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OR, You could control your kids... - Page 5

post #81 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonnymoose View Post
Ditto this. Keeping some sort of handle on my sons' behavior is my JOB. Suggesting that doing so is demeaning their humanity is mighty pompous.
Thank you for saying this! Might I add "Mighty absurd" as well?

As adorable as children can be, their adorableness does not imply or suggest any kind of natural moral superiority in their unvarnished, uncivilized, uncontrolled state. Like all animals -- and I include humans in this -- children need to be taught the ground rules of functioning within their society and environment.

If there were a mother wolf who refused to (for example) teach her wolf puppy how to interact with the other wolves, we would think there was something seriously screwed up with that wolf mother. We would also expect -- and reasonably so -- that the other wolves would be kicking some puppy butt reaaaaaly soon, or if that they did not, or if the puppy refused to learn, that would be one dead puppy.

It's not so different with human beings. In fact, I would argue that it's different only in that we have less fur.
post #82 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
But aren't these child-friendly cultures also rich in respect for the elderly? Can you imagine someone in one of these cultures attacking an elderly person for accidentally clipping a child with his shopping-cart?
Sure... I wasn't negating any of that. Lots of things would be different if we respected older people AND children more. ITA with you.

I think there are three problems in the OP that we are all talking about on different levels:

1. The fact that the children were running around "loose"
2. The fact that the father of the children was rude to the older gentleman
3. The fact the her DH was rude to the parents of the child

So, I agree that if our culture was more respectful then #1 and #2 would both be very different.

Actually, I'm glad you brought that up because we treat older people/the elderly like CRAP in our culture. As if they're useless. It's so sad. I'm not saying I see anyone in this thread doing that, just speaking in generalities.
post #83 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou View Post
You know she may have actually been more worried about your son running away from his mother than about your son bothering her.
umm yeah . . thats what i was thinking. She was probably concerned that a baby that young could easily get hurt or separated from his mommy.

I think some people really are so defensive about their parenting (or lack there of) that they see a rude and judgmental person around every corner when what is really being expressed is love and concern. I for one would have been hapy if someone gently guided my child back to where I was.
post #84 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
I don't view it as my job to make sure others aren't annoyed by my children. Now, I don't let my kids touch other people or anything like that, but if they annoy someone because they're talking loudly or laughing (yes, people get annoyed by this), then that's too bad.

<snip> Here's an example: I went into the post office with DS who was maybe 18 months at the time. He ran down the middle of the aisle where the PO boxes are. A woman was getting mail from her box. DS wasn't within 5 feet of her. She didn't have to move over, watch out for him, or anything. She turned around and said, "you need to go back by your mother now."
I have to respectfully agree with the PP who said she was probably thinking more about your son getting away from your line of sight than him annoying her. Or about maybe someone coming around a corner and bumping into him, or something. While I agree that her delivery wasn't the best, I think her intentions were good....

and this brings me back to the whole "don't tell me what to do!" mentality, that apparently really bugs me. I guess I just wished people looked out for each other a little more, didn't automatically assing bad intentions to strangers getting involved, and didn't take personal offense when someone else offered an opinion. The whole "village" thing, you know? I want to believe if people cared about other peope more, situations like these would happen less.

What if the lady said something like, "wow, you sure are fast! be sure to not get too far from your mommy!" - would that be offensive too? I can't see how that would be rude, and might be a hepful reminder to a little one.

I guess the problem is knowing the right thing to say to not offend someone..but it seems clear by this thread that many people are easily offended by any intimation of disagreement with parenting.
post #85 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
I think some people really are so defensive about their parenting (or lack there of) that they see a rude and judgmental person around every corner when what is really being expressed is love and concern. I for one would have been hapy if someone gently guided my child back to where I was.
: that was what I was trying to say in one of my paragraphs above.
post #86 of 118
-grunt- This stuff happens to me all the time. At costco, too LOL

