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Is there a Positive Parenting/Positive Discipline thread?

(26 Posts)
SouthernandCross Sat 08-Oct-11 22:05:25

I am trying to parent this way but DH isn't so keen and my friends all believe in time outs and star charts. I'd love to be able to discuss how things have/haven't worked with people who understand what I'm trying to do.
Especially if they have more than two children. It seems most only have one or two- we have 4 and I find it tough to stay connected to all of them!

BertieBotts Sat 08-Oct-11 22:07:22

There was, but it's been dead for ages. Might as well start a new one smile Is there anything specific you wanted to discuss?

SouthernandCross Sat 08-Oct-11 22:18:16

Lots of things smile
First I was wondering if anyone manages to parent positively when their OH has a different style of parenting? DH believes that the kids should do what he tells them because he's the adult and of course they don't sad And they turn around and say 'well mum doesn't make us, why do you?'. It's hard and he's quite often cross about it.
I'm also finding it hard to deal with my oldest two saying things like 'I want to kill X' when they are cross. I empathise and leave to cool down, then we discuss it but of course it really upsets the younger ones.
My second DD is a wailer and a screamer and because she reacts so loudly to everything, I find she takes up more time than the others. They know this isn't fair and I try and make it up to them but find myself spread thinly.
Does anyone else find this?

BertieBotts Sun 09-Oct-11 00:55:36

I only have one DS so can't help much on the sibling issues I'm afraid. Hopefully as more people see the thread you will get more input though. I remember there being a fair few people with two or three children on the old thread, and this lady has three children and is currently pregnant, I know she's always happy to be contacted. I just follow her blog now but she's around on a few forums (not here though I don't think.)

DP and I are quite different, but similar enough that it works if that makes sense? He will do time out with DS, but doesn't call it time out, and actually I find it doesn't bother me because he does it in situations where I feel it is actually helpful/appropriate (ie usually when he needs to calm down or needs removing from a situation than for, for example, disobedience.) The thing that bothers me the most is if he decides some arbitrary rule (like the other day he told DS he wasn't allowed outside in bare feet) and then I'm expected to back it up even though it leaves me thinking "But why??" I have seen him adopt some of my techniques though! It is a different situation admittedly because he isn't actually DS' dad and moved in only a couple of months ago, so I know he wouldn't do anything I was going to massively disagree about. We are able to talk about things a lot, is your DH open to discussion at all? I know DP said the other day that DS said to him "Mummy lets me do X" and he just replied "Well I don't."

How young are your younger ones? Can you try to explain that sometimes when we are angry we say things that we don't mean, and although it's not okay to say these things, we do have to learn to control them and DC 1&2 are still in that learning process of doing that, and what they actually mean is that they are cross and want to be left alone, not that they really want them to go away forever. Also I find that if I speak to DS at a separate time when he isn't actually angry I get more out of him. Like we discuss that sometimes when we feel angry we shout at one another and that makes us both feel sad, and then we agree that we will try not to do this and remind each other to speak nicely. And I asked him what he feels like when he is really cross and he is wanting to hit me, and he said that he didn't want to hit me. But I'm not sure about this one - he's 3 but he's quite articulate and I think sometimes it sounds like he knows what he means but he's actually meaning something else but not expressing it very well. I think he is very much in the literal, living completely in the moment stage. (Which is what DCs are generally doing when they say they want to kill X or want X to die. What they actually mean is they want X to go away, it's just they can't conceive of a future time when they might calm down and want X around again.) I wonder if you could try and come up with some other things that would be okay to say. Make it into a silly game, like saying "I want to bake you into a pie!" "I want to put you in a rocket and send you to the moon!" "I want you to turn into a spider and go and hide in the corner!" - see what silly insults/threats they can come up with, the only rule is, they can't be real and they can't pick on anyone's personal insecurities. Of course this might not work if the little ones don't yet know what is feasible and what isn't, but it might help break the mood.

I know something which helped when DS was younger and I used to get so frustrated with him that I felt like walking off (which would have upset him more) or hurting him, was to tickle him instead, if that would be appropriate as a strategy for them.

startail Sun 09-Oct-11 01:03:35

Oh please don't, an excess of positive parenting results in smug children with heads the sizes of a planet.
A little bit of paise in the right place can work wonders, but everything in moderation please!

