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What's TCS? - Page 7

post #121 of 233
Sarah, I kind of see what Captain Crunchy was saying and I don't know if it's exactly related to what you mean. Mothering is kind of a self-limiting group. Really mainstream moms aren't here - the types who do see themselves as truly more valuable. I think what she was talking about was seeing our kids as of equal value, and their wants and needs as equally valuable to our own. Treating your children as though they are at an equal level of development to you isn't the issue here I don't think.

I grew up in a family where my mom would make steak for herself and dad, and make us mac and cheese even though we would have liked steak too, and they said it was because steak would be wasted on us - it was too expensive for kids. That is the kind of mind-set I think Captain Crunchy was talking about. There are people who honestly treat their children as though they are of lesser value, but there might not be any people like that here on MDC.

I might be completely off CC, and I apologize if I am, but I've used that same statement about my parenting philosphy (though I don't think I'm TCS because we do have some coercion in this house) - the statement that my dd is of equal value to dh and myself and her wants and needs are equal to ours, and we behave that way.
post #122 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I completey agree with Dar... I don't feel that rebellion is *neccessary* in child development. Coming from the perspective of a sociologist (I majored in it but have yet to write my dissertation), rebellion is, in essence, the reaction to feeling controlled -- and in an environment where you remove that control, there is not a need to rebel. Now, it should be said that asserting independence is different than *rebelling*. I fully expect my daughter to get to a certain age where she begins expressing (as Dar said) the desire to "do her own thing" -- spend time with people other than us, perhaps plan activities that don't include us etc, buy and listen to her own music, keep her bedroom door shut etc...and that is perfectly okay. I firmly believe though, that rebellion is a direct reaction to being controlled. In a completely unscientific consideration of all the people I have known in my life, I do notice that the ones who "rebelled" the most (myself included) were the ones that were most controlled by their parents...even if their parents were loving, decent people.
I think there is another aspect to it. Two children exhibiting the exact same behavior. The less controlling parent does not see this behavior as rebellion. The more controlling does. But really the children are doing the same thing.

I have heard some posters who claim that their children don't rebel and that they usually make good decisions and they dont see any "typical" teenagerish behavior. And yet these same posters in other threads describe behavior that if my daughter exhibited it I would consier it very rebellious, and far "worse" behavior than behavior I have seen and described in my "rebellious" daughter.
So "rebellion" is often in the eye of teh beholder.
A child who may have nothign to rebel against will sometimes participate in risky unwise behavior. But since the parent is not trying to control them, they dont define the behavior as rebellious.

joline
post #123 of 233
mamazee, that was exactly what I was talking about, thanks! What I meant was that many parents I have seen, however respectful and loving to their children seem to have a need to control them, to make sure they are "well-behaved", to limit choices, to punish... and to me, in seeing your child as equal to yourself in terms of who they are-- even if you consider their developmental stage and limits in impulse control-- I find that the mindset is slightly different. I am not saying that parents who do this are lesser parents than me AT ALL, I am just saying that I feel a TCS approach eliminates a lot of arbitrary rules that cause many of the power struggles a lot of parents have. I mean cmon, how many posts on here do you see that say "help, my child wants to jump off the roof" compared to the ones you see about "my child won't go to bed at said time" or similar. That was all I was saying...

I see your point too johub, the idea that it is about perspective. I am however, of a STRONG belief that children who aren't acting *right* aren't feeling *right* -- I mean, I am sure it has happened, but I have hardly EVER met anyone or seen anyone on TV or in the news who is a herion addict that robbed a bank for their next fix that was raised in the kind of households we try to have on MDC (respectful, gentle, loving, attentive etc). Again, I am sure it is possible, but it is certainly not the norm. That is the reason I don't anticipate my daughter falling into many dangerous situations or *rebelling* the way some people describe. Of course she is not perfect, of course she will make mistakes, of course I don't expect she will make the best decisions *all* the time -- but I completely believe in my heart of hearts that having years and years of experience with being treated with nothing but respect, the ability to make her own choices, with the knowledge that she can be who she is (green hair, lesbian, republican *gasp* jk) and still be accepted and loved, that she will be so used to being treated with respect and so familiar with her voice being heard and her choices and opinions respected, so used to not being punished when she makes a mistake... that she will continue that in her adult life and not make choices that are going to contribute to her destruction of self.

