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Questions for non-coercive mamas - Page 8

post #141 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Meh, semantics. I don't care one way or another that we're basically saying the same damn thing but wording it differently. What ev..
Yeah, mostly.

But I think the real cincher is if you're viewing the kid as needing saving from herself, then it makes sense to exert the saving over HER.

If you're view the kid as needing saving from "the world," then you might be more focused on exerting control over "the world"/NOT her.

Like if I had superhuman strength in the truck scenario, I'd rather block the truck than have to shove someone out of the way. But, I can't so I gotta move the body.

But, it just gets me out of that "it's for your own good" kind of mentality that can get kind of muddy and more coercive.
post #142 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I totally agree. And I think it's entirely possible to mindfully, respectfully parent whether one chooses to use coercion or not.

About the whole "disappointment" thing, I'm relieved to see that it's not sitting well with people who practice CL either. I can't really imagine a GD parent saying that to their kid (unless it was one of those unthinking, bad-day moments).
See, the "disappointment" thing is not the first example I've seen of things that set off my Guiltmonger Radar. I've seen a *lot* of examples of CL ways of responding to things that make me cringe because I can hear my grandmother using those *same* words... I know the delivery is key, but...

The thing is, I think that a parent can have the best intention in the world of just stating their feelings without shaming - but a child who is sensitive to that will respond to it as shaming. I can already hear the counterargument: "A child who hasn't been shamed won't experience it as that..." but I can tell you that my DD from very early on responded to *any* cue that she'd hurt someone with tears of her own and was clearly *very* upset -- when she bit me while nursing and I yelped in pain (not dramatized pain, honest OUCH), she'd look up and me and just start to sob. If I say "I'm tired and I don't want to pick up all the blocks alone," she comes running and clearly feels *bad* that I feel bad. It has been such a strikign response that I've backed off from even saying that kind of thing conversationally in front of her.

Her brother, on the other hand, if I tried any of the "If you don't clean it up, then I will have to, and that will make me tired." would shrug and say "Okay." His need to not be put out by doing something unpleasant is not outweighed by my having to do something unpleasant instead. Which I think is not unusual in kids - even those who "are born good and want to please." Wanting to please only goes so far
post #143 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
See, the "disappointment" thing is not the first example I've seen of things that set off my Guiltmonger Radar. I've seen a *lot* of examples of CL ways of responding to things that make me cringe because I can hear my grandmother using those *same* words... I know the delivery is key, but...

The thing is, I think that a parent can have the best intention in the world of just stating their feelings without shaming - but a child who is sensitive to that will respond to it as shaming. I can already hear the counterargument: "A child who hasn't been shamed won't experience it as that..." but I can tell you that my DD from very early on responded to *any* cue that she'd hurt someone with tears of her own and was clearly *very* upset -- when she bit me while nursing and I yelped in pain (not dramatized pain, honest OUCH), she'd look up and me and just start to sob. If I say "I'm tired and I don't want to pick up all the blocks alone," she comes running and clearly feels *bad* that I feel bad. It has been such a strikign response that I've backed off from even saying that kind of thing conversationally in front of her.

Her brother, on the other hand, if I tried any of the "If you don't clean it up, then I will have to, and that will make me tired." would shrug and say "Okay." His need to not be put out by doing something unpleasant is not outweighed by my having to do something unpleasant instead. Which I think is not unusual in kids - even those who "are born good and want to please." Wanting to please only goes so far
There's a different counter-point, here... Your daughter is clearly an empathetic person. She doesn't intend to hurt you, and feels bad when she does. That's beautiful. If she feels bad that you feel bad then you've gotten a gift in that she's already done half the work in learning about compassion and justice, because it's in her nature. Backing off from being yourself and having your own feelngs won't cultivate that empathy. What would happen if you thanked her for being so kind? Can you nurture that without it feeling manipulative to you?

I think there's a line between educating and manipulating. Young kids (esp 2-7) don't have the experience, the points of reference and the wisdom to discern between emotions and label what they are, much less to have consistent control over their own. Labelling your own emotions, in addition to what you observe in them, helps them to understand the responses, desirable or not, that their behaviors will invite. I don't advocate for the emotional blackmail that goes on in dysfunctional situations... Telling a child that your happiness or approval is contingent upon their actions is just sick, and I suspect that you witnessed some of this, savithny.
post #144 of 173
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Originally Posted by PrennaMama View Post
I agree, and I think we get acclimated to the process and make it more 2nd nature by practicing it on the little ones. With dd, when she was just starting to really branch out (at 9 mo she was running) I practiced by adminishing her gently "Whoops! No hands. Not safe... here ya go!" in a sing-song voice, and offering safe alternatives immediately.
I agree. I think my focus is a bit different now with two kiddos. I'm really noticing my need to learn and adjust with my older child...poor guy, he's kind of my training ground, I guess.
post #145 of 173
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Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Esp. if she's got some sensory issues, it might be really hard for her to have that going on. ??

