AP and older babies/toddler (OT)

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TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043
AP and older babies/toddler (OT)

The Attachment Parenting board is pretty dead so I figured I'd try here...

I guess you'd call us an AP family. We babywear, BF, co-sleep, and don't CIO. Basically, we do what feels right and natural for us. DH and I are both fully on board and very happy with this "method" thus far. I'm definitely one to be prepared. Call me a girl scout. The days of toddlerhood and discipline are rapidly approaching and I feel completely unprepared. I feel like the most important thing (no matter what method you use) is consistency and cooperation between Mom and Dad. To do so, we need a plan. Are there good books on the AP approach beyond the baby stage? Anyone have any basic advice regarding discipline that would mesh with the AP model?

joysiloo's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1054

We're an AP family too and we're in the thick of the toddler years. These books are recommended by families in my local AP group (you should look and see if there's one in your area...my very best resource is other like-minded parents). I've only read the first two, they were both great.

-Playful Parenting
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_60?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=how+to+talk+so+kids+will+listen+and+listen+so+kids+will+talk&sprefix=how+to+talk+so+kids+will+listen+and+listen+so+kids+will+talk#/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_17?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=playful+parenting&sprefix=playful+parenting&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Aplayful+parenting

-Tears and Tantrums
http://www.amazon.com/Tears-Tantrums-What-Babies-Children/dp/0961307366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301799027&sr=8-1

-How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk (better for a little older kids)
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_60?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=how+to+talk+so+kids+will+listen+and+listen+so+kids+will+talk&sprefix=how+to+talk+so+kids+will+listen+and+listen+so+kids+will+talk

-Unconditional Parenting
http://www.amazon.com/Unconditional-Parenting-Moving-Rewards-Punishments/dp/0743487486/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301799242&sr=1-1

-NurtureShock
http://www.amazon.com/NurtureShock-New-Thinking-About-Children/dp/0446504130/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301799385&sr=1-1

-Parenting for a Peaceful World
http://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Peaceful-World-Robin-Grille/dp/1921004142/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301799445&sr=1-1

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Thanks! I have a great group of natural parenting mamas. Unfortunately, I'm not able to see them very frequently because I work. I love the time I get to spend with them though. It's great to be around parents with similar parenting styles!

cmljll's picture
Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 1409

We do a lot of natural/logical consequences. And I try to give reasons when I correct them - just a few words of simple explanation. "Don't throw your toy. It could break something." And in that case, give them something they can throw.

How gentle do you want to be with discipline? Do you want to avoid punishments or are you okay with time-out?

You can post on the AP board. I know it's pretty dead but there are still some of us who check in and try to help if we can:-)

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

"cmljll" wrote:

How gentle do you want to be with discipline? Do you want to avoid punishments or are you okay with time-out?

That's the thing, I'm not sure. I need to do some reading and decide what we're going to do. Of course my feelings might change when we actually get to that point and she's started saying "No." Wink I'm so glad there are resources out there!

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

The only discipline book that DH and I read was "The Discipline Book" by Sears.....it resonated with both of us and challenged us to talk a lot about how we viewed discipline/consequences. We enjoyed it as it was a great way for us to consider our goals and our innate views on raising the kind of people that we enjoy being around for the rest of our lives Smile

cmljll's picture
Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 1409

The Sears discipline book is a good one! We've had some challenging discipline issues with Ethan. It's still a work in progress;-) He's been diagnosed with an "anxious temperament" and we're waiting on the results of a formal anxiety assessment...

faeriecurls's picture
Joined: 06/04/08
Posts: 790

Thanks for posting this - I have been thinking a lot about this recently (probably a bit prematurely) because we are looking for a nanny and discipline is a big thing that comes up as a stressful part of the interview for me. There aren't many like-minded families in my neighborhood and the few that I have met all have babies the same age as Lily, so we are going to be going through it at the same time.

I wish the AP board was more active here.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

I'll second (third?) The Discipline Book. I really enjoyed it. My MIL even read it after me and enjoyed it.

Another good one is 123 Magic. It offers some good advice and keeps things along the 'AP' path.

As far as toddlers go, my sister (and mom) and I always go by the ol' saying 'Don't negotiate with terrorists' It sounds funny and perhaps a little awful, but toddlers really are tiny terrorists sometimes, lol. I find at a young age and even approaching the preschool age it's best to keep things simple. Very to the point and basic language is best. Explaining things out to them can confuse them more. Even for very verbal children. And consistency is KEY! Absolutely hands down KEY.

