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Continuum concept (ish) Tribe - Page 44

post #861 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
Adults should do what adults need to do to function in our society.

So... in summary, when thinking "what can *I* do with my child that is CC?" you can ask yourself instead "what is it I need to do today" and then do it... with your kids participating or not as makes sense.
Yup. That's pretty much what I do, though I also think about things that dd and I like to do together. These might be housework or errand sorts of activities or other activities like going to the farm. Dd is so-so about going to meetings with me. That entirely depends on how good the snacks are at the meeting. Active things are much easier to be cc about, methinks.

I do like the idea of living in a yurt with a hat made of tree bark, though. I'll work on it. Although I don't think our yard is large enough for a yurt.

Leila, I've found that since one of my major goals is to get dd outside a lot (similar to the forest kindergarten idea), we've been doing some unstructured outdoor time and some structured outdoor time - for example, with me finding branches for holiday decorating. It works well. I think that kids naturally follow the parents, wander around a bit on their own and explore, engage with an adult to show off a find, ask you what you're doing...etc.
post #862 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
Just want to point out something that is helpful for me to think about when worrying about how to be more CC in our lives... I'm not sure I'd say you should make up things to do out of thin air. Adults should do what adults need to do to function in our society. That is the point of CC really at its heart, not trying to concoct natural-sounding or frontier-sounding chores that you don't really need to do just to find some busywork to involve your kids in. I think the key at integrating CC into a modern lifestyle - and by that I mean those of us who live in regular houses with regular jobs (either us or dh) in regular society (as opposed to say, off the grid in a yurt with 9000 acres surrounding us!) - is to live YOUR life as you need to. For me, that involves going to the grocery store, the dry cleaners, washing and drying laundry in machines, loading the dishwasher, etc etc. It's okay that these are modern things, and they are just as valuable for my kids to participate in as grinding corn on a limestone wheel or fetching water from the stream or whatever, lol. Furthermore, it would be just as preposterous for me to try to teach my kids to wash laundry on a washboard or make a hat out of tree bark, as it would be for a tribal mother in say the Amazon to worry about whether her children are getting enough experience operating machines.

So... in summary, when thinking "what can *I* do with my child that is CC?" you can ask yourself instead "what is it I need to do today" and then do it... with your kids participating or not as makes sense.
Thanks for this, Periwinkle, it's very helpful. I've been worrying about the fact that I am just *not* a very 'crafty', practical person, and I WOULD feel like I was doing things 'for the sake of it' just to look busy, if I suddenly started knitting or whatever. I think it's a very valid point that those of us who DO live 'in the grid', in the city and so on, shouldn't feel inferior bc we are teaching our children the skills you need to live in the city! at the same time I try to expose DS to 'nature' as much as possible, and explain trees and things to him, and if I had a car I'd love to take him to farms and things!

So...I usually just take DS around with me, whatever I'm doing, in the sling for as much as possible (tho he's getting too heavy to do this for long anymore), and at home he now 'washes dishes' (scrubs his own, non-breakable bowls etc in a washing up bowl - no water as he just tips that all over the floor), and he has his own miniature mop, dustpan and brush, and broom that he LOVES using. It's amazing to see how when I sweep up a spillage now, he gets out his own gear and joins in! He's only 15 months old.But a lot of the time he is playing around me with his toys (including household objects) and involving me periodically in his play, e.g. reading stories to him. So...it's really a mixture, but I think the main thing that I've learned is that I go about my day as I normally would, and DS is just part of that.
post #863 of 1092
Just wondering if anyone has an opinion about my previous post (#858). I wasn't trying to insult any CC'ers, after all I am trying CC in my own way, but I wanted to know how you felt about the situation.
post #864 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post
I think it's a very valid point that those of us who DO live 'in the grid', in the city and so on, shouldn't feel inferior bc we are teaching our children the skills you need to live in the city! at the same time I try to expose DS to 'nature' as much as possible
Absolutely. And I also am in total agreement that living in the city (or suburbia, etc.) means needing to work a little harder to expose our kids to nature... green spaces, woods, playing in the mud and dirt, etc. I think this is extremely critical. I'm glad you mentioned this, because I didn't mean to imply in my previous post that it's okay to sit inside and play computer games and eat TV dinners just because we live in a city or something. I mean, clearly that is not good for anyone.