I've definitely found that respecting those kind of "weird kid" issues has made them pass fairly quickly. Though your's might not if she's real sensitive to stuff like that.
Sigh. It always seems to come back to that. But you're right, I'm the adult, I'm sure I can figure out a way to get my own needs met....

Re: the disappointment example everyone is talking about....I'm just starting the NVC book but I think that it is exactly the kind of example that is shown an example of "violent" communication.

I think if you accept that no one else can make us feel anything, it is incorrect to say or imply that "because you did/didn't do X mommy is disappointed." It would be more accurate to instead say something like "when you don't help me, I feel disappointed because I was hoping to finish quickly so I could start dinner (or because I was looking forward to helping you organize your room or whatever the reason you had that expectation)" Then you could add "because I didn't have help I need some help from you to chop the onions if I'm going to get dinner on time" - or whatever. THat way you take responsibility for your own feelings/expectations and instead let the child in on your thought/feeling process. But it's important to draw a clear line between why you feel this way and their actions.

I'm not sure if this makes any sense as I'm just starting with this stuff....but it just seems like this is exactly the sort of communication that the book is talking about....and it's SO helpful to people like me that grew up with a passive agressive parent! LOL

Maybe one of you who know more about NVC can explain it better?
peace,
robyn
post #146 of 173
I often wonder about the irritation in my voice. It's real and it's how I truly feel sometimes...irritating beyond belief. But it comes out a little barky and I don't want him to feel like he is 'irritating'. I often just say that I'm tired and cranky and I'm sorry that I've been short or whatever.

I think letting kids on how they are impacting our feelings is good but also tricky at times. It's very hard to rise above it all and clearly say "I'm beginning to feel irritated. I need a break." I'm usually pretty pissed by the time I need to say this.

This thread is getting my mind reeling...it's good, though!
post #147 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippymomma69 View Post
Sigh. It always seems to come back to that. But you're right, I'm the adult, I'm sure I can figure out a way to get my own needs met....
Just to offer a slightly different vantage point: In our house, I'm the one with the sensory issues. Ds, on the other hand, is a major noise-maker. He's the Rhythm King and loves to have as many different sounds and beats going at one time as he possibly can. I get over-stimulated very easily, especially when I'm stressed (which is a lot) and I often can't take more than one noisy thing going on at a time. So, if the TV on and he starts drumming, I have to ask him to choose. If we're listening to music and he has friends over and they start getting very rowdy, I have to either turn the music off (which is no fun for him because they're often doing something with the music) or ask him to go be rowdy in his room or outside.

I know it's frustrating for him and I try to accommodate as much as I can. But my sensory issues will only let me go so far.

I don't know if this is what your daughter might be feeling, too. If it is, though, then it isn't really a matter of having her preferences trump your needs. I'm sure it's still frustrating, though.
post #148 of 173
swampangel - It's definitely tricky, isn't it? It takes a lot of self-awareness to recognize irritation before it manifests itself outwardly. That's something I could definitely stand to get better at. The barky voice comes out way too often.
post #149 of 173
Dragonfly, I'm glad to know I'm not alone on that one! I think just remember that it is something to work on is better than not acknowledging it as a problem. Sometimes I let myself off the hook too easily - I'm exhausted, this is a tough job, I have little support during the day, etc. But none of that is ds's problem. I have to remember to continue to better myself and my responses....sometimes I wish I could just go unconscious about it all for a little while!!
post #150 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
"DD, if you run in the road, you will get hurt very badly. Maybe so badly that mama can't fix it." (Or, with a younger child, "Ouch! That's a big ouch!" <insert extremely pained look on the face with much flailing of arms and scary, sad tone> )

I think that's enough to tell a child she doesn't want to be in that situation.
If that were the case, then every child on the planet would only run near the road once, because clearly their parent's reaction would "be enough to tell a child she doesn't want to be in that situation". But the crux of the issue is that their getting into that situation isn't based on wanting/not wanting to be hit by a truck.. it's what LED them to that (following a ball, chasing a butterfly, jumping off the curb).

