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  #16  
Old 11-16-16, 04:35 PM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
My parents didn't use rewards/punishments either, but it was understood that
they made all the decisions.

So here I am at age 65, a grandmother, and still indecisive because I never
had a chance to develop self-confidence and self-reliance by practicing making
decisions and seeing what the consequences would be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caco3girl View Post
Are you being serious?
Absolutely serious.

Unfortunately I began parenting with what I learned as a child.

It took me awhile to start giving my child choices. I didn't force her to eat
what I had fixed for dinner, she could have a peanut butter sammie instead.
She couldn't have whatever she wanted, but she still had a choice.

And we talked about everything. We watched tv together and talked about
what was happening and how the people were dealing with it, aind what we
would do in their shoes. She's better with decisions than I am, and generally
less anxious.
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  #17  
Old 11-17-16, 05:34 AM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

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Originally Posted by Caco3girl View Post
Shrug, to each their own. Every kid is different, I hope that by telling my kids the reasons why I handled the situations the way I handled them, it will help them to understand their own moral compasses. As my 14 year old gets older I can see the defiance in his eyes that he disagrees, I then ask him why he disagrees. 9 times out of 10 he didn't understand my reasoning, so I explained it again, but every now and then he does have a different take on things that makes me reevaluate.

I don't think any kind of dictatorship would work with a child, they need to know they have a voice in their life. However, my kids are also aware of certain expectations and rules, and they are unbreakable. If you do not have an 80% average in your core subjects you are grounded is an example of one. Notice I didn't say an 80% in ALL subjects, I said an average. My boy dislikes science with a passion, I am lucky if he is passing, but a higher math grade (which he loves) can compensate for his science grade. He has the power over if he is grounded, but he also knows it is a firm rule.
I am really glad this works for you- thats a hard line to keep and if someone has really out of control kids then it can be really tough! I think you and I can agree though that compassion, empathy and kindness are ultimately the best sort of guidance we can give our kids, (not trying to speak for you, just identify with what you do). I have been lucky that the kids all had IEPs or 504's so any problems they had in school we addressed and we never had to go to those lengths over grades.
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  #18  
Old 11-17-16, 11:19 AM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
Absolutely serious.

Unfortunately I began parenting with what I learned as a child.

It took me awhile to start giving my child choices. I didn't force her to eat
what I had fixed for dinner, she could have a peanut butter sammie instead.
She couldn't have whatever she wanted, but she still had a choice.

And we talked about everything. We watched tv together and talked about
what was happening and how the people were dealing with it, aind what we
would do in their shoes. She's better with decisions than I am, and generally
less anxious.
I'm still not understanding....did your parents not explain their choices to you? I make the decisions for my kids as well but I explain my choices. My hope is that by working through my reasoning with them, and even give end result scenarios, they understand why I made that choice and if a similar choice comes up again in their life they will have the guidance in knowing how I handled it.

I don't understand how you can be 65 and still feel you "never
had a chance to develop self-confidence and self-reliance by practicing making decisions and seeing what the consequences would be."....I mean what happened when you moved out? Surely you had to make your own choices then and rely on yourself.
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Old 11-17-16, 11:28 AM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I am really glad this works for you- thats a hard line to keep and if someone has really out of control kids then it can be really tough! I think you and I can agree though that compassion, empathy and kindness are ultimately the best sort of guidance we can give our kids, (not trying to speak for you, just identify with what you do). I have been lucky that the kids all had IEPs or 504's so any problems they had in school we addressed and we never had to go to those lengths over grades.
I think I parent with compassion, empathy and kindness...I don't hold my kids to unrealistic standards, or to standards that would make them miserable. A lady in my office gets very upset when her children come home with less than a 90% on any grade. She also does homework with them every night for hours. Now, yes, her kids are now in all the gifted programs but I just wouldn't want to put that type of pressure on my kid.

Bottom line, if I feel the goal is attainable with a medium amount of effort the rule sticks. If at some point the goal is no longer attainable, even with extreme effort, the rules are shifted. For example, my 14 year old just didn't seem capable of doing Spanish. He struggled horribly, was in general just lost, and ultimately the IEP team took him out of Spanish. However, once I realized the struggle he had Spanish was removed from the 80% course average to be able to go out.

