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Do you prefer a family Hierarchy or Consensuality? Updated! - Page 46

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 #901 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy
I agree that we see children in a different way though.
I've wondered what it might be that is the difference. Perhaps I see potential in children to do a certain thing where some CLers (not saying you) see it as a given. For instance, you mentioned rational behaviour was one of the two things a CL parent would need to believe children possess. I see rational behaviour as possible and potential behaviour in kids and I see it expressed often in my own children. I do not see it as a given, however. I do not expect them to be one thing or another.

Perhaps this is why I accept all their behaviour as normal childhood behaviour, not something in need of “fixing” or finding underlying needs. I can see how a parent who doesn't see it as normal behaviour would be always on the look out for underlying needs.

By the same token, normal childhood behaviour isn't always safe or appropriate in every given environment or situation. I believe in creating the best environment so there would be no such thing as unsafe or inappropriate behaviour – but I also find the ideal environment isn't always at my fingertips, nor the fingertips of other parents.
post #902 of 1044
I believe that children act rationally and that apparent irrationality is a result of coercion or lack of knowledge. For me, calling my child's desires irrational without understanding why would be dismissive of them. If there's no reason behind what my child is doing or wanting, there's no reason for me to engage with her at all and help her - it would be pointless to do so, in fact.

I don't think it's about fixing, but about understanding and supporting my kid.

I guess I don't see how the other way would work within a CL-type framework. Let's say, for example, you've all just finished eating lunch and your child asks for a bowl of oatmeal. You don't especially feel like cooking again and he ate a big lunch so you believe he isn't really hungry, so you decide his request is irrational (and normal) and then what? No oatmeal?

It makes more sense to me to figure that a request for oatmeal is not coming from out of the blue somehow and that there is a rational reason behind it, and to talk more about it and figure out a solution. Anyway, that's what I do.
post #903 of 1044
Thread Starter 
This post was amazing:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
Calm, thanks for your further explanation. I actually don't know why i'm having a problem since in many ways i'm the other side of the aim for The Work for lots of things in life. Maybe i'll type some of it out and see if i become enlightened as to my own reasons for resistance. It is definitely "look forward to" that i take issue/have most troubles with.

For example, i was sexually abused as a child. I forgive my abuser. He is my brother. He too was sexually abused by an adult and he began abusing me as a result. Pain trickles down, i have seen this in many other places, and i accept that it's an aspect of humanity that is normal. Bullied children grow up and bully their families, those kids bully smaller kids at school, those kids bully littler siblings at home - it's not 100% the case, but it's common enough for me to be able to see the whole cycle of abuse and my place in it is merely circumstantial, not personal. He did not abuse me specifically, he abused the closest person to him who was accessible - i'm his younger sibling, i'm confident if i'd been the older sibling it wouldn't have been me. I feel very like a struck-by-lightening person might - the "blame", if there needs to be any, lies so far back along a chain of now-mostly-dead abusers through generations of people it's not worth assigning. This pain is only "mine" if i choose to pick it up and run with it, and i don't. I'm not interested. It is their pain if they want it, but i don't want it, and it's nothing to do with me. I often have a hard time trying to explain to people that however awful it might SOUND, i only had one childhood and since i never experienced THEIR idea of a "good" or "perfect" childhood i have no self-pity about having missed out. I had a fine childhood, it was far later i found out the elements that at the time were uncomfortable or confusing or very very occasionally unpleasant were considered the height of revolting to most of the rest of society. And in fact, a bit of an epiphany for me was realising how much impact that had - far more than being abused, realising how the rest of society feels about child abuse and incest can really leave one feeling revolting and very "poor me" about the whole thing. So it is that i have completely accepted that it happened, how much relevance it happening to me has to my Self (none) and what i can do about it now (nothing, and nothing needs to be done). I don't fear i happening again because it cannot, because i'm not a child anymore, but if it did i suppose i would cope with it, since i have and do already.

But i cannot convince myself that i could ever embrace it happening again. I don't go through life anticipating that i will be victimised, but equally i DO keep my eyes wide open and watch out for signs that it could happen. Though it is perfectly possible, i know, to overcome the hangover of sexual abuse (i was also raped when i was 14 by a boyfriend) it is not no work, effortless. In the scenarios i hae been in where i was raped i would NOT be raped again, i would defend myself more effectively. That's not to say i blame myself or my behaviour for the rapes or abuse in m past, i don't at all, but having been through it once i can see how many things i could have done to prevent it - a victim is almost always complicit in their victimisation and i was no exception. At this point in time i would happily be raped to avoid my DD being raped or either of us being killed. Ideologically i would accept rape as a bargain against the death of me or someone i loved, but i do no REALLY think this is a bargain that is made. I can see that if the choice was watch DD be raped or be raped myself i WOULD look forward to being raped, but that is just not reality. Someone who threatens to kill me either plans to or not and accepting rape will not make any difference to that. Likewise a rapist's word is hardly his bond - he might easily rape me and THEN DD - i would rather not accept that risk.

