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Unconditional Parenting support thread - Page 2

post #21 of 367
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by intentionalmama View Post
Well, he just wanted to keep going. So finally that was it and he came in and he was MAD! Wow! He stormed into our room (we co-sleep) and climbed into bed and suddenly my dh and I hear blaring music pouring out of the room. He had figured out the clock radio and is just staring at me. I turned the music off. He turned it on and got right in my face. No! Leave it alone! Get out of here!

I didn't know what to do. I felt kind of paralyzed. He was challenging me in a way that I didn't know how to respond to. I know that if this had been me when I was a kid, I would have received a spanking, been shamed for talking that way to my parents and the radio would be shut down.

.
I'm glad this situation resolved in a way that was agreeable to both of you! I just wanted to offer that he was dealing with his anger in, IMO, an acceptable way, telling you that he wanted some space and listening to loud music.
post #22 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
I just wanted to offer that he was dealing with his anger in, IMO, an acceptable way, telling you that he wanted some space and listening to loud music.
Interesting. I like how you say this. It makes sense that this is normal behavior when you are tired and not being able to do what you want.

I was completely thrown by it though. Of course we have had many situations where we disagree but usually I find empathy " I know your disappointed, etc. works pretty well. He may want some time on his own; he may even express anger. But this time it felt so different - so much more like a challenge. Even the music -I don't think it was completely on the station and just sounded like a lot of terrible noise. I felt he wanted the music on to call us in to see how angry he was.

Anyway, what bothered me most was my own fear. Fear that I didnt' know how to handle the situation in a loving caring way. I could see how my parents would treat us - they wanted us to stop what we were doing. THey definately would not have seen this as an acceptable way to act.

I think that unconditional parenting is much the same as unconditional love both for the child and ourselves. I think parenting this way can bring healing to our ownselves when we are able to accept/treat our children in the way we would have wanted to have been accepted/treated.
post #23 of 367
Wow, Intentional! I admire how you handled this situation.

subbing...haven't read the book...ordering it, now.....................
post #24 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by intentionalmama View Post
Anyway, what bothered me most was my own fear. Fear that I didnt' know how to handle the situation in a loving caring way. I could see how my parents would treat us - they wanted us to stop what we were doing. They definately would not have seen this as an acceptable way to act.

I think that unconditional parenting is much the same as unconditional love both for the child and ourselves. I think parenting this way can bring healing to our ownselves when we are able to accept/treat our children in the way we would have wanted to have been accepted/treated.
I can really relate to what you are saying here.
post #25 of 367
I've been reading "Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves" by Naomi Aldort, which seems to be in line with UP. One thing she really gets across is that children learn through modeling (they do what we do); they don't learn by being forced by us to do things.

This was a really important concept for me, since I think one of the reasons I didn't just naturally unconditionally parent was because I was afraid how my kids would turn out if I didn't teach them what's right and wrong. It never occurred to me that kids could just learn moral/polite/empathic behavior on their own without us drilling it into them.
post #26 of 367
Oh I forgot--can anyone tell me what the difference between Unconditional Parenting and Consensual Living is?? I don't know a lot about CL, I've been meaning to look into it.

And....I watched the UP DVD, but haven't read the book yet. Do you think it's important I get a copy of the book?
post #27 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by intentionalmama View Post
I think that unconditional parenting is much the same as unconditional love both for the child and ourselves. I think parenting this way can bring healing to our ownselves when we are able to accept/treat our children in the way we would have wanted to have been accepted/treated.
Aldort really speaks to this in her book.
post #28 of 367
IntentionalMama - I am amazed you were able to stay as calm and patient as you did. I feel like I need to channel some of your "zen" into my own life b/c I think I would have jumped into "control-mama" given the same situation with the music. And then I would have felt terribly about it.

I also really appreciate the previous posters who gave snipets from the book. What a great reminder of how I would like to parent. Which brings me to my current dilemma....

