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Questions for non-coercive mamas - Page 9

post #161 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by swampangel View Post
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??
Yep, totally.

I had a similar situation today with the ergo, only it was raining and she didn't want to ride on the front (too hot, too tight, etc). If I flipped her onto my back she would have gotten soaked and I was worried about poking her in the eye with the umbrella. So, she road in the front, but not long after we started walking home she was fine, despite being "coerced" into it.
post #162 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
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.
I see what you're saying. Maybe instead of "right choices" it would be more useful to think of "benign intent." ??

If they had all the information, do you think they would make "right choices" (choices that were in line with social/cultural mores, were generally compassionate, were not intended to deliberately hurt others)?

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?
Child development according to whom?

I mean that article someone posted a bit ago about how 6 month olds lie and manipulate? That could be categorized as "child development." But who is to say what one person sees as manipulating another won't see as getting needs met? Which version is right? And really, will we EVER know for sure what's going on behind the motives of a 6 mo. old or a toddler? I dunno...hard to imagine.

Besides the fact, child development specialists and doctors have thought some pretty wacky stuff over the years. Like how babies in the 40s shouldn't be touched and needed o.j. at 2 weeks and a nice summer tan. : And more recently: Crying strengthens their lungs, extended nursing is tantamount to molestation, and the whole kit-and-kaboodle of behaviorism as law.

There are many conflicting opinions out there about who kids are and what they need. Personally, I'm going with what helps me see and treat my kids in the best possible way. Believing that my 6 mo. is jerking me around for kicks or that my toddler truly wants to do the malevelant thing is not getting me closer to trusting them, building a harmonious relationship with them, or having peaceful interactions during our days. It just casts a dark cloud of suspicion over our relationships, which isn't what I want.
post #163 of 173
I've just found this board and just finished reading this very enlightening thread, and a couple of questions have been swirling around:

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.?

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? We have a nephew who is 4, and he is very disruptive in family gatherings. Others in the family feel it's because his parents don't tell him "no" when it needs to be said. My husband swears that we will have a better-behaved child than that. I am guessing that "well-behaved" is an expression that conjures up images of coercive discipline — but I confess, I don't want my son (who is still an infant) to be <em>that</em> child, the one who is constantly tearing through a guest's house, throwing himself against shelves that contain valuable antiques, pulling lamp cords on and off and on and off with no signs of stopping, banging a loud toy against the church pew while a wedding is in progress, etc.

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. I think, after reading this thread, that I fall more on the non-coercive end of the spectrum, so this question is one I've been struggling with anyway. This question seems so neanderthal compared to the enlightened approaches I've been reading here; perhaps I should spend more time on this board to get more ideas. But if you have any, I'd appreciate them!
post #164 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by junomama View Post
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.?
Dialogue. Plus, some of this children absorb just from being in their environment. It's the parent's job to help them process what they've absorbed.

Quote:
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?
Modeling and dialogue. Even before you think they can understand. Also, with the little ones especially, hands-on (gentle) intervention when necessary with accompanying dialogue. Being a parent is a very hands-on task.

Well-behaved isn't necessarily a goal because well-behaved usually means silent and still. My goal is for my child to learn how to be a functional member of society, to be able to read a situation and understand what he needs to do to be a healthy part of it. My goal is also for him to know how to advocate for himself and to understand his own mind.
post #165 of 173
I am trying to raise my children this way, but I feel like I am failing at my goal. I know I am a good parent and that I am doing a good job, but I am not at the place that some of you are. Anyway, here is a question: my son needs ot be on a special diet, but he often asks for foods that he is not supposed to have. He is almost three. I don't know a non-coercive way to deal with this. I try to give him as many food options as I can. It's difficult, because we recently found out that he has serious negative reactions to some of his favorite foods, and he is a picky eater anyway.

My other challenge is that I get irritates when my almost-3yo treats his 8mo brother roughly, and then I tend to tell him what he can and can't do.

I sometimes feel like I need a noncoercive mentor to help guide me on a daily basis! Lol.
post #166 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by junomama View Post
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? We have a nephew who is 4, and he is very disruptive in family gatherings. Others in the family feel it's because his parents don't tell him "no" when it needs to be said. My husband swears that we will have a better-behaved child than that. I am guessing that "well-behaved" is an expression that conjures up images of coercive discipline — but I confess, I don't want my son (who is still an infant) to be <em>that</em> child, the one who is constantly tearing through a guest's house, throwing himself against shelves that contain valuable antiques, pulling lamp cords on and off and on and off with no signs of stopping, banging a loud toy against the church pew while a wedding is in progress, etc.
Well I'm not really an official non-coercive parent (though I aspire to be!) I think that this is a common misunderstanding of how to handle situations like this. I think that if you really are in tune with your child you will be able to predict how he might handle situations like these....if he has a history of getting "stimulated" by crowd, if he has trouble sitting still and at attention, etc. Really, the key is prevention if possible and removal from the situation if not.

My DD has a sensory integration disorder and I just know that certain things will set her "off" and she will appear to everyone as "that child" LOL SO I do what I can to head her off (bring a toy/book, come late/leave early, take her outside often for breaks, making sure she has gotten her "ya-yas" out, etc) - and if I can't then we leave the situation. Occassionally I make mistakes in knowing what will set her off and I can't leave a situation easily. So she is the disruptive one. Other times she surprises the heck out of me with what she can tolerate...

