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Consensual living - Page 3

post #41 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
The definition that was in a post on the first page resonates with me, but I'm not too sure that I'm doing what other CL's are doing... For instance, I don't feel that I have to give up "me" when dd wants to do something... I'm happy to tell her "I'll help you as soon as I'm done with X" rather than just jump up and help. I think that's reasonable, and she's told me the same thing before (me: ok, come get in your seat, it's dinner time! her: no, I'm coloring, I'll eat dinner later) and I respect that, because it's completely reasonable to let her finish (and so unreasonable not to!), kwim?
I'm still learning about CL and trying to change my parenting into something that I feel good about and works for our whole family. The way I understand CL is that its most basic premise is that all parties involved look for mutually agreeable solutions. I don't feel like I have to give up my needs to meet my children's needs or wishes. At the same time, I recognize that I'm the adult so I'm better at waiting than my kids are. Also, just because they're little and their needs are more immediate, I may willingly choose to meet their needs before I meet mine. I think most parents just naturally do this.

Everything you wrote sounds really reasonable and peaceful to me!
post #42 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
I had one run-in with a "CL" family that kind of left a bad taste in my mouth about the whole philosophy. A mom and her 4 YO were at our house for a potluck party (with several other families) and the 4 YO didn't want any of the food that was out for the party. So the mom helped him look through our fridge to find something else (without asking me first), and then he insisted on eating all of our peaches (which I had been saving for a pie). The mom said, "well, he really feels like he needs to eat them now, and I want to honor his feelings." Then, he told his mom that he wanted to bring one of my kids' toys home, and so she asked if he could. My sons said, "no," and then the 4YO had a huge fit. Was this just a bad example of a CL situation? It really didn't seem all that consensual, it seemed like the 4YO was in charge and his mom was following his every command.
Lex

Wow! What a great thread this has become...I didn't expect to come back to find so many wonderful questions and ideas!

I haven't had time to read through all the posts (though I did skim and there's much I'd like to respond to!), but this stuck out like a sore thumb.

I'm wondering what led you to believe this family was living consensually? People who practice consensus don't only take into account the needs and feelings of their own family members, but of *everyone* involved in situations. Consensus means that a solution is found for everyone, not just for one or two people.

It sounds to me like this mother was doing more of a permissive thing than anything even close to resembling consensual living. I would *never* dip into someone's fridge without asking first. I don't feel that is considerate or appropriate. Perhaps this mother called herself consensual, but it sounds to me like she may not have a very strong grasp on what CL really is...or that it does, in fact, extend outwards, it doesn't stop within one relationship.

I think it is important to honor our children' feelings...but honoring her child's feelings does not necessarily mean he is going to get exactly what he wants. With consensus, all parites feelings are valued and considered. It sounds like she wanted to honor her child's feelings, but didn't think about honoring your feelings (and who knows, perhaps she didn't even consider her own feelings). Kids running the show is not consensual. People working together to find mutually agreeable solutions *is* consensual.

I do have friends who, honestly, if they dove into my fridge because they were hungry, I wouldn't care...but still, they ask anyway. It is called common courtesy, and that is something I not only model for my kids, but also practice with them, talk with them about, and help them to practice that when they are having a hard time doing so.

My kids ask to borrow toys from other kids. Sometimes their friends say yes, sometimes no. Dd who is almost 6 pretty much accepts 'no'...sometimes there may be disappointment, but that's usually it. Ds has a hard time with hearing 'no'. What I do in that situation is validate his feelings of disappointment, and empathize with him. I would not try to convince the other kid to share, becaue I honor his feelings and needs as well as my own kids.

Oh, and someone mentioned people doing CL with only one kid...I have two...the older they get and the more CL *I* am, the more they are. Also, there are several people on the yahoo list with 5, 6, 7, 8+ kids...If you need specific examples of how to bring consensus into your life with multiple kids, I would suggest posting your specific concerns on the list.

