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Continuum concept (ish) Tribe - Page 51

post #1001 of 1092

Second Child

Hello!

Just needing some responses from those with more than one child who try to CC. I was able to hold ds1 in a carrier (or lay down with him) for every single one of his naps growing up. It was really nice. However, ds1 is now 3.5 and does not nap at all, and hasn't for a while. We had ds2 in May and I've been holding him for his naps (which are still all.the.time.) so far. This has only been possible b/c he was so little at first that he could sleep through quite a bit...and then we decided to visit my parents for the summer and they have been entertaining ds1 quite a bit.

Even with the extra help, I still like to try to be around the area that ds1 is in while I have ds2 in the carrier so that I can be with ds1. I think that this is not going to work once we are home though. I very easily feel resentful toward ds1 for waking up ds2 all the time. I try not to make comments about him having to be quiet b/c I know it isn't fair for him to have to be quiet all the time.

I feel that my only choice is going to be laying ds2 down for at least some time in the afternoon to sleep. Then maybe I can have some one on one time with ds1 and ds2 can get some uninterrupted sleep.

I feel guilty about laying ds2 down for naps b/c ds1 got to be in arms. But I feel guilty about ds2 not getting much of my attention. And I don't like how inclined I am to resenting him and getting irritated.

Also, being SO responsible for having ds2 stay asleep is starting to stress me out.

I feel that this in arms thing was easier with ds1 obviously. I think a good goal would be to hold ds1 most of the time when awake and for his afternoon napping (especially when we are out), but then maybe lay him down in the afternoon sometimes?

Any thoughts? I'm tired of feeling guilty about practically everything and I guess I might have to cut myself some slack in order to parent two children and give them both what they need. Ds2 hasn't been getting much of my attention (but it hasn't bothered him with his grandparents around). At the end of Aug when we go back home all of this will change though...I'll be completely on my own again (except when dh comes home). I'm tired of feeling irritated with ds2...even when what he does is cute and fun.

Thanks everyone for letting me vent. I'd love to hear what you've done with your dc!
post #1002 of 1092
I don't have two kids so I can only offer speculative advice:

Some kids can sleep through anything, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the volume isn't turned down just because they are napping. Granted, you want to respect the child's need to sleep, and not blare the TV when they are napping (or when they're awake either, for that matter! ) but you also want them to be able to sleep through ordinary household sounds.

Although it may be difficult for the first couple of weeks, maybe you could try to get the little one to lay down to nap while the older one is playing, out loud? I know it's easier in the carrier, but if he could learn to sleep laying down with the noise, it would make it easier on you. Give your older DS something fun to do that he doesn't ordinarily play with, and don't tell him to be quiet or stay out of the room or anything. Just tell him you need to put baby to sleep, and you will play with him in a minute. Let him choose where he wants to play, on the floor near you or in the other room. Emphasize inside voices, respect for the sleeping baby, but not total quiet. Maybe the baby will just learn to sleep through it? Maybe some white noise would help too, to even out the noise level so there aren't many startling noises.

That's just an idea. Again, I have a singleton, so I don't know if it would work or not.
post #1003 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrose_lee View Post
Hello!

Just needing some responses from those with more than one child who try to CC. I was able to hold ds1 in a carrier (or lay down with him) for every single one of his naps growing up. It was really nice. However, ds1 is now 3.5 and does not nap at all, and hasn't for a while. We had ds2 in May and I've been holding him for his naps (which are still all.the.time.) so far. This has only been possible b/c he was so little at first that he could sleep through quite a bit...and then we decided to visit my parents for the summer and they have been entertaining ds1 quite a bit.

Even with the extra help, I still like to try to be around the area that ds1 is in while I have ds2 in the carrier so that I can be with ds1. I think that this is not going to work once we are home though. I very easily feel resentful toward ds1 for waking up ds2 all the time. I try not to make comments about him having to be quiet b/c I know it isn't fair for him to have to be quiet all the time.

I feel that my only choice is going to be laying ds2 down for at least some time in the afternoon to sleep. Then maybe I can have some one on one time with ds1 and ds2 can get some uninterrupted sleep.

