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Old 06-11-2009, 06:13 AM   #1
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Default Collected Past Posts Sharing Gentle Discipline Success Stories

This thread shares various gentle discipline success stories mothers have posted over the years. Some were posted in a thread of their own, and others were posted in response to someone asking for members to share success stories and what has worked for them. As klpmommy wrote, "This forum tends to be about the 'help needed'-- which is great!!!! But I know we all have successes & it is so good to see those sometimes. " And as Wonder Woman wrote, ". . . all success I have comes from Him. And I don't think it's wrong to praise the Lord ," and she went on to describe "successes" as ". . . the wonderful things that our children do, the fruits that we see the Holy Spirit producing in them, and the fruits of our labors." It can be helpful to think on these good things, and much can be learned from reading them. Gentle discipline is so flexible and looks beautifully unique in each family, changing according to needs and family lifestyle. May these stories recharge and encourage you, spark your creativity, and give you new ideas to tuck in your toolbox. We give all the praise to God.

Post by: klpmommy on September 06, 2008, 04:45:02 AM
So here is recent success #1-- E has been waking up at night & panicking b/c she doesn't know where I am. So we set up a "code"-- when I am upstairs I close the top of the stairs and she knows to not go downstairs to look for me. This has been a huge help at 2am so she isn't wandering around the house looking for me. So simple.

The second is with P at bedtime. He has started to stall a lot-- *a lot*-- I have managed to cut 30+ minutes of stall down to less than 5 by anticipating all of his stalls (I'm thirsty, My legs hurt.......) and more importantly by giving him more individual time at bedtime for us to talk and snuggle. It's amazing how well that is working. I had tightened up boundaries and that just stressed both of us out completely. He needed the relationship.

OK, little successes, big successes-- SHARE!!!!! I really don't want this to be about me. And I don't want this to end up focused on one type of strategy b/c one of the wonderful beauties of Gentle Discipline is how it looks so different for everyone.
Post by: JulySheMustFly on September 06, 2008, 04:55:18 AM
Comfort corners! Pirate and Bird can identify on their own when they need to take a few minutes to chill.

Scripting has been a huge help with Bear. Just yesterday she asked me "What can I say if I get that angry feeling while I'm camping?" I was able to give her one simple line for her to remember.
Post by: Living My Dream on September 06, 2008, 05:02:43 AM
there are so many! im atm so will share our latest...

jumping on the bed. hes already fallen off once... "spud you may not jump on the bed but i have a good idea! you can jump on the floor or you can choose a cushion, which would you like?"

we dont have jumping on the bed anymore
Post by: RosalieJake817 on September 06, 2008, 05:05:55 AM
It's little, but I count it as a success. Reflecting and validating feelings has been a big thing for Lily.

The other day we were headed home frommy Dad's house, and Nolan started to cry in the car. Lily took his hand and said, "I know you really like playing at Grampie and Grammie's house, but it's time to go home now. We can have fun at our house, too!"

Post by: Wonder Woman on September 08, 2008, 05:36:41 AM
Jaden is really good at GBD'ing me Like this morning, when I was pre-coffee, pre-food, pre-insulin meds and Jaden was being clingy and LOUD and I snapped at him.

"Mama! I don't like it when you use those words with me. That is not ok. I know you don't feel good, and I'm sorry. But you need to try again!"

Post by: ShiriChayim on September 08, 2008, 05:48:16 AM
Both Peyton and Tyson have started saying, "I need space" when they're upset about something and need to calm down before dealing with it.

We're still working on where to go when that happens
Post by: brandi on September 08, 2008, 06:37:40 AM
The other day, ds and I had just gotten home. He wanted to stay outside and play on his slide, but I really needed to go in and get supper started. So anticipating the rejections to going in, I told ds, "I'll race you to the door. Ready, Set, GO... " "GO GO FAST", ds said. I was inside and making supper in no time and ds didn't have any big feelings b/c of it
Post by: The Tickle Momster on September 08, 2008, 06:54:41 AM
Watching Adeline GBD her sister. They each have a special box to keep 'stuff' in. Camille likes to get into Adeline's box. A will give her something acceptable to play with and gently (sometimes) get back what she didn't want C playing with.
Post by: JulySheMustFly on September 08, 2008, 07:50:06 AM
GBD thinking has helped in my adult friendships too.

