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Continuum concept (ish) Tribe - Page 12

post #221 of 1092
Read the book a few years back before I was pregnant and did take it as more of an antropological paper. In this way I have found it hard to recommend to people because of its style.

Most of what she said resonated with me strongly. I didn't get to read all of this thread (so long!) so I don't know if this has already been mentioned....but I like the story about the man who comes from the city to live with his brother and his family. It is a story about work ethic and in the end it ends up the man turns out to be a fabulous gardner/farmer but it took him a while to actually help around the place because he was scarred by an unhealthy work ethic. Kind of like he felt like he had to work and work sucked (excuse me) and was a huge chore he would never want to do. (reminds me of everyone i know!) Anyways, the moral of the moral of the story is that once freed from the idea of "having" to work everyone would end up contributing through some sort of work.
This has always stuck with me and she talks about kids not being forced into chores but by nature kids copy adults so let them run freely in between playing and helping out...this way they wont resist work so much.

I just remember so many saturdays where we could not go outside and play until our chores were done and how miserable the whole experience was. We are trying to create a healthier attitude towards contributing to family life.
post #222 of 1092
hey everyone, I am joining a little late, I always read some posts on this thread here and there as I had time, never got around to posting til now! I read TCC while pg and while ds was a few months old...

Now, steffen is almost two years old already! He has alwasy been a high spirited child, always needed to stay moving literally (hated the sling, btw), got bored inside alot, so we have always been outdoors alot, which I enjoy. TCC really made a lot of things click inside my head about our relationship--- like treating him w/respect, always letting him help as he can and when he wants to, trusting that he naturally wants to be part of his world, and now that he is a toddler I really see a lot of the time and patience I took paying off. He listens pretty well, and I just talk with him in the tone as i would anyone (of course he has toddler moments when he wants to see what happens if he doesnt listen etc), and he naturally wants to help with everyday things- putting laundry in the w/d, cooking (he has to make all the salads- the salad spinner must be the greates toddler toy ever ), sweep, wash hands, wipe the tables, etc etc....
that being said, our house is always a complete wreck! It has been getting better, but laundry just sits in piles, never getting folded and put away, clutter, toys and books strewn everywhere.... I have never been a neat freak so this doesnt really bother me, time to myself is more important than being supertidy. maybe it will get easier as he gets older.
someone asked what yer day is like--
We;ve gotten into a pretty good groove, I let him go to sleep and get up when he chooses(which is usually 10-1130 pm- 9-10am) then I make some breakfast, while he plays , then he cant wait to go outside, so we usually walk around our yard and park next to our house, throw rocks in the creek in our back yard, go to the playground in back of our yard, or we drive or take the stroller for a walk to somewhere like the grocery store, another park or playground, lake in the summer, library, zoo, etc. then around 4 hrs after he's woken up, I've found is a good time to come home and get something ready for lunch- within the past couple of months, he has become able to play outside on our large patios and close by yard with balls, trucks, sand table, sticks, etc as i do stuff inside (we haev large windows so i can keep an eye on him) I warm up leftovers or make something quick, change the laundry, check something on the internet- come check into mdc, etc- then he'll come in on his on accord and shut the door , and we'll take off his shoes and jacket and eat some lunch and he'll watch some of a dvd like the teletubbies (he loves them dont ask me why!), then I may have to mention "nap" but often he'll declare "AP!" and come to me to carry him back to bed, or he'll walk back to the bedroom, and take a 2 hr nap or so.....(he stirs a couple or more times for nursing- and he still isnt sleeping thru the night- we cosleep)
then after his nap he is up for the marathon- about an 8 hr stretch or so. We'll have a snack when he gets up, he'll play inside and then want to go out for an adventure.... this changes day to day, what we do, - lately he has been obsessed with buses so we'll walk up to my dh's busstop when he gets home from work and meet him, which steffen finds very esciting, then we'll take a long walk back. then usually I will start dinner as dh and ds play outside, sometimes they will go somewhere, sometimes we all go somewhere later on- to do whatever errand needs doing, or to the mall so he can run around , or to the library, or anywhere else we can think of open at night- steffen has always needed to be around changing stimulation, so we're pretty active....
luckily spring is here, so we will have more light to be outside later. Last year he loved gardening , and this year we have a much bigger yard, so I am excited to garden together again, and he loves to play with water, so that is nice for the summer.
I found that things got a lot easier the last few months as he has proven to be more capable and responsible and I give him more responsibilites, and also it got a lot easier once we moved to a safer yard environment-- last summer our front steps opened up to shared driveway, and next to a very busy road, so i had to hover more than i liked. This year he can play safely in the yard and patios. That really improved his general happiness.
He has always been a daredevil and I have to spot him pretty closely- I find that it is when I DONT expect him to fall that he does (not like in TCC where she says that it is when we do expect him to fall that he does) so that part for me hasnt held true. Even though I trust him to do something carefully, he sometimes does something with no fear at all, and he just hasnt been physically able to do it. He was going down the huge big kids slides at 6 months alone! But trust comes into play with other areas. LIke I let him play with pennies and small things all the time, and he's never shown me any danger for swallowing them...

