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Old 01-10-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: here
24,483 posts, read 28,860,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
You can imagine that it is frustrating to be told that you are saying something you are not saying. Why she has such a stick in her butt over having a different opinion than someone on an internet forum I cannot fathom. But attributing dishonest motives to me is unkind.

I will get over it.
I just reread your OP. FWIW I felt like I was reading an excerpt from a parenting book. I've noticed when someone asks a parenting question in this forum, you answer with the same list of parenting books. I've read several parenting books, including some on your list. IMO they are good in theory, but not IRL. I feel like I'm reading scenarios made up by someone who has never actually parented. When I read your posts I don't get a sense of what you've actually done and what has worked. I get a sense of what you've read, and what the books say should work. That's just my take on it.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Ohio
18,152 posts, read 13,340,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
CharlotteGal ostensibly does nothing about it or does it for them, because they are just expressing themselves or because they really want all their toys in a pile on the floor.
Crayons, finger-paints, water-colors etc etc are for "just expressing themselves."

Nothing wrong with expressing one's self, it's just that there is a proper time, a place and a medium for doing so.

Children need to learn that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
NJGOAT expects that his kids will clean up their toys at the appointed time and clearly details the reasons for doing so as well as clearly outlining what the consequence is for not doing it, which would be having any toys not cleaned up and put away taken until they demonstrate that they want to meet the expectation.
That would be the proper way. The only issue here is that, as in all cases, a parent, a teacher, a troop leader, a supervisor or manager or anyone else should never make threats that they do not intend to carry out.

You can make a threat once and not carry it out; do it twice and you've completely lost all credibility in the eyes of your child (or student or whatever). Continue to do it, and you will ultimately totally lose control, and never be able to re-establish control or reassert yourself in a position of authority.

Outlining consequences...

Mircea
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:40 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,275,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
I just reread your OP. FWIW I felt like I was reading an excerpt from a parenting book. I've noticed when someone asks a parenting question in this forum, you answer with the same list of parenting books. I've read several parenting books, including some on your list. IMO they are good in theory, but not IRL. I feel like I'm reading scenarios made up by someone who has never actually parented.
That's interesting. They, all three, of all the ones I have read, spoke to me. That is why I recommend them.

Quote:
When I read your posts I don't get a sense of what you've actually done and what has worked. I get a sense of what you've read, and what the books say should work. That's just my take on it.
Huh. Go figure.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:57 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,275,917 times
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Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
I just reread your OP. FWIW I felt like I was reading an excerpt from a parenting book. I've noticed when someone asks a parenting question in this forum, you answer with the same list of parenting books. I've read several parenting books, including some on your list.IMO they are good in theory, but not IRL. I feel like I'm reading scenarios made up by someone who has never actually parented. When I read your posts I don't get a sense of what you've actually done and what has worked. I get a sense of what you've read, and what the books say should work. That's just my take on it.

I am actually mildly irritated, thinking on it. I come here to discuss a topic in good faith and get blasted for my trouble. People want to know what 'works'. How the heck can one post in a single forum thread what took several volumes to encompass?

I was a highly punitive parent. It took until my royal pain in the fang child was THREE to realize that the problem was not the devil spawn child. It was ME. So I went and sought a solution. I went to parenting forums, after all I had had good luck with a marriage forum. There is no simple answer. Kid does this, you do that ... never is going to yield a useful answer.

If you want scenarios, I can't give them to you because there is nothing in ONE reaction to ONE action that is of any use to know. How you handle any one incident is ... unimportant. It is the collection of all of our interactions that yield the results that I hope for. So if you want scenarios if your child does this, I do that. I can't give those to you. Because they don't exist.

S
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:04 PM
 
Location: here
24,483 posts, read 28,860,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
I am actually mildly irritated, thinking on it. I come here to discuss a topic in good faith and get blasted for my trouble. People want to know what 'works'. How the heck can one post in a single forum thread what took several volumes to encompass?

I was a highly punitive parent. It took until my royal pain in the fang child was THREE to realize that the problem was not the devil spawn child. It was ME. So I went and sought a solution. I went to parenting forums, after all I had had good luck with a marriage forum. There is no simple answer. Kid does this, you do that ... never is going to yield a useful answer.


