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Do you prefer a family Hierarchy or Consensuality? Updated! - Page 9

Poll Results: Family Dynamics: Hierarchy or Consensuality?

 
  • 2% (17)
    Definite hierarchy with rules, strict structure; decisions made on behalf of children.
  • 29% (176)
    Hierarchy with guidelines, routine, soft structure; most decisions made for children.
  • 9% (56)
    Consensual family; decisions round table, children are self determining; few or no rules.
  • 10% (61)
    Mostly Consensual; guidelines, choice where possible, highly structured
  • 45% (277)
    Combo; children know their place in hierarchy but have as much freedom as poss within that structure
  • 2% (18)
    I don't know what you are talking about.
605 Total Votes  
post #161 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
If you were raised in a western culture, then I'm afraid to say that you were taught by that culture. Our parents do their best but they aren't the only influence on us. Here's evidence you have been “taught” to ignore your instincts – and before people start checking in to list all the instincts they have intact, note that we all lose different instincts, although largely we lose the following ones (and countless others). If you feel especially special, that's ok and not all that uncommon, but the point I'm making is that we do lose instincts due to culture:

you do not have sex where ever and when ever the feeling strikes you (esp if you are in public)

you do not masturbate whenever you feel like it

you do not defecate in the squat position

you sit in a chair, not in the squat position

you wear shoes, causing the loss of a percentage of your environmental sensitivity

you have “tuned out” a large percentage of your environmental noises and can no longer distinguish between the rustle of a leaf from wind, or the rustle of a leaf from approaching danger

you've chosen mates based on factors other than smell, taste, attractiveness to you (regardless of attractiveness in general)
I don't see any of those as a loss of instincts, unless a person is unaware that they do these things, and that they aren't entirely natural. Some of these I don't see as a matter of instinct, really, anyway - loss of sensitivity to noises, for example, is far more a matter, imo, of noise overload than "tuning out". I don't squat to defecate, because we use toilets, and squatting on a toilet doesn't work for me - that doesn't mean I think that sitting on a toilet - or in front of a keyboard, for that matter - is in any way natural or instinctive. The fact that I know full well that I'd face being fired or social shunning or jail time if I had sex in public, or on the boss's desk, doesn't mean I think it's instinctive or natural to only ever have sex behind closed doors.

Mind you, I'm not sure how any of those have any bearing on someone thinking that sitting in front of a baby monitor, under tremendous stress, watching their baby cry himself to sleep, when every fiber of her being is screaming "pick him up" is in any way "instinctive". I'm well aware that there's a social penalty to public sex, or masturbating at one's workplace, or even, to some extent, to "spoiling" a baby by picking it up. Being aware of the social penalties involved in a behaviour is not even remotely the same thing as being taught that it's instinct to perform that behaviour.

Quote:
If you think we were biologically imprinted to be any different, you haven't ever seen people who have lived untouched by our morals - they don't give a rat's pajamas who sees them have sex, for example, and hence, cosleeping is no issue for them becasue they don't have the stress of "what if the baby sees, they'll be damaged for life?" And hey, guess what, they aren't damaged for life. Odd, no? Yet our culture is rife with sexually damaged people.
I agree. I have no idea where you may have picked up the idea that I (unless that was a general comment) believe that I'm biologically imprinted to be any different. I also don't think there's anything odd about people not being damaged by growing up knowing what sex is or being witness to their parent's (or other's) sexual behaviour. I, personally, have major issues with anyone seeing me having sex, but that's something I consider an issue...not something I consider to be biologically normal or healthy. (It's also related to other issues of self-consciousness and social phobias, which are not healthy, instinctive or "normal".)

Quote:
Some of those on that list above were helped along by our parents, who although they meant well and were preparing us for our society, were not armed with the longer term ramifications.
It doesn't actually matter if they were armed with the longer term ramifications or not. How can a parent say "masturbate wherever you want", when we know that would, ultimately, probably result in a jail term for indecent exposure or the like? The fact that I realize my children have to exist in a sexually (and otherwise) screwed up culture doesn't mean I don't care about the long term ramifications.

