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Do you prefer a family Hierarchy or Consensuality? Updated! - Page 14

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 #261 of 1044
I think I am going to have to eat my words about parenting books because I want to read that one now . It's been sitting on my Amazon wish list for while now.
post #262 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
That makes sense and I think that is similar to how SGM said it works for her too. I think if that works for you, great...and I mean that sincerely. What I have said here regarding CL is more about how it relates to me and why it wouldn't work as a goal or philosophy for me. Whatever anyone else does is okay by me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
(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...
I can't speak for anyone else, but that it certainly not what I have trying to say. It's not about not bothering to try because it won't work 100% of the time but more wondering about that other percentage of time that it doesn't work. CL doesn't seem to address that. I guess the best way to say it is I think CL feels incomplete. That said, I think the ideals of it have some mertit. Id' be willing to bet most people here who don't identify as CL would say the same.
post #263 of 1044
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, appointments, then they miss them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
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".
This pulled me in. I saw this thread but have tried not to jump in, as life is hectic right now. My mom was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer two weeks ago and we've been having doctors appointments, blood tests, biopsy, pericentesis, IV ports, endoscopy, etc all week. She is in a lot of pain, suddenly.

The irony is that my fiercely independent mom has become so dependent upon us. And we "twist ourselves into a pretzel", some would say, to consider her feelings, along with our own and our child's. And amazingly, ds generously does the same. Dh has juggled work and appointments all week so that I could participate. Ds has struggled with my extended absence and the change in our routine, and the energy of it all. And today, I really wanted to stay home and relax. And ds had "Pokemon Club", which is his huge passion at the moment. I talked with him to see how important it was to go today, so we went.

And my sister was at the hospital, despite her full time job, since she has chosen/agreed/wants to be the primary caregiver. Similarly, I choose to be a caregiver of ds.

Today, ds willingly came along as he and I drove 20 miles to pick up the pain med prescription at my sister's house, to take it to the pharmacy across town, and he waited patiently for 30 minutes as it was filled, and then we took the medication 20 miles back across town in 5 o'clock traffic, to my mom. A three hour excursion, all in all, before we returned home. And dh was going to reschedule a business appointment to help get the medication, if we couldn't get to the pharmacy before closing, as sister couldn't pick it up until tomorrow, etc. We all work together to find a solution that is agreeable to everyone.

Tomorrow, my sister has a wedding she wants to attend which is important to her. She is my mom's primary caregiver and she told me she wants to go to the wedding. She *could* leave mom alone. She could drag mom along. She could stay home. She could get an alternate caregiver. We consider everyone's feelings and needs; and although our family "already has plans", we adjust to help each other out. We consider each member's feelings valid, even when we may not understand their priorities or needs.

Last Wednesday, dh and I went to a restaurant, which we always enjoy. But, on the heels of all of this news, and the chaos and research, my head was about to explode with the NOISE of the restaurant. AFTER we'd already been seated, given our menus and greeted by the wait staff, I didn't want to stay due to the assault of the noise. We left. Despite dh's concern that it was 'a bit strange' to up and leave, he listened and honored my needs. Similarly, we've left environments without need for "understanding", when ds felt it necessary to leave. We give the same consideration to each other, he gives it back.

Probably, a half dozen times a year, we have some conflict of needs regarding scheduled events. Usually, dh comes up with a sudden need to travel out of town, although I already have something planned, in the evening he'd be gone. Another half dozen times a year, I'll have something I need or want to do and dh will juggle his calendar to make it happen. About a half dozen times a year, ds will accommodate one of our "important" outings. And we do the same for him. I recall a couple of trips out to get some special food from the grocery, or time when he really wanted to stay home and we just work it out.

I don't believe that children learn to regard other's feelings, when we choose not to regard theirs.


Pat
post #264 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
I don't believe that children learn to regard other's feelings, when we choose not to regard theirs.


Pat
That may be true....but, in my life, things aren't as black and white as "regard feelings" and "not regard feelings". If I recall correctly, your dc is about the same age as my dd--8ish? My dd is pretty great about regarding the feelings of others now, but was less so at 2 or 3. And, she learned to regard the feelings of others even though we routinely insisted that she get in the carseat (against her desire) at 2 or 3.

