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Unconditional parenting types please come here :)

(6 Posts)
nappyaddict Tue 30-Nov-10 16:42:04

Do these fit in with UP or not?

I define time out as removing them from the situation, sitting in a calm, quiet place either next to or away from the adult until they have calmed down. Then the adult explains why that behaviour is inappropriate and suggest that they apologise (but not force).

Also what about the idea that if you ignore bad behaviour (as long as it doesn't hurt or destruct) it will stop as often the attention or reaction they receive from misbehaving is a reward to the child and unrewarded or ignored behaviour is less likely to recur and will eventually disappear.

lagrandissima Tue 30-Nov-10 16:49:54

I would imagine so. But I don't think those strategies are the exclusive preserve of UP. The latter strategy is surely otherwise known as 'Picking Your Battles' and Not giving positive reinforcements to certain behaviours; the former is similar to the Time Out queen, Tanya Byron.

They both work at different times for different kids. I wouldn't worry too much. Surely most parents love their kids, want to keep them safe, want to raise them to be good adults, and set sensible boundaries for behaviour.

pooter Tue 30-Nov-10 18:37:48

Well, according to Alfie Kohn (not me - i aspire to be UP but continually fail and become angry mum) the ignoring thing is not AP. In fact he goes on about children needing attention etc even more when they have been 'naughty' than usual.

The problem i have with Alfie is that he doesnt give many ideas as to what to actually DO when your small child behaves like an infuriating devil child.

If i remember correctly, he suggests telling the child "I dont want you to do that because..." rather than just telling them to stop it - ie, make sure everyone is aware that the adult wants things to occur a certain way - and acknowledge that the child DOESn't want things to occur in that way.

Oh it seems so waffly and useless.

Your time out seems to fit with UP though - as it isnt time out from love as it where, as you could still be right next to your child.

Have you read Alfie? Its inspiring but not very useful in practical terms!

nappyaddict Wed 01-Dec-10 11:07:59

I borrowed it from the library a year or two ago and used some of it's ideas but like you said I don't find it practical in certain instances and often ask people on here what they would do as I don't have the book anymore.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 01-Dec-10 13:08:32

Have the book out of the library at the mo but not started reading it yet.

WIll probably later this week so will bare youur q in mind nappyaddict and see if owt comes up.

smile

ommmward Wed 01-Dec-10 13:46:38

Helping a child defuse by removing from a situation can be really really useful, but it is all context dependent of course. Sometimes what a child needs is some better ideas thrown at them, with the parent being really engaged with them. Sometimes they are having complete conniptions and actually really need gently removing from a completely overwhelming situation. It's a judgment call every time.

"I define time out as removing them from the situation, sitting in a calm, quiet place either next to or away from the adult until they have calmed down." as long as they get to choose whether or not to have the adult with them, I really really like your type of time out

"Then the adult explains why that behaviour is inappropriate and suggest that they apologise (but not force)."

Personally, I don't like forced apologies. I also think it's really important to remember that the adult viewpoint may be flawed. So often in a dispute between children, we don't get the back story (yes, X pushed Y, and Y is screaming, but actually Y had been bugging X for 15 minutes before hand etc etc). So I personally just try to make sure everyone is content, dealing with injuries first, but don't point fingers of blame.

If a child is ok with verbal explanations, then that sort of enculturation can be useful. For children who don't do well with language, or who have less developed social skills (young toddlers/ children on the spectrum etc), then I do a lot more through demonstration, redirection, or structural discipline. Rather than telling a child that we don't climb in the freezer, I would keep the freezer behind a locked door, or I would be with my child making it safe for them to have a really good freezer explore so that they themselves can either come to the conclusion that freezer exploration is rubbish, or they have a chance to persuade me that I was quite wrong in my assessment of the inappropriateness of freezer expeditions, or I would get something fabulously fun out to do instead

"Also what about the idea that if you ignore bad behaviour (as long as it doesn't hurt or destruct) it will stop as often the attention or reaction they receive from misbehaving is a reward to the child and unrewarded or ignored behaviour is less likely to recur and will eventually disappear."

I don't really buy into "bad" behaviour. There's always a back story. If a child is attention seeking, I wasn't managing to give them enough attention. If a child is climbing in dangerous ways, I need to provide better climbing possibilities, or engage them in deep pressure massage/pillow fights/ whatever they need to meet the sensory need. I don't think of children as being Bad. I think of them as knowledge-growing machines, whose attempts to understand the universe around them are not always convenient to adults. There's a mental switch which really helps me there.

NB I'm not really a UP devotee - I think Alfie Kohn hasn't really grasped the principle of adult fallibility, although there's certainly some nice tips in his writing which edge us towards being more child centred. I have got a LOT of valuable ideas from the Taking Children Seriously philosophy.

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