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11 YR old BF - Page 3

post #41 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by Devrock

Breasts are for making milk and feeding children.
And, since she's not making milk anymore......... ? :
post #42 of 160
Nope, sorry. I am quite sure that this child will suffer some form of psychological consequences from this.
Devrock, you are absolutely correct in saying that human beings are human beings, no matter where they are from. You are also correct in saying that it is society's problem, not the child/mother's problem, that we have issues with EBF. That cannot be argued. But why set your child up for serious psychological issues because you don't want to follow society's acceptable norms?

*I* strongly believe that people should walk around naked and free. It doesn't hurt me, it's totally natural, other human beings all over the world do it all the time. But would I put myself and my family through something so "normal" and "natural" to prove a point to society at the expense of our family and livelihoods? No. It's fantastic to want to change things and go against the grain to a certain extent, but what if a child started getting erections during breast sessions, for example, and suffered serious emotional consequences from these circumstances later in life?

There is just something not *right* about this family to begin with; maybe they are outcasts or something and don't care if they're child is an outcast, too, but I'll bet my last penny that this kid *will* grow up with psychological issues, whether it's because he's "nubbing" at age 11 or 12 or because his family is strange altogether. Who knows?
post #43 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by mamajulie
And, since she's not making milk anymore......... ? :
I just meant that their primary function is making milk and feeding children. I meant that breasts are not inherently sexual. That doesn't mean that they can't have other legitimate uses. It doesn't mean they can't be used to stimulate your sexual partner, or to comfort your child.

Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
why set your child up for serious psychological issues because you don't want to follow society's acceptable norms?
If I followed that logic, I would have to wean by six months, put my infant in a crib to sleep, circumcize, and follow all sorts of other mainstream standards that absolutely horrify me, all so that I could be sure that society would never make my child feel like a freak or like s/he was abused or neglected, simply because I practiced natural parenting.

Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
would I put myself and my family through something so "normal" and "natural" to prove a point to society at the expense of our family and livelihoods?
I don't parent naturally in order to make a point to society. I do it because it is right for my child. I believe it is more important to do what is right for my child than it is to conform to society's standards.

Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
what if a child started getting erections during breast sessions, for example, and suffered serious emotional consequences from these circumstances later in life?
It should be dealt with the same way that it would be dealt with if a child started getting erections when his mother rubbed his feet or his back, or ran her fingers through his hair, or hugged or kissed him.


I firmly belive that it is essential to a child's physical and emotional health to allow the child to self-wean. If society's attitude is going to cause phychological problems, then it is *society* that needs to change! Not me and not my child!
post #44 of 160
I also think this is a bit extreme and that it's going a little far to call it "natural". Like Meiri, I've read that anthropologists estimate the natural human age of weaning to be 7 (based upon comparisons with other primates). An 11 yr old nursing is not normal culturally or biologically.
post #45 of 160
There is a range of normalcy. The child doesn't have to wean exactly at age 7. I think age 3 is within the range of normalcy, 4 years earlier than age 7. It would then follow that age 11, 4 years later than age 7, would also fall within the range of normalcy. All children are different. The natural thing to do is to allow each child to wean at whatever age s/he is ready.
post #46 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by mrzmeg
I also think this is a bit extreme and that it's going a little far to call it "natural". Like Meiri, I've read that anthropologists estimate the natural human age of weaning to be 7 (based upon comparisons with other primates). An 11 yr old nursing is not normal culturally or biologically.
The funny thing to me is that probably the majority of people in the US think nursing a 1.5 year old is "not natural" and "a bit extreme." Nevermind a 4 year old. :

In the end it doesn't really matter what everyone's opinion is.... everything is relative. It just depends on the family involved.
post #47 of 160
I've thought about this some more since my first post. The more I think about it, the more I feel it's just not right. Specifically, I'd like to weigh in on the subject of wether it is *always* best to let the child decide when to wean. Two points:

1) If this story is true, I would seriously question wether continuing the "nursing" relationship for this long is truely the boy's choice. As unpleasant as it is to think about, there are parents who will manipulate their children in an unhealthy way in order to satisfy their own needs. A powerful parent can cause a great deal of confusion for a child. (Think about the conflicted feelings of abused children, for example.) The boy's desire to continue the "nubbing" may not be based truely on his own needs, but rather on some fear of rejecting his mother (or having her reject him). This is why I don't buy the point that some have made that this is just an extreme version of a 4 year old nursling. No -- a 4 year old is still very naturally self-focused, and will take what he needs, if allowed to, (or reject what he doesn't need), with little regard for the feelings of his mother or anyone else. An 11 year old, on the other hand, can understand his place in his family, his peer group, his society. He *must* have some thought about what this relationship means in these contexts! I just find it hard to imagine that there isn't some emotional control being exerted by the mother in this situation. The fact that she brags about this relationship at work suggests as much. (Or it suggests that she's lying for the thrill of it. : )

2) For the second point, lets assume that the mother is *not* controlling, and that an 11 year old nurseling is simply on the far end of the "normal" scale. Which would be the more loving action? a) Allowing the son to continue this behavior and telling others about it in a culture which views such things as sexually devient and damaging (and could land the son in a foster home and/or on the witness stand against his mother). b) Gentle weaning accompanied by plenty of non-nursing affection and an effort to meet the needs of a pre-teen more directly. (i.e. Is he stressed about something? Does he need to learn some coping strategies for shyness or anxiety? Does he need to be in a different situation at school? etc.) Love is an *action* and it looks different at ages 1 or 4 or 11. I would argue that bucking the culture (and bragging about it) to such an extreme degree - that is, to a degree which could cause *much* more damage to the child than weaning - is not a loving action.
post #48 of 160
Stephanie, ITA You said exactly what I was *trying* to say much more eloquently.
Devrock, your point about being totally accepted in this culture... ie, circumcision, breastfeeding until six months, etc. etc..... is on one end of the extreme.... nursing an 11 year old is at the other end of the extreme. I'm just saying that it's *not* really acceptable to nurse an 11 year old preteen in a society that is so intently focused on breasts and sexuality in a very unhealthy way. YES, I agree, it is society that has to change. I never said that we live in a great, open minded society. But to be so extreme about child-led weaning - to the point where a kid could be, what, fifteen before he or she gives up boobies? - is psychologically damaging in the culture we are living in. You can't change society and everyone around you. I wish that we could, but we can't. There is something strange about a family who is so blatantly extremist in their view of child-led weaning.
post #49 of 160
If a mother is intelligent enough to trust her child's natural need to breastfeed (even at age 11) then I don't believe that she would be ignorant enough to brag about it (for shock value) to co-workers. There are too many signs that this is the latest urban myth, IMHO.

Mother_Sunshine
(child-led weaning/nursing my 6.5 yr old)
post #50 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
You can't change society and everyone around you. I wish that we could, but we can't.
If this statement were true then there would still be separate drinking fountains for "blacks and whites"....women would not be allowed to wear shorts because showing skin above the ankles is obscene and vulgar...children would still be spanked by teachers in school....the list goes on and on.

Society has constantly been changing and readjusting since the beginning of "society".
post #51 of 160

Food for thought...

I recall a story about a mother who was nursing her 8 yo. This little girl had originally weaned herself at 2.5 yrs but decided that she wanted to start nursing again when her Mama gave birth to her third child. So the mama let her, even showed hher how to latch. Could this be the case with the 11 year old?

With respect, my question is this: Is it healthy and in the best intrest of the child to give him or her whatever he/she wants? Do children not need reasonable limits? My SIL is 22 and married and still sucks her thumb. Is a nursing 22 year old still acceptable? If I child never decides to wean, do we just go on nursing forever? Where are the limits? Are there limits?
post #52 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
You can't change society and everyone around you. I wish that we could, but we can't.
As mother_sunshine pointed out, yes we can. And we must. And the way to do it is for MORE mothers to breastfeed their older children. Openly. Blatantly. All that needs to happen is people just need to get used to seeing it. That's all it would take.

