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  • DWD: How to tell if it's teaching or a punishment

    I appreciate this "test" found on page 18 of Discipline Without Distress:

    - Would I want it done to me?
    - Does it help my child develop a valuable life skill?
    - Will it build our relationship or harm it?

    I think that based on this test I'm doing a good job of avoiding punishments. How about you? Are you convinced that "effective disciple never includes punishments" (page 19)? How much of your current discipline would be considered punishment under this test?

    WBB

  • #2
    Originally posted by WildBlueberry View Post
    I appreciate this "test" found on page 18 of Discipline Without Distress:

    - Would I want it done to me?
    - Does it help my child develop a valuable life skill?
    - Will it build our relationship or harm it?

    I think that based on this test I'm doing a good job of avoiding punishments. How about you? Are you convinced that "effective disciple never includes punishments" (page 19)? How much of your current discipline would be considered punishment under this test?

    WBB
    How about you?: Not always. I feel like my consequences are contrived and akward.

    Are you convinced that "effective disciple never includes punishments"?: Yes. I really believe that natural consequences are far more effective. However I often get stuck because it's not always clear to me what is natural.

    How much of your current discipline would be considered punishment under this test?: Probably 50%. I will use this test from now on when decided an appropriate consequence. I think it's a great resource for me to judge what makes sense and what doesn't. I like the question "Would I want it done to me?". That is important to me.

    Thank you Pam for starting this discussion!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KandaceWright View Post
      Are you convinced that "effective disciple never includes punishments"?: Yes. I really believe that natural consequences are far more effective. However I often get stuck because it's not always clear to me what is natural.
      Hi Kandace.
      I think you might be using logical consequences rather than natural ones. A natural consequence just happens with no intervention from you. So, the natural consequence for standing on a toy is the toy breaks. The natural consequence for not picking up toys is that they get lost or pieces get mixed up. The natural consequence for not wearing shoes is cold feet. Anything that you do; taking away a toy, taking away a treat, refusing to go somewhere, is either a logical or illogical consequence.

      This site gives a pretty good description of the difference, and the rationale for imposing logical consequences.

      http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/d...nsequences.htm

      However, there is a very fine line between logical consequences and punishments. Some would say all logical consequences are punishments. Consider this article:

      http://www.positivediscipline.com/ar...SEQUENCES.html

      It is also possible to turn a natural consequence into a punishment. For example, the natural consequence of not wearing a coat is that the child will get cold. Not taking a coat along for them to put on when they realize their cold, with the purpose of making them be cold for longer, is a punishment.

      There are much better articles out there than the ones I've pointed out, but I'm out of time. Does this make sense?

      I do personally think there is a time for logical consequences, but I believe it is an overused tool for many parents. I try to really think about other alternatives before resorting to a logical consequence.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by WildBlueberry View Post
        Hi Kandace.
        I think you might be using logical consequences rather than natural ones. A natural consequence just happens with no intervention from you. So, the natural consequence for standing on a toy is the toy breaks. The natural consequence for not picking up toys is that they get lost or pieces get mixed up. The natural consequence for not wearing shoes is cold feet. Anything that you do; taking away a toy, taking away a treat, refusing to go somewhere, is either a logical or illogical consequence.

        This site gives a pretty good description of the difference, and the rationale for imposing logical consequences.

        http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/d...nsequences.htm

        However, there is a very fine line between logical consequences and punishments. Some would say all logical consequences are punishments. Consider this article:

        http://www.positivediscipline.com/ar...SEQUENCES.html

        It is also possible to turn a natural consequence into a punishment. For example, the natural consequence of not wearing a coat is that the child will get cold. Not taking a coat along for them to put on when they realize their cold, with the purpose of making them be cold for longer, is a punishment.

        There are much better articles out there than the ones I've pointed out, but I'm out of time. Does this make sense?

        I do personally think there is a time for logical consequences, but I believe it is an overused tool for many parents. I try to really think about other alternatives before resorting to a logical consequence.

