What consequences do you use for teen? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you do with your teen when they show disrespect or stay out past curfew, etc.? I always try to relate the consequences to the issue of concern, like if she stays out past curfew she loses car privileges, etc. but some things are difficult to relate directly to a consequence. One of the most common tools that I use is to restrict her online log-in access because the amount of time she spends online can usually be traced as the root cause of flippant disregard for others in the family, etc.

Yesterday I got creative and allowed her to work off part of her restriction by reading the first 10 pages of this book. We ended up having a really good discussion about materialism, consumerism, and wastefulness, which were exactly the issues that initiated the need to restrict her in the first place!

I'd love to know of other creative approaches ...
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#2 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 12:48 PM
 
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my dd is actually only 9 months, but when one of my younger brothers was suspended from school for getting a fight he had to write an essay on school violence for our mom. so based on how i was raised, i think your creative solution was great!
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#3 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 02:33 PM
 
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We use no consequences, other than the natural ones that occur, and sometimes that doesn't have a chance to happen either. (I have picked up something they left outside rather than letting it get stolen or ruined, etc)

We are pretty big on talking in our family. If something comes up that any one of us isn't comfortable with we discuss it, and we come to a place of agreement.

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#4 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 03:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
We use no consequences, other than the natural ones that occur, and sometimes that doesn't have a chance to happen either. (I have picked up something they left outside rather than letting it get stolen or ruined, etc)

We are pretty big on talking in our family. If something comes up that any one of us isn't comfortable with we discuss it, and we come to a place of agreement.
Same here.

We don't set curfew for the members of our family, we just inform one another when we are going to be home. If for one reason or another the other family member wishes that this time is changed, we discuss it.

Disrespect towards one another would be hurtful to a reciever, so we usually don't do it. If it happens because somebody did not think about it, we talk and usually appology/explanation follows.

Those apply to me, DH, DS and DD
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#5 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In response to my post, "What consequences do you use for teen?"
Quote:
UnSchoolnma posted:
We use no consequences,
Okayyyy, and that was relevant ... how? Perhaps you saw a chance to trumpet your no-consequences approach to parenting and just had to take it? I guess now I should thank you and Irinam for enlightening me about my erroneous consequence ways.

I'm still interested to know other approaches besides the non-approach.
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#6 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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I just had to share this story, to give you MY parents view:

In 10th grade right before Christmas break I came home from a date with a hickey. The only one I've ever gotten. I was your typical straight A student, over acheiver who never really got into trouble. For my punishment my mom and dad signed me up to ring the Salvation Army bell to collect loose change for Christmas ar our MALL for 2 Saturdays. I was mortified. I know I was helping a good cause but I was so embarassed to have the hickey and stand in the middle of the mall ringing a giant red bell while attracting attention. I never misbehaved after that....that they know of.
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#7 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom
In response to my post, "What consequences do you use for teen?"

Okayyyy, and that was relevant ... how? Perhaps you saw a chance to trumpet your no-consequences approach to parenting and just had to take it? I guess now I should thank you and Irinam for enlightening me about my erroneous consequence ways.
Wow, that's really rude.

I was just adding my thoughts to the thread, and answering a question. I guess I thought you were asking a general "How does your family handle/do this?" to everyone here rather than only wanting responses that list consequences. I apologize if I misunderstood, but I really do not understand the reason behind your tone here. I did not post to try and "enlighten you about your erroneous consequence ways" at all.

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#8 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom
In response to my post, "What consequences do you use for teen?"

Okayyyy, and that was relevant ... how? Perhaps you saw a chance to trumpet your no-consequences approach to parenting and just had to take it? I guess now I should thank you and Irinam for enlightening me about my erroneous consequence ways.

I'm still interested to know other approaches besides the non-approach.

Wow. That's not defensive. :

We don't have consequences, either. Nor do i have problems with my teens (16 & 13). Everyone loses their temper sometimes, kids and adults alike. Like Unschooma, we just talk it through. Kids do respond to respect.
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#9 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 04:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
Wow, that's really rude.