Quote:
The reason that book impacts most readers is because of that agonising trip down a western baby's life. It only lasts about 20 pages, but WHOA, what a helluva 20 pages it is. Who can read that and not clutch at their own gut and be wrenched with a kind of torturous regret and anguish?
That part was a big part of where she lost me totally. It was smug, arrogant, and massively generalized things. She had such a "it can be this way or that way and nobody is doing anything even anywhere near the middle" attitude throughout the whole book, but especially through there. I was born in 1968 - pretty close, if I recall correctly, to the babies she'd have been talking about - and I didn't know anybody whose infancy was like that. It wasn't like the tribal babies in the book, either. I have trouble taking a book seriously when it's completely based on the observations of someone who demonstrated so little...comprehension.

Quote:
Some of us went through a type of healing as we saw ourselves in that helpless, tortured baby as we know we were put into nurseries and cribs. Some of us lamented with guilt and sorrow what we put our own babies through. Yes, it is a tough read. No doubt.
Maybe for some people, but saying "no doubt" makes it sound like some kind of universal truth. I didn't find it a tough read at all...just annoying.

Quote:
I'm not sure what this means but perhaps the rules and checklists you have found are because some people like them? Some people need them when engaging in behaviours that are not only new to them, but against strong advice to the contrary from their family and peers at large. I'm not sure about “rules”, but I get what you're saying and I'm not going to nit pick cos it drives me to distraction when it happens to my posts and usually only shows the person is not really “listening” and is more intent on finding a counter argument in what I've written.
I'm talking about rules, just like the mainstream rules we like to rage against. I'm not getting into details, because I'll get chastized by a mod again, but I've had posts removed from this board, because I advocated listening to my child, and figuring out what made my child happy, and doing what caused her the least pain, instead of just going "okay - this what the AP community says I should do". So, apparently, parenting in a way that works for your child is only okay if you follow the rules...if your child responds perfectly to the AP approach, you're gold. If your child responds to the mainstream approach, that's just a fluke. But, if you're actually working out what works for your child, even if it's not strictly AP, then you're doing it wrong.

Quote:
My point is that if one is going to say “trust your instincts” then give more than that to a mama. I have known way too many frustrated mothers who I end up dealing with in private because they don't know how to find their instinct, how to identify it. It's great for us who can, but it's almost smug to keep rubbing a mama's nose in it when she doesn't even know what you're talking about when you say “instinct”.
It has nothing to do with being smug. I have no idea how to tell someone how to find or identify their instincts. It's beyond me how someone can feel their heart breaking while they ignore their baby crying, and still think that what they're doing makes any kind of sense. If someone is capable of parenting in a way that always makes them sad, and makes them feel wrong/bad/guilty, and still keep doing it, then I have no idea what to say to them. If they get "ignore my gut feeling" from "trust your instincts" - sorry - I've got nothing. I wish I did...but I don't.

People confuse instinct with intuition. Instinct is a biological imprint that is not genetic or subject to learned behaviour. Instinct, by its very nature, is an inherent species survival mechanism.

Quote:
Many don't. Here's the beginnings of a page on my website where I mention this very phrase you chose. It's a common reaction. Sagacious Mama It is far from finished, as are most of my pages, but for the point I'm making, it kinda works.
I'll read your page later (dd wants mommy snuggles), but I hate the "babies don't cry" stuff...hate it. I see it here quite a lot (and talk about smug!). I did all those things that should ensure that babies don't cry (oh, except for actually giving birth, which is a big one, I'll admit)...and dd screamed her head off for four straight hours every night for months. I'm sure many (or at least some) babies don't cry, but this whole thing is just more pointless guilt inducing crap for the moms who don't happen to have one of those many babies. If properly parented babies never cry, then if your baby ever cries, you're doing it wrong. And, I'm smug?
post #162 of 1044
her "why AP'd babies still cry" thing was more a commentary on the difference between nuclear family living and extended family living. Basically blaming our social structure for the places where AP doesn't perform in our society. I have to agree.
post #163 of 1044
First, EVERY human on the planet is socialized according to their society's culture. Every culture has taboos and morals and rituals. Otherwise it wouldn't be a culture. Is talking to infants or not talking to infants more 'natural' or 'instinctual'?

My beef with the CC is that it's holding up one tribal culture as an 'ideal' based on her very Western perspectives. It's the "Look at all the things these 'natural' people are doing right that we've screwed up in the West" mentality that bugs me. It's very patronizing to the Ye'kwana. That doesn't mean that many parenting practices in the West are right, but I don't like the implication that just because the Ye'kwana do it, it must be right. My life is not organized in a hunter/gatherer tribal culture.

