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EntropyControlSpecialist 11:25 AM 08-09-2013
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...-making-amends

This all sounds very nice to me. I'm wondering, for those of you do who this, how it plays out when a child does not WISH to begin making good choices. What do you do?

For example: A child runs out the door as soon as their parent walks in. You state, "Timmy, we stay inside until our Mom is ready to leave. That is not safe." Timmy ignores you. You state one more time, "Timmy, come inside please." Timmy still ignores you. Obviously, Timmy doesn't want to make me a whole person again and right the wrong of disobeying a rule he knows. Timmy wants to do what Timmy wants to do. In that example, how does one go about "MAKING" a child want to make amends (if that makes any sense)? I had that situation occur in the past and I had to physically go get the child. I placed them in time out for disobeying and they haven't done it again. We constantly talk about the rules and WHY the rules are the rules so it wasn't a lack of understanding. It was a child who is used to being in charge when Mom is around attempting to be in charge when Mom was around.

How do you bring about the concept of teaching empathy to a child when a child does not want to listen to you in a situation or is simply throwing a tantrum over being asked to do something or is blatantly defying you in a way that destroys property/could hurt someone/could hurt themselves?
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nannyde 02:26 PM 08-09-2013
Maybe in school settings but in daycare... this would be time consuming and costly. I like leadership first and modelling what I like. I would rather have a copycat of good behavior then a repenter of bad behavior.
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Meeko 03:50 PM 08-09-2013
Yep! Sounds great for schools! Empathy is something that can be nurtured in older children.

Not for toddlers. A three year old is by nature, ....a selfish, self-absorbed little creature! Exactly how nature intended...but still only interested in what suits them at the time.

They need solid, set in stone rules on which to learn that is not the way the world is. They need to be molded into responsible little ones and future adults.

A small child who is left to "do the right thing" will generally do only what's right for THEM at that moment in time and continue to do so as he/she grows.

This concept is not new and was practiced on today's young adults when they were toddlers. The ones who are now young parents. They were allowed to "make their own choices"

They are now the parents who choose not to call us when they are going to be late. The ones who want to pay when it's convenient to them. The ones who pick and choose which contract policies they will follow. They were trained while young that the universe revolves around them and they only need to do what's right for them.
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preschoolteacher 06:47 PM 08-10-2013
I actually do think this can work in young children who are verbal, starting as young as 2.5 or 3.

It's a really positive approach because it teaches kids that they are essentially good people who sometimes make mistakes. I think punishment teaches kids that they can be bad, but it doesn't give opportunities for them to see themselves as capable of making up for their wrongs.

Some people say that when a kid starts to think he's bad, he will continue to act negatively because he thinks it's what is expected...

In Timmy's case, I would explain to him it was unsafe and have him come in. If he wouldn't come in on his own, I would say: "You can come inside by yourself or I will carry you." Then I would carry him in. Instead of doing a timeout, you could help him "make amends" simply by shutting the door: "We don't go outside without parents. Please shut the door." Then you could follow up with: "You need to stay with Mom or me until it is time to go. Are you going to hold my hand or hold Mom's?" If he refuses, I would choose for him.

I think it's great when children can see themselves being successful. Timmy ends up staying inside by his mom... even if you have to carry him in and give her his hand to hold. The next time, it will be easier. Eventually, he will have a better understanding of the rule since kids remember things better when they do them (physically!). He would get the concept of himself being the kind of kid who can listen.

Some other ideas...

You pushed Susie down? You can make amends by bringing her an ice pack. If you refuse to bring her an ice pack, you can hold my hand while I bring her the ice pack. A time-out would tell a kid, You pushed her down and you were bad. Helping make amends says more like: You did something wrong, but I know that you are good, and you can show us that.
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nannyde 06:21 AM 08-11-2013
Originally Posted by preschoolteacher:
I actually do think this can work in young children who are verbal, starting as young as 2.5 or 3.

It's a really positive approach because it teaches kids that they arially good people who sometimes make mistakes. I think punishment teaches kids that they can be bad, but it doesn't give opportunities for them to see themselves as capable of making up for their wrongs.

Some people say that when a kid starts to think he's bad, he will continue to act negatively because he thinks it's what is expected...

In iimmy's case, I would explain to him it was unsafe and have him come in. If he wouldn't come in on his own, I would say: "You can come inside by yourself or I will carry you." Then I would carry him in. Instead of doing a timeout, you could help him "make amends" simply by shutting the door: "We don't go outside without parents. Please shut the door." Then you could follow up with: "You need to stay with Mom or me until it is time to go. Are you going to hold my hand or hold Mom's?" If he refuses, I would choose for him.

I think it's great when children can see themselves being successful. Timmy ends up staying inside by his mom... even if you have to carry him in and give her his hand to hold. The next time, it will be easier. Eventually, he will have a better understanding of the rule since kids remember things better when they do them (physically!). He would get the concept of himself being the kind of kid who can listen.

Some other ideas...

