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Continuum concept (ish) Tribe - Page 39

post #761 of 1092
I've just come to find this thread and am loving the conversation. Thanks to everyone for sharing. I haven't gone through the whole thing yet but am making my way little by little. I just read TCC a couple of months ago (after putting it down a couple months before that) and am still grappling with the "child-centered" part and the "trusting dd when she's being adventurous" (and I'm afraid she'll fall/hurt herself) part of the concept.

I like how I feel and how I act now that I'm not being so child-centered (I'm not snappy with dh now ). I don't resent short naps and feel like I am getting things done that I had been putting off (like knitting and sewing) and am making healthier lunches because I now understand that dd wants me to do interesting things.

I'm interested to know how you have transitioned your thinking from being afraid that dc is going to fall/hurt themselves to being able to trust their self-preservation instinct? DD, now 12 months old, has learned how to climb onto a footstool and stand on it but I don't think she knows how to get down. If we're around when she's on the stool, she usually relies on us to get her down. She already knows how to get off the bed safely, but I'm still nervous and I feel that I'm hovering and expecting her to fall.

Also, what kind of things do dh's/dp's do with dc that aren't child-centered? (Besides washing dishes and making a meal)

TIA.
post #762 of 1092
Quote:
I'm interested to know how you have transitioned your thinking from being afraid that dc is going to fall/hurt themselves to being able to trust their self-preservation instinct?
I didn't really "transition" because I started out believing in his instincts...but I strengthened that belief by watching (not hovering; observing) when he was trying something new and seeing how he would pull back when he felt unsafe and try a different way.

Quote:
If we're around when she's on the stool, she usually relies on us to get her down.
What happens if you're not around? If she calls for you to come and get her down, then she's fine: She knows her own limits and is unlikely to get hurt.

If she did fall off the footstool, how bad could it be? A small fall can be very instructive. I've never allowed my son to fall when I could catch him, but he has fallen a few times when he got careless (got used to being able to do something and stopped paying attention to doing it right) and I wasn't close enough to catch him, and each time it's made a big impression on him so that he becomes more careful about doing that thing safely. For example, when he pulls a chair in front of the kitchen sink so he can climb up to wash his hands, he pushes the front edge of the chair squarely into the indention where the cabinet doors don't stick out as far as the drawers next to them, because falling demonstrated to him that the chair can slide out from under him if it's not blocked by the edge of the drawers. I had tried to explain that to him a couple of times and correct his positioning of the chair, but he blew it off until he slipped and fell. He wasn't hurt at all, just upset.

Quote:
Also, what kind of things do dh's/dp's do with dc that aren't child-centered?
Take child on errands: grocery store, post office, etc. Pick up dead leaves in the yard. Trim shrubbery (let child help pick up the trimmings). Do laundry. Dust (give child a duster). Rinse and crush containers for recycling. Draw or paint. Make things with Legos.
post #763 of 1092
Quote:
So can you describe any specifically that you attribute all this to? In other words, is there anything specific that you can describe in your parenting that you think precluded your child from running outin the middle of the road, grabbing the hot tea, etc.?

so curious!
Someone above has already answered this (zansmama) but I will confrim it! hehe

It is deffinatly about expectation and trust. Actually this is really hard to describe! lol...I think the book did a much better job!... Hmmm....(I may have to get back to this)...just seeing now though that EnviroBecca did a great job as clearing that up lol)....
post #764 of 1092
Things to do:
Live your life!
Housework is standard, of course, but so is going out for coffee with friends, taking walks, visiting, doing errands, exercising, painting, singing, etc, etc.

The idea is: you're living your life, and dc is joining you. Soon enough they start creeping around and then running around doing their own thing, but always orbiting mama.

the footstool:
maybe you could show her how to get down, once? Don't let her begin to expect help, because then she may get to the point where she doesn't even try to do things by herself. ( I know a lot of kids like this) She should always try first, and then ask. Oh yeah, I always wait until ds specifically asks for help, and then try to make it as minimal as possible.
post #765 of 1092
I'm so glad to find this tribe! I just finished the book and really enjoyed it. I'm trying to apply the principles to our lives.

