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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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23. No posts harshly dissecting parenting moments of others since we desire to humbly cultivate a heart attitude of grace and not judgment towards other mamas. We all struggle at times as parents and have much to learn, and GCM's focus is to provide tools and information for each of us to parent more effectively. Posts voicing some frustration regarding choices made by others can be okay, but it needs to be within the overall context of seeking understanding or ideas for better responses in the future.

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Old 02-10-2006, 12:14 PM   #1
butterflymommy
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Default How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

Hi,
I am new here. I am here because the Pearls badly influenced me. They are a ministry to families. I think it is relevant to discuss how they were poor shepards to my family. We were lambs relying on thir guidance with our family. After six years with the Pearls, I can truly attest that they are scary people that hurt my flock! My heart is sad, but at rest for cutting the strings! KWIM? I need a fresh look, and this idea of gentle parenting appeals to me, but doesn't, at the same time. I have parented one way for so long. I afraid of losing what works and not sure if I can change. The Pearls way worked, but at a sad cost of my sweet chidren's hearts. I want to lose the adversarial relationship I built up around my relationship with my children. I'm scared that I will fail, though. I have very sweet, loving children. I am also very loving to them. I do not spank a lot or yell a lot. I, do, however HATE it when they disobey. It makes me sick to my stomach that I feel that way,but that is the truth. They are not rebellious, except some little things, which we normally work out easily. I am afraid that I will create little brats if I do not train them like I have been. I think my big thing will be when I give them a command, like, come here, and they won't come like I expect them to, what then? According to the Pearl's methods, they would get spanked for not obeying a command with no warning, just a "whap" until they come with a sweet smile. I looked at the 5 steps that GCM posted and it confuses me. After making the first command, am I to make an additional request, then if they still won't obey, do a lot of pleading, then if that doesn't work, go get them myself, and if that doesn't work, go and give them a bear hug? All the while, not angry that they are ignoring me? All the while feeling OK with their behavior? That doesn't feel right to me. It seems just like a silly dance that will leave me looking like a fool and my children will become brats. Be gentle with me, mothers...These are just some thoughts about how difficult this GCM parenting will be for me. I know this way is right, but I just don't know if I can pull it off?

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Old 02-10-2006, 12:14 PM   #2
butterflymommy
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Default How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

Hi,
I am new here. I am here because the Pearls badly influenced me. They are a ministry to families. I think it is relevant to discuss how they were poor shepards to my family. We were lambs relying on thir guidance with our family. After six years with the Pearls, I can truly attest that they are scary people that hurt my flock! My heart is sad, but at rest for cutting the strings! KWIM? I need a fresh look, and this idea of gentle parenting appeals to me, but doesn't, at the same time. I have parented one way for so long. I afraid of losing what works and not sure if I can change. The Pearls way worked, but at a sad cost of my sweet chidren's hearts. I want to lose the adversarial relationship I built up around my relationship with my children. I'm scared that I will fail, though. I have very sweet, loving children. I am also very loving to them. I do not spank a lot or yell a lot. I, do, however HATE it when they disobey. It makes me sick to my stomach that I feel that way,but that is the truth. They are not rebellious, except some little things, which we normally work out easily. I am afraid that I will create little brats if I do not train them like I have been. I think my big thing will be when I give them a command, like, come here, and they won't come like I expect them to, what then? According to the Pearl's methods, they would get spanked for not obeying a command with no warning, just a "whap" until they come with a sweet smile. I looked at the 5 steps that GCM posted and it confuses me. After making the first command, am I to make an additional request, then if they still won't obey, do a lot of pleading, then if that doesn't work, go get them myself, and if that doesn't work, go and give them a bear hug? All the while, not angry that they are ignoring me? All the while feeling OK with their behavior? That doesn't feel right to me. It seems just like a silly dance that will leave me looking like a fool and my children will become brats. Be gentle with me, mothers...These are just some thoughts about how difficult this GCM parenting will be for me. I know this way is right, but I just don't know if I can pull it off?

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Old 02-10-2006, 12:21 PM   #3
Wonder Woman
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

Welcome!
One thing that stuck out to me in your post...your children may very well be beyond the age where the 5 steps are an effective tool, KWIM?
Just as Mr. Pearl suggests you switch to train for obedience, but only up until a certain age...well, the 5 steps are more of a toddler approach IMO.

The biggest thing about being a GCM, to me, is treating my son with the same respect I wish to be treated. That doesn't mean I'm not in athority over him - it just means that I utilize that authority respectfully.

