Every few days in a Facebook group, I see a post from a struggling mama throwing out an SOS & asking for parenting recommendations from strangers.
First of all, I want to commend any parent for asking for help, because it's a sign of strength & the first step to realizing what you're doing isn't working & opening up the possibility of finding new solutions!
Second of all, I commend moms willing to share what has worked for them and help each other out! The responses relate & commiserate & encourage rather than judge, which is what we all need! Good job, moms!
Third, what I find interesting is the most popular comments share advice based on misconceptions our culture has told us are true about raising littles- the most popular one being . . .
---"Take it away & send her to bed. She knows how far she can push you, & she'll take it a step further each time. The punishment HAS to be uncomfortable or it won't work."
---"We had to take his toys, plus he spent a lot of time in his room. He finally figured it out."
---"Throw all the cookies away. There has to be consequences for bad choices."
---"Throw it in the trash, set her in the corner facing the wall for 4 minutes & tell her when she's done why she's there."
---"She is testing you. Hold your ground & take action after the first warning where she doesn't comply."
---"Stay stern with her & start taking things from her. I finally got through to her."
While punishment scientifically has been proven to alter future behavior in humans, unfortunately, parenting is so much more complicated than time outs & sticker charts.
Strong-willed kiddos are far less motivated by avoiding/fearing a negative consequence & earning a reward. In addition, replacement behaviors & coping strategies need to be TAUGHT in order for future behavior to change.
-Underlying needs aren't being met.
-Skills haven't been learned.
-Hunger & exhaustion are prevailing.
This is the message I hope to educate & empower parents with! I believe it has the capacity to entrust the next generation with much more powerful ways to see themselves, care for others, & solve problems as adults!