I have a few questions though. We go to church weekly, and there is no nursery. It is a small gathering and lasts about an hour. I end up spending a lot of time in another room because DS gets bored and wants to get down and run around and be loud. This would be extremely disruptive, so I take him in the other room. I generally hold him and talk to him quietly, or look at a book with him, but I don't like to let him down in the other room. I don't want him to think that he can just be loud during church, then he gets to go to another room and play. This is frustrating for both of us. He often cries because he wants to get down, and I feel frustration because I don't get the spiritual enrichment I go for.

There are several other children there, but they all sit relatively quietly! I seriously think this is a result of the ever-present pacifier which DS doesn't take (and I never wanted to encourage, I prefer to let him nurse for his sucking needs). We do take a few quiet toys (books, magna-doodle, stickers, crayons, etc).

Today, I was thinking about the children in the book that remain quiet while inside. The children mentioned are even younger than DS. I do feel that he is capable of sitting (and playing in my lap, or on a sofa beside me) for an hour. But, I don't know how to do this! He is almost 22 months old, and so far, has only sat for the full hour about three times his whole life.

Any suggestions?

The other question I have is about asking him to do things. I am following the advice on the CC website about only asking something one time and if it isn't done, then calmly (without anger or comment) doing it myself (example: picking something up, or throwing something away). This is working wonderfully. If I ask him in a calm, confident way, 9 times out of 10 he will do it. However, I'm not sure what to do if I ask him to do something that has to directly involve him. For example, if I ask him to put on his shirt (which he can do with a bit of help), what do I do if he says no and refuses? He is strongly opposed to getting dressed, wearing a diaper, brushing his teeth (with help), and getting into his carseat. These are all things that eventually have to happen!

Thank you so much in advance!
post #766 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnitLady View Post
However, I'm not sure what to do if I ask him to do something that has to directly involve him. For example, if I ask him to put on his shirt (which he can do with a bit of help), what do I do if he says no and refuses? He is strongly opposed to getting dressed, wearing a diaper, brushing his teeth (with help), and getting into his carseat. These are all things that eventually have to happen!
How do you believe the tribe addressed these issues? That is how we do it. (Or don't. )


Pat
post #767 of 1092
Ah, church. *flashbacks of sitting still for hours* (I was a pastor's kid)

But that's not related to the subject. Ahem, sorry.
I don't know, I haven't been in that situation with ds.... I didn't have to keep him still at that age. If I really, really had to, I could get about 15 minutes by whipping out some surprise nanas. (Other than emergencies, I usually did 'don't offer, don't refuse'.) I don't know if this is really in the continuum, it seems like kids should be able to wander around if they want to... maybe you could leave him with a babysitter? Or maybe you could start up a nursery with some other mamas?

i think the difference with the yeqena kids is that they are capable of sitting quietly when it feels right, which ds has always been able to do as well (such as when I'm sewing, or telling him a story, or when he's tired, or just cuddling together). But if it doesn't make sense to them, if it's just some grownup talking and talking, they probably won't. I mean, nobody takes toddlers to business seminars, kwim?
But the basic need is to creep, and run, and explore.
post #768 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
How do you believe the tribe addressed these issues? That is how we do it. (Or don't. )


Pat
Well, I'm really not sure how they handle it. I assume if something really has to be done, they just do it. However, I also assume that they don't have as many "have to's" as we do in our society. Their children can go without clothes while they gather food. My DS has to wear clothes at the grocery store. I do remember the book mentioning a sharp outburst at undesired actions, but I'm really not sure how to do that and get across the message that it is the action and not DS that I'm unhappy with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zansmama View Post

i think the difference with the yeqena kids is that they are capable of sitting quietly when it feels right, which ds has always been able to do as well (such as when I'm sewing, or telling him a story, or when he's tired, or just cuddling together). But if it doesn't make sense to them, if it's just some grownup talking and talking, they probably won't. I mean, nobody takes toddlers to business seminars, kwim?
But the basic need is to creep, and run, and explore.
That makes sense. I guess I'd assumed sitting quietly would feel right to him because it is what everyone else is doing. I thought he would get the message that sitting quitely would be the socially accepted thing to do.
post #769 of 1092
Good questions, KnitLady! I wrote about my son's church behavior on my site a while back, and you can read the whole article if you like, but here are the parts relevant to your question:

We've often had to step out of church when he's been making enough noise to distract people, and when he was a baby I very much accepted it, but gradually I've been firmer in my expectations of appropriate behavior. These days I stop right outside the door, get down to his eye level, explain very firmly what he was doing that was unacceptable, and ask whether he is ready to behave properly. If not, we sit quietly in the parish hall for a while until he is ready. Sometimes I feel angry that he's done such an inappropriate thing (he doesn't step on books anywhere else!) or that my worship has been interrupted, and I try to manage that anger by praying to open myself to God's peace.... It's been a long time—maybe a year—since he's responded to stepping out of church by continuing to be rambunctious. When he was a baby, especially when he had first learned to crawl, rambunctious behavior often meant that he was having an active spell right this moment and needed to "blow off steam" instead of sitting quietly; it wasn't his fault that it happened to coincide with my scheduled worship time. I got used to that and didn't notice that he wasn't doing it anymore, that now being removed from church quickly "resets" him to more appropriate behavior.

In my experience, 21 months is about the right time to start showing outright disappointment when he's disruptive and speaking firmly about correct behavior. He is not developmentally capable of really seeing things from others' perspectives ("I should be quiet so everyone can hear the pastor") but that's coming, and you can encourage it to develop by pointing out his effect on others, and he DOES understand by now that another person's sad or angry behavior can be caused by his behavior ("Mama is frowning at me because I'm being noisy").

When you have to go into another room, after explaining that you're disappointed in his behavior, drop the disappointed/angry tone but don't make it a fun time for him. Take a bored, waiting attitude on the outside (while inside, you use this time for calming prayer) and don't engage with him except to say that you'll go back into church when he's ready. Project: "There's nothing to do in this other room. We want to go back into church where all the action is. We can go as soon as you're ready to behave appropriately." You could let him get down from your lap (physically burning off some energy may calm him after a moment) but don't play with him, don't read to him, don't interact except to remind him what you're waiting for.

Zansmama wrote:
Quote:
I don't know if this is really in the continuum, it seems like kids should be able to wander around if they want to... maybe you could leave him with a babysitter? Or maybe you could start up a nursery with some other mamas?
I think it is continuum to expect children to stay with the group for important ceremonies and to be respectful of the adults' attention to the event. What would be un-continuum is to expect them to participate: stand and kneel at all the right times, really listen to what's said, etc. They can think their own thoughts or play, as long as they don't disrupt.

Using a babysitter or nursery separates the child from the tribal activities. A nursery run by parents who really would prefer to be attending church rings pretty false with me. However, if there are older kids/teenagers who want to play with younger kids during the service--or if there are some adults who find more spiritual growth in being with kids than in attending worship--that's great, akin to the Yequana kids with babies on backs running around and playing while their parents work.

KnitLady wrote:
Quote:
I thought he would get the message that sitting quitely would be the socially accepted thing to do.
He will! He probably does already. It just takes time for that message to consistently override his need to run around and make noise. Keep at it, and over time he'll slowly increase his willingness to do what everyone else is doing. My church's service is an hour and a half to two hours long, and my son (almost 3) makes it through the whole thing about 50% of the time. That's not to say he sits still and doesn't speak, but he is still and quiet ENOUGH that I feel he isn't excessively disruptive.

About asking him to do things: First of all, don't ask; politely TELL him to do it. The question inflection makes compliance sound optional. Instead of, "Would you please pick up that towel?" say, "Pick up the towel, please." This makes a big difference to my kid and to my Girl Scouts.

