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You HAVE to do things... (spin-off) - Page 7

post #121 of 434
Originally Posted by natensarah
Yes, because it has to be one or the other, right? We can either have unlimited toothbrushes, paste, etc, and a great relationship w/our kids, or we can have one toothbrush and nightly power struggles w/our children over brushing their teeth.
No, no, no. That's not what I'm saying at all. I think you might be reading things into these posts and getting defensive--I hope you can hear this in the spirit it's intended.

I was just saying that someone (I don't remember who) said that they thought someone else's buying a bunch of different toothbrushes and pastes was wasteful and not something that they would do. The jist I got was that they would just tell their kid that it was non-negotiable and enforce daily brushing.

To me, that's putting conserving toothbrushes over the kids' happiness. That's not my choice. If that's someone else's choice then I feel bad for their kid b/c I know what that felt like to me growing up. Maybe they don't even realize that that's what they're doing. I don't think most people realize that they don't even treat children like people. If that doesn't apply to you, then who cares? If it does, then maybe it's a good thing for someone to point out.
post #122 of 434
Jesus people! Stop posting so fast!!! LOL

Originally Posted by natensarah
OK, so we're on the same page here. But what about the fact that she initially refuses? I think if I were truly "non-coercive", I would just have to let it go at that.
I dunno...I don't see anything wrong with convincing people to do something. Once they've decided to go along, you're not coercing them anymore, you know.

In my house, it's not a just ask once and drop it kinda deal. We all present our needs or case or reasoning behind it. But, most of the time, people are ultimately just allowed to say 'no' and be done with it. But there is lots of dialogue and suggestions and problem-solving ideas thrown around in between.

I don't think "truly non-coercive" exists!
post #123 of 434
Originally Posted by yoopervegan
It does not hold true in the experience of your dcs. And I do not think anyone said every single child that is forced to brush their teeth will hate it, just as not every single child that is forced to eat veggies hates them. But I do think it is more likely to hate brushing your teeth if you are forced to do it against your will. Since your dcs like brushing thier teeth, it sounds as though you did not have to coerse them to do it. They "HAVE to" but they like to so it is not a coersive situation. But there are people here who do have trouble getting thier kids to brush their teeth and are asking for advice. Are you suggesting that children who do not want to brush their teeth should be forced to?

I mean haven't you experienced something like this? A good example from my life is school assignments that require reading books. I HATED most of those books. As an adult I have gone back and read them and found them quite enjoyable. I am quite sure I hated them because I was coersed into reading them (for a grade) when in actuality I like almost any book I pick up and am not picky at all.
Absoultely. I have forced my children to get their teeth brush at the rare times they have resisted. Usually they realize they like the taste of the toothpaste anyway.

I do agree about the book thing. I was exactly the same way. However I loved reading. So while I was forced to read, I still developed a love for reading. I may have resented having to read one particular book. And I have gone back and reread just about every one I hated (or refused to read) as a child or teen and loved it.
But reading , like food is about unique tastes and appetites.
I might hate the type of toothpaste I was forced to use as a child (a taste) but that doesnt mean I hate brushing my teeth.
So forcing me to read particular books made me resist those particular books, and not reading itself.
post #124 of 434
Originally Posted by johub
I have yet to see an example of a parent who chose this type of parenting based on the soundness of the philosophy who was not influenced by their own rebellious nature. Is it a philosophy based on a reaction to authoritative parenting by adults who were spirited and rebellious as children?

I guess I would be an example that you haven't seen My parents were AWESOME! We (there were 3 of us) were always treated with respect and my mom always says how much she loved our teen years. We were not "rebellious" at all. I loved my parents and trusted them. I could talk to them about anything and they would listen and offer advice but they were not coercive, never hit or even yelled - heated discussions maybe but we were all given equal say.

So I am parenting this way, in part, because of my parents and in part because it is what feels right in my heart.

Anna - need to go call mom and tell her I love her!
post #125 of 434
Originally Posted by johub
Absoultely. I have forced my children to get their teeth brush at the rare times they have resisted. Usually they realize they like the taste of the toothpaste anyway.

On that note, I think we have to agree to disagree. I do not think I have the right (let alone the resposibility) to force anyone to do anything. If my dh decided not to brush his teeth, I might give him my opinion as to why it think he should but I certainly would not force him to do it. I would probably call the cops on anyone that forced me to brush my teeth. And I feel that I should respect my dc in the same way. It is a basic human dignity thing IMO.

