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Old 06-16-2007, 03:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Collected Comfort Corner Comments

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Title: A newbie having a SERIOUS problem with Comfy-Corner!
Post by: butterflymommy on February 12, 2006, 07:02:31 PM
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Hi,
I am very new to this board. I came from a Pearlish-training mentality. (I posted on the untraining message board a few times.) I came to GCM to be encouraged to parent my children with the Joy of The Lord! Though I believe that spanking isn't the answer, I believe that training is vital. When I read the verse, "Train Up a Child The Way They Should Go, And When They Are Old They will Not Depart From It," I think that this is a COMMAND to follow with grave seriousness.The Pearls were not very good about explaining that training can be positive. It was sprinkled throughout their materials, but not very well. Basically, training IS a POSITIVE thing. It cheers up your child and makes them feel good. This is what you are hoping the Comfy Corner will do, but you are forgetting that your children need to learn from their mistakes. They need to one day be mature adults that can reason how to follow God and flee from sin. That is what we are training them for, right? In our home, training is positive. I don't think we need to swing the pendulum all the way to the other side and neglect training all together! Our children DO NOT need to be put aside when they are needing to learn how to self-correct. Comfy Corner seems like a fancy, fluffy time-out, IMOP.

I quoted this from ArmsOfLove, regarding Comfy Corner:

Quote:
But if I come over and you've been having a bad day and not behaving well (maybe grousing or yelling at the kids, not doing your responsibilities around the house, etc) which would you prefer me to do:

1) "I'm disgusted at the way you've been behaving today. Your children deserve better than this. What kind of a mother do you think you are? You need to go into your room for 30 minutes (1 minute per year ) and really think about how bad you are. I will come and get you in 1/2 hour and then I will be nice to you."

or

2) "Wow, you're having a bad day. How about I watch the kids for a bit and you go get a cup of coffee and take a break Come back when you're feeling better and if you want to talk about what's going on we can do it then."
Of course, we adults all choose #2 scenario. Goodness! But, that is because we are adults, with mature reasoning skills. We can make choices to change our behavior much better than our little children can. I really don't understand how this analogy has anything to do with our children? This decision-making is not what our children are capable of, yet.

We are adults, that can reason like adults. Children haven't reached this stage of moral accountibility. When my child is not behaving, he cannot reason, calm himself down, use proper self control to change his behavior. Ignoring it won't work, but making him happy, instead of teaching him to behave better, is worse. Why are we so concerned about making them happy when they are the ones that need to learn that their unhappiness is from making poor choices? It is good they are sour, mean, nasty. That means that we are needing to train them better in those areas where they are not cheerful, joyful, honoring God. Or, maybe that is a reflection on us not properly trianing them? Shouldn't we train them instead of putting stuffed animals, books, and a sweet hugging mama by their side? I train my child, and I am still sweet. But, I will NEVER let them get rewarded for their bad behavior. Changing their mood isn't helping or solving their problem. Now, I would never say, "I'm disgusted w/ you!" Or use time-out to let them feel bad longer. I also don't talk rudely to my child and use shaming to motivate him to do better. I tell my child he was wrong and he needs to learn that acting wrong will not benefit him. He will experience something contrary to his current mood/behavior. That doesn't mean I need to spank him like the Pearls teach, but something that will qualify as proper discipline must happen, otherwise I am setting him up to become foolish. (Isn't that what using the "ROD" means? To teach our children how to flee from sin (foolishness) and honor God?) ! I think that making him comfortable by ignoring his bad behavior and then never correct him is a bad idea. Why not train him to change his bad mood/behavior into a good one? Why not discuss his poor behavior? OK, let's say that discussion can be by action, not just a "lecture?" If he was hitting a child and not stopping, then teach him that his hands were meant to love by learning how to serve the family with his hands for a week: set the table, fold the laundry, wash dishes, share his toys, brush the cat, etc. Praise, praise, praise his efforts and explain how his hands are loving, serving, and pleasing to God. To reward his hitting by making him feel good is crazy to me??? I think time out is wrong, and comfy corner sounds just like that??? I cuddle, hug, love my children all day long! A child needs to be STOPPED and corrected when they are acting poorly. That is what true training is like. it won't be fun to do this at times, but having warm-fuzzy moments in not what life is all about. My children are all smiles 30 seconds into the correction/discipline. I think CC is the way extreme opposite of punitive discipline. I'm sure the children in Comfy Corner are smiling...they got away with their bad behavior.