I think that is my biggest issue with CL, especially with younger dc (who are still very self-centered in a developmentally appropriate way). It seems like a lot of work (to me) to model and promote behaviors that I believe will develop naturally with maturation under reasonable circumstances.

I am truly sorry to read of your mother's illness and pain.
post #265 of 1044
How it has been going in our family regarding extreme car-seat issues.
(The less extreme situations could be mostly consensually resolved by eventually riding with the child safely and willingly buckled in seat)
If my youngest child is unwilling to sit in his carseat he is not going to sit in the carseat. I mean, its impossible. In (t)his case, this means unwilling to the extent that there's NO way he will stay seated in the carseat, or even car - because if he is UNwilling, he is so extremely upset that he will get out of his mind and out of the seat mid-ride having serious tantrum or else before we could even leave (and we rather have that than during the rides tbh...) . Which means that, if we can, we wait it out untill he calms down and can be happily seated again. Another solution is all changing plans and not going by car but other means. Or Someone stays home with him while the others go. Or Someone will go with him by other means (if he wants that) while the others go by car (ı do not think we've done that one ever but it is an option :-). Or we stop at the side of the road, and if he would really be very upset that we couldn't drive home that way, there might be another way to get him home with one of us parents.

Note that we avoid going out with him and one parent only if possible (by car or other means) because he is extremely spirited/explosive at times and very hard to deal with by one parent, especially when both kids are on the trip (ds1 also often gets upset/contrary when ds 2 is and there you go ).

Because we know are son we are always considering the unexpected needs of our (un)predictably extreme child. 'We will attend the wedding unless he is not happy going therebeing there'. Fine by us. Another solution may that one or two of our family attend the event. I learned that letting go of what I want and how I want it all of the time is not realistic. Our children learn that we consider their wants/needs and they are sill young but learning how to consider ours. I expect that when they are older they will learn to understand their parents' and siblings and other peoples needs better.

I am sure that this is not exclusive to consensual families but it is just the way we do it in our family because it fits us best (at the moment).
post #266 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Pat! Thanks for coming. I'm so so sorry about your mum, firstly, and I will send you my website page on cancer, should anything be helpful on there. If I forget, you have the address, just click on cancer on the home page. And feel free to take as long as you need to answer my questions because I have been there with my dad and understand how hard it is to meet all expectations.

Quote:
I don't believe that children learn to regard other's feelings, when we choose not to regard theirs.
In some cases this may be true, but I wouldn't consider it a rule or even a possibility in most circumstances. I have known some lovely children who have been seriously abused and neglected. The very antithesis of regard has been afforded them and yet they do not follow your formula above. Human nature is a curious thing, and it isn't easy to make a formula about it.

Obviously, it is best to model empathy and regard, I couldn't and wouldn't dispute that. But to say that they do not learn to regard feelings unless xyz has no evidence to support it. Even if we soften that statement to "often children do not learn..." or "CL helps children learn..." regarding empathy and regard, it is still untrue. That would mean I didn't learn regard, nor any of my four brother nor, actually, anyone I know at all, including you (unless you were raised consensually yourself).

My mother was consensual but only after we matured to a point where she felt we could bear the logic involved. As a teen, she gave me so much rope I hung myself regularly and this is where I learned my own parenting style which is to let my children learn about their environment themselves, which entails them being hurt and disappointed frequently.

She had four sons under the age of 5 and always had comments on how sweet and "well behaved" they were... four boys! She is a master though, and we adore her. My brothers are still, in not just my opinion but the opinion of others, the sweetest, most loyal, intuitive people you could meet, and yes, full of regard for others. This regard was evident very early in their youth. As was mine.

Yet we were raised in a hierarchy and for my mother's sanity to survive so many kids, she called the shots. But we were always strongly connected so we didn't argue. From my perspective it wasn't fear that created such compliance but respect and connection.

Gotta run at the moment but I have some questions I'll come back with.
post #267 of 1044
We are mostly consensual and we get the same compliments on how well behaved our children are (at resteraunts, on airplane rides, in shopping centers, and grocery stores - at the park, etc) - and also how exuberantly happy they are.