I feel guilty about laying ds2 down for naps b/c ds1 got to be in arms. But I feel guilty about ds2 not getting much of my attention. And I don't like how inclined I am to resenting him and getting irritated.

Also, being SO responsible for having ds2 stay asleep is starting to stress me out.

I feel that this in arms thing was easier with ds1 obviously. I think a good goal would be to hold ds1 most of the time when awake and for his afternoon napping (especially when we are out), but then maybe lay him down in the afternoon sometimes?

Any thoughts? I'm tired of feeling guilty about practically everything and I guess I might have to cut myself some slack in order to parent two children and give them both what they need. Ds2 hasn't been getting much of my attention (but it hasn't bothered him with his grandparents around). At the end of Aug when we go back home all of this will change though...I'll be completely on my own again (except when dh comes home). I'm tired of feeling irritated with ds2...even when what he does is cute and fun.

Thanks everyone for letting me vent. I'd love to hear what you've done with your dc!

Not sure that there is anything in CC that says you have to hold a child while they are sleeping. Or AP for that matter, though some would debate me on that point.

I think in fact that it is a SUPERB idea to teach an older baby to sleep happily in a cot or similar. I mean, ultimately we don't live in huts surrounded by twenty-seven of our closest aunts, sisters, and in-laws, so it's all on us (the mothers). Highly unnatural way to live, by the way. So you're going to have to teach a child to sleep on their own at some point. Taking it one step further, I would actually say that stopping what you (the grown-up) are doing several times a day to lie down in bed with your baby is NOT very CC at all. This is a really good example of a place where CC starts to differ big time from AP, because all the good AP mommies will tell you to bind yourself to your child and let the world fly around their heads (I know cuz I used to be one of them, lol ). But that is not what CC is all about. You're a grown-up, you have things you need to accompish in the day, and thus it makes perfect sense to teach our children to function in that world. For most of us that means they HAVE to learn to sleep on their own (on their own meaning on a little cot or blanket or whatever nearby, not meaning in the proverbial crib locked on the 3rd floor or something and again of course I'm not talking about a 2 month-old). I know that children can also be taught to sleep with world war III going on around them and think that's nice work if you can get it! And some babies do great taking cat naps here and there in the stroller, on your back, in the car. But a lot of babies seem to need a nap routine (dare I say schedule?) that offers a consistent time each day for napping, a consistent go-to-sleep routine, and a consistent napping spot in a quieter, dimmer part of the house. I don't recommend tip-toeing and whispering (I learned not to do that the hard way!) but no reason you couldn't take your non-napping kids into another area and engage them in whatever you're doing (folding laundry, cooking dinner, or let them play playdough or whatever while you read a book to relax. Again, if your kid sisters were available to lie down with the baby, lovely, but they're not and you have work to do, so you need to make your current living situation workable for everyone involved, the grown-ups especially.

Anyway, just some food for thought.
post #1004 of 1092
hmmm...
I've always felt like the more kids the easier as far as CC parenting goes...
Now, to clarify, I only have one of my own, but I've been working as a nanny, and doing a lot of child-care for friends as well.
Ds grew up surrounded by older children for whom I was caring from the beginning.
I think that it really helps with the not-child centered part, because you can't exclusively focus very much on one child. And I really think that's better for them.
I wouldn't feel guilty about laying him down to sleep at ALL. My ds slept better that way, as many do.
As far as ds1 getting attention... let him tag along and "help" as much as he wants, that's the CC thing, right? Let him help with the baby's needs too: remember, nurturing is a very instinctual thing. Maybe he can "watch" his brother while you are in the same room doing housework, or make something (art, a little felt hat, a blanket, etc...) for him with you. Including him in your work, part of which is caring for the baby, is the most CC thing I can think of, and it's wonderfull for the sibling relationship. Of course the minute he doesn't want to, he is free to do something else, and will quickly learn to entertain himself.
Ds2 will benefit immensely from having an older sibling to imitate and aspire to, and have a mini-tribal experience with. Remember the little creepers and toddlers are free to follow the big kids around.
Really, I wish I had more than one.
post #1005 of 1092
It doesn't always happen, but it works best for us if my younger one naps on her own. It gives a chance to have some time along with the older child where we can do different things. Also the one-on-one time seems to help the older child adjust. Perhaps not cc advice, but it seems to work for us.
post #1006 of 1092

X-post in discipline

Mamas I need your help.