I much prefer Our Babies Ourselves because it's really looks at the intersection between culture, agriculture/industrialization and child rearing practices. For example, in a hunter/gatherer culture, having a lot of babies close together is a detriment to the tribal survival, because the babies can't all be carried around/kept quiet/kept safe. Thus, extended breastfeeding and 3-4 year spacing between children makes sense. But, once people settle and begin agriculture, it actually makes sense to have more children because they can help with a lot of the farm work. Thus, a closer spacing and earlier weaning (to achieve that) make sense.

Is one better than the other? Hunting/gathering is gentler on the environment. Agriculture certainly provides a more stable food supply and can support larger numbers of people. Let's face it, most of us wouldn't be here if humans hadn't developed agriculture.

It's also important to remember that humans, long ago in evolution, became really good at LEARNING. That's what humans do best, really. I'm not sure it makes sense to talk about 'instinct' with humans, outside of a very few things. Responding to a baby's cry is probably one of those few things.

Most of what humans do is innately guided learning of one sort or another. Personally, I'll trade learning to respond to changing circumstances over a lot of instincts any day.

I'm not convinced that the Amazonian tribes are more 'instinctual' - maybe they've just learned another set of skills, ones that are important for their world, but not necessarily mine. It doesn't mean I should ignore my child's basic cries, but it does mean I'm not going to feel at all bad about insisting my child wear at least underpants when playing in the front yard.
post #164 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
Me, too. One aspect of MDC where I feel like a bit of a misfit is that I haven't ever done a lot of parenting research. I mostly wing it.
I almost started a thread about this awhile back. Honestly, I wish I hadn't done most of the parenting research I have done including reading The Continuum Concept. All it did was make me question and even deny some of my own instincts which looking back on it were pretty good to begin with. I'm all for winging it at this point. Now I just wish I could scrub my mind of all the propaganda and dogma.

To answer the OP, I voted "combo." We give choices and allow a fair amount of freedom where we can, but at the end of the day, my husband and I are in charge. I think my daughter actually appreciates that and it gives her some security.
If you start a thread I want to sub! I totally get and respect this attitude, although I don't completely understand it. I also feel like a lot of the reading I did messed with my head.... although a couple very important books gave me a sense of a compass, resonated with me so strongly and felt so comforting that I go back to them again and again... (One of them TCC and one of them Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, which is all about disciplining myself and modeling the values I want to have for my children.)

When I wing it for too long I also get messed up. I find it hard to understand my DC, I lose my temper, I'm conflicted about everything, I try one thing for one day and another thing for another day.

I guess I really struggle with finding my way and having confidence that I'm doing it right. It may be because I grew up in a dysfunctional, broken family... that I don' t have strong relationships with my parents today... that I feel isolated. I sure wish I didn't.
post #165 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post

Another point of concern is the woman who was raised violently. She is now trying to raise her children non-violently, but the “cycle of violence” dictates that she will do to her children that which was done to her. She must fight this “instinct” every. single. day.
Amen. I fight this struggle and even some days fail, all because of my "instincts" which are actually learned behaviors. How lucky those of you who have healthier "instincts" or, iow, had better parenting.
post #166 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
Amen. I fight this struggle and even some days fail, all because of my "instincts" which are actually learned behaviors. How lucky those of you who have healthier "instincts" or, iow, had better parenting.
This is the same for me. I grew up in foster care - and many of them were very abusive (in more ways than one ). But because of this (and YEARS of counceling and therapy and drugs, etc), I do question and read and better myself. I often wonder if I would be the parent (which I think I am pretty good at now!) I am today if I had not had such a traumatic childhood - wanting to ensure that my son never has to go through what I did. My husband would be a good example of this - he had a 'normal' childhood. It included some yelling, some punishments, some rewards, he was even smacked once. Was he abused? No. Did he have a 'good' and 'decent' childhood - well yeah hes okay. But he never thinks about how he 'parents' because of this. He just...reacts. 50% of the time - its not very good. He gets impatient easily and has little tolerance for 'noise' (espeically 'bad' noises such as crying, etc). I can see he clearly gets this from his father. He also can not talk about his feelings. They were never talked about. He was 'ignored' when he had a tantrum as a small child - etc (which is 'normal' in our society and often done and recommended) - But because of this, hes emotionally stunted. So yeah, I could see where his parents could have improved. They even laughed at me when I got some 'parenting' books for Christmas two years ago: 'you don't need a parenting book to raise children!' they said. Well you know...they are not perfect (and I am not saying I am not either) but they could have certainly done a bit better and stood to improve in some areas IMO.