You'll figure it out. And you'll do things wrong, probably more than you'll like. But being a parent is also about what we can learn from our kids, right? Don't dwell on your mistakes, but move past them. Kids are really forgiving.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

We use time outs but don't have to too often. Pretty much a warning will work for us. I think kids really want to please their parents and if you let them know that is not an appropriate behavior, they usually stop. I really just do what feels right, from babyhood to school age. Trust yourself momma!

melloyellochelle's picture
Joined: 12/04/08
Posts: 229

GREAT thread! Thanks for posting, y'all! I am *so* looking into the Sears book! Smile

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

I LOVE AP for babies!!! But, I have to say, that a lot of the AP advice for toddlers I disagree with. Wink I do wear my babies for quite a while, co-sleep, nurse on demand - all of this well beyond a year, BUT some of the other things that I have come across in AP books geared for toddlers I found does NOT play out well in my childrens' lives or mine. I did follow AP advice for my first dd and began to create a monster!! My DH and I then revamped our outlook for parenting beyond babyhood, and we now have a MUCH more peaceful home. Much happier kids, and much happier parents. I do have books I can recommend that are contrary to AP for toddlers, BUT I will not post them here unless you specifically ask, as that is not what you asked for in your original post. Smile

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

"pollo_la" wrote:

I LOVE AP for babies!!! But, I have to say, that a lot of the AP advice for toddlers I disagree with. Wink I do wear my babies for quite a while, co-sleep, nurse on demand - all of this well beyond a year, BUT some of the other things that I have come across in AP books geared for toddlers I found does NOT play out well in my childrens' lives or mine. I did follow AP advice for my first dd and began to create a monster!! My DH and I then revamped our outlook for parenting beyond babyhood, and we now have a MUCH more peaceful home. Much happier kids, and much happier parents. I do have books I can recommend that are contrary to AP for toddlers, BUT I will not post them here unless you specifically ask, as that is not what you asked for in your original post. Smile

Laurie...I'd love to know! Maybe you could PM them to me? or even post them here if the OP is cool with it?

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I was also going to respond (my computer is being SO SLOW, can't wait to get a new one!) about the issues that Laurie ran into with AP for a toddler- what were they specifically, and what were the unwanted outcomes? If the OP doesn't mind... I'd like to hear both sides of the story!

For the record we are definitely an AP family as well, so, it is of genuine interest to me...especially now that my little one is on the verge of walking and talking! Smile

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Laurie, I'd love to hear your experience. Please, post away!

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

"TiggersMommy" wrote:

Basically, we do what feels right and natural for us. DH and I are both fully on board and very happy with this "method" thus far.

You'll find that beyond what books tell you to do or say regarding any approach to disipline that what you said here remains key. We too found that while AP worked really well for DS1 as a baby, once we were in the thick of the toddler/preschool and now school age years that we really had to give and take with parts of AP that worked for us and parts that didn't as our son grew. We've totally got parts of this and parts of that worked into our parenting style now and find that we are in a much happier place because of it. That is awesome that your one step ahead of Teagan and getting so many ideas under your belt before you get to the next stage.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I've found AP to be very helpful all the way through, my DD is now 6.5. Dr. Sears says that discipline is more about building the right relationship with your child than about using the right techniques, and I find that to be very true. Our basic premise is respect, always treat one another with respect, no matter what the circumstances, and to also remember that "discipline" means to teach, not to punish. I do like using the Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting as a handy set of guidelines. These are: Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting; Feed with Love & Respect; Respond with Sensitivity; Use Nurturing Touch; Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically & Emotionally; Provide Consistent & Loving Care; Practice Positive Discipline; and Strive for Balance in Personal & Family Life. A few ways we incorporate these principles into our lives with an older child & toddler are:

  • Thinking ahead to the next step & making plans -- sounds like you're doing that one already!
  • Making sure our kids eat healthy foods, often, and get enough good sleep because a tired or hungry child is a grumpy child. Also not over-scheduling our weekends & after-school time, so there's time to just play & have fun in addition to the necessary homework & chores.
  • Thinking about the message our tone of voice or body language sends along with the words we use, and making sure our kids know that we dislike their behavior but not them.
  • Getting down to their level for discussions, holding their hands or rubbing their back while we talk about something difficult.
  • Giving one another "cooling down time" when the kids are really a handful; if one of us is about to lose our cool, the other takes over, no questions, no hassles, just do it.
  • Being consistent in our approach to discipline, and supporting one another. Our kids know that if one parent says no, you do NOT go ask the other!
  • Lots of high-fives & happy dances & cheers when things are going well.
  • Using a "naughty spot" as a consequence for naughty behavior, one minute per year of age. In our house, hitting, biting, screaming, and throwing anything except a ball is automatic naughty behavior. And not following instructions after a warning is also naughty behavior. Naughty behavior with an object results in the object being put on the refrigerator for a period of time. (For Weston it's a few minutes, for Tiven it's a few days.)
  • Giving our kids freedom to make many of their own decisions, within reason, and saving the big guns for the important stuff. I could care less if Tiven's socks match or if she wears a sleeveless shirt in the middle of winter (I put a sweater in her backpack anyway.) So when I need to say, you need to do this particular thing without question, she knows it must be important.
  • Asking how they feel about things, or to consider how it might feel to the other person. Weston started biting recently, so I asked him how it felt & he obviously didn't know. So he bit his own arm, and now when he wants to bite, he remembers & stops. In fact, just this morning he was really frustrated with DH who was focused on Tiven instead of getting Weston more food. I saw Weston lean over toward DH's leg. And then he sat up & exclaimed, "I no bite Papa!"

