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How Children REALLY React To Control



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 8th 04, 08:23 AM
Chris
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control


How Children Really React to Control

by Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.


When one person tries to control another, you can always expect
some kind of reaction from the controllee. The use of power involves two
people in a special kind of relationship - one wielding power, and the
other reacting to it.

This seemingly obvious fact is not usually dealt with in the
writings of the dare-to-discipline advocates. Invariably, they leave the
child out of the formula, omitting any reference to how the youngster
reacts to the control of his or her parents or teachers.

They insist, "Parents must set limits," but seldom say anything
about how children respond to having their needs denied in this way.
"Parents should not be afraid to exercise their authority," they counsel,
but rarely mention how youngsters react to authority-based coercion. By
omitting the child from the interaction, the discipline advocates leave
the impression that the child submits willingly and consistently to
adults' power and does precisely what is demanded.

These are actual quotes from the many power-to-the-parent books
I've collected along the way:

"Be firm but fair."
"Insist that your children obey."
"Don't be afraid to express disapproval by spanking."
"Discipline with love."
"Demonstrate your parental right to lead."
"The toddler should be taught to obey and yield to parental
leadership."

What these books have in common is advocacy of the use of
power-based discipline with no mention of how children react to it. In
other words, the dare-to-discipline advocates never present power-based
discipline in full, as a cause-and-effect phenomenon, an
action-and-reaction event.

This omission is important, for it implies that all children
passively submit to adult demands, perfectly content and secure in an
obedient role, first in relationships with their parents and teachers and,
eventually, with all adult power-wielders they might encounter.

However, I have found not a shred of evidence to support this
view. In fact, as most of us remember only too well from our childhood, we
did almost anything we could to defend against power-based control. We
tried to avoid it, postpone it, weaken it, avert it, escape from it. We
lied, we put the blame on someone else, we tattled, hid, pleaded, begged
for mercy, or promised we would never do it again.

We also experienced punitive discipline as embarrassing,
demeaning, humiliating, frightening, and painful. To be coerced into doing
something against our will was a personal insult and an affront to our
dignity, an act that devalued the importance of our needs.

Punitive discipline is by definition need-depriving as opposed to
need-satisfying. Recall that punishment will be effective only if it is
felt by the child as aversive, painful, unpleasant. When controllers
employ punishment, they always intend for it to cause pain or deprivation.
It seems so obvious, then, that children don't ever want punitive
discipline, contrary to what its advocates would have us believe. No child
"asks for it," "feels a need for it," or is "grateful for it." And it is
probably true, too, that no child ever forgets or forgives a punitive
parent or teacher. This is why I find it incredible that the authors of
power-to-the-parent books try to justify power-based discipline with such
statements as:

* "Kids not only need punishment, they want it."

* "Children basically want what is coming to them, good or
bad, because justice is security."

* "Punishment will prove to kids that their parents love
them."

* "The youngster who knows he deserves a spanking appears
almost relieved when it finally comes."

* "Rather than be insulted by the discipline, [the child]
understands its purpose and appreciates the control it gives him over his
own impulses."

* "Corporal punishment in the hands of a loving parent is
entirely different in purpose and practice [from child abuse]....One is an
act of love; the other is an act of hostility."

* "Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be
spanked, and their wishes should be granted."

* "Punishment will make children feel more secure in their
relationship."

* "Discipline makes for happy families; healthy
relationships."

Could these be rationalizations intended to relieve the guilt that
controllers feel after coercing or committing acts of physical violence
against their children? It seems possible in view of the repeated
insistence that the punishing adult is really a loving adult, doing it
only "for the child's own good," or as a dutiful act of "benevolent
leadership." It appears that being firm with children has to be justified
by saying, "Be firm but fair"; being tough is acceptable as long as it's
"Tough Love"; being an autocrat is justifiable as long as you're a
"benevolent autocrat"; coercing children is okay as long as you're not a
"dictator"; and physically abusing children is not abuse as long as you
"do it lovingly."

Disciplinarians' insistence that punishment is benign and
constructive might be explained by their desire that children eventually
become subservient to a Supreme Being or higher authority. This can only
be achieved, they believe, if children first learn to obey their parents
and other adults. James Dobson (1978) stresses this point time and time
again:

* "While yielding to the loving leadership of their parents,
children are also learning to yield to the benevolent leadership of God
Himself."

* "With regard to the specific discipline of the strong-willed
toddler, mild spankings can begin between 15 and 18 months of age....To
repeat, the toddler should be taught to obey and yield to parental
leadership, but that end will not be accomplished overnight."


It's the familiar story of believing that the ends justify the
means. Obedience to parental authority first, and then later to some
higher authority, is so strongly valued by some advocates of punitive
discipline that the means they utilize to achieve that end are distorted
to appear beneficial to children rather than harmful.

The hope that children eventually will submit to all authority is,
I think, wishful thinking. Not all children submit when adults try to
control them. In fact, children respond with a wide variety of reactions,
an assortment of behaviors. Psychologists call these reactions "coping
behaviors" or "coping mechanisms".

The Coping Mechanisms Children Use

Over the years I have compiled a long list of the various coping
mechanisms youngsters use when adults try to control them. This list comes
primarily out of our Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and Teacher
Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) classes, where we employ a simple but
revealing classroom exercise. Participants are asked to recall the
specific ways they themselves coped with power-based discipline when they
were youngsters. The question yields nearly identical lists in every
class, which confirms how universal children's coping mechanisms are. The
complete list is reproduced below, in no particular order. Note how varied
these recurring themes are. (Can you pick out the particular coping
methods you employed as a youngster?)

* Resisting, defying, being negative

* Rebelling, disobeying, being insubordinate, sassing

* Retaliating, striking back, counterattacking, vandalizing

* Hitting, being belligerent, combative

* Breaking rules and laws

* Throwing temper tantrums, getting angry

* Lying, deceiving, hiding the truth

* Blaming others, tattling, telling on others

* Bossing or bullying others

* Banding together, forming alliances, organizing against the
adult

* Apple-polishing, buttering up, soft-soaping, bootlicking,
currying favor with adults

* Withdrawing, fantasizing, daydreaming

* Competing, needing to win, hating to lose, needing to look
good, making others look bad

* Giving up, feeling defeated, loafing, goofing off

* Leaving, escaping, staying away from home, running away,
quitting school, cutting classes

* Not talking, ignoring, using the silent treatment, writing
the adult off, keeping one's distance

* Crying, weeping; feeling depressed or hopeless

* Becoming fearful, shy, timid, afraid to speak up, hesitant
to try anything new Needing reassurance, seeking constant
approval, feeling insecure

* Getting sick, developing psychosomatic ailments

* Overeating, excessive dieting

* Being submissive, conforming, complying; being dutiful,
docile, apple-polishing, being a goody-goody, teacher's pet

* Drinking heavily, using drugs

* Cheating in school, plagiarizing

As you might expect, after parents and teachers in the class
generate their list, and realize that it was created out of their own
experience, they invariably make such comments as:

"Why would anyone want to use power, if these are the
behaviors it produces?"

"All of these coping mechanisms are behaviors that I wouldn't
want to see in my children [or my students]."

"I don't see in the list any good effects or positive
behaviors."

"If we reacted to power in those ways when we were kids, our
own children certainly will, too."

