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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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Old 06-11-2009, 06:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Collected Past Posts Sharing Success Stories

Post by: Wonder Woman on May 12, 2006, 08:19:28 PM
my pastor has commented on how well behaved Jaden is at church. As you can see from my av, things can be a little exuberant around there Jaden LOVES the drums, and would be on the platform with them in an instant. However, when he steps too far away from me, he looks back and I shake my head. He immediately steps back toward me.

Today, me, dh, and Jaden all are running fevers, have sore throats, etc. We really feel pretty yucky. None of us have been at our best today Jaden dumped an entire snack box of raisins on the floor, and when told to pick them up, flopped down on his side and started crying. I said "I can see you need help!" and started walking him over to the raisins, putting one in his hand, and walking him over to the trash. He started giggling, then said "I use da bwoom to hep you mama?" So, we used the broom together to sweep three rooms and clear away all the daily toddler debris. I count that a success, because he was able to A: express that he wasn't feeling so great B: retain his charming sense of humor even when VERY crabby C: brainstorm a solution D: pick up more than I asked him to.
Post by: J3K on May 13, 2006, 05:06:28 PM
Becca was helping Hannah clean her room. (Of their own free will.) Becca began to lose her temper with Hannah. I called Becca to me and very calmly thanked her for helping her sister and explained that her tone of voice to her sister needed to change. Did she need help seeing things from Hannah's point of view? Yes , she said , she did. I gave it to her. She said "oh. I didn't see it that way. That's why I was losing my temper." I said "yes , from your point of view I can see why you'd lose your temper over the situation." . Becca then went back to finish helping her sister clean. Because she wanted to. Not because anyone asked her to.

Before gbd I would've yelled towards the bedroom (not getting off my rump to say it face to face) " QUIT harping on your sister ! ".

No one said "shut up". No one said "knock off the bad tone".

Post by: cornflower on May 13, 2006, 09:09:25 PM
I'm sitting here giggling b/c I'm trying to think of some of our GBD success stories and am coming up blank. I'm not blank b/c there are not successes; I'm blank b/c GBD is so much part of how I interact with my kids these days that we are *avoiding* tons and tons of situations that would have become problems in the days when my parenting was more adversarial. My paradigm shift has made it possible for me to have high standards while not *creating* discipline problems for myself by seeing my kids as the foe to be vanquished.

In the GBD paradigm, I set the standard and then "make it happen." If the child in question gets upset by the making-it-happen, I don't feel personally challenged or over-involved. I said it, and we did it.

In the old adversarial paradigm, I set the standard and then tried to use punishment to induce the child to do what I'd said. Repeat punishment if they didn't do it. Repeat it again if they didn't do it. Sometimes I ended up having to help them do it even after the punishment. It was sometimes a 30 minute process to "make it happen." With GBD it's a 3 minute process. MUCH nicer, but it doesn't give me much to write about here.
Post by: Tulip_Plus_3 on May 14, 2006, 12:06:41 AM
Last summer I was changing one of my girl's diapers. When I was redressing her bottom half I arbitrarily decided to put on a different set of pants than what she had just been wearing because I wanted to do a load of darks. So I put went to put on a different pair so the "just worn" pair could go in the laundry. The pants weren't really dirty, I did not NEED to wash them, I was just making one of those on-the-fly decisions, and I did not bother to speak a word about it to my daughter. I just did it.

WELL, she completely freaked out on me. She did NOT want the other pair of pants on, she wanted the first pair. Stupid me, I turned it into a control thing and refused to take her seriously. I forced the new pair on her, and she had a meltdown. I completely set my jaw about the whole thing & refused to listen to her. I stomped up the stairs so I could get away from her screams & cries. She followed me up the stairs. I went up to the third floor and she followed me further, wailing about her change of clothing. At that point I had no more stairs to run away from her, so I had to stop running & face her. One look at her precious little face, so broken-hearted, the look on her face of complete non-understanding of WHY I had done what I'd done, just the shock at being treated as if she did not matter...

Oh, had I been of a different mind-set I could easily have started spanking her back when she first got upset. I could have spanked her when she followed me. I could have spanked her for not stopping crying, or not just obediently doing what I said to do, or refusing to sweetly cooperate with her change of clothing...

Instead of seeing a rebellious 2-year old, I saw my daughter's humanity. I was immediately humbled & dropped to my knees, reaching out to her with my arms. She ran to me & leapt into my arms, sobbing her eyes out. Then she pointed to the chair I always read bedtime stories in, so I asked her if she wanted us to sit in that chair. She could barely choke out a "yes", so we went & sat there. I rocked her for a few minutes & she began to calm down. I asked her why she was crying, and she said it was because she wanted to wear the other pants, she did not want to wear the new pants. So I asked myself, was it really that big a deal that she wear THESE different pants? Would my world end if her other pants did not get washed that day? And was it fair of me to just take the other pants away from her (which I knew she loved) without a word about it to her? I decided the answer to my questions was no. So I asked her if she wanted to wear the other pants, and she whispered a soft yes. I told her that if she would go get them & bring them to me I'd put them on her (I'm not lazy, I was having a "bad back" episode at the time involving my S/I joint, something I still struggle with, so I did not want to go back down the stairs). She dashed off, brought me the pants, I helped her get them on, and it was like a ray of sunshine lit up her face! She threw her arms around my neck and told me that she loved me!

I told her that I was sorry I hadn't put those pants back on her, that I had made a mistake and I wouldn't do it again. It was SUCH a relief to say those words to her! To be able to admit to her that I had made a mistake and that I was sorry about it, to me, was a powerful lesson for HER and for ME. She learned that we all make mistakes and have the power to fix them. I learned that my children had matured to an age where they deserved more consideration and should be allowed more freedom & self-determination situations. I also learned that there is tremendous wisdom in not responding to our children's negativity with negativity of our own. I learned that by just taking the time to talk to our children, even little 2-year olds, we can often get at the root cause of the problem and help them. I learned that BIG feelings can be overcome with a gentle hug and a kiss.

Actually, all my kids know this now, and whenever anyone is sad or angry, even if they are angry with me, they ask for a hug & cuddle to help them calm down and feel good enough to talk about their problem. Just yesterday my son was pitching a fit about something (I don't remember what). He was working up some really big feelings and was raising his voice at me. I sternly warned him that he had better control his tone of voice. He screamed at me quite loudly, at which point I escorted him to the stairs so we could sit there & talk about how it is not okay to scream at Mommy. He knew he had done wrong so he was crying pretty hard at this point. When we got there he tugged at me to follow him up the stairs, so I did. He pulled me into the kids' room and over to the chair we use for bedtime stories. He said he wanted to sit on my lap, so I obliged him. We snuggled there for a few minutes, then he lifted his face up to mine and said, "Mama, talk! Talk!" I asked him if he wanted me to talk about him not yelling at me, and he said, 'Yes. Talk!" So we had our little talk, he said he was sorry, I kissed him, he said he was better, and then we were off on our merry way.
Post by: wombmate3 on February 18, 2006, 08:54:20 PM
I tried to post this yesterday and my computer ate it, so forgive me if it shows up twice!

I have had a road this past 18 months! I have gone from punitive parent of a 2 year old who was completely out of control and a one year old who was having her spirit broken by my constant mum of three kids who 90% of the time benefit from GBD in their lives. We are a much calmer, much more loving, much more connected family.

Anyway, Gabe, who is almost 4 says to me now:
"Mom! I calmed down ALL BY MYSELF! I did a really great job, huh?"

His biggest issue has always been feelings so big he could not contain them in his little body! I have worked extensively to help him learn how to control and redirect those feelings, and it has paid off BIG TIME! I am so excited to see the pride in his eyes when he tells me he has done it!
Thanks ladies, for giving me the tools, and praise be to God for leading me here in the first place! I just clicked on a RANDOM link at a homeschooling website!
Post by: raisa on May 16, 2006, 01:14:50 PM
Some of my favorite successful moments:

-2 yo hovering over a burnt-out fire pit (no fire, just yucky ash). Instead of yelling "No" or threatening, I said "that is for LOOKING at with your EYES!" while moving close enough to stop him if I had to. He made his eyes Soooo Big and Loooooked at it in this adorable exaggerated way . . .

-At the park with a 4 yo on his bike, who got Very Angry and wanted to leave. I said "can you use those angry legs to push the pedals?" And we played a game where I said "ride to the post and honk two times," Simon-says style. It turned into great fun.

-My 18-mo old has learned not to hit and pats and says "SOFT" instead. He also has learned to shut the basement door instead of trying to go down the stairs, to not pull my hair when I back-carry him, and to put food he doesn't want into the "no thankyou" place on his highchair tray (cup holder) instead of throwing on the floor.

Most importantly, my DH and I are learning to be loving, gracious and true with each other and as parents. To speak honestly and give positive instructions instead of negativity and manipulation. To not fear our feelings or use them to control others. To respect others and not assume the worst about them. To help each other feel and act better instead of resenting and controlling each other.

It's barely been two years of GCM, but such a huge blessing. Thanks for giving me another chance to thank you all and GCM for your mentorship and support.
Post by: Ali on May 16, 2006, 01:58:35 PM
Just yesterday DS had gotten very upset about it being time to come inside, despite my giving him warnings (5 minutes! ect.). After the 5 steps, I ended up having to bring him in physically. He was LIVID and screamed "Noooo! Noooo!" just out of control and as loud as he could (directed at the poor cat) out of frustration.

I have occasionally gotten angry and given him an immediate (punitive) time out for that behavior, which just escalates the situation (DS reflects my own angry/punitive behavior that I'm modeling for him), and creates a vicious cycle. Then that ends with a mommy and son who gained nothing and lost connection.