It sounds like these parents simply aren't in tune with their son OR they simply don't care to intervene (leave, distract, whatever) when his behavior affects others. I don't think it has anything to do with punishing.

And I think that almost everyone has probably had a time or two where their child qualifies as "that child" LOL It's all in your perception. If you've only seen this little boy in loud, crowded or stimulating environments, you may be judging him to harshly....

anyway, that's jmo

hth
peace,
robyn
post #167 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by junomama View Post
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.

Quote:
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?
<snip>
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.

Make sense?

Am I coercive? Dunno...
post #168 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrennaMama View Post
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.
That's really cool!

Quote:
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...
This makes sense to me. I was wondering if removing a child from a situation in which he/she is being disruptive is considered coercive ... I imagine it probably depends on the manner in which it's done.
post #169 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Child development according to whom?

I mean that article someone posted a bit ago about how 6 month olds lie and manipulate? That could be categorized as "child development." But who is to say what one person sees as manipulating another won't see as getting needs met? Which version is right? And really, will we EVER know for sure what's going on behind the motives of a 6 mo. old or a toddler? I dunno...hard to imagine.

Besides the fact, child development specialists and doctors have thought some pretty wacky stuff over the years. Like how babies in the 40s shouldn't be touched and needed o.j. at 2 weeks and a nice summer tan. : And more recently: Crying strengthens their lungs, extended nursing is tantamount to molestation, and the whole kit-and-kaboodle of behaviorism as law.
I've seen, as an example of hard core consensual parenting, the example of "if your child was going to jump off the garage..." and at least one response (might have been quoted from another site?) was "I would explain to him the consequences of jumping, that he might be badly injured, etc, but then if he still wanted to jump, that would be his decision..."

The thing about some of the "if you explain it to them you can come to an answer agreeable to everyone." is that -- small children do not always percieve the world the same way adults do. Repeated studies have affirmed what I have seen in my personal experience -- children have a lot of magical thinking until well into elementary school. That child in the above example might listen to his father explain that if he jumps from the garage, gravity will kick in and he will likely break both his legs. But he's probably also thinking, "Well, Dad knows about gravity, but I am wearing my Magic Flying Cape today, so I don't need to worry."

My kid thought Thomas the Tank Engine was *real* until last year. He still may, from the way he hedges his bets when he talks about things. *Real*. The same kid, earlier this month, after visiting a gorgeous spot with a sign someone had put up reading "Piglets Corner," compared the spot with the map in the frontispiece of Winnie the Pooh and told me, in all seriousness, that he knew Pooh's house must be "right over there." There's only so far rationalizing and explaining your grownup perceptions will go, sometimes.
post #170 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
I've seen, as an example of hard core consensual parenting, the example of "if your child was going to jump off the garage..." and at least one response (might have been quoted from another site?) was "I would explain to him the consequences of jumping, that he might be badly injured, etc, but then if he still wanted to jump, that would be his decision..."

The thing about some of the "if you explain it to them you can come to an answer agreeable to everyone." is that -- small children do not always percieve the world the same way adults do. Repeated studies have affirmed what I have seen in my personal experience -- children have a lot of magical thinking until well into elementary school. That child in the above example might listen to his father explain that if he jumps from the garage, gravity will kick in and he will likely break both his legs. But he's probably also thinking, "Well, Dad knows about gravity, but I am wearing my Magic Flying Cape today, so I don't need to worry."
I think most of us, despite our beliefs about development would NOT let the child jump off the roof.

I would try to find something which might be more agreeable--can't even think how I would deal with that one right now, but if it came up I would come up with something I guess.

I certainly wouldn't expect a small child to understand gravity and broken legs and just move from there.

Really, if after explaining all that and the child still wanted to jump I'd be pretty sure that he did NOT understand.
post #171 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post

Child development according to whom?

I mean that article someone posted a bit ago about how 6 month olds lie and manipulate? That could be categorized as "child development." But who is to say what one person sees as manipulating another won't see as getting needs met? Which version is right? And really, will we EVER know for sure what's going on behind the motives of a 6 mo. old or a toddler? I dunno...hard to imagine.

Besides the fact, child development specialists and doctors have thought some pretty wacky stuff over the years. Like how babies in the 40s shouldn't be touched and needed o.j. at 2 weeks and a nice summer tan. : And more recently: Crying strengthens their lungs, extended nursing is tantamount to molestation, and the whole kit-and-kaboodle of behaviorism as law.

I'm just gonna throw this out there -- "attachment" parenting and attachment theory come directly from child development specialists and doctors, too.
post #172 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
I'm just gonna throw this out there -- "attachment" parenting and attachment theory come directly from child development specialists and doctors, too.
Yes, that's why I said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
There are many conflicting opinions out there about who kids are and what they need. Personally, I'm going with what helps me see and treat my kids in the best possible way.
post #173 of 173
I'm not even sure what the OP posed as the original question and I'm too lazy to go back and look ....

But I've noticed that when I engage in problem-solving, the whole situation becomes much easier. My tendency often is to engage in the power struggle but when I don't and I just ask questions or brainstorm with my ds, the whole issue deflates and becomes less stressful. Often we never come up with a solution, but the process of thinking about how we can solve whatever it might be seems to illustrate quite clearly to my ds in a way that he can digest that there may not be a way for him to get what he wants.

I thought to share this because I've always been under the impression that non-coercive approach is more labor intensive...but in my recent experience it has proven to be quite the opposite.
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