If you want scenarios, I can't give them to you because there is nothing in ONE reaction to ONE action that is of any use to know. How you handle any one incident is ... unimportant. It is the collection of all of our interactions that yield the results that I hope for. So if you want scenarios if your child does this, I do that. I can't give those to you. Because they don't exist.

S
See, now you sound like a real parent, not a book.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:08 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,275,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
See, now you sound like a real parent, not a book.

I am not a terribly touch feely person. I started a thread to talk about a topic.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I've gone down this road before and you keep dodging the question. Every parent deals with kids who don't pick up their toys...
I guess I will try one more time with this question in case there are any lurkers who are interested in actually understanding what I am trying to say. Long before you get to the refusal to pick up toys, which certainly happens, especially if you are transitioning from soft limits to firm and consistent limits, there are a lot of things that you can make a habit which will greatly increase a kid's cooperation and lessen the likelihood of resistance. Avoid demands. "Eye spy with my little eye a wrecked living room." Have one of the toys complain how lonely they are out of the toy box without their rest of their friends... "It would ve helpful if"...

In the instances that things go well, it behooves us to make an investment in next time by using descriptive appreciation. Wow look how neatly you put the stuff on the shelf. It looks so nice. Did you really organize that bin so all the toys fit? How clever.

But even still, sometimes, particularly as I mentioned if the discipline strategy formerly engendered resistance and rebellion or engendered limit testing by being inconsistent, limits will be tested. And sometimes there is resistance for OTHER reasons.

The WHAT (not picking up toys) is less important than the why and the who. We cannot assume that every misbehavior is a limit test. If the child is balking because they are 3 and don't know how to break down the chore into manageable tasks, then what good do consequences do but get them further confused about what is expected of him or her.

If they are tired, distracted or otherwise just not in the game, it is often unnecessary to bring in the big guns. We have signals which we use to get attention. I was just in the school yesterday. They do the same thing. Teacher does a clapping sequence; clap, clap, clapclapclap. Students respond in kind. It is a transition signal. For us it is a light finger touch to the nose and draw the finger to my eyes which draws their eyes to my eyes. Regaining control of attention can also be achieved through exaggerated deep breathing. A clean up song or whatever can help as well.

But sometimes, especially as I mentioned above, during a discipline strategy change, the limits will be tested. Kids who play clean up. This is not negotiable. Mom means what she says and says what she means Every Single Time. So WHEN you have finished cleaning up, THEN you can come in to lunch. And no I don't feel particularly badly if you miss lunch since lunch was fully in your control.

If you choose to out stubborn me, and I wind up cleaning up, then I clean the up all the way to the Saturday box where we can try the whole procedure again starting Sunday.

...

Pretty soon you will likely find yourself saying an enthusiastic "Living Room!" and up they hop to clean the living room. We get an occasional grumble to which I reply "yah I am sick of making dinner too. I think I will stop with a wink."
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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Thank you for responding. I don't think that overall we really have a difference in what we do. Perhaps a philosophical difference in what we think generates the desired outcome, but the method is very much the same.

At first we were more punitive with it, you will clean up or else. This didn't work out so well so our strategy adapted overtime to what we use now.

We set a clear expectation as to what we want done, the toys cleaned up. To help them accomplish this we have done several things:

1. We highly organized the toys so that the kids knew where they went. We primarily use a bin system with different colored fabric bins. On each bin we have a picture of what goes in it, this helps them know HOW to put the toys away.

2. We are consistent with when we clean up the toys. It is always before dinner and we always cleanup before we leave the house. Both of these events come with notice, so they know it's time to start thinking about cleaning up.

3. When we are getting down to the wire, we use a transition moment. Right now, we generally do a "team huddle" to get focused on the task. My sons school uses the clapping and has a cleanup song which seems to work great as well.

4. We set a timer so that they have a clear understanding of what they are supposed to be doing and it helps engender a sense of urgency to get it done.

5. As we approach the time limit they are reminded that the consequence for not getting everything picked up is that the toys will be taken away until they demonstrate they can live up to the expectation.

So, we set them up to succeed, which I think is a cornerstone of your message.