I highly recommend looking at Attachment Parenting International, they have an entire section devoted to AP & the older child. And AskDrSears.com has a few articles about older children & discipline in the AP index.

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

Okay, I have some thoughts to share, BUT right now I don't have the time. I will post more later!! Smile

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Spacers, is there a specific book you like? I really like all of what you wrote- but I can also see it being a challenge to do all of that always.

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

I can also see it being a challenge to do all of that always.

Mara, I think that the idea is that you adopt a philosophy, composed of techniques that work quite naturally for you over time. It is about an attitude and a relationship you develop with your family, so the "work" of it is not really too much of a challenge.

I'll be interested in Pollo's additional comments because I feel that the toddler stage and beyond can be quite different, depending on the child.

I also feel that reasoning with a child works very well with some kids but can confuse other children about issues of responsibility, independence and who controls what...

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

Okay...

Actually I like a lot of the advice that AP has, BUT I think they only give half the picture. I do believe it is absolutely essential to form a loving relationship with your children. It is so important to spend time with your kids and build a loving relationship - paint a picture with them, bake cookies with them, take them to the park, let them help you sort the laundry, read books together, etc. It is also so important to speak in a way that is calm, quiet, and never harsh. I especially like AP for babies because I think that it helps to form such a strong bond of love with the child, so that later on as you begin to discipline (and some WILL be negative), the love and security is in place.

Here is something to think about... Imagine the following situation: Two children are playing together (let's say one is 2 and the other is 3). The mother is nearby watching the children, and interacting with them as well from time to time. One of the children takes a toy from the other. The mother says in a calm, relaxed voice, "Daughter, you need to give that toy back to your brother. You know it is wrong to grab things from someone else without asking first, and he was clearly still playing with it." The daughter looks at her mother, but continues to play with the toy. The mother says again in a calm voice, but with just a tinge more sternness in her voice this time to really let her daughter know she is serious, "Daughter, you need to give the toy back to your brother." The daughter still does not. At this point the mother goes over to her daughter and takes the toy from her and hands it back to her brother. She then looks at her daughter and says, "Remember, we do not take other people's toys without asking first."

Was the situation handled correctly in your mind? What was she really teaching her daughter through this incident? This is how I use to handle situations such as this, and I found myself repeating the same senario over and over again day after day. I was getting frustrated, and I found myself escalating my voice over time due to frustration that my child just didn't seem to "get it." And guess what? When mom talks in a loud, frustrated voice, that is exactly how the child learns to talk as well. So then, not only did I have a child who didn't share her toys, I also had one that was raising her voice to me!! YUCK! So, although, I knew I should keep my voice calm, in reality I found it hard to follow through on. Some of the time I did great, other times not so much... maybe if I had the patience of a saint... I do not!! What do I really think the mom was teaching the child in this situation now? This is how I would see it...

The mother told her daughter to give the toy back, but the child clearly does not believe that the mother is serious, because she does not give back the toy. THis results in the mother having to say the same thing again, but not quite as peaceful and calm as the first time, hoping that the child will take her more seriously. The child has likely learned from past experience that she doesn't even need to take her mother seriously unless her voice is just a bit more serious. But, again, since there has been really no negative consequence given in the past or perhaps consequences are inconsistant, the child ignores her mother. Then, the mother actually does exactly what she has instructed her child NOT to do. She takes the toy from her daughter (um, why is it okay for mom to grab toys from my hands, but I can't grab them from my brother???). So, what do I think the daughter really learned? She learned that she doesn't need to take mom seriously until she is just a bit more stern with her voice. She learned that even though mom says she is not suppose to do something, there will be no negative consequence (or at least not EVERY time... maybe she will get a time-out if mom is having a rough day). She learned that she actually CAN take the toy, and she is allowed to keep it until mom takes it away from her. In fact, maybe next time mom asks her to give the toy back she will not just stand there, maybe she will run around the room with it and make mom chase her to get it from her! Oh, and if mom does give her a time out for not behaving well, chances are, when the time out is over, mom will have already given the toy back to her brother, and she will NEVER have to follow through with her mom's original request, which was to give the toy back to her brother. So, clearly mom was not serious, she never actually had to give the toy back to her brother!

