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The results of the godly tomatoes method on kids


MegP
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In the recent Dugger thread, some of the conversations derailed into discussions about the godly tomatoes book. I am reading some of the sections of the book (I don't agree with the book-I am reading to refute it) and wondered if someone could help me understand the results (to the child) of this kind of parenting. I am not just referring to spanking but to sections of the book that teach parents to not allow their kids to display emotions. 

 

Like this quote-

 

 

“The Outside Reflects the Inside
One cherished, but highly erroneous belief is that a parent should not correct a child for displaying a wrong emotion, because the child will "suppress" the emotion rather than change it. Experience convinces me otherwise. Require young children to display the right emotions outwardly and their hearts will change, producing the right attitudes and emotions inwardly as well.

Of course you can't simply order your children to "be happy". If the child is small, it works much better to tell him to "smile" or "straighten up your face." If the child is very young, I'll cheerfully say, "Let's see a smile now", or "Where is your smile?"

The child may initially resist, but when he finally obeys, the resulting smile will often break into a radiant grin, accompanied by sincere laughter and other expressions of genuine joy. It is hard for a small child to hide his true feelings. It is equally difficult for him to display an emotion that he does not really feel. Get him to smile on the outside and invariably he will smile on the inside.â€

 

 

 

So according to her, if you convince your child (through spanks, fear, corner time, lecturing) that displaying the emotion of sadness is wrong, then their hearts will change. I maintain that instead, the child will just stuff their sadness and become (I think) kind of numb. They will still FEEL sad, but they will have to work hard at not showing it through tears or facial expressions or tone or words.  Thus they become sneaky and deceitful, because the parent has intimidated them into hiding how they really feel.   Doesn't this teach kids to be victims? Learned helplessness, too?

 

What else is it teaching kids?   What kind of struggles will a child raised this way have as a teen or adult?

 

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I was this kid.

 

And yes, it took many years to be genuine with people. It took years to be open and honest with those around me. And I still struggle with opening up the "less than perfect" parts of my personalities to those closest to me.

 

As a teen, I was sneaky. I showed my family one side of me, but never really felt that they knew the real me. So I felt alone.

 

I become a people pleaser who has a hard time disappointing others.

 

I become far too concerned with what others thought of me.

 

Any other questions?

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In thinking more about this parenting style, it is really a shortcut that tries to make the parent's life easier by simply "eliminating" (not really, just avoiding) unpleasant feelings in kids. Instead of talking through feelings and teaching kids how to healthily handle difficult feelings the child is told to stuff them.

 

 

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In thinking more about this parenting style, it is really a shortcut that tries to make the parent's life easier by simply "eliminating" (not really, just avoiding) unpleasant feelings in kids. Instead of talking through feelings and teaching kids how to healthily handle difficult feelings the child is told to stuff them.

This is so well said. I haven't been on either side of it, but from an outside perspective I don't understand the point of simply telling a child to smile through something. It seems rather patronizing of their emotions at a minimum and abusvie at the other end.

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I'm not really interested in laying my parenting out to be criticized by a biased and uninvolved party. No thanks.

 

I will say this - no, the goal is not to teach the kids to be sneaky. And in our home that hasn't been the result, either. Love and common sense go a long way, and quite frankly including tone and facial expressions in teaching and correcting a child is really important to respectful, self controlled communication and actually solving issues instead of treating the symptoms of misbehavior. It's not about not feeling, it's about looking at and exploring *why* they feel that way and making sure you're not just getting the right behavior and missing what is going on under the surface.

 

Or we could all just be unloving child abusers without an ounce of common sense. Whatever.

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With an older child, I can see having a conversation about psychology and how, when we feel tired or shy or just "blah," it can be useful to do something fun while forcing a smile. But that seems to be a far cry from that that book promotes.

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I'm confused.  I've never read the book and have little to zero knowledge on raising a godly tomato.  However, I read the passage you posted, and am confused as to how the author encouraging a child to smile equates to promoting fear, spanking, corner time, or lecturing? Is there another passage you could post that shows where the author specifically advocates doing these things when a child displays sadness or other emotions aside from happiness?

Thanks :)

Edited by JennSnow
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from this link--

 

http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ch10.php

 

"Be honest in your assessment of your child to discern whether he is crying to manipulate or not. If he is, you can only stop it by being prompt, tough, and relentless. Begin by stating there will be no more unprovoked crying, no more crying when Mom says "no", and no more crying for minor injuries. Then prepare to be a mean mother. Stand him in the corner, or even spank, IMMEDIATELY, with the first sniffle. Whatever you do, you must discipline EVERY TIME without exception. If he tones down the crying, but switches to pouting and sniffing instead, tell him that counts too. Only silence and a pleasant face will do. Be tough, and maintain as zero-tolerance approach to this type of manipulation.