I voted most consenual for us. The 'here and now' for me does not often matter as much as my sons future and I feel that the way I parent can help with this. For example, I want nothing more for my son than for him to be emotionally healthy - both DH and I did not have a very good start with this. I want my son to know that he matters, that his feelings are important, that I am here to listen to him and love him unconditionally. For us - the only way to do this is to live consensually. Any other type of parenting would hinder this.

At first I thought this was a 'Hey lets bash consensual livers thread - what a laugh!' - But reading through I realise that a lot of people just do not understand what consensual living is. TBH with you, I don't think I really understood it until I really dove into it either. It requies a big shift in ones thinking and does not happen over night - so me going over what it is for our family (and the sum for all families) would not cover it at all.

I have to say though - I don't consider it hell at all...unless hell is harmonious and peaceful and goes with a natural flow to suit all family members! lol I can see how it might be 'hellish' though, at first to make this shift if you are starting out with an older out of control child - but even in those situations, any type of parenting 'technique' is going to be 'hellish'.

I don't feel living consensually makes everything a battle. Though I do think it helps I had an early start with it! I can see how it might be more difficult starting/trying to live consensually with a child who is used to the 'whats in it for me/what are you going to do about it' approach of parenting most people use (rewards/punishments/because I said so/etc). We have been working as a team for a long time - so no, I dont have to 'compromise' with everything we do. Some things are questioned and we come to solutions. The rest just flows. New things in our life are taken slowly. It just works.

I wouldn't say at the end of the day, DH and I are in 'charge' - but neither is DS in 'charge' either. Theres no heirarchy in this family but my son knows his place, just as I know my place and DH knows his place. Thats natural. Children are not 'dumb' - He can clearly see I am bigger and stronger than him but I don't have to use this against him in raising him/'parenting' him.

As far as the Continuum Concept (and I do think its a good book - but Anthropology is what I went to Uni for! lol) -the only 'parenting' advice I got from it (and the only parenting advice I think you can get from it - maybe people have failed to see this - or point this out? I have read most, but not all the replies) is to wear your baby continuously and trust them (and all the really good reasons why) and so far, this hasn't failed me and the many people I know who do this - based on such a simple thing, I notice a huge difference in the way our children are in their nature and behaviour compared to babies who were 'raised' otherwise (and it has nothing ot do with how they are born).

Regarding labes - they are there for a reason. It is a name you call something. A cup is a cup. 'Cup' is its label. When I say 'cup' - you know immediatly what I am on about! 'Smugness' about lables goes both ways really - smug to use the lable for yourself, and smug that you dont use any lables at all. I, for one, and thankful for the 'lable' though. When I am stuck and need advice and/or support -I can use that lable to find it. Without it, we could go round and round. If I didn't use the word cup but wanted to buy one, I could be a long time talking to someone in a shop about what I am after until they got the picture and they would then look at me funny and say 'why didn't you just say you wanted a C-U-P'. (obviously a cup isnt as hard to describe as consensual living/parenting though of course - but you get the picture!)

And I think thats all I wanted to say!
post #167 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Ann, I've yet to read your post but it looks interesting so it will be first on my list in the morning (I'm in Australia).

Quote:
I don't see any of those as a loss of instincts, unless a person is unaware that they do these things, and that they aren't entirely natural. Some of these I don't see as a matter of instinct, really, anyway - loss of sensitivity to noises, for example, is far more a matter, imo, of noise overload than "tuning out". I don't squat to defecate, because we use toilets, and squatting on a toilet doesn't work for me - that doesn't mean I think that sitting on a toilet - or in front of a keyboard, for that matter - is in any way natural or instinctive. The fact that I know full well that I'd face being fired or social shunning or jail time if I had sex in public, or on the boss's desk, doesn't mean I think it's instinctive or natural to only ever have sex behind closed doors.

Mind you, I'm not sure how any of those have any bearing on someone thinking that sitting in front of a baby monitor, under tremendous stress, watching their baby cry himself to sleep, when every fiber of her being is screaming "pick him up" is in any way "instinctive". I'm well aware that there's a social penalty to public sex, or masturbating at one's workplace, or even, to some extent, to "spoiling" a baby by picking it up.
First, I didn't realise so many of the quotes were from you, Storm Bride. I didn't mean to pick you out, and I apologise if it seemed I did. I read a thread and pluck out quotes and put them on a word doc, otherwise I forget things. Anyway...

