Tag Archives: punishment

Accountability: the “You-and-Me” Dialogue (Discipline Skill #2)

Accountability:
The “You-and-Me” Dialogue (Discipline Skill #2)

I refer to the “Accountability Dialogue” also as the “You-and-Me Dialogue” because this is where I (parent) talk to you (child) about how we are treating each other — especially after you break an agreement you have made with me.

Unacceptable child behaviors (UCBs), such as temper tantrums, arguments, angry and disrespectful insults, lying, stealing, physical or violent attacks on others, etc., can be distressing events for parents. How to handle them can often be a confusing disciplinary challenge.

In my New School approach to how to be a parent, I advocate reaching an agreement with the child (even as young as two years old) about how they will handle the particular UCB in the future. The best the parent can expect to get at that point is an agreement from the child that she will do something different next time. It is understood that the child will break her agreement (at least sometimes). This approach rejects punishments for the misbehavior because punishments are meaningless, ineffective, and counterproductive–they invite the child’s anger and “payback.”

After a Broken Agreement
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Thoughts About John Rosemond’s Old School Approach to Discipline (Short Version)

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s
Old School Approach to Discipline (Short Version)

John Rosemond’s book The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy, Children is quite interesting and quite provocative. Rosemond is a psychologist who has been around a while, who says he doesn’t believe in psychology, who has done a lot of work with parents, and who has published numerous other books, including: Teen-Proofing; Because I Said So!; Parent Power: A Common-Sense Approach to Parenting in the 90’s and Beyond; John Rosemond’s New Parent Power; and others.

Rosemond’s Six-Point Pla

Here are the chapter headings of his six-point plan: 1) The Parent-Centered Family; 2) The Voice of Authority; 3) The Roots of Responsibility; 4) The Fruits of Frustration (the child’s frustration–CA); 5) Toys and Play–The Right Stuff; and 6) Television, Computers, and Video Games–More Than Meets the Eye. Point number seven is Love ‘Em Enough to Do the First Six!

He also presents, in an afterword, Rosemond’s Bill of Rights for Children, which are, essentially, that children have the right to be bossed around by their parents.

The New Six Point Plan really challengied me to think about and question my “New School” approach to parenting.  He refers to himself as “old fashioned,” and  I’d say he is certainly in the running for the title “King of the Old School Approach to Parenting.” If Supernanny (Jo Frost) can be considered “Queen of the Old School Approach to Parenting” (I think she can), John Rosemond is the king. Now there’s a match made in heaven!

Old School Is Not Necessarily Bad or Wrong

I have said from the start of my talking and writing about New and Old School parenting that the Old School methods aren’t necessarily bad, but that they are not working so well with many of today’s savvy, autonomous, well-connected, and even defiant children–of all ages. For some of those kids, on the “defiant” end of the “compliant-defiant continuum,” the Old School methods just make things worse.

However, for many other kids, toward the other end of the continuum, who are more compliant, they do work fine, just like they did for us when we were kids.
It’s that group of kids in the middle, who are resistive, rebellious, and strong-willed  enough to cause behavior problems that I’m wondering about. Continue reading

When Rules Are Broken

When Rules Are Broken

Every organization or group, including the family, has certain standards of acceptable behavior. These are usually called rules, guidelines or standards. They are usually established by the administration, which, in the family, is the parents. They may be very clear, black and white, or they may be quite fuzzy and unclear. They may be specific or general, and they may be written, spoken, or even unspoken.

But every family has them, and it’s the parents’ responsibility to make sure they are known by the kids. Rules, or standards of acceptable behavior, are necessary for everybody, and especially for younger children, such as “No hitting,” “No playing in the street,” “No jumping on furniture,” “No snacks before meals,” “In bed by 8:00,” “Home by curfew” (for teens), etc.

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Old & New School Parenting Methods

Old & New School Parenting Methods

Old School Parenting Methods

Here is a brief listing of some of the most popular methods that 99% of our parents (and eons of parents before them) used in order to bring us, as children, into line with their wishes and demands.

The goal of discipline in the Old School approach to parenting was, and still is, obedience. It features a heavy dose of punishment for disobedience, and this punishment is intended to “teach the child a lesson,” which can generally be interpreted to mean “scare the child into submission.” By inflicting some kind of pain or deprivation, the punishment is meant to deter child misbehavior and disobedience in the future. These methods focus on dealing with children on the corporal or physical level.

With the exception of physical punishment, these methods are not necessarily “wrong” or “bad,” but they are too often ineffective with strong-willed, autonomous, or rebellious children of all ages. Here’s a listing of the most common Old School methods or techniques.

