Teaching Children How To Appolgize

JoEllen from CuppaCocoa explains how to teach children A Better Way To Say Sorry.  This method is phenomenal as are the results of teaching it.  As Dara Stoltzfus said on the Facebook page for this site.

I’ve used this approach with my kids and it’s really the best way to go. Just forcing the “I’m sorry” thing doesn’t help anyone or teach kids “why” they should be sorry. I find too that when you talk to them about what they did wrong, once they’re used to this way of apologizing, they do it on their own. They will spontaneously offer an apology and ask forgiveness without being prompted to do so once they understand “why” what they did was wrong.

And, the funny thing is…once my oldest…did something and then she came to me and asked me to forgive her and I realized at that moment that here…I’d been wanting to wallow in my anger. I wanted to stay mad at her. I wanted to somehow “make her suffer” for what she’d done (the effects of having been spanked showing thru in me) and when she asked me that I had to deal with that IN ME.

Thoughtful parenting really changes US in such amazing ways.

This post is part of a larger series on How To Shape Children’s Behavior.

She also has some good marriage advice.

Should Christian Parents Spank Their Children?

Rick Creech answers the question, Should Christian Parents Spank Their Children?  This is a very good article to share with fundamental Christians because it is written by a fundamental pastor who only uses the KJV.

Why Not Regulate Homeschoolers?

I was asked in the comments to my post, The Beast Look At  Homeschooling, why I believe that regulation of homeschooling is a slippery slope and what would be appropriate oversight to prevent abuse.

My opinion is that parents are responsible for their children, the state is not. I do not believe that the state should take charge of children unless there is a dire circumstance such as obvious abuse. I do not believe that the state should be checking on children in order to make sure that they are not being abused. In order to simplify my thoughts, let’s consider the following. [Read more…]

More about Teaching

The Hippie Housewife explains the Basics of Gentle Discipline, focusing on Teaching Skills which makes a great follow up to yesterday’s post on Teaching Babies. She offers skills to prepare babies and children for the future.  As she explains:

These future-oriented solutions provide the child with skills that will be used throughout and beyond childhood. The focus is on developing the child’s own internal control rather than on managing behaviour through external control, thereby assisting the child in navigating life in a way that keeps their dignity intact.

She also links to some very helpful posts to provide background which I also recommend and have linked to in the past.

Note that this post is part of the 2012 Carnival of Gentle Discipline which you can find at the bottom of the post.

Teach Your Babies Well

The following was originally posted in thread on Gentle Christian Mothers called, “…And I’m the Strict One!“and is a follow up to my previous post, Teach Your Children Well.

At 4 months, what you want to be doing is starting the phase of ‘discipline’ that I call “show and tell” — it’s not a phase where you expect the baby to *do* anything at all. I mean that! And I know it doesn’t make sense to say “start discipline” and “the baby doesn’t do anything” when you are coming from a punitive mindset.

What “show and tell” means is that you are building the vocabulary for whatever you want him/her to be able to do without thinking twice once s/he is a toddler. You build vocabulary by saying a word and simultaneously doing that thing to the baby.

For example, when you say “Up” as you pick a baby up, that’s ‘show and tell’ — but of course, “Up” is not an instruction you want your toddler to follow later, so it’s not a good example of how ‘show and tell’ is a good start to good discipline. It’s just an example of the way that people naturally know that ‘show and tell’ is how you teach stuff to babies. It’s how they learn. That’s why it’s the method you choose when you teach everything, including when you teach the vocabulary you want them to grasp for following instructions. It’s a game. It’s no big deal.

At this stage you have TONS of time. Start by thinking and trying out what words you plan to use as your primary ‘words of instruction’. Once you’ve got them figured out, you need to *stop* using them as ordinary parts of chit-chat and *only* use them when you are going to be ‘show and tell’-ing. Your instruction words should be short and sweet. When possible, they should say what ‘is happening / what to do’ instead of ‘what not to do’. Try not to start with more than 6 to 10 instruction words. Select them carefully and always use them identically. (Many of these instruction words are going to sound like [Read more…]

Teach Your Children Well

The following was originally posted in thread on Gentle Christian Mothers called, “…And I’m the Strict One!“.

Well, ladies, do you know what’s a show-stopper in a nicely chatting group of Christian Mommies?

It’s when the strictest parent there casually mentions that she doesn’t spank. Here’s the circle of my friends and acquaintances when I mentioned it:  😮  😯   😕

Friend 1:  😮  “You don’t???”
Me: “Yeah, I used to, but I haven’t in a long time.”
Friend 2:   😯 “Really?”
Me: “I try not to do anything harsh at all, really.”
Friend 1: “Well… but… your kids are angels.”
Friend 2: “Some kids just don’t need it.”
Friend 1: “Yeah, I had one that spanking didn’t work for.”
Friend 2 to 1: “It’s not the right tool for every child.”
Friend 1 to me: “You can leave if you want to, if you think it’s cruel.”
Me: “No, I just think it’s unnecessary.”
Friend 2: “Well… you’ve got angels.”

Conversation continues on which kids “need” it, with lots of “funny” stories. Apparently, their various children’s persistent poor habits means the Mom should do more of what they are already doing (spanking), but the consistent excellence of my children has nothing to do with my methods: they were born that way.

Do these people really believe random selection gave me two angels, that I never had to really parent ‘the hard way’ — while they received an assortment of challenges my methods could never meet? I should extra-respect them for raising more difficult children, beyond my scope of experience? Even if they “have to” hit these challenging children, and even if hitting them isn’t showing any benefits!

(someone asks me to clarify what I mean by “strict.”)

Ok, here’s another tidbit of reality then: my husband is often unwell, and, with rare exceptions, that makes me the only “responsible adult” in my family. That means that, since I can’t handle (much) chaos, I can’t allow it.

I have lines of painters tape on my floor outlining “kitchen” in my open-plan home. Children don’t cross those lines when I am cooking. They haven’t for years. If my daughter woke up this morning to find painters tape barring them from exiting their own bedrooms, they would, I am dead sure, stand there and call me, “Mama? Why us this here? Mama, can I cross the tape? Mama, I need to go potty!” [Read more…]

What Gentle Discipline Is Not – Part 3

Carissa Robinson continues her explanation of what Gentle Discipline is not with what Gentle Discipline is not in What Gentle Discipline is Not, Continued Again 🙂. This post looks at “Gentle discipline is not something that occurs only when unacceptable behavior manifests itself” aka “Gentle Discipline is not sporadic.”

Here is the rest of her series, for your convenience:
What Gentle Discipline Is Not
What Gentle Discipline is Not, Continued. “Gentle Discipline is not adversarial”