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Old 03-09-2011, 02:04 AM   #31
Rose5000
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyanne View Post
By the same token, however, just because the consequence makes them feel badly, does not mean it is wrong to use that consequence or is punitive, etc.

Kids are fighting over a toy. They've been warned that the toy will be taken away and they will be separated if they cannot stop fighting.

What response teaches/enforces healthy boundaries?"
I will put the toy on the top shelf in my closet, so that everyone will learn to take turns or play together. I will separate the children so that they will not hurt one another and will understand that they will lose the privelege of playing together if they can't play together without fighting.
"Will this response help keep everyone safe?" Yes, and it will keep the toy from getting broken.

"What values do I want to teach in this situation?" I want to teach them to be kind to one another, and to be careful with their things. Patience, responsibility also play a part.

"Will my response teach them a pattern for how to act in the future?"
Yes, they will learn that there are consequences to our behavior, both positive or negative.


Now, the children may not like this response at all. They may howl and kick and fuss, etc. But it is a fair and logical consequence, and it isn't punitive, at least to me. I'm not trying to punish them, I'm attempting to teach them how to get along with others, how to be responsible with their belongings, etc. Not attempting to punish them because their behavior has angered me, and they 'deserve' to have their toys taken and not to be allowed to play together.

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Joy
Wouldn't it be better to give the children *words* they can say to each other when fighting over a toy is taking place.....teach them *how* to get along....watch them closely so you can intervene when you figure out who is the perpetrator, by intervene I mean, at that very moment, give them verbal proactive teaching, to actually *show* them how to get along and share with each other, take turns, etc. ?

How does putting the toy on the shelf *teach* them to take turns or play together? Isn't teaching active verbalization?

I think if we are right there with them when they are playing it is possible to work with them and instruct them how to get along, mostly by giving them words to say to their brother or sister, like, "what you just did upset me...I want to play with the toy *this* way....An example would be yesterday in my home, my 7 yr old had set up a board with some toys on the end of it and he was rolling a golf ball to play "bowling" the toys down. His 5 yo sister came along (I didn't see this) and must have interrupted his play or taken one of the toys and played with it in a less controlled fashion, and this upset my boy, who started yelling at her. At that point I need to join them, sit down at the floor with them and help my son to "explain" to his sister that he was using the golf balls to play bowling, and I could *help* her to join in with his game without distrubing its setup. By *being * there w/ my children, I think I can do some of this more proactive teaching. sort of like Joanne's GOYB parenting (get off your butt). Does this make sense?
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:08 AM   #32
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

With young children (which I have) I generally find that 'in the moment' is the worst time to try to engage in teaching of any kind. Their emotions are raw, and they simply feel protective, or angry or whatever -- a state that is not excellent for learning new concepts or picking up new skills.

Instead, the incident functions as a note-to-self that these children don't have all the sharing skills (or whatever) that they need right now, so I should make a clear and specific plan to teach them those skills and practice them at a later time, when they are calm, cheerful and open to learning and pleasing their Mama.

So, in the meantime, I simply put the toy "up" to end the hard feelings and put a stop to the continuing incident -- emphasising nothing more than that I consider people more important than things.

By the time they hit 7-10 years old, perhaps the delay is not nessisary any more. Maybe I will be able to phase it out and go directly to teaching 'in the moment' as they get older -- but for now, my experiences lead me to let the incident rest and the feelings settle before trying to impart or re-enforce a skill set.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:18 AM   #33
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

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Originally Posted by bolt. View Post
With young children (which I have) I generally find that 'in the moment' is the worst time to try to engage in teaching of any kind. Their emotions are raw, and they simply feel protective, or angry or whatever -- a state that is not excellent for learning new concepts or picking up new skills.

Just a question.. Hopefully not to OT, but with young kids, does teaching verbally do any good after they have been removed from the situation?

My DS is not even 2 yet... But we always try to verbally teach while redirecting/correcting behaviour. For instance we say "Gentle Touches" at the same time as helping him slow the intensity of his hitting. Or we say "food goes on plates" while helping him put food back on the plate.

Are we talking about 2 different things? The scenario with the toys has only happened like twice, and we handle it differntly with a less than 2 y/o.. I just say "Mamma will keep that and you can play with ____ and you can play with _____. Distracting both parties.. So I guess I don't really get into the whole sharing thing either, though, my child is much younger.