BertieBotts Sun 09-Oct-11 08:59:38

Think you may have misunderstood the premise, startail smile

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Sun 09-Oct-11 14:58:26

i'm in. smile

Prob not much use to anyone atm as just starting out with ds 19m and dd 3days (!) so not much experience to offer, but willing to throw ideas in the pot.

Dh is onboard though he hasn't read the UP book, which i rate, but agreed with my synopsis of it. He does still come out with praise-y verbal reward stuff that i've tried hard to avoid but i know it is really ingrained.

Southern i can't help with your particular situation...and am bit tired post baby atm to try and imagine myself in it but will stick around and hope to be of more help in the future. Bertie always has great ideas for i recall from t'other thread. grin

SouthernandCross Sun 09-Oct-11 14:59:56

Wow, thanks for that reply BB. Sorry for not hanging around last night, I had to go to bed!
My younger ones are 3 and 5 and I find it difficult when DH comes up with rules that really don't make sense too. So do you back your OH up in those cases, I tend to try and stay out of it if I can because if it's something I really don't agree with it usually ends up in an argument.
The silly games sound like a good idea, I read Playful Parenting and am trying to be more playful, That really works when I remember to do it! I read somewhere else about hugging and kissing them and telling them you love them when you feel angry with them, but think I need to work on my self control a bit first...

SouthernandCross Sun 09-Oct-11 15:01:44

Wow MoonFace, I'm impressed you can even type 3 days PP!
I had the same age gap with my first two and it was wonderful but I don't remember much of the first 6 months!

BertieBotts Sun 09-Oct-11 21:19:25

I haven't read the UP book either, TBH. I found the tone annoying blush I do agree with the principle though. Although you say Moonface I come up with good ideas I quite often feel like I'm being really rubbish at implementing them, especially if I'm tired and/or stressed. The thing I find the most challenging is how I deal with my own anger when DS is winding me up. DP pointed out a few weeks ago that at times I'm really laid back with DS (I'm always laid back but this is probably more in a lazy way rather than a conscious "I trust you to do what you want without killing yourself" way which is my default position) and then I quickly get wound up with him and snap and shout or suddenly impose a consequence, like if I'm letting him play for ages and then suddenly notice we're late, I will be hurrying him and annoyed with him and putting his shoes on for him, or stuffing him in the pushchair half dressed, or if I'm letting him play by himself and then he wants me to do something and for some reason that morning I'm feeling really got at so I react with irritation every time he tries to ask me something, sad and basically that DS has no way of telling which of these moods I will be in and it's confusing for him. I was a bit upset when DP said this, but I've been paying attention more to my own behaviour since he said it and he is right. So I want to try really hard to avoid these situations and also to manage them better.

I do tend to back DP up if he's said something, because I would like him to back me up on things. I might challenge him later, but not usually in front of DS. If it's something that can feasibly have different rules when one or the other of us is there, then I just let it go if he isn't around. Annoyingly though DS sometimes decides he likes DP's rules better than mine - it's a bit of a pain to have to find his shoes and socks when he only wants to come outside and fetch something quickly!

SouthernandCross Sun 09-Oct-11 21:35:03

I've just finished Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen which I have found useful. I do the laid back to control freak thing too. Part of my anger when I do this is directed at myself I think. I am getting better at stepping back when I'm too cross to deal with a situation but get confused how to deal with this without leaving an upset child behind. I need a clone!

BertieBotts Sun 09-Oct-11 21:50:21

I do find that if DS says "Stop shouting, mummy" (Or the wonderfully pronounced "Talk nicerly!") it makes me think and I always always try really hard to bite my tongue when he says this, apologise and ask him again nicely. It helps to remember that when he is shouting at me I don't particularly want to do what he's asking either. I find though that when I do as he asks he seems more willing to stop shouting or whatever if I ask. I always find it really sad when I see parents shouting at their children and the child is saying "Stop shouting at me!" and the parent says "Stop making me cross then!" I bet if the child shouts, he's not allowed to justify it with being cross sad

