Unconditional Parenting - Chapter 2 (Giving and Withholding Love) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 69 Old 03-29-2009, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Please share any parts of this chapter that you have strong feelings about - whether in agreement or disagreement with what was said. Share any quotes that really stood out to you. How has what you read effected you?
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#2 of 69 Old 03-31-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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On time outs -- boy, have I used these, and yes, as punishment, so it was pretty hard to read about it from Kohn's perspective. It seemed like t/o was the one thing I was doing that was GD -- oops. I guess one thing I'm wondering still, after finishing the book, is what's a practical alternative? I felt that Kohn blasts all the traditional stuff and has good reasons for doing so, but he's less helpful on what we should be doing instead. To his credit, he says this isn't a how-to manual somewhere, but I can't help but want some concrete techniques that work. (I've found How to Talk really good for this)
As a result of reading Kohn, I am using time out in a different way, more as an invitation to reflect/calm down than as an order, but I'm not sure that's what Kohn means
I find the whole rewards/praise thing really interesting. It makes sense, once you come to the realization that it should not be about the behavior but about the child. I'm having a heck of a time keeping that in mind, but reading Kohn has really helped in this regard.

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#3 of 69 Old 03-31-2009, 02:28 PM
 
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while i think that this book really gets going in the upcoming chapters i can't deny that this is an important chapter and maybe the hardest one to fully embrace-especially if you don't already basically agree with Kohn. Most people don't see time out as emotional/psychological control. It seems to me that everyone recommends it because its not physically punishing and fulfills that desire of "well i showed him/her". I really dislike that so many child-rearing books/shows use time outs- i.e. supernanny. Thank you Kohn for finally giving me the words to express why time outs never felt right!No one likes to be ignored or put in "solitary confinement".
I think the hardest part is positive reinforcement. After all who says no to being given a bonus?! And it appears to make the receiver happy at the time. But as Kohn points out the intrinsic motivation is lost and i think that is the most important thing to hold on to and encourage in our children.
Sadly i think most of the people i know suffer from contingent self esteem. and often those i know well have "issues" with their parents-often over what the parent expects their child to have done/do and what reality is.
anyways one thing i still have a problem with is dealing with my 2yr olds hitting. he seems to have periodic episodes where he just will not stop. some we have prevented by realizing hes over tired or is feeling jealous/wants attention. i'm just not sure what to do when he won't stop though. kohn gives examples of other "positive" things to say and i know its not a manual but saying hitting hurts..... doesn't make it feel any better and moving away/leaving the room not only isn't always an option but, as i understand it, would be a form of love withholding.
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#4 of 69 Old 03-31-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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On time outs I guess one thing I'm wondering still, after finishing the book, is what's a practical alternative? I felt that Kohn blasts all the traditional stuff and has good reasons for doing so, but he's less helpful on what we should be doing instead.
I think I liked this about kohn's book...(more about this chapter in a second..)

I really hate subscribing to how to parenting books. I dont think parenting (or anything in life really) should be manually followed, and have a set script or structure for doing it. Thats what I found really difficult about a lot of other parenting books - they were more of do a when your child does b, try c when d isnt working kind of scenarios - whereas I like the why. I like to understand why something I believe or do is wrong, told why its wrong (I can chose to agree or disagree) and then given a belief system or set of values that i can mold or create that fit my own family and my own circumstances.

I think this is the chapter where most people get furstrated and stop reading because a) its a direct critique of traditional parenting methods that they are utilizing, and because it isnt a how to book - its a shame, because this chapter was one of the best and hard hitting for me.

I felt that the love from my parents was very conditional growing up - if I didnt get good grades, didnt do what I was supposed to etc etc then I wasn't loved (as much). My behaviour became so linked with their praise and criticism that so too did my identity. To this day I still fight very hard not to do things simply because my mother would have me do it that way, or say it a certain way, or wear a certain thing. heck - I can still clearly remember the where/why/when of the first time my mom was truly disappointed in. I was crushed - thinking about it crushes that childlike part of today.

My child's identity has nothing to do with how I treat them - or at least thats what I aim for. Just because I dont like something, just because something isnt how I would do it - doesn't make it wrong. The only reason it would be wrong is because *I* have decided its wrong - and really, how am I qualified to determine that? (There is a really good daily groove on this subject...)

I think its important to share in children's pride in themselves, and as Kohn says - it isnt about ignoring your child or never recognizing the "good" things they do. Its about not assigning a value to them, and not making the "good" things the be all end all, because who are we to decide whats good and bad?