However, I do understand where you are coming from. I would have never believed that I would argue this side of the discussion a year ago

Happy debating
post #126 of 434
Originally Posted by johub
Parents mediate between the harsh realities of life and the child. If life doesnt "owe" choices, the parent chooses whether or not to offer them. It is not the parent taking away choices. But the parent offering more choices than life would without their mediation.
Just because children have their parents mediate between them and the harsh realities of life and the lack of choices that sometimes happens does not automatically entitle children to a free range of choices not availible to adults. Mom must go to work because of economic reality although nobody is holding a gun to her head. But because mom must go, in order to provide for dc. Dc must go to preschool. She does not have a choice in the scenario because it is her mother who is mediating between her and the world. To her mom is making her go to preschool. In reality the economic situation which necessitates mom to work is the same situation that necessitates the child to go to preschool. But the parent mediates and it is the parent who in actuality "makes" the child go to preschool.
If the parent has resources and creativity she might be able to offer an alternative choice, maybe a daycare or a home based daycare. But the choice the child wants , which is that mom stays home, is not an availible choice.
Given your example earlier that children choose their parents, is your perspective that no matter what the parent does to the child, the child chose it?

I consider my act of choosing to procreate initiated the process, prior to a child choosing me. Perhaps, I am stuck on my autonomous act of procreating separate from the act of the Universe providing for me to want to procreate. Who knows. But since I perceive responsibility for bringing a dependent being into the world by my direct actions, I am choosing to fulfill my (perceived) responsibilities to provide for his dependent needs in a manner to which he does not object due to my actions. My goal is to create mutually agreeable solutions such that my needs and our son's dependent needs are met without either sacrificing to the other.

So, if ds did not want to go to preschool. He would not *have to*. We would work together to meet his dependent needs in a manner to which he (nor I) object. Certainly, I would not force him to go against his will. At which time our son is independent, my responsibility to meet dependent needs is fulfilled, imo. As the voluntary caregiver, I would find a way to provide for his dependent needs to his satisfaction. If a time comes where, I no longer desire to be a voluntary caregiver, I believe I could relinquish that responsibility to an alternate voluntary caregiver to which our son is agreeable. My responsiblity being to find such alternate.

For instance, my husband and I like to go out in the evening for a dinner date, on occasion. At the time when our son was not agreeable for me to leave him with an alternate caregiver, I did not. As it is my active choice to be his voluntary caregiver of his dependent needs. When he was comfortable with my sister as an alternate caregiver, we began having dates every Wednesday. Unless ds did not choose to be left with her on a rare occasion. And we came back at any need expressed for us as his primary caregivers. Additional alternate caregivers have been developed and he is happy to stay with them and we have a date on most Sunday evenings too.

I have several friends who are practicing AP/unschooling as single parents. It is very hard. I am fortunate to have created a support system that is agreeable to our son and who treat him with the same degree of respect as he expects to be treated. If our son did not want to go to preschool, just as he did not care for several different alternate caregivers, we sought to identify the underlying needs and create different alternatives which met both his needs and my needs. Sometimes, my needs are postponed because I do not impose fulfilling my needs onto our son. And we have found alternative means of having couples time which does not create "have to" expectations on our son. But since we consistently work to meet all of our needs, we each are aware and considerate of eaches' needs and create mutually agreeable alternatives.

With the work and preschool, nitpicking whether it is coercive or not is not the point. Finding a solution that works for each member agreeably is the point. If our son doesn't want mama to leave, I would find a way to keep that from happening and meet our family's needs for financial resources. I imagine that would be challenging. But we have several friends with children who live consensually with only one income. Imposing coercion is a choice, imo.

post #127 of 434
Moma Justice,

Life with an autonomy seeking 2 year old can be exhausting and constantly demanding. However, two issues in your note stood out to me. From my point of view, not "having to" do anything you don't want" is not the same as "getting to do anything you want". With the shoes, Dh can just put them away elsewhere and engage your daughter in some more constructive way. It sounds like she wants dada's attention, interaction, reactions, engagement. He could provide that in some mutually agreeable manner, instead of ignoring the behavior which seems to be attention seeking. Meet the underlying need for positive attention.

