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What is that GD style...finding acceptable solutions for both parent and child? - Page 8

post #141 of 148
Thread Starter 

Somehow I missed the thing about Michael Jackson.  I tell my DC what kind of music I like.  Live music is pretty important to me and DH is a big fan of electronic music.  We have very different tastes in music so the subject of not liking some types of music comes up for our family a lot.  I think it's important that our kids develop their own musical tastes and parents should look to their kids to see how they can best foster that.  For children who tend to want to "like what mama likes" maybe it's good for mom to keep her opinions to herself.  

 

I'm loving this thread too - I'm off on vacation tomorrow.  I'll look forward to catching up when I get back.

 

ETA: I meant to add one little plug for AK from a personal perspective.  My DC's school uses a lot of AK's philosophy, especially his theory on homework.  The school, however, used "recess minutes" as a form of punishment when DC first began attending the school.  I was really upset by this and wrote to AK.  He wrote me back within the day and was so, so sweet.  He just kind of empathized with me about how unfortunate it is that progressive schools don't always move all their theories along at the same speed.  He gave me a little guidance on how to speak with the school and I'm happy to say that they revised their policy on punishment.  He just seemed like such a nice "regular guy" and I was surprised and impressed with how approachable and helpful he was.  

post #142 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

I suppose that we are closer to unconditional parenting, but I haven't been in a situation where punishment/etc is necessary. He's only 3, too, and so not in a logical place where we are talking out solutions. I do try to think about what is going on from his perspective, though, and work from there.

 

I suppose that this is consensual in that his needs are taken into consideration. What I want in our household is for my son to feel happy and supported, and so I work diligently to create that. I have several methods of doing so -- from simple living to having a strong rhythm to making sure he has outside time to making sure he gets consistent meals and so on and so forth. I make sure, too, that any transition has a lot of time as well. If the bus leaves at 9:01, and it takes 3 minutes to get from door to bus stop, I'll actually leave 10 minutes out, because I'd rather wait at the bus stop for 5-7 minutes. :) This means that shoe time can take 5-10 minutes before that, and coat before that, and tidying away before that, and ending play time before that. Each has it's own duration -- I give it a lot of space.

 

This helps him move at his own pace through these things. Some days, that is quickly, and other days, it is more slow. If it is a quick day, I add in an activity. If he's moving from passive to active (which is common with the bus situation), then I create an active game for us to do either prior to going to the bus stop or after we get to the bus stop. It's usually movement based. This keeps him happy and meets his need, while also meeting my need to be at the bus on time and without a fussy child. If he's moving from an active to a passive activity, then I'll typically choose a passive activity for us. I typically use cuddles plus story telling. Again, this allows him to transition without feeling rushed one way or another. Most times, he needs the time that I provide for him to transition, and it works great.

 

I would say that my son is easy-going, but he is actually quite a strong and spirited personality. So, I am firm with him -- there are rules. Most of them have to do with manners around other people and safety. "This is how we do things" -- and I am firm on them.

 

As an example, when you get on the bus, you greet the driver. You sit down properly on the seat ("like a gentleman"), and you do that the whole ride. If you don't sit like a gentleman (and you're told once), then you sit on my lap. That's the rule. 90% of the time -- and we ride the bus frequently -- DS sits properly. 5% of the remaining time, he needs one reminder and then sits properly. the remaining 5% of the time, he is in my lap for at least part of the ride (sometimes by his request), and if he is sitting peacefully in my lap, I'll ask him "would you like to sit in your own seat like a gentleman?" And then he will. The reasons that this is important are two-fold: 1. safety -- the bus jostles around and he can get thrown around. Heck, I get thrown around. 2. being polite -- getting dirty shoes on the seat means that other people cannot sit there later, or won't want to. We need to be polite to our fellow travelers, and leave the bus as clean as we found it. Of course, we also *model* all of this behavior with him, and we point out how all of the other passengers on the bus are sitting and behaving as well. 

 

When I feel that DS is "acting up" (a term DH uses), I find it's usually due to hunger, tiredness, or a need to switch activities. It's rare that he gets that way with me, it's more common with DH. He doesn't think beyond his own head most days, so he doesn't grasp the forethought that this process entails. BUT, he does great when he does have that forethought AND when he keeps a strong rhythm with DS. it's just that -- and I understand this -- sometimes you want a day to just relax and not be responsible for anyone. I get it. ;)

Zoebird, I love what you've described here - pretty much what I've done all along, and now my boys are teens.  I'm big on NVC, although I learned it just a few years ago, but it would have been a disaster for me if I didn't set limits on the things most important to me when they are young.  I'm so glad that I taught them respectful manners because it has already served them well, although ds 14 still needs much reminding since he is so often in his own world.
 