I was just adding my thoughts to the thread, and answering a question. I guess I thought you were asking a general "How does your family handle/do this?" to everyone here rather than only wanting responses that list consequences. I apologize if I misunderstood, but I really do not understand the reason behind your tone here. I did not post to try and "enlighten you about your erroneous consequence ways" at all.

Fwiw, I totally agree with your approach.

And further, it works.

My kids are older than yours, but so far they are wonderful to live with. We are a team, a family. I'll let you know when they end up in jail.
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#10 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry if you think I was being rude or defensive. I was just surprised, is all. It's analogous to someone posting a new thread with the topic, "What cloth diapers do you use?" and having replies saying, "We don't use cloth diapers. In our family we do EC," and then going on about the method for EC that their family is doing.

It's interesting and all .... It just doesn't help me with what I was asking about. But, you know, thanks for sharing the info! :
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#11 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 05:03 PM
 
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I am wondering how you expect your kids to be respectful if you do not model it yourself.

Just because you saw the replies as irrelevant, does not warrant the sarcasm
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#12 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Irina,
With all due respect, the act of calling something that someone else wrote 'sarcasm' and 'disrespectful' does not make it so.
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#13 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom
Irina,
With all due respect, the act of calling something that someone else wrote 'sarcasm' and 'disrespectful' does not make it so.
Are you actually claiming that what you wrote wasn't sarcastic? Like, when you said, " I guess now I should thank you and Irinam for enlightening me about my erroneous consequence ways.", that was a serious statement?

Your first statement was "What do you do with your teen when they show disrespect or stay out past curfew, etc.?", and you ended with, "I'd love to know of other creative approaches ..." Then when people do what you asked, you get sarcastic and rude. I think you owe some people apologies.

FWIW, no punishment here, either (you're using the euphemism 'consequences'). We talk, I mention my needs, and we work things out. It keeps us from getting into an adversarial relationship. I think that during the teen years it's especially important for your child to see you as an ally, not an enemy.

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#14 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 06:06 PM
 
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I really like the book idea.
I usually try to keep the consequences directly and obviously related to the "offence"
I pick my battles of course.
If she is making and receiving phone calls at midnight, her phone in her room goes away.
One time the "obvious" logical consequence really wasnt enough to communicate to her how deeply upset and serious the problem was (telling a 13 year old "I am deeply upset and this is very serious" just doesnt really do it in my home) she lost her 2 week girl scout camp.
This was a terrible punishment for both of us! And I really didnt want to do it , but I felt that that was the only tool I had to really get her attention. Unfortunately, it was like grounding her from Broccoli. Neither of us is happy. And she is being deprived of something really good for her. But it was the only thing important enough to her to matter.
Mostly we talk.
"Meghann, I am very upset by the way you spoke to me just now." (usually this causes a huff, a disappearing act, followed by a sincere apology 15 minutes later)
Sometimes when she is uncooperative. I am uncooperative. "we dont have time to go to the store right now because I Had to do your chores as well as mine"
As for blantant disrespectful speech, as much as I can I placidly ignore it.
It is really hard to think off the top of my head what might happen that would not involve some type of logical obvious consequence.
Joline
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#15 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dar, UnSchoolnMa, and Irinam, I apologize. As a long-term participant on message boards I have learned not to take things personally and I am guilty of assuming that others have the same understanding.

I agree that talking with my teen is the number one way to deal with disagreements and difficulties that may arise. With my teen, who is older than many of yours and has begun the intense and often painful period of separating from family and home to begin her life as an adult, sometimes talking doesn't have the desired effect. While I prefer the term 'consequences' because it implies natural effects of behavior, as opposed to 'punishment' which to me implies a punitive act meant to cause discomfort to the child, I'm really not concerned with semantics.

The bond my daughter and I share is unbreakable, which is why she understands that having a privilege temporarily taken away is not a withdrawal of love or respect. She knows I love her unconditionally but that I also do my best to intervene as a means of guiding her when she occasionally lacks the maturity to make appropriate choices.