So, what has all this typing done for me...? I'm not sure. I definitely understand the concept that overcoming fear is freeing, and having been raped by a boyfriend i did have to accept that *might* happen again with every boyfriend thereafter. Obviously it isn't likely, but it's possible. And i embrace that in the sense that i still had boyfriends, and have a very happy relationship right now with my Dear Dear DP. But i do not "look forward" to him raping me. I don't believe that doing so would make it more likely, it doesn't increase my fear factor considering it. I think the only context i can put it where it's kind of true (in a twisted way) is the same as when i feel threatened by the way someone is acting when i have DD with me. I look at whoever it is and i think "just try something, just try it and find out how dangerous it is to attack a lioness when her cub is with her" because i feel powerful and strong in response to fear nowadays. I suppose i could "look foward" to being raped in the context of flexing the defensive muscles i only found during recovery. But in the simple sense of eager anticipation? I don't look forward to suffering, however brief.
What you said in there reminds me very much of something I always find hard to put into words, but I'll try. When I've tried to explain to others how reality just "is", it is our judgment that makes it something good or bad, they invariably mention some horrific thing children go through and say "how can that be anything other than bad?". Much like the seatbelt example for "there is no such thing as must", we go straight for the jugular and see how the responder copes.

Obviously, it is almost impossible to even try to discuss this with someone who hasn't at least a basic foundation on dichotomy, duality, judgment and so on from a philosophy stand point. I don't enter into it at all without that foundation because it always ends up them thinking I think a little girl being gang raped is a great idea. But your example there is very similar, the bolded part in particular.

Sex between siblings or family in general is not seen as all that bad in some small obscure cultures. The guilt and shame and confusion just doesn't exist in the way it does in our culture if the same issue crops up, and we even have a word that carries much negativity with it to describe it: incest.

Also, in other cultures, sex is just done, no big deal. When they feel like it, they just do it, regardless of what kids or family are around, much like other animals do really. They live naked most of the time, there is no body shame, no sexual shame... etc. "White man" comes along and tells them they should feel shame (because WE do, so everyone should, eh?). Yet that same white man has a culture riddled with sex crimes and psychotherapy because so few people can function healthfully anymore. We start to panic at the thought that a child might see us having sex, or even playfully being with our partner when it isn't the act that is harmful, but the thoughts we give our children about the acts.

What is the problem here, the public nakedness and sex, or the judgment of it? The incest, or the thoughts we grow to have about incest? They are triggering subjects for some people, so before you knee jerk a response about how disgusting it all is, just behave a little like a philosopher for a minute and remove your own personal opinion, or preconceived ideas and just toy with the ideas for a while.

This kind of thing is how a person can get to a place where they can say there is no such thing as good and evil, it is all an illusion (ie, a thought, or an opinion, or judgment). A thing either is or it isn't, anything more than that is illusion.

During my Buddhist years, I had a brilliant Rinpoche of Tibetan lineage who used to blow my tiny brain regularly and could sometimes do it just with a well timed sentence. He sat in front of me with a tiny table with his scrolls and cup of tea, which he took such deliberation to organise and pour it was hypnotic to watch. And he often used "cup" in his analogies; I'll never forget that cup! He'd ask things like, "what is this? We call it cup. What is cup?" and then he'd go into concepts and talk about how if he dropped cup, what would it be then? And how if he blindfolded me and turned me around in many circles, walked me for a long way, turned me more times and then said, "now, go west", what would I do? I said, "well, I don't know where I am, I can't go west without east, where's east?" and he'd just say "exactly" As though that rests his case. And I'd have to sit on that for a week.

I learned that things and concepts only exist in relation to other things. I only know west in relation to east. Without east, west does not exist. Cup is only cup because of everything else that is NOT cup. The cup is only pretty if I think it is. And pretty only exists in relation to un-pretty. When we have nothing in our minds, no memory, cup is not even cup, for there is no word. There is merely that thing, sitting there, and someone tells us it is cup, and we call it cup, and now anything that looks like that and unlike anything else, they are then also cup. but it just "is". Without memory or judgment, I cannot call it anything, I cannot say it is pretty, or obnoxious, or irritating. It just IS.

With the foundation of cup (as I like to call it ), it is a tiny step towards understanding how the very enlightened can see something "evil" or "horrendous" as simply "is". Not good or evil, just life. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is inherently anything. It takes a person to make a judgment, until that moment, it is just a concept. Some people might think the cup is beautiful, some might hate it. Some might like to hurt others and see blood, others think that is evil. We all think we are right, and the more of us think one way, the closer we get to calling something "fact". When it is all opinion, judgment.

