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Consensual living - Page 5

post #81 of 153
i'm enjoying reading this thread. i'm interested to hear if any of you began to incorporate cl into your lives more when your kids were a bit older (my older one is 6).... how that worked w/ changing habits and ways of communicating that were already formed between you....what was your approach and how did it go?
post #82 of 153
I was going to actually try to read all the posts here, I just found this thread... but I gave up - it's too late for that! I was going to reply to a couple things but see that those were addressed VERY adeptly by others. So ... what they said.

We've got four kids, ages 6 mos to 5 years, and we're steadily moving towards a CL life... I'd say we "are" CL but I fall back into other ways far too often to claim it fully. But the problem there isn't with my kids, it's with me being limited by my upbringing. My main goal as a parent, is that my kids grow up able to be objective and creative and connected even when tired and stressed. They are already way better at it than I am sometimes! But - I've only had 5 years of practice at gentle parenting, and only 1 1/2 year of the paradigm shift that is CL... it's a very different perspective than what I've always known. It's definitely a learning curve!
post #83 of 153
Ok, perhaps someone could give me some suggestions... i'm very new to this concept, but it really rings true for me.

Does nightweaning fit into CL, and if so, how? My dd just turned 2, and usually wakes to nurse 4-6 times a night. I never planned on nightweaning, but i have a 6month old ds who is now teething, and needs to nurse much more at night now.

So, apart from the exhaustion of not having more than 2-3hrs sleep at a time for 2 whole yrs, and now having to bounce between 2 kids at night, i can see that the situation just isn't working - mainly for me, but also for everyone else. DH is frustrated that he can't console dd when she wakes but i'm already nursing ds, and dd gets soooo upset when it happens too.

The problem is that i can't think how to be consensual about the whole situation. I've tried the whole "nursies are going night night" but it just turned into nights of absolute screaming and sobbing from dd. Not what i ever wanted to do to her.

But... i'm seriously tired. Any ideas? Thanks for any suggestions!

Trish
post #84 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by pishajane View Post
Ok, perhaps someone could give me some suggestions... i'm very new to this concept, but it really rings true for me.

Does nightweaning fit into CL, and if so, how? My dd just turned 2, and usually wakes to nurse 4-6 times a night. I never planned on nightweaning, but i have a 6month old ds who is now teething, and needs to nurse much more at night now.

So, apart from the exhaustion of not having more than 2-3hrs sleep at a time for 2 whole yrs, and now having to bounce between 2 kids at night, i can see that the situation just isn't working - mainly for me, but also for everyone else. DH is frustrated that he can't console dd when she wakes but i'm already nursing ds, and dd gets soooo upset when it happens too.

The problem is that i can't think how to be consensual about the whole situation. I've tried the whole "nursies are going night night" but it just turned into nights of absolute screaming and sobbing from dd. Not what i ever wanted to do to her.

But... i'm seriously tired. Any ideas? Thanks for any suggestions!

Trish
What about inviting both little ones into bed with you? I'm nursing both my kids, 2.5 years and 11 months, and I couldn't manage without our family bed. Both kids can nurse while I'm lying down, halfway (or entirely) asleep. I get my badly-needed rest, and the kids get their milkies. Hth!
post #85 of 153
Come show your support for a CL subforum here!
post #86 of 153
I have tried to wrap my head around CL several times to little avail, but I do want to understand it and give it a "fair shake" in my head.

Here is an example of the type of scenario I get hung up on. Let's say I want to take the family on a picnic at the park during the weekend. We all agree this is a great idea, do the shopping for it, etc. Then when we're supposed to be getting ready to go, someone would rather not get ready to go. This one person doesn't want to get dressed, brush her teeth, or leave. Everyone else is excited to go on the picnic.

Now, in this situation, *I* would first explain that the whole family is going on a picnic, and it is time to do xyz. If she still refused, I would as gently as possible get her ready. (The "gently but firmly" positive discipline ideal.) I would tell her it is her choice if she eats or not, but she doesn't get to ruin everybody else's picnic by refusing to go, because we can't leave her home alone.

How would a CL family handle this differently? I imagine if I was trying to do CL: her refusing, me resorting to every manipulative tactic to try to talk her into doing what I want, and then if that didn't work to get her to do what I want, me spending the rest of the day just fuming about her ruining the day for the rest of us and worrying that she's being totally spoiled. Because this scenario doesn't appeal to me whatsoever, I've never seriously looked into CL. But I am curious to know if I've got the wrong idea, and how exactly. I imagine hardcore CL'ers to be so zen, they would be able to just say, "Oh, let's just picnic here in the front yard, then, and you may join us if you like." Me, I couldn't just give up my picnic in the park. And I don't think I should have to. And everyone will probably end up with a good time anyway once we're there.