After this exercise, some parents and teachers undergo a
180-degree shift in their thinking. They see much more clearly that power
creates the very behavior patterns they most dislike in children! They
begin to understand that as parents and teachers they are paying a
terrible price for using power: they are causing their children or
students to develop habits, traits, and characteristics considered both
unacceptable by most adults and unhealthy by mental health professionals.





For more information about Parent Effectiveness Training and
Teacher Effectiveness Training, contact Gordon Training International:

USA
Gordon Training International
531 Stevens Avenue West
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Telephone (858) 481-8121
E-mail:
Website:
http://www.gordontraining.com



  #2  
Old June 8th 04, 09:38 AM
Doan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control


From=20the thomas gordon's website:

"Reviews of Research of the P.E.T. Course
There have been two extensive reviews of P.E.T. course evaluation studies.
The first, by Ronald Levant of Boston University, reviewed 23 different
studies. The author concluded that many of the studies had methodological
discrepancies. Nevertheless, out of a total of 149 comparisons between
P.E.T. and control groups or alternative programs, 32% favored P.E.T., 11%
favored the alternative group, and 57% found no significant differences."

The point here is not blindly believe to any book or philosoply but learn
and filter out what is applicable to you and what is not. Hey, even
Dobson recommended Thomas Gordon. :-)

Doan




On 8 Jun 2004, Chris wrote:


How Children Really React to Control

by Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.


When one person tries to control another, you can always expect
some kind of reaction from the controllee. The use of power involves two
people in a special kind of relationship - one wielding power, and the
other reacting to it.

This seemingly obvious fact is not usually dealt with in the
writings of the dare-to-discipline advocates. Invariably, they leave the
child out of the formula, omitting any reference to how the youngster
reacts to the control of his or her parents or teachers.

They insist, "Parents must set limits," but seldom say anything
about how children respond to having their needs denied in this way.
"Parents should not be afraid to exercise their authority," they counsel,
but rarely mention how youngsters react to authority-based coercion. By
omitting the child from the interaction, the discipline advocates leave
the impression that the child submits willingly and consistently to
adults' power and does precisely what is demanded.

These are actual quotes from the many power-to-the-parent books
I've collected along the way:

"Be firm but fair."
"Insist that your children obey."
"Don't be afraid to express disapproval by spanking."
"Discipline with love."
"Demonstrate your parental right to lead."
"The toddler should be taught to obey and yield to parental
=09 leadership."

What these books have in common is advocacy of the use of
power-based discipline with no mention of how children react to it. In
other words, the dare-to-discipline advocates never present power-based
discipline in full, as a cause-and-effect phenomenon, an
action-and-reaction event.

This omission is important, for it implies that all children
passively submit to adult demands, perfectly content and secure in an
obedient role, first in relationships with their parents and teachers and=

,
eventually, with all adult power-wielders they might encounter.

However, I have found not a shred of evidence to support this
view. In fact, as most of us remember only too well from our childhood, w=

e
did almost anything we could to defend against power-based control. We
tried to avoid it, postpone it, weaken it, avert it, escape from it. We
lied, we put the blame on someone else, we tattled, hid, pleaded, begged
for mercy, or promised we would never do it again.

We also experienced punitive discipline as embarrassing,
demeaning, humiliating, frightening, and painful. To be coerced into doin=

g
something against our will was a personal insult and an affront to our
dignity, an act that devalued the importance of our needs.

Punitive discipline is by definition need-depriving as opposed to
need-satisfying. Recall that punishment will be effective only if it is
felt by the child as aversive, painful, unpleasant. When controllers
employ punishment, they always intend for it to cause pain or deprivation=

=2E
It seems so obvious, then, that children don't ever want punitive
discipline, contrary to what its advocates would have us believe. No chil=

d
"asks for it," "feels a need for it," or is "grateful for it." And it is
probably true, too, that no child ever forgets or forgives a punitive
parent or teacher. This is why I find it incredible that the authors of
power-to-the-parent books try to justify power-based discipline with such
statements as:

* "Kids not only need punishment, they want it."

* "Children basically want what is coming to them, good or
bad, because justice is security."

* "Punishment will prove to kids that their parents love
them."

* "The youngster who knows he deserves a spanking appears
almost relieved when it finally comes."

* "Rather than be insulted by the discipline, [the child]
understands its purpose and appreciates the control it gives him over his
own impulses."

* "Corporal punishment in the hands of a loving parent is
entirely different in purpose and practice [from child abuse]....One is a=

n
act of love; the other is an act of hostility."

* "Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be
spanked, and their wishes should be granted."

* "Punishment will make children feel more secure in their
relationship."

* "Discipline makes for happy families; healthy
relationships."

Could these be rationalizations intended to relieve the guilt tha=

t
controllers feel after coercing or committing acts of physical violence
against their children? It seems possible in view of the repeated
insistence that the punishing adult is really a loving adult, doing it
only "for the child's own good," or as a dutiful act of "benevolent
leadership." It appears that being firm with children has to be justified
by saying, "Be firm but fair"; being tough is acceptable as long as it's
"Tough Love"; being an autocrat is justifiable as long as you're a
"benevolent autocrat"; coercing children is okay as long as you're not a
"dictator"; and physically abusing children is not abuse as long as you
"do it lovingly."

Disciplinarians' insistence that punishment is benign and
constructive might be explained by their desire that children eventually
become subservient to a Supreme Being or higher authority. This can only
be achieved, they believe, if children first learn to obey their parents
and other adults. James Dobson (1978) stresses this point time and time
again:

* "While yielding to the loving leadership of their parents,
children are also learning to yield to the benevolent leadership of God
Himself."

* "With regard to the specific discipline of the strong-willed
toddler, mild spankings can begin between 15 and 18 months of age....To
repeat, the toddler should be taught to obey and yield to parental
leadership, but that end will not be accomplished overnight."


It's the familiar story of believing that the ends justify the
means. Obedience to parental authority first, and then later to some
higher authority, is so strongly valued by some advocates of punitive
discipline that the means they utilize to achieve that end are distorted
to appear beneficial to children rather than harmful.

The hope that children eventually will submit to all authority is=

,
I think, wishful thinking. Not all children submit when adults try to
control them. In fact, children respond with a wide variety of reactions,
an assortment of behaviors. Psychologists call these reactions "coping
behaviors" or "coping mechanisms".

The Coping Mechanisms Children Use

Over the years I have compiled a long list of the various coping
mechanisms youngsters use when adults try to control them. This list come=

s
primarily out of our Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and Teacher
Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) classes, where we employ a simple but
revealing classroom exercise. Participants are asked to recall the
specific ways they themselves coped with power-based discipline when they
were youngsters. The question yields nearly identical lists in every
class, which confirms how universal children's coping mechanisms are. The
complete list is reproduced below, in no particular order. Note how varie=

d
these recurring themes are. (Can you pick out the particular coping
methods you employed as a youngster?)

