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    Old 02-22-2012, 07:45 PM   #11
    txstepmom
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    Wow... really??? Anybody can take someone's words and twist them around to fit their objective but that... was... um, an impressive bit of twisting there!

    Let's talk about the definition of discipline. From Merriam-Webster:
    As a noun-
    1. Punishment
    2. (Obsolete) Instruction
    3. A field of study
    4. Training that creates, molds or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
    5. a: A control gained by enforcing obedience or order
    b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior
    c: self-control
    6. A rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity

    As a verb-
    1. To punish or penalize for the sake of enforcing obedience and perfecting moral character.
    2. To train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control.
    3. a: To bring under control
    b: To impose order upon

    So yes, I feel my previous "definition" (Effective correction of disobedience...) of discipline is accurate. And you are right, parentastic, that it is a learner-mentor relationship which is exactly why in the very few times that behavioral correction in our home has resulted in a spanking, said spanking is always preceded and followed by confirmation that she understands why she is receiving one. I think we can agree that you and I will never share the same views on spanking... and I did not start this thread to be persuaded whether or not it is wrong. We all have that decision to make for ourselves!

    I never said our discipline has been ineffective.
    * She lies, she is given a chance to tell the truth.
    * Choosing not to tell the truth results in grounding from whatever is most important at the time... and then given another chance to be truthful. Most of the time it ends here and we reinforce why being truthful is important, etc.
    * Should she continue to hold on to the lie, DH administers a spanking.

    She is always given a choice when possible - the choice to change her behavior or receive a consequence. We've even let her choose a punishment a few times i.e. "If you don't stop arguing, you can either lose your Nintendo DS for the next week or you can miss your slumber party."

    We've only gotten to the spanking stage once with the lying issue. The next time she chose to confess. I'd say that knowing we're serious and her desire to not receive spanking as a consequence worked. Being disrespectful - we take the same approach with varying degrees of punishment. It works for us and we honestly do not have many behavioral problems.

    I'm going to just let the rest of that argumentative post go because I could rebut each point but don't have the time or desire b/c we will never agree on this, much of what I said was misconstrued and I'm not here to ARGUE. However, I could debate your opinion on animals all night but that's not what we are here for. My dogs understand what "get off the couch" means and they obey. They are most certainly capable of learning. Don't get me started on my parrots. Not all animals react with a simple fight/flight response. End of that little goose chase. I knew that would be misinterpreted as well.

    Bottom line, I came here for some constructive ideas, not a debate on how each of us chooses to discipline in our homes and who is right or wrong. I don't admonish anyone for choosing NOT to spank their kids... so thank you to those of you who chose to answer my questions rather than give me a tongue lashing!!
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    Old 02-23-2012, 02:27 AM   #12
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    Quote:
    BM is one of the most manipulative people I've had the displeasure of knowing and drags her child into her dislike for both DH and I. So K thinks she can use the "my mommy said you can't spank me" excuse when she's in trouble and doesn't like the upcoming consequence, regardless of what it is. Does that make sense?
    If she is so manipulative and bitter, she may land you in trouble for being abusive. If you deliberately choose to spank, you are giving her a weapon against you.
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    Old 02-23-2012, 04:23 AM   #13
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mom2many View Post
    Like I said in the other thread. I have no problem with a swat to the butt. My stance to you was that the bio-mom said that she did not want you spanking her child...regardless of whether or not she does. As long as she is the custodial parent, I feel that her wants should be 'respected'..
    I agree with M2M on this point. I do not spank my child. I was spanked and I was NOT abused. And if I were not there to discipline my child, I would not be horrified if my parents spanked her, my brothers, sisters, cousins, best friend. If I trusted any woman her father ever were to marry; if I knew that woman loved my child and if spanking were not the only form of discipline but was part of her way of disciplining, I would not be horrified if she spanked my child. But if I did not know that woman well enough to trust her, I would not want her spanking my child nor imparting a long list of disciplining techniques, (I'd expect her to be disciplined, but much in the way a teacher would discipline her) and I think I would contrive for her never to visit if I knew the stepmom were going against my wishes.
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    Old 02-23-2012, 04:50 AM   #14
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    txstepmom welcome to the parents forum! Let me start by saying that you should first know that there are those on here that are quick to judge any parent who spanks as abusive. I am not of that opinion. I spanked my children when they were young for things I deemed dangerous to them. ( Going to the pool without asking, going near the roadway, playing with a lighter, etc. ) It was for things that I needed an immediate compliance. One warning, then a spanking. Only one of those, (the pool) required a 3rd response from me. So I feel like in the case where safety is an issue, I'd rather hurt the butt and get an immediate attention.