Nature didn't make toilets. We did. And only recently in relation to the time line of humanity. Japan and some other countries still use “toilets” that are at floor level. They suffer bowel issues to a much lesser degree. When used here bowel issues can be resolved.

I can help you understand instinct a little better. Or not. worth a try. A dog, for example. The urge the dog feels to poo is a physiological need, if a physiological need is not met, the organism will die. The urge to cover the poo with dirt is instinct, however. So is the urge to kick the hind legs in what seems to be an ineffectual attempt to cover the poo or urine. (scent glands in their feet, marking territory... irrelevant for topic however). This is not learned behaviour (a dog will do this even if they haven't seen another dog do it), it's pure instinct.

With my children, it has been a kind of experiment much of what I do, and I am the student, they teach me. I think we all benefit much more by learning from those less effected by culture. And I noticed in them something that I was told would be true: if you do not interfere with a child's toileting behaviour, they will squat to poo. Simple. Also makes sense. Also, it is true. The most natural way to teach a child to potty is by not using a potty at all. We use newspaper, like you would for a puppy. The squat is the most natural position for poop to come out, much like a baby (those of the natural birthing bent will know what I mean by that). When our gut is in pain, we naturally bend at the waist and clutch at our abdomen. The kindest thing we can do for the bowel health of our families is buy one of these: http://naturesplatform.com/ and teach your children how to poop naturally; or if you have a baby, don't interfere! Let them teach you how to poop!

Oh, the secrets our babies can tell us if we just shuddup and listen.

Yes, we have toilets, and that is my point. We don't even know that we had this instinct for pooping, it is so long ignored by us, except when in pain and we tend to have the “urge” to squat, bend in half or clutch at our abdomen.

What mentioned would happen if you stopped ignoring your instincts, such as getting arrested, doesn't negate the fact that we are, indeed, ignoring our instincts.

You have a point with the mother watching the monitor and ignoring her instinct to hold her crying baby. This is an obvious instinct, one we can all relate to easily. But it is flawed as a tool to help a woman find her instincts because there is more to instinctual parenting than picking up a crying baby. Plus, when holding a baby, and they DON'T stop crying... then we have a problem.

A woman who knows how to listen to her instincts will have an “urge” (there's that word again) to do whatever it is that instantly stops the crying. A certain position, something needed... whatever it is, she knows what it is. So much so, this is the reason why highly instinctive cultures have low rates of crying. Just because we don't understand it, or it threatens our status quo, doesn't make it any less true.

How do you teach a woman to find that kind of instinct within her again? It's not easy.

In Bali, Indonesia, you will also meet such children. I had the privilege of traveling there while globe trotting, and the feet of a baby do not touch the ground until they are two years old. They have a “grounding” ceremony at the age of two, and the child is finally put down. These kids are wildly happy, even in the face of the kind of poverty and abject circumstances I can't describe on a family friendly site.

Until you actually leave your own dogma (general you), until you leave your own culture and morals you cannot judge. We can't paint the world with one brush. We can't look at the world through virgin eyes and make any kind of call on what is happening “out there”. We know what we know, we can only guess the rest. When I hear people say, “babies cry a lot everywhere in the world” and I ask what that is based on... it is always based on opinion, on belief. They can bring forth little evidence, and absolutely no experience. Often a “friend” of theirs spent some time with some culture and they saw babies crying ... I hear that evidence but I don't get many details about the tribe or culture they visited and how long the stay was and what the circumstances were.

Just because it is hard to believe, doesn't mean it isn't true. It is impossible for it to be impossible. I think people refuse to believe some things because to believe it means they have to look at it, and they feel like a failure if they can't measure up. I've been there myself. I went through hell from some AP books and I guilted myself stupid and wished I had NEVER. SET. EYES. ON. THEM. Or any of those other godforsaken guilt laden unworkable unrealistic idealistic pseudo parenting books. Yes. BTDT bought the blog page.

The list I gave is incomplete and really only to highlight how hard instinct is to identify and how many we have ignored.