This was not one of those occasions (PTL I am slowly learning to handle my frustration positively) and instead I said very quitely and calmly "I can see you are angry. Do you need a hug?" and I crouched down and held out my arms. He came over and sat in my lap and cried. I told him very lovingly "it's ok to be angry, but we don't yell at kitty. That hurts her ears. I know you wanted to play outside more but it's time to come in. Let's do X (something fun) now." We hugged and then he really surprised me by going to find the cat (now hiding under the couch) and saying "I sorry kitty". That is the fruit - a growing heart with an intact spirit, rather than a hardened heart and broken spirit.
Post by: ServantofGod on May 16, 2006, 06:52:08 PM
Instead of a specific story, I can tell you about the overall tone. My kids are 9, 6 and 1 1/2. So, the two olders are old enough to really see how they take correction. I'm very proud of them! People very often remark on how pleasant and well-behaved they are. At a recent family gathering, my kids and several other cousins were playing outside with a big beach ball. My *14-year-old NEICE*, of all people, said, "They really get along well sister and brother and I would have killed each other by now!" So, even a young teenager notices how the kids cooperate!

What has struck me over the years has been certain times where something could easily have *looked* like a rebellion, if I was operating from the adversarial mode. Once I understood everything that was happening in the situation, I really thought to myself, "Thank God I'm not coming from a place where we have to spank that behavior away!" It looked at first like he was defying me, but once I understood the whole situation, that was not the case. It also makes me think of times I was punished without my parents trying to understand the whole situation. How worthless and misunderstood I felt.

Even now, I'm doing the elimination diet with my little boy. Even that could easily be seen as, "Well, I just have to make him behave!" But if we just addressed everything with punishment, for one thing, he would have been punished 30 times a day and for two, it wouldn't be uncovering the problem, either. There really were moments where I thought, "Well, I just have to make him behave!!!" But I knew the biggest trouble with that would be that punishment would take over our lives. Mason was not even responding to correction. If we spanked him, he would be hit many, many times a day. But now, by doing this diet, that has changed. He isn't throwing outrageous tantrums. He is listening and responding to correction. There is definately a problem related to certain foods, but I never would have found that out if our Modis Operandi was punishment.
Post by: red_head_angel on May 16, 2006, 09:01:22 PM
Thanks to GBD, I have learned that my toddler really just needs distractions. When things are getting bad, meltdowns, not obeying, etc., distracting him always turns it around and I have a happy toddler once again. Sometimes I have to stop and think what he might need at this moment, a cup of milk at bedtime, and distract him with that. It works wonders with him. I am also learning to say yes. The last 3 days in a row, he has wanted to 'wash' dishes. Yes he is going to make a mess, but in the long run he will be happy and I can do what I need to do. Of course the other day he broke a glass (thankfully it stayed intact), I calmly walked over, took it away and put it in the trash and double checked the sink to make sure there was nothing else there. Giving into washing really makes him happy.

I have noticed from using big feeling with my oldest that he will often tell me his bad feelings. It is such a joy that he can communicate those to me. I am continuing to GBD with him, as he is a High Needs and I have not found the one trick that works for him like it does for his brother.

As for the little girl I watch, learning her triggers is helping. Also a stern, No & me promptly moving in to redirect her is working well also. I have been teaching her 'gentle' (as I did with my boys) and it is the main thing we are working on right now. It really helps.
Post by: Ali on July 26, 2005, 09:49:33 PM
I know we all come here for help with issues, so we don't often post the positives. I have always appreciated when others do, so I thought I'd share my own.

A while back, I had posted hear about my almost 2 year old running away from me when I called him to come inside etc. I got some great ideas, including one to have hold of his hand before I tell him it's time to come inside, or whatever, and set him up for success. This is what I tried to do as often as I could. I now rarely have to go to him first. I have learned to "read" him better and know when it might become and issue, and then I get proactive again. Me making it happen has taught him what mommy expects and can make it happen himself. Very cool! I got some other ideas here that I used as well, but so as not to ramble on, I'll just say thanks.

I don't even want to think of where my relationship with my son would be if spanking was always the answer . We have a wonderful, bonded, trusting relationship, and I know it's because I am actively extending grace to him.
Post by: mom2threePKs on October 03, 2005, 03:34:00 PM
I post this both as a shameless brag and as what I hope is encouragement to others. Sometimes when sibs are toddlers and preschoolers and fight and pick on each other all the time it is hard to imagine that all this making amends and reflecting feeling does any good at all. So hopefully what happened at my house this weekend will be an encouragement to those that need it.

On Friday my dd5 came home from Kindergarten in a rotten mood and generally snapped at all of us over the afternoon. The afternoon ended with she and her big sister dd9 in a screaming fight. DD9 took a sip of dd5 water. DD5 started screaminga t dd9 that it wasn't her water and to give it back. DD5 then started out the door of the playroom and dd9 blocked the exit so she couldn't leave (This has happened before andis a big no no). Well all H3ll breaks loose. DD9 has a meltdown. DD5 acts like she is the victim of a horrendous crime. Thrity minutes later everyone is calm (Lots of talking, etc) and the girls tell each other how they felt when the other one offeneded them and apologize. They go to bed on the early side becasue they were clearly TIRED!!!!

The next day DD9 asks DD5 if she wants to go up to the playroom and play school. This is the activity that caused so many problems the day before. I stiffen. DD5 says yes. DD9 says, "Let's make a promise first. I promise i won't lock you in the room if you getmad, if you promise that you will talk to me and not just scream at me if you get mad." They make their promises and head upstairs where they play school for a good hour. DD5 comes down knowing how to add numbers greater than 10 on her fingers.
I told dd9 how proud of her i was later and she beamed!!!!!

Second story:
Today dd9 came home from school excited about reading buddies. The 4th graders get assigned a kinder to be a reading buddy with. DD9 teacher told her today that there is a little girl in the kinder class that needs a buddy with lots of pateince and kindness and she choose my dd as that child's buddy. So now dd can practice GBD on her reading buddy!

I'm just a little proud of her right now. GBD really really works.

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Post by: MarynMunchkins on September 03, 2005, 05:13:25 PM
I'll share mine.

When I joined GCM, my very first post was about how to get my kids to fall asleep. Ana would fight sleep and cry if she had to be alone; Doug would talk and play and keep Ana awake, and Colin was nursing to sleep. I had been spanking in order to get them to bed. I stopped, and started helping my kids go to bed. I let Doug go to bed and play for 20 minutes while Ana stayed in the computer room while I nursed Colin to sleep (in front of GCM ) By the time Colin was asleep, I tucked Doug in and sang him his song. Than I rocked Ana for a few minutes and tucked her in. After about 2 months, Doug and Ana were going to bed on their own. They sleep happily in their own rooms, and while Colin is still nursing to sleep, he also sleeps all night in his own bed.

I had always known that Ana was difficult, but nothing I did seemed to help her. After reading here and vowing to stop spanking her, I realized that she was most difficult after drinking milk or eating ice cream. We went dairy-free, and her tantrums stopped almost immediately. I was able to recognize a medical problem because I was responding to my child instead of reacting.

In a similar vein, stopping spanking and switching to GBD made me realize that Doug's outbursts were much bigger than behavior. Being gentle helped me discover that he's is bipolar. Not only that, but as I read the suggestions for parenting BPD kids, I learned that they are pretty much GBD. His therapist has told me that we are years ahead of most people in therapy, mostly because of what we do at home. He can identify his feelings, and often ask for help before he gets out of control.

The biggest success, though, is me. I was a mean, angry mama most of the time , and I used spanking as a method to vent it. While I still have my moments, by and large, I don't even yell anymore. I discovered grace by giving it to my children, and I realized how valuable I am in God's eyes. I can give grace to my dh, and it has made our marriage stronger. 3 years ago, we were on the brink of divorce. And now we're happy!

Isn't grace amazing?!
Post by: MarynMunchkins on April 23, 2007, 02:23:53 PM
All of my kids were home today. The oldest two were running a low grade fever, and probably *could* have gone to school - but I didn't feel like dragging them up and around through protests to get them there.

Anyway, the house was a mess from this weekend and I had tons of laundry to do. They wanted to walk up the street to the play area in our neighborhood, so I told them we would after we got most of the house cleaned up. Bug (7) cleaned the living room, his bedroom, and his stuff from the playroom. Banana (6) cleaned their bathroom, her room, and her toys from the playroom. She also helped me with some laundry and dishes. Tater Tot (3.5) cleaned his toys out of the playroom and helped gather trash. I cleaned my bathroom and am on load #8 of laundry. 5 are folded.

We only had one meltdown, and it was the 3 yo. Bug didn't hurt anyone, and only screamed in frustration once.

We had a blast outside.
Post by: justTrish on April 24, 2007, 11:22:51 AM
Great!!! Don't you just love those days? We have had one so far today too!!

All of the kids woke up grumpy and fighting this morning. The house was a wreck from several days of being home just long enough to mess up, kwim? Well, my husband, who knows me well enough to know I was going into overwhelmed mode, decided to get all of the kids out of the house! He loaded them up in the truck, hooked up the boat and took them all fishing!! The kids were so excited. Dh knew they just really needed a change of scenery and some fun time to get over the grumps. He also knew I would rather do the cleaning with noone under foot, so he solved both problems! I just talked to him and they are having a blast. My house is clean now, and the laundry is well underway. They are about to head home and we are going to take them to the park for lunch. And I will actually be able to enjoy it because I have a clean house to come back home to!!!WOO HOO!!
Post by: AdrienneQW on April 30, 2007, 08:42:33 PM
We are on an awesome streak - one of those periods where I'm consistent in my grace-based parenting, both kids respond beautifully to gentle correction, everyone is kind and loving to one another, and the entire family just cruises right along. So rare. I'm loving every minute of it and storing away mental snapshots I can cling to on not-so-good days!
Post by: BornFreeBaby on April 30, 2007, 09:00:44 PM
GBD has made me a calmer, gentler person in general. Giving grace to my children and focusing on connection has been the best parenting advice. Crystal's 5 steps (well I have cut them down to 3 really) have been a God-send to me. We have our tantrum days, but most of the time, she is happy to comply.
I think the best part of GBD is that it makes the kids feel good about themselves because who they are as people are not shamed as most other Christian parenting advice seems to do. My girls are spirited children and I try to find approapriate ways for them to be who they are without harming or breaking their spirit.