Last week or so I was walking for the checkout (no cart) and these two kids came out of nowhere (maybe behind me?) and cut me off. I'm cumbersome-style preggo and can't stop on a dime anymore, so kid #1 runs SMACK into my belly and trips, so I trip over his leg and somehow manage to not go down, I turn to the kid on the floor and say "Oh honey! You gotta watch out.. are you alright?" and Big Bad Daddy comes and scoops him up, glowers at me like I am Giant Child Trampler, grabs the other by the hand and stomps off with him STILL glowering at me. If I wasn't completely exhausted, I would have said something rude to him or rolled my eyes or something, but at that point I had been run into/over/around so much by kids that day (holidays ugh) that I just wanted to go home and go to bed and hide LOL

Good for the OP's husband. I really don't have a problem with the word control used in this context. We can exercise some amount of control without breaking out the handcuffs and torture devices... Supervision IS control if you are doing anything other than just staring at them blankly with no intention of doing anything... what is supervision without correction of an issue? It shouldn't have gotten to the point where the kids run into someone's cart, and it shouldn't have gotten to the point where I was being tripped up by a running child. You are responsible for your children and even if you want them to learn consequences of their actions, doing so at someone else's expense is rude and dangerous.
post #87 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Thank you for saying this! Might I add "Mighty absurd" as well?

As adorable as children can be, their adorableness does not imply or suggest any kind of natural moral superiority in their unvarnished, uncivilized, uncontrolled state. Like all animals -- and I include humans in this -- children need to be taught the ground rules of functioning within their society and environment.

If there were a mother wolf who refused to (for example) teach her wolf puppy how to interact with the other wolves, we would think there was something seriously screwed up with that wolf mother. We would also expect -- and reasonably so -- that the other wolves would be kicking some puppy butt reaaaaaly soon, or if that they did not, or if the puppy refused to learn, that would be one dead puppy.

It's not so different with human beings. In fact, I would argue that it's different only in that we have less fur.
kinda been lurking on here debating weather to post. I had to comment on this. Honestly, are you being sarcastic here? This is suprising. I totally dissagree with this. Animals, humans, we all have a continuum, and that inner want and voice is of ecceptance. Children tend to want to be a part of their society and behave in a way that is favorable to their culture. I don't think any wolf, or any other animal for that matter, has to 'teach' their youngsters to behave in a favorable manner. In fact, by constantly interjecting, and projecting to our children what is expected of them, and 'controlling' their actions, what we are really teaching them is that they are not in 'controll' of themselves. Meaning they can basically feel free to do whatever they want, because someone is there to tell them weather it is right or wrong. This isn't to say that people don't make mistakes. We do, and we learn from them. I obviously am not about to sit back and watch my child do something obserdly dangerous. However, I know she never would, because she is in controll of her own safety.

P.S- I don't think it was appropriate for the parents in the OP's story to blame anyone for their child getting hurt.
post #88 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
I have to respectfully agree with the PP who said she was probably thinking more about your son getting away from your line of sight than him annoying her. Or about maybe someone coming around a corner and bumping into him, or something. While I agree that her delivery wasn't the best, I think her intentions were good....

and this brings me back to the whole "don't tell me what to do!" mentality, that apparently really bugs me. I guess I just wished people looked out for each other a little more, didn't automatically assing bad intentions to strangers getting involved, and didn't take personal offense when someone else offered an opinion. The whole "village" thing, you know? I want to believe if people cared about other peope more, situations like these would happen less.

What if the lady said something like, "wow, you sure are fast! be sure to not get too far from your mommy!" - would that be offensive too? I can't see how that would be rude, and might be a hepful reminder to a little one.

I guess the problem is knowing the right thing to say to not offend someone..but it seems clear by this thread that many people are easily offended by any intimation of disagreement with parenting.

I would not be offended if this situation happend to me, however I WOULD be irritated silently later. I don't like it when people make comments to my DD to "be carefull" or "go back to mom". It: 1) insinuates that I am not watching her. 2) projects that she is not aware of where I am 3) goes directly againts the way I am raising her.

