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You HAVE to do things... (spin-off) - Page 5

post #81 of 434
i am glad i read every post!
my dd is THe MOSt spirited child i could have ever dreamed of...and i was a teacher, nanny, and child from a large family...so i have been around a lot of kids in my time thus far.
and to maek it worse (MUCH WORSE) my dh is by nature very up tight and controling.....he has germ phobias for instance, so my dd likes to pick up his shoes and lick the soles.....in his face...
does she do that for me?
no not anymore, b/c i let go...unless her safety is involved.....i try and just stay out of her way. and she does pretty well most of the time...
i AM guilty of trying to force my will on her, sometimes it is needed for extream reasons....some times i am just tired and not my best momma self (she will be ok despite these instances)

this means i only buy her used clothes, tath way i do not even FEEL stress when she wants to paint her body with blueberries.

this means i end up keeping a lot of shoes and clothes in the car....b/c she is often hard to get dressed....but, when she gets cold outside or she agrees that they will NOt allow her in the store naked (laws or rules not made by me...) she complies easily...."this is not our store, they are sharing it with us. that is nice, we have to respect their rules."

this means i keep a lot of her favorite foods on her table so SHE can come and eat what and when she wants (other wise she would starve, she does not do meal times)

this means i try and run chase games up and down our yard for hours each evening so that SHE WANTS to eat, drink, potty, and then go to sleep...

now in the future i am already cringing about her wanting to eat sugary junk for breakfast (something we don't EVER have in our house period)
what will i do? i will i feel?
i can' t say, b/c the thing i have learned via mothering my spirited child is to never say "i'll never"

and OP i just have to say that your dd is ONLY 5 months.......it is hard for you to imagine all the things she could do and say and how they will make you feel or react.

i find myself having this gut reaction (learned via my childhood) of saying NO to something and then having to go back and say, "i am sorry honey, i did not realize X was so important to you. i should not have tried to make you X" or what ever.

at least she will learn to admit when she is wrong!!!!

but just saying, keeping a spirited, highly sensitive, high needs toddler ALIVE and HEALTHY are harder than i ever dreamed.

oh and ps.
i also have to teach my daughter to respect herself by respecting myself, that means i don't let her hurt me, i don't let her needs overide mine or my dh's all the time...we try and discuss it. but sometimes, i coudl talk till i am blue and she would not agree/compromise...

she does not want me to pee, b/c she wants me to read a book RIGHt then, she does not want me to eat a snack b/c she wants me to play chase.....etc.
if i do not comply to her demands, on certain days or moods she has, she can SCREAM like someone is beating her the entire time i am peeing, and then smile and be happy when i am done and we are sitting on the couch with the book.

but i agree with OP's point: if you allow your child to make their own choices, they will make good ones, even if you don't see it that way at the time, they are figuring it all out in their own way....and that is the point.
post #82 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamama
We laugh because it always comes down to brushing teeth, bedtimes, eating vegetables and the car seat. No we do not make ds brush his teeth. We model, explain, offer alternatives. We have about six different tooth brushes, his choice varies according to the moon (apparently). We have several types of tooth paste, we have floss (several types and methods), we have electric tooth brushes, we don't have a water pic but that helps, we have tongue brushes, little tooth pics, little dental mirrors, etc. He brushes about five times per week. Somedays 2-3 times. Mostly daily. He brushes in the morning, in the car, in bed, in front of the tv, at the table, in front of the mirror. Whenever and wherever he chooses. He requests brushing and refuses brushing. We eat plenty of raw vegetables, little candy, plenty of sweets, diluted juice, takes vitamins and calcium. And his teeth are fine. But we do not have a battle about what goes into his mouth.

I brushed well as a child. Several times a day and had many cavities. We also ate much more candy, etc. Mostly cavities are genetic. So, we shall see over time.

Pat
Sounds good to me. I will happily adopt this philosophy as well.

My mom is a dental hygentist and will have to be none the wiser

Thanks for the quick response.

