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My other thread got me thinking about this: How "gentle discipline" can be interpreted many different ways. I don't think it's a cut and dried way to do things, but a spectrum of philosophies that come from people having different perspectives. I know we all agree that gentle discipline means no physical violence. But what does it mean to you? How do you define it? Go as in depth as you like; give lots of examples. I think it would be a good discussion for this forum so that we can remember that everyone is different and interprets things differently. And we can see where others are coming from and hopefully learn a lot from each other. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I want to treat my ds with respect at all times. I think my role in discipline is to help him learn, not teach him. A subtle difference maybe, but important for me in how I approach discipline<br><br>
I try to put myself in ds's shoes and really think about how he is feeling. This is very helpful to me, especially in those moments when my patience is wearing thin. When I focus on his feelings and really try to empathise with him, I regain my patience.<br><br>
If someone is unhappy, either myself or ds, I try to change that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>abac</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I want to treat my ds with respect at all times. I think my role in discipline is to help him learn, not teach him. A subtle difference maybe, but important for me in how I approach discipline<br><br>
I try to put myself in ds's shoes and really think about how he is feeling. This is very helpful to me, especially in those moments when my patience is wearing thin. When I focus on his feelings and really try to empathise with him, I regain my patience.<br><br>
If someone is unhappy, either myself or ds, I try to change that.</div>
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My interpretarion is very similar to that.<br><br>
Also lately to be honest I started disliking the word "discipline" all together.<br><br>
Having read many posts by wise mamas here and doing some soul-searching I am coming to the conclusion that I am moving into a different "realm" if you will as far as family is concerned. Parenting (for me) can not exist as a singular task. It involves the whole family dynamic.<br><br>
Pat (who chose to no longer post here) helped me define it as "consensual living". So no longer am I concentrating on what I should do "to" my child, but instead on how we *all* live together.<br><br>
I quit looking for "techniques", "rules", and "steps"; for they (for me) entail rigidness that I do not want to have in our family dynamic.<br><br>
We are a close-knit team, despite our age differences (38, 36, 18 and 5)<br><br>
I even started looking at <b>learning</b> from different perspective. I kinda theorized about it in my younger years", LOL, but nowadays I know that I have a solid proof that when a person WANTS to learn something, they will do it with or without help even. And if I am attuned to what somebody in our family wants to learn AND I can help, I help happily (unless the person is set on figuring it out for him/herself)<br><br>
Examples – DS all of a sudden expressed interest in learning to play guitar. I happily helped him, but now he has far surpassed my knowledge on the subject, by doing it with friends, reading books, finding info on the computer and practicing (which alone amazes me: I was "made" to practice piano and I don’t think my practice session were EVER as long as my sons. I could not wait until my practice was over. He can not wait until he gets to practice again)<br><br>
DD learned how to read seemingly by herself. I *did* show letters and read a lot of books (again, because *she* expressed great interest)<br><br>
Some other stuff is learned by example and family practice. We speak two languages at home – DC were never "made" to learn a second language, it just happened. DD loves to help me cook – I have no doubt that she is learning at a speed that I can only envy.<br><br>
And so on and so forth, sorry for a long answer.
 

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This'll be short cuz I'm nak...<br>
GD in our house means no yelling, no shaming, definitely no timeouts! It means not using behaviorism techniques on kids- no positive or negative reinforcement, no punishment, no rewards, etc. It means this because I think kids are innately social, and they don't need reinforcement to do the socially acceptable thing. They WANT to do the right thing, and they need help and guidance to do so, sometimes.<br>
I want to teach the right reasons for doing or not doing things- how ds's actions affect others (the dog doesn't like it when I hit her), not how his actions will affect HIM (I get in trouble if I hit the dog). btw, he only did it a few times, and hasn't done it at all in months.<br>
Basically (to borrow a phrase I see here a lot) I don't think making kids FEEL bad, is the best way to make them "be good"<br><br>
Also, gd means that EVERYONE'S needs/desires/feelings matter. I respect ds's desires, and I think his feelings are legitimate. That leads to us being very low-coercion. Dp is even less coercive than I am. I TRY to be non-coercive. The only time I am comfortable coercing is in situations that are likely to cause harm to someone in the immediate future. And even then, only until we can find an agreeable solution.<br><br>
My siggy says a lot <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I do not post on this forum much anymore because I guess I tick people off. But we strive to live consensually as a family. It does not always work out that way but that is our goal. It is definately not OK in our house for adults to yell, shame, punish, spank, time-out, "consequenses", "behaviorly train", bribe, or asking for "magic words" towards children.
