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Continuum concept (ish) Tribe - Page 11

post #201 of 1092
Originally Posted by spunky

What happens after the in arms phase


post #202 of 1092
Oh spunky, I totally relate. My son is now 19 months but things haven't changed in the area you describe of spending a day alone with a mobile young toddler since he was about your child's age. The drawers, trash, everything getting emptied and the house turning into chaos within minutes if you don't follow the child around cleaning up after them insessantly (ugh who would want ot spend their days doing that????).... when I head towards the computer (I do editing work from my computer at home VERY part time, just a few hours a week but I also come to MDC and write email since I'm living abroad and like to keep in contact with my american friends & family regularly, so the computer is a place I like to park in front of whenever I can to either work or socialize) he starts to scream because he just wants all my attention all the time.... when my husband comes home he sighs at the mess and wonders why I let it get like that. It's all quite familiar!
Oh, babe woke gotta run more later!
post #203 of 1092
It is a really good question.... I've found that without a 'tribe' of other families with children for your child to socialize with, just the mama/babe in an apartment in the city isolating thing going on, it's really hard not to feel like you are just spending all your energy caring for your child, and not really... doing things with your child along. I just hope to meet mroe and more other likeminded mama friends with kiddos for my children to play with as I am in this city longer and longer and learn the language.....
post #204 of 1092
Spunky that's a good question. I personally don't equate "world without boundaries" -- or, and I hope I don't get flamed for this, a TCS way of parenting where the kids make nearly all decisions for themselves -- to CC.

So I did put limits on what my dd and ds could do, not because I feared for their safety, but for example, because it wasn't appropriate for them to play with the houseplants or empty a box of Ziploc baggies all over the floor LOL or play with my pocketbook or whatever. In other words, I'm still in charge and while I try to have our environment be baby and later toddler friendly, there are just some things I don't want them into (and I'm not even going to get into lamp plugs and VCR buttons!). Another thing is try to go outside as much as possible. This is a much more natural environment for kids to explore at will I think... and fewer boundaries (and potential sources of conflict too).
post #205 of 1092
Originally Posted by May May
I'd love for you to elaborate on your thoughts on this matter. I, too, am loyally devoted to CC first, but find that Waldorf -- as far as an educational environment, as well as some of the Anthroposophical guidelines for living -- is the best choice out there for school/community/etc. I do not know any CCers with older children in my area. (My children are ten and four.)

May May,

I don't know how well I can elaborate on my thoughts on Waldorf vs. CC. It's hard for me to articulate. But I'll try. . . I think most of my issues are with the idea of school in general. (I don't like it.) But as far as Waldorf, I think that they sort of get so into the "developmental stages" of childhood, that they sort of get this idea that children are these fragile little flowers, or little alien beings or something. . . I know it makes no sense. I guess what I mean is, that after reading TCC, it just struck me how Waldorf teachers are always singing everything to the kids, and half the time faking British accents, and doing everything softly and fairy-like, and having them use paper and art supplies that adults would never use. . . and it all just seemed so ridiculous suddenly, to treat children *so* differently than we treat adults, and then I think about how I feel like I have such a respectful relationship with my ds, and so much of that, to me, has to do with the fact that I really see him as so capable and adult-like in many ways. . . and it seems a little bit insulting, I think, to think of him being taken from this life we have with him, which feels real, and put into this "other-world."

That being said, I've been doing a lot of thinking about it lately, and I think that I am going to start incorporating more Waldorf-y ideas into our life, and I think I'm back to thinking that if we have to send ds to any school at all, it will probably be Waldorf (I was thinking of an open school (public) before, but I just don't think I can deal with government-run schools in any capacity anymore.)

Well, does anyone else have anything to say on the subject? I love the community of the Waldorf schools, and the storytelling and the woodworking and music. Those are my favorite parts.

post #206 of 1092
Spunky, etc.,

My ds is 23 mo. I have found, since about a year ago, that the best way to deal with life is to leave the house every day by 10:00 a.m.. Of course this doesn't *always* work, but for us it has been the best way, because we have no yard, and I find that my patience leaves me by noon if we stay home, and I find that our relationship can stay in harmony if we just get out and do things (of course this is also good for me.) We meet people for walks, go to parks and AP events (playgroups, fiber arts group, outings, etc.) run occasional errands, go to relatives' houses. . . whatever. Just to get out and get some air and socialize, too, whenever we can.

