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What's TCS? - Page 3

post #41 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar

So, if my young child wanted to jump off the roof, I wouldn't simply give her a bunch of reasons why it wasn't a good idea. With young children, experiences are much more effective than words.


Quote:
I do think children's brains and adults' brains work differently, but I don't think that means TCS can't work (well, I know it can, because I've seen it).
Same here, without a doubt.
post #42 of 233
I LOVE learning about this subject. I grant that my kids are "easy" so implementing TCS ways of doing things may be easier for me. Though, I have been told that my kids might be "easier" b/c I have always had a bit of TCS in me, not sure on that.

I do know that the things I have never tried to control, sleep, eating, grooming, have always been things my kids were ok with, the things I have undoubtedly tried to control too much (certain types of play for example) have become "issues" and I have found that when I "let go" of control there and allow my kids equal say, things get better.

I have also noticed that TCS does seem much easier with only one child, but I don't think that makes it impossible with more than one. I have 3- ages 5, 4, and almost 2. I am hoping that if I work harder now at teaching my kids how to find common preferences, that the years to come will be easier, b/c they will know how to live in peace as a family where everyone respects everyone else's opinion. I also think it would lessen (if not end completely) that issue where teens are trying to feel out their "power" in the family, if they have always had equal say in things, hopefully they won't have such burning needs to exercise that "power".

I think overall, all families could benefit from the practice of finding common preferences and questioning things that you take for granted are "bad" for kids. Even if you never identify as TCS, or desire to take it on completely as a way of doing things, it seems the more you work on the common preferences, the more your children would learn to respect others, and themselves.
post #43 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppermint
I think overall, all families could benefit from the practice of finding common preferences and questioning things that you take for granted are "bad" for kids. Even if you never identify as TCS, or desire to take it on completely as a way of doing things, it seems the more you work on the common preferences, the more your children would learn to respect others, and themselves.
Peppermint, this is a great point. After reading this thread, I have to say that I think parents who can do TCS full time are exceptional people. I couldn't do it, I'm just too impatient. But I am definitely going to keep trying to give my children as much say as I possibly can, and when I think I can't, I'm going to be inspired by these TCS moms to think even more creatively of a way I can.
post #44 of 233
I don't think I'm arguing that TCS doesn't "work" (in the sense of helping kids live safely, or become cooperative, or whatever else). I can see that it could, and in some ways (without the official title) it's the philosophy I've used with my own kids. I've always called it "the REAL REASON" philosophy, however. :LOL If I want my kids to do or not do some specific thing, I try to always give them the REAL REASON why I feel the way I do, and if they counter with a better REAL REASON why I should jump in the lake, that's fine too.

But what I'm saying is that I worry it might not actually be emotionally healthy for kids to be in charge of their own limits, no matter how rational they are. Again, I'm talking preschoolers here, since that's my world at the moment. With my own kids, I worry sometimes that giving them too much responsibility for their actions makes them FEEL less safe than a kid whose mom throws a "Because I said so" at them from time to time. I'm not saying they ARE less safe - after all, if you have to drive over a bridge with no guardrails, you are going to drive about as carefully as you have ever driven, and probably won't go over the side. But how much will you enjoy the ride, or the view?
post #45 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by obiandelismom
But what I'm saying is that I worry it might not actually be emotionally healthy for kids to be in charge of their own limits, no matter how rational they are. Again, I'm talking preschoolers here, since that's my world at the moment. With my own kids, I worry sometimes that giving them too much responsibility for their actions makes them FEEL less safe than a kid whose mom throws a "Because I said so" at them from time to time. I'm not saying they ARE less safe - after all, if you have to drive over a bridge with no guardrails, you are going to drive about as carefully as you have ever driven, and probably won't go over the side. But how much will you enjoy the ride, or the view?
I understand what you're saying... I guess I just don't think small children experience it this way. With TCS, parents try very hard to help their children avoid coercion, and the children know this. Whereas a traditional parent might see a child doing something potentially painful and let the child do it, because then he'll learn (like maybe a child who has been warned repeatedly not to run on a slippery surface because he might fall and hurt himself), the TCS parent would always endeavor to help the child avoid the painful experience. Children learn that their parents will always be helping them out.

