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I absolutely REFUSE to attempt to control my kids. - Page 2

post #21 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxella View Post
Read the Secret of Parenting. It's also very confirming.
got an author? I can't find it in library catalog. thanks
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
Well....I'm glad that works for you. It will be interesting to see how that pans out when they are teenagers. Personally I'm of the belief that children are....well, children....and that it is my responsibility to teach them and discipline them. And that they need to understand when I say they need to do something that they need to do it.
That is how my mother was with my brother and I and OMG did she get a nasty shock when we stopped allowing her to control us. We were both out of control, me in an open and difficult to live with way and my brother in the secret drug addict way (my whole extended family believes in this type of view point and having kids do things because they are told to and not many of them have turned out well, none of them have bypassed a difficult teen phase). I don't think there is one right way of raising kids, but I try to avoid control and imposing punishment to teach my dd anything because it has yet to teach anyone in my family anything useful like love and respect for others. Even if it turns out that my dd has the same amount of difficulty, at least we have this close time and a respectful foundation that doesn't require me to have to come up with punishments in the name of discipline.

OP: I think that is a nice example of giving a child choices and letting them live with the choice they make. I have fallen into the trap of giving a choice then trying to badger my dd into the correct one and it takes a lot of energy and leaves her feeling resentful because of my obvious attempt at control through false choices and nagging. Giving a choice and letting her truly choose makes both of us happier with each other.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post
got an author? I can't find it in library catalog. thanks
It's by Anthony Wolf:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Parenti...2392096&sr=1-1
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post
I think this deserves its own place...OF COURSE there are a few, absolutely NON-NEGOTIABLE moments. I absolutely still *would* pick up a child kicking and screaming and carry them back to the car, strap them in, and take them home if they were running away from me downtown, for example. That's an absolute no-choice safety issue.

And OF COURSE they're simply not allowed to stay somewhere if they are hurting, insulting, otherwise acting inappropriately toward others. I *have* held a child in my lap and informed them I absolutely will not allow them to hurt someone else.

I also do this; I tell my DS that "I will control your body for you until you are ready to control it yourself."

Totally agree with the choices option; we do that all the time here and life is usually very pleasant.
post #25 of 47
When I read your title, I thought oh gads, she is one of those parents who thinks her kids are royalty who should rule the world and run amuck with no consideration for anyone else. THEN I read your post. Great job!!! This is what we have done here too!

We have the computer set on the controls for 2 hrs in the evening. I know others said it should be daytime, but once on the computer, all is lost for the day. So they have a set of things to do for the day. If they get it done, they get on the computer promptly at the set time. They do not, they miss part of or all of the 2 hrs. SO, the 2 hrs are from 6-8. At 6, is they say that they suddenly want to do their chore or school work, but then do not get done until 7, I do not reset it, they simply lose out on the first hour. They also know that if they get in to major fights or such during the day, I can take time off their hour too.

Ever since we started doing this, things have been great. I hope they stay that way.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post

I went to where they were and announced "If you want to watch a show after your bath, before you go to bed, you need to come home NOW." And I walked away with baby DS on my hip.

DD followed me home...I commented "looks like you want to watch a show..."






That's still controlling them, just in a different way.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
That's still controlling them, just in a different way.
Had you said something more like "There will be time to watch a show before bed if you come in soon for your bath" and left it at that, that would just be letting them know their options. Not letting your ds see what was left of the show the other kids were watching just seems punitive. Sure he missed the beginning because he stayed out later. But he missed the rest because you were controlling him... Still it is a step in the right direction compared to trying to physically force them to do what you want when you want it. Hopefully you are giving them a little warning to give them a chance to wrap up what they are doing, not just suddenly announcing "Come now or else no show for you!" which is essentially threatening them for not demonstrating immediate obedience. Hard to tell from your post quite what your attitude and tone were.
post #28 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

OP: I think that is a nice example of giving a child choices and letting them live with the choice they make. I have fallen into the trap of giving a choice then trying to badger my dd into the correct one and it takes a lot of energy and leaves her feeling resentful because of my obvious attempt at control through false choices and nagging. Giving a choice and letting her truly choose makes both of us happier with each other.
That is what I was struggling with too, trying to force them into making teh "correct" choice. I came to a realization that I can't do that. THEY need to learn to make the correct choices for themselves....so *I* need to do things I can live with, and things I can enforce--like 'if you do not come in at this time, then you forfeit the privilege of watching some TV before bedtime. Instead you have chosen to have extra outdoor playtime." (not that I phrase it quite that way to the kids! but it's essentially what I'm doing.)

The 'discipline' of this comes in when I actually enforce the "consequence" of the choice they made. And I DO think that they will learn to make a different choice if they don't like the outcome.