Most people don't like that. If you think the "I am willing to be raped" is bad, I'm sure this one ranks up there with "get this woman a straight jacket".
post #904 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
I've wondered what it might be that is the difference. Perhaps I see potential in children to do a certain thing where some CLers (not saying you) see it as a given. For instance, you mentioned rational behaviour was one of the two things a CL parent would need to believe children possess. I see rational behaviour as possible and potential behaviour in kids and I see it expressed often in my own children. I do not see it as a given, however. I do not expect them to be one thing or another.

Perhaps this is why I accept all their behaviour as normal childhood behaviour, not something in need of “fixing” or finding underlying needs. I can see how a parent who doesn't see it as normal behaviour would be always on the look out for underlying needs.

By the same token, normal childhood behaviour isn't always safe or appropriate in every given environment or situation. I believe in creating the best environment so there would be no such thing as unsafe or inappropriate behaviour – but I also find the ideal environment isn't always at my fingertips, nor the fingertips of other parents.
I wouldnt say I expect certain xyz behavior, but I do trust my child to know what they need and want better then anyone else, and I tune into that station
I also dont see find underlying needs as "fixing" things. It's learning the child and respecting them. When they are tired they are cranky. I observe this. I observe that being cranky isnt enjoyable for them. I help them meet their underlying need for rest. I'm not "fixing" anything. Being tired doesn't mean they are broken.
I know what age appropriate behavior is all about too, and I think its very important to take that into consideration. It helps me know how to approach it. IE: my 11 month old smacking me repetitively in excitement (appropriate for age) is different then my 2 year old smacking me in anger (appropriate for age) Doesn't mean smacking me is a mutually agreeable solution because its "age appropriate". But how we approach helping them during these times in a way that respects everyone involved definitely does need to account for understanding of what is age appropriate. With my 11 month old I can say "wow you are excited! Look, you can bang your hands on this bin!" Laughter and giggles ensue. Perhaps he is equipped with a spoon to make more music. My 2 year old on the other hand may be responded to with a "You must be hurting to want to hurt me. I don't like being hit. Let's go calm down together." I sit with them, I am available from them. I stay close to them only moving to escape the blows and then returning to them, reminding them its okay to be angry, its okay to be sad. When the storm has passed I make a few suggestions (if they dont have any of their own, which my 2 year old doesnt at this point) on what we can do next time. Not just what we can do when mad, but what we can do to solve the problem that made her that mad in the first place. Perhaps the baby took one of her toys and she hit him. This is a real scenario, and my daughter has learned to say "stop baby" and call out to me to redirect the baby. She is good at trading and problem solving with her big brother, but with her little brother she needs me to help.

I agree with keeping the environment as safe as possible. There is no 100% though, at least not with 3 children under the age of 4 all with very strong personalities under one roof. But, thats what I'm here for I know how to protect them all without defending them. I know how to teach them to protect themselves without defending them. I have a larger vocabulary to pass on to them (along with understanding of these words)

I do trust they know their bodies better then I do. However, I know them well enough that I can find out what they need and meet that because of this trust.
post #905 of 1044
Calm, thank you fo another wonderful post!

I use "why" to make people re-examine the basis for their opinions of my life. "Oh that must have been terrible?" "Why?" "b-because it IS terrible when that happens to a child!" "why?" "because it IS! Having to live with all that, and your own BROTHER too!" "yes but WHY is it so terrible? Because it IS terrible, or because you just told me it is?". People do not like it, it's true. I think one of the biggest tragedies in our society for those who have been abused is the universal opinion that "You never recover from something like that". You're not allowed to tell stupid people they'll always be stupid or overwieght people they'll always be fat, but abused people, heck yeah, slap a big "VICTIM" sticker on them and begin the endless cycle of hand patting and platitude muttering. People don't actually LIKE it if you've recovered. When i was 11 my brother told my mother a lie about me and she believed him and punished me. That affected me WAY more than the abuse, because at that age and stage i had a clear sense of injustice and it STUNG, in the moment, while it was happening, it was a personal affront. The abuse was completely off the wall to me. Like him wanting to play football (which i also participated in, sometimes, reluctantly, because then we could play a game *I* liked). It makes no sense to view my abuse in a context that makes something that wasn't actually very terrible much worse, so why should i do it? Why should i lay down and "never recover". I think the most difficult people to deal with are those who are still in the pain of initial discovery of their situation. These people might be 14 and just had sex ed for the first time and realised what their abuser does is NOT cool, or they might be 64 and still unwilling to look past the viewpoint society has given them about their experiences. My brother was *physically* sexually abused for 4 years. In terms of living in fear and revulsion he is still being abused now, over 20 years since the real abuse ended. But when i talk to him it is clear that even though he is anxious, depressed, fearful, angry, aggressive and sad, he is far more comfortable wth being that than he is with the idea of putting the abuse aside and seeing who he is without it.