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#5 of 69 Old 03-31-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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I really hate subscribing to how to parenting books. I dont think parenting (or anything in life really) should be manually followed, and have a set script or structure for doing it. Thats what I found really difficult about a lot of other parenting books - they were more of do a when your child does b, try c when d isnt working kind of scenarios - whereas I like the why.
Oh, I get that this book is more about the philosophy than the technical, and I do like that about the book (I posted on the other chapter thread about this) but it is a pretty radical departure from what I had been doing and in those moments when things are crazy and I need to implement the new philosophy, I'm the kind of person who needs a toolbox, KWIM? I don't want to rely on making it up as I go along. I need an arsenal

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#6 of 69 Old 03-31-2009, 03:07 PM
 
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saying hitting hurts..... doesn't make it feel any better and moving away/leaving the room not only isn't always an option but, as i understand it, would be a form of love withholding.
This is where I run into trouble as well. I get what he's saying when he points out that it doesn't matter how the parents MEAN something, what matters is how the child PERCEIVES it. But, at the same time, I can only control my actions- I can't completely dictate my child's perception. So, how can I establish personal boundaries/safety rules without opening up the possibility that my child will see my response as rejection? I think it's important to model standing up for and protecting myself and other people
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#7 of 69 Old 03-31-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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This is where I run into trouble as well. I get what he's saying when he points out that it doesn't matter how the parents MEAN something, what matters is how the child PERCEIVES it. But, at the same time, I can only control my actions- I can't completely dictate my child's perception. So, how can I establish personal boundaries/safety rules without opening up the possibility that my child will see my response as rejection? I think it's important to model standing up for and protecting myself and other people
You are right - you can only control your actions. But as an adult, you are also more accutely aware of how your actions are percieved by others (children dont know that throwing a toy hurts, they cant percieve that when they dont put their toys away they are making you really frustrated...etc..) Children merely seek out what brings them joy, and makes them happy - its their nature. Kohn also points out in this chapter thats its okay that we as parents screw up and make mistakes and get angry - because its important that our kids see as as people and not as some omnipotent authoritarian perfect person...you know?

So Im sure you know there are times when your child could use a "time out" in the sense of time to control his feelings. Sit with him, sit near him, make sure he knows your there when he is ready - that is not withholding love - that is giving the childwhat he needs so that he can go back to that place where he is happy. To merely take a child to time out, have him sit there for 10minutes screaming - thats withholding love.

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#8 of 69 Old 03-31-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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anyways one thing i still have a problem with is dealing with my 2yr olds hitting. he seems to have periodic episodes where he just will not stop. some we have prevented by realizing hes over tired or is feeling jealous/wants attention. i'm just not sure what to do when he won't stop though. kohn gives examples of other "positive" things to say and i know its not a manual but saying hitting hurts..... doesn't make it feel any better and moving away/leaving the room not only isn't always an option but, as i understand it, would be a form of love withholding.
Hitting is a tactile thing and the underlying need can sometimes be met by providing some serious tactile stimulation. PP talks about the super tool of physical closeness. In the case of hitting the tactile need may be so great that you may need to duck the swings and get that baby up into loving strong arms with lots of rocking, singing, and soft words. I've used this with pre-school children in my work as a special ed teacher. It is so great to feel them relax into your arms. At this point my soft words would be some validation (Naomi Aldort stuff) which I'm just learning about.

I love this chapter! Down with TO's!

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#9 of 69 Old 04-01-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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thanks! i think you're right on the tactile thing.even just engaging in a bit of play- like tickling etc seems to resolve ds's desire to hit. i think kohn says at some point that UC takes more effort than CP but its worth it-and i totally agree. instead of yelling and punishing we have to step back and access the situation from dc's point of view and often action and time is required and not just saying stop while attending to something else. i think this is why kohn doesn't give us a manual as each situation is different and each child and parent is different and has a different relationship. i try to keep the philosophy in mind and apply it to each situation. it also helped me to do the activity at the end-where you brainstorm solutions for a given situation before it happens-kinda a build your own arsenal.
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#10 of 69 Old 04-01-2009, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I wish I knew what Kohn felt about time in's. We use time in to reconnect and calm down and talk about possible future solutions. I do tend to use methods from How To Talk... but later in the book Kohn begins to challenge me on doing things with the intention of "how to get my child to listen" instead of "how can I meet my child's need"
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#11 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 02:00 AM
 
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This chapter made me want to cry! Not b/c I felt guilty, but b/c I suddenly felt so bad for kids in time out! What really sucks, tho, is, before reading this book, I LOVED the Supernanny time out method. I have used it exactly as she describes it, and it has worked every time on different children to get them to behave. So much for that!

