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post #61 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

Also, I am curious about the parents who don't use the word "good".  Does this mean you are against praising a child for accomplishments generally?  Or is this more to do with categorizing behaviours as "good" or "bad"?  If DS accomplishes a new skill that he is proud of, I do praise him ("Yayyyy DS!") because I am proud of him and he is proud of himself.  But I do also agree with not praising everything he does (I don't want him doing things in order to be praised and for example there is no praise when he uses the potty and no dissapointment expressed when he uses his diaper instead).  I am just curious about this perspective and would like to learn more about it if you could guide me in the right direction.

 

 

can't speak for other folks on this one, but we try to avoid praise most of the time.  we try to do UP, which kind of explains how praise can have negative effects.  i personally have a big issue with "good" and "bad" because i think philosophically to label some act as "good" can be confusing to a child and he or she could construe this as he or she is only "good" when displaying behaviors that parents approve of.  I know alfie kohen's not for everybody but if you see people who try to UP, and are curious about why some people are hesitant to say good job and use rewards, this is a pretty good article

 

actually now that i am re-reading that article, i think it is absolutely perfect in the context of this whole thread.  it illustrates the approach some of us are taking, i think.
 

and.. i think that the thinking by the folks who don't like the "tricks" is that yes, it's necessary to teach things like "hot," etc.  but that, like i said in an earlier post, it's just a whole way of viewing education.  i think it's a prelude to unschooling or an early stage of that.  unschooling doesn't (to me) mean you don't teach stuff to your kids, it means that you don't maniuplate, cajole, coerce, or reward your kid for behaving the way you want and that you follow cues. 

 

post #62 of 94

 

Coffeegirl: Well I think it's fairly clear that my views are pretty radical, and I have been disagreed with a lot on here. It was what I expected, but maybe that's just better left unsaid. 

 

As far as saying that post wasn't venomous, if you think insinuating that I don't play with my kids and that I don't know babies can't talk is a perfectly friendly thing to do then I don't think I want to have a conversation with you.

 

If you are really as interested in understanding me as you say you are then you probably would have read my posts better. I never said that initiating play with a child is harmfully coercive. I also said there are plenty of times you need to teach kids things they don't want to learn (brushing teeth, dressing appropriately, safety issues). Open your mind a little, go back and read my posts again and see if I am really that hard to understand.

 

You said, "If the child clearly doesn't like a game and the adult keeps it up for their own enjoyment, then yeah....that's a whole 'nother issue, I think." If you read the OP's posts carefully, you would see that this is the case. The child didn't want to play the game and the adult kept trying to get him to play. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ContentMama View Post

He was trying to do his own thing and she continued to try and get his attention. Clearly he wanted to do something else and the "game" kept happening.

 

From what I could hear, he was getting irritated, making "eh" noises and such.

 

What irritates me about it is that she does it because she thinks it's "cute". So it's for her enjoyment and it's distracting ds from doing what he would like to do. I totally get people do it all the time, I see people do it all the time and I think fundamentally it's a subversively controlling way to interact with a child. Instead of them being who they are and us discovering that, folks influence them to do what they want them to do and teach them to respond in certain ways.

 


This is the kind of interaction we are talking about. I don't know how harmful it is, that depends on the child's view of the situation, but it is definitely disrespectful. This is a lot different than just introducing a game.

post #63 of 94
I agree that it would be irritating, but I think if you're wanting to control someone's interactions with your child to that extent, you need to give up the free childcare. Though I don't know if you'll find someone to watch your kids who won't interact with them like that, unless they don't interact with the child at all. In the whole scheme of things, I don't think this is as big a deal as getting free child care from a loving source. If it's that big a deal to the OP, she should prepare for not having free chlid care, because I don't know many grandmas who would continue giving free child care after being told they are playing with their grandchild wrong.
post #64 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I agree that it would be irritating, but I think if you're wanting to control someone's interactions with your child to that extent, you need to give up the free childcare. Though I don't know if you'll find someone to watch your kids who won't interact with them like that, unless they don't interact with the child at all. In the whole scheme of things, I don't think this is as big a deal as getting free child care from a loving source. If it's that big a deal to the OP, she should prepare for not having free chlid care, because I don't know many grandmas who would continue giving free child care after being told they are playing with their grandchild wrong.

i don't know, mamazee, i think it's pretty logical and within reasonable expectations to ask that grandmas, even those who provide free childcare, respect your ideology and educational ideas.  if grandma cannot listen to what's asked, then that is a problem that has nothing to do with the situation we're discussing-- what if it were some other thing, AP, or cloth diapering, or feeding the kid vegetarian/health food? 

to me it's an issue of respecting parenting styles, not just a "hey, grandma's not playing with the kid the right way."  or at least it is if OP discusses her concerns and is ignored.
 

