was there really anything bad likely to happen to him? Kidnapped? Are people still scaring their kids that bad strangers drive around in vans kidnapping kids? I think the real "danger" is just to the parents' peace of mind as far as not knowing where he was.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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But I still don't get what good grounding does. Really. I don't.
i agree that grounding does no 'good.' i think grounding is a bandaid on a gaping wound.

this is my take: a parent feels helpless and powerless (because the child is doing something over which the parent has no control, maybe it's even semi dangerous), the parent needs to do something - to feel some level of control. on the surface grounding seems like a solution; it does meet the parent's immediate need. [this is also true of spanking]

but what does grounding really teach the child? being raised in a punitive home taught me how to do a cost/benefit analysis whenever i wanted to do something, which included (as a teenager) climbing out my window in the middle of the night to meet my boyfriend. i knew i'd be grounded, but i was prepared to "do the time" if/when it was worth it for me to go to a party. my attitude was this: grounding? is that all you got?

peace
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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I get that they were really upset with their son (age 6) -- he had gone over to a neighbor's house without permission and didn't come back when asked to. Instead, he ran the other direction when the parents came to find him. It took them nearly an hour to find him/bring him home. He did this twice in one week. Once, Wed and then again on Friday.
It is difficult to guess what family dynamics led to this situation. For me, it would be such a complete "rock my world" shock if my six year old did this, there is no way I would feel reassured it wouldn't happen again just by keeping them home from a party. That kind of response wouldn't factor in my mind as ensuring this problem had been effectively addressed.

This is where abstract punishments don't work for me. I would need to get underneath a situation like this and comprehend the 'why and what' of it all. This isn't because I think my child's behavior is always my fault. It's because, in my experience, the changes that are most effective are those that spring from the specifics of the actual situation, and the party just has nothing to do with this behavior at all. Whatever I did, it would tie in to the original situation where the child was leaving without anyone knowing, and not returning, and avoiding the parents when they tried to find him. I believe there are changes to be made that relate clearer to those behaviors. I think the closer your response is to the actual behavior, the more effective that response will be.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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I don't think it makes much sense either. Missing a birthday party that isn't your own doesn't have that much of an effect on a 6yo, ime. What are they going to do when he runs away again and there's no party for him to miss? Enh, they can do what they want but I don't see this working very well.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:27 PM
 
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I agree Heartmama, that if my kid were to do that I would be really, really shocked and would want to know what was going on. Going to a friend's without saying I would be curious about (um intensely curious and really it wouldn't happen because I wouldn't not know where she was for long enough). Refusing to come home though is a whole other layer, doing it twice is a whole other layer, and I think at that point removing a privilege is a perfectly appropriate thing to do. I wouldn't do it on its own, I would explain how dangerous it was and mama and whoever else were totally freaked out and why did you do that etc. But there would be very likely no birthday party or other similar looked-forward-to thing at my house over something like that.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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Although I understand why the mother punished in this manner, I don't think it's very effective. A child who repeatedly runs away from a neighbor's house should not be permitted to go to that neighbor's house. A birthday party for another child really has nothing to do with the "infraction."

To me, attending a birthday party is more than just "fun." It's honoring a commitment and a promise that was made when they RSVPed. It's helping a friend celebrate their birthday. The mother allowed her child to break a promise (or broke the promise for him). I know the child is only 6, but still...they promised a 6yo that they would be at his party and they didn't keep that promise, and that's just sad.

That said, I sometimes "flake out" on informal get-togethers if I notice through DD's behavior that she needs to re-connect with me and we'll stay home and paint and play in the yard together. But DD rarely knows about a pending event (she's only 4) until the day before, and no one is disappointed because they were informal playgroups or what have you.

Wife to DH and mama to DD(7) blahblah.gifand DD(5) moon.gif...Lola the Wiener Dog dog2.gif, Faulkner the Little Giant dog2.gif, Ginger the Wonder Cat cat.gif,  Azkaban the blue parakeet, Sunny the yellow parakeet, 3 nameless hermit crabs, and a whole bunch of fish!

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Old 04-30-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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...................
but what does grounding really teach the child? being raised in a punitive home taught me how to do a cost/benefit analysis whenever i wanted to do something, which included (as a teenager) climbing out my window in the middle of the night to meet my boyfriend. i knew i'd be grounded, but i was prepared to "do the time" if/when it was worth it for me to go to a party. my attitude was this: grounding? is that all you got?

peace
What would you propose to your situation then that wouldn't warrant a " is that all you got?" Talking? Because as far as I see it talking, grounding, time-outs and even spanking(if not 'abusive') can all warrant a 'is that all you got?' depending on the child. So then what is left to do?
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dex_millie View Post
What would you propose to your situation then that wouldn't warrant a " is that all you got?" Talking? Because as far as I see it talking, grounding, time-outs and even spanking(if not 'abusive') can all warrant a 'is that all you got?' depending on the child. So then what is left to do?
The thing to do, IMO, is to reconnect with the child and have a better relationship. Have you read Hold On To Your Kids? I thought that explained really well how kids can get disconnected from their parents and oriented toward peers instead, and what behavior problems come from that. And it doesn't mean the parenting is bad - good parents get disconnected from their kids all the time. There are so many outside influences in this world that cause disconnection. So lots of family time, one-on-one time if possible, without outside influences like TV.
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