Redirection works great on adults too.
Post by: Aerynne on September 08, 2008, 08:15:15 AM
This is one of my all time favorites.

A few years ago, I came into the bathroom and dd (2.5) had filled the sink all the way up with water. It was pretty much overflowing and she had cups and stuff in the sink. I contemplated chewing her out, but instead I said "Oh, it looks like you wanted to do some pouring. Let's let this water out and get you a bucket of water in the bathtub. Next time you want to pour water, come talk to me about it and we'll figure out a good way for you to do it." Sure enough, a few days later she came to me saying "Mama, I want to pour water." I wonder what would have happened if I had yelled at her the first time.
Post by: gentlebirth on September 08, 2008, 09:38:34 AM
Here are our current ones that have been encouraging.

#1-My youngest has been going through a period of hitting and hair pulling when she's frustrated, and we've been working on gently correcting and teaching over and over, "Hands are not for hurting others. You can do XYZ when you're feeling frustrated!" This past week, she's stopped herself quite a few times, and "I'm feeling so ANGRY!" is something we're hearing a lot more of!

#2 Dd#1 has been having trouble not so much with not hitting (she's nearly come out of that phase, ptl!!) and she's been doing a lot of bullying with angry face and yelling at her sister and other kids when they do something unkind to her (which is generally non intentional). We've been working a lot on role playing and modeling calmly problem solving in our relationships, and she's really starting to take initiative with her little sister. "No, N, you may not take my toys. Here, you can play with my doll until I'm done with these blocks. " I'm so proud of her!

#3 gentle firmness and reassurance in nightweaning our youngest is really paying off! She's in week #2 of easily putting herself to sleep with a little back patting and singing "Frere Jacques". I've been soooo tempted on so many days/nights to just get angry, leave her alone in a crib on the floor, and leaving her to her own big feelings...but with this particular kiddo, I know that bearing with her and being there with her while she tells me how mad she is is a big deal. It's paying off, and our relationship is still good as a result! (thank you GOD for giving me the patience I didn't have!)
Post by: gentlebirth on September 08, 2008, 09:43:28 AM
Oh! Your comfort corner success reminded me that dd#1 is starting to identify and try to solve some of her own behavior triggers. Yesterday in the car, she told us, "Mama and Daddy, I'm feeling really hungry. It's hard for me to concentrate on listening when I'm hungry. I think we should get me something to EAT!" She's been telling me a lot, too, "I think I need to calm down for a while. Wanna sit with me?"
Post by: nadezhda on September 08, 2008, 09:50:29 AM
I think it's good (for me especially, what w/the whole paradigm shift) to focus on the little successes. I seeing these!

Lemme see...Oh! I posted in another forum about Angel biting during nursing sessions. Pre-GBD, I'd have smacked her face/mouth (I did that w/my older 2 ). Instead, I've been saying, "No bite!" or "Bite hurts!" and closing the milk bar. Last night was the 1st time she'd bitten me in several days (that's progress!) and when I responded as I always do, "Ouch! Bite hurts!" Angel cried b/c she knew there would be no more milk for a minute. I cuddled her, told her I love her but that biting means no more num-nums and said, "Ready to try again?" I laid her down and she carefully & exaggeratedly opened her mouth veeeeery wide before latching on again. I'm that she gets it (or is starting to get it) and I didn't lay a finger on her!!

