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Unconditional Parenting support thread - Page 5

post #81 of 367
Devaya, sounds like you are very insightful and self-aware! Do you have any mama friends who parent in a similar style? Hanging out with other moms and seeing how other toddlers behave--getting a sense of what is normal for that age & the support of others with similar parenting values helps me a great deal.

Also, I find living up to my parenting ideals is hard when I'm PMSing or run down (and sleep deprived for sure). Caring for ourselves so that we can care for others can be such a challenge! I try to get breaks for myself when I can, although I don't get as many as I'd like, and if I respond in a way to DS that I'm not happy with, I apologize & start over and try to be gentle with myself, knowing I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances.
post #82 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by krystyn33 View Post
Devaya, sounds like you are very insightful and self-aware! Do you have any mama friends who parent in a similar style? Hanging out with other moms and seeing how other toddlers behave--getting a sense of what is normal for that age & the support of others with similar parenting values helps me a great deal.

Also, I find living up to my parenting ideals is hard when I'm PMSing or run down (and sleep deprived for sure). Caring for ourselves so that we can care for others can be such a challenge! I try to get breaks for myself when I can, although I don't get as many as I'd like, and if I respond in a way to DS that I'm not happy with, I apologize & start over and try to be gentle with myself, knowing I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances.
Thanks for the support. I do have a couple of friends who parent in a similar way, and when I'm around other parents in general I find my parenting is much better - it's when I'm at home that I find it really hard! My partner also isn't really on the same page as me and I find being around him almost reinforces the crappier side of my parenting!

I agree it's important to have time for yourself and recharge so you can have something to give. I'm a person who needs lots of time alone and as this doesn't happen, I soon find I am running on empty. fortunately I now do have regular times scheduled in the week when I can do some work or relax on my own while DP takes care of our son. Just having a change of scenery can help me to come back with more patience and appreciation for my child. I need to read Aldorf though - have read stuff on the web that she's written but haven't got her book yet. I feel that the more I read of this sort of thing, the easier it is to 'think' along the lines I would like to. Also to articulate clearly my parenting ideals, bc they seem quite muddled right now!
post #83 of 367

update on throwing hard objects

We are trying a new game of "How gently can you put it down?" We pretend that the object needs to go to sleep, and we say "shhhhhh!" and put it down sooooo soooooo gently. In this way my son enjoys an alternative for throwing, but I am still having trouble not praising this new game, because I actually do still want to manipulate him into the behavior that works better for me and is safer for all. Can't quite help myself. Am trying instead to say "That was very gentle! Now the rock can sleep! Let's get a ball to throw."

So far, so "good", by which I mean I have successfully manipulated him into the behavior I want without it sounding conditional. Sorry, just feeling a little ironic/ exploratory about the whole philosophy right now. Unconditionality, yes, but also guidance toward the behavior that I feel is best. Belief in the child's inherent ability to have compassion, yes, but also downplaying all of our inherent ability to be monsters. So there is still coercion. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for this version of coercion, and babies must have guidance/ protection/ "coercion". But I don't want to ignore the reality that the power dynamic between parent/ child is still often about power. I want to keep that really clear so I never lose sight of any sense of powerlessness that he may feel.
post #84 of 367
I am in the midst of the UP book...I have tried to openly discuss this book on a couple of occasions with mainstreamers (and one behaviorist, I later found...) and constantly come into contact/conflict with people over my views about this book. I see exactly what Kohn is saying on a number of different levels but have MUCH trouble putting this into practice with my almost 3 1/2 y.o.

The problem is that MOST people out there can't identify with Kohn philosophy even slightly.

