it's your friendly neighborhood gentle discipline author again....
I have been thinking about how people want a discipline method that "works." And of course looking to the future for evidence of effectiveness is not very practical, and very open to interpretation. It seems to me that the proof is in the pudding, the day-to-day pudding. I see so many ways in which gentle discipline is tangibly meeting my children's needs, the more respectful and more empathic the better as far as my effectiveness as a "disciplinarian."
I think for instance of my daughter's defiant face when in the past I have tried to STOP her from hitting her brother (through lectures, etc
). Comletely useless, only made an enemy out of myself in addition to her brother! I contrast this with her open and hopeful face when I find a way to align with her, validating her anger and genuinely trying to help her find an effective outlet for it, respecting her need to make her own choice. Indeed when my intervention has resulted in her using her words and finding a real solution to her sibling conflicts it has ONLY been in those instances when I was able to "align with" rather than oppose her. And it's not only measured by my effect on her behavior. Her open face lets me know that we are in dialogue, that she is trusting me to have her interests at heart, and there is a possibility that I can help her. At the very least it lets me know that we are still connected, that our relationship is in tact!
The defiant face, triggered by more oppositional approaches, lets me know that I have broken of connection with her and cannot help her find her own way through her problem.
So that example is a bit longwinded, but I'm wondering, mamas, how do you see the "effectiveness" or the evidence that gentle discipline is "working" in your house? I am eager to sort of bring these pieces to light in order to encourage other parents to see these signs of success as they go along. Please share your examples, gentle discipline mamas!
to Nora Jade
(5) and Miles
PM me or email me if you want to hear more about my book project...My email is: hilary "at" nursingtwo "dot" com