* Resisting, defying, being negative

* Rebelling, disobeying, being insubordinate, sassing

* Retaliating, striking back, counterattacking, vandalizing

* Hitting, being belligerent, combative

* Breaking rules and laws

* Throwing temper tantrums, getting angry

* Lying, deceiving, hiding the truth

* Blaming others, tattling, telling on others

* Bossing or bullying others

* Banding together, forming alliances, organizing against the
adult

* Apple-polishing, buttering up, soft-soaping, bootlicking,
currying favor with adults

* Withdrawing, fantasizing, daydreaming

* Competing, needing to win, hating to lose, needing to look
good, making others look bad

* Giving up, feeling defeated, loafing, goofing off

* Leaving, escaping, staying away from home, running away,
quitting school, cutting classes

* Not talking, ignoring, using the silent treatment, writing
the adult off, keeping one's distance

* Crying, weeping; feeling depressed or hopeless

* Becoming fearful, shy, timid, afraid to speak up, hesitant
to try anything new Needing reassurance, seeking constant
approval, feeling insecure

* Getting sick, developing psychosomatic ailments

* Overeating, excessive dieting

* Being submissive, conforming, complying; being dutiful,
docile, apple-polishing, being a goody-goody, teacher's pet

* Drinking heavily, using drugs

* Cheating in school, plagiarizing

As you might expect, after parents and teachers in the class
generate their list, and realize that it was created out of their own
experience, they invariably make such comments as:

"Why would anyone want to use power, if these are the
behaviors it produces?"

"All of these coping mechanisms are behaviors that I wouldn'=

t
want to see in my children [or my students]."

"I don't see in the list any good effects or positive
behaviors."

"If we reacted to power in those ways when we were kids, our
own children certainly will, too."

After this exercise, some parents and teachers undergo a
180-degree shift in their thinking. They see much more clearly that powe=

r
creates the very behavior patterns they most dislike in children! They
begin to understand that as parents and teachers they are paying a
terrible price for using power: they are causing their children or
students to develop habits, traits, and characteristics considered both
unacceptable by most adults and unhealthy by mental health professionals.





For more information about Parent Effectiveness Training and
Teacher Effectiveness Training, contact Gordon Training International:

USA
Gordon Training International
531 Stevens Avenue West
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Telephone (858) 481-8121
E-mail:
Website:
http://www.gordontraining.com





  #3  
Old June 8th 04, 03:09 PM
Nathan A. Barclay
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control


"Chris" wrote in message
...

How Children Really React to Control

by Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.


Punitive discipline is by definition need-depriving as opposed to
need-satisfying. Recall that punishment will be effective only if it is
felt by the child as aversive, painful, unpleasant. When controllers
employ punishment, they always intend for it to cause pain or deprivation.
It seems so obvious, then, that children don't ever want punitive
discipline, contrary to what its advocates would have us believe. No child
"asks for it," "feels a need for it," or is "grateful for it." And it is
probably true, too, that no child ever forgets or forgives a punitive
parent or teacher.


There is a difference between a "punitive" parent or teacher and one who
occasionally makes reasonable use of punishment. One of my best friends in
elementary school was my fourth grade teacher (who I first became friends
with when I was in second grade and stayed friends with until she left the
school sometime when I was in junior high). Teachers in my school did spank
occasionally, and one time she paddled me on the hand (her normal method of
using corporal punishment - this was in the mid 1970's, by the way). I was
embarrassed to get in trouble with her, and I was afraid my getting in
trouble like that might hurt the way she felt about me, but I don't remember
ever holding it against her. And as I said, we remained friends long after
I left her class.

From my experience (and I think anecdotal evidence I've seen from others
tends to back me up), what is really important is how the use of authority
fits into the overall relationship. If an adult exercises authority in a
way that exhibits a lack of concern for a child's needs or desires, the
child probably will react to punishment from that person in much the way Dr.
Gordon describes. If an adult normally cares about what a child needs and
wants and generally exercises authority only for reasons that the child can
respect (if not necessarily always agree with), occasional instances of
punishment are far less likely to cause any significant harm to the
relationship.

I'm certainly not trying to say that Dr. Gordon is entirely wrong, because
I'm sure the attitudes he's criticizing here do lead a lot of parents into
the kind of highly authoritarian mindsets that are most likely to cause
children to react negatively - and, perhaps more importantly, lead parents
away from more positive ways of addressing problems. But I do think he's
overstating the case, and thus throwing the baby out with the bathwater
where some types of situations are concerned.

snip

The Coping Mechanisms Children Use

Over the years I have compiled a long list of the various coping
mechanisms youngsters use when adults try to control them. This list comes
primarily out of our Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and Teacher
Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) classes, where we employ a simple but
revealing classroom exercise. Participants are asked to recall the
specific ways they themselves coped with power-based discipline when they
were youngsters. The question yields nearly identical lists in every
class, which confirms how universal children's coping mechanisms are. The
complete list is reproduced below, in no particular order. Note how varied
these recurring themes are. (Can you pick out the particular coping
methods you employed as a youngster?)


I won't quote the list, but there is something not included on the list that
causes me to view the exercise as highly deceptive. That omission is
BEHAVING. When an exercise focuses exclusively on negative reactions to
authority and completely ignores the possibility that children might exhibit
the desired reaction, the exercise will almost inevitably skew people's
thinking.

I agree that children sometimes react to power-based discipline in
undesirable ways. That is one of the reasons why I consider the kinds of
methods Dr. Gordon promotes better - as long as they work.








  #4  
Old June 8th 04, 04:41 PM
Nathan A. Barclay
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control


"Chris" wrote in message
...

How Children Really React to Control

by Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.


snip

The Coping Mechanisms Children Use

Over the years I have compiled a long list of the various coping
mechanisms youngsters use when adults try to control them. This list comes
primarily out of our Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and Teacher
Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) classes, where we employ a simple but
revealing classroom exercise. Participants are asked to recall the
specific ways they themselves coped with power-based discipline when they
were youngsters. The question yields nearly identical lists in every
class, which confirms how universal children's coping mechanisms are. The
complete list is reproduced below, in no particular order. Note how varied
these recurring themes are. (Can you pick out the particular coping
methods you employed as a youngster?)


The more I think about this exercise, the more it looks like something
deliberately contrived to generate a particular emotional reaction. An
objective analysis would try to pin down how control by adults is likely to
affect individual children. This exercise, instead, creates an amalgam of
negative effects across all the people in the group, a combination that will
almost certainly be significantly longer and uglier than a typical child is
likely to exhibit. Worse, a person might add something to the list because
it happened once or twice, but have others end up thinking it happened on a
much more regular basis.

I'm not saying that efforts to control children through force don't have
negative consequences, or that parents should adopt a dismissive attitude
toward the risk of such consequences. But it is important not to blow the
risks out of proportion either. If parents want to do a risk/benefit
analysis regarding whether the risk involved in exerting their authority in
certain types of situations is likely to be greater or less than the
benefits, they need an accurate appraisal of the risks, not an exaggerated
one.

Nathan


  #5  
Old June 9th 04, 03:14 AM
Kane
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control

On Tue, 8 Jun 2004 01:38:42 -0700, Doan wrote:


From the thomas gordon's website:

"Reviews of Research of the P.E.T. Course
There have been two extensive reviews of P.E.T. course evaluation

studies.
The first, by Ronald Levant of Boston University, reviewed 23

different
studies. The author concluded that many of the studies had

methodological
discrepancies. Nevertheless, out of a total of 149 comparisons

between
P.E.T. and control groups or alternative programs, 32% favored

P.E.T., 11%
favored the alternative group, and 57% found no significant

differences."

I have found that people that come from a strong belief in punishment
have a very difficult time with the concept that one can go about
human affairs virtually devoid of punishment as a tool.

It confounds their beliefs. You may have noticed this in international
affairs, as the epitome of the punisment mindset. I certainly have.