The thing is, I have very cooperative children most of the time. I very rarely have to be coercive. That picnic scenario hasn't ever happened, nor do I forsee it. (A little complaining about brushing teeth, sure. Refusal, not really.) But I don't know what I would do if I didn't have a little coercion in my back pocket, kwim?

I hope this makes any sense.

Oh, and someone was talking about dental hygiene... what if your child developed serious dental issues? And didn't want to have dental treatment, and was in pain, and was loosing his/her teeth? (This does happen to children.) Does CL really allow for a child to let their teeth rot out of their mouths? Don't you think kids would resent their parents eventually for allowing them that kind of freedom?
post #87 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by momileigh View Post
Here is an example of the type of scenario I get hung up on. Let's say I want to take the family on a picnic at the park during the weekend. We all agree this is a great idea, do the shopping for it, etc. Then when we're supposed to be getting ready to go, someone would rather not get ready to go. This one person doesn't want to get dressed, brush her teeth, or leave. Everyone else is excited to go on the picnic.

Now, in this situation, *I* would first explain that the whole family is going on a picnic, and it is time to do xyz. If she still refused, I would as gently as possible get her ready. (The "gently but firmly" positive discipline ideal.) I would tell her it is her choice if she eats or not, but she doesn't get to ruin everybody else's picnic by refusing to go, because we can't leave her home alone.

How would a CL family handle this differently? I imagine if I was trying to do CL: her refusing, me resorting to every manipulative tactic to try to talk her into doing what I want, and then if that didn't work to get her to do what I want, me spending the rest of the day just fuming about her ruining the day for the rest of us and worrying that she's being totally spoiled. Because this scenario doesn't appeal to me whatsoever, I've never seriously looked into CL. But I am curious to know if I've got the wrong idea, and how exactly. I imagine hardcore CL'ers to be so zen, they would be able to just say, "Oh, let's just picnic here in the front yard, then, and you may join us if you like." Me, I couldn't just give up my picnic in the park. And I don't think I should have to. And everyone will probably end up with a good time anyway once we're there.

It is hard to address hypothetical situations because in a real situation that happens, a lot of different variables lead up to a child's refusal to do something. In a hypothetical situation there is no way to ask, what happened earlier that led to the child not wanting to go on the picnic.

I hold CL out as an ideal, so I'm not always living up to it. What I do when a child suddenly doesn't want to do something that we have been planning, I talk to them about why. Are they in the middle of something they are enjoying, are they not feeling well, did something happen to make them not feel like going. I find out what is going on, or put out a guess if I can't get them to talk. Somehow we talk it out, then get on our way. I don't try to talk them into it, I just work to understand their feelings and come up with ideas to address their concerns.
post #88 of 153
I hear you. By that standard I guess I'm already CLing. But I don't feel like I am, because when push comes to shove, if it comes right down to it and its between my way or the kid's way, I'm getting my way. I understand avoiding this kind of situation and going great lengths to avoid the kind of disconnect that might require it. It would take a lot to get to that point, but that point is there. Would you say that's true for you?
post #89 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sari Mama View Post
I think parents feel a need to subscribe to one philosophy, and mind the rules. Perhaps it starts with pregnancy when we are encouraged to make our birth choice, and it always seems like you are just supposed to go down one road after you choose it, no stepping on the grass.

I subscribe to nothing, but find I'm a bit of everything. I handle my kids with empathy and respect, this leads to a lot of what could be CL, however, I do see that my young undeveloped offspring need some control too, then I appear more GD, yet, there are times when things are going really wild, and I flat out remember and remind them, that I am the mother, and YES, that DOES give me the final say. Period. And that can almost make me seem mainstream. But we have a wonderful household. Everyone is helpful, respectful, empathetic, and above all HAPPY. And it is an everchanging culture. As we all age, have new additions, move, etc., the "rules" are ever flexing and elvoving so that they meet all of our needs.

Follow your gut, use your head, always feel with an empathetic heart, remember when you were their age, and don't forget to be selfish sometimes too!

This is very beautiful. Thank you Sari Mama. Lucky kids/family you've made!
post #90 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by momileigh View Post
Here is an example of the type of scenario I get hung up on. Let's say I want to take the family on a picnic at the park during the weekend. We all agree this is a great idea, do the shopping for it, etc. Then when we're supposed to be getting ready to go, someone would rather not get ready to go. This one person doesn't want to get dressed, brush her teeth, or leave. Everyone else is excited to go on the picnic.

