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What all is Non-negotiable? - Page 9

post #161 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomingranny
Also, I think it would be interesting to revisit this when the children are older, say 5 and 13.
I have been hearing this for YEARS My kids are now 6 and 8 and it still works The beauty of it is how incredibly flexible and dynamic it is - that's kind of the point.

Anyway, works great for us.
post #162 of 261
captain crunchy, yooper and MissRuby, thank you for the last several posts in which you've painted a much more clear understanding (for me) of what consensual living looks like in action in your day to day lives. I think it is difficult to understand this concept without some concrete examples (at least for me). Anyway, it has been very helpful to read the last few posts.

Sooooo, I'm afraid to ask this. What I'm sensing is that the difference between consensual living and not living this way is (and I'm thinking of examples in my own life here, no one else's) that when one chooses to use force it sort of comes from a place of fear....fear that the child will not learn certain things, fear that the child will not come to cooperation and then whatever is planned or needs to be done will then become much more difficult or won't be done at all, fear or concern for others who may be involved, etc. But that fear is maybe not exactly something we're conscious of-the focus is not so much on needs and feelings of both parties involved, but on what needs to be done and learned. While those who are committed to consensual living may have some of the same fears, needs or concerns, they also trust that their children will learn what they need to know and will cooperate because they trust that children do want to....I don't know how to say it, contribute to the well-being of their families? Do good? So since I'm not explaining my thoughts terribly well here's what I imagine: Child won't get in the car, and a sibling needs to be picked up, and for whatever reason there isn't a whole lot of time. As a parent, I'm feeling concern for the child who is waiting (and probably concern about what the teachers will think) and I'm beginning to envision all sorts of difficult things. So I can forcibly place my child into the car, or I can trust that my child will agree once we've talked and take a few moments to set aside my agenda, get in touch with my child's feelings, and both explain my own needs (and/or needs of sibling) and request that the child get in the car. And if I choose the second choice of talking with my child in this way, probably the child, having a sense of autonomy because she has been asked rather than been issued a command and because she senses I trust her and because, having she has had her own feelings and need for autonomy acknowledged, is now willing to cooperate and able to focus on the needs and request of others. (This is an example directly from my own life, and talking to my child about her feelings and asking her to get in the car works very well almost every time-when it doesn't reminding her of the fun thing we're going to do afterwards does work.) Is that anywhere close to making sense and being sort of a description of something that might occur in a consensual living family?

Is living consensually less about children being given a huge array of choices and...again I don't know exactly how to say it, I guess less about "giving in" to a child when a child is resistant, and more about peaceful conflict resolution? About simply finding ways to communicate with children that fully address the needs and feelings of both adult and child? And that communication and honoring of each person's autonomy naturally leads to resolutions that work for both parent and child (rather than just for one or the other)? And the intent of the parent matters, because a demand disguised as a request still feels like a demand, which people naturally resist (we've all had that experience)? I have this sense that describing consensual living makes it sound more complicated than it actually is.

Okay. To be clear I am serious in asking these questions because I have this feeling that my understanding of consensual living is incomplete and inaccurate. I would like to understand it better.
post #163 of 261
Quote:
living consensually less about children being given a huge array of choices and...again I don't know exactly how to say it, I guess less about "giving in" to a child when a child is resistant, and more about peaceful conflict resolution? About simply finding ways to communicate with children that fully address the needs and feelings of both adult and child? And that communication and honoring of each person's autonomy naturally leads to resolutions that work for both parent and child? I have this sense that describing consensual living makes it sound more complicated than it actually is.