Continuing on in another post... Smile

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

So, what do I think??? The mom should only need to ask her child ONE TIME to do something, and the child should respect her mother and know that she is serious and listen THE VERY FIRST TIME! So, the mom asks her child to give the toy back, and the child is expected to do it. If the child does not, this is where the mother needs to discipline the child immediately. Yes, there needs to be a negative consequence right away. Life is not all fun and roses. If I sleep in through a job interview, I don't get the job!! If I say something nasty to my husband, chances are he will likely act out in some way negatively to me as a result. We do our children no favors if we are not 100% consistent to discipline them EVERY TIME they do not listen to our requests! Children need to know that we are truthful, and that we mean what we say. Life is not all one big happy party. There are consequences if we misbehave. Do we really think that our children will just magically wake up one day with self control and discipline in their lives if we do not require it from them consistently at an early age? I think we have all seen enough teenagers these days with complete lack of respect for authority and no discipline in their lives of any kind to realize that children need discipline! If we say they need to give back a toy, and then, do not make them do it after the request is given, we are failing them.

So, how to handle the situation. Mom asks one time in a calm voice for the child to give back the toy. If the child doesn't she doesn't need to raise her voice, she quickly disciplines, and then goes RIGHT BACK to the original request and asks again in a calm voice for the child to give the toy back. If the child does not listen, again the child is immediately disciplined and the original request is given until the child follows through with the request. The child learns that mom is serious. Mom follows through with this EVERY time any request is given, and as a result discipline is only needed here and there. The rest of the time is devoted to loving, having fun with the child, and TRAINING!!! Let's not forget teaching/training!!

Oh, one last word on first time listening (many call this first time obedience). This does NOT mean total disrespect for your child, or not giving them any say. If I have a young child who is busy playing with her toys, and I ask her to come over to me, yes, I do expect her to come, BUT I will give her a few seconds to finish up with her toys. Even better, If I see that she is busy with something, I can say, "You have a minute to finish up with your toys, and then I need you to come over to me." Then after about a minute, I ask her to please stop playing and come over to me. But again, I give her a couple seconds to finish up (a couple seconds though, NOT minutes!). Kids need instruction, and they need to know what is coming up... this is where training and teaching comes in. Also, with an older child who can communicate well. If I ask the child to come to me, they can certainly say back to me, "Mom, I'm busy with this toy, can I have a couple more minutes?" As a mom, unless I have an absolute need for my child to come immediately, I will try to say yes in most of these instances, BUT my children also know that sometimes I will still ask them to come, and they will be expected to do so.

Continuing on...

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

So far, ITA.

It makes sense and actually seems to be very much like how we are with Violet. I am not a fan of 'counting to 3' before she is disciplined. Consistency is easier on the child, too. That way they know what to expect and aren't confused trying to run back and forth not knowing exactly what will make mom and dad happy.

Eagerly awaiting part 3.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Laurie, I am 100% with you. I AP my babies, though I don't even call it that, it is just what comes logically to me.....when I read up on AP I realized that it was what I intuitively did anyway.

My preschoolers? No. I have three very young, very close spaced children. We lead a very active life. They have to be people who I like, as I spend every day all day with them. We need a different level of immediacy and consequences than much of what I read in AP or Unconditional Parenting or the like. It is working really, really well for us.

I would rather gnaw off my fingers than count to three. All that does is train a child to wait till the last possible moment before responding. That would not, in any way, work for us.

Thank you for taking the time to write this out!

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

Once you have a child who listens well to your requests, oh how wonderful life can be. This is where the fun really begins. This is where you can really begin to have so much fun and enjoyment with your children. I remember back when my first dd was not well disciplined. We would do things such as go to the park, and the ending was almost always the same. We would play and have a great time. Then, it would be almost time to leave. I would give a warning. "5 more minutes and then it's time to go." "Two more minutes and it's time to go." "Okay, it's time to go." Then, the pleading would begin. My dd would request more time... usually by whining. Sometimes I would give in.... a couple more minutes. Okay, it's time to go. Child screaming. Sometimes I would end up picking up my screaming child and carrying her to the car!! So... how often did we go to the park? Well, if I had a lot of time, sure I would still stop. What if we were driving by the park and we only had 15 minutes or so to kill. Would we stop? NOPE! Not to have to go through that whole senario. Now, my children listen (no, they are no robots, and yes, sometimes they are still disciplined!!). If we have 15 minutes to kill and we drive by the park. Sure, we stop and we all have a great time. I give them a warning when we are about to go, and then when it's time to go, they all climb in the van and off we go. We all go grocery shopping together. They get to help me pick out their favorite desserts. If we have time, we stop by the toys and they look for awhile. Nope, they don't need to stay home with dad for me to go shopping. This is where training comes in!!!