The part I had trouble wrapping my brain around was the praise part. DH and I had a long discussion about it, too. He has been managing people for most of his working life, and he disagreed w/ using NO praise at all. He said that if you offered no feedback, then you are leaving the person floundering, wondering if they are doing things correctly. I can v much see his point. Even if it is to say, "Yes, you are using the fork correctly now," you will need to provide your kids w/ SOME kind of positive feedback at SOME point in their lives or else they won't know what is going on. How irritating is it when your boss at work never gives you a performance review, even if you love the job anyway? Very irritating. I tried to explain that you do things in a social referencing way, like saying "Giving Johnny that toy made him happy. See his smile?" instead of "Nice sharing!" and dh presented me w/ the conundrum of what if the interaction is between you and the child and you are the one made happy by their action? If it is okay to say that sharing w/ Johnny made Johnny happy, then why can't you say that peeing in the potty made Daddy happy? B/c it DOES make Daddy happy when dd pees in the potty. I gave that some thought, and it does make sense, if I am approaching this from a social reference point, that it is okay sometimes to tell dd that what she has done made me happy. I am not a non-entity in her social world & her actions do affect my feelings. Once I gave the praise thing more thought I don't think that ALL praise is bad. I don't tell my daughter "good job", or things like that, anymore, but if she does something nice to/for me, I do continue to tell her "thank you" or "That was nice to do for Mommy" b/c it made me happy, and my feelings are important, too.

Another book that talks about how time out is bad and has alternate ideas is Playful Parenting by somebody Cohen (similar last name, hmm..). He is a play therapist and offers many concrete examples of things you can do w/ kids and, IF I recall correctly, talks about having meetings on the couch instead of time outs. I read the book years ago, but it is in my basement and I can look that chapter up to confirm.

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#12 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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im not 100% sure but I think later in the book he will get into how to provide feedback without praise? the praise is hard for me to let go too, and to fully understand.
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#13 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 10:46 AM
 
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I like the information about praise, and Kohn seems to back it up with research (though there are probably people who could quote studies that say the opposite ) but it is hard to figure out what to say ... I've been trying to move away from "good job" etc myself. I believe in How to Talk there are examples to use where you can avoid value-laden statements like "good" and "bad". IRL though, the kids are going to encounter job performance reviews in which their superiors rate their performance based on criteria that do use value judgments -- i.e. performance was good/bad (starting with grades in school). Can we 1) evaluate their performance based on merit without using subjective criteria (am I making sense? there may be more than one way to offer critique of a performance) and 2) can we make the child see that we are critiquing performance, not them?

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#14 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 12:09 PM
 
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The part I had trouble wrapping my brain around was the praise part. DH and I had a long discussion about it, too. He has been managing people for most of his working life, and he disagreed w/ using NO praise at all. He said that if you offered no feedback, then you are leaving the person floundering, wondering if they are doing things correctly. I can v much see his point. Even if it is to say, "Yes, you are using the fork correctly now," you will need to provide your kids w/ SOME kind of positive feedback at SOME point in their lives or else they won't know what is going on. How irritating is it when your boss at work never gives you a performance review, even if you love the job anyway? Very irritating. I tried to explain that you do things in a social referencing way, like saying "Giving Johnny that toy made him happy. See his smile?" instead of "Nice sharing!" and dh presented me w/ the conundrum of what if the interaction is between you and the child and you are the one made happy by their action? If it is okay to say that sharing w/ Johnny made Johnny happy, then why can't you say that peeing in the potty made Daddy happy? B/c it DOES make Daddy happy when dd pees in the potty. I gave that some thought, and it does make sense, if I am approaching this from a social reference point, that it is okay sometimes to tell dd that what she has done made me happy. I am not a non-entity in her social world & her actions do affect my feelings. Once I gave the praise thing more thought I don't think that ALL praise is bad. I don't tell my daughter "good job", or things like that, anymore, but if she does something nice to/for me, I do continue to tell her "thank you" or "That was nice to do for Mommy" b/c it made me happy, and my feelings are important, too.

I used to LOVE supernanny - it took a long time before I could even watch the show again. Then I figured that...for these families they were at a point where they had done things *wrong* for so long, that they needed something drastic to get things back on track..so to speak. Is there better ways to do it - yes, but this works, and at some point you just need something that works. Though I definately hate that she adamantly opposes co-sleeping and EBF.

As for praise. Its not about not providing feedback. Its about providing specific feedback. Rather than "good boy!" when they pee on the potty, something like "look, you peed on the potty for the 3rd time today" Or about letting the child determine the praise. Instead of "what a pretty drawing, good girl!" something like "what do you think of the drawing? I like the colour blue the best!" Its about being specific. You are still giving them feedback, its just more specific.

