BunnysMomma: in general, I love your posts, and find myself nodding right along with you on so many issues, so if I sound a bit "vehement" here, it's partly because I'm just shocked to read a post of yours that "sets me off" (usually I'm cheering you along)...but I am also upset because your post is perpetuating a negative and false stereotype of something that is strongly advocated for at MDC.
|I know it's *terribly* unpopular on these boards to advocate disciplining children...|
That is so not true!
This is a HUGE misconception about GD. The word "discipline" is *right in the title* (gentle discipline). All children need discipline and there is not a single mama here who would say otherwise. GD is about acheiving discipline while keeping the child's self "intact", about solving the root causes of behaviours, rather than simply suppressing the behaviour by virtue of your bigger size and stronger power. It is absolutely NOT about "letting kids get away with whatever they want".
People who don't discipline their kids are in no way "GD".
I am so tired of being compared to lazy or ineffective parents (and Heavenly, I am in no way referring to you here!).
|....if your son is out of control (which it sounds like he is), it's up to you and your husband to teach him to control himself.|
Or, you could try to find out why he's acting like this and solve the problem at its root, rather than putting a bandaid on it by making his behaviour conform to some "standard" by sheer force of size or will. Yes, there are guidelines and no, hitting should never be allowed. But while taking measures to stop the hitting, never lose track of the fact that there is a root cause for that hitting that needs to be addressed and dealt with. Your basic punishment/time out methods will never address this, and the negative feelings and issues will simply be expressed in some other undesireable form of behaviour. Which you keep quelling with punishment until one day your child has a life of their own outside the home, and starts taking out their negative emotions when you aren't around to punish them, or by self-abuse like drug overuse, etc.....
|...I don't hold with the idea of letting children express themselves in any way they wish, and I don't believe in the idea that parents should never discipline their kids because it's disrespectful to them. (And I'm not saying that you believe these things either ... but since that seems to be the common theme around here, I'm making an assumption.)|
Yes, you are making an assumption. A HUGE assumption which is not only NOT TRUE, but is hurtful and defaming to the concept of Gentle Discipline.
GD is NOT "letting your kid do whatever they want".
GD is NOT "letting your kid hit and punch you"
GD is NOT "doing nothing to discipline your kids".
"Discipline" is NOT "disrespectful to children", and no GD advocate would say that. It's HOW you choose to discipline them that can be disrespectful or not.
|I try to use gentle discipline with my kids, but I also don't have a problem with hauling them into line when they get out of line and can't find their way back on their own.|
Maybe GD isn't a high priority for you (and that's okay - just b/c it is for me doesn't mean it has to be for you) BUT....if there are mamas who want to use GD (or learn more about it), then I think it does them a disservice to not only promote incorrect and negative stereotypes of what GD is, but also to suggest that it can never function as a complete system in and of itself. (and given that you don't seem to understand what GD is, it seems doubly unfair to report that it doesn't always work for you, kwim?).
Not everybody has to resort to "hauling them into line"...it's a matter of priorities. Again, I'm not saying your method is any better or worse than mine, I'm just saying that you seem to be dismissing GD while at the same time perpetuating misconceptions and false stereotypes about what GD is. If GD is a priority to you, there is never a need to resort to "hauling them in line"...you simply go out and educate yourself further, just as you would if you developed mastitis and people told you to just switch to formula. If you don't care either way, then go ahead and take the easy way and switch. But if formula is not an option for you, then go and find out more about mastitis and how to deal with it.
Heavenly: I have heard that 3 is a tough age all around. I encourage you to visit the Gentle Discipline forum because it is FULL of moms who can not only sympathize, but give you tons of fabulous suggestions as to what you can to do help. Personally, it sounds like your son's behaviour is a reflection/expression of what is going on inside him emotionally. NO, you do not have to accept being kicked or hit, nor should anyone else in your family. I also agree with bunnysmama that a babysitter or something could give you the mental break YOU need. But obviously that doesn't solve the issue at hand.
Gentle Discpline is all about Discipline...EFFECTIVE discipline. Discipline that solves the root cause of the problem. It's hard work, and even those of us who couldn't dream of doing anything other than GD are hard pressed to come up with solutions sometimes. The mamas on that board are always full of such wisdom and great ideas and insights....I think it would help you alot.