Quote:
Originally posted by pumpkinhead
With respect, my question is this: Is it healthy and in the best intrest of the child to give him or her whatever he/she wants? Do children not need reasonable limits? My SIL is 22 and married and still sucks her thumb. Is a nursing 22 year old still acceptable? If I child never decides to wean, do we just go on nursing forever? Where are the limits? Are there limits?
I think it is healthy and in the best interest of a child to grant a reasonable request such as breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is so amazingly good for the child! It is incredibly healthy, and even without the milk factor, it is good and healthy emotionally. Yes, you can still set a reasonable limit, but the limit is not a specific age, the limit is this: when the mother no longer wishes to breastfeed. As long as both mother and child still mutually desire to continue the breastfeeding relationship, then what on earth is the problem?
post #53 of 160
Quote:
Breastfeeding is so amazingly good for the child!
I totally and 100% agree w/you. But, I am really uncomfortable w/this situation. IF it's even a real situation, ya know? But, anyway, back from OT, this 11 y.o. is not breastfeeding. There is no feeding going on at all. Why can't the mom do some of those other comfort activities you've mentioned; ie. rubbing feet/hair, etc.?
ANd, I think that at 11 y.o. they're moving into a preteen category.
I dunno. I teach school and I just know that if any 5th grader at my school, nice kids w/nice parents, "nubbed" his mom, they would just be mocked. No, that's not right, but that IS reality and why martyr a child for your own beliefs. Choose something that only affects your own social standing and self esteem.
post #54 of 160
Something unsettles me about an 11 yr old "nursing" or "nubbing". It might not even be true. and like one post says, people call social services because of nursing a 3 yr old, surely if this is knowledgable around this lady's office, someone would have given a call into child services.

I understand that our society sexualizes the breast. i get that. And i understand that in other cultures this might be considered "normal". however, this isnt one of those cultures. and i have a13 yr old son, who was once 11. I would be very uncomfortable with nubbing him. and he wouldnt even consider it. I agree with child led weaning, but 11? there are no other ways to comfort soothe and nurture?
post #55 of 160
Quote:
Originally posted by BusyMommy
this 11 y.o. is not breastfeeding. There is no feeding going on at all.
When I say breastfeeding, I refer to the act of suckling at the breast. Call it breast-nurturing, if you prefer.


Quote:
Originally posted by BusyMommy
Why can't the mom do some of those other comfort activities you've mentioned; ie. rubbing feet/hair, etc.?
She could. And maybe she is doing those things as well. But why shouldn't she breast-nurture? There's nothing wrong with it.

Quote:
Originally posted by BusyMommy
ANd, I think that at 11 y.o. they're moving into a preteen category.
With all due respect, so what? Why is that an issue? Just because the older the child gets the less common it is to continue at the breast? That doesn't make it harmful.

Quote:
Originally posted by BusyMommy
I teach school and I just know that if any 5th grader at my school, nice kids w/nice parents, "nubbed" his mom, they would just be mocked.
It's the child's choice. If the teasing makes the child want to stop breast-nurturing, then the child is free to stop. It's the same as any other teasing situation. If a boy is teased for playing with dolls, he may decide to stop playing with dolls, or he may decide to continue playing with dolls and deal with the teasing. Or a child could decide to be "in the closet" about breast-nurturing or playing with dolls.