7. Defiant crying and screaming: The most disagreeable type of crying is the kind that exhibits bold, angry, defiance and rage. This type of crying should never be allowed to continue. Once he is older, he�d be swearing instead of crying. Two or three "I mean business" swats on the posterior are in order for this type of defiance. The spanking itself may not immediately stop the screaming, but it will communicate your intolerance of this kind of disrespect. Corner time and Outlasting, will likely be needed as well, especially if you did not administer the initial spanking soon enough. Let him go only when he is again calm, quiet, and has control of himself. Be sure he is willing to obey you unconditionally with a pleasant attitude. Move to close Tomato Staking according to need after that. You should never allow this type of screaming."

Edited by MegP
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Another example for JennSnow-

 

taken from this link-http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ch09.php

 

"Getting Tough on Emotionalism
Lisa: Today as my boys were playing Playmobil, I joined in. I picked up a Playmobil man from the floor and took it to my four-year-old across the room. He immediately started to cry. I had no idea why. He said he "was using that guy". I replied, no you weren't; it was lying on the floor. Then he crossed his arms on his chest and in an angry voice said, "Now I have zero guys, so I can't play!"

I told him to stop, that it was nothing to cry over. If he had simply asked for the man instead of getting angry, I would have given it to him. But he kept on crying. I spanked him, only to hear him whisper to himself, "I am very, very, very angry!" I talked to him, yet he persisted in his pouting and anger.

What did I do wrong? I am finding myself getting angry and frustrated, because this is becoming a habitual reaction. HELP! 

Elizabeth: Had it been me, I think that when I realized that reasoning was futile, I would have quit the reasoning, ordered him to knock it off, and then commenced to discipline and outlast as needed to change his self-centered attitude. He could go back to playing once he was thankful that he had the toy at all, and was happy to share it."

Edited by MegP
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The fact is that none of us let our emotions go full blast after toddlerhood, usually. And teaching a kid that it is, in fact, wrong to feel angry or upset about certain things (i.e. that your brother is using the blue crayon you want) isn't abusive and it isn't teaching them to be sneaky or duplicitous. It is wrong for me to feel angry about my 1yo ripping up our picture books while I went pee, so, I have to reign that in. It is wrong for me tromp around the house expressing my anger or sadness even about big adult things -- similarly, I do not let my kid go off on his siblings because something bad happened to him, or go sulk for hours. Likewise, there are times it is wrong to feel unrestrained glee or joy and express it. Of course everyone imparts these ideas to their kids in some way, or they should. To what degree may differ, but none of us would excuse acting any old way because that's how we feel.

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I don't have much knowledge about Godly Tomatoes, but I do teach my children to smile and have a happy face. We don't believe any emotions are bad or evil. There is a time to laugh and a time to cry. :) We understand that sometimes we just feel poorly or sad, but we still try to smile and be pleasant. I really enjoy this video on

 

Oh goodness, and new replies popping up while I'm writing. Um, no, not trying to avoid unpleasantness. I totally address any sad or upsetting issues with my kids. I don't think I'm teaching my kids to suppress their feelings or to be hypocrites. It's more of a "I'm sad right now, but I want to be happy, and one of the ways I can try to become happy is by smiling" kind of thing.

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I'm not really interested in laying my parenting out to be criticized by a biased and uninvolved party. No thanks.

 

I will say this - no, the goal is not to teach the kids to be sneaky. And in our home that hasn't been the result, either. Love and common sense go a long way, and quite frankly including tone and facial expressions in teaching and correcting a child is really important to respectful, self controlled communication and actually solving issues instead of treating the symptoms of misbehavior. It's not about not feeling, it's about looking at and exploring *why* they feel that way and making sure you're not just getting the right behavior and missing what is going on under the surface.

 

Or we could all just be unloving child abusers without an ounce of common sense. Whatever.

 

If this is how it played out growing up, it probably would have been different. However, what happened to me was something like this.

 

Child disciplined for something. Child is sad or upset about that.

 

Parents complete the spanking or lecture or whatever and tell the kid "Now, change your attitude."

 

At this point the child is required to smile or be cheerful. If child can't manage to do so, the child is lectured, punished or whatever until he can manage it.

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And isn't the RGT woman the same lady who wrote about overcoming her own issues with anger?

 

Most of us, I would guess, come from a place of understanding with our kids and emotions. I know how hard it is not to let one's emotions control attitude and actions. But that doesn't mean it's not worth it to stick with them until they can learn to control themselves.

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Quote from website-here is the link--http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ch10.php

 

"The Screamer"
Here's a helpful exchange between myself and several other moms regarding their screaming children:

Tami: My daughter, almost three, has been a screamer since birth. Although things are improving, she still does it far too often; and she is so LOUD! She will cry over things that are very small and trivial. It's so bad that she's nick-named "The Screamer" amongst our relatives. Here's an example: 

(She comes to me and asks if she can sit on my lap when I am on the computer�)
Me: �No sweetie".
(She begins to wail loudly.)
Me: �Stop fussing right now�.
(She cries.)
Me: (I spank her, one swat) �Stop right now". 
(She cries louder.)
Me: (I spank again, and then give her a few seconds to compose herself.)
(She makes no effort to stop.)
Me: "Stop crying right now".
(She continues to scream.)
Me: "Look at me. Stop crying � now�"

This goes on, with variations, for what seems like forever. She cries; I spank and instruct; she cries; repeat, repeat, repeat. Finally she stops, smiles for me, and obeys my instructions for her to �wait�. 