Please explain how a 16 month is able to conclude that playing with a ball near a road is dangerous, and that if they don't *want* to be hit by a car, that they should move away from the road. Because everything I've read has indicated that at 16 months they are not developmentally "there" yet. :
post #151 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippymomma69 View Post
I think if you accept that no one else can make us feel anything, it is incorrect to say or imply that "because you did/didn't do X mommy is disappointed." It would be more accurate to instead say something like "when you don't help me, I feel disappointed because I was hoping to finish quickly so I could start dinner (or because I was looking forward to helping you organize your room or whatever the reason you had that expectation)" Then you could add "because I didn't have help I need some help from you to chop the onions if I'm going to get dinner on time" - or whatever. THat way you take responsibility for your own feelings/expectations and instead let the child in on your thought/feeling process. But it's important to draw a clear line between why you feel this way and their actions.
This makes much more sense to me, and doesn't sound as nearly verbally coercive as what my dad does with us. :

What is the name of the book (and author)? I'm going to check it out, it sounds interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
If you're view the kid as needing saving from "the world," then you might be more focused on exerting control over "the world"/NOT her.

Like if I had superhuman strength in the truck scenario, I'd rather block the truck than have to shove someone out of the way. But, I can't so I gotta move the body.
And here's the thing. I don't have control over the world, and I likely never will (though I do have twisted fantasies of it every now and then ). How I would love for my daughter to remain unscathed while I take care of all the "big ouches" with the twitch of my nose, but that will never happen. All I can do is protect her until she of an age and ability to look out for herself, all while I communicate and model safety and good health.

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But, it just gets me out of that "it's for your own good" kind of mentality that can get kind of muddy and more coercive.
I've never liked this train of thought. It seems controlling, and is a manipulative way for parents to absolve themselves from any responsibility in how they raise and shape their kids. When your child comes to you in 20 years with social issues and reflects upon how they were treated as a child, the "it was for your own good" is an under handed way of saying "I did it for you, so are you going to blame *me* for how you turned out"? I am dealing with this very thing in my adult life, and it's what motivates me to be as fair, objective, neutral, and non-coercive as possible. But I think protecting children from themselves, and being manipulative and controlling in the name of "doing it for their own good" are completely different. At least based on my life experiences. Keeping my daughter away from the road IS for her own good. Forcing her to eat iron-rich nutritious spinach at dinner even though she's in tears is NOT for her own good. One is protection, the other is just controlling.

But I do strive for harmony in my house, and that happens when everyone is happy, when everyone has their needs met, and when everyone feels equally acknowledged (me, hubby, and baby... and three dogs and a cat : ).

However, I still don't identify with consensual living because in our house, at some point or another someone has to make a compromise and humbly live with it.

I don't know, maybe I'm missing the bigger picture. I'm going to check out that book and I'll get back to you.
post #152 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Please explain how a 16 month is able to conclude that playing with a ball near a road is dangerous, and that if they don't *want* to be hit by a car, that they should move away from the road. Because everything I've read has indicated that at 16 months they are not developmentally "there" yet. :
Actually, I'm pretty sure I just said they're not. We're clearly having some sort of miscommunication here.
post #153 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
And here's the thing. I don't have control over the world, and I likely never will (though I do have twisted fantasies of it every now and then ). How I would love for my daughter to remain unscathed while I take care of all the "big ouches" with the twitch of my nose, but that will never happen. All I can do is protect her until she of an age and ability to look out for herself, all while I communicate and model safety and good health.
I think most of what we discuss in this forum is how to change "the world" and not the kid. Except we call it our "environment."

Most mainstream discipline does focus more on the kid. Advising things like saying, "NO!" loudly as they go for the outlet, swatting their hands away, putting them in a time out, etc.

We seem to focus more on moving the furniture to make it safer, "honoring the impulse" in another safe way, distracting with something more inviting, etc.

So I think that most of us are already kind of in that mindset.

Finding agreeable solutions seems to work better by taking the focus off of seeking to change/control the person and focusing on the situation or our expectations/responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Keeping my daughter away from the road IS for her own good. Forcing her to eat iron-rich nutritious spinach at dinner even though she's in tears is NOT for her own good. One is protection, the other is just controlling.
I'm not sure everyone with agree with you about the spinach (I do, obviously). But, I think lots of (most?) parents would equate those two examples. And that the means would justify the ends.

And not that they would take any pleasure from forcing the kid to eat the spinach while crying, but that it would be something they HAVE to do b/c its necessary for the child's well-being. I bet you could post that scenario on any one of a hundred parenting boards and get near unanimous support for "doing what you had to do," and kudos for "being a good and responsible parent who has their child's best interest at heart."

Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
I don't know, maybe I'm missing the bigger picture. I'm going to check out that book and I'll get back to you.
Maybe it just doesn't jive with your philosophies. Or maybe it just takes a huge shift in perception and you're still absorbing it. I'll tell you, it's not easy for those of us who do want to do it all the time to make that shift--esp. early on. Anyway, I'm appreciating the discussing so thanks!
post #154 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by swampangel View Post
I often wonder about the irritation in my voice. It's real and it's how I truly feel sometimes...irritating beyond belief. But it comes out a little barky and I don't want him to feel like he is 'irritating'. I often just say that I'm tired and cranky and I'm sorry that I've been short or whatever.