        Ah...yes. I do use a combination I suppose of both and the illogical consequence. For example I never force James to wear a coat or zipper his coat. I believe that if he is cold enough and it is going affect him, he'll naturally decide to either wear it or zipper it. I trust he knows his body better than I. I also do the same with hats and gloves with all my kids. I do sometimes get chastised for this choice by strangers and even once by one of my children's teachers. I just politely explain why I have choosen in this case to allow them to experience the natural consequence. Most (not all) people have a "Oh I see" moment.

        I would like to allow more natural consequences to happen I should say and use more logical consequences but much less frequently.

        For example what I refer to as a smart mouth...when for instance the children yell or speak harshly to either each other or us [their parents]...I can't think of the natural or even a logical consequence. Everything I have done seems forced or not right. I am always respectful to my children in the way I speak with a few um...embarrassing exceptions when I was frustrated or even a bit hurt. It has not always translated to them speaking with the same kindness or gentleness to me.

        This is one that I am very stuck on. I know it's normal for kids to get loud or use harshness from time to time. I just wish it was much less. Overall I suppose it isn't a constant but it does happen at least a handful of times a week when they are rude to each other or us. I have talked to them about. I have explained how it makes other's feel. They are always remorseful and even apologetic. I'd just like to see them stop themselves before it gets to that point.

        Maybe it is just a matter of as they get older, they become better at controlling their frustrations better? So without anything but a positive model of appropriate respect from us, they will get it naturally?

        Anyone of any thoughts on this? I can't be the only one with the sometimes smart mouthed/harsh talking children. When I say smart I mean using words like "This is stupid" or "I hate my x" etc. Or just using a tone that is not respectful. I tried time ins but I feel 1. they are illogical and 2. don't work. I prefer time ins for instances when the children actually need a break because they are overwhelmed or are not being safe.

        5 children later, I'm still trying to get it right. You kind of have to feel bad for my older ones...they are like the experiments as I figure out my parenting style, lol. But I do know every choice I've made I have always made out of love and way to guide them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Kandace.

          I have a different perspective of the smart mouth than you do - probably just because I have a different child!

          For me, making an issue out of words just gives the words more power. I'm not sure exactly what you're dealing with, but here's how we approach things:

          For calling a name, eg "My brother is mean", I usually just rephrase it for her eg "You are frustrated with your brother right now", and try to get her to express her emotions. Or for "I hate this toy", I might say, "You are frustrated because you can't get the block to stay on top of the tower." We have had conversations about not calling names, but to me it isn't "consequencable", if that makes sense. It's just something to work through.

          If I sense she's just frustrated because she needs attention or something, and not really needing to release emotion, then I try the playful approach. "You can call me mean, but whatever you do, don't call me twinkle toes! I do NOT want to be called twinkle toes! If you call me twinkle toes, I might have to dance around the room. Oh no! You called me twinkle toes! Ack! I can't stop dancing! Don't call me twinkle toes again!" All said with a gleam in the eye, of course. My husband has really mastered this approach (which is from "Playful Parenting" by Cohen) and uses it for all sorts of things. Just yesterday my daughter kept putting my laptop on her head trying to balance it. I was getting so frustrated because it could get broken. I kept suggesting she use a book, and she didn't want to, and it was becoming a real power struggle. My husband walked in and said, "I know you are capable of balancing the computer if you want to, but whatever you do, do NOT put the laundry basket on your head. Laundry baskets do NOT go on heads. If you do that, I just don't know WHAT might happen." Worked like a charm.