*********
NoliMum - I was going to respond earlier. But I was set to agree with you and then your example made me question whether I really did. Can you explain more what you mean?

For example, I have had people FUHREAK on me because I'll say "oh he will not run into the street" or whatever and people assume because my child is 3 that of course he will, and it annoys me because I'm like, no actually he won't. I have also gotten major flack from family members when a toddler runs away a short distance and they yell "Run after him!" and I say something like "no way... he'll come back" because the last thing I want to do is run after a child running away from me (talk about teaching them the wrong thing).

But I do think that someone could go to a ridiculous extreme, for example, with regard to something like electricity or cords. Humans have no continuum experience with such a hazard and expecting a child not to touch something that in no way looks/smells/sounds/feels like a threat (e.g., like a plug or cord) makes ZERO sense. So of course I bought outlet covers and such, because how in the world would my toddlers stay away from such a thing - it's not like a roaring blaze that you can feel it hot from 10 feet away. And I think crossing the street is actually really tricky for young children to do... and if you think about it, it's not like children in "primitive" (CC-referenced) cultures had tons of experience with stampeding rhinos. If they did, they likely were trampled.

I think a lot of it has to do with the parent(s) being respected by the child as someone who should be listened to, so that when you say "this orange mushroom is poisonous and is not to be touched - it will kill you if you eat it..." they don't. Buy a book on mushrooms if you want, but at the end of the day, the child needs to see that you're serious and know what you're talking about. Also, saying "do not touch this" or "stay away from that" (or even "no!") must also be phrases that are not uttered for stupid little things, but for serious concerns.
post #865 of 1092
On the safety topic, today we had a "close" call. We are visiting my parents and my dad had some mulch loaded up in the car. We were all going out to watch him and my brother spread it around. He grabbed the keys to the car and I assumed he was going to pull it out of the trunk. DD and I walked into the alley behind the car and I was looking at the person's driveway across from my parents while DD was eating an apple behind me. Suddenly she came up next to me. Didn't make a peep or act weird or anything. But then here comes my dad's car right up behind me and almost backs into me. HE WOULD HAVE HIT DD IF SHE HADN'T MOVED CALMLY AND SWIFTLY OUT OF THE WAY! OMG! He was so freaked out when I told him what happened. I was too! But I didn't want to scare DD or "turn off" her instincts by giving her the impression that what she did was unexpected (ie, anti-social, kwim??). So I tried to stay low-key while I had a heart attack and told everyone what happened (hopefully in a way that DD didn't notice). Phew!!

On another note, I was wondering about books. Forgive me if the topic has already come up on the thread. I'm only 1/3 of the way through it. I believe it has been mentioned that reading to your child is not CC. So do you just do it anyway, or do you try to find a different way to expose them to books? Do you just read your own books and talk about them if the LO asks? I was thinking maybe you could read adult books aloud whenever they are interested in hearing/participating. But as far as their own books, maybe you could get children's books that have only pictures, so that the child doesn't need help interpreting them? Just wondering what everyone's take is on that.
post #866 of 1092
I'm so happy to have found a CC tribe here! I haven't read the whole thread yet, but look forward to before asking any questions... I just read the CC a few months ago, and have read all the articles on the CC website. I've also read Our Babies Ourselves, which, I think complements the CC very well... Anyway, looking forward to learning more...
post #867 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by leila1213 View Post
I believe it has been mentioned that reading to your child is not CC. So do you just do it anyway, or do you try to find a different way to expose them to books? Do you just read your own books and talk about them if the LO asks? I was thinking maybe you could read adult books aloud whenever they are interested in hearing/participating. But as far as their own books, maybe you could get children's books that have only pictures, so that the child doesn't need help interpreting them? Just wondering what everyone's take is on that.
Ohhh I would have some real questions for someone saying reading to a child is not CC. In our culture, reading is pretty important, lol. I mean, it's the foundation for all learning and work that occurs throughout life. Anyone who has issues with reading aloud should be asked if reading itself is CC. You could argue that it's not. Computers certainly are not CC. Nor is electricity really. I mean, the argument could be made (and has) that it's important to keep children away from anything invented since 2500 B.C. I think the issue is that books did not exist 5000 years ago or in remote tribes in South America. And therefore some people assume that this means reading books is not something best done with children. I'd tend to agree with them if they were raising their children 5000 years ago or in a remote tribe in South America. But to function even in a small way in modern society, you need to read. That means gaining an understanding of and appreciation for books. Since books are something that can be pretty easily integrated into a CC lifestyle and there's a wide range of choices available to keep the illustrations and stories "natural" (for lack of a better word), I don't see the problem with it. In fact I have found books by such authors as Elsa Beskow, Patricia Pollaco, Cynthia Rylant, and others to be important tools at fostering more natural-minded or CC ideals and behaviors in our household.
post #868 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post