AND another bonus--since i started using this on more negotiable things, like coming inside, and enforcing the limit (you did not come in, now you don't have time to...)
When I really do need them to follow the limit--for example, today we were in a public place and DS2 was in the stroller. I needed to use the elevator. DS1 wanted to take the stairs and meet us. I don't think he is old enough, and I don't want DD to think she can go with him, so I said "We need to stay together and all use the elevator. If you go down the stairs, our next stop will be the van." He came with me.

I think what is happening is that they have some sense of 'control' from the choices I allow them to make at times when I can live with any option I am presenting to them. That sense of most of the time having some control is taking away the *need* to try to assert control (through disobeying) in a situation where they absolutely don't have a choice. That's what I sense anyway.
post #29 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Had you said something more like "There will be time to watch a show before bed if you come in soon for your bath" and left it at that, that would just be letting them know their options. Not letting your ds see what was left of the show the other kids were watching just seems punitive. Sure he missed the beginning because he stayed out later. But he missed the rest because you were controlling him... Still it is a step in the right direction compared to trying to physically force them to do what you want when you want it. Hopefully you are giving them a little warning to give them a chance to wrap up what they are doing, not just suddenly announcing "Come now or else no show for you!" which is essentially threatening them for not demonstrating immediate obedience. Hard to tell from your post quite what your attitude and tone were.
I see the point. It wasn't a "RIGHT NOW OR ELSE" type of statement. It was more of an informative "if you want to have time to watch TV, you need to come in now" If he were to come a minute or two or 5 after me, OK. This was more like 30 minutes--I had time to bathe the other two, dress the baby, 3 yr old was in pajamas, and they were eating a snack and had watched half the show.

I know my child, and for my DS1, what I did was what he needs to understand that I am enforcing the choice that he made. Bedtime is a certain time, he needed to take his bath first--that's the rule, bath and pj's before TV so it is done, and by the time he took the bath, the show was over. If it had not been over, I may have let him watch the last couple minutes after his bath and PJ's were on. *that* he would have totally understood and would have been able to see that because he chose to stay outside, he only got the last minute. Getting to delay the bath and watch 15-20 minutes of the show would not have really made him understand the impact of his choice.

That's the point, I'm not going to chase them around the neighborhood basically begging them to obey me. But when they choose to stay outside, I'm also not going to change up the routine and push bedtime back. *If* the TV time matters more to him than whatever he is doing outside, then he will start choosing to come in. If it doesn't, then maybe he NEEDS the activity, the exercise, the outdoor fresh air, the social interaction, SOMETHING that he is getting there. Who am I to say? So far, the way I'm doing it is giving him an advance warning enough that if I do need to go out and say "It's bedtime now", he is willingly coming along.
And I think he is understanding that this is his choice that HE is making, because he is not giving me any real serious objections to my enforcing of the rule. (token protest or two, maybe, just to see if I'm going to back down, but it is clear to me that he understands and this is a test to see if I'm going to back down or if I am going to have him live with the choice that he made.)

I will be watching my tone and wording though, that is a good point.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post
I have found that when I allow my children to self-regulate, they are more willing to do what I say when it's non-negotiable. Because I generally act as if I respect their abilities to make decisions for themselves, when we have times when I need them to do something right now, they do it without any or too much fussing.

Because I show that I generally respect their autonomies, when the rare situation presents itself where I feel I cannot, I explain that, they hear that I'd rather not control them in that moment but feel I have no other choice for whatever reason, and they respect where I'm coming from. In general.
This has been true for us as well. When I say to my child, "In this situation I do need to insist (xyz)" he is very receptive to following my directions without balking or trying to negotiate.
post #31 of 47
I totally think you are still controlling them. That said, I consider it my job to "control" my kids to a certain degree, and I do the same kind of thing you're talking about.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
That's still controlling them, just in a different way.
But the difference is key. Escalating, direct, or abusive control of a person feels so different to both parties than effective, appropriate, sensitive control of a situation. In my own experience, young children expect adults to have control over their environment--they expect to be fed, clothed, protected, and nurtured 24 hours a day without fail--and it is this expectation which gives an element of control to parents. It is our job to meet the constant needs of a child, and in doing so, we exercise tremendous control over the world as our child knows it. Just by meeting or not meeting those needs, we are controlling our children on a profound level. This is partly why debates over whether parents should control children ring a bit hollow for me personally.

I think whenever parents can find a level of control that is not dependent on direct power struggles, the results are usually more positive and effective. I agree the OP is still controlling, but I think she is focusing on the aspects of the environment she can control without inflaming a power struggle with her child, and that is great.
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
I think that was an awesome solution! It's still controlling your kids though. Which I think is a GOOD thing.
Agreed. And I was glad to see that, because the thread title is a little scary.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
But the difference is key. Escalating, direct, or abusive control of a person feels so different to both parties than effective, appropriate, sensitive control of a situation. In my own experience, young children expect adults to have control over their environment--they expect to be fed, clothed, protected, and nurtured 24 hours a day without fail--and it is this expectation which gives an element of control to parents. It is our job to meet the constant needs of a child, and in doing so, we exercise tremendous control over the world as our child knows it. Just by meeting or not meeting those needs, we are controlling our children on a profound level. This is partly why debates over whether parents should control children ring a bit hollow for me personally.