I think it's probably a good technique to remove yourself from the situation if you are angry. I do this but it tends to be when I'm trying to get DS to do something and he isn't interested, so me walking away isn't upsetting for him (probably a relief blush) but I think it's a good idea to say what you are doing rather than just leaving. Of course this doesn't help with little ones who will follow you.

naturalbaby Sun 09-Oct-11 21:58:19

I'll join in too. I've got a 3yr old, 2yr old, 8month old (3 under 3's) but find myself slipping into the 'do it because i say so, now!' style because i am so tired, worn out, stressed with 3 little ones!! i'm too soft to be this mean but i'm struggling a bit at the moment and am a really bad control freak. i'm lucky though that me and dh seem to agree in parenting styles and i can dictate what we do and how we do itgrin! my way of trying to get back a bit of control.

have got a huge stack of books i'm trying to work through but i love to add more to my wishlist!

BertieBotts Sun 09-Oct-11 22:25:26

Oh dear, I think it's just been implied on another thread that I'm PFB for thinking my 3 year old is capable of compromise. Oh well!

I've heard that the Elizabeth Pantley book on discipline (it's been published under 2 different titles - Kid Co-operation and The No Cry Discipline Solution depending on how old your copy is) has a good section on parental anger. Has anybody read it? I was thinking about ordering it.

thruppence Sun 09-Oct-11 22:34:39

I tried with DS1 when he was younger, although never actually read any of the books blush. Just felt I didn't want to be dictatorial like my parents.

However, by the time DS1 was 5 he was running rings around me. He's very articulate and logical and everything became a debate. His behaviour was getting worse and worse.

Over the past 6 months I have realised that what he needs is clear and set boundaries which he can understand, and a zero tolerance of crossing those boundaries. We have been a much happier family since then.

Not wanting to rain on your parade but I think you need to prepare yourself that a book might fit with your style but not your children's.

Bohica Sun 09-Oct-11 22:44:14

<marking place>

I need sleep but will join in tomorrow smile

SouthernandCross Mon 10-Oct-11 08:20:44

Thruppence, you can still have clear and set boundaries with positive parenting.
I know there is something called 'free parenting' where parents don't set boundaries but that would be a disaster in this house too.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Mon 10-Oct-11 13:41:50

popping in smile

Screw t'other thread bertie ds showed a wonderfull ability to compromise last night and he's half your ds's age. (came off boob to make way for crying baby, clearly wanted more but waited till dd finished before asking for it). So he can't be expected to compromise all the time (who can?) but by assuming he might be able to i at least give him the opportunity to practice and try.

I find it sad that people underestimate their dc's potential in that way (who ever you are...)

Haven't read any of those books but playfull parenting is sat waiting...

I snapped at ds last tired and he kept climbing on the tv which he appears to have broken. Then he got hold of a new baby card and screwed it us...that was breaking point. The day 3 hormones kicked in and i started crying. He came and fed and stroked my arm...bless him. It was my fault for leaving card in reach.

CarefulUpThere Tue 11-Oct-11 00:02:00

Just lost a long reply d'oh!

Hello I'd like to join in too...2 dd's here, 4 and 16months.

I've been thinking about change in parenting style with changing moods thing too and problem of inconsistency. Sometimes I think this is evidence that the relaxed/playful/unconditional whatever parenting style is right, as I am more likely to be at my best and a more creative, effective parent when happy myself. When sleep deprived and irritable and DD1 is being rude to me and unkind to her sister however, I worry that that parenting style is to blame...and start dishing out the consequences.

I haven't read Elizabeth Pantley for a while, so maybe misrepresenting it, but I thought she was quite a fan of consequences and following through. Actually have just flicked through it and think I need to revisit it - I read it pre DD2 when DD1 was very young so wasn't so relevent as we were still in the "distract" stage of managing conflict. Lots of it is looking like really sensible advice now! I'll feedback properly when I've re-read it properly.

My own parents were very relaxed with me, allowed me to make my own choices from an early stage, almost never used punishments so I don't really have that "old scripts" problem. But I think as a family we have issues with a) anger (as in not wanting conflict and ignoring things rather than getting angry) and b) being a bit uncomfortable with being in authority. I do worry about this last point in relation to parenting styles, I don't want to avoid my parental authority iyswim, but all the stuff about avoiding a "who's in charge" type battle and co-operating/compromising makes so much sense to me.