In addition to all the wonderful resources here, I suggest you look at
http://aolff.org
and
http://joanneaz_2.tripod.com/positiv...ter/index.html

These sites are both operated by mothers here on the board, and I think that they will really resonate with you.

Also, I encourage you to post specific scenarios you encounter in your life that would have formerly made you reach for your switch. We'd be happy to brainstorm with you to find a more Grace-ful solution!
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:21 PM   #4
Wonder Woman
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

Welcome!
One thing that stuck out to me in your post...your children may very well be beyond the age where the 5 steps are an effective tool, KWIM?
Just as Mr. Pearl suggests you switch to train for obedience, but only up until a certain age...well, the 5 steps are more of a toddler approach IMO.

The biggest thing about being a GCM, to me, is treating my son with the same respect I wish to be treated. That doesn't mean I'm not in athority over him - it just means that I utilize that authority respectfully.

In addition to all the wonderful resources here, I suggest you look at
http://aolff.org
and
http://joanneaz_2.tripod.com/positiv...ter/index.html

These sites are both operated by mothers here on the board, and I think that they will really resonate with you.

Also, I encourage you to post specific scenarios you encounter in your life that would have formerly made you reach for your switch. We'd be happy to brainstorm with you to find a more Grace-ful solution!
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

I'm glad you've decided to check this out!I can't say myself that IKWYM w/ the 5 steps because i've never demanded immediate obedience, but when we work through the steps i tell them one "you need to come here" no please or i want because that leaves a choice open, they need to come. if they don't respond quickly (i generally count to 3 in my head) i tell them "i need you over here, do you need me to help you get over here" and then count out loud to them if they still don't respond i get up, take their hand, and help walk them wherever they need to be. If it causes a melt down, we'll do bear hugs, but generally it doesnt. the only difference i see is that im not goingover to whack em, just to help them do as they were told when they don't think they can. I think the steps work differently in each family, but it's one tool that is helpful and helps with my patience
If there's ever a time that the must come immediately i do not spend time on it, I go over to them while saying "you need to come to me NOW" and get them over to me immediately eithrer with my helping hand or with the sound of my imperative voice


ah, Rebcca posted while I did, I would agree, the steps aren't *as* helpful with my 6yo, but i do find use in them even still with her
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

I'm glad you've decided to check this out!I can't say myself that IKWYM w/ the 5 steps because i've never demanded immediate obedience, but when we work through the steps i tell them one "you need to come here" no please or i want because that leaves a choice open, they need to come. if they don't respond quickly (i generally count to 3 in my head) i tell them "i need you over here, do you need me to help you get over here" and then count out loud to them if they still don't respond i get up, take their hand, and help walk them wherever they need to be. If it causes a melt down, we'll do bear hugs, but generally it doesnt. the only difference i see is that im not goingover to whack em, just to help them do as they were told when they don't think they can. I think the steps work differently in each family, but it's one tool that is helpful and helps with my patience
If there's ever a time that the must come immediately i do not spend time on it, I go over to them while saying "you need to come to me NOW" and get them over to me immediately eithrer with my helping hand or with the sound of my imperative voice


ah, Rebcca posted while I did, I would agree, the steps aren't *as* helpful with my 6yo, but i do find use in them even still with her
__________________
Becka, 30 esFP
married to E InTJ
mama of 6 fun fantastical kiddos
K, 14 ENP
A, 11 INJ
N, 10 EFJ
J, 5.5 ETJ
El 10/11
D 1/13

"Against the grain should be a way of life. What's worth the prize is always worth the fight" - Nickelback
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

Well, last night...I did not use the rod on my 2 1/2yr old son that kept getting out of bed. He usually goes to bed fine, but every now and then, he just doesn't want to. normally, I would just get the rod and whack him once or twice. I normally only have to do that once or twice to discipline him like that, then he'll stay in bed and fall asleep. Last night, I came to him five times and put him back to bed without any spankings. He got out of bed and sat on the floor playing, then he snuck out of his room, then he played with the fan and/or the door, then he was kicking the bunk bed and talking loudly when his two sisters were sleeping, then he asked for more water, though his sippy was full. Last night, I just kept repeating myself to him as I took his hand and tucked him back into bed, "Go back to bed. Do not get out of bed." I finally used the bear hug and whispered in his ear that he needs to go to bed and stay there. He seemed to really like that! I think I put him back one more time, then he was asleep. Is this normal??? Remember, I have been expecting total obedience. this behavior just seems bad.
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:33 PM   #8
butterflymommy
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