My son just turned 2 (only child), and our regular playmate is just barely 1. My son has never had aggression or hitting issues before, and maybe this is just part of becoming 2, and I guess I'll see quite soon just where this is going. This whole world of behavior requiring"discipline" (in the conventional parenting model) is all new to me. We tend toward a CC/unschooling parenting approach, and have never had cause to even consider "discipline" approaches before.

Now that my DS has more awareness of how kids are around him are interacting, he observes older children being physical and hitting, he was slapped in the face a few weeks ago--hard--and now he has begun to test the limits with his little friend with the occasional shove and swat.


****When do you intervene?*****

How do you respond?


The other child is still a baby. How do you comfort the hurt one and discipline/teach/redirect the other at the same time, when they're both crying and upset and need your attention equally?

Any on-the-spot- tips, strategies are much appreciated. Thank you!
post #1007 of 1092
rio, trying to think of what to say to your question from a cc approach.
my dd doesn't hit other children, but she does have big problems having other children in "her" space - screams, pushes a little.

Since she was two, I've prepared her for visits and for playing outside with the other children by scripting some things. "What do we do if..." I think that this is an extension of modeling from adult behaviour. For example, in a community where no one hits, adults constantly model different sorts of ways of dealing with aggressive feelings. This is verbal modeling.

Also, can you give him another physical (perhaps constructive) outlet for feeling angry - maybe a physical job that they could have fun with together?
post #1008 of 1092
Ah, this is where waldorf and CC overlap for me.
We always said: "gentle hands, gentle hands, hands are for helping", and then comfort the hurt one. Or "we touch our friends gently "...
I have often seen that positive direction works a lot better than reprimands.
It is also important to distinguish for yourself the difference between hitting in anger and normal aggressive play. Ds has always been an exuberantly physical little fellow, and as such I have tried to allow him and his friends to play as roughly as both feel comfortable with.
Obviously this is a baby..."babies need gentleness" would be maybe a good statement.
Also I think it is important that we don't react to dc as though they've done something wrong : remember in his eyes it's perfectly reasonable, until he's shown a different way.
post #1009 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by widemouthedfrog View Post
Since she was two, I've prepared her for visits and for playing outside with the other children by scripting some things. "What do we do if..." I think that this is an extension of modeling from adult behaviour.....Also, can you give him another physical (perhaps constructive) outlet for feeling angry - maybe a physical job that they could have fun with together?
Great suggestions, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zansmama View Post
We always said: "gentle hands, gentle hands, hands are for helping", .......
Obviously this is a baby..."babies need gentleness" would be maybe a good statement.
Also I think it is important that we don't react to dc as though they've done something wrong : remember in his eyes it's perfectly reasonable, until he's shown a different way.
Thank you, excellent points!

We've tried the 'we don't do XYZ' approach and it has worked with other issues, but not this one so much.

We also adopted 2 big kittens recently and we are having the same issues there. He doesn't wail on them or anything like that, but he constantly wants to grab at them and is picking them up by their skin, tossing them, etc. And they don't run away, although they do sometimes scratch him. I'm like--kitties, COME ON, help me out here! just run away!

I posted about this on the discipline forum and one suggestion was to run defense, anticipating the pushes or swats, and intervene before they are completed. Obviously this is not going to happen, I mean, the kids are running all over the place doing their thing, investigating this and that, terrorizing the cats, etc. I am not on the floor playing with them hardly ever, although I am typically outside within sight and earshot when the one year old is over, otherwise LO has his run of the place pretty much.

I am having trouble with this because I feel like half of things I am "intervening" over might be better left alone if say, the one year old was a toddler.