Quote:
Being aware of the social penalties involved in a behaviour is not even remotely the same thing as being taught that it's instinct to perform that behaviour.
I'm not sure what this means. I think we have a misunderstanding. We are not taught what our instincts are at all. Instincts by their very nature are inherent, unlearned behaviour. However, we can be taught to ignore our instincts. And this is where social policing comes into it. I think it was SGM who said her parents didn't teach her to ignore her instincts. I was showing her how society did it for them. That unless she was a raw, instinctual human being, running on instict like a dog, ape, meerkat or wild feral being, then she had indeed suppressed many instincts, or altered them to fit our culture. You know an instinctual culture when you experience it, and you know an instinctual being when you meet one. A baby, for instance, you can't over look it. And instinct is there to protect the species, hence why it is so strong after reproduction. Any mother will testify that her instincts were more raw once she got pregnant and stayed that way while raising a baby. It is for survival, and when we are not faced with harsh needs to survive, they atrophy, such as hearing, taste, and so on.

A good example would be the twins who were raised by wolves from babyhood. They behaved exactly like wolves, even walked on all fours and smelled and could hear like a wolf. We all have this potential, but some instincts switch off if they aren't used.

I haven't met the Yequana, so I can't comment on that specifically. But I believe Jean because I've seen such things myself. You know instinct when you see it. You just do. And they have learned to trust theirs and listen to it because not to is to tempt death. We aren't in that precarious situation anymore, so our instincts have died down a lot in comparison, and we struggle as a culture to "listen to our instincts".
post #168 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
her "why AP'd babies still cry" thing was more a commentary on the difference between nuclear family living and extended family living. Basically blaming our social structure for the places where AP doesn't perform in our society. I have to agree.
When reading "the highly sensitive child" they talk about how some babies need to be left alone to cry because they are overstimulated and the parent holding them is making it worse and take longer. I know some moms who have let their babies CIO because they said that their bayb cried longer in their arms but only a few minutes if they put them down. I never had a baby like that so I cant imagine,, I felt "wrong" while reading it, but I wonder if that is instincts or if it feels wrong because I am so anti-cio...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - --- -- - - - ---


more from UP reading last night:
p123
"There will be times when, in order to do the right thing, we have to put our foot down and cause our kids to become frustrated"

it also talks about the motives behind our rules. He basically says those times you have to put your foot down will be different in every family. Just like how I would put my foot down about my child jumping off the roof, but another parent would just look for a safe way to do it, and yet another parent would fully let them to explore this life lesson in any way they choose. It doesn't make one family more CL then the other, IMO, its just a different consensus. It's not a heirarchy. And the does talk about taking a child's age and maturity into consideration as well when deciding how self determining they can be. It's different for every family. No one's feeling or needs are less important though.

p11:
A childs preferences can't always be accommodated, but they can always be considered.

It's the difference between asking
"how can I get my child to do what I say"
and
"what does my child need and how can I meet those needs"

If you think thats a heirarchy then you haven't seen how very different family who have the same "rules" approach things when they ask that question differently. Again, I don't claim to be CL, just aspiring, and somewhere in between - but it's because of which questions I ask myself I think. This midset I cant get out of.

And yet, every time I give advice or share experience here I am told that great if that works for my kids but the consensual approach doesn't work for everyone. So, I guess I'm only considered CL when my advice (that here I am being told is no different then what a hierarchy family does) won't work for a hierarchy family.
post #169 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
I think one of the reasons CL seems to not work for us is that when a compromise is made, both parties usually loose what they really want. In any circumstance.
it's hard when you don't get what you want, but you always get what you need. sometimes you get what you want too. sometimes everyone finds a way to get what they want. sometimes one person gets what they want. but, in the end they get what they need. It's a matter of not thinking "im the parent, so when we disagree *I* get what *I* want" in away that is modeling for them that its good to always "Get your own way" no wonder they always want to get their own way. With a CL approach I find my children get insistent on getting their own way a lot less frequently, Thats just our family though. The more I have to have it my exact way the more they want it their exact way and we end up in a power struggle. this is just *our* family dynamics, this is just why CL "works" for us, but at the same time I am just trying to accept my children more for who they are and stop trying to make them into what I think they should be.
post #170 of 1044
Quote:
In Bali, Indonesia, you will also meet such children. I had the privilege of traveling there while globe trotting, and the feet of a baby do not touch the ground until they are two years old. They have a “grounding” ceremony at the age of two, and the child is finally put down. These kids are wildly happy, even in the face of the kind of poverty and abject circumstances I can't describe on a family friendly site.
I thought it was 6 months not 2 years.
post #171 of 1044
I thought it was 100ish days. Anyway, not 2 years.