But it doesn�t end there. A few minutes later she begins howling again and the entire scene repeats itself all over. It never seems to really end until she either gets what she wants or until her mind wanders off onto some other subject. That is just one instance of what repeats itself throughout the day, all day, every day. Any ideas?

Elizabeth: She's got quite a habit going there, doesn�t she? Not only is it a habit, but I think she must be getting some satisfaction out of all the attention and drama.

Clearly, what you are doing isn't working. I think you need to try a different approach to break this habitual cycle. As soon as she erupts, say nothing, but administer one firm swat to the bottom, and stand her in the corner. Choose a corner where you can see her, but be sure she stays facing the wall so she can not see any of your inadvertent reactions to her annoying crying. Do not audible react to her either. It is very important that she does not feel she has an audience.

Don't order her to stop crying yet. Simply let her know that if she wants to cry, she must stand in the corner by herself - �Where I don't have to listen to you.� Spank if she leaves the corner, but otherwise pay no attention to her. She'll probably continue to exercise her lungs for a while, but eventually she'll get tired and stop.

Soon she'll ask to leave the corner. Tell her, �No.� Don't say anything else. She'll probably start crying again, but ignore her. Only step in if she sits down or tries to leave the corner. Don't say anything, just correct her and return her to the corner. At that point tell her, "You wanted to cry, so stand here and cry. Don't ask when you can leave. I'll tell you when you can leave."

Trust me, she will know why she is there, so don't explain any more than that. The more you talk, the more excuses you'll provide for her to continue arguing with you via her whining, sniffing, and crying.

Eventually, she will be standing quietly. Let her stand for a while longer. This entire process may occupy a half hour or so at first. Even if she gets the idea quickly and cooperates, wait until she is thoroughly bored before releasing her. Don't talk to her or interact with her at all except to correct as needed. When you are certain she has the right attitude (not crying, and resigned to spending the rest of her life in the corner), then tell her to come to you. Have her look at you and ask her if she is finished crying. She'll probably say, �Yes.� Respond to her with, "Good, now go play and don't let me hear that crying any more." 

Important: Repeat this the next time she starts up again and every time thereafter.

The idea here is to surprise her with a different approach that gives you several advantages: (1) It changes the focus from something you can't easily control (her crying) to something you can easily control (standing in the corner). (2) It removes all the pleasure she gets from the crying. (That's why it is important not to visibly or audibly respond to her.) (3) Standing in the corner is something that will make her uncomfortable and motivate her to give up her beloved screaming habit.

Edited by MegP
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I know someone raised in a family that didn't allow sadness, grief, or emotional hurt. It goes against their culture of machismo. There was never a reason to cry, ever, and if you needed to be upset, you better hide it or clothe it in a "safer" emotion like anger. This person is now an adult and has a hard time expressing emotions in a healthy manner and being vulnerable enough to get close with others.

 

There is a huge difference between denying a child's feelings and teaching the child to express those emotions appropriately. I don't know enough about this "tomatoes" philosophy to know if it allows children to be the emotional creatures that God created us to be.

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If this is how it played out growing up, it probably would have been different. However, what happened to me was something like this.

 

Child disciplined for something. Child is sad or upset about that.

 

Parents complete the spanking or lecture or whatever and tell the kid "Now, change your attitude."

 

At this point the child is required to smile or be cheerful. If child can't manage to do so, the child is lectured, punished or whatever until he can manage it.

FTR, I often acknowlege with my kids how very difficult it is to change one's attitude, especially when we want to wallow. But I also tell them that just because I don't feel well or whatever does not excuse me treating them poorly. So, I've had to apologize to them for this exact thing. But I also don't allow them to treat others poorly because they are feeling badly. But no one is left alone to simply change their attitude on command. I think that would generally send the wrong message that if you act poorly I will not help you. If they want a few minutes alone to regain their composure that's something different. Edited by JodiSue
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I realize this is probably a bashing thread on the RGT book/ parenting methods. That's fine. I understand that a lot of people here find it horrifying. 

 

For what it's worth, RGT has been helpful to me. I found the book chapters online and the associated parenting forum when my youngest was a baby. I can't endorse every last thing the author says, but some of it has been very useful. Of course we should be allowed to experience emotions, at the same time, trying to have a good attitude about things in life, and not being ruled by a tsunami of negative emotions is something I wish I had learned a long time ago, and see as beneficial to my kids. 