 

post #65 of 94

Part of respecting children is knowing the limits of their ability. My job as a parent is to take responsibility for things that they cannot, allow them the responsibility for things that they can, and to know the difference. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

I think I understand what holothuroieda is getting at...Correct me if I am wrong holothuroieda, but I don't think you are against teaching per se (because no matter what we do we are teaching our children by example at the very least), you just feel it should be initiated by your child? You don't expect your child to figure everything out for themselves, but want them to have the opportunity to do so?  I also do agree generally with trying to respect our children's autonomy.  This is why we EC and did/do BLW. I do not think that we can flawlessly do this, however.  For example, if DS is in need of a bath, he gets one even if he would prefer not to bath.  If he is obviously tired but doesn't want to nap, I try to get him calm and relaxed and to sleep anyway.  I do think (as is the case with so many things) that this philosophy taken to the extreme could have negative consequences. For example, what about teaching your child about dangers (ex. stranger danger to an older toddler, or what things are HOT, or how to safely go down stairs...)?  Would you expect this to be somehow initiated by the child as well?  If so, a person could be too late to teach the lesson.  Also, what about essentials, like reading?  If you have a child who hates to read and only wants to draw, will you respect their desire not to read and just hope they come around?  This seems unfair to the child.  I generally agree with what you are getting at, but do think that as parents we need to use our experience in some situations to guide our children's choices for their own well being.

 

Also, I am curious about the parents who don't use the word "good".  Does this mean you are against praising a child for accomplishments generally?  Or is this more to do with categorizing behaviours as "good" or "bad"?  If DS accomplishes a new skill that he is proud of, I do praise him ("Yayyyy DS!") because I am proud of him and he is proud of himself.  But I do also agree with not praising everything he does (I don't want him doing things in order to be praised and for example there is no praise when he uses the potty and no dissapointment expressed when he uses his diaper instead).  I am just curious about this perspective and would like to learn more about it if you could guide me in the right direction.


When it comes to praise, I believe in being genuine. A good barometer for whether or not praise is warranted is, would you say the same thing to an adult? For example, if DD brings me something she drew and she drew a new shape she's never been able to do before I will say, "Wow! You learned how to draw a square! Excellent!" It is normal to get excited over new milestones like that. I would do the same if my DH came home and said the new compound he was working on is going to be patented. It's an achievement and we all share in that joy. 

 

What I am not going to do is praise my DH for something normal like doing the dishes, "Oh you did such a good job!" I will simply thank him for doing it because I appreciate it. The excessive praise is unwarranted and only serves to manipulate their feelings so they will do it again. It's the same with DD. I don't praise her for picking up the food she dropped, or playing nicely or getting a diaper for her sister, I just say thank you. Potty training is another animal. Along the same lines as dressing oneself and using a spoon, it's a personal achievement of independence. In situations like that I think it's best to ask the child how they feel about it. 

 

If you are interested in learning more, the best information I've read on praise is in Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn.


Edited by holothuroidea - 9/2/11 at 10:53am
post #66 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post



i don't know, mamazee, i think it's pretty logical and within reasonable expectations to ask that grandmas, even those who provide free childcare, respect your ideology and educational ideas.  if grandma cannot listen to what's asked, then that is a problem that has nothing to do with the situation we're discussing-- what if it were some other thing, AP, or cloth diapering, or feeding the kid vegetarian/health food? 

to me it's an issue of respecting parenting styles, not just a "hey, grandma's not playing with the kid the right way."  or at least it is if OP discusses her concerns and is ignored.
 

