Resolution, Not Conflict

The guide to problem-solving.

Discipline with Babies and Toddlers

Even the most endearing of babies manage from time to time to do things that are provocative. It's best though to eliminate punishing them or even getting mad. There's less stressful, less hurtful, and far more effective ways to take charge. Read More

Super

In the UK we have tv programs such as - Super Nanny - for example, that teach parents how to PUNISH even the youngest of children for the smallest of mistakes.
Because of these programs I now see very young children being punished as if they've just commited a terrible crime and yet these children are not even old enough to know the difference between right and wrong or even understand it when they are told.

I wonder if programs such as Super Nanny are shown in other parts of the world? anyone?

Red Flag

Hi US Grandmother.

You mentioned red flags.
A program recently shown on british tv was promoting the idea that the responsible parent should be willing to accept the "schools" diagnoses that their child has adhd and should be put on drugs.
Remembering what you said about red flags I typed into google the name of the doctor being used by this tv program to promote these horrendous idea's. I was astonished to find "Of the charges laid against this doctor, 20 were admitted and found proved, 12 were found proved and four were found not proved"
its all here -> http://www.bfms.org.uk/site_pages/previous_news_2005.html#Spender
I have an idle web server so I'm pondering the idea of setting up a website RedFlagsAreUs.com or something similar so if you dig up any red flags let me know.

Agreed!

Hi UK_Grandad,

Super Nanny airs in Canada as well, and I agree with your observations. I don't have children of my own, but I do notice that some parents are confused between two conflicting messages: the traditional corporal punishment, and the other newer method of no spanking and verbally and calmly teaching your child between right and wrong. However, what do parents do when they have a toddler and spanking goes against their beliefs, but they also can't talk or rationalize with them because they are too young to understand? I think some parents look to whatever information that is readily available to them, such as from "experts" on tv, for answers and help. Unfortunately, these tv shows are not solely centered around genuine help for parents, but around ratings and entertainment by upping the drama factor. In my opinion, tv shows should be taken with a grain of salt, and not absorbed without questioning. Doing supplemental research of our own can prove extremely valuable. Many people take things at face value and it's usually not a good thing :S.

from an American gramma of UK grandkids

I actually learned the Quiet Chair technique from my daughter-in-law who lives in London. Clearly many folks there know bettter than what they are being shown by a TV nanny.

At the same time, my grandson at one point lost his enthusiasm about his day care and began refusing to go. It turned out that the child minder there had set up a "Naughty Chair." He'd had a Quiet Chair at home as long as he could remember. By contrast, the idea of being sent to a Naughty Chair terrified him.

Warmest thanks for your thoughtful comments,
Dr. Heitler

Resolution, not conflict

Yes Super Nanny is shown in the US as well. Even worse there is an author, Jim Fay who has a series of books, CDs, and classes along with various co-authors who has master-marketed himself to mothers and schools, who are now naively practicing this misguided , abusive and damaging treatment on very young, confused little children. Most of these books etc. have "love and logic" in the title - of which I can't find much of either! I find it heartbreaking and am very concerned about the effect this massive following will have on this generation of children. Although we are probably seeing repercussions of it already, since I have recently discovered that this nonsense started at least 20 years ago. If people would do the real research on the authors, they would find serious red flags, but they have managed to masterfully flood google,bookstores,etc. with a barrage of self promotion and solicited accolades to overwhelm and distract from any criticism. These guys are likely making an awful lot of money at the expense of poor trusting little children {and their mislead parents who are led to believe their children could become drug addicts or bank robbers without this program}. It seems they have really learned how to game the system and there doesn't seem to be anyone stepping up forcefully enough to stop this cult locomotive! It's a shame parents can't trust their instincts and know that raising children isn't easy and doesn't always go smoothly- and that's natural. If they give these little children the time,love, respect, and honesty that they deserve {and as much consistency as possible} They will likely turn out better than taking advice from someone who doesn't love or know their children

Red Flag

Hi US Grandmother.

Oops replied to myself above :)

You mentioned red flags.
A program recently shown on british tv was promoting the idea that the responsible parent should be willing to accept the "schools" diagnoses that their child has adhd and should be put on drugs.
Remembering what you said about red flags I typed into google the name of the doctor being used by this tv program to promote these horrendous idea's. I was astonished to find "Of the charges laid against this doctor, 20 were admitted and found proved, 12 were found proved and four were found not proved"
its all here -> http://www.bfms.org.uk/site_pages/previous_news_2005.html#Spender
I have an idle web server so I'm pondering the idea of setting up a website RedFlagsAreUs.com or something similar so if you dig up any red flags let me know.

When parenting becomes punitive

One of my sons and his family live in London. They actually get the credit for teaching me the idea of the "quiet chair." At the same time, once when I was visiting them, my 3-year-old grandson had suddenly started looking quite depressed. I played teddy bear stories out with him to find out what was troubling him.

Turns out that his nursery school had introduced a chair for children to sit in when they were "misbehaving," i.e., getting out of sorts emotionally. His teacher though named the chair "the naughty chair."

While my grandson's quiet chair at home had long been a place he went to willingly for calming down and emotionally regrouping, my grandson was terrified that he might some day be sent to "the naughty chair."

In sum, I very much appreciate the comments written so far in agreement with the idea that punishing (including when it's labeled "consequences") is most often needlessly anxiety-inducing and confidence-destroying.

Distraction

Hi Susan
I have to comment on the little girl (preceding page) dressed in yellow. the expression is priceless :)

Feed back:
I've been trying your suggestion of distraction on my grandson. I think its a wonderful way to deal with these little moments.
At the moment he has three quarters the contents of my bag of tools(my source of distraction) stashed away in the basket on his trike. He'll sit for hours playing with a pair of mole grips or pliers.

I wonder if he'll ever let me have them back :)

Well, we seem to have our

Well, we seem to have our tuperware back (mostly) now that our youngest is 8 :).

Love articles like this

Although I don't have children of my own yet, I work with children and I just love articles like this because I find them really helpful and at least I can use these techniques and hopefully have some positive influence over the lives of the children I am so priviledged to look after.

Kids ...

I love your attitude, that caring for children is a privilege. Thanks SL for sharing your perspective!

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Susan Heitler, Ph.D., is the author of many books, including From Conflict to Resolution and The Power of Two. She is a graduate of Harvard University and New York University.

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