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What is that GD style...finding acceptable solutions for both parent and child? - Page 2

post #21 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

But there is not part-way to CL. The idea is that you can't do it part-way. Either the kids are always able to have things work for them, or they know they someone else can coerce them if they want to. The knowledge that someone has that power over them makes it no longer CL even if you don't use the power often.

This is why I don't consider myself CL as much as I may aspire to be. I don't force and try really hard not to coerce things like food or medicine or bedtimes or brushing teeth. There are some things that I have to make my children do no matter what. My dh is away a lot. In the last 7 years he has been gone at least as much as he has been home, probably more if I were able to add all the time he was away and not just the extended periods. He's deployed right now for a year. I'm the only parent in the household. I don't have family close by. I homeschool so my kids are always with me. I don't have a childcare place where I can take my children for an hour or two. If I have a prenatal appointment, I have to go and be on time and my kids have to go with me at that time whether they want to or not. Sometimes if my adult ds is home and doesn't have to work and is agreeable, the LOs can stay home with him. I don't, however, force or coerce my adult ds into watching my LOs just because he's part of the family. A lot of people don't get that. They say since he's part of the family and he lives with us he has an obligation to help me. I disagree with that. He didn't have these children. He didn't agree to be an equal partner in caring for them. He is not their parent. I didn't have children so they could work for me.

My point is that I try as much as possible to work with everyone in my family to get everyone's needs met but sometimes that just isn't possible and I do have to use my power to make my kids do things they don't want to do. I do consider my children's feelings, needs and wants just as valid as mine but I can't please everyone all the time. I also can't always take my kids all the places they want to go. I just don't have the energy or the time.

I haven't seen much about CL on here in a long time but I quite looking around because it seemed like the atmosphere was changing to a more strict, non-GD one and I didn't like it. I got tired of arguing every little point so I quit reading and quit posting.
post #22 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

My point is that I try as much as possible to work with everyone in my family to get everyone's needs met but sometimes that just isn't possible and I do have to use my power to make my kids do things they don't want to do. I do consider my children's feelings, needs and wants just as valid as mine but I can't please everyone all the time. I also can't always take my kids all the places they want to go. I just don't have the energy or the time.

I haven't seen much about CL on here in a long time but I quite looking around because it seemed like the atmosphere was changing to a more strict, non-GD one and I didn't like it. I got tired of arguing every little point so I quit reading and quit posting.

I'm right where you are re CL. I love the ideal of it, and I do consider my kids' feelings and needs and wants as valid as mine, but I just can't make everyone happy all the time as much as I'd like to, including myself for that matter. Occasional disappointment seems to me to be a part of life, and I guess I've decided it's OK. Or a regrettable necessary part of life or something. Anyway, I put that under "don't sweat the small stuff" and move on. I at least take into consideration all their requests, but I try to be "big picture" and look at our overall relationship and happiness, and not get bogged down in every detail that comes up.

The atmosphere around here is getting a bit stricter. I like having a range of viewpoints, and I personally find gentle time outs and other gentle behavioral things to fall within GD, but I would like having more of us on the less behavioral side of things here as well. I know there are more of us out there.
post #23 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Now, what I should have added is that, I did take a lot of good thoughts away from all those discussions about CL. I love the idea of opening up possibilities and considering other options that maybe CAN make everyone happy. I mean maybe in some cases, mom driving one child and dad driving the other won't be wasteful - maybe you're not going far anyway or whatever. There often ARE solutions that make everyone happy. I have really opened my mind up after reading about CL and I appreciate the viewpoint and now do look for mutually agreeable solutions. But there is not part-way to CL. The idea is that you can't do it part-way.


I agree totally!   

 

I really found the people posting from a CL perspective to be super helpful even if I did butt heads with the ideas a lot of the time.  Back whenever that was ('06 or '07 maybe?) I really felt middle of the road here on the GD forum and I LOVED being able to get ideas and suggestions from both sides of the GD spectrum.  

 

I wish those ideas were still around because I actually have some questions about CL nowadays.  When my child was super young I just had such a hard time with the "equal say" thing when it came to things like TV and "unhealthy" foods.  Now that DC is older I can totally see turning the reigns over to her more and more.  She will, after all, be 100% in charge of her own life in what I know will feel like a flash.  

 

I'm sure one can't consider themselves CL just because their child is older but it I still wouldn't mind hearing from those mamas.  

