When a Parent's "I love you" means "Do as I say"

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    This is an interesting article with a different look at time outs and praise. I think there is some merit in what they say. As with everything, going overboard with this is probably not a great idea.

    It just gives a different view of parenting techniques.

    What do YOU think?
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Good topic Susie!

    I'm on the line I think on this one. My kids know my love is unconditional. But I can't say I'm especially inclined to hug a kid that has spent the day making my life miserable on purpose either. lol And having lived with 2 difficult children......there were days like that.

    I gave praise when the situation called for it. I didn't smother them with it. I loath unearned praise....I"ve heard parents praise the stupidest actions as if their child had climbed a huge mountain, clearly over doing it. But I looked for the good in my kids and praised it. There was also a strong dose of dicipline to go along with it. That balance needs to be there in my opinion.

    As far as emotional reactions to my kids behaviors......I rarely raised my voice or spoke in anger. I taught myself this early on because my Mom was a screamer and would yell the most vile things at us. I learned what was appropriate behavior per age....and took that into account when dealing with behavior.

    But Travis, the boy who had Trouble stamped on his forhead, can tell you that for the most part he got just as much affection as did his sisters, including easy child who almost never got into trouble. I had to make a more concious effort to make that happen though.

    I may respond more to this later. I'm still on my 1st cup of coffee. LOL
  3. Susie,

    Thanks for posting this link. I read the article a couple of days ago, and I am still mulling it over. I do believe that the theory is sound, and I'm a huge fan of Carl Rogers. This approach requires a great deal of restraint from a parent, and really runs counter to most parenting advice you see these days. In another way, though, it takes an enormous emotional load away from a parent!

    I know that motivation must ultimately come from within an individual. I do not believe that it can be created or coerced. My experience with my own sons and with my co-workers has definitely shown me that! I was fascinated with the article and followed up the links about the educator referenced within the article. He's an amazing fellow. I have to say , I definitely agree with him - especially his ideas about the ridulous ways that homework is currently used in our school systems. The sad state of our schools cannot be denied.

    Very, very interesting ideas!

  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Interesting article. I wonder though, do they mean actually withholding the love, or just withholding the expressions of love? Like Lisa, I don't want to hug a kid who's made me crazy all day long, but that doesn't mean I love Miss KT any less. At what point does this theory of "I love you when you do what I say" turn into a massive guilt trip for the child, where he/she is made to feel responsible for Mom's happiness?

    If the child is made to feel that he/she is just wonderful the way he/she is, there is no motivation to change any unacceptable behavior. I'm talking about a easy child here, one who knows the difference but chooses to misbehave, not a difficult child who hasn't gotten the finer points yet. That's a whole other ball game, as we all know!
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Havent read the article...just read your responses so I probably shouldnt even be commenting but something KTmom said made me wonder.

    We had Keyana this weekend, and granted she is 3, but we had this little episode over her picking up her blocks. Now she is a pretty darned good little girl. Papa asked her to pick up her blocks but she got silly. She got up in his lap...between his knees and tried her little smiley face, googly eyes..."I dont wanna" bit. He held her there and asked her...Please Keyana...do it for Papa. She grinned, she laughed, she giggled. Finally he pinned her and she promised...oh she promised she was going to pick up her blocks. She ran off and sat in a chair...laughing.

    Well...Papa looked at her and said...But Keyana...you said you would pick up your blocks! You told me a LIE! He got this big sad face on.

    She looked at me. She looked at him.

    She got a sad face too.

    She got down and got her blocks. Slowly started putting them in her bag. Tears started welling. He said...why you crying. She said...I tell lie. I make you sad. Papa said, yes, you promised to pick up your blocks then you didnt but now you are! Would you like me to help? She said...YES! So papa held the bag and made it make a chomping noise and they picked up all the blocks.

    She knew perfectly well he wanted her to pick up the blocks. She knows how. I dont think letting her know something she does makes us sad is a bad thing. We sure let her know when she makes us happy!
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    With all due respect, I'm concerned that the results of the study discussed in the article might further dis-empower parents from correcting their children and giving out punishments or natural consequences. I know despite groundings, time outs and loss of privileges, that Duckie is sure of my love and devotion to her. I'm certain about this because Duckie is told why she is being punished. She also knows why she gets so many positives in her life... she's earned them. I also talk to her about how her behavior makes me feel and how it impacts our family life. This isn't to induce guilt on her part but so that she understands that she is part of something bigger than herself.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am also torn about the article. I did not read the articles referenced yet. I do think homework is badly misused in our schools though.

    As for this, I have no problem showing irritation at a child who has refused to do something. I also have no problem making a child do a chore for me in exchange for me mending something they ripped, or doing something special that THEY asked for. If I suggest it or offer it then I don't expect that.

    ALL of my kids know I love them. Period. Even Wiz, who has thanked me for loving him and hugging him even when he was in his abusive stage. NOT a thank you I or anyone else ever thought about being needed.

    In the immediate aftermath of an argument or explosion from a child, or as i discover the child lied about doing a chore that they didn't do, I often need a small amount of time before I can hug them. I mean 5 minutes or so. Not hours or days. Just a few minutes to reset my brain and emotions. They all are sure in the knowledge that tehy are loved. period. ESP after all the stuff with Wiz the kids know there is NOTHING they can do that will keep me from loving them.

    I see it as emotional blackmail of a parent to not be able to show a child when their actions have hurt you. How are they to learn to be courteous and kind if we are some creature who cannot be hurt by their actions?

    How do they learn to control their emotions if we don't show them that we HAVE emotions? Esp emotions triggered by the actions of another.

    I don't go for "Eat one bite for gpa, won't you make gpa happy by eating a bite?" (we don't use "taking a bite" because my kids would take the bite. And feed it to the dog or put it in the trash, LOL! Talk about startling my dad - Jess actually DID this to him at age 22 months.)

    I don't praise everything my kids do. Maybe I don't praise enough, I don't know. But I do see a point in not using emotions to blackmail a child do behave or do well at anything.

    So I guess I am on the fence. Not overpraising, but not willing to pretend I don't have emotions either.