 


I do think it's a judgment call as to what is a big enough deal, but if I were getting free childcare and needed childcare, I wouldn't complain if the grandparent refused to use CDs. I would expect healthy food, "So Big" wouldn't be on my list at all. You have the right to manage care, but IMO not micromanage, and the line between that is indeed subjective. My guess is most people, and I bet this grandmother, would put playing "So big" in the "micromanage" category.
post #67 of 94
I want to give an example specifically about me and my kids. I follow the whole UP thing myself. I don't punish, I don't do behavioral praise at all, etc. Then I wanted to put my older dd in a preschool, and they all use tons of that kind of praise, and they all do time outs. Every single one. My dd is in regular public school now, and they also do praise and time outs. The fact is that when my dd is not within my care, she is not within my complete control. When she is in school, she could get a time out and she knows that doesn't happen at home. IMO what happens somewhere else by other people is not nearly as important as what happens with the child's parents. We are their primary source of love, safety, and our home is where they get their primary sense of who they are. My dd is 9 now and has no expectation of praise, despite receiving it at school. I think she only actually got time out once ever at school, but it has happened and she knows it is a fact of life there. She is not traumatized by that. She is very self confident and joyful. It was hard to understand that I would not have complete control over her, but not only do I think it hasn't hurt her, but I think it's been good for her to deal with other people who do things differently. None of us will have complete control over our kids, and I don't think it's really in their best interest to try. I think we do more potential damage (like with their relationship with their grandmother in this specific situation) than we would give benefit from control over those issues, and it's an illusion of control rather than real control IMO anyway.
post #68 of 94


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I want to give an example specifically about me and my kids. I follow the whole UP thing myself. I don't punish, I don't do behavioral praise at all, etc. Then I wanted to put my older dd in a preschool, and they all use tons of that kind of praise, and they all do time outs. Every single one. My dd is in regular public school now, and they also do praise and time outs. The fact is that when my dd is not within my care, she is not within my complete control. When she is in school, she could get a time out and she knows that doesn't happen at home. IMO what happens somewhere else by other people is not nearly as important as what happens with the child's parents. We are their primary source of love, safety, and our home is where they get their primary sense of who they are. My dd is 9 now and has no expectation of praise, despite receiving it at home. I think she only actually got time out once ever at school, but it has happened and she knows it is a fact of life there. She is not traumatized by that. She is very self confident and joyful. It was hard to understand that I would not have complete control over her, but not only do I think it hasn't hurt her, but I think it's been good for her to deal with other people who do things differently. None of us will have complete control over our kids, and I don't think it's really in their best interest to try. I think we do more potential damage (like with their relationship with their grandmother in this specific situation) than we would give benefit from control over those issues, and it's an illusion of control rather than real control IMO anyway.


I especially agree with this. The idea of "not wanting to teach my kid tricks" resonates with me as a parent, but I see no disconnect between embracing that as my parenting choice and allowing others to interact with my kid in a different way. I think children can understand at a very early age that interactions and behavior can and do vary from one relationship to the next and from one situation to the next.

 

post #69 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post

Babies initiate learning every second they are awake, they will learn everything they need to if you let them. There are times that you have to do things for them, because they are not able to think ahead. Like, you need to brush their teeth and dress them appropriate for the weather. I've said it a million times but I'll say it again, I can't always let them lead the way but when I can, I will. Learning and games are one thing they definitely can have responsibility for. I've found that if I follow all my children's cues consistently I never have time to play anything else. Children are constantly, "lets do this! what is that? where is this? can I do that? can you do that? why not?" etc. Even tiny babies will draw your attention with a coo, pat your face if they want to play tickles, pick up a blanket and peek a boo when they want.

 

Anyway, that soap making thing is a terrible example, because once you heard of it you obviously were interested otherwise you wouldn't go, I mean nobody is going to pick your clothes out, strap you into a car seat against your will, and drive you to a place you've never been before. I will assume that your friend didn't coerce you into going by saying things like, "Don't you want to be a big girl?" And I'm guessing when you made your soap your friend didn't say to you, "You are such a Good Girl!" 

 

I also resent that you think "kind of saying ehhh" a couple times doesn't count. If I came up to you and said, "Hey, put your arms in the air because it makes me laugh," and you said "ehhh" it's alright if I just ignore that. Then, when you say "ehhh" again and walk away it's alright if I chase you down and tell you to do it again?
 


ETA: I completely agree with the bolded statement.

 


Of course my friend didn't coerce me into coming. I also fail to see where the OP's son was coerced. If that's the issue, then that's the issue - not teaching tricks.  That's what I'm trying to get at.  Of course she didn't say "Good girl!"  but again, not getting the connection as to what that has to do with teaching tricks, that can happen in any situation and grandparents are notorious for it.