 

post #143 of 148

We have started a Parenting with Joy, Trust and Love  Facebook page to share Consensual Living info and discussions.

Pat Robinson

post #144 of 148

Let me explain a situation that happened in my house tonight and I'd really like to hear how others would have dealt with it, especially how the fans of CL would have dealt with it. I'm not at all being snarky or snide. I'd really like to know.

 

My son has developed (IMO) the bad habit of wanting to dip everything in ranch dressing. Tonight he wanted to dip his chicken, so I have these little packets that a friend who works in food service gave me. I take out the packet, he says I want it in a bowl, I put it in a bowl, he says I want it all, I say that is enough, he says there is more I want it all. I tell him he doesn't need it all, he starts screaming and reaching for the packet.

 

My position is that he does not need the enitre packet of ranch dressing, we're not talking about the size of something that would come with a fast food meal, this is much bigger. I'm not giving him the whole amount. It's not healthy and it's non negotiable. Where does a parent go from there? I want to be understanding and I don't want to be a dictator but some things are out of the question, sometimes these are the very things he really wants. Then what?

post #145 of 148

Keep in mind that I haven't read this whole thread. I'm answering your question directly.

 

My first thought was, in this situation of the ranch dressing, why not just give it to him? I try and picture if it were me & my son. If he said he wanted a huge gross amount of dressing, I might say, but then all these packets our friend gave us will be gone. You'll have no more for later. (how old is your son by the way?) If he insisted, I might say OK, if you insist, but I'm not buying dressing to replace these. Now, keep in mind it sounds disgusting. And would he eat the whole amount? If he did, what would happen? Would he get sick? Would he just feel yucky? Or would he enjoy it? The packets were free, right? In THIS case I probably would have first warned him how they'll be all gone & is he sure. And if he is, I'd say OK. Here ya go. I mean, it's  not what *I* would choose, but I'm not him. And you did say they were given to you so it's not about wasting something you spent money on.

 

However, if there were a serious down side to something (i.e. as opposed to it just being "it's not what I would do" or "he doesn't NEED it"), and the answer had to be no, it would be no. That's it. Because in that situation, I, being the mom, would have access to the bigger picture (i.e. say he wanted to eat all of something that was designed to be shared with the whole family. Or he wanted to do something that would harm himself or some object you valued). Screaming and reaching for things, or to get our way, is not how we as a family want to deal with each other. So if the answer is no and he wants to scream, I would just be firm about the thing (i.e. not give in to the screaming) and later when he's calmer, I'd explain that when I say no about something, that's the answer. I will answer his questions as to WHY I said no, and I will certainly listen to his views, but if even after that, the answer is No, then he needs to accept it. Screaming isn't how we are going to relate to one another.

 

Wow. It's late. I would like to think further about my answer but I need to go to bed. I will check in tomorrow.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceMongerMama View Post

Let me explain a situation that happened in my house tonight and I'd really like to hear how others would have dealt with it, especially how the fans of CL would have dealt with it. I'm not at all being snarky or snide. I'd really like to know.

 

My son has developed (IMO) the bad habit of wanting to dip everything in ranch dressing. Tonight he wanted to dip his chicken, so I have these little packets that a friend who works in food service gave me. I take out the packet, he says I want it in a bowl, I put it in a bowl, he says I want it all, I say that is enough, he says there is more I want it all. I tell him he doesn't need it all, he starts screaming and reaching for the packet.

 

My position is that he does not need the enitre packet of ranch dressing, we're not talking about the size of something that would come with a fast food meal, this is much bigger. I'm not giving him the whole amount. It's not healthy and it's non negotiable. Where does a parent go from there? I want to be understanding and I don't want to be a dictator but some things are out of the question, sometimes these are the very things he really wants. Then what?



 

post #146 of 148

Hi, PeaceMongerMom,

 

I've been thinking about your post today, and wondering whether I can articulate a response that would be consistent with what I've been learning in my NVC/Compassionate Communication practice group.  In NVC, the main thing is to connect and understand one another, honoring each persons needs as equally important.  The main tool for connecting and understanding is guessing which of the universal human needs underlying peoples' feelings and actions might be in play.  In this case, I think what your son wants is control over his own life, including what he eats.  It also sounds like you want good health for him, and also that you value respect both for people and for the work that it takes to put food on the table (i.e. not wasting).

