or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Do you prefer a family Hierarchy or Consensuality? Updated!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do you prefer a family Hierarchy or Consensuality? Updated! - Page 13

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 #241 of 1044
Really? I wish that were the case, but if it were a rule it would have to go for the whole family. My husband sometimes makes dinner but doesn't clean up afterward. He leaves his clothes lying around. I don't know how to "make him" pick up his things, and I find if I just pick them up as I'm straightening it's not a big deal. Sometimes I leave glasses and plates where I finished using them, and I appreciate it when my DH picks them up for me and doesn't nag me about it.

It would certainly be nice if everyone picked up after themselves, and I think it's something we're trying to teach, but making them do it doesn't work for us in the long run ... and what do you do when they stand there and cry and refuse to do it? How do you make them then? You get into a huge power struggle and the next time they don't want to pick anything up.

I also don't want to be a maid or a martyr and I do get tired of picking up and cleaning up... but I think that doing it cheerfully when possible and matter of factly will help over the long run. If I'm grumpy and complaining, they learn that picking up is an arduous chore. Sometimes I'll tell them to sit near me while we're cleaning up or comforting a sibling who got pushed, at least they are witnessing the solution to the problem and hopefully learning something by my example. My problem is that I'm never consistent for very long... I'll go back and forth between more control and less control and I wonder if that's not worse than just sticking to one approach!
post #242 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
Really? I wish that were the case, but if it were a rule it would have to go for the whole family. My husband sometimes makes dinner but doesn't clean up afterward. He leaves his clothes lying around. I don't know how to "make him" pick up his things, and I find if I just pick them up as I'm straightening it's not a big deal. Sometimes I leave glasses and plates where I finished using them, and I appreciate it when my DH picks them up for me and doesn't nag me about it.

It would certainly be nice if everyone picked up after themselves, and I think it's something we're trying to teach, but making them do it doesn't work for us in the long run ... and what do you do when they stand there and cry and refuse to do it? How do you make them then? You get into a huge power struggle and the next time they don't want to pick anything up.

I also don't want to be a maid or a martyr and I do get tired of picking up and cleaning up... but I think that doing it cheerfully when possible and matter of factly will help over the long run. If I'm grumpy and complaining, they learn that picking up is an arduous chore. Sometimes I'll tell them to sit near me while we're cleaning up or comforting a sibling who got pushed, at least they are witnessing the solution to the problem and hopefully learning something by my example. My problem is that I'm never consistent for very long... I'll go back and forth between more control and less control and I wonder if that's not worse than just sticking to one approach!
If my dh wants his clothes washed then he has to put them in the hamper. It only took a couple of times with him wanting to wear a certain shirt and it not being clean, for him to start putting his clothes in the hamper. I have way too much to do to wander the house picking up clothes.

If my dd makes a mess and refuses to clean it, I don't make her, but in the future she will not be allowed to make such a mess. We actually just dealt with this. She wants to drag her Legos all over the house, that is fine as long as she picks them up at the end of the day. Yesterday she wouldn't pick them up at the end of the day, so today she had to keep them in her room. She did whine a little bit about this, but I explained to her the reason behind the rule (someone could get hurt stepping on them in the middle of the night). And she seemed to understand and was okay with it. If she wouldn't keep them in her room I would put them away for a short time until she was willing to obey. As I stated before this is one area where I am not CL.
post #243 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post

I also don't want to be a maid or a martyr and I do get tired of picking up and cleaning up... but I think that doing it cheerfully when possible and matter of factly will help over the long run. If I'm grumpy and complaining, they learn that picking up is an arduous chore.
Wow I agree with this so much.
post #244 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
I also don't want to be a maid or a martyr and I do get tired of picking up and cleaning up... but I think that doing it cheerfully when possible and matter of factly will help over the long run. If I'm grumpy and complaining, they learn that picking up is an arduous chore.
I've been really trying to do clean up cheerfully, but I'll admit I'm failing miserably. I'm pregnant, have been anemic, and just don't have the energy for it. I get really upset when the messes are bad.

