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TCS Discussion Threads - Archived - Page 7

post #121 of 589

answer to MamaLeah

Originally posted by MamaLeah
Patti - What you said is something I've always wondered about too! If I know my daughter wants to play with the electric chords and I don't want her to, so I move the couch in front of them when she's not looking.
I think most TCS parents would find this coercive depending on the child's age. There may be something that the child wants to learn from playing with the cords and putting the couch in front of them stifles her learning. As with the scissor situation, perhaps the parent can help the child learn about the cords with very close supervision. Showing her what the cords connect to and what happens when you pull them out. Also stressing that the child is only to do this when the parent is available to help until the parent is confident that the child will be able to use the cords safely. The parent should share hir theories about why it may not be a good idea to play with the cords and why it may not be a good idea to put anything that isn't a plug into the socket.

This is an interesting question because I myself have been thinking about how coercive childproofing may be. Such as child safety gates to keep kids out of the kitchen or bathroom. I'm still exploring my theories here.

If I know we may have a conflict in a store because there is too much there that she wants to play with, so I don't take her, once again, I am forcing her to not get her way.
I would say that the parent is forcing the child not to get her way if indeed the child wants to go to that place. If the child doesn't care about the place and the parent avoids it because it would cause too much coercion then, I don't think this is forcing the child not to get her way. I do want to say that I think TCS is about the parents and children finding common preferences, not about children getting their own way despite what the parents want.
post #122 of 589

answer to Shakti

Originally posted by Shakti
It just so It seems as though much of the TCS solutions are more like, um, searching for a word here... redirection, or convincing, or distracting the child.
I think most TCS people would argue that all of those things are coercive.


For example, I was putting shoes on my 10 month old this morning. She doesn't mind having her shoes put on, but this time she simply didn't want to sit still. So I gave her a book to look at while I put on the last shoe and she was instantly cooperative. Is this TCS? In the end I still forced my will on her - she has both of her shoes on. But I didn't coerce her into sitting still, I simply changed the situation so that she would *want* to sit still. Is this non-coercion or manipulation?

I would say that the child preferred to read the book while having her shoes put on. IMO not coercive.
post #123 of 589
I'm sorry, but letting your children play with power cords, especially when plugged in, and outlets is just plain neglegent. My husband who is an engineer for a power company would flip out if he knew that some one was advocating letting children play with electricity, with or without a parent present. Your mere presence is not going to stop your child from being electricuted. Perhaps it is ideas such as these that make some of us think that TCS is a less than responsible way to parent. Your child relies on you for saftey cues, and letting them play with electricity is a bad example.

I have two active young boys and I try to raise my boys without stepping on their budding independence too much. I offer choices in many day to day situations, but there are times when each of my son's needs, and wants differ. When my younger son (14 months) needs to go to the pediatrician he has to go. There is no discussion. My 3 1/2 year old would rarely choose to go, but he doesn't get a choice in the matter. Some things, like going to the doctor, are just a fact of life if you want to stay healthy and strong. What he does get a choice in is what toys he wants to bring, and what snacks he would like to enjoy while we are there. Of course, as a mother I reserve my right to redirect (gasp)my son's choices away from things that I know are bad for him. I refuse to let my son live on a diet of chocolate chip cookies, juice, candy, doughnuts, etc. Am I coercing him into eating healthy foods? Maybe. Of course, he can always assert his will and refuse to eat what is offered.

What would you die hard TCSers do if both of your children want the same toy at the same time, and remember that it is not always feasible or practical to have two of everything? My household would be total anarchy if I tried to adhear to the strict TCS philosophy. Life would come to a stand still and nothing would ever get done.
post #124 of 589

Re: answer to Shakti

Originally posted by k'smami

I think most TCS people would argue that all of those things are coercive.

I would say that the child preferred to read the book while having her shoes put on. IMO not coercive.
k'smami, with all due respect, this seems contradictory. Giving her a book while I put her shoes on is a distraction, and you say that distractions would be considered coercive. But then you say that if I put her shoes on while she is reading a book it is not coercive. Which is it??? :

post #125 of 589
I'm really enjoying what everyone has to say here and looking forward to learning more and hashing out my own feelings about this method.

I've been really looking for alternative methods of parenting and
I was recently made aware of TCS - I must say that in theory it makes sense to me, but I fear my own failings may thwart my efforts to practice these methods.

I don't believe I'm a selfish parent, I don't over schedule my son's life - I feel like the majority of time I let my son lead the day and I follow. I have however been struggling with:

Diaper changing - He hates them, but how can I leave him to wander about in a poopy diaper all day?