I have also noticed that he suddenly will become more clingy to me when dh is home, and will come to me and get me to play with him when i am busy with something whereas during the day he will just be busy with me... its strange I havent been able to put my finger on the dynamics of that one. DH has always really closely played with him when he is home b/c he hasnt seen him all day, whereas I am with him 24-7 so we each have some space sometimes...... don't know if that makes sense to anyone....
i have found a lot of great wisdom in TCC, I just think that every kid is different so not all of it holds true with everything.

whew! I sure have rambled on long enough! theres so much to talk about with this topic!!!!
post #223 of 1092
I don't have time to catch up w/the whole thread, but I read the last 2 pages. I've found so far (baby is approaching 4 months) that the ideas I took from CC are working out pretty well.

For example, I wanted a kid who was comfortable in social/public settings, including those not designed specifically for children. I started taking him out on errands, to church, and to Brownie meetings (I'm a leader) when he was 10 days old. I try to go places we can walk or take public transit to, so that I can hold him in the sling instead of isolating him in the carseat. I was willing to reduce the outings if my baby seemed very uncomfortable during them, but he's been just fine. In fact, since about 7 weeks he's been at his happiest in a big group of people! 90% of the time he's the kind of baby Liedloff describes: alertly watching what people are doing, relatively calm w/soft muscle tone, occasionally making sounds and gestures that seem like approximations of the behaviors he's observing.

I'm back to work now, and he goes to a home daycare where he's the only young baby, so he's mixing w/other ages as he would in a tribe. One reason we chose this place is that, although there are a lot of toys, it isn't a "house where the living room is converted into a daycare center"; it's a "house where kids play"--it's still a living room, w/evidence of the family's daily life all around, and we feel that's more enriching than a baby-oriented environment.

We don't use third person in talking about him or ourselves, because we want him to learn to speak English correctly. We figure that referring to each other as Mama and Daddy when we are talking to the baby will be adequate to teach him what to call us. Both aspects of this worked for me, according to my parents.
post #224 of 1092
I liked the book, but like others was shocked when I got to her views on homosexuality.

I didn't read this book until recently so didn't do all of the stuff. But i find that I did most of it most of the time, just b/c that felt like what I should be doing. I did listen to other people occasionally and reverted back to what felt right. ( did i post this here before?)

anyways as for third person, yes I did call myslef "mommy" Mostly b/c when Jewely was younger DH worked all the time and I was afraid she wouldn't know what to call me. Silly i know, but hey? we all do strange things. Now I am slowly switching to "I". B/c well it is a little starnge.'

post #225 of 1092
I just read this whole thread, whew! I had heard about TCC but I have never read the book and really didn't know what it was, I had just heard the term, YK? Interestingly, I have been basically having this philosophy all this time and didn't even know there was a name for it. I always flinched when friends associated me with "AP" but couldn't put my finger why it would bother me as "AP" was the closest (as far as labels go) that I could think of to describe our general behavior and attitudes with the kids. It was never a word I would use myself, I hate labeling like that and plus I didn't really like classifying myself as AP even though there is nothing wrong with it, I just didn't feel it was quite accurate. Sure, we follow some of the typical AP patterns, but there was something more to the way our family works than ever quite expressed on AP threads and all that. So after reading this whole thread I just ordered myself a copy of TCC.