*********
NoliMum - I was going to respond earlier. But I was set to agree with you and then your example made me question whether I really did. Can you explain more what you mean?

For example, I have had people FUHREAK on me because I'll say "oh he will not run into the street" or whatever and people assume because my child is 3 that of course he will, and it annoys me because I'm like, no actually he won't. I have also gotten major flack from family members when a toddler runs away a short distance and they yell "Run after him!" and I say something like "no way... he'll come back" because the last thing I want to do is run after a child running away from me (talk about teaching them the wrong thing).

But I do think that someone could go to a ridiculous extreme, for example, with regard to something like electricity or cords. Humans have no continuum experience with such a hazard and expecting a child not to touch something that in no way looks/smells/sounds/feels like a threat (e.g., like a plug or cord) makes ZERO sense. So of course I bought outlet covers and such, because how in the world would my toddlers stay away from such a thing - it's not like a roaring blaze that you can feel it hot from 10 feet away. And I think crossing the street is actually really tricky for young children to do... and if you think about it, it's not like children in "primitive" (CC-referenced) cultures had tons of experience with stampeding rhinos. If they did, they likely were trampled.

I think a lot of it has to do with the parent(s) being respected by the child as someone who should be listened to, so that when you say "this orange mushroom is poisonous and is not to be touched - it will kill you if you eat it..." they don't. Buy a book on mushrooms if you want, but at the end of the day, the child needs to see that you're serious and know what you're talking about. Also, saying "do not touch this" or "stay away from that" (or even "no!") must also be phrases that are not uttered for stupid little things, but for serious concerns.
Well, i think one thing I should have clarified is that she does not practice CC fully or thoroughly. Her child has not exhibited instincts toward safety when I've been around, and she is not in full custody of her mother, so any CC that she is exposed to kind of goes out the window as soon as she returns to the father's home (he is decidedly mainstream).

It's like she read the book, liked what it said, and so decided to implement some of the methods in random parts of her life, whichever was convenient.

This is my question, I guess- is it even possible to do CC when you know you can't fully implement it throughout the child's entire spectrum of life? I mean, can you do CC in the home (doing everyday tasks and letting the child participate/imitate and avoiding a child-centered schedule) while using different methods for, say, outdoor activities? Generally when we are outdoors it is specifically to go to the playground, and I KNOW my child enough to take precautions against her running away, because it's currently her favorite game.

Or, the way my friend was trying to do it (and a significantly more dangerous arrangement, IMO)-- NOT doing CC in the home, but trying to practice it when in unsafe environments like the parking lot? I don't think it is wise or safe to assume that because you read and understand the Continuum Concept, that if you just start doing it, whenever you feel like, your child will automatically fall into step, KWIM? I mean, this kid's continuum was waaaay disrupted already.
post #869 of 1092
Nolimum, in regards to doing cc part time:

Dh is very child-centred and plays with dd a lot, and when he goes to the playground with her he gives her a lot of "be careful" messages. Dh's parents are totally focused on dd and playing with her when they do child care once a week.