Touching outlets - He is obsessed with anything electrical, I totally appreciate that he's learning but I'm afraid that if I sat with him and worked the outlet this would only be encouraging him that this was okay.

Touching the fireplace/stove - Once again, he's learning - But if either happened to be hot this could cause serious injury that I'm not willing to do.

and my own selfish need for some order within my home - Is wanting a semi-clean home wrong? I don't care if we have toys everywhere but when my little person wants to drag out all the canned goods, beauty products and rip apart rolls of toilet paper do you just allow it?

I am asking these questions from the heart, I have no desire to pick apart any parenting views but I am truly trying to wrap my brain around this method and understand how it needs to be approached.

Be well,

post #126 of 589

reply to jbcjmom

Originally posted by jbcjmom
I'm sorry, but letting your children play with power cords, especially when plugged in, and outlets is just plain neglegent. My husband who is an engineer for a power company would flip out if he knew that some one was advocating letting children play with electricity, with or without a parent present.
I am not advocating that a parent allow their child to play with electricity. I'm sorry that my post was not clear enough. I am advocating that a parent help a child learn about electrical cords. I am offering ideas as to how to handle a situation. If the parent finds a better idea, then I would hope that they do that instead and of course share it with others. What I am advocating is teaching a child do deal with electrical cords safely. IMO, not only would this demystify the cords but it will also make it less likely that a child would explore these things when the parent is not looking. It would also, IMO, set a precedent in the child's mind that the parent is open to the child's wanting to learn about different things and will also help whenever necessary.

In trying to think of a more satisfying solution I thought of maybe giving a child a surge protecter that is not plugged in and teaching the child how to plug things into socket safely this way. When the parent is satisfied that the child has enough information to use electrical cords safely then perhaps they could move on to the socket in question. But maybe this is a better preference for the child and the parent will not have to deal with a live socket at all.

Your mere presence is not going to stop your child from being electricuted.
Pardon my ignorance, since I am not an electrician, but I would like to know what prevents adults from being electrocuted when they unplug power cords, that would not prevent a child from being electrocuted when doing the same thing with a parent present? Clearly I'm not advocationg that the parent let the child near a socket with live wires exposed or that was prone to sparks. In fact I would hope that even non-TCS parents who would prevent their children from learning about power cords in this way would most certainly not have these conditions in their home either.

Some things, like going to the doctor, are just a fact of life if you want to stay healthy and strong.
Interesting theory but I know many adults, including myself, who disagree with this statement. Some of us may even think the exact opposite . I think children should have the right to choose or not to choose who touches them and who examines them. I would certainly hate it if I was taken to the doctor against my will.

What would you die hard TCSers do if both of your children want the same toy at the same time, and remember that it is not always feasible or practical to have two of everything?
There is no blanket answer to this or any of the other examples. Every child and parent is different. What would be a common preference in one family would not be a common preference in another. There is no rule book that says, "When your child does X thing do Y." I have attempted to give TCS ideas in the hopes that this would bring on even more ideas. People could refute my ideas and offer different non-coercive ideas that may be better. Sometimes I think that these discussions about examples are rather unfruitful if people believe that TCS is a less responsible way to parent.

But... I will try to offer an idea anyway in hopes that someone will offer an even better one. Maybe one child would prefer to play with something else but hasn't thought of it because it was put away and not in view when he saw the one he is fighting over? Maybe both children would prefer to go to the park? Maybe they would prefer that Mom read them a story instead? Maybe the reason that they are fighting is not really the toy but some underlying tension that the toy triggered so the parent may want to talk to both of them about their feelings and something may be uncovered that could help the situation. Maybe after the parent's initial idea sharing they will decide on their own what they think is best and end the conflict themselves. If children are not taught that somone always has to lose before they win or that if someone wins then by default they must lose, they may be open to finding a common preference instead of fighting because they may believe that in a family everyone can get want they want most of the time.

What would you do?

P.S. I reserve the right to be mistaken and to continue to learn .
post #127 of 589

Re: answer to Shakti

Originally posted by Shakti

k'smami, with all due respect, this seems contradictory. Giving her a book while I put her shoes on is a distraction, and you say that distractions would be considered coercive. But then you say that if I put her shoes on while she is reading a book it is not coercive. Which is it??? :

In your orginal post you said that your daughter did not want to sit still to put on her shoes and that she usually has no problem with having them put on. I saw this as trying to find a common preference about sitting still. You gave her the book, she preferred to look at it instead of run away, and let you put on her shoes which she doesn't usually mind. In my opinoin that is not coercive. Maybe another TCS parent would think so. That TCS parent would then try to find a common preference with the child or perhaps re-examine hir theories about whether a 10 month old has to wear shoes.

