the network for radical unschooling families
Frank Maier said:Check this page for the definition of "negative punishment" in the context of mainstream psychology: http://www.psychology.uiowa.edu/Faculty/Wasserman/Glossary/punishme...
Bach said: Over time, things sort out.
Yeah, and over enough time, the universe (probably) ends in total entropy at absolute zero. So what? Meanwhile, right now, my kids are learning about life by observing what I do and deriving their own teleology based on those observation. If I were to punish them, they'd recognize it, no matter what I might choose to label it.
That's true, but labeling is not the issue, Frank. What I'm talking about is not punishment, and would not be recognized as punishment. That you or anyone else, here, without evidence or experience, would make such a claim is pretty silly.
Perhaps you do have evidence and experience. In which case, let's compare notes, because I have good experience on this, both with adults and with children (mainly my own child, of course).
The best thing you can do is talk about what you know. Tell us a story about how something you didn't think was punishment was perceived as such. Tell us what you learned from that.
LisaRussell said:I can't think of a single "bad decision" in life that would absolutely ruin everything. If my daughter is deciding to run into oncoming traffic, then I would definitely decide to stop her. however, deciding what to wear, whether or not to use the potty, which words to use, whether or not to say thank you, or wear shoes today - these decisions will not have life-long consequences.
Not being allowed to think for oneself, THAT has lifelong consequences.
A child who has all the decisions made for them is NOT going to feel very secure as an adult, when no one is there to make decisions for them. Children can feel safety knowing that they are loved, and that no "decision" is going to ruin everything. Life is good. I wonder why people distrust kids so much,
This is exactly how we've been living at our house.
Yesterday I was walking the dogs with my son, and told him he was easy to live with, and that I was grateful for that. He told me he was "doing a lot of things" such as showering every day and brushing his teeth and putting his laundry in the bin, so that we wouldn't be annoyed with him. (Lenore had been upset with him "living like a caveman", so I suggested she review some of the many things she does for him and simply stop doing some of them until he noticed and asked for her help. Then she could strike a bargain with him. That seems to have worked.)
I thanked him for that.
Basically, he's becoming a reasonable young man, and that's all happened without any significant pressure to conform or pretend.
Hi James, I'm a noob to radical unschooling and what I heard was this: "If you don't behave the way we want then we'll withhold our love to you."
Thanks for sparking such a thought provoking discussion, I have learned a lot.
I'm sorry that's what you heard. I hope the other parts of the conversation have shown that's not what I said and not what I meant.
I am incapable of withholding my love for my son. It's beyond my comprehension that anyone who loves their children could "withhold" that love. Love is not something that flows through a faucet, or if it does, I don't know how to turn it off.
People tend to strike (either way--withholding services or "striking a bargain") with adversaries, not with partners. While you feel this way worked, the goal (to get your son to do more so you wouldn't be annoyed) wasn't the only one. If a mom is willing to do laundry or pick up dishes, the child will be willing to do it for the mom after a while. If a mom's goal is to get the child to do it for himself, she might achieve that goal and no more. That could be a loss.
Gail Higgins wrote something beautiful about this recently here: