or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Alfie Kohn blasts "Supernanny"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Alfie Kohn blasts "Supernanny" - Page 18

post #341 of 529
I-AM-MOTHER -- Can we get away from the generalizations of the behaviors of the so-called "natural" peoples and comparisons to our behaviors in America today? The behaviors and beliefs of peoples living still in traditional or tribal fashions (or of historical child-rearing) are so widely divergent as to make any claim about some sort of "natural" child-rearing norm to be fruitless or even offensive (as if all tribal peoples are alike).

A number of the claims in your summary are rather inaccurate to my mind -- for example, you seem to claim that men in europe thought women "should be covered at all times" and would therefore be offended by viewing a breastfeeding mother. Of course, throughout europe, in a number of churches, these same men would be exposed to numerous paintings, murals and statutary showing the Virgin Mary breastfeeding, and even holding her breast and squirting out milk. In fact, vials of Mary's milk (as with other claimed religious objects, such as fragments of the True Cross, saint's relics, etc.) were (and I believe still are) objects of veneration.
post #342 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
A number of the claims in your summary are rather inaccurate to my mind -- for example, you seem to claim that men in europe thought women "should be covered at all times" and would therefore be offended by viewing a breastfeeding mother. Of course, throughout europe, in a number of churches, these same men would be exposed to numerous paintings, murals and statutary showing the Virgin Mary breastfeeding, and even holding her breast and squirting out milk. In fact, vials of Mary's milk (as with other claimed religious objects, such as fragments of the True Cross, saint's relics, etc.) were (and I believe still are) objects of veneration.
Only because you brought religion up first, I WILL remind you that there is a on-going debate about whether the Virgn Mary is actually Queen Isis. As we know in all of the original depictions and sculptures, Queen ISIS was the VERY FIRST woman to be seen with a child on her lap. What was this baby Horus doing? NURSING.

because I am in the library and NOT at home, I will leave you with this:

"Scholars have drawn comparisons with Isis worship in late Roman times and the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For example, the historian Will Durant has claimed, "Early Christians sometimes worshiped before the statues of Isis suckling the infant Horus, seeing in them another form of the ancient and noble myth by which woman (i.e., the female principle), creating all things, becomes at last the Mother of God." Though the Virgin Mary is not worshiped (only venerated) in Catholicism and Orthodoxy, her role as a merciful mother figure has parallels with the figure of Isis."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis


And this:

"With the acceptance of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire by the Romanan Emperor Constantine in the fourth century C.E. the worship of Isis was slowly banned, despite the fact that Constantine, who was originally a henotheist and Sun worshipper in early life, tolerated Paganism.

Isis' Temples, called Iseums, were destroyed or else converted to Christianity as the new religion travelled the length and breadth of the Empire. The icons of Isis and Horus were renamed as the Madonna and Her child. lndeed, in many of the earliest carvings, it is impossible to tell which pair, they depict."

http://users.adelphia.net/~megastulm...irgin_mary.htm
post #343 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
Of course. We all do.

When my oldest was around 13 she had a terrible time. We had a terrible time. Her dad, my ex is a serious drug addict and his disappearance from her life/then appearing back in her life..that rollercoaster, that stress manifested itself in terrible behavior on her part...dangerous, life threatening behaviour. We had a really terrible time with her, she left home and lived with her drug dealing/using dad(law allowed her to do that at 14 then my brother, changed schools etc.

I was advised to "clamp down" on her, be more strict, make more rules, go "commando" etc.

What I decided after about a year of this was to just let it all go. I essentially just worked on our connection, our relationships. I offered empathy. I offered hugs. I offered love. Because the crime and punishment stuff was making things even worse. Not only had her father let her down, I was starting to as well.

I don't believe that her difficulties arose from the way she as parented by me but rather by the way she wasn't parented by her father. He let her down and we bore her anger. But there was enough trust there to get her through. She has since gotten herself back in school, got her own place, works two jobs, finished school and is moving forward in a very positive way. I'm very proud of her.