It works and has made me a happier mommy!
Post by: reneandbaby on March 08, 2006, 06:39:00 PM
Of course, we usually come to GD because we're having a problem and we want advice on how to deal with it. Sometimes I think people can come into this forum and assume we never have anything but problems with our children. :P And sometimes it's just an encouragement to hear how *well* GBD is working for most aspect our relationship with our children, even if we have specific areas of struggle. So, let's here some successes.

Things that I have learned from this forum that have gone over fantastic in our house and really made a difference:

BE SPECIFIC: This is a huge area I have noticed a huge improvement, in being more specific and intentional about my words.
For example: Elijah is very easily agitated by things that don't bother most children, or scared by A LOT. I found myself reverting to an automatic "It's o.k., it's o.k." said in a soothing voice. Several posts in GD challenged me to think of what I was *really* trying to communicate to him. I realized that what I was trying to tell him was that it was o.k. because I would keep him safe. As soon as I switched from saying "It's o.k. Elijah" to "Elijah, Mama keep you safe" I noticed a *dramatic* change in his reaction. It was clear that telling him "Mama keep you safe" vs. "It's o.k." made him feel much more secure. He calms down more quickly, and is comforted more easily...all with the switch of a simple phrase. He clearly calmed down because he trusted those words to be true.

That dramatic change motivated me to look for other ways I could really "say what I meant". This included more specific ways I could speak words of affirmation over him without simply resorting to "Good job." This ended up developing into a naptime and bedtime ritual where I recount all the things I saw him doing that day. Again, he responded *so* dramatically to this. He listens intently and smiles as I tell him all about what I saw him do that day, or all the new things he did...and it always ends with him signing for more. Then I kiss him and tell him how much I love him and I can't wait to see what things we will do when I see him tommorrow.

MODELING EXPECTATIONS: The whole idea of *telling* Elijah what we would be doing, what the expectations are and letting him play those out have been *huge*. I think I just had the automatic idea of just expecting that he would *know* and then you just correct when they screw up. Realizing that I could tell him "Elijah, we are going to have another girl over today. We are going to take turns with toys" while doing a lot of practice on what taking turns actually looks like. Again, *huge* and noticeable response difference. While it doesn't eliminate meltdowns, it has made a noticeable difference in his behavior when I remember to do that, than when I don't.

I have a whole bunch more, but I don't want to write a novel, so maybe I'll add later. But these are all great ways that GBD has really done very positive things in my relationship with my children.
Post by: milkmommy on March 09, 2006, 08:12:35 AM
I've found the same to be true here another is for me to get at her level. Its such a basic parenting skill but when shes been playing on the floor perfectly fine and I'm settled someplace else and suddenly she gets cause a plastic cupcake wont fit inside her little people school bus and all the kids are going to starve... Its hard not to just say Quit whinning and take out the cupcake but twenty seconds of getting down going Oh no we will just have to take the kids out so they can at their cupcake ALright everyone off the bus..Can avoid soo many melt down ect. I also think its sends a bigger message that of serving others.

Post by: red_head_angel on March 09, 2006, 11:35:19 AM
When/then is really helping right now. for example, "When you get your shoes on, then you can go outside." It is really helping with my 4.9 year old.

Counting is a big help right now. I know his teacher counts at school, so following through at home has helped. Usually when I say 1, he is off and running. Not always of course.
Post by: OpalsMom on March 09, 2006, 11:36:21 AM
Here's a suggestion from here that worked:
Me: Time for a diaper change.
Opal: No!
Me: Would you like to walk or ride?
Opal: No walk, no ride.
Me: OK, I'll pick. We'll walk. Would you like to hop like a bunny or stride like an elephant?
Opal, brimming with enthusiasm and leaping to her feet: HOP LIKE A BUNNY!

I swear, she'll go anywhere hopping like a bunny.

Here's a completely stupid out of the blue desperation tactic that worked:
Opal is howling for a cookie in her car seat. I try every known variation on "You REALLY want a cookie. You can have a cookie when we get home. We will be home soon. Would you like to..." (sing a song, tell me what a hippopotamus says, hold mama's hand, count to 10...) Finally I say "Would you like to give me 10 good reasons why you should have a cookie right now?" (Bear in mind, this was last week, just before her second birthday.) She says "Yeah!" I say "Great, go for it." Nearly a minute of absolute silence follows.
Post by: Beyond Blessed on March 09, 2006, 11:51:25 AM
Angry Dance

Jeanna, 3 years old, has been melting down a lot lately. In a situation the other day when I couldn't help her calm down I suggested that we do the Angry Dance. She wanted to part in it till she saw me stomp dancing around the kitchen singing "I'm so angry, I'm so mad. I'm so angry, I feel sad!" She started cracking up and asked me if we could then do the Happy Dance.
Post by: mom2threePKs on March 09, 2006, 02:58:11 PM
When dd was 2.5-3.5 she was very physical and often agressive, hitting and biting when she was very angry and upset. I would tell her to use her words to no avail so then I told her when she is angry she needs to use her maddest face, her angry laud voice and her angry foot. I showed her how to say, "I'm MAD" and stomp her foot and swing her fist in the air. It was amazing how well she responded. When she got angry she would often stop in mid swing to hit or mid-chomp to bite and say I'M MAD! She has even told me other children need to learn to say I'm mad when she has seen an angry kid lashing out.

Post by: raisa on March 09, 2006, 03:24:57 PM
Getting off my butt has changed my life. I'm not kidding. "Sit down," oops he doesn't. Guess I have to go sit him down. "Come here," he doesn't, time to go get him! For an instant I always feel "sigh I have to get up?" but that's followed by "whew that's over." Instead of "ARGH he won't do what I want him to!" and a power struggle.

My 16 mo old almost always sits when I say SIT. Not through fear but because I've taught him that the word means action. For now
Post by: B Hope on March 09, 2006, 10:08:39 PM
One thing that has always worked for us is having DD1 say good-bye to the thing she doesn't want to leave. For instance, she's found a toy at the store she wants and has assumed it's now hers. Rather then taking the toy out of her hand, and dealing with an ensuing tantrum, we've gotten to where we say, "Oh! It's time to go. Tell dolly (toy, ball, random object) Bye-Bye!" I have no idea why, but being allowed to give the item a proper farewell helps her to let go and release any frustrating "me, mine" emotions she may have been having. The toy/ball/dolly/random object gets put back and we cheerfully go on about our day.

We do the same thing when it's time to go to bed. She's given opportunity to say good-night. Or if we're leaving Grandma's house, it always goes better if we take that extra second to let her make her farewells.
Post by: 4LovesMom on March 09, 2006, 11:01:34 PM
I like that line, raisa, "Getting off my butt has changed my life." Same here. Making my words mean something. My kids listen sooner. The five steps are super helpful for us. And playful stuff - making what they need to do fun. Even just a switch in mindset from control to grace and all the finer and broader points of that. HUGE stuff. Good. Great.
Post by: mom2threePKs on March 10, 2006, 05:20:57 AM
I have another one... I've wanted to tell this story for a while so here goes....

When we moved in the little girl across the street was about 11, well call her jane. She had a bit of a reputation for being fun to play with sometimes and just mean others. She played with my kids well for the most part but I was always on the lookout for her to do something bad. I viewed her very adversarially in many ways.

Fast forward a year later. She is being nasty to my girls. Calling them names. My dd is scared of her. i try to talk to her about it one day but from a very adversarial place. She won't come talk to me. I threaten to call her parents. Shortly there after one of the neighborhood kids tells me that Jane's parents are getting divorced and her mom is moving to Germany. I remember standing inthe dining room folding clothes when she told me. It was one of those times when God spoke to me as clearly as if He folding clothes with me. "Love her." And the sense of her pain came flooding into me and I realized that she was just a little girl who needed someone to love her. And I realized that my attitude toward her was just as adversarial as could be and she needed the same kind of Grace-based friendship from me that I offered my kids in the form of GBP.

And so I did. The way I treated her and the way i talked with her and interacted with her really didn't change all that much. But my heart changed dramatically. And it has made all the difference. Jane is doing well now. i no longer wonder if she's going to make it through high school without getting arrested. Now she could still mess something up and find herself in a heap of trouble like any teen but she isn't going to flush her life away. That used to be a serious concern. She still has her mischeivious side but she isn't mean anymore. She is now 14 and will still come over and play and she babysits for us. My girls consider her an older sister. When she comes over she always wants to chat and give me the low-down on who likes whom amond her friends, how her teachers are and what's going on at school. Before she went to Germany this summer she babysat for the girls (it was our anniversary) and left notes for each of us telling us she would miss us and admonishments to the girls to be good. My note talked about how much she appreciated "this love that we give her." If I can find the note later i'll post it on here.

So I have to credit GCM with changing Jane's life. She may not know it but I do.

Post by: Wonder Woman on March 10, 2006, 05:37:43 AM
The biggest success for me was the switch from "he is REALLY pushing me! He's just seeing what he can get away with, the little brat!" to

"this is another time he's looking for me to show him the appropriate behavior. It's a time of teaching."

That in and of itself has completely changed our interactions

Giving him proper scripts has worked very well for us, too. For instance, we had a potential meltdown in the grocery store because the candy I was letting him munch ( ) was pretty tiny, and a piece of it fell through the cart onto the ground. He responded with an almost-scream of intense frustration because the candy didn't belong on the floor. I leaned over and said "you sound *really* frustrated! when you need help, you may say 'help me please, mama'."