Mind you, I'm at a complete loss with ds2. I just don't know how to deal with him when he gets going...
post #245 of 1044
I encourage the children to help me clean up, but I don't force it. It's really a non-issue since they help or do it on their own anyway.

Dry spagetti (that they were only able to spill because it was in an open box anyway) if its going to attract rodents, will do so whether its on the floor for 20 minutes or whether its sitting in the lazy suzan.

Thats how I feel about it, but I didnt always, and I understand your point of view and see nothing wrong with that if it works for your family. I don't make them help, but they help 95% of the time. If they didn't, seeing how im not 100% CL it would probably bother me. I am trying to get to the point where it wouldn't bother me.
post #246 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
If my dh wants his clothes washed then he has to put them in the hamper. It only took a couple of times with him wanting to wear a certain shirt and it not being clean, for him to start putting his clothes in the hamper. I have way too much to do to wander the house picking up clothes.

If my dd makes a mess and refuses to clean it, I don't make her, but in the future she will not be allowed to make such a mess. We actually just dealt with this. She wants to drag her Legos all over the house, that is fine as long as she picks them up at the end of the day. Yesterday she wouldn't pick them up at the end of the day, so today she had to keep them in her room. She did whine a little bit about this, but I explained to her the reason behind the rule (someone could get hurt stepping on them in the middle of the night). And she seemed to understand and was okay with it. If she wouldn't keep them in her room I would put them away for a short time until she was willing to obey. As I stated before this is one area where I am not CL.
Okay this actually makes a lot of sense. Sometimes I think I am too black and white about things. I didn't see other options than "they pick it up because i make them" and "I pick it up because I don't care if they don't" neither of which feels right to me.

Storm Bride--I'm so with you on being pg and also anemic and tired and grumpy

Super Glue--I'm also trying to get to the point where it doesn't bother me. But sometimes I can't shake that they--well one of them--will always be happy with not helping to pick up : I wish I had more faith in him sometimes, but he does seem to be okay with everyone else doing all the work.
post #247 of 1044
Thread Starter 
I so desperately wanna chime in on the CL discussion but I first want to make sure the instinct stuff is clear. I'm ETA titles to make such a long post easier to navigate (I don't get on here enough).

Is the reason why we ignore instinct even relevant?

Just in case my communication has gone awry for others also I'll clarify I have an understanding of what SB is saying.
Quote:
Okay - that's great. I'm not arguing with it. But, in the long run, it has nothing to do with him not "ignoring" his instincts. Even if he has a squat toilet in your home, and then in his own home, he's going to have to use a public toilet sometime (or push his instincts back further, by just not pooping when he needs to in the first place). So, are you saying that if you raise him this way, and he uses a public toilet, even once, he's "ignoring" his instincts?
Quote:
Yeah - my parents taught me to use a toilet. That's not in doubt. They also taught me to go into another room if I wanted to play with my genitals. However, nobody ever suggested that this is/was anything but a cultural norm, or that it's the only way to do things, or the natural way to do things.
Quote:
I truly don't get what you're talking about. If you truly reclaim your instinctual self, and stop ignoring your instincts (ie. following certain cultural norms), you'll end up in jail.
You seem to be stating that it is not ignoring an instinct if there is no choice. For example, if our culture, law, or society dictates we must do something that is against our instincts, then it is not ignoring our instincts, it is a kind of choice, en mass. Your example being that my son will follow his toileting instincts when possible, but if he uses a public toilet, he is forced to sit, not squat. Therefore he isn't ignoring his instinct to squat, he is just doing what is possible.

Have I understood so far?

I have followed, I think, what your point is, and that you are saying that due to these constraints, it isn't ignoring an instinct it is just doing things how we do them.

I am saying that just because it is due to societal constraints that we learn to ignore them does not negate that we do learn to ignore them.