 

MW, I totally hear you too about the issue of "splitting hairs".  It took me a long, long time to accept the difference between "punishment" and "just the way things are sometimes" - for lack of a better description.  In time though I really came to feel the difference.  It came from some book or some philosophy...which I could remember the name (I'm breastfeeding and have a mushy brain) because it really was a wonderful idea.  The gist is that you have positive expectations and somehow like magic your child just lives up to them.  Like when you're ready to leave the park you just walk - with full faith that your child will join you...and then she/he does!  I remember hearing about it and thinking it was the craziest thing but I tried it and it was really wonderful.  Anyone know what I'm describing now?  

 

post #24 of 148
I know what you are describing. I do it all the time. I don't force my 4yo to hold my hand while walking across a parking lot, for example. I fully expect him to be careful. He doesn't want to get hurt. He knows that cars can be dangerous and he's not going to walk out in front of one. I do keep an eye on him, though. I wouldn't just let him take off through the parking lot but he's never done that. He stays close to me. Rather than making my kids hold my hand or stay right next to me when we are out in public, I tell them I'm going this way or that and they follow.

I did not treat my oldest that way. I was so afraid of him getting lost or kidnapped that I wouldn't let him out of my hands. He would try to take off any chance he got. My younger children are completely opposite because they know I trust them to do what's safe.

I think it really starts with that mindshift you are talking about. So many adults seem to start out with the presumption that children will be unsafe or disobedient or difficult or whatever you want to call it. Since they think that way, they are more likely to see any behavior as bad. If you can shift your thinking to the presumption that children want to cooperate and be happy and make others happy, you can see the things they do in a different light. Then you can have different expectations, or maybe no expectations, of them. I don't know if I'm explaining myself very well but I do get what you are saying.
post #25 of 148

This post is so timely for me,  I'm having a parenting identity crises. I have been struggling  with my ds 5 and and his behavior. He more or less got kicked out of a Montessori summer program this week. He's been out of control for awhile. This is in part because I was too permissive, which is not part of UP or CL.  I am conflicted about UP and some of the methods I've been practicing. I had this realization yesterday or the day before that UP and CL are two completely different things. I started out loving UP philosophy and ended up somehow trying to practice CL which wasn't really my intention. How ironic that I saw someone point out the distinction between the two here today. I too found myself getting bogged down in every little detail and I think both DS and I were drowning in the details. All of the open endedness, coming up with solutions and doing things for intrinsic reasons seemed too abstract for him.

 

I started out loving UP because it was value based and not fear driven. I placed values ahead of good behavior. I was crazy about the idea of raising a kind and morally pure child that wouldn't be tainted by external motivators.The idea of bribing children to do the right thing never felt right to me but previously I hadn't known any alternatives. As strange as it may sound everything and everyone in my frame of reference was very mainstream and mostly either too permissive or too authoritarian. Not to say this is how all mainstream parents are but just a lot of the ones I experienced.

 

In my quest to learn more about UP I started learning about other parenting methods of similar philosophies and CL kind of crept it's way on to my radar. I liked the idea of a child collaborating and coming up with solutions. Again, this so out of the realm of my experiences. I still vividly remember times in my life as a teenager and even older being startled by the simple solutions people would come up with to solve problems. I had such a fatalistic perspective of a bump in the road as being the end of the road. I think part of this was because of how I was raised, decisions were made for me and the only thing to do was accept them. I wanted my son to be able to think creatively to solve problems. What I imagined was a thoughtful, respectful negotiator. After a while of picking apart every little thing, finding ways to please him in every situation that presented itself, he seemed more like a bully and a tyrant than an internally motivated, kind, respectful problem solver. I fully admit the problem could have been and I'm sure was in part me, in the execution of the methods. But my son fully expected to placated in some way, to some extent in every situation and when he wasn't all heck broke lose. Sometimes he would whine and cry and others he would have aggressive, violent outbursts. He could not handle "no" at all. This culminated with being told the school was not a good fit for him. Sometimes in life it's not going to go his way, it's just not. That's not only coming from me, we don't live in a bubble, his peers aren't always going to try to please him and he was frequently at odds with other children over this, his teacher and other family members also aren't always going to try to please him.