When I taught PET I saw a lot of that very thing...a belief in
punishment, even extending to things very far removed from dangerous
to one's self or others.


That conditioned mindset in folks sharpened my skills as a teacher.
What I learned to do was use the principles of PET as my teaching
method. The participants then had not only first hand experience by my
example and their participation.....THEY felt the result the child
would feel.

One day I might use them here. Or have I already?

The point here is not blindly believe to any book or philosoply but

learn
and filter out what is applicable to you and what is not. Hey, even
Dobson recommended Thomas Gordon. :-)


Even Dobson can't spend all his time torturing children and be
believable enough to seel books. He has his public and his publisher
to consider. {;-

Do you really think that people who debate you here just blindly, out
of some Disney "Zippidy Do Dah" syrupy, emotional, thoughtless grab at
a picnic of life chose this or other non punitive parenting methods?

It took me years to even hear of it, and I struggled to stay away from
punishment with my own children...lacking a repertoire. It taught me a
great deal about patience....but PET turned the corner for me. For the
first time there were the very tools I had been looking for. I read it
standing at a supermarket book stand cover to cover...it was that
striking...but then one has to be looking.

And I put PET, Thomas Gordan, and his trainers to the test, not on
children, but on adults first, and allowed the methods to be used on
me by other parents learning.

The results you see above in that survey are remarkable. In a
population that is 90% spanked, if you are to be believed, THAT MANY
got it?

Damn, man. It took far more than that to get people to believe the
world was round, even with the circumnavigation of the globe.

Spanking is GONE GONE GONE, if that many are getting it. Wave goodbye.

Doan


And I'm quit curious what a "comparison" is. Who did the comparing?
People that had attended and applied a number of programs and
alternatives? Or a panel of "experts?"

I suspect that, just by the language of the claim (look familiar to
you at all, Doan?) that this is a weasel research.

But I still like that that percentage got it, even with the deck
stacked, very likely, by the research, and the fact that 90% of the
population are spanked, and probably 99.99999% were punished fairly
regularly.

You have succeeded in brightening my day.

Wanna talk about my citing of Singapore police claims about youth
crime in the past few weeks? Or didn't you lie? Could it simply have
been a mistake.

Unlike you, I don't need the ego boost of calling others liars when
they have NOT attempted to deceive.

Did you make a mistake, or did you attempt to deceive?

Kane





On 8 Jun 2004, Chris wrote:


How Children Really React to Control

by Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.


When one person tries to control another, you can always

expect
some kind of reaction from the controllee. The use of power

involves two
people in a special kind of relationship - one wielding power, and

the
other reacting to it.

This seemingly obvious fact is not usually dealt with in

the
writings of the dare-to-discipline advocates. Invariably, they

leave the
child out of the formula, omitting any reference to how the

youngster
reacts to the control of his or her parents or teachers.

They insist, "Parents must set limits," but seldom say

anything
about how children respond to having their needs denied in this

way.
"Parents should not be afraid to exercise their authority," they

counsel,
but rarely mention how youngsters react to authority-based

coercion. By
omitting the child from the interaction, the discipline advocates

leave
the impression that the child submits willingly and consistently to
adults' power and does precisely what is demanded.

These are actual quotes from the many power-to-the-parent

books
I've collected along the way:

"Be firm but fair."
"Insist that your children obey."
"Don't be afraid to express disapproval by spanking."
"Discipline with love."
"Demonstrate your parental right to lead."
"The toddler should be taught to obey and yield to

parental
leadership."

What these books have in common is advocacy of the use of
power-based discipline with no mention of how children react to it.

In
other words, the dare-to-discipline advocates never present

power-based
discipline in full, as a cause-and-effect phenomenon, an
action-and-reaction event.

This omission is important, for it implies that all

children
passively submit to adult demands, perfectly content and secure in

an
obedient role, first in relationships with their parents and

teachers and,
eventually, with all adult power-wielders they might encounter.

However, I have found not a shred of evidence to support

this
view. In fact, as most of us remember only too well from our

childhood, we
did almost anything we could to defend against power-based control.

We
tried to avoid it, postpone it, weaken it, avert it, escape from

it. We
lied, we put the blame on someone else, we tattled, hid, pleaded,

begged
for mercy, or promised we would never do it again.

We also experienced punitive discipline as embarrassing,
demeaning, humiliating, frightening, and painful. To be coerced

into doing
something against our will was a personal insult and an affront to

our
dignity, an act that devalued the importance of our needs.

Punitive discipline is by definition need-depriving as

opposed to
need-satisfying. Recall that punishment will be effective only if

it is
felt by the child as aversive, painful, unpleasant. When

controllers
employ punishment, they always intend for it to cause pain or

deprivation.
It seems so obvious, then, that children don't ever want punitive
discipline, contrary to what its advocates would have us believe.

No child
"asks for it," "feels a need for it," or is "grateful for it." And

it is
probably true, too, that no child ever forgets or forgives a

punitive
parent or teacher. This is why I find it incredible that the

authors of
power-to-the-parent books try to justify power-based discipline

with such
statements as:

* "Kids not only need punishment, they want it."

* "Children basically want what is coming to them, good

or
bad, because justice is security."

* "Punishment will prove to kids that their parents

love
them."

* "The youngster who knows he deserves a spanking

appears
almost relieved when it finally comes."

* "Rather than be insulted by the discipline, [the

child]
understands its purpose and appreciates the control it gives him

over his
own impulses."

* "Corporal punishment in the hands of a loving parent

is
entirely different in purpose and practice [from child

abuse]....One is an
act of love; the other is an act of hostility."

* "Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be
spanked, and their wishes should be granted."

* "Punishment will make children feel more secure in

their
relationship."

* "Discipline makes for happy families; healthy
relationships."

Could these be rationalizations intended to relieve the

guilt that
controllers feel after coercing or committing acts of physical

violence
against their children? It seems possible in view of the repeated
insistence that the punishing adult is really a loving adult, doing

it
only "for the child's own good," or as a dutiful act of "benevolent
leadership." It appears that being firm with children has to be

justified
by saying, "Be firm but fair"; being tough is acceptable as long as

it's
"Tough Love"; being an autocrat is justifiable as long as you're a
"benevolent autocrat"; coercing children is okay as long as you're

not a
"dictator"; and physically abusing children is not abuse as long as

you
"do it lovingly."

Disciplinarians' insistence that punishment is benign and
constructive might be explained by their desire that children

eventually
become subservient to a Supreme Being or higher authority. This

can only
be achieved, they believe, if children first learn to obey their

parents
and other adults. James Dobson (1978) stresses this point time and

time
again:

* "While yielding to the loving leadership of their

parents,
children are also learning to yield to the benevolent leadership of

God
Himself."

* "With regard to the specific discipline of the

strong-willed
toddler, mild spankings can begin between 15 and 18 months of

age....To
repeat, the toddler should be taught to obey and yield to parental
leadership, but that end will not be accomplished overnight."


It's the familiar story of believing that the ends justify

the
means. Obedience to parental authority first, and then later to

some
higher authority, is so strongly valued by some advocates of

punitive
discipline that the means they utilize to achieve that end are

distorted
to appear beneficial to children rather than harmful.

The hope that children eventually will submit to all

authority is,
I think, wishful thinking. Not all children submit when adults try

to
control them. In fact, children respond with a wide variety of

reactions,
an assortment of behaviors. Psychologists call these reactions

"coping
behaviors" or "coping mechanisms".