          As for DWD, I haven't gotten to the place where she addresses it in the book, but I "cheated" and looked in the chart at the back for preschool behavior (age 3 - 5), under "bathroom language, swearing" it says "ignore it. If the word is not reinforced, it loses its specialness." Under "name calls" it also says "ignore", and "say I-statement, avouid nicknames, teach child how to respond to name calling, educate on slang names, bad names, and really bad names and swear words. Recite family rules: in our family we don't call people that. Say it over and over again". Under "talks back", it says to say "I don't like that, ask me this way... and then don't respond until they say it politely. Avoid sarcasm and "attitude" yourself." There are other charts for other ages, but my time is up. I think it will make more sense in the context of the relevant chapter anyway.
          Last edited by WildBlueberry; 11-19-2008, 11:56 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by WildBlueberry View Post
            ....For me, making an issue out of words just gives the words more power.

            ......Recite family rules: in our family we don't call people that. Say it over and over again". Under "talks back", it says to say "I don't like that, ask me this way... and then don't respond until they say it politely. Avoid sarcasm and "attitude" yourself." There are other charts for other ages, but my time is up. I think it will make more sense in the context of the relevant chapter anyway.
            I think that is why there isn't a logical or natural consequence. I'm giving this too much power. I need to step away and not make an issue of it.

            I do try to use rephrasing a lot. Eg. Jacob says "Jessie is a brat." I will say "You are frustrated with Jessie. Can I help?" So I guess in many ways I am handling it right.

            I do really like the way of letting them know how to ask and then waiting until they can ask nicely. I will do that instead of trying to come up with consequences for it!

            Thank you!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by WildBlueberry View Post
              Are you convinced that "effective disciple never includes punishments" (page 19)? How much of your current discipline would be considered punishment under this test?
              WBB
              I do believe that effective discipline never includes punishments but that it requires natural consequences; an approach of knowing that each person has needs and allowing them to voice these needs so that a future recurrence of the behavior will not happen or will be more clearly understood by the parent of why it is happening so that they know how to better respond; and sometimes a time period that we call time-in to let our body relax... we all sit together in the same room and we calm down so that we can have a conversation together of what is happening. My daughter will be 5 in December and to this day we haven't had a punishment imposed on her and she is a very well-behaved child who receives a lot of compliments in regards to manners.

              Well, I don't know if this is punishment but we do do the above but we're not perfect so at times when under stress, cup is empty, or being dumbfounded on how to respond to the behavior we have resorted to raising our voices and demanding she goes to relax even though we will still all be in the room together. Other than that, I believe we hardly incorporate punishment in our household to date.

              Comment


              • #8
                Kandace I know exactly how you feel. I don't term it smarth mouthed but I term it being impolite and I call it a harsh tone to her. In our house we are respectful to each other. We realize that she is still learning what is respect, how to convey it, etc. but if we also don't let her know when it is disrespectful than she'll never know in our opinion.

                For us we just remind her to please watch her tone and to try again. She'll usually understand and say it again in a more respectful way with the tone and without the harshness. When she says things like "I hate you", etc. we explain to her that we understand she is angry but we express our feelings of anger but not in a hurtful way; when she says X that is hurtful and not really explaining her anger. She will then tell us what she is really angry about.

                We have approached this is in this way as well as reminding ourselves that she'll get it. I hope this helps and I'm so glad that I'm not the only one experiencing it! LOL

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JustPeachy View Post
                  Kandace I know exactly how you feel. I don't term it smarth mouthed but I term it being impolite and I call it a harsh tone to her. In our house we are respectful to each other. We realize that she is still learning what is respect, how to convey it, etc. but if we also don't let her know when it is disrespectful than she'll never know in our opinion.

                  For us we just remind her to please watch her tone and to try again. She'll usually understand and say it again in a more respectful way with the tone and without the harshness. When she says things like "I hate you", etc. we explain to her that we understand she is angry but we express our feelings of anger but not in a hurtful way; when she says X that is hurtful and not really explaining her anger. She will then tell us what she is really angry about.

                  We have approached this is in this way as well as reminding ourselves that she'll get it. I hope this helps and I'm so glad that I'm not the only one experiencing it! LOL
                  I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

                  I have been really concentrating on following the approach you described above in the last few days since I made my post. I will say the immediate benefit is things are diffused sooo much faster. It does make so much more sense!