I always thought I did the things I do with my kids partly out of laziness and partly out of blind trust in them. I could never quite explain to people why we weren't as concerned as everyone else as the children explored, climbed, put rocks and pennies in their mouths, the little things that to me seemed OK, but to others seemed horrifying. We never do the baby food thing, just expect the children at some point to start eating the food the rest of the family is eating. We don't spoon feed them, we let them have it when they want it. We don't hover over them, they are free to roam and fall and expirament. Friends have watched on in horror sometimes as I refused to flinch when my one year old wanted to climb the concrete steps. I have always had a strong aversion to all those children's activities and playgroups and things like that. And I don't generally get down on the floor and "play" with my kids. They are free to hang around me while I do my thing and they can help or watch or whatever, but I don't stop my day to play with them. We have always gotten them real toys, like a real working kid sized broom and dustpan, that kind of thing, so they can actually use it. Not a plastic fake vacuum with popping balls, YK? I don't initiate their play, I just expect them to find things to keep themselves entertained. If they are having a hard time and are bored I let them know how they can help me. Compared to all the other parenting styles out there I just thought I was a bad mom! LOL, not really a bad mom, but not a "playful" one, IYKWIM. Borderline irresponsible in how I don't hover and keep them away from everything. My two year old can play with the pins while I (Ha! Rarely) sew, or he can handle the thumbtacks while I am using them to put a sheet up on the wall, that kind of thing. These are just examples, but the whole thing totally resonates. I can't wait to read the book. I also ordered a couple of the other ones mentioned in this thread, OBO, and another one (all used!). I totally dig the ideas expressed so far in this thread, they make total sense to me and are kinda how I have thought but never articulated. I am so glad there are others who understand and that I am not a total nut. I have always been different and people think I am nutty, it's nice there is a community that understands this. I can'[t wait to get my books now. Thanks everyone for this great discussion.
post #226 of 1092
Welcome, Mara.

It sounds like you are an awesome Mom.

There is also a website and listserv if you are interested.

post #227 of 1092
Mara, you definatly sound like a very awesome, very normal human mama!

I love that the weather has been getting warm enough in Finland to take my son out of the house for most of the day so we can frolick in the park and meet other babe/mom duos and enjoy ourselves in the sunshine---I'm actually liking the company of one or two of the frequenting moms at the playground, and feeling less isolated. Winter was so long.....
post #228 of 1092
Originally Posted by MisfitMama
May May,

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
I think I read in Meredith Small's second book, Kids, that not every culture was great at every stage. Somewhere from birth to grown up was a phase that got shamed, attacked or dealt with violently. This probably is the way the Yequana would deal with it. If the child is not conforming then it must be shunned until it does. I am not saying it is the way I do or will deal with my baby; just that at some point we all do show them how to fit in. It isn't always easy or nice.
What would be anyone's options for dealing with a child who was being malicious enough to plan out to climb to the top of the monkey bars and throw rocks at unsuspecting playmates. Or an older sibling who liked the attention s/he gets from hitting the new baby. What if talking nicely didn't work? And your home alone.

If my son picks up a knife, I say "Give that back to me, please." If he reaches for my new, expensive glasses on my face, I say "Those are just for Mama," and take his hand away. I think it just depends on the situation how I phrase things to him. I have heard people who are silly about using the third person and it bugs me too; it seems kin to baby talk.
post #229 of 1092
Originally Posted by spunky
This probably is the way the Yequana would deal with it. If the child is not conforming then it must be shunned until it does. .
I don't think so. There is a section in the book where a man who has been kind of westernized comes back to live with his tribe. He won't work at all. But the chief CONTINUES to provide for him for like 2 years. The guy doesn't do a lick of work (by our standards). Eventually the man decides on his own that he would like to farm for his own family and he turns out to be a very able and competent farmer. See Flower's post above.

