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Questions for non-coercive mamas - Page 5

post #81 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post

I recall this phase. I don't know...if you were working in an office in a cubicle would it be OK with you to sing despite the person next to you objecting? Maybe you could ask her what songs she wouldn't mind hearing and go from there? Or just say, "Hmmm....I notice that you don't like it when I sing sometimes. What can we do, b/c I *really* like to sing?" See what she says.
Right so the first time or 50 I just gave in and didn't sing or only sang the "approved" songs. But I'm seriously NOT getting my needs met to sing! My DD will NEVER allow it if she's in the room and she hasn't picked the song out. I'm beginning to feel really resentful of the situation. It is not mutually agreeable.

And for a low/non-verbal child the whole "what can we do?" approach will NOT work. She can't understand the question, nor can I go into any sort of explanation of how to take turns or of what my needs are....i have to show by doing - which is forcing her to give me a turn!

Maybe the approach just won't work with a SN kid. Maybe I will be "forced" (ha, ha) to use a low coersion approach until she is more verbal....sigh.

Anyway, I'll keep trying.....
peace,
robyn
post #82 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Exactly. But, why can't you do that while taking your child's hand and gently guiding them to side and out of people's way, or away from the wall socket and toward something more appropriate to play with?
You or I *might* do just that b/c it seems for our kids touch isn't much of an issue. My child pretty much appreciates it when I move him out of the way of stuff. But like someone else has said, her kid doesn't like that and she's just wondering if there's something else she can do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
What do you do with preverbal children who aren't capable of going back to that, like with my almost 16 month old?
I would just say something very briefly at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
Thanks for your thoughtful response, but the two examples above jumped out at me as having physical coercion as an end solution if your child does not find your earlier suggestions mutually agreeable. I think your dialogue in the how-to-get-a-kid-to-move example above is pretty much what any of us GD moms would do -- I'm pretty sure that none of us would just wordlessly shove our kid out of the way without offering them some kind of chance to do it themselves first. I think people's confusion comes about when confronted with people who claim to *never* use physical coercion no matter what the situation (possibly barring dangerous situations like those in your 2nd paragraph above).
Yes, physical coercion might be my last ditch effort in cases of imposing on other people or safety. I've been reading on lists and websites about this kind of parenting for several years now and I have yet to see anyone say, "In that situation you definitely should have inconvenienced those around you or let your kid get hurt." (I've seen a few hypothetical situations brought up here where folks said what they might have done, but I'm not sure I give that the same weight....I dunno....).

Maybe they "never use physical coercion" b/c they don't run into these situations where it's resort to physically moving the kid against his/her will vs. inconvenience others/kid gets hurt. ?? Who knows? I seriously haven't heard people recalling events where they've done some really inconsiderate or dangerous thing while they tried to find a solution for their kid.

We have one situation that has come up a couple of times where I've had to put my little guy in the carseat while he freaks out b/c I can't figure out another way to make it work w/out compromising others or my desire to have him buckled safely. We take a car ferrry a couple times a week (to the grocery store, park, etc.) and sometimes after playing around in the car or getting out and feeding the gulls, he does NOT want to get back in his carseat. And I've tried lots of different tactics (letting him buckle himself, having a toy, putting on a movie, pointing out that we're getting close to the dock, etc.), but when push comes to shove and they're starting to unload the boat I've had to push him in his seat b/c I'm not willing to sit on the boat holding everyone up or leave him unbuckled. And after it happened once or twice I started trying some different things (giving him more warning and time to get in, not unbuckling him to begin with unless he specifically asked [and giving him things to eat or occupy him for the 15 minute ride], not taking the ferry as much, etc.).

But I can't fathom that anyone on any of my lists would suggest, "Well, just make the other cars wait until he's ready." I could see the suggestion to drive off with him unbuckled, *if* I felt comfortable with that....or maybe just getting off and pulling over to a safe place that wouldn't be in anyone's way. But, just sitting on the ferry holding up traffic? No way.
post #83 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippymomma69 View Post
Right so the first time or 50 I just gave in and didn't sing or only sang the "approved" songs. But I'm seriously NOT getting my needs met to sing! My DD will NEVER allow it if she's in the room and she hasn't picked the song out. I'm beginning to feel really resentful of the situation. It is not mutually agreeable.