My parents are actually more cc, as am I. Dh and I tag-team a lot during the year and dd seems to adapt to each of our styles, with the dominant style being mine, since I am the primary caregiver. But when daddy is home she wants to play with him and he has a hard time doing things around the house. When I am home she alternates between doing things around the house/reading/wrestling with me, heading out to events/the park with both of us or one of us, and playing pretend games with daddy.

The only difficulty we've had so far is that dd prefers her child-centred grandparents because they play with her all of the time and feed her treats that she likes. Also, I find that dd's confidence on playground structures is not very high because she receives a lot of "be careful" messaging. However, she's never been very confident in large motor skills, and that may also just be her personality.

I also think that we have a child who is naturally fairly cautious. I might be more concerned about things like traffic if I saw that she was keen to run out into it.

I think that while reading books might not be very cc, telling stories is part of all cultures. In our culture, we tell a lot of stories by reading them from books out loud to our kids. This is part of our oral tradition.
post #870 of 1092
Leila, I'm glad your daughter is safe! When EnviroKid or one of my Girl Scouts does something "right" like that, the way I talk about it is to praise their wise action. In this case, I'd say, "I was so scared when I saw the car moving fast, right where you had been a moment before! I'm glad you moved out of the way!"

NoliMum, it might help to explain to your friend that your concern is not with her child's behavior--you understand that her mom can trust her not to run into traffic--but with the unpredictable behavior of cars. Here's an analogy: Suppose a Yequana mother is bathing her infant and toddler in the river and then will need to carry them one at a time up the cliff because it's too steep for the child's short legs and she can't carry both at once. Should she leave the child standing in the river while she carries baby up the cliff? The child has good instincts, but she might be swept away by the current. It would be safer to lift her onto the bank and have her stand there while mama carries the baby. (The equivalent in a parking lot would be having the child climb into the car and wait for mama to fasten her seatbelt.)

I think it's entirely possible to practice CC only some of the time, based on my own experience: My son has been in childcare a significant portion of his life since 3 months old, and childcare is child-centered and "unnatural" in many ways. Yet he's a very continuum kid and (although of course he now has his own opinions, and he's much more assertive than a Yequana child) shows great instincts and desire to be a useful participant in family activities.

Enudely wrote:
Quote:
She hounds me constantly "mommy plaaaay with mee!" She wants me to make her farm animals or her stuffed animals talk.
It gets very boring!
She was carried in a sling all the time, but she usually hounds me while I do chores!
: We have some of this too. I think the biggest factor is that, at home, EnviroKid has no other kids to play with. He wants to be engaged with another person at all times, so when there are no kids around, an adult is the only choice. When we DO have kids over, he'll happily play with them and not badger me or his dad.

About reading to kids: I bet the Yequana, like most primitive cultures, do lots of story-telling, and I bet some of their stories are specifically made to please and teach children. Reading is just another form of story-telling.
post #871 of 1092
I just wrote this about yesterday's experiences with balancing parent and child needs, doing chores, and letting my child develop his navigational skills.
post #872 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3 View Post
I noticed that the less I ASK my children to help, the more they help. They help NOT to please me but just because it feels good, because they want to contribute to the well-being of the family (we ALL do!). One of the basic premises of TCC in my mind is that children are social creatures who desire to contribute in meaningful ways, and the other is that we westerners have given the word/concept of WORK a bad name, unnecessarily. Work is wonderful, fun, etc. and meets a very real need (in all of us) to contribute.

My kids do lots around the house, in the garden, the workshop, etc. but I don't ASK or tell them to, ever. I just do what I need to do, modeling is SO powerful -I expect them to help (just hand my son his rake, or hand my daughter a grocery bag, wordlessly) and I don't make a big deal if they choose to help or choose not to...saying "oh, thank you so much for helping", etc. makes it seem like they did something UNUSUAL, that you didn't expect them to do, ya know?
I totally agree. I'm 24, and I'm just learning the help out to be helpful, rather than because someone is forcing me (because now no one is forcing me), and it's much, much more enjoyable.
post #873 of 1092
Well, I don't know. I mean, it's kind of like AP. Can you suddenly become AP with a 12 year-old? Can you consider a baby "raised AP" who spends every other week with its mainstream father? Even if the mother cosleeps and pumps her milk for the father to bottlefeed etc. These are good questions. I'd think the answer is actually no, or at least "maybe but you could die trying". But I will get in hot water for saying it I'm sure.

