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Old 07-27-2012, 06:26 AM   #4
katiekind
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Default Re: how to get out of a punitive mindset

I don't know if you like to read fiction or if you ever developed an affinity for Anne of Green Gables when you were a girl, but it's a story about how the orphaned Anne learns to fit into and love her adoptive community (and they learn to accept her as she is, with the gifts she uniquely brings to the world). The author presents several paradigms of discipline, as the community struggles with their role of disciplining/socializing/curbing/guiding/loving this unusual new girl in their midst.

I think if you're familiar with the book you'll maybe resonate with the role of grace versus punishment in the book.

And if not that book, perhaps other books. Very often in fiction there is a theme of growth through some form of discipline--not punishment, mind you, but discipline--where the main character learns a lesson, not because they were punished, but because they learned through experience, or they were shown grace, or they had a mentor whose example they valued, or they observed what happened to another character and learned from that, etc.

I think we recognize and understand and applaud grace in literature because we identify with the character. We understand the character is a person who, like us, wants to get along in the world, which is something we often fail to see in our own children.

I also see that people who have punitive mindsets are often woefully ignorant of child development. Some learning in that area can make a big difference, and will help remove the punitive-colored glasses.

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