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Thoughts About John Rosemond’s Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children Parenting (Long Version)

Thoughts About John Rosemond’s 
Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children

(Long version of Chuck’s Idea Letter #10)

I’ve been thinking about discipline a lot lately–partly because I’m currently teaching a course on disciplining children at Parents Place.

But in addition I’ve also been reading a very interesting book by John Rosemond called The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy, Children. He’s a psychologist who has been around a while, who says he doesn’t believe in psychology, who has done a lot of work with parents, and who has published numerous other books, including: Teen-Proofing; Because I Said So!; Parent Power: A Common-Sense Approach to Parenting in the 90’s and Beyond; John Rosemond’s New Parent Power; and others.

Rosemond’s Six-Point Plan

Here are the chapter headings of his six-point plan: 1) The Parent-Centered Family; 2) The Voice of Authority; 3) The Roots of Responsibility; 4) The Fruits of Frustration (the child’s frustration–CA); 5) Toys and Play–The Right Stuff; and 6) Television, Computers, and Video Games–More Than Meets the Eye. Point number seven is Love ‘Em Enough to Do the First Six! He also presents, in an afterword, Rosemond’s Bill of Rights for Children, which are, essentially, that children have the right to be bossed around by their parents.

I’m really enjoying this book, The New Six Point Plan, partly because it is really challenging me to think about and question my “New School” approach to parenting. He refers to himself as “old fashioned,” and I’d say he is certainly in the running for the title “King of the Old School Approach to Parenting.” If Supernanny (Jo Frost) can be considered “Queen of the Old School Approach to Parenting” (I think she can), John Rosemond is the king. Now there’s a match made in heaven!

Old School Is Not Necessarily Bad Continue reading

Old School and New School Parenting: An Overview

Old School and New School Parenting:
An Overview

We were all probably raised in the Old School method of parenting, which worked pretty well for most of us. The Old School approach, a power and control approach, is not bad or wrong. It’s been around forever, and will be around as long as there are parents. But when it doesn’t work well with strong-willed or angry children, parents need some new ideas.

This article presents parents with a comparison of old and new approaches.

The Problem of Control

The single biggest problem that parents present in my classes and coaching is control of their children’s behaviors. I should say, misbehaviors. So many children are resistive, argumentative, stubborn, rude, even defiant toward their parents. The parents’ problem is that the parenting methods their own parents used with them (which may have actually worked quite well) simply do not work as well with many of these bright, articulate, independent-minded, but immature and self-centered children. What I call the Old School methods might, indeed, work well in many families, where the children are more easy-going and compliant. But in many stressed families, the Old School approach isn’t cutting it. What’s needed is a more sophisticated, more thoughtful approach. And I call it the New School approach to parenting.

Here’s a brief comparison of the two approaches.

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Discipline: What Is It?

Discipline: What Is It?

Disciplina, in its original Latin usage, means both “teaching and learning.” It’s an interesting word because it means that If there is teaching going on, then there is also learning going on. If someone is learning something, then someone or something (like life or personal experience) is teaching it.

“Discipline” Wrongly Means “Punishment”

 

Parents discipline children in order to teach them something specific, like right from wrong, good behavior from bad behavior, obedience, the importance of limits and self-control, and so on. Parents teach these things in many different ways. However, in our culture when parents say they are disciplining their children, or want to know how to discipline them, they almost universally use the term discipline to mean punishment as the means of teaching the intended lesson.

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Justifications for Punishment

Justifications for Punishment

Punishment of child misbehavior is and Old School approach to “how to parent,” and it’s as old as the hills. It just comes naturally. Almost all parents use it as a means of correcting the wrongdoing of their children for a couple of reasons. One is that children clearly need to learn that doing wrong, like being disrespectful, or stealing, or hurting someone, needs to stop. We would all agree that misbehavior needs to be corrected.

Another justification parents give for using punishment is to teach their children about life–specifically, that wrongdoing usually invites negative consequences, especially if you are caught. It often happens that even if you are not caught, wrongdoing has a way of coming back to “bite you,” and you end up getting what you deserve. So punishment is often used as a means of teaching children about, and preparing them for, the harsh realities of life.

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The Problems with Punishment

The Problems with Punishment

Punishing children creates a number of problems, which, when taken together, can be both serious and counterproductive. In general, punishments are an invitation to trouble, and often carry with them significant, unintended, negative consequences. Punishments should therefore be avoided with all children, no matter their age. There are better ways than punishments for dealing with children’s unacceptable behavior. More about that later. First, let’s consider some of the problems with punishments.

Let Me Count the Ways

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