I think much of rebelling (not green hair, but TRUE destructive behavior) has to do with a feeling of self loathing, at least I can speak for my own experience. I think it has to do with a feeling of wanting to control your environment when all you have ever been is controlled--even if you are controlling it negatively. I think it has to do with a feeling of wanting your voice to be heard because no one has ever listened. I think it is directly related to seeking love that you may have never felt -- even if you had people who loved you (if that makes sense)...and while I know I will make mistakes and I am sure my daughter will make hers as well, I just don't anticipate the type of destructive behaviours people describe as "rebellious".

My luck she will be a meat-eating republican who listens to Britney Spears ... :LOL how is that for rebelling? haha
post #124 of 233
I agree 100% with you CC. The type of thing I hear that annoys me the most is when I hear moms say something like, "How can I get my 2-month-old child to sleep through the night because *I need more sleep*." I can't help but think, why is the mom's need for sleep more valuable than the baby's need for food? If a baby is of equal value, then we would consider the baby's need for food as equal to an adult's need for food, which is above anyone's need for sleep, IMO.

Another one is when people say they want their kids to nap because they need quiet time in the afternoon. I understand the desire for quiet time, but if a child has truly outgrown naps, then why is the mom's desire for quiet in the afternoon so great that the child should have to sit for a long time in bed without doing anything?

The final one is when people say their kids have to go to bed at like 7 pm or something even though the kids aren't tired because the parents need "adult time" in the evenings. Again, if the kids and adults are of equal value, then the adults desire for adult time is not more important than forcing kids into rooms when they aren't tired. Again, I'm not talking about kids who are honestly tired at 7 pm, I'm talking about forcing kids who aren't tired to go to their rooms alone every evening because the adults don't want to have to hang out with kids in the evenings.

These are things I hear parents say all time time IRL (specific examples are courtesy of my sister-in-law). I think they are classic examples of cases where children are not treated of equal value to adults.

On MDC we have posts where moms say they want their kids to nap because they're obviously tired and they want to help them get the sleep they need, or they'd like their kids to have some quiet time in the afternoons because a baby is sleeping, but I haven't seen anything where someone says, "I know she isn't tired and doesn't need naps anymore, but *I* need her to nap so one way or another she's staying in that room for 2 hours in the afternoon, period" like I hear IRL. Because, again, this is a bit of a self-limiting group. Those kinds of moms don't read Mothering, and probably don't hang out here.
post #125 of 233
If rebellion is normal we are totally abnormal. I agree that it depends on how we are defining it and also who the situation involves. If we mean "an act or show of defiance toward an rules or authority" my family has a pretty clear absence of that because there are not a bunch of rules or authority type figures happening around here. However in another environment, with other people, my kids may decide to rebel or be defiant if they feel it's the right thing to do. I see that as a good thing really.
post #126 of 233
In the absence of strong authority isnt what would be an act of "Defiance" in another home just relabled as an "unwise choice"
Sure a child cant rebel if there is nothing to rebel against but then what do you call a pattern of unwise choices when they are given every right to make those choices?
post #127 of 233
Just an an added note on rebellion. In the book, In The Shleter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families, Mary Pipher (the author of Reviving Ophelia) writes that teen rebellion is a product of our culture. What you might make of this is whatever you make of this. I found it interesting and a bit different from what we are expected to experience.

She writes, "Teenagers hear that families are a hindrance to individual growth and development, and sadly, teens who love their parents are set up to feel odd. This sets up teenagers for trouble. Just when they desperatelky need their parents' guidance and support, they are culturally conditioned to turn away. They must tackle difficult tasks about sex, drugs, peers and chemicals on thier own. Rebels do not ask for adice and help....Our American love of rebellion makes the whole idea of commitment confusing. We are unclear about whether loyalty is healthy or unhealthy, good or bad. But commitment is about being there when it is not convenient or easy. It's about steadfastness in the face of change and crisis".

I am not saying that there are any easy answers, but i thought this was an intersting bit of writing. We think rebellion is inevitable, but our society is uniquely set up for rebellion. We can see that from public Middle School. Oy.




"
post #128 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
...but then what do you call a pattern of unwise choices when they are given every right to make those choices?
In a relationship with an adolescent (or maybe anyone?), the phrase "given every right" doesn't feel very indicative of a balanced or respectful relationship. If I used that term with my partner, it would indicate a very real problem.

And in any case, whether or not I was given a right was not ever the issue for me...I found plenty of ways to get into trouble without anyone's permission. What was a problem for me was that the people who were so emphatic about their "concern" for me didn't take into consideration ME. They had all the experience, and all the right answers, and I, well, I had no experience and foolish notions. Damn right I was going to do all those things they were totally afraid I'd do and show them I could handle it. I felt condescended to, not respected. What I wouldn't have given to have a relationship where I didn't feel judged or one in which I wasn't thought of as "lacking" in experience and therefore couldn't make wise decisions! Did I end up making wise decisions? Better believe I didn't. But that wasn't the point anymore. The point was to prove I wasn't wrong.