Now, in my house we do have a little bit of an issue over whose mess it really is. With a 7 year old boy and 3 and 2 year old girls, it becomes obvious who the pile of Barbies belongs to. Now, we clearly expect my son to be able to clean up his toys independently and he almost always does, with the exception of the times he "doesn't feel like it". We are torn on the issue of making him help clean up his sisters mess if his chore is done. We currently lean towards him not needing to help, but praise him when he does for being a good team player and how nice it was that he helped his sister with her mess.

The three year old though requires a different tactic. We need to help coach her into what to do. You can't just say "clean up" and expect her to know what you mean. We help her by breaking it down into smaller jobs. Get all of your dolls and put them here. Get all of your Barbies and put them in this bin with the Barbie picture. Get all of your blocks and put them in the block bin, etc. We DON'T do it for her, but we help her to understand what to do. However, there are days when she "doesn't feel like it" either, generally the same days her brother doesn't.

The 2 year old is a part of this, but we are now content with her just helping her sister and not taking an overly active role. She follows her sisters lead, so if we get the 3 year old onboard the 2 year old follows. If it was just the 2 year old, we would help her do it step-by-step to show her what we expected her to do.

So, I think at the end of the day, our only real disagreement in terms of a good strategy is philosophical. I think a parent absolutely needs to set their kids up to succeed, but that also doesn't mean lowering the bar of expectation as I fear some parents do. To me it means, giving them the tools to be succesful, setting a clear expectation and yes, clearly defined and logical/nautral consequences for not meeting the expectation.

Where the philosophical disagreement comes in is the role of consequence. Do I think that my son picks up his toys because he inherently knows it is the right thing to do, no I don't. I think he knows it is the right thing to do, but I think he also hates doing it. If there was no consequence for failing to do it, the hard line and consistency part you mentioned, then I think he would choose to simply not pick up his toys.
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:41 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,275,917 times
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Now, in my house we do have a little bit of an issue over whose mess it really is. With a 7 year old boy and 3 and 2 year old girls, it becomes obvious who the pile of Barbies belongs to.
Homey don't play that! I am so not going down the he touched it last road. I am not necessarily the one who generates the poo stain on the toilet. We are a family, a team. We all chip in.


Quote:
So, I think at the end of the day, our only real disagreement in terms of a good strategy is philosophical.
Insofar as you are ok with arbitrary consequences that have nothing to whatever was going on, I cannot agree with you. Red, yellow, green behavior charts and arbitrary consequences probably won't yield sociopaths, but that is not a solution I would ever choose.

Luckily the school my kids go to use tactics pretty much like I describe, so I don't have to deal with that bizness.

Quote:
I think a parent absolutely needs to set their kids up to succeed, but that also doesn't mean lowering the bar of expectation as I fear some parents do. To me it means, giving them the tools to be succesful, setting a clear expectation and yes, clearly defined and logical/nautral consequences for not meeting the expectation.

Where the philosophical disagreement comes in is the role of consequence. Do I think that my son picks up his toys because he inherently knows it is the right thing to do, no I don't.
I don't even think picking up toys is a moral imperative. Could I care less if they choose to be complete slobs in their own house? But my kids DO contribute to the family as a whole, and without complaint, because it is the right thing to do. Of this I am pretty sure.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:45 PM
 
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After all the debate and back-and-forth, I still have the same opinion of different strokes for different folks. Every parent seems to have their own methods of dealing with different situations, and it works for their kids and families, but it's not going to work for every family. I don't see anything wrong with Charlottegal's permissive style of parenting...if it works for her kids. It wouldn't work for mine, but it works for hers. Now if her kids were raging monsters, it would be appropriate to conclude her way is not working, and perhaps she needs to find a different way. But it's working for her, just like NJGoat's way is working for him, and Somebodynew's way is working for her, and my way is working for me. Whatever that way is, from the parent that allows her kids to paint on the walls to the parents who don't see the harm in an occasional spank, it's up to each parent to evaluate their own child and their own situation and decide what method works best.

So basically, I'm leaving the conversation with the same attitude I had coming into it. As long as a parent is not harming their child physically or mentally, and as long as their method of parenting works for their family, there really is no "right" way and "wrong" way.
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