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

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Old 07-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
Annalou
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Question how to get out of a punitive mindset

I was raised with punitive discipline and my husband also, we started out very grace-like when DD was born but a friend who was trying to help gave me the TTUAC when she was just about 2 and Created to be his helpmeet books along with a few other parents who swear this is the only way. there is also a created/helpmeet bible study EVERYONE I know goes to, it really screwed up our heads and now it's been very hard to get out of the "you need to be punished" mindset.
I was on the pets page today and yesterday asking about if it was even possible to train our dog gently too. this made me realize WE have been "trained wrong" with how to deal with most conflicts
Any ideas on how to get out of this Punitive mindset?
also hubby struggles with guilt that if you aren't punitive it makes you permissive
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:51 AM   #2
NewCovenantMama
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Default Re: how to get out of a punitive mindset

There are a lot of Mamas here who have BTDT

Best thing you can do is simply immerse yourself in the culture of gentle discipline. Read the threads in the GD forum, especially look at the GD info and FAQ section which has lots of helpful info.

I recommend http://aolff.org/ Crystal's (ArmsOfLove) website, and her books, Biblical Parenting and Grace Based Living Also another book, Families Where Grace Is In Place by Jeff VanVonderen. Oh, and one of my all time favourite parenting articles, which saved my sanity when our dc were younger http://goybparenting.com/?page_id=54 The whole website is good.

Gentle discipline is far from permissive. It focuses on teaching the child what to do. It also focuses on long term results rather than quick fixes. There are many ways to set firm limits without using punishment, intimidation, yelling, scolding, bribery or other forms of emotional manipulation. The word discipline comes from the same route as the word disciple. Biblically it's a very different concept from punishment. I often say that a discipline is something you follow, not something you "do" to someone.

Most importantly, what is your view of Father God like? Do you tend to think that difficulties or things going wrong are God punishing you for things? There's an article here on what the Greek word for discipline in the New Testament, paedeia, actually means. http://jeriwho.net/lillypad2/?p=8460 I'm horrified at the number of Bible versions which translate this word as "punish" in Hebrews 12, despite the fact that the "discipline" being referred to was persecution, not punishment, and was happening as a result of something the Hebrew Christians were doing right, not wrong! There is NO PUNISHMENT for those who are in Christ Jesus, because all our punishment fell onto Jesus on the Cross. The only thing left for God to do is disciple (discipline/teach/coach/nurture) us. Our parenting needs to reflect this so that our children can grow up with an accurate picture of Father, and what it is like to be part of God's family.

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Last edited by NewCovenantMama; 07-27-2012 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: how to get out of a punitive mindset

Still working through that process here. I was raised in a military family.
  • Becoming very aware of age appropriate behavior,
  • using the 5 steps first;
  • reducing my exposure to others punitive thinking and
  • getting a few buddies to check myself on my thinking and actions

were all steps that have helped. Its not a perfect journey- but it has been a huge stretch of growth for me and my DH.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:26 AM   #4
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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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Old 07-27-2012, 07:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: how to get out of a punitive mindset

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewCovenantMama View Post
Best thing you can do is simply immerse yourself in the culture of gentle discipline.
Very much agree .

Quote:
There's an article here on what the Greek word for discipline in the New Testament, paedeia, actually means.
Seriously, the word is *paideia*?

Because that word is *big* in classical ed circles, particularly those that look closely at what education meant in Greek and Roman culture, and it's this holistic, humane, formative ideal of education. It encompasses every aspect of a person, so that physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually the student is brought ever closer to the ideal. (Alder's Paideia Proposal is one modern adaptation, and I think the Circe Institute is inspired by the idea of paideia as well.) That word is *so* much more than mere punishment - the mind boggles at the idea of paideia being reduced to nothing more than punishing wrongdoing .
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: how to get out of a punitive mindset



I second the Five Steps as a starting point . A big thing for me in the beginning was that if DS didn't obey me, I'd panic: Now what do I do? The Five Steps gave me an answer.

I also second getting understanding of normal childhood development - especially at your DD's age, which is a particularly difficult one

Enjoy the journey!
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: how to get out of a punitive mindset

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tasmanian Saint View Post
I also second getting understanding of normal childhood development - especially at your DD's age, which is a particularly difficult one
Some good books to help you get a quick, but thorough understanding of age-appropriate behavior are the books by Ames and Ilg titled, "Your ___ Year Old" (fill in the blank with whichever age you want to learn about). Short reads, and very helpful!

I'm so glad you're here!! I already know you're a great mama with a desire to learn more about grace. Your heart is SO in the right spot! I love hanging out with you, and my "ick" meter for punitive parenting is very sensitive, lol! You're doing great, mama!
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