To me, using an obvious example, a distraction is something like a parent eating a chocolate chip cookie and when the child comes up and asks for a taste the parent says, "Wow! Look, a puppy!" and then when the child turns hir head the parent hides the cookies.
post #128 of 589
simonee it sounds like you are already doing a great job and that tcs may help through the conflicts that are coming up. i know that this theory is helping us a lot. i have been lurking on this and other threads and i wanted to say how excited i am to find that more people here find tcs relevant to their lives with children. fire i love the idea of consensus too : ) . i'm so pleased to see so many tcs threads happening, and it's great to hear the challenges that come up from different perspectives, it helps me to think about and use the theory more thoroughly.
post #129 of 589
This is all so interesting! I am intrigued by this whole "theory" of TCS. I am somewhat TCS. My husband tends to be more than me because I am so impatient at times.
One thing I don't understand about it is how to do it with toddlers. Say, for example, there is a family dinner, or party or something like that. dd, who is 17 months, fresh from her bath, refuses to get dressed. Time is ticking away,.. You try to give her a choice of different outfits...nothing works. What do you do?
I am thinking of an answer my self here I think...would you take her naked and dress her when she is at the party and more compliant? I realize it is winter, but bundled in a blanket she wouldn't freeze....
Or what if the child just refused to go at all. Must the parent give in to the child every time? Often when dd doesn't want to go out and I do I stay home with her, but often there is a party that starts at a specific time and I would really like to go. Would you TCSers ever force a child to go somewhere? Or do you give in every time?
I wonder also, do the parent always give in to the child? Like dd wants a cookie. MOm would prefer she have some fruit since she gave in on the cookie issue for breakfast. I guess i can think of an answer to this one too...just don't have the cookies around...
Well, I seem to be trying to answer my own questions...just trying to understand.
So are these TCS answers? Is the basic idea to sometimes change your own veiw of what is and is not appropriate?
post #130 of 589
Sorry you think I am snippy, that is a word that no one who knows me would use to describe me. I don't understand why everyone thinks it is so important that everyone in the family come to an agreement on everything. Obviously we don't agree here, but are either of us WRONG? I don't think I'm wrong, I's sure you don't think you are wrong, and I don't necessarily think you are wrong either. That doesn't mean that I have to agree with your method of child rearing and embrace it as my own. But according to the TCS theory we should try to come to some mutual understanding and agreement between our two theories that we can both live with to raise our children. I am not willing to give up my way in favor of yours and I'm sure you are not willing to give up yours for mine, though I suspect the way we deal with our children on a daily basis is not as different as you might expect. We are never going to come to a firm agreement in this area. Is it so horrible to think that there will be some things that as a parent and child we won't be able to agree on. I am an adult, I am mature, I have experience, and I am the parent. In our family that gives me the trump card in times that my children and I can't come to an agreement. I don't run my family as a dictatorship, but it is not quite a democracy either. God gave me my children and they are my most precious blessing and responsibility. Being raised Catholic it is my job to raise them as responsible, caring, loving, and Christian children. That means that sometimes they can't get their way. I am responsible for their souls and that is a job I take very seriously. I may sound like a religious fanatic, but that is not the case, I just try to be a good Christian and to raise my children that way.

I hope we can agree to disagree if that is alright with you
post #131 of 589

I appologize

Re-reading my post I can see how my point was taken wrong. I was actually glad to see a post where people were agreeing to disagree.

I'm so sorry if I hurt anyone feelings. Usually, I wait in a thread until things get heated before I say something.

Your right, no rules have been broken in any way here, and, I was actually glad to see people discussing issues and agreeing to disagree. Sometimes when we write something it doesn’t always come out how it was meant to.

Again, I apologize for sounding like ‘big brother’, that’s not how I want to be perceived. I’m just a mother like you, I volunteer to moderate this forum because I love the ideas here and enjoy being a part of such a loving community.

Please, continue this discussion! We can all learn so much from each other
post #132 of 589
Thank you so much for clarifying that. I am sorry if I got too defensive. I just totally took your post in the wrong way.

