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raising UNoppressed children - Page 2

post #21 of 89
a question: What happens when your dp doesnt agree with your decision to "not care what they do as long as they are happy."

My dh doesnt realize it, even though I have pointed it out, but he totally thinks the way to happyness is partially through money, and his parents raised him in rich neighborhoods just to set that idea in stone. His whole family belives this way.

So will my kids be confused by the conflict in opinion?
post #22 of 89
Thread Starter 
I am not so sure if they would be confused...maybe? But they are also exposed to other points of view as well? I would just encourage them to make their own opinion. You could say things like "Yes there are some that do feel that way but their are many examples of people being perfectly happy with little money...." would that work?
post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
a question: What happens when your dp doesnt agree with your decision to "not care what they do as long as they are happy."
I think it's easier if the dp's okay with YOU being yourself and expressing your view of things (and just supplements that by sharing his own views with them) -- but harder if he feels it's your duty to promote HIS point of view because you're the one at home full-time.
post #24 of 89
I don't identify with the term unoppressed, what you describe is what I would call nurturing a child's natural individuality, and being an open and honest parent. I think it's what others have called respecting the child.

I think that children living in America are blessed with immense freedom, and do not experience oppression, as children in less fortunate, less free and less tolerant places do.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Critty View Post
I think it is important to validate children's wishes and dreams. My sister wanted to be a dog with a mustache when she grew up and no one told her she couldn't be that. She just figured it out on her own ... although before a lip wax I do mention she has achieved her goal - lol.
: Ok this is the funniest thing I have ever read on here...
post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
I think that children living in America are blessed with immense freedom, and do not experience oppression, as children in less fortunate, less free and less tolerant places do.
I realize there are degrees of oppression, and agree that those of us who live in America are extremely fortunate, generally have lots of freedoms, and most of us can find some degree of tolerance for our personal uniquenesses.

But I disagree with your assertion that there's no oppression here. It's true that if I had to choose between martial law and having my mother choose what combinations of clothing I could wear -- I'd go with the latter 'cause clothes are just one avenue of self-expression and I could find other ways to express myself. And eventually move out and choose my own clothes.

Still, to a child with very controlling parents, I'm sure the situation doesn't feel much different from living under an oppressive government.
post #27 of 89
Sure, very controlling parents can be seen as oppressive, but I doubt that many parents try to exert that much control, especially parents here at MDC. Oppressive parenting isn't anywhere near the norm, even by parents that are more controlling.... and I think it's an exaggeration to suggest that the average american child is oppressed by his or her parents or society. I would rather find a positive term to define my parenting style than unoppressive, it doesn't feel like a good fit for me.

That said, I'm interested in the topic. Having been raised by an overprotective mother who made recommendations I didn't like, (don't go to college, get married and be a secretary -- was the biggest offense, although I did go to college), I think I know what not to do.

I plan to listen to my kids wants and encourage them to have their own style and opinions, etc. I will also freely express my opinions and let them know that's how I feel and they can choose different. I agree with someone else who said they would talk through the pros and cons and tradeoffs with different choices.

I do have some basic expectations for my kids, and we'll instill our basic values to be honest, generous, kind, helpful, etc. etc. I think that's part of being a good parent, and I plan to do a lot of leading by example.

I want the kids to have as positive of a childhood experience as possible, and so that's where I'm coming from as my vision / goal. Maybe that's why I reacted to unoppressive -- it's such a negative term.
post #28 of 89
Well I'm still constantly learning about the depths of my own "oppression" - reading the works of Alice Miller, Derrick Jensen, and so on and learning more about "anarchist" thought has given me tools to constantly see the way in which society (and capitalism) has "colonized" my thoughts...it's really the work of a lifetime, I think.

That said, I think the most important tool we can give our kids to resist oppression is to teach them critical thinking. They need to see and understand the box before they can think outside it...which, to me, means teaching them what the social norms are and how to follow them before they flout them. Then teaching them what the "box" is and to see it's outlines clearly. And maybe think about how you could change the shape of the box. It's like any creative endeavor - if you can learn the 'discipline' and master it, then you can bend the rules and change them with full understanding of what you are doing...