He said "pwease hewp me mama" and I picked up the candy piece -and that was the end of the issue. Throughout the rest of the trip, he asked for help when he dropped a piece. My friend (who'd never seen GBD in action before) said later "Wow! so instead of you being one of those moms who yell at him for yelling and then spank him for being upset, you tell him how he can ask for help and that is the end of his frustration!"

He's still very almost-2.5-in-disequilibrium phase, but empowering him has made a tremendous difference.

The only problem is I found myself responding to my dh that way the other day - "I don't like it when you say that. You may say ............."

We both cracked up then
Post by: HomeWithMyBabies on March 10, 2006, 07:09:50 AM
My MIL took me and the boys out for lunch the other day, along with my neice. We sat at a table right in the middle of a bunch of business people on their lunch breaks.

I had a few small books, crayons, dollar store toys, etc with me that the tots played with while I nursed and held the baby and sang the occasional song. When the waitress brought the food ds said, "Oh, tank you!" It was very pleasant.

As they were leaving a group of people from the next table came over. One of them said, "When I saw two highchairs and a carseat sling set up next to us I thought, oh great, this is going to be annoying. But these kids are so well behaved, it was really a joy to be around them!"

I was proud of ds. And I was glad I can look at where ds is coming from developmentally before expecting him to act like a miniature grownup. I had plenty of stuff to make the mealtime fun for him, so he was set up for a pleasant afternoon, not a meltdown. Age appropriate expectations are a big deal and can make or break an experience.
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Post by: the princess kitty on March 13, 2006, 12:02:19 AM
When I first found this board, my girl was having some "big feelings" I didn't know how to handle. She was 13 months, and kicking, hitting, biting me anytime she was upset or didn't get her way. I had been swatting her behind when she did it, but it only made the situation worse. (she is passionate like her mommy!)
Now, I have learned that I can hold her and keep her from hitting me while talking to her. I can talk to her and tell her it's okay to be upset but you may not hit.
She is now 17 months, and we have gone from hours of meltdown dealings almost everyday to a pleasant relationship! She still kicks or hits or bites occasionally, but it's not as often as it was, and it's more of a signal, not really an action. She's does it just enough to let me know she's upset, she's not really trying to hurt me. She's still working on finding the words to express herself. So she'll fake/bite or hit me/something and then point at it and say "auhh". Like "see? I'm upset".
She's also more loving with me now, instead of just being angry at me.
Post by: Amber on March 13, 2006, 01:09:55 AM
For us giving a waring that a transition is coming at the count of 3 or giving a 5 and 3 minute warning has made a world of difference. When given a warning and a little time to finish what he is doing ds is so much more compliant. We also say bye-bye to everything and when it is really hard to leave we sing our bye-bye may not be diginfied, but it works.

The other thing that has made a big difference is to give 2 acceptable choices. For example I will give ds the choice of holding my hand when we cross a street or being carried. Lately I started letting him choose where he wants his diaper changed (he had to lay down when I came back with a diaper or I would pick the spot). When I first read Crystal's recommendation to do this I thought there was no way that would work for my ds, he seems to be especially wiggly when I lay him on the floor for diaper change. But a few weeks ago I got tired of being kicked in my big pg belly and having to do a big song and dance over a diaper change so I tired it...and it worked! Since I have been doing this it has cut out so much of the diaper change drama.
Post by: wombmate3 on March 13, 2006, 09:51:56 PM
There are so many! Where to begin???

* I am a more playful parent now. I sing and play and giggle my kids out of bad moods instead of just getting irritated!

*I try to let the little things roll off of me. Is this behavior really something I need to address or is it just something that is BUGGING me? Because how I respond is different depending. If it's something that is just *my issue but my kids have the right to be doing it (like being loud and silly) I will now ask them to please go do that in their room instead of just yelling "will you people shut up!!!"

*I learned to be firm and have boundaries. I used to HATE to read Joanne's responses. I always felt like she was being a hard-donkey. I even left this forum for awhile because of it. But sometimes the things you need to hear the most are the hardest ones to hear, kwim? I am still more laid back than many mamas on here, but her advice and the overall non-permissive tone of this forum helped me to firm up where I needed to and not let my critters walk all over me!

*I am the calmest mother of all the women in my family. I am not to *zen parenting* yet, but I don't yell 90% of the time and I don't even raise my voice probably 75% of the time. I used to be a habitual yeller. GBD is FINALLY a natural reaction most of the time.

*I HAVE TOOLS!!!! Spanking is a one tool parenting philosophy with only escalating violence! If one thing in my GBD toolbox (like playful parenting) doesn't work I have another to fall back on (firm boundaries or the 5 steps)!

*My children are happy, mostly respectful people. They are pretty darn well behaved most of the time! I have seen a huge difference since I made that paradigm shift Crystal talks about. I am now a TEACHER of my children rather than a WARDEN of my children! I love the change! I see my role as completely different. It's no longer adversarial!
Post by: wombmate3 on March 13, 2006, 09:58:05 PM
OH! I forgot this one!!!! OYBP has also changed my life too (and my DH as well, who was HORRIBLE before GBD about saying 400, 987, 098 times "stop that" and not following up with actions)! It STINKS sometimes to have to get off my butt (literally) but since I have made it consistant my kids just don't push me as often or as hard as they used to. Sometimes there is even immediate compliance! Just like you said, not because they are scared of me, but because the previous nine hundred billion times they have not sat down on the chair when I say "the chair is for sitting, sit on your bottom" I have then given them until three to sit and then sat them myself! They know they might as well do it because mom is going to do it for them anyway!!!
Post by: reneandbaby on March 14, 2006, 06:08:23 AM
* I am a more playful parent now. I sing and play and giggle my kids out of bad moods instead of just getting irritated!
Oooooo...this is so true! This is another area that GBD has been so successful on building a positive relationship here. I was very *obedience* focused, coming from a very chaotic permissive household. I was very anxious that my words be seen as having meaning, that w/o GBD I would have really been ready to set up confrontations that weren't neccessary or warranted. I have that rethinking to the bottom line "What is it that my boundary is here?" and realizing that so long as the bottom line boundary is kept, it doesn't really matter how we reinforced it. So, instead of just saying "We're leaving the park now!" and hauling off a hysterical child because *we ARE LEAVING THE PARK, I SAID SO." we still leave the park, but we are a team. So, if hopping out of the park like a frog makes every leave with giggles instead of tears, we hop out like a frog. We're still leaving the park, but I'm not afraid to work *with* my children and really evaluate the situation to serve *everyone* as much as possible.

I also love that in the absence of punitive thinking, I can enjoy my child so mo much more. Even when I need to enforce a "you hit you sit" rule, because it's not about *punishment* but simply a boundary protecting other people's physical safety, the attitude is completely different. I'm not trying to make him uncomfortable, ashamed, upset, and I'm not angrily trying to inflict distress upon him. It's not a "you MUST sit there for X amount of minutes". I sit with him and explain very briefly why we are there. I'm make sure I have his attention, and then when he's ready to get up, he can get up and it's the end of it. It can be left behind without the tension of trying to "punish" him for "naughty" behavior. I love that. And he responds *very* well to consistent, GOYB parenting and firm rules.

Post by: red_head_angel on March 14, 2006, 03:10:13 PM
Today as we were preparing to leave the fast food playpark, I gave a 3 minute warning, a 2 minute warning & and 1 minute warning. After the 1 minute warning DS yelled out "1 minute" to his cousins. Several other kids yelled out "1 minute" and mommas were apologizing for their kid. It was really cute. Not even a full minute later DS came to the table with his shoes in hand. I didn't even call him. I praised him for coming with out asking. All the kids did great and were ready to go. They knew that cousins would be coming over later to play.
Post by: Amber on July 29, 2006, 03:43:14 PM
I can't remember how many times I have told Cole "hands off" and had to get up and help him when he can't/won't do it. Well, all our work is starting to pay off.

Today I took the boys with me to a specialty bra shop (I was way overdue for a new nursing bra). Cole climbed up on the chair and started touching the mirror above a dressing table in the dressing room. I calmly said "Cole, hands off". He smiled at me and took his hands off the mirror and went on to exploring something else. The attendant who was helping me said "Wow, he listens to you really well" He did great the whole time we were there (and it was getting close to lunch/nap time), I had to ask him to leave a few things alone, but I expected that, and when he needed help with opening his snack he asked politely (Hep Ple) and even waited patiently for the few seconds that it took me to open the package (I hate it when I can't get wrappers open )

Anyway, just wanted to share my success.
Post by: hsgbdmama on July 29, 2006, 07:14:30 PM
It's wonderful to see success, isn't it? It is so nice to tell ds2, for example, when we are outside and he's heading toward the road, "come back up here" and he does. It took some time of my telling him along with the action of taking his hand or picking him up and bringing him back, but with time and consistency it works.
Post by: Mommy on May 12, 2006, 03:53:07 PM
Wow- I have so many...
Simple one- getting the baby (19 months) to stop climbing on a bench at dd's cheerleading practice.
He climbs up onto it- I say- Jesse sit down. Still standing- Jesse sit down. Still standing- Jesse do you need help sitting down- Still standing- I sit him down.
Same scenerio again- two more times.
Fourth time he climbs onto the bench and sits proudly. He calls my name and pats the bench next to him- his way of asking me to sit with him. The pride in his face, the love and connection in his eyes would not be there had I spanked him.
He remembers the boundry too- it only took the four times one day, and one time a week later- now he remembers- and he feels respected loved and proud.
Post by: hsgbdmama on May 18, 2006, 03:11:14 PM
Here is my success story from today:

Ds1 was upset with ds2 for taking stuff (even though ds1 hadn't been playing with everything) and was . I told him calmly that he will need to calm down in order for me to help him, as I cannot do so when he is and once he calmed down, I would help him get something else. He calmed down right away, and we were able to get him a comperable item, and for a **treat** (I clarified it was not a reward for his ) they are watching Lord of the Bean.