Oh, and someone was talking about dental hygiene... what if your child developed serious dental issues? And didn't want to have dental treatment, and was in pain, and was loosing his/her teeth? (This does happen to children.) Does CL really allow for a child to let their teeth rot out of their mouths? Don't you think kids would resent their parents eventually for allowing them that kind of freedom?
For the picnic I would find out why he doesn't want to go and then find a suitable middleground probably the picnic in the garden.
For the teeth if a child is in pain does he really not want the pain taken away? or is it a fear for the unknown? My guess is that this is something you can talk trough, kids aren't stupid. I think one very important thing is that kids are not programmed to say no, they will make the best decisions for them when they have the right information. I imagine that if this where to happen to my nearly 4y/o he would be frightened of the dentist if the procedure would hurt etc. I would tell him that yes it would hurt some but they can do xyz to make it less painful. if he where to say he doesn't want to have it done we would discuss what would happen to his teeth when he doesn't have the procedure done. my bet is that he'd want it sorted out.
post #91 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by dantesmama View Post
What about inviting both little ones into bed with you? I'm nursing both my kids, 2.5 years and 11 months, and I couldn't manage without our family bed. Both kids can nurse while I'm lying down, halfway (or entirely) asleep. I get my badly-needed rest, and the kids get their milkies. Hth!
I just can't wrap my head around how to nurse them both while lying down! That would be ideal, but i can't figure out how... so dd is in her own bed because if she saw me nursing ds she'd go nuts. Actually, she goes nuts anyway if i don't come to her because i'm w/ ds. Can't seem to get it right.
post #92 of 153
i would love a CL subforum (and i just showed my support). in another thread i stated how i didn't think a 20 month old could understand time outs and wow, did some mamas tell me i was wrong! evidently 14 month olds can understand too (though i am not sure why one would put a 14 month old in time out...). it's weird to feel like this at mothering.com!
post #93 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by momileigh View Post
I hear you. By that standard I guess I'm already CLing. But I don't feel like I am, because when push comes to shove, if it comes right down to it and its between my way or the kid's way, I'm getting my way. I understand avoiding this kind of situation and going great lengths to avoid the kind of disconnect that might require it. It would take a lot to get to that point, but that point is there. Would you say that's true for you?
I do have that point because there are a few things we can't avoid and maybe that is what keeps me from being a true CL. I'm not to hung up on it though, because I feel we do pretty well over all.
post #94 of 153
I saw this quote on your thread in Q&S:

Quote:
(everyone is happy with the plan),
And I had to ask. How is that even possible? I have four kids, plus the ones I do childcare for. How on earth are they all going to be happy at the same time?
post #95 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by kacymoose View Post
I do have that point because there are a few things we can't avoid and maybe that is what keeps me from being a true CL. I'm not to hung up on it though, because I feel we do pretty well over all.
OK, that's cool. I think I'm intimidated by CL because I feel like it is off the continuum. 97% of the time I think I could totally hang with the CLers. But if a 3% of the time type of thing were to go down, and I had to go all authoritative on one of my kids, well... I'd feel like I'd have to slink out the door. I have this idea in my head that CLers are somehow better people who have figured out how to better manage every thing that I can't seem to do perfectly. For years I've wished I could be a fly on the wall at Alfie Kohn's house, for example. Because I think his every move must be so perfectly thought-out and phrased perfectly. I also wish I could silently observe some of the CL rockstars and see what it really looks like in real life with real people.

I am sooooo rambling. The thing is, I'm moving to an area where I'm likely to come into close and frequent contact with some of the most serious CLers out there. I admire them from afar as it is, but I'm nervous about actually interacting with them.
post #96 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by momileigh View Post
OK, that's cool. I think I'm intimidated by CL because I feel like it is off the continuum. 97% of the time I think I could totally hang with the CLers. But if a 3% of the time type of thing were to go down, and I had to go all authoritative on one of my kids, well... I'd feel like I'd have to slink out the door. I have this idea in my head that CLers are somehow better people who have figured out how to better manage every thing that I can't seem to do perfectly. For years I've wished I could be a fly on the wall at Alfie Kohn's house, for example. Because I think his every move must be so perfectly thought-out and phrased perfectly. I also wish I could silently observe some of the CL rockstars and see what it really looks like in real life with real people.

I am sooooo rambling. The thing is, I'm moving to an area where I'm likely to come into close and frequent contact with some of the most serious CLers out there. I admire them from afar as it is, but I'm nervous about actually interacting with them.
I think the only way you can truly be successful at CL is if you get over judging others anyway. There's no competition, yo! LOL!
post #97 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainskymama View Post
First of all, when I make decisions based on fear, I am not being present, and I am not in tune with my child or the situation at hand. I am now dealing with a hypothetical future situation that may or may not happen. Where is the joy in that? Where is the connection?
I haven't read this entire thread yet, but I'm LOVING this discussion. I have read only a little about CL before, but from what you momas have written, it really sounds like the path that I'm trying to tread with my life.