I think that babies sense that we are "checking out" when we are on the computer. I try to limit it's use to only when ds is asleep (like right now) - that is another way to prevent friction in our relationship. I try not to think of ds as needing my undivided attention, but just needing to be around *someone* who is not completely checked out.

As far as messes go. . . I try to keep everything out of ds's sight and/or reach that I don't want him to mess with. Easier said than done, I know. . . but this also helps keep our relationship harmonious.

So, in a nutshell - my answers to everything thus far are:

1) go outside!
2) socialize!
3) keep busy with tasks that keep you physically busy and thus interesting to watch or help (like laundry, cooking, drawing, vacuuming, cleaning, etc.) and be willing to flit from one task to another at the drop of a hat. I also do well talking on the phone *while* I race from one end of the apartment to the other, putting things away, or whatever (with or without my ds on my back or hip.)
4) exercise (preferrably by walking and carrying ds)
5) stay off the computer

Oh, and most importantly. . .

6) keep a sense of humor!

post #207 of 1092
MisfitMama, you have a very interesting view on the Waldorf 'environment' and I will have to contemplate that for a while -- it never occured to me to look at it that way. I've always seen the use of nature-based and spiritual materials and activities in the Waldorf environment as being 'close to nature' and 'simple' and, therefore, closer to CC than any other *civilized* school out there.


I have to point out one area where I see your point exactly --

That would be the whole Waldorf approach to discipline, which I have never been ok with. They're just way too wishy-washy and passive in response to the (sometimes) need to be a little more authoritarian/assertive. It's too dusty knome-ish, to borrow a concept of theirs... :LOL
post #208 of 1092
I can't believe I'm saying this but I am so glad to hear that other people are going through this too. When I go to other people's houses there is nothing on the floor. No trash, no pans perhaps a few toys.
We have gotten very active going to story times, play dates etc. but I don't feel like I'm living in a tribe. None of it relates to life without babies. I suppose I just wait for him to get a little older (3 maybe) when he can play on his own a bit more and reading quietly is a good example.
As I am writing this there is a tremendous thunderstorm with some flash flooding outside. I am really looking forward to gardening. Does anyone have experience with gardening with a 13 month old?

I'm planning on homeschooling but appreciate reading the philosophies of Montessori, Waldorf and any other educational/development thinker. If I did send my child to school it probably would be Waldorf (if there was one around here.) I like their focus on doing things with your hands, outside and the sense of community. I have a lot more reading to do. I just started Natural Childhood by John Thomson. I frankly haven't thought much about discipline besides trying to say "that stays there" or "that's just for mama" instead of NO. Does anybody have any tips or suggested reading?
post #209 of 1092

TCC group for southern California

Just popping in to mention there is a yahoo group for socal TCCers (it's a spectrum, ya know, no need to be a "perfect" TCCer, which doesn't really exist unless you're Yequena ;-) ) ... link in my sig.

I read the book in the first months of my first son's life, then again a year or two later, very much want to read again. Has influenced me greatly, not to say I totally live the life (we live in the U.S., after all), but I get much inspiration and perspective and food for thought from the book and the concept and the big listserv, of which I've been a member for several years. I started the socal TCC group in an effort to find folks in the region who might like getting together now and then with others who are influenced by the book/concepts.

If you request membership in the group, please mention that you saw the link in MDC.

Quasi-tribally yours...
post #210 of 1092
Originally Posted by May May
MisfitMama, you have a very interesting view on the Waldorf 'environment' and I will have to contemplate that for a while
Well. . . I would love to hear *other* people's interpretations - I'd love to be talked out of my view, in fact.