My goal is not to hold my children to unrealistic expectations, but they do need to realize there ARE expectations. They need to try, to actually make an effort. They can't be so busy planing their life they forget the other important things. My son registers that while he may be wondering about if a specific girl will be at the football game on Friday he had better keep his grades half way decent in order to be able to even go to the game.
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  #20  
Old 11-17-16, 12:49 PM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

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Originally Posted by Caco3girl View Post
I'm still not understanding....did your parents not explain their choices to you? I make the decisions for my kids as well but I explain my choices. My hope is that by working through my reasoning with them, and even give end result scenarios, they understand why I made that choice and if a similar choice comes up again in their life they will have the guidance in knowing how I handled it.

I don't understand how you can be 65 and still feel you "never
had a chance to develop self-confidence and self-reliance by practicing making decisions and seeing what the consequences would be."....I mean what happened when you moved out? Surely you had to make your own choices then and rely on yourself.
Explain something to a child? A teen? A young adult? Not my parents.
Dad never actually talked to me, and Mom just seemed to expect me to
know by osmosis or something.

And if I didn't do something well enough (even washing dishes or folding
clothes) she would just sigh and do it over again herself.

The self-doubt and lack of confidence ... if you haven't ever experienced
that, I probably couldn't explain it to you.

Yes, I had to make decisions, and I second-guessed myself and guilted
myself and what-if'ed myself ... and my anxiety became crippling.
.
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  #21  
Old 11-17-16, 03:30 PM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
Explain something to a child? A teen? A young adult? Not my parents.
Dad never actually talked to me, and Mom just seemed to expect me to
know by osmosis or something.

And if I didn't do something well enough (even washing dishes or folding
clothes) she would just sigh and do it over again herself.

The self-doubt and lack of confidence ... if you haven't ever experienced
that, I probably couldn't explain it to you.

Yes, I had to make decisions, and I second-guessed myself and guilted
myself and what-if'ed myself ... and my anxiety became crippling.
.
I'm guessing this would be like me trying to explain to you what it is like to be dyslexic. I don't understand about crippling anxiety regarding lack of confidence. My mantra has always been "Make a choice, it may not be the right choice, but at least you are trying something."
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  #22  
Old 11-18-16, 06:10 AM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caco3girl View Post
I think I parent with compassion, empathy and kindness...I don't hold my kids to unrealistic standards, or to standards that would make them miserable. A lady in my office gets very upset when her children come home with less than a 90% on any grade. She also does homework with them every night for hours. Now, yes, her kids are now in all the gifted programs but I just wouldn't want to put that type of pressure on my kid.

Bottom line, if I feel the goal is attainable with a medium amount of effort the rule sticks. If at some point the goal is no longer attainable, even with extreme effort, the rules are shifted. For example, my 14 year old just didn't seem capable of doing Spanish. He struggled horribly, was in general just lost, and ultimately the IEP team took him out of Spanish. However, once I realized the struggle he had Spanish was removed from the 80% course average to be able to go out.

My goal is not to hold my children to unrealistic expectations, but they do need to realize there ARE expectations. They need to try, to actually make an effort. They can't be so busy planing their life they forget the other important things. My son registers that while he may be wondering about if a specific girl will be at the football game on Friday he had better keep his grades half way decent in order to be able to even go to the game.
I hope I didnt give the impression that I thought you didnt parent with compassion, empathy or kindness- I dont think that at all! I am truly glad that you are able to share what works for you, I know its given me ideas and thoughts. I just meant that..maybe Ive failed my kids in some way but not being more....forward, strict,specific or have higher expectations? ( I cant find the right words to explain what I mean). Sometimes when I see what you are able to accomplish with your kids and other parents as well, I feel like I have somehow made my kids' adhd worse- like not quite coddled them, but made them think that their way is inevitably better than any way a parent or teacher or other figure would suggest- and I dont want to think that I have somehow raised entitled spoiled kids. I guess thats where the other stuff comes into play. When I think about those things that seem like failings- I remember how good their hearts are and how all the mean things that people do never seem like choices for them, That their default is to act with kindness and not cruelty or simply being jerks. I dont know if I make sense here but thats kind of what I meant to say.
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  #23  
Old 11-18-16, 10:37 AM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

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Originally Posted by Caco3girl View Post
I'm guessing this would be like me trying to explain to you what it is like to be dyslexic. I don't understand about crippling anxiety regarding lack of confidence. My mantra has always been "Make a choice, it may not be the right choice, but at least you are trying something."
Apparently you were allowed to make choices. I wasn't. I had a role I was
expected to fulfill as the oldest girl in the family.