It is good for kids to know that you are proud of them, and that you enjoy what they are doing. I think the difference comes in when they think that they have to draw well, or have to pee on the potty in order for you to be happy. You should be equally able to be happy with them/for them when they do something you dont approve of. For example, when dd climbs the catpost for the umpteenth time and I have to go get her so she doesnt fall 6ft (again!), yes I am frustrated, and a little angry - but she is SO proud of herself for doing it. So I acknowledge her being proud, and how accomplished she feels, and then we redirect (she is still a little young for the talking about the "why" of stuff, but we do that too). I think kids need to be proud of their accomplishments, and we should recognize that, encourage that...etc..

In terms of making people happy (your johnny example). I attempt to deter, and this is JMO, dd from it being her job to make people happy. No one's happiness is dependant on her, and nor should it be. We do nice things for others because it makes *us* feel good. We notice that Johnny smiled, and is having fun with the ball - but I dont like things like "look how happy your actions made johnny". I dont want her to ever think that other people's happiness is her job. I know I felt that way growing up - and it sucked! That being said, Kohn never says what I believe, I just took Kohn's philosophies and applied them to thing I believe.

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#15 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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i've been trying to work this out too- in order to simplify-

praise seems to be a way of verbally awarding dc while positive feedback is acknowledging what dc has done.

i think the problem enters when positive feedback is being used to encourage something you want to see again in the future - its kind of a verbal twist on positive reinforcement. at least in MO- does this make sense?
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#16 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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i have a question about waldorf education...my dd goes to a waldorf school right now (kinder) & i have often felt that the way they discipline is quite often behaviorally based...and sometimes not-sometimes it seems unconditional. then again, much of their discipline is restraint TO's in the name of GDing, pretty much. i say but i despise being restrained cuz i had a boyf who restrained me when i'd try to break up w/ him, etc. i've been told it is different for young children...i don't know if i agree though cuz that is forcefully making the child obey....even if the teacher is holding them firmly yet 'gently' and not letting them go until they calm down. (i say just let the child be and they WILL calm down and change their tune...) unless they are hurting someone i think its uneccessary.

ie. my dd got up before her teacher called her name at the end of the morning when the kids sit in their closing circle. my dd had seen me come in & she obviously missed me and wanted to be with me. so the teacher came and got her (as my dd is kicking and screaming pretty much...heartbroken), held her (aka restrained her) and told her that when she was quiet and calm she would let her go. my heart was BREAKING and i was sooo close to going and grabbing my dd from the teachers arms. the teacher insists this is what the dc are crying out for...a safe space to just BE and calm down w/ a loving adult who cares and is patient...jeesh. i think that sounds conditional to me...obey/be nice and sweet or you can't move/do a thing. you can't even go to into your loving mama's arms...

i'll have to ponder this for today although i think i already KNOW how i feel about this, but i wanted to post this to see what some of you are feeling about it... i think waldorf tries to mask their conditional ways w/ gentle loving 'unconditional' discipline. i think now it is bogus.

i'm hoping my dd will get into one of our local public magnet schools...it is a democratic setting, mixed age...its AWESOME. no kid is forced to do a thing if they don't wish to, need space...its just great. fingers crossed...
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#17 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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i've been trying to work this out too- in order to simplify-

praise seems to be a way of verbally awarding dc while positive feedback is acknowledging what dc has done.

i think the problem enters when positive feedback is being used to encourage something you want to see again in the future - its kind of a verbal twist on positive reinforcement. at least in MO- does this make sense?
i forget what i said a few days ago...i think it was 'way to go' or something like that aka 'good job!'. i have always tried to stay away from comments like that...this time my dd (6) said she didn't want me to say that. wow! we surely need to trust our children more...they KNOW what is true love and what is not.
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#18 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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On time outs -- boy, have I used these, and yes, as punishment, so it was pretty hard to read about it from Kohn's perspective. It seemed like t/o was the one thing I was doing that was GD -- oops. I guess one thing I'm wondering still, after finishing the book, is what's a practical alternative? I felt that Kohn blasts all the traditional stuff and has good reasons for doing so, but he's less helpful on what we should be doing instead. To his credit, he says this isn't a how-to manual somewhere, but I can't help but want some concrete techniques that work. (I've found How to Talk really good for this)
As a result of reading Kohn, I am using time out in a different way, more as an invitation to reflect/calm down than as an order, but I'm not sure that's what Kohn means
I find the whole rewards/praise thing really interesting. It makes sense, once you come to the realization that it should not be about the behavior but about the child. I'm having a heck of a time keeping that in mind, but reading Kohn has really helped in this regard.
i have also used various forms of TO's off and on thruout my dd's 6.5 years of life...well, probably not til she was about 2.5 yo but anyway...yeah, i've tried the supernanny way, the nanny 911/jon and kate plus 8 way...the ways in various parenting/discipline books and then more recently, the waldorf teacher's way whom i posted about. (all the while not feeling right about it one bit. TO's in ANY sort only make my dd freak out and so sad.) the book "raising your spirited child' feels much more like UP than any of the other mainstream books out there...