The remarkable part here is that they DIDN'T shame him or coerce him to fit in. They accepted his as he was. What does shunning teach? That you are not worthy unless you are XX or XX happens. But we're talking about "a return to happiness lost." People who KNOW they are complete and worthy just because they are. I can't imagine the Yequana would do anything shunning or shaming to a child. That's the whole point about knowing that children are innately social. They WANT to follow the lead of their tribe-mates.

Just to give a diffferent perspective:

When my DD (2) picks up a knife, I *might* show her how to hold it by the handle or I might get her a smaller knife. I might invite her to help me chop something. Or, I might not say anything.

When my DD tries to pick my glasses off my face, I *might* say be gentle, very fragile, but it would depend on what she did with them. Now when I am lying on the floor, I can give her my glasses and ask her to put them in a safe place on the table. She always complies without bending them. They aren't a forbidden fruit and she knows mama trusts her to handle them safely.
post #230 of 1092
OK, I finally read the book the other day. It was good, not as good as I was anticipating, but good. I think I thought it would be longer and deeper. But anyway, I totally agree with most of the conclusions and it was interesting how most of that stuff was intuitive for me when I had my first child 12 years ago. I also read the Our Babies Ourselves, that was good too, but I was hoping to learn something new. I will gladly add them to our library.

And just so everyone knows, the Sears book based on the Continuum Concept was just a couple bucks so I ordered that one too. It sucked so bad!!!! It didn't seem based on the concept at all, I am unsure how he got away with titling it and marketing it that way. It had vague suggestions of attatchment parenting but was generally awful. How to pick out good bouncy chairs and highchairs?? Good mobiles for the crib??? Lots of developmental stuff about baby laying and looking at stuff in it's crib? Use a cradle for the first few months. It just goes on and on. Really bizarre. So anyway, don't buy it!!! I was just curious, and since it was just a couple more bucks to my order I got it. I don't know what to do with it. I don't want to give it away because it has such horrible advice and I don't want to sell it and pass it on to someone unsuspecting. And I don't want to keep it in my library. It is just really bad. It is from the 80's, I don't know if he was just trying too hard to be PC for the times or what, but it is even more mainstream than his The Baby Book. I am still surprised he named it "Creative Parenting, how to use the continuum concept to raise children sucessfully from birth to adolescence." It never really mentions in-arms, it talks about different kinds of carriers you can buy but doesn't really talk about the importance of actually carrying the baby. It mentions it more in passing. But then it talks about co-sleeping as if it might be dangerous and gives advice about cradles and decorating cribs.

I too am so happy about the weather changing. We will be cleaning the back yard up soon so we can let the 3 year old loose out there. We installed a window facing the yard from the laundry room, before that the only window that faced out there was from the children's room. So now he can be set free. It is going to be a great summer.
post #231 of 1092
Finally finding you all! Read the book 3 years ago and loved it. I try hard to incorporate the ideas but I do find it a struggle. Too often I feel like attachment style parenting in the industrialized world leads quickly to child-centered living. So I am so glad you all are here!

I took my 1st daughter to work with me as a baby, and she and I both loved it, but it got too complicated, too much of a battle. Now I stay home. We like to be social but it seems like I am always going to child groups and classes, while my own interets slowly fade away. My girls would love to do "grown up" things with me, but often they are not welcome.

Is it just me? Where do you find the balance with the modern lifestyle?
post #232 of 1092
Originally Posted by Angierae
Too often I feel like attachment style parenting in the industrialized world leads quickly to child-centered living. // 1Is it just me? Where do you find the balance with the modern lifestyle?
I think I know what you mean, even though I wouldn't use the term "child centered" b.c I feel being child-centered is o.k. up to a point. But recently I've been realizing that being all about the kids 100% of the time is a really, really bad way to parent due to neglecting oneself, ones friends, ones hobbies/work/church/etc., and especially one's relationship with a spouse or partner. That is just so unhealthy. It's possible to be AP and not go 3 days without showering and have a stack of dishes a mile high "because the kids need me so much" (and obviously I don't mean when they're sick or something, just standard, business as usual occurence). I consider myself to be AP, but I've noticed that my willingness to set boundaries of what I am and am not willing to put up with (kids' behavior is just the start) sets me apart from a couple of AP moms I know whose lives are completely wrapped up in their kids' wants. It is interesting to me that no AP author I've read advocates doing this, but AP is definitely used as an excuse for avoiding other important (or formerly important ) aspects of one's life.
post #233 of 1092
i just finished the book and i LOVE, love, love it! i'm an amateur sociologist so i love reading stuff like this all the time anyway. i was struck by how much of this stuff is intuitive, like, i must be in touch with my own continuum because i've done so much of this stuff with my step-kids, foster kid, my baby, and all the children i've ever cared for!! i believe that my job is to care for a child while i go about my daily business, and i love including a child in everything i do. it's so much fun to talk to Willow while i wash dishes! i give her a clean towel and a bowl and she "dries" them :LOL i figure when it's her turn to help out, she'll already have all that experience and it'll just be natural and part of her world.