I honestly feel I would have had a safer adolescence with TCS parents. I don't blame my folks or their parenting for the decisions I made as a teen. I just know that for myself, I'm going to do my very, very best to be the person my daughter COMES to, not runs away from, if she's conflicted or troubled or just hashing something out for herself...green hair and all. I know I can't do anything that guarantees that, but I can sure work hard to tip the balance.
post #129 of 233
The green hair thing keeps coming up.
I just have to respond that my DD just happens to have green hair at this very moment! LOL
Can you see through my computer???
post #130 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah
I don't think that believing your toddler is incapable of making adult decisions in any way insinuates you think that person is lesser than you. It's just respecting their childhood.
This is a straw man... I don't think anyone expects a toddler to make adult decisions. My toddler didn't care how much I spent on a computer, or how I invested my money, or even what brand of peanut butter we bought. I wouldn't even say that everyone should be treated "equally", because everyone doesn't have the same needs and ablities. I do think that children are worthy of equal respect and equal self-determination.

Devaskyla - With a child who doesn't sleep, it sounds like going to sleep has developed some bad associations for him, and if you could figure out exactly what about it he's fighting you'd have a better shot at helping him. He's not acting rationally if lack of sleep is making him unhappy... perhaps he's had some nightmares, or perhaps he feels like he's missing out on things if he goes to sleep. Rather than talking to him about how he needs sleep, maybe you could ask him why he doesn't want to go to sleep. My daughter always slept better actually in bed with me, so that might help. You might also try making sure the environment is soothing and restful - dim lights, low noises, lots of snuggly blankets and pillows, back rubbing... My daughter used to like to fall asleep in front of a video at that age, when she took naps. She would snuggle up to me on the couch and rest, and sometimes fall asleep. Nursing to sleep also worked, if your son is still nursing. Some kids have a hard time slowing down and need a long time to wind down. Also, I always laid down and took a nap when Rain went to sleep at that age - I would usually get up again, but I would lie with her for half an hour or so. We never did a bedtime, but I would offer to read or snuggle when she seemed sleepy.

If you think he's gotten into a bad cycle and can't sleep because he's always overtired, a short-term sleeping aid might be a possibility, as well.

As far as touching stuff when you're out, maybe you could do errands without him if possible, and leave him with the other parent? Or maybe you could help find things he could do and touch when you're out, like ask him to get a loaf of bread or something at the grocery store, and channel his needing to touch things into things that you're okay with him touching.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
I have heard some posters who claim that their children don't rebel and that they usually make good decisions and they dont see any "typical" teenagerish behavior. And yet these same posters in other threads describe behavior that if my daughter exhibited it I would consier it very rebellious, and far "worse" behavior than behavior I have seen and described in my "rebellious" daughter.
You can't rebel without defying an authority - that's the definition of "rebel".

I suppose a TCS teen could rebel by refusing to participate in seeking mutually agreeable solutions, which they might occasionally do, especially when emotionally overwrought or hormonally challenged (or both)... but my daughter, at least, always gets past it. I think that's just normal teen behavior. I also think that making bad decisions at times is normal teen behavior - heck, it's normal *human* behavior, but because teens are often exploring more independence they generally make more than most. If it became a pattern, I'd wonder if perhaps I hadn't been sharing enough information with my teen, which is my job as a TCS parent...

Dar
post #131 of 233

Tcs

I had never heard of TCS until I read this thread. It seems like TCS is more of talking your children down--that TCS parents aren't really worried that their children are going to jump off the roof or die their hair green, because they know that they will have in-depth discussion until the child decides not to follow through with the action. I would rather cut to the chase and stop the behavior, then spend the rest of my time enjoying and just listening to my children.

The parents who enjoy their teens, and are not miserable during the pre-teen and teenage years, are the ones who are consistent, disciplined, and loving (and a lot of other positive qualities)--maybe they have their own philosophy, maybe they are TCS parents, but they are definitely not exclusively TCS parents.

TCS is an interesting philosophy, and I hope to read about these children's endeavors as adults and employees in several years.

sassykat
post #132 of 233
"As far as touching stuff when you're out, maybe you could do errands without him if possible, and leave him with the other parent? Or maybe you could help find things he could do and touch when you're out, like ask him to get a loaf of bread or something at the grocery store, and channel his needing to touch things into things that you're okay with him touching."

