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Observations of traditional discipline - Page 9

post #161 of 188
RE: the horse scenario
IMO, the whole point of having the child do the research is to honestly assess the feasability of getting one. To me, this is a great opportunity for teaching budgeting, time management, responsibilty etc etc.
The whole point is that finding out for herself will teach her lessons that will be useful all her life, whereas saying no and/or explaining ad nauseam...won't. There are lots of things we "know" can't happen, but then, that's what "they" said before there were cars, computers, sliced bread....KWIM?
post #162 of 188
Savithny, about the crying -- as with the previous poster, I see you're talking about a 4yo. I did modify what I'd originally said about being compassionate with crying children (I realized I'd made it too black and white) -- and clarified that the incident in the library was a 6yo ridiculing an infant. But if you see it as the same thing as your son sometimes saying mean stuff to your crying 4yo, I'm sure your perspective is valid, too.

Also, I certainly never say "We'll see," if I have no intention of really seeing. It's not just a fun way to say "no" -- not for me, anyway. I don't believe in lying to my children.
post #163 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by laoxinat View Post
There are lots of things we "know" can't happen, but then, that's what "they" said before there were cars, computers, sliced bread....KWIM?
Exactly!
post #164 of 188
I know I'm jumping in pretty late in the game on this thread, but it's really speaking to me...
I *love* the idea that nearly any scenario can be used as a learning and laughing tool. I completely get that it's not really about never saying "no," but more about approaching a situation in a creative, flexible way...just like the horse scenario. I love the notion of turning it into not only a learning opportunity (budgeting, the realities of caring for a horse, etc.), but also a chance to fantasize with your child about owning a horse and how cool it would be...lots of ways to connect on that one.
The GD apporoach is helping us right now with night-weaning our 18-month-old...it really helps her when I talk with her about her feelings and explain to her that she can have her "me-me" all day long when the sun is up, but after she has her night-time me-mes, they go to sleep until the sun comes up again. I can see how much harder it would be for her (and subsequently for me) if I just took it away with no explanation, by saying "you can't have that...", iykwim. In my experience (and I'll grant that it's not a long one), that taking away or just saying "no" without providing explanation and allowing for dialogue, just sets everyone up for more upset...
post #165 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruhbehka View Post
It was kind of an interesting experience, because we both realized how far we had come down the gentle discipline spectrum. In the past, we would have watched this scenario play out and thought that the mom was doing "ineffective" things to curb the little one's "misbehavior." (She gave her a swat on the bottom at one point, not particularly hard, tried reasoning with her, tried to get her to pick out a book, ignored her, etc.)

This time, we both watched this and thought, "This little one clearly doesn't want to be book shopping right now, and she is trying harder and harder to convey that message to her mom, who isn't seeming to get the message."
I think this is rather unfair. I know exactly what my kids are trying to tell me. But I cannot always do as they wish. To the bystander it may look as though I'm not getting it. But I do. And I always tell my children that I do understand what want, but right now we need to do xyz. And I reason with them. And I try to include them. And I try to distract them with picking out a book. And then I do ignore them, because I have to finish.

And NO parent takes an unnecessary shopping trip with a cranky toddler. She may have looked to any given bystander like she was browsing, but I would lay money that she wasn't. And I have spent my share of time in a shop with little ones while waiting for someone else, because that was the available option. She may not have even been shopping. She may have just needed to be there.

I believe she not only got her child's message, but most likely wanted nothing more than to leave too.

Poor thing, she was just happy to get home that afternoon, lay her babe down for a nap, have a cup of tea, and think, "Wow we survived that. Not bad. I hope we never have to again." and little does she know that she is the seed of discussion among complete strangers. A discussion started with the assumption that she doesn't understand the needs of her own child.
post #166 of 188
I couldn't read this whole thread but I wanted to comment because when I read the first thread here that I saw as "child-centric" without regard to the mom I was upset and actually complained to the moderator because I found some of the language and ideas so completely idealistic and impossible that it was just agitating.
However. I wish I could apologize now to some of the "CL" people because over the past few months some of the concepts have worked thier way in to my consciousness and it has been a blessing.
For instance, I live in a very very remote and rural place. I order my food from catalog and the nearest grocery is an hour away- the nearest one I would actually shop at is more like 4 hours away. No bookstore, walmart, target within 2 1/2 hours. So when I am in town I NEED to shop right??
Well, my last visit to town my little boy, 3, was just not having an easy time of it and I CHOSE to make some real clear decisions about what I wanted and needed. I did not shop. A quick run for TP and toothpaste and I DECIDED to go without items that would cause turmoil for the little guy.
I don't know how to explain but choosing not to haul him through target while I bought bras made it ok to come home and wear the old bra. He will be older and able to "deal" soon enough. I can "deal" for now.
It may sound judgemental but really I am just happy I don't "have to" do a lot of the things I used to do. What I DO get to do is snuggle with my guy and know I get to watch him for the rest of my ever lovin life.
And any person who reads this could take the POV that this is my particular choice and I am not saying it is better than yours, it is just my choice. Thanks!
post #167 of 188
Chanting to mamahart:
"One of us! One of us! One of us!"