i'm not doin' TO's anymore. done w/ that.

last night my dd was sooo upset when her friends' mom showed up to p/u her dd earlier than expected...my dd went upstairs in our loft bedroom and cried loudly...wailing...i could tell her friends' mom would not allow this behavior of her dd...my dd starting throwing socks down from our missing socks basket (aka socks w/out partners) and then threw a shoe down and something else that was hard. i just simply told my dd to not throw things down, to remember we don't do that...and then i suggested to the mom and girl we duck for cover int he kitchen...i didn't yell at my dd nor make her feel badly for her raging...she obviously needed to do that and that is fine w/ me as long as no one gets hurt and nothing is broken.

so my dd's friend and mom leave and my dd opens the window that faces their car & i hear her yell out "I HATE YOU!!!" to the mom. she had also been cussing up a storm upstairs saying she hated M and the grandma, too, who often is w/ my dd's friend and makes decisions as well. hopefully the mom didn't hear that or take offense. yikes! i did tell dd that that kind of talk is VERY hurtful and inappropriate. but i can't expect my dd to know how to cool her jets yet when i'm just working on cooling mine. gee i wonder where she learned to be so verbally viscious and spiteful?

its hard also when other parents don't discipline (or truly love in the UP way...) their kids in this way... i sure wish i lived in a UP community. wouldn't that be so grand!

my ds is watching the backyardigans...there was a princess or something and she wasn't welcoming the love of one of the guys on there...the princess said off with him to her servants...take him to the dungeon! something like that...then the guy said but we like you...and she softened. it was really neat to see that. just simply, we LIKE YOU. she probably thought they wanted something of her, from her......it reminded me of UPing... :

reading thru beginning of ch 2 & will be back.
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#19 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommabear207 View Post
i've been trying to work this out too- in order to simplify-

praise seems to be a way of verbally awarding dc while positive feedback is acknowledging what dc has done.

i think the problem enters when positive feedback is being used to encourage something you want to see again in the future - its kind of a verbal twist on positive reinforcement. at least in MO- does this make sense?
oh darn it. i had typed out this whole reply to this and i lost it...grrr technology! :

lets see what did i write...well basically i am wondering the same thing. even simply observing & expressing/acknowledging what we see in what our child does or even what they don't do (ie. looks like you aren't in the mood/aren't ready to pick up your dolls... or ie. you sure are getting big...you took both dogs out to pee all by yourself this time...) seems like it may be manipulative like PP said in being related to what we wish to see in our dc's behavior...or maybe just simply validating where the child is in regards to whatever... hmmm. this is a toughy to deschool myself on... i completely get what you are saying here...

is expressing appreciation ok? if i say something to my dc like, "i appreciate your help w/ the recycling" or somethinng...

i look forward to input.

ps-i hope i'm not offending anyone w/ my multiple posts here...i'm just catching up on this chapter and in re. to the discussion going on. hugs.
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#20 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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I used to LOVE supernanny - it took a long time before I could even watch the show again. Then I figured that...for these families they were at a point where they had done things *wrong* for so long, that they needed something drastic to get things back on track..so to speak. Is there better ways to do it - yes, but this works, and at some point you just need something that works. Though I definately hate that she adamantly opposes co-sleeping and EBF.

.
i didn't know supernanny is against ebf and cosleeping...well figures, she isn't even a MOTHER. pfff.

i'm surprised she is in wondertime magazine...they glamorize her like she is so great...some expert. what a JOKE.
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#21 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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is expressing appreciation ok? if i say something to my dc like, "i appreciate your help w/ the recycling" or somethinng...
I think the thing to be aware of with that is that you're putting the child's focus on *your* response. Which is sometimes appropriate, depending on the situation, but an alternative is describe the behavior itself, i.e. "It was very considerate of you to help with the recycling". Which leads more to the child thinking 'Hey, I'm a considerate person!' and less to 'It makes mom happy when I do this!'. Which in turn leads to developing more intrinsic motivation ('I will do this because it's the right thing to do') and less extrinsic ('I will do this because otherwise mom will be upset').

The two things I try really hard to keep in mind when 'praising' my kids are:

1. Why am I wanting to praise my child right now? Is it out of genuine enthusiasm? Am I trying to manipulate their behavior? There's nothing wrong with wanting to get a child to behave a certain way, I just would rather be direct about it and *tell* them then try to get around asking/telling them what to do by faking praise to encourage them to keep it up. "I expect you to be gentle with your brother......Thank you for being gentle with him" feels more honest than "Wow, you were really gentle with the baby! Good job!!" (most of the time, anyway). I often used to use "good job!" when I really meant "thank you". There's nothing wrong with thank you


2. Where am I directing their attention, and is that where I *want* to direct their attention?" Sometimes I do want them to be thinking about the effect their actions have on other people, sometimes I want them to to be thinking about how *they* feel about what they just did, and sometimes I don't want to direct their attention at all.