Anyways, I just wanted to throw that out there..
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:41 AM   #34
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

i think she is talking about during moments with big feelings involved where children aren't going to be able to focus on what you're telling them. the brain is already in the distress state and the child is not going to be able to re-route their neurochemicals (most adults can't, either, actually ). when child is in the distressed state is not the time to try and engage them in any sort of learning. really its more of a learning moment for the parent of how they can help their child in the future.

for instance, last time we were at the store H picked out chocolate teddy grahams. this time, i picked out cinnamon teddy grahams for him because they have less sugar. but i know from experience that if he asks for bear crackers and doesn't get the ones he had before, he will enter into distress tantrum mode - he will be confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. so when we were at the checkout, i showed him the box and said "I got you some more bear crackers. But look, these are NOT chocolate, okay? They're cinnamon."

of course i can't guarantee that he will be ok with that when the time comes, but explaining to him beforehand, i've learned, helps him handle the situation better when it comes time.

if i were to wait until he was already having a meltdown because they weren't the right crackers, it would be pointless to try and use that as a teaching moment for him. i've already used experiences similar to this to teach myself that something has to be done beforehand to help him and better prepare him to handle the situation.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:52 AM   #35
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

Quote:
with young kids, does teaching verbally do any good after they have been removed from the situation?
At 2, I don't do anything exclusively verbally. Perhaps it makes more sense to call it 'teaching through pantomime' rather than teaching verbally. Basically you would re-create a similar situation, but without the intensity, perhaps with yourself playing the part of a child too.

I never used "gentle touches" in the situation when a child is hitting. I don't need the child to touch gently, and s/he probably doesn't want to be doing that. The only thing I need is for the child to cease 'touching painfully' -- in which case, not touching at all is a perfectly valid option. So, in looking for a command of what 'to do' the best I could come up with was, "nice or nothing" -- which isn't as clear as I usually like for a command/instruction, but it's the best I could do.

(I also use, "eat tidy" instead of the more specific instruction about food and plates. I like my commands/instructions to be kind of broad in scope, so their aren't so many to learn... "eat tidy" means lots of things, so it is good and flexible, as well as being clear.)

The point of that kind of verbalization during toddler re-direction (and even with babies) is simply to define the words for him/her, so that they are familiar to the child, and they begin to seem 'written in stone' as a natural part of the cause-and-effect universe... since every time they get said, they effectively happen, and it never happens that they are said and the thing doesn't happen.

(This sneaking commands/instructions into their cause-and-effect scheme early seriously eases the years up to about 4.5, when they suddenly realize that they have the capacity to buck the system that they have previously accepted as "just the way reality is." -- Which is one of the reasons to have a very few specific and recognizable commands, rather than using more conversational and situational instructions all over the map at the toddler age.)

If sharing is not an age appropreate skill to be teaching a particualr child, then you wouldn't teach it at all. But if your method of teaching includes plently of kindness and fun, and occurs outside of the moment -- there's no harm in giving it a try, just to see whether the child can or can't pick it up just now.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:14 AM   #36
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

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Originally Posted by ArmsOfLove View Post

what are your goals? Are they short term management or long term leadership? In the moment are you being the adult you want them to become?
Totally worth a repeat appearance in this thread. Thank you for this wisdom, Crystal. When my kids see me in a state of sobbing frustration....the learn what?
They need to see strength there too.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:56 AM   #37
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

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Originally Posted by jessisblessed View Post
i think she is talking about during moments with big feelings involved where children aren't going to be able to focus on what you're telling them. the brain is already in the distress state and the child is not going to be able to re-route their neurochemicals (most adults can't, either, actually ). when child is in the distressed state is not the time to try and engage them in any sort of learning. really its more of a learning moment for the parent of how they can help their child in the future.

for instance, last time we were at the store H picked out chocolate teddy grahams. this time, i picked out cinnamon teddy grahams for him because they have less sugar. but i know from experience that if he asks for bear crackers and doesn't get the ones he had before, he will enter into distress tantrum mode - he will be confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. so when we were at the checkout, i showed him the box and said "I got you some more bear crackers. But look, these are NOT chocolate, okay? They're cinnamon."

of course i can't guarantee that he will be ok with that when the time comes, but explaining to him beforehand, i've learned, helps him handle the situation better when it comes time.

if i were to wait until he was already having a meltdown because they weren't the right crackers, it would be pointless to try and use that as a teaching moment for him. i've already used experiences similar to this to teach myself that something has to be done beforehand to help him and better prepare him to handle the situation.
I totally get this. I try to put myself in other people's shoes and figure out what they're feeling. So if I look at it that way, when I'm having "big feelings" I don't want someone trying to make it better or tell me this is what I should do, I just need some time to deal with those feelings. Once I've got that under control I'm more likely to be accepting to learning something new. Don't know if that makes sense?
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:08 AM   #38
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

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Katigre--thank you so much You have shown with this post (and all sorts of others of course, but this was the crown ) that you totally get it. And, I'm sure you know as I do, that getting it doesn't mean you always are able to accomplish it We're all human and we all make mistakes.