 

So I've been thinking things over a lot. Happiness is not always getting your way. If a person can only be happy when things go their way, they will never truly be happy because everything can not always go your way.  A person must learn to find some happiness and inner peace despite that. I think the ability to move on and be happy and calm even when things aren't going well is a true indicator of happiness and coping skills. I am still at odds with myself because rationally and logically both UP and CL make sense to me, I hear the argument and believe it. I want so much for it to work and foster wonderful traits in my son. I'm not sure what I'm doing next. Right now, I'm working on dealing with no. He got physical with a girl at school because it wasn't his turn on the tire swing. Today he had a meltdown because I was using the computer and he wanted to use it. I didn't try to work out a solution with him that we would both be satisfied with. I told him no, I'm using it now. He had a tantrum, when I sensed it was losing steam, I had him take some deep breaths and talked about ways to calm himself down. I should say earlier today I had a talk with him about ways to stay calm and deal with his emotions. I told him he had an imaginary tool box, with tools, like taking deep breaths, drawing pictures about how he feels, instead of yelling, throwing, hitting, etc. I don't want to use rewards or punishments just calming down skills. Once he masters that maybe we can try again to work toward mutually acceptable solutions. I'm not sure.  It's only been a few days of trying this and having these talks with him but so far he hasn't used them without pressure from me. I'm still conflicted because now I feel like the tyrant laying down the law and he can take it or not. Which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place. I did tell him tonight if he didn't calm down we were not going out ( we had plans to go have pizza with friends). I didn't really intend it to be punitive but more matter of fact, it is not acceptable to behave that way in public and be disruptive toward others. In a way I just feel like I've gone full circle and am more or less back to where I was before CL and UP.

 

post #26 of 148

I'm with mamazee on this one. I got a lot of great ideas from the CL threads and posts, and I DO think that my kids' opinions/wants/needs are just as important as mine are. I try (though I fail sometimes) to find solutions that make everyone happy. That just seems like the nice thing to do, kwim? But I also think that, even though their opinions/wants/needs are as important as mine, I have more life knowledge and am more likely (though definitely not always!) to have more information about the situation. As such, sometimes I have a reason to overrule what they want. Also...I want my kids to listen first, ask questions later when I use a certain tone or look. This tone or voice is reserved for situations where I know something that they don't, and it is NOT the time or place to discuss it.
At the same time, they are welcome to question me or offer other solutions almost any other time. Ds1 is really good at this, and often finds solutions that are mutually agreeable that I never even thought of.

 

So I like a lot of what CL says, and I'm another that would like to see more posters in this forum who are on this side of the GD spectrum, as opposed to the more strict side. I don't punish, but am not terribly opposed to logical consequences in theory (though I can't think of any that I've actually enforced. I sometimes threaten, but I take it back and explain why as soon as I chill out. Ds1 basically ignores me when I'm being like that, so that's good, I guess. lol) I am somewhat strict as far as my expectations, but it's more of a "this is what I expect, and I want you to do it" type of thing.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

 

 

MW, I totally hear you too about the issue of "splitting hairs".  It took me a long, long time to accept the difference between "punishment" and "just the way things are sometimes" - for lack of a better description.  In time though I really came to feel the difference.  It came from some book or some philosophy...which I could remember the name (I'm breastfeeding and have a mushy brain) because it really was a wonderful idea.  The gist is that you have positive expectations and somehow like magic your child just lives up to them.  Like when you're ready to leave the park you just walk - with full faith that your child will join you...and then she/he does!  I remember hearing about it and thinking it was the craziest thing but I tried it and it was really wonderful.  Anyone know what I'm describing now?  

 


It sounds TCC'ish to me.
 

 

post #27 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:

 


It sounds TCC'ish to me.
 

 



What is that...I can't remember - brain mush.  (Or do you mean TCS?)  

 

ETA: Got it!! Continuum Concept - YES, you're probably right!  

post #28 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeacemongerMom View Post
 After a while of picking apart every little thing, finding ways to please him in every situation that presented itself, he seemed more like a bully and a tyrant than an internally motivated, kind, respectful problem solver.


I'll come back (haven't given your post full thought yet) but the TCS website had a really nice quote about the idea that this consensual / non-coercion thing goes BOTH ways!!  It is neither the child nor the parent who is left unhappy.  

post #29 of 148
I don't know what TCC or TCS is. Please explain.