There's a difference between:
-"Look at DS2's face! I think he is happy to have that toy."
-"It was very thoughtful of you to give your brother a turn",
-"You let your brother have a turn with that toy even though you really enjoy playing with it"

And I think that all of those type of responses have their place, and all of them are way better, imo, then "Good job sharing!!!! It makes Mommy happy when you share!"
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#22 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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I like the information about praise, and Kohn seems to back it up with research (though there are probably people who could quote studies that say the opposite ) but it is hard to figure out what to say ... I've been trying to move away from "good job" etc myself. I believe in How to Talk there are examples to use where you can avoid value-laden statements like "good" and "bad". IRL though, the kids are going to encounter job performance reviews in which their superiors rate their performance based on criteria that do use value judgments -- i.e. performance was good/bad (starting with grades in school). Can we 1) evaluate their performance based on merit without using subjective criteria (am I making sense? there may be more than one way to offer critique of a performance) and 2) can we make the child see that we are critiquing performance, not them?
I think PP had a lot of helpful hints.
As far as evaluating and critiquing performance goes, perhaps we need to get away from that all together and focus more on the performance itself. I mean we can't let what we know already get in the way of what they need to find out. It 's hard! According to Kohn the child can definitely confuse the critique of an action with a critique of her person.

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#23 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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oh DARN. i figured by now at least someone from here would have posted...i'm embarassed that i'm here posting yet again........please forgive me! hopefully i'm not appearing obnoxious to any of you...............

i have a question...i mentioned my dd had screamed I HATE YOU!!! out the window to her friend D's mother when they were leaving...dd was so utterly disappointed that D's mother showed up earlier than we'd anticipated and there was no warning...bummer)

so i didn't punish my dd...i just simply said we do not speak to people like that...it isn't ok...it isn't nice, it isn't loving. i know you are disappointed...i know you are hurting and angry. i didn't know what else to say or do. i didn't want her to feel badly for saying that to her friends mom...and i didn't want to correct her and say don't ever do that again...i was embarassed more than anything because i know that my dd's friend doesn't act like my dd does...dd's friend is extremely calm, passive and slow moving. she is the opposite of my dd who is assertive, energetic and on the ball so to speak...

so what else could i have done? or did i do ok? should i apologize to the mom? i feel that that is what my dd was feeling...of course the more i model for her not to talk that way, the less she will talk that way. she has heard me curse and complain wayyyy too much and for too long when i've been stressed/sad/scared/angry/annoyed, etc. so that is probably where she gets it...

good news is dd's teacher commented to me today that dd has had a really great week and that dd has been so helpful and kind. wooop! that means this UP stuff is sooooooo good for her...and for dc in general. i'm so thrilled. i knew it would work as it was but to hear it from others is so great. i want to tell her teacher its cuz i'm UPing her!!!

any advice on how i could have handled that situation w/ dd differently? do i just allow her to throw shoes and socks and such down on our heads or do i somehow stop it or just run for cover til the storm is over? lol
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#24 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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I think the thing to be aware of with that is that you're putting the child's focus on *your* response. Which is sometimes appropriate, depending on the situation, but an alternative is describe the behavior itself, i.e. "It was very considerate of you to help with the recycling". Which leads more to the child thinking 'Hey, I'm a considerate person!' and less to 'It makes mom happy when I do this!'. Which in turn leads to developing more intrinsic motivation ('I will do this because it's the right thing to do') and less extrinsic ('I will do this because otherwise mom will be upset').

!"
this is so great. so simple yet we often make it so much more complex and about US. this makes me realize yet again how self centered parenting can be and how its so often about US. i don't believe in my heart it is about US. its about THEM. one reason i EBF my dc...if they NEED me and FEEL good about my giving them my milk for comfort and security (and nutrients) than so be it...its worth being woken up every few hours. (thankfully we cosleep!) thank you for this! i'll work on it. but why do i forget and become at a loss for what to say... my dd and her friend are outside playing... they rang the doorbell and it took me longer than usual cuz i wasn't racing to the door like i usually do...so when i opened the door my dd actually didn't complain about my being so slow or anything and i felt like i wanted to tell her how patient she was waiting for me to open the door. instead i just smiled lovingly as i opened the door and kept my mouth shut. i was afraid i'd stumble and say something about ME. lol i think even just saying nothing but emanating my love in my smile and silence told her so MUCH about how to feel about herself, me and how to treat others with love and respect. :
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#25 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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I have never had an adversarial/manipulative relationship with my kids - so I am fortunate that I am not needing to reverse course - I really admire those who can see changes that need to be made, and try to implement new ideas. I don't mean I am so perfect a parent I have nothing to learn - see below, I have a huge challenging project coming up!

