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Is some GD philosophy *too* gentle??? - Page 16

post #301 of 322
I thought the article had very little to do with consensual living. Control is control, whether you're controlling your child's environment for "their own good or safety" or whether you are controlling it in a punitive way -- though those two things often go hand in hand when the child doesn't consent to the things parents do *for their own good*.

I keep our daughter safe, but in consensual living, only life and death circumstances are things we *consider* coercion --- and like Pat said, the idea is that most humans have a desire to live so by that fact, something like scooping your child out of the way of an oncoming mack truck, implied consent is assumed (that they want to live).

I have already been balked at, jaw dropped, and tsked tsked when I let my daughter play with a balloon, when I let her explore electrical oulets, when I stated we don't force toothbrushing, and that she doesn't have a set bedtime.

I don't think that article is representative of CL at all really. There was a quote in the article "children need to feel badly sometimes" (or something to that effect). I think the difference between CL and some other forms of parenting is that we realize that by sheer participation in the world our children are bound to "feel badly" -- a friend slights them, a skinned knee, wanting a toy we genuinely can't afford..whatever it may be... but we as parents don't have to impose pain on them so that they can "learn about the real world".
post #302 of 322
I agree that the article is nothing like CL, but perhaps it's in line with the OP question? My opinion, though, it that hyper-parenting isn't all that gentle either, in the long run.

That's why I don't care for it. It's controlling - in the opposite end of the spectrum from the old-fashioned idea of control.

Like, CC, I tend to take more criticism for not protecting DS enough. Though I do play with him in parks when he asks for it. And I back off when he asks for space. But I don't take my eyes off him for a second in a park. That's just insane. At least in my area.
post #303 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
I agree that the article is nothing like CL, but perhaps it's in line with the OP question? My opinion, though, it that hyper-parenting isn't all that gentle either, in the long run.

That's why I don't care for it. It's controlling - in the opposite end of the spectrum from the old-fashioned idea of control.

Like, CC, I tend to take more criticism for not protecting DS enough. Though I do play with him in parks when he asks for it. And I back off when he asks for space. But I don't take my eyes off him for a second in a park. That's just insane. At least in my area.
Yeah, I think it's easy to become confused when thinking of CL. it can easily equal being hypervigilant for those who do not practice or for those who misunderstand CL.

for me, its so hard to see anxiety or fear or pain or hurt or any other "awful" emotion in seth's eyes, i want to alleviate every bad feeling he has, but i can't and i shouldn't. im trying to back away from intervening in every interaction he has (this age between two and three is very challenging for me in this respect) and allowing him the space to work it out and then joining in when he asks me to. backing off has been very hard for me, especially bc i feel so damned guilty for working. i support my family; i have no choice. we went ten grand into debt when i took off work for the first ten months of his life. i struggle so continuously with what is too much space for him adn what is too little.

at the same time, i struggle with CL stuff, like he is very interested in chasing the dog with his larger toy trucks and even hitting the dog with them, bumping into the dog. the dog hates it and howls for me. i have taken his toys away and put them in the garage, every day he gets a new opportunity to play with the larger toys and every day, without fail, he loses that privilege. i cant see ANY other way to do this, other than imposed consequences. and he doesnt like this arrangement at all. definitely NOT consensual, but i need to protect the dog.

its HARD.

i feel that if i went with CL, i would end up spending the entire day explaining to him each minute that he bumps the dog that the doggie doesnt like it and neither do it. just doesnt work.
post #304 of 322
I found the article interesting, thank you Kathy.

I found that some of the things the article outlines I am “guilty” of (sometimes trying to help too much) while some I can not be further from (pushing for academic achievements or “germaphobia”)

While I disagree that we have to “make” our kids feel bad sometimes (article actually does not say we have to make them, it says “kids need to” and agree with CC that they will no matter what), I agree that sometimes the exact reason teens sometimes “go crazy” is because they have been “overcontrolled”.

CL actually goes against control of other human being (kid or an adult)

I think the some concerns raised in the article can apply to all kinds of parenting philosophy – whether it’s Cl, authoritarian or permissive.
post #305 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I thought the article had very little to do with consensual living. Control is control, whether you're controlling your child's environment for "their own good or safety" or whether you are controlling it in a punitive way -- though those two things often go hand in hand when the child doesn't consent to the things parents do *for their own good*.
I couldn't have said this any better so I'm copying . . . I agree with what others have said, the article talks about just another way that parents control their kids and their environments. CL feels to me like a different paradigm.