I've also noticed that the more I apply GBD, the more punitive my DH gets, which totally puzzles me. Anyway, he's been yelling @ the older kids a lot lately, just b/c they're not acting like little robots & immediately dropping what they're doing to obey DH. Teddy was very teary on Saturday and during bathtime asked me, "Why does Daddy yell at me all the time? It makes me sad when he talks to me like that." (He's articulating his big feelings!! ) I said, "Well, sweetie, that's something you need to talk about with Daddy. I would be happy to go with you if you'd like." After his bath, Teddy & I went to Daddy (who was doing some financial work on the computer) and asked when would be a good time to talk. Daddy said now was fine, and Teddy got all shy and said, "I need to talk to you, Daddy, but I'm afraid you'll be mad." Daddy said he wanted Teddy to be able to talk to him about anything and promised not to get mad. Teddy asked why Daddy yelled at him all the time & a good discussion followed (with Mommy mediating when Daddy tried to lay all the blame on Teddy for not obeying). The 3 of us came up the solution that Teddy would get a warning ("In x minutes you will need to stop what you're doing and _____________ ." ) since transitions are hard for him (heck, they're hard for me and I'm nearly 30!). We also decided that if there happened to be something Teddy needed to do right now, then Daddy would go to him and either hold his hand or touch his shoulder (get his attention gently) before giving Teddy the instruction. Everyone was in agreement, and everyone (especially Teddy) felt better after being able to give his input. We've had a few opportunities to use these solutions since Saturday night and once, Teddy started to dig in his heels and say, "NO!" I reminded him about our deal and he took a deep breath and grabbed my hand and asked if I could help him follow the instruction. That is truly a point for GBD in my book!!
Post by: HelenJ on September 08, 2008, 07:45:14 PM
My son is very impulsive and in his own world... you can say "stop" or "No" and it is pretty much meaningless. He has Asperger's but I don't want to blame that, maybe this is a 2 year old thing, maybe he is strong willed. Anyway, it makes for a difficult time when we are walking down the street. He's very good about staying on the sidewalk, but as you might imagine he gets running and when the sidewalk runs into the road, so does he.

So we started a little game
"Stop" and "Go"
Mommy says "GO" and we run run run top speed
Mommy says "Stop!" and we screech to a halt --
And he got the meaning of "stop" within 5 seconds!

That breakthrough after a year of yelling / doing the same thing and being completely unsuccessful at it...

Also regarding his Asperger's... all of the feedback that I've gotten from doctors and therapists has completely reaffirmed my decision to use GBD - I am so grateful that we are making progress instead of undoing parenting blunders
Post by: klpmommy on September 08, 2008, 07:53:23 PM
Helen-- we play a similar game using "Freeze". Even at nearly 5 & 6 my kids love it. And it really is so helpful when they *can* run ahead.
Post by: LvnLtl1s on September 08, 2008, 08:27:43 PM
When DS is crying and whining because he's frustrated with something it is so often just a lack of communication skills. When I tell him we need to use our big boy words and then script it for him he almost always calms down immediately and uses the words I gave him. He'll even add a little, "please," in there on his own

He used to bolt out the front door every time I opened it to go somewhere. I started saying, "Help Mommy close the big heavy door. It's so heavy and you are so strong." He LOVES to help me do something I *can't* do. So he would stop to help close the door and I'd be able to get out the door without chasing him.

He went through this phase of hitting and kicking at bedtime when he had a lot of energy and didn't want to go to sleep. Someone on here suggested a modified version of the 5-steps with the bear hug. I would tell him to stop hitting and kicking me or Mommy would help him to be still. If he wouldn't stop then I'd bear hug him and tell him that I had to help him stop himself. When he settled down I'd let go. It worked great and it's no longer even an issue. Every great once in a while he'll start to do that and I'll ask him if he needs Mommy's help to stop himself and he'll usually settle down on his own.
Post by: saturnfire16 on September 08, 2008, 09:07:39 PM
Dd is telling me when she wants to calm down and she's putting herself in time out! That last part sounds horrible, I know! But here's the thing.... we don't do time outs! We did for a few months, but quit doing them as I learned more about GBD. The last time out was 6 months ago, maybe longer. But she latched on to the word, and she had a friend I was babysitting who used that term a lot. They would put their baby dolls in time outs which just broke my heart!

Anyway, when she gets too worked up, I'll say "You need to calm down." And I take her to her bed, and sit with her for a minute. I'll rub her back if she lets me, then leave for a few minutes. Then I'll come back and we'll talk about what happened and why she is upset. Now she'll say "I WANT TO GO CALM DOWN!"