In general, I speak to my kids about the same way I speak to an adult friend. I would never say good job, or good boy to a friend, but I probably would say "thank you". I don't think it's a bad thing to do something to help out someone you love - so if Johnny is peeing in the toilet, and that seems like a good thing, I could say, "Thanks - one less diaper today!" or "Look, we don't have to change your sheets this morning!" I also don't do bubbly false enthusiasm - I find it patronizing and would not want anyone to speak to me like that. But I know my kids want me to notice and comment on nice/good/useful things they have done, just like I would. So when my 13 YO cleans the kitchen while I sleep (yes, this really happens , I make a point of thanking her. I don't pay or reward her, but honest appreciation is called for.

OK - the brief version or the challenging project I am starting:

My foster daughter, 8, comes from a background of extreme neglect and abuse - the kind of situation that made the national news. At first she was placed with a highly religious, very punitive family, who, in addition to time outs convinced her she would "burn in hell" if she misbehaved. She has been with me a year and a half, and I will be adopting her. She has been thriving and blossoming in my home with unconditional love, and a "we're all on the same team" attitude. Her extreme behavioral challenges have necessitated some variations to keep her safe, but I found that Alfie's book, and The Explosive Child really validated what I have been doing all along.

But she is not the extreme challenge I was talking about. This summer, I will be adding her 5 year old twin sisters, and perhaps a 6 year old brother. All came from the same awful background, and their behavioral needs are much higher than hers, which I partly attribute to the excessive use of time-outs, and various behavioral methods the other foster homes have been using.

I don't really know how it will work - I am going to play it by ear. But these kids have no idea of unconditional love, except among the siblings. I mean from adults, they have never been loved in this way - with no sticker charts, no time outs, no good job.

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself and my pretty radical perspective on our extreme situation. I look forward to rereading this book, and looking it more consciously through this group.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#26 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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Hitting is a tactile thing and the underlying need can sometimes be met by providing some serious tactile stimulation. PP talks about the super tool of physical closeness. In the case of hitting the tactile need may be so great that you may need to duck the swings and get that baby up into loving strong arms with lots of rocking, singing, and soft words. I've used this with pre-school children in my work as a special ed teacher. It is so great to feel them relax into your arms. At this point my soft words would be some validation (Naomi Aldort stuff) which I'm just learning about.

I love this chapter! Down with TO's!

this reminds me of what a time in would be...and also kind of reminds me of what my dd's teachers do...although if a child didn't want to be held/touched/close to us right away i think the UPing way w/b to just let them be and when they are ready they will come to us for that 'touch', however that may present itself in the moment... the way dd's teacher does this 'time in' w/ them seems very CPing as i've shared in PP.

i agree that soft words make such a world of difference. just being calm despite the behavior lets the dc know we still love and care about them and that they are safe and its ok to not be 'perfect' and yet that they ARE perfect just as they are. and like another PP mentioned, that playful parenting book by cohen. i often use playfulness to redirect what could be a tense situation/moment. like when my dd was throwing socks and shoes from upstairs all around our heads i just said to the other mom and her dd 'why don't we go duck in here so we are safe'. lol i didn't make my dd out to be naughty or rude and just let it be... i did semi-blame my dd by saying she is quite the scorpio... which, looking back, isn't fair to her either. dd's friend is a scorpio and she is the opposite, like i said...deep like my dd... but calm.

so would you apologize to dd's friends mom if your dc yelled out the window to her that they hated her???

i think what i'm going to do first off is call her mom and/or grandma (whoever is picking up dd's friend tonight from their 'playdate') to please call 15 minutes ahead of arriving so my dd can prepare for her friend to leave...hopefully that will give my dd time to gear up for that...
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#27 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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I have never had an adversarial/manipulative relationship with my kids - so I am fortunate that I am not needing to reverse course - I really admire those who can see changes that need to be made, and try to implement new ideas. I don't mean I am so perfect a parent I have nothing to learn - see below, I have a huge challenging project coming up!

In general, I speak to my kids about the same way I speak to an adult friend. I would never say good job, or good boy to a friend, but I probably would say "thank you". I don't think it's a bad thing to do something to help out someone you love - so if Johnny is peeing in the toilet, and that seems like a good thing, I could say, "Thanks - one less diaper today!" or "Look, we don't have to change your sheets this morning!" I also don't do bubbly false enthusiasm - I find it patronizing and would not want anyone to speak to me like that. But I know my kids want me to notice and comment on nice/good/useful things they have done, just like I would. So when my 13 YO cleans the kitchen while I sleep (yes, this really happens , I make a point of thanking her. I don't pay or reward her, but honest appreciation is called for.