Another tool I use that helps situations a lot of times is empathy. That's a big one for me because I was never empathized with as a child. If I ever had a feeling or opinion that was contrary to my mother's, I was told I was being silly or difficult. I was never treated as if what I thought or felt mattered. I can't remember if UP gets into empathy a lot. I think maybe not because I vaguely remember that the idea of validating feelings, whether positive or negative, was counterproductive. Kids know all their feelings are valid and don't need to be told so, especially since we tend to validate the "negative" emotions and just let the "positive" emotions be. Maybe I'm getting things mixed up, though. It's been a long time since I read Alfie Kohn and have since lent the book to a friend who promptly lost it. eyesroll.gif

The book that I got the practical applications of empathy was Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort. I understand there was some stink about her credentials a while back, maybe she was claiming to have a PhD when she really didn't. I don't know about that so I won't endorse the book, per se, but I don't think that necessarily disqualifies what she says in her book. I don't think the people who wrote the How to Talk books had PhDs but I could be wrong. Anyway, the idea is to verbalize what your child is feeling without any judgement or expectation.

For example, if the child is having a complete meltdown because he has to wait to use the computer, you would say something like, "You really want to use the computer right now and don't want to wait." There's no validating in that, either. You don't say something like, "It's ok to be angry or upset that you have to wait, but you still have to wait," or, "It's ok to be angry, but it's not ok to have a fit." All you do is state the child's feelings. You may get it wrong a few times and the child may correct you if he can. The child may also start to cry or whine or scream more or louder at first. You just continue stating how the child feels with no other statements about the situation. No "buts". You also have to let go of the expectation that this will quickly and easily diffuse the tantrum. It may not right away. Eventually, though, the child is supposed to start feeling understood and also learns ways to express feelings without the crying and screaming and whining. When I remember to do it (which is very hard for me in the moment), it works. My children actually usually calm down very quickly when I empathize with them.

Even when these practices are used, children will still get upset. It's not about them always being happy and never crying or having a meltdown. That's impossible. I think that's an expectation that parents get hung up on a lot when they start using UP or CL or empathy. Then they think it's not working or they are failures because their child still gets upset sometimes. If we do what we can to accommodate everyone as much as possible, hopefully our children will trust that is our goal and will understand the few times when that's just not possible. Does that make sense?
post #30 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

I don't know what TCC or TCS is. Please explain.

I am not sure if there is also a TCC...Oh wait - that's "The Continuum Concept"!!  I knew I recognized those initials.  Ok, so...

 

TCC is "The Continuum Concept": from a book by some sort of anthropologist.  Interesting ideas as I recall and, yes, the trust that the child will go with the group would be part of that idea from what I recall.  

 

TCS is "Taking Children Seriously": a philosophy which seems closely related to CL from what I can tell.  They have a website for more info.  

 

It's all coming back...

 

So long as we're talking about so many ideas I should mention that my favorite book for ages about 4-7 is PET: Parent Effictivness Training.  

 

 

 

post #31 of 148
I agree that empathizing helps kids, and I don't remember anything in UP that said otherwise, though I also loaned my copy to a friend who lost it. LOL.

I also agree with the PP who said that learning to accept that things won't always go our way and that it's OK when things don't go our way is an important part of becoming a happy person, and I think an important part of maturity. That is another issue I have with CL. I really do think I'm happier for learning and internalizing "the serenity prayer" - God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
post #32 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post



I am not sure if there is also a TCC...Oh wait - that's "The Continuum Concept"!!  I knew I recognized those initials.  Ok, so...

 

TCC is "The Continuum Concept": from a book by some sort of anthropologist.  Interesting ideas as I recall and, yes, the trust that the child will go with the group would be part of that idea from what I recall.  

 

TCS is "Taking Children Seriously": a philosophy which seems closely related to CL from what I can tell.  They have a website for more info.  

 

It's all coming back...

 

So long as we're talking about so many ideas I should mention that my favorite book for ages about 4-7 is PET: Parent Effictivness Training.  

 

 

 


Oh, ok. I know The Continuum Concept. I don't know Taking Children Seriously specifically but I do believe in that, especially because of the way I was treated as a child. I was never taken seriously and that has caused me to have a lot of issues. I took a PET class/seminar with my dh soon after we got married because I came with a child and he had no experience parenting at all. I remember being worried that it would be more of the strict child-training stuff that my dh was familiar with but ended up being pleasantly surprised. That was many, many years ago and I have forgotten the details. Unfortunately, I don't think my dh quite got it.
post #33 of 148



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post





What is that...I can't remember - brain mush.  (Or do you mean TCS?)  

