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Author Topic: Mom and Dad on a Childs Education: Is This Good or Bad  (Read 2051 times)

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Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Mom and Dad on a Childs Education: Is This Good or Bad
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2011, 12:52:16 AM »
This vaguely reminds me of that 'Tiger Mom' thing. You know the chinese mother way of raisinga child, be hard, harsh, and rive them to be the best, even if it means you have to humiliate them to do so.

I wish I still rememebered where there was a big article about it, detailing some of the methodology, but it sounds like this might be something Tiger Mom would approve of. Of course we soft westerners wouldn't... :)

Anyway, I don't really have anything to add, so, carry on.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Mom and Dad on a Childs Education: Is This Good or Bad
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2011, 04:41:39 PM »
Hm. I can honestly say that I would never set my child on a street corner with a sign to purposefully embarrass him in the hopes that it makes him wake up and start doing well in school.

In all honesty, it sounds like the boy is in that phase of ‘I do want I want and you cant force me to do any different.’ and while I can understand the frustration of his parents, humiliation is not a tactic that works.  Nor would I call humiliation a ‘tough love’ act.

Tough love is basically the point where you say ‘you live with the consequences of your actions, I will not bail you out any more.’ And this tactic was used on me by my parents when I had to tell them I was pregnant at 16 years old. It forces the other person to be responsible for their own actions. It is not meant to degrade the person and make them feel shame.

Yes, the boy needs a wake up call - but what the mother did is made sure that her son will forever feel embarrassed, especially since this was broadcast on the news. Her act stands every chance of having the exact opposite effect of what she is trying to do - could very well send the boy further away from her, his father, his teachers.

I do not believe in emotionally damaging children - and I think that this ‘punishment’ does just that. No, the boy is not innocent. No, I do not make statements such as ‘that poor boy’. But I do say that the mother needs lessons in how to deal with her child.

I am lucky in the fact that both my children do well in school and are proud of getting good grades. Yes, I have to get onto them at times when they let their grades slip a bit like most children do - but I do not humiliate them to get them to bring those grades up. Take away the video games, tv time, cell phone, nights over at their friends’ houses, friends spending the night over. I also use a positive reinforcement system to encourage the grades I want them to make. Special trips to a store they want something from, extra money with their allowance, a concert they want to go to - or, as with my son, spend the money to send to him to the summer camp that prepares teenagers for the military that he was dying to do. After all, you get more flies with honey than you do vinegar yes?

Offline Sho

Re: Mom and Dad on a Childs Education: Is This Good or Bad
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2011, 12:03:47 AM »
I actually support the mother in this. I've been reading through these comments, and no one mentions that the kid actually said that this had motivated him to try harder in school - that he doesn't want that sign back around his neck. Frankly, when a kid gets to the point where they're failing school and all of their siblings are doing well, as a parent, you either look for a) a learning disorder or b) some other reason...and from what I gathered from this article, the mother and father actually put in quite a bit of effort. Apparently they were checking his homework, going to the school to talk to the teachers - which was more than a lot of parents do.

Everyone here is saying that this mother should have done something different, but honestly, if they had tried the positive reinforcement messages, checked the kid's homework, and talked to him multiple times while he was lying to them about not having any homework - what would you suggest they do?

I find it hard to believe that this mother is ineffective and a terrible mother when her other children are apparently getting decent grades.

Would I have used this method? No.

Do I think that she knew what would work for her child in this particular case? Probably.

My parents wouldn't have done this, but that's because I knew that if I brought home a bad grade, the humiliation would have been unbelievable. People talk about how negative reinforcement doesn't work - well, I, at least, can attest that it does. While I was encouraged by my parents telling me I could do well, I was even more driven by the fact that I was humiliated to bring home a bad grade. It obviously wasn't as extreme as the method this mother used, but - humiliation is, in fact, a strong motivator in some cases.

I also don't believe one bit that this is child abuse - and I actually believe in emotional abuse. The mother had, as far as I can tell, otherwise supported her child and provided for him. She doesn't seem to have called him stupid on a regular basis or torn him down emotionally - one non-violent case that was meant to teach the child some humility and to make him work harder does not quality as child abuse to me.

Offline Rhys

Re: Mom and Dad on a Childs Education: Is This Good or Bad
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2011, 02:51:32 AM »
I fall down on the side of the argument that says this is most definitely emotional abuse. Did it work? Apparently. Sometimes kicking someone in the face works too. Doesn't mean you should do it. This worked because now, the child is afraid of failure. He's scared that if he doesn't live up to the standards that have been set he's once again going to be publicly humiliated. This kind of fear more often than not will cause more harm than good. What happens when he gets into a class he actually has legit issues with? Does he mentally beat himself up because he doesn't get it and he's afraid he's going to have to wear the sign? What about once he gets past the point where the sign is an issue? Without that motivator is he going to do the things that he needs to do?

Having grown up in a home where being humiliated in front of my peers was an employed punishment every now and again, I can safely say that it messed me up for some time. No child should have to go through that. Whether the motivations were pure or not, the parents doing this should be ashamed of themselves.

Perhaps someone should force this mother to stand on the side of the road for awhile wearing a sign that says 'I publicly humiliate my kids'. Then check back with her a few hours and see how she feels about herself.