post #133 of 589
Well I'm going to be the thorn here and say I am totally into gentle discipline but do not agree with TCS at all (and I am also offended by that term because I take my son very seriously.) I honestly do not get how people think that a little child knows what is best for them. We were going outside today. It's snowing. my 11 month old hates getting his snowsuit on no matter what I do to try and make it fun. He screamed. I put the snow suit on anyways. IMO that is the RESPONSIBLE thing to do. Letting my 11 month old go out in just a track suit is negligent and I will never change my opinion on that. I am not trying to fight but since you said the thread could be for debate I thought I'd respond. I have read a lot of responses about this issue and went to a couple of boards on it to try and really get what it's about. And I still 100% do not agree! "gee you're standing on a table, go ahead." It is not socially acceptable to stand on tables and last time I checked my son will need to be a productive member of society. My son is a baby, a child. there is no possible way for him to know what is best because he has no experience. I do not spend my day thinking of ways to control him. I play with him and let him explore and try to make transitions happy and gentle. But if doesn't want to go to bed he's still going, being rocked to sleep in my arms, crying. Sleep is necessary - for our whole family. If he doesn't want to take a bath he's doing it. I am not going to breed germs because an 11 month old feels like boycotting bath time. And what happens when these kids are out in society. "well gee boss I don't feel like filing right now, I have different theories about the need for accounts payables to be filed." Buh bye! They get fired. We can not always get our own way and that's a fact. And IMO you are doing your child a disservice by making them believe otherwise. It is our responsibilty as parents to raise our children to make it in this world, not to think they ARE the world.
post #134 of 589
I haven't read the other responses yet but I have to say I completely disagree (and it might be a good idea if you said this is your opinion, not like it's fact). I had an abusive, neglected childhood. I never had any example of good parenting. I did not do any research on this subject during parenting. My son came out and I parented him by instinct. Then someone tells me it has a name (AP). Whatever. The point is my instincts told me to nurture, protect, love my child, never to hurt, hit, or berate. I listened to those instincts and we are both the better for it.
post #135 of 589
Larcy, Thank you for starting this post! It was me who suggested it.

Before the boards went down you had a great thread where people asked specific questions (like they're doing here) and you gave them examples of tcs.

Oh, how I wish there were some way to bring back the archives! It was a fantastic thread where everyone was throwing around ideas and learning from each other.

With a VERY feisty 4 yr. old I'm constantly reading to find more effective ways to deal with her passionate personality.
post #136 of 589

So what is this forum for?

To me gentle discipline is discipline without yelling or hitting. Gentle discipline is discipline that seeks to teach not scold; to guide. Is this forum supposed to be for TCS? Because I am getting kind of annoyed that a lot of posts keep turning into "do it our way" posts. I'm not talking about the posts started specifically for TCS, I'm talking about ones where a person asks a question and they get the TCS response and when they respectfully disagree they are still hounded about it. Gentle discipline does not equal TCS, IMO. I do not agree with it and I realize that some people do and I am trying to be respectful of that. But I really don't feel the TCS people are making the same effort. All this talk about coercion - I don't like feeling like I am being coerced into a parenting style I don't agree with. Sorry if I've offended.
post #137 of 589
Thread Starter 
Sorry to keep repeating meyself, but...

TCS is a philosophy about non-coercive interaction between *parent* and *child*, not between non-related adults. Parents have a different responsibility to their selves and to their children, than they do to people in other relationships. While people frequently find that learning to live non-coercively in the most important relationships in their lives, has a big effect upon how they relate to the rest of the world, as well, please do not mistake the very special relationship responsibilities between parent and child as something that can or should be extended to the rest of the world.

The Autonomy Respecting Relationships list on Yahoogroups was set up to discuss the further implications of TCS theory, beyond the parent-child relationship.

Parents are the ones with the experience and knowlege and access to information and resources, and children are the ones who need help in aquiring those things for their selves.

We talk a lot about helping children get what they want. It seems to me that a lot of what they want, in those early years, is their parents' attention and help.
post #138 of 589
Thread Starter 
This is a good question. I respond to whatever I respond to from my point of view, which is unabashedly TCS, and is just one of the viewpoints offered on this forum. I figure that there are maybe hundreds of people lurking about who are learning and thinking about what they read on these boards. I try to depersonalize my discussion, because I believe it is wrong to violate the privacy of children by discussing them and their lives on a public forum.

So, when a person asks a question on these boards, do they realize that they are asking it for a lot of other people who, for whatever reason, do not actually type the words in themselves, but are asking the same questions in their minds and are learning from the answers, in their own way?
post #139 of 589

I think so...

I think Heavenly is speaking for quite a few people. Myself included....

Some of the TCS posts I have found to be argumentative, aggressive and sometimes plain rude.....and some of them are so long I can't even read them
my eye therapy can only do so much...

I think children would rather we discuss their lives than make some bizarre error in judgement that could cause them some sort of problem later.....
post #140 of 589
I'm also in agreement with abimommy and heavenly on this. I have not posted on any of the TCS posts~the posts have been too, too long and detailed for me as well.

But, others here are entitled to their opinion~in a gentle, non-coercion way. I have avoided the TCS threads, because personally I have not liked the tone and feel that gentle discipline works for myself and our family.


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