A couple of observations: Is channeling his needing to touch not a softer form of coercion? I guess I am confused. Also, if you are having to make arrangements to leave your children at different places, or with sitters, to avoid these situations, TCS would interfere with the Attachment Parenting philosophy.
post #133 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassykat
It seems like TCS is more of talking your children down--that TCS parents aren't really worried that their children are going to jump off the roof or die their hair green, because they know that they will have in-depth discussion until the child decides not to follow through with the action.
This is not true for my family. We do not just talk them out of something that we might disagree with. We definately talk (in fact I would say that discussion has been one of the most important things with my kids) to the kids to give our opinions, advice, what we think might happen if someone does "xyz", what happened to us when we did "xyz" one time, and so on...but it's in an effort to really share information not to bully them or wear them down. And for the record I dyed my kids hair green and purple and black.

Quote:
I would rather cut to the chase and stop the behavior, then spend the rest of my time enjoying and just listening to my children.
I would rather discuss my problems/feelings about any behavior with my child if it's anything that seems serious. At this stage in my kids' lives often we are just right out there with it and say "Hey, knock it off dude. You're bugging the crap out of me." but we laugh with that too. Works for us

Quote:
The parents who enjoy their teens, and are not miserable during the pre-teen and teenage years, are the ones who are consistent, disciplined, and loving (and a lot of other positive qualities)--maybe they have their own philosophy, maybe they are TCS parents, but they are definitely not exclusively TCS parents.
That is incorrect, sorry. I am very much enjoying the pre-teen and teenage years and we are TCS.

Quote:
TCS is an interesting philosophy, and I hope to read about these children's endeavors as adults and employees in several years. sassykat
I could be wrong here, and if I am misunderstanding you I apologize, but that sounds pretty snarky. If what you are really meaning here is "Wow when these kids grow up they are going to be totally clueless and unemployable!"... then just say that.
post #134 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
That is incorrect, sorry. I am very much enjoying the pre-teen and teenage years and we are TCS.
I think you misinterpreted her on this one point I think she meant that not only TCS parents raise children who make enjoyable teens, that other parents who employ consistant and disciplined approaches may also.

Otherwise, while this thread has been too fast and furious for me to really keep up, it's been very interesting and educational!
post #135 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by tboroson
I think you misinterpreted her on this one point I think she meant that not only TCS parents raise children who make enjoyable teens, that other parents who employ consistant and disciplined approaches may also.

Otherwise, while this thread has been too fast and furious for me to really keep up, it's been very interesting and educational!
Yes, you are correct. I was asking a friend about TCS last night, and we were talking about various parenting philosophies. Here's the analogy I made--I compare them to a skin care regimen--as long as a consistent schedule of cleansing/moisturizing, etc. is occuring twice daily, it doesn't matter what brand of product one uses, you'll see the benefits in your skin. LOL That probably sounds funny, but the point is that it's the consistency, not the philosophy, that produces enjoyable children.
Kat
post #136 of 233
UnschoolnMa-"This is not true for my family. We do not just talk them out of something that we might disagree with. We definately talk (in fact I would say that discussion has been one of the most important things with my kids) to the kids to give our opinions, advice, what we think might happen if someone does "xyz", what happened to us when we did "xyz" one time, and so on...but it's in an effort to really share information not to bully them or wear them down. And for the record I dyed my kids hair green and purple and black. "

I do not know any TCS parents, so I am just observing by reading the information on these posts, and I understand that the process of coming to a mutual agreement with children might be harder to explain in writing than it would be to observe in person. It seems the question of harm is the most prevalent in these posts--what do you do if your child's choices are going to harm, and after presenting your experiences and all of the valid reasons of why the child should stop, the child still wants to harm? It seems that more discussion is the only solution, until the child mutually agrees to stop. If this is the case, you can have the same result, with the child internally understanding the "whys", using a more direct approach, "Jonny, you cannot poke the baby in the eye, because it will hurt him--it would hurt you if someone poked your eye" rather than, "Why do you want to poke the baby in the eye? How would you feel if someone poked you in the eye? You know, one time, someone poked me in the eye and it really hurt." Jonny is still trying to poke the baby's eye. "What could you do instead of poking the baby in the eye? Go get a book and mommy will read to you." Jonny says no. Continue discussing until there is a mutual agreement?


"I would rather discuss my problems/feelings about any behavior with my child if it's anything that seems serious."


I think that goes without saying for most parents.