And yes to the poster who wants to talk specifics...post your situation on the list, and I'm sure you will get several answers. Expect your current beliefs and values to be challenged in an empathic and supportive way...

Have a happy weekend!
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post #43 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen
The definition that was in a post on the first page resonates with me, but I'm not too sure that I'm doing what other CL's are doing... For instance, I don't feel that I have to give up "me" when dd wants to do something... I'm happy to tell her "I'll help you as soon as I'm done with X" rather than just jump up and help. I think that's reasonable, and she's told me the same thing before (me: ok, come get in your seat, it's dinner time! her: no, I'm coloring, I'll eat dinner later) and I respect that, because it's completely reasonable to let her finish (and so unreasonable not to!), kwim?


Quote:
Originally Posted by riversong View Post
I'm still learning about CL and trying to change my parenting into something that I feel good about and works for our whole family. The way I understand CL is that its most basic premise is that all parties involved look for mutually agreeable solutions. I don't feel like I have to give up my needs to meet my children's needs or wishes. At the same time, I recognize that I'm the adult so I'm better at waiting than my kids are. Also, just because they're little and their needs are more immediate, I may willingly choose to meet their needs before I meet mine. I think most parents just naturally do this.

Everything you wrote sounds really reasonable and peaceful to me!
Juvysen...I try to say this as much as possible, because sometimes it takes awhile for it to sink in...there are so many parenting books and *ways*, there is a lot of 'rules' and dogma surrounding those particular 'styles'. (This is my opinion, of course). Within consensus, there are no 'rules'. There are principles...for example, consider the feelings of others. There is no reward or punishment for doing or not doing this. It is simply what *is*...what we strive for, because it *feels* good to us and to others. There is no imposed consequence, but there may be a natural one that occurs if we choose to only consider our own feelings.

It sounds to me like you have found something that works for you and dd. It sounds like something I'm sure a lot of CL families are doing, and maybe a lot of them aren't. I really try to stress that it will look different for everyone, there is no one 'right' way to do it! The wonderful thing about CL that has resonated with me *so* much is that *my* needs *do* matter! Before I came to a more CL way of interacting, I martyred myself a lot. I thought I had to do what my kids wanted because it was my job to sacrifice for the sake of my children. Once I shifted into CL, I realized that my kids were never going to honor or respect me or their own selves if I didn't respect me, my own self. Mutually agreeable means it works for everyone....it does not mean the parent is always bending over backwards for their children.

And as riversong said, while she does not feel she *has* to put her kids first, she may willingly choose to. Honestly, I did not realize I had this option for the longest time! Now I know that I have several choices, and I try to do what works best. Sometimes it works best to meet my needs first, so that I can then support the kids in meeting their needs. Knowing that there are *always* choices has been really liberating for me. I feel much more free and joyful now, and I feel okay when I choose to do something for me before or instead of doing something for the kids. But now that I know it is up to me to *choose*, I don't feel put out and resentful like I had in the past, and I am really enjoying the openness and consideration my family and I are experiencing in our relationships.

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post #44 of 153
I completely feel like I'm doing that. It does feel good to find consensus as much as possible, because we're all happier. I'm not to a point where I never take over (admittedly because I need to work on my patience, I think), but I'm getting there.... I think...
post #45 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
I completely feel like I'm doing that. It does feel good to find consensus as much as possible, because we're all happier. I'm not to a point where I never take over (admittedly because I need to work on my patience, I think), but I'm getting there.... I think...
Jenna...First of all, I *love* your signature! So sweet!

It sounds like you are working hard to be the best mama you can be...in a way that feels good to you and to your family. I also hear that you are human, a work in progress, always open to new ideas and growth...How blessed your family is!

If we all did it right and perfect, how *real* would that be? How would our children learn to accept their human-ness, their flaws? All parts of ourselves are beautiful, because they simply *are*. I think the more open we can be with our children and those around us, the more the relationships bloom and thrive!