Sorry I'm rambling, but as my son is sitting here banging his train on my computer, do I just let him as part of his "self-expression"? Or do I show him "trains go on the floor" and therefore "oppress" him? (I'm just thinking about the boots at the funeral example that was in the article Pat posted...) My instinct is to teach him that trains go on the floor (or boots are for rainy days) but once I'm sure he understands the rule, then view "breaking" of it as being self-expression....in fact I've done this with my DD quite often with the whole boots thing....at first I stressed "boots are for rainy days". But now that she is older (4) I will remind her "boots are for rainy days - are you sure you want to wear that today?" and if she says yes, well then she gets to wear them.

Anyway, this is all very interesting to think about...here's another question. Is it oppression if they *like* doing it? (I'm thinking about traditional schooling but it could apply to anything I suppose).

peace,
robyn
post #29 of 89
If my child were banging her train on my computer (and indeed I do see more of these types of behaviors when I'm online or on the phone) -- I think I'd ask myself what it is that she wants.

Of course, when these things happen I DO explain that banging on the computer can damage it (just as climbing on the computer-table is not a terrific idea for the same reason). But chances are, it's totally possible to satisfy my child's wants without letting the computer get damaged.

In my own case (I can't answer for everyone else) the computer-banging stuff is often just an attempt to get me to get off of it, and get me to spend some time with my child. If she's wanting to climb something and jump off of it, there are plenty of ways to satisfy that need without it having to be the computer table. She's on the computer table to get me to focus on her and spend time with her.

Once I get off the computer, she's perfectly happy to go with me and do her climbing and jumping elsewhere.

So ... while I don't see it as oppressive to redirect my child's banging/climbing explorations AWAY from expensive merchandise, I do see it as oppressive if what she's really seeking is my attention, and I'm not giving her that, and I'm also denying her every avenue she can think of to express that desire and try to get my attention.
post #30 of 89
subbing, this is something i want to learn as well too.
post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
Oppressive parenting isn't anywhere near the norm, even by parents that are more controlling.... and I think it's an exaggeration to suggest that the average american child is oppressed by his or her parents or society. .
I feel like most parents are oppressive. Everyone I know advocates spanking and all forms of corporal punishment. (Except one : )

Also, in regards to your wanting a different term for "unopressive" Would it possibly be consensual?
post #32 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
I would rather find a positive term to define my parenting style than unoppressive, it doesn't feel like a good fit for me.

We live consensually.

Consensual living is a process, a philosophy, a mindset by which we seek to live in harmony with our families and community. It involves finding mutually agreed upon solutions, where the needs of both parties are not only considered but addressed. Everyone’s wants and needs are equally valid, regardless of age. Conflicting wants or needs are discussed and mutually agreeable solutions are created or negotiated which meet the underlying needs of all parties. Beginners to this concept are welcome to join this list, living consensually is an ongoing process of discovery. We ask that you be open to or on the path toward living consensually. We hope to explore the issues by asking questions, and sharing our experiences. Parenting is a sensitive issue for many people but we are all here to practice this process, and can do so if the environment remains one of respect, compassion, exploration and understanding. If you would like more information about Consensual Living or would like to sign up for the Consensual Living Newsletter, please visit our web site: http://www.consensual-living.com Consensual Living Website


Anyone interested in exploring Consensual Living is welcome to post individual inquiry or issues at the CL tribe or yahoogroup. We have almost 600 families who could help share btdt stories and brainstorming for situations.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=493985
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Consen...guid=140240070






Pat
post #33 of 89
:

Whatever Pat says. :

post #34 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imogen View Post
:

This is really important to me too. The difficulty that I have found so far is ridding myself of my own 'conditioning' from my childhood that would completely enable me to provide the support that is needed for my son to live a completely unoppressed life.

Mostly this revolves around financial stability.