And for a low/non-verbal child the whole "what can we do?" approach will NOT work. She can't understand the question, nor can I go into any sort of explanation of how to take turns or of what my needs are....i have to show by doing - which is forcing her to give me a turn!

Maybe the approach just won't work with a SN kid. Maybe I will be "forced" (ha, ha) to use a low coersion approach until she is more verbal....sigh.

Anyway, I'll keep trying.....
peace,
robyn
Could you meet your need to sing in another way? Like join a choir or singing group? Take a bit of time when she's sleeping or if you have a partner or another person to take over for a bit and you could sing in the shower or go for a drive or walk and sing? Can you tell her your going to sing and she can leave the room if she likes? Or that you're going to leave the room?

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.

For me, it would help to think of my time with her as akin to my time at another job where my need to sing probably wouldn't be honored anyway. That might help me feel less resentful toward her. I don't know if that helps you any, though.
post #84 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
It would seem to me that by not intervening in an attempt to encourage the child to move on their own will is imposing adult reasoning and social awareness onto a child who is incapable of understanding that what they're doing is impolite and inconvenient to other people.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just don't get it.
Since everyone continues to use, and misunderstand my post, I'll clarify AGAIN. I DID intervene. I DID encourage my child to move on her own. I DID make it clear to her (and to the gentleman waiting) that by standing in the doorway, she was stopping people from coming through. I WAS indicating not only was it inconvenient, but inpolite, and in addition, would be difficult for Mommy to help you move because I had baby brother & bags in tow, so would you please step away from the doorway? I did ALL OF THESE THINGS before phsyically moving her.

I wish I did NOT have to move her, that she would have moved on her own. But I would not change the situation simply to have made it go faster - if it meant that I didn't give her the chance to understand why her behavior wasn't the most desirable & gave her the chance to change it ON HER OWN.
post #85 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Exactly. But, why can't you do that while taking your child's hand and gently guiding them to side and out of people's way, or away from the wall socket and toward something more appropriate to play with?
You could! I can't even think of time when that wouldn't be totally fine with any of my kids. I just don't see why, on that rare occasion that a child might need a minute or two of our patience, that wouldn't be ok (as long as it's not unsafe)? We ask our children to be patient with us, so--if it is upsetting to them, and they need a moment--why not give them a little understanding and patience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
And making people wait is not an imposition? : I guess I too am reconciling that this will never be my style of parenting, as I think it is a huge imposition of your beliefs on those around you to allow your child to obstruct the way because helping them move is coercive.
Well, there are times that people block a doorway because their dog won't move, they've dropped a package, or whatever... I think people often have a need to be patient with others for a minute or two, and I don't see it as a huge imposition. It's a good skill to learn.
post #86 of 173
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Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
But, sometimes there are stumpers, you know? And that's what I got from the mama with the kid in the doorway's post. Just, "Here's a situation that I didn't have a quick solution to and wondering if I missed something obvious."
Exactly, thank you.
post #87 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
If my DD wants to eat only candy for dinner and she insists on it and I don't want to give her candy, there is no mutually agreeable solution to that. And in the end she will not get candy. If that's coercion then I'm in the coercion club.
As I see it, one of the points of parenting (out of many) is to protect them from themselves. .
Indeed. And the simple solution to this is to not keep candy in your home, so having it for dinner isn't an option.
post #88 of 173
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post #89 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
It's been my experience that toddlers often do things for no particular reason except to do it and that can include destructive things.
I think that assuming you child has reasons for his/her behavior is a big part of Gentle Discipline in general (see forum guidelines), and not exclusive to non-coercive parenting. Looking at the reasons for the behavior are an essential part of problem solving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
If my DD wants to eat only candy for dinner and she insists on it and I don't want to give her candy, there is no mutually agreeable solution to that. And in the end she will not get candy.
As Ks Mama says, if there is food you don't think should be eaten, why keep it in the house?