 

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Ugh MegP! Now I want to go back and change my answer. Our happiness and smiling thing looks nothing like what you posted. That makes me sick. Ugh! What kind of messed up logic is that?! You're crying, so I'm going to spank you, and you better not cry about it??? :( :(

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I don't know anything at all about the book or parenting style. However, we do encourage pleasant disposition, doing chores/school work cheerfully. We try to teach our kids to count their blessings...in the big realm of things, it really doesn't matter who uses the crayon first. We are not saying that emotions are wrong, we are human and are filled with emotions...but we can't let our emotions take over and trample everyone in the way. I don't think we"suppress" their emotions...but try to direct it? If I'm mad I need to go in my room and cool off...either rest, cry, pray... whatever works to let it out. We encourage our kids to do the same. If you are mad it's not ok to yell and scream at whoever is in front of you, if you really need to scream go do it in your room. Our 8 yr old use to cry, all the time. We started sending him to his room to calm down. It has helped him a lot :)

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In the recent Dugger thread, some of the conversations derailed into discussions about the godly tomatoes book. I am reading some of the sections of the book (I don't agree with the book-I am reading to refute it) and wondered if someone could help me understand the results (to the child) of this kind of parenting. I am not just referring to spanking but to sections of the book that teach parents to not allow their kids to display emotions. 

 

Like this quote-

 

 

“The Outside Reflects the Inside

One cherished, but highly erroneous belief is that a parent should not correct a child for displaying a wrong emotion, because the child will "suppress" the emotion rather than change it. Experience convinces me otherwise. Require young children to display the right emotions outwardly and their hearts will change, producing the right attitudes and emotions inwardly as well.

 

Of course you can't simply order your children to "be happy". If the child is small, it works much better to tell him to "smile" or "straighten up your face." If the child is very young, I'll cheerfully say, "Let's see a smile now", or "Where is your smile?"

 

The child may initially resist, but when he finally obeys, the resulting smile will often break into a radiant grin, accompanied by sincere laughter and other expressions of genuine joy. It is hard for a small child to hide his true feelings. It is equally difficult for him to display an emotion that he does not really feel. Get him to smile on the outside and invariably he will smile on the inside.â€

 

 

 

So according to her, if you convince your child (through spanks, fear, corner time, lecturing) that displaying the emotion of sadness is wrong, then their hearts will change. I maintain that instead, the child will just stuff their sadness and become (I think) kind of numb. They will still FEEL sad, but they will have to work hard at not showing it through tears or facial expressions or tone or words.  Thus they become sneaky and deceitful, because the parent has intimidated them into hiding how they really feel.   Doesn't this teach kids to be victims? Learned helplessness, too?

 

What else is it teaching kids?   What kind of struggles will a child raised this way have as a teen or adult?

 

This may be moot, and I haven't read any replies nor have I read this book.  I really have no interest in it lol...

 

But just with reading this snippet, I see a few grains of truth in it... what we feel is what we think, but I can't say I would use it in this way.  If I focus on negative things in my thinking, I'm going to not feel well emotionally, kwim?  It's going to get me 'down', so to speak.  

 

However, I don't think that forcing children to not show emotions makes any sense.  I think children need to learn how to control their reactions and emotions (as in, not act out inappropriately when angry, etc) but not forego having them altogether.  Example: If you're angry it's okay to be angry, to come inside, to yell to yourself in your room, punch the pillow, whatever; not okay to punch a person.  

 

But that's a lot different than what she is saying.  I think a lot of people could benefit from knowing appropriate ways to express themselves; forcing everyone to become a happy robot isn't the way to do it.

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If this is how it played out growing up, it probably would have been different. However, what happened to me was something like this.

 

Child disciplined for something. Child is sad or upset about that.

 

Parents complete the spanking or lecture or whatever and tell the kid "Now, change your attitude."

 

At this point the child is required to smile or be cheerful. If child can't manage to do so, the child is lectured, punished or whatever until he can manage it.

 

Well, of course, this type of "disciplining" would produce faking and duplicitous behavior instead of getting to the root of the problem.

I am sorry you experienced this.

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I have no idea what it does to kids. But, there is at least some evidence it works on adults working in the service industries. It is a method taught frequently to healthcare workers to help get customer service scores up. After all, that is part of the Medicare reimbursement scheme. So now providers are being trained to smilingly say, "would you like a double dose of this strong narcotic?" In lieu of, "I think you are addicted to narcotics. Would you like a referral to the rehab facility down the street?"

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I realize this is probably a bashing thread on the RGT book/ parenting methods. That's fine. I understand that a lot of people here find it horrifying. 

 

For what it's worth, RGT has been helpful to me. I found the book chapters online and the associated parenting forum when my youngest was a baby. I can't endorse every last thing the author says, but some of it has been very useful. Of course we should be allowed to experience emotions, at the same time, trying to have a good attitude about things in life, and not being ruled by a tsunami of negative emotions is something I wish I had learned a long time ago, and see as beneficial to my kids. 

 

You seem to have gleaned out the good parts and left the other parts behind. :)

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In thinking more about this parenting style, it is really a shortcut that tries to make the parent's life easier by simply "eliminating" (not really, just avoiding) unpleasant feelings in kids. Instead of talking through feelings and teaching kids how to healthily handle difficult feelings the child is told to stuff them.