Training/teaching: Once you have a child who listens well, you can train them for any situation. My children know what is expected of them in the store. I train them BEFORE we are actually in the store. Yes, we have gone to the store many times, and I STILL remind them most times before we go in what I expect of them! If you wait until you are in the "thick of an event" and you haven't given your child prior instruction, a trip to the store might look like this. "Jonny, please, don't touch that." Child listens, but 2 minutes later is touching something else. "Sara, no you shouldn't run away from the cart like that." Again, child listens, but instead of enjoying a nice, peaceful trip to the store you are continually giving requests to your child which ends up with both of you feeling frustrated. So, always train your children prior to "events." ALways let them know what is expected of them in certain situations. Sometimes rewards ARE appropriate. If you are going to the doctor's office and you have a 2 and 3 year old child with you and you will be waiting for an hour this is how it can be handled. "Okay kids, we are going to the doctor's office and we will have to wait a LONG time. It will be tough, but I know you can do it. Let's put together a little pack of stuff for you to play with while you sit quietly, because it is NOT appropriate for you to run around the doctor's office. YOu will need to sit very still and quietly. What should we pick out?" Child helps gather a few small items. "Okay, when we leave and you have done a good job of sitting quietly, we will go out for a special lunch together. Of course you know though, we will not be able to have our special lunch if you do not sit well and listen to mommy." Rewards are great to situations where, "extra" is required of your child, NOT for everyday things that they should do anyway. Sitting quietly at a doctor's office is a HARD job for a small child, so an extra incentive is a nice touch.

Continuing on...

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

Books that have helped me out!

How to Make Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours, by Kevin Leman
No: Why kids of all ages need to hear it and ways parents can say it, by David Walsh
Raising Godly Tomatoes, by Elizabeth Krueger

Raising Godly Tomatoes is my personal favorite. She does advocate spanking, BUT she also suggests ways to use her advice if you are apposed to spanking! You can actually read her entire book right off of her website (Raising Godly Tomatoes).

Okay, I'm done! Smile

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

First off, I'm a grandmother, so am approaching the topic differently. I have not read many of the same books.

Certainly I was familiar with mothers who counted to 3 to get their children to respond. (Boy, did they ever!) I really hated this approach because the parent NEVER followed through. There'd be the 1-2-2.5- 2.75 ...and it was really pretty comical how far the decimals would go! Basically, I hated the counting approach. It achieved the opposite of what they were trying to do.

But I have to say that raising my kids was somehow different than for others. I did not have scenes in parks and grocery stores, did not count to get compliance, did not have biting or screaming. Our kids were pretty well behaved in restaurants and at adult activities from a very early age. We enjoyed talking to each other and sharing opinions, caring for pets, camping and canoeing, planning science fair projects... We respected each others ideas and were all pretty good listeners. Basically we admired their strengths and were proud of them from the get-go, and I think they knew that.

Perhaps our family is plain weird, but the most annoying thing that ever happened was bickering between them at mealtime, simply to get a rise out of us. Heck, they still try it at 35 & 40 and it is as comical as ever. What a team! Maybe it was laughing along with them that helped set the tone?

Apart from emergencies at the hospital, I think the hardest for me as a parent was their strength and independence. At 8, our son collected the transfers from every subway station in Toronto. I only caught on when he was almost finished! At 14 he went on overnight solo bicycle trips with no warning to us, hiked in the Alps alone, and later he hitch hiked across the country. Very frightening stuff for parents!

Our daughter drove her brother's car at age 13 without our knowledge and did various other independent things, like wearing the boys school uniform throughout her highschool years. Still, she was a trustworthy and thoughtful baby sitter for neighbors.

Their adventures weren't the typical problems I'd been told to anticipate. They were both smart, kind, curious people...and continue to be interesting and talented adults. This doesn't mean I don't still worry though... but I did learn early on that I was not in a position to control them after a certain age and that they were going to have to fly on their own, sometimes through circuitous routes. Later though, they have come back to ask questions at times. I don't always have answers though, and the world has changed in many ways too. The fact that they want to come see us still brings us a great deal of happiness.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Laurie- Most of what you wrote makes a lot of sense to me... when you were describing the toy situation and how you would handle it, you said you would do immediate discipline, what are you referring to? Is that spanking? Or something else?