The Coping Mechanisms Children Use

Over the years I have compiled a long list of the various

coping
mechanisms youngsters use when adults try to control them. This

list comes
primarily out of our Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and

Teacher
Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) classes, where we employ a simple

but
revealing classroom exercise. Participants are asked to recall the
specific ways they themselves coped with power-based discipline

when they
were youngsters. The question yields nearly identical lists in

every
class, which confirms how universal children's coping mechanisms

are. The
complete list is reproduced below, in no particular order. Note how

varied
these recurring themes are. (Can you pick out the particular coping
methods you employed as a youngster?)

* Resisting, defying, being negative

* Rebelling, disobeying, being insubordinate, sassing

* Retaliating, striking back, counterattacking,

vandalizing

* Hitting, being belligerent, combative

* Breaking rules and laws

* Throwing temper tantrums, getting angry

* Lying, deceiving, hiding the truth

* Blaming others, tattling, telling on others

* Bossing or bullying others

* Banding together, forming alliances, organizing

against the
adult

* Apple-polishing, buttering up, soft-soaping,

bootlicking,
currying favor with adults

* Withdrawing, fantasizing, daydreaming

* Competing, needing to win, hating to lose, needing to

look
good, making others look bad

* Giving up, feeling defeated, loafing, goofing off

* Leaving, escaping, staying away from home, running

away,
quitting school, cutting classes

* Not talking, ignoring, using the silent treatment,

writing
the adult off, keeping one's distance

* Crying, weeping; feeling depressed or hopeless

* Becoming fearful, shy, timid, afraid to speak up,

hesitant
to try anything new Needing reassurance, seeking

constant
approval, feeling insecure

* Getting sick, developing psychosomatic ailments

* Overeating, excessive dieting

* Being submissive, conforming, complying; being

dutiful,
docile, apple-polishing, being a goody-goody,

teacher's pet

* Drinking heavily, using drugs

* Cheating in school, plagiarizing

As you might expect, after parents and teachers in the

class
generate their list, and realize that it was created out of their

own
experience, they invariably make such comments as:

"Why would anyone want to use power, if these are the
behaviors it produces?"

"All of these coping mechanisms are behaviors that I

wouldn't
want to see in my children [or my students]."

"I don't see in the list any good effects or positive
behaviors."

"If we reacted to power in those ways when we were

kids, our
own children certainly will, too."

After this exercise, some parents and teachers undergo a
180-degree shift in their thinking. They see much more clearly

that power
creates the very behavior patterns they most dislike in children!

They
begin to understand that as parents and teachers they are paying a
terrible price for using power: they are causing their children or
students to develop habits, traits, and characteristics considered

both
unacceptable by most adults and unhealthy by mental health

professionals.





For more information about Parent Effectiveness Training and
Teacher Effectiveness Training, contact Gordon Training

International:

USA
Gordon Training International
531 Stevens Avenue West
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Telephone (858) 481-8121
E-mail:
Website:
http://www.gordontraining.com




  #6  
Old June 9th 04, 03:32 AM
Kane
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control

On Tue, 8 Jun 2004 10:41:06 -0500, "Nathan A. Barclay"
wrote:


"Chris" wrote in message
...

How Children Really React to Control

by Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.


snip

The Coping Mechanisms Children Use

Over the years I have compiled a long list of the various

coping
mechanisms youngsters use when adults try to control them. This

list comes
primarily out of our Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and

Teacher
Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) classes, where we employ a simple

but
revealing classroom exercise. Participants are asked to recall the
specific ways they themselves coped with power-based discipline

when they
were youngsters. The question yields nearly identical lists in

every
class, which confirms how universal children's coping mechanisms

are. The
complete list is reproduced below, in no particular order. Note how

varied
these recurring themes are. (Can you pick out the particular coping
methods you employed as a youngster?)


The more I think about this exercise, the more it looks like

something
deliberately contrived to generate a particular emotional reaction.


You are correct. That IS the point. To explore the actual experiences
of people, not create, as you seem to be doing below, move away from
the real and into the theoretical.

To teach someone about how others experience things it is useful to
point out their own experiences that may be similar.

An
objective analysis


Again, a jump away from the point of training people to use and
develop their capacity for empathy. PET is based on empathy as ONE of
its principles. There are others of course.

would try to pin down how control by adults is likely to
affect individual children.


You seem to be missing something. The exercise was with a room full of
people, so in fact one would have a rich producting of of just what
you ask for. Usually such exercises result in long lists of wall
posted newsprint display of the group's responses.

And one would then know how individual people in this group were
effected by adult controls.

This exercise, instead, creates an amalgam of
negative effects across all the people in the group, a combination

that will
almost certainly be significantly longer and uglier than a typical

child is
likely to exhibit.


It IS ugly. That IS the point. And of course the many will have more
kinds of experiences and reactions. That isn't a fault, it's an
eye-opener. One finds out rather quickly that not only are there many
effects, but that there are some one an personally identify with.

Worse, a person might add something to the list because
it happened once or twice, but have others end up thinking it

happened on a
much more regular basis.


What would be the problem? It isn't a frequency issue. The purpose is
to identify different effects by adult control over children.

I'm not saying that efforts to control children through force don't

have
negative consequences, or that parents should adopt a dismissive

attitude
toward the risk of such consequences.


I'm not sure then what your point would be. The exercise is a class
room exercise. Classrooms are for learning. Information is needed to
learn.

But it is important not to blow the
risks out of proportion either.


It isn't a listing of risks. It's a listing of effects.

If parents want to do a risk/benefit
analysis regarding whether the risk involved in exerting their

authority in
certain types of situations is likely to be greater or less than the
benefits, they need an accurate appraisal of the risks, not an

exaggerated
one.


Gordon wasn't promoting, in this exercise, a risk analysis of
punishment. Just a review of the fact there is some negative effect.
In fact it IS up to the participant to judge the risk/benefit
themselves and reject or accept.

The problem in this society is that the risk/benefit of punishment is
rarely even looked at, or if done, because of long taught,
conditioned, societal values, the risk will be rated low and the
benefits relatively high for punishment.

The unchallenged belief in punishment as a way of controlling
relationships has consequences we see around us all the time. Divorce
rates, school dropout rates, crime rates, failures in international
diplomacy, job failures.

When human interactions fail to produce wanted results one can pretty
well count on one of the parties at least, coming from a punishment
model.


Nathan


Kane
  #7  
Old June 9th 04, 11:35 AM
R. Steve Walz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control

Chris wrote:

How Children Really React to Control

by Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.

When one person tries to control another, you can always expect
some kind of reaction from the controllee. The use of power involves two
people in a special kind of relationship - one wielding power, and the
other reacting to it.

This seemingly obvious fact is not usually dealt with in the
writings of the dare-to-discipline advocates. Invariably, they leave the
child out of the formula, omitting any reference to how the youngster
reacts to the control of his or her parents or teachers.

They insist, "Parents must set limits," but seldom say anything
about how children respond to having their needs denied in this way.
"Parents should not be afraid to exercise their authority," they counsel,
but rarely mention how youngsters react to authority-based coercion. By
omitting the child from the interaction, the discipline advocates leave
the impression that the child submits willingly and consistently to
adults' power and does precisely what is demanded.