:
post #168 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Chanting to mamahart:
"One of us! One of us! One of us!"

:
Yay!!!
post #169 of 188
Just thinking about this thread has reminded me to see my kids for what they are, just little souls who have been on this earth for such a short time. That said, late this afternoon DH and I had to take them with us to get our taxes done. It was a 5:30 appt which took close to two hours and boy were they out of hand. Believe me, I brought healthy snacks, crayons, books, toys...then resorted to lollipops and M&Ms! Somethings just can't be helped. I *know* it was a bad time of day for them, but that's when DH is home from work and we could do it. I *know* they have no interest sitting in an accountant's office when they want to be home having dinner and getting ready for bed, but it was an important meeting and simply HAD to be done. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

So, what I'm trying to say is...I try to do better. And somedays I do...and some days, I don't. Que Sera Sera!
post #170 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
This is so interesting. I am the most avid reader I know and I can't imagine such a book emergency.

What are you envisioning?
I was thinking that she might have been searching for a present for someone, or a book that an older child might need for school.
post #171 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
As an example, I recall Jean Liedloff talked in The Continuum Concept about how the South American Indians she lived among let the little girls join in with the manioc-grating as they got the urge, going off to play when they tired of it, without any repercussions from the adult women, or any insistence that they finish what they started. Yet at some point, all the girls grew to fully participate in adult society. By choice.
Let us not forget that these cultures also have a concept of 'elders' as the authority and respect figures whom the children listen to. The above activity is also indicative of the women seeing the kids' participation as an extension of their play and not as a joint activity where everybody needs to pull their weight, so to speak. A major distinction which invalidates this example is the very nature of these societies which are often tight knit communities where children are within a protective circle as compared to western society which is more individual centric and isolated units from the larger group setting.
post #172 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdahoMom View Post
I'm glad it's not just me. I try to time everything so that everyone is happy and best-equipped for an outing, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go. go (and yes, sometimes it's a bookstore or something other than groceries). My job isn't to make sure they always get what they want, but to teach them how to deal with negative feelings.
Oh I agree so much. I was going to say that we sometimes go places that a lot of you wouldn't think are essential but try being cooped up in the house for weeks at a time because there is 4 feet of snow outside, and you don't know anyone in the new town you just moved to. (Last year, this was us. This year, there is less snow, and we know people know, and the kids are a year older, but it still applies) Sometimes, in order to keep my sanity, and keep being gentle with my kids, I needed to get out, just about anywhere. There is only so much fun to be had a a grocery store, and when your husband is out of town 2 weeks for every week at home, it is up to you to do all the shopping, of all kinds. So yeah, sometimes, this scenario was me (the tantrum part, not the ways she went about stopping it.) But I have always felt that sometimes it's best to avoid whatever is not apealing to the kids, but sometimes, they need to learn that we can make any job fun if we try, and that sometimes, no one enjoys what we are doing, but it still needs to be done. We stuggled through that a lot, and now, both my kids are able to "suffer through" as long as we don't purposefully dawdle.
(The one year old is surprisingly adept at this, but he follows his brothers example. My oldest at this age was not so understanding.) They have to learn about dealing with negative feelings in a productive way, and it's best, in my opinion to have them learn about them in a real situation.
post #173 of 188
I am the wife of a farmer who organically grows 90% of our produce, buy all natural cleaning products etc etc....(including organic sugar)
I LOVE M&M's as a way to get through those (doing taxes) moments. Yeah!This may be a thread in itself but I have recently noticed that rewarding my son ( chocolate is definitely his favorite) when he doesn't expect it is so so much fun!! I have been practicing giving lots of praise whenever I see positive behavior, so when he voluntarily got a rag to clean the marker he had drawn all over the fridge with...I gave him M&M's. Sunrise chocolate does make an organic version....I try and keep them around if I can.
The little guy spent I swear hours chanting "sometimes I get chocolate and sometimes I don't!" Then this theme kept on "sometimes I get to watch movies sometimes I don't"
things went a little off track when I heard, "sometimes I climb on the kitchen table and sometimes I don't" and "sometimes I draw on the floor and sometimes I don't"
Ha! I think he is getting it!!
post #174 of 188
just bumping so that i remember to come read
post #175 of 188
You all sound like complete lunatics to me. And I am GD certifiable. I'm up late because I had to deal with a medical need for my son in the middle of the night, and I couldn't go back to sleep. The medical need involved tape, which my son hates, especially after two weeks in the hospital with lots of tape associated with lots of worse things. He was in the hospital for emergency brain surgery to control bleeding in his brain. It saved his life. He has hemophilia, so this is not a one-time danger, but in fact the very thing we were trying to prevent all these years that we've redirected his rowdier activities. Anyway, after the tape removal was done, my son said to me, "I wish I didn't have to do any of this." He was crying, my heart was breaking, we both knew he was talking about the whole shebang, not just the tape.

