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"children need boundaries" (is this true?) - Page 3

post #41 of 135
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I'm working under a different paradigm than I often see even here, in which I fundamentally trust that my son, if given an honest view of the world, will grow into the human he is here to be.


I completely agree. I will also add that (imo) the first and best way to teach children empathy, compassion, and respect is to not only model it towards others but towards them.
post #42 of 135
CC, another excellent post!
post #43 of 135
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I will also add that (imo) the first and best way to teach children empathy, compassion, and respect is to not only model it towards others but towards them.
post #44 of 135
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Originally Posted by aira
Natensarah, why not talk to both DC about both prespectives? Maybe DD wouldn't want to hurt DS so much if she heard from you that she has every right to be angry about having her stuff destroyed, and you vocalized that to him for her. Why would you ever just speak for one child's boundary and not the other? Sounds like it's setting her up.

I mean, is it that you think her "offense" is worse, and you only deal with the escalation of the problem?

Of course she'd be pi$$ed if her feelings were steamrolled like that.

I don't get it.
Here's what I said:

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Originally Posted by natensarah
So maybe your child is more civilized, but I've found that to be a problem, because I want to send the message that it's unacceptable.
I'm not sure how you got from that that I was "steamrolling" her feelings. I think you can validate feelings and at the same time offer acceptable alternatives, and, yes, send the message that hitting is unacceptable. Because it's not, in my house.

And I think that you have a lot more leeway in a playgroup setting where it's unlikely that the children spend more than an hour together, and they're not really going to hurt each other. Maybe information would be enough, but it's not between my siblings.

I do trust that my children will EVENTUALLY make the right choice every time. I'm not afraid that if I don't crack down my dd will turn into some sort of tower shooter, or that she's a bad child because she hits her brother. But that doesn't mean I'm going to let them hurt each other, that would be unfair of me. No one's going to get their needs met around here at the sacrifice of someone else's security and safety. I'm not going to allow it.
post #45 of 135
Unfortunately, I'm running out the door, but I'll post later tonight in this space - just to keep the response right after your post...
post #46 of 135
r
post #47 of 135
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Here's some questions: If your toddler is hitting your baby, do you expect your baby to set her own boundaries? If your child beats the daylights out of their friend and the friend doesn't stop them, is that okay because the friend hasn't set the boundaries to stop the hitting? How about your kid killing their hamster? Is the hamster supposed to set boundaries?

What about sexual abuse? Is a kid supposed to set their own boundaries against it and if they don't, is it okay that they are molested because it's their choice not to set boundaries? Is it okay to do bad things to the mentally disabled because they don't set the "right" boundaries for themselves? If someone tells you to beat them up, should you do it if you feel like it because their and your boundaries allow it?

Saying that people should only impose their own boundaries around themselves sounds a lot like a world in which you can do whatever you like to other people, as long as they are vulnerable and you can get away with it.
That has to be one of the most ridiculous posts I have ever read on MDC. It leads me to believe you didn't even read any of the responses or merely skimmed them at best.

Not one person, at ANY time said that children don't need assistance and guidance in enforcing the boundries they have set for themselves or help with respecting the boundries other people have set for themselves.

Saying that we would feel it is our child's fault for being sexually molested is crossing the line. That is just cruel and mean spirited and while you thought you were making a really clever point, you were actually showing your ignorance. Besides, someone molesting our child would CLEARLY be the molester's fault because I don't know of many children who liked being raped (none actually) and would consider that a boundry they would *allow* someone to cross (if the child even had any concept of what rape was at such a tender age)...Furthermore, if the child doesn't protest, (out of fear or not knowing what to do or threats or whatever) the person who is ya know, raping them should know that is not a *boundry* you cross.

Wow I am just appalled and disgusted that someone would spew their disdain of other people's chosen way of parenting through the EXTREMELY thin veil of "innocent" questions.
post #48 of 135
It's "disdain", not "distain".
post #49 of 135
Don't feed the ******.