Well, last night...I did not use the rod on my 2 1/2yr old son that kept getting out of bed. He usually goes to bed fine, but every now and then, he just doesn't want to. normally, I would just get the rod and whack him once or twice. I normally only have to do that once or twice to discipline him like that, then he'll stay in bed and fall asleep. Last night, I came to him five times and put him back to bed without any spankings. He got out of bed and sat on the floor playing, then he snuck out of his room, then he played with the fan and/or the door, then he was kicking the bunk bed and talking loudly when his two sisters were sleeping, then he asked for more water, though his sippy was full. Last night, I just kept repeating myself to him as I took his hand and tucked him back into bed, "Go back to bed. Do not get out of bed." I finally used the bear hug and whispered in his ear that he needs to go to bed and stay there. He seemed to really like that! I think I put him back one more time, then he was asleep. Is this normal??? Remember, I have been expecting total obedience. this behavior just seems bad.
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:40 PM   #9
Wonder Woman
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

see...I snuggle my 27 mo son to sleep - he's an only, so I have the luxury of doing that When he protests going to sleep, I'm right there to hold him and remind him what he needs to do.

That's great that you didn't lash out at your son, but held him gently but firmly and instructed him in what to do.

Children who have parents which are changing their mindsets are going to be at sea a bit themselves.

This article explains things in depth a bit better than I can - Crystal is much more articulate than I It's entitled "I've stopped spanking, now what?"

It really is a big change, for all of you. But it's a change for the better, and your children will indeed rise up and call you blessed.
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:40 PM   #10
Wonder Woman
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

see...I snuggle my 27 mo son to sleep - he's an only, so I have the luxury of doing that When he protests going to sleep, I'm right there to hold him and remind him what he needs to do.

That's great that you didn't lash out at your son, but held him gently but firmly and instructed him in what to do.

Children who have parents which are changing their mindsets are going to be at sea a bit themselves.

This article explains things in depth a bit better than I can - Crystal is much more articulate than I It's entitled "I've stopped spanking, now what?"

It really is a big change, for all of you. But it's a change for the better, and your children will indeed rise up and call you blessed.
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

Especially if your little guy liked the bear hug I'd use it more often and sooner--and don't see it as a negative thing. It's a very firm boundary when the internal ones aren't working well. Spankings are a very very firm rigid boundary and while boundaries do help children feel safe, spankings aren't the only way to give firm boundaries. If you have fairly well behaved children then you will likely need to change very little in the practical, but will benefit from developing the relationships. The key is to not drop the standard for behavior when you drop the punishments.

You have mentioned a couple of times what I find to be the most negative thing about the Pearls and their teachings--they convince parents that normal childhood behavior is "bad" "evil" "not to be tolerated" and it is that attitude that creates the adversarial relationship children are not our enemies--Satan in the enemy. And Satan is not responsible for them getting out of bed repeatedly at 2--that is just being 2.

I guess one question that needs to be asked, and only you can answer, is to truly ask "why?" Why do you feel such big feelings about a 2yo getting out of bed? Why does it create anger in you that causes you to feel the need to lash out? I know the Pearls teach to not spank in anger, but most people admit that when you take away the spankings the anger is right there without a release and has to be dealt with. And anger is a secondary emotion--so it's coming because you are not dealing with frustration or disappointment or something else that is very real. TBPH, and I say this not coming from a Pearl background and understanding that what you've been taught about it is why you're feeling the way you do, I don't understand the energy that gets expended at so many age expected behaviors that the child is going to outgrow no matter what you do The idea that a child who is typically 2 is going to become an out of control teenager is to me.

As for the five steps--it is the five steps, not the 25 steps And there is no pleading or weakness at all. I know that when you've been taught FTO this is a huge change in perspective, but it's both kind and firm. The first step is to state the request and give a reason. the child is given a reasonable time to comply and because children are so easily distracted, the courtesy of one reminder is given to them. If the child isn't showing enough impulse control and restraint to be self motivated the option is presented of do it themselves or need help. Sometimes children just need help--sometimes I do When I'm eating popcorn there is usually a point where I have to ask dh to help me and take the bowl away And the help stage is where the compliance is obtained At this point the child is made successful for doing what they were instructed to do. The Bear Hug is really for when a child is needing a firm boundary, and is especially helpful if the child has melted down. The reason is that a person who feels good acts good so if someone is out of control what is needed is to help them calm down and find their calm again. The Bear Hug is designed to be non-confrontative, support from behind, calm speaking in the ear, non-threatening, and keeps everyone safe. Depending on the child you can remove steps. So if you have a child who is always needing help them you do step one and move straight to step 4. If the situation is dangerous then you say step 1 while doing step 4. "You may not run into the street. Mommy will keep you safe." as you pull them from the road.