Okay. To be clear I am serious in asking these questions because I have this feeling that my understanding of consensual living is incomplete and inaccurate. I would like to understand it better.
I think the bolded part (mine) is really what it is about in a lot of ways. To me, it isn't at all about *giving in* but more about letting go. Letting go of the ingrained belief that many of us have that if we allow our children autonomy and live consensually with them, that they will turn out to be out of control nutcases who don't know how to function. Letting go of the idea that children are our property and it is up to *us* to steer the course of their life so they can make us proud. Letting go of the dynamic of a leader and a follower, of a boss and a subject -- letting go of the idea that our children would not learn manners, or math, or how to dress themselves, or brush their teeth, or socialize with others, or eat with a fork, or go to sleep or share, or whatever...without us there to control their actions and lecture them through their interactions... or to sanction them when they *fail* us.

it is about trusting that my daughter is a capable human being with finely tuned instincts, and a love and trust for me that automatically means she will seek out my guidance and protection (from birth). It is about trusting that she wants to live peacefully and lovingly and that she wants to do the *acceptable* thing -- it is about trusting myself too --

It really comes down to the golden rule for me I suppose. Treating my daughter how I would want to be treated. Treating her how I wanted and how others in my life have expressed they desired to be treated in childhood -- how they felt (even in the most loving homes) that their parents didn't think them capable of making decisions, that they always felt like they knew where their *place* was, how they felt like their parents loved them but never saw them as *equals*... and on down the line...

I also feel that I want my daughter to expect a certain level of treatment from everyone she encounters in her life. I want her to expect a level of treatment with bosses, friends, co-workers, lovers, her spouse, etc... where she is heard, respected, listened to, appreciated and where she seeks out mutually agreeable situations to conflicts or issues that arise. --- I want her to see her life and the relationships she makes in them as choices. I see so many people who feel they have to *accept* a certain level of treatment (or mistreatment) because well, "that's the way it is"... I feel if she is raised in an environment where she learns skills such as negotiation, non violent communication, problem solving, active listening, respect, empathy, win-win situations, self discipline and self control -- all because these actions have all been equally displayed towards her -- it will serve her and help her to create a more satisfied life in the long run.

I don't like hypocricy either. I never have and I never will. I do not like the "do as I say not as I do" type parenting and I see that across the board... mainstream and GD... things that parents force their children to do that they would never STAND for ANYONE forcing them to do because well, "they are my kids and I know best"... That will always rub me the wrong way.
post #164 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Can someone explain that to me? I never understood that line of thinking. I am not trying to be snarky -- I just don't get that ... if your children can stay up as late as they want playing or whatever, why are they isolated in their rooms instead of being able to be with the rest of the family if they choose?

I am not picking on you, I have seen this in a lot of different posts and discussions and I am wondering what the reasoning is behind it?
This is the rule in my house too. I think that beign in their bedroom encoruages them to sleep and it has lower stimulation. Bedtime is the time when kids are in their rooms retired for the nights. I cant control if or when they fall asleep and I dont try. But I encourage them to do so at a time that works well for them.
It is just like the mealtime thing. I choose the bedtime (based on their levels of tiredness and sleep needs) and walk them through they steps toget there. THey choose whether or not , and when to sleep.
Also my kids, when tired arent usually very happy out participating with us. THey want to go to bed and sleep and will whine and cry and be unhappy with just about anything until they go to bed.
post #165 of 261
"I have been hearing this for YEARS My kids are now 6 and 8 and it still works The beauty of it is how incredibly flexible and dynamic it is - that's kind of the point.

Anyway, works great for us."

I hear you. I get the impression that are different intensities of practice. We could all say we practice NCP but all be doing very different things. I was referring specifically to Scubamom as she appeared to be upset by how some of us parent our children.
post #166 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg
captain crunchy, yooper and MissRuby, thank you for the last several posts in which you've painted a much more clear understanding (for me) of what consensual living looks like in action in your day to day lives. I think it is difficult to understand this concept without some concrete examples (at least for me). Anyway, it has been very helpful to read the last few posts.