The discussion WRT to rationality is an interesting one. I don't think my DD is irrational if she wants food right after a meal, or if she demands oatmeal, but even if i DID think it was irrational, that, to me is just a desciptive term on the request, not a judgement call. She doesn't always want rational things, but being a little irrational, at any age, is ok, fun even, so long as it's safe. So for me at least, saying i see she isn't rational or that i don't rely on her to be rational in her choices, is not criticism. It just is. If it's a safe request she can go ahead, however irrational it seems. If it's not safe we look for an alternative and if we can't find one (which is so so rare) then i say "no" and it seems for us just now that because i say it rarely she trusts i say it when i have to- that's improving as she gets older. And i do negotiate in situations like the oatmeal one, often times she'll take oats-and-milk (raw) over oatmeal if i explain that i just cooked dinner and don't want to cook again. I tend to make decisions based on greater desire. If i'm totally finished and really need to sit down or have another 15 things to do i might defer oatmeal-cooking until "later" (i always do it if i said later) but if i wasn't doing anything much and don't mind too much i just make it for her. I only say "no" if we're out of oats.
post #906 of 1044
Thread Starter 
GBG, that post even topped your last one! I want to comment, but I am on limited time and I'm going to use it selfishly. SGM, thank you. I also have comments for you too.

I have two things I'm looking for solutions/opinions to. One is retrospective as I am already sure on how to prevent it. I am looking at, given the situation as it WAS, how I would have gone about it consensually. The other is an ongoing problem I'm hoping to get solved soon either naturally or artificially by implementing something; it is in the post following this one.

I'm wondering how a consensual solution could have been found yesterday. There are a bunch of restaurants from which we went to pick up take out the other night and they are scattered around roads in a way that is kind of hard to explain. But they look like footpaths, very wide footpaths. My son doesn't understand roads, let alone these particular ones.

It was just DD, DS and myself. I didn't have my sling (which almost never happens) and without it he is constantly kicking to get down making him really hard to hold so I usually plop him down. I had to order and then wait outside for it. I couldn't contain him, so I was redirecting him all the time. DD was struggling also trying to help. It was not fun. The order seemed to take FOREVER.

So he kept running over to the road, it was really where he wanted to go. Initially, I did the airplane thing to redirect him, “zooooming” him away but he just yelled at me and kicked. Redirection was constant and I couldn't hold him long enough. Obviously, at not one point of this whole situation was it consensual. There was no where else to put him, my daughter couldn't entertain him either as he can do stubborn, focused and intense in a way most babies do not, and he won't be bought out by the jingling of something interesting over here to take his focus from over there. He's very very clever, like his sister I suppose, god help me.

This is the foundation of why I find most toddler/baby CL solutions all but impossible to implement. How can I zoom him away to happy land when he just doesn't buy it? How do I keep him from the roads when he really doesn't understand all the ramifications of them? And I know he doesn't. If he did, he would only step out onto the road when it was clear, but he doesn't, he steps out no matter what is oncoming and luckily, he has only had a near miss with a bicycle. .

This is the retrospective one, as I know that largely, the sling prevents this, although he has started kicking to get out of that too, now. It is becoming harder to consensually keep him in it.
post #907 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Problem number two.

He has always been a “slung” baby. But he has never really liked it much, he prefers to be held but he accepts it when we are out. We go hiking with him on our back, and he's fine. Shopping and so on... fine. But at home, he won't cop it. Never really has. I think it is because I don't move as much at home, and he gets fussy when the movement slows for too long. (he was a motion junkie as a tiny baby, with some threads here on MDC with me almost insane from it )

So I had visions of doing dishes and washing and what not slinging my beloved but reality had other plans – which has been the general theme with this child. His whole life, I basically bent to his will in almost all situations as he is a baby, and I believe nature designed it to be a beck and call relationship – they beckon, we respond.

However, it really seems to be dragging on, and my husband is starting to feel hard done by by the state of the house most of the time, the lack of dinners (we eat a lot of take out) and that I spend my time either trying to do things between holds or sitting and staring at a wall as that seems to be what my son wants me to do. If I get up to do something, he literally throws himself at my feet, dramatically letting me know he is discontent. I pick him up, and he's ok, but he gets heavy so I offer the sling. He tolerates that for a very short while and then he's kicking down. I put him down, he throws himself at my feet. I pick him up. I try to sit holding him, he sits and cries between thumbsucking nestling moments on my chest.

He was born feeling disgruntled, I think. It might be birth trauma, and I have tried to support his emotions and not run about like a loon trying to prevent/stop him expressing them. I make sure all needs (I can find) are met and then hold him and reassure him. He is very emotional, expressive. They call it high needs in the circuit, but whatever it is, it has been ROUGH. It is hard to feel your child chooses to do unhappy so often. I console myself with the fact that my daughter was raised by me also, and is not like that, so it probably isn't me. It's just how he is, or at least, what he is choosing to do at this time.

