or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › TCS Discussions 1
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

TCS Discussions 1 - Page 2

post #21 of 86
Like I said, we just interpret the info presented at that site a bit differently that's all. It's perfectly fine to have different ideas about things. After all, we can't be certain that either of us is right in keeping with TCS philosophy!

I understood the second site you posted to be a research study & not a parenting philosophy, so I'm not sure I follow your intent.
post #22 of 86
To say something is "deficient" in something, implies that there should be more of it. TCS people may not consider TCS to be permissive because according to the definition, it implies that TCS is lacking (to a fault) firmness or control but I think that TCS people simply see it as "without control" instead of "deficient of control". Sure those that do believe in using firmness or control will probably see TCS as permissive but I wouldn't. But, I guess my post is really about semantics.
post #23 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by amnesiac
After all, we can't be certain that either of us is right in keeping with TCS philosophy!
Well, we can't be certain about anything.

But so far, I have yet to find any criticism that *I* think is valid of TCS as presented here www.tcs.ac.

I have noted your criticism about *this* specific point of the information presented there, the fact that TCS does not claim any right to prevent anybody else from claiming their version of TCS is the correct one.

However, I still agree with this TCS's statement about allowing others to claim they have the correct TCS. It would be coercive otherwise.

For your and anyone's else clarification, if you see me mention TCS, I am talking about this version.

If you have an alternative version, or know of an alternative version, I would really like to hear about it. In particular, I am interested in how it differs from this one.

Thanks!
Pat
post #24 of 86
Quote:
But, I guess my post is really about semantics
LOL! I find myself thinking this very thing a lot when I'm reading about TCS!
post #25 of 86
amnesiac so far I agree with just about everything you have said with regard to TCS and it's definitions.

I don't have much to add as you have done a very thorough job in your responding, and I have enjoyed reading it.

We had a great TCS discussion going before the boards went down. Unfortunately, it seems to be lost. For myself, I discovered that by defining TCS according to what it isn't, the results are pretty much what you describe. A TCS parent response could be both permissive, authoritarian, coercive, or non coercive, yet the parent will still find a way to view it as holding to TCS theory.

The highly elusive semantics you have discovered regarding the definition of TCS are certainly one of the greatest challenges when trying to discuss/debate this with someone.

Heartmama
post #26 of 86

clarifying the difference between self-sacrifice, compromise, common preference.

JW,

I read your post carefully and I think it is amazing how devoted your are to your son and how lucky he is that his mother has such extensive medical knowledge. I'm not convinced that it contradicts my orignal statement that:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't want my loved ones to sacrifice for me and I would never ask or expect them to. Despite the entrenched theories we are all raised (coercively) to believe and accept, I have come to see that self-sacrifice is seldom an act of genuine love.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't think that you self-sacrificed for your son, unless you resented doing what you did or feel that you shouldn't have had to do what you did for your son. You also may have self-sacrificed if you now expect your son to pay you back in some way for what you did (by being grateful, behaving better, etc.). If you acted out of genuine love for your child (as it seems to me you certainly did), you did not coerce yourself: you *chose* to do what you did despite the "costs" to yourself because you felt that those "costs" were well worth it for the desired results. That is an act of genuine love.

In the original message, the discussion centred on compromise vs. common preferences and the idea that a compromise usually involves one or both parties having to "give in" or "give up" some part of their preference. A common preference, on the other hand, is a solution that all parties are completely happy with. Some parents argue that compromise is a good thing which they strive to "teach" their children to do by forcing them to "give in" or "give up" a little). The ubiquitous "sharing" idea which is foisted on children is a good example of this. TCS parents do not agree that this is a good thing to learn. Far better, we think, is it for children and parents to learn how to find/create solutions where no one has to give up anything. If someone volunteers to "give up" something because it makes sense for them to do so (without any outside coercion), then there is no self-sacrifice. For example, if my child is playing with a friend and the friend asks to play with hir favourite toy, my child knows that s/he can say "no" with just cause and I will support hir in whatever way I can. But if s/he chooses to say "yes," because it makes sense to her to do so (i.e. she *wants* to), then s/he is not in a state of coercion (through self-sacrifice). *Giving* is not self-sacrifice. *Giving in*(against one's will) always involves some degree of self-coercion. It may be a subtle difference, but I think it is an extremely important one.