 

Although I respect what NellieKatz wrote, I wouldn't want to give in, because if I were you and gave in I would feel that I was honoring his needs over my own.  I also would want to show more understanding for his needs than just saying "no" although Nellie was also saying to show respect for his needs by hearing out his views.  (I do agree, Nellie, that there are times when you just have to say "no" as a parent.)

 

So here's what I would try:

Son: I want it all!  Gimme!

Mom:  Wait a minute.  Let's see if we can both get what we want here.  (Maybe putting the packet in a pocket or something?  I honestly don't know.)

Mom:  It sounds like you really want the choice of what you are going to eat, and that having the whole packet would give you control over exactly how much dressing you have with your chicken, is that right?

Son:  Yes.  I want it all.

Mom:  So you really want to be able to put lots of dressing on your chicken, just as much as you want, even the whole packet?

Son: Right.

Mom:  I really want you to have choice about what you eat and for you to enjoy your food.  

Son:  Good.  Could I have the packet now, please?

Mom:  Would you be willing to listen to what I need also?

Son:  O.k.

Mom:  I really want you to grow strong and healthy, because I love you so much, kiddo.  Giving you that much ranch dressing does not make for a balanced meal and balanced meals help you to grow strong and healthy.  Could you tell me what you just heard me say?

Son:  You want me to eat less ranch dressing.

Mom:  Thank you.  It's not so much about the dressing and just that I want you to eat the kind of balance that will help you grow.  Can you tell me what you just heard me say?

Son:  You want me to eat good stuff.

Mom:  Yes!  A good balance.  So is there a way that you can control your amount and also I get to see that you won't use so much that it's not healthy?

Son:  [I'm really reaching here - I have no idea if he would say this:]  O.k., let Daddy put half of it in the bowl, and I'll use as much of that as I want, o.k.?

Mom:  O.k. Son.  I'm glad we can both have what we want.

 

I know this sounds awfully involved.  NVC does take time. What do you think?  Do you think it might go this way?  Really getting to the underlying needs can help so much.

 

-Dancy


Edited by Dancianna - 8/18/11 at 8:11pm
post #147 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancianna View Post

I know this sounds awfully involved.  NVC does take time. What do you think?  Do you think it might go this way?  Really getting to the underlying needs can help so much.


I loved your post.  IME, things can really go the way you described.  Even when I was banging my head against the wall with some of this stuff I would rally and try suggestions like yours and be shocked to find that they worked...sometimes.  ;-)  

 

In our house (depending on the child's age) we often tried something like what Dancianna suggested, albeit a more condensed, blunt version, followed by some creative problem solving.  I may suggest that we find a small bowl for DC's dressing that she can have filled all the way up.  I may suggest that if DC is willing to consider healthy moderation that he gets to pour his own ranch or have seconds.  Maybe we consider making our own ranch from scratch so it's healthier (I'm loving this idea!) .  

 

Another way it sometimes went down in our house is that I would just say "no" and drop the conversation.  Or, sometimes I would just say yes - "give in" if you will.  I did not/do not always have the energy or inclination...or compassion to work it out.    Also, sometimes my DC could not get to a good place to talk in that moment.  When this would happen we would often talk it out later.  When DC was young, before bed was a good time to talk about the bumpy patches in the day.  As she got older the car was a good place to talk.  

 

Good luck!  

 

post #148 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post




I loved your post.  IME, things can really go the way you described.  Even when I was banging my head against the wall with some of this stuff I would rally and try suggestions like yours and be shocked to find that they worked...sometimes.  ;-)  

 

ICM, thanks for saying this!  I really wanted to know that it made sense to someone.

 

I I did not/do not always have the energy or inclination...or compassion to work it out.    Also, sometimes my DC could not get to a good place to talk in that moment.  When this would happen we would often talk it out later.  When DC was young, before bed was a good time to talk about the bumpy patches in the day.  As she got older the car was a good place to talk.  

 

Good luck!  

 

Boy do I get the part about not always having the energy, inclination, or compassion  - or even the time - to do the work of empathizing with everyone.  Especially when raising kids.

 

-Dancy
 

 

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