Friends admire my children's behavior (even though they think my parenting is a little wacky) and my son's teachers, therapists, and doctors all comment on the progress he is able to make and have made it clear that they attribute this to my efforts with him and my parenting which they do not frequently see. It has even been commented to me by people on the school board that I should teach classes - though I don't feel qualified because I know at home how they can really explode over some issues that arise.

I agree there is more then one way to accomplish goals, I prefer a more respectful equality and some prefer a respectful dictatorship. All I know if my son would not be who he is today and would have a lot more hardships to deal with if we were less consensual. I see his progress evolve as our family becomes more and more consensual. When I start to get "controlling" again is when I see things get harder for him and those who work with him. They don't know what goes on at home, but his school reports always directly correlate, to the point I now know these things are not coincidence.

Also - have to share this but I just found out what kind of parenting brought up our beloved mothers helper. She is extremely successful in life, getting excellent grades in college, her 2 sisters and brother are also extremely successful, they have an amazing relationship with their parents and feel they can tell them anything. She described her parents to me friday and they were consensual. She like working for us because our family is like her family They shared their feelings with their children and left all choices up to them and supported them in anything they chose.

I am sure other ways work, but I know what my mom did wasn't good, and I know what I am doing is good, so I'll just stick with this for my family
post #268 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
Yet we were raised in a hierarchy and for my mother's sanity to survive so many kids, she called the shots. But we were always strongly connected so we didn't argue. From my perspective it wasn't fear that created such compliance but respect and connection. .
This is how I would love my kids to remember their childhood

eta...it is also how I would describe my childhood, at least before adolescence.
post #269 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
We are mostly consensual and we get the same compliments on how well behaved our children are

Friends admire my children's behavior and my son's teachers, therapists, and doctors all comment on the progress he is able to make and have made it clear that they attribute this to my efforts with him and my parenting which they do not frequently see.
Wow, I never get compliments on my parenting, EVER.

Here's a little story for you:
Yesterday we all went to the grocery store together. Abigail was helping put items in the cart. Sophia was angry that I made her sit in the cart, buckled in, so we let her help toss things in the cart, too, which made her happier about having to be in the seat. Well, Abigail started getting restless and no longer staying as close as I would have preferred. When my husband and I were looking for one item, she decided it was boring (understandably) and began pointing out all the other noodles and saying a bunch of numbers (since to her that's what it looked like my husband and I were doing). Other shoppers were trying to pass, but she was in the way. So I told Abigail to look out for the other people who were trying to get past her. She then noticed them, but was really into her jumping around yelling numbers game. She did move, and say 'oooohhhh', like she got it, and smiled and said hello to the other shoppers as they passed through the aisle (and giggled at those that smiled at her). Well, one lady tells me, 'it's okay, we have kids, too'. Well, of course it's okay, I'm just teaching my daughter to be conscious of other people. I didn't want to change anything else about what she was doing, the jumping, the talking, the imitating us, I didn't think any of that was 'wrong'. I wasn't punishing my daughter, just pointing out the other shoppers to make her aware of their needs, too. She moved out of the way for them to pass when she realized that's what they needed, with a little guidance from me. I don't know why, but 'it's okay' implied something was off, and I didn't think anything was off. Well, needless to say, I certainly didn't feel complimented, just sympathized with (I think that was the intent of the shopper who said, it's okay - but I didn't feel I needed sympathy cause I didn't think anything was wrong, but I think she was just trying to be polite, or kind, or something).
post #270 of 1044
Doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong, perhaps those who have witnessed your parenting look on with silent awe (that is what I usually do) but yes, we get it often - people next to us in the resteraunt, people behind us on the place (we've gotten - oh you had kids with you?! and also once someone gave my son $20 at the end of a plane ride cuz they thought he was a cool kid.) My kids save it all up for at home - they know home is a safe place to express their emotions. When ever we leave the house it's great though, they walk holding my hand or eachother's hands, they have never run into the street, the list goes on - but this is not a reflection of them *at home*. My autistic son is also very sensitive, they both have big emotions and are very determined individuals. I give the credit to them, they deserve it

I am sure they didn't mean it in a bad way to show sympathy, sounds more like empathy to me, but I agree you were doing just fine.
Personally I would prefer people just not talk to me in public. makes me really uncomfortable.
post #271 of 1044
I voted combo. I've been thinking about this poll for a while now. Looking back at how we raised the girls and how we are raising Dylan now, we used hierarchy when they were children and slowly as they grew and matured in their thinking and understanding and self control, we went into consensuality. Little kids don't want nor do they understand or have the ability to make the decisions. That's what parents are for. But teens need the practice of negoiating, debating, and standing up for their decisions and beliefs. And that practice needs to come in the security, familiarity, and love of the family.
post #272 of 1044
Definitely hierarchy with soft structure here.