We all have challenges as parents. Things outside our happy little family and sometimes within it have an effect on them. I still say we wouldn't be where we are today if I hadn't held to my ideals. If I had been a punitive parent in her childhood I think I would have lost her. All of her changes have been a result of her own internal desire to behave in a certain way not my enforcing behaviour on her.

Right now we are in a good place in our family. My almost three year old hits her older sister with toys sometimes. We are working on that. I feel pretty confident she won't be doing that with guidance and impulse control much longer.

I think when times are tough we need our ideals more, not less.

Do we always act on them? of course not, we are humans with human failing. Life gets rough. It gets hectic. So we fall down, and then we get up again. We get knocked down. Then we get up again. That's life.
yes, life is like that. if we couldn't do that (bounce back after setbacks) survival would be difficult.

thank you for sharing your family's experience, it is clear, as her mother, you had that intuitive understanding of what works for her, going against the grain might have had a very undesirable outcome! and that is essentially what i am saying, only, our terms are different...'ideals' and 'intuition'. fwiw, i consider certain ideals to be shaped or guided by our intuition. for example, some of us have had difficult childhoods, our care as kids might have been less than stellar, but, it has been possible to go beyond that conditioning and let our intuition guide us.
post #344 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post

Quote:
Support is personal. Somepeople need someone to do the laundry. Some people need a person to chat to. Some need cash to buy shoes. That's a very individual thing.
Well, I disagree. I suppose you could argue that 'support is an individual thing', if all mothers mothered in the same conditions.



Quote:
Well I have all sorts of time. I only have 4 children and my husband is a long-haul truck driver who is away quite a bit and my family lives 1200km away so I'm not all that busy with anything but my children. I am fortunate that way. And my kids do trust me. Because I've given them every reason to and no reason not to.
Not sure why you write that you only have four children...that's a gaggle of kiddos! You're right, though, you are fortunate that you can spend all your time devoted to your children. That's kinda my point.

Quote:
Again trust is one of those things you can't demand, it has to be earned. It needs to be nourished to flourish. So that when you need your children to trust you in that moment they just do. .
I have earned my children's trust by never lying to them. I don't manipulate them, just tell them what's what.


Quote:
I am not many mothers. I am just me. I know not to get crafts and paints out when I am pmsing because I can't tolerate messes then. So we go outside and play then. I know not to take them to the park when it's hot and humid because it makes me miserable so I do something different. I know myself, I know my limitations, I ask my kids to bear with me when I'm troubled and they do because I bear with them when they are troubled.



Quote:
It's not easy. It's not hard. It's just life and family.

Well some things are easy for me, and others are damn hard.

Different strokes, I guess.
post #345 of 529
Well, I disagree. I suppose you could argue that 'support is an individual thing', if all mothers mothered in the same conditions.

You think all mothers need the same support in exactly the same conditions without even taking into account their lives, their backgrounds their temperament? I think I'm missing something here.


Not sure why you write that you only have four children...that's a gaggle of kiddos! You're right, though, you are fortunate that you can spend all your time devoted to your children. That's kinda my point.

I dont' know that I spend "ALL" my time devoted to my children. They are the centre of my devotion though and everything else revolves around them. (And I don't know why I wrote "only" either...I think it got in there in an edit or something) But when my older two were little I was a WOHM with a Nanny but I still made my children the centre of my devotion. My views on parenting haven't changed, they have evolved and it's gotten easier but really, my ideals have remained steadfast. And in there I've also been a single mother. That was tough times. But my ideals remained. I've been a mother for nearly 18 years and I still hold true to those promises I made back when I was pregnant with my first. My methods have improved. I've found better ways to voice what I want to say and I've learned some techniques that children really respond to. And I'm still learning. My ideals on the type of parent I want to be, modelled after the type of parent my father was, have never changed


I have earned my children's trust by never lying to them. I don't manipulate them, just tell them what's what.

Me too.