"I could be wrong here, and if I am misunderstanding you I apologize, but that sounds pretty snarky. If what you are really meaning here is "Wow when these kids grow up they are going to be totally clueless and unemployable!"... then just say that. "


No, I am curious about their relationships as adults and employees.
post #137 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassykat
"As far as touching stuff when you're out, maybe you could do errands without him if possible, and leave him with the other parent? Or maybe you could help find things he could do and touch when you're out, like ask him to get a loaf of bread or something at the grocery store, and channel his needing to touch things into things that you're okay with him touching."

A couple of observations: Is channeling his needing to touch not a softer form of coercion? I guess I am confused.
It could be... or it could be a mutually agreeable solution. It all depends on how he takes it, and how it's implemented. If he's thinking, "Dang, I really want to squish the cakes, but I guess I'll get the dumb old bread, anyway", then it was coercion... OTOH, if he's thinking, "Oh, yeah, this is even more fun, because I get to pick what bread we're buying and be the fastest bread-getter", then it was a mutually agreeable solution... kid is happier, and mom is happier because she doesn't have to buy three squished layer cakes.

Quote:
Also, if you are having to make arrangements to leave your children at different places, or with sitters, to avoid these situations, TCS would interfere with the Attachment Parenting philosophy.
I think attachment parenting practices usually are fairly well-aligned with TCS, but definitely not always. If a child is happier staying home with another parent, or going to a friend's house, or staying with a babysitter, then why not make everyone happier and let him do that? Making everyone suffer through shopping trips in the name of a philosophy is not something I'd do, anyway. Of course, if he's not happy being left behind, that's not a solution, but many kids are...
Quote:
TCS is an interesting philosophy, and I hope to read about these children's endeavors as adults and employees in several years.
My daughter had her first paying job at 11, complete with time sheet. She make $6.75 an hour to work as an actress in a dinner theatre. She was always ready to go on time, she performed her duties exceptionally well (even when she was ill... the show must go on), she pulled her weight and more, and after a 6 months run she was invited to come back anytime. Since then she's done paper routes and babysitting, and excelled at both. I don't know what she'll be like as an adult, but she's done really well as an employee so far...

Dar
post #138 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassykat
Here's the analogy I made--I compare them to a skin care regimen--as long as a consistent schedule of cleansing/moisturizing, etc. is occuring twice daily, it doesn't matter what brand of product one uses, you'll see the benefits in your skin. LOL That probably sounds funny, but the point is that it's the consistency, not the philosophy, that produces enjoyable children.
Kat
I think this is very true, to an extent. I think the TCSers, at least the ones who are posting here, have figured out a parenting philosophy that works very well, and that they are very dedicated mamas. I wonder if TCSers advocate their parenting for everyone? Dar and UnSchoolnma, would you recommend that everyone adopt this? Or would you agree that you two have exceptionally patient personalities ?

However, I don't think consistency is the only important part of child-rearing. You can consistently send your toddler to time out for spilling their milk, and just because you do it every single time doesn't mean it's contributing to their future happiness. I know that's probably not what you meant, but I wanted to point out the distinction.
post #139 of 233

transitioning to a TCS bedtime

I'm getting a lot out of this thread. After reading Unconditional Parenting and while mulling over this thread, I have been slowly moving more and more to TCS.

DS is able to reason and discuss mutually agreeable situations for rudimentary things. He appreciates our discussions and we all benefit from it.

From birth DS has been a sleep fighter. I remember at 2 weeks ds staying awake for 9 hours and I tried my darndest to help him sleep. He declared that he hates to sleep and he tries his best to make sure he doesn't.

Up until now, I didn't feel comfortable having ds take full control over his bedtime (although he already has a huge amount of input, and we try to make this time as gentle as possible).
I was worried that if I didn't have a break in the evening with DH alone, or by myself I would become a less capable mother. I believe a continuous lack of sleep and lack of quiet me time contributed to significant ppd, and when I don't have it now I now feel that depression slipping back. So for my family's health, we chose to create a gentle-parent decided bedtime.

I have two questions.
**What do TCS families do when a nonverbal (or a child unable to reason) needs start to affect the well being of the entire family, and a gentle GD parenting solution (but not TCS solution) is (partially) successful.

I mention partially successful because although DS falls to sleep everynight, we have not helped him discover the healthfullness of sleep, nor recognize on his own when he is sleepy and allow him to charge of that sleepyiness.

**Have you transitioned to a TCS bedtime and how did it go?

(I am going to search the nighttime forum also)
post #140 of 233
Sorry, double entry
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