My little sister didn't have those expectations and made her own choices,
including getting pregnant at 16 ... at which point her right to choose came
to an end and she was made to get an abortion.
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  #24  
Old 11-18-16, 03:56 PM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

Sometimes, the names we give to things can be a bad influence on our behaviour. If a thief claims to be "borrowing", it will seem less bad to the thief, and if stealing was called by its right name, the thief would have an extra chance to reconsider.

I believe that using the word "consequence" in parenting has the same function - to hide the truth of the matter and keep people from really thinking about what they're doing.

Any "consequence" that is planned or agreed to or requires further action by anyone is not a consequence. Consequences always just happen naturally, without any intervention or any thought from anyone. So-called "consequences" in parenting-book-speak are nothing but punishments and rewards, with a fake justification in the form of a made-up false name.

This doesn't mean punishment and reward are always wrong. It only means that the word "consequence" in this context is always a weasel word or a false front or whatever you call that type of thing. And that we would all do better if we called things by their right names to avoid faulty reasoning.
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Old 11-18-16, 04:07 PM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

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Sometimes, the names we give to things can be a bad influence on our behaviour. If a thief claims to be "borrowing", it will seem less bad to the thief, and if stealing was called by its right name, the thief would have an extra chance to reconsider.

I believe that using the word "consequence" in parenting has the same function - to hide the truth of the matter and keep people from really thinking about what they're doing.

Any "consequence" that is planned or agreed to or requires further action by anyone is not a consequence. Consequences always just happen naturally, without any intervention or any thought from anyone. So-called "consequences" in parenting-book-speak are nothing but punishments and rewards, with a fake justification in the form of a made-up false name.

This doesn't mean punishment and reward are always wrong. It only means that the word "consequence" in this context is always a weasel word or a false front or whatever you call that type of thing.
An example in the Love and Logic books is of a child not wanting to wear a coat.

If the parent says, okay your choice, and the child gets cold, that's a consequence.

I think you can also tell the child that if they don't help with chores around the
house, the parent ends up doing all the work and may be too tired to take the child
to the zoo or the movie or whatever outing the child wants to do.

I think that's still a natural consequence if explained that way.

Another suggestion in the books is that the child can hire someone to do the
chores and it will come out of their allowance, or if the parent has to pay it will
mean there probably won't be any money for the next thing the child says they want.
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Old 11-18-16, 05:11 PM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

Lunacie: absolutely. Making someone aware of real consequences that they otherwise might not have taken into account is very different from creating artificial consequences. There isn't a fine line at all - it's completely different.
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Old 11-22-16, 09:58 AM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

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Originally Posted by dvdnvwls View Post
Any "consequence" that is planned or agreed to or requires further action by anyone is not a consequence. Consequences always just happen naturally, without any intervention or any thought from anyone. So-called "consequences" in parenting-book-speak are nothing but punishments and rewards, with a fake justification in the form of a made-up false name.
I can identify with what you are explaining. To use me or some of the people I hang with in the recovery community:
When I was drinking, I would be a black out drinker. I wreaked havoc with my loved ones. In turn, they lost trust in me- and I had to work hard at making amends and repairing the fracture I caused.
To me- the consequence was the lack of trust I created, my children not trusting that their mother would be able to show up for their plays or concerts because I was hung over or couldnt be away from alcohol anymore.
That to me was a natural consequence of my drinking.
Because I blacked out, I had no control nor memory of my behaviors- in turn my family treated me differently and afraid of my actions when under the influence.
My friend got arrested for driving drunk. Her BF bailed her out and she went to court. She got 90 days in jail. To me, the arrest part was the natural consequence, and the jail part was the punishment or punitive parts of the drinking.
I dont know if I am explaining it well or even if I make sense.....
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Old 11-28-16, 04:13 PM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I hope I didnt give the impression that I thought you didnt parent with compassion, empathy or kindness- I dont think that at all! I am truly glad that you are able to share what works for you, I know its given me ideas and thoughts. I just meant that..maybe Ive failed my kids in some way but not being more....forward, strict,specific or have higher expectations? ( I cant find the right words to explain what I mean). Sometimes when I see what you are able to accomplish with your kids and other parents as well, I feel like I have somehow made my kids' adhd worse- like not quite coddled them, but made them think that their way is inevitably better than any way a parent or teacher or other figure would suggest- and I dont want to think that I have somehow raised entitled spoiled kids. I guess thats where the other stuff comes into play. When I think about those things that seem like failings- I remember how good their hearts are and how all the mean things that people do never seem like choices for them, That their default is to act with kindness and not cruelty or simply being jerks. I dont know if I make sense here but thats kind of what I meant to say.
I have noticed that many people who have special kids doing things in their own special ways, that the parents are quick to say "THE WAY MY KID IS DOING IT IS FINE!"....I think the parents may have been conditioned into this response through years of being told their child wasn't fitting the social norm.