 

The reason I said "kinda saying ehh" doesn't count" is because the way the OP worded it.  I'd have to go back and read the exact quote and context, but I got from it that she didn't really know what was going on and he was "kind of" saying "ehh".  My kids as toddlers said "eh" a lot.  Sometimes it meant something and sometimes they were just making vocalizations.

 

 

post #70 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post

 

Coffeegirl: Well I think it's fairly clear that my views are pretty radical, and I have been disagreed with a lot on here. It was what I expected, but maybe that's just better left unsaid. 

 

As far as saying that post wasn't venomous, if you think insinuating that I don't play with my kids and that I don't know babies can't talk is a perfectly friendly thing to do then I don't think I want to have a conversation with you.

 

If you are really as interested in understanding me as you say you are then you probably would have read my posts better. I never said that initiating play with a child is harmfully coercive. I also said there are plenty of times you need to teach kids things they don't want to learn (brushing teeth, dressing appropriately, safety issues). Open your mind a little, go back and read my posts again and see if I am really that hard to understand.

 

You said, "If the child clearly doesn't like a game and the adult keeps it up for their own enjoyment, then yeah....that's a whole 'nother issue, I think." If you read the OP's posts carefully, you would see that this is the case. The child didn't want to play the game and the adult kept trying to get him to play. 


This is the kind of interaction we are talking about. I don't know how harmful it is, that depends on the child's view of the situation, but it is definitely disrespectful. This is a lot different than just introducing a game.


I did actually read all of your posts and the OP's posts. Please don't assume that I didn't. (And way to avoid my actual questions! winky.gif) To try and be fair, I did go back and re-read your posts, again. I still don't understand the problem. And you views? They aren't that radical. Not here.

 

post #71 of 94


I'm not avoiding your questions. I simply refuse to repeat myself again. If you don't understand, I can't make you. I'm not in a position too, I'm not a child development educator, just someone with an opinion. If you've got something legitimate to say to me please PM me, this thread's been hijacked enough.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl


I did actually read all of your posts and the OP's posts. Please don't assume that I didn't. (And way to avoid my actual questions! winky.gif) To try and be fair, I did go back and re-read your posts, again. I still don't understand the problem. And you views? They aren't that radical. Not here.

 



 

post #72 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post


I'm not avoiding your questions. I simply refuse to repeat myself again. If you don't understand, I can't make you. I'm not in a position too, I'm not a child development educator, just someone with an opinion. If you've got something legitimate to say to me please PM me, this thread's been hijacked enough.

 



 

 

I think that what you describe in your first post here and what the OP was describing are two different issues, and that might be part of what has led so some misunderstandings here. I asked you a couple of "legitimate" questions two posts ago....you've responded twice and still haven't answered them, insisting that you've already cleared it all up earlier in the thread. Why would I PM you to ask a third time? I'm sorry that you don't find my questions legitimate.

 


Edited by coffeegirl - 9/2/11 at 9:49pm
post #73 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post

Just take a minute and imagine this situation, if you can-

 

Your sweet little baby boy, whom you love more than anything else, is gone.  Poof!  Gone.  And now there's a fully grown adult man instead (whom you love, of course), but you do still miss that little baby and all the games you'd use to play together and all the snuggles you used to have.  But...now he has a baby of his own!  And you fully respect the right of that baby's parents to make their own decisions on how to raise him, but you're just thrilled to cuddle and snuggle and play with him too, and it eases a little of the heartache of missing your own little baby boy (the one who poof! is gone.)

 

And then someone tells you that you're not allowed to watch him anymore, because you're playing with him wrong.  dizzy.gif

You said (or implied) in your OP that you don't feel right completely directing all of their interactions together.  I think that's wise.  By all means, set rules about the big things.  And certainly, discuss your general philosophy around autonomy, etc. But don't eliminate a situation in which your child is being cared for by someone who loves him, who doesn't require you to pay them, because they don't 100% agree with your idea of how people should engage with your baby.  You're still his mother- the way you treat him matters the most.  Exposure to different styles of interaction can actually be valuable, provided they're all loving.


Good post.

 

So for the OP, it's the expectation of performance that bothers her. All children are probably not JUST like mine, but I know that mine does love to...."perform", for lack of a better word. Or, show off. When she learns something new, like standing without support, or walking, or clapping her hands, she just wants to do it all the time and she sometimes will get us at a good time where we're all in the living room or something, watching her. She seizes her moment, gets right up in front of us, and goes through one "trick" after another. It pleases her little heart so much. Now you could say, she only does that because we've reacted with praise or "aww, look at that!....*hugs*" when she first started doing these things, and you might be right. I've seen that kind of interaction, in small degrees, with pretty much every baby and mother I've known. What I am missing is how that can possibly equal objectifying the child, or denying their autonomy or "denying that they have their own internal life" (as carmel23 said). How does such a small thing have such huge and serious repercussions, in other words? The link between the two is where I am failing to understand.