Originally Posted by May May
I have to point out one area where I see your point exactly --

That would be the whole Waldorf approach to discipline, which I have never been ok with. They're just way too wishy-washy and passive in response to the (sometimes) need to be a little more authoritarian/assertive. It's too dusty knome-ish, to borrow a concept of theirs... :LOL
Woah. . . I wasn't thinking about discipline at all in my post, but maybe that is what they are doing with their singing and all that. . . I guess that when you use words like authoritarian, it gives me shivers down my spine. . . please *do* elaborate! I don't know that I actually have any problem at all with their "discipline" - I'm sure it's much better than most schools' policies. I was there once, observing, while a kindergartner had a huge spazzing tantrum - running around the room and hiding under various pieces of furniture, and shouting. . . their approach was to just "let her be," I guess. . . she clearly was too hysterical to be approached. I think that that worked out just fine. Nobody shamed her, nobody *ignored* her. . . she just re-joined when she was done with the fit. I can't remember what it was about. Anyway, that's my only experience with their "discipline." Does anyone know more about it?

What I like about "open schools" more than Waldorf, is there is a lot more autonomy and when I used to go to one, we could work on whatever projects we wanted, whenever we wanted (most of the time). Waldorf definitely doesn't allow for this (nor do conventional schools). That is one thing I don't like at all.

post #211 of 1092
Originally Posted by nankilicious

CC-wise, what I am struggling with lately actually doesnt have anything to do with parenting. I am really grappling with the whole non-coercion, non-judgement, acceptance and tolerance aspect, in regards to my family members...like my mom, sister, and brother.

I am working on the exact same thing! I am happy to report that I think I am finally making some real progress here. What are you doing whilst you struggle? I'm doing yoga, talking to a "life coach", reading a really good book called _No Ordinary Moments_ (easy to read, too.), and I'm about to splurge on a massage.

It sounds like you have a good handle on the thing with your mom. My mom is a nutcase, and I have really finally made peace with the fact that the way she chooses to live her life is the way she chooses to live her life! I used to think I could "make her see," but I have finally realized that she doesn't *want* to see. Oh, another fabulous book that really helped me was _CoDependent No More_. You don't have to be with an alcoholic to read it -- I had always thought you did, so I didn't read it for years. Boy, was I sorry I'd waited too long.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know I know what it's like to be struggling with those things, too. I chip away at it all little by little, and I feel freer and freer as I go. I am so grateful for all the thinking I have been able to do on the subject, because of thoughts I've had regarding non-coercion and TCC.

post #212 of 1092
Originally Posted by MisfitMama
Woah. . . I wasn't thinking about discipline at all in my post, but maybe that is what they are doing with their singing and all that. . . I guess that when you use words like authoritarian, it gives me shivers down my spine. . . please *do* elaborate!
Hi MisfitMama...

In response to your question, and just to give you a little background, I've been involved with many aspects of Waldorf education/living for the last twelve years, including: employment by our local private Waldorf school for one year as an aftercare teacher, studying Anthroposophical philosophy for twelve years, Waldorf-inspired unschooling my own children for three years, and a parent to my two birth-children and one stepchild attending the school for many years. In that time I've been able to form a really clear view of both my appreciation for and my boundaries in relation to Waldorf education.

What I've noticed in relation to the discipline issue is that the teachers are (often times) too soft in their response to serious discipline issues, IMO. I have witnessed several situations over the years at our school in which there was a child behaving violently or aggressively toward other children. To give you a specific example, there was one boy who had been born to a drug-addicted mother and, therefore, experienced withdrawl symptoms at birth as well as fetal-alcohol syndrome and many other complications. He was adopted by a loving, older, wealthy couple when he was a few months old -- after his birth-mother had abandoned him. This boy attended the Waldorf school because his adoptive parents were trying to give him a better life than where he had come from. Well, his problems apparently extended into his childhood in many ways, because as a seven y/o child he was behaving violently towards others. He would get on top of the climbing structure and wait for his classmates to walk by beneath him so that he could drop large rocks on their heads over the edge. This was a daily occurrence. He would also throw rocks and sticks at children and kick them very hard. It so happens that I was teaching aftercare at the school during this time, and I was responsible for the care of grades one through three with no adult assistance. There were approximately ten children in each grade. The time and attention needed to redirect this boy's attention/behaviour was a chronic compromise to the other children's general needs....