I also think that most preschoolers have the power to do all sorts of dangerous things and the parents really have no power to stop them, and yet they don't, except for the emotionally disturbed preschoolers I've worked with... but I'm sure the average preschooler is at least as intelligent and could figure it out. They really choose to obey "because I said so", but they could choose to do whatever is forbidden. TCS kids are making the same choice, except that they're choosing to defer to a parent's recommendation than their command.

dar
post #46 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
Whereas a traditional parent might see a child doing something potentially painful and let the child do it, because then he'll learn (like maybe a child who has been warned repeatedly not to run on a slippery surface because he might fall and hurt himself), the TCS parent would always endeavor to help the child avoid the painful experience. Children learn that their parents will always be helping them out.
This has been something I have found myself trying to explain time and time again in my parenting life to people who only have experience with the "let them learn the hard way" route. I really like the way you put it here Dar.
post #47 of 233
Yes, yes, yes. Dar wrote a post one time that has stuck with me about "letting" kids watch movies and such with violence, or otherwise "inappropriate" content. I know some parents who allow this type of thing, one couple in particular, and when I first learned of TCS, I thought of them. They are SO not TCS, it's more like they are just uninvolved. Dar talked about all she would do to try to prepare her dd for such a video, all of the talking she would do to let her daughter know how disturbing this might be to her, showing her small clips, etc. for Dar it was all about doing what was best for her dd and teaching her, guiding her, sharing with her and he dd may or may not have chosen to watch the video after all that they talked about and all of the "leg work" Dar had done. The other parents I know would've said, "oh geez, my 6 yo asked to watch CSI Miami, why not?" and then he'd watch it, no prep, no follow up, no caring.

I think TCS often gets confused with parents who just don't care or are lazy/ neglectful. Frankly, the TCS way takes a ton more work than just saying "no, b/c I said so" to the movie, and the child *really* learns that the parent cares for them and respects them in the process and that, with input from others, they *are* capable of making good decisions. As an adult, I do this all of the time, I come here for ideas and suggestions, I value the opinions here the way a TCS child might value their parents opinions, I take them into account and run them through *my* mind and *my* reasoning before I use the ideas posted here. I want my children to have *that* kind of security.

And just to be clear, I am a TCS wanna-be :LOL, I so respect the mamas here who have done this from the start, b/c it is surely harder to impliment it later, but I think it can be done, and it is what I strive for.
post #48 of 233
OK, I'm intrigued by this thread. I appreciate the idea of treating my child as I would like to be treated.

But... I'm having a tough time with some of the specifics. To the pp who said she would be fine with keeping her child home from school for the day if s/he didn't feel like going... I don't get that.

How does that benefit the child in the long run?

In the short run, child gets immediate gratification -- avoidance of something s/he finds unappealling. It's highly likely that once the child learns that s/he doesn't "have" to go to school, s/he will request to stay home again.

So, in the long run, doesn't the child suffer? S/he will be left behind in classroom studies and may even be penalized by the school (not allowed to attend field trips, etc.) after multiple absences. Schools have attendance policies, after all.

And in the LONG long run, isn't the child learning that it's okay just to bail on anything if you don't feel like it at that moment? How is that a useful life skill? I mean, I'd love to bail on going to work when I don't feel like it... or any other number of things. I'd RATHER say, nah, I want to stay home. But I *don't* because I know that other people expect a certain level of responsibility from me. If I don't go to work, others will suffer. I can't afford to make it all about how *I* feel.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, you know? And I personally feel that a child should know that getting something you want *now* isn't always the best answer -- even if it SEEMS like a good idea at the time, both to parent and child to stay home, it probably isn't a good idea in the long run. The world has rules, like it or not... and no matter what we do at home, we need to be congnizant of these rules in the long run. That's being part of society.

And aren't we really looking forward to the long run, in thinking about what's best for our kids, and helping them contribute to society?

I'm puzzled as to how this approach can be beneficial.

chinaKat
post #49 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat
OK, I'm intrigued by this thread. I appreciate the idea of treating my child as I would like to be treated.

But... I'm having a tough time with some of the specifics. To the pp who said she would be fine with keeping her child home from school for the day if s/he didn't feel like going... I don't get that.

How does that benefit the child in the long run?

In the short run, child gets immediate gratification -- avoidance of something s/he finds unappealling. It's highly likely that once the child learns that s/he doesn't "have" to go to school, s/he will request to stay home again.

So, in the long run, doesn't the child suffer? S/he will be left behind in classroom studies and may even be penalized by the school (not allowed to attend field trips, etc.) after multiple absences. Schools have attendance policies, after all.