I'm trying to respect this, but I can't get anything done. It's like he's still a newborn, I have the same complaints as the mother of a newborn has about lack of time and the demands of a baby. My husband has been doing most of the housework, so by the time DS is asleep, I have a few minutes to get online or just sit and meditate.

He wants me to hold him, is very tactile and affectionate, but doesn't seem to want to be in the sling. When I have had to get something done, (yes, my life has some *musts*, accept that my life may be different to yours ) I figure that it is better to sling him crying than leave him crying on the floor at my feet so I have held him, while he intermittently cries in the sling. The whole deal feels like a run of non-consensual solutions but honestly, I feel I have exhausted all consensual ones, I can't find any. It is quite stressful. Like I'm not doing something I should be but I can't figure out what I should be doing. I tell him I have to finish DD's lunch or whatever, but he doesn't care of course. I hope he understands on some level.

He just wants to nurse, or be held, get down, be held again, nurse, get down, be held... he wants to be held, but he wants me to be doing something at the same time. I know it is very Continuum Concept the way he just wants to observe, but the problem is, I don't do enough. Dishes don't make him happy, he wants me to be hiking or “out collecting berries for the tribe” no doubt. He's a jungle baby, like all of them, I guess. He hates us to just sit, he whines about it.

I have tried:

different slings, different brands, different ways of slinging him.

Asking for help. I get help, lots of it. Without it, my daughter would die of starvation or I would so we already have all the help I think I can ask for from both my husband and my extended family, who lives with us.

Helping my daughter be more independent, however, this resulted in our connection starting to break down. I started to nurture her much more this year because although willing and able, her behaviour showed she was not ready for this. Plus, there are more needs to attend to than my daughter, depending on what we define as need.

I've got to rush off, but I'll let you know if there are any other things I've already tried.
post #908 of 1044
Thread Starter 
BTW, I still can't wrap my head around the idea of someone insisting they don't have any "must" or "must not" in their life. How do they pee? Do they really believe they choose when to poop or sleep? Aside from that, what about taking care of needs... how can we say we have needs but we don't need to meet them? That makes no sense!
post #909 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
BTW, I still can't wrap my head around the idea of someone insisting they don't have any "must" or "must not" in their life. How do they pee? Do they really believe they choose when to poop or sleep? Aside from that, what about taking care of needs... how can we say we have needs but we don't need to meet them? That makes no sense!

Your 2 problems and the above illustrate some of the reasons why I believe that CL doesn't work for every one, for every age, in every situation. It isn't working for your son (I forget how old he is). I don't think that it would work consistently for most toddlers anyway. They are natural born explorers of their world. It's how they learn. It's up to us the parents to make sure that they are safe while also letting them explore. And unless one wants to live in a child-centered universe (an only child at that), the child is going to be unhappy some of the time. They are born self-centered (it's a survival mechanism) and need to be "civilized" to successfully and fully enter the society they are born into. That's the task of the parents, extended family, and society as a whole. As the child grows and matures, they are given more and more control and responsibility. Ending in the teen years where they have autonomy within the dictates of the law. Even then they are still teens when the law says that they are adults (they can vote and sign contracts at age 18). But some things they still are legally barred from--buying tobacco and drinking (both age 21).
post #910 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
BTW, I still can't wrap my head around the idea of someone insisting they don't have any "must" or "must not" in their life. How do they pee? Do they really believe they choose when to poop or sleep? Aside from that, what about taking care of needs... how can we say we have needs but we don't need to meet them? That makes no sense!

I'm still still trying to figure out how to communicate effectively without using must/must not for clarity.

Another example with my 2 yo and his motorcycle...we are preparing to walk to the park, 1+ mile away, and he is sitting on his motorcyle in the living room.

Me: come on, buddy. time to get in the stroller.
him: I gonna ride my motorcycle
(not ok with me...I'll end up carrying it, no question about it. Boy wants to go to the park. Car is not an option.)
Me: how about you have some pretzels in the stroller.
boy: I gonna ride my motorcycle.
Me: would you like to walk or hop in the stroller?
Boy: I gonna ride my motorcycle.
Me: We can't take your motorcycle, buddy. It's too far.
Boy: Oh I can't ride my motorcycle? Ok. I get in the stroller.

see what I mean?
post #911 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I believe that children act rationally and that apparent irrationality is a result of coercion or lack of knowledge. For me, calling my child's desires irrational without understanding why would be dismissive of them. If there's no reason behind what my child is doing or wanting, there's no reason for me to engage with her at all and help her - it would be pointless to do so, in fact.

I don't think it's about fixing, but about understanding and supporting my kid.