 

ETA: Got it!! Continuum Concept - YES, you're probably right!  

Yep, TCC! Sorry :)

I do that (leave and expect them to follow) as something that I learned from TCC. I despise when people say "ok, I'm leaving without you then. bye bye!" to get their kid to run after them. But I never portray what I'm doing like that. There's no implication that I might leave without them. I'm leaving, and they are to follow. Not that it usually works with my 2yo, mind you. We're working on that. lol.

I know that a lot of people find TCC suspect, but I LOVE some of the ideas I got from it. Basically, that people are innately social, and (in general) want to behave in a socially acceptable manner, and will do so if they are capable. There are a lot of things that keep people from being capable (hungry, tired, mad, developmental stages, bored...whatever), though, and that's what we need to work on (I'm not sure that thought is in TCC, but it's one that seems like a logical extention to me). OH, and another one I've totally adopted from TCC is (let me see if I can explain this)- to let the kids do physical things on their own, without hovering over them and telling them to be careful, or that they'll get hurt, or even acting like I'm worried about them. I've totally seen evidence that my kids are less careful and more likely to get hurt when someone is *right there* to help, because they are worried that the kids will get hurt. Ds2 is so active and has so little fear, that from the get-go I decided that I was going to let him do what he could, and experience consequences (within reason) so he'd get a good idea of his capabilities, and learn to be careful for himself. I figured that it was best to learn this when he was little and couldn't get into seriously dangerous situations.
One of my very favorite parenting quotes ever is from TCC (Intro xv):

 Quote:

Children need to see that they are assumed to be well-intentioned, naturally social people who are trying to do the right thing and who want reliable reactions from their elders to guide them.

 

 
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

I don't know what TCC or TCS is. Please explain.

 

I actually don't know what TCS is. From the title, I can guess what it's about, but I don't know any details. Off to read...

 

 

Quote:

 If we do what we can to accommodate everyone as much as possible, hopefully our children will trust that is our goal and will understand the few times when that's just not possible. Does that make sense?
 

Yes yes! I've thought that so many times. I definitely think that ds1 is ok with the occasional "not negotiable" thing precisely because he knows that the vast majority of the time, I'm happy to work with him (though I've been sort of crappy about that lately :( Must resolve to get better at it!

post #34 of 148

There was also "Taking Children Seriously" or TCS.    In my memory, TCS was a harder-core version of CL, in which parents strove to never, ever coerce their child in any way.    I remember (but cannot find, in browsing the archives) a post in which a TCS advocate said that because the parent chooses to have the child, but the child did not choose to be born, that if no "mutually agreeable solution" could be found, having the family do what the *parent* wished was unacceptable coercion.

 

 

post #35 of 148
I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post

Children need to see that they are assumed to be well-intentioned, naturally social people who are trying to do the right thing and who want reliable reactions from their elders to guide them.

This is a more concise statement of what I was trying to get at before. That mindshift from assuming that children are always trying to manipulate and just get what they want without any regard for anyone else (my dad thinks this way and it really makes me angry and sad for him) to assuming that children are well-intentioned and are not doing things to the rest of us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post

I remember (but cannot find, in browsing the archives) a post in which a TCS advocate said that because the parent chooses to have the child, but the child did not choose to be born, that if no "mutually agreeable solution" could be found, having the family do what the *parent* wished was unacceptable coercion.

I sort of think this way up until the last part. I do try to keep in mind that my children did not choose to be born or be part of my family. I chose to have them. Therefore, it's my responsibility to take care of them, not the other way around. I don't know if other parents mean it this way (or if they even consciously think about it), but a lot of what they say and do seems to me to communicate that they expect their children to do for them.

Maybe they are making a distinction between needs and wants or wishes. There are a lot of things that adults do that they perceive as needs that aren't really needs. It can be a real mind blower to think long and hard about that. Even something like feeling that you need to go to the grocery store. Do you really? Yes, everyone needs to eat but there may be ways other than taking everyone to the grocery store to accomplish that. They may not be what the parent thinks are the most practical or responsible but they are options.