Netty
post #27 of 86

Agree to disagree about what?

amnesiac wrote:
_________________________________________________
I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree, that's exactly what it seems to be saying to me.
__________________________________________________

Can you be specific concerning what you disagree with?

Thanks,
Netty
post #28 of 86
Netty, I read Just Wondering's post and your reply, and I disagree with the point you made.

you said: "I don't think that you self-sacrificed for your son, unless you resented doing what you did or feel that you shouldn't have had to do what you did for your son. "

Also, You went on to say that what she did was actually an act of genuine love.

I would bet that JW did what she did because she loved her son, and had more than a few moments of resentment at him and the situation along the way, because after all, it was a ROTTEN situation to be in, and it is perfectly human to feel both devoted and frustrated to doing the right thing.

She certainly did sacrafice of herself for her son, I mean, good lord Netty, that ordeal likely took years off her life! It certainly *was* a sacrafice, it was the right thing to do, and no doubt the only reason she was willing to sacrafice was *because* she loves him so.

To call it an "act of love" meaning it was without resentment just makes me laugh. As if an act of love has no room for resentment or frustration.

It does, trust me. As the parent of a child who has logged countless hours hospitalized for a serious birth defect, I can *Assure* you that long scary days spent by the side of a sick child you love more than anyone are filled with nights of fear, anxiety, and even resentment. But you still get up and love and stay with that child the next morning (while your tired who sat up all night turns in for his break).

Sometimes parenting is a sacrafice, and an act of love, all at once.

Heartmama
post #29 of 86

Semantics matter

Just Wondering wrote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
....it comes down to how someone sees the meaning of the word "sacrifice".
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. That's why I clarified what I meant by that word (and how, to my understanding, TCS theory uses the term). If you mean something different when you use the word "self-sacrifice," then I'm interested in hearing your definition of the word. And by working together, we might come to an agreement about how to use this term. But the "word" doesn't matter so much *as what we define it as meaning* when we are discussing it. So, I think it is wrong for one to do something for someone else that one does not want to do or feels coerced into doing. I use the term "self-sacrifice" or "self-coercion" for any action or inaction which one undertakes against one's will or judgment for the sake of someone else.

Netty
post #30 of 86

About non-coercion....

Since TCS's most distinctive feature is that of non-coercion in education and family relationships, maybe disussing coercion and non-coercion would be helpful (based upon the definition at the TCS website) in understanding about TCS.

I think it can take years to understand what is on the TCS website. There is a paradigm shift necessary, imo. A person must decide whether or not it is right for parents to coerce their children. One's understanding of how learning happens needs to be examined and compared to the TCS theory of non-coercive education, as this is a basis for the understanding of how coercion can harm learning and the ability to think rationally and solve problems.

For those who are interested in learning more about autonomous learning and consent-based non-coercive parenting, I recommend Jan Fortune-Wood's books- 'doing it their way', 'without boundaries', and a new one out, 'bound to be free'.
post #31 of 86

laelsweet- language and trust

laelsweet wrote:

"in searching for common preferences with other family members, what are some ways of speaking and working through conflict verbally, which have been successful for people?"

One of the suggestions I've heard that I like alot, is about talking out loud in the midst of conflict- say, two small children are having a conflict, and the parent starts talking " I'm sure there is a solution to this problem. What could it be? " and continuing with the thought process, including frustration and talking about the failure to find a common preference, if that is the case.

Talking honestly about what one is trying to do- finding common preferences- what everyone's preference is, really examining what each person wants (do I really want to go to the movie if it is going to make someone I love miserable? would I prefer to find something that we would like to do together? Or help that person find something that they really want to do, while I go to the movie?) can bring to light misunderstanding or assumptions or expectations that the people involved didn't realize existed. Such new knowledge can help create a common preference.

"i wonder if people run up against years of winning and losing power struggles (rather than having found solutions that make everyone happy), and find that old habits, reactions, ways of speaking, are difficult to overcome? this is my experience. "

Yes. It is a big shift to make in one's thinking, to go from 'someone has to win and someone has to lose, in the face of conflict' to 'everyone can get what they want', and to figure out how to make that happen. It can be a long and painful journey, confronting and dismantling entrenched ideas.