As a first time mom and long-time rebelious spirit, I long for a way to connect with and guide my child rather than command her, as I've felt myself doing lately. Thank goodness for MDC and all of you.
post #83 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamama
We laugh because it always comes down to brushing teeth, bedtimes, eating vegetables and the car seat. No we do not make ds brush his teeth. We model, explain, offer alternatives. We have about six different tooth brushes, his choice varies according to the moon (apparently). We have several types of tooth paste, we have floss (several types and methods), we have electric tooth brushes, we don't have a water pic but that helps, we have tongue brushes, little tooth pics, little dental mirrors, etc.
This is a good illustration, to me, of values and priorities. I read this and thought, "How wasteful! One person does not need all those things to keep their teeth clean!" But Pat and her son must feel that he does.

So I guess, for me, while it's important for my child to be happy and have as much choice as possible, it's not important enough for me to participate in or contribute to behavior that I am opposed to, and therefore I will coerce my children to follow my rules.
post #84 of 434
Great thoughts from everyone.

As I mentioned in another thread on this subject, I am really interested in ideas from p's of more than one child. Most all of our issues arise when my children have different needs or voice different desires at the same moment...

BJ
Bareny & Ben
post #85 of 434
Well, I'm not non-coercive, but I do have three kids. DS1 isn't usually a huge factor in this kind of thing, as he's 12, and usually understands that the little ones have to come first in some ways. But, dd and ds2 definitely have conflicting needs sometimes.

I try to figure out what's more urgent...not more important, but more urgent. If ds2 is hungry, and dd's diaper is dripping down her leg, I change her diaper and sing to ds2 (or something to try to keep him occupied). I know he's hungry, but I can't have pee leaking all over the house. If dd is hungry, and ds2 is poopy...same logic - get the gunky breastmilk poop contained first, then feed dd, then clean up from the diaper change. I try to explain to dd why she has to wait a few minutes for her yogurt, nuts, apple or whatever. Sometimes she understands, and sometimes she doesn't. But, it's getting better all the time (ds2 is only 3.5 months old).

If it's "just" a matter of both needing my attention...well...can be more complicated. I do a fair bit of singing/reading to dd while holding ds2 on my lap and making funny faces at him. I engage dd wilth ds2...she likes to make him smile and laugh. Or, I put ds2 down on the floor (he's learning to roll over and do baby "pushups") and he watches (and giggles) while dd and I dance or do some yoga.

I don't really have any tips, I guess. I just try to improvise all day, and fall into bed exhausted. But, you know...after ds1, it took me 10 years of infertility and miscarriages to have dd. When things are completely insane, I remind myself of how much richer my life is now than it was a few years ago. This will pass...all too quickly...
post #86 of 434
Well, I was going to ask about brushing teeth, but I see that that has already been addressed. How about this one: putting a diaper on for bed. Is that a pretty common question too?

I try to be non-coercive. I have read several books recommended here and loved them, including Kids are Worth It and stuff by Anthony Wolf. I had a not-good childhood and I am determined to make things better for my kids.

I think I have been doing pretty well, up until the last few weeks. DD has always been an angel, a joy, so sweet and considerate. She is a little over 2 now. She still is all of those things, but lately, I have become the wicked witch of the west! Maybe it's pregnancy hormones, I don't know. But I am finding myself wanting to control her quite often, and it's really bothering me. Reading this thread is helping.

Back to my specific question: DD is potty learning (has been for months, we're going slowly, at her own pace) and she loves wearing panties--she's always hated diapers (any kind). It is only an issue at bedtime, when she HAS TO wear a diaper OR I have to wash the sheets everyday AND buy a waterproof mattress pad, AND she'd have rashes and wake up every time she peed (which is a TON at night). So, at least half the time, it is not a big issue. She is happy enough, or distracted enough playing with mom or dad, or whatever, and she happily gets her diaper on. But sometimes, like tonight, oh MY! She will wiggle, scream, and run around like you wouldn't believe. And I can't figure out why. She wasn't over tired--she got her nap and we were putting her down at the regular time. I did everything I normally do, talked to her about the stories we're going to read, and how we're going to cuddle and sing songs (which we do for at least 30 minutes, or however long it takes for her to be content for me to leave), etc. But she would not have it. And with the way I have been lately, I didn't react well today, and I eventually was able to force the diaper on her. She cried and thrashed for 10 minutes, and eventually she settled down enough and wanted me to leave, but then called for me and I came back and we cuddled and she was happy and all was well. But oh man, what can I do to avoid what we went through?