sometimes i end up being child-centered, especially if i'm feeling sad, i just want to be with Willow and enjoy her company. i'll get down on the floor with her and play with her toys, she loves to join in. but most of the time i'm doing my own thing, and that's when she's happiest. like, i'll be working on a painting or crafts project, i bring it near her and work on it, i hand her safe things to touch like a huge, clean paintbrush, it's lovely that she's part of my work.

the one thing i need to work on, and so does my husband, is how we react to her bumps and falls. our first instinct is to go overboard, "oh poor baby!" and make a big deal when she cries. i have to force myself to treat it as normal as it really is, "oops, fall down go boom!" and laugh ... and then she stops crying and laughs, too. i know that falling is a huge part of learning to be upright! and she'll be so much better off in the long run if i don't fuss about protecting her from her own life.
post #234 of 1092
Just chiming in that I've read the book, twice, am overdue for a reread, have two copies I loan out, and have been a subscriber to the listserv for several years and find it quite valuable. Perhaps INvaluable. Wish the book could be updated and/or edited as I find it not *that well* written, but the message is good. I think a lot of people are put off by the writing quality. But I look past that to the message.
post #235 of 1092
Last night I was thinking how well the basic ideas of CC have worked out regarding my baby's sleeping habits. We have not done anything resembling "sleep training"; we just allow him to sleep whenever he happens to sleep and show by example that sleeping is the thing to do from late night until morning. He caught on to our schedule by 4 weeks old and by 10 weeks had almost completely stopped waking except for nursing between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. He does not have to be "put to sleep"; sometime between 9 and 11 p.m. he simply conks out after nursing and stays asleep until he gets hungry. His sleep is disturbed by noise, light, or movement only if it's sudden or extreme; he easily sleeps in the sling as I walk down the street or in a basket on the dining room floor as we walk around him, talk, and play the radio.

Both his grandmothers visited us during his first month of life and were concerned if he wanted to nap in the evening: "Let's try to wake him; otherwise he'll sleep too much now and keep you awake all night." That seemed to make sense logically, but I noticed there was no clear correlation between when/how much he napped and how much he was awake in the middle of the night. If anything, it seemed that when we had interrupted his naps on purpose he would be MORE wakeful and agitated in the night. After the grandmothers left, we began accepting his naps whenever they occurred, simply carrying him up to bed when we went to bed. This has worked out beautifully.

While I think it would be just fine for a baby to be constantly "in arms" for the first several months as Liedloff suggests, I also think there is no harm in his being by himself when he is comfortable w/that. For my baby, there's been a steady increase in the frequency and duration of his willingness to be "out of arms", except for a setback at the beginning: Within a few hours after birth, he could stay asleep if laid down, although he wanted to be held when awake. At 40 hours old he was taken to the NICU for jaundice treatment, and for about 30 hours in there he could nurse and be held only during a 15-minute period every 3 hours. (That was very hard for me too! ) When he was released from NICU to a regular room, w/flexible UV light panel against his back attached to a machine by a cord, and we could hold him again...he needed to be held all the time. Even when he was deeply asleep, if he was laid down for a moment he would gasp and fling out his little hands until he touched warm flesh. He needed to heal from being alone too much. Several days later, he again became comfortable being laid down while sleeping, and several days after that he began to enjoy sitting in his seat while awake if he could see or hear people nearby.

