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consequences that aren't punishments


Forum: Attachment Parenting

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  #1  
April 10th, 2018, 09:42 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 1
Hello all!

I'm really hoping someone sees this, it looks like this board isn't very active.


Some background: I have 3 kids, ages 6.5, 3.5, and 19 months. I have practiced attachment parenting with them all, nursing the first two until 3.5 and 2.5, respectively, and still nursing my 19-month-old (though I just night weaned her about a month ago). Much of this is intuitive, and something I think I'd do regardless of whether I'd ever heard of attachment parenting/peaceful parenting (cosleeping, baby wearing, NEVER letting a baby cry unattended, etc). But some of this feels so confusing and I don't know which way is up.


I will use the example that brought me here: my older kids were up WAY too early this morning, and my oldest was melting down by 4pm. Screaming, yelling, crying, just an absolute wreck. We were supposed to have a couple of the neighbor kids over for dinner, and she was really excited to see them. I felt that I should likely cancel the dinner since she was such a mess (and my son was having tantrums too), but she was SO excited to see these kids and I didn't want to make it seem to her like she was being punished for bad behavior.


I am an avid follower of peaceful parenting/dr Laura Markham/unconditional parenting, and I don't use rewards/punishments, but I get SO CONFUSED with this one because sometimes you need to change a plan because it's become obvious that it won't work, but there's no way to change the plan without it feeling like I'm punishing my kids by taking away something they were looking forward to because they're behaving like rabid hyenas. So what do I do??? It seems there's no way to escape "punishment" if that makes sense. Because sometimes you have to cancel a fun plan when the kids are exhausted (or sick or something, but that's more straightforward) but then it feels like they threw a tantrum so I am taking something special away - and that goes against my philosophy.


I just feel so burnt out with this whole approach at the moment. It feels like I give, give, give and never sleep (they all still wake at night, sometimes frequently) and am supposed to stay calm while I get screamed at and treated like a servant in my home. It's exhausting. I don't know how to stay upbeat and maintain a positive attitude with all of this. I feel like my moral beliefs and my actions are disconnected because I am just so exhausted with trying to be a certain way in parenting, then having days like today when I'm overwhelmed and resorting to threats that I don't carry out (the worst- I know) because I have so little confidence that I'm making the right choice...


And I know I don't use punishments, but I am becoming a cranky and resentful mom, and isn't that WAY worse for kids than any punishment??? I just feel overwhelmed and confused and kind of alone.


I do hope someone can help with this, thank you in advance.


Katie
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  #2  
April 12th, 2018, 09:19 AM
Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaKatie View Post
Hello all!

I'm really hoping someone sees this, it looks like this board isn't very active.


Some background: I have 3 kids, ages 6.5, 3.5, and 19 months. I have practiced attachment parenting with them all, nursing the first two until 3.5 and 2.5, respectively, and still nursing my 19-month-old (though I just night weaned her about a month ago). Much of this is intuitive, and something I think I'd do regardless of whether I'd ever heard of attachment parenting/peaceful parenting (cosleeping, baby wearing, NEVER letting a baby cry unattended, etc). But some of this feels so confusing and I don't know which way is up.


I will use the example that brought me here: my older kids were up WAY too early this morning, and my oldest was melting down by 4pm. Screaming, yelling, crying, just an absolute wreck. We were supposed to have a couple of the neighbor kids over for dinner, and she was really excited to see them. I felt that I should likely cancel the dinner since she was such a mess (and my son was having tantrums too), but she was SO excited to see these kids and I didn't want to make it seem to her like she was being punished for bad behavior.


I am an avid follower of peaceful parenting/dr Laura Markham/unconditional parenting, and I don't use rewards/punishments, but I get SO CONFUSED with this one because sometimes you need to change a plan because it's become obvious that it won't work, but there's no way to change the plan without it feeling like I'm punishing my kids by taking away something they were looking forward to because they're behaving like rabid hyenas. So what do I do??? It seems there's no way to escape "punishment" if that makes sense. Because sometimes you have to cancel a fun plan when the kids are exhausted (or sick or something, but that's more straightforward) but then it feels like they threw a tantrum so I am taking something special away - and that goes against my philosophy.


I just feel so burnt out with this whole approach at the moment. It feels like I give, give, give and never sleep (they all still wake at night, sometimes frequently) and am supposed to stay calm while I get screamed at and treated like a servant in my home. It's exhausting. I don't know how to stay upbeat and maintain a positive attitude with all of this. I feel like my moral beliefs and my actions are disconnected because I am just so exhausted with trying to be a certain way in parenting, then having days like today when I'm overwhelmed and resorting to threats that I don't carry out (the worst- I know) because I have so little confidence that I'm making the right choice...


And I know I don't use punishments, but I am becoming a cranky and resentful mom, and isn't that WAY worse for kids than any punishment??? I just feel overwhelmed and confused and kind of alone.


I do hope someone can help with this, thank you in advance.


Katie
Katie,


That sounds exhausting and frustrating.


I will admit I donít know much about attachment parenting and this no consequence system but it sounds a bit far fetched to me. There ARE in fact consequences to some of our actions - to teach children otherwise seems counter productive. Consequences are not (donít have to be) the same as punishments. Sometimes consequences are very natural like if a child runs in the house and they trip, fall and hurt themselves - natural consequence, but it is still a consequence of their action (a result directly related to or caused by their action). You can guild, parent, and love your child unconditionally while still giving boundaries, correction, and yes, when needed - even consequences. Iím not trying to argue with or offend you or anyone who parents in the style you are I just wanted to let you know that you shouldnít feel guilty for doing things differently if you need to. I donít want to ramble on, but if you want to chat more about this let me know. And whatever you choose to do, know youíre not alone, and that EVERY mom feels frustrated, overwhelmed, and under appreciated at some point.


Blessings,
~MrsMommy
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  #3  
April 19th, 2018, 02:52 PM
Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 377
I agree with MrsMommy, To avoid consequences is counter intuitive, and I can only imagine how exhausting it would be to avoid the consequences of everything!
This said, I very respectfully suggest you donít let rabid hyenas run your home. Nobody else in the world will allow them to go unchecked without consequences. And there are naturally rewards for good behavior and consequences to bad, and there is a way to train your child without punishment. Correction would be the word here, as a form of teaching, and even informing. Now it seems as though maybe if you inform your children they might understand that itís not their fault that you have to cancel, but that it no longer seems like a wise decision today, and that rescheduling is the best route. Teach them that if someone is not feeling well, that it is best to rest, and a sign of not feeling well, or lack of rest, is the grumbling attitude they are displaying. Teach them the importance of putting health before play, and give them a nice relaxed evening maybe some bubbly baths. And an early bedtime. Itís not a punishment, I have to cancel my plans because my sleep was affected, and itís a life lesson better learned early, and itís not a punishment. Even though I believe in punishment 😊
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