WHY we are taught to ignore them is irrelevant.

THAT we are taught to ignore them is the point.

Plus, most importantly, we must know how to identify the instinct before we can say we are choosing to do an alternative.

Is it a choice if it is done due to lack of an alternative?

You've said it is a choice to do something other than instinct (such as sit on a toilet rather than squat), because of a law or social constraint. However, I do not call this choice. I call this forced compliance.

How I came to choose to ignore certain instincts, is first knowing I was ignoring them. For example, toileting. I did not know until ten years ago that the natural way to poop is in the squat position! And I'm a naturopath, so that's saying a lot. We learn a lot, so the finer details get missed sometimes.

Once I learned how to toilet naturally, I was able to identify the signals my body had been giving me all my life. I tried to squat where possible, but I also chose to continue to ignore this instinct when faced with a public toilets. Now it is a choice. Before that, it was a learned behaviour I did without knowing an alternative or questioning it at all. Before I knew it was an instinct, it was one I had been taught to ignore. Society forced it on me, it gave me no choice; At no point was I asked by anyone if I would prefer to squat, I just got potty trained and then shown a toilet and that's what I learned. It was not a choice to ignore it. Now I can say I "choose to ignore it" occasionally.

The fact is, most of us are like I was, they don't know, and until told, will never know.

If there is no alternative, there is no choice. If there is an alternative but we don't know there is, there is still no choice.

Teaching From Birth To Ignore An Instinct
This may clear it up... the dog has an instinct to kick his legs after a poop. If he is prevented from doing so for some reason (someone holding his legs for instance) then he won't be able to. Using the logic you've used in your posts, you would say that this is not ignoring his instincts; it simply isn't possible to kick his legs so he doesn't. You have a point there, I agree. But I disagree that it is choice, it's forced compliance. But at least in this example he is in touch with the instinct, and can and will go back to it when it is possible again.

Now, if you taught the dog from birth not to kick his legs after a poo, he would get to the point where not only does he no longer even get the urge to kick, he can't even remember ever having that urge in the first place. I would say he has been taught to ignore his instinct. Is this not obvious? If you respond as though I've just stated something "everyone knows", first go back and check what you've been saying first.

How Instilling Our Norms can Stunt our inherent unlimited potential AND our Instincts
From birth we are unlimited potential, we could see in the dark if taught or if it were a need, we could hear like a wolf, we could be unlimited beings. But we only switch areas of our DNA on or off depending on needs, and what we are conditioned into. A human raised by wolves can't walk on two legs and won't hug you if you're sad but they can smell you 10 miles away and know exactly how much fear you feel and they will howl at the full moon for reasons only they know.

As we raise our children we repeat certain behaviours over and over and if it is in direct opposition to an instinct in our children then the new learning will trump the instinct, and will also trump the potential for something greater than that which has been taught.

Back to the dog, if he could talk, then we could explain to him that he has an instinct to kick his legs after he poops, and that he has learned to ignore it. This would be the first essential step in pup reclaiming this instinct, if he should want to. He first needs to identify the instinct before he can say that he is choosing to ignore the instinct.

How Does That Relate To A Human Parent?
Translate that to a new mother. She has been raised in a culture where she sees babies in prams and cribs and who are left crying for seconds, minutes, or even hours before being held and nurtured. She sees this everywhere she goes – friends, family, TV, movies - and this dictates her “social conditioning”. Upbringing has resulted in some women in such emotional poverty or such circumstances that she does not feel that tug to pick up her child at all.

Many of us, gratefully, at least had a tug, a sensation, that something just wasn't “right” when our babies cried. But the story of the mother watching on the monitor is ignoring her instinct, yes... and yes, she has been taught to do so by culture etc, but what of the poor woman who does not feel that while watching her baby scream? I can attest to there being tons of women like that, TONS, and it breaks my heart for both the mamas and the babies. She doesn't know it's better to squat to poop, better to pick up a crying baby, move her child away from a person who has “paedophile” written all over them... and a mix of other instincts she has long ago buried deep beneath a pile of new learned survival mechanisms.