Just a few thoughts from my new perspective as a genuine mother.
post #236 of 1092
Good thinking on respecting his daily rythym re: sleep.... newborns need a lot of it, and they aren't meant to do it isolated and alone/in quiet the way adults may prefer to sleep or nap, that's for sure. They may be sleeping but they are still enjoying stimulation from mama (or dad, older sibling) as they are 'in arms' and being worn while a bigger person carries on with their life. That's how their brains are being stimulated during sleeping hours--touch/warmth from mom is very important, as well as being moved all about and hearing noises (family's voices are familiar from the womb and what babe expects to hear on the outside too).

Speaking of sleeping and a CC point of view.... we're having issues with our 21 month old waking up in the middle of the night screaming hysterically, and it escalates to the point where he's throwing himself in the corner of the room and if anyone talks to him, touches him, picks him up, or even approaches him, it just makes his hysteria crecendo to unbearable snotty hoarse-from-screaming messes. He used to wake up a couple times per night with a soft whimper and I'd just breastfeed him and he'd fall asleep easily again, but I've had to (very recently) cut out the nursing (side note: it's because I'm on bedrest for PTL and nursing him triggers very strong and painful contractions, so I'm putting my tandem nursing adventure on hold for just a few weeks until it's not such a dangerous point for his little brother to be born...I figure once I hit 35 weeks I will get out of bed, nurse my buggle, and not worry about baby coming since I don't take 40 weeks to make a full-term baby anyways, 35-36 would have been perfect for DS#1 but he came at 34 weeks, just a few days before his lungs were done, but he was 7 pounds). so he has no familiar method of shaking off whatever it is that makes him wake up in tears, and he just gets out of control. We just wait until he's cried most of the hysterics out, and then we try to engage him in something interesting when he is more receptive, and gradually after a little play to get him out of the 'spell' that was making him act insane, we wait for him to get back to bed and to sleep, and the whole thing takes maybe an hour in the middle of the night. I wonder if it's allll about the no-BFing, or what is bothering him so much. I wish he could tell us.

I wonder how a Yequana would handle such behavior from a toddler.... he doesn't seem soothed by our attentions during these episodes at all, so we mostly leave him alone (but are near enough where he can see us patiently waiting for him to come out of it). I'm conflicted about how to handle this, I hate not getting more physically involved but I'm really unable to these days with how much I really need to be off my feet.
post #237 of 1092
I wish I had some helpful advice for the buggle.

A friend gave me some Parents magazines from the gift subscription she got at her baby shower, and one of them includes an article on "Nap Do's and Don'ts". According to that, I'm doing things about 80% wrong! :LOL The weird thing about it is that some of their pointers aren't even explained: "Of course, you'll make the room as dark and quiet as possible."
post #238 of 1092
Originally Posted by Periwinkle
When we're at the playground, I also say "OK, time to head to the car" and just (slowly) start to walk to the car. I swear I'm not lying when I say 9 times out of 10 they toddle after me when the distance between us gets too far for their liking
My older kids were just like this. I could take them anywhere in public because of this. It was fabulous. I'm sorry to announce that my third child is not like this yet. : It is a serious pain in the neck. I didn't realize how good I had it. He doesn't run from me, but he also doesn't seem to take any initiative for keeping the distance between us from getting to big. I hope he starts...
post #239 of 1092
Hi I don't know if this has been asked before, but how and when do you teach a baby how to spit? I am so interested in this, because it makes so much sense. Also, those of you who do not do baby gates, have you ever had an accident?

post #240 of 1092
I taught mine how to spit by brushing teeth. I gave her a toothbrush and i had mine. we brushed together and she naturally tried to imitate me. at first her spitiing was just pursing her lips and blowing air, but slowly she saw that water came out (I was spitting the toothbrush foam) and so then she spit well spit. she still doesn't spit out toothpaste foam, which is why she still uses the baby toothpaste and not the toddler toothpaste. But now she knows how to spit for other things as well. although sometimes she tries to spit on people. oh i guess i started woth "spit it out" when she ate something she wasn't supposed to, like stuff off the floor or dog food which was more common.

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