I mean, the whole idea with AP is that you do these things from birth... the constant babywearing, cosleeping, breastfeeding on demand, etc. Of the 9 or whatever odd items on the AP checklist, only what 1 or 2 apply to children over age 3ish. It's pretty clearly something intended to be done constantly from birth.

It's the same with CC. All of a sudden deciding that you're going to stop paying attention to your child and no longer playing with her or getting down on the floor with her is beyond harsh and unreasonable, because their experience of attachment and definition of love is already set in stone that mom does x, y, or z, and they have not been taught the safety or expectation of looking out for themselves. I do think to a large extent that you cannot fully be CC (or AP for that matter) if you arrive too late to the party.

That being said, of course you can do natural things and crunchy things and adult-centered things... but that is hardly the extent of what it means to raise a child CC.

And as for the running away... children do not run from parents who have raised them CC from the start. Because the child is taught from infancy that the child has responsibility to close the gap, that the imaginary rubber band connecting parent and child gets stretched so far and then the child must bounce back (as opposed to having the adult chase the child, go get the child, call to the child, and/or yell at the child to stop, etc.). I would never in a million years START any sort of safety-oriented CC thing at any point other than in infancy. When I babysit for other people's toddlers for example (e.g., my neices or nephews), I absolutely run after them if they wander too far and hold their hands securely in parking lots, etc. Precisely because I know they are not being CC'd at home. You surely can't "spring" that kind of expectation on a child, and I'm not sure they could even really be taught it later in life.... it just becomes a real instinct. Children only run (or wander) away from parents when they are taught that the parents will close the gap for them and/or when they are taught that it is a fun game.
post #874 of 1092
This has been such an interesting thread to read. Thank you for all of your comments. I wanted to throw another piece in the mix here when it comes to CC and AP. My husband and I have parented according to many of these principles not because they were part of some systematic parenting philosophy, wherein you follow all of the rules for the sake of following them, but because it seemed intuitive to us. That said, I wanted to ask what kind of response you have had from other people that clearly do not know that what you are doing is deliberate and not the result of ignorance or neglect. We live in such a hypersensitive world, and other parents who may be very child-centered can sometimes seem shocked when you let your kid climb into the shopping cart by themselves, or choose not to eat breakfast, or whatever. I have had a few encounters with people who think I am just being irresponsible when I let me sons do things that might incur some hurt, etc. Of course, I am not willing to let my kids learn consequentially in situations where the consequence may be death or something very severe (i.e. crossing the street in front of a car), but I sure am going to let my kids learn that if they don't brush their teeth they'll get cavities and that really hurts, or that if you don't eat breakfast then you will feel bad when you get to school, etc. What do you moms/dads do about other people's reactions? I am not a confrontational person, but I am not averse to telling someone why I am making the decision that I am. Anyone else?
post #875 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
Well, I don't know. I mean, it's kind of like AP. Can you suddenly become AP with a 12 year-old? Can you consider a baby "raised AP" who spends every other week with its mainstream father? Even if the mother cosleeps and pumps her milk for the father to bottlefeed etc. These are good questions. I'd think the answer is actually no, or at least "maybe but you could die trying". But I will get in hot water for saying it I'm sure.

I mean, the whole idea with AP is that you do these things from birth... the constant babywearing, cosleeping, breastfeeding on demand, etc. Of the 9 or whatever odd items on the AP checklist, only what 1 or 2 apply to children over age 3ish. It's pretty clearly something intended to be done constantly from birth.