Different strokes, I guess.



exactly
post #346 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
That's not what I understood your post to mean:



I understood it to mean that mothers speak directly to the child, but based on some other elements (not clear to me from your posts) you interpret that there is a sense of discomfort with that in AP circles.

I'm saying, that's not my experience at all. And if I understand your posts and examples, I'm suggesting that there may be other reasons for any discomfort you're picking up on--reasons, which, in my experience are much more commonplace than mothers being annoyed that a child is told, "Excuse me," or "Watch yourself."
Agreed. I've seen, and even felt that discomfort myself, but I don't interpret as "don't talk to my child." In my case , I am usually embarrassed that I wasn't watching her close enough that someone else had to step in to ensure her safety or to keep her from doing something to another child. I'm glad that another woman did it, but I feel guilty that I wasn't paying attention. In most of the groups I've gone to, a woman looks at the mother of the child first, to see if the mom is aware of what's going on. If so, it's up to the mother to handle the situation. But if the mom isn't aware, that's when the other woman steps in. I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, I'm grateful for it, even if I feel guilty about not having taken care of it myself.
post #347 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
Quote:
You think all mothers need the same support in exactly the same conditions without even taking into account their lives, their backgrounds their temperament? I think I'm missing something here.
No, that's not what I wrote. I disagree with your assumption that 'support is individual' given the reality that not all mothers are raising their children in the same conditions as you are. As for temperment, isn't that covered in Unconditional Parenting?


Quote:
I dont' know that I spend "ALL" my time devoted to my children. They are the centre of my devotion though and everything else revolves around them. (And I don't know why I wrote "only" either...I think it got in there in an edit or something) But when my older two were little I was a WOHM with a Nanny but I still made my children the centre of my devotion. My views on parenting haven't changed, they have evolved and it's gotten easier but really, my ideals have remained steadfast. And in there I've also been a single mother. That was tough times. But my ideals remained. I've been a mother for nearly 18 years and I still hold true to those promises I made back when I was pregnant with my first. My methods have improved. I've found better ways to voice what I want to say and I've learned some techniques that children really respond to. And I'm still learning. My ideals on the type of parent I want to be, modelled after the type of parent my father was, have never changed
It sounds like you have found a method that works for your family. That's all I'm saying---all families are different.

For our family, life does not revolve around our children. Our children are 3 fifths of the family; my husband and I have goals, ambitions, desires, needs,...etc, that are wholely seperate from our kids. I have also been a single mother, and to be honest, life was easier when it was just me and my daughter.

I don't recall making any promises when I was pregnant with my first. I am still learning, too, about myself, my husband, my kids...etc. I don't think we ever stop learning, as long as our minds are open.

I honestly don't try to be a particular kind of parent. I respond to my children with kindness, and try to use as much common sense as I can.
[=allgirls;12142708]
post #348 of 529
No, that's not what I wrote. I disagree with your assumption that 'support is individual' given the reality that not all mothers are raising their children in the same conditions as you are. As for temperment, isn't that covered in Unconditional Parenting?

I have absolutely no idea what you mean

So you are saying that the type of support a woman needs isn't individual? That all people require the same type of support in their lives? Or do we define support differently? I mean it's not a lab so we can't make all other things be equal which is WHY different women need different types of support.

I'm at a loss as to what you are trying to convey.

Having your children be the centre of your devotion does not make them of greater value than other members of the family. It's just that by virtue of their newness in the world they require more time. My husband and I have ambitions and goals and do lots of things outside of the children however not as much as we did before the children and not as much as we will after the children are grown. They are the focus of our lives but not all we do. There is a certain balance to be struck. I write. I give workshops. I volunteer. My husband has a full time job. We have very full individual lives but our devotion is absolutely first and foremost to our children. I find that to be true of all of the families I know though. So I don't think we are unusual in that at all.

I really am not sure what you are trying to say. You seem to think that if you have ideals with regards to how you raise your children, such as those in Unconditional Parenting then you have to sacrifice your whole life to even try. That only certain people, those with lots of time to give and no other ambitions and no sense of self at all would have such ideals or even bother trying. When in fact, for me anyway, it's the opposite. The stronger my sense of satisfaction in myself becomes the easier it is to maintain my ideals.