She usually needs me to help her calm down, but the last few days she says "I'M GOING IN TIME OUT!" and runs in her room and slams the door. The first time, I did not like the slamming the door, and got on her about it. But then I realized, she is recognizing that she is upset and angry, she's removing herself from the situation, she calming down by herself, and returning with a new attitude! Not bad for a 2 year old! We can work on the door slamming over time.

Yesterday, she was climbing on the back of the couch, and I told her not to. I removed her several times and she started fighting me to get back on the couch and getting upset. Then all of a sudden, she put herself in time out! She came out a few minutes later, and said "I'm all done getting on the couch." I asked her if she felt better now, and she said yes.

AND I'm learning to put myself in time out! When I find myself getting too angry and too physical with her, I tell her that I need to go calm down, and I go sit on my bed and breathe and relax.
Post by: Eggy on September 09, 2008, 05:53:08 AM
This is sort of a playful/creative parenting sucess but I was thrilled with myself last night for doing it - even though it's small.

We want our 3.5 year old to stay in his room at night. He keeps coming into our room saying he's scared or what not - he goes through phases where he'll stay in his bed or be in his room, but I'm due in 2 weeks and don't want him in our room at night while I'm constantly nursing a newborn.

Anyway, last night I was telling him that I wanted him to stay in his bed and that if he came into our room, we'd go back to his bed but he couldn't sleep in our bed. He said he didn't like his bed. So I asked, "What would help you like your bed?" He said, "mommy." I told him, "well, mommy sleeps with daddy so I can't sleep in your bed too (which there's no way I'd fit right now anyway), but what if you had a picture of mommy to look at. Would that help?" He got all excited so I grabbed the photo albums, let him pick out a few pics of me, DH and my MIL and my parents and we taped them to a piece of paper and hung them next to his bed. He loved it. and he's now still sleeping - in his own bed

I was just so thankful that I thought of it and made it a fun 5 minute activity right before bedtime where i'm normally stressed and cranky. It's been little things like that that have helped move me to be more GBD. --- finding solutions instead of punishments/consequences.
Post by: Jeanette598 on September 09, 2008, 06:27:18 AM
Nadezhda, I loved the story about you and your son talking things through with your dh and coming up with a plan to avoid yelling. That kind of proactive communication is awesome!

I love that my dd (now 5) is developing great problem-solving skills. She has always had very intense emotions, and we've worked really hard with her on verbalizing her feelings, finding acceptable ways to express her anger, etc. Once she calmed down, we could talk through the situation and try to find a solution. These days she usually skips most of the frustration stage and often comes up with a solution herself. It is fun to watch her try to come up with solutions for other kids too when they're frustrated.
Post by: nadezhda on September 10, 2008, 08:56:47 AM
I have another success (for me, not necessarily my DC)!

TK has been rolling her eyes & using a disrepectful/know-it-all tone whenever responding to instructions lately. This morning I was trying to assign her a task, and she got all 13 yo attitude on me (she's 6) with the eye-rolling and the "Mother, how dare you ask me to do something I don't want to do?" attitude. I asked her to come to me (I was nursing Angel) and told her calmly that when she acted like that, I just wanted to slap her and that I was using all my self-control to keep from doing that. I informed her of my boundaries (I will not be spoken in that tone or addressed with that attitude) and what she could do instead (You may go sit in the comfort chair or take some time in your room until you are calm enough to address me in an appropriate manner). She started sobbing, ran to the comfort chair, and sat there crying for a couple minutes. Then, she started playing with some toys there, and after about 10 minutes, she came out to where I was. I asked her if she was doing better and she said, "I think so." I asked if she wanted a hug, and she ran to me with open arms. We talked about how this was much more helpful to both of us than Mommy yelling or hitting and TK having a bad attitude.

Of course, 30 min. later, I slapped her hand when she was irritating her brother. I keep telling myself it's a process, and I can't change a lifetime of punitive instruction/behavior in just a few months. So I cling to the successes on days like today when I go from "Yes! I'm getting it! The children are responding well!" to "WHAM!! Take that!"
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