Originally Posted by junomama
First, how do you teach your child to deal with things they will encounter in the larger world that *are* coercive by nature ("the act of compelling by force of authority") - such as laws, taxes, school rules, etc.?
This is where I'd like furhter ellucidation, too. True coercion is forceful, authoritarian. I have seen reference here to parenting practices that are not forceful, not authoritarian... as coercive, so I sense there's a generalization happening with that word, somewhat. Just as in the phrase Attachment Parenting; there are folks that like to sling that phrase around, and assume because they're practicing things like baby-wearing and cloth-diapering and nursing exclusively that they are APing like the champs, with little regard to the quality
of that attachment, or security of the bond.
So for the hard and fast Non-Coercive
parents, how do you define coercion? I remember our counselor describing coercion to us when referring to covert hostility and abusive behavior. A partner barring the way when the other partner wants to leave during a conflict is considered coercion. When my child desires something that isn't hers, or wants me to stop what I may be doing so that I can get something for her, and I
don't want to stop what I'm doing or go get the something, is she then coercing me
if she pitches a fit? I'm pretty into mutual agreeability and consensual living, so far, so I try to exemplify that... kwim?
Just curious as to how some of you who are vigilant in being non-coercive will respond.
|Second, what have been your best ideas for teaching your child manners and the basic ideas of etiquette and proper behavior when in public or a guest in other homes?
I'd love to hear how you approach the concept of behavior in public, or if "well-behaved" is even a goal of non-coercive parenting.
Personally, in our family, in our community, 'well-behaved' is a standard that is aspired to by everyone, not just children. And we approach this by teaching a universal value system... virtues such as patience, respect, tolerance, generosity, understanding, steadfastness, etc, are taught early on, and openly. I don't shy away from those words with Prenna, in fact, I use them and model regularly so that she can be familiar with the verbage and therefore begin to understand the concepts. Our community hosts Virtues Classes for children of all faiths, denominations, ideaologies and walks of life. We try to teach that in order to progress to a peaceful and unified society, it's incumbant upon all in that society to learn to live in an honorable, respectful, compassionate manner. What does that look like IRL? Example: In a restaurant, if dd is being disruptive by yelling and jumping up and down in the booth, I might lean over, put my arm around her and ask if I can talk to her for a moment. Then when she stops and looks at me and is ready to hear me, I might quietly say something like, "Is jumping up and down and yelling a way to respect other pople eating? Would you please use restaurant manners, here? Maybe after we're done, we'll go find a good place for jumping and yelling. What do you think?"
She'll be 3 in Nov. and she seems to respond really well to this approach...
When there are instances where dd is being "that kid" I feel strongly that this happens when she has lost control of herself due to any number of a wide range of stimulii... over-tired, over-stimulated (luckily she's not too sensitive), hungry, embarassed, whatev. And that means I'm not or I wasn't tuned into her enough to read her cues before her behavior became an issue, it means I am not or was not doing my job to be there for her, to help her process, or whatever. So I step up my availability, my awareness.
I will 1st see if there is a way to adjust things; take her for a walk outside away from the people, feed her, offer her a beverage, etc. Then if those options don't pan out, I will offer additionaly options, and possibly step in gently if need be. I openly refer to manners and respect, in private and in public. If dd is being "rude" to another person, kid or adult, I will admonish her gently with something like, "Prenna, those words hurt. Will you please use nice words?" If the behavior continues, I may step up a notch and say something like, "Prenna. I hear you/see you being rude to ____. That is not respectful, and ____ doesn't like it. I hope you will respect ____. Your choice now is to walk away and have a break, or find a way to be respectful, so that you may continue playing here. What would you like to do?"
I try to offer her oppotunities to reason out the consequences of her actions by availing her to as much input as possible.
Am I coercive? Dunno...