The philosophical ramblings about how we always have choice because we really *want* the thing we end up doing is so over-simplified and misdirected, although of course it is, on an intellectual and philosophical level, true. But on a parenting level, and when you're trying to help your child through something that is really tough that they really have to do, it ends up being not very useful to trot out the philosophical truths we've realized. Choice? Lunatics!

From a three-year old's point of view, we don't always have choice, simply because they don't always fully grasp all the options. And when they do grasp the options -- sickness or health, safety or danger, you know, the big ones they can understand fully -- it doesn't end up being all that helpful to remind them about it in the moment when they're facing the "choice". Of course I remind my son of the "choices" when we are facing something we need to do (I find "need to" to be a more helpful term than "have to"), but I do that as a way of making sure he remembers; I know by now that it's not really that helpful to him as he faces the difficulty. He will simply say "I don't want any of those choices!" when we talk about his options in a medically necessary situation. He just wants to change his reality, and at those times it is really, really helpful to him if I stop talking about his philosophical ability to choose (as true as it might be) and start talking about his feelings and his resources to help him through the reality he faces. What's helpful to him is compassionate accompaniment through the necessary experience. This goes for situations big and small, medical or grocery store.

No, we don't always have real choice. But what we do have is each other, what we do have is love and support, what we do have, fortunately, is inner and outer resources. Those are where our real choices lie. Those are the ones it is most important to teach kids, and humans, how to choose. We may not be able to choose or control a situation, but we can choose how we relate to it, and who we have by our side, and how we love each other through it. I, for one, am fine with having lost my innocence about this subject; it has taught me much. I am a much less anxious person now that I see my job as not to control or alter a situation, but to relate to it instead. Open-hearted, watchful, responsive. Those are my choices, and, to some degree, my son's. For now, he often needs to be able to choose to shout and wail, which is completely understandable. Not something that needs to be changed, and it would be a disservice to him if we were so uncomfortable with his shouting and wailing that we scurried around trying to right the impossible. Sometimes you just have to hold hands and go on.

Best to all of you.

April
post #176 of 188
April, I hope you ds is doing well. I think there is a world of difference between choosing to have a medically necessary procedure and choosing to be in a bookstore. It is like comparing apples and oranges. Nobody is going to die if they aren't in a bookstore when they think they need to be. Nor is anyone going to starve to death if they decide to forgo grocery shopping because one member of their family is not feeling up to it.

The Serenity Prayer can be helpful here.
May I have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Call me a lunatic if you will, (although I haven't responded yet to this thread, I happen to agree with those who believe we have a choice.) It is empowering to recognize that I actually don't have to be in the grocery store, or bookstore, and I feel awfully sorry for those who believe they have no choice.
post #177 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by abac View Post
April, I hope you ds is doing well. I think there is a world of difference between choosing to have a medically necessary procedure and choosing to be in a bookstore. It is like comparing apples and oranges. Nobody is going to die if they aren't in a bookstore when they think they need to be. Nor is anyone going to starve to death if they decide to forgo grocery shopping because one member of their family is not feeling up to it.

The Serenity Prayer can be helpful here.
May I have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Call me a lunatic if you will, (although I haven't responded yet to this thread, I happen to agree with those who believe we have a choice.) It is empowering to recognize that I actually don't have to be in the grocery store, or bookstore, and I feel awfully sorry for those who believe they have no choice.
ITA! Very well said.