    That being said, in your situation, I think some changes could be made. I'd first like to say, I hate the word "step" added to parent. I think if you love and raise a child, you are just a parent. The problem I see with your situation is that she is only with you for a little while every other week and the fact she is 10. You and her father are not going to be able to change anything about her daily life in the little amount of time you have her if her other parents are on a different page than you. Sadly, her mother hating you and your child being subjected to hearing the arguments is so wrong and very confusing for her. That is not her fault. That whole situation is a hot mess.

    I'd change the way I interacted with her altogether. One, I'd let her know I understood her. Chances are she is defiant because her world is confusing. Tell her that she can call you what ever she feels safe to call you. You like being her other Mom, but its not worth her getting in trouble for. That is a small thing after all. Its just a title, kind of like "step" and its meaningless really.

    And as for the spanking, I wouldn't if I were you. Not because I believe it causes scars that never heal on our children, but because in your situation you'd most likely being doing the opposite of what your intending. Her Mom calls you a monster, the child misbehaves, and you spank, and her 3 days with you every other weekend is colored with a spanking that re-enforces what her Mom told her about you.

    Would I discipline her, yes! But it would be in a way she understood was her own choosing. "I'd love to have a great time this weekend. We have so many fun things planned and we've missed you. BUT, if you treat me badly or if you don't listen, I can't do these things and we both with miss out" If she shows her butt, send her to her room. Simply, "I don't treat you that way, your not going to treat me that way"
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    Old 02-23-2012, 07:20 AM   #15
    txstepmom
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    A few things - #1 She can't revoke visitation without a court order. My husband and I both welcome BM to take us to court for any matter she wishes. She won't do it b/c she'll lose. She won't do anything formal to bring light to what happens in her own home: drunken, mean husband who is in and out of jail as well as their home, leaving her children home alone after school on a regular basis with no form of communication. The list goes on and has compiled for years. We haven't had the money to take HER to court or we would have by now. If she was going to instigate that she would have by now. I've spanked K all of 3 times. DH has handled it the other times.

    #2 - BM doesn't think ANYbody has the *right* to discipline HER child. Well, that kind of attitude sets K up to walk a rough path in life. I see the results of that kind of child-rearing every day working with high school kids. We're doing our best to give her stability she does not have with her mother... and help raise a respectful, thoughtful, honest and kind young lady and no discipline we use is done in anger.

    #3 - BM knows I'd never harm her child. We know she doesn't consider spanking harm b/c she does it herself. Her beef with me revolves around her own insecurities and fear that she'll "lose" her daughter to another woman. She lashes out over fingernail polish color or if K wants ME to take her for a haircut! The woman has problems and when she's taking her meds she is fairly rational. When she isn't, look out everybody!

    M2M, I hate the whole "step" thing, too. When I talk about her, she's my daughter (and not b/c I'm trying to replace her mother). The situation is definitely a hot mess. Fortunately, I'm good at controlling my temper and she doesn't hear negativity about her BM from me, ever. BM is just shooting herself in the foot with that foolishness and K sees it. Breaks my heart for a 10 year old to have to deal with it.

    We've never taken issue with what she calls me as long as she is respectful. She was 3 when I came into her life and started with Miss Leslie. SHE started saying Mommy Leslie a couple years later and has since dropped my 1st name out of it. That threatens and infuriates her BM and sadly, K has adjusted to using my 1st name when she is with BM b/c BM won't allow anything else. It's so sad.

    Fortunately when we have her on longer school breaks, everything goes remarkably well. She falls easily into our routines. We hope and pray that in the not so distant future we'll be able to change the custody arrangement.
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    Old 02-23-2012, 07:39 AM   #16
    mom2many
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    Your biggest hurdle is the fact that your time is limited with her and the fact that 2 households and 2 set's of rules. I believe if you are always consistent (hence the rules compact) she will be able to fall in line with your rules easier.
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    Old 02-23-2012, 09:29 AM   #17
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    I completely understand the attitude you describe with regard to "my mother says you can't" and that is extremely detrimental to the child. And I can see it isn't even about the spanking in this case. Anything you did would result in the same outcome. It is unfortunate.