The other issue is that your daughter does not have authority over you either. So when your daughter is distressed about you peeing, eating, bathing, etc, I would comfort her and just explain that you empathize that she is upset and let's sing a song and just meet your need. Doing what you need to do, doesn't mean that something is being done to her against her will. This is different than "making" her do something she doesn't want to do. I would still work to create a mutually agreeable alternative. Such as giving her a snack while you run to the bathroom in peace.

post #128 of 434
Originally Posted by happeeevraftr
How about this one: putting a diaper on for bed. Is that a pretty common question too?
I understand that your need is for the bed to remain dry at night and her need is to not wear those diapers. She does or doesn't want underpants on? I'd try the idea of waterproof cloth diapers, pullups, underpants over diaper, diaper cover over cloth training pants, wool waterproof pads (wicks away moisture even with large volumes), padding half the bed, double sheeting the bed (pad, sheet, pad, sheet), going without diapers, choosing diapers with different characters, walking her in to pee in the toilet at night several times, avoiding drinks after 6pm, eliminating dairy (like 60% of children with enuresis resolved with the elimination of dairy products, iirc), using Flander's Butt Creme (cures and prevents rash), post for more ideas as I am sure this isn't a novel problem.

Edited to add making the diaper fun as was suggested; put diaper on while standing and engage with something else, like toys on the couch, a show, a snack, putting diapers on babydolls, putting it on after she is asleep if this isn't upsetting in the am.

HTH, Pat
post #129 of 434
ok, i have a what if... what if your child (i have discovered that i have a very spirited two year old and need to go get myself some books.....) what if that child wants to color on everything but paper. What if you have a small place and not enough high places to pu things out of her reach...... (ugh she keeps getting into the art buckets) im trying to meet her creative needs.... im going ot attempt to allow her time at the table as often as i can to create.. but she wants crayons, or markers or pencils all the time and she wants to color with them and she does not want to sit. So ic an let her run around and color all over everyting when she gets a hold of them, i can get rid of all of our art stuff ( we live in a two bedroom apartment.. im working on getting a cupboard that i can lock), or i can take it away when she doesnt want to stay and color on paper. I always end up taking it away because she wont stay put them or let her have a chance to run around with her notebook only to fin dthat she has colored on the wall, mirror, her toys.

edited to add..... this results in a temper tantrum as does everything in which half them time my completely potty trained toddler ends up having an accident........... we seriously need some input on working with her....lots of tantrums ever since seh turned one.
post #130 of 434
For angela&avery - bath tub crayons were my DD's favorite (she still plays with them in the tub now and then)

She can color on the bathroom mirrors too - they wash off easy.

Just one of many suggestions that I am sure will come
post #131 of 434
Originally Posted by scubamama
Given your example earlier that children choose their parents, is your perspective that no matter what the parent does to the child, the child chose it?
In a way. Yes. But that is still no excuse for poor treatment, neglect abuse etc. . . I do believe that we choose the basic circumstances of our birth in order to progress in spiritual growth. If that is the case I do believe that we choose our parents and it may be based on waht they can do for us, or it may be because of the challenge they provide to the spiritual growth of the human that is born to the family as a child.
However, the child born is not in the same state of knowing as they are in their spirit selves and are innocent of this world. In addition, our spirit selves are not all knowing. They may choose unwisely. Or as human beings are not static, they may choose parents for one reason, and the parents change and become something other than what the child chose.
It is also possible that some of these decisions are hasty and not truly well thought out.
So while I do believe that children do choose their parents. I do not believe it gives parents license to treat their children as they will. I also believe children deserve our protection, even if they made a mistake in choosing their parents.
I understand if this seems bizarre to most, and brilliantly OT! LOL But since my belief that my children knowingly chose me, and knew what I would offer them at the time of that choice, I believe that this is the type of parenting they have chosen. Not everybody gets the privilege of knowing their children before they are conceived so this is not an argument that is likely to apply to many.

Originally Posted by scubamama

I have several friends who are practicing AP/unschooling as single parents. It is very hard. I am fortunate to have created a support system that is agreeable to our son and who treat him with the same degree of respect as he expects to be treated.
YOu are fortunate indeed.
post #132 of 434
Originally Posted by angela&avery
ok, i have a what if... what if your child (i have discovered that i have a very spirited two year old and need to go get myself some books.....) what if that child wants to color on everything but paper.
Can you paint your place? If so, what about that chalk-board paint? The tub and tile bath is a great place to go crazy and cleans up fast.

What about taping up big pieces of paper down the hallway walls?

Can you go outside and do sidewalk chalk?

Can you throw down thin plastic painters drop cloths in the kitchen and set up stuff in there?

What about getting a couple of different easels (cheap, at yard sales or ebay) and setting them up with different materials?

They have new window paint or markers or something out now, I think.

Sliding glass doors make great canvases.