FWIW, my kids have always had control over what they eat and they all crave a well-rounded, healthy diet. This jibes with research that says that kids that have control over what they eat will choose to eat a healthy diet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
As I see it, one of the points of parenting (out of many) is to protect them from themselves.
I don't feel I am protecting my children from themselves. I trust that they want to do the right thing, they just don't always have all the information, experience, resources... that I have. That's why I am here to guide them and help them.
post #90 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ks Mama View Post
Since everyone continues to use, and misunderstand my post, I'll clarify AGAIN.
I wasn't using *you* as an example, just the situation (2 year old in a door way, blocking people while they wait, etc). I'm sorry if it sounded like I was going back to your post, but I just stole the scenario. :
post #91 of 173
Quote:
I think that assuming you child has reasons for his/her behavior is a big part of Gentle Discipline in general (see forum guidelines), and not exclusive to non-coercive parenting. Looking at the reasons for the behavior are an essential part of problem solving.
Sunnysideup: doing something for no particular reason except to do it IS a reason. Toddlers don't always do things for deep, psychological reasons. They may pull the petals off of your neighbors flowers just because they want to and think it's fun. In a perfect world you could have a lovely discussion and they would understand that your neighbor would not appreciate that and they would stop OR you would have prevented your toddler from getting into your neighbors garden in the first place. However, in the real world, sometimes toddlers get into things despite all your best efforts and refuse to stop pulling all the petals off of the flowers and you must remove the toddler despite her protests.

Re: candy for dinner -- for the record I have NEVER had candy in the household. She has never had a piece of candy. I had a suspicion that if I used that example, everyone would immediately say "well don't have candy." I agree. So I'll change the example. If my child ONLY wanted to eat corn-on-the-cob (her current obsession) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and I wanted her to have variety for a healthier diet, then I would impose my will on her and give her some corn and other things as well. Why: Because she does not understand about nutritional needs, she only understand her desires. I don't understand how one can always expect to have the ability to find a mutually agreeable solution with someone who is so young and has limited experience. It doesn't make sense in the real world to me.

As an addendum: my DD has a wonderful and varied diet by her own preference most of the time. Last week, however, she had some really wonderful corn-on-the-cob and now she can't get enough of it. Sometimes toddlers go through food obsessions. Check out the toddler thread and you'll see lots of mama's who've written about their toddlers who go through particular food phases.

Quote:
I don't feel I am protecting my children from themselves. I trust that they want to do the right thing, they just don't always have all the information, experience, resources... that I have. That's why I am here to guide them and help them.
OK I see this as a genuine case of you-say-tomatoes-I-say-tomahtoes. "Guiding them and helping them" IS protecting them if it's necessary. If your child is running out into the street because it's fun and you stop her from getting smooshed by a truck then you HAVE protected her from herself.

