Lets share our own beliefs and strategies .

Charlie - posted on 04/22/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I thought it might be interesting to share our own methods of discipline and beliefs we have about raising children , i think we can all learn from each other by sharing .



Well i guess the desire for me personally to not use aggressive forms of discipline came from the fact i was brought up in a spanking/smacking household , i remember clearly feeling scared `and at times unloved I actually remember thinking as a very young child " i thought my mum loved me why is she hurting me ? " it took a long time before i could trust my mother again , literally 18 years .



These are feelings i would never want my children to feel towards me and those emotions are the core of my beliefs .



I believe a good child / parent relationship should be based on respect NOT fear , i believe the basis of ANY relationship is good communication and that should be taught from birth .



My discipline methods are based on those main ideas .



I think a lot of parents confuse learning and exploration in young children for being "naughty " its incredibly frustrating for me to see and hear of children being smacked for " touching things " .



I use somewhat of a formula at his young age to explain actions and consequences for example :



I explain action : when you throw a toy at me

My feelings : it makes me feel sad

Consequence : im going to put this toy away



I always show the emotion on my face and tone of my voice , i think this is important for children to learn each emotion and to be able to distinguish between them , being able to correctly recognize each emotion is the building blocks to an empathetic child .



Another strategy i use is to NEVER call my child naughty or bad , while i make sure he knows everyday that he is loved when he does act out i make sure he knows it is his behavior and not him as a person that is inappropriate .



For example i might say , Cooper i love you but your behavior is unacceptable / naughty / bad .



I think that constantly telling a child that THEY are naughty and not their behavior is really just setting them up to fulfill the prophecy .



I reward his good behavior and ignore the attention seeking behavior .

For example when he went through his hitting stage i would place him down on the floor and ignore him afterward we would play together where i would teach him " gentle" and show him how to pat , now that he gets lots of positive attention when he pats he is more inclined to do so and rarely hits anymore much to the enjoyment of our dog who relishes pats from Cooper .



To me communication is KEY , i think of myself as a leader not a dictator , i think of my child as my responsibility and NOT my possession .



What are the methods you use in your home and the beliefs on which they are based ?

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Lindsay - posted on 04/26/2010

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Great thread, Loureen! I have a daughter (5) and a son (3) and we have a variety of discipline/good bahavior bonuses in our home. They have also evolved and changed a lot over the years as they have gotten a little older and have a better understanding of cause/effect. One of the most successful and currently most popular is our responsibility chart on the refridgerator. They each have a chance to earn a point at the end of the day for making good choices for the day. Once they get 25 points, they earn something special of their choice. It could be a small new toy, going to get ice cream, or something of that nature. So that is the reward/goal which is important to them, but everything that leads up to it is important to me. To get their point for the day, they have to do thier simple set of chores that we have recently started. They have to show an effort to do as they are supposed to do. For example, if Madeline gets in trouble for taking something of Cooper's, goes to time-out and then goes back to Cooper, apologizes, and doesn't repeat she will still earn her point. But same scenerio except once she gets up, continues to argue and fight with him, she will then be sent to her room for some quiet time. More than likely, she would not earn her point for that day.



We talk about the day every night and ask them if they feel they've earned their point for the current day. If they don't get their point, we talk about why and have discussions of better ways to handle a particular situation the next time. It's been successful for us and they are really into it. It's nice not constantly having a negative battle of taking things away but instead we focus on finding ways to be better. Madeline and Cooper know what is expected of them. It's their decision to do it.

Jaime - posted on 04/22/2010

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I absolutely agree that communication is at the forefront of child-rearing. Discipline is not meant to be a negative thing...it's essentially teaching a child how to eventually be in control of his/her behaviours, emotions, actions and reactions.

I will admit that although I have always been against spanking my son, I have on occasion yelled at him as a result of my frustration and losing control of my emotions. I have made many strides as of late to get a hold on my emotions so that I can recognize when I feel frustrated and remove myself to calm down and deal with the situation more positively.

I don't ever call Gray bad either. I label his behaviour much the same as you Loureen and let him know that I love him. He is currently teething and extremely cranky through the day so when he starts to throw a tantrum I pick him up and set him on my lap and speak to him in a calm tone...this calms him instantly and he hears me say "it's okay to be sad buddy". Once he is calm and listening to me then I attempt to distract him with play or reading a book. He is only 14 months and just starting to become aware of what I'm saying but so far it's working well. I ignore his tantrums when he's just seeking attention and make sure that I stop what I'm doing and give him attention when he's been playing for a long time by himself and comes to me and wants me to play.