"simultaneously, the revelation of an underlying lack of trust (fear of being coerced) and while each common preference found does build trust, nonetheless some communication tools would be helpful in showing that people sincerely wish to find common ground (are trustworthy). "

It does take some time and experience to come to trust the process. A parent, at the same time they are learning to recognize coercion and avoid causing it for their children, is also learning to recognize how and when they coerce their own self. A parent has to come to trust their own self to not coerce, well, their own self. Trust, among family members, will come. The big shift is focusing on consent in problem solving (with one's self as well as with other intimate loved ones) , rather than coercion.

"to begin with, attempting to say " i want ____." "

Yes. Excellent beginning, to figure out what one wants, one's self. Not as easy as it seems it should be. It is also acknowledging one's own autonomy, and the other's too. Each person speaks for their self.

Language is very important. The difference between saying "I feel miserable" and " you make me feel miserable" is a huge one. When a person catches theirself using negative language, they can correct theirself immediately, out loud. Apologize and try not to do it again. One can ask others to point out when they are using negative language or coercing. Instead of 'I/you have to/must/need to' use 'I prefer'.
post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by Just Wondering
Dear Netty,

I guess this is where we are always going to have problems, because it comes down to how someone sees the meaning of the word "sacrifice". To me, I would do this again tomorrow. Well, hopefully not. But at the time, I was in the middle of a court case, and January is a very busy month for me, pickling, and making jam as well. So I knew that that would simply have to go by the board, because my son's needs were greater.
Hi, JW, nice to see you're 'back.' LOL. What you did for your son was a sacrifice, no doubt, in that by being at his side 24/7 you were unable to do tasks that you had planned. But it doesn't sound from your description like a self-sacrifice. I didn't pick up on any resentment in your description of what happened. If anything, I heard a touch of pride that you did such a great job fighting for your son's rights, and possibly saving him from a medical (read: hospital-induced) disaster. It seems you didn't feel coerced into attending to your son. As a mother, you did what you knew you needed to do to ensure your son got the care he needed to get through this crisis.

[QUOTE]
So I chose to sacrifice those jobs as being meaningless in the sense that the BEST OUTCOME for my son was the most important thing to me. It was still a sacrifice to me. And I had to do double time after wards to catch up.
[QUOTE]
Right there you just admitted that while this was a sacrifice on your part, you chose it willingly, therefore it wasn't self-sacrifice. You did what was most important at the time, even if it made more work for you in the future. Aren't you glad you made that choice?

Respectfully yours,
Paula Bear
post #33 of 86
I would have to agree that parenting can and does involve sacrifices that are out of genuine love, and can also involve feelings of resentment, hurt, or a wish to be repayed, or none of these things at all.

I too was faced with choices when my 3rd son was born with a critical heart defect. My husband and I sacrificed entire days and evenings to be at his side, pump milk for him and nurse (when they let me), and be involved as much as possible with his care. This may seem like a no-brainer decision on my part, but we left 2 young children at home (with grandparents), one of which was not yet weaned and had never spent more than a few hours away from me. So.....at night we would leave our precious newborn in the hands of the NICU nurses (who were for the most part wonderful) so we could co-sleep with our older children. So we made sacrifices of ourselves for the benefit of one child at the expense of the others, and then the other way around. We did it all out of love and expected nothing in return. I don't even recall feeling resentful. After we brought our baby home we were confined to the house for a month, and therefore our older children we "coerced" into staying in more than they would have liked (unless I was able to arrange for a friend to come and pick them up). I truly believe however, that this experience has taught more to us as a family about sticking together through difficult times and about things not always being exactly the way you might want them to be for the benefit of someone else than any obscure discussion on what my best theories are. I would have been beyond my limit if my then 3yo and 7yo had an equal voice in decision making during that difficult time.

On a more mundane level, I'm not clear how this TCS concept would work with 5 different personalities always trying to come to a consensus. It seems to me that someone would always end up losing out at some level. Say for instance, we had plans in advance for a family outing. On the day of the outing, 6yo son decides he doesn't want to go. Does one parent stay home with the child under the TCS concept? Would everyone try to convince the child to go or would that qualify as coercion? What about everyone else's desire to perhaps have the whole family be together for the day? What if the event had been paid for in advance? What if the parent (drawing on years of experience and knowledge of his/her own child) knows that the child will probably enjoy the outing once there? Maybe this is a situation a TCS parent would never get into in the first place.

It just seems to me that for many issues, the parent being the final decision maker actually *liberates* the child from having to deal with things they should not have to worry about and just lets them be kids.

G'night.
post #34 of 86

Re: Agree to disagree about what?