I think whenever parents can find a level of control that is not dependent on direct power struggles, the results are usually more positive and effective. I agree the OP is still controlling, but I think she is focusing on the aspects of the environment she can control without inflaming a power struggle with her child, and that is great.
Posts like this keep me coming back to MDC to learn.
post #35 of 47
It was still punitive, and yes parents really still control without punishment anyway. And I do think parents have to have some level of control, though I personally avoid punishment. Anyway, it was certainly much much gentler than dragging him in or screaming at him to come in. I do think the title "I refuse to control . . ." isn't really accurate, but I think it's definitely an example of gentle discipline regardless.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
It was still punitive
I'm not trying to change your mind but want to express that I think it was not punitive at all. The family had a certain order of the day, an established evening routine. With three young children I can't imagine what a balancing act it is to meet the needs of all children at once and keep everyone fed, nurtured, and in bed on time. If the family has a routine of dinner, playtime, tv, bath, storytime, and one child wanted to stay out side during tv time--as long as he was informed that this meant giving up tv time (which this child was)--I don't see where he was punished for his actions at all. From what she said, tv time always comes after playtime and bath time--she didn't invent the TV consequence just to punish him. It was bath/tv time and when she told him so, he didn't want to watch, he wanted to play outdoors while his siblings had baths. He made a choice and was trusted to cope with the implications, which it sounds like he did peacefully. He had his bath while the others went to the next step--tv time. It sounds like the mother tried very hard to make sure the child was aware he was making a choice, it sounds like she did this in a matter of fact and respectful way, and not in a vindictive or angry tone--and it sounds like her child heard the choice as a fair one, and not as mom trying to pick a fight and control him unfairly.

I don't see where she invented a negative consequence in response to his behavior (punishment)--if anything she tried hard to make sure he was happy with his choice by keeping him informed of what was next on the agenda, and it sounds like he was, in fact, happy. She didn't bend on the bedtime deadline--she didn't extend his bedtime so he could add more activities-- and I know some parents would have just let him stay up later. But I don't think he was being punished just because bedtime wasn't shifted so he could catch up on his tv watching. At least, that is not my definition of punishment.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
DS *finally* comes home about 15 mins, later I suppose it was. And I paused the DVR until he was in the bathroom, steered past the TV by me and informed that he had used his TV time playing outside while the other 2 had taken their bath....so now he would have to take a bath and have his snack in the kitchen, away from the TV.
That's the part that was punitive. A negative consequence created and enforced by the parent is a punishment. She had to pause the DVR so he couldnt' see it and steer him past the TV and tell him he had to have his snack away from the TV. That is definitely a punishment.

Edited to add that I didn't say it was unfair, just that it's a punishment.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
But the difference is key.
I realize that. I was just disagreeing with the title of the thread.
post #39 of 47
My experience is that it is just the opposite WRT 'control' and teenagers.

My 15.5 y/o daughter, who has always been very, very spirited, has also always shown me that she is going to do what she is going to do and that is that. Therefore, she is the one who has taught me to become centered in my own power because (as she ruthlessly points out) - that it is all I have.

However, my power is grand. And she is smart enough to know that. The greatness has been to create the kind of relationship where we are both doing what we choose to do and the result is cooperative.

By this age, most kids have learned that they are freer than they previously knew and, let's face it, it is a very short time before they're off in the world on their own. I love that my amazing teenager wants to spend time with me, asks me for my opinions and (most of the time) enjoys being around me. Just the fact that she is not ripping her hair out with frustration toward me like I was with my (very well-meaning-but-controlling) mother is such a joy for me. And I have zero disagreements with her life choices on top of that.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
But the difference is key. Escalating, direct, or abusive control of a person feels so different to both parties than effective, appropriate, sensitive control of a situation. In my own experience, young children expect adults to have control over their environment--they expect to be fed, clothed, protected, and nurtured 24 hours a day without fail--and it is this expectation which gives an element of control to parents. It is our job to meet the constant needs of a child, and in doing so, we exercise tremendous control over the world as our child knows it. Just by meeting or not meeting those needs, we are controlling our children on a profound level. This is partly why debates over whether parents should control children ring a bit hollow for me personally.

I think whenever parents can find a level of control that is not dependent on direct power struggles, the results are usually more positive and effective. I agree the OP is still controlling, but I think she is focusing on the aspects of the environment she can control without inflaming a power struggle with her child, and that is great.


This is a great post. 'Control' is the natural effect of providing. When we realize the power inherent in the fact that we are their providers of everything, we can become aware of the greatness of our power without ever having to resort to intentional control efforts.
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