Is gentle discipline in your AP tool box?

Hannah - posted on 02/06/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have recently been debating in another community what punishmet is ok and what isn't, things like- hot sauce on the tounge, spanking, time outs and so on...

And while my son is to young to really discipline yet, when I start I think I want respect for him, to guide me in punishing, I don't ever want to use a method that demeans him, or causes him to feel humiliated..

What do y'all think? How do you discipline?

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Marcy - posted on 02/09/2011

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No punishment....I went to a seminar this weeked at my sons school given by Sura Hart...check her out online. She is a certified trainer for non voilent communication and reminds me very much of Dr Sears/AP parenting techniques. We have never punished/disciplined our kiddo. No time outs, no yelling, nothing physical period. He is 4 1/2 years old and for the most part...a super star. Here is what I will tell you...start early. Maintain a level of calm at all times, explain as much as you can in as few words as you can. When my son is "acting like a monkey" I get down at his level, acknowledge that he is upset/angry and then I tell him in a calm voice that when he is ready to behave like a big boy to let me know and we will move on with our day. it takes a ton of patience and a ton of time but if you start early it only gets easier. I give him lots of choices and decision making power, I try and see things from his point of view (there are some timnes when playing with his train set is more important than going shopping or taking a bath) and I try and get his by in. I willtellhim point blank..."There is nothing for us to eat in the house so Mommy really needs to go food shopping in a few minutes. Pleae come with me to help me push the cart and to help me pick out what we want to eat." I also try and make things a game...he loves it. Let's see who cam get dressed faster today....blah blah blah.



Oh yeah. and if you find yourself at the end of the rope, give yourself a time out instead. More often than not, its exactly what you need to change perspective.

Karen - posted on 02/07/2011

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I absolutely use gentle discipline. Brenda is right - it basically means no punishments, but lots of other stuff. A good book to read if you're new to the idea is Alfie Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting" (there's also a DVD).

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Geralyn - posted on 04/26/2011

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Actually, A N, there are so many tools out there and you just have to find what works in a given situation and then when it starts working, be prepared that it may not always work and find something else! I think there may be several competing factors at work in your situaiton. I have found it I say to my son (who is now 3) not to do something, it can have the opposite effect. Its eggs him on to do it. And, the second factor is that they needs lots and lots of repetition. When he was young (1 yo), we would put his toys in time out (seriously). We have continued to do this when he throws the toy at one of us. If he throws the toy on the floor, that it a different story in my mind. He has to learn the consequences for not handling his toys gently. There are some websites/resources below. It does work, but I think that you have to adjust expectations for a longer term goal.

A - posted on 04/25/2011

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Does anyone have any suggestions on how to respond when your child keeps repeating the same behavior? I've been trying to be "gentle" and "positive" by showing my 2 year old what to do (be nice) and asking for an apology and gently restraining him, but he is in a bad habit right now of continually throwing things. I will ask him not to throw "x" but to play with it in such-and-such way....Go through the "discipline" process, only to let him go to do it again. I'm getting frustrated that the gentle/positive way is ineffective. Is this just a phase and part of the terrible twos? ....

Brenda - posted on 02/10/2011

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It is so hard to break those cycles, though. I was yelled at so much, that when frustration rises, it just overflows at times! I'm working on it, though! Takes time. Maybe by the time Nick is 5 I'll have it figured out....LOL

Katherine - posted on 02/08/2011

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Praise, praise, praise! No negative feedback.
I have been to some communities too where all they talk about is spanking!
Then they bring the damn bible into it *eye roll*, the bible NEVER EVER said, "Spare the rod, Spoil the child."
I have spanked my 5yo and it was out of anger and I felt like the worst mom ever after it happened.
I always do, but man she can push my buttons!!
I am having her evaluated for behavior problems.
My little one has never been touched and I will keep it that way.
Tameka: You are sooo right, to discipline DOES mean to teach, not hit/spank.

Tameka - posted on 02/07/2011

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I'm yet to discipline my 13 month old as she just wouldn't get it as she is too young. As for my four year old I guess you would call it time out. Some days she gets so worked up that the only way she settles down if I put her in her room where it is quiet. I don't shout at her "go to your room!!". I explain to her that she is over excited and needs some alone time. She knows that she is free to leave whenever she wants. Some times I have to go get her because she becomes occupied in her room and forgets to come out! Is that punishment?? Not sure...

I don't agree with the hot sauce thing. To me that is a form of child abuse as your deliberately harming your child. I won't get on my soap box though, lol! I don't smack my children. I used to as a last resort before I started looking into AP. I'm a bit like Brenda: trying to relearn things from my childhood. My mother yelled alot. My friends used to call her Mrs. Yelling-at. I often catch myself with a raised voice and it is so hard sometimes to stop and redo things. My eldest must think I'm crazy!

I just keep reminding myself that the word discipline means "to teach". My job is to teach my children the right way to behave not screech and assault them in to well behaved children.

Geralyn - posted on 02/07/2011

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We definitely are using gentle parenting. We do not use time outs. We work on "shaping" behavior by communication and trying different things. There is so much info out there - there are alternatives, and effective ones at that, to "traditional" methods of disciplining. Check out the following: Dr. Laura Markham at ahaparenting.com. Also check out Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond, which is on Facebook. The moms there (including me) post excellent resources and information. The traditional disciplining methods really do not fit with AP in my opinion. Hope to see you on PPTB.

Brenda - posted on 02/07/2011

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I'm trying to break cycles of my own childhood, which were mainly yelling and guilt trips from my mother. It is hard and some days I end up yelling which I hate.

The key to gentle discipline is usually not to use punishment at all, but to use positive and negative reinforcement a LOT. Sounds easy but it is hard to do in the end. I used to use time outs, and these days I end up sending him to his room sometimes because there is nothing else I can do at the moment. My five year old has never done well with the charts and stuff, so he is a bit unruly. :) He's always been argumentative, but boy as he gets closer to six is he getting more so!

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