These are actual quotes from the many power-to-the-parent books
I've collected along the way:

"Be firm but fair."
"Insist that your children obey."
"Don't be afraid to express disapproval by spanking."
"Discipline with love."
"Demonstrate your parental right to lead."
"The toddler should be taught to obey and yield to parental
leadership."

What these books have in common is advocacy of the use of
power-based discipline with no mention of how children react to it. In
other words, the dare-to-discipline advocates never present power-based
discipline in full, as a cause-and-effect phenomenon, an
action-and-reaction event.

This omission is important, for it implies that all children
passively submit to adult demands, perfectly content and secure in an
obedient role, first in relationships with their parents and teachers and,
eventually, with all adult power-wielders they might encounter.

However, I have found not a shred of evidence to support this
view. In fact, as most of us remember only too well from our childhood, we
did almost anything we could to defend against power-based control. We
tried to avoid it, postpone it, weaken it, avert it, escape from it. We
lied, we put the blame on someone else, we tattled, hid, pleaded, begged
for mercy, or promised we would never do it again.

We also experienced punitive discipline as embarrassing,
demeaning, humiliating, frightening, and painful. To be coerced into doing
something against our will was a personal insult and an affront to our
dignity, an act that devalued the importance of our needs.

Punitive discipline is by definition need-depriving as opposed to
need-satisfying. Recall that punishment will be effective only if it is
felt by the child as aversive, painful, unpleasant. When controllers
employ punishment, they always intend for it to cause pain or deprivation.
It seems so obvious, then, that children don't ever want punitive
discipline, contrary to what its advocates would have us believe. No child
"asks for it," "feels a need for it," or is "grateful for it." And it is
probably true, too, that no child ever forgets or forgives a punitive
parent or teacher. This is why I find it incredible that the authors of
power-to-the-parent books try to justify power-based discipline with such
statements as:

* "Kids not only need punishment, they want it."

* "Children basically want what is coming to them, good or
bad, because justice is security."

* "Punishment will prove to kids that their parents love
them."

* "The youngster who knows he deserves a spanking appears
almost relieved when it finally comes."

* "Rather than be insulted by the discipline, [the child]
understands its purpose and appreciates the control it gives him over his
own impulses."

* "Corporal punishment in the hands of a loving parent is
entirely different in purpose and practice [from child abuse]....One is an
act of love; the other is an act of hostility."

* "Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be
spanked, and their wishes should be granted."

* "Punishment will make children feel more secure in their
relationship."

* "Discipline makes for happy families; healthy
relationships."

Could these be rationalizations intended to relieve the guilt that
controllers feel after coercing or committing acts of physical violence
against their children? It seems possible in view of the repeated
insistence that the punishing adult is really a loving adult, doing it
only "for the child's own good," or as a dutiful act of "benevolent
leadership." It appears that being firm with children has to be justified
by saying, "Be firm but fair"; being tough is acceptable as long as it's
"Tough Love"; being an autocrat is justifiable as long as you're a
"benevolent autocrat"; coercing children is okay as long as you're not a
"dictator"; and physically abusing children is not abuse as long as you
"do it lovingly."

Disciplinarians' insistence that punishment is benign and
constructive might be explained by their desire that children eventually
become subservient to a Supreme Being or higher authority. This can only
be achieved, they believe, if children first learn to obey their parents
and other adults. James Dobson (1978) stresses this point time and time
again:

* "While yielding to the loving leadership of their parents,
children are also learning to yield to the benevolent leadership of God
Himself."

* "With regard to the specific discipline of the strong-willed
toddler, mild spankings can begin between 15 and 18 months of age....To
repeat, the toddler should be taught to obey and yield to parental
leadership, but that end will not be accomplished overnight."

It's the familiar story of believing that the ends justify the
means. Obedience to parental authority first, and then later to some
higher authority, is so strongly valued by some advocates of punitive
discipline that the means they utilize to achieve that end are distorted
to appear beneficial to children rather than harmful.

The hope that children eventually will submit to all authority is,
I think, wishful thinking. Not all children submit when adults try to
control them. In fact, children respond with a wide variety of reactions,
an assortment of behaviors. Psychologists call these reactions "coping
behaviors" or "coping mechanisms".

The Coping Mechanisms Children Use

Over the years I have compiled a long list of the various coping
mechanisms youngsters use when adults try to control them. This list comes
primarily out of our Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and Teacher
Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) classes, where we employ a simple but
revealing classroom exercise. Participants are asked to recall the
specific ways they themselves coped with power-based discipline when they
were youngsters. The question yields nearly identical lists in every
class, which confirms how universal children's coping mechanisms are. The
complete list is reproduced below, in no particular order. Note how varied
these recurring themes are. (Can you pick out the particular coping
methods you employed as a youngster?)

* Resisting, defying, being negative

* Rebelling, disobeying, being insubordinate, sassing

* Retaliating, striking back, counterattacking, vandalizing

* Hitting, being belligerent, combative

* Breaking rules and laws

* Throwing temper tantrums, getting angry

* Lying, deceiving, hiding the truth

* Blaming others, tattling, telling on others

* Bossing or bullying others

* Banding together, forming alliances, organizing against the
adult

* Apple-polishing, buttering up, soft-soaping, bootlicking,
currying favor with adults

* Withdrawing, fantasizing, daydreaming

* Competing, needing to win, hating to lose, needing to look
good, making others look bad

* Giving up, feeling defeated, loafing, goofing off

* Leaving, escaping, staying away from home, running away,
quitting school, cutting classes

* Not talking, ignoring, using the silent treatment, writing
the adult off, keeping one's distance

* Crying, weeping; feeling depressed or hopeless

* Becoming fearful, shy, timid, afraid to speak up, hesitant
to try anything new Needing reassurance, seeking constant
approval, feeling insecure

* Getting sick, developing psychosomatic ailments

* Overeating, excessive dieting

* Being submissive, conforming, complying; being dutiful,
docile, apple-polishing, being a goody-goody, teacher's pet

* Drinking heavily, using drugs

* Cheating in school, plagiarizing

As you might expect, after parents and teachers in the class
generate their list, and realize that it was created out of their own
experience, they invariably make such comments as:

"Why would anyone want to use power, if these are the
behaviors it produces?"

"All of these coping mechanisms are behaviors that I wouldn't
want to see in my children [or my students]."

"I don't see in the list any good effects or positive
behaviors."

"If we reacted to power in those ways when we were kids, our
own children certainly will, too."

After this exercise, some parents and teachers undergo a
180-degree shift in their thinking. They see much more clearly that power
creates the very behavior patterns they most dislike in children! They
begin to understand that as parents and teachers they are paying a
terrible price for using power: they are causing their children or
students to develop habits, traits, and characteristics considered both
unacceptable by most adults and unhealthy by mental health professionals.

For more information about Parent Effectiveness Training and
Teacher Effectiveness Training, contact Gordon Training International:

USA
Gordon Training International
531 Stevens Avenue West
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Telephone (858) 481-8121
E-mail:
Website:
http://www.gordontraining.com

---------------------------
ABSO-****ING-LUTELY!!
Steve
  #8  
Old June 9th 04, 11:44 AM
R. Steve Walz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control

Doan wrote:

From the thomas gordon's website:

"Reviews of Research of the P.E.T. Course
There have been two extensive reviews of P.E.T. course evaluation studies.
The first, by Ronald Levant of Boston University, reviewed 23 different
studies. The author concluded that many of the studies had methodological
discrepancies. Nevertheless, out of a total of 149 comparisons between
P.E.T. and control groups or alternative programs, 32% favored P.E.T., 11%
favored the alternative group, and 57% found no significant differences."