Hope that helps...gotta run.
post #133 of 434
Oh, and you know what's great fun? Dry erase markers. They erase right off windows and mirrors with no problems at all. I don't know if you want to go the route of "some markers and crayons are okay to write on the mirrors with and some aren't" but I thought i'd put it out there just the same.
post #134 of 434
Originally Posted by natensarah
What's the distinction between TCS, and living consensually, if you don't mind my asking? Is there more to TCS?
From my understanding TCS is a religion.

Actually, I understand it to be an educational philosophy about how children optimally learn to use their judgement within their environment when they can freely act on their own perceived best interests through making theories, acting on them and evaluating the consequences without coercive obstruction and interference (but provided extensive opinions, information and moral authenticity) from others. It acknowleges that children are fallible as are adults. There are several HUGE threads in the GD archives and there is a website telling all about it, for those who are interested in the details. Basically, when common preferences can not be found, the choice defaults to the youngest child according to the TCS gods. The site is dogmatic, dictatorial and most perceive it as very judgemental, imo. The irony is that TCS preaches not to be dogmatic, dictatorial or judgemental of one's child.

Living consensually is living by consent. No one acts against another, nor makes another do anything without their agreement and consent (irrelevant of age, sex, religion, yada, yada). It is a process of relating with others based upon decision making (and conflict resolution) by mutual consent. The process is facilitated by identifying underlying needs in order to create solutions which are mutually satisfactory to all involved. It is not compromise, nor democracy. The compromise implies someone (or many) are less satisfied with the solution than their preference. Democrisy is dependent upon majority rule. Mutual consent implies all are satisfied with the identified common preference, without sacrifice.

post #135 of 434
my biggest problem is that she colors on everything.. in books, on the couch, on walls, my rocker, on toys .. and i think it is somewhat destructive and not so much creative to be doing those things. Im a little worried about her thinking she can color on the walls without paper if we let her color on ones with paper, and then there is the issue of storage if i buy a big roll of newsprint or easels ro whatnot...we just dont have a lot of room..i have no problem with her doing anything in the kitchen as far as creating, coloring on paper... its the creating on eveyrhting else. Are all these things suppost to curb her desire to color everywhere? We have bath paints that kind of stink and we had the crayons but i had a terrible time getting them off my tub wall....... we do rent and we cannot paint the walls, also giving us the issue of her coloring on the walls, we can paint to fix it, and wash off (its mostly crayons) but she did get a hold of a permanent marker ( i swear the child is part monkey) and they are all now on top of hte fridge..... she colored on a bunch of stuff in her room with it....... i just dont know what to do iwth her except take it away when she wont stay put with them, which gives us way to a tantrum, but i am def going to try to help her find a better choice more, rather than just take it away.. i just.. when she wont listen... i dont know what to do.
post #136 of 434
I can't read all seven pages of posts on this topic but I will add this-

I was raised by very permissive parents. My mother's father was abusive and so she responded to the abusive level of control in her childhood home by becoming very permissive in our home. It was all my choice. I could eat what I wanted when I wanted and she never told me no. She did many of the parenting things I read here but she was abusively too far the other way- there were no boundaries anywhere- push and reach for them as hard as I tried there were no rules or boundaries.

As a child in elementary school I would decide I didn't want to go to school and so I didn't have to go. I would leave school for days. Until I choose to go back. This didn't serve my educational goals I will tell you!

As a young adult I would try to find her boundaries by doing things like having sex in her house (she got me on bc and tried to discuss my sex life like a girlfriend) and smoking pot openly (she had never done drugs so she pretended to believe I was smoking oregano). I don't think it served me at all to be promiscuous or to use drugs.

In fact as an adult I found the worlds rules with cruel pain when I went to college and suddenly no one took my bull anymore. I failed out of college...I ran out of money...I ended up in collections.

And I thank god for that. I spent two years in heck in college and I learned that life has rules. I got my life together and got on with it.

My parents learned and protected my brothers from even this and they never had this experience in college but now they are thirty and still living at home. They still haven’t learned. What a tragedy that is!

Now I Look back and I am angry- I have even talked to my parents about it. I am angry. They hurt me by their failure to be parents. They cost me a lot. I am in pain by choices I made as a child- choices I should never have had access to make because I didn't understand them! I never understood the ramifications of sex at 14 - not really. I didn't understand what I was missing when I skipped elementary school and how it would hurt me for years....I think they failed me and I think their permissiveness was as abusive as beating...just different.

I will never do that to my children.