DD1 is really not great with compromising yet though and neither is she very good at thinking of solutions to problems - our major conflicts being mealtimes and not pushing her little sister.

Mealtimes is a whole other post really, my concern is I would like her to sit at the table whilst eating rather than getting up and down and distracted inbetween almost every mouthful. I don't expect her to eat everything, but I do want her to try stuff before deciding she doesn't like it. Getting up between courses I also have no issue with. I can practically read the judgy mumsnet threads if I posted a "AIBU to want my 4yr old to sit down at mealtimes" (e.g. you are the parent...mine have always sat down at the table for meals...if you visited my house and she did this we would never invite you again etc etc) but the only way to get her to do this is literally to restrain her on a lap, I did do this once on a particularly bad day all round but felt rubbish afterwards. No-one had a nice meal, which after all is the main point! Now we often use pudding as bribery I am sorry to admit. She is much better at breakfast and lunch than dinner and also is pretty good in cafes. Grandparents houses though is a big issue too...

Thanks for starting this thread.

SouthernandCross Tue 11-Oct-11 08:02:59

Careful, I've had a spectacular failure of a morning with regards to positive parenting as I've now run out of patience as all three girls have had meltdowns before breakfast and DH gets to skip out the door to work. So I'm not sure that I'm qualified to reply to anyone's posts today!
But re getting her to sit at the table, I would beware of making the table a battle field. I am very relaxed about meal times, I like mine to all come to the table together to start the meal, but once they've finished, they clear their place and go. On occasions they are required to sit up to the table , and the older ones, 8 and almost 10 can do this now with no problem. The 5 year old struggles and I don't bother with DS who is 3. But mine know that once they leave the table, their meal is over. Would your DD understand this?
Not sure how to cope at GP's houses as my kids never get to see theirs but I can understand that it's very tricky!

CarefulUpThere Tue 11-Oct-11 22:17:27

Thanks Southern, hope your day got better. It is always easier to see the wood for the trees when it is other people's issues, that is the beauty of are right, dinnertime has unfortunately become a battle. Other mealtimes are not nearly so bad as not charged in this way.

Today however, she had obviously been replaced by a different, model child and sat calmly whilst eating her dinner (which even involved spinach) telling me about her school day and asking politely when she wanted a drink etc


Possibly DH being out actually helped, usually one of us comes in from work at dinnertime so exciting and distracting and the entering parent not always at same pace as everyone else. Or maybe was just a one off, but at least I know she can do it, it might help me stay calm when she doesn't that things are going in the right direction.

I am in awe of you managing mealtimes with 4 DC!

CarefulUpThere Tue 11-Oct-11 22:18:42

Meant to ask as well, what the Positive Parenting book gist is?

belindarose Tue 11-Oct-11 22:25:52

<marking place> I've been meaning to start a thread like this for a while, but now too tired to remember anything I wanted to say. Will join you in the morning.

SouthernandCross Wed 12-Oct-11 09:03:52

Careful, I think I have read positive parenting but a while ago. I'm sorry I can't remember much about it. The one I rate atm is positive discipline. It explains things simply but you don't feel like a moron and is full of practical advice. I would highly recommend it and am currently trying to get DH to read it.

naturalbaby Fri 14-Oct-11 17:02:49

how's things going with your 4 southern? my 3 are v.young but the older 2 get on v.well most of the time. ds2 is starting to be a bit rough with baby and the older 2 went through a phase last week of sitting on top of baby as he crawled!
one had a meltdown as dh was leaving for work the other day and by the afternoon they had all had massive meltdowns, then when dh got home i had one too sad
i've got such a huge pile of books to read i don't think i can add any more to the pile but i did get the politics of breastfeeding through the post yesterday.

am having a tough time with sleep at the moment but dh is off work next week so we're going to move rooms and try a couple of things out. i dream of the day i can say goodnight to them all and leave them till 7am earliest, instead of sitting on the landing for over an hour every time they need to sleep!

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