I am not sure what LOs motivation is. Sometimes I suspect that it is because he is so huge for his age, and the one year old being so much smaller is an easy target, and LO just wants to see what happens if he pushes him. I should be clear, this has only happened on a few occasions, it's not like he's shoving him over all the time! It only started after another boy who we did not know, randomly came up and slapped my kid hard across the cheek.

And sometimes it is not about intentional pushing but a---get out of my way, here let me help you move out of my way--kind of maneuver.

Anyway, other CC thoughts are greatly appreciated. The last two times the boys have been together I have felt like I was on my toes, just waiting for something to erupt and it was NOT fun, and I do not want to settle into that pattern.
post #1010 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by riomidwife View Post



And sometimes it is not about intentional pushing but a---get out of my way, here let me help you move out of my way--kind of maneuver.
Personally, I would let this one go, if the little one isn't getting actually hurt. Kids are like puppies, you know? Overprotecting the little ones often causes the olders to resent them, and makes the littles oversensitive. There is a lot to be said for letting them work out what they can...

As far as the cats_watch out for his eyes_ but beyond that, he will learn what is going too far... I've seen so many kids bond with their animals in this way. The cats will defend themselves, and your little one will quickly learn that they do, and eventually they'll settle into overall harmony. It's a good way to learn about the feelings of others, imo.
post #1011 of 1092
If no one is crying, I usually don't intervene. But I try to make my statements about altercations, pointing out that someone is sad. Encouraging his (innately social) self to recognize what effect his behavior has on someone else. It doesn't matter whose toy it is, grabbing it away from someone will upset them. I have to do this a lot with the older kids I babysit for, since they are a lot older than my son, and they have been raised in a might makes right home... But I tell them that he will give it back, but not if they are trying to grab it from him. When he does return the thing, they are always amazed, and say "How did you know he would give it back?"

I think believing that the children want to be social and get along is the first step. The second step is to be worthy of imitating in that respect. Meaning: don't grab things away from your kids, don't shout NO at them, generally (as much as is possible) don't do things to them that you don't want them doing to other kids. The kids I babysit for act with my son the way their mother acts with them, they yell, grab, and think he's going to get hurt all the time, lol.

The cat is on it's own though. If he's too rough with them, he'll get scratched. I say be gentle with the kitty. But we (the adults) are always shoving her off the tables, counters, away from scratching the couch, so he's getting mixed messages.
post #1012 of 1092
It's kind of annoying that we don't have our own forum. It's hard to follow out a conversation without seperate threads.

I was wondering if other people here do any TCC "missionary" work. Like with your child-centered AP friends. Has anyone lent out the book and had a good response? I have a friend who really needs to read it, but I think she may just poo-poo it and say her child is the exception to the rule, blah, blah, blah.

And I wanted to ask (delicately, as to not offend) if anyone was skeptical (in light of the continuum concept) about the huge number of "high-needs" children that seem to be popping up (particularly in AP-circles).
post #1013 of 1092
Most of my friends have been having children in their mid-to-late 30s, now that I already have a child, so I've been recommending the book for reading before baby arrives. In some cases I can see that it has influenced their parenting.

Yes, I am skeptical about the number of high-needs children, as well as the number of ADHD and autistic children. While I believe that high-needs temperament, ADHD, and autism all are real phenomena, I think the labels are being over-applied, to the detriment of children who are in fact pretty close to normal. Inflating a child's idiosyncrasies into a pathological syndrome does her no favors. I was a high-needs baby (my mother says I slept as little as 6 hours per 24 and no more than 1 hour at a time, nursed at least hourly, and for part of every day would not stop shrieking unless worn by a constantly moving mama) and my needs were met but in a very continuum way, with Mama putting me in a back carry and teaching me how we make stir-fry. By age 2, I was quite calm, interested in learning the ways of my people, and able to entertain myself for long periods. For example, my parents built a piece of furniture out of corduroy and foam rubber, doing most of the work in one Saturday, and they tell me that each time fabric was being cut I came over to help smooth it, but I spent most of the time dipping my hairbrush in a glass of water and brushing my hair, over and over again, while watching them work.