As a mother, I lean more towards the CC'ish way of parenting.

Actually, I'm not very consensual at all. If I say do it, you do it. The things that dd1 (age six) is old enough to get input on (what she wants to wear, what she wants for breakfast, what bedtime story to read) we definitely give her that decision.

However, I'm not a game player. I do my adult things throughout the day and she helps out or goes and plays on her own (or with her toddler sister); I remember reading these panicked threads in the parenting forum 'OMGZ! I don't play with my kid - what'll happen?'

Anyway, I remember feeling safe and secure with my very much hierarchical structure growing up. And I also remember the feeling of validation that came when I was a teen and my parents started allowing me more adult decisions. I felt I'd earned them, and I'd proven myself.

Much like the example Calm used re: sitting in the front seat. We never questioned the fact that my mother sat in the front. Actually, I don't think I would have ever wanted to! lol Today, I'm the oldest sib in my family - I get shotgun just because.

Ahhh, the perks of being a grown-up.
post #273 of 1044
Thread Starter 
I got lucky with my daughter. I don't know if her behaviour can be more than half attributed to parenting. Friends and family attribute it to DH and myself and we used to but since DS was born, and we've seen just how chalk and cheese they are - they even look like chalk and cheese - we're not so sure it isn't largely just her.

I would perhaps not have considered this if it weren't for the arrival of my son. She's an extraordinary person and not just intellectually - I still can't believe she came out of me.

It's very easy to take credit for that. And I'd love to be able to, and I used to. But I can't do that anymore and hold my head high. It's not me. It's her.
post #274 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
I am sure they didn't mean it in a bad way to show sympathy, sounds more like empathy to me, but I agree you were doing just fine.
Whether sympathy or empathy, she was being kind to me. but....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
Personally I would prefer people just not talk to me in public. makes me really uncomfortable.
yes, me too, especially when I'm with my children and am already HIGHLY distracted from whatever they may being trying to talk to me about. oh well, most social situations I think I misread or misinterpret so I'm already socially anxious enough without an actual conversation being thrown into the mix.
post #275 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Quote:
However, I'm not a game player. I do my adult things throughout the day and she helps out or goes and plays on her own (or with her toddler sister); I remember reading these panicked threads in the parenting forum 'OMGZ! I don't play with my kid - what'll happen?'
Oh my gawd, I think I love you.

I have considered starting a thread about this very topic, and I may well do so I won't take up too much effort with it here. But I did want to say that I HATE GAMES!!!! It just doesn't seem "right" to me. I've BTDT when I was a kid, I have no interest in doing it again. This is again a topic I think we have messed up in our culture - I don't think parents were meant to play dress ups! My parents never played with me, probably cos they were in their forties when I was born but whatever the reason, that's the way it was. And I would never have had it any other way. I was like an only child as my youngest brother is 11 years older than me, so the "only child" argument doesn't fit either. I still managed to play, I used my imagination. My daughter survived 6 years without a playmate and I don't play games with her. It may be why she was the only one not crying on the first day of school, it was like, see ya mum, don't hurry back. But hey, I gotta be authentic and I can't stand kid games, BLEH! I connect in other ways, usually with laughs and stupid songs.

ETA:
Quote:
As a mother, I lean more towards the CC'ish way of parenting.
Yes. Me. Nail. Head. Bang. I think CL and CC clash at significant points.
post #276 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Ok, Pat, or whoever might like to have a shot...

Logic. What about that? Should children of a tender age call upon their logic, which is required for a reasonable negotiation?

Empathy. This is not developed in a child until a certain age. They are very egocentric at birth, and this s.l.o.w.l.y tips toward a more worldcentric view but again, at a tender age you can get empathy out of them, but like logic - is it a disservice to their emotional development? Is it false empathy (they do what pleases us)? Do they understand empathy even if we disregard those two issues?

