Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hold on let me go plug in my keyboard

HB's persistent whining has led me to do two things 1) get off the computer and interact with him asap 2) unplug the keyboard and let him bang furiously on it while I use the mouse to scroll through some posts. He likes both.

He also is crawling up my stairs. Now some people would get upset about this, and when I told my MIL, my mother, and Hubby about it (since he's not here this week :)) I had mixed feelings about what their reactions might be. My MIL said that her niece would crawl up and down the stairs too and she let her. My MIL's brother and wife weren't happy about it, but my MIL said she's going to have to learn sometime, it's better with me watching her. I told my parents her reaction and agreement with me letting HB go up the stairs (not down, that's a bit trickier, I'll wait til he master's up first). They both agreed that it was a good idea to teach him the inevitable if he was ready. I told Hubby what was happening and he said "you are going with him aren't you? He's not climbing the stairs all by himself?" "No, Hubbs, he's not going all by himself. I'm standing behind him to catch him if he should slip and fall." which he does slip a little. I wouldn't figure carpeted stairs would be easy to slip on when going up even barefoot, but I guess so.

I've been reading more about Gentle Discipline: about what it is and what it is not.

What it is not:
It is not a permissible form of discipline. But instead of rules being defined by the "because I said so" mantra, they are defined by reason. For example, we don't bang on Mommy's keyboard because it's rude to do while she's trying to type. Obviously, a ten month old doesn't understand that so I unplugged the keyboard. But if he's two or three, it's easy enough to explain. Or another rule: we don't go up the stairs by ourselves because we might get hurt. Again, our actions have consequences.

What it is:
Gentle discipline is all about eliciting empathy. For example: we don't bite others because it hurts them. Or we don't call people "stupid" because it hurts their feelings. Of course, 18 month old don't understand that it can hurt the person to bite them, so you simply say "ouch" and redirect them.

What it is not:
Gentle discipline avoids punishment and reward of any kind. Therefore, there is no corporal punishment (ie spanking) and similarly, there is no sticker system either. Behavior is dictated solely by our own pride at accomplishment (using the toilet for example) or by how it affects others (see examples above). Therefore gentle discipline is not a reward based system of discipline.

What it is:
Gentle discipline seeks to avoid the word "no" so baby proofing and using what I term "preventative discipline" is employed. Therefore there is more occasion to use the word "yes". So you can say yes, you can have ice cream after we finish dinner. or yes, you can play in that room all by yourself and I won't go running after you telling you not to mess with the breakables. You get the idea.

I like this idea about discipline without reward or punishment. I've never cared for punishment except in extreme cases but usually it's to get the child to cool off and calm down. I don't use time out as a punishment. It's more a time away. And giving kids candy or toys as rewards just doesn't sit well with me. For one thing, candy isn't good for them. For another, food is a basic need like water and breathing. It shouldn't be surrounded by that kind of pleasure or pain because it can lead to eating disorders later in life and temper tantrums in early childhood. And toys, well, I'm trying to teach my kid to live with what he has and to give to others instead. Always wanting more seems selfish. But honestly, I couldn't explain how that would work to other parents until I came across gentle discipline and realized that that's what I am. It has a name. Cool.

Although there are a lot of gentle disciplinarians that co-sleep, etc. I don't think, however, you have to do that in order for this type of discipline to work.

Oh, and your going to gasp that is if you know that I used to work at a daycare with two year old and used to potty train them, but....I've been seriously thinking of going the child-led potty training route. I once contemplated using EC, elimination communication, but after having HB, I have decided against it. In fact, I've gone polar opposite and have decided to let HB potty train himself. *gasp* And that means he will go potty when he's ready too. And that also means that when he decides to rip off his diaper at age two and go running around my house naked, then I'll be happy because we can discuss what a toilet is for. Of course he may not decide to use the toilet until three or four but I don't care. I mean it will be brought up, but I'm not expecting to make a big deal out of it. I'll still buy a little potty and tell him what it's for, but I'm not going to make him sit on it or anything. And I'm not worried about preschool pressures either. Hubby has been wanting to homeschool for preschool and since most preschools require a child to be potty trained and most likely HB won't be, Hubby will be happy that we're doing preschool at home.

Also have been reading a lot lately about baby-led feeding. Mama K uses it with her son. I'm interested in seeing if it will work for me with my next child, but we'll see. If we keep having kids with weight issues, we may have to go the shoveling it in route.

1 comment:

  1. LOL at the last bit... but sorry you are dealing with that.

    We tried PT with Kalila and I've come to agree with you there. I do like some parts of EC... will occasionally hold ZJ over a potty or sink, but mostly because its easier on his skin to wash it with straight water. I've toyed going comp EC with a child, and not saying it'll never happen (I kinda think its training me not the baby), but I'm not going the route we started with Kalila again. What we ended with sure lol. Not the start though. If ZJ wants to wear diapers until he's 4.. ok then. I won't be thrilled, but I'm not forcing the issue. He'll do it when he's ready.

    As for Gentle Discipline. I guess I'm not going that route w/ Kalila. No I know we didn't start out that way either, but despite agreeing with you on spanking now... stickers are what's somewhat working w/ her. I don't like the food idea either for what its worth. But stickers and charts are highly recommended for spirited kids and that's what we're dealing with here. Maybe ZJ? Possibly. So far he is a lot calmer than her.

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!