The truth is, there are ages and stages where whatever you do you are going to do 100 times. Some parents will spank 100 times, others will redirect 100 times, but if it's going to take 100 times then that's what it's going to take. If a child only needs 5 spankings for something then they would only need 5 redirections for it. The difference is that spankings disconnect the relationship and redirection sets the parent up as coach on the family team--there to keep connection and set the child up for success

I do encourage you to post some specific situations in the Gentle Discipline forum and we can help share ideas that have worked for us.
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

Especially if your little guy liked the bear hug I'd use it more often and sooner--and don't see it as a negative thing. It's a very firm boundary when the internal ones aren't working well. Spankings are a very very firm rigid boundary and while boundaries do help children feel safe, spankings aren't the only way to give firm boundaries. If you have fairly well behaved children then you will likely need to change very little in the practical, but will benefit from developing the relationships. The key is to not drop the standard for behavior when you drop the punishments.

You have mentioned a couple of times what I find to be the most negative thing about the Pearls and their teachings--they convince parents that normal childhood behavior is "bad" "evil" "not to be tolerated" and it is that attitude that creates the adversarial relationship children are not our enemies--Satan in the enemy. And Satan is not responsible for them getting out of bed repeatedly at 2--that is just being 2.

I guess one question that needs to be asked, and only you can answer, is to truly ask "why?" Why do you feel such big feelings about a 2yo getting out of bed? Why does it create anger in you that causes you to feel the need to lash out? I know the Pearls teach to not spank in anger, but most people admit that when you take away the spankings the anger is right there without a release and has to be dealt with. And anger is a secondary emotion--so it's coming because you are not dealing with frustration or disappointment or something else that is very real. TBPH, and I say this not coming from a Pearl background and understanding that what you've been taught about it is why you're feeling the way you do, I don't understand the energy that gets expended at so many age expected behaviors that the child is going to outgrow no matter what you do The idea that a child who is typically 2 is going to become an out of control teenager is to me.

As for the five steps--it is the five steps, not the 25 steps And there is no pleading or weakness at all. I know that when you've been taught FTO this is a huge change in perspective, but it's both kind and firm. The first step is to state the request and give a reason. the child is given a reasonable time to comply and because children are so easily distracted, the courtesy of one reminder is given to them. If the child isn't showing enough impulse control and restraint to be self motivated the option is presented of do it themselves or need help. Sometimes children just need help--sometimes I do When I'm eating popcorn there is usually a point where I have to ask dh to help me and take the bowl away And the help stage is where the compliance is obtained At this point the child is made successful for doing what they were instructed to do. The Bear Hug is really for when a child is needing a firm boundary, and is especially helpful if the child has melted down. The reason is that a person who feels good acts good so if someone is out of control what is needed is to help them calm down and find their calm again. The Bear Hug is designed to be non-confrontative, support from behind, calm speaking in the ear, non-threatening, and keeps everyone safe. Depending on the child you can remove steps. So if you have a child who is always needing help them you do step one and move straight to step 4. If the situation is dangerous then you say step 1 while doing step 4. "You may not run into the street. Mommy will keep you safe." as you pull them from the road.

The truth is, there are ages and stages where whatever you do you are going to do 100 times. Some parents will spank 100 times, others will redirect 100 times, but if it's going to take 100 times then that's what it's going to take. If a child only needs 5 spankings for something then they would only need 5 redirections for it. The difference is that spankings disconnect the relationship and redirection sets the parent up as coach on the family team--there to keep connection and set the child up for success

I do encourage you to post some specific situations in the Gentle Discipline forum and we can help share ideas that have worked for us.
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Old 02-10-2006, 01:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

I'm glad you're here! It is a huge shift, a paradigm shift as Crystal calls it, from a punitive mindset to a gentler one. I was also influenced by the Pearls, although not as much as some. After being so indoctrinated with the idea that you should "switch" the little ones for each and every disobedience, it's hard to imagine what to do instead.

First, not spanking doesn't mean not having firm boundaries. They still don't get to run the show. When your toddler won't stay in bed, it can be very trying, I know. For the time it takes you to train him without the rod, you may want to sit nearby where he can or can't see you, depending on which works best, and as soon as he gets out of bed pick him up and put him back in. The first few times you do it, whisper (that was a great idea, by the way!) that it's bedtime and he must stay in bed. After that, you really don't need to talk, just put him back. He's sure to test you, but he'll get the idea that he has to stay in bed, one way or the other. Without spanking, you can make sure the children know that Mommy's words have meaning.