Natensarah, I think I'll edit my above post tomorrow AM instead of tonight. I just can't think about anything normal after reading the above farce.
post #50 of 135
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Originally Posted by Jish
We don't want our children to hit (at least I hope we don't) why not simply explain that hitting is wrong/not nice/etc. We shouldn't be responsible for explaining other people's boundries -- we can't be expected to know everyone's boundries.


Because frankly, I would never speak to DS so rudely. Passing that kind of value judgement on him for manifesting either his anger or sheer curiousity (using your hypothetical), has no place in respectful parenting.
Hmmmm... I must say that is the first time I have every been accused of speaking "so rudely" to my children. Funny that it comes from someone who has never met me or heard me speak to my children.

However, I don't see how it's rude to say to my child "Roo, please don't hit X. People don't like to be hit and it hurts them." I don't find that wildly different than saying "Please don't hit Joey, Joey doesn't like to be hit." I'm also not sure how I'm passing a value judgement on him for expressing anger, frustration, curiosity. I'm simply explaining that hitting isn't nice and that people don't like it. I didn't tell him he was a bad child or that he was naughty. No value judgement at all. I'm not sure where you get that idea from. Clearly you don't know me.

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but it is not my goal while I am teaching her things or emparting my *cough* wisdom *cough* lol to her... it will though, in my estimation, be a byproduct of all the things I do hope to show her -- love, empathy, respect for self and others, self discipline, happiness, and how to live life attempting to meet the needs of everyone involved, including herself.
Ahhhh, so this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Please... do you seriously think that those of us who set boundries (which frankly aren't always that different from rules) are not doing those exact same things. I spend the vast majority of my day teaching my children the very same things you espouse to be doing. But I guess since my children have a bedtime and are taught that hitting is fundamentally wrong, none of that matters. Jeesh.:


BTW, correcting someone's spelling or grammar is a no no.
post #51 of 135
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Originally Posted by Jish
why not simply explain that hitting is wrong/not nice/etc.
Well, I haven't met you, but you did ask me directly why not say this. So I said why. There is nowhere that I accused you of anything.

I goin' to bed now, this is getting way too weird for my tired brain.
post #52 of 135
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Originally Posted by elsasmommy
It's "disdain", not "distain".
wow. yup, you did it...turned it around...your posts make much more sense now...thank goodness you chose to correct someone's typo. i never would have seen the light and the wisdom of your words.

pft.
post #53 of 135
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Originally Posted by aira
I don't see it as setting boundaries around DS to stop him from hitting another child, apologize to that child for him (let's not rehash that infamous manners discussion...), and talk about how the child feels hurt now, maybe even has a booboo. Showing him how to recognize and respect other people's boundaries (the other child in this example) is not imposing one on him.

I mean, yes, teaching DS to hit only us and in a playful way is a limit. It is not a limit around him. It's a limit that most other people have. It is teaching him that most people like to have their desire not to be hit respected, and here are the exceptions.
But how is it not a limit around him? If he wants to hit someone, and the person doesn't want to be hit, then the other person's right not to be hit outweighs your ds's desire to hit him. So other people's rights are limits and boudaries around the rest of us. I also think that there is a difference between a right and a preference. The right not to be hit nonconsensually is a right. Wanting to hit someone is a preference. So the right should override the preference. But wanting other people to be nice to you is also a preference, while freedom of association is a right. So I don't think it's as simple as everyone setting boundaries around himself that other people can't cross, because not all boundaries are equal and often conflict with one another.


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Look, every person on this planet experiences some sort of boundary to their existence. Even Paris Hilton. I mean, like, we can't just jump in the air and fly over all the traffic, or decide never to waste time sleeping again. Why give kids the idea that actual boudaries to living are anywhere other than exactly where they are? It seems like lying to me. Why not just talk about what actually can and can't happen in life and why? How other people like this or dislike that, and we treat them in a way they like? And that there are no absolutes?
Because I believe that there are absolutes--there is absolute morality and there are also absolute universal rights that are more than just treating people in a way that they like.

