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Consensual Living Discussion Thread - Page 2

post #21 of 44

I'd like to talk about school attendance. My daughter most days likes to go to school. We've talked on and off about homeschooling as an option, but generally speaking, she wants to stay in school to have more time with friends. About once every week or two, she will adamantly refuse to go. We are already past the limit the school allows for missed days of school, and I'm getting nervous. Any ideas?

post #22 of 44

Revolting, 

 

Do you want to have this discussion specifically within the umbrella of Consensual Living or would you like to discuss this in the general GD forum? Another interesting exercise (if you want to be the guinnea pig) would be to open this discussion to the community and ask for answers specific to various philosophies. 

post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by revolting View Post

I'd like to talk about school attendance. My daughter most days likes to go to school. We've talked on and off about homeschooling as an option, but generally speaking, she wants to stay in school to have more time with friends. About once every week or two, she will adamantly refuse to go. We are already past the limit the school allows for missed days of school, and I'm getting nervous. Any ideas?

I am glad you brought up school.

 

A little OT, but there are a number of USers on the USing forum who are more CL than USy 

 

Here is my take and I consider us soft-core CL:

 

You daughter has the choice to HS and she has the choice to go to school.  Whichever one she chooses, she should commit to in good faith.  She also has to understand that actions have consequences for the whole family.  If you live in an area where attendance is strictly monitored, she really needs to commit to going or she needs to pursue an alternate arrangement - as it is not fair for you to get in trouble over her truancy.

 

I understand the desire to skip school.  Getting at the root of why she wants to skip may help curb the situation (you might be able to problem solve solutions) - or not.  Assuming her grades are acceptable, I would discuss with how many times she can do this without there being consequences - either consequences of falling behind, truancy, etc.  Off the top of my head, a kid wanting to skip a day every 2 weeks would send up flags for me; once a month would not (and might just give a child the control they desire over their week, as well as time to de-stress).

 

ETA:  okay, I just read your siggy and she is younger that I thought.  I will let the above stand as ideas in general.  I would be inclined to let a 5 or 6 year old who wanted to skip, skip.  Extra mommy time at that age is probably more beneficial than a day is school when she does not want to be there.  Just don't get yourself in trouble over truancy.


Edited by kathymuggle - 1/19/13 at 1:06pm
post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by revolting View Post

I'd like to talk about school attendance. My daughter most days likes to go to school. We've talked on and off about homeschooling as an option, but generally speaking, she wants to stay in school to have more time with friends. About once every week or two, she will adamantly refuse to go. We are already past the limit the school allows for missed days of school, and I'm getting nervous. Any ideas?


I'm just curious, do you know why she refuses to go to school? What type of school does she attend? I'm wondering if a different type of school may be a better fit for her. I don't really know what else to say because my kids have never been to or really shown any serious interest in school, sorry!

post #25 of 44

Identity crises mama: I'd like to see it done under the framework of consensual living. A lot of parents would either force their kids to go to school or overrule their kid's decision to attend school or stay in their current school if their behavior had gotten to this point. I'd really like, at least initially, to see if there are others who have found a way to work out a situation like this with their young kid.

 

She's in the local public school, which is full-day, academic kindy that sends homework home. shake.gif I've asked her if she'd like to change schools, but she emphatically dislikes the idea: the only reason she wants to go to school is to spend the whole day with her best friends. According to her, what they do in school is boring and stupid; she doesn't like to get ready to go; she doesn't like the threat of punishment at school; she doesn't like to line up at school; she thinks the teacher doesn't listen to her; she thinks it's unfair that her younger brother gets to do things when she's away at school; she wants more time to do archery, read, do art and craft projects, and play; and she misses home. (I would add that she is a night owl and that makes getting ready for school hard; that she's pretty precocious academically and that makes school work pretty dull; the adult-to-child ratio is huge and it's hard to get adult attention.) We've talked outside of the moment about what we should do when she refuses to go to school. She says that when she doesn't want to go to school, she wants me to remind her of how much fun she has sitting next to her friends and whispering to them, but when I do that in the morning, she finds it less than motivating. We have also done sending notes and surprises with her to school, working with the administration to better tailor her education tailor her education and discipline to her needs (the school thinks that as long as I send the message that attending school is her choice, she will never acclimate to school and that it's very important for bright kids to sit through lessons they already know, since that's part of being in schoolheadscratch.gif), different routines to limit the stress of getting ready to go, trying to keep as many of the fun activities and outings I do with her brother at times when she could also participate, but it continues to be a problem.  I'd love a list of more suggestions that I could discuss with my six year old about how we could better deal with the situation.