I got into that in another discussion about getting help when I have my baby because my dh is deployed. I have an adult son. He's 20yo and does still live in our home. Everyone else seemed to think he was obligated and had a duty to take care of my younger children while I was in labor and during the early PP time and to take care of me. I just don't get that. I can ask him to help and it sure is nice when he does but I don't expect him to. He has his own life. He did not choose for me to have another baby and certainly not while my dh is deployed so I don't see how any of this would be his responsibility.
post #36 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post

Children need to see that they are assumed to be well-intentioned, naturally social people who are trying to do the right thing and who want reliable reactions from their elders to guide them.



This is a more concise statement of what I was trying to get at before. That mindshift from assuming that children are always trying to manipulate and just get what they want without any regard for anyone else (my dad thinks this way and it really makes me angry and sad for him) to assuming that children are well-intentioned and are not doing things to the rest of us.

 


Yes, that was huge for me. It seems so logical now, but when I first read it, it was a real paradigm shift.

 

Another book I read that supports this is Einstein Never Used Flashcards (something along those lines anyways). There was one study in the book that clearly demonstrated that young children (I think under 4) just don't have the logical capacity to know that other people feel/think differently than they do. The project was something like this (it was a long time ago that I read it, so I might have some details wrong, but the basics are there):

There was a researcher, a mom, and a child (various ages, but perhaps up to 5 or 6?). The researcher had an M&M box full of m&m's. She showed both the mom and the child, and then asked the child what the mom thought was in the box. They answered correctly- m&m's. THEN the mom left the room. The researcher put pencils in the box (without mom seeing the change). She asked the child what she thought the mom would think was in the box. Overall, kids under 4 said that mom would think that there were pencils in the box. Since the child knew what it was, they just assumed that mom would as well.

post #37 of 148
Thread Starter 

Interesting research DM.  I wonder how accepted this idea is in the CL community/philosophy and how it impacts how one goes about finding common preferences with a child who can't developmentally understand that people feed differently from them.  Interestingly, my child was under 4 when I started reading about CL.  

 

Similarly to many of you I feel like an adults experience and the reality of life sometimes means that a child may not get what she/he wants in a given minute and that's OK.  My feeling that this is OK and, like many of you, the feeling that learning how to overcome life's little disappointments is important is actually one thing that drew me to the idea of non-coercive parenting.  Books like Positive Discipline and Playful Parenting were also very popular when my DC was young.  In books like those I always had this nagging feeling that some of the methods were essentially "tricking"  the child into doing what the parent wanted (essentially manipulating the child so the parent didn't have to deal with the child's disappointment).  Those methods always left a bad taste in my mouth and, to top it off, I think my child could see through many of them at an early age. Here is where I really clicked with the non-coercive thing.  

 

BUT, I diverged from the philosophy in that I didn't mind the kid just having to deal.  I know that sounds harsh and perhaps not empathetic.  In practice though I think my DC was mirroring off of me the severity of the situation.  She saw from my reaction that this really was a small thing (not worthy of a big game to "make it go away" and also not worthy of a lot of empathy either) and I think it helped her get some perspective.  Similar to TCC, I expect that the child will be able to deal and she lives up to those expectations.  

 

I think I've lost my way with her a little as far as guiding her with small regrets.  I notice a strong trend now that she is able to deal with delayed gratification that I feel like I'm often offering to "make it up to her" rather than help her deal with minor disappointment.  Beyond that (and more in line with CL and TCS) I have probably not been doing enough lately to try to avoid disappointment in the first place.  Hum....lots to think about!  

post #38 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

Interesting research DM.  I wonder how accepted this idea is in the CL community/philosophy and how it impacts how one goes about finding common preferences with a child who can't developmentally understand that people feed differently from them.  Interestingly, my child was under 4 when I started reading about CL.  

 

 

 

 

 

ummm...I never thought about it that way. lol. I always thought about it in terms of more harsh parents, who are convinced that their kids are manipulating them, and doing stuff on purpose to make them mad. And they just aren't. I think some kids find the reactions humorous, and get caught in the moment, for sure. But they just don't have the brain power to truly understand how other people feel.

Now, I DO think that they get something when you say "Shiloh doesn't like to be hit. It hurts her." But I think what they get has more to do with knowing that you don't want them to hit, and that you are giving them information on how they are affecting the other person, moreso than truly understanding how it affects the other person. It's similar to when children are very young, and explanations seem to help them do the right thing. I don't think they truly understand all of the words, they just get that you are trying to work with them, and that you have a reason.