ADHD and dyslexic kids are marching to the beat of a different drummer than most folks but I do think it's okay to encourage them to conform rather than immediately defend their non-conformity. For example, my son plays baseball. Was that ball about 6 inches off the plate actually a strike...NOPE....now he knows it wasn't a strike, the coach knows it wasn't a strike, heck the pitcher knows it wasn't a strike. However, my son needs to accept that THAT is where the umpire is calling a strike today. He now has 2 strikes and the pitcher is going to throw it to that same spot....my son has a choice to make. I can stand my ground because I KNOW that was not a strike, and my coach knows that was not a strike, but you know what that is going to get you??? Strike three, you are out, or you can accept the alternate reality and pretend it IS a strike and take a step forward so you can hit that ball and let the guy on third come in and score the winning run!

It's about choices....just because a child is different doesn't mean he can't conform on most things. He doesn't have to believe it is the right way to do things, but if that is what the umpire or the teacher is wanting why not try to give it to them as opposed to standing your ground that it is okay to be different?
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Old 11-28-16, 05:23 PM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

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Originally Posted by Caco3girl View Post

It's about choices....just because a child is different doesn't mean he can't conform on most things. He doesn't have to believe it is the right way to do things, but if that is what the umpire or the teacher is wanting why not try to give it to them as opposed to standing your ground that it is okay to be different?
Actually kids with autism may not be ABLE to conform on some things.
They have a deficit in their ability to adapt. Given time and practice, some
can adapt to what seems illogical to them. But when hit with a new paradox
they often become stuck.

This can also be true of kids with adhd, although to a lesser degree. The
ability to adapt and change and go-with-the-flow just doesn't work right.

Edit to share this link: https://iancommunity.org/ssc/autism-adaptive-skills
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Old 11-28-16, 05:54 PM
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Re: "unconditional parenting" by alfie kohn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
Actually kids with autism may not be ABLE to conform on some things.
They have a deficit in their ability to adapt. Given time and practice, some
can adapt to what seems illogical to them. But when hit with a new paradox
they often become stuck.

This can also be true of kids with adhd, although to a lesser degree. The
ability to adapt and change and go-with-the-flow just doesn't work right.

Edit to share this link: https://iancommunity.org/ssc/autism-adaptive-skills
Yeah to this

In fact, being made to conform can be harmful to the autistic (and I'm sure to many with ADHD as well)

The years and years I went through trying to look and act normal, and conform(even though I still failed at all this) is I believe one of the main things that caused me to become very ill, and totally collapsed and have a burnout that caused me to drop out of university and I was unable to function, unable to shower, unable to dress myself, unable to take care of my hygiene, unable to make food, hardly left my room because I couldn't do anything. And this lasted for a very long time.

I think that burned me out permanently from being able to try to act "normal".

I get worn out, drained, anxious, and close to meltdown when I try to act "normal" for even a few minutes nowadays. It's isn't worth the toll it takes on my mental and physical resources.

Thankfully I am around people now who accept me for who I am, autistic symptoms and all.

I wish I was just told that I was allowed to be that way, growing up.

Let us not underestimate acceptance.

There are things nowadays that are accepted in society that would not have been even a decade ago. The autistic community is working hard on advocating acceptance, and I hope one day the world will be a more accepting place for all of us.

There are also many accounts from autistic people who share how ABA therapy has been abusive and harmful to them. This therapy is where they are trained to "act normal". It trains them to suppress their natural behaviors, and tries to make them look "less autistic."

You cannot train the autism out of an autistic person, trying to do so in my opinion is simply abusive.

I hope that one day when I have kids and they go to school, that the teachers will be so accepting of autism by then that they do not try to suggest therapy when my son or daughter hand flaps continuously in class or rocks back-and-forth or doesn't make eye contact.

And if society hasn't changed that much by then, then I'm gonna be one fierce momma who stands up for the way her kids really are.
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