My Own Reclamation of Parental Instinct
So I cannot see how we are choosing any of this. I will admit to not identifying my mothering instinct with my first baby. I had to be de-schooled in conditioning and re-schooled in instinct and nature. My baby cried and all I felt was “how do I stop this?” I did not feel any sense of “pick her up and it will stop” and this was also confirmed by the fact that when I picked her up, she didn't stop crying. No one told me that the longing, aching feeling of dread and hopelessness was from lack of contact with my baby. No one. And I didn't know how to “hear” my body tell me either. I could only feel, and all I felt was misery.

It was another culture that finally showed me how and why to hold my baby and why not to let her cry if at all possible - and the feeling lifted, and my life changed. This is why I am familiar, intimately, with the plights of Western families everywhere and why I help. If we could identify and listen to our instincts, MDC would become instantly defunct because no one would need the advice here.
post #248 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Quote:
RiverScout, I think that your experience with CL is about the same as mine. The people I know who practice CL do not make their child do anything that they don't want to. They would never force their child to ride in a carseat, they would just not go places. If this means missing, weddings, funerals, appointmens, then they miss them.
I could be wrong, but didn't Pat (the amazing WuWei) actually coin the term and start the CL "movement"? If not, I know that she has a website on it, "the" website I believe, and it is pretty clear in that what you are saying here is true. Pat has stated that she will not make her child leave the house. All going well, she will still be able to leave, however, if she can't get a sitter or whatever, she won't leave. So yes, she would miss events if her child didn't want to go.

I personally don't think this is going to model great things for a child. Children, as mentioned, run on feelings, not logic. Especially young children. Nature didn't design it so they engage their logic at every turn of events and "discuss".

I can attest that if our bond is weak, my daughter's behaviour is off. The only way to say jump and have her ask how high is if we are bonded well. This has always been true, but especially the last year. With the new baby, the bond got very shaky and so did her behaviour. She moved out of the room to her own room by choice, but it was still a big move to add to the new baby taking over in a major way in our lives. All considered, she has done very well but her behaviour can get horrendous. I find it really hard to get the bond back sometimes, even though I have all the tools to, it is more a case of desire. No one told me this happens with the first child after the second one comes. It hit me right off balance and it is the only source of stress in my life (the lack of motivation to rebond with her).

I command great authority when we are bonded well. But dear God when we aren't, she argues every little detail and takes issue with everything, my choice of words, an oversight, anything and everything. When well connected, I don't have to negotiate a thing, she just responds to me organically and life just flows in a way that feels "right", as me, Mama and her, child-follower. It's not that I feel in charge, it's that I feel we are all in "place", if that makes sense, no one is struggling for a promotion on the hierarchy.

I think this is how nature intended it to be. I don't think I was ever even meant to have to meet her consensually half way, as that isn't even required due to our strong bond. She learns from me when connected. She seeks my approval and seeks to maintain our bond. I say grab the tomatoes and she grabs them. She respects me. I say we have to go and she says ok. And we are both so much happier. It's so EASY with the connection with absolutely no need for negotiation.

So I wonder if all the CL guidelines and all these negotiations are in fact better off as plan B, not plan A. Engage plan A (connect with child) but failing that, engage plan B (negotiate with child).

Children start off completely self absorbed as babies (huh, no kidding?), and over the next decade they learn through stages that they are not the center of the universe, and that other people feel just as they do. I mean, many adults still don't grasp this concept fully until they are in their thirties. Children are certainly still learning this. So to expect this empathy is premature and unfair on them. That is why they are programmed biologically to respond to the parent as an authority/guiding figure. Like the newborn chicken bonds with the first thing it lays its eyes on and follows it, humans have a type of programming like that but it relies heavily on the natural connection that is meant to be in place. If it isn't there, the child no longer seeks the approval/authority of the parent and seeks it elsewhere and they start to show behavioural problems.