Age. Is CL age appropriate, or does the whole premise stand from birth onwards? For example, taking in to account the desires of a baby and weighing that against the desires of a 14 year old sibling - although both are equally valid, do they both carry equal weight? Ie, 10 month old does not want to go in car; 14 year old wants to go somewhere that requires lift. Baby must be forced into car, yes? Either that, or the teen must, perhaps for the 10th time that day, defer to a baby due to the inability to engage logic, discussion, negotiation or consensual anything with a baby. At what age do we engage the child's cooperation in family decisions?

Instinct. A child has an instinct to first connect with, then seek the approval of, then emulate a parent. As noted by the research of Gordon Neufeld and more recent docs, this connection will transfer to peers if the connection with the parent fails. There are other instincts and behaviours that strongly suggest that the child looks for direction and guidance and boundaries. A newborn looks for these things physically (eg, legs and arms flail out looking for physical boundaries when feeling too far out in space, they get comfort from closed in spaces they can feel) but older children seek them more emotionally. How does this fit in line with conceding in such matters as wanting to go out when the child wants to go home, and the adult concedes. The adult will have to concede almost every time and this is normal 2 and 3 year old behaviour unless you have an exception to the rule - which, no disrespect, that doesn't count. Is conceding to a child constantly teaching anything but reverse hierarchy?

Connection first, consensuality second. Shouldn't this be the preferred model? If well connected, a child will follow and seek the approval of the object of that attachment. If this connection is lacking, the first sign is the need for negotiation. I say jump, my kid asks how high (with a willing smile!)... unless the connection is shaky, even slightly. Then it's anything from a grimace in response, or a comment or an outright "I don't want to." Could we fairly say that CL is effective when the connection has failed, however temporarily?

Needs vs wants. I've heard it mentioned that CL is about needs. Is this correct? Needs seem to be subjective, as the way some of us define needs is not how some others of us do. One person's need is another person's desire. How does one define a need in the family? Once defined, is a desire dealt with differently? Making sure everyone's needs are met is, imo, easy peasy. Dealing with the desires of a whole family who live together (esp when one is as large as mine, which involves mother, father, child A, child B, grandma, uncle A and uncle B!) is another matter entirely.

Emergencies. Is this a case where CL is trumped, even for the most hard core CLer? For example, child gashes leg, needs stitches, doesn't want to get in car or go to hospital, doctor won't do home visit. How to approach this situation consensually, remembering you have about 30 seconds to decide.

Ran out of time, AGAIN! Anyway, have a play around with those so far... gotta feed and water some small people...
post #277 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
Oh my gawd, I think I love you.

I have considered starting a thread about this very topic, and I may well do so I won't take up too much effort with it here. But I did want to say that I HATE GAMES!!!! It just doesn't seem "right" to me. I've BTDT when I was a kid, I have no interest in doing it again. This is again a topic I think we have messed up in our culture - I don't think parents were meant to play dress ups! My parents never played with me, probably cos they were in their forties when I was born but whatever the reason, that's the way it was. And I would never have had it any other way.
Ceinwen and Calm, I love both of you

I'm getting a lot out of this discussion.

ITA re games. I decided a long time ago to let go of the guilt about not playing with my children all day. Just now it's gotten easier that they are 3 and almost 6, not that they ever depended much on me for playing, but I really am okay now with saying "I'm busy," "Go play," or "Help me here."

My parents also did not play much with me, and we (sibs) played a lot unsupervised with cousins and neighborhood kids, which is the way I think it should be.

But I do remember very specifically feeling "crushed" at times when I really wanted to help out and my parents wouldn't let me--one time when they were hanging new wallpaper in our bedroom and one time when I wanted to help clean tables on a busy night at a restaurant we ran. Those feelings of hurt and left out have never gone away. So I'm very open to my children helping out in whatever we do, and we connect that way, through doing things as a family. It's never, "leave me alone, this is for adults to do."