Quote:
Originally posted by sweetbaby3
I understand that our society sexualizes the breast. i get that. And i understand that in other cultures this might be considered "normal". however, this isnt one of those cultures.
We have to fight and defy the culture in order to change the culture.
post #56 of 160
You know, I think we can all agree that we respect each other's diff. opinions so I'm just kind of throwing in a rhetorical here.
I live in an area w/a lot of diff. cultures that often clash. One of the things that's being debated/discussed is whether a culture has the right to define sexual abuse differently; ie. is it okay for elders to force sexual relations on younger members of their extended families--of their community. I say absolutely NOT! But, it's accepted for those people. So, when you say
Quote:
We have to fight and defy the culture in order to change the culture.
it scares me. EBF folks are definitely a minority. I do believe that society needs to be more accepting and open minded.
But, 11 years old IS out of the norm.

IN the case I mentioned, that is also out of the norm. Who, really, is to say that they don't have the right to also expect the dominant cultural group to become more flexible.

Dunno. Apples and oranges, but it makes me wonder. That boy KNOWS he'd be an outcast if he told his classmates b/c it's the message our society sends. Right or wrong.
post #57 of 160
Rape is socially unacceptable because it's WRONG! It's immoral! It is forceful and nonconsensual and violent! Sustained breastfeeding (thank you for that term), on the other hand, is socially unacceptable because we live in a warped, twisted, backwards, depraved culture. I fight for what is really right, not what society declares to be right. When something that is right is considered by society to be wrong, I fight society! When something that is wrong is considered by society to be wrong, I fight the thing that is wrong (in this case, rape). When something that is wrong is considered by society to be right (for example, circumcision) I fight the thing that is wrong (circumcision), AND I fight society.

>But, 11 years old IS out of the norm.

That doesn't make it wrong. Homebirth is also out of the norm in this culture.

>Who, really, is to say that they don't have the right to also expect the dominant cultural group to become more flexible.

Because NO ONE has the right to force another person to have sex!

There is no parallel between these two issues. Breastfeeding is consensual and mutually beneficial. Rape is nonconsensual and incredibly damaging and harmful!
post #58 of 160
But, you see, THAT is YOUR opinion. I happen to agree. Some people are repulsed by it. Some people are outraged that a woman would NIP and think it should not be allowed. There are simply SO many variations and opinions.

Re: the other case I mentioned. Yes, I would call that rape and slap the old man in jail for life. BUT, in their eyes it is acceptable and consensual. They have lived w/this norm for many generations and are outraged that WE are judging them for their behavior.

There simply is not a universally agreed upon definition of "right" for any subject anywhere.

So...nursing an 11 y.o.
Odd IMHO, but I guess if the boy is happy and will look back upon it fondly when he's a wellrounded adult, go for it.
post #59 of 160
Quote:
Yes, you can still set a reasonable limit, but the limit is not a specific age, the limit is this: when the mother no longer wishes to breastfeed. As long as both mother and child still mutually desire to continue the breastfeeding relationship, then what on earth is the problem?
Devrock,

I understand your point and I do agree with you. If breastfeeding is mutually desirable then there really is nothing wrong with it. (Even if the child in question is 11 and having never nursed an 11 year old, I dunno how I'd feel about it)

My point was really : at what age is EBF not acceptable? Is there a magical 'cut-off' age? When is a 'child' not a 'child' anymore. Also, it IS O.K. for a Mama to NOT want to nurse an 11 y.o. isn't it?
post #60 of 160
>>But, you see, THAT is YOUR opinion. ... There are simply SO many variations and opinions.


All opinions are not equal. Every opinion does not deserve equal respect. Rape isn't wrong because I say it's wrong -- it's wrong because it's absolutely, universally, objectively wrong! I believe that some things are RIGHT and some things are WRONG, independently of whether the majority of a population THINKS they are right or wrong. I don't think the people you mentioned are going to get very far trying to convince others that rape is right. On the other hand, I think I eventually will make progress convincing others that Sustained Breastfeeding is right -- since it truly IS RIGHT -- I think others will come around when they get past their hang-ups.

Also, I am hopeful that we will eventually convince the people you mentioned that rape is WRONG -- once we can get them to get past THEIR culture.
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