This is where it loses me, and I would like help with this area, and perhaps I should call Pat to the thread. I can't shake the notion that it is doing a disservice to our children to do things like defer to their preferences (such as staying home when you want to go out) or engage their logic (such as in negotiations) in regards to their development. I think that is addressing a symptom, not the cause.

Storm Bride, I hope my info about instinct doesn't seem to be too pointed at you. I'm using your quotes for it as I often think that if one person sees something a particular way, then I am probably confusing people. My communication ain't what it used to be, this has been a tough year and my memory seems totally shot and so does my ability to concentrate... and to find words, too. That really annoys me. I can sit here for ages trying to remember a simple word and end up using some crap word instead.
post #249 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
My baby cried and all I felt was “how do I stop this?” I did not feel any sense of “pick her up and it will stop” and this was also confirmed by the fact that when I picked her up, she didn't stop crying. No one told me that the longing, aching feeling of dread and hopelessness was from lack of contact with my baby. No one. And I didn't know how to “hear” my body tell me either. I could only feel, and all I felt was misery.

It was another culture that finally showed me how and why to hold my baby and why not to let her cry if at all possible - and the feeling lifted, and my life changed. This is why I am familiar, intimately, with the plights of Western families everywhere and why I help. If we could identify and listen to our instincts, MDC would become instantly defunct because no one would need the advice here.

I understand better where you are coming from.

I have to say that in my highly Western and Westernized family, we have all - generations - understood that holding a baby and wearing a baby is tickety-boo. We have pictures and stories to prove it. That's family in Michigan, NY State, Quebec, Toronto, B.C., and Florida. There have been cases where nurses have told people idiotic things - I was a preemie and the nurses told my dad not to let my mother bond with me because I wouldn't survive, whereupon he wheeled my mother down the hall to demand her kid.

So that's one reason I'm a little skeptical that people's intuition has vanished forever.
post #250 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
Children, as mentioned, run on feelings, not logic. Especially young children. Nature didn't design it so they engage their logic at every turn of events and "discuss".

I can attest that if our bond is weak, my daughter's behaviour is off. The only way to say jump and have her ask how high is if we are bonded well. This has always been true, but especially the last year. With the new baby, the bond got very shaky and so did her behaviour. She moved out of the room to her own room by choice, but it was still a big move to add to the new baby taking over in a major way in our lives. All considered, she has done very well but her behaviour can get horrendous. I find it really hard to get the bond back sometimes, even though I have all the tools to, it is more a case of desire. No one told me this happens with the first child after the second one comes. It hit me right off balance and it is the only source of stress in my life (the lack of motivation to rebond with her).
I totally get this. Both parts. I'm still trying to figure out how to best deal with it.
post #251 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
I command great authority when we are bonded well. But dear God when we aren't, she argues every little detail and takes issue with everything, my choice of words, an oversight, anything and everything. When well connected, I don't have to negotiate a thing, she just responds to me organically and life just flows in a way that feels "right", as me, Mama and her, child-follower. It's not that I feel in charge, it's that I feel we are all in "place", if that makes sense, no one is struggling for a promotion on the hierarchy.

I think this is how nature intended it to be. I don't think I was ever even meant to have to meet her consensually half way, as that isn't even required due to our strong bond. She learns from me when connected. She seeks my approval and seeks to maintain our bond. I say grab the tomatoes and she grabs them. She respects me. I say we have to go and she says ok. And we are both so much happier. It's so EASY with the connection with absolutely no need for negotiation.
This thought process makes a lot of sense to me, and we all have to go with what resonates with us, , but my only problem is HOW to do this. The way you describe your dd is EXACTLY the same with my first child, except it is basically all the time. He argues every last little detail with me, Mr. Loophole Attorney, is very black and white, will say I didn't give him enough warning that something was going to happen, etc. He also talks a lot and has to have your attention. It is very tiring at times, because I want to meet his need. I feel very strongly that unmet needs in childhood don't go away, they just come back in a different form. And if I do the empathy with him, it just fuels his fire and it makes it worse, it keeps going and going and going, until he's just so worked up.