This.

I think my grandmother couldn't handle emotions, so we were expected to bury them. Even the profound grief I felt over my father's death.

I felt I wasn't supposed to feel emotions.

I have a lot to say, but am on a phone.

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In the recent Dugger thread, some of the conversations derailed into discussions about the godly tomatoes book. I am reading some of the sections of the book (I don't agree with the book-I am reading to refute it) and wondered if someone could help me understand the results (to the child) of this kind of parenting. I am not just referring to spanking but to sections of the book that teach parents to not allow their kids to display emotions. 

 

Like this quote-

 

 

“The Outside Reflects the Inside

One cherished, but highly erroneous belief is that a parent should not correct a child for displaying a wrong emotion, because the child will "suppress" the emotion rather than change it. Experience convinces me otherwise. Require young children to display the right emotions outwardly and their hearts will change, producing the right attitudes and emotions inwardly as well.

 

Of course you can't simply order your children to "be happy". If the child is small, it works much better to tell him to "smile" or "straighten up your face." If the child is very young, I'll cheerfully say, "Let's see a smile now", or "Where is your smile?"

 

The child may initially resist, but when he finally obeys, the resulting smile will often break into a radiant grin, accompanied by sincere laughter and other expressions of genuine joy. It is hard for a small child to hide his true feelings. It is equally difficult for him to display an emotion that he does not really feel. Get him to smile on the outside and invariably he will smile on the inside.â€

 

 

 

So according to her, if you convince your child (through spanks, fear, corner time, lecturing) that displaying the emotion of sadness is wrong, then their hearts will change. I maintain that instead, the child will just stuff their sadness and become (I think) kind of numb. They will still FEEL sad, but they will have to work hard at not showing it through tears or facial expressions or tone or words.  Thus they become sneaky and deceitful, because the parent has intimidated them into hiding how they really feel.   Doesn't this teach kids to be victims? Learned helplessness, too?

 

What else is it teaching kids?   What kind of struggles will a child raised this way have as a teen or adult?

 

So instead of telling a kid to just smile, a better technique is to say, "What happened to you? Is something bothering you?"

 

Sometimes its something trivial. In which case, kids often just need a hug or just to be heard. They don't always need the parent to fix it. "Aww... It stinks when your sister gets to go to a friend's house and you're left at home. I hope your day gets better." Often, that's all my kids need. They need to tell mom they're lonely or bored or feeling left out. It's not that I can always help with the problem, but they can use the empathy.

 

Now I do treat sulking and pouting differently. A child who sulks because things don't go their way get to sit in boring place all alone. I generally try to frame it as "Wow. you really are mad about that! Why don't you take some time alone until you feel better." And that's pretty much where they stay until they feel better. Sometimes, my more intense kids are invited to jump on the trampoline or run around outdoors.

 

 

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Quote from website-here is the link--http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ch10.php

 

"The Screamer"

Here's a helpful exchange between myself and several other moms regarding their screaming children:

 

Tami: My daughter, almost three, has been a screamer since birth. Although things are improving, she still does it far too often; and she is so LOUD! She will cry over things that are very small and trivial. It's so bad that she's nick-named "The Screamer" amongst our relatives. Here's an example: 

 

(She comes to me and asks if she can sit on my lap when I am on the computer�)

Me: �No sweetie".

(She begins to wail loudly.)

Me: �Stop fussing right now�.

(She cries.)

Me: (I spank her, one swat) �Stop right now". 

(She cries louder.)

Me: (I spank again, and then give her a few seconds to compose herself.)

(She makes no effort to stop.)

Me: "Stop crying right now".

(She continues to scream.)

Me: "Look at me. Stop crying � now�"

 

This goes on, with variations, for what seems like forever. She cries; I spank and instruct; she cries; repeat, repeat, repeat. Finally she stops, smiles for me, and obeys my instructions for her to �wait�. 

 

But it doesn�t end there. A few minutes later she begins howling again and the entire scene repeats itself all over. It never seems to really end until she either gets what she wants or until her mind wanders off onto some other subject. That is just one instance of what repeats itself throughout the day, all day, every day. Any ideas?

 

Elizabeth: She's got quite a habit going there, doesn�t she? Not only is it a habit, but I think she must be getting some satisfaction out of all the attention and drama.

 

Clearly, what you are doing isn't working. I think you need to try a different approach to break this habitual cycle. As soon as she erupts, say nothing, but administer one firm swat to the bottom, and stand her in the corner. Choose a corner where you can see her, but be sure she stays facing the wall so she can not see any of your inadvertent reactions to her annoying crying. Do not audible react to her either. It is very important that she does not feel she has an audience.

 

Don't order her to stop crying yet. Simply let her know that if she wants to cry, she must stand in the corner by herself - �Where I don't have to listen to you.� Spank if she leaves the corner, but otherwise pay no attention to her. She'll probably continue to exercise her lungs for a while, but eventually she'll get tired and stop.

