[quote=rayne89]What forms of discipline do you use on your own children?
Thank you for asking. As much as I’ve thought about it, I’ve never actually tried to write it down.
I have six children, from ages 7-18, and over the years I have changed somewhat. The way I deal with the little ones now are different than the way I have dealt with the bigger ones at the same age. There are several reasons for that, partly because of changing attitudes on my part, because of changing circumstances which warranted different approaches, and some, I think, due to my “wearing out.” :o
With limited time at this sitting I’ll try to describe my former methods, because I understand them better than my current methods – or some might say lack of a method.
When my older ones were young I was very strict, and was quick to punish. Even then, I didn’t believe in explicit threats or bribes, because they could be see as negotiation and because they communicated that I didn’t expect them to obey on their own. To the former point, I saw “do this or else that” as giving the child a genuine choice whether they consider the task or the punishment less desirable. I didn’t want them to have a choice to consider. My theory was that I simply told them what I want and expected them to comply, and what I saw as willful defiance automatically invited scoldings, spankings or other punishment. The severity varied based on the situation, partly because I didn’t want there to be a “formula” and partly, I’m afraid, due to my own feelings at the time.
Similarly I believed in reminders but not warnings of punishment if they didn’t comply at first, because that leads to escalation, a phenomenon that Dobson described very well in a book I had read. If I started out with a request, then added threats if not complied with, the children learn that they didn’t really have to comply with it the first time.
Overall, I tried to keep the administration of both reward and punishment unpredictable because I thought it had a stronger reinforcing effect without as quick decay if I ever slacked off in any given situation. I also tried very hard to make the nature of the reward and punishment such that I did not convey they were “good children” or “bad children” if they obeyed, but that they were always precious children who were very much loved regardless of if they did right or wrong, although right or wrong could be anywhere from pleasing to displeasing to me at the same time.
This “system” sounds pretty complicated now that I try to describe it. It was based on a lot of ideas from my own experiences when I was young, from my own ideas, and those I read or heard from various sources.
This post is long enough and my time is short, so I’ll break here.