I can see not making her brush her teeth everynight. But surely you wouldn't let her go without a diaper every night? Surely that IS a HAVE TO, kind of like right now I HAVE To get up and go pee (again, for the 5th time this HOUR!) OR I will pee on this chair, all over the floor and myself. I suppose it is still a choice by definition... but it's not something I'm willing to negotiate on. I WILL NOT let her sleep without a diaper all night every night just like I WILL NOT pee in my own bed just because I don't want to get up and go to the bathroom 20 times a night.

So? Help?
post #87 of 434
Thread Starter 
Quote:
and OP i just have to say that your dd is ONLY 5 months.......it is hard for you to imagine all the things she could do and say and how they will make you feel or react.
Yes, I realize that. However, I really don't buy into the whole "you just wait" mentality. I mean, if I listened to the "you just waits" I would have not had a homebirth, would have let her cry it out, would have not attempted breastfeeding, wouldn't be co-sleeping, wouldn't be doing most of the things I do beause "you just wait....they will never leave your bed, sometimes they have to cry, you are going to scream for epidural, they will be attached to your breast all the time etc...

I can't control how my daughter will act, how she will "test" me, how I will feel inside if and when she does certain things, that is all true and you have a point there. However, I am very much in control of how I ACT. That is a choice. It is also one of the reasons I came here when pregnant, come here now with her being only 5 months, so when situations do arise, I won't be standing there at a loss of what course I want to take. Preparedness goes a long way, as well as the concious choice to act a certain way instead of making your actions contingent on what another person is doing or not doing.
post #88 of 434
When thinking about "what if" situations like brushing teeth, eating well, learning math, etc. Keep in mind that non-coercive parenting involves lots of teaching and creative problem solving. I believe that if I just make my kids brush their teeth they will hate doing it and avoid it if they can. If they understand the importance of tooth brushing, and are provided with fun, pleasant ways to brush their teeth, they will adopt the theory that tooth brushing is good and do it willingly.

Quote:
I can see not making her brush her teeth everynight. But surely you wouldn't let her go without a diaper every night? Surely that IS a HAVE TO
What about the diaper does she not like? Would she wear absorbant training pants that she could pull on herself? What if you bought some cute training pants that she could pick out? Or maybe laying some cloth diapers under her?
post #89 of 434
Happee,

I'm right there with you on the night time diaper situation! DS is 3.5 and has been using the toilet accident free for about 6 or 8 months now, but night time has been a different issue entirely. There were times that he would scream bloody murder at the mere sight of a diaper. I found that buying a few pairs of underwear that are slightly large and letting him choose which ones he'd like to wear OVER his diaper helped a great deal. We also made a deal with him when he was about 3.25...That if he could go a whole week without peeing his diaper at night, he could wear underwear to bed. We never marked "Dry Night" on a chart or gave him any stickers, just reminded him that if he'd like to wear undies to bed, he'd need to not pee his diaper at night. We made sure he went pee before bed, reiterated that it's 100% OK to get up and pee at any time, day or night, and never made an issue of wet diapers. I'm so pleased to say that he has been in undies that last 2 nights, which translates to 9 nights dry!!!!

Some other thoughts on your issue...

*Take her to the store and let her choose the diapers she'd like

*We played the "Guess" game...The routine was comforting to him. I'd have the diaper upside down and I'd say "guess who's on your diaper tonight". He'd give a guess "Cookie Monster?" and I'd say "Nope...Someone who...(is red, is a girl, has feathers)" He'd make another guess (the whole time I'm putting the diaper on. Usually he'd guess and i'd say "YEAH! You guessed right!" At which point he'd stand up and try and see who it was. Diaper on, tantrum avoided.

*Perhaps the diapers are too small or itchy? Try going up a size. According to the boxes, DS should have been in a size 4 but was more comfy in a 5.