 

Soon she'll ask to leave the corner. Tell her, �No.� Don't say anything else. She'll probably start crying again, but ignore her. Only step in if she sits down or tries to leave the corner. Don't say anything, just correct her and return her to the corner. At that point tell her, "You wanted to cry, so stand here and cry. Don't ask when you can leave. I'll tell you when you can leave."

 

Trust me, she will know why she is there, so don't explain any more than that. The more you talk, the more excuses you'll provide for her to continue arguing with you via her whining, sniffing, and crying.

 

Eventually, she will be standing quietly. Let her stand for a while longer. This entire process may occupy a half hour or so at first. Even if she gets the idea quickly and cooperates, wait until she is thoroughly bored before releasing her. Don't talk to her or interact with her at all except to correct as needed. When you are certain she has the right attitude (not crying, and resigned to spending the rest of her life in the corner), then tell her to come to you. Have her look at you and ask her if she is finished crying. She'll probably say, �Yes.� Respond to her with, "Good, now go play and don't let me hear that crying any more." 

 

Important: Repeat this the next time she starts up again and every time thereafter.

 

The idea here is to surprise her with a different approach that gives you several advantages: (1) It changes the focus from something you can't easily control (her crying) to something you can easily control (standing in the corner). (2) It removes all the pleasure she gets from the crying. (That's why it is important not to visibly or audibly respond to her.) (3) Standing in the corner is something that will make her uncomfortable and motivate her to give up her beloved screaming habit.

The bolded is hilarious to me.  I'm sorry.  I agree that what this poor mom is doing isn't working, but I don't think that what this lady is recommending is the way to fix it.  :lol:

 

There's a lot of spanking going on.  I'm not anti-spanking, necessarily, but for it to be this common I would think the kid would just be used to it and it wouldn't matter to them anymore.  I think of something like yelling.  If I were to yell at my kids all the time, they'd get used to it, and then whenever I had to yell for safety reasons it may not register because they'd become 'immune' to it, so to speak.  

 

Anyway.  

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This may be moot, and I haven't read any replies nor have I read this book.  I really have no interest in it lol...

 

But just with reading this snippet, I see a few grains of truth in it... what we feel is what we think, but I can't say I would use it in this way.  If I focus on negative things in my thinking, I'm going to not feel well emotionally, kwim?  It's going to get me 'down', so to speak.  

 

However, I don't think that forcing children to not show emotions makes any sense.  I think children need to learn how to control their reactions and emotions (as in, not act out inappropriately when angry, etc) but not forego having them altogether.  Example: If you're angry it's okay to be angry, to come inside, to yell to yourself in your room, punch the pillow, whatever; not okay to punch a person.  

 

But that's a lot different than what she is saying.  I think a lot of people could benefit from knowing appropriate ways to express themselves; forcing everyone to become a happy robot isn't the way to do it.

 

It takes more time and parenting energy to talk kids through feelings. Often, especially when they're really small, they don't even have the words to say, "I'm frustrated. I'm impatient. It feels unfair!"

 

All of those emotions may look the same on a tiny face. Just telling a kid to smile doesn't help them deal with those BIG feelings.

 

(I have 2 intense kids so FEEEEELLLINGS are a BIG deal here at my house.)

 

I don't always handle that well, but I do try.

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It takes more time and parenting energy to talk kids through feelings. Often, especially when they're really small, they don't even have the words to say, "I'm frustrated. I'm impatient. It feels unfair!"

 

All of those emotions may look the same on a tiny face. Just telling a kid to smile doesn't help them deal with those BIG feelings.

 

(I have 2 intense kids so FEEEEELLLINGS are a BIG deal here at my house.)

 

I don't always handle that well, but I do try.

 

Very true.  

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As I said in the other tangent-riddled thread, I am extremely against doing this. My mother did this and it was a major negative for me on many levels. For one thing, it communicates that the parent doesn't have the time or emotional security to help you with your *actual* feelings, so they are going to try to going from the outside-in because it's quicker and less messy. Also, ALL people are better off when they feel understood; when someone will meet them where they actually are, instead of needing them to fix it up to look good on the outside. I believed that nobody cared how I really was, only how I appeared to be; a theme I revisited later in adulthood when I suffered a tragedy.

 

Feeling that oneself is not understood, or that others can't be bothered with you when you are messy leads to depression.

 

Now, I will say this: I do think there is a kernel of truth in the idea that one should learn some self-control and not heedlessly *express* every emotion to the nth degree. I was just reading a bit about this in the book You Are Now Less Dumb. Giving unbridled expression to rage does not calm you down; it makes you more angry. I'll see if I can find a quote in a bit and put it in here.

 

But overall, no, I really despise it when a parent tells a child to smile, except for a camera. Her phrasing of "straighten up your face" is much worse. If a child is downcast or angry, you need to find out why. People who feel loved and accepted don't walk around mad or sullen. Work on the inside and then a smile will bloom unbidden.