So how do you go about re-bonding, Calm? What's in your toolbox there? Because I feel like we are already really well bonded, this just seems to be part of his temperament. My younger child, the empathy works really well, and he seems relieved and comforted by it. We are all different!
post #252 of 1044
That's interesting because that's exactly the way I feel with my firstborn, and not at all what happens with the 2nd born. I noticed right away after the second's birth, that I had a completely different relationship--healthier, I think. I am extremely attached to the first, and he to me, but almost in an unhealthy way, we push each other's buttons, and we butt heads easily. The second, I felt from the beginning that he was his own person, and I can see him objectively, and respond to him more calmly and with more patience. With the first I just feel like our identities were/are so wrapped up and that what he did was such a reflection of me and my parenting.

Anyway, I sometimes find it hard to enjoy being with him when he's in a difficult phase. It's almost like he acts in ways that he thinks will cause us not to want to be around him. It's really, really, hard to reconnect with him then because I feel like he's doing it on purpose. The next day I can usually start over.

What we try to do, and just did yesterday, and works, is to make the decision to be more accepting and affectionate with him, to not focus on any misbehaviors, not to nag him-- but not to do anything special, either. It's not about paying him special attention, or asking him what he wants to do, but for us the key is emphasizing that we are a family and everyone is part of this family and we work together. Yesterday, for example, we needed to reconnect with him, and we (DH and I) took them outside to ride their bikes, had dinner, then we told them we had a project to get started on (cleaning the walls in prep for painting them) and we were going to do it together, then DH and I had some reading from HypnoBirthing to do and we let them be near us and listen, but we never made a fuss over them. It worked really well, they were near us and participating and had our attention if/when they needed it. Their behavior was great all night, and has been today.
post #253 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
That's interesting because that's exactly the way I feel with my firstborn, and not at all what happens with the 2nd born. I noticed right away after the second's birth, that I had a completely different relationship--healthier, I think. I am extremely attached to the first, and he to me, but almost in an unhealthy way, we push each other's buttons, and we butt heads easily. The second, I felt from the beginning that he was his own person, and I can see him objectively, and respond to him more calmly and with more patience. With the first I just feel like our identities were/are so wrapped up and that what he did was such a reflection of me and my parenting.
I wonder if this is a normal feeling towards a first vs a second etc? My oldest and I are like this completely, then less so with my second, even less with my third (although she and I are SO much alike), and my fourth is a year next week but I really don't feel that I'll even be that enmeshed in her identity, I almost expect her to be...her...(??? not explaining it well), although she is a supremely and totally attached boobie baby LOLOL
post #254 of 1044
Can I just say that...

Whether or not one can be 100% CL 100% of the time will always be debatable. But one can try to be 100% CL 100% of the time - which I think is the point. Whether or not we are 100% CL 100% of the time is not my goal (and I dont spend hours thinking if it is even possible or not) - but that does not stop me trying to be CL with my 100% all (100% of) the time. ...once again, if I am making any sense! lol

