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Old 01-13-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,227,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
It isn't muddying the waters. It is being accurate with precise language. Sometimes complex concepts require vocabulary. Don't apologize for having a strong vocabulary! There was nothing confusing in your post.

That doesn't really sum it up. I would say my position on discipline, if I were to try to sum it up, is

- focused on a goal of SELF discipline, not good behavior.
- is comprised of a package of important sub-goals and tactics of which consequences is a critical component, but only one component. Without the other components, consequences risk building resentment not cooperation, and risk yielding an attitude of what is in it for me, will I get caught or am I willing to pay the price. This is rules based behavioral compliance, not self discipline. Thus not the goal.
- the understanding of being responsible for one's actions is best achieved by consequences that are natural or directly logically related to the action not because it is happy sweetness and light that doesn't hurt poor little Johnny's feelings. But because it is effective without distracting the child with feelings of resentment, resistance, anger and hurt feelings. It makes it harder for the child to deflect responsibility and m akes it easier to own responsibility.
- has more to do with the child and what they need to learn than the nature of the behavior or "infraction".

It is difficult to sum up succinctly. Which is why the OP was so long!
Lol re: having a strong vocabulary! Thanks. I do think, independent of my vocabulary , that how terms are defined in parenting lit make things confusing (for example: consequence in some cases referring to a naturally occurring effect and in other cases referring to an arbitrary parental-imposed correction).

Thanks for clarifying your position. I was still confused about how this differs from solid behavioral intervention (more on what I mean by that below), so I went back to your OP, and did some searching on the three books you've mentioned, as well as their authors, and Haim Ginott whose work the Faber book is based on. From my reading of it, the strategies involved are all behavioral interventions delivered in an atmosphere of empathy, inclusive of emotion, and focused on teaching and problem solving rather than controlling behavior.

What I mean by a solid behavioral intervention is that behavioral principles, when applied appropriately (or observed at work in life), very much take into account emotion, validation of what the child is experiencing, teaching problem solving skills, and generalizing a specific learning instance to everyday functioning, with the end goal of these behaviors becoming intrinsically motivated rather than controlling a behavior like the parent police. Also, to clarify - when I say "behavior" I mean an action, an emotion, a thought, an impulse. The way I'm reading those sources is that they are opposed to poorly applied behavioral intervention or parenting strategies that seek to control actions through coercion, threats, yelling, etc. While I can certainly agree that in some instances behavioral interventions are applied in a well-meaning but half-assed way to get a child to do or not do something as the end goal, IME, that is the exception rather than the rule. One of the hallmarks of behaviorism is generalization - getting ourselves to learn a principle from a specific instance and then apply the principle appropriately in other future circumstances.

Last edited by eastwesteastagain; 01-13-2012 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,227,273 times
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Ok, NJGoat - here are some of my thoughts inspired by your post (congrats on your most informative poster win, BTW!):

I like how you described that the salience of a reinforcer is also going to depend on the situation. I think of this in terms of competing (potential) responses - in real life, any situation is going to have a number of reinforcers and punishers at work. Any given decision is going to depend on which of those is most powerful in that moment. Of course, the assumption as adults is that we will choose the "right thing," exercise impulse control, etc., although in practice, I don't see this as always being the case - hence, there are mistakes made, even as responsible, self-discplined adults.

I completely agree that the social and cognitive development of the child must be taken into account. While I think we can all agree on an end goal of self-discipline, I think there is some disagreement on how to get there. I imagine the strategies you employ with your elder child are much more focused on abstract ideas, more remote effects, and self-determination than with the toddlers. I like your description of using extrinsic motivators or consequences as "scaffolding" with the idea that it is a temporary step on a work-in-progress, rather than an end point.

I was also thinking some more about intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and about somewhat arbitrary consequences. Even in adulthood, there are arbitrary consequences. There is nothing natural about getting a fine for speeding - the natural consequence would be getting into an accident because one is driving too fast. While I absolutely agree that we don't want to raise children who are governed by "where's my reward?" or "I'm behaving because I'm scared of being punished," there are a lot of instances of rule-governed behavior in the adult world.

Last edited by eastwesteastagain; 01-13-2012 at 10:47 AM..
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:56 AM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,233,571 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
Lol re: having a strong vocabulary! Thanks. I do think, independent of my vocabulary, that how terms are defined in parenting lit make things confusing (for example: consequence in some cases referring to a naturally occurring effect and in other cases referring to an arbitrary parental-imposed correction).
Yes.

Quote:
Thanks for clarifying your position. I was still confused about how this differs from solid behavioral intervention (more on what I mean by that below), so I went back to your OP, and did some searching on the three books you've mentioned, as well as their authors, and Haim Ginott whose work the Faber book is based on. From my reading of it, the strategies involved are all behavioral interventions delivered in an atmosphere of empathy, inclusive of emotion, and focused on teaching and problem solving rather than controlling behavior.
One of the points about controlling behavior that Swift talks about is the resistance engendered by trying to do so. Who likes to be controlled or manipulated?

Quote:
What I mean by a solid behavioral intervention is that behavioral principles, when applied appropriately (or observed at work in life), very much take into account emotion, validation of what the child is experiencing, and generalizing a specific learning instance to everyday functioning, with the end goal of these behaviors becoming intrinsically motivated rather than controlling a behavior like the parent police.
Yes.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,227,273 times
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Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
One of the points about controlling behavior that Swift talks about is the resistance engendered by trying to do so. Who likes to be controlled or manipulated?
oh, I agree that manipulation or control (in lay terms) are not the most effective ways to get someone to do something. I'm curious what Swift is referring to, on a practical/functional level. That is, what does Swift consider control or manipulation?

I ask because in my world view, humans "shape" each others' behavior (broad use- including actions, emotions, thoughts, action urges) all the time, whether we intend to or not. If the dog barks, I let her in the house - she has shaped my behavior. If my son gives me a hug, I say "I love you" - he has shaped my behavior. IMO, part of a good behavioral intervention is just noticing these contingencies or relationships. I don't hug my son because an intervention says I should, I do it because I want to/it's my "natural" reaction, but the contingency is present all the same, you know what I mean?

ETA: I am enjoying this exchange very much!!
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:56 PM
 
2,726 posts, read 4,365,836 times
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I am jumping in here to share my experience with control and manipulation. I believe this was a big part of my upbringing which also lead to adult relationships in which it had a major role in it.

I believe the manipulator's emotions and actions are dependent on factors that really should not be controlled. These factors, I believe, make up a person's personality.

For example, my niece (4) does not play well with my daughter (almost 3) but she does play well with other children. My role as a parent was to set them up so that both children felt respected in each others presence, even if that meant limited interaction.

I don't believe in "tolerance". I don't think my niece should have to tolerate my daughter. She needs to respect her but she doesn't have to let her do whatever she wants.

If I was manipulative, I might do or say things hoping for a "nicer more cooperative" niece and then blame her for my negative emotions if she didn't follow through. Manipulative people may say "after everything I do for you..."

With manipulative people, you have no options.
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