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As I said in the other tangent-riddled thread, I am extremely against doing this. My mother did this and it was a major negative for me on many levels. For one thing, it communicates that the parent doesn't have the time or emotional security to help you with your *actual* feelings, so they are going to try to going from the outside-in because it's quicker and less messy. Also, ALL people are better off when they feel understood; when someone will meet them where they actually are, instead of needing them to fix it up to look good on the outside. I believed that nobody cared how I really was, only how I appeared to be; a theme I revisited later in adulthood when I suffered a tragedy.

 

Feeling that oneself is not understood, or that others can't be bothered with you when you are messy leads to depression.

 

Now, I will say this: I do think there is a kernel of truth in the idea that one should learn some self-control and not heedlessly *express* every emotion to the nth degree. I was just reading a bit about this in the book You Are Now Less Dumb. Giving unbridled expression to rage does not calm you down; it makes you more angry. I'll see if I can find a quote in a bit and put it in here.

 

But overall, no, I really despise it when a parent tells a child to smile, except for a camera. Her phrasing of "straighten up your face" is much worse. If a child is downcast or angry, you need to find out why. People who feel loved and accepted don't walk around mad or sullen. Work on the inside and then a smile will bloom unbidden.

 

I could have written this myself. This was my identical experience.

 

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I think teaching a child that his feelings are sinful also can produce shame. Shame that he is even feeling a certain way, because the parent says (and God says) that feeling that way is wrong.  

 

 

In this example from the book, taken from this link-http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ch12.php

 

the author belittles the child for just acting like a child. This is similar to the shaming of denying a child any feelings that are "'negative" or "ungodly."

 

 

"....However, if the same child draws an intentionally goofy picture, or stands on his head, or does some other conspicuously senseless thing, and cries, "LOOK AT ME!" or "LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO!", my Mommy Radar goes off and I know I'm witnessing an egotistical episode of showing off. In that case I say seriously, "Okay, that's enough, you look ridiculous doing that. Go do something a mature child would do."

Edited by MegP
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I was this kid.

 

And yes, it took many years to be genuine with people. It took years to be open and honest with those around me. And I still struggle with opening up the "less than perfect" parts of my personalities to those closest to me.

 

As a teen, I was sneaky. I showed my family one side of me, but never really felt that they knew the real me. So I felt alone.

 

I become a people pleaser who has a hard time disappointing others.

 

I become far too concerned with what others thought of me.

 

Any other questions?

 

I really don't want to like your post because it's sad. I'm glad you've been able to overcome that kind of upbringing even if you're still dealing with fallout feelings from it, but am sorry you had to go through it at all. 

 

Another example for JennSnow-

 

taken from this link-http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ch09.php

 

"Getting Tough on Emotionalism

Lisa: Today as my boys were playing Playmobil, I joined in. I picked up a Playmobil man from the floor and took it to my four-year-old across the room. He immediately started to cry. I had no idea why. He said he "was using that guy". I replied, no you weren't; it was lying on the floor. Then he crossed his arms on his chest and in an angry voice said, "Now I have zero guys, so I can't play!"

 

I told him to stop, that it was nothing to cry over. If he had simply asked for the man instead of getting angry, I would have given it to him. But he kept on crying. I spanked him, only to hear him whisper to himself, "I am very, very, very angry!" I talked to him, yet he persisted in his pouting and anger.

 

What did I do wrong? I am finding myself getting angry and frustrated, because this is becoming a habitual reaction. HELP! 

 

Elizabeth: Had it been me, I think that when I realized that reasoning arguing with him was futile, I would have quit the reasoning arguing, ordered him to knock it off  given him a few minutes to calm down, and then commenced to discipline and outlast as needed to change his self-centered attitude help him understand why he was angry and how he could have talked to me appropriately about not taking his guy. He could go back to playing once he was thankful that he had the toy at all, and was happy to share it." we finished talking and he felt better, and was able to use his words to tell me how he felt. Fixed it.

 

Goodness, that poor little boy actually recognized his emotion as anger. Sure, it was irrational four-year old style anger, but he knew he was angry. And the mother wasn't trying to reason with him, she was arguing with a four-year old. Anyone who has ever known a four-year old knows that's futile (my attempt at a bit of humor in this very serious conversation). 

 

It would have been much better advice from Elizabeth if she gave it in my corrected version. 

 

The fact is that none of us let our emotions go full blast after toddlerhood, usually. And teaching a kid that it is, in fact, wrong to feel angry or upset about certain things (i.e. that your brother is using the blue crayon you want) isn't abusive and it isn't teaching them to be sneaky or duplicitous. It is wrong for me to feel angry about my 1yo ripping up our picture books while I went pee, so, I have to reign that in. It is wrong for me tromp around the house expressing my anger or sadness even about big adult things -- similarly, I do not let my kid go off on his siblings because something bad happened to him, or go sulk for hours. Likewise, there are times it is wrong to feel unrestrained glee or joy and express it. Of course everyone imparts these ideas to their kids in some way, or they should. To what degree may differ, but none of us would excuse acting any old way because that's how we feel.