(and I only wanted to say that - because what I am seeing in a lot of arguments here is that one can not possibly be 100% CL 100% of the time - so one should not even try...when I don't feel, for me at least, that that is the point at all about trying to be CL. I don't measure my worth (value, productivness, 'good', etc) as a parent by how CL we are - I measure my worth (and all that other stuff) as a parent by how CL I am trying to be - because that is what matters to me (the key is in the word trying really). I never find myself thinking 'You know, my DS is going to have to sit in this car seat regardless if we are ever going to go anywhere that requires the car, so screw trying to be CL' - I am always thinking 'How can we go about this in a CL manner - and if something just 'must be' (like sitting in a car seat or wearing some sort of clothing out in public or not running out into the motorway, etc), how can I ensure my sons emotional health and our trust and connection...which always results in a CL solution because otherwise, I could not ensure any of those things.)
post #255 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
How Instilling Our Norms can Stunt our inherent unlimited potential AND our Instincts
From birth we are unlimited potential, we could see in the dark if taught or if it were a need, we could hear like a wolf, we could be unlimited beings. But we only switch areas of our DNA on or off depending on needs, and what we are conditioned into. A human raised by wolves can't walk on two legs and won't hug you if you're sad but they can smell you 10 miles away and know exactly how much fear you feel...
Actually, this is incorrect. Our sight, smell and hearing are limited by our physiology. It is a fact of our physiology, not epigenetics, that we cannot hear as many frequencies as dogs can hear. There are limits to what a human body is capable of, regardless of the fascinating fact that our genes can be switched on and off depending on environmental factors. A human raised by wolves would not be able to hear the same sounds the wolves hear, and would not smell a person in the same way a wolf smells a person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
If we could identify and listen to our instincts, MDC would become instantly defunct because no one would need the advice here.
I disagree. There are no perfect cultures out there who perfectly follow instincts, and thus need no advice, ever. I think parenting and being human are much more complicated than that, regardless of which culture you are living in. And I will say that I also suspect that not all instincts are of the sort that would be beneficial to our children if we were to listen to them. Not all instincts are warm, fuzzy, altruistic instincts. I think that to say motherhood would be perfect if only we could all listen to our instincts is a romanticization of motherhood that is dangerous. (I do think attachment and attunement between mother and child are vital, for the child's development and for a healthy mother-child relationship. I don't dispute that at all, ftr.)

There is an excellent book that is an exploration of motherhood throughout history and in many cultures, which I would recommend that all women read. Unfortunately the title escapes me at the moment.
post #256 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
Can I just say that...

Whether or not one can be 100% CL 100% of the time will always be debatable. But one can try to be 100% CL 100% of the time - which I think is the point. Whether or not we are 100% CL 100% of the time is not my goal (and I dont spend hours thinking if it is even possible or not) - but that does not stop me trying to be CL with my 100% all (100% of) the time. ...once again, if I am making any sense! lol

(and I only wanted to say that - because what I am seeing in a lot of arguments here is that one can not possibly be 100% CL 100% of the time - so one should not even try...when I don't feel, for me at least, that that is the point at all about trying to be CL. I don't measure my worth (value, productivness, 'good', etc) as a parent by how CL we are - I measure my worth (and all that other stuff) as a parent by how CL I am trying to be - because that is what matters to me (the key is in the word trying really). I never find myself thinking 'You know, my DS is going to have to sit in this car seat regardless if we are ever going to go anywhere that requires the car, so screw trying to be CL' - I am always thinking 'How can we go about this in a CL manner - and if something just 'must be' (like sitting in a car seat or wearing some sort of clothing out in public or not running out into the motorway, etc), how can I ensure my sons emotional health and our trust and connection...which always results in a CL solution because otherwise, I could not ensure any of those things.)
you put that beautifully!!! I also think sometimes peopel give up too soon on the validating step and that effects the ability to move forward in reaching solutions. Well, really I can only speak for myself - that I do that sometimes.
post #257 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magella View Post
Actually, this is incorrect. Our sight, smell and hearing are limited by our physiology. It is a fact of our physiology, not epigenetics, that we cannot hear as many frequencies as dogs can hear. There are limits to what a human body is capable of, regardless of the fascinating fact that our genes can be switched on and off depending on environmental factors. A human raised by wolves would not be able to hear the same sounds the wolves hear, and would not smell a person in the same way a wolf smells a person.
Did you know that in certain institutions in the world they have been able to make blind people see with their tongue? They also were able to make one blind person see with his hands.

I have to totally disagree that we have any idea whatsoever about our limitations physiologically or otherwise. Science, once it discovered quantum physics, pretty much had to stand back and say they were not only wrong about most of everything, but they have no clue where to begin with such information.


