Did anyone post about this article?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sara PA, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    FWIW, it's an article from the June 12th issue of US News & World Report. I thought their comments about what doesn't work were as interesting as the 8 things that do work. It all sorta goes with my other thread about parenting. Sorta.

    Good Parents, Bad Results
    8 ways science shows that Mom and Dad go wrong when disciplining their kids

    (a few paragraphs to tell what it's about)

    Researchers have spent decades studying what motivates children to behave and can now say exactly what discipline methods work and what don't: Call it "evidence-based parenting." Alas, many of parents' favorite strategies are scientifically proven to fail. "It's intuitive to scream at your child to change their behavior, even though the research is unequivocal that it won't work," says Alan Kazdin, a psychologist who directs the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic. Other examples:

    • Yelling and reasoning are equally ineffective; kids tune out both.

    • Praise doesn't spoil a child; it's one of the most powerful tools that parents can use to influence a child's actions. But most parents squander praise by using it generically—"you're so smart" or "good job!"—or skimping.

    • Spanking and other harsh punishments ("You're grounded for a month!") do stop bad behavior but only temporarily. Punishment works only if it's mild, and it is far outweighed by positive reinforcement of good behavior.

  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    They're right--yelling and reasoning both do not work.
    Actions work.

    LOL about "you're grounded for a month!" I can't tell you how many times I've yelled something like that. "You're grounded until Christmas 2030!"

    I've found that swift punishments work best for my difficult child. He's got a memory as short as my dogs'.

    My easy child daughter, on the other hand, always understood consequences. I think she was born with-an emotional Ph.D. Sigh.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    But what do you do when others in difficult child's life think you are "too easy" if you don't ground them for a month or a swift, quick "do it and get it done" punishment is not reacting appropriately? I'm not talking about a neighbor down the street- I'm talking about school district's, and others that we pretty much HAVE to deal with?
  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    The school district can think what they want, as far as I'm concerned.

    The JJS -- that's a different story. Judges tend to be capricious and arbitrary. They can and will take away a parent's rights and generally aren't open to being educated by the parents of children who appear before them. I would be inclined to be considerably less flippant about what a judge thinks of my parenting. But if asked about my methods, I have something like that article to back me.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree, Sara, and it is good that articles like this are being written. The more the methods we are learning the hard way are being presented to the public, by people who are just there to report findings, the more chance there is for a change in public opinion. But, geez, I just wish it could all happen sooner.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    klmno, you asked, "But what do you do when others in difficult child's life think you are "too easy" if you don't ground them for a month or a swift, quick "do it and get it done" punishment is not reacting appropriately? I'm not talking about a neighbor down the street- I'm talking about school district's, and others that we pretty much HAVE to deal with?"

    We're not perfect, but we've been able to implement a lot of the things listed here. We especially had to put in place the immediate, short punishments rather tan the longer ones. The school, in our case, had a severe, and badly delayed, punishment system which at times delayed punishment for up to six months for infractions such as hitting another kid (even when it might have been in self-defence) - and the system came in for Kindergarten kids right through to Grade 6. Kindergarten kids can be as young as 4 years old.

    So a School District giving ME a hard time - they can go take a flying leap.

    We do get hassled by easy child 2/difficult child 2 for being too lenient with difficult child 3 in discipline. The thing is, we've learnt a bit more since she was that small. We also have had to customise a lot to suit what each kid can handle (or not). We know what works for us NOW.

    And easy child 2/difficult child 2 has a very short memory - sister in law was staying with mother in law, so were we. easy child 2/difficult child 2 wanted to read a book to her younger cousin - my girl was 4, her cousin was 3. The two girls were dressed, but had climbed into bed to read the book, snuggled under the bedclothes. sister in law shooed them out. "You shouldn't get back into bed once you're up and dressed," she said to them. "You don't have to be in the bed to read a book."
    I watched to make sure that easy child 2/difficult child 2 had pulled up the bedclothes and re-made the bed.
    Then about fifteen minutes later I heard sister in law getting VERY angry. "I told you girls to get out of the bedroom. You can read the book on the couch. It is very disobedient to get back onto the bed."
    She then came and spoke to me. Well, aren't you going to do something about your insolent child? After I had told them to get out of the bed, they went right back and sat OON the bed to read the book. I wanted them out of there, it's not right to stay in the bedroom during the day."
    I tried to say that sister in law had actually not forbidden them to sit ON the bed, at which point she turned away in disgust. "No wonder the girl's so disobedient," she said. "You let her get away with everything. And now she's teaching my daughter to disobey."