I know it comes from a good place, wich is why I would never comment on it, but I am DD mom, I know her limits, and more importantly, SHE knows her limits.
post #89 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
kinda been lurking on here debating weather to post. I had to comment on this. Honestly, are you being sarcastic here? This is suprising. I totally dissagree with this. Animals, humans, we all have a continuum, and that inner want and voice is of ecceptance. Children tend to want to be a part of their society and behave in a way that is favorable to their culture. I don't think any wolf, or any other animal for that matter, has to 'teach' their youngsters to behave in a favorable manner. In fact, by constantly interjecting, and projecting to our children what is expected of them, and 'controlling' their actions, what we are really teaching them is that they are not in 'controll' of themselves. Meaning they can basically feel free to do whatever they want, because someone is there to tell them weather it is right or wrong. This isn't to say that people don't make mistakes. We do, and we learn from them. I obviously am not about to sit back and watch my child do something obserdly dangerous. However, I know she never would, because she is in controll of her own safety.
Don't you think your dd knows her limits of safety b/c you've taught her? You seem to be implying that children inherently know their limits and know how to even discover how to find acceptance without having to be taught it or modeled it or with frankly any outside input at all. I think parenting is a balance of telling your child what to do, modeling it and letting them discover themselves by making mistakes. Young children model the behavior that their parents model for them or tell them to do in a desire to continue to have their love and acceptance. Someone still has to show them or tell them what that behavior is. Standing over your child every second and dictating their every movement, I'd agree with you. But there is a wide range of parenting between that absurd extreme and the other one of letting them do whatever they want with little to no guidance.
post #90 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
kinda been lurking on here debating weather to post. I had to comment on this. Honestly, are you being sarcastic here?
\
No. I am just reluctant to toe the oft-repeated MDC party line that imposing reasonable, age-appropriate limits on a child, saying "no" and meaning it, or teaching one's child to have a reasonable degree of respect for other people is being a fascist.

Quote:


This is suprising. I totally dissagree with this. Animals, humans, we all have a continuum, and that inner want and voice is of ecceptance. Children tend to want to be a part of their society and behave in a way that is favorable to their culture.
For the most part, children will behave in the way they are raised by their parents, their most immediate "society."
Quote:

I don't think any wolf, or any other animal for that matter, has to 'teach' their youngsters to behave in a favorable manner.
Others who are more educated in this area than I can confirm or deny, but it is my understanding that wolves constantly reinforce (among other things) appropriate wolf behavior in the pack hierarchy. Should a growing wolf act in a way that is inappropriate for its pack position, it gets nipped -- or worse. Ultimately, the wolf learns to follow the rules of its society or it gets excluded -- or worse.
Quote:


In fact, by constantly interjecting, and projecting to our children what is expected of them, and 'controlling' their actions, what we are really teaching them is that they are not in 'controll' of themselves.
This is nothing but the truth, whether legally, physically, or ethically. Children are not wholly in control of themselves, nor should they be. As children grow and mature, they can and should be given more control and more choices appropriate to their age and developing judgment, but for the most part (and especially when very young), they are not experienced personally nor vicariously enough to make all judgments for themselves. This is where the job -- as one other poster aptly put it -- of a parent comes in: to guide, to teach, or to (metaphorically, not physically) "nip" inappropriate, dangerous, or impolite behavior in the bud rather than allowing bad behavior in the name of freedom or respect. While one person may be celebrating her child's decision to run around Costco without regard for others' safety or his own as an example of untrammeled freedom and unspoiled nature, others among us are wishing less-than-generous thoughts upon that child and his or her parents -- or seeing a lawsuit waiting to happen. Genuine discipline (in the sense of teaching) is more than a job, though -- it is an obligation, a responsibility, and for most of us (I would hope), a pleasure.
Quote:
Meaning they can basically feel free to do whatever they want, because someone is there to tell them weather it is right or wrong. This isn't to say that people don't make mistakes. We do, and we learn from them. I obviously am not about to sit back and watch my child do something obserdly dangerous. However, I know she never would, because she is in controll of her own safety.