My son was kind of the same. His first month was chaotic and difficult, and although he calmed down after that, he continued to nurse hourly and want to be held/worn most of the time--you know, just like TCC says--so I did that, but I also went on with many of my usual activities. People have been commenting on his calmness, lack of self-centeredness, and attention span since he was just a few months old, and he's still unusual in these ways compared to his peers at age 4. He continues to dislike being alone, and he is very demanding at times, but he is not at all like some of the "must be the center of Mommy's attention at all times" kids I read about. If I had responded to his neediness by dropping everything to focus on him, I suspect he'd be a lot more high-needs now. (But who knows? )
post #1014 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpeppers View Post
It's kind of annoying that we don't have our own forum. It's hard to follow out a conversation without seperate threads.

.
I so agree! Looking back through this thread there are so many unanswered issues....I think the idea had been proposed before but rejected. I think ALL the popular parenting philosophies should have their own forums, not just a thread. Unschooling and homeschooling have their own forums! This is one of the only places online where you can find these conversations happening. I hardly get over to this one because after a certain point it's just too hard to follow the thread. Imagine all that sharing that could happen in our own forum!
post #1015 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpeppers View Post
I was wondering if other people here do any TCC "missionary" work. Like with your child-centered AP friends. Has anyone lent out the book and had a good response?
Yes, i lend it out all the time, and often give it to new moms as a gift. (Along with my other two "bibles": "Nature's Children", and "You Are Your Child's First Teacher")
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpeppers View Post
And I wanted to ask (delicately, as to not offend) if anyone was skeptical (in light of the continuum concept) about the huge number of "high-needs" children that seem to be popping up (particularly in AP-circles).
YES!!!!
It drives me INSANE!
My mom was actually really into labeling kids' "problems", and I am really, really sick of it. There is SO much of it here in Berkeley that I could scream.
Granted, a few kids clearly need a little extra_ whatever. but for the most part, it's so clear to me that they are just so far out of their continuum, and that's where any issues are originating. Poor human race.
post #1016 of 1092
Re: "high needs children"... I think some of that is going to occur just due to genetic or environmental factors BUT... I do think TONS of the high needs thing is due to parenting styles. And later in life, it's due to the schools just failing completely to provide a natural environment for growing and learning.

Everyone always says how "well-behaved" my kids are and how they're so "nice to each other". Duh! (not that they don't have their moments... of course they do). But people assume the default for kids is bad behavior, not minding their parents, being contrary, and fighting with each other. Baloney. Not in my experience. In my experience, that is largely learned behavior. And it's learned EARLY.

I think the default for kids is actually following along and fitting into the larger group. When a child is not doing that, they are labelled "high needs" (or any number of other labels from ADHD to Asperger's) when it is really just their environment that is creating problems and/or their parents who unwittingly are outright teaching or just reinforcing some pretty bad behavior.

This reminds me of an abnormal psychology class I took once where we studied mental illness far back in history. In agrarian societies, mental illness was EXTREMELY rare. Why? No one had time to worry about this or get depressed about that... they had WORK to do!
post #1017 of 1092

feeling confused...

I've been reading 'Raising our children, raising ourselves' which I've heard about for ages mostly from MDC and finally got a copy of. I agree with a lot of it and it makes loads of sense to me in terms of communicating with one's child, thinking about what their needs are, and so on. But I feel very confused about CC stuff now because the author says things like (without specifically saying CC, I think she's referring to this idea when she speaks about parents wanting to follow tribal ways where the child hangs around adults and older kids and observes what they do, joining in as and when they want to): we have to work with the society and context we have NOW, not try to recreate the past; in the context of most families, unless you live in a community/commune etc, the child is not going to have its needs met by simply watching what you do and hanging around you (and occasional others); that the tasks the child needs to do while growing up are to do with developing intellect and so on, rather than practical tasks of household care and making things, so a lot of what you'd be 'teaching' would be irrelevant to his later life anyway; that the kind of work most of us do in the home is simply not conducive to 'joining in' in any meaningful way - the way we use machines, stand at the sink and wash up, etc; and that by repeatedly putting off a child's requests to play or have attention, you are giving the message that they are less important than housework (or crafts, or whatever). I mean, yes, we all have to get things done, but I'd hate DS to interpret that as meaning I don't care as much about him.