As for logic, I agree with those schools of thought that say 7 is the age of reason. One of them is Waldorf, although there is alot I *don't* agree with in that school of thought, the part about 0-7 years being led by their will and limbs --I give a big So that is something I've thought about when trying to understand CL for those younger ages.
post #278 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
Whether sympathy or empathy, she was being kind to me. but....


yes, me too, especially when I'm with my children and am already HIGHLY distracted from whatever they may being trying to talk to me about. oh well, most social situations I think I misread or misinterpret so I'm already socially anxious enough without an actual conversation being thrown into the mix.
I can totally relate to what you just said!

[QUOTE=Calm;13497789]Ok, Pat, or whoever might like to have a shot...

Logic My children have logic, while it may not be as mature as my own logic, to be honest sometimes their logic is more "logical" sometimes it helps to step back and look at things through a child's eyes. We both bring our needs and thoughts to the table. We are all given the chance to hear the logic of others, to learn.

Empathy. My children's empathy is genuine. They were born with it. Are they egocentric, yes. More so egocentric then empathetic but they evolve to have more empathy as they are allowed to experience it naturally.

Age. I find consensual living to just be the next step. I respect my babies cries. I respect my babies needs. Then I do the same for a toddler and child and so forth. Instead of confusing my child by treating their needs as valuable then determining their needs are not valuable. They spend their infancy being treated like all their needs are valuable, then when they are toddlers their feelings suddenly take a back seat. I realize now how this way not gentle towards my children, how confusing it must have been. We have always leaned towards consensuality, now knowing what it was at the time, but there were also times that I felt I was "the one in charge"... had I the same mindset towards and infant I would be letting them CIO.

Instinct. I agree, connect, seek approval, emulate. We get to emulation quicker when they are always accepted. they learn quickly that they do not need to seek approval, it is always there. and so they go from connection to emulation. Consensual Living does not mean not connecting, I am unsure where you are getting that idea from. Children will form connections with all kinds of people in their life, I hope to be their primary connection. There is guidance and boundaries in consensual living, just as us adults have boundaries we follow to be able to be accepted and thrive in this world. Personally, I don't agree with child centered parenting. That is not what consensuality is though. However, I think its a more gentle transition. Instead of going from infant led parenting to parent led toddler hood, we slowly bridge that gap, so with time they learn to take into consideration the needs of others. Something they have limited skills with from a young age that develop over time.

Connection first, consensuality second. We do connect first. ore importantly, we remain connected, though yes sometimes we do need to reconnect. Wanting your needs met is not due to lack of connection I can assure you. CL is effective when connection is established, or reestablished. You must connect first. Always, always, connect first. We never, ever, move forward until connection is achieved. It wouldn't work. This is how CL works, not how to make CL work or why it does not work. CL works because once you are 1)connected and 2)healed of your own personal feelings you then feel respected and are willing to work with the other person.

Needs vs wants. I don't have a hard time figuring out the needs of my family, and often even our desires can be met mutually. If I find myself struggling with this, I take a step back. My child isn't feeling equal, and needs some support. Then we can move forward, together, hand in hand, side by side, as a team.

Emergencies. Safety First. I think ann of loxely explained this pretty well. I dont know any parent who follows any line of parenting 100%, 100% of the time. We all aim for that, but sometimes there are exceptions or set backs. We could learn from that experience and find a mutually agreeable solution to have "on hand" for the next time, should a next time occur. Such as deciding we need to switch to a dr who will do home visits, learning how to do stitches ourselves (in our case, my husband knows how he learned from his friends wife who is a nurse), etc. there are many options, that we might not be able to figure out in the moment, but can in retrospect to prepare ourselves for the future.

If you have found a fool proof method of parenting that you are able to do 100%, 100% of the time, without fail, then that is wonderful for you! I realize I aspire to something more then what I may ever achieve, but I know that it keeps me at my best and enables my children to be their best.
post #279 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
The more I read this thread the more I realize that I am CL in a lot ways. For example yesterday I really wanted to go to Walgreens. Lilly really wanted to stay at home and play with her new Legos, so instead of making her go (which would have resulted in her being miserable, which would in turn make the whole trip miserable) I just waited till her dad got home and then I went alone. I didn't want to take a whiny child shopping, so I was okay waiting. I also know that she hates going to the grocery store, so I try and arrange my trips so that I don't have to take her. Sometimes this doesn't work out and I do have to take her even if she doesn't want to go. During those trips I try and make it as fun as possible, but she still hates the trips.

