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Old 09-28-2007, 07:51 AM   #1
HuggaBuggaMommy
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Default Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

What do you do if a child changes his behavior because you're about to enforce a boundary?

I'll give an example, and this is almost always where the situation occurs (he's 6.5, and I'm learning this mouthiness is typical ). In our house, we have a blanket rule regarding disrespectful speech and attitudes (not just for ds, but for me, too ). If you can't speak kindly to someone, you go to your room until you can. Now, if ds says something in a rude way, I bring it to his attention that he's being disrespectful, and tell him to talk in a kindly manner. If he replies to that again in a disrespectful manner, I remind him of our house rule, and tell him if he continues, he can go to his room until he can speak to me repectfully. So, he says something for a third time in a rude way, and I tell him, "That's it. You may now go upstairs until you decide to speak to me respectfully."

Immediately ds says, "Ok, Mommy, I'm sorry. I'll stop."

Now, my punitive side (which is shrinking day by day, thanks to GCM) rears its head and I feel like I have to enforce the boundary anyway, since I told ds to go to his room and he only changed he behavior because he didn't want to - in his mind - be *punished* (even though the consequence is not meant to be a punishment whatsoever - we don't even use the word punish in our house, though he's picked it up from his grandparents and many of the kids at church)... I absolutely swing to the firmer side of GBD, and the idea of NOT following through on the house rule at this point feels awfully permissive to me.

So, what should I do? What would you do? Do you say, "Okay, as long as you can be respectful now, it's fine - you don't have to go upstairs," and let it go? I imagine that enforcing the rule after ds has changed his attitude would be punitive... but is not enforcing it permissive????

Am I making any sense?????

Help!

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Old 09-28-2007, 07:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

I wouldn't give him that third chance. He is pushing the boundaries. He knows he can "get away with it" 3 times. So, I would change the rule, since he knows that the mouthiness is wrong, and the first time he mouths off, he goes to his room.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

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I wouldn't give him that third chance. He is pushing the boundaries. He knows he can "get away with it" 3 times. So, I would change the rule, since he knows that the mouthiness is wrong, and the first time he mouths off, he goes to his room.
That's what I would do as well.

I would first have a sit down though and explain that there will be no more third chances.

Or...

You could *try* doing a "re-do" when he is disrespectful as well. Instead of going to the room, you say "Ooooo...that was really disrespectful. I'd like you to re-do that" and require him to repeat what you want him to say after you. If he continues, then he goes to his room.

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Old 09-28-2007, 08:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris3jam
I wouldn't give him that third chance. He is pushing the boundaries. He knows he can "get away with it" 3 times. So, I would change the rule, since he knows that the mouthiness is wrong, and the first time he mouths off, he goes to his room.
See, this would be my natural inclination - and I would have not problem doing this - but it seems to go against GBD, and I was afraid that course of action was too punitive I'm trying to model respectful behavior and help him learn to think before he speaks, and to use kind words even if he doesn't like what's being asked of him. But, maybe now that he's 6, it's okay not to give another chance???

And what if, after the first time he mouths off, I tell him to go upstairs and he says, "I'm sorry, I'll stop being disrespectful." His behavior has changed - do I still enforce the boundary? Is it punitive to do so?
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietspirit
Quote:
I wouldn't give him that third chance. He is pushing the boundaries. He knows he can "get away with it" 3 times. So, I would change the rule, since he knows that the mouthiness is wrong, and the first time he mouths off, he goes to his room.
That's what I would do as well.

I would first have a sit down though and explain that there will be no more third chances.

Or...

You could *try* doing a "re-do" when he is disrespectful as well. Instead of going to the room, you say "Ooooo...that was really disrespectful. I'd like you to re-do that" and require him to repeat what you want him to say after you. If he continues, then he goes to his room.

Yeah, the second time is the redo. Sometimes he takes it, sometimes not.

I think my bigger question, though, is it punitive to follow through with the consequence if the behavior has changed because the consequence is about to be enforced??? What I'm hearing, though, is that it's not, right?
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

For me it depends on the child, the situation and the circumstance. At times, I will still apply the consequence and at times I will extend grace. If I do extend grace, I will tell my children that is what I am doing so to avoid confusion, etc.