It took years, and several families removing their children from the school due to safety concerns for the school to finally realize that we could, unfortunately, not accommodate this child. In the meantime, every time I would ask for guidance as to what I should *do* in response to this boy's behaviour, the staff committee would have some vague, too-temporary answer like "put him in time-out" which technically meant that he was supposed to sit on a bench by himself... That would never happen. The boy would not sit on the bench, and if I was able to get him to stay there for even a minute, he would look for any opportunity to hurt someone if they got too close to him. Plus, as soon as his time-out ended he'd be back to hurting others within minutes. Etc, etc, etc....

Believe it or not, there have been several situations similar to this one at the school, and the general, common response from the teachers and staff is to under-react/not respond.

I guess I think there are certain situations where an adult does need to be firm about what is acceptable behaviour. Isn't that what Jean Liedloff talked about -- where the adults would make it very clear to the children what was culturally appropriate for the Yaquenas? Sometimes they would *make it clear* by modeling the appropriate behaviour, and other times, when needed, they would directly and swiftly address a child's behaviour.

And yes, btw, the singing in Waldorf classrooms is designed to be a method of covert influence to affect the childrens' behaviour, albeit for the better.

post #213 of 1092
I have a question.

How do you continuum parents feel about the way most parents talk to their children in third person?

In other words..."give mommy the toy", "mommy needs you to do xyz right now", "mommy loves you", and so on.

It drives my ears crazy. I can't do it. I haven't done it except for one mess-up, and even that involved my NAME, not my title.

Does this conversation have any place in continuum discussion? It has no place elsewhere I've found.

But I can't imagine a Yequana mother saying to her child a phrase like that, using her title, or anything other than I. As in "I need you to grate the cassava now" or "please give the big knife to me, because I need it", etc.

It's just not natural, at least not for me.

And does anyone else think that the constant referring to yourself by the title ONLY your child gets to call you is a cause for children not really realizing their mothers are people and not just mothers? I called my mom by her name from 4 to about 29 (at which point I reverted back to "mom" b/c of her health issues that scared me), and I was always close friends with her, along with following her rules. I could see three dimensions of her, rather than how I saw my friends treating their mothers, and I've always wondered if it's b/c she used the Montessori phrasing of "I need you to do this now" and let me use her name, rather than her title.

Anyone else want to talk about this?
post #214 of 1092
signing up. See Ya' Soon

post #215 of 1092
Hi this thread is really interesting to me, I often think about how everything would be so different if we were living in nature - why in the modern world we pay too much doting attention to our kids...Because I have no garden to tend, no chickens to feed, no real work to do that is related to my immediate survival, I am living this sort of fake, contrived life and I think my baby can feel it. I think he is biologically programmed for a different experience than modern society can provide, which is for instance why I wear him. I wonder if that is why he cried for 5 months straight. When it comes to my 5 year old dd too it is hard to nurture her development without "trying"because theoretically we could leave the house in the morning, eat at restaurants, ride around buses and trams and metros all day and never have to relate to the earth or do our own work. Since we have no tribe, no expectations from others placed on us daily, we can just live in our heads all day... kwim? We have to create the value in our own lives and a task-oriented rhythm for ourselves.

What I like about Waldorf is the reverence for life, spirit & nature, which are part of the essence of any society that is close to the earth, the importance of daily work and the respect for children's creative development. I think Waldorf assumes children are smart, strong and capable. The sweet soft tones and singing and tiptoeing around kids, I think, seem to be more about the reverence for their play and their developing minds. I think kids should be treated differently than adults - moving into adulthood with almost invisible guidance, preparing them as they take on more and more complicated and involved jobs and roles in their community. Since we do not have this normal community experience, i love how Waldorf aspires to it.