Quote:
I disagree. There are no perfect cultures out there who perfectly follow instincts, and thus need no advice, ever. I think parenting and being human are much more complicated than that, regardless of which culture you are living in. And I will say that I also suspect that not all instincts are of the sort that would be beneficial to our children if we were to listen to them. Not all instincts are warm, fuzzy, altruistic instincts. I think that to say motherhood would be perfect if only we could all listen to our instincts is a romanticization of motherhood that is dangerous. (I do think attachment and attunement between mother and child are vital, for the child's development and for a healthy mother-child relationship. I don't dispute that at all, ftr.)

There is an excellent book that is an exploration of motherhood throughout history and in many cultures, which I would recommend that all women read. Unfortunately the title escapes me at the moment.
I concede that MDC would not be defunct. That statement was for impact . However, I'm not sure how it would be dangerous to run on instinct as a parent. No doubt not all instincts are warm and fuzzy, after all, aggression is on the list of instinctual reactions to certain stimuli. However, they are vital instincts, hardwired into us for reasons that were important in the natural setting.

Please come back if the title of the book comes to you, it sounds like something I'd love to read. I devour anthropological and historical studies, from any perspectives.
post #258 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
That's interesting because that's exactly the way I feel with my firstborn, and not at all what happens with the 2nd born. I noticed right away after the second's birth, that I had a completely different relationship--healthier, I think. I am extremely attached to the first, and he to me, but almost in an unhealthy way, we push each other's buttons, and we butt heads easily. The second, I felt from the beginning that he was his own person, and I can see him objectively, and respond to him more calmly and with more patience. With the first I just feel like our identities were/are so wrapped up and that what he did was such a reflection of me and my parenting.

Anyway, I sometimes find it hard to enjoy being with him when he's in a difficult phase. It's almost like he acts in ways that he thinks will cause us not to want to be around him. It's really, really, hard to reconnect with him then because I feel like he's doing it on purpose. The next day I can usually start over.

What we try to do, and just did yesterday, and works, is to make the decision to be more accepting and affectionate with him, to not focus on any misbehaviors, not to nag him-- but not to do anything special, either. It's not about paying him special attention, or asking him what he wants to do, but for us the key is emphasizing that we are a family and everyone is part of this family and we work together. Yesterday, for example, we needed to reconnect with him, and we (DH and I) took them outside to ride their bikes, had dinner, then we told them we had a project to get started on (cleaning the walls in prep for painting them) and we were going to do it together, then DH and I had some reading from HypnoBirthing to do and we let them be near us and listen, but we never made a fuss over them. It worked really well, they were near us and participating and had our attention if/when they needed it. Their behavior was great all night, and has been today.
I feel you. I can relate.

I have asked, btw, several other women of more than one child and apparently this is a common phenomenon. I feel that parenting number 2 is easy already, compared to DD. With DD it was an all consuming process, a completely life changing thing. And most of that I put down to parenting itself. But this thing with the bond shifting to my son ... it doesn't seem natural and it is such an effort to re engage it where it never used to be. Perhaps it is nature's way of protecting the new baby, much like they way they wake if you have sex, like they are tuned in to pheromones or something so you won't reproduce.

For ideas on how to rebond, I suggest the book Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld. Amazing read, should be recommended reading for all parents. For those who don't like books much, I'll come back later in the day with some ideas, just have to rush off at the moment.
post #259 of 1044
Quote:
Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld
I've really wanted to read this book since it first came out and I totally keep forgetting to look for it. Thanks!
post #260 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
I've really wanted to read this book since it first came out and I totally keep forgetting to look for it. Thanks!
This is the only parenting book I've read that actually made me feel good about what I'm doing and how I do it. He came at a lot of things I've always felt (and worked with) from angles I hadn't considered (an example early in the book about a teacher's relationship to his/her community is a good example). I really liked it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Do you prefer a family Hierarchy or Consensuality? Updated!