I'm a huge fan of respectful parenting /gentle parenting / whatever you want to call it.
I get frustrated by misconstrued criticism that the idea is to be soft or permissive. You still have to be the adult. The idea is simply how do you do that without physical or emotional violence. That's what spanking and shouting is. That's what most punishment is (note, this is different from natural consequences).
It's not easy to do, and no one is perfect at it. But I 100% believe this type of parenting works. I've never been more sure of anything in my life.
It's like how if you go to a reputable martial arts dojo, they will teach you that actually using the techniques in a real world situation is only to be done if violence is inevitable.
Once, a couple cops overheard a buddy and me talking about teaching and one was like, "my hat's off to you. I can cuff someone if they're out of line, but as a teacher, all you have are your wits."
1) He's right
2) The experience of teaching in a tough school was hugely influential on my views on parenting
@Pat thanks for responding!
I don't think most punishment is necessary. But I should be clearer about what I mean. To me, punishment is the intentional causing of bad feelings or pain as a deterrent for some behavior.
Granted, my oldest is only nearly 6, we've got 4 kids and we really don't do what I would consider punishment, by that definition.
Like, if a kid is abusing some object and doesn't respond to correction, I take it away. Not as a punishment, but as a consequence of the fact that they aren't using it correctly/safely/whatever.
Honestly, it probably doesn't feel hugely different from punishment to a kid in the moment. They usually get sad. This is a side effect, but it can't really be avoided. After the tantrum, I can explain things to help them understand the reasoning.
I think there's a big difference in the long run.
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