So I guess the majority of the time I practice CL, with the occasional moments where she has to do what I say no matter what.
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I wanted to come back to a couple posts....

I think what the above poster is describing is typical parenting. I think most compassionate, bright parents will sometimes wait until another parent comes home (if that is an option) so that they don't have to drag an unwilling child to the store (unpleasant for everyone). Certainly my parents made those choices without being AP or even reading a single parenting book. It is just common sense to make life as easy as possible.

To me, the CL difference is that the parent is not philosophically comfortable saying, "sorry kiddo--we gotta go, so let's make the best of it." I am perfectly comfortable saying that when the trip needs to be done (in my opinion, of course), and there isn't another option readily apparent. But, just because I am not CL does not mean I go dragging my kids around just because I can, lol! If I can leave them home with dad, I will do that. If I can entice them to come with me and see the toys at Kroger, I will do that. If I can just wait until tomorrow and scrounge fromt the cupboard, I will do that. But if I really need to go, I am comfortable asking my dc to take one for the team. I think of it as an opportunity for them to build resilience.


Another poster (sorry, can't find the post) talked about a child that really hates the car, and so they work around that in a way that affects the whole family. I think there is a big difference between an extreme aversion of the child and a more common dislike, and I trust the parents here to know the difference. My dd was unready to go to school at 4, 5, 6....and I knew that about my dc. She was terrified to be without me, so we changed our whole lifeplan and homeschooled . By 7, with some professional support, she was ready and excited for school, so off she went. I am not CL, but I also don't force my terrified dc to go to school, kwim? The opposite of CL is not sadistic.
post #280 of 1044
sunnmama - I dont think you are the opposite of CL. nor do I think the opposite of CL is sadistic, but since you kinds of shared your own parenting experience (by sharing an example of a time you WERE being consensual) it am a little lost on the point of the comment in that context.

I am not so sure of your idea of the philosiphical difference. Seems a but oversimplified, then again I am not completely CL, but every book so far that I have read that is recommended on the CL website shares that there are times where "things have to be done". I don't think that makes a person less consensual. I can see the difference clearly, but perhaps that is because I have lived it and I have read the information so I understand it more fully.

Or, as one argues, that those books are only recommended by the CL website but are not books about CL, then I am not really sure there is a name for my parenting. It is certaintly not what I hear described here by those who consider themself a heirarchy (though they seem to think it is one and the same) now is it what the non-CLers consider to be CL. If I were to join a parenting group of likeminded mothers, I suppose we would be the "Unconditional Parents who talk to kids so they will listen and listen so they will talk who possibly have siblings without rivalry and keep things between parent and child while raising their children and raising themselves including sensitive and explosive children to which point they and their children are liberated Parenting"

Or, since those are all books recommended by the CL website, perhaps its easier to just call it CL in which case, yes, its CL to sometimes have the child put their need on hold and sometimes the adult put their need on hold, and do your best to meet all needs as quickly as possible, and to perhaps in the earlier years have the parent be the one whose needs get put on hold more often and as the children get older and mature and learn these life skills by emulating their parents then things will be "more" consensual. Really if you truly understand CL you will neither think it is the same as "regular" parenting, a "heirarchy" or "child calling all the shots" (or else it isn't CL)...

It's okay if you don't understand it, or its not for you for whatever reason. Before you make an assumption about something you don't understand though, I say it would be fair to read a little more about it... find where CL parents find their inspiration... realize that CL is different in every family. Otherwise, it just seems that one is out to insult a type of parenting that they either look down on or are upset they feel they cannot acheive. If you really wanted to understand, you would be willing to read about it instead of keeping on insisting you understand and then in the next statement saying you don't understand but you aren't willing to read anything about it - but those of us who have read about it, and live it, are wrong OR are not truly CL.

honestly, it all makes my head spin just explaining this kind if debate tactic, I can't imagine carrying it out lol. I personally don't debate things I don't understand, or enter a debate I think I do understand without being willing to read resources provided by the opposing party. I find debate more engaging when both sides are deeply educated on the subject in which they are debating. Otherwise, if you just want to understand from a CL mama's point of view, it would not make sense to debate with them what they say...
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