And I absolutely agree with teaching children how to behave in given situations- like the doc's office, the store, etc. You can't get mad at a kid for not doing the right thing, when they don't even know what the right thing is!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"pollo_la" wrote:

If the child does not, this is where the mother needs to discipline the child immediately.

We do our children no favors if we are not 100% consistent to discipline them EVERY TIME they do not listen to our requests!

If the child doesn't she doesn't need to raise her voice, she quickly disciplines, and then goes RIGHT BACK to the original request and asks again in a calm voice for the child to give the toy back.

If the child does not listen, again the child is immediately disciplined and the original request is given until the child follows through with the request.

OK, maybe I'm wrong here, but when I'm reading "discipline" in these instances, I'm actually hearing "punished" or even "spanked." Sad We don't spank, and we've been perfectly able to raise pretty well-behaved children without it. What you described is NOT Attachment Parenting, it's permissive parenting, sloppy parenting, or as DH recently coined a phrase, child-led parenting, LOL!

What I would have done, what I do, in that situation is give my instruction, "Give that back to your brother." If she asks why, I will explain *after* it's been returned. If she doesn't give it back, I give a warning, "Give that toy back to your brother right now or you're going to the naughty spot." Pause. If the toy isn't immediately returned, I get up & take the toy away, give it to her brother, and find the most boring out-of-the-way place available for her to sit for six minutes. After six minutes, I explain why her behavior was unacceptable. I don't negotiate, and I don't give chances after my warning. But I do give a warning unless safety is concerned. They're kids, not robots. Blum 3

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

"Marite13" wrote:

Laurie- Most of what you wrote makes a lot of sense to me... when you were describing the toy situation and how you would handle it, you said you would do immediate discipline, what are you referring to? Is that spanking? Or something else?

We do spank in our house, but that is certainly not all that can be done. With the little ones who really don't have huge reasoning skills we have found spanking is very effective. Kids are so smart even if they don't have great reasoning skills yet. A quick swat on the bottom for a little one is very easy for them to understand, so they catch on quickly and certainly don't need to be spanked often once they get the idea. As kids get older and their reasoning skills improve it is easier to transfer to other methods of discipline. The reason I did not specifically state spanking is simply because so many people are apposed to it and often have a distorted picture of what spanking actually is. Spanking is NOT losing your temper. Spanking should always be controlled and a person should NEVER be angry when they spank. Most people think of an angry parent towering over a child and "beating" them when they think of spanking. That is NOT what spanking is. Anyway, also, I did not say spank because I know that many people choose not to do so. I respect that all families are different, and you can certainly discipline in other ways than spanking, so that is why I said discipline. I do not want to start a debate her about whether to spank or not. That is not what I came here to do. We are all free to discipline our children in the way we feel is best to have a happy and healthy home. I wanted to share my perspective, but NOT start a big debate, so please respect that to all who read this! Smile

joysiloo's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1054

Attachment Parenting doesn't mean that there aren't consequences to naughty behavior, it means that the consequences "fit the crime", are non-violent and are explained - even to very young children.

In the stolen toy example, my reaction would have been to say "That is his toy and he's not ready to share with you right now. You need to give it back." If she didn't return the toy I would take the toy from her, return it and say "I am giving him his toy back because it's his and he's not ready to share." If she threw a fit, I would tell her "We're at the playground to have fun. I can see that you're sad because you can't play with that toy and you're not having fun anymore. That means it's time to leave." and we'd go home. Sure, we've left the playground for tantrums, but each interaction is a learning experience and we're getting to the point (at almost 2.5) where we rarely leave someplace because of behavior...and we go to three or four AP playgroups a week. I always explain why she has to do something, why I'm doing something and why the consequence is what it is. She can now tell me in the car on the way home if I ask why we left that "Daphne go home because...".

On the occasion that I lose my cool (which happens to everyone...even those of us most dedicated to AP:) ), I always apologize and say something like "I'm sorry I yelled. I was feeling very frustrated and angry that you took my lipstick out of my purse and colored on the wall. Next time mommy will try not to yell because yelling isn't nice."

It was mentioned that you don't want your child to use an angry voice to get what she wants, and you don't want her to learn that you won't follow through if you don't act...aren't you worried that by spanking she'll think that violence (hitting or whatever) will solve her problems and that it's an appropriate response when she's not happy with something? How about spanking a child that hit his or her sibling? Isn't that odd to hit a child to teach him not to hit?