Offline Xantham

Re: Mom and Dad on a Childs Education: Is This Good or Bad
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2011, 10:24:49 PM »
If we're serious about progressing our society we have to be serious about making progress in all things.  Part of that is perfecting the processes by which we raise our children.  I can't think of a way to do this that's better than analyzing, critiquing, and eventually changing our cultural notions on child rearing through utilization of the soft sciences.  Doing nothing certainly isn't going to make things better, so either we listen to qualified experts, go out on a limb hovering over the abyss of insanity with James Dobson, or do absolutely nothing in the name of preserving traditional ideas which we empirically know to be invalid yet somehow place faith in.

I had to keep from giggling at this, Jude.  Qualified experts have put the US into so much trouble with their ideas of child-rearing that it becomes very difficult to take any of them seriously any more.  Their ideas change monthly, if not more often.  Quite often taking full reversals from a previous position.  The only way to raise a child is to love them and to figure out as a parent what makes them tick.  Want to screw up your family?  Listen to an "expert"  Admittedly, many parents today do not take the time or lack the patience to do what they are supposed to, but from what I could tell in the article (Agreeing with others that it lacks full details) this was not one of those times.  It would appear this mother did what she did, not out of hate, but love, and it seems to have been effective.  Does this mean it should be used by everyone?  No.  Though someone is sure to write an 'expert' book on the method.

Offline Noelle

Re: Mom and Dad on a Childs Education: Is This Good or Bad
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2011, 10:57:56 PM »
I had to keep from giggling at this, Jude.  Qualified experts have put the US into so much trouble with their ideas of child-rearing that it becomes very difficult to take any of them seriously any more.  Their ideas change monthly, if not more often.  Quite often taking full reversals from a previous position.  The only way to raise a child is to love them and to figure out as a parent what makes them tick.  Want to screw up your family?  Listen to an "expert"  Admittedly, many parents today do not take the time or lack the patience to do what they are supposed to, but from what I could tell in the article (Agreeing with others that it lacks full details) this was not one of those times.  It would appear this mother did what she did, not out of hate, but love, and it seems to have been effective.  Does this mean it should be used by everyone?  No.  Though someone is sure to write an 'expert' book on the method.

Can you please cite examples?

Offline Jude

Re: Mom and Dad on a Childs Education: Is This Good or Bad
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2011, 11:27:59 PM »
I had to keep from giggling at this, Jude.  Qualified experts have put the US into so much trouble with their ideas of child-rearing that it becomes very difficult to take any of them seriously any more.  Their ideas change monthly, if not more often.  Quite often taking full reversals from a previous position.
Lets see if I understand your claim.  You seem to be saying that experts on child psychology are to blame for the "trouble" that the US is in.  Next you say that these experts constantly change their point of view, and that there is little consistency or overall logic to the flow of their opinions.  I just have a few questions about this.

1)  What "trouble" are you referring to that the US is in?  Crime peaked in the 1990s and has since leveled off or declined in virtually every major category (except in new or developing ways to break the law such as intellectual property theft), so it can't be that.

2)  What experts are we talking about here and what do you consider qualified?  I find your statement here baffling given that the psychologists at the forefront of the non-punitive child discipline movement have been virtually consistent for the past... 40-50 years?  Starting with Thomas Gordon's P.E.T. in the early 60s, there has been a consistent trend in the psychology/sociological sciences towards using natural consequences and operant conditioning as opposed to violence and punishment based on classical conditioning.  Gordon won like (or was at least nominated for, I think), 3 Nobel Peace Prizes for his work, by the way... I guess if you consider someone like James Dobson qualified your position would kind of make sense, but then I'd take issue with your criteria.

3)  If what you say was actually true, what sort of person would want to enter that field?  Why would these child psychologists have any influence whatsoever?  How could scientific consensus actually form on this subject (and make no mistake, it has)?
The only way to raise a child is to love them and to figure out as a parent what makes them tick.  Want to screw up your family?  Listen to an "expert"  Admittedly, many parents today do not take the time or lack the patience to do what they are supposed to, but from what I could tell in the article (Agreeing with others that it lacks full details) this was not one of those times.  It would appear this mother did what she did, not out of hate, but love, and it seems to have been effective.  Does this mean it should be used by everyone?  No.  Though someone is sure to write an 'expert' book on the method.
The idea that if something is done out of love it's automatically "OK" is completely baffling.  Ignoring the fact that we can never know what a person's motivations are, do you truly believe that no one has ever done anything wrong, hurtful, or counterproductive out of love?  Karl Marx said, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" for a reason.  It doesn't matter what you are trying to do, only what you actually do.

And how can you judge whether this has been effective or not?  We've had zero follow up.  We don't know what happened.  This was a snapshot in time.

Your obvious anti-intellectual disdain for experts aside, where do you think materials for books come from?  Research is done, it isn't just fabricated for the sake of the researcher's egoism.  Legitimate experts in any area publish materials that are the fruit of honest intellectual labor.  By categorically dismissing them you're essentially either pronouncing thousands of people you do not know as frauds or claiming that the psychology of children is unknowable in any general sense.  I find the latter particularly interesting considering almost all modern educational methods the world round are based in part on Piaget's stages of cognitive development -- a general child psychology theory (which has been validated by emerging neuroscience in many ways, though it does not fit perfectly).

By the way, Piaget has been dead for 30 years.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 11:40:29 PM by Jude »