 

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 Books like Positive Discipline and Playful Parenting were also very popular when my DC was young.  In books like those I always had this nagging feeling that some of the methods were essentially "tricking"  the child into doing what the parent wanted (essentially manipulating the child so the parent didn't have to deal with the child's disappointment).  Those methods always left a bad taste in my mouth and, to top it off, I think my child could see through many of them at an early age. Here is where I really clicked with the non-coercive thing.  

 

 

Yes, me too. I hate "reverse psychology" for the same reason. (I'm also obsessively honest, and it seems like lying to me). I don't mind being playful if that's my gut reaction to a situation. But I don't do "playful" as a discipline style.

 

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BUT, I diverged from the philosophy in that I didn't mind the kid just having to deal.  I know that sounds harsh and perhaps not empathetic.  In practice though I think my DC was mirroring off of me the severity of the situation.  She saw from my reaction that this really was a small thing (not worthy of a big game to "make it go away" and also not worthy of a lot of empathy either) and I think it helped her get some perspective.  

omg, yes. We did that with ds1 with brushing his teeth. We tried really really hard to never do it against his will, and I think it made him think that it was a really big deal. He hated having his teeth brushed, and it just got harder and harder.

With ds2, I just brush his teeth. Period. I sing, "eat" his toes, make funny faces, whatever to make it more fun. But the brushing is not an option, and in the end, I do it whether he wants me to or not. (ds1 ended up with lots of cavities, that are likely unrelated to brushing, but I'm not taking a chance with ds2's teeth like that. It SUCKS watching your 2yo get a cavity drilled an filled greensad.gif ) Ds2 is not traumatized by me holding him down to brush his teeth. He actually likes it right now. He runs laughing into the bedroom, and has turned it into a little game. The other day I mentioned flossing his teeth, and he indicated that he wanted me to. I got some floss, and tried to floss his teeth but he ran away, so I thought it wasn't worth forcing the issue, and went to take the floss back to the bathroom. He cried and got all upset because he *wanted* me to chase him and "hold him down" to floss his teeth. lol. When I "hold him down" I have his head between my legs and his arms under my knees. The vast majority of the time, I'm not actually holding him down- he's holding on to me.

post #39 of 148

As I recall, back in the heyday of there being lots and lots of hardcore CL people on this board, a lot of them claimed that a big part of their interpretation of CL or TCS philosophy was not just treating children like real people -- but assuming they were rational human beings with the same thought processes as adults.

 

This is where I seriously part ways with those people.   As I said, back then, my then-5-yo had a perfectly rational -- to HIM -- belief that Thomas the Tank Engine was real.    Kids have real, verifiable differences in how they see the world around them, and there is a real, identifiable, process of developing social cognition to understand that other people have different points of view and that your actions can affect others in certain ways.  It's unfair to that developmental process to make a small child utterly responsible for things like her future dental health before she has a real concept of what "future" means (or what "dental health" means, for that matter).  

 

This process is also where I part ways with hardcore Kohn fans, too.   Children learn the rules of their social group, and how their actions affect others, and how they fit into human groups, through the reactions of adults to their actions.   They specifically do things to prompt reactions, actually.   They are intensely aware of our facial expressions from the time they are *minutes* old, and they want to know what those epxresions mean and what actions prompt them.   To never offer constructive praise or criticism denies children something they are instinctively looking for -- feedback on the way their social world works.  

post #40 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post


This process is also where I part ways with hardcore Kohn fans, too. Children learn the rules of their social group, and how their actions affect others, and how they fit into human groups, through the reactions of adults to their actions. They specifically do things to prompt reactions, actually. They are intensely aware of our facial expressions from the time they are *minutes* old, and they want to know what those epxresions mean and what actions prompt them. To never offer constructive praise or criticism denies children something they are instinctively looking for -- feedback on the way their social world works.


To deny feedback in the form of manipulative praise, which is what Alfie Kohn talks about, is only to deny feedback in the form of manipulative praise. It does not deny children all feedback on the way their social world works. He's just talking about behaviorism - saying "good job" or other praise as a reward to try to get children to behave how we want them to behave. I don't know where he talks about criticism. He is only opposed to behaviorism - punishment and rewards - so helpful criticism wouldn't really be part of that. It isn't about being stone faced and not reacting to anything.
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