Quote:
For example, if I ask him to put on his shirt (which he can do with a bit of help), what do I do if he says no and refuses?
"You can do it yourself, or I will help you. One...two...three." Do it. Remember to speak in a pleasant voice rather than a threatening one. I'm sure the Yequana don't use this exact technique, but I think it is a natural outgrowth of "ask once, then do it yourself."
post #770 of 1092
Does anyone recall incidents in The Continuum Concept where a child is ever "made to" do something they don't want to do? I don't recall "making a child comply" being observed in the tribe.



Pat
post #771 of 1092
Becca: Thank you so much for your post! It is very helpful and I enjoyed the article. I think you are right that he is starting to understand because I can't think of any other situation where he would sit quietly in my lap as long as he does in church.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Does anyone recall incidents in The Continuum Concept where a child is ever "made to" do something they don't want to do? I don't recall "making a child comply" being observed in the tribe.

Pat
No, I don't. However, I really don't know how to get my DS's teeth brushed, diaper and clothes on, and get him into his carseat without making him. I hate making him do things, and I feel badly about it. What do you/would you do in these situations?

With teeth brushing especially I have tried everything I can come up with. I've tried songs, reading books about brushing teeth, looking at pictures of friends and family as well as strangers brushing their teeth, letting him brush my teeth, having a stuffed animal brush his teeth, etc. He has tooth decay and I can't let this slide. The games and such work for a day or two, but not long enough. I feel like I'm out of options.

As far as getting dressed goes, I let him go without clothes at home. I do have more success with getting him dressed if I start walking to the car, but this doesn't always work, and he has to wear clothes in the car. It's cold and I don't like the carseat straps to dig into him. The straps aren't too tight, but they are angled to rub his thighs if he isn't wearing pants.
post #772 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnitLady View Post
No, I don't. However, I really don't know how to get my DS's teeth brushed, diaper and clothes on, and get him into his carseat without making him. I hate making him do things, and I feel badly about it. What do you/would you do in these situations?
Here are an old post of mine from this thread about this issue: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...&postcount=328
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...&postcount=335

This one regarding tooth brushing myths: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...20&postcount=8
Diaper changing issues: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=812543

Carseat issues: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...hlight=carseat

HTH,
Pat
post #773 of 1092

Carseats

Scott Noelle's "Unconditionality" article has helped me so much with the car seat issue. Here's a snippet:

Quote:
An “Unconditional Surrender”
I remember a particularly stress-filled evening when my first child, Olivia, was two years old and she refused to get in her carseat. We were on our way home after an all-day excursion and had just stopped at a gas station. My wife and I were exhausted and we just didn’t have the energy for a struggle.

But old habits die hard, and I struggled anyway, eventually trying to force her into the carseat. And she — bless her fiery heart — would have none of it! She fought with every fiber of her being to uphold her dignity, until I finally gave up. I surrendered. But I was not defeated; I simply realized that I could have a much better time doing anything other than fighting my beloved child.

So I relaxed and told her she didn’t have to get in the carseat. I decided that I was willing to wait patiently in that parking lot until she was ready to buckle up and go, voluntarily. I told myself, “I don’t need conditions to change in order to feel peace now,” and I looked for something — anything — more pleasant to focus on.

My solution was to rest my chin on the steering wheel and indulge in the simple pleasure of people-watching — there were plenty of interesting people coming and going about the gas station. (This isn’t rocket science! Just reach for any thought that brings relief or feels better when you think it.)

Meanwhile, my daughter, feeling the shift from resistance to freedom and lightness, dawdled and tinkered with the various knobs and buttons in the car for about three minutes. Then she climbed into her carseat and let me buckle her in without protest.

I believe this rapid return to peace was, in part, due to the fact that I was willing to wait “forever” — meaning, I was totally focused in the present. In other words, my unconditionality gave her the space and time she needed to find her own way. And with that sense of freedom, we both found a way that was in accord with our shared desire for peace, freedom, and respect.
post #774 of 1092

child-centeredness

I know this phrase comes up so much when people first learn about TCC. I've found rather than focusing on "not being child-centered", I focus on living in the present and in enjoying the moment. I wouldn't say "I've arrived." But when I'm in touch with the present, I can stop with ease to sit on the floor to play games or to read a book or to dance with my kids.