Quote:
Joline wrote:
"Meghann, I am very upset by the way you spoke to me just now." (usually this causes a huff, a disappearing act, followed by a sincere apology 15 minutes later)
Boy, does that ring a bell!
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#16 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 07:44 PM
 
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WOW. Ok I would like to offer what we do in an effort to answer the original post.

My dd is nearly 16, special needs adoption, virtually no short-term memory, and ADD out the whazoo.

She has extremely poor impulse control but is really working on it but still gets in trouble.

Her first big violation was last fall when she was angry at a boy in her special ed class and spray painted his truck. Not once but twice. And lied, and lied and lied. To the police, to us, to the school etc. She nearly was arrested. It was absolutely horrible.

Finally 4 days after the second incident, about a week or 10 days all together she fessed up. All on her own with no prompting she had her father drive her to the boys house where she apologized and offered to pay the damages. She then apologized to the officers, the principal, and to us.
She didn't ask to go anywhere or to do anything for weeks afterward. One day she asked how long she was grounded for, I said we had never grounded her, she had paid the damages out of her bank account, apologized to all that were involved. She said she thought we wouldn't trust her again. My response was, I don't but I didn't ground you, you punished yourself by breaking my trust. Is that punishment enough?
All of this is meant to say, we try to get our dd to punish herself. Often it is with the fact that she knows right from wrong and is able to identify where she went wrong. In the long run that is what punishments are for.
The word discipline comes from the Latin word disciple which means to guide (contrary to some who believe the staff is to beat the sheep it was to guide the sheep). I learned that in a Foster parent class and when I'm needing to discipline my kids I try to think what will GUIDE them the way I need them to go.

Sorry this is so long. PS - the principal has called us more than once with similar problems for ideas on positive solutions. He is trying to be more positive in his approach than our last principal who just slammed the hammer down every chance he got.

Hope this helps a little.
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#17 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 08:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom
Sorry if you think I was being rude or defensive. I was just surprised, is all. It's analogous to someone posting a new thread with the topic, "What cloth diapers do you use?" and having replies saying, "We don't use cloth diapers. In our family we do EC," and then going on about the method for EC that their family is doing.

It's interesting and all .... It just doesn't help me with what I was asking about. But, you know, thanks for sharing the info! :

So you're asking for our thoughts on how to punish your teen? On an AP/GD list. And you are sarcastic and upset when we offer "creative' thinking.

I don't understand why there are *so many* non- GD people asking for advice on MDC when there are so many other uncreative and punitive sites devoted to teaching adults how to control children.
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#18 of 148 Old 08-26-2005, 10:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starr
In 10th grade right before Christmas break I came home from a date with a hickey. The only one I've ever gotten. I was your typical straight A student, over acheiver who never really got into trouble. For my punishment my mom and dad signed me up to ring the Salvation Army bell to collect loose change for Christmas ar our MALL for 2 Saturdays.
Curious (honestly wanting to know, not trying to be snarky based on the rest pf the thread): would you have been more likely to do it again if you had not been punished? Were you more likely to sneak around your parents than if you had NOT been punished?
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#19 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 01:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom
I don't understand why there are *so many* non- GD people asking for advice on MDC when there are so many other uncreative and punitive sites devoted to teaching adults how to control children.
I dunno. But, as a GD parent I do like hearing about how people do things (I will someday have a teenager) so I really appreciate everyone's contributions! I will go back to :
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#20 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 07:01 AM
 
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My DS is only 2 yo so no experience with teens. But based on my observation with my mom. She actually talk to us(one on one) when were teens and did something wrong. She explains to us what we did and why they are not happy and what did they felt about it.She even ask us what do we think is right and actually asking if we need to be punished. Reversed psychology in short but it works instead we decided to punished our selves and felt very sorry about it.
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#21 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 10:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristiMetz
I dunno. But, as a GD parent I do like hearing about how people do things (I will someday have a teenager) so I really appreciate everyone's contributions! I will go back to :
I understand that.

So maybe my question should be 'Why do folks ask questions of MDC members and then get upset when they are given GD information?"