I am the mom of a newly-3 year old girl and a 4-month old boy. The 3-year old still nurses, though it is to the point where it drives me BATTY, especially when she nurses while her brother does. I am really ready to wean her on theh spot, but I also feel as though she really needs this connection with me, or at least SOME connection with me (and I also believe in child-led weaning, though it's HARD). So, to preserve my sanity, I've cut her down to one time a day, at bedtime. In the mornings though, she'll often ask for "mop" (our word for it), and while I feel badly saying no, I just have to because when I used to nurse her in the morning, she'd wake at 5:45, and then 6:15, and then 6:45, and then again at 7:15... all for more mop each time. And now that I have her infant brother clamoring for it too (and of course I HAVE to feed him!), it's too little sleep for me and to be frank, just too much touching! When I offer snuggles instead, she either starts pulling my hair to get her love fill (which HURTS, doesn't allow me to sleep, and annoys the heck out of me so I have to say no again to her) or she just starts screaming and hitting me, saying "I don't want snuggles! Go away!" This of course wakes her brother, and now we're all up for the day at a ridiculous hour, and in a crappy mood. It's really a horrible start to the morning, and I don't know how to make it better for her, other than nursing her umteen times and getting no sleep.

Any advice?



Quote:
Originally Posted by intentionalmama View Post
Hi, I would like to join as well. I had a situation the other day that really through me. My son who has just turned six was having a hard time ending the day. It was nearly 10 pm and he was dying to go outside and do his alka seltzer and water rockets. After saying no, I thought about it and since we homeschool and we didn't have to be anywhere the next am I decided to let him do a couple. Well, he just wanted to keep going. So finally that was it and he came in and he was MAD! Wow! He stormed into our room (we co-sleep) and climbed into bed and suddenly my dh and I hear blaring music pouring out of the room. He had figured out the clock radio and is just staring at me. I turned the music off. He turned it on and got right in my face. No! Leave it alone! Get out of here!

I didn't know what to do. I felt kind of paralyzed. He was challenging me in a way that I didn't know how to respond to. I know that if this had been me when I was a kid, I would have received a spanking, been shamed for talking that way to my parents and the radio would be shut down.

I thought about taking the radio away, but I really didn't want to do that unless I had to. I just kept looking at him, with this blaring music in the background. He just kept staring at me, with this intense angry look. As I looked at him, my little guy who's just turned six; and this heavy hard music blaring; I said are you six or sixteen? And somehow, I started to laugh. He then started to laugh. We both fell on the bed laughing. Then I turned the radio off. He jumped off. Leave it on! But by this time something had shifted in me. I said Ok, you can listen to it for five minutes, and then I'm coming in and it is going off.

I left the room and went out to dh. As I listened to the music blaring, I started to get confused again and I was actually a bit nervous about how I wanted to handle the situation. I was ready to take the clock radio away, but I really didnt' want to. After about seven minutes I went in, he was almost fast asleep. I turned it off - and he said no, it's only three minutes. I said, no, it's past five minutes. He said, did you see that when you left I turned it up. I said "no, I didn't see that." He said, "I didn't want you to know." I said, "well, I didn't" He then said, can you give me a light massage? We do this massage where I get him to imagine a ball of light relaxing him. I said, "yes," I gave him the massage. He said, "mummy, I love you." I said "I love you to" And it felt good saying this, as I felt I was saying I love you even when ... He pretty much fell fast asleep in my arms.

So, while I didn't know what to do, somehow I think the unconditional parenting premise of remembering the relationship really helped.
post #29 of 367
I'd like o join! I ordered UP the other day and will start reading as soon as it comes. My dd is only 9 mo but I'd like to get started on the right foot with my philosophy and actions.

and hoo boy do i hope to handle situations as well as intentionalmama did! i think the resolution of that situation speaks loudly to the 6 years prior as well though, not just that one incident. how we treat our children every day, kwim?
post #30 of 367
Subbing.