Back to a pp's question...how do you deal w/ the behaviorists out there??????
They all seem so bent on telling me how I'm (and how Kohn is) wrong!
post #85 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by russianthistle View Post
Back to a pp's question...how do you deal w/ the behaviorists out there??????
They all seem so bent on telling me how I'm (and how Kohn is) wrong!
I agree, it is frustrating. I liken it to folks who don't see eye-to-eye with me on breastfeeding, cosleeping or any other parenting practices of mine. The "this is what works for us, please pass the bean dip" classic retort comes to mind. Behaviorism goes into a whole perspective on human nature (kids/people are inherently uncooperative and need to be "trained" to be good) that I'm not likely to share with anyone who buys into it. Such philosophical debates rarely end up with one person convinced that the other's perspective is correct and with parenting stuff emotions--guilt and defensiveness run high. I just don't find that it is worth it. To meet my own needs for encouragement & support I seek friends who parent with similar styles and values.
post #86 of 367
I agree that trying to explain it to other people just often is not worth the battle. I tried to talk about it with my sister-in-law when she was going on about reward charts and how they worked for a while but then didn't with her kids, and she said 'But if you don't punish, how do you get them to do what you want?' Which it really all boils down to

I had a lovely moment yesterday when the principle of 'Put the relationship first' was illustrated to me. I was struggling to get household tasks done b/c DS was particularly needy in terms of attention, trying to get him involved/help me wasn't working, I was tired after a late night and felt frustrated. I kept trying to do what I was trying to do, and then suddenly I broke out of that and remembered the Kohn stuff, remembered to think about what needs he had, and just got eye to eye with him and hugged and kissed him. At first he just wanted 'milk' (I've started setting limits on b.feeding recently, including total nightweaning, so this is quite an issue at the moment) and was angry with me, but as I continued to try to just be present with him, forget about trying to take the washing off the line, and just give him my focussed love and attention, he suddenly 'turned' and started kissing me and being very loving towards me. It felt really special, and a few minutes later I WAS able to do my task as he pottered off happily on one of his own 'missions'. Really reinforcing when this stuff happens. Now I really wish I could find a way for DP to actually read the book...he'll often promise to read stuff but never does.
post #87 of 367
Yes, time for DP to read the book, too! Let's get our SO's on board!!!
post #88 of 367
I thought that today's "Daily Groove" was especially pertinent to our current discussion:

:: Don't Explain ::

Being on the leading edge of parenting, you may
find yourself explaining to others *why* you parent
the way you do.

This can be a good thing when someone has
expressed curiosity about it and you're simply
sharing information. But it's better *not* to explain
yourself if you're trying to *justify* your choices.

Justifying gives away your power. It implies that
you need the other person's approval. It undermines
your self-confidence and distances you from your
Inner Guidance.

The "need" to explain and justify your choices is
based on the "need" to be right. But if your parenting
choices are "right," and the other person would parent
differently, then s/he must be "wrong." Once you get
in that right/wrong mode, conflict or interpersonal
tension is inevitable.

Instead of explaining your parenting to others,
silently remind *yourself* that your choices are right
*for you*, and your own approval is all you need.

http://www.dailygroove.net/dont-explain
post #89 of 367
I like that 'Daily Groove' too. So often I find myself justifying what I do as a parent, even to my partner!

One thing that's been bothering me, is that I read somewhere ('Magical child'? Something like that) that it's not healthy for a child's development to introduce the force of 'logic' too early, before it's appropriate. That this could inhibit the full development of their creative and imaginative abilities. And my impression (i could be wrong) of UP is that there is a lot of explaining to the child, like, 'we don't hit because ... xyz...or I need us to do this so that....etc.' Surely this would engage logic? Does anyone know about this? it might be a Steiner/Waldorf thing,I'm not sure. But it does concern me. Basically the argument is that children up to a certain age (think it's 6 or 7) need to have the boundaries set clearly and firmly without going into detail, and without negotiating.