*Maybe she'd like pull-ups. We never used them because I just don't like the mixed message I feel they send, but your DD may very well enjoy having Daytime and Nighttime undies.

HTH,
Rigama
post #90 of 434
Well, I missed a good part of this thread. A few points:

On the children being sacrifices. I did not really say that right. What I meant is that in order to have a child, I made the choice that sometimes my needs and wants might have to change. This was a choice though. Whatever the case, I do not see non-coersive parenting as a sacrifice and actually see it as the opposite. I get to do MORE of what I want by having a mutually respectful relationship with my dd.

On the wasted resources (too many toothbrush materials)...... That bothers me too. Do I think it is grounds for coersion? No. I cannot impose my values on my dd. She is very young so most of this has not come up. But if she were older and we crossed this path, I am quite sure that environmental concerns would be discussed frequently in our house as they are now between dh and I. Dd will hear these conversations and might even participate in them if she chooses. But despite that, she may not hold the same beliefs I do just as my neighbors and family do not. I cannot make my neighbors or family use less of anything and I really do not think I could achieve that with my dd either, even with very coersive methods. Yes, for a while I could by simply refusing to buy things or throwing out things while she sleeps. But one day she will be an adult and it will not matter what I did "for her" rather than "with her consent". And she will use however many toothbrushes as she chooses. Besides, it is really not a waste when you think about it. A child might have 5 toothbrushes and 5 types of toothpaste. No one says that they all get thrown out after two months (like the dentist recommends). Since there are 5 of them I would imagine they get thrown out when each has been used for a total of 2 months which really works out to the same thing.

Around here we do not fret about toothbrushing. Call me a bad mom but every night dh and I brush our teeth. Sometimes dd feels compelled to brush hers too and sometimes not. We discuss dental health but she really is too young to grasp much of it so I do not expect that to sink in for at least another year. Until then, it really is up to her. I do not see how forcing her to brush her teeth is going to do anything except make her not want to do it once she is too big for me to force.
post #91 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys
Great thoughts from everyone.

As I mentioned in another thread on this subject, I am really interested in ideas from p's of more than one child. Most all of our issues arise when my children have different needs or voice different desires at the same moment...

BJ
Bareny & Ben
Pat has summoned me I have 2 kids (almost 6 and 8). We live consensually with no coercion. We value everyone's input and search for common preferences. (In case that word reminds you of TCS, I HATE TCS, not a fan AT ALL!) I've found the critical thinking and problem solving skills needed to find common preferences are so valuable in many arenas. I've also found we just get better and better at it the more we practice. I've seen families in the midst of power struggles and it doesn't look easy! I believe where we focus our energy is what grows, so I choose to work at living consensually and having a joy filled home. And we really do, it can work, it does work and it is so worth the time and effort.

Since there wasn't a specific question, I'll stop now. Just letting you know that indeed there exists people with multiple children that live consensually. I don't post here much but will try to keep up with the discussion.

Anna

PS. My kids brush their teeth everyday, they don't run into traffic They eat a balanced diet - without coercion, learn math and go to bed when they are tired
post #92 of 434
The toothbrush song I made up

(to the tune of Camptown races)

Cavity monster go away
Get out...of ethan's mouth
Cavity monster go away
Oh get out of ethan's mouth!

Cavity monster Go!
Cavity monster Leave!
Cavity monster go away,
Don't give ethan a cavity.

Okay, it's hokey and lame, but it works! And I can sing it fast or slow or a mixture of both. Or i can sing it fast and then say "Oh no! I see it! It's on your top left molar, let's get it! Hurry, it's on your bottom left molar now!"

Fun fun fun!
post #93 of 434
All of my kids love to brush their teeth. In fact they remind me! They get so excited when they see their toothbrushes.
And this is all despite the fact that they have to do it.
post #94 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambdkf
Pat has summoned me I have 2 kids (almost 6 and 8). We live consensually with no coercion. We value everyone's input and search for common preferences. (In case that word reminds you of TCS, I HATE TCS, not a fan AT ALL!)
What's the distinction between TCS, and living consensually, if you don't mind my asking? Is there more to TCS?
post #95 of 434
Quote:
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?

