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News: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  Galatians 6:9
 
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Author Topic: Discipline  (Read 17965 times)
OHGrandma
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« on: March 12, 2015, 10:27:08 AM »

I ran into a FB post yesterday that connected(in my mind) to a post on this forum about discipline. 

The FB post was a picture of the Bible with a verse highlighted and circled, it is
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God".

As I thought about the post here that got a bit contentious about discipline I thought of this verse.  We ALL want our children to do what is right.  We want them to do what is right not to avoid punishment, but to long to do what is right.  For the Christians here, we equate that to wanting to do this out of love for our God; for the atheists/agnostics here, I would guess you want your children to want to do what is right out of love for you.  We all just want them to want to do right!

The question when they do wrong is not how do we enforce the rules but how do we make them want to do right?.  We can make them do as told when younger but when those teen years hit we can no longer make them do anything.  Sure, we can take away privileges, we can give rewards; but in our GS's case I don't think we ever broke through that barrier that keeps him from WANTING to do what is right.

If nothing else, I think this has clarified how I will pray for our GS.
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TeriPDX
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2015, 10:54:53 AM »

Thank you for this post.  It is a good reminder to me.   love7
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DS20: RAD, FAE, ADHD; Adopted from Romania at age 2.
Sherrie1003
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 04:11:05 PM »

Thanks OH Grandma,

Great insight and reminders.
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"Sometimes the clearest evidence that God has not deserted you is not that you are successfully past your trials, but that you are still on your feet in the midst of it." Dale Ralph Davis
Hope
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 07:33:21 PM »

Reminds me of a prayer my friend shared with me.  She prays for her childrens' desire to be obedient.  She ends with "in spite of me."
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AD18 RAD, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, ODD
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us... Rom 5:3-5
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 08:07:33 PM »

We want them to WANT to do what's right - Oh, how true!

Makes me think of Kohlberg's stages of moral development.

One version: http://www.psychologynoteshq.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/kolberg2-550x381.png

You can google many others.
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I survived 2 bio's and 4 adopteds, all now adults
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OHGrandma
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 08:18:19 PM »

Psalm 37:4  Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

As a young person I thought that meant if I delighted in the LORD, he would give me what I wanted.  I learned as I aged that it meant the LORD would give me the desires He wanted me to have.
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karleen
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 10:22:43 PM »

Well said.  This is what we have tried to teach the twins.  Don't just do right because someone is watching you.  Do right because it is right.  And yes, in our case as Christians, the source of that is love for God.  So hard to teach this to kids that, for various reasons, don't make the connections.  And so very easy, as parents, to forget that this is really our underlying goal.
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karleen
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lmkadopt
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2015, 03:44:02 AM »

"for the atheists/agnostics here, I would guess you want your children to want to do what is right out of love for you.  "

I can only speak for myself as an atheist and humanist. I want my children to do what it is right for themselves and the people they will interact with during their life.  Honestly I count it as a success if my daughter can live with others in society in a constructive way. This is not contingent on her love (or not) for me.

I quote the humanist web site "Think for themselves about what is right and wrong, based on reason and respect for others." and
"Believe people can use empathy and compassion to make the world a better place for everyone."
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Mama Bee
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2015, 07:36:42 AM »

It definitely is a difficult task even when they are younger.  I have probably shared this story before, so forgive me if you have heard it already.
One day, when our oldest adopted daughter was seven, all of the kids were jumping on the couch. I went in and told them to stop. I left the room and heard them start jumping again. I went back and asked them why they were jumping blob1 again when I had just told them to stop.

My oldest looked at me in surprise and said,"Well, you weren't in here."

So as long as an adult is not present, there is no need to obey.

Now I work on boring them to death with discussions. I ask them how they would feel if the situation were reversed and their sibling or I were doing to them what they are doing. They always say that they wouldn't like it. I haven't seen the behavior change significantly.
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OHGrandma
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2015, 09:50:50 AM »

Thank you Imkadopt, I guess I was thinking the normal progression of development of an infant.  A baby bonds with the parent and as they interact with the parent they learn what brings a pleasurable response.  As the child grows that desire develops to expand into their world, to do what is good and right because of how they have been taught.  I think someone just posted a chart on another thread that shows the development stages.