P.S- I don't think it was appropriate for the parents in the OP's story to blame anyone for their child getting hurt.
On this, we certainly agree.
post #91 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou View Post
Don't you think your dd knows her limits of safety b/c you've taught her? You seem to be implying that children inherently know their limits and know how to even discover how to find acceptance without having to be taught it or modeled it or with frankly any outside input at all. I think parenting is a balance of telling your child what to do, modeling it and letting them discover themselves by making mistakes. Young children model the behavior that their parents model for them or tell them to do in a desire to continue to have their love and acceptance. Someone still has to show them or tell them what that behavior is. Standing over your child every second and dictating their every movement, I'd agree with you. But there is a wide range of parenting between that absurd extreme and the other one of letting them do whatever they want with little to no guidance.
No I don't think she knows her limits of safety because I have tought her, because I haven't in the traditional sense of 'teaching'. I don't have to tell my DD that fire is hot, or that jumping off the couch will hurt, or that running away from me could be dangerous. This is all human nature. I agree with you about balancing parenting. I never said I didn't give DD guidance at all. I guess I don't agree that you 'have' to tell your child what is expected of them. I don't have long talks about sharing, although my not even 2 year old does it remarkably well. I don't tell her before a play date not to hit, pull hair, bite, or kick, but she is very loving and gentle to her peers.
post #92 of 118
"No. I am just reluctant to toe the oft-repeated MDC party line that imposing reasonable, age-appropriate limits on a child, saying "no" and meaning it, or teaching one's child to have a reasonable degree of respect for other people is being a fascist."

I am not apposed to limitations. I just think we go about 'imposing' them in different ways.


"For the most part, children will behave in the way they are raised by their parents, their most immediate "society."

I agree. This is where modeling behavior comes in. And by society, I ment her emediate 'pack' wich would be the family. I just don't agree with 'raising' her. I guide her in her path threw life. I offer my wisdome, my experiences, my help, and intervine if absolutely necessary. But it usually isn't.

"Others who are more educated in this area than I can confirm or deny, but it is my understanding that wolves constantly reinforce (among other things) appropriate wolf behavior in the pack hierarchy. Should a growing wolf act in a way that is inappropriate for its pack position, it gets nipped -- or worse. Ultimately, the wolf learns to follow the rules of its society or it gets excluded -- or worse."

From what I understand any animal within a pack will naturally model bahavior. It is not taught. Punishment, or consequence for bad behavior is diffrent than teaching good behavior. I do not let my child "run wild". There are guidelines, and those are mostly common sense among bothe her and I.

"This is nothing but the truth, whether legally, physically, or ethically. Children are not wholly in control of themselves, nor should they be. As children grow and mature, they can and should be given more control and more choices appropriate to their age and developing judgment, but for the most part (and especially when very young), they are not experienced personally nor vicariously enough to make all judgments for themselves. This is where the job -- as one other poster aptly put it -- of a parent comes in: to guide, to teach, or to (metaphorically, not physically) "nip" inappropriate, dangerous, or impolite behavior in the bud rather than allowing bad behavior in the name of freedom or respect. While one person may be celebrating her child's decision to run around Costco without regard for others' safety or his own as an example of untrammeled freedom and unspoiled nature, others among us are wishing less-than-generous thoughts upon that child and his or her parents -- or seeing a lawsuit waiting to happen. Genuine discipline (in the sense of teaching) is more than a job, though -- it is an obligation, a responsibility, and for most of us (I would hope), a pleasure."

Fist of all, I don't condone bad behavior. I don't see where anyone would think that from reading my posts. What I said was that there maybe wouldn't be as much bad behavior if we had a little more trust in our childrens ability to make the right choices. I do believe that children should be in controll of themselves. At any age. I feel like I am being missunderstood. I don't agree with the parents who let their child put others in danger, I would never do that. As far as others possibly wishing 'less-then-generous' thoughts about my DD. As long as she's not hurting anyone, I'd say too bad I guess.

"On this, we certainly agree."