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post #46 of 153
We strive towards consensus in our home. I guess for me all the details (the parking lot, the sunscreen, the hygiene) come down to completely abandoning my preconceptions and putting everyone's needs on the table, including my own, and just working through them. It's not that ds has to wear a hat in the summer, it's that I have a need to feel that he is protected from the sun because I have fears of short-term and long-term consequences to his not doing so. What are those fears made of? What is the WORST that could happen? How can I manage my own activities to minimize the possibilities that I find the least appealing?

There is so much I can take apart in my own mind, in terms of my own reactions to things, and often my letting go of the idea that he has to do something because, well, he HAS to, and talking through my fears with him (he is 2), is sufficient to turn the whole thing around for both of us. Sometimes not.
post #47 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainskymama View Post
I'm wondering what led you to believe this family was living consensually? People who practice consensus don't only take into account the needs and feelings of their own family members, but of *everyone* involved in situations. Consensus means that a solution is found for everyone, not just for one or two people.

It sounds to me like this mother was doing more of a permissive thing than anything even close to resembling consensual living. I would *never* dip into someone's fridge without asking first. I don't feel that is considerate or appropriate. Perhaps this mother called herself consensual, but it sounds to me like she may not have a very strong grasp on what CL really is...or that it does, in fact, extend outwards, it doesn't stop within one relationship.
The mom has told me about how she practices "Consensual Parenting". I put it in quotes, because I didn't know if what I was witness to actually was a good example of CL or not. I'm generally totally cool with people finding a snack for their kids in my house, but the way that this mom did it just rubbed me in the wrong way. It felt really awkward for me. I didn't want to have to be in the position to be saying no to her son--I thought that that should be her job. But she wasn't going to say no until she had exhausted all of the possible avenues to "yes" . . . which I can understand in the context of your own home, but didn't feel appropriate in someone else's home.

My other question is about health issues. How do those of you who practice CL approach issues about things like when to give antibiotics/motrin/etc. or when do go to the doctor/dentist/etc.? I know that if it were up to my kids, they'd be drinking motrin for breakfast everyday (it's pretty much the sugary-est thing they've ever had and they LOVE it. I do give it to them for ear aches, but lately they've been pretending that they have ear aches in order to get some). The other day I took my son to get a blood test because we're trying to figure out which foods he is sensitive/allergic to. He would have opted against the procedure, but I felt it was my decision to make as his mother, concerned about his health. Any thoughts?

Thanks for sharing so much!

Lex
post #48 of 153
[QUOTE=lexbeach;11245795]The mom has told me about how she practices "Consensual Parenting". I put it in quotes, because I didn't know if what I was witness to actually was a good example of CL or not. I'm generally totally cool with people finding a snack for their kids in my house, but the way that this mom did it just rubbed me in the wrong way. It felt really awkward for me. I didn't want to have to be in the position to be saying no to her son--I thought that that should be her job. But she wasn't going to say no until she had exhausted all of the possible avenues to "yes" . . . which I can understand in the context of your own home, but didn't feel appropriate in someone else's home.[QUOTE/]

Hi Lex! Yeah...Like I said, this sounds to me more like a mama who is working towards consensus in her home...I have noticed with my own shift into a more CL way of life that I had to swing Aaaalllllllllllll the way to the 'other' end of the spectrum before I realized that this was just as unhealthy for us as the more authoritarian, coercive way was....so it has been a practice in finding balance...the more I practice, the easier it gets. I truly treasure the yahoo group....I post general questions, entire thought processes, and specific situations I am stuck on, and I always receive such amazing support and ideas from folks who have been doing this for years...and also from folks like me who are new to the idea and thinking out loud.

