November 2, 2014 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #614123lamud vov tzadikParticipant
True story. Happened this shabbos at my house. A six year old was having fun messing around, doing what all six year olds do and in the midst of all this decided to throw a quilt into a middle of a shabbos meal right into the fish and the salt and all the other foods that were on the table. The father seeing what had happened, gave a little tap to the six year old kid. Seeing that the three year old kid gave a little patch to the father and said you gave a patch to my brother lets call him Chaim I’ll give a patch to you. How is the father supposed to respond to this?November 2, 2014 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1039363
Give him a patch to problem solvedNovember 2, 2014 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm #1039364
He’s three. And he thought he was defending his brother.November 2, 2014 9:50 pm at 9:50 pm #1039365
He should learn respect earlyNovember 2, 2014 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm #1039366catch yourselfParticipant
Lesson learned: “Patching” does not work (at least not for these children). I am not fanatically opposed to corporal punishment (AT HOME – obviously absolutely unacceptable by anyone other than parents!), but it needs to be very well thought out. In most cases, the best reason not to use corporal punishment is that it is ineffective. This is because it is usually not the result of a proactive and thought out parenting plan, but a reactive way of trying to force children to act in a certain way.
I don’t see what there is to be gained by responding to this incident in a vacuum. The three year old probably has heard, “if you…then I will…” countless times from his parents, and is simply following their example. Let this one slide. The focus needs to be on cultivating the appropriate respect on the part of the parents.
This father needs to engage in a long-term plan to reestablish his parental authority, without resort to hitting his children. Don’t pretend to have all the answers; read some parenting books, develop your personal method of parenting, and be relentlessly consistent about its implementation.November 2, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #1039367
Parenting books written by those with no children very effectiveNovember 2, 2014 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm #1039368
Most parenting books are written by parents.November 2, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm #1039369November 2, 2014 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #1039370lamud vov tzadikParticipant
I hate unicorns. Period.November 2, 2014 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm #1039371
Most unicorns are readers, not writers. And I can promise you that no unicorn has ever written a parenting book.November 2, 2014 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm #1039372
Mashalim can work well… Not sure if a three year old brain can make the transfer though.
I haven’t finished thinking this one through so it’s pretty rough.
” Imagine if you were building a block tower with your best friend Moshe in playgroup. It’s already three stories high, and there is a moat with alligators, 2 pointy towers, with windows… And you are putting on the last tower and another boy is being silly and running around and he runs straight into your block tower and knocks it down! So your morah has the boy sit in time out. Then another boy comes and gives the morah a potch! Is that OK?”
Something along those lines… I am not a parent – so please let me know if this will backfire 🙂November 3, 2014 1:19 pm at 1:19 pm #1039373ari-freeParticipant
If you potch kids and scream, you are teaching kids it’s OK for them to potch and scream. If you lie and talk during davening, they will see it’s OK for them to lie and talk during davening.
If they see you learn Torah and do mitzvos with joy they will follow that example.November 3, 2014 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #1039374Israeli ChareidiParticipant
Perhaps the age appropriate punishment, whatever it needs to be, should be given out of site of the other children – it’s none of their business.November 3, 2014 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #1039375
There are shelves worth of seforim about chinuch. Unfortunately, none of them are popular or required texts for parents or those working in the educational field. The contents of these seforim derives completely from Torah, not secular study, so there is no acceptable reason to reject or ignore this great body of knowledge and guidance.
Virtually all of them that address the use of the “potch” are clear that giving one reactively is not chinuch, and is destructive. Rather, all advise to wait for another point in time when the mechanech (including parent) is no longer in reaction mode. When one sees this advice, one might question the observation we learned in high school science class, that rewards or punishments that are not nearly immediate to the behavior have no effect on modifying it. However, if we take a closer look at what chinuch entails, it is not about shaping behavior at all. It is about teaching. And the use of consequences for behavior are not intended to force compliance, but to educate the child. If a consequence, whether reward or punishment does not teach the child to want to act properly, then it is not chinuch. Punishment most often falls into that category. That is why Shlomo Hamelech referred to the use of the “rod” in an expression that does not suggest it but rather that it should not be excluded.
The reactive “potch” is labeled by the Brisker Rov ZT”L as an issur of injuring another. Others say similar pronouncements about how we “discipline” children. Check out the many seforim from Gedolei Yisroel of the present and previous generations about chinuch. I have not written any chiddushim here.November 3, 2014 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #1039376
The asker wants to know how one should respond, not whether or not potching is a valid parenting method.
