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...and how does it differ from Gentle Discipline?

Thanks for the perspectives!
Positive Discipline refers to a disicpline approach that, typically, is non punitive.

Gentle Disicpline refers to the same, but is often associated with Christian parenting (in contrast to the icky, abuse, punitive programs that are often found in that community.) "Gentle" also, IMO, refers to a younger age and also attachment minded parenting.

They are similar. They are also defined in many ways. Some people who claim positive discipline are comfortable with having a measure of authority/coercion in their home. Some who claim PD are more autonomy minded and avoid coercion, even and especially coercion with a smile.

What all the labels share is they don't believe that a child needs punishment to learn.
 

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Can somebody expound on this? i am from the "traditional, Christian, spanking, grounding, Daddy is the BOSS" home. How does this look on a day to day basis? Do you have children that you could take to a wedding and expect to sit through the ceremony? how do you deal with your teenager who comes home after curfew? Do you teach babies that there are things they can't touch? etc. etc. etc.
 

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How does this look on a day to day basis? Do you have children that you could take to a wedding and expect to sit through the ceremony? how do you deal with your teenager who comes home after curfew? Do you teach babies that there are things they can't touch? etc. etc. etc.
Here is what I've realized after having a positive discipline home for almost as many years as I have had children.

What I do with my kids is everything good parents need to do. They need to do those things even if they include punishment.

Here is a cut and paste from my site:

Let's be honest, and above all, practical. True, quality discipline combines knowledge of age appropriate behaviors, reasonable standards, clear expectations, proactive discipline and consistency. Anything less is not effective discipline. Let's take out the "extremes". Let's remove the heavily punitive parenting in which parents punish and fail to teach positively. And let's remove the pleading, requesting, passive parenting in which parents never establish or enforce rules of conduct. In the middle is the parent who says "stop that" or "do this" and makes it happen. In the middle is the parent who looks at the toddler on the dining room table and removes them while also thinking "This child likes to climb. How can I make that safely happen?" That middle parent may or may not punish. But that (good) parent takes both a proactive approach and a responsive approach to the discipline challenges they face. That good parent uses a bare minimum of physical punishment, if any, but lots of physical redirection in the younger years. Good parenting looks very similar, even if the parent uses punishment. If a good parent uses punishment, it's not often. It's not daily, or weekly. I'm not condoning punishment. I'm making the practical point that good parenting must include the tools I outline in the pages of this site.

Effective Practical Parenting ideas can be used in a home that also reserves punishment as an option. Indeed, it's my hope and desire that each family use these ideas. As you use them, the seeming need for punishment will diminish.

But I'll be honest and tell you that this approach is best utilized in the absence of punishment. If I haven't convinced you to drop punishment altogether, I encourage you to incorporate these ideas into what you are already doing.


The lack of punishment does not equal the lack of standards, expectations and active, engaged parenting. Punishment is not disicpline. It's something that many parents do in addition to discipline.
 

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Originally Posted by dlco
Can somebody expound on this? i am from the "traditional, Christian, spanking, grounding, Daddy is the BOSS" home. How does this look on a day to day basis? Do you have children that you could take to a wedding and expect to sit through the ceremony? how do you deal with your teenager who comes home after curfew? Do you teach babies that there are things they can't touch? etc. etc. etc.
You have a lot of good questions here, Rather than just expound on the day to day stuff I'd like to answer your specific questions.

Yes I have children that I can expect to sit through a wedding ceremony. (Providing I did not have them up half the night on a flight. Which actually did happen and my 3 year old did have an exhausted meltdown during the reception. My fault though not his, not a discipline issue. A sleep/ travel/expecting too much issue. But my kids all have sat through weddings. (although Traditional catholic ceremonies are LONG and I can barely sit through those LOL!)
A teenager who comes home after curfew depends on the why. My 13 year old came home late from the mall and so I was the picking up parent for a while after that. My daughter usually calls if she is going to be late. (but she does push it to the last minute, but who am I to nitpick, she does call). Usually when sheneeds to be home is determined by what plans she has etc. . . So she isnt trying to squeeze something into an arbitrary time frame. If her movie doesnt start till 8, I dont expect her in the door by 10. If she is walking home in the evening alone I want her home by 7. But if I am picking her up from a school football game she can stay till it is over even if it is after 10. Instead of laying a blanket "always be home by 10" on my 13 year old. I work out her plans with her and make sure she has a ride arranged (with me or another parent) to help her live up to her promise. I send her with a cell phone. It rarely is a problem.

I do not teach babies that there are things they cannot touch. I babyproof my home so that they can explore. WHen they are old enough to understand "no" I do start teaching and then expecting them to listen some, but this is not till nearly 2. But still my primary concern is to keep dangerous things and stuff I dont want ruined out of their hands.

