Cassidy wrote the following excellent post in the "dilemma (long)" thread:
|Icicle Spider, I don't want to discount your opinions without understanding how they fit into an overall parenting philosophy, but I see a difference between forcing/coerceing a child to do something against his/her will and wanting a child to learn/understand that he/she is part of something bigger (a family and a society) that includes other people with their own wants, desires, and expectations.
I admit that my suggestions taken out of context of an overall parenting philosophy sound exactly like permissive parenting, which I think is usually worse than authoritative parenting.
I also want the same for my children and it is possible for them to learn this without it being literally forced upon them within the family relationship.
|In friendships, we have the luxury of selecting the others, in families we don't. Either way, we have certain responsibilities to these others simply by virtue of being in relationship with them. I think I would be remiss in honoring my responsibilities as a parent if I were to allow my children to think it is okto do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want, regardless of the consequences.
I agree most emphatically with this statement, but with a slight modification. I would say: "I think I would be remiss in honoring my responsibilities as a parent if I were to allow my children to think *that I think* it is ok to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want, regardless of the consequences."
But I would still allow them to do it. If I were to force them to do something, I would be contradicting this very statement above. I would be doing whatever I want, to whomever I want, regardless of the consequences.
If there really are true consequences of whatever it is they are doing (and I keep reading that most people here think consequences are a good learning tool), they *will* learn from those consequences.
I think my responsibilities as a parent are to make sure that they are aware of my understanding of what the consequences really might be, but to then allow them to make their own decision on how to proceed. This is different from permissive parenting in that the parent is very involved with the child in sharing their theories about how the world works and their morals, but still "allows" the child to "do what they want".
|What I really want is what Iguanavere mentioned: for my daughter (all of my children, actually) do want to do the right thing without being coerced, reprimanded, rewarded, or punished; to want to do the good because it is the good.
So do I, but defining what is "good" has been a tough one for me. Be clear, I do think that there is such a thing as morality and that there is such a thing as "good" and "bad", but it is not a simple question. I have had a hard time coming up with what is a true, core attribute of "good", but I have determined what I think is a core attribute of "bad". So currently, what I define as what is "good" is simply what is not "bad".
What I think is "bad" is to force an individual to do something against their will, also known as coercion. So then, my best definition of what is "good" is non-coercion, or maybe to make it sound positive, voluntary cooperation (alright, this is redundant).
Attachment Parents know this is true for infants. As adults we know this is true for ourselves. I also think this is true for *all* people in between.
|How do we help our children to harness their will so that they may use it productively?
You must be very careful about examining your own "entrenched theories" about what is and is not "productive". What looks productive to one person looks like wasting time to another and vice-a-versa. This is really for an individual to decide for themselves. One of the better examples of this for me is the activity of fishing. A total waste of time to some, a life-long passion for others.
I would phrase the above to: "How do we help our children to harness their will so that they may use it to get what they want?"
|Not always for what we, as parents desire, but for what they truly want -not just as a reaction to our rules or requests? Compromise can be reached only when we let go of thinking that what we want at the moment is the only thing that will make us happy; we need to consider what someone else wants/needs as well. If everyone is happy enough with the compromise and the relationship is stronger, have you really been forced to do/accept something against your will?
I agree with the premise of this but with some clarification. First off, I do not like the term "compromise", a compromise to me is when nobody gets what they want. I prefer finding "common preferences", which is when everybody gets what they want. A common preference is when all parties involved share what they want, and after learning about what the other wants, change their preference in light of this new information. They do not "compromise", they truly change their preference in light of the new information. This really becomes what everybody now *wants*.
It is not easy at first to find these common preferences, it takes a lot of work and is a *more* involved parenting philosophy than using discipline. Also, a true common preference can only be found when everyone involved in the process knows in advanced that they will not be coerced.
I have just briefly touched on the subject of finding common preferences here, but it is one of the main differentiations of TCS from permissive parenting.
|We all know adults who are never happy because they don't appreciate what they have. They see only what the are missing and what they have given up--never what others have compromised for them.
Guilt trip alert!
Why should somebody appreciate something that somebody else did for them that they did not even ask them to do? Who ever did the compromising has the problem, not the other way around. The compromiser sounds like the unhappy one who is focused on "what they have given up".DO NOT COMPROMISE, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO WHAT YOU WANT!!!
And I don't mean material wants, I am assuming your wants are more sophisticated than that.
|They drive others away by insisting on all-or-nothing. They are unhappy because they choose to be miserable. I don't want this for my daughter, but I'm afraid that's how she will end up if she doesn't come to terms with the fact that there are other people in the world who have their own issues. That doesn't make her any less important to herself, but she will not always be the first priority of everyone else.
It is impossible to live with other people in a family and not learn this from the true natural consequences of being in that group of people, it does not require coercion.
What she needs to see is people striving to get not only what they want, but people helping other people get they want.