Sooooo, I'm afraid to ask this. What I'm sensing is that the difference between consensual living and not living this way is (and I'm thinking of examples in my own life here, no one else's) that when one chooses to use force it sort of comes from a place of fear....fear that the child will not learn certain things, fear that the child will not come to cooperation and then whatever is planned or needs to be done will then become much more difficult or won't be done at all, fear or concern for others who may be involved, etc. But that fear is maybe not exactly something we're conscious of-the focus is not so much on needs and feelings of both parties involved, but on what needs to be done and learned. While those who are committed to consensual living may have some of the same fears, needs or concerns, they also trust that their children will learn what they need to know and will cooperate because they trust that children do want to....I don't know how to say it, contribute to the well-being of their families? Do good? So since I'm not explaining my thoughts terribly well here's what I imagine: Child won't get in the car, and a sibling needs to be picked up, and for whatever reason there isn't a whole lot of time. As a parent, I'm feeling concern for the child who is waiting (and probably concern about what the teachers will think) and I'm beginning to envision all sorts of difficult things. So I can forcibly place my child into the car, or I can trust that my child will agree once we've talked and take a few moments to set aside my agenda, get in touch with my child's feelings, and both explain my own needs (and/or needs of sibling) and request that the child get in the car. And if I choose the second choice of talking with my child in this way, probably the child, having a sense of autonomy because she has been asked rather than been issued a command and because she senses I trust her and because, having she has had her own feelings and need for autonomy acknowledged, is now willing to cooperate and able to focus on the needs and request of others. (This is an example directly from my own life, and talking to my child about her feelings and asking her to get in the car works very well almost every time-when it doesn't reminding her of the fun thing we're going to do afterwards does work.) Is that anywhere close to making sense and being sort of a description of something that might occur in a consensual living family?

Is living consensually less about children being given a huge array of choices and...again I don't know exactly how to say it, I guess less about "giving in" to a child when a child is resistant, and more about peaceful conflict resolution? About simply finding ways to communicate with children that fully address the needs and feelings of both adult and child? And that communication and honoring of each person's autonomy naturally leads to resolutions that work for both parent and child (rather than just for one or the other)? And the intent of the parent matters, because a demand disguised as a request still feels like a demand, which people naturally resist (we've all had that experience)? I have this sense that describing consensual living makes it sound more complicated than it actually is.

Okay. To be clear I am serious in asking these questions because I have this feeling that my understanding of consensual living is incomplete and inaccurate. I would like to understand it better.
Yes! I think you hit the nail on the head I know how people can think that is means that the kids run the show. That is very much what I thought when I first heard of the concept. It did not even occur to me that *I* actually grew up in a mostly non-coersive home until I really started thinking about it. But because we usually discuss problems on a board like this, it seems like the kids are running the show when is reality most days are very peaceful and agreeable in our life.
post #167 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg
Is living consensually less about children being given a huge array of choices and...again I don't know exactly how to say it, I guess less about "giving in" to a child when a child is resistant, and more about peaceful conflict resolution? About simply finding ways to communicate with children that fully address the needs and feelings of both adult and child? And that communication and honoring of each person's autonomy naturally leads to resolutions that work for both parent and child (rather than just for one or the other)? And the intent of the parent matters, because a demand disguised as a request still feels like a demand, which people naturally resist (we've all had that experience)? I have this sense that describing consensual living makes it sound more complicated than it actually is.
I think you've got a pretty good handle on it I do find it hard to describe here because it really isn't hard or laborious or an endless stream of choices and debating. We just live our life together, valuing each other's input and point of view. No big deal.
post #168 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I think the bolded part (mine) is really what it is about in a lot of ways. To me, it isn't at all about *giving in* but more about letting go. Letting go of the ingrained belief that many of us have that if we allow our children autonomy and live consensually with them, that they will turn out to be out of control nutcases who don't know how to function. Letting go of the idea that children are our property and it is up to *us* to steer the course of their life so they can make us proud. Letting go of the dynamic of a leader and a follower, of a boss and a subject -- letting go of the idea that our children would not learn manners, or math, or how to dress themselves, or brush their teeth, or socialize with others, or eat with a fork, or go to sleep or share, or whatever...without us there to control their actions and lecture them through their interactions... or to sanction them when they *fail* us.
Sledg, your post about fear was interesting, and this quote from CaptainCrunchy is interesting too, because I don't really have any of these fears to let go of. I'm not worried about any of these things. I don't feel like my kids are my property, my goal isn't to create children that make ME proud. I'm sure they'll eventually learn good manners and hygiene. So why do I need to enforce the rules? Why am I willing to coerce, if necessary? I've been thinking soooo much about this lately, and this is the conclusion I've come to.