The goal is not to say yes to your kids, although I do try to find ways to say yes to them as much as possible...for example, if they ask me to do something right in the middle of my work, rather than say 'not right now...maybe later' or something like that, I would say something more like 'sure, I'd love to do that. It sounds like fun...I'd really like to finish my work so I can be free to play as long as you'd like'. But there are times when I can't or don't want to do something that they want to do...then we find a workable solution...it might not be exactly what they wanted, but there really are so many possibilities out there that we can typically come up with something that we all feel good about....we all try to meet in the middle, you know?


Quote:
My other question is about health issues. How do those of you who practice CL approach issues about things like when to give antibiotics/motrin/etc. or when do go to the doctor/dentist/etc.? I know that if it were up to my kids, they'd be drinking motrin for breakfast everyday (it's pretty much the sugary-est thing they've ever had and they LOVE it. I do give it to them for ear aches, but lately they've been pretending that they have ear aches in order to get some). The other day I took my son to get a blood test because we're trying to figure out which foods he is sensitive/allergic to. He would have opted against the procedure, but I felt it was my decision to make as his mother, concerned about his health. Any thoughts?

Thanks for sharing so much!

Lex
As far as health issues go, I am of the belief that for most things, we can take care of and heal ourselves. I also practice CL when it comes to anything having to do with my kids bodies. Right now dd has a gnarly splinter, but she doesn't want to take it out. She is taking good care of it, keeping it clean and covered, and we discuss every now and again what the options are, what could happen, etc. My kids have not been to the dentist. I have not seen a need. Their teeth appear healthy, and I'm not concerned about that right now. We don't do well child visits. We don't do motrin, and I stay away from antibiotics at all costs....we typically do nothing for sickness...we give our bodies a chance to grow strong and heal themselves...when we do use something we use herbs and homeopathy. If they need comfort then we may use heat, and I will stay by them to comfort them with my words and my touch. My kids have asked for echinacea tincture when they don't need it (because it tastes good), and I explain to them my concerns, and then offer something else....emergen-C, an herbal infusion, iced-tea (made from an herbal infusion), etc. Sometimes when they ask for anything medicinal out of the blue, I often take it as a sign that they need it, and will offer immune-boosters (high vit. c fruits or the other things I mentioned above). We harvest and process many wildgrowing herbs, so I feel confident in being able to work with my children in finding ways to support them in healing themselves. I also model...I don't really do a whole lot when I'm sick, other than eat well, (try to) get rest, drink lots of water, etc. I didn't even take the pain meds after my appendectomy...Every time my kids have been sick, we've worked through it without seeing an MD or doing the antibiotics route (fever of 105, upper respiratory, flu, throw-up stuff, pink eye, ear infections...the whole nine.)

As far as the blood test goes, my dd wants to have nothing to do with needles...I don't either, so I can totally relate to that. For me, I would not force a procedure on my child, especially one that is invasive. I would work to find out what *all* of the options are...this may mean doing research...and involving my child in it all the way. I had the allergy issue with ds. We did see an MD, and did all sorts of really crazy testing (blood and patch) that I felt really awful about, and if I could go back would never do that again....at least, not with the MD. And after all that testing, he was no help. We went to an ND, and she did a completely non-invasive testing that actually helped so much. So looking back, if I knew then what I know now...I would have searched for a solution that worked for all of us. Our insurance didn't cover the visits, but it was so worth it for my kids to be comfortable with the person they saw, and with what the practitioner was doing.

If there's ever a broken arm or something like that...well, that's hypothetical, and I try not to go there, because it's hard to say what I would do. I would most certainly explain what happened, and what the choices are. There *are* choices....and the kids would need to know what the consequences would be. Whatever the situation, we would work through it, with me being totally sensitive to my kids needs and their own particular sensitivities.

I highly recommend "Take Charge of Your Child's Health" by George Wootan, MD., and several other books that will give you the information you need to support your child in healing himself....and also recommend seeking out all of the options....there are many.

I also recommend the book "The Tao of Motherhood" by Vimala McClure....it is filled with so much wisdom...I look at it many times during the day....helps me to focus on what is most important....