I think it's about balance. I know that I have chores to do, but I just have to accept that they won't get done all at once or even when I want. Sometimes I do what is only necessary for us for the day and spend much of my time with Gray...I have to learn to let go of some of my pre-baby habits of being in constant control of my environment.

I also use laughter to diffuse some of the frustration of a tough day...sometimes it's just necessary.

I have not yelled at Gray in a while now and I feel so much more confident about this approach. I can feel him responding to me better and actually listening to me when I talk to him, instead of scaring him with my out-of-control antics.

Meghan - posted on 04/22/2010

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I completly agree that respect is a big part of parenting!!! We don't use the word bad in our house, we use naughty" or "that behavior is unacceptable" I would never want my son to be afraid of me because i lived in fear growing up and it is HORRBILE!! I want to be friends with him, BUT he knows I am in charge. As frustrated as I get with him (becaue I am on my own all day every day) I feel he knows he can waltz right up to me and say oops moomy, and know that I am not going to haul off on him or freak out. We do a lot of talking and redirecting in our house. I am trying to give him words and words for his emotions-ehich does feel tedious sometimes..but like I posted earlier, I find that if we can use laughter and fun every now and then it works just as good if not better!

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Debbie - posted on 01/18/2014

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I believe that we are stewards of our Father in Heaven's children and that it is our responsibility to learn what we can to get them back to him. We live in a difficult and challenging world and to teach core values of honesty, integrity, and good citizenship is of utmost importance. These same things are difficult to teach when the shows on TV and our leaders and friends teach by example that lying a little and deceiving as well as bad behavior is acceptable and even funny. Religion is important to me and naturally is part of the way I seek learning and how to raise responsible and ethical children. As a young mother I had in my mind what the perfect mother should be and it wouldn't have mattered what anyone told me....but a much wiser and challenged mother now will tell you what I learned. I was reading the bible when the story of the Garden of Eden was told. I soon realized that Cain and Able were NOT the first children, their parents' Adam and Eve were the first children...Of God. He was their parent. He taught them what they needed to know. I decided if I could learn what he taught, I could be more successful and happy, because I was not a happy mom. I tried to give my children what they wanted only to find that crippled them and our relationship. I didn't get that. As I read the story, I realized that God told Adam and Eve what was expected and what the consequence would be (to an extent). They understood the rule. What did they choose? What would our children choose? I realized my children were living the plan! I prayerfully asked how to work around that experience so I could live with the disappointment that would ultimately come from disobedience. I was directed to a remarkable little parenting app that requires personal interaction and begets happy, obedient children as well as a joyful journey of motherhood. It is called the Happy Face Token System and, in a lot of ways, is similar to the parable of the talents. I like to think this system is something like the Economy of God in how he blesses and teaches us. It is a most remarkable concept. You can find more information about this idea in the book called From Combat Zone to Love at Home. The author gives step-by-step ideas in her boot camp for moms that virtually guarantee success and she even guarantees her program for 30 days. I don't know too many parenting experts that will do that. http://christcenterdparenting.com/bribe....

Charlie - posted on 04/25/2010

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The reason i chose leader as a description is because i use it not as an authoritative name but more based on fact i believe i should lead by example :)

Jaime - posted on 04/24/2010

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I don't like using the word punishment either, but I think discipline is an important word for kids to learn because it's something that they will carry with them and use for their entire lives. As parents we have to be disciplined in our own behaviour and be in control of our actions and emotions. I realize this isn't easy and we slip up from time to time...we're human after all. But I think discipline is a positive thing.

We first learn discipline, we then become disciplined and later have the ability to carry it on and teach discipline. I think this word is okay to use in direct correlation to positive behaviour strategies because it has to do with 'training' ourselves and others to be in control of emotions, actions and reactions to any situation that might arise, and learning how to cope with the consequences that ultimately follow.

[deleted account]

Wow yes everything you said is how i feel 100% its so nice to hear someone is completely on the same level as me on this,as all of the moms on this group are:-)glad i saw the link on a spanking thread were a mom wanted to stop doing it to her child and one of the moms posted this link so glad i saw it.Glad to be apart of this group.:-)



Just to say when i was pregnant on my second i had those times were i lost my cool as well and felt so upset for doing so. I think whats key is understanding when to take a step back and breathe, were not perfect but realising when to change the way we are behaving and improving on it, so it doesnt happen again is whats important.

Riana - posted on 04/24/2010

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I think you more or less already mentioned most of what my approach is: respect, communication, no labelling, and providing the child with the words, skills and understanding that is necessary to solve problems, as well as endless positive reinforcement and being a good role model.