Quote:
Originally posted by Netty
amnesiac wrote:
_________________________________________________
I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree, that's exactly what it seems to be saying to me.
__________________________________________________

Can you be specific concerning what you disagree with?
I think I finally understand what amnesiac is saying!

amnesiac is interpreting the TCS site's policy of allowing anyone to call another theory Taking Children Seriously as implicitly endorsing that alternate theory, or at least as implicitly saying that that alternate theory is just a valid of a theory as the one on www.tcs.ac. In other words, TCS would agree to disagree with that other theory.

This is wrong. If a theory was presented that claimed to be a better theory than TCS, regardless of the name, that theory would be examined, critiqued, criticized and debated to determine if in fact better ideas are being presented.

I strongly doubt that any of the current proponents of TCS would ever "agree to disagree" with another alternative TCS or rival theory, as evidenced on Gentle Parenting these last couple of weeks. I know that I would examine it until I either agreed with it or disagreed with it, period.

Pat
post #35 of 86
I agree that life does not always offer parents and children an easy framework within which to look for consent. I have shaken my fist at God a few times, and done what has needed to be done. A TCS family will advocate for their selves and do their best to support each other, striving to solve problems by consent, in the framework of situations that life throws their way.

In the case of a family that has plans to do something all together, and when the time comes one person decides they do not want to take part in the planned activity, a TCS family would brainstorm together to find a solution that everyone likes. What if it is that one of the members of the family does not feel well, needs to stay near a bathroom, say. A family would be likely to help that person out, find a solution for the problem, without recrimination. Why would it be different if a person changed their mind about an outing, for whatever reason?

In a TCS family, the person who changed their mind could be certain of being heard and supported, have their concerns and their wants addressed seriously. In the same way, the person with the mind change would listen to the concerns and wants of the other members of the family and together they can figure a solution that fits them all.

By assuming that there are solutions, the potential pool of solutions is huge. People change their minds, and it is ok for people to change their minds- in fact it is a good thing that people change their minds or they'd never learn and grow!- let alone find a common preference. By including as many people as possible in brainstorming for solutions, there is more input from which to figure a potential solution.

Discounting a person's input because of their age, or lack of experience, or because they are the wrong color or gender or religion or hold theories contrary to one's own, severely limits the potential pool of solutions. Some great seeds of solutions to problems parents encounter come from people who have no parenting experience themselves- kids! as well as others of all ages. Heck, the family dog might have some great input, at times.

Such a situation as the family with plans that one person has changed their mind about presents an opportunity to learn. Upon examination, more than one problem that needs solving might come to light. If the problem is that the family does not spend enough time together (and one or more of the family had pinned their hopes of togetherness upon this one occasion), they can look at more ways to spend more time together as a family. If that is the main goal of the day, to spend it together, then everyone staying home might be the best solution. If some of the family want to go ahead with the plans, and others are fine with staying home or doing something else, they could arrange that. It could turn into an opportunity for certain children to get more one-on-one time with a parent. If the parents want to spend time together, they can plan for more of that another time or many more times. There are as many solutions to be found in this situation as there are families finding them. It depends upon each person's preference. A TCS family will strive to find consentual solutions.
post #36 of 86
Larsy said:

"What if it is that one of the members of the family does not feel well, needs to stay near a bathroom, say. A family would be likely to help that person out, find a solution for the problem, without recrimination. Why would it be different if a person changed their mind about an outing, for whatever reason? "


What you are suggesting is that our reasons do not matter. If an action is excusable under any circumstances, then it is excusable under all circumstances.

Is this what you are saying Larsy?

Heartmama
post #37 of 86
Larsy said:

"I think it can take years to understand what is on the TCS website. There is a paradigm shift necessary, imo. A person must decide whether or not it is right for parents to coerce their children. One's understanding of how learning happens needs to be examined and compared to the TCS theory of non-coercive education, as this is a basis for the understanding of how coercion can harm learning and the ability to think rationally and solve problems."

I respect this is a complex decision for some but it need not be for everyone. You said a person must decide whether or not it is right to coerce. No, that isn't true. You can ultimately decide coercion is acceptable in some instances but unacceptable in others.

Also, you can believe coercion is not acceptable in education, however, it is acceptable in another capacity.

You can decide that coercion is damaging in one capacity yet beneficial in another.