ETA: Laurie, I also am not meaning to start a debate...although the OP was looking for AP techniques, which spanking is most definitely not. I am curious about teaching your child not to inflict pain on others while at the same time they are taught that it's okay for parents to do it.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

"pollo_la" wrote:

We do spank in our house, but that is certainly not all that can be done. With the little ones who really don't have huge reasoning skills we have found spanking is very effective. Kids are so smart even if they don't have great reasoning skills yet. A quick swat on the bottom for a little one is very easy for them to understand, so they catch on quickly and certainly don't need to be spanked often once they get the idea. As kids get older and their reasoning skills improve it is easier to transfer to other methods of discipline. The reason I did not specifically state spanking is simply because so many people are apposed to it and often have a distorted picture of what spanking actually is. Spanking is NOT losing your temper. Spanking should always be controlled and a person should NEVER be angry when they spank. Most people think of an angry parent towering over a child and "beating" them when they think of spanking. That is NOT what spanking is. Anyway, also, I did not say spank because I know that many people choose not to do so. I respect that all families are different, and you can certainly discipline in other ways than spanking, so that is why I said discipline. I do not want to start a debate her about whether to spank or not. That is not what I came here to do. We are all free to discipline our children in the way we feel is best to have a happy and healthy home. I wanted to share my perspective, but NOT start a big debate, so please respect that to all who read this! Smile

I was really just asking because the way you described the situation it sounded like the discipline would be something very quick and well, like you said, immediate, and I just can't think of anything besides spanking that would fit the bill- which is not to say that spanking is the only option- I just can't think of other things that would work as you described it in that situation.

I don't want to be part of a debate about spanking either....just trying to get my head around what people are talking about!

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

I only shared my perspective because people specifically asked for it... because YES, it is contrary to AP. I shared because AP created little selfish monsters for me. If it works for your family, great!!! Smile HOwever, it did not work for us, and I wanted to share what DID work to create happy kids and happy parents for us! Smile

To answer a pp in response to spanking and whether or not it promotes hitting/violence in children. I certainly can't speak for everyone, BUT my one child who was aggressive with some hitting before we started spanking is MUCH less aggressive and rarely hits or uses aggression now.

ETA: Perhaps the reason the spanking does NOT promote aggression is because it is always done when I am NOT angry. Hitting someone happens when you are angry or frustrated and is a form of lashing out in anger.

Amber_daisy's picture
Joined: 10/17/06
Posts: 567

APing a toddler/pre-schooler is MUCH more of a challenge than APing an infant. Infants don't talk back or throw tantrums. Lol It requires a great deal of creativity and thought and it's just hugely challenging. It can be done though, and done well. (I'm still working on it and haven't been doing so well with it lately...my energy and creatively has been very lacking lately.) One of the best resources I have found is www.naturalchild.org . The articles there are fabulous. There's also the book, The Natural Child, by Jan Hunt. But you can find all of the chapters of the book (which are basically essays on a variety of topics) on the website.

As for consistency...I don't think it's the "key" to discipline/guidance. If something isn't working, it doesn't matter how consistent you are....you're just going to be beating your head against a wall.

And I know quotes don't mean much, but they can't make you stop and think. Two of my favorites in regards to parenting that have helped me immensely are:

"Misbehavior in children is an attempt to communicate, when all else has failed. Children have a drive to love other people and to be a contribution to the people around them. It is time for all children to be recognized as the magnificent people they are, and accorded the dignity and respect that is due every human being. We must establish a new way of seeing children." The Kids' Project (Ann Fisher, Randal Schwartz, and Rick Lahrson)

"Disobedience is not an issue if obedience is not the goal." Daron Quinlan

No wonder I wasn't a fan of ABA therapy for my little boy, eh? Lol It just totally went against how I parent/guide my child and I did not like what it was doing to him.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"pollo_la" wrote:

I only shared my perspective because people specifically asked for it... because YES, it is contrary to AP. I shared because AP created little selfish monsters for me.

I suspect that your "little monsters" were not created by AP, but because you were practicing something other than AP. You don't mention which books' advice you were following, but from the examples you gave, I can say for certain that you obviously don't have a good grasp on what AP is all about for toddlers & older kids.

My goal is not to have blindly obedient children. My goal is to have children who think for themselves & make good decisions because they want to do the right thing. Of course I want them to follow my instructions, but not because they have to do whatever I tell them to do, but because my instructions are the right thing to do. That's why I'm not overly concerned if they take a minute to think about their options. Tiven sometimes decides to take a consequence instead of doing what I tell her. I hate that, but at the same time I respect it. She's a free thinker already, and that's one of the things I love about her!