I love this book, and I detest most parenting books.

It completely changed my outlook on parenting (MDC helped with this as well though).

I definitely tend to re-enact the way I was parented as a child. Rather than being autocratic, I tend to be passive aggressive and I withdraw when I'm frustrated or mad (which my DS definitely interprets as withdrawing my love).

I've let go of many of the unhealthy ideals about obedience and such. What I really struggle with is:

1. Dealing with conflict in a healthy way, not being passive aggressive.
2. Requiring that other people (including DS) act respectfully toward me and not allowing abusive or disrespectful behaviors (this is more than just a parenting style, it's a problem in my relationships)
3. Being consistent with how I deal with things

Those are my challenges and would love to hear from other mamas who might be facing similar things.

We have worked with a play therapist and I have learned about reflecting feelings back, really listening, how to let DS know that I'm listening, etc.

In the mama's situation with the radio above, I might have said something like, "You want me to know that you're really mad right now because you had to come inside. You wanted to keep playing with your rocket. You want me to leave you alone right now." or something along those lines. I think children feel that they aren't listened to, and aren't understood a lot of the time.

Great thread.
post #31 of 367
Great idea Betsy! I'm definitely in since many of the principals for UP do not come naturally to me. I was raised in a yelling household and I have a quick temper myself. I find myself frustrated a lot with my 26 month old and then berating myself for MY reactions to her being a normal 2 y.o!

That being said, we are working through it and I think both of us are getting used to her being 2!LOL

I'd say my biggest problems are with #3, 5, and 11. Keeping long-term goals in mind minute to minute with a toddler is HARD! As for changing how I see and not just how I act...this one is a BIG BIG one for me. I want to say no a lot (#11) and DH always wants to go the hard discipline route when he's frustrated with her even though we both know logical consequences and NOT punishment work so much more effectively.

I guess DH and I also have a hard time keeping her age in mind. She is only 2 but she communicates SO SO well...well above her age IMO which makes it difficult to remember that she conceptually cannot understand a lot still.

Anyway, I love this idea Betsy. Thanks!
post #32 of 367
Hey OP thanks for starting this.. didn't realize this is where my Ap style was going but so much of this list I do.. and strive for.

Copy, paste, enlarge, bold, print.... walking to refrigerator.

Will try to sub if I can figure it out.
post #33 of 367
Oh, Manydolyn, I feel for you. I talked to my friend who has a ds6 and dd3. She is exhausted at times from her dd's nursing especially at night time. She really felt for you as you have the complication of your daughter's feelings around the new baby.

She had been talking a lot to her daughter during times when they weren't nursing about the nursing and also decided to make specific times when she would nurse with her. When she woke up, before they went out, and before bed. Finally her little one is starting to not get up during the night, but she said that could change.


When I was nursing my son, I was feeling very exhausted and done at one point. (He was 2 years 9 months and still up every two hours in the night) He was constantly asking "wanna nurse", and I started saying nicely, "not really." and then we would nurse. Then I read an article I think from Le Leache Leage and it really affected me. The story was about a woman nursing her (similar age son) and how he would also ask "wanna nurse". I saw my son so much in the article that it blew my heart open. I then realized how wonderful/fleeting/ this nursing relationship was. The next time he asked me "wanna nurse" I said "YES!" And I meant it. The sad thing for me, was within ten days he decided to stop. Then I wasn't ready; and I had to grieve the ending that seemed to suddenly come way to soon!

I know my story is very different from your situation; and may not be very helpful as you are nursing your baby son as well; and I can only imagine how tired you are. You may want to post in the breastfeeding forum as mothers there may also have more ideas.
Hang in there.




Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolyn View Post
I am the mom of a newly-3 year old girl and a 4-month old boy. The 3-year old still nurses, though it is to the point where it drives me BATTY, especially when she nurses while her brother does. I am really ready to wean her on theh spot, but I also feel as though she really needs this connection with me, or at least SOME connection with me (and I also believe in child-led weaning, though it's HARD). So, to preserve my sanity, I've cut her down to one time a day, at bedtime. In the mornings though, she'll often ask for "mop" (our word for it), and while I feel badly saying no, I just have to because when I used to nurse her in the morning, she'd wake at 5:45, and then 6:15, and then 6:45, and then again at 7:15... all for more mop each time. And now that I have her infant brother clamoring for it too (and of course I HAVE to feed him!), it's too little sleep for me and to be frank, just too much touching! When I offer snuggles instead, she either starts pulling my hair to get her love fill (which HURTS, doesn't allow me to sleep, and annoys the heck out of me so I have to say no again to her) or she just starts screaming and hitting me, saying "I don't want snuggles! Go away!" This of course wakes her brother, and now we're all up for the day at a ridiculous hour, and in a crappy mood. It's really a horrible start to the morning, and I don't know how to make it better for her, other than nursing her umteen times and getting no sleep.

Any advice?
post #34 of 367
I think I need to get this book. I have a 15 mo old, and everyone around me seems to be of the "negative consequences early" school of thought. I know what type of parent I want to be, and need help connecting the dots on what my philosophy is in my head, so this book might really help us. Great post!
post #35 of 367
I'd love to join in with you all *bookmarking*
post #36 of 367
book arrived yesterday. so far i love the intro and first chapter!
post #37 of 367
I'm definitely subbing. We have been going through some trying periods with our little man- all normal, but still frustrating nonetheless.
post #38 of 367
I love UP and really couldn't parent any other way. I detest how people treat children like half humans Will definetly follow this thread.
post #39 of 367
OK, subbed til now. Finished the book and am very moved by it. It feels like a step beyond, a more thoughtful step past the positive reflections I've been doing with 16 month old son. Trying now not to say "good job" but instead say "Was that fun?" or "I see the kitty moving away which often means she doesn't want to cuddle." Still, it's hard to change these automatic responses. And, not a lot in the book is as easy to apply to such a little one. Anyone else doing this with younger toddlers? Your experience?
post #40 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCBMAX View Post
Anyone else doing this with younger toddlers? Your experience?
DS is now 2.5 and I read UP fairly early. I try to think of it in terms of emphasis on the spirit of the law, rather than the letter--I may act out of habitual patterns formed from my own upbringing or even let loose a "good job" once in a while. My emphasis is on remaining aware of my responses and the motivations & energy behind them--am I trying to control him? Am I worried about potential embarrassment from his behavior? Am I giving him space to feel his feelings and nurturing his authentic self & growth process? I fail my own standards, probably at least once a day, but I stay tuned in and watchful and always make positive effort. And when a particular response of mine strays from the UP-style, I note it (apologize if needed--like if I lost my temper) and move forward. The emotional connection between DS and I remains strong and I feel the "relaxed energy" of feeling loved unconditionally from him--if that makes sense. Hard to say just what I mean there. But one thing I really appreciate from Kohn is that our specific words & actions matter less than how they are perceived by the child, particularly with regard to their estimation of our unconditional love (and delight and appreciation) for them. So yes, I check that my parenting practice falls in line with parenting theory (was that punishment or redirection?), but more of my focus is on DS--keeping our connection strong and being in tune with his emotional needs. The quality of our relationship (at a deep level) matters more than the particulars of what we do. Punishments, bribes, coercion, etc., when the rule & not the exception, are bound to create disconnection that would be evident in a less harmonious relationship.

Hope that makes some sense--I'm lacking sleep!

Another thing I'll add is that the social pressure to actively "discipline" (control) children can be strong during the toddler years, since we deal with many socially unacceptable behaviors like hitting, not sharing, etc. Finding like-minded mamas to spend time with or at least for commiseration & reinforcement can be a big help. And once you see them start learning without that coercion your trust in the process will be fortified.
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