I love seeing the increasing success of GBD!
Post by: Wonder Woman on May 19, 2006, 04:48:02 AM
I bought Jaden a rare treat (soy vanilla pudding) because we had guests yesterday, and I was serving them banana pudding for dessert.

He found one in the fridge this morning, and had a total when I said ' as soon as you eat your breakfast, you may have that'.

So I pulled him onto my lap, reflected feelings, and explained to him why he can't eat sweets first. (If you eat bites of this, it will give you tummy owies. Eat breakfast first, and then the treat won't hurt your tummy.)

He sniffled and said ok, then dh came in with breakfast and challenged Jaden to a race to finish breakfast first. Jaden won ( ) and then got to eat his pudding.

No more tears, no more hissy fits, and he and dad are best friends.

I *could* have punished him for wanting it and crying about it but the banana pudding was looking pretty good to me about that time - I'm just old enough not to sob about it
Post by: mellymommy on July 17, 2007, 05:29:17 AM
At our foster care on-going monthly training last night we were discussing parenting styles. Our trainer asked how many people knew there were different styles of parenting...only about 4 or 5 out of nearly 30 raised their hand...she then asked how many knew THEIR parenting style...two of us (myself included) raised our hands. All of the parents were so eager to learn about authoritative/equalitarian and discuss how damaging authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved parenting are.

Well, when we got to the authoritative/equalitarian parenting style our trainer, who is getting to know me pretty well now and has had a fair amount of interaction with me and my children together, puts a "spotlight" on me as a model authoritative/equalitarian parent who knows how to pick her battles, gives her children freedom within boundaries, encourages them to be independent thinkers and doers while providing guidance and instruction, and offers love and support--even in the consequences--when behaviors are not "up to par." I couldn't believe it!!! I was floored and honored and humbled. I didn't feel embarrassed; TBH, I know everything she said is true (most of the time) because I work hard at it. I said as much, too. My husband praised my mothering a lot after our training and told me that he kind of follows my lead with the kids and knows that if I was a CIO-er (his words) that he would be, too, and he is glad that I am so full of grace with the kids.


ETA: I hope the post didn't sound too proud or like I am bragging. I just want all my GCM mamas to know how much you all have changed me!!! Two years ago I was told how overwhelmed I seemed with my kids and now I feel so comfortable with them (and getting comfortable with fostering, too) and so true to myself and confident in my mothering choices. I KNOW my children better because of GCM and GBD and I know myself better, too. So, the spotlight should be on all of you mamas who have taught me!
Post by: OpalsMom on May 12, 2006, 04:34:53 PM
When DD was about 19 months, she was the youngest of four children at an adult party -- the oldest was 4. The apartment was full of choking hazards and wineglasses on low tables, and the door was standing open. In turn, each set of parents took their child or children to the door and explained that it was not OK to go out. Each kid spent a while going to the door and checking to see how far was too far, and was told, calmly. One walked a whole step out and got brought back and spent a while being held. Nobody yelled, threatened, or hit anybody, and that one step out was the furthest any kid went, even when all the parents had relaxed and were too far away to grab them immediately. The cat was unmolested, nobody swallowed anything they shouldn't, and the only wineglass that broke was DH's fault. The kids were great in a challenging situation, the picture of obedient children whose idea of massive rebellion is putting a foot on the doorsill and taking it back when you say calmly "too far", or reaching for a strawberry and saying "just one more?" Not a punitive parent in the lot.
Post by: Leslie on May 12, 2006, 05:02:17 PM
I've hardly ever posted in this particular forum because I haven't needed to. I've read Dr. Sears, Jane Nelsen's Positive Discipline and quite a few others and the techniques have worked great for us. So there hasn't often been a reason to post. People usually tell me how wonderful, sweet and well-mannered my boys are (maybe they expect them to be wild and loud because they're boys?) I have great kids who have been no problem to take places (especially after the age of 2 or 3, when they were verbal and could understand instructions). I suppose it's possible that I've been blessed with all compliant children who want to please, but it seems more reasonable to me to suspect that it's the kind of discipline we've been using.

Miranda is my first spirited one, but we've managed to distract, hold, role model and talk to her to train her without ever spanking or swatting her and she's coming along very well. I just found Positive Discipline for Preschoolers and it's been a refreshing book, it's confirmed that we're on the right track.
Post by: Radosny Matka on May 12, 2006, 07:46:02 PM
Let me tell you my first of many successes:

I started using GBD shortly after my 1st son turned 3. That week we went to the beach. He had about 10 minutes playing in the ocean before it started thunderstorming. We had to leave. He was not happy and started crying. I picked him up and carrying him to the car, spoke to him saying, "you are so disappointed. It's not fair. I really wanted to swim today too, etc etc etc." He kept on crying for I dunno, five minutes maybe. The crying suddenly stopped. He said no words, but he kissed me on my shoulder. It was his way of saying, "thanks, mom, for understanding and not getting mad. I love you." I will never forget that!

Here's another more recent one:

The other day at playgroup, there were a few of the older kids crashing push toys into eachother. All the mother's told their kids to stop. I explained to Nathaniel why he couldn't crash his push toy into the other kids. Nathaniel is the only one who is parented with GBD at that playgroup, and he was the only one who actually stopped crashing. The only one.
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Post by: mountainash on September 08, 2008, 09:57:03 AM
Playful Parenting:

When my son seems like he's getting stuck in a pouty or grumpy rut we use a really cheesy voice to say, "Benji...DON'T smile. Whatever you do, just don't smile. Today is a no smiling day. I don't want to see any happy faces." He must share our sarcastic senses of humor because this cracks him up every time. It seems to be teaching him that he has the ability to snap out of it should he choose to.

Bedtime is extremely playful for us and we seriously only have difficulties about 3-4 times a YEAR, so it's safe to say it's working. We start by giving a lighthearted five minute warning, "Benji, bedtime is in five minutes. Finish your snack and then we'll go read a story." Then once he's finished his snack and it's time to go upstairs I break out the most obnoxious dinosaur impression I can muster. Now I know some kids would have nightmares from this kind of thing, but my son loves to be chased by "the dinosaur". So up the stairs we go, me growling, stomping, and clawing at him the whole way, him giggling his face off. It's silly but it sure beats carrying a screaming/crying kid up the stairway. Once he's laying in his bed we read a story to mellow him out. Then we cuddle and my husband asks my son, "How many kisses do you want?" To which my son always replies, "SIX! I want SIX BIG PLASTIC kisses" Plastic kisses are what he calls it when my husband blows raspberries on Benji's tummy. I don't know what's up with my son's obsession with the number six (prolly because his best friend is six?). So he get his "plastic kisses" and then my husband and I say to each other, "Quick! We gotta run before he shoots more kisses at us." This is our means of getting out the door without crying ensuing. My son pretends to shoot us with his kissing gun and we dodge kisses as we scramble for the door. If one "hits" me, I'll say, "Ow!...Ohh, wait..that's actually kinda nice!" Or something equally goofy. When we get to the door we say, "Goodnight, we love you!" and shut the door before any kisses sneak out. I think this activity helps him to focus on our connection instead of focusing on us leaving.

Another quirky activity that works for us is "the spider". There's a Mommy Spider and a Daddy Spider and a Benji Spider which are really just our hands that we let crawl around and use in place of puppets. The spiders have soft voices so they're nice for discussing inappropriate behavior in restaurants and the like. It's a good way to get my 3yo's attention when he's not making eye contact or if he feels closed off to us. The mommy spider will do something like crawl over to Benji's cup and say, "Oh, dear! That cup is awfully close to the edge of the table, we should move it back so it doesn't get knocked over!" Then the spider will try to pull the cup back but it's too heavy so the other spiders have to help. Other times the spider will need Benji to show her/him how to do something..."Benji? I'm just a little spider, I don't know how to put shoes on, can you show me?" or if we're in a public restroom and he doesn't want to wash his hands, the spider will perch on the edge of the sink and say, "Oh! But I really just want to know what color the soap is!"
Post by: simplegirl on September 08, 2008, 06:32:43 AM
For transitions 5-3-1 works really well for us.

While I'm putting DS2 in his carseat DS1 fiddles around in the car a lot (easy point of frustration for me) so now as soon as I buckle DS2 in, I "race" to the other side of the car and see if DS1 can "beat" me to his carseat. It works wonders. This technique works for us with putting on our shoes and other things.
Post by: Wonder Woman on July 07, 2007, 04:14:09 AM
Ok, my first one involves a bit of a confession here. But I'm on a medication to control my sugar levels. When I don't take it, I get very hypoglycemic. And cranky

Yesterday was one of those times.

Jaden came into the room and asked me the same question for the umpteenth time. Instead of seeing that he just wanted attention I snapped at him.

His response?

"Mama, don't be gwumpy. Take a deep breaf. Dere. No gwumpies. I fink you need to eat because you are feewing gwumpy inside. Go ahead and get some ceweal."

I love that not only has GBD taught him to recognize his trigger points, it's taught him to see mine as well.

And I love that when I burst out laughing,scooped him up, and said 'you're right. I need to eat because I AM feeling grumpy inside,and it's not fair to take it out on you' he patted my face, gave me a hug, and said 'dat's ok, mama. I fowgive you!'
Post by: MarynMunchkins on July 07, 2007, 05:29:54 AM
Colin just asked to nurse, and I said, "I don't really want to." I'm tired, grumpy, and really sick of nursing because of the teething baby.

So he gave me a hug, and said, "Then I will just snuggle with you."