There is middle ground. There is loving guidance and rules. Rules make kids feel safe. I see my Step son, when he isn't provided with rules he is out of control. When he understands clearly the rules he is happy and safe feeling. I let him participate in deciding on the rules, I can let the consequences be either logical or ones he has chosen but I owe it to him to provide clarity as to the rules. So he can know what to expect and he doesn't have to flail for the edges.

My children are babes and too young to choose everything for themselves. For example my son doesn't know that in the morning he need protein to get his system started and that carbo loading for breakfast can start a lifetime of weight issues. But he might well prefer carbos. He doesn't know that drinking too much milk can deprive his body of nutrients found only in solid foods he is not eating when he drinks too much milk. I have to help him make choices that are good for him.

He doesn't know that it took two months to get this doctor's appointment and we have to get to it on time or pay $50 cancellation fee and wait another two months. I know this. I have to act to help it happen.

I don't have to beat him. I don't have to deny his will to make these things happen. I don't have to be mean or evil or abusive. But I do have to be in charge. If my children were able to be in charge at this age they would be more like horse babies and come out able to talk and feed themselves and be sexually mature 6m after birth. My children are human children- they are not ready to be in charge right away. They depend on me.

Humans are the only animal who worries about our young's happiness. The rest of the animals worry about making sure their young are competent. I worry that so many moms today are so worried about happiness they forget that competent people are usually very happy- being competent makes one happy. I love doing things well, I love feeling like I know how to do things. I want my children to be happy and competent to survive this world. I want them to know how to do things.

And I do things that I don't want to do...sure there are false choices...perhaps I choose to pay taxes so I don't go to jail but that is the same false choice as my son choosing to share so he doesn't loose his toy or get a time out. I mean there really isn't much of a choice there is there? You can call it a choice but face it you would have to be a masochist to choose wrong.
post #137 of 434
Thread Starter 
Wait, I don't get it. A child "chooses" their parents, they are that sophisticated even before they are a spirit inside an infant body, yet they are not capable enough to make their own tiny decisions like what they eat or whether or not they brush their teeth?

Doesn't make sense to me, seriously.
post #138 of 434
There are things that need to be done and not everything can be fun and playful, sometimes my dd is absolutely against doing something that needs to be done, like getting her shoes and socks on for school or picking only one stuffed toy for school, but we still have to get these things done so I help her do them. You don't have to be punitive, hurtful, or angry in order to make your child do something they don't want to do, and I don't think that a calm person who helps a child complete a task should be thought of in the same sphere as a person who smacks their child in order to make them do things, but that is what these kinds of threads seem like they are doing. I can't imagine a parent who never has anything that their child has to do. Perhaps there are people that never have to push things in order to get things done or who have easy going kids really who always want to do everything if only the parents can always make it fun, but not everyone has those kinds of kids or those kinds of lives.
post #139 of 434
Originally Posted by Wugmama
I haven't read all of the posts. Not actually in a good state of mind lately to be reading this stuff, but do have one very basic question.

I am getting what some, like Pat and cc, are saying about non-coercion. But what about denying a request - that isn't coercion. Like what about if a 3 year old wants to watch TV all day and the doors to the TV are kept closed and locked? What is the take on that? This non-coercive parenting doesn't mean complying with every request, does it?

Obstructing her will when it doesn't impact others is coercive, imo. Finding a mutually agreeable alternative may mean engaged play, going to the park, baking cookies, having playmates over, lunch with dada, dancing around the room, throwing a ball outside, reading books, playing hopscotch, finger painting, etc. Complying with a request is different in that it requires your consent too. Finding mutually agreeable ways for her request to be met and your need to be met is often possible. Just as there are ways for your request to be met and her need to be met is often possible. But non-coercion does not mean doing anything you want, not if it impacts others or requires another's compliance or agreement.

Non-coercive parenting is not the same as consensual living though. NCP is not using coercion as a process of parenting. Living consensually (with or without children) requires more critical thinking and creative problem solving in order to create consensual decision making and conflict resolutions.

So, technically, I would believe it probably isn't coercive to have a locked TV cabinet, refuse to buy banana split ingredients, or refuse to change a wet bed. But it is not mutually agreeable either. And certainly without effort to meet the underlying needs of a child, it is adversarial, imo. But, preventing her from climbing up and opening the cabinet physically would be coercive, imo. Hiding the key? Not sure. But not what I would advocate either.

I am sorry you all are struggling so lately. We do when I have PMS. Evening Primrose oil tablets help my conflict resolution skills and my patience.

post #140 of 434
Ok, I am drowning here. I am only up to post 102 of 137 or so and I haven't left this thread!!!!

What is for dinner?

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