I think letting kids on how they are impacting our feelings is good but also tricky at times. It's very hard to rise above it all and clearly say "I'm beginning to feel irritated. I need a break." I'm usually pretty pissed by the time I need to say this.

This thread is getting my mind reeling...it's good, though!
I find this is getting a lot easier as my kid gets older and we continue to have these "problem-solving" dialogues. Many times it's MY behavior we're revisiting in a calm moment. And trying to discuss it in the same way we'd talk about what was happening in the kid door blocking scenario or some such. It helps me a lot.
post #155 of 173
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Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I think most of what we discuss in this forum is how to change "the world" and not the kid. Except we call it our "environment."
Who said anything about "changing" the kid?

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We seem to focus more on moving the furniture to make it safer, "honoring the impulse" in another safe way, distracting with something more inviting, etc.

So I think that most of us are already kind of in that mindset.

Finding agreeable solutions seems to work better by taking the focus off of seeking to change/control the person and focusing on the situation or our expectations/responses.
All this is just common sense to me...

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I bet you could post that scenario on any one of a hundred parenting boards and get near unanimous support for "doing what you had to do," and kudos for "being a good and responsible parent who has their child's best interest at heart."
And that's why I'm at MDC.
post #156 of 173
No, I know....I'm just trying to flush out how a "saving the kid from the truck" vs. "saving the kid from herself" mindest might play out or impact our process...
post #157 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post

What is the name of the book (and author)? I'm going to check it out, it sounds interesting.
The book is Non-Violent Communication by Marsall Rosenberg. It's not a parenting book, per se, but is about all our communication with others. Someone here on the forum suggested it and it's very interesting!
peace,
robyn
post #158 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippymomma69 View Post
The book is Non-Violent Communication by Marsall Rosenberg. It's not a parenting book, per se, but is about all our communication with others. Someone here on the forum suggested it and it's very interesting!
peace,
robyn
Thanx, I'm going to check it out!
post #159 of 173
I'm so glad to see this thread has continued.

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I think toddlers can be parented in such a way that they will grow up into children who want to do right, but they are not born that way. They have to learn to be that way. And, hopefully, many or maybe most, do actually want to do right from their soul. But not right away. They have to go through the development and ARRIVE at that point, they don't begin at that point.
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I think maybe you're conflating "doing RIGHT" and "doing POLITE." Does that make sense?

People with Aspergers aren't trying to do "wrong" when they don't kind of "get" or consider people around them. They just don't get the personal interactions that most folks consider polite.

I think toddlers are the same--just impolite.
Actually no, I'm talking about the idea that a child wants to do the right thing from the get-go.

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I think an important part of Gentle Discipline is assuming your child wants to make the right choices, and therefore doesn't need protection from themselves, just good information and guidance.
This is the part that I don't understand. I don't think a toddler can make "right choices" because they have not developed to the point of knowing what a right choice actually is. They are still actively exploring their world and learning how it works. This assumption makes much more sense (to me) after they're older and have some life's experience and also have developed a more full conscience. Toddlers just aren't there yet.

So how does GD and non-coercion (both of which I admire and aspire to practice) reconcile with child development?
post #160 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
So how does GD and non-coercion (both of which I admire and aspire to practice) reconcile with child development?
Good question! And I'm guessing that depending on where you are in the spectrum of GD, the answer varies.

Today, my 14 month old wanted to be out of the Ergo but we were ready to head home. I actually thought about it in the moment because I was coercing him to be in the Ergo. I was exhausted and needed to get home and my older son was already off on his bike. It was time to go...I couldn't reason it out with the babe, we just had to get going. I could have held him in my arms and carried the Ergo, but it was too far to do that the whole way. In this case, it didn't feel great because he wasn't ready but I felt there weren't other options that I was ok with. Anyway, he was fine a couple of seconds later and that's why I think I feel a little differently about all of this with the younger ones.

Now, last night my older son (4 1/2) and I walked to pick up take-out. He wanted a drink from the store across the street and I just wanted to get home. But it wasn't an unreasonable request and I often have a craving for something in particular and I just get it. He has to ask me first, so it didn't seem right to say no. So off we went to the other store and it very much felt like the right decision even though I would have much preferred to just go home.

I dunno...I think child development does play a big role in all of this. But I think you can be gentle with a baby without it looking the way it does with older children. Does that make any sense??
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