Good to know we agree on something

Gotta love the debate thought, I love talking about this subject, very interesting to me. On a side note, just curious if anyone here has read The Continuum Consept.
post #93 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
No I don't think she knows her limits of safety because I have tought her, because I haven't in the traditional sense of 'teaching'. I don't have to tell my DD that fire is hot, or that jumping off the couch will hurt, or that running away from me could be dangerous. This is all human nature. I agree with you about balancing parenting. I never said I didn't give DD guidance at all. I guess I don't agree that you 'have' to tell your child what is expected of them. I don't have long talks about sharing, although my not even 2 year old does it remarkably well. I don't tell her before a play date not to hit, pull hair, bite, or kick, but she is very loving and gentle to her peers.
I think it is great that she seems to have the type of personality that this all comes naturally too. Until my 4yr old was nearing 4 he was like that. My oldest 2 were a different scenario. They are extremely spirited children, extremely bright and virtually no impulse control. My oldest had figured out how to climb out of his crib at night and unlock the front deadbolt to let himself out. HE was and still is at 9 a runner. at 6 months he started smearing feces and did that daily sometimes more than once a day for 4 years. HE threw our bunny out the 2nd floor window at the age of 5. That's just tip of the iceberg. With out someone consistantly on him, teachinghim proper behaviour he would be dead or have killed someone else with his behaviours. At 5 h had to be hospitalized int eh children's mental health ward for a couple weeks until we could help him in the way he needed.

My point is, raising children is never black or white. Your child has done marvelously just having you there to guide her, and not have to tell her how to behave in certian situations, or stop her from dangerous behaviour etc. NOt all children are like that and DO need someone to step in and be that voice for them. I do "control" my kids but it's not a harsh thing, it's not full of punishments, or restraints or what not. But They do need me to remind them of their behaviour and what expected behaviours are, life would have been so much easier if they just instinctively knew how to behave but they don't
post #94 of 118
Swellmomma- Totally agree, every child is different. Parenting is not black and white.

Just to get this straight one more time, I DO stop dangerous behavior when it happends. DD has had her fair share of times she pushed her own limits. Many of these times I have had to stop and ask myself why. Most of the time there is an outside influence that is causing her to bahave in a less then favorable way. In that case, I don't 'punish' her, simply re-direct her actions, or explain why X situation is not a good idea in the future. There are also times I have watched her test her own boundaries. I have to say, it is so preciuos to watch her step up onto a stool and say "jump", and slowly bounce while she contimplates if this is a wise decision to make. I love watching her so proud of herself.

We try really hard around here to not set her up for failure by projecting onto her that we assume she will fail. We trust her.
post #95 of 118
Quote:
Others who are more educated in this area than I can confirm or deny, but it is my understanding that wolves constantly reinforce (among other things) appropriate wolf behavior in the pack hierarchy. Should a growing wolf act in a way that is inappropriate for its pack position, it gets nipped -- or worse. Ultimately, the wolf learns to follow the rules of its society or it gets excluded -- or worse.
Yep. Just about all social animals make sure baby animals know the rules. THey are not born knowing how to treat others. They *are* born ready to observe and figure out what it takes to get along.

Children are born innately perceptive of what their parents (and eventually other grownups) are doing. They begin to mimic facial expressions within hours of birth. They do this because their first task - their most important one - is to figure out these big creatures who have so much power over them, and to figure out how to live with other people.

And so they explore. They try things on for size, they do things and see what the reactions of other people will be. And if other people do not react by making it clear what is appropriate behavior for their group/pack/tribe/troop, then the child will not learn what is considered appropriate. "Appropriate," by the way, varies culturally fairly widely, so its not like there is one set of rules that all babies can be born knowing.

(I really recommend "The Scientist in the Crib" for more on some of this, as well as discussions of language acquisition, etc. Its a really readable, and fascinating, book about child development, written by the folks who run the Baby Lab at ... (forget which) major university. Cool stuff).
post #96 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
Dad said "F*** you"
Ooh. Classy.
post #97 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
Swellmomma- Totally agree, every child is different. Parenting is not black and white.