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Title: Re: A newbie having a SERIOUS problem with Comfy-Corner!
Post by: greenemama on February 12, 2006, 07:31:18 PM
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i had my own struggles with the comfort corner. it seemed to me to be just what you describe: rewarding of unwanted behavior and way too much fun to teach anything.

first of all, why do you think that your children are unable to appreciate taking a break to regroup and "feel better" so that they can act better? at what age would you expect them to be mature enough to have #2 be a positive learning experience for them? my 3.5 year old understands what we're doing because we've discussed what the comfy chair is for when he's in a positive mood. when he is overstimulated or just out of control and he goes to the chair to read or whatever it's a time to calm down so that when he is calm we can discuss what he needs to learn. learning anything is best done when we are calm, no? when i'm angry and irrational it doesn't really matter what someone says in an effort to enlighten me about something. after i've taken a walk or cleaned the kitchen and have calmed down i'm better able to be rebuked and not be a "fool" about it. it's the same way for children -- when they're angry or just extremely emotional they're not as able to learn -- they need to calm down.

the comfort corner does not take the place of instruction and rebuke, it precludes training and teaching when emotions are too high to be receptive.

edited to add that the comfort corner *is* teaching something to our children -- it's teaching them to regroup and calm down before reacting in anger! it teaches them the ability to calm themselves.

does that help at all? i'm sure crystal or joanne can answer better.

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Title: Re: A newbie having a SERIOUS problem with Comfy-Corner!
Post by: mamaKristin on February 12, 2006, 07:37:33 PM
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Just a quick comment...

part of how we use the comfort corner is to help model how to handle ourselves - how to deal with big emotions, how to recognize when we have hurt others, how to gain control of ourselves when we are feeling out of control. Through modelling proper behaviour when not feeling good or acting good is part of 'training'. To be honest, I was a child who was put in time outs...and I have to really work at this too - I didn't learn how to deal with my emotions well, I learned how to stuff them down, but not how to calm myself. My kids don't get away with bad behaviour, we address it and move forwards. I don't make them go away to their rooms when I don't like what they've done.

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Title: Re: A newbie having a SERIOUS problem with Comfy-Corner!
Post by: ArmsOfLove on February 12, 2006, 07:53:00 PM
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Oh goodness--you are making so many assumptions and reading so much into the Comfort Corner. Where to start

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This is what you are hoping the Comfy Corner will do, but you are forgetting that your children need to learn from their mistakes.
I'm not forgetting this

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They need to one day be mature adults that can reason how to follow God and flee from sin. That is what we are training them for, right?
Well, the Hebrew for "train" means to immerse and dedicate. It is not a momentary thing, it's a lifestyle. The way to do it is according to Deuteronomy where we're instructed to teach them God's ways when we walk along the way, sit in our house, rise up and lay down. This Proverb is referring to doing that instruction.

I'm not particularly concerned with whether or not my children are happy. Happy is not the only acceptable emotion and ime parents who desire their children to always be happy get tripped up with permissiveness because negative emotions are perceived as a sign of parental failure. I'm glad when my children are happy, but that's about them, not me. So the Comfort Corner is not about getting them to be happy, and it's not a reward for negative behavior. It's a self regulating tool. It's a place to go and regroup and collect yourself. I mean, when a child is in the full blown heat of a situation and experiencing all of their very big feelings they are simply not in a place to hear, receive, and personalize correction. In the moment is never going to be the best time to discuss what has happened. Defenses are up, feelings are heated, and everything is taken way more intensely than it needs to be. Having a child go to the Comfort Corner teaches them that when feelings are high and conflict is imminent it's time to take a break and collect yourself--come back when you are ready to deal with it. Most children, very quickly, learn to retreat to the Comfort Corner *before* there is a problem--when they perceive that they aren't handling things well. And while we don't talk about what happened *in* the Comfort Corner, you can bet we talk about it at other times. Now, sometimes they come out and resolve the situation and there's nothing to talk about--I consider the situation resolved if the child comes out and fixes the situation or makes amends for a wrong. Not everything needs my commentary and often my commentary falls into the category of "piggybacking" which gives the child the message that they can't learn from life's lessons and actually serves to take away from the lessons they did learn.

Typically when a child is done taking a break we'll sit down and talk and I'll start by asking them what their thoughts are about things. If they've figured it out then great If they need some guidance or other perspective or some Scriptural instruction then we do it when we're both in a calm and connected place. If things are common problems then we do character training as we walk down the road, sit in our house, lay down and rise up Another thing we do after the Comfort Corner is talk about ways to prevent a similar situation from happening next time--including going to the CC first and coming back when they feel better.

