Originally Posted by Devaya
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:
* 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.)
* Participate in community-centered activities
* Charity work
* Balance our checkbooks & work on our budget
* 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".