Distraction to Discipline/Logic - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-28-2014, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Distraction to Discipline/Logic

So my daughter is 18-months so I'll be using distraction with her for awhile yet, but she is my first.

I know I can't use distraction forever and at some point children will be aware of what is wrong and right behavior.

What signs would show me when a child is old enough to go beyond distraction?
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#2 of 7 Old 09-30-2014, 06:46 PM
 
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I kind of did both at the same time with mine. That is, while distracting, would often combine it with what I hoped they'd learn in the future: "Here's your stuffed octopus, your brother's having a turn with the wooden vegetables right now." "See the pretty butterfly in this front yard here? Running into the street without looking is dangerous." It was just noise when they were very young, but it made for a pretty smooth transition.

This method did backfire in a pretty cute way once, though. My two were around 3 and 6 and used to the way I talked to them, and I blurted something to an 18-month-old at playgroup about "Dude, that's a safety issue." In my defense, while handing him a safe toy. But cue loud guffaws from the other moms. :-)

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989) and DS2 (1992). Caregiver to my mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
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#3 of 7 Old 10-03-2014, 05:37 AM
 
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It was just noise when they were very young, but it made for a pretty smooth transition.

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#4 of 7 Old 10-13-2014, 06:55 AM
 
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Be careful about getting into the habit of reacting to bad behavior with little lectures about right and wrong. Sometimes this attention can encourage the very thing you are trying to get rid of. It can be better to react to good behavior by explaining why it's so good while ignoring annoying but harmless bad behavior.

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#5 of 7 Old 10-14-2014, 12:05 PM
 
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Here are some of my thoughts on toddler discipline:
http://articles.earthlingshandbook.o...-consequences/
http://articles.earthlingshandbook.o...ee-easy-steps/

Rather than thinking about "wrong and right behavior" with a focus on morality, think about showing your child What We Do, the rules that we follow, using your example as well as your verbal explanation. "We hold hands in the parking lot." is an example I remember clearly from my own childhood. I felt that my parents were more experienced people who were kindly showing me what we people do. I have tried to have this attitude with my children.

Maria's first example is a good one, but I wouldn't say this:
Quote:
"See the pretty butterfly in this front yard here? Running into the street without looking is dangerous."
What does "dangerous" mean? I am looking at a butterfly.

When my child does something dangerous, my reaction shows him that I am afraid for his safety. I remove him from risk and then tell him specifically what the risk is: "The cars are going fast. They are big and could really hurt you! Never go into the street without a grownup. We have to be very careful so we don't get hit by a car." Also, beginning with a baby riding in the sling, I talk about the skills I use to decide when it is safe to cross the street, so that by the time my son was big enough to cross on his own, he was aware of the rules and of the need to watch out for drivers who are breaking their rules.

Mary has a good point about avoiding lecturing, and focusing on good behavior rather than harmless bad behavior. Even when a bad behavior is not harmless (for example, hollering that hurts your ears or scratching the furniture with a fork), once you have stopped the behavior and briefly explained the problem, move on; resist the urge to harangue the kid about how bad it was. Focus on what you want, not what you don't want.
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#6 of 7 Old 10-15-2014, 11:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Here are some of my thoughts on toddler discipline:
http://articles.earthlingshandbook.o...-consequences/
http://articles.earthlingshandbook.o...ee-easy-steps/

Rather than thinking about "wrong and right behavior" with a focus on morality, think about showing your child What We Do, the rules that we follow, using your example as well as your verbal explanation. "We hold hands in the parking lot." is an example I remember clearly from my own childhood. I felt that my parents were more experienced people who were kindly showing me what we people do. I have tried to have this attitude with my children.

Maria's first example is a good one, but I wouldn't say this: What does "dangerous" mean? I am looking at a butterfly.

When my child does something dangerous, my reaction shows him that I am afraid for his safety. I remove him from risk and then tell him specifically what the risk is: "The cars are going fast. They are big and could really hurt you! Never go into the street without a grownup. We have to be very careful so we don't get hit by a car." Also, beginning with a baby riding in the sling, I talk about the skills I use to decide when it is safe to cross the street, so that by the time my son was big enough to cross on his own, he was aware of the rules and of the need to watch out for drivers who are breaking their rules.

Mary has a good point about avoiding lecturing, and focusing on good behavior rather than harmless bad behavior. Even when a bad behavior is not harmless (for example, hollering that hurts your ears or scratching the furniture with a fork), once you have stopped the behavior and briefly explained the problem, move on; resist the urge to harangue the kid about how bad it was. Focus on what you want, not what you don't want.
Yeah, I ordered the sentences in the butterfly example poorly. And of course the reaction would happen first -- snag the kid before s/he runs into the road, or whatever -- use the plainest language about cars hurting you. And wrt the OP's question about the transition from reason to distraction, I usually went with something like "Running into the street without looking is dangerous. See the pretty butterfly in this front yard here?"

Sorry for phrasing it badly, that did muddle the meaning (unless butterflies really *are* dangerous -- doubt it!). But I definitely believe in saying something after the fact, even before your child understands completely. I mean briefly, not too much blah-blah-blah.

As for "right and wrong," what made teaching my kids that easiest for me was we didn't have a complicated set of rules -- don't-hurt-anyone-don't-break-anything. "That could cut your brother" or "That could break the oscilloscope" would do the trick. And I'd stop there. Again, not too much blah-blah-blah. They learned most from our behavior and our treatment of them.

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989) and DS2 (1992). Caregiver to my mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
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#7 of 7 Old 10-16-2014, 06:45 PM
 
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We had very few rules when the kids were little, so concepts of right and wrong didn't enter in to it. We always hold hands in parking lots or when crossing the street. We always wear seat belts. We don't do things that make sister cry. Mostly, I sat my kids up to be good through a combination of keeping their environment so they were free to explore, and keeping a very few, very clear, very consistently followed rules, and making sure they got enough rest.

When I re-directed behavior, I tried to explain why while giving them a better option "We don't pull kitty's tail because it hurts her and makes her feel sad, but we do pet kitty gently on the back, which makes her happy." I tried to teach them empathy with what others were experiencing, and pets and sibling gave lots of opportunities for that.

I also worked on teaching them routines, which I made pictures charts for -- a bed time routine, a morning routine, and a leaving the house routine.

As far as issues that many people consider morality, such as sex, drugs, alcohol, etc., that didn't come in until much later, and I focused on teaching them to think through how various choices will play out in their lives, and making choices that will serve them well.

But for me, if you've thought through how your actions affect others and how they will play out in your own life, that's really about all there is to right and wrong.

but everything has pros and consĀ  shrug.gif

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