    I hope for your daughter's sake that you are able to build that relationship with her I would want my child to have with her stepmom if she ever has one.

    I still believe that as her mother, I should have some say in who spanks her or uses other forms of discipline other than the basic "time outs," etc. That is not to say that I don't see your dilemma and the impossible situation the bio mom has created. I trust your assessment that it is basically a manipulation tactic, but I still cannot concede this point from a my perspective.

    It sounds like you do not yet have the relationship with your daughter that would make me comfortable with you spanking her if I were her mom. I know that is not your fault and you are fighting an uphill battle, but I think you have to first focus on developing that relationship.

    I think once you do that, your daughter will realize that her life with you is more safe and stable than at her mom's and she will not be as defiant as she is bound to be in her situation.
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    Old 02-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #18
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by txstepmom View Post
    I think we can agree that you and I will never share the same views on spanking...
    Yes, I think we can agree on that
    But even with our differences and how we see discipline in a very different way, I can totally relate when you ask this:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by txstepmom View Post
    do you expect the biological parent to handle all discipline and leave the step parent out of it? do you agree with that step parent disciplining your child when necessary?
    I have been in a position of step parent in two different relationship, and the bottom line is, yes, your role is the same as a parent. You should have your husband's full trust here.

    Your presence in this child's life is just as significant for her than if you would be a biological mother. Developmentally speaking, there is no difference. What you say, what you do, how you say or do it, how you care for her, how you help her or teach her - it matters tremendously, and it matters to her developing mind as much as what her bio mom does or what her bio dad, your husband, says or does.
    Regardless of how you choose to discipline her, or the parenting style you decided to take, it's your duty and responsibility as soon as your are involved on a daily basis with a child, whether the bio mom likes it or not.

    Of course, the how this is done can be discussed. But letting the child live around you with no guidance and nothing to say about it can only be detrimental for her on the long run, not to mention the strange power dynamics it creates in the family.
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    Old 02-23-2012, 11:03 PM   #19
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    I will have to agree with Parentastic and M2M on this one.

    I am just having a hard time understanding why someone who only sees a child every other weekend would ever feel the need to escalate a punishment to the point of getting physical?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by txstepmom View Post
    I think that only having K 2 nights/every other weekend really hinders any kind of routine and really limits the discipline strategies that would potentially work. So I'm open to ideas!
    I just feel like if I only saw my step child a few days a month, there would just be no need for spankings. The poor thing obviously gets enough of that crap when she's at home (a belt?!), why add to it? Is she that hard to deal with? Mind you, I am not "against" occasional spanking (don't do it myself, but I know people that do and their kids are fine) or anything, but I just don't see how it is warranted in your situation. How hard can it be to get through two days every couple of weeks without hitting your step kid? I'm sorry if that comes off as offensive, I guess I'm just boggled right now. Anyway, I also have to agree that if one of the biological parents doesn't feel comfortable with you spanking, that you shouldn't. I don't consider myself crazy or vindictive, and I feel that if my husband and I were separated that I would not ever be comfortable with his spouse physically punishing my children in any way. I mean, even if the girl is using it as a playing card, you are the one that is letting her do that because you let it bother you. It really doesn't matter. There's no need to stoop to the argumentative level of a ten year old. So what if she says you can't spank her? Really, you could correct her by saying that you choose not to. Problem solved. Then you don't feel the need to spank her to prove her wrong (:/ ...?), and you still get to keep your pride. Win/win.

    I guess I could kind of see a struggle with trying not to spank her if you had like 50/50 custody or something, but you barely see her. What's the problem?

    Again, I'm not playing the "spanking is evil, harmful, and emotionally crushing" card. I just don't understand why you find it necessary in the short amount of time you spend with her. And honestly, you say you wish to spank to teach a lesson, but you didn't spank when she crossed the road without looking both ways, you spanked when she through a fit. Spanking at a time like that is just a reaction stemming from your own anger. That kind of spanking happens when you are mad at the child and you want them to stop. I just don't see why it's so hard to find other approaches and solutions when you only see her for two days every other week.
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    Old 02-24-2012, 05:40 AM   #20
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    Default Re: Step parent/step child discipline...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by parentastic View Post
    I have been in a position of step parent in two different relationship.
    what you're saying is it some point you had 2 girlfriends with kids. is that a correct assumption ?
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