Please don't read it as the "Comfortable Corner", as in helping them feel comfortable about what they've done. That is not what it is. It is the *Comfort* Corner and it's a place to go when you feel out of sorts in order to Comfort yourself and get back on your game. That's a wonderful tool to equip a child with imo!

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Title: Re: A newbie having a SERIOUS problem with Comfy-Corner!
Post by: UltraMother on February 12, 2006, 07:54:35 PM
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The cc is meant to calm the child down and give him some space, just not in a punitive way. It is not meant to be the correction itself.

But there are several assumptions going on here that you may want to reevaluate from a gbd position.

Quote:
It is good they are sour, mean, nasty...
Why? Do you learn best when you are unhappy/upset?

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To reward his hitting by making him feel good is crazy to me???
The cc is not a reward, nor punishment, it is just neutral.

Quote:
I'm sure the children in Comfy Corner are smiling...they got away with their bad behavior.
This is a very adversarial POV. The behavior was stopped- what makes you say they "got away" with it?

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Title: Re: A newbie having a SERIOUS problem with Comfy-Corner!
Post by: AmyDoll on February 12, 2006, 08:10:38 PM
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Can I give you an example of how we used it yesterday?

Sam (age 27 mos) is excited - snow is falling, he's up a bit late, Gma and Gpa are over. He's running and getting a bit out of control. He hits Gma with a toy hammer - he thinks he's funny. Gma gets loud - not mean or anything, my mom is just a loud person. So, I scoop Sam and we go to the comfort corner and he sits with me. We talk about hitting and Gma and running really briefly - and I tell him we're taking a little break and offer to read him a bit of a story or let him color. He chooses a story and we read it.
We sit for about 5 minutes and he rejoins the group calmer and asks Gma if she needs a bandaid and gives her a kiss. (all of his own accord - no prompting)

Crystal, of course, explained it best but I thought I'd share a "practical" application.

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Title: Re: A newbie having a SERIOUS problem with Comfy-Corner!
Post by: butterflymommy on February 12, 2006, 08:22:01 PM
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VERY COOL comments (thank you ALL, especially ArmsOfLove)...I am so glad I was brave enough to share my doubts/concerns! WOW...you received me so well...I feel LOVED and vert inspired!

So, CC is meant as a "cool down time?" Or, a time to take a step back/ re-group? I totally love that.

This doesn't mean you won't revisit those areas where your children need training? Training is valued, just not when your children are not in their right space?

So, we adjust their attitude in order to reach them when they are at their best? I get that.

I love that "training is a lifestyle." Man...I wish I wrote that first!

I am STUCK on ONLY having happy children. Pray, for me...I am weak here. I guess that is what the Pearls' influence did for me. I really DO think that happiness = Godliness.

I am soooo new with this...tell me HOW to make this a real thing. (I am crying right now!)

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Title: Re: A newbie having a SERIOUS problem with Comfy-Corner!
Post by: butterflymommy on February 12, 2006, 08:27:12 PM
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Quote:
I scoop Sam and we go to the comfort corner and he sits with me. We talk about hitting and Gma and running really briefly - and I tell him we're taking a little break and offer to read him a bit of a story or let him color. He chooses a story and we read it.
We sit for about 5 minutes and he rejoins the group calmer and asks Gma if she needs a bandaid and gives her a kiss. (all of his own accord - no prompting)
beautiful, absolutley beautiful...thank you....

Now...how does a newbie, even start this???

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Title: Re: A newbie having a SERIOUS problem with Comfy-Corner!
Post by: ArmsOfLove on February 12, 2006, 08:28:16 PM
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well now I"m because you are totally getting it and I can tell it's reaching you deep in your heart

It might help you to do some checking in Scripture of all the emotions attributed to God besides happy. He is angry, and grieved, and so many things that the Pearls would say are negative and unGodly. Jesus was angry, grieved, sweat blood and cried. In fact, the shortest verse in the Bible is one of my favorite, "Jesus cried."

It can also help to stop and take a moment to watch them when they are having negative emotions and ask the Lord to show you their heart. With His wisdom and discernment you can see to the real heart of things This is a huge part of connecting and relationship. And it can really help to think about how you'd want dh or anyone to react when you are having negative feelings. What would show you the most love?

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