For example, if I see dd doing something that could be dangerous, but not life threatening (like climbing up on something where she could fall), I'll warn her, once, "please be careful. if you fall, you could bump your head and it will hurt," and then I let her figure it out for herself. That feels like honoring her agenda while sharing some information that she may not have, and seems like the opposite of what that article talked about.

RE the ds hitting the dog with toys . . . it's funny you bring this up, as my mother was lecturing me on how if I don't spank dd she'll grow up to be a delinquent who "pokes kittens with sticks" just the other day : If it were us, I would try to get to the need behind the dog poking and find another way to meet it. Does he want to poke things? here's a pillow. Does he want to interact with the dog? Here's how to use our hands gentlly. Does he want to hurt the dog? It's not okay to hurt living things, we can poke the toy dog instead. Or even better, find a different activity that is equally entertaining before he gets to wanting to poke the dog. At this age, I think it's important to supervise, supervise, supervise. Ds doesn't have the information he needs to know it's not okay to hurt the dog, so prevention and redirection are important tools right now.
post #306 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ally'smom
I couldn't have said this any better so I'm copying . . . I agree with what others have said, the article talks about just another way that parents control their kids and their environments.
So maybe people are resorting to controlling their children in more socially acceptable ways? Now that harsh discipline is pretty faux pas?

I think this also might be a by-product of the rise of the parenting "industry". You know, the magazines, the how-to articles, the products, the books, the clubs, the playgroups. As a SAHM, I can attest to a lot of pressure to "parent", pressure I don't think my parents dealt with, though I would say has been growing recently. I think people used to have kids, you know, and that was that. You just kind of did what you did, and they grew up.

But look at us nowadays. I think that we're a good example of how much time is put into thinking about parenting, how much time do you think the average GD poster spends on this board?

Anyway, it was an interesting article, though I would think again more of a permissive parent, one who was afraid to share any sort of unpleasantness with their child, and afraid of negative emotions that their child might have.
post #307 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly
i feel that if i went with CL, i would end up spending the entire day explaining to him each minute that he bumps the dog that the doggie doesnt like it and neither do it. just doesnt work.
I imagine that you'd spend LESS time dealing with it if you'd explain a few times that "Dog doesn't like to be hit. It hurts him- see how he howls when you do it?" and tell him "If you want to play with truck, you can roll it on the ground, or on the couch. If you want to touch the dog, touch him gently."
I've been saying that stuff to ds since he was younger than 18 mos. It took just a few times of explaining thoroughly, and after that, I just have to say bits or pieces. Usually just a "whoa! Don't hit brooke!!." But it really is very rare that he hits the dogs at all. I imagine that if I were taking stuff away, ds would not feel the way he does about the right reasons to NOT hit the dogs.
post #308 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah
So maybe people are resorting to controlling their children in more socially acceptable ways? Now that harsh discipline is pretty faux pas?

I think this also might be a by-product of the rise of the parenting "industry". You know, the magazines, the how-to articles, the products, the books, the clubs, the playgroups. As a SAHM, I can attest to a lot of pressure to "parent", pressure I don't think my parents dealt with, though I would say has been growing recently. I think people used to have kids, you know, and that was that. You just kind of did what you did, and they grew up.

But look at us nowadays. I think that we're a good example of how much time is put into thinking about parenting, how much time do you think the average GD poster spends on this board?

Anyway, it was an interesting article, though I would think again more of a permissive parent, one who was afraid to share any sort of unpleasantness with their child, and afraid of negative emotions that their child might have.
Grrr. I just lost a post to the cyber-netherworld. No fair. <<sulking>>


The distilled point was that I agree that people substitute more acceptable control, and that the industry feeds this. But I also think that what it's feeding is deeper. Selling magazines and stocking doctors' offices with articles that scare us and keep us dependant on "experts" to tell us about our kids is keeping us powerless, and incidentally spending more money on the industry. Remember, they want to control us too.

I also think that parents generally really do want to do well by their kids. But shattering a paradigm is freakin' hard. And that's exactly where we have to look to make progess.

And that's also where the real difficulty lies - not in learning how many minutes to force a kid on a chair for, or finding ever cleverer ways to get Johnny to get dressed on time. But it's also where to find peace, freedom, and cooperation within the family.

Looking at a checklist from an expert, or having an approved "formula" handy, for how to deal with every situation is comforting and provides a very strong - and very false - sense of security that we are doing "right". We can get really addicted to that idea. But we have to think way deeper than this to effect any meaningful change.

Replacing spanking with time-outs, and punishment with "positive reinforcement" is surface level stuff. It won't change a thing about what it is to be a human.