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And how can anyone not know what limits they have? I mean, parents can lie to their children about the limits by overstating them or by understating them. Either way drives kids wacko. Neither is fair to them. But they know what limits they do have, no?
But I think you're conflating natural limits with moral and social limits. Not being able to fly is a natural limit. Not being able to hit someone just because you're mad at him is a moral limit. Not being able to drive through red lights is a social limit. It isn't lying to explain this, and if you believe in an absolute natural order, the limit of not hitting people nonconsensually is as real as the limit of not being able to fly.

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I said before that it's folly to think I can impose an invisible fence around another person and inforce what goes on inside. (Something like that, I don't feel like looking back...) I'd love it of someone could show me just how that could work. How far does it go? When DC resents the artificial communication (and they always know deep down), do you also "set a boundary" about the backlash? If DC starts sneaking in an attempt to experience life as it really is - or to escape - will you "set more limits" to stop that?

Where do you really start being honest about what life is like? When you fess up about Santa? Teenage years? 21? Is there a conversation like, "Well son, now that you're old enough to buy liquor, I should tell you that it doesn't really matter if you wear the same shirt 2 days in a row?"

OT: Didn't Seinfeld do a routine about calling up his mom to tell her that he was running with scissors and swimming right after eating?
But if we believe in absolute standards, it isn't lying. You might believe it isn't true, but lying suggests that we are saying something we know to be untrue. And I don't think of teaching boundaries and limits as teaching what life is like, but what it should be. To stick with the hitting example, I don't think it's lying to say, "There are people who hit other people and get away with it. But their actions are wrong. It is morally wrong to hit someone who doesn't want to be hit, no matter what." It would be lying to say "no one ever hits anyone else," but I don't think that is what anyone is advocating.

And with wearing the same shirt 2 days in a row, or running with scissors, it isn't lying, but warning. It is true that a shirt worn 2 days in a row will most likely be sweaty and stinky. It is true that there is danger associated with running with a sharp object in your hand. How is this lying?
post #54 of 135
Yeah, I also agree that there are some limits which are people's personal boundaries, but there are others which are necessarily boundaries around the children. Returning to my example yesterday, the limit of no running in the street, which I seem not to have been able to enforce properly, that is a limit around the children. Not around the cars!
I do not want to enter a discussion, here, I just would like to point out that - at least for me - the boundaries that I have to build around the kids are much more difficult to impose. In fact, if it is a boundary around me, well, it is not easy for a 3 yo and a 5 yo to make me do things I do not want to do (including being hit). But, making them do what I ask, that's different, and it does not always work. How do you go about enforcing this second kind of boundaries?
post #55 of 135
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It's "disdain", not "distain".
So hey, I'm not that asian kid who passed out at the spelling bee and got back up to spell the word correctly.

I can live with that.

What I am wondering, is can you live with the fact that you came across as someone with limited understanding of the English language, nevermind child development, comprehension to retain what you have just read in the previous posts, and ability to reasonable process that information to get somewhat of an idea what anyone was describing?

I'll take my misspellings anyday

On to a different, more valid topic though --

Jish said:

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Ahhhh, so this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Please... do you seriously think that those of us who set boundries (which frankly aren't always that different from rules) are not doing those exact same things. I spend the vast majority of my day teaching my children the very same things you espouse to be doing. But I guess since my children have a bedtime and are taught that hitting is fundamentally wrong, none of that matters. Jeesh

Please try to look past your own upsetment and read my post. I never suggested you don't teach your children things, I am sure you do. You however, said yourself you teach them these things with the *goal* that they be productive people in society. I was just mentioning that we are coming from different perspectives. I see productivity as a probable byproduct of my goals as a parent, but certainy is not my goal or motivation when I am interacting with my daughter.
post #56 of 135
Brigianna, it seems you are approaching this from a very punative paradigm.