And while we're at it (since i'm a relative newbie here) what is TCS?
post #96 of 434
Quote:
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?
:
Yeah Id kinda like to understand more about that too.
post #97 of 434

Sorry if this is a stupid question...

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?

Thanks,
Tracy
post #98 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
Pat: I think it's more a choice thing than a clothes thing. She likes to wear clothes - she just doesn't like to put them on to go out. I'll think about a blanket in the pack, but I worry about the rain - it gets pretty heavy here. The time it gets really ugly is when it's "okay - we won't go", then her brother gets hungry...I sit down to nurse..."I want to go to the farm". ARGGH!

Of course, as soon as I'm finished nursing, she doesn't want to go again...and putting her clothes on so we can go as soon as he finishes isn't an option.

Ah, well - I know from ds1 that this time is all too brief. I'll enjoy all there is to enjoy and try not to let the rest of it cause my head to explode.
It sounds like she needs more choices and more opportunity for control in her life, imo. The going, the clothes, the changing her mind are all the same need for autonomy, from my pov. Intentionally offering choices such as 'do you want the green one or the blue one (without limiting 'the purple one', if that is her stated preference, of course) honors her autonomy and offers opportunities to exert her will. I am being very specific in that the choice is NOT limited to the two choices offered, just that this provides a template for perceiving that one has autonomy over themselves. This is different than 'do you want cereal or eggs for breakfast?' (a limitation of choice) when 'a banana split' is a "definite no", or the purple one is a "definite no". Choice A or B is offered, but choice C,D,E,F,G, etc. are available if realistically available (ie. available in the house, possible to provide without hardship, negotiable if related to concerns, etc.)

These types of opportunites for making choices do help honor her need autonomy; but refusing realistically available choices for her own body is coercive, imo. When one's choices are not artificially limited then it is easier to accept real life limitations, from my observation. Precisely because I am seen as an advocate and partner rather than a limitation imposing gatekeeper to our son's natural autonomy, this less adversarial relationship allows me to support our son when Real Life limitations occur. And we move through them with more ease, together. And I haven't caused a built up level of frustrated autonomy that puts our son over his frustration limit as quickly as if *I* were artificially (abet logically and non-arbitrarily ) creating obstacles to his autonomy.

Pat
post #99 of 434
I am loving this discussion! For a while the replies were coming in faster than I could read them (over the weekend)

Quote:
Originally Posted by moma justice
and OP i just have to say that your dd is ONLY 5 months.......it is hard for you to imagine all the things she could do and say and how they will make you feel or react.
That is true.

But if there is a will, there is a way.

If the way parents see and percive their lives, their kids lives, their interactions with this world and other people is along the lines of mutual agreement, there are many things that can be done.

It is very hard to find the solution for every possible challenge here on the spot, when OP or anybody else has not evaluated many things that come into play (like the temperament/personality of the child, minute variables of any given situation, previous experience, age, etc.., etc., etc., ) but when the time comes and the firm believe in finding the mutual solution is in place - it can be done.

I have gone through 18 years of being a "democratic" parent, so I can speak for the age factor. My younger one is only 5, so somebody may argue that "oh, but you might have lucked out with your first one, and your younger one will show you!" or "hey, you first one is a boy, just you wait until you are parenting a teenage girl"

And I will not claim that I have it all figured out in advance for many years to come... I do not. But I know I will. I have in the past. Situations will not be the same, but I think I am "armed" with more knowledge now
post #100 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
All of my kids love to brush their teeth. In fact they remind me! They get so excited when they see their toothbrushes.
And this is all despite the fact that they have to do it.
Some people like vegetables despite being coerced to eat them as kids too. Does that mean it is a good idea to coerce kids to eat veggies?

Many people here are quick to defend non-coersion when it comes to food (to avoid eating disorders and such) but I do not see any difference between coersion with food or with tooth brushing or getting dressed or bedtime or anything else.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › You HAVE to do things... (spin-off)