It's been a joyful way to live.
post #775 of 1092
Hmmm.... I'm not sure on how I feel about the consensual living thing. On the one hand, I don't want to power trip on my kid, on the other hand, we're people, too, and I don't want him to run the show. I don't really want to run the show either... maybe that's what the idea is?

But unfortunately, I work part-time, and that is the one non-negotiable part of ds' life. He comes with me some of the time ( though if he didn't want to, I guess I would arrange something else), but there is a definite "hurry up, we have to get there!" at times. Also, if I've made arrangements to meet someone (usually involving a friend of his) I don't like to leave them waiting, and I want ds to learn that respect for others as well.

As far as the church thing... I agree that kids should be expected to be quiet and respectful of adult events. I'm just not so sure that means having to sit quietly. I imagine in a tribal situation they would be free to wander in and out of the ceremony (or maybe have to stay out), and even go frog hunting if they wanted too. They would not be constrained to remain with the adults. I mean, by the time they're walking, they're pretty much running around in their own little tribe anyway. It would be their own curiosity that would draw them to the adults, and they would probably have a somewhat awed and respectful attitude.

Just another though on the "forcing" issue: I think it's okay for kids to have to understand that sometimes (not often) we just have to do... whatever it is. Sometimes I have to clean up vomit when I don't feel like it. Sometimes ds wakes me up in the night and I rub his back even though I'd rather be sleeping. We do these things for each other, for various reasons. If ds makes a mess, he's expected to clean it up. Now, maybe I'll do it with him to make it more enjoyable, but he's not going to run out the door to play with the neighbors until it's cleaned up.
I really try to structure our lives so that he is as "free" as possible, and not living a controlled life, but I think it is specifically in TCC that obedience, in the few instances where it is required, is expected. Telling rather than asking is HUGE, I agree. And ds is welcome to "tell" me as well. I think the big thing here is that: as opposed to many people I know , the kids don't spend their day being endlessly told what to do. They are pretty much free to do as they like. But! when an adult says "hand me that" or "feed the baby a banana" it is expected that dc will comply. Does this make sense?
Hence, ds spends his day running around the house doing whatever, helping, playing, etc. Then, when mama says: "get your coat on, we're going out", he finishes what he's doing, and gets his coat. (Yeah, not 100% of the time, but pretty often). If he doesn't I get his coat and help him on with it. Now, maybe I'm just lucky, but 99.999% of the time, there's no real resistance.

When ds does strongly object to something, we stop and talk about it. Usually, it's a pretty simple reason. ("Oh, you want to play with the truck? Why don't you bring it, then?") My respect for him and his feelings is reciprocated by his respect for me and my needs ("I really need to go get some thread"). If it is not ("I don't care what you need: I don't want to go anywhere") I treat that as what it is: rude, thoughtless behavior. (or sometimes I try to sweeten the deal)( "If we go get my thread, we can stop at the park on the way home for you")

One good rule of thumb that works for me is to ask myself: what would I do if ds was an adult in this situation? It really helps me to remember that we are equals in most ways (okay maybe not intellect)
post #776 of 1092
Amy, Pat, and Zansmama: I REALLY appreciate your input. I'm very much still "finding myself" as a parent and trying out different things and seeing what feels right and what my DS responds well to.

Pat: Thank you for the links. I've been reading all the threads throughout the day and plan to learn more about CL and perhaps join the yahoo group.

Amy: I really liked the article you quoted. I tried that this evening and DS climbed into the car, then the carseat, then sat down and was happy as could be while I buckled him in. I'm certainly not saying he'll do that every time, but I am going to work on changing my attitude about it.

Zansmama:
Quote:
One good rule of thumb that works for me is to ask myself: what would I do if ds was an adult in this situation? It really helps me to remember that we are equals in most ways (okay maybe not intellect)
I really like that thought. Thinking of my DS as a full-fledged person is really important to me. On a related note, does it drive anyone else completely nuts when the hostess at a restaurant giggles and says, "Two and a half people tonight?" or worse, just plain, "Two?" Ummm, my DS is a whole person. Sorry for the mini-vent!
post #777 of 1092
Just subbing...I followed the link from the thread in GD.