First, I thought, I could never live consensually, I'm too selfish. But then I thought more about it and decided I had to give myself a little more credit. I'm not THAT selfish. But I do have different priorities.

It's not that I don't think it's important for my children to develop self-sufficiency, expect respect from others, learn good manners, learn good negotiation skills, learn to trust their own feelings and honor others, and be in healthy relationships. It's just that I feel that they can do that with a gradual handing-over of responsibility, if you will, and a more authoratative model. I feel that will work because I've seen it work. I know plenty of people with all these skills, I might even include myself among them (sometimes) who had authoratative family structures.

See, I think if we chose to live consensually, we'd have to devote much more time to negotiations, which would leave us less time for maintaining our rental properties which are (hopefully) going to translate into great college funds for our kids. Our children would have a harder time developing a good relationship (which they have) with my in-laws, who are gentle, but authoratative grandparents. My marriage would be strained, because my dh would have a HARD time with this. I wouldn't be able to make extra income watching my friend's baby 3 days a week, which I can use for swimming classes for my dd. These are just a few examples.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it wouldn't take that much more time. Am I? Does it really work with two kids and a part-time job? And is it worth it? Right now, I don't think so. Not for my family. But, I could be wrong. It happened once before...
post #169 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomingranny
I hear you. I get the impression that are different intensities of practice. We could all say we practice NCP but all be doing very different things. I was referring specifically to Scubamom as she appeared to be upset by how some of us parent our children.
Well, I'm probably pretty high on that intensity scale, in terms of practice. Pat and I are best friends and she says she learned it all from me I tend to think we are on the journey together. Pat feels DEEPLY for children, it is part of her core. We have talked about the challenges of this. When she (and me too) hear of putting a child under running water against their will - it stings a bit. You kind of feel yourself as a child and think - holy **it that has to suck. Feeling that doesn't mean that we think the parents are monsters or that we are judging them but you think wow, maybe if they could just see it from the child's POV they might rethink it. And you know, sometimes they do but sometimes they don't. I try to share what works in my home. I have just never found it necessary or useful to *make* my children do things they don’t want to do. I’ve yet to run across something important enough to use force. And I have some pretty amazing, intense and at times challenging children  In the end, I just believe it is a choice.

I really am not trying to further the debate, I don’t care for the more philosophical discussions, I prefer the nuts and bolts of daily living discussions. I just wanted to perhaps offer some insight into Pat’s reactions. She is so great and so full of love, she had a rough childhood and she literally hurts when she thinks others are hurting. She has been instrumental in fighting corporal punishment in our local schools and she homeschools I came from a GD family and so my journey has been very different. Still we are here choosing a lifestyle that most people don’t get at all, because we really believe in it.
post #170 of 261
Quote:
While those who are committed to consensual living may have some of the same fears, needs or concerns, they also trust that their children will learn what they need to know and will cooperate because they trust that children do want to....I don't know how to say it, contribute to the well-being of their families?
Definitely for me. I was apprehensive when dd first said she didn't want to do schooling (she attends a public virtual charter school, in kindergarten, so schools at home). I really needed to talk to my best friend after that and do a lot of evaluating my feelings and expectations. Being my first year teaching under a curriculum has been a learning experience for me and we are both okay with it all the way around now(for now ). I am still researching unschooling but can not legally do it right now. I may try to get legal so it is open for an option in the future. And sledg the rest of your post was as usual eloquent.

Quote:
Is living consensually less about children being given a huge array of choices and...again I don't know exactly how to say it, I guess less about "giving in" to a child when a child is resistant, and more about peaceful conflict resolution? About simply finding ways to communicate with children that fully address the needs and feelings of both adult and child? And that communication and honoring of each person's autonomy naturally leads to resolutions that work for both parent and child (rather than just for one or the other)? And the intent of the parent matters, because a demand disguised as a request still feels like a demand, which people naturally resist (we've all had that experience)? I have this sense that describing consensual living makes it sound more complicated than it actually is.
Very much so. I for one could make anything sound complicated.
post #171 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah
It's not that I don't think it's important for my children to develop self-sufficiency, expect respect from others, learn good manners, learn good negotiation skills, learn to trust their own feelings and honor others, and be in healthy relationships. It's just that I feel that they can do that with a gradual handing-over of responsibility, if you will, and a more authoratative model. I feel that will work because I've seen it work. I know plenty of people with all these skills, I might even include myself among them (sometimes) who had authoratative family structures.
Sarah, ITA with this. And, I'm living proof that it works.