---------------------------------
All this means is the for most purposes, programs similar to this are
simularly effective, so you're lying like the **** you always are.


The point here is not blindly believe to any book or philosoply but learn
and filter out what is applicable to you and what is not. Hey, even
Dobson recommended Thomas Gordon. :-)
Doan

------------------------------------
No, you vicious ****, again what you're trying to pass off is the
individualized permission to "hey, if you think for a moment that
PET doesn't work "for you" just shuck it and start hitting again!",
which is nothing more than your usual excuse for your violent anti-child
perversion!!
Steve




On 8 Jun 2004, Chris wrote:


How Children Really React to Control

by Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.


When one person tries to control another, you can always expect
some kind of reaction from the controllee. The use of power involves two
people in a special kind of relationship - one wielding power, and the
other reacting to it.

This seemingly obvious fact is not usually dealt with in the
writings of the dare-to-discipline advocates. Invariably, they leave the
child out of the formula, omitting any reference to how the youngster
reacts to the control of his or her parents or teachers.

They insist, "Parents must set limits," but seldom say anything
about how children respond to having their needs denied in this way.
"Parents should not be afraid to exercise their authority," they counsel,
but rarely mention how youngsters react to authority-based coercion. By
omitting the child from the interaction, the discipline advocates leave
the impression that the child submits willingly and consistently to
adults' power and does precisely what is demanded.

These are actual quotes from the many power-to-the-parent books
I've collected along the way:

"Be firm but fair."
"Insist that your children obey."
"Don't be afraid to express disapproval by spanking."
"Discipline with love."
"Demonstrate your parental right to lead."
"The toddler should be taught to obey and yield to parental
leadership."

What these books have in common is advocacy of the use of
power-based discipline with no mention of how children react to it. In
other words, the dare-to-discipline advocates never present power-based
discipline in full, as a cause-and-effect phenomenon, an
action-and-reaction event.

This omission is important, for it implies that all children
passively submit to adult demands, perfectly content and secure in an
obedient role, first in relationships with their parents and teachers and,
eventually, with all adult power-wielders they might encounter.

However, I have found not a shred of evidence to support this
view. In fact, as most of us remember only too well from our childhood, we
did almost anything we could to defend against power-based control. We
tried to avoid it, postpone it, weaken it, avert it, escape from it. We
lied, we put the blame on someone else, we tattled, hid, pleaded, begged
for mercy, or promised we would never do it again.

We also experienced punitive discipline as embarrassing,
demeaning, humiliating, frightening, and painful. To be coerced into doing
something against our will was a personal insult and an affront to our
dignity, an act that devalued the importance of our needs.

Punitive discipline is by definition need-depriving as opposed to
need-satisfying. Recall that punishment will be effective only if it is
felt by the child as aversive, painful, unpleasant. When controllers
employ punishment, they always intend for it to cause pain or deprivation.
It seems so obvious, then, that children don't ever want punitive
discipline, contrary to what its advocates would have us believe. No child
"asks for it," "feels a need for it," or is "grateful for it." And it is
probably true, too, that no child ever forgets or forgives a punitive
parent or teacher. This is why I find it incredible that the authors of
power-to-the-parent books try to justify power-based discipline with such
statements as:

* "Kids not only need punishment, they want it."

* "Children basically want what is coming to them, good or
bad, because justice is security."

* "Punishment will prove to kids that their parents love
them."

* "The youngster who knows he deserves a spanking appears
almost relieved when it finally comes."

* "Rather than be insulted by the discipline, [the child]
understands its purpose and appreciates the control it gives him over his
own impulses."

* "Corporal punishment in the hands of a loving parent is
entirely different in purpose and practice [from child abuse]....One is an
act of love; the other is an act of hostility."

* "Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be
spanked, and their wishes should be granted."

* "Punishment will make children feel more secure in their
relationship."

* "Discipline makes for happy families; healthy
relationships."

Could these be rationalizations intended to relieve the guilt that
controllers feel after coercing or committing acts of physical violence
against their children? It seems possible in view of the repeated
insistence that the punishing adult is really a loving adult, doing it
only "for the child's own good," or as a dutiful act of "benevolent
leadership." It appears that being firm with children has to be justified
by saying, "Be firm but fair"; being tough is acceptable as long as it's
"Tough Love"; being an autocrat is justifiable as long as you're a
"benevolent autocrat"; coercing children is okay as long as you're not a
"dictator"; and physically abusing children is not abuse as long as you
"do it lovingly."

Disciplinarians' insistence that punishment is benign and
constructive might be explained by their desire that children eventually
become subservient to a Supreme Being or higher authority. This can only
be achieved, they believe, if children first learn to obey their parents
and other adults. James Dobson (1978) stresses this point time and time
again:

* "While yielding to the loving leadership of their parents,
children are also learning to yield to the benevolent leadership of God
Himself."

* "With regard to the specific discipline of the strong-willed
toddler, mild spankings can begin between 15 and 18 months of age....To
repeat, the toddler should be taught to obey and yield to parental
leadership, but that end will not be accomplished overnight."


It's the familiar story of believing that the ends justify the
means. Obedience to parental authority first, and then later to some
higher authority, is so strongly valued by some advocates of punitive
discipline that the means they utilize to achieve that end are distorted
to appear beneficial to children rather than harmful.

The hope that children eventually will submit to all authority is,
I think, wishful thinking. Not all children submit when adults try to
control them. In fact, children respond with a wide variety of reactions,
an assortment of behaviors. Psychologists call these reactions "coping
behaviors" or "coping mechanisms".

The Coping Mechanisms Children Use

Over the years I have compiled a long list of the various coping
mechanisms youngsters use when adults try to control them. This list comes
primarily out of our Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and Teacher
Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) classes, where we employ a simple but
revealing classroom exercise. Participants are asked to recall the
specific ways they themselves coped with power-based discipline when they
were youngsters. The question yields nearly identical lists in every
class, which confirms how universal children's coping mechanisms are. The
complete list is reproduced below, in no particular order. Note how varied
these recurring themes are. (Can you pick out the particular coping
methods you employed as a youngster?)

* Resisting, defying, being negative

* Rebelling, disobeying, being insubordinate, sassing

* Retaliating, striking back, counterattacking, vandalizing

* Hitting, being belligerent, combative

* Breaking rules and laws

* Throwing temper tantrums, getting angry

* Lying, deceiving, hiding the truth

* Blaming others, tattling, telling on others

* Bossing or bullying others

* Banding together, forming alliances, organizing against the
adult

* Apple-polishing, buttering up, soft-soaping, bootlicking,
currying favor with adults

* Withdrawing, fantasizing, daydreaming

* Competing, needing to win, hating to lose, needing to look
good, making others look bad

* Giving up, feeling defeated, loafing, goofing off

* Leaving, escaping, staying away from home, running away,
quitting school, cutting classes

* Not talking, ignoring, using the silent treatment, writing
the adult off, keeping one's distance

* Crying, weeping; feeling depressed or hopeless

* Becoming fearful, shy, timid, afraid to speak up, hesitant
to try anything new Needing reassurance, seeking constant
approval, feeling insecure

* Getting sick, developing psychosomatic ailments

* Overeating, excessive dieting

* Being submissive, conforming, complying; being dutiful,
docile, apple-polishing, being a goody-goody, teacher's pet

* Drinking heavily, using drugs

* Cheating in school, plagiarizing

As you might expect, after parents and teachers in the class
generate their list, and realize that it was created out of their own
experience, they invariably make such comments as:

"Why would anyone want to use power, if these are the
behaviors it produces?"