We all are stuck with the dilemma of trying to teach a child to want to do right when that early bond was broken or never developed. 
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lmkadopt
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2015, 12:05:55 PM »

Development of a conscience relies on attachment (doing the right thing for mom) and is also sometimes contingent on the fear of a wrathful god watching you.

The RAD child does not have the desire to please the parent. On the contrary they often try to do exactly the opposite.

And as we cannot threaten her with the god is watching you argument, I tell daughter that in the modern world CCTV is watching her, and given that she was removed from summer camp as she was caught on camera shoplifting this has a real meaning to her.

I think even without the need to please her parents, DD has learnt that the consequences of doing things that are wrong are not that pleasant and as such she has for example, stopped stealing. At her school the children run the weekly parliament and if a child if brought up for doing something wrong, there is vote and the children vote on the consequence - weeding, docking pocket money, gating etc. Again the consequences result in adapted behaviour.

I call it mimicking normal.

Perhaps if you had asked me 10 years ago I would have been the optimist trying to fix those missing steps.

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OHGrandma
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 08:06:25 PM »

Mimicking normal -- I like that description.  I heard what a wonderful boy our GS was.  I was shocked when I read his 'other life' on his facebook messages.  His Skype name was 'LifeoLies'. 

I don't think wanting to do right is based on avoiding God's wrath, it's wanting to avoid loss of relationship.  It's to seek God, as the verse I quoted.  When our RADs never developed a relationship or bond, how can they seek it? Other than a superficial physical relationship.  Our impression of God is at first a transference of our feelings for our parents.  When these children are so traumatized that they never had a firm relationship with a parent, we can pretty much throw God out of the discussion. We can throw out any higher level of relationship.  Frankly, I don't see how counseling can even help because a bond must be established for therapy to work, but a therapeutic relationship is not permanent so it's designed to be broken in our child's eyes.  At best, the child will learn to mimic normal.

The verse in this topic was for me, to remind me what my ultimate goal is.  The side discussions have been enlightening, thank you all.
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Sherrie1003
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2015, 07:03:05 AM »

OHGrandma,

I believe that as our children are shown God's perfect love, they can in fact develop a relationship with the only one who will never break that bond. It is a poor substitute to think that simply mimicking normal, in a society that espouses sex because I want it, drugs because they make me feel good, ME ME ME... messages constantly, that our children cannot love and trust God.

they need to know He is not a magic genie that fixes everything by waving his hand, but that he is always there to love us, even when we do horrible stuff. I shared that lesson with my son last night, and dozens of times before. That is unconditional love, none of us are capable of love at that level. We do our best but it's not God's love.

If our children see us trusting and relying on God they can learn that too. It's hard for lots of people to accept that God would ever love them, so why would it be easier for our children. God is the perfect parent, we are not. When I can, I remind my sons that God will never let them down, even though I may, not intentionally, but will still.

Thanks for the message from the Bible. I appreciated it too.

Sherrie
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"Sometimes the clearest evidence that God has not deserted you is not that you are successfully past your trials, but that you are still on your feet in the midst of it." Dale Ralph Davis
lmkadopt
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2015, 08:49:25 AM »

My measure of success is if my daughter can be "normal" - live in a community, behave reasonably well, have friends, form a meaningful relationship with a partner, not do drugs, not be violent and be happy. And we have worked very hard together for 13 years to get there.

If religion and god works for some RADs that is fantastic too.

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mcbfun
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2015, 10:58:11 AM »

"for the atheists/agnostics here, I would guess you want your children to want to do what is right out of love for you.  "

I can only speak for myself as an atheist and humanist. I want my children to do what it is right for themselves and the people they will interact with during their life.  Honestly I count it as a success if my daughter can live with others in society in a constructive way. This is not contingent on her love (or not) for me.

I quote the humanist web site "Think for themselves about what is right and wrong, based on reason and respect for others." and
"Believe people can use empathy and compassion to make the world a better place for everyone."


I agree. Again, right and wrong is pretty simple. I want my children to do the right thing because IT IS THE RIGHT THING. It really has nothing to do with me.
I do the right thing because IT IS THE RIGHT THING. Not because of my love for anyone else...
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DD 18 - bio
DD 14 - adopted at birth, attached and happy Smiley
DS 13 - adopted at 2.5 years, RAD RAD RAD
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