Of course, when I got him in my lap, he sat quietly for a minute and then said, "Now do you want to nurse me?"
Post by: HomeWithMyBabies on July 07, 2007, 06:39:37 AM
I love that my oldest wants to care for and comfort his younger brother. When there is a disagreement about toys, which has been happening more and more often, my oldest now takes initiative to make amends and apologize. When he hears his brother cry, he immediately wants to "help him feel better." My Dh says ds seems to have a respect for others that he doesn't believe he'd have if it weren't for GBD.
Post by: JoyInTheSpirit on July 07, 2007, 07:27:59 AM
DS speech therapist was sick and cancelled last Monday. He has special needs and is slightly cognitively delayed. He asked 100 times why we weren't going to therapy and each time I was firm that ," J is sick, she had to go to the doctor and is not there to teach you today", and finally DS looks up at me and says...." Ohhhhh, J. is sick. I can give her a lollipop and make her feel better". He was truly empathetic once he was able to understand the reason why she wasn't there.
Post by: Tami on July 07, 2007, 09:50:36 AM
GBD is a far cry from my parenting style a year ago..I am still learning so much..but the biggest difference I see is in my relationship with my kiddos. I no longer view them as "enemies" or "naughty"..and I feel so much more affection for them. My DH & I are learning GBD together, and our relationship has deepened thru our discussions. This journey has been eye-opening!!
Post by: DixieKitten on July 07, 2007, 10:06:55 AM
it's so cute when DD redirects baby sister from one of her toys and hands her another one... instead of just whapping her

i love seeing progress over time actually *working* on things instead of just reacting to bad. DD used to run away... we taught her to come for "hugs" and now she will dash straight to us.

she doesn't pass the end of the driveway, despite the warnings that she'll "never learn unless there's a bad consequence".

when she smiles and pretends to do something i said "no" to, i can see that she is just playing and learning, not trying to wrassle her way to the top of the food chain.... and set a calm boundary instead of going off.

and when we come across a new issue, i sit down and try to think of the *best* way to deal with it, not the quickest or the one that will quell "rebellion" the fastest.

there are SO many reasons and every time i post or ponder about something we DO need to work on, it's because i know that with time and effort, we can change and improve with love, relationship, boundaries and
Post by: Wonder Woman on July 07, 2007, 10:14:26 AM
My DH & I are learning GBD together, and our relationship has deepened thru our discussions
I remember way back when I first realized I couldn't ever spank Jaden. It was mindblowing to my dh, because we both grew up in extremely punitive homes. However, within about 5 months and bunches of prayer (from both of us!) he came to the same conclusion - that it was not pleasing to God for us to spank. (As a matter of fact, I asked dh if he had a preference on how I spent our CafeCash, if there was anything he wanted - and he wants a GBD coffee mug for his office )

This journey has been so beneficial to *our* relationship, not just our relationship with our child. We are more patient, more loving, and more in love since we've started down this pathway.
Post by: Wonder Woman on July 07, 2007, 10:21:03 AM
Quote from: JoyInTheSpirit on July 07, 2007, 10:15:34 AM
You know, one thing I appreciate is the fact that GBD has helped me allow him space to develop his personality. For instance,when I'm upset, I want to be held. I want someone to tell me everything is ok, snuggle me, etc.

Jaden doesn't. And I'll admit, the first few times he was upset about something and he struggled and squirmed to get away from me, I got angry Because all the things I heard as a kid about rebellion and 'you'll do as I say' and 'I'm the grownup here!' came back to my mind.

But when I listened to him, he was trying to tell me what he needed. Just this afternoon he was upset because dh was going to work. He let out a yelp and then stopped himself. He said, very emphatically, 'I AM GWUMPY! weave me awone and I will go stand hewe and cawm down!' - and he did He went and stood at the far end of the room, did some breathing exercises, and came running back and hugged me and said 'sowwy I was gwumpy, mama.'
Post by: Gentle Journey on July 08, 2007, 09:03:24 PM
Well, I've sucked lately. But I really did work on helping the kids learn words so they could express their feelings. My boy always tells me he's happy or sad or angry. He also tells me when he's having a happy day or a sad day. It's so cute. I love it when he's playing and he says "Mommy, I'm having a happy day" He says it so marter of factly with a lutle nod in the head.
Post by: gentlebirth on July 08, 2007, 09:14:55 PM
Dd #1 has a tough time waiting for things she's really looking forward to, so we've developed a special song to sing to each other to help us have fun while we wait instead of yelling and crying.

Today, in the back seat of the car, when she and her baby sister was crying right before we got home, she stopped, looked at her sister and said, "Don't cry, little one!! I know, let's sing the soon song together! 'Soon soon, soon soon, soon soon, soon soon, VEWY VEWY soon!! Chachacha!!' See Noom? DO you feew better now?"

Wanted to add:

Recently, instead of yelling and crying and bopping her sister when she tried to take her toys, dd ran to dh and I and said, "Oh, oh!!! Mommy and Daddy!! I'm feewing fwustwated!! I need some hewp stopping my hands! Miwkies (milkies, her code for nursing), I think!!"
Post by: rdkkks on July 08, 2007, 09:30:01 PM
I love that things don't have to turn into a power struggle or an embarrassment. Tonite, it was time to leave church, and Kalli wasn't wanting to. I could have A) chased her down and dragged her out or B) threatened her with a spanking/punishment for not coming. But, instead, I grabbed her hand and said, "Let's hop like a bunny" and then "Let's run like horses!" and we made it out just fine with no power struggles, meltdowns, or punishments!
Post by: BlessedBlue on July 08, 2007, 09:37:08 PM
I how it's making my DD empathic. The other day we were picnic-ing at a park, and another family was there too. One of the kids was having a meltdown of sorts, and the mother was getting very frustrated. DD looked at me and said, "I 'hink the boy is tired. And the mama, too." She wanted to go give them hugs, and couldn't quite grasp why we didn't want her getting in the middle of that situation.

I also am so glad that GBD is teaching me to look at the cause of behavior, and helping my children reach the standard instead of punishing them when they fail.
Post by: katiekind on July 08, 2007, 09:53:56 PM
What's so great about Gentle Discipline'
My favorite thing about gentle discipline is that I always felt it was the right thing to do...after I dipped my toe in punitive parenting, the Lord convicted me that I was taking an "the end justifies the means" approach, and that I should walk properly before God--and trust Him with the children.

The purpose of this thread is to post *successes* - the wonderful things that our children do, the fruits that we see the Holy Spirit producing in them, and the fruits of our labors.
At my kids' age, it's really impossible to say they are wonderful because of the personalities they were born with, or that they are wonderful because of the gentle discipline (for the most part) or that they are wonderful because they've been blessed to have some fundamental basics like their parents' solid marriage, functional extended family, etc, or that they are wonderful because they were homeschooled, etc.

But wonderful they are.
Post by: Wonder Woman on July 09, 2007, 04:17:33 AM
playful parenting....ah yes. One of the most powerful tools in the box - and one that I struggle to remember! It's SO effective!

you all know *the look* we got as kids? (those of you who were raised punitively anyway...) I've started using sort of the polar opposite with Jaden. When he's doing something he shouldn't, I look at him and bug my eyes out and wiggle my eyebrows. It cracks him up every time - and, like magic, inappropriate behavior stops!
Post by: klpmommy on July 09, 2007, 04:59:50 AM
I have gotten so many comments from the kiddos' SS teacher that P is such a good big brother, always looking out for E & being really sweet to her. We don't have many "sibling" issues (we have some, but overall they get along great).

I love it that yesterday at a special church luncheon that when the kids started to get antsy b/c they were done eating & someone was starting to speak that instead of getting upset I got up with the kids & left- we played in a nearby hallway where the kids ran up & down the hall in different ways.

I love it that when P gets in an obstinate mood that I can get down on his level & whisper in his ear & he will calm down.

I love it that when either of the kids is upset they want me to hug, hold, snuggle them rather than being afraid of me & their emotions.
Post by: LisaM on July 09, 2007, 05:18:08 AM
The BEST thing, IMO, is seeing how Gracie treats her little brother and other children. When Simon runs off in the library, I often don't have to say a word. She runs after him, gently takes him by the hand, and says, "This way little buddy." She does that because it's been modeled for her. I know that if I were to speak sharply to him or hit him, she would do the same. When Simon tries to get into a project she's doing, she's learned to call for help, "Mama!! Come get Simon!!" rather than hit him or push him away or yell at him. She knows that he is still a baby and that he needs our help.

I love that I don't have to think of tricks or gimmicks to get Gracie to do what I want. If she runs away from the dinner table with messy hands, I don't have to try and think of a bribe or a punishment to get her to come to me. I get off my butt and go get her. Her giggles at being caught melt any anger I may be feeling. I also love that I am FREE to giggle along with her, not feel like I have to scowl to make her feel bad for what she did. I simply use the moment to teach her something and say, "Only clean hands leave the kitchen." I am also so thankful that GBD helps to keep a clear distinction between immaturity, social norms, and sin that grieves God. God isn't offended when my kids make handprints on the sofa. I am offended and there's a difference.

I am SO THANKFUL that my children won't have memories of me hitting them or screaming at them daily. And the times when I lose my temper they will remember that their mama apologized--another learning moment. They will remember me trying to help them, to teach them. I remember being hit, I remember being shamed, I remember being screamed at. Anyone who says that kids don't remember those things is wrong.

Another huge blessing is that when Gracie starts to learn about what it really means that Jesus died for us, she will already have a working understanding of grace and forgiveness. She won't have all this baggage of guilt-trips and well-meaning but poorly executed punishment.
Post by: Myrtle on July 09, 2007, 06:52:25 AM
Ok, I have to take a different spin here, and while gbd has been great for my kids, it's been amazing for me. It's totally reworked the way I see God. Not as the lightening-bolt-ready-to-strike God that has compelled me to do things like hanging up all the clothes that have fallen off hangers on a rack at a store (even the ones I didn't knock off) b/c of the fear of something bad happening b/c I wasn't doing the good I knew to do. But now as a loving Father (and I really trip out over the word loving), and it's opened my eyes to a whole other side of who He is. It's been a growth experience of a lifetime! And I'm so thankful for how it's changed my relationship with Him.