Just to get this straight one more time, I DO stop dangerous behavior when it happends. DD has had her fair share of times she pushed her own limits. Many of these times I have had to stop and ask myself why. Most of the time there is an outside influence that is causing her to bahave in a less then favorable way. In that case, I don't 'punish' her, simply re-direct her actions, or explain why X situation is not a good idea in the future. There are also times I have watched her test her own boundaries. I have to say, it is so preciuos to watch her step up onto a stool and say "jump", and slowly bounce while she contimplates if this is a wise decision to make. I love watching her so proud of herself.

We try really hard around here to not set her up for failure by projecting onto her that we assume she will fail. We trust her.

I'm glad that you brought this up... in this culture we teach children that they are idiots without any common sense. We teach them this because we believe it (collective we).

Trying to apply it to the original situation - while the child probably learned a bit about not horsing around in front of carts from the experience, children do just have a natural energy that they need to expend... perhaps as a culture we could show a bit more patience for this. They have a NEED to run around like maniacs, and lots of times that isn't going to be convenient.

I'm not sure how useful it is for a PP to compare humans to a wolf pack. We are different in so many ways it's not really a comparison. However, I will point out that in a wolf pack, if a pup starts biting the ear of an elder, they get nipped by the elder. The mother doesn't hang out and rush in to take care of it when it happens.
post #98 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowMom View Post

I'm not sure how useful it is for a PP to compare humans to a wolf pack. We are different in so many ways it's not really a comparison. However, I will point out that in a wolf pack, if a pup starts biting the ear of an elder, they get nipped by the elder. The mother doesn't hang out and rush in to take care of it when it happens.
The mother wolf also won't sue.
post #99 of 118
In answer to MammaB21, I've read and learned a lot from The Continuum Concept. Some of it I've been able to apply to my parenting, and some of it I haven't.

While I certainly don't perceive my children as idiots -- I'm definitely more like an American in my built-in feeling that I need to look out for their safety. It's fascinating to hear about Yequana babies handling sharp machete-blades without ever cutting themselves, playing right next to open fires without ever getting burned, and running in and out of thatch-roofed huts with hot fire-brands, and never starting a fire.

It's also fascinating to hear about children going out on the river in groups where the oldest child's about 6, and no one ever drowning. Liedloff makes a good point: if a child realizes, early on, that no one but him is going to look out for his safety, he assumes the responsibility -- but if he gets accustomed to someone else looking out for him, he relaxes about it and releases the responsibility to the other person.

As enthralled as I am with the whole Yequana way of life, I simply can't be like a Yequana mother in all respects. I'd go crazy if dangerously sharp objects were strewn all around my children's play area; I simply couldn't leave it like that. I simply couldn't feel okay about them going off to the river (or pool, or busy street) on their own, at the young ages that the Yequana children go to the river.

Obviously (at least judging by Liedloff's observations), Yequana children have way fewer accidents than American children do. So I'm certainly not faulting their parenting. But since I really can't do it myself in all its totality, I'd be seriously endangering my little ones if, now that they've come to entrust their safekeeping to me, I suddenly released it back to them -- and left the sharp knife out for the baby to play with, let her crawl around right next to a deep pit, and so on.

My children have come to trust that if something they're doing or exploring isn't safe, I'm going to say something and redirect them, and help them find safer ways to do the things they want to do. So if I decide, "I'm going to be like a Yequana mom today," and just leave them to themselves, they're likely to assume that there's no danger in whatever they're about to do (since I'm not intervening).

I'm not saying I can't learn to have more confidence in my children's abilities: I certainly am working to grow in this area. I just think it's dangerous to copy one aspect of a culture without regard for the other aspects that bring it into balance and make it work.

As an example, arranged marriages are the norm in some cultures, and some brides and grooms marry without ever having met one another beforehand. These marriages often work out, but I think the balancing factors are that they come from very similar backgrounds, and there are family members or other go-betweens who get to know both families and thoroughly vet things out.

But it would be very stupid for me to say, "Since marriages in this other country work out so well, I'm going to do like they do and marry some man I've never met (i.e. someone I've written to on the internet)." That really doesn't suffice as "following the pattern of the other culture," where there's some trusted individual to act as a go-between, and where there's more of a synonomous way of life from family to family.