As DS ages and becomes more able to communicate with me, I'm sure we'll negotiate more - but to me, that's the gradual handing over you're talking about above. I maintain that right now, *my* son isn't capable of giving alternatives and negotiating solutions (at 2 yrs old), not because I don't give him the opportunity, he just doesn't seem to understand when I try to do it with him (hence the previous post about him just staring at me when I try to discuss things with him sometimes ). I just think it's the way he's wired...

I will be more than happy to talk things through with him, when he is actually participating in the discussion. However, for now, on the occasional situations where he's not willing to budge and his solution isn't OK with me, I'll just continue to talk, make the best of it, and move forward.

As I said before, I'm really looking forward to him participating more!
post #172 of 261
Coming in late tonight... but YES to Sledg's post!
post #173 of 261
I have two questions:

1) Above I mentioned age as a factor but also now realize that having your kids home with you when they get older and homeschooling makes NCP a workable paradigm. I work full time, I'm a single mom and my kid is in second grade at a local school. I think we do our best, however, do the practioners here of NCP beleive it is possible to be on board 100% under these circumstances?

2) There are a lot of things that as adults we are "forced" to do that we don't like - paying rent, cleaning up puke, etc. (Hopefully we find a way to follow our bliss) - There are things we do for the greater good for our families and society that aren't immediately pleasant. As children grow older how do you teach this aspect of life?

June C.
post #174 of 261
Quote:
1) Above I mentioned age as a factor but also now realize that having your kids home with you when they get older and homeschooling makes NCP a workable paradigm. I work full time, I'm a single mom and my kid is in second grade at a local school. I think we do our best, however, do the practioners here of NCP beleive it is possible to be on board 100% under these circumstances?

2) There are a lot of things that as adults we are "forced" to do that we don't like - paying rent, cleaning up puke, etc. (Hopefully we find a way to follow our bliss) - There are things we do for the greater good for our families and society that aren't immediately pleasant. As children grow older how do you teach this aspect of life?
I can't really delve into the first part of your question because I am not a working mother and I would imagine that it would be more difficult to be a non-coercive parent when you throw in the dynamics of being single, working, and when your child is in school. I do think it can be workable though -- that it is a concious decision to make every interaction with your child a consensual one -- to the best of your ability.

As far as your second question, I don't feel we really have to do anything in this life. Barring being abducted and forced at gunpoint -- I believe life is a choice -- including paying rent and cleaning up puke. Some choices feel like they are things we *have* to do, but what they really are, are choices we make because the alternative to NOT making the choice is not acceptible to us. We choose to pay our rent because being homeless is not an acceptible alternative. We clean up puke because as much as we may not want to...we don't want puke on the floor for days MORE than we don't want to clean it up, so we choose to clean it up.

I maintain the best way to teach children these things is through modeling -- and for living joyously. Her is an example: I don't like living in filth...so I want the house clean...so I choose to clean it... there are two ways I can go about it. I can clean it and b!tch the whole time about it and grumble and be a martyr... or I can make it as enjoyable as I can and just do what I need to do....maybe listen to music while I clean, enlist the help of my child, invite a friend over for coffee and talking while I do some chores, do one room at a time - or if I had big cash, I could hire someone -- whatever --

There are many things in life that we may not choose to be doing at the moment, we would rather be sitting on a beach soaking up sun, whatever... but we choose to do them because we like the end result of the task and it makes life more enjoyable, or we aren't willing to choose the consequence that comes with not doing the act (in this case, a filthy house).