Peace
This is where I am too. I believe in unoppression. I really, really do. But it is so hard to look at your child and recognize in her that she is a social misfit, and to know, from personal experience, the hardship that entails--the social crap is nonsense; that doesn't matter, but the financial instability and hardship that comes from nonconformity... I want to change it. I don't want to change her. I want to change the world. But I can't. So I am frustrated.

I got lucky. I found an awesome husband who accepts me for who I am and supports me, financially and otherwise, in all my nonconformist glory. So my unemployability is not an immediate problem. What if she is not so lucky? This is what worries me.

I wish we had an enormous trust fund we could leave them, so I wouldn't feel so conflicted and guilty about unoppressive parenting.
post #35 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
This is where I am too. I believe in unoppression. I really, really do. But it is so hard to look at your child and recognize in her that she is a social misfit, and to know, from personal experience, the hardship that entails--the social crap is nonsense; that doesn't matter, but the financial instability and hardship that comes from nonconformity... I want to change it. I don't want to change her. I want to change the world. But I can't. So I am frustrated.

I got lucky. I found an awesome husband who accepts me for who I am and supports me, financially and otherwise, in all my nonconformist glory. So my unemployability is not an immediate problem. What if she is not so lucky? This is what worries me.

I wish we had an enormous trust fund we could leave them, so I wouldn't feel so conflicted and guilty about unoppressive parenting.

Absolutely!! I would like to think that I will encourage my son to follow any path he desires, even if that means not having a huge income.. so long as he was happy and living true to himself. But the poverty I experienced in childhood and my battle to become financially secure cause me to wonder and worry that I will undermine his own desires in life for the sake of this so called financial security:

But then, is this just my parenting instinct kicking in? The desire for my son to be 'safe':


Peace
post #36 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imogen View Post
Absolutely!! I would like to think that I will encourage my son to follow any path he desires, even if that means not having a huge income.. so long as he was happy and living true to himself. But the poverty I experienced in childhood and my battle to become financially secure cause me to wonder and worry that I will undermine his own desires in life for the sake of this so called financial security:
Well, there is defining success based on income and then there is poverty.

Poverty can be so destructive and limiting to an individual, it is definitely something to be avoided, period.

Oh, and "voluntary" poverty - i.e. starving artist but could get a day job if required - isn't poverty, IMHO - poverty involves a definitive lack of choice about it.

Oh and I LOVE what hippymamma69 said

Quote:
That said, I think the most important tool we can give our kids to resist oppression is to teach them critical thinking. They need to see and understand the box before they can think outside it...which, to me, means teaching them what the social norms are and how to follow them before they flout them. Then teaching them what the "box" is and to see it's outlines clearly. And maybe think about how you could change the shape of the box. It's like any creative endeavor - if you can learn the 'discipline' and master it, then you can bend the rules and change them with full understanding of what you are doing...
exactly!!!!
I'd use this as my sig, but it is too long. :
post #37 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippymomma69 View Post
That said, I think the most important tool we can give our kids to resist oppression is to teach them critical thinking. They need to see and understand the box before they can think outside it...which, to me, means teaching them what the social norms are and how to follow them before they flout them. Then teaching them what the "box" is and to see it's outlines clearly. And maybe think about how you could change the shape of the box. It's like any creative endeavor - if you can learn the 'discipline' and master it, then you can bend the rules and change them with full understanding of what you are doing...
Exactly. Its important to start with a solid foundation. It is something to fall back on in times of need, or for safety, or as a jumping board to get out of the box. I am an artist, and I sometimes pull the "flaky artist card" on purpose, because I can get away with it, even if I know better. That's because I know where the box is, I have just chosen to flirt the edges or jump outside it. Not knowing where the foundation is, or seeing it as constantly moving (as opposed to slowly, subtly moving), I think is very scary for a child. It's maybe the opposite extreme of oppression, but not necessarily better.

In the above posts, you could determine that the child wants attention, and then give them immediate attention, or after you finished your email. Or it could be the child wants to hear the sound of a train on a keyboard, as opposed to on a floor matt, or that the keyboard is the imaginary train tracks, in which case explaining that it might get broken and instead giving the child an old, unused keyboard (or some other object) would be just as good as train tracks.... I don't think that's oppression. It's basic common sense.

