Thursday, April 30, 2009

Permissive parenting v. gentle discipline

This is going to be a little blurb. I'm not up for a huge blog entry today. But I know that some are concerned that not using spanking and/or time-outs seems permissive. Let me be clear. There is a difference between permissive parenting and gentle discipline.

In a permissive household, parents tend to avoid conflict at all cost. Discipline and limits are often missing.

Here's a simple example. Child has been given two cookies for dessert. Child wants more - big suprise there. Child wines, stomps feet, and cries "cookieeeeee." A permissive parent would give the child another cookie in order to avoid the conflict. A parent who uses gentle discipline would let the child know that they can't have another cookie. Personally, I would keep it simple and say something like, "I know you want another cookie. I'm sorry. No more cookies." I'd probably repeat "no more cookies" a couple of times while my little one cries for "cookie." I might try distraction. Although, I've found that once my little one makes up his mind for another cookie he's nearly impossible to distract. If he won't be distracted then I may simply remind him "no more cookie" and turn my attention elsewhere. It doesn't take long for him to get over it. I don't try to reason with him, persuade him, etc... He's not even two - that would go nowhere! I just let it be and he's over it quickly.

Now granted, there are a lot of parenting issues that come up that seem larger than this cookie situation. But gentle discipline can be used in all kinds of situations to set limits. The difference between gentle discipline and permissive parenting is that there is a limit and the parent is willing to set it.

Another example is a toddler who repeatedly stands on the coffee table when that's not allowed in this house. Some might view this as outright disobedience and spank after they've had to remove the child several times - this would be more authoritarian in approach. Personally, I would not feel the need to punish as toddlers routinely test boundaries and also routinely forget instructions. It's part of their developmental level. However, the limit is still there. What this means is that I personally must get off my butt everytime the toddler is on the table and physically remove the toddler from the table. Usually I pair this with a verbal reminder of "feet go on the floor." I also look for ways to distract toddler and get the toddler involved in something other than climbing back onto the coffee table. A permissive parent would let the toddler stand on the table in order to avoid the conflict.

Anyways, I didn't expound as much as I'd like to, but I'm just a little tired this week. But I did want to write something about this as I know that gentle discipline is not permissive in nature.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Toddler Discipline

Here's a couple of articles that I thought were good regarding toddlers:

Discipline for Toddlers

This next one is a great list of ideas. Some of them I've already tried, but I got some new ideas from reading this.

Ideas for Toddlers

I like the idea of teaching a toddler how to "touch" with just an index finger. I thought that was a great strategy. Usually Boo is allowed to touch and grab or not at all, but teaching him how to lightly touch with an index finger would help him to satisfy curiosity without putting whatever breakable object at risk. I'm thinking of his Grandma and Papa's house here. Talk about breakables everywhere. Good grief! :)

#7 in the touch category was also great. I'm great at saying "That's not for Boo", but not great with the follow-up of showing him what he can have. Sometimes I do, but I'm not nearly as consistent and good at that as I could be. Honestly, a lot of the time it's out of sheer laziness! Sometimes I don't want to get off the couch and find him something that he can have. Granted, this is not usually at home. Since I do home daycare, pretty much everything within reach in the downstairs of our home is for him. But this happens more when we're out and about, at relatives, in the community, etc...

#1 in the stopping activity section has worked well for me. When we go to the park Boo says "bye bye" to the park, the swings, etc...I use this pretty much every time we leave somewhere that he's been enjoying himself. So far it's worked really well. Of course I'm probably jinxing it now.

#5 in that same category is a good one. For example, when I tell Boo and my daycare kiddo to "clean up toys", they'll sometimes sit and look at me and continue playing. I usually get much better cooperation when it's "Let's clean up so we can go outside, eat lunch, fill in the blank." Granted, this doesn't always work. And there's not always something that will be rewarding to them afterwards. Sometimes we clean up just to clean up and we're not going anywhere or eating anything. The clean up song helps, but even that's not guaranteed. I've found sometimes I have to physically hold their hands, use hand over hand to help them pick up a toy and put it in a basket. Then, with that level of help, they'll often jump in and pick up. And then sometimes, I get no help at all and I just model picking up the toys while they play. With an older child, of course I would be comfortable with some sort of logical consequence for not picking up toys, but with toddlers I'm comfortable just modeling the appropriate behavior for now.

Anyways, I won't go on and on, but I thought the article had a lot of neat ideas. I'm definitely going to try some of them that I haven't tried yet.

I plan to write a blog entry on natural/logical consequences and how it is different from permissive parenting. However, my brain is feeling too tired for that right now. I want to do the topic justice. So in the meantime enjoy these additional links.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Gentle Discipline Resources

I was hoping to post a new resource every day until Spankout Day, but I didn't get that done. But anyways, here's a few things that I found.

This first link is actually a foster parent training link, but it's about Natural and Logical Consequences. I love natural and logical consequences. It just makes so much sense to me. Anyways, take a look if you like. It's a little presentation that you have to click through. I didn't read through the quiz questions, but you could if you wanted to.

Natural and Logical Consequences

This one also talks about natural and logical consequences as well as some guidelines.

Natural and Logical

This is some food for thought on time outs.

Time out

Some more food for thought on time outs.

Why Not Time-Outs

Well, that's quite a few links for now. Grab some coffee, kick your feet up, and enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Article from Get Off Your Butt Parenting

This is an article I found while looking for sources to post between now and April 30th. This is an interesting article in that the author points out the extremes to which spankers and non-spankers polarize. I've definitely seen and felt this. Meaning that to the non-spanker, when a spanker's child is having behavioral problems it's because they're spanked. Likewise, to the spanker, when a non-spanker's child is having behavioral problems it's because they're not spanked. And really, what's important is the whole package. What else is the parent doing? What other methods of discipline are routinely used in the home? Does this parent find ways to incorporate positive discipline?

Now, granted, my position on spanking is still the same. I would never advocate for it and I don't personally believe in spanking. However, I do have much loved family and friends who have chosen to spank and that alone would never make me think of someone as a "bad parent."

Anyways, without further ado, here's a link to the article:

Let's Not Talk About Spanking

And, for kicks and giggles, here's an article about GOYB (Get off your butt) parenting.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 30th is Spankout Day

Ever heard of Spankout day? I came across this recently. Here's the definition copied straight from the website that I came across:

SpankOut Day USA was initiated in 1998 to give widespread attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior. EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children) sponsors SpankOut Day USA on April 30th of each year. All parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to refrain from hitting children on this day, and to seek alternative methods of discipline through programs available in community agencies, churches and schools.

(Taken from The Center for Effective Discipline)

Anyways, I just wanted to put this out there for those who might be willing to give it a try. It's just one day. It'll give parents who participate a chance to maybe learn some new ways of dealing with frustrating behavior. I've already got some gentle parenting links on this page for those who might want to learn about some alternatives. I'd love it if a few people would give this a try.