I guess I don't see how the other way would work within a CL-type framework. Let's say, for example, you've all just finished eating lunch and your child asks for a bowl of oatmeal. You don't especially feel like cooking again and he ate a big lunch so you believe he isn't really hungry, so you decide his request is irrational (and normal) and then what? No oatmeal?

It makes more sense to me to figure that a request for oatmeal is not coming from out of the blue somehow and that there is a rational reason behind it, and to talk more about it and figure out a solution. Anyway, that's what I do.
in my house, the bowl of oatmeal would be requested not because he is hungry, but because he likes to have us serve him food so he can have the choice to eat it or not- and some goes wasted because not everything makes palatable leftovers. yes, i could try to have HIM make the oatmeal, not me. but i may just not WANT to play that at any time... is he rational? well, he is asking for what he WANTS, does he NEED to 'boss'me?> (no, he can't make it all by himself, he still needs help)

i don't really believe people are always rational, kids or not. im sure there is a 'reason' behind everything, he is just himself, but thought out? sometimes you just feel and live and get what you get. like this eating thing, he is recently saying he is hungrey when he is not and vice versa... why? beats me, we are always flex about him eating what/when he wants. he just cannot understand that it affects how his body feels, and i hate to see him without that understanding. same goes for sleep, but i wanted an example w/o sleep

to extend it out more, my boss (age 50) is a very picky eater, the man eats pizza, bbq chicken, and ummm. that's about it. his choice. he then develops health issues resulting from that, but still, chooses to continue his diet. i get food pickiness, i really do- i am picky too just not that badly, i understand that it's not at all as simple as 'just eat it', i hear him say he wishes he were not picky, but he can't/doesn't change it... but is he rational? understandable, yes, but for an adult to suffer healthwise and not change? if that's called rational, then sure, my kid has a reason for everything, but not all reasons are smart ones... in the case of my boss, if he truly hates fruites/vegis, he COULD just take a multivitamin- i know, not the same, but better than the nothing that he does now. but i don't think he applies reason to the situation at all...

going back to lack of knowledge, mine fights my knowledge, does not want to trust me. i don't think he's been coerced (not that i have not made mistakes, but i see other parents who don't work with their child at all like i try to do), i think he's just that needy 'brick wall' that others have mentioned.
post #912 of 1044
I had the baby also who thought a sling was for walking- briskly! Never in the house, I literally always had him in the crook of an arm, or on the hip. I guess he just liked my hands better. I just gave up the vision of the happily slung baby and mama always doing chores... Did I get things done? Sometimes; somehow. I also only had one kid. I also had p/t child care, giving him another (known) set of hands a few days a week. He was unsettled then, he is far more the grump now- it all seemed to crash down when he stopped nursing and cosleeping (his choice), outgrew the sling, and started preschool (montessori if it matters). that was age 3, he is now 4, and sometimes i think he does like to be unhappy! which makes me unhappy. i don't know how much to intervene sometimes, nor what to do if i could. i wish i understood his needs. i used to be more connected than now. i try to be nice, i think he realizes that, i think life is just hard for him. i think if he lived in a tribe instead of the modern world, he would do better- but i can't give that to him for his life. so all i can say is that i am stumped too, but i don't know that i see it as a CL thing... yes, his needs are trumping mine right now, but that's somewhat my choice- I could distance from it, but I don't wish that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
Problem number two.

He has always been a “slung” baby. But he has never really liked it much, he prefers to be held but he accepts it when we are out. We go hiking with him on our back, and he's fine. Shopping and so on... fine. But at home, he won't cop it. Never really has. I think it is because I don't move as much at home, and he gets fussy when the movement slows for too long. (he was a motion junkie as a tiny baby, with some threads here on MDC with me almost insane from it )

So I had visions of doing dishes and washing and what not slinging my beloved but reality had other plans – which has been the general theme with this child. His whole life, I basically bent to his will in almost all situations as he is a baby, and I believe nature designed it to be a beck and call relationship – they beckon, we respond.

However, it really seems to be dragging on, and my husband is starting to feel hard done by by the state of the house most of the time, the lack of dinners (we eat a lot of take out) and that I spend my time either trying to do things between holds or sitting and staring at a wall as that seems to be what my son wants me to do. If I get up to do something, he literally throws himself at my feet, dramatically letting me know he is discontent. I pick him up, and he's ok, but he gets heavy so I offer the sling. He tolerates that for a very short while and then he's kicking down. I put him down, he throws himself at my feet. I pick him up. I try to sit holding him, he sits and cries between thumbsucking nestling moments on my chest.

He was born feeling disgruntled, I think. It might be birth trauma, and I have tried to support his emotions and not run about like a loon trying to prevent/stop him expressing them. I make sure all needs (I can find) are met and then hold him and reassure him. He is very emotional, expressive. They call it high needs in the circuit, but whatever it is, it has been ROUGH. It is hard to feel your child chooses to do unhappy so often. I console myself with the fact that my daughter was raised by me also, and is not like that, so it probably isn't me. It's just how he is, or at least, what he is choosing to do at this time.