 

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My definition of gentle discipline is to teach without spanking or spoiling. We strive for a family-centered approach. In our paradigm, there is definitely room for consequences, but they are logical or natural, not punitive.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Yooper</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I do not post on this forum much anymore because I guess I tick people off. But we strive to live consensually as a family. It does not always work out that way but that is our goal. It is definately not OK in our house for adults to yell, shame, punish, spank, time-out, "consequenses", "behaviorly train", bribe, or asking for "magic words" towards children.</div>
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Why is asking for <b>magic words</b> bad? I am serious. I really don't know. I am learning lots of new things on this forum and sometimes I come accross to some statments like this one and it really makes me wonder why? I'd love to know more about this one, please.
 

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You know, I was JUST talking with my mom the other day about how what your goals are for your kids (and your goals for your relationship with them)kind of dictates the way you parent. So, I'd rather answer the question "what are my goals for my child(ren)?" and work backwards from there. I don't subscribe to any one set of DOs or DON'Ts of parenting, any one book, or any one theory....but here are my goals for my child(ren):<br><br>
I want them to grow up knowing that all of their thoughts and feelings are valid and acceptable, no matter what they are, and there are constructive and destructive ways to express them. I will steer them towards constructive expressions that do not hurt or insult others around them.<br><br>
I want them to feel like I'm always a safe place they can come to to share anything, and I will help them work through things instead of judging and punishing them.<br><br>
I want them to know that I consider their thoughts and feelings, and they need to consider mine and other people's, and sometimes their desires are not more important that other people's...sometimes things happen the way you want them, sometimes they don't and that's OK (and from this you can see that I'm not a consensual parent. I will do a lot to accommodate my children's desires and make things fun for them, but it is not a deal breaker to me if sometimes they "have" to do things they "don't want to" like go grocery shopping, pick up daddy from work, or any other number of events of daily living).<br><br>
I want them to know that if something happens to disappoint them, they are strong enough to get past it, with or without my help, depending on the situation. I want them to gain perspective and to not sweat the small stuff.<br><br>
I want them to know that doing something you "don't really want to" (in regards to everyday tasks and living) isn't the end of the world, and once it's done you can go on to more enjoyable things.<br><br>
I want them to be able to function in mainstream society, but NOT be complacent or believe that whatever "everyone else is doing" is what they should be doing. I want them to think for themselves and make their own decisions about the way they live. I don't want them to think that mainstream is evil, or that NFL is wacko - neither is true, because life is not that simple.<br><br>
I want them to treat other people the way they would like to be treated. But I also want them to stand up for themselves if they are being hurt, insulted, or endangered. I'd LOVE for them to stand up for others who are being hurt, insulted or endangered...<br><br>
I want them to work with my husband and I together to make our household run smoothly, with neither DH and I being slaves to them, or them being slaves to us.<br><br>
I want them to do the right thing for the right reason, not because they're afraid of what might happen if they don't.<br><br>
I want them to NOT do the wrong thing *because* it's the wrong thing, not just because they're worried about getting caught.<br><br>
I want them to be fulfilled and content with themselves and their lives, but not obsessed with "success" or "failure" as defined by other people.<br><br>
I want them to not care what "other people" think about them, so long as they are being true to themselves and not hurting anyone else.<br><br>
I want them to have fun, but not at anyone else's expense.<br><br>
I want them to be goofy, but know when it's inappropriate.<br><br>
I want them to know that I love and cherish them and have their best interests at heart.<br><br>
I want them to know that I am human and imperfect, and if I do something to offend them that I am truly sorry.<br><br>
I want them to know that <b>I</b> know that <i>they</i> are imperfect and human, and when they make mistakes it's OK.<br><br>
I want them to know that they don't have to be "the best" at everything they do, they should just do *their* best.<br><br>
I want them to know that sometimes they may not like the things I ask them to do or not do, but I don't do it arbitrarily and I certainly don't do it because "I'm the parent". I want them to know it's OK to not like me sometimes.<br><br>
I want them to know that sometimes I might not like what they're doing or saying, but I will ALWAYS <b>LOVE</b> THEM.<br><br><br>
WOW, I want a lot, huh? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