I have difficulty with people holding up other cultures' child rearing practices as paragons because of an apparent advantage due to an 'authenticity' that we've somehow lost.
post #172 of 1044
I can't take that book too seriously due to it's heavy use of the noble savage stereotype. It's kind of like how I can't take Ina May too seriously due to her terms for body parts.
post #173 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
That part was a big part of where she lost me totally. It was smug, arrogant, and massively generalized things. She had such a "it can be this way or that way and nobody is doing anything even anywhere near the middle" attitude throughout the whole book, but especially through there. I was born in 1968 - pretty close, if I recall correctly, to the babies she'd have been talking about - and I didn't know anybody whose infancy was like that. It wasn't like the tribal babies in the book, either. I have trouble taking a book seriously when it's completely based on the observations of someone who demonstrated so little...comprehension.
Yes... and I think I can relate this to discipline too.

What Liedloff did in that section was what philosophy would probably label a thought-experiment, which can be useful. She imagined things from a certain point of view and took them right through in a very expressive way.

However, and this is the danger with bias and stuff, it doesn't actually prove that's that person's experience. We could do the same with AP practices ("The infant struggles to feel free, to feel the cool wind and the solid ground, but instead is left to sway this way and that, trapped in the folds of confining fabric, leading to a life-long fear of enclosed spaces and a desperate need to seek out lake views on holiday, and have 2500 ft homes, spending long hours chained to a desk in order to do so..." <-- I do not believe this, just saying that this kind of thinking/writing can lead to this kind of thing.)

And for me that's kind of where I try to evaluate my discpline practices too. I did come at parenting with a very particular point of view, but I find listening to my child, and evaluating my family's overall happiness and rhythm at the intuitive level is very important.

For example, before I had my child I thought that keeping his toys tidy all the time and having one toy out at a time would be a really important life skill to develop and key to our family's success. I was prepared to be the more dictatorial parent on that.

However, I observed that when I asked him to tidy or to play a particular way (one toy at a time) he was less happy and less willing to help.

But when I let it go and just made it an invitation like "Oh, I'm going to tidy up before dinner," he would rush to help tidy up, or to tidy up on his own - and also that while he does often need a "clean canvas" of tidy, sorted toys, at times he also needs to have them more or less all out, visually, to mix them up to play the way he really wants.

Also, part of his happiness in being in our family is having say and control over some of the space in our home.

Is that kind of more consensual? Yes I guess it is, and it is really nice. I trust that he is learning and I see that he is; our home is comfortable for us both. Later it may be that he needs more structure so I'm prepared to flex that way too. I'm paying attention, and that informs my decision about how to handle it. I am the decision maker though.
post #174 of 1044
This has got to be one of the most confusing, circular, semantical threads I have ever participated in :. Maybe it's just me though . I have tried writing a post like 15 times and think I am just giving up.
post #175 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
This has got to be one of the most confusing, circular, semantical threads I have ever participated in :. Maybe it's just me though . I have tried writing a post like 15 times and think I am just giving up.
It's about three threads mixed up in one. LOL
post #176 of 1044
I do think there is a difference now that I can see between Cl and TCS (which I experimented with, and really messed me up!) In CL people can come to agreements (sometimes compromises) which are not their preferred choice but which they can live with. You might agree to something you didn't want for any number of reasons--you can see it's more important to the other person; you think you might get what you want next time; you think it will be better for the group; etc. I can see this in how DH and I make decisions.

So if you say, "homework is not negotiable, you can choose where and how to do it," and your DC basically says, "okay, I will" then she is consenting. If she didn't consent to doing it at all, she wouldn't do it, or you would force (through fear of punishment or by making her stay at the table as one poster's parents did.)

So I see how the two are different but could be very similar and have a lot in common.

I can see how it might be more difficult starting/trying to live consensually with a child who is used to the 'whats in it for me/what are you going to do about it' approach of parenting most people use (rewards/punishments/because I said so/etc). We have been working as a team for a long time

If consensual means not using rewards/punishments/physical coercion, then I totally agree with it. But I still lead my children and expect them to follow along with my program. I think it depends on how compliant/cooperative your DC are. I know kids who all it takes is telling them what they can do/ not do. Not so my oldest DS. My younger DS does this pretty well.

For an example, if I decide we're going out to run errands this morning, I simply announce "We're going out to the store, everyone get dressed." I get dressed, I announce, "We're getting in the van now, everyone get shoes." And I go out to the van and everyone follows me. I don't beg, cajole, repeat the instruction, or ask if and when they want to go. I have, in the past, and it did make us miserable. My children do really well with this setup, which is why I think the heierarchy works well for our family.