It's the same with CC. All of a sudden deciding that you're going to stop paying attention to your child and no longer playing with her or getting down on the floor with her is beyond harsh and unreasonable, because their experience of attachment and definition of love is already set in stone that mom does x, y, or z, and they have not been taught the safety or expectation of looking out for themselves. I do think to a large extent that you cannot fully be CC (or AP for that matter) if you arrive too late to the party.

That's exactly what I was thinking. My friend practiced plenty of AP when her daughter was an infant, but whatever CC methods she picked up from the book were inconsistently practiced. Then all of a sudden she's leaving her kid out of view in a parking lot. I can't really do anythin about it now (plus it was a year ago) because we're not friends anymore, but this always bothered me.

As for my kid, she is almost 3 and I haven't done much CC except for AP stuff. I slung her a lot as a baby, but after about a year she was too heavy for me (25 lbs!!) to carry for long. I feel like I'm paying for it now though because she asks me to carry her ALL the time. She will not take no for an answer, even if my hands are full. She also rarely closes the gap between us, and will run away from me. I don't feel totally awful about this- I mean, not everyone knows about CC, and I'm glad I knew about AP at least!! But I'm wondering how to implement CC safely now..
post #876 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoliMum View Post
That's exactly what I was thinking. My friend practiced plenty of AP when her daughter was an infant, but whatever CC methods she picked up from the book were inconsistently practiced. Then all of a sudden she's leaving her kid out of view in a parking lot. I can't really do anythin about it now (plus it was a year ago) because we're not friends anymore, but this always bothered me.

As for my kid, she is almost 3 and I haven't done much CC except for AP stuff. I slung her a lot as a baby, but after about a year she was too heavy for me (25 lbs!!) to carry for long. I feel like I'm paying for it now though because she asks me to carry her ALL the time. She will not take no for an answer, even if my hands are full. She also rarely closes the gap between us, and will run away from me. I don't feel totally awful about this- I mean, not everyone knows about CC, and I'm glad I knew about AP at least!! But I'm wondering how to implement CC safely now..
That's where I'm at, too. I came to CC somewhere between a year and a year and a half. Not too late, but my kiddo still runs away from me, still wants me to entertain her, etc... And I came to CC because I really do think that AP without CC is not healthy - for the child and for the family. So, it's sort of like, okay - if this needs to be started in infancy and I obviously didn't: now what? What's possible to do and what's not? How do we switch to a family-centered dynamic when we started with a child-centered dynamic without it being harsh? I have a few ideas from my experience - but especially since I'm hoping to get pregnant again, I don't want to make this mistake with another one - but is it possible to raise once kid CC and one not?
post #877 of 1092
nolimum, I am thinking of a little boy I know who has a very firm agenda of what he wants to do. However, since I don't know him too well, if he heads towards somewhere dangerous like a busy street I am not always sure if he will stop, so I would go after him. I'd probably walk, though. In your dd's case, perhaps practice letting her go in a safer environment? A local park, or a field where you can see?

I agree with periwinkle that running can be a game. Indeed, the only time dd ran from me, she thought that we were playing a chasing game and ran towards a bus stop where a bus was coming in. We often play a sneaking and hiding game at a ramp and some stairs near the bank, and she was extending it by running away.

I've always let her roam, and I've always found that she will come back. However, I do think that different children have different levels of self-directedness when it comes to roaming. The little guy mentioned above has a very strong internal agenda of where he is going, and he takes a while to stop. He also gets quite focused on his internal monologue and less focused on what is around him.

Another thought on literacy. If we had to hunt and gather food, we would teach our children animal sounds and what they mean and give them an understanding of the visual recognition of different plant and animal species. We'd teach them how to decode those cues in their environment. For me, the same goes for reading - it's also teaching our children to decode the cues that they need to move in a more urbanized and literate world.
post #878 of 1092
I just want to clarify that I wasn't saying that we shouldn't teach kids to read (or really, from an unschooling perspective--LET kids learn to read), but just that the child-centered activity of sitting and reading a children's book to them is not very CC. My idea was that modeling reading of adult books and even reading them aloud would be more CC. No one agree with that? So then I was just extending it to allow them to have their own books but just with pictures so they don't feel like we need to read TO them, kwim? They could read their books independently but also see & hear us read in the course of our daily lives...in context, doing what we need to do. Isn't that CC?
post #879 of 1092
Quote:
Originally Posted by leila1213 View Post
I just want to clarify that I wasn't saying that we shouldn't teach kids to read (or really, from an unschooling perspective--LET kids learn to read), but just that the child-centered activity of sitting and reading a children's book to them is not very CC.
For some reason I am obsessed with this thread lately!