I have no doubt that my daughter will learn that life isn't an endless party, and that once in a while we choose to do things that aren't so pleasurable because we enjoy the result of doing it when it is done, or because we don't want to choose the alternative conswquence. I don't think it is something I have to actively teach. It happens in life all the time and I am confident my daughter will observe and learn.
post #175 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomingranny
I have two questions:

1) Above I mentioned age as a factor but also now realize that having your kids home with you when they get older and homeschooling makes NCP a workable paradigm. I work full time, I'm a single mom and my kid is in second grade at a local school. I think we do our best, however, do the practioners here of NCP beleive it is possible to be on board 100% under these circumstances?
My child is not in the second grade and I only work part time so I cannot give you any real life experience. But I will say that I have met several consensually living families with kids of all ages. Many of them attend school, usuallly because the child wants to. I think it depends on what you consider 100%. To me living consensually is a relationship in our family (meaning dh, dd, and me). I do not dictate how other people choose to relate to dd (within reason, obviously abusive behavior would be stopped). For instance my ILs are very authoratative yet they have a relationship with dd. It is different than ours. Dd already knows that gramma an grampa have "rules" and she still loves them and enjoys spending time with them. If they overstep her boundries too many times, she may choose to not spend time with them (I can see that happeneing some day) and that will be up to her. I think of school in the same way. We plan to unschool but if dd wants to go to school, we will do our best to facilitate that desire. She will understand that in order to achieve her goal of going to school, she will have to put up with some useless rules like asking to use the bathroom, being told what, when,and where to learn, standing in lines, and having to have permission to ask a question. To me, that does not change our relationship. Of course, she would have the option to quit going to school any time she wanted whereas it seems that is not an option for you at this time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boomingranny
2) There are a lot of things that as adults we are "forced" to do that we don't like - paying rent, cleaning up puke, etc. (Hopefully we find a way to follow our bliss) - There are things we do for the greater good for our families and society that aren't immediately pleasant. As children grow older how do you teach this aspect of life?

June C.
This has been addressed several time on this fourm, but I am not sure it has happened in this thread yet. Adults are never truly forced to do anything. If we do not want to take a shower, some bigger person is not going to pick us up and physically put us in it....or tell us no story before bed if we don't..... We are not forced to pay rent. We choose to because the benefit of having a place to live outweighs the negeative of paying rent. We clean up puke because cleaning it up is more desirable to us than having it sit there and stink indefinately. Maybe we are having a bad day? We can choose to let it sit there for a while. We can choose to let it sit there forever if we don't care. The natural consequence is that we will have a pile of puke sitting there. In my family anyway, we allow dd to explore these things. Like the diaper earlier. I would allow my dd to get a diaper rash if she felt that was less unpleasant than having a diaper change. If she does not want to eat one day, that is fine....she will learn that the result is hunger. I have found that the more I allow her to experience these things, the more willing she is to trust that I am telling the truth when I say the laundry powder does not taste good. I trust that dd WILL learn to become a functioning member of society without me forcing/coersing/reminding/dealing with her to. In the families I mentioned above, many had teenagers. Those kids were raised from birth in consensual households. They were BY FAR the most pleasant, enjoyable, teenagers I have ever come into contact with. Some had blue hair, listened to music I find appalling, had strange piercings.... Far from being the lawless brats I have heard people tell me my kid will become. They understood empathy, helpfulness, how to treat people, and how to interact with people of ALL ages better than most teens. They were shockingly interested in other people whether very young or old. So that is just another way that I can trust that my child will learn these things. Plus I see it with my own eyes.
post #176 of 261
No point recreating the wheel ITA with Crunchy and Yooper
post #177 of 261
thank you for the replies, they were very enlightening. I think this is a great philosophy for families. I beleive that it is easier to implement if you have the "privilege", i.e., energy, finances, education and passion to see it though to the full implementation. I like the ideas, and do my best to incorporate some of them. However, a complete dedication to the extent that Capn crunchy, Scubamom (and the mom with the 6 and 8 y olds) have dedicated themselves isn't realistic for my family. I would guess that other families might find the same. My kid did not "choose" what kind of schooling she wanted. She went to school, or perhaps in the vernacular was "forced". Just as she was "forced" to be in daycare full time since she was 12 months. I made the "choice" though I was not "forced" to do this. I could have chosen other options that in my mind were poor choices. I am fine with my path and my dd is a great kid. I don't see that these choices have put her in a one down position to kids who have been raised differently.