I hope this helps....I am happy to share as much as I can...it's neat to be in a space where I can share what I've learned...

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post #49 of 153
Quote:
We strive towards consensus in our home. I guess for me all the details (the parking lot, the sunscreen, the hygiene) come down to completely abandoning my preconceptions and putting everyone's needs on the table, including my own, and just working through them. It's not that ds has to wear a hat in the summer, it's that I have a need to feel that he is protected from the sun because I have fears of short-term and long-term consequences to his not doing so. What are those fears made of? What is the WORST that could happen? How can I manage my own activities to minimize the possibilities that I find the least appealing?

There is so much I can take apart in my own mind, in terms of my own reactions to things, and often my letting go of the idea that he has to do something because, well, he HAS to, and talking through my fears with him (he is 2), is sufficient to turn the whole thing around for both of us. Sometimes not.
I just wanted to quote that because it is something I could have written myself - my thoughts exactly and very well put!...it is how it working in our house now and the path we are on and yeah, as Juvysen has said herself...its my patience I have to struggle with more than anything!
post #50 of 153
Just wanted to pop in and mention I've been reading this thread too. We don't practice CL but are moving more towards many aspects of it because it feels right and is easier than being a loggerheads with each other.

This week brainstorming some solutions to keeping our baby safe when the boys hold her worked really well. If I'd laid down rules I know the 4 yr old wouldn't have listened. Instead we talked about which bits of a baby might break easily, especially now she wiggles and rolls so much and agreed that it works best to sit on the carpeted floor to hold her so she can't falll far. This after two episodes of baby rolling off couch that were hair raising! I was right there, but not right there enough. It has been so hard to find ways to respect both the boys' need to be very close to their adored sister and her absolute need for personal safety (not to mention my need for personal space - I love them all to bits but not all at once on my knee kissing the baby...)
post #51 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainskymama View Post
I highly recommend "Take Charge of Your Child's Health" by George Wootan, MD., and several other books that will give you the information you need to support your child in healing himself....and also recommend seeking out all of the options....there are many.
Yes, I love this book! We actually think much along the same lines as you in regards to our kids' health. We have given them motrin before for ear infections (one of my sons seems to be prone to ear infections, hence the allergy testing), but otherwise avoid anything other than herbs and homeopathy. They haven't had antibiotics or anything like that, and we don't do well visits just for fun (we have had to have them in order to get their lead levels tested for preschool; this is a state law). They have both had signs of tooth decay and have been to the dentist for cavities to be filled. They actually love the dentist, so even if it were 100% up to them, they'd still be getting their teeth cleaned . But, anyway, my concerns were more in the other direction. Like, what if they said that instead of garlic drops for an ear infection, they'd like to try antibiotics?! Or if they decided that they'd rather be vaccinated than risk getting pertussis? This may seem far-fetched, but this fall when many of their friends were getting flu shots, they were quite upset that I wouldn't let them get them. I feel like, at 5, they're simply too young to understand all of the ramifications of these decisions. I also chose to expose them to chicken pox when it was available to us this fall rather than wait and potentially risk them catching at an older and less ideal age (i.e. as teenagers). I didn't force them to expose themselves, but there was a bit of coercion (I certainly talked them into it). Perhaps being totally consensual in regards to health choices would be easier if we lived a more sheltered existence (i.e. if I were homeschooling and all of our friends were making the same health choices as we were), but since my kids are exposed to so many different ideas about how to approach health, I can't guarantee that they'd naturally follow in my footsteps.

Thanks for your great explanations, mountainskymama!

Lex
post #52 of 153
I also agree with the idea that the peaches story reflects a mama trying to make sense of the journey, and forgetting a very important person in that particular consensus process! In that situation, I might have tried to ask the mama if we could come up with a consensual solution (like, could she pick up some more peaches, maybe?).