I am totally supportive of UP, I hope I'm not throwing a spanner in the works, but I think it's good to understand these things. I think, on the other hand, that punishment and 'reward charts' could have a similar effect -the child has to understand the logic of doing X so he can get Y, or not doing X so he can avoid Y.
post #90 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post
One thing that's been bothering me, is that I read somewhere ('Magical child'? Something like that) that it's not healthy for a child's development to introduce the force of 'logic' too early, before it's appropriate. That this could inhibit the full development of their creative and imaginative abilities. And my impression (i could be wrong) of UP is that there is a lot of explaining to the child, like, 'we don't hit because ... xyz...or I need us to do this so that....etc.' Surely this would engage logic? Does anyone know about this? it might be a Steiner/Waldorf thing,I'm not sure. But it does concern me. Basically the argument is that children up to a certain age (think it's 6 or 7) need to have the boundaries set clearly and firmly without going into detail, and without negotiating.

I am totally supportive of UP, I hope I'm not throwing a spanner in the works, but I think it's good to understand these things. I think, on the other hand, that punishment and 'reward charts' could have a similar effect -the child has to understand the logic of doing X so he can get Y, or not doing X so he can avoid Y.
Interesting. I like to hear more about why they think logic inhibits creativity. My daughter is almost 4 and understand a lot of things from a logic POV. I don't see that it has inhibited her creativity. My son, from the time he could talk has asked WHY???? and been very sensitive to things being arbitrary.
post #91 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post
One thing that's been bothering me, is that I read somewhere ('Magical child'? Something like that) that it's not healthy for a child's development to introduce the force of 'logic' too early, before it's appropriate. That this could inhibit the full development of their creative and imaginative abilities. And my impression (i could be wrong) of UP is that there is a lot of explaining to the child, like, 'we don't hit because ... xyz...or I need us to do this so that....etc.' Surely this would engage logic? Does anyone know about this? it might be a Steiner/Waldorf thing,I'm not sure. But it does concern me. Basically the argument is that children up to a certain age (think it's 6 or 7) need to have the boundaries set clearly and firmly without going into detail, and without negotiating.

I am totally supportive of UP, I hope I'm not throwing a spanner in the works, but I think it's good to understand these things. I think, on the other hand, that punishment and 'reward charts' could have a similar effect -the child has to understand the logic of doing X so he can get Y, or not doing X so he can avoid Y.
nak
It is a Waldorf thing, you are right. I've wondered the same thing...I would imagine (though I have no actual information on whether this is truly the case) that Kohn is not Waldorf.

I really dig Waldorf, and this, too concerns me...

Interesting point.
post #92 of 367
I'm just about to finish UP.

The chapter called Choices for Children ends with some exercises. I hate to say it but I was really stumped by the very important part of finding UP solutions in exercise 1. So, I thought I'd retype it out here and see what y'all would suggest (sorry my comma only works part of the time!):

EX A "Your child resists going to bed, first pretending not to hear you announce that it's bedtime, then begging for a few more minutes, then insisting that there's only one last little-bitty thing that needs to be finished, then arguing that it's not fair to have to go to bed so early and finally just refusing in an angry voice."

EX B: Lately, your child has begun to adopt an insulting tone in conversations with you-or perhaps with a sibling.

coming up with conventional doing-to responses was pretty easy (threatening to take away privileges, time outs, etc.). but working with alternatives was more challenging. what are some of your ideas?
post #93 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by mckennasmomma View Post
EX A "Your child resists going to bed, first pretending not to hear you announce that it's bedtime, then begging for a few more minutes, then insisting that there's only one last little-bitty thing that needs to be finished, then arguing that it's not fair to have to go to bed so early and finally just refusing in an angry voice."

EX B: Lately, your child has begun to adopt an insulting tone in conversations with you-or perhaps with a sibling.

coming up with conventional doing-to responses was pretty easy (threatening to take away privileges, time outs, etc.). but working with alternatives was more challenging. what are some of your ideas?
Well for Example A...I would accept they weren't ready for bed but I'll pretend it's something else that I need her to do.

"How much should I count to until you're ready?"

"Would you like to hop like bunnies or fly like birds to the van?"

"How many more jumps on the trampoline will be enough?"

"Shall we use your pink toothbrush or the Dora one?"

"Do you want mom or dad to put your shoes on?"