It's also changed my relationship with other people. Try assigning positive intent to dh, and suddenly the number of misunderstandings and fights is cut in half! Try seeing the grumpy lady at the checkout counter with grace, and I don't want to complain about the poor customer service anymore. Instead, I want to offer a prayer for her, and I walk away wondering what hurt has caused her to react with such sourness. When my friend is competitive or distant, I don't automatically take it personally and get angry. I try to figure out what's going on with her, and I talk to her and work things out in a way that is respectful and keeps both of our dignity in tact. Gossip is squealched and complaints are turned around when I try to apply grace to situations. Who wants to come to me to talk bad about someone if I'm going to be assigning positive intent to the person being talked about? Takes all the fun out of it.

Now I'm not saying I do this perfectly, or even regularly, but I'm trying. And even when I don't, now I'm aware of how things could've gone differently if I had. Gentle discipline has changed my relationship with my children b/c I don't view them as the enemy, little people trying to manipulate me at every turn. I seek to understand them, and in doing so I've gotten to know them in ways that make my heart smile. But it has also disciplined me in ways I didn't expect, and I've learned and grown in so many ways that it's really effected my relationships across the board. I love GBD, for what it's taught me about God, my family, my friends, and myself.

Oh, and just ftr, I was raised by punitive parents, but they very rarely spanked and I look back on my childhood with fond memories. Even so, I'm so thankful that I ran into GCM before I had a chance to begin parenting punitively. Even with the loving parenting I received, the punitiveness (is that a word?) really skewed my view of God, and that's effected my life in many ways that grieve my heart.
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Default Re: Collected Past Posts Sharing Success Stories

Post by: Myrtle on July 10, 2007, 08:13:13 AM
My mom is a clinical psychologist, and she got the biggest kick yesterday when dd said, "Caleb isn't respecting my boundaries!"

Dd also said she wanted to smash the whole world (from When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry) and she kicked a ball across the room. I love that she knows it's ok to have big feelings, angry feelings, but that it isn't ok to hit someone b/c of them. I love that she's learning ways to deal with anger instead of just being shut up and forced to squelch it so she appears more pleasant to be around. I love how GBD encourages real kids to be real people.
Post by: 3PeasInAPod on July 10, 2007, 09:03:39 AM
My ds is just 18 months, so it's a combination of AP & GBD. But as someone else said, it's the empathy that I see in Ben that melts my heart. He is incredibly sweet - gives lots of kisses and hugs. When he sees a baby crying , he stops & goes over to the baby & pats the baby or tries to tell me about it!
I've been noticing his desire to please me - meaning, when he takes something he isn't supposed to have & I say "please put it back" & he goes & puts it back & I sign "thank you" & he claps! He is a big helper & I can tell he loves to see the smile on my face & the praise I give him for doing that task --
I know I won't be (or haven't been at times) perfect with GBD, but I also love that he will have no memory of me hitting him or washing his mouth out w/soap, or making him sit in a corner, etc..
Post by: AdrienneQW on July 10, 2007, 11:28:45 AM
My DH had an "aha" moment last weekend - we were at the beach and a mother was being very rough with her 2½-3yo boy, culminating in her grabbing him by the arm and whacking him several times on the butt. Dexter was *aghast* - the blood drained entirely from his face - and he yelled "HEY! STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!" She was dragging her son away and was now too far away to hear, so I sat down and scooped Dexter up to explain this to him as best I could... and he was crying. Tears-streaming-down-the-cheeks crying, repeating over and over "That was her boy... she was hitting her boy... mommies are supposed to love boys... she hit her boy..." We realized that he has never in his life seen an adult hit a child... as it should be. I wish I could have protected him from that visual forever.

That night after the kids were in bed DH said he never thought spanking was wrong until that moment. He agreed not to spank because I told him I wouldn't have children with him if he intended to hit them, but he never really thought spanking was wrong. Having seen the impact it had on our boy, and contrasting the visual of that mom dragging her boy away by the arm, after just hitting him, with me sitting in the middle of the sand with our 5yo scooped onto my lap, rocking and comforting him - it really resonated with DH.
Post by: Wonder Woman on July 10, 2007, 03:56:57 PM
Over the last couple of days, Jaden has really started hitting. (I let him be around some kids who modeled it too well ) So we've been doing 'you hit you sit' to remind him.

Tonight at supper time, Jaden started to slap out at dh. Before his hand even connected, he gasped and said 'you hit you sit!' and plopped down, mid slap, on the floor Then he bounced right back up, said 'gentaw hands, 'm sowwy Daddy' and went and ate his supper
Post by: ArmsOfLove on July 10, 2007, 10:48:26 PM
can I share a couple?

a week ago we were at the movies for a free summer kids movie and the toddlers were sitting in my lap and in their stroller (and back and forth ) and were walking around a little (we sat in that middle area where there's room and we were in the front row of it by the walkway). I had told them to tell me when they wanted to leave and we'd go walk around and wait for our group. About halfway through the movie they were done and let me know they wanted to go "fow walk" so I loaded them in their stroller and we walked to Starbuck's. I came back and was waiting outside the theatre for my friend and the kids and a woman who was sitting behind us came out and asked why we'd left when the boys were being some of the quietest and best behaved toddlers in the theatre I explained that I told them to let me know when they were done which is why She thought that was awesome.

I love that Fiona is a peacemaker who steps in with her friends and her siblings and even between Aidan and me when we're butting heads and reflects feelings and empathizes and helps work to a solution. and it used to crack me up when she was 18 months old and would put her hands up and say, 'STOP--I'm not comfortable with that.'
Post by: FoxDenLane on July 12, 2007, 01:00:18 PM
Two things that come to my mind are:

* My 4yo praying for kindness towards his brother
* The concern and affection my boys have for "their baby"
Post by: joy on July 16, 2007, 04:15:37 AM
We were out to eat yesterday and I stood DS on the floor next to our table (he is 20 months) while I collected our things. He started to stomp away and I led him back by the hand and said "Not yet sweetie! Stay with me!" And he hollered a protest, but he stayed right there! I was putting the money on the table and thinking to myself, "oh my gosh!! He's listening to me!"

I don't know if that counts... but I whatever we have been doing in regards to not spanking and being respectful of him as a little person ("free to be you and me, but I'm not going to let you get hurt" is kinda the vibe these days) I felt at that moment that we had accomplished something.

When it was time to go, I took his hand, we visited the fish tank nearby, and we were off.
Post by: Wonder Woman on July 16, 2007, 04:35:05 AM
we were at the park the other day and Jaden was playing with some children there. One of them wanted Jaden to take a drink from the cup I was carrying (Spiderman ) so I asked 'Jaden, would you like to take a drink?'

He stopped and said 'No,fank you Mom. I'm ok wight now.' and ran off. The other parent stood there looking like

He and I stood there and had a great little talk about 3.5, what a fun age it is, and all the consistency needed to get through it.
Post by: klpmommy on July 16, 2007, 05:03:56 PM
I know this isn't quite the same thing as the other posts, but...another thread made me think about this, one thing I *love* about GBD is that I can parent the exact same way in public as I do in private. I don't need to "threaten" my kids with a spanking when I get home. I don't need to figure out how to do a time out when away. I don't lose control when I am in public b/c they know I won't follow through in the same way when at the grocery store as when in our house. GBD is consistent in ways that punitive parenting isn't. I know when we were at WDW earlier this year & P was having a total meltdown I was able to find a spot to sit & bear hug him just like I would have done at home until he calmed down. I love that I look to the heart of the matter rather than the outside (tired, hungry, bored, needs my attention, etc). I feel really connected to my kids & I feel like I know them really well b/c of AP & GBD.
Post by: gentlebirth on July 16, 2007, 06:21:15 PM
Kimberly, great thoughts, and ITA. I was just thinking about that this weekend, and feeling so clean, because I have no "secrets" in my parenting. What you see is what you get, and it's such a happy, freeing feeling!
Post by: AdrienneQW on July 16, 2007, 06:57:23 PM
Totally agree with the public/private cohesion; so much less crazymaking than doing things differently given the environment.

Another thing I love is, for lack of a better term, "setting a good example" - my sister in particular has seen the joys of gentle parenting based on my relationship with my kids and she has taken much of it to heart with her own son. She stopped hitting/spanking when he was two after she and I had a massive argument about it, but she has always bought into the punitive mindset. In the past few months she has been asking me a lot of questions about GBD and actively trying to parent gently, and I see HUGE dividends in her DS. She is not a Christian so I think it is even more difficult for her - she has no heavenly example of how to parent like we have in our loving Father, so I really commend her for bucking the child-hating trend in society and working so hard to change her parenting.

Sidebar: I thought about not mentioning this because it sounds like bragging to me, but another thread made me think I censor myself too much so I'm going to try out being more transparent. So there you have it.
Post by: Can Dance on July 16, 2007, 07:09:40 PM
what I like most about GBD is that I have "permission" to pick up my screaming three year old and cuddle her to calm down even when I am feeling really adversarial. if I was stuck in the punitive mindset, I would take her screaming personally, assign lots of negative intent, maybe even think she was *trying* to make me angry. and with GBD it doesn't really matter. for us to be adversaries, I have to pick up my end of the rope.
so thought I won't lie and say I have found 3 easy (because ohmygoodness I do not have an easy three year old), I am glad we are surviving through this with our relationship in tact. I love the fact that she labels and reflects my feelings before I know I am having them "mommy you angry? mommy you frustrated? mommy you sad? mommy you need to be HAPPY!" I love my child to death and I am happy I have found a way to show it that just feels right to me.
oh yeah and her empathy for others like her sister is pretty nice to see. her demand for justice "you yelled mommy, you need to give me a gentle touch!" she knows what is expected of her and points it out to me. but she is always forgiving of my mess ups, extends me grace too.
Post by: Wonder Woman on July 16, 2007, 07:10:12 PM
Another thing I love about GBD? It's helped me teach my son that *he* has boundaries he can set. Today we were shopping at the W_______t place and the greeter was beyond creepy. He was an older man, and he grabbed Jaden's back and stomach and was doing this weird rub/pat thing and asking him if he wanted a sticker

I literally grabbed Jaden, pulled him out of the man's grasp, and put him behind me. Once we got away, I told Jaden 'you have the right to tell people NO when they try to touch you. It is YOUR body, and YOU decide who gets to touch it. It is ok to tell big people no.'