Consensual living is an ongoing process. When I first started on this path, I went from thinking that my children HAVE to say "please" and "thank you" all the time, to they SHOULDN'T. Well, that made no sense. Then I realized that I could talk to ds about the fact that Grandma and Grandpa prefer it if he uses those words, and we use those words at home. And I can model it. And if it doesn't happen, whatever. But an individual gets to say how they like to be treated, and then others around that person can choose to respect it or not. So, if my neighbor wants to be Mrs. So-and-so, that's her choice, and I can talk to Wallace about that. It isn't a question of abstract authority, then, but becomes a situation of open communication.
post #53 of 153
Um no, scrounging through a hosts fridge and eating anything you want with impunity is not CL. It's rude. Period. Nowhere in CL is it implied that people just go through life without consideration to others.
post #54 of 153
Arduinna, I agree with you that it was not a conscious or considerate act, but I am inclined to take the mother at her word that she was trying to act consensually with her child. She didn't think real hard about whether that action actually constituted a consensual one. I would not act similarly, and I would be some irritated if someone did that to me.

That said, consensual living, for me, involves a level of mindfulness about ALL interactions, and harshly criticizing the mother for something that is already done is not a comfortable or productive place to be.

Again, if this actually needs saying, I don't think she should have taken the peaches. I also don't think that means she ISN'T trying to live consensually, I just think it means she made an erroneous call.
post #55 of 153
Thread Starter 
Ok, is there an age of "consent"? I have young children--how does this work for the toddlers and younger?
post #56 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusBirthMama View Post
Are parents who practice CL ever worried what will happen when their child grows up and enters the maistream world, which is by and large not consensual, but reward/punishment driven?
Ok, we're not CL, but we do use what I have always heard called "positive discipline" which omits rewards and punishments, so let me take a stab at this....

The mainstream world is by and large reward/punishment driven because that's how people have been raised to behave. It's needed for everyone else. ;-) If you raise a child to be internally motivated, what happens is this: they do what is right in spite of the external motivators present. This may mean that they naturally accrue rewards/avoid punishments, or that they do things that they judge to be correct in spite of external motivators to the contrary... like returning a found wallet with the $200 cash in it, or avoiding dangerous behaviors even though everyone will think they're "cool" if they do it.
post #57 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsfatty View Post
Ok, is there an age of "consent"? I have young children--how does this work for the toddlers and younger?
We try and live consensually and my DS is only 2.5.
We came to CL through many things. ...It starts with AP, which led us to TCC, which led us to GD....to UP...eventually to CL!... It was a gradual process and still is.

I find the only reason why its more 'challenging' at such a young age, is because they are pre-verbal (mostly). I cant have a conversation with my son to come to a consensual solution about things like I could my husband...or say a 4 year old. But this is where things sort of fall into place...I feel. Because of our early bonding through AP and TCC, my son and I have a strong attachment. I 'know' him. So when something comes up, its mostly me doing the 'through process' - but even someone so young has to consent. Its very obvious if he doesnt...and he doesnt need to be verbal to let me know that. If I get stuck, I do some brainstorming with the other parents on the CL yahoo group - who perhaps have children the same age as my son or older, so have been there and done that.

For me, at this age with my son - it really is mostly just about respecting his autonomy, trust - lots of it!, and just really not 'forcing' him to do anything. This requires a lot of patience on my part (which is my only downfall sometimes ) and working as best as I can to verbalise my sons side of the 'argument' (so to speak).

This may look 'permissive' on the outside. I am usually the last mother to leave a toddler group because my son doesnt want to go yet. But I dont just 'do nothing'. Theres a lot of talking invovled (on my part lol), never punishing, threatening, rewarding, etc - never forcing or coercing... But I also dont do what all the other parents would do, which is just pick my son up kicking and screaming and say 'its time to go!' and head out. This situation would probaby look very different to many different parents. When my DS is older and more verbal we can do the 'brainstorming' a bit more together. Now sometiems I just have to learn from a past mistake and do the brainstorming afterwards. We are no longer the last ones to leave all the time because my son likes to help put all the toys away with the staff there - which for him means its time to go home, so when he is done helping he is happy to skip off home with me. It was my suggest over a few....but his actions told me this is what he has consented to.