But the discipline issue is definitely a problem. I have seen bullies abound ni Waldorf environements. I want to write more but must go deal with baby poo.
post #216 of 1092
May May,

Oh, you know a lot more about Waldorf than *me*! Do you think that these discipline problems are a part of all of the schools, or just one specific school? I know that sometimes I hear people bash Waldorf because "the school didn't do anything about ______," but I think in many cases, it's a problem with *that particular school*. Of course, how are you going to know ahead of time? Maybe since more and more Waldorf schools are opening up, they will do a better job of sharing information and problems with one another.

Yeah. . . Someone on the main list once posted about a kid going nuts and hitting everyone in the family, or something, and Jean Liedloff actually recommended that they lock her in a room until she calmed down! That was her idea of how the Yequana would handle such a child. It seemed a bit extreme, and I don't think the person took JL's advice, but it just goes to show you how differently people can view a situation. From some of the reading I've done, I think that sometimes people think that Waldorf/anthroposophy can cure *anything,* but it seems not to be the case. . . it seems that that kid you are talking about probably had not only a totally screwed up continuum, but also probably some bio-chemical stuff going on that tribal societies wouldn't have had to deal with!

As far as the thing someone else just brought up about speaking in 3rd person. . . (Sorry, I haven't got your name on the screen anymore) . . . it used to drive me nuts, too, until someone pointed out that they thought it was kind of a universal thing. I don't know if it really is, but I was relieved to be able to "let go" of my annoyance! Now I even do it myself. I kind of like it because then people know what you want to be called - for instance, my parents were always saying to ds, "Where's your mom?" or whatever, and I **hate** to be called "mom." Now they know I like to be called Mama. Also, ds has known my first name for a very long time, and he calls me by it on occasion, so it's not like he doesn't know. He also calls me by various nicknames that my husband calls me, too. Pretty cute.

post #217 of 1092
Originally Posted by MisfitMama
From some of the reading I've done, I think that sometimes people think that Waldorf/anthroposophy can cure *anything,* but it seems not to be the case. . . it seems that that kid you are talking about probably had not only a totally screwed up continuum, but also probably some bio-chemical stuff going on that tribal societies wouldn't have had to deal with!

MisfitMama, what you said above is the crux of the issue when it comes to real life application of CC concepts or anthroposophical concepts. Just like we need to adapt tribal wisdom, somewhat, to suit our very different world here, we also have that need with Rudolf Steiner's teachings. Both the Yaquenas and Rudolf Steiner live/lived in very different realities than we do in the 'modern' world. There are many factors that neither of them has had to deal with due to their respective realities.

Yes, as Sphinx mentioned, when it comes to discipline in Waldorf classrooms, bullies have a field day. Unfortunately, it is not limited to a particular Waldorf school/town/community/etc. as Waldorf principles are applied universally in Waldorf education environments. So their approach in discipline is one of general passivity which is highly contrary to the approach necessary to control aggressive behaviour.

One of the downfalls of Waldorf schools, I've noticed, is that they do not try to accommodate for the needs of a different culture than that which Steiner was familiar with and prescribing methods for. Steiner never had to navigate through concerns of the media's impression on the children he was influencing, for example, which, like it or not, are surrounding and penetrating our children's lives even if they *don't watch TV* through indirect sources such as peers.

That said, I have found that 'invisible guidance' (Waldorf approach), as Sphinx mentioned, is highly successful with healthy children who've been raised close to nature and with reverence.

Gotta go tend to family....

MisfitMama, that's pretty cute about the nicknames
post #218 of 1092
Just wondering how many other un-schoolers observing this thread? :
post #219 of 1092
Originally Posted by Butterflymom
Just wondering how many other un-schoolers observing this thread? :

Hi there, Butterflymom.
We are currently a Waldorf school family, as discussed above, however I unschooled my children for three years, a few years back. We were also more CC at that time, too, because we were living on ten acres, way far out in the desert with a wash running through it, ancient cacti, and many rattlesnakes .
We were living much closer to nature at that time....

I found it a wonderful experience and think unschooling and CCing are very compatible.
post #220 of 1092
can someone please tell me what un-schooling is.

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