My GD home is a lot different than many because I have 3 toddlers and a teenager and it is impossible to keep my entire house childproof. (my teenager is a tornado sometimes) SO we have a big safe playroom that my kids play in. If I need to get somethign done and need to keepthem in there so that they are safe I put a gate up. If I can give them good supervision they do have access to the rest of the house. But this is my way of maintaining sanity. But they arent cryign to be with me or be let out because they are playing with each other. (this would not work with most single children but, then there wouldnt really be a need) If they do need me I am still right there.

I am in the "it IS my responsibility to teach my children life skills and to behave" camp of gd/ pd. (which I think are synonyms. It just depends which book you pick up) without being punitive or yelling or whatever.
I am currently readong Positive Discipline for Adolescents and it is a wonderful book on Teens. I am learning a lot.
Joline
 

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"I do not teach babies that there are things they cannot touch. I babyproof my home so that they can explore. WHen they are old enough to understand "no" I do start teaching and then expecting them to listen some, but this is not till nearly 2. But still my primary concern is to keep dangerous things and stuff I dont want ruined out of their hands."

Yup, me too. I admit that kids can still sometimes get ahold of things that may hurt them. Or try and touch the oven when I'm baking.
In that case, I do rush over and move their hand/the item and say "HOT!" or "OUCH!" and explain why it can hurt them.
 

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dlco - many people confuse GD/PD with permissiveness..."How can they keep in control of their kids without punishing?" I thought this, too, when I joined several online groups/lists 4 yrs. ago...but I believe discipline is *teaching* and punishments are the things heaped on to make the child "learn a lesson".

One of the things that helped me see it a little more clearly was if someone is berating me, am I learning? No, I'm getting mad, and ashamed, etc. The lesson can be taught w/o punishment (I like how HHS puts that it is taught DESPITE punishment).

It's tough to change thinking about it, though...I struggle to this day sometimes with thinking that my child doesn't act remorseful, or look sorry, that I'm not disciplining her. But I do discipline, despite the absence of punishment, and "the I'm not punishing her so she's not being disciplined" stuff that's so culturally ingrained becomes less and less.

I know it's hard to think about "not punishing"...I remember when I first encountered that and though, "Impossible!" But it is possible, and I love how my attitude is different when I change my focus from trying to make my kids feel bad to teaching them.
 

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I think they are basically very similar, but they "feel" different to me, though I think a lot of people would use the terms interchangeably. They both are against spanking, and generally are against arbitrary punishment. And I think both try to shy away from rewards and bribes.
I think positive discipline is more of a set of guidelines- ie. what you should do. And GD is more of a way of being (?) and thinking about children "children are born innately good, and they want to to the socially acceptable thing, and they need information to *learn* what that socially acceptable thing is."
That's not to say that they can't work together. I think, at least in the way that I see the two, positive discipline is easier to grasp, and it's probably the point that most people start out at. Then some might move to gd.
I don't know, I could be just reading way too much into it, but that's how it seems to me.

From the GD guidelines:

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Effective discipline is based on loving guidance. It is based on the belief that children are born innately good and that our role as parents is to nurture their spirits as they learn about limits and boundaries, rather than to curb their tendencies toward wrongdoing. Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behavior and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.
From http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBMayJun05p94.html What is Gentle Discipline?

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Gentle discipline means, quite simply, placing empathy and respect at the very center of your parenting.
As Thomas Gordon uses Positive Discipline here http://www.nospank.net/gordon4.htm, it seems identical to what most people would think of GD.

But in other places, like the following, it seems like there is more focus on the *method* than the *idea* kwim?
http://www.nncc.org/Guidance/cc46_po...iscipline.html
http://www.positivediscipline.com/articles/pdguide.html
http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/c...iscipline.html

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but is often associated with Christian parenting
huh? I don't get that at all. Well, perhaps it is *associated* with Christian parenting, but in reality, it has nothing to do with the religious beliefs of the parents.
 

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huh? I don't get that at all. Well, perhaps it is *associated* with Christian parenting, but in reality, it has nothing to do with the religious beliefs of the parents.
I didn't mean it that way. Obviously, here in an inclusive crowd it doesn't refer to that "Gentle Parenting" is a phrase that has been co-opted by Christians wishing to identify themselves in a way that means they don't embrace the icky parenting paradigms rampant in that community.
 

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Gotcha. So your reference was that some Christians use the term to differentiate themselves from the way people think of mainstream Christian discipline, right? Not a reference to *who* uses gd.
Makes sense. Sorry, I guess I was overly sensitive
 
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