I have to say, (dare I say it?) I think she has a point, and I have been having a niggling feeling for a while that by not playing with DS much and not being 'child-centred', I really might be just causing him to feel insecure and not important to me. We go out most days and I surround him with certain key adult and child friends who he loves, but that cannot be our reality every day as people have their own lives to get on with, and I also need to clean my house I do feel that he is much more confident, serene, and co-operative generally than most other kids his age I see (and I see a lot, in lots of different settings), which I put down to his upbringing thus far, but the seeds of doubt have been sown as to whether his psychological wellbeing is being met...I mean, yes, evolutionarily, children need to look to the adults to see what is 'done', but 'Raising our children, raising ourselves' talks a lot about looking at your child and seeing what they need, moment to moment, and what they're trying to communicate to you. Which really makes sense to me, too.

I've noticed since I've been playing with DS more (not all day or anything, just setting aside certain times, and following his cue more, rather than insisting on completing household tasks), our relationship 'feels' better, and is flowing more, and the tantrums have become shorter and less frequent. He is a very strong-willed, spirited child and struggles with transitions, so a lot of tantrums are unavoidable, so I'm just learning the tools to best support him through them.

Anyway, I hope it's ok to bring another book into this, no flames please! I just wanted to share my thoughts with others since none of my friends IRL are CC and are all pretty child-centred AP, and when I try to discuss philosophical stuff with them it never gets anywhere.

As for previous comments on the thread, I agree with what's been said about over-'diagnosis' of 'high needs'... I have fallen into this myself . ANd I also think it'd be great to have a separate forum, I often can't find this thread for some reason if it's not been posted on for a while.
post #1018 of 1092
Devaya;

I've struggled with this myself... and I think the key thing is to follow your instincts above all. If you feel like your ds needs you to play with him, by all means do so!
That said, I am a bit wary of this idea of constantly checking in with kids to see what their needs are. I have seen it followed to a ridiculous degree... not to say that you would do that, but still, as a mindset, it feels off. I really feel like kids communicate pretty well on their own when they need something, unless they are being constantly checked in with, in which case they begin to expect to be asked...

I guess I also disagree with the idea that kids need to develop intellectually rather than learning to do housework.
One thing that I have done is to de-machine my housework, so that ds does see and join in on meaningful tasks: we wash the dishes by hand, do some laundry by hand, garden, sew, bake, etc... I personally think these are very valuable skills for his future, and since I believe in integrated learning, I think they will help other areas to function well.
I do think it is important to recognize that our society is not continuum-oriented. But that helps me to understand ds' difficulties with society, and inspires me to modify things as much as possible so as not to mess with his continuum, NOT to try to adapt him to our screwed-up society. One compromise we are making is sending him to school, though I believe unschooling is more CC. The reason: I have been wearing myself out trying to fulfill his need for a consistent, daily "tribe" of kids. (I do feel this school is more CC than most)

One thing I would suggest is doing one focused activity (art, cooking, whatever) per day with your lo: That worked wonders for me with ds, as far as making him feel special and cared for.