So, here are the ways to <b>NOT</b> achieve what I want...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br>
Hitting them.<br>
Yelling at them. (I know we all lose it - I mean yelling at them regularly)<br>
Expecting too much of them for their age and individual development.<br>
Not expecting enough of them.<br>
Shaming them.<br>
Berating them.<br>
Ignoring them.<br>
Blaming them.<br><br><br>
So, what do I/will I do?<br>
Model my life the way I want them to live theirs.<br>
Provide them with input on how their actions affect others.<br>
Let them know when they've hurt other people, or other people's things, and help them make amends.<br>
Respect them as individuals.<br>
Expect them to respect me and other people.<br>
Take their thoughts and feelings into consideration.<br>
Talk with them about difficult situations and solutions, and sometimes just make the best of it and get things done.<br>
Give them a daily rhythm and routine for security.<br>
Let them know when they're doing or saying something inappropriate, and help them learn something appropriate instead.<br>
Recognize when something is REALLY wrong, and figure out what's going on.<br>
Play with them and be goofy - a LOT.<br><br><br>
I'm sure I missed things, but that's the best I can do right now....if you've made it this far, I'm impressed!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Yin Yang</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why is asking for <b>magic words</b> bad? I am serious. I really don't know. I am learning lots of new things on this forum and sometimes I come accross to some statments like this one and it really makes me wonder why? I'd love to know more about this one, please.</div>
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The issue here isn't that politeness is bad, it's that <b>forced</b> politeness is disingenuous and meaningless.<br><br>
DH and I have modeled please, thank you, and you're welcome from day one with DS in our interactions with him and with each other, and at 2 years old, he pretty much says them 90% of the time on his own with no prompting from us, using them appropriately in every day life (got a chuckle from a grocery store clerk last week who gave him a sticker and he beamed at her and said, "thanks!"). Seriously, just about every time I ask DH or DS for something I use please, and every time I get it I say thank you...it's the way I was raised and it works for us! DH is fortunately the same way, too. Before DS stated talking, I would say these things "for him", another way to model. On the occasions that we're out and about and he doesn't say anything, I say it for him ("DS, that was nice/generous/thoughtful, wasn't it? Thank you very much!") instead of asking him "what do you say?" because that lays the groundwork for the reason behind saying thank you, instead of just a knee jerk reaction because "mom said".<br><br>
I was blown away by another mama here who posted about her child thanking his grandmother for her thoughtfulness in giving him something (because it wasn't soemthing he particularly wanted or liked)....that is ENTIRELY my goal...and will teach my child...even if you don't like the "thing", you can be thankful for the person's generosity and thoughtfulness....however, I think forcing or demanding graciousness is as ineffective as forcing apologies in children, because it doesn't address the reason to be thankful or sorry,and then the child can be resentful that they were made to say the words of something they don't feel...that has to be done behind the scenes, and it can be really effectively "taught" by modeling.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Yin Yang</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why is asking for magic words bad? I am serious. I really don't know. I am learning lots of new things on this forum and sometimes I come accross to some statments like this one and it really makes me wonder why? I'd love to know more about this one, please.</div>
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It is very condescending IMO. I would feel very insulted and put out if I asked my dh for something and he said, "What's the magic word?" I don't think one needs to say "please" and "thank you" to be polite. I've often heard children ask for something without saying please, but without being rude either. I think it is rude to correct them because they didn't say a specific word, when they were in fact asking quite politely.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>abac</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It is very condescending IMO. I would feel very insulted and put out if I asked my dh for something and he said, "What's the magic word?" I don't think one needs to say "please" and "thank you" to be polite. I've often heard children ask for something without saying please, but without being rude either. I think it is rude to correct them because they didn't say a specific word, when they were in fact asking quite politely.</div>
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I agree that it is somewhat manipulative. Right up there with the Barney Clean-Up song actually. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
However, I also think there is nothing wrong with modeling and teaching the conventions of etiquette. In our family, we use 1 Corinthians 13 as a guide for many things. If a child demands something rudely, we might say, "How can you ask in a loving way?" Oftentimes the child will re-ask using please, but just as often they will simply ask in a less demanding tone, or with a hug.