One can ask *anything*, of course. But to get upset, defensive and snarky when GD thoughts are offered? At MDC. I mean, what sort of answers would one expect from GD mothers of actual teens?
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#22 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 10:32 AM
 
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Generally, I think the action has its own set of consequences that turn out to be their own punishment. I do believe in restrictions though. We have talked about these issues a great deal. I have no qualms about taking away a privelege or to put up something he values so he can't have it. I would do this no matter what age as long as he lives in my home. To us, no action is the same as permission.
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#23 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 11:11 AM
 
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I am loving the creative ideas here!
Our son just turned 16, and one thing we have learned these past few years (at least for him) is grounding does not work. Keeping him in the house just makes all of us miserable. He knows our rules, and when he breaks them, we withhold money and transportation. Not having spending money, or not being able to get somewhere, seems to go a lot further with him (really, it's just another form of grounding, but it seems to make more sense to him!). With him turning 16, and soon to have his own part-time job and workig towards his drivers license, we will probably be changing the rules again. We'll sit down with him and talk about it when the time comes.
Any way you look at it, communication is the key. Once you lose that, you've lost everything.
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#24 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom
... flippant disregard for others in the family, etc.
Could you give examples? It's hard to guess what instances you're talking about--if she borrowed something and failed to return it, I'd remind her. If she borrowed something and mistreated it, I'd expect it to be replaced. If she's staying out later than she thought she'd be, I'd explain that we needed a phone call so that we didn't worry---(just as *I* would call if I was going to be very late.)

We've always talked to our kids about treating others as they would want to be treated--I can't really see how talking could "work" when they're younger but fail when they're 18. I'd impress on her how her actions affect the rest of the family...say, she's using my car and doesn't return when she's expected, thereby making someone else in the family late. If explaining to her what the problem is didn't cause her to return on time, I'd probably not be inclined to loan her my car anymore. Basically, I'd treat her as an adult, with the same expectations I'd have of any other adult.

The whole punishment/consequence thing has been debated here elsewhere, but this is an 18 year old we're talking about, right?

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#25 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 11:25 AM
 
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I read your blog entry about your teen leaving the computer on all night. While I love the book you mention (we own it) , you do know the world is full of irony , right? for instance--

It took more energy and chemical dyes and silver to produce that book and distribute it around the world than your daughter's computer uses if left on overnight, esp if the screen goes blank after a certain amount to time of non-activity.

I am betting your anger at your daughter goes much deeper than you're asking about here.

I think you could maybe arrange with your daughter to shut down her computer at night, and you could turn it on for her (or whoever is awake first) in the morning so by the time she wakes, it's on.

I think there are ways to work these sorts of things out without punishment or shame. There is a way to read that book and discuss it's important issues as as a family without using the book in a negative way.
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#26 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please don't take what I'm posting here as anything but sincere.

UUMom, I thought I posted this on the "Teens" thread, not the GD thread, that is why I didn't expect this to turn into a GD discussion. Seriously, I didn't realize that GD was the expected or most common method for all discipline issues discussed on MDC (not being snarky or sarcastic; I'm honestly puzzled and somewhat contrite.) In fact, I am so new to much of this that I also didn't realize that consequences are against GD philosophy.

I do not have anger at my daughter, I was unhappy with her behavior. And your attempt to critique my parenting by bringing up my blog entry here and discussing it is hurtful. I have a comment section on my blog ...

As for using the book in a "negative way" I'm hard-pressed to understand how asking an 18-year old to read and discuss a book with me can be construed as negative. I certainly didn't force her; I offered it to her as a way of shortening the time she was restricted from online access. I also do not see how limiting online access is a 'punishment' or anything less than gentle guidance/ discipline. I saw it as a way of redirecting her to a more constructive way to use her time and the household's energy consumption.

What I suggested to her is that she turn her computer off at night and then turn it back on in the morning before she steps in the shower and that way it will be up and ready for use when she is showered and ready to start her day. A simple solution, but she wasn't happy with it, which is why the next step was to let her experience a day without access so that perhaps 3 minutes waiting time for it to start up would not seem like such a hardship.