We're a happy continuum family, cool to have a tribe! (Where've I been? )
post #778 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmzbm View Post
Just subbing...I followed the link from the thread in GD.

We're a happy continuum family, cool to have a tribe! (Where've I been? )

I am really trying not to be a helicopter mommy, but sometimes I feel my ds is the only kid who is so out of tune with this surroundings/safety. At the play gym in town, he climbed onto a tall matt, and walked backwards. I ran just in time to catch him -- but he never even tried to stop. Or he intentionally falls on his knees if he wants to be picked up rather than walked himself-- so his legs are riddled with bruises b/c he just lands on them hard anywhere, asphalt, carpet, hardwood, you name .....sometimes I wonder where I went so wrong.

btw, i loved your writing becca! great stuff.
post #779 of 1092
well, i've been pointed to this great link in this thread and i really seem to belong here. i'm going to borrow a copy of the cc and read it, because it seems to be in-line with how we are parenting.

glad to know this thread!
post #780 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnitLady View Post
The other question I have is about asking him to do things. I am following the advice on the CC website about only asking something one time and if it isn't done, then calmly (without anger or comment) doing it myself (example: picking something up, or throwing something away). This is working wonderfully. If I ask him in a calm, confident way, 9 times out of 10 he will do it. However, I'm not sure what to do if I ask him to do something that has to directly involve him. For example, if I ask him to put on his shirt (which he can do with a bit of help), what do I do if he says no and refuses? He is strongly opposed to getting dressed, wearing a diaper, brushing his teeth (with help), and getting into his carseat. These are all things that eventually have to happen!

Thank you so much in advance!

KnitLady, I wanted to add a point about the getting dressed part. We went through that stage and I struggled a few times as a parent and acted in ways that I would have liked to do differently. I have since come up with a method that works. We begin our transition early enough to provide him the opportunity to take his time in getting dressed. He knows that we get dressed if we want to leave home and go to another place and until that happens we don't leave. Instead, I get a book and settle in to my chair and tell him that if he wants to stay, that's fine. I'll just read my book. That usually gets him motivated to get dressed.

The same with Scott Noelle's advice regarding carseats. That's actually the method I employ, I don't care to set up battles so I try to give myself extra time to deal with my son's very real need to have some say in what goes on in his life.

And about diaper changes, I have in the past wanted to change a soiled diaper and was met with resistance. So, I allowed him to sit in it and I would question him on if he feels uncomfortable with the feces on his skin or if his skin is getting itchy. Then when he asks to have it changed, I have said, I thought you didn't want to get it changed. I was ready to change it 5 minutes ago but you weren't and now I am doing something else so you need to wait. After a few rounds of that, he changed his tune
.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Does anyone recall incidents in The Continuum Concept where a child is ever "made to" do something they don't want to do? I don't recall "making a child comply" being observed in the tribe.



Pat

WuWei, I thought the same thing but then I realized that this is the CCish thread, which means we are all trying to apply the CC principles on some level in our lives. That doesn't mean we will all be pure CC in our parenting. I stopped posting here for a little while after being met with adversity regarding my need for taking control as the parent (but EnviroBecca was so much more eloquent in her discussion of this very real need for myself as a parent). I am glad that EnviroBecca is here in this thread; although this is an internet forum and hence we never really know if our words impact another person, I for one come back to this thread time and again because of what she adds to the conversation :-)

I think that there should be a new thread started for those who follow pure CC in their parenting as there seems to be a divergence on this issue now within this thread and I don't think it is entirely fair to either side of the issue. I don't feel pure CC is right for my family, but we completely are CCish. However, if I was pure CC, I wouldn't want to read about those that are straying from the CC ideals. So I do understand the plight of those who don't understand those of us who are ok with putting our foot down with our children and pushing an issue with them.
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