I parent with ideas I like, that are fitted to our temperments, our socio/economic situation and my culture/education and class. Regardless of how we decide to parent it is never done in a vacuum. I guess what I'm trying to say is that although I like the ideas of NCP and NFL, I choose what works and don't sweat it if I can't be the spokesperson for that paradigm. Often discussions on MDC forget the role that privilege and class plays in our ability and desire to make these decisions for our family.
post #178 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomingranny
2) There are a lot of things that as adults we are "forced" to do that we don't like - paying rent, cleaning up puke, etc. (Hopefully we find a way to follow our bliss) - There are things we do for the greater good for our families and society that aren't immediately pleasant. As children grow older how do you teach this aspect of life?

June C.
I can't answer your first question.

Whether or not adults "have to" do things has been discussed many many times. Sure we do things we don't want to do. It seems like "have to" can be a matter of semantics. Ultimately, we have a choice. But if the alternative is completely unacceptable, how much of a choice is it really?
But like the pp said, its very very rare that an adult would be physically forced to do something against their will (unless you're being arrested, I suppose).
As far as kids go, I don't see that one would have to *teach* this to their kids. I think there are many instances where a child could/would choose to do something they don't particularly want to do, for the good of the family. I don't see how coercing teaches empathy. I only know one other family that is consensual, and I know her kids sometimes *choose* to do things that wasn't their first choice, because it matters to someone else. I think you can live consensually, and still be "family centered" (as opposed to child centered).
post #179 of 261
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1) Above I mentioned age as a factor but also now realize that having your kids home with you when they get older and homeschooling makes NCP a workable paradigm. I work full time, I'm a single mom and my kid is in second grade at a local school. I think we do our best, however, do the practioners here of NCP beleive it is possible to be on board 100% under these circumstances?
Not sure what NCP or NFL stands for . As far as consensual living I imagine it may take more energy in those circumstances. For me being single would be the issue that would make things difficult. If it weren't for my dp I would not be able to stay home with the kids.

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2) There are a lot of things that as adults we are "forced" to do that we don't like - paying rent, cleaning up puke, etc. (Hopefully we find a way to follow our bliss) - There are things we do for the greater good for our families and society that aren't immediately pleasant. As children grow older how do you teach this aspect of life?
I agree with pp about the 'forced' thing. You aren't even really forced to obey laws, though if you choose not to AND get caught you MIGHT be forced into consequeneces. Honestly I believe at 4 and 6 my kids already have a kid-sized grasp on the concept of doing things for the greater good, even if unpleasant. I'm sitting here reading this morning and you have typed up an example that happened here last night. We all have a cold, some sinuses and coughing, nothing majorly icky. Last night we were running around in circles playing chase. We had eaten sandwiches and soup not too long before. SOOOO, ds started coughing and puked . I got a bucket to clean it up and the kids both wanted to help clean up. I said that's okay, I've got it, and they both INSISTED they WANTED to help me. So honestly even though I was a bit uncomfortable at the thought I realized it was great that they wanted to do that. We all worked together and had it cleaned in no time at all . I certainly didn't force them to clean it so they could learn some things aren't immediately pleasant but are still best to be done, they chose that path themselves despite the unpleasantness.
post #180 of 261
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While those who are committed to consensual living may have some of the same fears, needs or concerns, they also trust that their children will learn what they need to know and will cooperate because they trust that children do want to....I don't know how to say it, contribute to the well-being of their families?
Wanted to mention something I don't think I did in my pp. For me on top of trusting my children to cooperate is also having the ability to look for positive intent if it happens that they don't want to cooperate or if they don't meet my expectations, even if that positive intent is not immediately apparent to me. So in some circumstances I may delve into my expectations and those may change, if appropriate (obviously my expectation to not be hit will not change ). And in some circumstances I may delve into the reason they are having a difficult time cooperating at that moment, and do what I can to remedy that. I want to say AGAIN, I am in no way perfect or 100% anything, but do my very best at all of this and am evolving and growing constantly.
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