I think that my perspective comes from the fact that I do storytelling for groups of children and adults as part of my job. I see stories as things that gather people together to share information, lessons and insights that are relevant for all ages. In my story times, I do dances and songs, poetry that was written for adults, picture books that were written for children. People have always told stories at gatherings, it's just that we often lack those sorts of tribal gatherings nowadays. So the best we can do is to tell stories in our home or gather at a library, church, or other place to listen to and tell stories.

brinalicious asked a question about people's responses to cc parenting. I was lucky in that both of my parents were raised in a family-centred context. One grew up on a farm and the other in a village of about 200 people. They were able to wander quite freely and found their own things to do with children of different ages. When we were looking for a place to live, I really wanted to live in the townhouse complex we currently live in. It has an open area in the middle and many of the children come out to the central area and play on the playground and in the trees while the parents stay indoors and don't have to hover around the children.

I feel that the pressure to be successful has led people to register their children in many activities, reduce the amount of free play with neighborhood children, reduce the amount of individual imaginative play, and therefore not trust children to do things like crack an egg - because they've never been asked to do so.

I also think that there is a growing movement of people who want their children to be less structured and to walk to school by themselves, build forts with neighborhood kids, have the community in general watch over children. I think that this is what cc could look like in our communities today.

Anyway, I think that if you approach any concerns with the idea that children used to have huge freedom of movement, a supportive community where people looked out for each other...you might get a good response. I would like the children in my community to have the ability to learn from all adults in that community, to be cared for by different adults in the community, and to play freely - and I see that cc-ish parenting builds that.

Wow! Big rant!

Question: Do you work or volunteer with your children? I do, but I find that I have to be strategic about how dd will be involved. I find it quite challenging to teach adults while dd is there, for example. It was much easier when she was a baby and I could put her on my back and she'd nap during a meeting!
post #880 of 1092
Leila wrote:
Quote:
just that the child-centered activity of sitting and reading a children's book to them is not very CC. My idea was that modeling reading of adult books and even reading them aloud would be more CC. No one agree with that? So then I was just extending it to allow them to have their own books but just with pictures so they don't feel like we need to read TO them, kwim? They could read their books independently but also see & hear us read in the course of our daily lives...in context, doing what we need to do. Isn't that CC?
Sure, that's CC, and modeling reading and sharing what we're reading are important for building literacy. However, as a developmental psychologist, I must say that there's a difference between paging through a book looking at pictures and reading a book, and that children generally are very aware of that. (Sometimes kids pretend to read by reciting a memorized story or making up a story while paging through a book, but in most cases they KNOW that they're not really reading.) Even if a book has only pictures and no words, and looking at it is enjoyable and educational, that is not reading; it's a different activity.

I think when you say that reading a child a book of her choice is not CC, you're thinking that EVER doing ANYthing a child instigates is child-centered and that's bad. But children are people, and when we interact with another person we sometimes do things for her that she would like us to do, whether or not she can do them for herself. There's mention in the book of playing with babies, and of nurturing behavior toward people of all ages.

I've been reading chapter books (written for older children or adults, with few or no illustrations) to my son when he'd stand for it. He wouldn't from about 12 to 30 months, but then he was interested enough in a particular book that I could keep going after the first page with a picture on it, and now he routinely enjoys chapter books. I read him The Hobbit just before his 4th birthday.

Whether chapter books or picture books, I think that sharing with my child stories I (and in some cases my parents) enjoyed as a child builds a common culture and prevents a generation gap.
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