Again, I'm sincerely sorry that I inadvertently stepped into a hornet's nest by discussing a method other than GD on the Teen board. I'll know better next time.
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#27 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 11:51 AM
 
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Your blog is in your sig! If you don't want people to read it, why is it in your sig?? Of course, if it's against MDC rules to comment on a public blogs in sigs, then I will edit.

And as far as GD/Teen threads. Are you kidding?? This is MDC. We're not going to embrace punishment anymore than we are going to embrace crying it out--no matter where you post it.

You were repsectful, imo, of your 18 yr old daughter. You are trying to control her by shaming. If you post on a public board, on an AP/GD site-- no matter how old your child is , you're going to hear things you don't like if you are asking how to punish your child. Your 18 yr old child.

You realize this is MDC, yes?
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#28 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UUMom, While this is MDC, I see threads that discuss both EC and cloth diapers; both breastfeeding and formula feeding; both homebirths and hospital births ... why not various flavors of discipline? It's not like I posted about spanking my daughter. (Edited to add that I've seen threads on MDC about mamas spanking their child that received more compassionate responses than have been shown in this thread.)

As for my feelings toward my daughter, please do not speculate about that unless you know us personally. At the very least, do a search on the word "teenager" or "High School Graduate" on my blog and get a bit more information before judging.

I don't object, at all, to anyone here at MDC reading my blog; of course, that's why it's in my sig. What I object to is you dragging that story into this thread and making it seem as if it is all about that one incident. I was simply interested in seeing how other MDC mamas handle consequences with their teenager - honestly not knowing that MDC is anti-consequences. Now I know.

I don't want to keep beating this horse with you, UUmom. You have succeeded in convincing me that I made a mistake in posting this here, what more do you want? I'm sorry. I truly am.
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#29 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 12:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom
UUMom, While this is MDC, I see threads that discuss both EC and cloth diapers; both breastfeeding and formula feeding; both homebirths and hospital births ... why not various flavors of discipline? It's not like I posted about spanking my daughter.

As for my feelings toward my daughter, please do not speculate about that unless you know us personally. At the very least, do a search on the word "teenager" on my blog and get a bit more information before judging.

I don't object, at all, to anyone here at MDC reading my blog; of course, that's why it's in my sig. What I object to is you dragging that story into this thread and making it seem as if it is all about that one incident. I was simply interested in seeing how other MDC mama's handle consequences with their teenager - honestly not knowing that MDC is anti-consequences. Now I know. I don't want to keep beating this horse with you, UUmom. You have succeeded in convincing me that I made a mistake in posting this here, what more do you want? I'm sorry. I truly am.

MDC doesnot advocate bottle feeding over breastfeeding. We do not advocate un-ncessary c-sections over empowered natural births. And as far as I know MDC does not advocate shaming children as punishment.

Are you sorry to have posted here because not everyone agrees with punishment? Or are you sorry you got some food for thought?

I have a 16 yr old and 13 yr old. I know what i am talking about. I am not living in la la land with perfect children who never challenge me.

I am not quite sure what you need at this point. The tone of this thread changed as soon as you became snarky to UnschoolMa's post, which was very nice, even if it wasn't what you were looking for.

Are you sorry you were snarky? I mean, seriously, what did you expect after that?

And nobody is anti- consequences (and again with the sarcastic thumbs up. What is that?). As someone at MDC said "consequences are when you go out in the rain you get wet". You were looking for punishment, which is just another word for 'consequence'. MDC stretches all of us to seek new ways of thinking about child respect. What is it? what does it look like in practice? Are there ways I can get my needs met (saving energy) in ways that do not shame my child? Are there ways I can 'reach' my child where we can both come away with our dignity intact?

If you blow us all off with "Now I know MDC kids let their children get away with murder so I won't bother posting anything anymore" it's no skin off us..me. But you'll be missing opportunities to think about children, discipline and respect in new ways.
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#30 of 148 Old 08-27-2005, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UUmom, what I'm sorry for is that I seem to have upset you. I feel badly about that.

Please .... the thumbsup was not being sarcastic.
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