Ehh, I can't get this to make more sense than it does. Once I lost the first post I typed out I can't straighten out my thoughts again... Sorry.
post #309 of 322
I agree that I spend way less time getting DS's cooperation than anyone else I know IRL. Working with kids is so much easier than "enforcing" rules. They respond beautifully.
post #310 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
I agree that I spend way less time getting DS's cooperation than anyone else I know IRL. Working with kids is so much easier than "enforcing" rules. They respond beautifully.
ITA

And as they grow older, since it's the only way they saw in their family - they do it without much effort on their or the parents side.

That's the way they know how, that's the way they learned to live.

Kinda like walking I suppose - it might take a little longer to "leap" from crawling to walking, but at the end it's the easiest way to move around for humans.

(Although my DD never crawlled )
post #311 of 322
Quote:
Remember, they want to control us too.
True aira, so true.

They want to control us by keeping us insecure. Insecurity sells. When we are secure in our life, in the way we are helping our children become the people they were meant to be instead of the people we want them to be, there is no need to turn to all the books and products out there which aid in promoting less attachment and more control.

I have learned much from books, don't get me wrong, and have benefited from certain products too, but parenting is a *big* business -- which is why the flavor of the generation keeps changing regarding the "right" way to raise children.

It is much less fashionable (or profitable I should say) for companies, and authors and magazines to simply say "treat them like anyone else you love and respect tremendously.

That would be easy.
post #312 of 322
Well, that article depressed the crap out of me. Thinking of my kids entering that 'society' in a few years makes me almost want to take DH up on his offer to build a "compound" on a piece of his uncle's farm way out in the middle of nowhere.

I have to agree that the parenting in the article seems less like CL to me and more like permissive or suffocating parenting, or a strange mix of both...the depressing part to me is that it seems that many parents want to NOT parent harshly (which is great, obviously), but don't realize that you can parent gently, set limits, and let your child be their own person, and they then swing way too far in the opposite direction and don't provide their child with any guidance towards building life skills or opportunities to do things on their own. Or, worse yet, they are overindulgent, and then harsh sometimes too, and then wonder why their kids are confused from the mixed signals. Not claiming that I'm perfect at ALL, I just wish that more parents would realize that they don't have to be drill sergeants OR pushovers; that there is another way...
post #313 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
I agree that I spend way less time getting DS's cooperation than anyone else I know IRL. Working with kids is so much easier than "enforcing" rules. They respond beautifully.
This is one of the things that BLOWS me away about CL. I did not start out this way, and I think I still have a way to go, even though I feel like I'm doing a pretty decent job. Nobody could ever accuse us of having an "easy" (cooperative, laid back) baby, and I like it that way. But boy did we have battles for a long time about everything, including sleep. I thought I was really child-led, waiting until she was tired to go to bed, co-sleeping and never CIO, but I decided it was time to go (when I saw that she was tired) and forced her to stay on the bed (gently, without punishment) once we got there.

Recently, I decided to give that up. She will sleep when she's tired and we go to bed when she wants, I decided. I was scared to death, but forcing her to do anything just doesn't jive with my beliefs and got to feeling more and more uncomfortable. And I'll be darned if she doesn't tell me when she wants a nap, go to bed, and nurse to sleep every day. Bedtime is the same thing. No, I don't want to take a walk, I want to go to bed--she's preverbal, so this looks like her shaking her head when we say "do you want to take a walk," and then running back to the bedroom and jumping on the bed. It's fantastic and SO much easier.

And, this is the kicker, she's sleeping better and longer than she used to. Her bedtimes and naptimes are pretty consistent, at the same time we've always gone to sleep. I was right that she was tired, I just needed to give her the power to decide it and act on it. This is really unlike any of her friends IRL, for whom naptimes are currently a huge battle and who were all subjected to CIO because their parents needed to "win" the nighttime battle.
post #314 of 322
Yeah, CC. We gotta get off the ferris wheel of parenting tends. Every point on the ride is another flavor of the same.

Connecting with the kid - that's where it's at!


I recently started responding to that cliche about kid not coming with instructions like this:

They do come with intructions. They are the instructions. Listen to them.
post #315 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ally'smom
This is one of the things that BLOWS me away about CL. I did not start out this way, and I think I still have a way to go, even though I feel like I'm doing a pretty decent job. Nobody could ever accuse us of having an "easy" (cooperative, laid back) baby, and I like it that way. But boy did we have battles for a long time about everything, including sleep. I thought I was really child-led, waiting until she was tired to go to bed, co-sleeping and never CIO, but I decided it was time to go (when I saw that she was tired) and forced her to stay on the bed (gently, without punishment) once we got there.