I agree, that potching can be degrading and may seem hypocritical at times. The point being, I think this same question applies to whenever a parent punishes a child – Isn’t it true that 2 wrongs don’t make a right? Why can a person of authority cause harm to someone else?November 3, 2014 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm #1039377ivoryMember
I hope were not talking g about causing harm to kids! We’re talking about educating themNovember 3, 2014 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #1039378
Back In the day parenting wasn’t so complicatedNovember 3, 2014 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #1039379
But this is a complicated situation. The child was not supposed to hit his father, but he was defending his brother (a good thing most of the time, just not here) and his father really was misbehaving.November 3, 2014 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #1039380
My point was not that parents or mechanchim want to harm kids. Chas veshalom. It is that there are methods that are used with the belief that they are part of chinuch, but are really destructive. Such beliefs are tragically rampant.November 3, 2014 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #1039381
When one sees this advice, one might question the observation we learned in high school science class, that rewards or punishments that are not nearly immediate to the behavior have no effect on modifying it.
Didn’t you learn about fixed ratio schedules, variable ratio schedules, fixed interval schedules, and variable interval schedules? And even if you didn’t learn about it scientifically, ???? ????? – people work even if they only get paid at the end of the month.November 3, 2014 8:38 pm at 8:38 pm #1039382
PAA – great point – A great defense against hitting children.
RebYid and BP – True dat! Not simple…November 3, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #1039383
“PAA – great point – A great defense against hitting children.”
I wasn’t discussing the chinuch dilemma; I was just pointing out that The Little I Know’s high school science class didn’t properly teach the topic of reinforcements.November 3, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #1039384
But payment is different from conditioning.November 3, 2014 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #1039385
Please explain. I learned plenty about reinforcement schedules. I have even actually met BF Skinner. My point was that the prevailing understanding is that the consequence must be within a limited time period of the behavior to serve as a modifier (reward vs. punishment). In the case of using a potch, which has limited application in chinuch, the seforim are unanimous that it should NOT be done immediately since that is reactive and contraindicated. This distinction highlights the role of the consequences used in education to be “teaching moments”, not about behavior change. That speaks directly to the mission of chinuch, and is a critical issue.
Now, what was the problem with my high school science class?November 4, 2014 12:09 am at 12:09 am #1039386
bhb we actually disagree with each otherNovember 4, 2014 12:35 am at 12:35 am #1039387
Parenting has always been complicated.November 4, 2014 12:45 am at 12:45 am #1039388
bp – I agree that parenting used to be less complicated (not that I’ve been there done that… Just speculating)
What do you disagree with about?November 4, 2014 1:11 am at 1:11 am #1039389funnyboneParticipant
I’m happy that lamud vov is posting to the CR a theoretical question, if it were a concrete question it should be asked to an appropriate mechanech.
My opinion is to ignore the behavior at the time. Find a quiet time later on and explain that Totte is in charge of the house, and he gave Chaim a potch. Kids are not allowed to potch Totte.
I’m not discussing if it’s appropriate to potch as that wasn’t the OP’s question.November 4, 2014 2:43 am at 2:43 am #1039391
No I don’t agree with rebyidd I agree with youNovember 4, 2014 3:24 am at 3:24 am #1039392BTGuyParticipant
The middos issues of the kids seem to be coming to the foreground early, and that is good in that they can be addressed quickly.
Six year olds, in my opinion, are a little too old to throw a quilt in the middle of the table.
Three year olds should not patch a parent. They are a little too young to become socialized like that.
The kids are demonstrating socially unacceptable behavior and disrespectful speech.
The parents, I suspect, are not instilling boundaries or discipline on a steady basis, in my opinion.
Either the parents realize “raising” kids is an action verb, or the kids will be like so many others who run around driving rebbes, and their peers crazy.November 4, 2014 4:12 am at 4:12 am #1039393
The Little I Know:
I wasn’t talking about this situation or about what the seforim say. I was addressing a general statement which you made, namely “we learned in high school science class, that rewards or punishments that are not nearly immediate to the behavior have no effect on modifying it.” The fact is that the reward/punishment does not need to be immediate (although it definitely can be more effective especially when first programming the behavior). That is the concept of reinforcement schedules. If your high school science class did not teach that then it was lacking something. Though you definitely one-upped me in the “meeting Skinner department”.November 4, 2014 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #1039394
Bp – rebyidd was speaking from the child’s point of view…November 4, 2014 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #1039395
I beileve rebyidd is a unichild 😉
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