For me to marry an "American" I've met on the internet, is simply a whole different kettle of fish. One American may have absolutely nothing in common with another. We don't have one synonymous culture that's played out in similar ways from family to family. So, in copying just one aspect of this other culture (marrying someone who's a complete stranger to me), I'm really not doing things the way people in this culture do.

I'd be stupid to expect the same degree of success (and of course, there's the whole "nuther" issue of whether I really define a successful marriage in the same way that a woman in this other culture would).

In conclusion, reading The Continuum Concept gives me tremendous food for thought, as I ponder various ways to apply these concepts to my own life and parenting. I just think I need to be realistic, and not too hard on myself, when it's obvious that there's an area where I just can't be like a Yequana mom.
post #100 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
In answer to MammaB21, I've read and learned a lot from The Continuum Concept. Some of it I've been able to apply to my parenting, and some of it I haven't.

While I certainly don't perceive my children as idiots -- I'm definitely more like an American in my built-in feeling that I need to look out for their safety. It's fascinating to hear about Yequana babies handling sharp machete-blades without ever cutting themselves, playing right next to open fires without ever getting burned, and running in and out of thatch-roofed huts with hot fire-brands, and never starting a fire.

It's also fascinating to hear about children going out on the river in groups where the oldest child's about 6, and no one ever drowning. Liedloff makes a good point: if a child realizes, early on, that no one but him is going to look out for his safety, he assumes the responsibility -- but if he gets accustomed to someone else looking out for him, he relaxes about it and releases the responsibility to the other person.

As enthralled as I am with the whole Yequana way of life, I simply can't be like a Yequana mother in all respects. I'd go crazy if dangerously sharp objects were strewn all around my children's play area; I simply couldn't leave it like that. I simply couldn't feel okay about them going off to the river (or pool, or busy street) on their own, at the young ages that the Yequana children go to the river.

Obviously (at least judging by Liedloff's observations), Yequana children have way fewer accidents than American children do. So I'm certainly not faulting their parenting. But since I really can't do it myself in all its totality, I'd be seriously endangering my little ones if, now that they've come to entrust their safekeeping to me, I suddenly released it back to them -- and left the sharp knife out for the baby to play with, let her crawl around right next to a deep pit, and so on.

My children have come to trust that if something they're doing or exploring isn't safe, I'm going to say something and redirect them, and help them find safer ways to do the things they want to do. So if I decide, "I'm going to be like a Yequana mom today," and just leave them to themselves, they're likely to assume that there's no danger in whatever they're about to do (since I'm not intervening).

I'm not saying I can't learn to have more confidence in my children's abilities: I certainly am working to grow in this area. I just think it's dangerous to copy one aspect of a culture without regard for the other aspects that bring it into balance and make it work.

As an example, arranged marriages are the norm in some cultures, and some brides and grooms marry without ever having met one another beforehand. These marriages often work out, but I think the balancing factors are that they come from very similar backgrounds, and there are family members or other go-betweens who get to know both families and thoroughly vet things out.

But it would be very stupid for me to say, "Since marriages in this other country work out so well, I'm going to do like they do and marry some man I've never met (i.e. someone I've written to on the internet)." That really doesn't suffice as "following the pattern of the other culture," where there's some trusted individual to act as a go-between, and where there's more of a synonomous way of life from family to family.

For me to marry an "American" I've met on the internet, is simply a whole different kettle of fish. One American may have absolutely nothing in common with another. We don't have one synonymous culture that's played out in similar ways from family to family. So, in copying just one aspect of this other culture (marrying someone who's a complete stranger to me), I'm really not doing things the way people in this culture do.

I'd be stupid to expect the same degree of success (and of course, there's the whole "nuther" issue of whether I really define a successful marriage in the same way that a woman in this other culture would).

In conclusion, reading The Continuum Concept gives me tremendous food for thought, as I ponder various ways to apply these concepts to my own life and parenting. I just think I need to be realistic, and not too hard on myself, when it's obvious that there's an area where I just can't be like a Yequana mom.
I would love, LOVE to see objective statistics on Yequana death rates. I don't think TCC is necessarily an unimpeachable source.
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