I don't know if I'm adding anything to the discussion. But I've read all 9 pages and am trying to digest it all. I'm not sure where exactly I fall, I do see the value in both approaches, and I do sometimes have a hard time deciding what would be best. I have an almost 6yo DS who I sometimes get into power struggles with and who often acts, with others, disrespectful and disobedient--something I think is due to his difficulty in adapting to change and some having to do with adults also being disrespectful to children-- and I constantly go back and forth with myself and my DH about whether it's "too much control" he's reacting to or "too little control/lack of parental authority". Sigh.
post #177 of 1044
webk - I agree that making the switch is hard! at first things may be a little rougher because the child is testing out the new way the family is working. They may become more insistent on things for a season, trying to learn if the power has shifted to them, or if the parents still have it, or if it is truly mutual. Maybe thats where it comes into play that some feel they are constantly "problem solving" with thier children. My children are young, so the transition wasn't too difficult for us, despite them being spirited, emotional, high needs, and special needs. Yet I can see how even for the average child the switch could be hard. They may want to make EVERYTHING into a problem solving moment. With time though, I imagine they begin to feel at one with the family and everyone "syncs up" in a sense (kind of like how women's menses can sync up when they are around eachother a lot! or maybe this is just a freak coincidence that happens with me and my friends and family members lol) At first getting your child into the carseat may be a "problem solving moment" and then getting them in the house is a problem solving moment and you feel you spend the whole day problem solving and not actually doing anything. then a week later, the novelty of it wears off for them. They feel confident that they are considered just as human as their parents, and no longer need to try to figure out if there parents are going to revert back to controlling them. They see themselves as equal and don't need to test this out anymore. They jsut get in the carseat and go, they just get into the house. (or in my case, they just take a bath, or brush their teeth... once we let go of these power struggles they resolved themselves)
post #178 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
it's hard when you don't get what you want, but you always get what you need. sometimes you get what you want too. sometimes everyone finds a way to get what they want. sometimes one person gets what they want. but, in the end they get what they need. It's a matter of not thinking "im the parent, so when we disagree *I* get what *I* want" in away that is modeling for them that its good to always "Get your own way" no wonder they always want to get their own way. With a CL approach I find my children get insistent on getting their own way a lot less frequently, Thats just our family though. The more I have to have it my exact way the more they want it their exact way and we end up in a power struggle. this is just *our* family dynamics, this is just why CL "works" for us, but at the same time I am just trying to accept my children more for who they are and stop trying to make them into what I think they should be.
You mean food, shelter, water, clothing? Thats all we really "need."

In our society, CL is about wants, not needs IMO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
Amen. I fight this struggle and even some days fail, all because of my "instincts" which are actually learned behaviors. How lucky those of you who have healthier "instincts" or, iow, had better parenting.
Amen.
post #179 of 1044
In that I include the need for love, compassion, respect, and other emotional needs. (and I believe that emotional needs have been scientifically proven to be necessary for sustenance of life)

CL is not all about wants. It's all about needs.

I dont understand the Society comment. CL looks different in every family, every relationship, every town, because it respects that everyone is different. The way I practice CL with my children would look different then the way you would practice it with yours if you did. The way I practice CL with my neighbor is different then the way you would with yours. I am different from you, and we have different neighbors. and even if we had different neighbors, you and I would still be different. So when you say "our society" what are you talking about exactly. Society as you see it. Society as I see it. The way others in society see it, the way children see it?

But yes, thats your opinion. CL in my family, and by definition, is about respecting*that another person wants are valid (respect: need) and meeting everyone's needs (not wants).

Perhaps in some families CL is more "desire-focused" and less "need-focused" but that has nothing to do with society, it has to do with that family.
post #180 of 1044
Very interesting thread. I am probably going to be somewhere in the middle. My son is only 10 mos.

That said, he doesn't read any parenting books yet so I simply do what is working on that particular day.

Hubby doesn't read those books either. Some days I say "why don't you go surf the 'net for a bit then help me with the laundry." Other days I say "I need you to help me do stuff right now or I am going to freak out."

He of course prefers and wants to do things the first way, but understands that I need the second way sometimes.

For us, day to day living is too complicated to try only one approach or to believe that we can always meet needs. My goal is to not sweat the small stuff so I have time to sweat the big stuff.
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