You pushed Susie down? You can make amends by bringing her an ice pack. If you refuse to bring her an ice pack, you can hold my hand while I bring her the ice pack. A time-out would tell a kid, You pushed her down and you were bad. Helping make amends says more like: You did something wrong, but I know that you are good, and you can show us that.
This approach would be way too high energy and way way too much attention for me. This could turn into a dog and pony show really quickly.

I don't want amends. I want to deal with what happened without layering it up with extra emotions and feelings.

I don't use the concept of BAD anyway so I dont worry about a kid thinking the consequences for behavior mean they are bad. That idea doesn't surface so I don't have to work around it.

A good firm NO and LEAVE IT when they are in the midst of acting out is quick and allows the moment to change and flow into something else. We really underestimate the power of leadership, proximal supervision, and firm rules that are enforced. This is what keeps timmy from running off or frim susie striking out.

Adults add emotions to the kids behavior like feeling bad about themselves. 20 years of child care and I've never had a kid tell me they were bad. It's just not a concept we use here so we don't have to do a big process to insure timmy comes out of his consequence thinking that.

When Timmy makes the FIRST move towards the door he gets a hey NO...you aren't going out the door. Soon as I see he has this on his mind I stand between him and the door EVERY time he comes and goes. If he starts getting froggy trying to look around me for an escape route he gets a DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT stink eye and gets moved even further from the entryway and told to sit down and wait. If he tries to go around his parent he gets the above and also a go sit down and turn your body facing away from the door. Then he is put on the ignore button while I chat mom up for a good while. Then he gets put on the I and only I will release you. When he gets up I hand walk him to mom and hand his hand over to her. I tell her he MUST hold her hand to the car.

See? No good bad therapy session needed. Just a simple you can't do this so get it off your mind. A few block moves in front of timmy and the escape idea poofs away. Once he knows its a no go he doesn't give it another thought and his little feelings and self esteem don't come into the mix in any way.
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JoseyJo 11:36 AM 08-11-2013
Originally Posted by preschoolteacher:
I actually do think this can work in young children who are verbal, starting as young as 2.5 or 3.

It's a really positive approach because it teaches kids that they are essentially good people who sometimes make mistakes. I think punishment teaches kids that they can be bad, but it doesn't give opportunities for them to see themselves as capable of making up for their wrongs.

Some people say that when a kid starts to think he's bad, he will continue to act negatively because he thinks it's what is expected...

In Timmy's case, I would explain to him it was unsafe and have him come in. If he wouldn't come in on his own, I would say: "You can come inside by yourself or I will carry you." Then I would carry him in. Instead of doing a timeout, you could help him "make amends" simply by shutting the door: "We don't go outside without parents. Please shut the door." Then you could follow up with: "You need to stay with Mom or me until it is time to go. Are you going to hold my hand or hold Mom's?" If he refuses, I would choose for him.

I think it's great when children can see themselves being successful. Timmy ends up staying inside by his mom... even if you have to carry him in and give her his hand to hold. The next time, it will be easier. Eventually, he will have a better understanding of the rule since kids remember things better when they do them (physically!). He would get the concept of himself being the kind of kid who can listen.

Some other ideas...

You pushed Susie down? You can make amends by bringing her an ice pack. If you refuse to bring her an ice pack, you can hold my hand while I bring her the ice pack. A time-out would tell a kid, You pushed her down and you were bad. Helping make amends says more like: You did something wrong, but I know that you are good, and you can show us that.
Thank you for the explanation! I can see how this could/does work in a daycare setting, especially for the older children (3-5). I am always looking for ways to discourage/stop behaviors without having to resort to TO or separating from the group.

I can see where it would work very well with some personality types, and not so well with others (what comes to mind is the attention-seeking troublemakers who would act out to get the attention from "making amends" or the ones who would completely refuse to make any type of amends or help you make amends, and would end up in TO anyway) but this is another tool in the toolbelt so thanks!!
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Play Care 03:20 AM 08-12-2013
Originally Posted by JoseyJo:
Thank you for the explanation! I can see how this could/does work in a daycare setting, especially for the older children (3-5). I am always looking for ways to discourage/stop behaviors without having to resort to TO or separating from the group.

I can see where it would work very well with some personality types, and not so well with others (what comes to mind is the attention-seeking troublemakers who would act out to get the attention from "making amends" or the ones who would completely refuse to make any type of amends or help you make amends, and would end up in TO anyway) but this is another tool in the toolbelt so thanks!!
At a dc I worked at before, they actually noticed and increase in biting when they did this with younger groups It may have been the implementation, but it seemed that the young toddlers didn't understand that the biting was not allowed because they were soaking up the attention after the fact. Add to that, the injured person was then "forced" to accept the ministrations of the person who had just hurt them. Again, perhaps it was the implementation, but it never sat well with me.
I think making amends is fine depending on the reason, but for some things (physical aggression) I'm not a fan.
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Willow 07:48 AM 08-12-2013
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...-making-amends

This all sounds very nice to me. I'm wondering, for those of you do who this, how it plays out when a child does not WISH to begin making good choices. What do you do?