post #26 of 44

Hi,

I think you can work on her late nights and being tired by resetting her biological clock with Melatonin 

If being with friends is really the only thing that matters maybe if she has something to share with them - a joke or  a story for days when she does not feel into it 

 

I am not one for rewards but if they are self -determined - meaning she decides that she wants some extrinsic incentive to help her get to school , she can come up with something that might help her -  her goal is to get to school , the SD reward is to help her get there.

 

the morning schedule shoud be quite limited - her bag packed the night before by you if needed , eat a sandwich on the way out etc 

post #27 of 44

revolting, this is a wild idea-- find out how many friends she has that is pulling her to attend a school she mostly hates.  If it's only 2 or so, give the parents a call.  How do they feel about the school?  Have they been considering changing schools or homeschooling?  You never know until you ask....

post #28 of 44
Thread Starter 

revolting: Can you introduce your daughter to the homeschooling community in your area? I would talk to her about classes she can take, co-ops she could participate in, 4-H or homeschool scouting groups. Also, she would probably like some reassurance that she will still get to see her school friends if she decides to be homeschooled, so may'be talking to her about setting up playdates or sleepovers with her school friends.

post #29 of 44
Thread Starter 

I could use some perspective and advice from other cl mamas on the issue of kids watching troublesome tv shows. My kids have recently started watching Spongebob Squarepants, which I personally don't like at all because of the language and violence, but the real issue I'm having is since they have started watching this show I'm seeing a real upsurge of name calling and hitting in our house. We have had numerous discussions about these behaviors and how hurtful they are, but nothing has changed at all. The only option I can really see at this point is blocking Spongebob, but that seems like punishment to me and of course I'd really rather not go that route.....

 

Help!

post #30 of 44
notes2.gif
post #31 of 44

TV , hitting and bad language are behaviors. If we take a CPS - collaborative problem solving perspective behaviors are merely symptoms of lagging skills and unmet concerns. Talking about behaviors won't solve the underlying problem. So we need maybe to do some cps with each kid seperately and then facilitate cps between them

 

TV -  Mom: I have noticed since you have been watching the xx TV show , there is a lot more bad language , hitting and fighting in the home , what's up 

post #32 of 44
Thread Starter 

mary934: Thanks! For some reason I always forget about cps, I should do something about that.

 

I wanted to give a little update on us regarding the situation I needed help with. We have all agreed to stop watching the tv show in question for a bit as dd seems to be really sensitive to some of the things portrayed in it. To help dd with the name calling we have been scheduling regular music making sessions, and other games, where we shout out whatever name comes to mind just for fun.If I hear name calling outside of these games I usually pull her aside and let her vent on me while I translate her tirade into nvc feelings and needs that we can work with. The hitting has completely stopped, now when anybody feels like hitting we call a family pillow fight or a playful wrestling match.

post #33 of 44

Can anyone give me some ideas on how this works with a toddler? My son is almost 18 months and he has started doing some major screaming tantrums and hitting and/or throwing objects at me. For now I have been ignoring it and if he hits me more than once I say, "We don't hit."

post #34 of 44

We are quite good at collaborating with babies and toddlers by be responsive to their cues. If they are not verbal and can't articulate their concerns , we can try make suggestions about what is bothering them , maybe use pictures , put our concerns on the table and then suggest solutions , maybe in pictures etc. This must be done out of the moment - the focus is not on behavior bit on the concerns.

post #35 of 44

So, Mittsy, do you think the activities you are doing are what is helping or is it the decision to not watch that show?  

 

We haven't really had to struggle with hitting or language but one thing that I feel worked well with language is to just talk about appropriate settings for different types of language. I don't consider "bad language" to be a problem but more a problem if used in the wrong setting. That has seemed to work for my older child. She knows I don't mind her using it, knows that it really offends others, knows that it's not allowed in school and etc. I feel like that took some of the charge out of it. 

 

Not sure if this is CL or not though. 

