What Would You Do? A Gentle Discipline Guest Post

July 12th, 2010 by Dionna | 5 Comments
Posted in Just for Fun/Miscellaneous

Today I have a guest post over at Authentic Parenting. I’ve share some examples of “misbehavior,” but instead of telling you what I would do, I want to hear your thoughts. Please head on over and think of a few ways you could deal with each situation positively/gently/playfully and leave your ideas in the comments.

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5 Responses to:
"What Would You Do? A Gentle Discipline Guest Post"

  1. Jill

    I replied to your guest post and I think my comments were eaten by the internet. It was still a good exercise for me, considering whether what I actually do in those situations matches what I’d ideally do!

  2. mama_to_3

    I read your guest post and replied to it. I also read some of the comments. I respect a lot of the mothers positions on parenting and discipline and I just wanted to say that things are different when there is only one child in the house. I’m not saying that parenting styles as a whole have to change as more children are in the house but the dynamic is certainly different and more challenging.

    I’m curious as to why it is ‘bad’ to have a child sit and think about what they have done. I don’t give time outs…But when I think they are developmentally ready I tell my children they need to go think about what they have done and they can come back when they are ready to be part of the group. There is no time limit or particular place they have to go. I don’t care if they lay on the floor next to the couch…but they do need to think about what it means to hurt someone. I think this is standard for group situations. How do you build community with children who think they get to be bossy or careless with other people? Don’t we want to raise thoughtful children who think about their actions?

    And when there are three kids in the house and a mother needs to console one child, tend to the stove and a ton of other need-to-do’s there really is not always time or patience to finish the consolation, stir the pot, and then move on to the logical discussion with the ‘offender’ ….things get side-tracked and then it is forgotten about. Then the chid sees how to manipulate the situation and how they were forgotten and ‘got away with it’. But if they are asked to go think about it and then return and say, “I thought about it.” and I say, “Well, what do you think?” And they say that hitting isn’t good and they said it all themselves and thought it all by themselves then isn’t that good?

  3. Dionna   CodeNameMama

    I agree – I’m already wondering how I’m going to handle gentle discipline when/if Kieran has siblings. But I do know mothers who discipline gently and respectfully with multiple children (my “role model” has 4 kids and is the most gentle/respectful mother I’ve ever seen!), as with anything, it takes practice and persistence, and we can’t expect perfection!

    I don’t think it’s bad to have a child think about what he has done – I question whether that actually happens, honestly. What I don’t agree with is the time-outs that are more used for punishment – the “go to your room right now!” types that are more along the lines of “love withdrawal.” It’s also simply another way to exert control over a child – you do something I don’t like, so I force you to submit to my will. It’s about obedience. (At least the way it is normally used in the US.) I’d wager a bet that most children aren’t in there lamenting the fact that they’ve “misbehaved,” they’re more likely saddened or resentful that they are away from the rest of the family. They know that something will be expected from them in order to rejoin, so they give the “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have _____.” Kids don’t have the same mentality that we do – their brains don’t work the same way – so when they are isolated and rejected, they feel unloved and “bad.” A great article on TO’s is: http://www.awareparenting.com/timeout.htm

    I do think that there is a time and a place for having a child take a break to collect himself. It doesn’t have to be isolated, it doesn’t have to feel like rejection. Why not sit in the same room (not in a place of punishment, just a “take a seat and cool off for a moment please”)? Why not sit in a parent’s lap? If the point is to help the child regain some self-control, taking a break might be very beneficial. If taking a break isn’t doing much of anything, I would advocate for taking a moment to just talk to the child. The connection with the parent – the concern and time given to the situation – those will probably do more (in the short and the long run) than sending the child away.

    Again – I understand it must be SO much more difficult with more than one child, but isn’t it worth it?

    • mama_to_3

      it is worth it! I love having three kids.

      I’m comfortable with my parenting style. I have come along way from where I started and it is because of advocates for natural parenting that I have to thank. (I just happen to be sick in bed and have been spending some time on your blog today.) I rarely even visit parenting sites like yours anymore because they focus on the toddler years and I have that nailed :). It only gets tougher from here. Dealing with things that my daughter picks up from friends and tries to test them at our house has been our thing to deal with lately. I find that having a few key phrases for the things that really matter most is what works best for us. I would really like to find a natural parenting blog that focuses more on childhood years, not so much circumcision, birth, toddlers, etc. Do you have any you can point me to?

      • Dionna   CodeNameMama

        You are welcome to share your wisdom in a guest post at any time – seriously! Also, I have a guest post coming up next week (or the week after? It’s the “gentle parenting” series #2) – a mama of 2 asks for gentle parenting tips to avoid using TO so much – I hope you come back and give her some input!

        I will poke around and find some site suggestions for you. Thanks for your comments today – I really appreciate the chance to “talk” to someone – it’s pretty rare I get to have a “discussion” through this medium.

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