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I'm fairly new to the idea of gd. I have been trying to improve my discipline methods for less than a year. I thought I was doing fairly well although things have been rough for the past month or so. Anyway, I was rereading How to talk so your kids will listen ... and realized that I am still punishing dd1. I don't know how to get out of punishment mode. I'm not giving time-outs anymore; I realized that I have found new less concrete methods of punishing rather than using my gd skills. For instance, I tell dd1 that I am not going to do x because she did y. I have also noticed that even when I use a gd skill often times my tone, body language etc is conveying punishment. Does that make sense? How do I get past this need/want to punish? I often ask myself why I want her to feel bad when she does something that makes me feel bad (especially when that something shouldn't make me feel bad). I don't know where to go from here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/help.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="help">
 

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Well my advice is maybe to step back a little and think some more....what are the things that "set you off" in your punishing mode? Are those areas in your own life that you have problems with? Are there things you are feeling guilty about because *you* don't handle them well in your own life and it irritates you to see the same in your child? Are there other patterns you can see?<br><br>
It's helped me alot to try to step back and think about my triggers and why they irritate me so much - that usually helps me change the way I'm interacting with DD<br><br>
hth<br>
peace,<br>
robyn
 

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I suggest reading <i>Easy To Love, Difficult To Discipline</i> by Becky Bailey, to supplement How to Talk........It really is a good book and may help you a bit more.<br><br>
In the meantime, I completely understand how you feel and struggled quite a bit for the first 3 years of learning GD daily. Even now, it's still hard sometimes not to go back into that mode. One thing that helped was getting Post it notes and writing sayings, inspiration, and key words to help me stay focused - one being, <i>what am I teaching?</i><br><br>
On the same note, a few weeks ago I was reading Sandra Dodd's site and came across this reply to an essay she wrote:<br><a href="http://sandradodd.com/wordswords" target="_blank">http://sandradodd.com/wordswords</a><br><br><i>I've mentioned before about a parenting class I took at Cameron's school — way back when he was still in school. As usual, the people who attended the parenting classes (by choice) are the ones that need it the least! But there were still a few....<br><br>
One was Margaret. She had two daughters — like six and eleven or so. I forget ages exactly.<br><br>
One of her examples of her child's disregard for her authority (!) was that, in the mornings, as they pulled out of the drive-way, she would "ask" her older daughter to get out and toss the newspaper on her elderly neighbor's porch. The daughter had NO desire to accomodate, but after threats and bribes, she'd get out and begrudgingly pick up the paper and put it on the porch. It was a fight every single morning. Margaret wanted a way to get the daughter to pick up the paper *on her own*.<br><br>
Withholding allowance, grounding, other punishments/threats were suggested. I offered that she should just go out, cheerfully place the paper on the porch, and get back in the car, and MODEL the behavior she was after — for a long time. She should also mention how much she likes Mrs. SoandSo and how hard it is for her to walk so far for her paper. Maybe how good it makes her feel to be doing something good for Mrs. SoandSo. She did — with good results, especially from the younger daughter.<br><br>
My point is this: She was looking to TEACH her daughter that helping others is a nice way to be. What the daughter was LEARNING, on the other hand, was that bullying another person is the way to get what you want.<br><br>
In school, my history teacher thought that he was TEACHING me about Elizabethan England. In reality, I LEARNED that history sucks! I actually love many periods in history, just not *his* favorite time period. By spending so much time there, he turned me off history altogether. Took me a long time to "re-learn" that history is fascinating.<br><br>
Parents think that they are TEACHING respect and obedience by spanking their kids. In reality, what the children LEARN is that the bigger and meaner you are, the more power you can wield.<br><br>
Parents think that TEACHING their children to do chores will result in industrious, responsible children. In reality, the children LEARN that they can make someone else clean — or expect someone else to do it. By watching you *do for* them, they LEARN that cleaning/helping/doing is a pleasant and joyful thing.<br><br>
What is TAUGHT and what is LEARNED can be two completely different things.<br></i><br><br>
The mindset seemed rather appropriate here. Anyhow, it struck a chord with me and I saved it into a word file I keep of inspirational little tidbits now. It put into words something that I struggle with.
 

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Mamabear, thank you for your post! I am so inspired by your authenticity and your commitment to looking into a way out of a discipline method that doesn't feel right to you. That's super cool and always a sign of an awesome parent imo <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
It sounds like you touched on your needs and intuitive feelings. Those can be expressed in a way that doesn't portray guilt. I'll say to my ds, "I need to feel safe and healthy. Stepping on my feet hurts me. Would you be willing to touch me in a gentle way?" If he isn't willing, I move away and repeat my needs. But I still attempt a connection and would say something like, "You can come and hug me instead of stepping on my feet - hugs make me happy and I love your yummy arms." I love the post that suggested modeling behavior - we do a lot of that and we do a lot of empathy building.<br><br>
We have a lot of conversations in non-judgmental tones that explore what feels good, what makes people happy/sad, and what is helpful & generous.<br><br>
I can't recommend enough Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting book, which sounds like it might be helpful and very motivating if you are looking for something to get you away from conditional forms of discipline.<br>
HTH!
 
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