Anyway, just my 2 cents
post #1019 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post
But I feel very confused about CC stuff now because the author says things like (without specifically saying CC, I think she's referring to this idea when she speaks about parents wanting to follow tribal ways where the child hangs around adults and older kids and observes what they do, joining in as and when they want to): we have to work with the society and context we have NOW, not try to recreate the past; in the context of most families, unless you live in a community/commune etc, the child is not going to have its needs met by simply watching what you do and hanging around you (and occasional others); that the tasks the child needs to do while growing up are to do with developing intellect and so on, rather than practical tasks of household care and making things, so a lot of what you'd be 'teaching' would be irrelevant to his later life anyway; that the kind of work most of us do in the home is simply not conducive to 'joining in' in any meaningful way - the way we use machines, stand at the sink and wash up, etc; and that by repeatedly putting off a child's requests to play or have attention, you are giving the message that they are less important than housework (or crafts, or whatever). I mean, yes, we all have to get things done, but I'd hate DS to interpret that as meaning I don't care as much about him.
Ooh great question. I've thought tons about it and what this author says, and ultimately I think the answer is "C - all of the above." Meaning, it would be an incredibly bad idea to try to recreate life in some primitive tribe in 340 A.D. here in America in 2009. BAD idea. I agree and have said before on this thread I think that you HAVE to take into account what it is you are trying to accomplish with parenting. I want my kids to go to college, to have flourishing careers whatever they may be, to be functioning and independent members of THIS society. So it would be incredibly stupid of me to pull my kids out of school (or stop homeschooling) and only focus on having my kids do the washing, the dishes, and scrub the floor. But here's where I disagree with the author... that is NOT ALL I DO! If all I and my husband did were scrub floors and do laundry, then yeah, having my kids follow us around all day doing this would not in any way support our hopes and goals for our children's futures. Sure we take care of our house and garden and do traditional activities (ranging from knitting to putting up jam to stacking wood), but here are other things we do:

* Work!
* Read the newspaper and talk about politics and international affairs
* READ READ READ all the time
* Socialize with family
* Socialize with friends
* Go out to eat at restaurants
* Cultural events (concerts, shows, etc.)
* Travel
* Participate in community-centered activities
* Charity work
* Balance our checkbooks & work on our budget
* Shopping
* Go to museums
* Learn and teach

I mean, I could go on. And while a lot of this thread is focused on having your kids help you with the cooking and cleaning, I would argue that it is equally important to have your kids help you (and accompany you, and talk about with you, and gain a deeper understanding of) all the OTHER stuff you do every day! Who only does dishes or tends the garden all week?!

But guess what... that IS what CC is all about! Or at least, that's how *I* interpret and do CC in our house. I think it would be silly to read Leidloff's book and think we all should insist our children spend all day helping us do chores around the campfire. Rather, I think the 30,000 foot view of the CC as applied in 2009 America relies on the following basic concepts:

1. Your world is the world your children should be living in. Your world in its entirety. (for example, yes your child should help take care of the house, but if you value reading and art, of course you should read to your child and take your child to a museum and/or make art with your child)
2. You are the parents/grown-ups so act like it. (for example, work gets done before play)
3. Learning and schooling (however you do it) is one of your child's major jobs and one of your main jobs is helping your child accomplish this huge effort - the amount of academic/intellectual knowledge an adult in America needs in order to function in society *at all* is tremendous actually.
4. Having good manners is CRITICAL in this (and most modern) societies in fact lots of social skills and the ability to navigate modern society all comes back to manners. So start teaching them early just like a mother in a primitive tribe starts teaching which plants are poisonous: i.e., because if the child doesn't learn that down pat, they're doomed.

ooh I could go on, but hubby needs help folding laundry...

edited to add, I forgot the most important thing:

5. Being outdoors in nature is not only a nice thing to do it is critical for a child's normal development. Today's modern families and schools - especially in America - do not spend nearly enough time in nature and the time they do spend outdoors is very structured (e.g., playing sports, playing on a conventional playground, even the way a lot of people take hikes in the woods must feel like a forced march for kids). Leidloff certainly discussed a child's relationship with nature but I think Richard Louv actually does a much better job of explaining why this is so important and how much it matters. His book on the subject is "Last Child In the Woods".
post #1020 of 1092
These are all very stimulating and thoughtful responses. I appreciate the time people put into their posts on this thread.

For me, in addition to the things I need to do (cook, clean, garden, laundry etc.), I want my children to be literate and enjoy reading (not a part of CC, but we spend lots of time reading books, and of course this will carry on to other learning such as numeracy), and to be outside and explore and enjoy nature (very CC in my mind, but has to be incorporated more specifically as we no longer do as much hunting and gathering and don't live as directly in the outdoors).
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