"All of these coping mechanisms are behaviors that I wouldn't
want to see in my children [or my students]."

"I don't see in the list any good effects or positive
behaviors."

"If we reacted to power in those ways when we were kids, our
own children certainly will, too."

After this exercise, some parents and teachers undergo a
180-degree shift in their thinking. They see much more clearly that power
creates the very behavior patterns they most dislike in children! They
begin to understand that as parents and teachers they are paying a
terrible price for using power: they are causing their children or
students to develop habits, traits, and characteristics considered both
unacceptable by most adults and unhealthy by mental health professionals.





For more information about Parent Effectiveness Training and
Teacher Effectiveness Training, contact Gordon Training International:

USA
Gordon Training International
531 Stevens Avenue West
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Telephone (858) 481-8121
E-mail:
Website:
http://www.gordontraining.com


  #9  
Old June 9th 04, 11:58 AM
R. Steve Walz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control

Nathan A. Barclay wrote:

There is a difference between a "punitive" parent or teacher and one who
occasionally makes reasonable use of punishment.

---------------------
Nope. Wrong is wrong. It is wrong to punish a child for anything
that is not criminal, that would be his right to do is he were an
adult, namely any circumstance in which you want to control a
child's actions.

But punishment is alright to use in ONE and ONLY ONE circumstance,
where a child is being criminal to other children or to adults
without them first having been and done so to him. This is rare,
and even so comes from some kind of emotional abuse and is the
child's personal compensation for it. Whether it is bullying or
destructive behavior, it has to be stopped because it cannot be
allowed to succeed in a civilied society. Even then, note that
we do not even punish adults corporally for this, instead we
isolate and restrict them in jails and prisons, and we do not
inflict bodily pain calling it "cruel and unusual".


One of my best friends in
elementary school was my fourth grade teacher (who I first became friends
with when I was in second grade and stayed friends with until she left the
school sometime when I was in junior high). Teachers in my school did spank
occasionally, and one time she paddled me on the hand (her normal method of
using corporal punishment - this was in the mid 1970's, by the way). I was
embarrassed to get in trouble with her, and I was afraid my getting in
trouble like that might hurt the way she felt about me, but I don't remember
ever holding it against her. And as I said, we remained friends long after
I left her class.

-----------------------
Nonsense, that was your self-deception, you actually repressed your
hatred of her action out of fear and it migrated to elsewhere in your
psyche to live again as your sick desire to torture children's hands.

It is the very reason that you are right here right now quite guiltily
and neurotically trying to defend yourself from the poster's obvious
attack on your sick little perversion.


From my experience (and I think anecdotal evidence I've seen from others
tends to back me up),

--------------------
This is illicit in reasoned exchange, anecdote, yours or others,
are irrelevant and undocumented.


what is really important is how the use of authority
fits into the overall relationship. If an adult exercises authority in a
way that exhibits a lack of concern for a child's needs or desires, the
child probably will react to punishment from that person in much the way Dr.
Gordon describes. If an adult normally cares about what a child needs and
wants and generally exercises authority only for reasons that the child can
respect (if not necessarily always agree with), occasional instances of
punishment are far less likely to cause any significant harm to the
relationship.

-----------------------------------
Nonsense, wrong assaults on children, if rare, simply become more
shocking and formative to the child. If not rare, they merely serve
to engrain the compensatory behaviors that those first shocking
occasions first gave rise to.
Steve
  #10  
Old June 9th 04, 12:18 PM
R. Steve Walz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How Children REALLY React To Control

Nathan A. Barclay wrote:

"Chris" wrote in message
primarily out of our Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and Teacher
Effectiveness Training (T.E.T.) classes, where we employ a simple but
revealing classroom exercise. Participants are asked to recall the
specific ways they themselves coped with power-based discipline when they
were youngsters. The question yields nearly identical lists in every
class, which confirms how universal children's coping mechanisms are. The
complete list is reproduced below, in no particular order. Note how varied
these recurring themes are. (Can you pick out the particular coping
methods you employed as a youngster?)




The more I think about this exercise, the more it looks like something
deliberately contrived to generate a particular emotional reaction.

----------------------
Quite right, to generate an awareness of the results of one's actions
in another person, something that is systematically avoided and even
denied by the opposing philosophies. We ARE, after all, interested in
the actual cause and effect upon children's minds and behaviors!!


An
objective analysis would try to pin down how control by adults is likely to
affect individual children.

-----------------------
It is disingenuous and has abusive motives to even try to find some
group of children for which abusive punishment might be suitable, and
it does nothing but point up the desperate neurotic origin of your
sick little perversion. Child torturing has never been effective, all
it does is act as a compensation for your own early abuse.


This exercise, instead, creates an amalgam of
negative effects across all the people in the group, a combination that will
almost certainly be significantly longer and uglier than a typical child is
likely to exhibit.

---------------------
Nonsense, these are what is felt, not necessarily "exhibited". YOU
don't like the anti-behaviorist emphasis on invisible internal
processes, you would like to claim the human mind is some "black box",
one that cannot BE understood, when each of us is totally aware of
what everything another does to us and how it affects us, IF WE ADMIT
and accept it to awareness instead of repressing it and substituting
your "anti-self" abusive philosophy for it. Yes, behaviorism is nothing
more than a mean-spirited and itself a neurotic symptom-ridden illness
that rejects feeling response and the sanctity of the self.


Worse, a person might add something to the list because
it happened once or twice, but have others end up thinking it happened on a
much more regular basis.

------------------------
You're merely afraid of being taken to task for ALL your crimes, like
a criminal in the dock.


I'm not saying that efforts to control children through force don't have
negative consequences, or that parents should adopt a dismissive attitude
toward the risk of such consequences. But it is important not to blow the
risks out of proportion either.

-------------------
In other words you want to establish permissive excuses for crimes
against children so that your own crimes can be excused, and even
so that you can avail yourself of them when again when you need your
next "fix" of compensatory viciousness for your neurosis that was
caused by YOUR OWN abuse as a child.


If parents want to do a risk/benefit
analysis regarding whether the risk involved in exerting their authority

--------------------
"Exerting 'their' authority", nooooooooooo.

You misunderstand, this whole exercise is intended to show you that
authority is NOT yours, that the entire notion of parental "authority"
is entirely ILLEGITIMATE, and that use of it always comes to NO GOOD.

We realize that your loss of authority will be discomforting to you,
because of your desperate need to feel power after having been so
abused and your power so stolen from you as a child, but allowing you
to pass on this violence to yet another generation would be a very
wrong thing to do.

Instead we have to stop the abuse of this generation, even if it
deprives you former victims of your compensatory outlet, because
THAT IS HOW THE SICKNESS IS TRANSMITTED generation to generation!


in
certain types of situations is likely to be greater or less than the
benefits, they need an accurate appraisal of the risks, not an exaggerated
one.
Nathan

-------------------------------------
Nonsense, you're fishing for an excuse to abuse.
Steve
 




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