 

Also, I've seen a few recommendations for outlets for hitting as a solution of hitting at MDC. I thought that sort of cathartic therapy was frowned upon lately. We bypassed any of that because of some articles I had read when DC was young (that are now perhaps dated?) and I feel like at least for her I think it was a good fit. 

post #36 of 44
Thread Starter 

LunaLady: We take a pretty playful approach to tantrums. For screaming we do things like pretend we are gorillas banging our chests and calling, getting into a cat yoga pose and yowling and hissing, screaming into pillows, pretending we are a very loud fire alarm going off, getting into a snake yoga pose and hissing, making music or drumming and just yelling out whatever comes to mind. For hitting and throwing we bring out a special basket of soft toys and let the kids at it, or sometimes we do a family pillow fight.

 

IdentityCrisisMama: I think both the activities and not watching that show for now are helping. She has told me that she is having a hard time dealing with her "yucky feelings", so I've been trying to help her with that by reading books, doing eft, and by doing validation and showing her some calming techniques. We don't mind bad language at all, but the issue we were having is that dd was calling ds and other kids things like "stupid star", "idiot", "I'm going to kick your butt" when she was getting mad and it was really hurting their feelings.

 

I actually agree with doing things to physically work through your anger like throwing or hitting toys. I think the child innately knows what they need to do to work through their anger but it just our job as parents to redirect those behaviors to a harmless outlet.

post #37 of 44

In response to LunaLady, I think screaming tantrums are different (on the level of being problematic or not) than hitting and/or throwing things at someone.  Meaning that I think the latter situations require some sort of intervention, just taking the responsibility to keep yourself safe and/or protect others from physical violation, and to protect the upset toddler from inflicting harm, too.  I think it's important to protect a child from the hurt he'll carry from having hurt someone else, or just to acknowledge regret (take the situation seriously) the times we don't get there in time to offer that protection.

 

If a "screaming tantrum" does not involve physical acting out, then it wouldn't call for that physical limit/protection, but otherwise I think the approach to the child in the situation would be the same.  And I think the response is generally about recognizing what is going on and acknowledging the feelings being expressed.  Contingent communication would be conveying that understanding (empathy) and showing acceptance of the feelings (validation or acknowledgment.)

 

Staying close and supportive while those feelings are expressed would be my goal for a toddler who is having some "major screaming tantrums" and generally the physical limit (putting your hand on the toy he wants to throw, or taking measures to keep yourself safe from kicking/hitting/biting as needed) in combination with that same closeness & support will facilitate emotional release in those times when he began to "act out" his overwhelm in physical aggression.  Once the feelings are flowing, I think you are in a good place because he is doing what he needs to do.

 

Responding playfully can be a fine thing, too.  Laughter is a release just as tears are.

post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mittsy View Post

I could use some perspective and advice from other cl mamas on the issue of kids watching troublesome tv shows. My kids have recently started watching Spongebob Squarepants, which I personally don't like at all because of the language and violence, but the real issue I'm having is since they have started watching this show I'm seeing a real upsurge of name calling and hitting in our house. We have had numerous discussions about these behaviors and how hurtful they are, but nothing has changed at all. The only option I can really see at this point is blocking Spongebob, but that seems like punishment to me and of course I'd really rather not go that route.....

 

Help!

Reading this & the resulting conversation was interesting for me, (I haven't been to this site for awhile), because I got to think about an issue and then mentally frame it in the CL context, which was a little tricky for me!

That's only because I haven't been too preoccupied with or mindful about "CL or not" when proceeding in life, for awhile.  But I think CL values/practices greatly influenced my approach to parenting (and for awhile I actually did try to make choices or respond based on referring to a CL framework.)

 

So it was just a little tricky for me to think about.  Like, would my kids (or at least my oldest child) have the opportunity to start watching Spongebob in the first place (or whatever substitute show might introduce something I found problematic)?  And if not, "is that CL"?  And if this situation were actually happening for me, would any of my responses "fit" CL?

 

But overall, I know that once I got past my initial reactions & feelings of displeasure (with a focus on Spongebob Squarepants as being the source of the problems I'm observing), my typical practice would be to identify my feelings as being mine (or as indicating something about me--something I am not liking because of some fear it triggers in me, etc.), and that I likely would want to respond to the issue by increasing connection.  So rather than setting limits or trying to make rules to manage viewing habits, I might specifically offer connection instead, with the belief that resolution is likely to come naturally.

 

It sounds like you may have done this, actively substituting more connection for the time spent with the show.