Heartmama
post #38 of 86
Heartmama wrote:

"What you are suggesting is that our reasons do not matter. If an action is excusable under any circumstances, then it is excusable under all circumstances. "

I think that all reasons matter, to the person who has the reason (to do or not to do whatever), and that the person and their reason is to be respected.

If, as in this example of the family going on the outing, one person has the reason that they are sick, the rest of the family is sympathetic and wanting to help them out. If the person has the reason that they are tired and don't want to go, or that they would rather stay home because they are interested in doing something there, or maybe they get carsick in the car and don't want to go for a long ride, or they've just realized that they will miss a favorite tv show, or they'd rather play with their friend that day- they have a legitimate reason for wanting to do what they want to do.

I think each is entitled to have their reasons for action, which are as legitimate- by their lights- as the reasons for action of all the other people around them. This is the basis for respect for each person, in finding common preferences. Each person's preference holds equal weight.

A family member's voiced preference of not wanting to go on a family outing is the departure point for discussion, not an ultimatum.

In the family's discussion, each person can give their reasons for wanting what they want, and try to persuade others to thier point of view. New information can come to light- like, perhaps the child gets carsick- and solutions can be found. The mom could be the one wanting to stay home on her own, having not gotten enough time to herself recently and just needs to recoup. Taking someone along on an outing who does not want to be there is usually not a pleasant experience for anyone, and would be avoided in a TCS family.
post #39 of 86
hearmama wrote:

"I respect this is a complex decision for some but it need not be for everyone. You said a person must decide whether or not it is right to coerce. No, that isn't true. You can ultimately decide coercion is acceptable in some instances but unacceptable in others."

The thing about coercion- that is, the psychological state of enacting one idea or impulse while a conflicting impulse is still active in one's mind- is how coercion can harm learning and the ability to think rationally and solve problems.

It seems to me- YMMV- that avoiding this sort of harm is a good thing. I personally don't want to inflict it upon my self or anyone else, especially those I am in close relationship too, my children most of all. I don't think that it is right to coerce my children, ever. Note: this does not mean that TCS parents never coerce their selves or their children, being imperfect humans, but consent is what they aim for.

"Also, you can believe coercion is not acceptable in education, however, it is acceptable in another capacity. "

As autonomous learners, we believe and experience that people are learning all the time. I have yet to find an instance where coercion is a good idea, that is, causing this psychological state of coercion in my own or another person's mind, deliberately.

"You can decide that coercion is damaging in one capacity yet beneficial in another. "

For instance?
post #40 of 86
Thank you, JW for your words of support, and Larsey for your acknowledgement and well thought out reply.

As I read through these TCS discussions, I do get the feeling (like JW) that indeed this concept seems to fit into the ideals of parents who are at the relatively early stages of parenting, or perhaps only have one child. I read a book when my oldest was a toddler called Raising Your Child by Love, Not by Force (or something close to that, can't remember the author) and I thought the ideas were wonderful! From what I remember, it supported parenting in much the same way as TCS. However, I found it did not work in practicality, as my son did not seem to react to my giving into his desires all the time the way he was supposed to, according to the book. I found that some limits and guidance were necessary, and still find that to be true, especially as more children enter the picture and they become older and better able to understand why decisions are made and why one cannot always be perfectly happy (even adults) all the time. In fact, I don't think negative feelings need to be avoided and should be embraced as part of life's experiences and lessons. I think one's own parenting philosophies develop over a period of time and are always evolving as long as one is a parent. As a young mother I was always looking for info. for that one perfect way to raise the perfect child. As it turns out, I've drawn on many sources of info., the examples of other parents, and my own experience to come to the place I am today.

Larsy, your discussion on how a TCS family would handle consensus in the situation I described is very helpful. In fact, I know many opportunities present themselves like the one described in which we as a family can evaluate where we're at as a family and what things can be changed to better meet everyone's needs. I don't however, agree that every situation that arises is up for debate, discussion and ultimately consensus. I feel as a parent it is my job to feel out the framework in which my children can make their own choices. There are also situations in which there are no choices, except to co-operate or not. All will have a result, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, and we are all affected.

I also believe that children are not little adults, and rely on us as adults to protect their childhood. They do not make choices or learn about the world in the same way we do. We cannot compare how we would respond to an adult vs. a child in X-situation, as an adult would in most cases react quite differently.

Well I've been sitting here too long. This is an interesting discussion, but I must be off!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › TCS Discussions 1