For myself, I LIKE the idea of non-coersive parenting and spend a lot of time trying to practice it. I consider myself a practitioner of GD which is why I read this forum. But I also think that there are times when a parent has to take matters into her/his hand and do what's gotta be done. As I've said before, IMO the two most important features of parenting are a sense of humor (vital) and flexibility. At least for me, no one, single approach works. Parenting, like life, is situational. The situation defines the need and the approach.
post #92 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
They may pull the petals off of your neighbors flowers just because they want to and think it's fun. In a perfect world you could have a lovely discussion and they would understand that your neighbor would not appreciate that and they would stop OR you would have prevented your toddler from getting into your neighbors garden in the first place. However, in the real world, sometimes toddlers get into things despite all your best efforts and refuse to stop pulling all the petals off of the flowers and you must remove the toddler despite her protests.
But there are other solutions there, too. Maybe the neighbor is fine with pulling the petals off the flowers. Lots of times I've seen people trying to give kids the green light for something and the parent will still insist that it's not OK and the child MUST be stopped. Maybe the kid can pull petals off in my garden. Maybe we can agree to buy a bunch of flowers at the farmer's market and pull the our heart's content. There are always so many solutions! 95% of this philosophy (to me, anyway) is just being open to the fact that there are so many different solutions--we may just not have thought of them yet. But, yes, in the end IF my child was destroying someone's property and not stopping on their own I would physically stop them from that destruction. And after the fact, I would work on finding another agreeable solution for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
Last week, however, she had some really wonderful corn-on-the-cob and now she can't get enough of it. Sometimes toddlers go through food obsessions. Check out the toddler thread and you'll see lots of mama's who've written about their toddlers who go through particular food phases.
Again, there are lots of different options betw. eating corn all day everyday and not. And maybe there's a way to have those two be agreeable, too. If you could get to place where you were comfortable trying a no-corn-limit "test" for a few days or so after hearing lots of people say that their kids did something similar and it was fine, or hearing a nutritionist say that over the course of one week that eating corn like that wouldn't be harmful at all--maybe that would be an agreeable choice for you. Maybe offering corn at two meals a day would be OK for both of you. Maybe having a half and ear at each meal would be OK. Lots of options!

Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
For myself, I LIKE the idea of non-coersive parenting and spend a lot of time trying to practice it. I consider myself a practitioner of GD which is why I read this forum. But I also think that there are times when a parent has to take matters into her/his hand and do what's gotta be done.
I think that 99% of the world thinks that parents need to take things into their own hands and "do what's gotta be done." And I'm pretty sure that everyone here HAS done just that. But it might not be a very helpful or unique response when someone is here looking for a cooperative solution to a problem they're having, so please don't get offended if someone suggests working around that sort of advice, you know?
post #93 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
Re: candy for dinner -- for the record I have NEVER had candy in the household. She has never had a piece of candy. I had a suspicion that if I used that example, everyone would immediately say "well don't have candy." I agree.
i'm really just lurking on this one because i'm definitely a coercive parent compared to most here...

but i honestly can't even wrap my brain around the idea that i am somehow being a mean mama if i keep something in the house as a snack or a treat that isn't up for grabs anytime. is it really so incredibly awful to not let your kiddos eat ice cream as a meal even if <gasp> ....it's in the house & they want to!!

....so i just shouldn't buy it ever to keep my child from getting upset???

alrighty...back to lurking:
post #94 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
i'm really just lurking on this one because i'm definitely a coercive parent compared to most here...

but i honestly can't even wrap my brain around the idea that i am somehow being a mean mama if i keep something in the house as a snack or a treat that isn't up for grabs anytime. is it really so incredibly awful to not let your kiddos eat ice cream as a meal even if <gasp> ....it's in the house & they want to!!

....so i just shouldn't buy it ever to keep my child from getting upset???

alrighty...back to lurking:
Who said anything about "mean?" Or "incredibly awful?"

But IF you are interested in living in a way where solutions are agreed upon and one person's will is not automatically trumping another's then not having candy in the house MIGHT be ONE solution to that situation.

Does that make sense?
post #95 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
Toddlers don't always do things for deep, psychological reasons.
Their reasons might not be deep, but that doesn't mean they aren't valid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
They may pull the petals off of your neighbors flowers just because they want to and think it's fun. In a perfect world you could have a lovely discussion and they would understand that your neighbor would not appreciate that and they would stop OR you would have prevented your toddler from getting into your neighbors garden in the first place. However, in the real world, sometimes toddlers get into things despite all your best efforts and refuse to stop pulling all the petals off of the flowers and you must remove the toddler despite her protests.
And stopping the toddler from destroying the flowers might be easier/more respectful/less painful if you take the child's reasons for doing it into account. You could offer an alternative that honors the impulse--maybe the child would like to help you pull weeds in the garden, or maybe there are some flowers in your yard they could pick, maybe she'd be happy to have mom show her how to handle the flowers gently...

Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
If my child ONLY wanted to eat corn-on-the-cob (her current obsession) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and I wanted her to have variety for a healthier diet, then I would impose my will on her and give her some corn and other things as well.
I don't think that offering her other things in addition to the corn she wants, is "imposing your will on her." That would only be the case if you were making her eat the other food. I think it's a parent's job to offer a well-rounded diet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
As an addendum: my DD has a wonderful and varied diet by her own preference most of the time. Last week, however, she had some really wonderful corn-on-the-cob and now she can't get enough of it. Sometimes toddlers go through food obsessions. Check out the toddler thread and you'll see lots of mama's who've written about their toddlers who go through particular food phases.
Yep, it's a totally normal, harmless toddler thing. There's no reason to sweat it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
If your child is running out into the street because it's fun and you stop her from getting smooshed by a truck then you HAVE protected her from herself.
Nope. I've protected her from the truck, which I am sure she had no desire to get hit by.
post #96 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I think when people are throwing out phrases like, "scarred for life," or "will go to any lengths," there's kind of a misunderstanding.

I don't think most of us think that one episode of changing diaper against a child's will or moving them out of the way is going to do some serious long term damage. And I don't think any of us are standing there wringing our hands in distress at how to avoid that.

But there is an overall goal to approach things in a way so that those episodes (which most parents wouldn't even consider to be problematic) don't happen day in and day out over weeks, months, years.
(bolding mine)

OK, I mean this in a totally honest and non-snarky way...

Why?

What is the point in approaching such minor issues in such a complex way? What is the end goal that you think you will achieve by jumping through hoops and going through negotiations with your child instead of simply saying to her "Please move over, that man needs to get by." (or whatever the issue of the moment is, I'm not trying to harp on the PP)?

This seems like an incredibly energy-consuming way to parent, micro-examining every single conversational exchange in an attempt to weed out all forms of coercion. As I said before, I believe in not being particularly coercive myself, but taking things to this level feels like over-thinking things to me. If it works for you, that's certainly your perogative... but I just fail to see how simple, respectful requests can have any negative long-term effects on a child.

So, what is it? Do you believe that saying "Please move over, that man needs to get by" IS damaging to a child? If so, why and how? and if not... why do you feel the need to go to such great lengths to avoid saying it?
post #97 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
So, what is it? Do you believe that saying "Please move over, that man needs to get by" IS damaging to a child? If so, why and how? and if not... why do you feel the need to go to such great lengths to avoid saying it?
I don't think anyone is saying it is damaging, or that they would avoid saying it. No one is arguing against making requests of your child.
post #98 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
So, what is it? Do you believe that saying "Please move over, that man needs to get by" IS damaging to a child? If so, why and how? and if not... why do you feel the need to go to such great lengths to avoid saying it?
Huh??

No one is avoiding saying that. Pretty much everyone has said that that's exactly what they would say.

The difference is that if the child were NOT moving we wouldn't just default to pulling her out of the way.

But, yeah, I do think that prolonged periods of coercing people to do things against their will damages the relationship betw. those people. And if it can be avoided, I'm going to try to avoid it.
post #99 of 173
Hello. I just saw this post, and I struggle with being a non-coercive parent, but I really want to be one. My question is about a five month old who hates her carseat. I live in the suburbs. Sometimes, I just *really* need to get somewhere and have to drive. There is no real public transportation. DC hates the carseat. Any advice?
post #100 of 173
Well, okay, maybe I'm missing the boat here. The original post described completely non-coercive parenting as:

Quote:
not trying to direct, change, shape, coax, reward or punish, force, or otherwise make their child be any particular way
which I assumed includes directing a child to move or otherwise tell him what to do. The gist I got from the discussion was that a completely non-coercive lifestyle means that a child's decisions are all voluntary.

So, is telling a kid that seems perfectly happy where he is to move it coercive or not? If left to his own devices, the kid wouldn't be going anywhere, right? The parent is directing... coaxing... perhaps even rewarding him with whatever she says to get him to move, no?

I'm lost.
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