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So, am I a freak?<br><br>
I’m struggling with Aya right now. We’re having lots of ‘consequences’ because we’re not in sync.<br><br>
I find it difficult to be totally aware of my intent when these consequences come up.<br><br>
Often there is a “logical consequence” but it could also be looked at as a punishment of sorts. This is a challenge because I *think* my intent is non-punitive.<br><br>
Example:<br><br>
*Aya leaves a toy at a friend’s house. We either don’t go get it until after gymnastics or we get it right then and miss gymnastics.<br><br><br>
What concerns me is that there is a really fine line here between the reality of the situation and punishment. I can see how just a simple twist of words or thought changes one into the other. When I’m frustrated an run down it gets even more difficult and I can feel me leaning towards the twist that feels punitive.<br><br>
Does anyone else have this problem?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">*Aya leaves a toy at a friend’s house. We either don’t go get it until after gymnastics or we get it right then and miss gymnastics.</td>
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I can't see where this has anything to do w punishment, unless she is insisting on one solution and you impose the other. Just let her decide which she wants to do....then you are talking pure natural consequences.<br>
Do you have another example?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>IdentityCrisisMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I can see how just a simple twist of words or thought changes one into the other. When I’m frustrated an run down it gets even more difficult and I can feel me leaning towards the twist that feels punitive.</div>
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I have this problem sometimes, and, from a btdt pov, it feels like it comes in phases. Meaning, dd is going thru some sort of difficult phase, or mama is going thru some sort of difficult phase (a horrid week or pms...a stressful situation...etc), and it plays out in our relationsihp. Less patience, less tolerance, more punitive phrasing. And, IME, dd can always hear that bit of exasperation and control in my tone/phrasing, and invariably becomes even less cooperative. Talk about your vicious circles <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> .
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>IdentityCrisisMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What concerns me is that there is a really fine line here between the reality of the situation and punishment. I can see how just a simple twist of words or thought changes one into the other. When I’m frustrated an run down it gets even more difficult and I can feel me leaning towards the twist that feels punitive.<br><br>
Does anyone else have this problem?</div>
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Yes! All of the time!<br><br>
With your example -<br><br>
Aya: I left my toy.<br>
You: We can go get your toy. If we go now, we won't make it to gymnastics on time. Or we can go to gymnastics first and go get it after. Which would you like to do?<br><br>
There's nothing punishment oriented about that scenario at all. You can't warp time. You've given her the reality of the choices. If she chooses to go get it now, you might remind her that she will miss gymnastics, but follow through with her choice (unless she changes her mind) - you're giving it to her to make.<br><br>
But suppose you phrase it something like, "You'll just have to leave it there because we need to go to gymnastics first, unless you want to go get it now and then I can't take you to gymnastics." It sounds more as though you're inflicting something on her. (Of course, it's also about tone, right? It's always about tone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )<br><br>
Ds and I run into this same sort of thing seemingly <b>zillions</b> of times daily. When I'm stressed, irritated, tired, whatever, my tone and word choice conveys punishment. When I'm not, I can translate the same idea in words and a tone that convey understanding and facilitate problem-solving. It's incredible to see the difference in the way he reacts, too.<br><br>
If you think about it, it's exactly the same with the adults in our life (though we don't have the ability to punish them - not in the same way, at least). Word choice and tone are critical in communication (the reason that therapists tout the "I hear you saying _______. Is that what you mean?" model of communication.
 