And it all ties in with trust and respect... Because I trust and respect him, even when he does something I would rather not...because I never crossed the line, because despite it all I still did not force him...I eventually get that back in return. This is where good old peace and harmony comes in with living consensually. Before when I thought I had to be the mother that just picked up her child and left, despite the kicking and screaming....everyday things were little battles. Battles of control over the other - battles of control over our own lives. It was not peaceful. Whilst my patience may be tested daily, it is much more peaceful now there is no 'controlling' battle between either of us. We are just living together and our relationship is blooming into something beautiful built on this trust and respect.

Some things are a bit more 'tricky' when it comes to toddlers/younger children - such as safety situations, etc. But this could get long lol. Its really worth joining the yahoo group! I will say though, that I feel its good we ourselves had a good start in life - because a lot of the more 'tricky' stuff I find, though yes - I do take into account my DS personality, is down to everything else...in those situations where I really just need him to do something I am asking of him, like not running into the road, he actually listens and follows through on my request becaues he trusts me as well...which I dont think he would do if I was always having a go at him and forcing him to do things he didnt want to...if any of that makes sense! I have a few friends (who force, coerce, punish, threaten, reward behaviour, etc) who are always complaining that their children dont listen or behave (so they force, coerce, punish, threaten, and reward wanted behaviour more an more)...but if I had very little control over my own life, I would be grasping at any little control I could have. (this is why the reward/punishment cycles dont work - and only do if the child consents to it...if they want that sticker enough on their chart to do the trick or really dont want that punishment to avoid the actions...it makes for a very selfish person - doing things because of what it will or wont bring them...instead of simply doing things for the right reason because they are the right thing to do)...

A lot of this is very much in line with things like GD and UP...but this why I said on the first page I think the key difference to CL is no force...it just takes it all that much farther.
post #58 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
If you raise a child to be internally motivated, what happens is this: they do what is right in spite of the external motivators present. This may mean that they naturally accrue rewards/avoid punishments, or that they do things that they judge to be correct in spite of external motivators to the contrary... like returning a found wallet with the $200 cash in it, or avoiding dangerous behaviors even though everyone will think they're "cool" if they do it.
I love this. So true: return the wallet whether there's reward money or not. Return the wallet whether you will be charged with stealing or not. Return the wallet not based on "what's in it for me?" Return the wallet b/c you have empathy and consideration for another human being whose needs and wants you are considering just as you would your own.

I think a steady diet of rewards and punishment can really lead to the "what's in it for me?" thinking and behavior. It can short-circuit that empathetic process.

I *hugely* don't want to set up an environment where my family is doing things based on whether or not they will get "caught and punished" or even "caught and rewarded." I strive for a household where considering each other and doing for each other, in an altruisitc way, is the standard. And that starts with me. It's not perfect.....but that's the goal. And we have lots of boundaries--all of us.
post #59 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post

And it all ties in with trust and respect... Because I trust and respect him, even when he does something I would rather not...because I never crossed the line, because despite it all I still did not force him...I eventually get that back in return. This is where good old peace and harmony comes in with living consensually. Before when I thought I had to be the mother that just picked up her child and left, despite the kicking and screaming....everyday things were little battles. Battles of control over the other - battles of control over our own lives. It was not peaceful. Whilst my patience may be tested daily, it is much more peaceful now there is no 'controlling' battle between either of us. We are just living together and our relationship is blooming into something beautiful built on this trust and respect.
Ann, I really liked reading your post. I think you explained things really well. What you wrote above I find to be true for us, also.
post #60 of 153
What an interesting thread--I'm very glad to have found it! I'm heading over to the Yahoo Group now to learn more. Thank you to everyone who took the time to type in your thoughts!
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