 

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wow. just....wow.<br>
i think my goal is to be just like donosmommy. LOL!<br>
seriously, that is PRECISELY what i would have posted if i were that eloquent and organized. you have hit EVERY SINGLE POINT i've had in my brain. and, if you don't mind, i think i'd like to print out your post and put it on my fridge to remind me of all of those wonderful things you wrote.<br><br>
Brava...and thank you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Yin Yang</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why is asking for <b>magic words</b> bad? I am serious. I really don't know. I am learning lots of new things on this forum and sometimes I come accross to some statments like this one and it really makes me wonder why? I'd love to know more about this one, please.</div>
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I think others answered this the way I would already<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> if you have a great deal of time on your hands, this thread addresses the ins and outs of the issue:<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=379910&highlight=manners" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...hlight=manners</a>
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>donosmommy04</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You know, I was JUST talking with my mom the other day about how what your goals are for your kids (and your goals for your relationship with them)kind of dictates the way you parent. So, I'd rather answer the question "what are my goals for my child(ren)?" and work backwards from there. I don't subscribe to any one set of DOs or DON'Ts of parenting, any one book, or any one theory....but here are my goals for my child(ren):<br><br>
I want them to grow up knowing that all of their thoughts and feelings are valid and acceptable, no matter what they are, and there are constructive and destructive ways to express them. I will steer them towards constructive expressions that do not hurt or insult others around them.<br><br>
I want them to feel like I'm always a safe place they can come to to share anything, and I will help them work through things instead of judging and punishing them.<br><br>
I want them to know that I consider their thoughts and feelings, and they need to consider mine and other people's, and sometimes their desires are not more important that other people's...sometimes things happen the way you want them, sometimes they don't and that's OK (and from this you can see that I'm not a consensual parent. I will do a lot to accommodate my children's desires and make things fun for them, but it is not a deal breaker to me if sometimes they "have" to do things they "don't want to" like go grocery shopping, pick up daddy from work, or any other number of events of daily living).<br><br>
I want them to know that if something happens to disappoint them, they are strong enough to get past it, with or without my help, depending on the situation. I want them to gain perspective and to not sweat the small stuff.<br><br>
I want them to know that doing something you "don't really want to" (in regards to everyday tasks and living) isn't the end of the world, and once it's done you can go on to more enjoyable things.<br><br>
I want them to be able to function in mainstream society, but NOT be complacent or believe that whatever "everyone else is doing" is what they should be doing. I want them to think for themselves and make their own decisions about the way they live. I don't want them to think that mainstream is evil, or that NFL is wacko - neither is true, because life is not that simple.<br><br>
I want them to treat other people the way they would like to be treated. But I also want them to stand up for themselves if they are being hurt, insulted, or endangered. I'd LOVE for them to stand up for others who are being hurt, insulted or endangered...<br><br>
I want them to work with my husband and I together to make our household run smoothly, with neither DH and I being slaves to them, or them being slaves to us.<br><br>
I want them to do the right thing for the right reason, not because they're afraid of what might happen if they don't.<br><br>
I want them to NOT do the wrong thing *because* it's the wrong thing, not just because they're worried about getting caught.<br><br>
I want them to be fulfilled and content with themselves and their lives, but not obsessed with "success" or "failure" as defined by other people.<br><br>
I want them to not care what "other people" think about them, so long as they are being true to themselves and not hurting anyone else.<br><br>
I want them to have fun, but not at anyone else's expense.<br><br>
I want them to be goofy, but know when it's inappropriate.<br><br>
I want them to know that I love and cherish them and have their best interests at heart.<br><br>
I want them to know that I am human and imperfect, and if I do something to offend them that I am truly sorry.<br><br>
I want them to know that <b>I</b> know that <i>they</i> are imperfect and human, and when they make mistakes it's OK.<br><br>
I want them to know that they don't have to be "the best" at everything they do, they should just do *their* best.<br><br>
I want them to know that sometimes they may not like the things I ask them to do or not do, but I don't do it arbitrarily and I certainly don't do it because "I'm the parent". I want them to know it's OK to not like me sometimes.<br><br>
I want them to know that sometimes I might not like what they're doing or saying, but I will ALWAYS <b>LOVE</b> THEM.<br><br><br>
WOW, I want a lot, huh? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
So, here are the ways to <b>NOT</b> achieve what I want...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br>
Hitting them.<br>
Yelling at them. (I know we all lose it - I mean yelling at them regularly)<br>
Expecting too much of them for their age and individual development.<br>
Not expecting enough of them.<br>
Shaming them.<br>
Berating them.<br>
Ignoring them.<br>
Blaming them.<br><br><br>
So, what do I/will I do?<br>
Model my life the way I want them to live theirs.<br>
Provide them with input on how their actions affect others.<br>
Let them know when they've hurt other people, or other people's things, and help them make amends.<br>
Respect them as individuals.<br>
Expect them to respect me and other people.<br>
Take their thoughts and feelings into consideration.<br>
Talk with them about difficult situations and solutions, and sometimes just make the best of it and get things done.<br>
Give them a daily rhythm and routine for security.<br>
Let them know when they're doing or saying something inappropriate, and help them learn something appropriate instead.<br>
Recognize when something is REALLY wrong, and figure out what's going on.<br>
Play with them and be goofy - a LOT.<br><br><br>
I'm sure I missed things, but that's the best I can do right now....if you've made it this far, I'm impressed!</div>
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<br><br>
I think that is the best post by far, at least in my opinion. I agree with you.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> gee, thanks michelemiller and TinkerBelle! I've been thinking of things to add all morning, but my post was already long enough....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> I've really enjoyed thinking about this, and glad some have liked my post. By all means, print it if you want to! I've tucked away many things other mamas have said her onto a MS Word document for future reference!! Thanks again for the compliments! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 
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