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I'm confused She forgot the toy you are on the way to gymnastics she's not going to need the toy at gymnastics it can wait until after. If you go get the toy you miss gymnastics for something that she couldn't even play with during that time. Other thing I'm confused on...Why would you need to give her the choice that may or may not sound punitive? Why not<br><br>
Aya: Mommy I forgot my toy.<br>
Mommy: thank you for telling Mommy, We can pick it up after gymnastics okay.<br><br>
Nothing punitive about it.<br>
You have made a decision that is reasonable and meets both objectives go to gymnastics and get the toy. JMO
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>coopnwhitsmommy</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Nothing punitive about it.<br>
You have made a decision that is reasonable and meets both objectives go to gymnastics and get the toy. JMO</div>
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It seems reasonable to the parent, but not necessarily to the child. My son would want more say in the decision than that - well, depending upon his mood. If he were in an abnormally complacent mood, he would simply say, "Okay." Normally, though, he would probably say that he didn't want to wait. He might make the choice to wait, though, if he knew that getting it now would mean he would miss a favorite class.<br><br>
I think some children are okay with decisions being made for them while others need all of the information and crave input. When I make a unilateral decision, it's because it's something very important that really needs to be done a certain way. I still involve him, but the involvement is more of an explanation of the situation and why it's necessary to do something. If I do that with every little thing, he starts to feel micro-managed and his behavior tanks.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Dragonfly</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It seems reasonable to the parent, but not necessarily to the child. My son would want more say in the decision than that - well, depending upon his mood. If he were in an abnormally complacent mood, he would simply say, "Okay." Normally, though, he would probably say that he didn't want to wait. He might make the choice to wait, though, if he knew that getting it now would mean he would miss a favorite class.<br><br>
tanks.</div>
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What about kids that don't fully understand their decisions. If the child decides to go get the toy now not fully understanding that it is an either or situation, then they get thier toy but don't get to go to gymnastics. couldn't that seem "unreasonable" to the child? * I forgot my toy I decided to go back to get it and I didn't get to go to my class "boo hoo" * So no matter how you cut the cake someone is going to get the smaller piece KWIM?
 

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That definitely happens. But when there's a choice between empowering him to make the decision up front (as opposed to making the unilateral decision without giving him information, which would probaby not make any sense to him) and having to deal with fallout from a decision that he regrets, I'd choose the latter. It's the one that brings a chance for learning.<br><br>
GD isn't about making everyone happy all of the time. We all know that's impossible.... even though we might strive for it, anyway. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Yeah. Avoiding punishment, including logical consequences, doesn't mean the child will always be happy with the way things work out. That's an impossibility. The difference is that I've there sympathizing and problem-solving and looking for the best solution, rather than creating (or exacerbating) the unhappy situation and being unsympathetic about it.<br><br>
Dar
 

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i get it. i do it. i hear it. i'm sure dds hear it in my voice. dh hears it. in my good mommy moments the scenario might go like this:<br><br>
dd -- i left my toy!<br><br>
'mommy -- (with empathy) oh no! i'm so sorry. we can go pick it up after gymnastics or we can go back and get it now, but that'll make us late to gym.<br><br>
or the cranky mommy way...<br><br>
dd: i left my toy!<br><br>
mommy: (exasperatedly) well, we'll be late to gym if we go back and get it now. do you want it now or do you want to get it after gymnastics?<br><br>
i'm no GD poster mom and find myself on the exasperated end of things way too much. i'm much better if i can try to remind myself to be empathetic.
 