I'm trying to respect this, but I can't get anything done. It's like he's still a newborn, I have the same complaints as the mother of a newborn has about lack of time and the demands of a baby. My husband has been doing most of the housework, so by the time DS is asleep, I have a few minutes to get online or just sit and meditate.

He wants me to hold him, is very tactile and affectionate, but doesn't seem to want to be in the sling. When I have had to get something done, (yes, my life has some *musts*, accept that my life may be different to yours ) I figure that it is better to sling him crying than leave him crying on the floor at my feet so I have held him, while he intermittently cries in the sling. The whole deal feels like a run of non-consensual solutions but honestly, I feel I have exhausted all consensual ones, I can't find any. It is quite stressful. Like I'm not doing something I should be but I can't figure out what I should be doing. I tell him I have to finish DD's lunch or whatever, but he doesn't care of course. I hope he understands on some level.

He just wants to nurse, or be held, get down, be held again, nurse, get down, be held... he wants to be held, but he wants me to be doing something at the same time. I know it is very Continuum Concept the way he just wants to observe, but the problem is, I don't do enough. Dishes don't make him happy, he wants me to be hiking or “out collecting berries for the tribe” no doubt. He's a jungle baby, like all of them, I guess. He hates us to just sit, he whines about it.

I have tried:

different slings, different brands, different ways of slinging him.

Asking for help. I get help, lots of it. Without it, my daughter would die of starvation or I would so we already have all the help I think I can ask for from both my husband and my extended family, who lives with us.

Helping my daughter be more independent, however, this resulted in our connection starting to break down. I started to nurture her much more this year because although willing and able, her behaviour showed she was not ready for this. Plus, there are more needs to attend to than my daughter, depending on what we define as need.

I've got to rush off, but I'll let you know if there are any other things I've already tried.
post #913 of 1044
I left this thread about a month ago, when I had a baby but I wanted to come back and say to Calm, I think it was you recommending Hold On To Your Kids, and I am reading it and have to say THANK YOU! It is SO what I needed right now. I had heard of the book and wanted to read it and I thought it was something I would need to read when my kids were teens or preteens, but it has been so insightful and helpful to me at this moment in our lives. Have you started a thread about it? I would love to discuss and ask questions with anyone who's read it. It is such an important book and I feel like it can help me figure out how to be a better parent...
post #914 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
Problem number two.

He has always been a “slung” baby. But he has never really liked it much, he prefers to be held but he accepts it when we are out. We go hiking with him on our back, and he's fine. Shopping and so on... fine. But at home, he won't cop it. Never really has. I think it is because I don't move as much at home, and he gets fussy when the movement slows for too long. (he was a motion junkie as a tiny baby, with some threads here on MDC with me almost insane from it )

So I had visions of doing dishes and washing and what not slinging my beloved but reality had other plans – which has been the general theme with this child. His whole life, I basically bent to his will in almost all situations as he is a baby, and I believe nature designed it to be a beck and call relationship – they beckon, we respond.

However, it really seems to be dragging on, and my husband is starting to feel hard done by by the state of the house most of the time, the lack of dinners (we eat a lot of take out) and that I spend my time either trying to do things between holds or sitting and staring at a wall as that seems to be what my son wants me to do. If I get up to do something, he literally throws himself at my feet, dramatically letting me know he is discontent. I pick him up, and he's ok, but he gets heavy so I offer the sling. He tolerates that for a very short while and then he's kicking down. I put him down, he throws himself at my feet. I pick him up. I try to sit holding him, he sits and cries between thumbsucking nestling moments on my chest.
I also have a new baby that is this way, very similar to my firstborn, who was/is very high needs, and very exhausting. My middle child was very laid back and is a happy go lucky guy still, at 3... I totally thought it was birth order or something I had done. I thought the third one would be SO much easier, heck, I'm an expert now. But she's so much like the first. She had no birth trauma, no pregnancy mega stresses, our family is more harmonious now than ever.
post #915 of 1044
Thread Starter 
I've still got stuff to write, but short on time as always. But this post is a quickie to say that I posted those two problems exactly as they are above, in two separate posts on the CL forum. I got no consensual solutions for the one for the restaurant that would have been usable at the time, and little but commiseration about my son's sling problem. There were some suggestions (things like my son helping with cooking) but were unworkable when I tried them, or I had already tried them. There were one or two suggestions as to how to fix the restaurant problem in future (although I said I already know how to fix it in future). There is good reason for this. There isn't any way to be consensual in that situation. Just as there are MANY MANY situations where there are NO consensual solutions.