April- your son is very blessed to have a mama doing so much to care for him gently.
post #178 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post
From a three-year old's point of view, we don't always have choice, simply because they don't always fully grasp all the options. And when they do grasp the options -- sickness or health, safety or danger, you know, the big ones they can understand fully -- it doesn't end up being all that helpful to remind them about it in the moment when they're facing the "choice". Of course I remind my son of the "choices" when we are facing something we need to do (I find "need to" to be a more helpful term than "have to"), but I do that as a way of making sure he remembers; I know by now that it's not really that helpful to him as he faces the difficulty. He will simply say "I don't want any of those choices!" when we talk about his options in a medically necessary situation. He just wants to change his reality, and at those times it is really, really helpful to him if I stop talking about his philosophical ability to choose (as true as it might be) and start talking about his feelings and his resources to help him through the reality he faces. What's helpful to him is compassionate accompaniment through the necessary experience. This goes for situations big and small, medical or grocery store.

No, we don't always have real choice. But what we do have is each other, what we do have is love and support, what we do have, fortunately, is inner and outer resources. Those are where our real choices lie. Those are the ones it is most important to teach kids, and humans, how to choose. We may not be able to choose or control a situation, but we can choose how we relate to it, and who we have by our side, and how we love each other through it. I, for one, am fine with having lost my innocence about this subject; it has taught me much. I am a much less anxious person now that I see my job as not to control or alter a situation, but to relate to it instead. Open-hearted, watchful, responsive. Those are my choices, and, to some degree, my son's. For now, he often needs to be able to choose to shout and wail, which is completely understandable. Not something that needs to be changed, and it would be a disservice to him if we were so uncomfortable with his shouting and wailing that we scurried around trying to right the impossible. Sometimes you just have to hold hands and go on.
This really resonates with me. At those times when we can't see our choices, or the choice seems more like a non-choice because the only alternative(s) we see have such undesirable consequences that we would never choose them, when we can't control or change a situation or a person...at those times our *real* choice is in how we relate to the situation or the person, how we think about it, how we respond. Sometimes it's about relaxing into what *is,* accepting it warts and all, being okay with the uncertainty, and responding with compassion and empathy.

Recognizing how much choice we have to change things or do/not do things is empowering. And so is recognizing that even when we can't change things, even when we don't feel as though we have real choice, we can always choose how we respond to and think about life and other people.
post #179 of 188
Sledg, yes!

mbravebird, sorry about your little one!

I do not assume that every parent would make the same choices/sacrifices mbravebird is making for her kid. I can think of one super pop star parent, currently in the news, who might not be willing to stay up with an ailing child or sit bedside at the hospital. I don't think she's the only one, you know?
post #180 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post
We may not be able to choose or control a situation, but we can choose how we relate to it, and who we have by our side, and how we love each other through it.
And, when you come down to it, that's an amazing amount of choice.

April, I hope your little guy is feeling better! What a rough night.

I don't think anyone here has implied that we have complete control over every. single. circumstance of our lives. And what you've shared actually shows how ridiculous it is, when people give the standard line about how children will never learn to deal with disappointment, if parents don't force it on them.

It's obvious that even the most radical unschooling/consensual living parent can't deliver up a perfect world where everything always happens the way her kids want it to. Kids are going to "get" that the world's not perfect, regardless of our parenting style. My concern is not that my kids "get it" about the things they can't change (I know they will) -- my concern is that they "get it" about their power to live creatively and courageously, making this imperfect world into a better place.

I like what abac shared about The Serenity Prayer. To me, what differentiates an empowered individual (like you) from a victim, is the ability to recognize the things that we really can change.

When faced with a negative circumstance that we can't change (at least not at this stage of human knowledge), our choice, as you so aptly put it, is how we're going to relate to the circumstance. What kind of network we're going to build. How accepting and affirming we're willing to be while our loved ones (including ourselves) are grappling with difficult emotions. And, of course, we don't expect our children to have an adult perspective on all this.

When faced with a negative circumstance that we can and should work to change, we pray for courage -- and I think we also pray for creativity, because if it's a huge problem, its solution is going to depend upon some other people catching our vision that it really is possible to turn this thing around.

Really, it takes courage to accept, and live creatively, while grappling with the stuff we can't change -- and it takes serenity to remain courageous, and keep on thinking creatively when we believe that something can be changed, but everyone around us is scoffing and insisting that it's "just the way it is."
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