And in the LONG long run, isn't the child learning that it's okay just to bail on anything if you don't feel like it at that moment? How is that a useful life skill? I mean, I'd love to bail on going to work when I don't feel like it... or any other number of things. I'd RATHER say, nah, I want to stay home. But I *don't* because I know that other people expect a certain level of responsibility from me. If I don't go to work, others will suffer. I can't afford to make it all about how *I* feel.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, you know? And I personally feel that a child should know that getting something you want *now* isn't always the best answer -- even if it SEEMS like a good idea at the time, both to parent and child to stay home, it probably isn't a good idea in the long run. The world has rules, like it or not... and no matter what we do at home, we need to be congnizant of these rules in the long run. That's being part of society.

And aren't we really looking forward to the long run, in thinking about what's best for our kids, and helping them contribute to society?

I'm puzzled as to how this approach can be beneficial.

chinaKat
Yeah, this is what I'm wondering too. I'm guessing that a TCS parent would explain all that to them, but what if they still then decided to stay home? I guess you let them live with their decision, but isn't THAT kind of like "letting them learn the hard way?"

I don't mean that to sound sarcastic, I'm genuinely interested in how this works, and since you moms have done it...
post #50 of 233
My impression is that if you are prcticing TCS and your child does not like school you don't do it. I think most TCS families unschool. If your child wants to participate in school then the parent would probably explain the importance of fallowing the schools rules with regards to attendance etc., or maybe they would find a school with relaxed rules.
post #51 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by momoffour
My impression is that if you are prcticing TCS and your child does not like school you don't do it. I think most TCS families unschool. If your child wants to participate in school then the parent would probably explain the importance of fallowing the schools rules with regards to attendance etc., or maybe they would find a school with relaxed rules.
so, tcs sounds pretty impossible without homeschooling...
post #52 of 233
My understanding is that if a child wanted to go to school, a parent would try to accomodate that if it were found to be a mutually beneficial choice or whatever they call it. And if a child didn't want to go to school the family again would try to find a mutually beneficial choice. I do think, though, that most TCSers homeschool or unschool.

Also, I think TCSers probably aren't too concerned about making their kids good "worker bees" in society. The sentence "in thinking about what's best for our kids, and helping them contribute to society?" really doesn't jive with that Libertarian mind-set I think, because it assumes those two issues, what's best for kids and helping them contribute to society, are related.

But I'm no expert on TCS so I could be wrong.
post #53 of 233
It's probably difficult to understand TCS in the context of something like school, which is usually a pretty coercive place. Nearly all of the unschoolers I've known have been unschoolers - non-coercive schooling kind of goes with non-coercive parenting. I do know a girl who decided to go to school in 4th or 5th grade, first a private Waldorf and then she would up applying for admission to a fairly conservative Catholic high school and going there, and thriving...but she's the exception. And really, it was up to her. If she wanted to go to school, her parents were willing to drive her, and they'd try to help her get her needs met with the school, but they also gave her lots of information about the school's expectations and how things worked. She thrived...

But since school is an artificial environment and most TCS kids don't choose to particpate, especially young kids, it's probably not the best example. My daughter, though, has done things like play on soccer teams and act in lots of theatrical productions. Both were activities she chose to do, and her attendance at both has always been exemplary. Actually, her attendance at everything she commits to doing is excellent... and while she hasn't always enjoyed every part of the activity, she has enjoyed the activity on the whole. I think part of it was that she could see how her attendance has an impact on her goals - her time is being spent meaningfully, even if it's not always pleasant, and she is doing something she wants to do.

I think learning about the potential results of your decisions is an essential part of TCS - that's the "sharing theories" bit, in which a parent gives the child information that he or she thinks might be relevant to the child's decision. TCS kids don't have to agree with the parents, but they generally listen critically and evalute the information.

Quote:
I guess you let them live with their decision, but isn't THAT kind of like "letting them learn the hard way?"
Well, if possible, you try to lessen the effects of the decision - like, if it was school, you offer to write a note saying the absence was excused. And you also look at other solutions, like finding schools with a difference philosophy on attendance, or finding a way for the child to get the parts of the activity he enjoys without the parts he dislikes.

Dar
post #54 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat
so, tcs sounds pretty impossible without homeschooling...
Well, it's pretty impossible if you're coercing your child to go to school... if he wants to be there it can work.

Dar
post #55 of 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat
How does that benefit the child in the long run?

In the short run, child gets immediate gratification -- avoidance of something s/he finds unappealling. It's highly likely that once the child learns that s/he doesn't "have" to go to school, s/he will request to stay home again.
And she could request to stay home again whenever. No big deal as far as I can tell. We'd likely search for a school that was alright with us being absent whenever we wanted, or we'd maybe get any assignments for the days we were absent prepared for us to do at home. Whatever works. We unschool though, and like Dar said, many TCS families do because school tends to be pretty coercive. If a child wants to be at school then it works fine.


