Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Attachment Parenting-Part 3/4 (Rules, Encouragement, and Grace)

Attachment parenting is not a set of rules, you dont have to follow all of them. I just think it is a good tool that helps me out. As an example, many who follow attachment parenting do positive discipline (usually meaning no time outs or punishment-which is usually coined as time outs or corporal punishment)- I  however do choose to do time outs and other creative disciplines/reality discipline but I also use some positive discipline techniques. I personally choose not to use many rewards to curb my child's behavior because I want him to obey for the right reasons-but I do think there is a place for them, just have not figured it out yet.

Something that is working out extremely well with my two yr old is encouragement, not praise. (have a new kid by Friday) Encouragement is saying things like " good job, that must make you feel proud of yourself, look all your hard work seems to have paid off, you are really working hard to use the toilet- must make you feel good" etc. Praise is " what a good girl you are, wow your so amazing, your the best kid/player on the team, I am so proud of you(guilty as charged). I always wondered why praise felt fake, and once I read about it-then it all made sense. The encouragement is empowering, the praise is just saying your the best-dont need to work harder or my mom thinks I am the best player on the team, and I know I am not- so she must be lying to me to make me feel good. I am still learning about this, it is a area that I really believe in and I have noticed a huge change in my child using the potty since I have been working at it. He is now in the " I can do it myself" phase-which I am LOVING!....Although it may mean cleaning up a few messes around the toilet- it is worth it.

"Rules without relationship breads rebellion" -Giving boundaries is needed for children, but only focusing on the rules and outward behavior and not the heart, can lead to trouble. AP/strong relationship helps me to focus on the heart of my child. I remember a once or twice when my parents gave me grace, I deserved to be disciplined but they said " today I am giving you grace". Which is what Christ has done for us, we still get consequences sure, but He does more than his " fair share" of grace giving don't you think?! I do not think we should do this all the time for toddlers especially- but once in good while to say " you deserve to be disciplined but today I am giving you grace like Jesus has given me" may be a good idea. I just did this for the first time the other day.

All AP parents do not parent exactly this way, some fall into the "holes" of letting go of their authority and coddle. Some are a little more grace based parents than I am. Some may be more strict. It all depends on the person. I am absolutely not perfect, but my husband and I try very hard not to repeat ourselves too much ( a very,very hard thing to master.....very very hard). I believe I can still teach my child to obey first time with this style- which is our goal. I am not perfect with it, it is a area I think most parents struggle with- do not nag, say it once and if the child does not obey, discipline. That does not have to mean spanking or time out, it can mean that when the child later comes to you wanting something(which is only a matter of time) you express "I am sorry, I would love to help you out and get that cookie for you, but I asked you to clean up your toys and you did not obey" or something to that affect- it works- even with young children(although be mindful of their short memory span). Using this style can be very hard if you are worried about what other people think, seeing your child do something wrong in public and seemingly getting no consequence. However it really works, it really teaches them to think about it the next time they are about to do that same thing again. I once treated myself to some french fries after a less than ideal experience when my toddler in a store, think he got some of my fries? I heard about it the whole way home to " no fries for Isaac, I not listen to mommy? Mommy says no fries"....he loves fries. In my opinion this was not a time for grace.

One thing I have noticed- it is so important to learn how to say this in a matter of fact tone, not like your waiting for a argument/tantrum(in toddlers). My mother in law is awesome at this, particularly with my 2 yr old. When you say it like your waiting for a argument the kids pick up on it. "Fighting is an act of cooperation" (Making children mind without loosing yours, Have a new kid by friday) Links above in 4/4. If you are overly authoritarian it comes off as a " I am using my power and am better than you"  feeling to it. Try to remember how you felt when you were a kid and an adult talked to you in that type of tone. It makes a huge difference!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I've never thought about the difference in praise and encouragement. I don't think I've ever really given a lot of praise to my kids, but I'm going to for sure watch how I say things!

    What's the "have a new kid by Friday?" Is it a book?