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This is an interesting thread. I hope no one minds if I offer a different scenario with a similar dilemma... I was actually thinking about it this morning, musing about another GD thread of yours, ICM. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Child is playing with another individual. Child does something undesirable (hits, throws toy at person, or something like that). Person decides not to play with child.<br><br>
If this were another child (sibling or playmate) who decides not to play, then it would be a natural consequence. But if it's a parent, it seems less so. Maybe a logical consequence, but that is just a euphemism for punishment. I think in this case the parent's tone and approach are key to whether or not this outcome is punitive or not. What do y'all think?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>beccaboo</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">…Child does something undesirable (hits, throws toy at person, or something like that). Person decides not to play with child.<br><br>
If this were another child (sibling or playmate) who decides not to play, then it would be a natural consequence. But if it's a parent, it seems less so. Maybe a logical consequence, but that is just a euphemism for punishment. I think in this case the parent's tone and approach are key to whether or not this outcome is punitive or not. What do y'all think?</div>
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Yea, I think the tone and approach are a big, huge thing.<br><br>
I personally, don’t think logical consequences are always punitive but I could *still* be confused by this. I do know other people feel this way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
The situation you described is a perfect one because it’s what I was talking about when I was saying that our lives are just so entwined.<br><br>
And, you’re right ~ that this situation seems like a ‘natural consequence’ unless it’s the parent. I think it can still be a ‘natural consequence’ with the parent but, like you said, it has to do with intention.<br><br><br>
I was also thinking of this in terms of sleep. We co-sleep and Aya still requires quite a bit of hands on nighttime parenting. So, the consequence of her not sleeping well is that she’s tired, maybe cranky the next day. Problem is that this is also the consequence for me.
 

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I don't play with people who are hitting me. I usually say exactly that when it comes up, too. It's not a punishment or a conseqence, it's my boundary, what I'm willing to do.<br><br>
At various times I've also had boundaries about reading to people after midnight, because that was an issue - I'd be all snuggled down and tired and Rain would ask me to read to her. Not a punishment, or consequence for not asking sooner - just not something I'm willing to do. If it was a big issue I could reconsider, but generally it wasn't...<br><br>
Dar
 

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It is hard for me to know the difference sometimes. The confusing factor is generally my guilt. Whatever it is inside of me that tells me that I have to always be patient, forgiving, and long suffering. But it isn't doing my child any favors to continue suffering at his hands until I loose my cool and snap.<br><br>
I think age is a factor too. Maybe I continue to try to play with a 2 yo. who has just hit me. But probably not with a 4 yo. who has just hit me. Because I have a good idea that my 4 yo. has better impulse control and is better able to cope with a few minutes of playing alone than the 2 yo. KWIM?<br><br>
Anyway -- I felt a definate "shift" in where I set my personal boundries when my sons each reached 4 years old. Kind of <i>"Okay -- I am a person too and you are old enought to "get that" now."</i> I don't hold people on my lap who pinch my stomach. I don't answer people who scream in my face. I don't play with people who hit me. I don't jump up every 15 seconds to get drinks and snacks and slippers for people who can do it themselves. (Though maybe once or twice if I am asked nicely or someone is having a hard time.) I can still love them and be sympathetic to their struggles. But how does it help either of us, or our relationship, if I fail to set boundries?<br><br>
Another issue for me is -- that am the person in my son's lives who models womanhood. And they way they treat me might well be the way they treat other women they are intimate with. So I think it matters a great deal where I set my personal boundries.<br><br>
Of course -- they are both well past the toddler years, very verbal, and distinctly capable of self-control and reasonable thinking.
 

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Mamaduck, what a wise observation about modeling womanhood to your sons! I think that is really significant.<br><br>
I have realized the same thing recently, about setting boundaries. It's been a hard lesson for me because my Mom wasn't good at setting them. But I am only doing my dd a diservice by not giving her limits.<br><br>
Back to the original post, I certainly am having trouble differentiating between punitive intents, and teaching ones. 4 months ago, I would have veiwed my recent efforts as being punitive, but I am revising my ideas.<br><br>
I can relate to the post about playing with other children. Since she has been at daycare, she has come home and started to yell, "Go away!" This is something that has been said to her by one little boy in daycare. They say it because she's younger and er, less "socialized" (translation: not been in full time daycare like all 5 of the others). She tends to hit, and wreck other kid's creations. Now, while that is a "natural consequence", it's not a very positive one for anyone. They tell me she is doing better, but I have my doubts about what she is learning from this. She brings it home and yells it to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I have actually found sometimes the reverse of the "tone" to be true. DD can tell when I am tired and not going to follow through with a request and enforce it. Lately, a firmer "tone" is more effective.<br><br>
Jessica
 
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