OK - the brief version or the challenging project I am starting:

My foster daughter, 8, comes from a background of extreme neglect and abuse - the kind of situation that made the national news. At first she was placed with a highly religious, very punitive family, who, in addition to time outs convinced her she would "burn in hell" if she misbehaved. She has been with me a year and a half, and I will be adopting her. She has been thriving and blossoming in my home with unconditional love, and a "we're all on the same team" attitude. Her extreme behavioral challenges have necessitated some variations to keep her safe, but I found that Alfie's book, and The Explosive Child really validated what I have been doing all along.

But she is not the extreme challenge I was talking about. This summer, I will be adding her 5 year old twin sisters, and perhaps a 6 year old brother. All came from the same awful background, and their behavioral needs are much higher than hers, which I partly attribute to the excessive use of time-outs, and various behavioral methods the other foster homes have been using.

I don't really know how it will work - I am going to play it by ear. But these kids have no idea of unconditional love, except among the siblings. I mean from adults, they have never been loved in this way - with no sticker charts, no time outs, no good job.

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself and my pretty radical perspective on our extreme situation. I look forward to rereading this book, and looking it more consciously through this group.
WOW. you GO, mama! love 'em up! they may not be used to that and it may be a challenge and push/pull thing for a while if you do have her siblings there too but i think for sure in time they will soften...and they are younger so believe there is much hope for all...oh that is so very beautiful. they are so so blessed to have you loving them!!! keep us posted. it just goes to show that LOVE truly IS the answer... LOVE will find a way... yeah. peace out.
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#28 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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so would you apologize to dd's friends mom if your dc yelled out the window to her that they hated her???

i think what i'm going to do first off is call her mom and/or grandma (whoever is picking up dd's friend tonight from their 'playdate') to please call 15 minutes ahead of arriving so my dd can prepare for her friend to leave...hopefully that will give my dd time to gear up for that...
It may make you feel better to say to something like, "I'm sorry if my daughter hurt your feelings." And then ask for the 15 minute warning call. Both these things tell the other mom you care. Good luck.

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#29 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 07:46 PM
 
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As for praise. Its not about not providing feedback. Its about providing specific feedback. Rather than "good boy!" when they pee on the potty, something like "look, you peed on the potty for the 3rd time today" Or about letting the child determine the praise. Instead of "what a pretty drawing, good girl!" something like "what do you think of the drawing? I like the colour blue the best!" Its about being specific. You are still giving them feedback, its just more specific.
Yes, I agree w/ this, and this is what we do.

Quote:
In terms of making people happy (your johnny example). I attempt to deter, and this is JMO, dd from it being her job to make people happy. No one's happiness is dependant on her, and nor should it be. We do nice things for others because it makes *us* feel good. We notice that Johnny smiled, and is having fun with the ball - but I dont like things like "look how happy your actions made johnny". I dont want her to ever think that other people's happiness is her job. I know I felt that way growing up - and it sucked! That being said, Kohn never says what I believe, I just took Kohn's philosophies and applied them to thing I believe.
I disagree w/ this to an extent. While I agree that it is not our job to make other people happy, we do often do things b/c they make other people happy w/out regards to our own happiness. This is selflessness, and it is a good quality to have. If I were only nice to others b/c it made ME feel good, I would not be that nice at all. I don't want to sing Patty Cake 3948 times, but I do it b/c it makes my daughter happy. I don't want to make dinner every night, but I do it b/c it makes my husband happy. I don't want dd to only do nice things for others b/c she feels like it, but b/c it is the right thing to do.

On the flip side, say my daughter hits Jon and he cries. I can tell her, "It hurts when you hit people, see how Jon is crying?" Social referencing is a v useful way of relaying info b/c I do not have to tell her hitting wasn't nice or bad or that she shouldn't do it. She can plainly see the effects her actions have on others. She will develop an understanding w/out me having to discipline her.

In chapter 8, Kohn does suggest explaining the effects of the child's action on other people as acceptable.

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#30 of 69 Old 04-02-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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do i just allow her to throw shoes and socks and such down on our heads or do i somehow stop it or just run for cover til the storm is over? lol
This is another place where things get bumpy for me. How do I let my children know that their behavior is unacceptable, but that THEY are always accepted?

In that situation, I would also want to model for my kids how to behave if someone was doing something like that to THEM.

I think sometimes recruiting their help can be a good idea."It's not okay to throw shoes at other people. I can see that you're very angry- let's think of a different way you could let me know how angry you are." However much we accept our children unconditionally, there are some behaviors that I am not willing to accept- nor do I want my children to accept it if someone did it to them.

(Hey, I'm really good at this on the internet! If only I was nearly as competent in real life.... )
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