                  Thank you!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JustPeachy View Post
                    ....and sometimes a time period that we call time-in to let our body relax...

                    Well, I don't know if this is punishment but we do do the above....
                    You know I wonder if it would depend on whether the time-in is imposed or offered? It seems if you offer for them to take a time-in but not force it wouldn't be punishment. But if you were to insist that a child take a time-in and they do not wish to that seems like punishment under the definition if I am understanding correctly.

                    What do you think?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JustPeachy View Post
                      Well, I don't know if this is punishment but we do do the above but we're not perfect so at times when under stress, cup is empty, or being dumbfounded on how to respond to the behavior we have resorted to raising our voices and demanding she goes to relax even though we will still all be in the room together. Other than that, I believe we hardly incorporate punishment in our household to date.
                      I'm right there with you, Stephanie! Just an example from tonight. I was sitting on the couch tandem nursing the boys. It had been a fussy evening, and my cup was EMPTY. My husband leaves on a trip in the morning, and wasn't ready, so he was unavailable to help. My daughter was tired, and because the boys had needed me so deeply all evening and my husband had been focusing on dinner and laundry, her cup was also bone dry. We have a permanent marker rule to leave electrical cords alone when they are plugged in. This is a challenging one for my daughter, because she finds my laptop cord irresistible. I had left the cord plugged into the wall, but not the computer. Yes, a shock hazard and I shouldn't have done it. She picked up the cord and started using it lie a jump rope. I said, "Honey, the cord is plugged in". Now, I know I should have tried to engage her, but being on empty, I went back to focusing on something else (in addition to nursing). She started swinging the cord like a lasso. I said, a little more firmly, "The cord is plugged in. Please leave it alone." Again, I didn't engage her. I really just wanted to sit for a bit - it was the first time the boys had been quiet in hours. From her perspective, it was her turn for my attention, and she was too tired and on empty to tell me. Of course, this is easy to see in hindsight! At the time I just wanted her to stop with the cord and let me rest! Now she began dangling the cord in front of the cat. I nearly lost it. I said, quite firmly, "I asked you to leave the cord alone. Put it down and go upstairs with Daddy.". Yeah, not my best parenting moment, but I really felt on the edge. I couldn't get up to take the cord away, and I didn't feel like I could respectfully talk to her. I should have called a "time-in", but honestly (and this is really sad), I had reached the end of my rope and I just wanted a few moments to myself. She just looked at me and started to pick up the cord again. I said very firmly, "Go!" I realize this was not the best tact on many levels, and apologized later, but "in the moment" I was tapped. She stormed upstairs where her father had a very effective time-in with her. They discussed why playing with cords isn't safe. She agreed to never do it again, and pointed out that I shouldn't have left it plugged in because that's not safe. They came downstairs together and I agreed not to leave the cord plugged in. So. it all turned out ok, but sending her upstairs was probably punishment.

                      I didn't mean to write a book! Just to say that I understand and it's so hard sometimes to know what to do in the moment, even if its obvious in hindsight. I think the more we reflect and practice, the more natural and intuitive it becomes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WildBlueberry View Post
                        ....Just to say that I understand and it's so hard sometimes to know what to do in the moment, even if its obvious in hindsight. I think the more we reflect and practice, the more natural and intuitive it becomes.
                        I so agree. I haven't even started the book but am gaining a lot of insight.

                        What a great discussion this has become and it is helping me so much.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KandaceWright View Post
                          So I guess in many ways I am handling it right.
                          Just wanted to add that I don't really think of it as "right" and "wrong". We're all on our own paths with our unique, individual children - and we do what we think is best to the best of our ability. I know you know this, but it's been buggin' me and I felt the need to say it.

                          I like the way on page 35 she says that attachment parenting is about "making the baby the expert of what he needs". It can be different for each child.

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