In response to some of the responses . . . I really do get the struggle with feeling overwhelmed by a faulty paradigm. The thing is, and what Katigre is trying to say, focus on changing the paradigm. Run towards a totally new way of doing things. Throw out everything--rather than trying to focus on getting through this or that situation, pull back and look at the big picture.

what are your goals? Are they short term management or long term leadership? In the moment are you being the adult you want them to become?

If not--then the real focus needs to be on becoming the adult you want them to become--and as you do, they will follow you. That's how it works. Where they are is where you've led them--their behaviors are on them, but the overall dynamic, the big picture, YOU choose the canvas, you set the stage. It's scary--especially when you've had no one model it done lovingly and gently. But YOU get to do it now. So decide who YOU want to be--then be that you. And you will parent differently

If you are in the situation where you're even asking "is this punitive/gentle" then you've let things go too far. Muddle through the best you can today and then YOU learn from it--figure out where to stop things before they get there.

Of course, if you have children under the age of 5, just stop stressing. Focus on your boundaries, and what you want to do, and what you will do--because they are going to act their age no matter what you do. This is the age to focus on how you respond--to focus on BEING the parent you want to be. At these ages it is NOT about outcome--the results will not show themselves for years. Think of the parable of the rich man who owned a field and sowed wheat and during the night the enemy sowed weeds. The workers wanted permission to go out and pull up all the weeds but the landowner said NO--because you might pull out wheat with the weeds. Let them both grow up together and then you will know which is which--and pull out the weeds before the wheat is harvested. (totally paraphrasing--but the parable fits here )

In the toddler/preschool years what may look like a weed is often an immature fruit, and what may look beautiful may turn out to be the bud of a weed. Just focus on building your gardening tools and then when you know which is which you will be prepared
Thank you, thank you Crystal and Katigre and bolt, etc, etc!

This is just a GREAT thread!!
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:27 AM   #39
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

Thank you Katigre!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmsOfLove View Post
Think of the parable of the rich man who owned a field and sowed wheat and during the night the enemy sowed weeds. The workers wanted permission to go out and pull up all the weeds but the landowner said NO--because you might pull out wheat with the weeds. Let them both grow up together and then you will know which is which--and pull out the weeds before the wheat is harvested. (totally paraphrasing--but the parable fits here )

In the toddler/preschool years what may look like a weed is often an immature fruit, and what may look beautiful may turn out to be the bud of a weed. Just focus on building your gardening tools and then when you know which is which you will be prepared
And this parable is just so and . That is the big picture I want to keep in my head!

And I agree with so many here that this is a great overall philosophy to follow and gives a great big picture but of course many of us need someone to walk us through the tough moments when the big picture is just too big. GCM has been life saving for me in those moments.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:17 PM   #40
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

bolt--if I took the toy away when they were fighting it would not make them feel or learn that people are more important than things, my son would have a kaniptchin fit. he would go ballistic. so i guess that means he is not at the age where doing that would be approproate anymore.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:56 PM   #41
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

I'm not sure what you mean about him not being at an age where it's appropreate to remove toys that are part of a conflict anymore... just because it makes him upset? Of course it upsets kids to remove things they enjoy. That (in itself) does not mean it's not an age-appropreate strategy.

But if teaching 'in the moment' is working for you -- if it diffuses the situation and leads to good things, then it's probably a good strategy. They'd probably learn faster if you also did some focused instruction in how to get allong, without there being a situation at-hand as well. I consider calm-times teaching much more pro-active than situational intervention, because it can be cohesive and more straightforward, rather than the kids having to put together what they've learned from a wide variety of situations.

What I mean is that it doesn't so much matter how a parent diffuses a conflict situation, as long as that's not the only time good skills are being taught and re-enforced... simply because instruction that is being recieved while a person is under stress or emotionality is less likely to 'stick' well and/or less likely to be integrated into future behaviour choices.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:40 PM   #42
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

i take the toy and set my "sharing timer".. usually the littlest one gets the first turn. sharing is what they need help doing , so i'll help them share. the timer makes it concrete

i know thats just one example, but you can do *some things* in the moment
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:26 PM   #43
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

Since I have a keen eye for the obvious, I just thought it might be helpful to point out that each child is unique and what works for one child may or may not work for another regardless of age.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:46 PM   #44
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

Love this thread. Thanks so much everyone - I'm anoter one that's new to the idea, and am having trouble seeing the whole picture sometimes!
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:21 PM   #45
Annainprogress
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Default Re: "Is This Punitive?" is missing the point of GBD

I've kinda been following those thread but subbing it now so I definitely don't miss anything
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I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. - Galileo Galilei
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