 

I don't think anyone is saying it's abusive to teach children to work through their emotions and not get irrationally upset over things. It's not abusive to teach kids that sometimes you just have to suck it up. It's the method used, and the message that all negative emotions are wrong at all times, that make many of us (rightfully imo) angry. 

 

FTR, I often acknowlege with my kids how very difficult it is to change one's attitude, especially when we want to wallow. But I also tell them that just because I don't feel well or whatever does not excuse me treating them poorly. So, I've had to apologize to them for this exact thing. But I also don't allow them to treat others poorly because they are feeling badly. But no one is left alone to simply change their attitude on command. I think that would generally send the wrong message that if you act poorly I will not help you. If they want a few minutes alone to regain their composure that's something different.

 

See, this is how it should be handled and it should be age appropriate. One would talk to a preschooler and an older child and a teenager differently even when discussing the same thing, namely appropriate vs. inappropriate ways to show emotions. Smacking a kid until he stops being upset does not teach the right lesson. 

 

Ugh MegP! Now I want to go back and change my answer. Our happiness and smiling thing looks nothing like what you posted. That makes me sick. Ugh! What kind of messed up logic is that?! You're crying, so I'm going to spank you, and you better not cry about it??? :( :(

 

That sounds like the old, "I'll give you something to cry about" logic.

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I haven't read this book, but I do believe in basically being happy.  That said, I don't believe in telling kids to lie about their emotions either.  That story about spanking a kid for screaming seems like a great method to turn anyone into a sociopath.

 

I think if I had a screaming kid I would be inclined to either rock her or gently put her in her room until she was calm enough to use her words.

 

You work through the bad feelings until things are resolved, you empathize when they are never going to get their way, and then you find something to genuinely be happy about.  That is not the same as forcing manipulation and acting sweet when your heart is really angry.

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I think teaching a child that his feelings are sinful also can produce shame. Shame that he is even feeling a certain way, because the parent says (and God says) that feeling that way is wrong.

 

 

In this example from the book, taken from this link-http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ch12.php

 

the author belittles the child for just acting like a child. This is similar to the shaming of denying a child any feelings that are "'negative" or "ungodly."

 

 

"....However, if the same child draws an intentionally goofy picture, or stands on his head, or does some other conspicuously senseless thing, and cries, "LOOK AT ME!" or "LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO!", my Mommy Radar goes off and I know I'm witnessing an egotistical episode of showing off. In that case I say seriously, "Okay, that's enough, you look ridiculous doing that. Go do something a mature child would do."

Yep, feelings aren't sinful.

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Tangentially, and maybe I just got lucky somehow, but my kids are not intensly emotional; at least, nobody has been since maybe age four or five at the latest. They aren't criers; they don't throw plates or cuss a blue streak. They don't go bananas because brother used their lego guy and now it's missing or whatever nonsense.

 

I really just think people who are well act well. Emotionally secure people don't make mountains out of molehills; emotionally fragile people do, and one quick, certain route to someone becoming emotionally fragile is for them to feel misunderstood and unsupported. It's hard to be happy when you feel alone and unacceptable.

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Elizabeth: Had it been me, I think that when I realized that reasoning arguing with him was futile, I would have quit the reasoning arguing, ordered him to knock it off given him a few minutes to calm down, and then commenced to discipline and outlast as needed to change his self-centered attitude help him understand why he was angry and how he could have talked to me appropriately about not taking his guy. He could go back to playing once he was thankful that he had the toy at all, and was happy to share it." we finished talking and he felt better, and was able to use his words to tell me how he felt. Fixed it.

Brilliant, Lady Florida!

 

ETA: oh, pooh! Your strikeouts didn't copy. But the way you fixed it was brilliant.

Edited by Quill
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This may be a stupid question, but what does she mean by "outlast"? Is it just not to give in to the kid?

Yes, outlast. If you have to stand them in The corner 1,000 times, you do it until they submit and remain there. If you have to smack a baby's hand 1,000 until they won't touvh the books on your bookcase, you do so.

 

I still remember my SIL doing this over making her kid eat green beans. Spanking was supposed to be the motivator. It was ludicrous.

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Yes, outlast. If you have to stand them in The corner 1,000 times, you do it until they submit and remain there. If you have to smack a baby's hand 1,000 until they won't touvh the books on your bookcase, you do so.

 

I still remember my SIL doing this over making her kid eat green beans. Spanking was supposed to be the motivator. It was ludicrous.

 

Wow. Does anyone else think this sounds like an incredibly childish way for an adult to teach a child how to behave? I mean, it sounds like an elementary school staring contest only with unfortunate (for the child) results. 

 

Quill, I read your posts after responding to fair farmhand's. I'm sorry you too had to go through that. And for anyone else who grew up thinking they had to hide their true emotions in order to be accepted by others.

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