Perhaps in that situation, you could require a restituion of sorts instead of going to his room. "Thank you for taking the re-do. When you speak that way to me, I feel hurt. Can you think of a way to give me some kindness right now, like a hug or a kind word?" That way, you have really used the re-do and he has the opportunity to learn. But you've also required that he make restitution so that the sassing is not ignored.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

I would suggest that with a child who is consistently doing this I would adjust my expectations and my response. Clearly he needs to step his toe on the line and get that serious response before he believes that it's a boundary and if he has any issues that make him feel insecure he will push it to feel better. I was watching a PBS show on monkeys last night and she showed that at a year they, according to her, "Seem to intentionally get themselves into spots that force their mother to come and rescue them," and I told dh, "Or the more brave among the children take the greater risks because they trust their mother to take care of them AND it's the most adventurous and bravest who will be the dominant males "

I would be thrilled if he was doing it. I'd spend a season of saying it/making it happen and enforce the boundary big time
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietspirit
Perhaps in that situation, you could require a restituion of sorts instead of going to his room. "Thank you for taking the re-do. When you speak that way to me, I feel hurt. Can you think of a way to give me some kindness right now, like a hug or a kind word?" That way, you have really used the re-do and he has the opportunity to learn. But you've also required that he make restitution so that the sassing is not ignored.
Thanks, this is a great idea!
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmsOfLove
I would suggest that with a child who is consistently doing this I would adjust my expectations and my response. Clearly he needs to step his toe on the line and get that serious response before he believes that it's a boundary and if he has any issues that make him feel insecure he will push it to feel better. I was watching a PBS show on monkeys last night and she showed that at a year they, according to her, "Seem to intentionally get themselves into spots that force their mother to come and rescue them," and I told dh, "Or the more brave among the children take the greater risks because they trust their mother to take care of them AND it's the most adventurous and bravest who will be the dominant males "

I would be thrilled if he was doing it. I'd spend a season of saying it/making it happen and enforce the boundary big time
Could you tell me how something like this would play out in your house???
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

If there is a consequence for something then I declare it in effect immediately upon them refusing and when they realize what has happened and want to correct it I let them. Similar to the 'redo' idea but all they have to do is announce that they will do it and then the consequence is undone, so to speak. It let's them get the chance to make that poor choice and then still make the good one
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

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Originally Posted by ArmsOfLove
If there is a consequence for something then I declare it in effect immediately upon them refusing and when they realize what has happened and want to correct it I let them. Similar to the 'redo' idea but all they have to do is announce that they will do it and then the consequence is undone, so to speak. It let's them get the chance to make that poor choice and then still make the good one
Thanks, Crystal.
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

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f there is a consequence for something then I declare it in effect immediately upon them refusing and when they realize what has happened and want to correct it I let them. Similar to the 'redo' idea but all they have to do is announce that they will do it and then the consequence is undone, so to speak. It let's them get the chance to make that poor choice and then still make the good one thumbs up
So your saiying that in the middle of, say, helping a child to her room, if the attitude changes allow child to go back to former activity?
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Old 09-29-2007, 12:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: Enforcing (or not!) House Rules - when is it permissive/punitive?

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Originally Posted by tigerlily
So your saiying that in the middle of, say, helping a child to her room, if the attitude changes allow child to go back to former activity?
I would guess yes - the point of sending them to their room is to have them calm down and choose to act respectfully. So for example, if dd is doing something she's not supposed to, (let's say she's screaming and we've come to the point where I take her to the comfort spot until she's calmed down), and she calms down on her way to the comfort spot, I would guess she doesn't need the comfort spot any more.

I don't really fully understand GBD yet, so someone correct me here please, but it seems to me that the consequence is not where the teaching occurs - the consequence is for the immediate correction of behavior. We need to teach our children to act respectfully etc., but that is not done through the consequence of them NOT doing what we want them to do. That happens by our example, by our giving them a chance to change their behavior, explaining what the better behavior is, having them repeat the better thing to say, etc. So if the consequence is cut short, that doesn't mean he'll never learn not to be disrespectful. The purpose of the consequence was to help him stop the behavior NOW - and your ongoing parenting of him is where he learns how to act better in that situation. So if he stops the behavior without the consequence, the consequence is not necessary.

Or is that too permissive?
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