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Hi mamas,


I have been thinking hard about what led me to gentle discipline.... and I thought it might be fun to start a thread:

How do you mamas define your own goals and purposes in choosing gentle discipline? What attracted you to this way of disciplining?

Hilary :bf
mother to
Nora Jade (5) and
Miles (2)
 

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My goal: to give boo the start in life that he needs, to teach him and to nurture him

What attracted me? well, we do gentler than gentle discipline. I totally do not believe in punishment at all and we're not into coercion. it just seems to be the ~way~
 

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I want my girls to see their relationship with me as a place of refuge, the one place they can retreat to for honesty, unconditional love, and support. I want to teach them and have them trust me, not fear me. I want to preserve the gentle souls that I see in them.
I was only spanked three times in my life and I remember all three times vividly. It was a traumatic, humiliating experience that did nothing to teach me about what was right and wrong. I felt misunderstood and worse yet, that why I acted the way I did was less important than pretending to do things "right" so as not to incur my father's wrath. I never want to be responsible for making my children feel that way.
 

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I came to GD roundabout, and am still learning about it. I LOVE the philosophies and tools and have found it to work wonders with my spirited kiddo.
Before learning about GD, however, my original parenting goal was to model the behavior that I want my dd to learn. That naturally excludes hitting, yelling, and other conventional parenting "tools", and emphasizes patience, compassion, attentiveness, and good humor. So that is still my main goal: to raise a happy, healthy, well adjusted, socially competent person.
 

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My major goal in even thinking about using gentle discipline with my kids is to foster internal motivation in my kids to behave properly. That is to say, I'm seeking to teach them "self-discipline".

I see far too many ppl who can't tell themselves no or can not see a reason NOT to something beyond the fact that they'll "get in trouble" if they do it. It goes both ways though. I know just as many people who can't see a reason to do something GOOD for someone else or even for themselves without a distinct reward being waved in front of their face (i.e. money).

I want my children to be internally motivated to behave in mature fashion. I think gentle discipline is the way to go to teach that. Punishments and rewards do nothing but confuse the child to the real reason why to act a certain way.

But furthermore, I wouldn't want to discipline harshly even if it did have benefits. It goes against my motherly instinct to hit, yell or belittle.

Kylix
 

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I think discipline is how we demonstrate to our children what it means to be a human being.

My long range goal is to facilitate their growth as persons who can love and be loved at their fullest potential -- nurture and be nurtured as part of the human race. The beautiful thing is that they are born quite able to do these things already, and predisposed to develop their skills further -- so that discipline becomes merely the process of guiding their growth as their ability to negotiate relationships broadens and deepens.

I was drawn to GD because more authoritarian methods were not demonstrating humanity to my child, and were not nurturing his ability to love or be loved. Instead, those methods were compromising the strength and closeness of his most fundamental social relationship -- his relationship with his parents. While some desired behaviors were being successfully cohearsed, his ability to truly love and be loved was being undermined. So we made a change.

In any given circumstance, discipline may enforce or discourage a particular behavior. But I've learned that the *way* we discipline teaches our children the most about "how to be." They internalize our methods as well as the lessons we try to tach via. those methods. The way we treat our children is very likely the way they will learn to treat other people. If we try to manipluate, cohearse, threaten or dominate our children, they will learn that human beings are meant to treat each other in this way. On the other hand, if we treat our children humanely -- they will learn that people are meant to be good to each other. If we treat our children respectfully, they will learn that human beings are meant to honor autonomy in each other. If we treat our children with dignity and strength, they will help to shape a stronger and kinder culture.
 

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i just want dd to be happy when she grows up. i htink the stuff that happens in our childhood has a profound effect on our ability to feel truly happy. so gd just seems like the obvoius route to some of the key elements in real happiness- feeling connected to others, loving oneself, an ability to express feelings and needs in order to get those needs met, oh, and a whole gaggle of ohter stuff it is too late to think of.
 

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i want my child to look to me for love and understanding, for guidance and respectful discussion.
i do not want her to look at me with fear and loathing as i looked at my parents.
 

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My goal is to preserve my daughter's person, for her to remain "intact" and as whole a person as she was when born.

Non-gentle discipline tactics teach children to hide, suppress, and even loathe the parts of themselves that cause their parents to hit/belittle/disrespect/invalidate them. The curious child who is told "no" over and over again will soon shut down their curiosity. The sensitive child who is scolded for crying or protesting unfairness will soon grow to harden themselves. We then grow up as damaged adults who have "issues" and "buttons" that are pushed, and it is usually our life partner who ends up having to deal with it, causing us difficulties in our adult relationships.

(note: this is based on Harville Hendrix's Imago theory, so I can't claim all of this as my own discovery; I just know it totally rings true for me, and that's why GD "fits" so well into my ideal of parenting)
 

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my goal with gentle discipline is to help keep my dds' emotional core intact.
i consider gentle discipline more of a value than a goal---for instance, monogomy isn't a goal in my marriage that we shoot for, it's a value.
 

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Got around to GD after realizing that I wasn't parenting the way I was parented ... my folks didn't consciously "gentle discipline" us, but their personalities just made it that way. There were a few incidents that were antithetical to GD, but those were stark exceptions, and (not justifying them but) always in response to some pretty severe naughtiness ...

Found myself just flying off the handle and behaving like a stranger. Truth be told, was behaving like DH.
And he has mega-enormous anger issues. Fascinating how the lowest common denominator can take hold in a house ...


Then found this site and have just become obsessed with it. It works.

Piglet68 ... So interesting ... DH was so totally out of the loop with GD, and so totally uninterested in changing his (bad) habits until we heard a rabbi who is also an Imago therapist speaking about raising emotionally healthy children. Everything that was said rang so true, and was a real eye-opener for DH ... not that he's totally in the loop
, but he's at least aware that the loop is not just me being loopy, IYKWIM ... :LOL
 

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I don't know if this is really a goal, but the reasons I choose gentle discipline are are selfish. I interact with my children this way because it is the way I can go to sleep each night, it is the way I can live up to my own morals and values, it is what is right for me. I would not feel right threatening and punishing and doing things because I am bigger and smarter. When I invite someone to my house, this is the way I deal with them- showing them and telling them about customs and rules in our house, while letting them do what they needed and wanted with only a few restrictions of things that are very important to me. Not so much because I want them to grow to be happy, well adjusted people, but just because that is how I have chosen to interact with others in my life. And if I feel that respect for just a friend how could I not apply it to a person that I have created. And I do feel secure that this will lead to people that are as happy and well adjusted as I can take resposibility for, but that is just a side effect of me living and interacting with them in ways that make me happy and well adjusted.


Of course it is not always easy to be moral and follow your values, especially if you have to search for solutions because you have no past experinces of relationships you really want to emulate, but I will make it!
 

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That's a great question, and one that I should give more thought. But, off the cuff...

* Wanting DD to know herself and respect her own feelings and thoughts so that she can grow up to be the person she wants to be

* Showing DD how people in this world can be loving and respectful to each other, "because after all, a person's a person no matter how small" (Dr. Seuss). To carry that further--- no matter how small, what color, what occupation...

* Having DD be happy, both now and when she grows up

* Yes, like Mallory said, because being respectful, loving, and patient with my child is the only way that I can live with myself. I'd feel so rotten if I treated her any other way. Now if I could only treat DH with as much patience....
 
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