On the way out, creepy guy tried to grab him again. And Jaden held up his hand and said NO! and then ducked behind me.

I'm so thankful that my son is not an easy target for predators - that I don't feel the need to teach that he 'respect' people who are potential violators.
Post by: Eowyn on July 16, 2007, 09:03:53 PM
The knowledge that I can actually trust Him has been a huge discovery I found only through GBD.

I love the way GBD has taught my boys to use their words. Henry was bugging Ian tonight, and Ian said clearly, "Henry, get off my body, please."

I love that I don't have to get upset when they do kid stuff, because I know it's a passing phase, and we can get through it with GBD and time. I also love that I don't feel guilty when I parent.

Henry tried to escape at church a few times yesterday, and I didn't stress out, I just took his hand and guided him back. He stayed with me. My children calm to the sound of my voice. That alone brings me great joy.
Post by: Jeanette598 on July 17, 2007, 12:36:35 PM
After a lot of work with my dd (almost 4) on reflecting feelings, giving her ideas of things to do when she's angry, etc., I think she's finally getting it! Yesterday she and I were at a kids' museum playing with some Lincoln Logs. She had made a high tower of little logs, and then she asked me to put a window in next to it. In doing that, I knocked over part of her tower and said, "Oh, no!" I was fully expecting her to get angry. Instead, she said, "Mommy, you should say sorry." I did, she was okay, and we built it back up together.

Last week she was being really goofy as I was trying to get her dressed, and I was getting a little annoyed. I said, "I'm feeling frustrated. I'm going to take a few deep breaths." DD gave me a hug and said, "Mommy, you don't have to be frustrated. Just be patient."
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Post by: milkmommy on August 01, 2007, 12:44:47 PM
reposting on request
I took Cecilia to play at Mcdonalds while DH trombone student was at the house. WHile we were there another little girl ohh between 2-3yrs maybe climbed up an enclosed towering platform area and got scared and was crying. I called Cecilia and asked if maybe she could go up to her and help her down. (its a hard area for adults) Cecilia climbs up to her and tells her it was okay and that she'd help her (I'll save you giggle) However the little girl was still really scared so what did Cecilia do? SHe just sat beside her and reflected her feelings and keeping her company untill the other one was ready to try comming down. jaw dropping rock on heart Finially she followed Cecilia out a connecting tube and came down a slide. The little girl ridding snuggled between Cecilias legs. rock on heart
Its times like this I'm reminded why GBD is soo great. It takes more time to help our children become more aware of feelings of actions it often seems better to "bend their will" that a few days of CIO or a few smacks and problem over is the best way. GBD however accomplishes so much more. It addresses the human side. I teaches emphany and I couldn't have been prouder.
The mother was very greatful and told me her DD had NEVER trusted another child like that. heart

Post by: milkmommy on August 08, 2007, 01:57:59 PM
Ohh Oh I have another big Ol bribe We have family rules that certain things are done each morning before we do other things such as get out toys watch TV go outside get on computer . We have a chart to help remind us and we work together to accomplish the goals were suusaly done around 8:00-8:30am ussually start around 7am...
Well I was up very late becauce I wanted to straighten out some cabinets in the kitchen and got carried away so I didn't get to be till sometime after 3:30am so needless to say I was so not ready to get up at 7am. I have a small memory of DD comming in to get me up and DH telling her let mommy sleep and seeing that the clock said 7:25 before dropping back to sleep. (DH is on vaccation right now ) Well about an hour latter DD comes in followe by DH with a try on it is two slices of toast and butter (DD made) a grapefuit cut in half (DH) and some hot tea (DH) and a flower off the bushes (DD) DD is dressed hair combed ect. DH tells me Cecilia got up this morning (after comming into or room) walks down stairs points to our downstairs chart and says okay first I need to get dressed goes up stairs brings own a pair of panties somedenim shorts and a care bear T shirt asks DH to help gets dressed goes up and combs her hair. Goes back to the chart . Dressed CHECK! no for breakfast Daddy may I have some toast please and a bannana? (DH get her breaskfast and she eats.. goes back to the chart Toast and bannanas CHECK! Ol time to make my bed goes up stairs and does it. Comes down Bed CHECK! Wash dishes DADDY time to wash the dishes!! You wash I'll put them in rack OKAY? (daddy helps Cecilia get breakfast dished cleaned up) goes back to chart dishes CHECK bathrooms daddy I need scrubbies for bathroom please. DH hands her a microfiver cloth and bottle of vinager and water DD marches up stairs and wipes down the counters and toliet area with the cloth (as well as a four year old can be expected) Bathrooms CHECK! she then goes to our "daily chore chart" and together she and DH choose two of todays chores (vaccuming down stairs and dusting living room) and DD vaccums while DD dusts. About this time I'm waking up and soon am greated with my breakfast in bed and DD saying I've done all my chores may I watch TV please. DH said SHE did it all on her own I mean she needed help yes but she went followed the rountinue and did it all even when I was fast asleep.

Post by: illinoismommy on August 27, 2007, 05:21:17 PM
David was upset earlier and he said "Let's talk about this" and came to sit on my lap, like we do, except I'm usually the one to say Let's talk...
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Post by: milkmommy on April 16, 2005, 04:08:34 PM
but I honestly can't remeber the last time my DD did something I'd say "deserved punishment" SHe learned to climb onto kitchen cabinets last month we redirrected and put up a gate to "break the tempation" but those have been down for weeks and no problems, no nap or bedtime issues, no screaming fits. Little whines but nothing a tickle a glass of water or a hug can't cure. shes 2.5 she sosposed to be in her terrible 2's?? Not that I'm complaining
She's a bundle of energy and a complete joy,, It makes me sad to think how much joy I'd be missing if I had remained in the punitive mind set.
Post by: purplerose on May 13, 2005, 10:43:44 AM
I took my kids to the park the other day and another lady was there with her child . . . Well, the lady didn't say anything like "wow! What a great GBD you are" or anything, but she told me she was very impressed at how nicely I spoke to my children and that I didn't yell. And then when I told them it was time to go they were like "Okay, mommy" and they got into the wagon and we left. NO tantrums or anything! She also said she was impressed at how politely I spoke to my kids when they started to fight over the same bucket and shovel. I just told them nicely that they had to share with each other or we'd just have to come home. And again, "Ok, mommy" arguements of anything! I was soooooooo proud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Leslie on April 11, 2005, 08:33:27 AM
Dh has been hinting that we need to start 'disciplining' our toddler, because if we just keep removing her from situations without punishing her, she'll 'never learn.' But I've convinced him to be patient, that spanking doesn't really teach them. After all, listen to how many parents say they keep spaning and spanking their toddler but the toddler just does the same thing again, as if he's testing. The spanking hasn't really made a difference. It seems to me (from past experience with our other babies) that they eventually 'get it' at about a year and a half when we've used spanking in the past. Dh hasn't been convinced, and has said she won't ever learn until we establish our authority once and for all (with a spanking) to show her we mean it.

Our toddler figured out that she can reach all her brothers' toys on the kitchen table if she climbs a chair. So the boys aren't supposed to leave chairs out for her to climb, they're supposed to push them in. But they keep forgetting, and she's quick, it doesn't take more than a few seconds before she spots a chair that's out, and she's up on it and getting their stuff. We pick her up, put her on the floor without punishing her, and push the chair in.

This morning, one of her brothers left a chair out. She went over to the chair, but instead of scrambling up, she got upset, pointed to the chair, and kept saying, "Uh-oh! Uh-oh!" until the chair was pushed back in! So it looks to me like she learned the same thing at the same time she would have if we'd have spanked her. With spanking, it seems to take about a year and a half of the toddler not getting it, repeating the undesired behavior, testing. Without spanking, it seems to take a year and a half to learn the same thing!
Post by: Lillyma on April 11, 2005, 08:42:29 PM
Leslie, we have been noticing the same thing with our 1 1/2 yo. I was noticing it with hot things. The other kids I had "trained them" w/ the rod not to touch hot stuff. Sho was never "trained" in that way & she will warn me "Hhoh! Hhhoh!"

Dh was just telling me last week he has friends who, from time-to-time, ask him how it's going. (We stopped spanking/punishing about a year ago.) He told me he tells them it's about the same (now, after we've mostly passed the dreaded paradigm shift) as it was before. Better in some respects, TBH!
Post by: chelsea on April 13, 2005, 06:09:27 PM
I am so happy for you that you are seeing the results of gentle discipline! I have never spanked my son but I have also been told that using the rod is the only way. My son is 16 months and I remember the first time he passed a "phase" and I was shocked, as though somewhere in the back of my mind it was totally ingrained that he would never mature without the use of the rod. So encouraging to hear the same thing from other parents, because it just reaffirms what I have come to believe...NO SPANKS HERE!
Post by: Wonder Woman on May 14, 2005, 07:07:24 AM
[quote]Ds and I were in W*lmart yesterday and I stopped by the Christian book section. Ds was in the cart and he was already tired. A woman came up to me and pointed out a series of books she liked, and I showed her a new author I've been reading.
Ds started fussing, and I interacted with him " Mommy knows you're tired....just a minute and mommy will take you to see Tigger" (His treat in the W place...a ride on the tigger boat.) And he held up his arms to me and gave me a hug and kiss...and calmed down. Just sat there and snuggled me.
The lady turned to walk away and looked back at me and said "he's a very lucky boy to have a mommy that cares the way you do"

And I say it's undeserved because I am really hormonal and have not been nearly as patient as I need to be this week...and ds was truly extending some grace to me, not I to him! ]/quote]
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