Recently, I decided to give that up. She will sleep when she's tired and we go to bed when she wants, I decided. I was scared to death, but forcing her to do anything just doesn't jive with my beliefs and got to feeling more and more uncomfortable. And I'll be darned if she doesn't tell me when she wants a nap, go to bed, and nurse to sleep every day. Bedtime is the same thing. No, I don't want to take a walk, I want to go to bed--she's preverbal, so this looks like her shaking her head when we say "do you want to take a walk," and then running back to the bedroom and jumping on the bed. It's fantastic and SO much easier.

And, this is the kicker, she's sleeping better and longer than she used to. Her bedtimes and naptimes are pretty consistent, at the same time we've always gone to sleep. I was right that she was tired, I just needed to give her the power to decide it and act on it. This is really unlike any of her friends IRL, for whom naptimes are currently a huge battle and who were all subjected to CIO because their parents needed to "win" the nighttime battle.
I have tried this with DD and she won't go to sleep! : It's not that she never gets tired, but she never gets to a point where she'll indicate that she wants to sleep. She will force herself to stay up even if she's almost staggering around due to exhaustion. I really wish I could just let DD choose her sleep times, but she doesn't want to choose *any* times to sleep! (Today for example she had NO nap all day and is about to fall over! But still no interest in the bed, in nursing, anything!)
post #316 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
I have tried this with DD and she won't go to sleep! : It's not that she never gets tired, but she never gets to a point where she'll indicate that she wants to sleep. She will force herself to stay up even if she's almost staggering around due to exhaustion. I really wish I could just let DD choose her sleep times, but she doesn't want to choose *any* times to sleep! (Today for example she had NO nap all day and is about to fall over! But still no interest in the bed, in nursing, anything!)
Yep, it was like this, too, for us, for about a week. Then I went back to exercising control over bed for a few days, then finally let it go. If she doesn't want to go to bed, I go do other things. I let her know that we can go to bed when she's tired, but I'm not making her go. Once I demonstrated that I really don't want her to go to bed, but rather to choose when she wants to go to bed, she started going. I think that having a deeply connected relationship where there is alot of trust already is really helpful, because it takes alot of trust--in both directions--to let it go and give it time to work.

I think the not wanting to go to bed thing while exhausted is about exercising control about her own body and life. Dd plays this game now where she says she wants to go to bed, so dh and I go lay down, then she runs into and out of the bedroom over and over again. If we say we want to get up and do other things, she says she wants to go to bed, so we lay back down and she's back to running in and out. This is so the reversal of what was going on before--now she's working through having that power and using it. I read Playful Parenting a while ago and I keep thinking about how Cohen says that kids use play to work through things. Dd, and maybe yours too, has 16 months of mommy controlling her body to work through. So we're giving her the space in which to do that.
post #317 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
I have tried this with DD and she won't go to sleep! : It's not that she never gets tired, but she never gets to a point where she'll indicate that she wants to sleep. She will force herself to stay up even if she's almost staggering around due to exhaustion. I really wish I could just let DD choose her sleep times, but she doesn't want to choose *any* times to sleep! (Today for example she had NO nap all day and is about to fall over! But still no interest in the bed, in nursing, anything!)
My dd was like this, too. She'd fall asleep in her high chair. I agree, it had to do with me trying to dictate when she'd sleep, because I was always trying to go by the clock, and by the book.

I don't know if it's just more experience or luck, but ds goes and gets his blankie and points at the rocking chair and cries when he wants to go to sleep. But even then, there are days when he gets too riled up and needs help going to sleep. Anyway, I guess I'm just saying it's possible to have a child who knows when they need to sleep without CL.
post #318 of 322
Thanks for your posts, Ally'smom and natensarah!

That's very interesting to think about her needing to process my having had control over her body...

Hmm. I think while we are in Greece (leaving next week and will be gone 10 days) I will tell her that she needs to let me know when she is sleepy (she knows the sign although she doesn't usually do it) and see what happens. We'll be all screwed up with the time difference anyway so there's no point in me trying to impose anything.

Maybe it will work this time! I really feel bad when she resists sleep so much. I also feel very confused as to what my role is. Still trying to find a solution everyone is happy with.
post #319 of 322
Hey, everyone

Wow, this thread certainly has gotten long I would ask that we try and stay on-topic to the OP:

Quote:
Is some GD philosophy *too* gentle???
Please feel free to start a new thread if there are specific GD questions/situations you'd like to discuss in detail. By starting a new thread or posting to an existing one about a particular topic, it will be easier for members to utilize the search function, rather than sorting through 300+ posts that has ten different topics.

I'm not sure if my request makes any sense, but, if not, I'll try again in the morning

Thanks!
post #320 of 322
sorry, georgia!
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