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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A lot of my friends are into gentle discipline and some of their kids are REALLY wild. Hitting, throwing things, with little or no consequences. I'm starting to believe in firmer discipline...not spanking or anything...but these kids need to know that their behavior is unacceptable.<br><br>
What are your thoughts on this?
 

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It sounds like a case of confusing "gentle discipline" with "no discipline" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> .<br><br>
I think that it is more than possible to have kids who understand limits and boundaries without having been terrorized to get that way. I practice gentle discipline but you would probably think that I am pretty strict - I don't allow my child to be sassy (LOL although she can be!), destructive, or any of the other wild things that kids can be. I don't punish her or yell or scream (well, I've had an occasional slip but it's been very few) and I certainly would never humiliate or hit.<br><br>
Discipline is not punishment - it's a way of teaching children acceptable forms of behavior. It is ongoing and occurs before and during behaviors, not just afterwards the way "punishment" does. I choose to do it gently with lots of respect and understanding. In short, I treat my daughter the way I hope she'll treat me. And in many ways she does, but she is still quite young and needs my guidance.<br><br>
It took a long time for DH to come around to my way of thinking because he, too, associated "gentle discipline" with permissiveness or no discipline. He now sees the light!<br><br>
I am ready a great book called "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" which is about having a love-based relationship with your child rather than one based in fear. I highly recommend it to your friends (if you think they'd read it).
 

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Indeed, gentle discipline and the absence of discipline are not synonomous. Period.<br><br>
If a child is hitting in an unsafe manner (as in another person, animal, etc.) and mom and dad turn a blind eye, this is not gentle discipline. It is the absence of discipline. If on the other hand, mom and dad are intervening before someone gets hurt to explain to their darling child that "hitting others is not ok, it hurts" but let the child then know that hitting a drum or the floor or a the bottom of this pot with this here wooden spoon... well then, that's my definition of gentle discipline.<br><br>
It is every minute of everyday, it's repetitive as children need lots and lots (AND LOTS) of reminders. It's getting creative and choosing your battles (is this truly harmful or do I just find it annoying?). The bottom line is one of respect, kindness... two very important things I want to pass onto my DS.<br><br>
I also have a book recommendation: <i>Kids Are Worth It!</i> -- Giving your child the gift of inner discipline, by Barbara Coloroso.<br><br>
Best to you!
 

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Embee wrote:<br>
"It is every minute of everyday, it's repetitive as children need lots and lots (AND LOTS) of reminders. It's getting creative and choosing your battles (is this truly harmful or do I just find it annoying?). The bottom line is one of respect, kindness... two very important things I want to pass onto my DS."<br><br>
Well said!!!!!!! I totally agree.<br><br><br>
I also really like the book "Kids are Worth It"<br><br><br>
I think it's really quite impossible to know the real inner-workings of another family. You get social glimpes of them, maybe many times, but still there is a lot of complexities behind closed doors that you cannot know. So I would be slow to credit obnoxious behavior with "gentle discipline" choices.<br>
Also, children aren't adults and when they're spirits are left intact they can be very gleeful, engergetic, even obnoxious at times. Children who are truly respected are the least likely to hit or be physically or emotionally aggressive towards others.
 

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I totally agree that no discipline or, I'd even go so far to say, "weak discipline" is not the same as gentle discipline. I too have seen children runnign wild and their parents making some weak willy-nilly attempt to either re-direct them or to stop the behavior. That, to me, is not only weak discipline but totally ineffectual. Also, I think people confuse gentle discipline with never being able to show your displeasure. For example, if your child hits another child, I have seen parents run up to them and tell them in this little sing-songy voice, "That's not nice," or something to that effect. You can tell, from the mischevious look on the child's face, that they just don't get it. Of course, it happense 2 seconds later. I think you have to put some force and effect into your words, without screaming or yelling, of course.<br><br>
Gentle discipline is still about raising respectful and well-behaved children without scaring them into acting that way or teaching them through spanking/yelling. But, when parents go too far in the opposite extreme, then you have little tyrants on your hands, IMO, because there is a lack of discipline.<br><br>
Finding that balance is a little tough sometimes, but well worth the effort! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Indeed delightedmama! To paraphrase the the wise words of Barbara Coloroso (Kids Are Worth It!): <b>It is entirely possible to enforce your standards <i>and</i> keep your child's diginity in tact.</b>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for your replies. I think the people I am referring to use what you might call weak discipline but they think they are using gentle discipline. When their kids do something like hitting, they tell them not to in a way that almost sounds like a question or in a weak tone of voice. I think they are scared of their children's meltdowns, actually. So they try to say something to pacifies other parents while avoiding conflict with their child.<br><br>
Anyway, I appreciate the input and will check out those books.
 
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