    I must point out here in sister in law's defence - since that time, she has spent time observing how we handle difficult child 3 and said to her mother, "I don't know how Marg is so patient with him; I don't think I could be. But clearly it is the right thing to do because he is so well-behaved and is doing so well, compared to how he used to be."

    I also must point out that a lot of sister in law's problems with her younger daughter (only a few months older than difficult child 3) revolve around lack of trust - she is very strict with her girls and rides them hard, but ten doesn't trust them (especially her younger one) because the girl has learned to be sneaky and to hide things from her mother. But I think the hiding things is a learned behaviour brought about by the strictness plus the mother's suspicions, which are not helped by their father also being inconsistent in what he tells people. I feel sorry for sister in law, although I am pleased that her girls are growing up into genuine PCs. Even the younger one's 'sneakiness' is not on a grand scale; the girl has enough innate common sense to make sound decisions of her own. It's just a pity that her mother isn't ready to give her a bit more leg-rope on her surfboard, so to speak.

    The thing is, I even stood my ground with sister in law & mother in law, although I avoided confrontation over it. I just laid low and did things my way. It is amazing how quickly even an autistic child can learn, that different people have different standards, but the standards that matter are the parents'.
    And now mother in law & sister in law are happy with how I handle difficult child 3.

    I've done it my way, and it has worked out. For the bulk of my child's life, the most important thing is going to be how I handled him, not how I modified how I handled him in order to keep family members and the school district happy.

    I suspect if I had caved all those years ago, I would still be fighting many more battles with my kids and I would STILL be getting complaints about how soft and inconsistent I am as a parent. And they'd have more chance of being right - self-fulfilling prophecy!

    Sara, thanks for posting this article. It's not something I would normally get to see.

  7. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    The problem with the article is that it takes bits from every where and does not give a parent an intergrated approach. Myrna Shure , Carol Dweck and to some extent Robert Brooks favour a working with approach and don't really fit in with a lot of the advice given.

    I always laugh when I read ' But, paradoxically, not having limits has been proven to make children more defiant and rebellious, because they feel unsafe and push to see if parents will respond' - my kid rebelled against limits and the more I tried to impose limits , the greater the resistence. he was not crying out for limits , not testing me if I would respond , he did not feel unsafe , he was just giving expresion to poor coping skills, a lack of flexibility and adaptability and low level frustration tolerance. Only when I started to problem solve , set limits with him , work with him that thins changed. When kid are said to be testing limits the traditional advice give is impose more limits. I prefer Alfie Kohn's words that kids are really testing our unconditional love for them even when they don't meet our expectations and act out.

  8. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    I'm sorry and I am probably going to be the decenting vote here, but in my humble opinion how you discipline your child depends more on the child then anything else. A swift warning swat on the bottom may work on one child, but not the other. On the other hand a simple timeout works on one but not the other. This is especially true with our difficult child kids. While punsihment/privalige taking away works on the pcs. it will never work on difficult child. Only thing that works for her is combining consequences and rewards.

    Its nice that the scientific community is trying to find out what works, but each child is so different, I doubt there will ever be one conclusive way to parent. Just MHO.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Right, Sara. At least with-me, that's why I read so many books and listen to so many people, so that I can figure out what to take and what to throw away.
  10. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    Yep, me too Terry. I am a researchalholic, lol.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You're definitely not alone in this at all, Sara.

    We were able to use time-outs with the first three, but not at all with difficult child 3. We've had to change a lot of direction.

    I often state that the ODD-type problems that we can get in children with an underlying disorder are often due to our using parenting techniques which should work quite well (and probably HAVE worked quite well) on other kids, but which can actually drive these particular difficult children into determined opposition and raging.

    We experiment to find out what works. We read, we compare notes, we talk to one another - then we take form all of that and use the stuff that works - for us, for that child.

  12. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I think people need to refer to the other Sara as SaraT. When we post in the same thread, it gets confusing.
  13. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I really appreciate your insight and agree with your philosphy here Allen. The three issues that your child was dealing with are the exact issues mine struggles with.