This "there are always consensual solutions" is based on an extremely loose idea, and there is absolutely no proof that it is true. There is much proof that it is not true however. It puts unnecessary pressure on parents attempting CL, and it isn't even a true statement. I take issue with it, and will until I find proof it is untrue. As proof, I will accept solutions for my own predicaments - yet there have been none. They are all "how to fix a situation in future", which is not how situations work in real life. We are in situations NOW, not in future. We haven't got a second set of keys now, we haven't parked in the shade this time, we haven't brought the sling this time... and so on. Which is my point. Because most CL solutions as I've seen over and over on that message board and on this thread are how to prevent something happening in future. But for a situation that is happening right now, there may indeed be no consensual solution. If there was, surely hundreds of mothers could find just ONE for the many I've witnessed on that forum?

I like them there. They are very lovely people and so helpful. But the promise that I would find something there that I am not finding here is just untrue. There are no more ideas there than there are on MDC even from the strictest, most hierarchical parents on MDC! We are all creative and try to find consensual solutions for our children. And it isn't always a choice that we aren't consensual. Sometimes it is the situation we find ourselves in, but yet we keep being told it is that we aren't willing, or creative enough, or looking hard enough.

I challenge the fallacy that there are always consensual solutions. And after all these pages, no evidence is still availabe to counter that challenge.

I also thought about how much some CLers, esp SGM kept making this thread about my intentions. Saying I was rude and whatnot when my approach is the same now as it has always been. I want answers to these statements, I want proof of what they are based on as I believe some mamas deserve relief from their strict nature, so they know they DID do their best, and they aren't completely consensual because they can't be, not always. I was here discussing this, and so many pages in the middle were about "disrespect" and all this nonsense about my intentions and motive. They have not changed. And there is no disrespect. There is genuine questioning here on real situations and the foundation itself, which is done in all philosophies, it isn't unique to CL, and it isn't "disrespectful" to do it to CL but "good thinking" to do it to something else.
post #916 of 1044
I am sorry you feel for your family there are times where there are no consensual solutions when you wish there were. (hugs)

CL works for me and all the families I know who chose to embrace it. I choose to use the consensual solutions that are always available to me.

It is okay to choose a consensual path. It is okay to take another path. Do what you feel is right for your family. We could go back and forth for years over the many possible scenarios and many possible solutions. I trust you have the answers you family needs. I have the answers for mine.

Many things can be proven or disproven. I no longer feel the need to do either though.
You feel you have proven your point to yourself and I hope that has brought you peace on the subject at hand.
post #917 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post
I challenge the fallacy that there are always consensual solutions. And after all these pages, no evidence is still availabe to counter that challenge.
Well, there's no way to prove something doesn't exist... one can only prove the positive, not the negative. Just because you haven't found something (yet) doesn't mean it doesn't exist...

If you're looking at this from a more philosophical bent (admittedly something I've found useful) then reading some of Karl Popper's work might be useful.
post #918 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Quote:
CL works for me and all the families I know who chose to embrace it.
But I'm one of those families who choose to embrace it. And it doesn't work ALL the time for us. Soooooo, again you are stating things that aren't correct. You could say most of the families, then that wouldn't include people and families like me. But when you say all, then again you are stepping into that territory that demands explanation.

I also know that it works for you, as it is the the response I get, without fail, when a person has run out of consensual suggestions. Which happens. I'm not saying CL doesn't work. I'm saying that statements like "you can always find consensual solutions" and "all wants can be met" are untrue. That is NOT the same as "CL doesn't work" or "I do not use CL".
post #919 of 1044
I hear your frustration, Calm.

I can only speak of families that I know choose to embrace it.

It's not that one is out of consensual suggestions, but just that I no longer feel a need to prove this philisophy. As I said, we could go back and forth for years. The answers for your family are in your heart. It will work out one way or another Calm. Just take a deep breath and remember you are where you need to be.

The statements are true to us. It is okay if they are not true in your eyes. Really I promise in the long run it doesn't matter. If your family is happy with how your family is operating that is all that matters
post #920 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Sorry, DS pressed post before I was ready.

I get that it works for some people all the time. I have not suggested it doesn't work for some people all the time. I'm saying that it doesn't work for ALL people ALL the time, and you are saying, and CL states that it is just a matter of finding consensual solutions. I gave an example of a situation where you can't find a consensual solution, several of them, and the only responses are how to prevent it in future. But for my son running on the road, I could not keep him away consensually, I demonstrated that clearly. It was not a consensual solution, yet it was the only one even close to a consensual solution. I have proven that there aren't always consensual solutions and yet you still say there are!

I do not understand that. It's like someone saying there is no such thing as a white crow... and if I produce a white crow and they say, "well, I believe there is no such thing as a white crow because science tells me they don't exist." Fine if that works for a person but that's so much denial you must be able to see dapyramids.
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