How will I explain the concept of "get away with it" to my child who doesn't know about punishment, and hopefully will continue to be internally driven when making his choices?

I'm not confused about moral/social and natural limits. Do you think I am because I used examples of each? I'm all for giving kids an honest account of all sorts of limits. I think I did a fair job explaining that.

I get the impression (but certianly might be wrong) that you may be framing this in a religious context. If that is the case, I just won't follow you to your points about morality. FTR, my statement about there being no absolutes was a bit tongue-in-cheek, seeing as the statement itself is an absolute. However, I do believe that there are absolute princples regarding the nature of the universe, creation, life, call it what you will. But when it comes to folks being folks, we can't make blanket statements or assumptions.

I mean, 100 years ago it was an absolute that pigs couldn't fly. But now you just have to buy one a ticket on Delta, and he's going to 30,000 feet. It's relative. It's all gonna be relative in the end, even if it's doesn't appear so in our lifetimes.

Indulge me while I keep that overused, strained hitting analogy in play... If my son ever (God forbid!) finds himself in a life-threatening situation with a crazy knife wielding idiot hell-bent on stabbing him, and he sees an opening to knock the nut out, disarm him and stay safe... That's the option I will be rooting for.

I will not lie to DS by telling him that it's never OK to hit b/c there's some absolute morality that makes it "wrong" in someone else's opinion. Or that he will surely face punishment in the afterlife for hitting, or anything silly like that. I will not inhibit him in any way from freely using his judgement based on an honest apprisal on his situation.

Well, I'm being recruited to play trains right now, so I'll check back in later...
post #57 of 135
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Indulge me while I keep that overused, strained hitting analogy in play... If my son ever (God forbid!) finds himself in a life-threatening situation with a crazy knife wielding idiot hell-bent on stabbing him, and he sees an opening to knock the nut out, disarm him and stay safe... That's the option I will be rooting for.
That is a good point aira, and one I was going to bring up as well. That is my issue with teaching "WE DON'T _____ " or "Doing such and such is WRONG".

Children, especially small children are very much creatures of black and white logic. I don't want to teach my children that hitting for example, in every circumstance is wrong. There may be a situation where they have to hit for self defense for example. I won't teach them it is rude to scream, but rather, say "I don't like to be screamed at, Johhny doesn't like to be screamed at" (whatever) because there may be a situation where they will be able to, or have to scream. I don't want to frame my explanation of things with the statements of "except when, if this happens, well if this situation arises, it's okay."

I would rather explain things to my daughter in the context of the situation at hand. I honestly don't feel that by saying "Johnny doesn't like to be hit" she is going to think, gee whiz, well, Suzy might, and haul off and hit Suzy. I don't think my child is hell bent on hurting people as some posters seem to present in their examples. I may explain something like "most people don't like to be hit" in that instance, but I am not going to place value judgements on my daughter. I will not say to her "Hitting is BAD and WRONG!!!" ....because as you pointed out Aira, not in the context of martial arts, or in self defense, or even in the game tag, where though it be gently, you are hitting someone to *tag* them.

Furthermore, telling a 2 year old toddler that it hurts you emotionally when they hit you etc, is way manipulative to me. Yeah, if they physically hurt you, feel free to say, *ouch!* that hurts when you hit, I don't like to be hit!* ....but the manipulation of forcing your values on someone else and exploiting their need to be approved of by you by disapproving of their actions in the form of emotional manipulation, is not okay with me.
post #58 of 135
Brigianna said:

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Because I believe that there are absolutes--there is absolute morality
Ouch! Are you serious? Absolute morality according to you? To what you believe in? Not everyone subscribes to that. Ther is only absolute morality to YOU, but the minute you encounter someone who believes otherwise, there is no absolute morality.
post #59 of 135
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Originally Posted by gaialice
Yeah, I also agree that there are some limits which are people's personal boundaries, but there are others which are necessarily boundaries around the children. Returning to my example yesterday, the limit of no running in the street, which I seem not to have been able to enforce properly, that is a limit around the children. Not around the cars!
I do not want to enter a discussion, here, I just would like to point out that - at least for me - the boundaries that I have to build around the kids are much more difficult to impose. In fact, if it is a boundary around me, well, it is not easy for a 3 yo and a 5 yo to make me do things I do not want to do (including being hit). But, making them do what I ask, that's different, and it does not always work. How do you go about enforcing this second kind of boundaries?
FWIW, I have learned that I cannot make anyone do what I ask-not even my kids. It is not possible to control another person. And while I probably actually can find some ways to make my kids do some things right now, there will come a time when I can't make them do anything. And making them do something, well that creates a disconnection (however brief it may be) and the more we disconnect the less my kids will value and respect what I have to say and offer. The more we disconnect, the less cooperation there is between us, and the more struggle there is. This I have experienced already, though my kids are still quite young and I admittedly cannot predict what the future will hold regardless of how I parent from here on out.

So I am learning to focus not on making my kids do things, but on communicating with them so that they have the information they need when it comes to relationships with others and to making decisions. When it comes to danger, of course I will physically step in and prevent something dangerous from happening. I will block one child's hands from hitting another, I will grab a child about to walk into the street. If a child tries to hit me, I'll move or block the hit while saying "I do not want to be hit." In the example you gave of your kids running on the sidewalk but not actually in the street, I've btdt. I didn't feel safe with my kids' running on the sidewalk, not at all. So what I said (to my 4 and 6 year old-the two year old still goes in the backpack) was this "When you run on the sidewalk I feel scared, because I'm afraid you might accidentally run or fall into the street and get hurt by a car. I need to know that we're all going to be safe traveling on the sidewalk, so I want you to walk." And repeated, and repeated. Did some running, watched them run a little (asking them to "walk, please") and realized it's probably not as dangerous as I'm afraid it is, and within a few days it actually wasn't a problem anymore-they weren't running. I could have said (and actually, I may have said this and realized it was foolish, I can't remember) "if you keep running, we won't walk anymore" but I realized that this was not something I wanted to do-we like to walk, it's good for our bodies and our spirits, it's enjoyable time together, and to just stop walking wouldn't teach them how to be safe walking down the road.

I've now lost my train of thought, and these kinds of threads scare me anyway so I'm going to stop. I do not at all pretend to understand completely what captain crunchy and aira are saying, but I do think that (as much as I understand it) it makes sense. I don't think it's all that odd, and I don't think they mean that they let their kids run all over doing whatever they please at the expense of the people around them.

Kids want to get along, kids want to be helpful, kids want to connect, kids want to do well. All they need is clear, honest information and loving support. Not that it's always easy.
post #60 of 135
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Originally Posted by CC
there may be a situation where they will be able to, or have to scream. I don't want to frame my explanation of things with the statements of "except when, if this happens, well if this situation arises, it's okay."
I know, I spend considerable time and effort training first my reflexes, and then refining my judgement so that I may hopefully interact appropriately in my environment. I spend a lot of effort undoing all the abolute programming I got as a little one.

It inhibits the development of judgement to tell kids that these are rules and this is the exception. I find that it cerebralizes the whole process. When facing a situation, we often spend precious time going through our checklist about if X is good? bad? is this the rule or the exception? Would I be bad for taking care of myself by X? Is that selfish of me, to stand up for myself?

It's crippling. And all this stuff can be sorted out in an instant if we are able to relax and feel, listen to the silence, hear our intuition instead of the parental programming that shouts over it.

I owe my son not interfering with his own inner knowing. His connection with God. That belongs to him, and will serve him better than anything I can impose on him. That's his real safety and protection.
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