 

 

post #74 of 94

lurk.gif

 

Lots of thought provoking stuff here ladies. I love when I can look deeper and challenge my own parenting philosophies and practices.

post #75 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post

lurk.gif

 

Lots of thought provoking stuff here ladies. I love when I can look deeper and challenge my own parenting philosophies and practices.



Yep, and all I wanted to do 45 minutes ago was to post a question about my 2 year old who refuses to have blankets/sheets/whatever touching him but instead I read this whole thread nut.gif

 

Seriously, I'm not trying to detract from the issues being discussed here but this is why I love MDC so much.  I have a question about blankets that goes unasked because I'm reading about serious parenting philosophies. 

 

post #76 of 94

DH and I had a fight about this very "trick" after he taught it to DD. She stopped doing it three days later. And if you asked her now, would look at you like you are crazy and walk away to find something else. It was an interesting fight when it happened because DH said "I just wanted to teach her something that she would get and was cute." At the time I was annoyed because I thought it was a pointless trick. I still do but it was adorable. He's the stay at home parent so I feel like I don't have as much control over little things (& I do consider in the grander scheme of things, this to be little). But we agree on all of the bigger things and I pick my battles. We did Baby Led Weaning and that was important to me and he understood that and respected it, even when I wasn't home.

 

I think it's a pick your battles kind of thing. But if it is something that really bugs you, maybe you should say something to ex-MIL. I know with my inlaws and my own mother, things don't stop until you mention something. If DD was finished with something she'll say "all done" in sign language or just walk away. We've told everyone that they need to respect that and move on. Maybe teach your son how to say "all done" or remind your ex-MIL that if he walks away or is frustrated to let it go.

 

Good luck!

post #77 of 94

I'm kinda frowning after reading this. Why is the "so big" thing a trick anymore than learning to do baby signs, count, or even repeat words?

 

I dislike the idea that by playing "so big" with my son is akin to a dog learning to dance on it's hind legs. Repetative, predictable games are the first things babies like to play with a caregiver. And it's so much fun to share when your child/grandchild has learned a new skill such as so big, to pull up or wave bye-bye.

 

If the child doesn't want to do it, then it can be let go at this age.

post #78 of 94
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

I'm kinda frowning after reading this. Why is the "so big" thing a trick anymore than learning to do baby signs, count, or even repeat words?

 

I dislike the idea that by playing "so big" with my son is akin to a dog learning to dance on it's hind legs. Repetative, predictable games are the first things babies like to play with a caregiver. And it's so much fun to share when your child/grandchild has learned a new skill such as so big, to pull up or wave bye-bye.

All those other things can be seen as tricks too if they are reinforced with praise and attention....I'm all about letting the child lead the way, letting him be into what he wants at the moment and not swerving him off course because I think it's cute when he...fill in the blank. Plus, repeating words is something that doesn't need to be "taught" the child will learn it on their own.

 

We all have our different ways of being with babies, what we think is "right" and what we think "babies like to play".

 

you seemed to have taken my post personally....???

 

 

post #79 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by asraidevin View Post

I'm kinda frowning after reading this. Why is the "so big" thing a trick anymore than learning to do baby signs, count, or even repeat words?

 

I dislike the idea that by playing "so big" with my son is akin to a dog learning to dance on it's hind legs. Repetative, predictable games are the first things babies like to play with a caregiver. And it's so much fun to share when your child/grandchild has learned a new skill such as so big, to pull up or wave bye-bye.

 

If the child doesn't want to do it, then it can be let go at this age.


I agree with you. Babies love routine, repetition and ritual. Little games like this increase the caregiver/child bond. This common knowledge and scientifically proven.
post #80 of 94
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

I agree with you. Babies love routine, repetition and ritual. Little games like this increase the caregiver/child bond. This common knowledge and scientifically proven.

Playing the so big game is scientifically proven to increase the caregiver/child bond? I'd like to see the studies.

 

I agree that babies love routine, repetition and ritual. I do too! This isn't the same thing as being the director and producer for play time.

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