Oppression is a parent saying "This is a democracy, but I have 51% of the vote." I heard this a lot when younger, along with the "when I say jump, you say how high" kind of speaches.

There is a difference between oppression and rules, and a lot of grey area in between.
post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

Oppression is a parent saying "This is a democracy, but I have 51% of the vote." I heard this a lot when younger, along with the "when I say jump, you say how high" kind of speaches.

There is a difference between oppression and rules, and a lot of grey area in between.
There is alot of social pressure to "keep your kids under control" and/or "Have good kids" (which means kids who jump when you say jump)

Even though I do not belive in treating them that way at all...I still do it-probably at least once a day in some way or form.

At some point I think "I am the parent and I get to say! And you have to do what I say!" (LOL)

I am not sure where these social pressures come from. TV? Parents? Husband? Other people with kids? School?

Do you guys know what I am talking about?
post #39 of 89
Regarding the idea that Consensual Living (or UNoppressive, or non-coercive, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it, parenting), results in children who can't get jobs or find a way to rise above poverty -- that just sounds like another big dose of oppressive fear-mongering to me.

I personally think it would have the opposite effect. Of course, I can't provide proof, because neither I nor anyone I know has been raised without heavy doses of parental oppression in the form of coercion, pressure, and punishments. I can't even claim that my own children are growing up totally free from all that. I keep digging deeper, and finding layers of unsuspected oppressiveness, within my own parenting.

So ... about the only case I can make is that parental oppression sure hasn't made me rich. Every time you interfere with children's and young people's explorations, and keep directing them to the pursuits YOU feel are more useful, there's an increasing risk that they're going to end up totally out-of-sync with their own hunches, interests, and passions -- which, according to most entrepreneurs, are what you have to keep believing in to get rich.

To me, the reasoning that "we have to coerce/oppress our kids to prevent them from ending up in oppressive situations due to poverty," is a lot like the mainstream reasoning that parents have to force weaning, separation, and solitary sleeping arrangements so their children will be secure and independent.

Most parents here would agree that the opposite is true: children who are allowed to wean and separate from parents at their own paces, tend to be more secure and independent than those who were pushed.

Of course, how each of us sees this is going to be heavily influenced by our views of human nature. If we see our children as naturally inquisitive and eager to learn, and also eager to gain skills that will help them navigate the world and get the things they want, we're going to be less likely to let fear guide us in our parenting. We're going to apply our energies toward helping our children succeed in getting more and more of the things they want.

On the other hand, if we think the only way children will learn is if we push them, and provide positive reinforcements when they jump through the right hoops, and punishments when they dilly-dally -- then naturally we're going to have lots of fears that Consensual Living (or UN-oppressive parenting) is going to ruin our children's lives.

This weekend we visited my mom, and our 7yo was demonstrating how rapidly she could run on all fours. Mom kept saying, "I don't really see that as an accomplishment for a 7yo; I can think of lots of other things that would be an accomplishment." I jumped in and said I thought it was an accomplishment, because dd was going really fast.

Mom's comments (and subtle attempt to re-direct my dd toward pursuits that she -- Grandma -- would be impressed with) remind me of how underhanded oppression can be. It wasn't like my mom was directly saying, "Stop that!" and telling dd she HAD to do XYZ, or else.

She was just using dd's hunger for her attention and approval, to try to get her to jump through some Grandma-approved hoops that I'm sure she thought would really be "for dd's own good" in the long-run.

In a way, the underhanded oppression can sometimes be more powerful than the straightforward kind. When adults use blatant force to get kids to do what they want, at least the kids have no illusion that it was really their (the kids') idea in the first place.
post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
There is alot of social pressure to "keep your kids under control" and/or "Have good kids" (which means kids who jump when you say jump)...

I am not sure where these social pressures come from. TV? Parents? Husband? Other people with kids? School?

Do you guys know what I am talking about?
I think the social pressures come from fear ... fear that children growing up in freedom won't have any motivation to learn how to get along with others, or to do what it takes to survive in the world.
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