 

I do, too, think it's important to keep reminding ourselves that kids will "work out" (or "play about"!) the things that are bothering them, including having been exposed to edginess, confusing or frightening attitudes/dynamics, mean words, and power-over dynamics.  Exposure to scornful, sarcastic, mocking or mildly belittling language, tones or exchanges is likely going to "come out" or get expressed in a child's play & relationships.  Ultimately, this is a good thing.  (Though it's usually upsetting to witness it, particularly between children.)  But it only splashes out because it's in there in the first place, making the child feel off-track because she feels confused, or unhappy.

 

They have the good instinct to heal their hurts & the things that cause little "blips" for them inside.  And play is how they do it.

 

So I think your focus on recognizing when she has some of that work to do/stuff to express, and taking her aside so that YOU are the one it gets "splashed on," is really constructive.  Being able to "translate" what you hear likely helps you to show empathy & acceptance for what you're hearing, which means you're likely staying warm and connected, which helps her.

 

I really think serving that function (being the container that "holds" for her what she has trouble containing, and reflecting it so she can "have" or see herself & can enter a process of relating to what she sees, making decisions about it, and resolving it) is THE task.  Even more than any "processing" we do...reflecting them and really receiving them in that active way is the function we serve.  Because it facilitates their individual processes.

 

Anyway, cool.

post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by revolting View Post

I'd like to talk about school attendance. My daughter most days likes to go to school. We've talked on and off about homeschooling as an option, but generally speaking, she wants to stay in school to have more time with friends. About once every week or two, she will adamantly refuse to go. We are already past the limit the school allows for missed days of school, and I'm getting nervous. Any ideas?

 

My daughter hasn't expressed clear unwillingness to go to school in a long while, but she actually did this morning!  In the past when this has come up (and also today when it came up!) my focus has been listening to her feelings with real acceptance (rather than a focus on any particular outcome.)

 

In general, I imagine I would want the outcome to be "resolution" of the issue with her going on to school, and I probably have some fear about "what if?" it doesn't resolve, but my approach is to be present in the moment rather than thinking about the immediate future (her "working through it" and "ultimately going to school.")  The effect is that I am not pushing against or resisting her feelings, so there is a lot of space for just exactly how she's feeling and what she has to express about it.  (This is the same when she has negative stuff to say ABOUT some other person, too.)

 

I focus on presence & really hearing/understanding accurately, rather than on "doing" anything to get something to happen.  And looking back, I can observe that she's never actually stayed home at any of these times (nor have I ever "made her" go to school.)  I think inside I'm ultimately open.  I am not closed to the possibility of a so-called mental health day (or days) even though at some point the issue of missing too many days becomes a factor, so as a result I am not tightly wedded to one absolute outcome of her going to school.  But the truth is, I am not thinking "yes" or "no" at all; I'm not engaging her adamant assertion (of not going to school today) on the level of its validity ("will" I grant it? "can" I grant it? what should I do/how should I respond?) at all.  I think this fact is what helps most.

 

I know, too, that getting there is not a matter of trying.  It's a matter of congruence....just bringing my actual feelings & reactions (tension, irritation, fear, annoyance, helplessness....) into awareness so they are part of my conscious experience (and thus, I am congruent.)  I tolerate or "contain" them, and in the process I find that I'm able to make space for my child's experience.

 

THEN, something happens inside her.  My presence (my lack of opposition) facilitates a process in her.  (She frequently takes care of the "collaborative problem-solving" steps all on her own, lol!  But this actually makes sense, considering how my own process is typically internal--a matter of experiencing my own feelings that results in emotional resolution and the ability to move on.  And these mornings always have involved the "problem" of feelings....so often they "just" need to be felt: allowed, and experienced.)

 

Looking back, the same thing has happened every time.  (She has reached some kind of internal resolution and just gets ready for school.)  I think that "space" for her feelings is THE thing.


Edited by AmyC - 2/27/13 at 9:54am
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post


Also, I've seen a few recommendations for outlets for hitting as a solution of hitting at MDC. I thought that sort of cathartic therapy was frowned upon lately. We bypassed any of that because of some articles I had read when DC was young (that are now perhaps dated?) and I feel like at least for her I think it was a good fit. 

Do you have a link or source for articles against cathartic therapy? I read something recently, and it really resonated with me, but I lost the source.

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