Example B-

"I don't really like the way that sounded, but I know you can say it nicer next time."
post #94 of 367
[QUOTE=mckennasmomma;14065919]
EX A "Your child resists going to bed, first pretending not to hear you announce that it's bedtime, then begging for a few more minutes, then insisting that there's only one last little-bitty thing that needs to be finished, then arguing that it's not fair to have to go to bed so early and finally just refusing in an angry voice."

One of us dh or I actually lie down with our son and when he is asleep or relaxed enough we will then get up. He has never really had a set bedtime. As we homeschool - he doesn't have to get up early for school - so we are fairly relaxed about bedtime. If he is really not tired, we usually just let him stay up longer. If he is saying he doesn't want to go to sleep, I will usually just say It's time, with a smile and head to the bedroom, and offer to read him a story (often with the lights out - one that I have made up) or see if he wants a massage. This usually works. If he just can't sleep, I have sometimes gotten up to do some meditation time in front of a candle, he will sometimes follow me and just fall asleep curled up against me on the couch. I must admit, even though these times can be late - I love him being near me. I then just carry him to bed.


EX B: Lately, your child has begun to adopt an insulting tone in conversations with you-or perhaps with a sibling.

Again he is six, so I would ask him what's going on. ie) It sounds like you are angry at me.. If he says no, I would say, well, when you say (bla bla bla) I feel disrespected or whatever it is.
So I guess basically I would want to find out why he was speaking this way to me or the other person; and then deal with the underlying reason.
If it was something he had heard and he thought it was cool, I would want to let him know that it Ie) hurt my feelings, wasn't a nice thing to say, was disrespectful - or whatever my concern about it was.
post #95 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by russianthistle View Post
nak
It is a Waldorf thing, you are right. I've wondered the same thing...I would imagine (though I have no actual information on whether this is truly the case) that Kohn is not Waldorf.

I really dig Waldorf, and this, too concerns me...

Interesting point.
I resonate with Waldorf stuff a lot too - not all of it, but the concepts of being in tune with the seasons, surrounding the child with natural beautiful things, and stuff about giving children time to be children makes a lot of sense to me. I feel a lot of my creativity was killed by early schooling, etc. I also get the impression Kohn doesn't swing that way! But am prob getting OT now. If anyone else has a view on reconciling the two, that'd be great!

Another thing I am concerned about is school....I mean, how many schools are actually going to not have grades, as Kohn suggests, and not be 'conditional' in any way? I would love to homeschool but don't know if it'll happen since DP is very much against it (I have another 3 years to try convince him!)
post #96 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
Well for Example A...I would accept they weren't ready for bed but I'll pretend it's something else that I need her to do.

"How much should I count to until you're ready?"

"Would you like to hop like bunnies or fly like birds to the van?"

"How many more jumps on the trampoline will be enough?"

"Shall we use your pink toothbrush or the Dora one?"

"Do you want mom or dad to put your shoes on?"

Example B-

"I don't really like the way that sounded, but I know you can say it nicer next time."
I also struggled with those example questions at the time, and these are great! Thanks.
post #97 of 367
:
I like what you've offered!
post #98 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post

So, what do you do from a UP perspective when one child hurts the other intentionally?

This is what I am struggling with as well. Henry will flat out be mean spirited towards Evelyn. Most times she isn't anywhere near him- just playing happily by herself with some toy and he will walk over and rip whatever she had in her hands right out. Other times she will be trying to play with him and he gets frustrated with her and he will push her away and or hit her.
post #99 of 367
I think all you can really do is start talking about feelings, asking the child to reflect on how it would make them feel is someone did the hurtful thing to them, say things like, "the look on your sister's face looks like you hurt her. how would it make you feel if someone took the toy from you?"
post #100 of 367
Nearly through w/ the book...
I find that it makes sense that there's little conrete advice. I guess I really like that about Kohn...he can't tell us anything direct, because he's not in our situation.

This thread is a good way to help with the "how-to's."
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