Quote:
I mean, I'd love to bail on going to work when I don't feel like it... or any other number of things. I'd RATHER say, nah, I want to stay home. But I *don't* because I know that other people expect a certain level of responsibility from me. If I don't go to work, others will suffer. I can't afford to make it all about how *I* feel.
Well, school isn't the same as your job IMO. (even though I have heard parents say that school is a child's job. I disagree.) TCS parents will share info with their children about what might happen as a result of any action or decision they might make. If you were repeatedly absent from work you'd likely upset your boss, co-workers, get a warning, pay cut, and/or be fired. My kids knew that at a very young age. TCS kids, IME, don't spend a lot of time being disrespectful to othes or shirking responsibilities.

Quote:
And aren't we really looking forward to the long run, in thinking about what's best for our kids, and helping them contribute to society?
Children making their own decisions, being respected and not forced? You bet I am looking toward the long run.
post #56 of 233
I just want to say unschoolma, I really agree with a lot of the things you say on MDC... not just in this thread...

Okay, enough of the @ss kissing LOL...

about this quote:

Quote:
But... I'm having a tough time with some of the specifics. To the pp who said she would be fine with keeping her child home from school for the day if s/he didn't feel like going... I don't get that.

How does that benefit the child in the long run?
My mom was far from ap or even gd, but in some ways she was kind of tcs if that makes sense. With this particular subject, my mom totally let me stay home from school whenever I wanted...which was rarely...

I am sure if it got "out of hand" she would have "made" me go, but there were certain times where I would plainly say "I don't feel like going to school today, can I stay home if I promise to catch up tomorrow" or whatever... and she did... I am not a degenerate or anything LOL and I was a pretty "spirited" child. Just my personal experience...

also this...

Quote:
and helping them contribute to society
It is important to distinguish between contributing to society and being a slave to society and their expectations of what is "normal"...

To most people I am a total freak I suppose, but I am happy, a wonderful wife, mother, and woman...

I love a lot of the TCS philosophies, but like anything, it is not my absolute answer to everything ya know?
post #57 of 233
>But... I'm having a tough time with some of the specifics. To the pp who said she would be fine with keeping her child home from school for the day if s/he didn't feel like going... I don't get that.<

I actually had an interesting experience with a neighbor kid and this issue. He is 12 years old and attends public school (always has). Anyway. we had him living with us for three weeks last Spring while his parents were in Europe. The first day with us he went to school, but he called part way through the day with a "stomach ache." Then the next day the same thing happened. At that point I said, "Look, when you live with me YOU get to decide about school attendance. But could you give me a heads up about your plans so that I can plan my day?" So he wrote up a series of schedules--wanted to be there certain days and times because he enjoyed it AND wanted to be there at other times because he felt it was important to accomplish certain tasks. SO he was totally rational about it, in my opinion. Went when it benefitted him and did other things when it was a waste of time. Of course, the school sent a counselor to discuss the situation with me. I asked, "Has his work suffered? Is he behind? Not turning things in?" And the counselor had to admit that he was totally caught up, doing fine, showing up for tests, with his homework (which of course, I also refused to enforce)

Just an ancedote to throw into the mix.
post #58 of 233
Well, with all due respect... if school is coercive... so is *life*.

I'm sorry but I just don't buy the fact that teaching somebody that you can always do exactly as you please is a valuable life lesson.

I like the general theory of tcs but I feel that taking it to an extreme just can't be helpful.

There are rules everywhere. Maybe I FEEL like writing an expletive-laden flaming post here, but I DON'T, because I want to be part of this community and don't want to get banned. I might talk that way all the time at home because I WANT to, it's my first amendment right. The site managers are being coercive, they are making me follow rules.

Just one stupid little example. But life itself is coercive. There are gentle ways to learn that, and harsh ways... but sheltering a child from this knowledge entirely doesn't make sense to me.

chinakat
post #59 of 233
This has been a wonderful discussion. Please, keep it that way. It is a great way for people to learn about lots of different aspects of parenting.
post #60 of 233
Chinakat, I thought the EXACT same things you are saying when I first learned of TCS, here, a couple of years back. I am hoping a true TCSer will answer your concerns and help you to see better the way that this philosophy works, if not, I'll try to come back tonight and give it my best shot. I *know* this all seems crazy at first.
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