For example: A child runs out the door as soon as their parent walks in. You state, "Timmy, we stay inside until our Mom is ready to leave. That is not safe." Timmy ignores you. You state one more time, "Timmy, come inside please." Timmy still ignores you. Obviously, Timmy doesn't want to make me a whole person again and right the wrong of disobeying a rule he knows. Timmy wants to do what Timmy wants to do. In that example, how does one go about "MAKING" a child want to make amends (if that makes any sense)? I had that situation occur in the past and I had to physically go get the child. I placed them in time out for disobeying and they haven't done it again. We constantly talk about the rules and WHY the rules are the rules so it wasn't a lack of understanding. It was a child who is used to being in charge when Mom is around attempting to be in charge when Mom was around.

How do you bring about the concept of teaching empathy to a child when a child does not want to listen to you in a situation or is simply throwing a tantrum over being asked to do something or is blatantly defying you in a way that destroys property/could hurt someone/could hurt themselves?

The link describes exactly how I raised/am raising my own kids.

I rarely accept apologies from my kids, they know their actions in rectifying their slip ups is their apology. Sitting on time outs and saying a word that might as well be cheeseburger to most kids doesn't mean a thing unless there is subsequent alterations in behavior.

Rectification often involves service (ie punishment) but it isn't pointless in nature. Sitting a butt in time out doesn't "fix" the hurt or harm that's been done, but spending time with an individual one has done harm to does, or doing an act of kindness (drawing them a picture, taking over a chore of theirs etc.) with or for them SHOWS them they are genuinely apologetic.

I don't care for empty words. I want to SEE the apology, remorse, and subsequent empathy.



All that said I largely agree with Nan. I don't think it would work in a daycare setting. I think it's something that needs to be started with children as soon as they are able to interact with others and practiced consistently until the concept is grasped. Would take way too much time and effort for most groups to utilize effectively.
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MsLaura529 07:57 AM 08-12-2013
Originally Posted by Willow:
The link describes exactly how I raised/am raising my own kids.

I rarely accept apologies from my kids, they know their actions in rectifying their slip ups is their apology. Sitting on time outs and saying a word that might as well be cheeseburger to most kids doesn't mean a thing unless there is subsequent alterations in behavior.

Rectification often involves service (ie punishment) but it isn't pointless in nature. Sitting a butt in time out doesn't "fix" the hurt or harm that's been done, but spending time with an individual one has done harm to does, or doing an act of kindness (drawing them a picture, taking over a chore of theirs etc.) with or for them SHOWS them they are genuinely apologetic.

I don't care for empty words. I want to SEE the apology, remorse, and subsequent empathy.



All that said I largely agree with Nan. I don't think it would work in a daycare setting. I think it's something that needs to be started with children as soon as they are able to interact with others and practiced consistently until the concept is grasped. Would take way too much time and effort for most groups to utilize effectively.
This reminds me of something I saw before - (And it's extreme): Hand a child a plate and give them permission to throw it down and break. Have them say "Sorry" to plate and then wait a few seconds and see if the plate gets put back together.

Like I said, extreme, but really hits the point home that "sorry" doesn't magically fix a problem. Something else needs to be done.
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preschoolteacher 07:59 AM 08-12-2013
One question I have continuously is how will I balance my parenting philosophy with what needs to be done in a group care setting?

I wonder if it will matter that I only will care for 3-4 kids maximum.

Do you think this approach would work with a small group?
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Willow 08:09 AM 08-12-2013
Originally Posted by MsLaura529:
This reminds me of something I saw before - (And it's extreme): Hand a child a plate and give them permission to throw it down and break. Have them say "Sorry" to plate and then wait a few seconds and see if the plate gets put back together.

Like I said, extreme, but really hits the point home that "sorry" doesn't magically fix a problem. Something else needs to be done.
I've used a similar technique using paper to explain.

Every mean name called, every snipe, snark, fight....I'd fold or crumple the paper a bit. At the end you're left with a closed up ball of hurt. Saying a word does not undo the damage to the paper. Service and reparation can smooth things out and that helps but the "scars" of the damage will always remain.

Therefor it's important to think before you act because hurting someone else can never fully be undone.


At this point they go even a bit overboard in an attempt to right their wrongs. I do think that visualization helped them to understand (demonstrated at about age five before they entered school as I thought the timing, with them set to be away from me for extended periods of time for the first time ever, was really important).
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Willow 08:14 AM 08-12-2013
Originally Posted by preschoolteacher:
One question I have continuously is how will I balance my parenting philosophy with what needs to be done in a group care setting?

I wonder if it will matter that I only will care for 3-4 kids maximum.

Do you think this approach would work with a small group?
Could.

Would depend on so many factors though....ages of kids at enrollment, established philosophies of parents, parents willingness to adopt your philosophy as far as this is concerned and practice it consistently at home etc.

Getting one kiddo on board to model would be a tremendous help.


Most kids know the routine well by age two or three though unfortunately....time out spent picking at their clothes or daydreaming then spouting a quick and meaningless apology will get them back on their way. If you asked one of them to SHOW you they were sorry they'd probably look at you like you had three heads.
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