I really agree with the quote above - it really saddens me that so much parenting advice comes from this place of fear. "If you don't wean now, it will be harder later on..." or "if you let him do that, you will be in for trouble..." and on and on. Moma's are questioning their actions hundreds of times a day - thinking "If I do this, then it will become a bad habit" etc

And I really like the quote about "if you don't push them, there's nothing for them to push against". I had been (sometimes still am) struggling with the idea of "setting boundaries" with my toddler ds. It seems like the absolute "must do" for (good) parents of toddlers. But, quite honestly, when we are at home, I feel like there are hardly ever any boundaries to "set" - most often just compromises and creative solutions to be made. There are very few instances where ds' behaviour is "out of line" with what is acceptable. Sure, our place is messier than most people could stand, but, so what? If it gets to me, I clean it up a little. I have noticed a few times that ds has picked up something hard and pointy off the floor because he has stepped on it a few times and noticed how uncomfortable it is... isn't this more worthwhile than having an arbitrary rule about packing up all the time?

Anyway, what I really like (about CL) is enjoying the process of living and having everyone's needs met as best as possible. As for the end product - who knows? There really is no "end product" is there? There will only ever be future "present moments".

I'm off to read the rest of the thread, and check out that website. Many thanks for starting the discussion by the way!
post #98 of 153
Very interesting thread. I am just comparing the concept to our own lives. In some ways we're very laid back parents. We don't push food on our guy, let him eat what he would like amongst the choices we give him, let him choice what activities he'd like to do when we get home from work, and let him 'free' play instead of trying to turn him into a little genius. When he's older I am not going to put crazy pressure on him in academics or to have enrichment activities 24/7. When it comes down to choosing a career I won't be one of those parents who is dissapointed as long as he is happy.

But at the same time I can't imagine letting an almost two year make the 'right' decision for himself. We'd never get out of the house in the morning. He'd never have a clean diaper. He'd spend all weekend wandering around outside until he collapsed of heat exhaustion. His face would be covered in his last meal.

As for tooth brushing, right now he's too young to understand the consequences. Is is not my responsibility as a parent to protect him from what he doesn't know until he's old enough to understand it himself? To keep him out of pain later.

I guess I am very old school thinking but like is full of situations where you have to do things you might not like. Work can be like that sometimes. I do have a very 'live and let live' sort of boss so I can do what I want as long as I get my job done, but this doesn't always happen. I'd like my guy to be prepared to not consensually live his way under a bridge.

Even more old school thinking - I really do think children are happier when they live under a set of guidelines. I feel like it's uncomfortable for them to not have boundaries or expectations of how they should behave. I am not talking about being cruel, spanking, or any other poor parenting btw.

Help this dinosaur of a mommy understand
post #99 of 153
Boundaries and expectations are pretty much inherent. There are just some things that can't happen. Gravity is a bear when you're 3. Kids know these exist. I have pretty high expectations of behavior. I'm not going to be ok with my kids climbing shelves or charging through the grocery store. But we can figure out a way to climb and run elsewhere. AND get the groceries bought in a way that doesn't include coercion.

And I totally disagree that life is full of "have tos." The vast, vast majority of the time we don't have to do anything. No one has to work. We choose it b/c we want the money or for some other reason. Lots of people choose not to work. Lots of people choose to make do without money. Or figure out other arrangements. Shifting away from *having* to do things, to *choosing* to do things can be a very freeing journey, in my experience. I'm not the victim I once thought I was. I have many different choices. I want my kids to feel that way, too.
post #100 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
The vast, vast majority of the time we don't have to do anything. No one has to work. We choose it b/c we want the money or for some other reason. Lots of people choose not to work. Lots of people choose to make do without money. Or figure out other arrangements. Shifting away from *having* to do things, to *choosing* to do things can be a very freeing journey, in my experience. I'm not the victim I once thought I was. I have many different choices. I want my kids to feel that way, too.
I know firsthand just how freeing this revelation is - that everything I do is a choice and at the end of the day even if I cannot change the circumstance I can change my attitude to it.

At the same time, though, I think there are plenty of people in the world born into circumstances in which they really do not have a lot of choice. Many of the choices I have are a bit of a luxury.

I am loving this thread . In a way I don't like the fact that what my instincts tell me is right has a name in another way it is wonderful to hear so many people's experiences. Thanks everyone.
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