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

I think the problem is in actually labelling these parenting techniques.

I don't spank and never will. Not my style. But I know I do things that 'AP'ers wouldn't agree with. My second baby, in stark contrast to my first helped me realize that I had to let go of certain beliefs I had when it comes to parenting. We're all a lot happier and I feel better as a parent. And even though most of my friends of 3 year olds are ready ship them off to the circus, I don't think my Violet has ever been more awesome, behavior-wise. She's a pleasure to be around.

I think each family needs to do what works. Cause one master list of 'things to do' and 'things to avoid' ISN'T going to work for every family.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"JorgieGirl" wrote:

I think the problem is in actually labelling these parenting techniques.

I don't spank and never will. Not my style. But I know I do things that 'AP'ers wouldn't agree with. My second baby, in stark contrast to my first helped me realize that I had to let go of certain beliefs I had when it comes to parenting. We're all a lot happier and I feel better as a parent. And even though most of my friends of 3 year olds are ready ship them off to the circus, I don't think my Violet has ever been more awesome, behavior-wise. She's a pleasure to be around.

I think each family needs to do what works. Cause one master list of 'things to do' and 'things to avoid' ISN'T going to work for every family.

Oh AMEN, sister. We don't spank either, but we do practice swift and consistent consequences. Works great for us. And Laurie, thank you again for sharing your perspective :)! I loathe parenting labels with a passion, personally! I think that they generally come into play when confidence is lacking or intuition is not present, and parents need something to attach themselves to.

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

Whatever works to make a mostly happy child working within a mostly happy family....and a better world. It may not be the same techniques for each child. Sometimes it is difficult for parents to agree as well - which makes sense I guess given that we grow up with different models - but as long as there is respect and discussion, things usually work out well.
In my experience no one philosophy worked over time. It is a continuous job...with lots of tweaking!

You may want to read this: http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/but-man-its-worth-it.html

Starflyr's picture
Joined: 10/20/07
Posts: 428

I am also an AP Mama and Brayden is close to 3.

In all honesty, I dont have a lot of time to read books, so Im kind of winging it.

The thing is, I think that full on AP works well in infants and early toddlers, but as they get to the "testing" stage, they DO need to have boundaries, they DO need to hear the word NO, and they MAY need consequences for poor behavior choices.

We sometimes use timeouts - immediate if it's something big (hitting, biting, etc), by counting to 3 (NO decimals!) ala 1-2-3 Magic for other offenses. He ends up in time out maybe 1-2 times per week.

Sometimes, we have to guide him to do things the way they should be done.

If he refuses, and it's not dangerous, natural consequences work very well.

I tried the "rescuing" him every time he cried/was upset thing and ended up with a toddler monster, so we had a majorly reevaluate parenting. part of our job is to let them learn to deal with anger, sadness and disappointment - while being supportive of their difficulty - but we cant fix everything for them unless we want to end up with hopelessly spoiled kids.

example: toy sharing.

Say, we have a friend over and Brayden doesnt want to share his choo choo trains (his favorite). he gets told to share. If he chooses not to share, then he is taken by the hand and made to let the friend have some of the choo choo trains (not mean, not spanking, not harsh). If that results in a tantrum, then the trains get a time out and nobody can play with them.

example: Dinnertime battles.

Brayden: "My want more mac'n'cheese!"

Me: "you need to eat 3 bites of green beans before you can have more mac'n'cheese"

Brayden: "NO! MY WANT MAC'N'CHEESE!"

Me: Im sorry, there's no more mac'n'cheese until you eat your green beans

Then i leave it alone. if he cries, he needs to learn to deal with disappointment. i will hug him and empathize (I know you're sad/angry/etc because you cant have more mac'n'cheese)

Example: Bedtime.

He went through the stage of not wanting to sleep in his own room (he cant sleep in ours - NO ONE gets sleep if he does). Finally, after being held hostage by a toddler terrorist from 3 am until midnight one day, he had to CIO (at 34 months...old enough to handle it, but it still sucked and I cried too). The next day, DH and I discussed how to deal with it in a better way. We went and got ahold of a bag of M&Ms and put 5 in a special bowl in his room at bedtime. he gets to count them, and the rule is if he stays in his bed (except for potty trips), and doesnt make us get up, he gets to eat them in the morning when he gets up. If he gets up continuously or throws fits, etc, then each time we have to get up, WE eat one. It took 1 night to fix the problem that had been going on for over a month.

Gentle and flexible, but keeping in mind that kids have to learn to deal with emotions and need to learn how to deal with a world that doesnt cater to them, kwim?