That's what I take from the 5 steps, too. I change them a bit because I don't like to say the thing more than once. I move right on to "can you do such and such yourself or do you need my help?" (I actually am repeating the instructions there I guess). Then my 2 yo often chooses to do it herself because she loves to do anything and everything by herself, but if not I help and make sure it happens. At that age, I don't look at it as disobedience that needs punished, but as something that needs resolving. And they see each time that my words have meaning.

With my older ones, I don't use the 5 steps, but I use the general idea of moving in and making sure it happens. Joanne calls it "get off your butt parenting." If I say it's time for him to get in the shower and he doesn't start moving, I might wait a minute for him to finish something, and then I'll put my arm around his shoulder and start walking with him, that kind of thing. If your older children are used to obeying you, I would expect them to more or less continue and to appreciate the new respect you show them. Sometimes people do find that their dc will test the new boundaries, though.

Another thing I do a lot with my older dc is telling them to "try that again." If they answer disrespectfully or tell me no, they almost always fix it with a second chance. A punishment isn't necessary to point out that the answer was unacceptable and to remind them of the appropriate response.

There's so much to talk about! I hope you find lots of helpful info as you look around the discipline forums. Ask specific questions any time to get specific answers.

Well, I just noticed Crystal posted with some great info that I loved reading, but I'll post this anyway.

This is so true and so well said!
<< If a child only needs 5 spankings for something then they would only need 5 redirections for it. The difference is that spankings disconnect the relationship and redirection sets the parent up as coach on the family team--there to keep connection and set the child up for success heart>>

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Old 02-10-2006, 01:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

I'm glad you're here! It is a huge shift, a paradigm shift as Crystal calls it, from a punitive mindset to a gentler one. I was also influenced by the Pearls, although not as much as some. After being so indoctrinated with the idea that you should "switch" the little ones for each and every disobedience, it's hard to imagine what to do instead.

First, not spanking doesn't mean not having firm boundaries. They still don't get to run the show. When your toddler won't stay in bed, it can be very trying, I know. For the time it takes you to train him without the rod, you may want to sit nearby where he can or can't see you, depending on which works best, and as soon as he gets out of bed pick him up and put him back in. The first few times you do it, whisper (that was a great idea, by the way!) that it's bedtime and he must stay in bed. After that, you really don't need to talk, just put him back. He's sure to test you, but he'll get the idea that he has to stay in bed, one way or the other. Without spanking, you can make sure the children know that Mommy's words have meaning.

That's what I take from the 5 steps, too. I change them a bit because I don't like to say the thing more than once. I move right on to "can you do such and such yourself or do you need my help?" (I actually am repeating the instructions there I guess). Then my 2 yo often chooses to do it herself because she loves to do anything and everything by herself, but if not I help and make sure it happens. At that age, I don't look at it as disobedience that needs punished, but as something that needs resolving. And they see each time that my words have meaning.

With my older ones, I don't use the 5 steps, but I use the general idea of moving in and making sure it happens. Joanne calls it "get off your butt parenting." If I say it's time for him to get in the shower and he doesn't start moving, I might wait a minute for him to finish something, and then I'll put my arm around his shoulder and start walking with him, that kind of thing. If your older children are used to obeying you, I would expect them to more or less continue and to appreciate the new respect you show them. Sometimes people do find that their dc will test the new boundaries, though.

Another thing I do a lot with my older dc is telling them to "try that again." If they answer disrespectfully or tell me no, they almost always fix it with a second chance. A punishment isn't necessary to point out that the answer was unacceptable and to remind them of the appropriate response.

There's so much to talk about! I hope you find lots of helpful info as you look around the discipline forums. Ask specific questions any time to get specific answers.

Well, I just noticed Crystal posted with some great info that I loved reading, but I'll post this anyway.

This is so true and so well said!
<< If a child only needs 5 spankings for something then they would only need 5 redirections for it. The difference is that spankings disconnect the relationship and redirection sets the parent up as coach on the family team--there to keep connection and set the child up for success heart>>

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When I joined GCM they were 8,6, and 1.

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Old 02-10-2006, 01:09 PM   #15
Reva
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Default Re: How can I make the switch from the Pearls to GCM?

First of all, ! I think you will love it here. It will take some getting used to, having to retrain your mind/thinking, but it will absolutely be worth it! I don't come from a "Pearl" background, but I did used to spank. Actually I was out of control w/ spanking, yelling, etc, when I found GCM. I do still struggle w/ obedience-ie you do it when I say to. That's how *I* was raised, and it's so hard to get out of that mindset. I'm working on it though.

Just wanted to say welcome, and most importantly keep praying about it all!
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