I have a few minor things to add:

Firstly as far as possible I try to avoid the words punishment and discipline all together. In my ideal world there are no such things. There are simply choices and consequences. So I do not punish you I simply assist you in dealing with the consequences to your actions. Obviously this works better if they know in advance what the consequences will be. Like: “If you throw that toy YOU will have to put it away as it is not meant to be thrown and can hurt someone or it could break.” I like giving (when possible) them the responsibility - meaning I will not take the toy away as I am not the bad person here, but YOU make a choice so YOU carry the responsibility to put the toy away. I’m simply here to assist in reminding you of and explaining the consequence to you. Also I’m hear to understand your emotions so if you get angry because you have to put the toy away I’ll say “You really did not do that on purpose you simply forgot for a moment that it is dangerous to throw things?” “I understand that it is frustrating when we make mistakes, I feel the same way when I make mistakes, but it remains dangerous and it is important that we learn from our mistakes so you’ll have to put the toy away now”

Secondly, I do not see myself as the leader. Inside their own little world THEY are the leader, I’m simply the mediator who assists with difficult decisions.

Another very valuable tool is to always give a child the option to choose between two acceptable choices. Having the right to choose makes them feel important and independent. So don’t always give them the answers let them try to choose for themselves.

Annika is 8 and is very touchy. Since I always try to treat her fair and speak to her respectfully she does not react well to dominance from other adults. As a result she can easily overreact to the smallest comments and then be difficult or rude or go sit in a corner sulking. I will then simply say to her “Your behaviour is making it unpleasant for everyone in this room, you have two choices you can either choose to be friendly to my guests or you can choose to play in you room instead.” Both are acceptable and neither is punishment.

This is vitally important with toddlers who are constantly seeking independence. It can be as simple as would you like to shower or bath? Would you like to play nicely or not at all (If they choose not at all RESPECT that!) Would you like to apologise now or later. It is simple but very effective. They do not feel like they are being told what to do.

Lastly, I think you are all being very hard on yourself. PLEASE STOP You do not need to be the perfect mom, you are already amongst the top 10% for trying! I loose my temper, I try not to but everyone has limits, and that is also an important lesson for kids to learn. When I have lost my temper I will afterward go to see Annika (specifically Annika as little Kobus does not care he simply loves you regardless but Annika! she’ll say “Mommy do you remember that time (5 years ago!) that you shouted at me?”

So I will always speak to them and say “I’m sorry that I lost my temper, it was the wrong thing to do, I simply got so frustrated by your whining since I love you so much and I want to help you but can’t if you whine like that. I think we need to find a better way to solve this problem to avoid it happening again.”

The same thing that counts for the kids counts for me - What defines you is not that you never make mistakes but how you deal with them.

Charlie - posted on 04/23/2010

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I have to say being pregnant at the moment i have found myself losing my cool more often and at times have yelled at cooper , i felt absolutely terrible for doing so !
Now i can feel when im starting to upset and frustrated , i have had to step aside and just breath so simple yet effective .

Jessica - posted on 04/23/2010

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I absolutely agree with everything you said, Loureen!

I feel like I am only just starting to figure this out- what my parenting philosophy is. My son is 10 months old and so far I feel like I'm just learning as I'm going. I so agree with you Jaime- discipline isn't a "negative" thing and I don't think its limited to simple repercussions for unwanted behavior, because that's too superficial. Discipline, and parenting in general, involves the whole relationship between parent and child. And so that's kind of what I've been trying to focus on so far- building a good relationship with my son where we can intuitively understand each other, feel bonded, and where he trusts me. We haven't gotten to any "big" issues yet but I am hoping that as he gets older and we run into them, that our relationship as a family can provide a good foundation for helping learn and grow.

That's why I don't feel like hitting is "discipline." Its just something you do to the child when they do something you don't like- its superficial, there's nothing behind it to actually help them learn why a behavior is bad, why they did it in the first place, and how to not do it in the future. It creates a distance between you and the child, and its disrespectful. I grew up being spanked and slapped and it ONLY ever made my behavior worse, I hated it, and ever since I can remember have always sworn I would never go that route with my children. DF used to be pro-spanking, he thought you had to to get them to listen to you, etc until I explained to him how it was with me and all the negative things that can come from it. He actually got very upset and now agrees with me 100%.

I also really believe in modeling behavior- act the same way you want your kids to act because that's how they will learn to behave. I have a long way to go with this though as I have a horrible temper and tend to flip out easily. Similar to what Jaime said I am ashamed to admit I' have on occasion yelled at my son at times when I've gotten frustrated. Nothing has ever made me feel worse and I know I can't expect him to learn to control himself later on if I can't! Thankfully though I'm taking steps in the right direction to deal with those issues!

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