Is that what you are trying to say?
post #349 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
I really am not sure what you are trying to say. You seem to think that if you have ideals with regards to how you raise your children, such as those in Unconditional Parenting then you have to sacrifice your whole life to even try. That only certain people, those with lots of time to give and no other ambitions and no sense of self at all would have such ideals or even bother trying. When in fact, for me anyway, it's the opposite. The stronger my sense of satisfaction in myself becomes the easier it is to maintain my ideals.

Is that what you are trying to say?
It's fine to have 'ideals'; it is my research background, and academic interest in Motherhood that leaves me cringing whenever I hear/read that there is an 'ideal' way to mother. People can hold themselves to whatever ideal they like...it's not a bad thing to want--to strive to be a 'better person'. That is highly individualistic.

But, with respect to Mothering, we should appreciate that there isn't only one way to mother. I disagree that a 'parenting ideal' even exists. Women mother in varying conditions. There is no 'one size fits all' script for communicating with your kids.

Kohn's ideas likely resonate with mothers who have the resources/priviledge to think about, and implement his theories. It's very 'heady', and short on common sense. Lots of 'mommy guilt'. Yay!

And, other mothers have alternative GD ways of communicating with their kids, which acknowledge the unequal relationship between mothers and children.

Again, I don't subscribe to ideals, so I don't feel a 'sense of satisfaction' with myself with respect to mothering. Of course I make mistakes...but I also have many moments when I know that my kids know me. To me, that's golden.
post #350 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
Kohn's ideas likely resonate with mothers who have the resources/priviledge to think about, and implement his theories. It's very 'heady', and short on common sense. Lots of 'mommy guilt'. Yay! .

wow...thats a great way to insult many of us here...short on common sense? I have not found that to be the case at all. and i dont find myself feeling a lot of mommy guilt simply b/c i strive to be GD/PD.

i admit that i am very privileged and have the luxury to think about alot of this stuff at my leisure but i dont think it really takes that MUCH privilege to grasp the concepts of respecting and listening to our children.

I find myself agreeing w/ some of your posts and then being completely perplexed by others (such as the portion I quoted above).
post #351 of 529
I'd say his view is full of common sense. "The research I've looked at indicates x,y,z. Therefore, I'd recommend doing a,b,c." It's definitely not the conventional wisdom, but I don't think it's lacking common sense.

Can you explain what part of his work makes you think that? And why mothers would feel guilty?

I just found my copies of Unconditional Parenting and Punished by Rewards today, so I'd like to review some things if you can point me in the direction.
post #352 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post

Kohn's ideas likely resonate with mothers who have the resources/priviledge to think about, and implement his theories. It's very 'heady', and short on common sense. Lots of 'mommy guilt'. Yay!
I disagree. I think a few pages back in the thread you claimed to have read Unconditional Parenting. Is this correct? I don't really feel like going back to find the post. I have a hard time understanding how you could get this impression from having read the book.

Personally, it totally struck a chord with my instinct. It was very much common sense based. I certainly experience no "mommy guilt". Quite the opposite. If I had parented according to conventional methods, I would be experiencing much guilt.

I also don't understand how privilege has anything to do with it. I had the privilege of reading the book, understanding it, and making it work for me. All it took was a little time and thought. I don't see how resources have anything to do with that whatsoever.
post #353 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommoo View Post
I also don't understand how privilege has anything to do with it. I had the privilege of reading the book, understanding it, and making it work for me. All it took was a little time and thought. I don't see how resources have anything to do with that whatsoever.
Many societal privileges work in just this way -- it doesn't feel like a privilege unless you don't have it.

For example, a working class mother may not find a moment in the day to read a parenting book. She might be so busy working and caring for her children that she doesn't have time to philosophize about parenting. She might also have a limited education which would factor into whether or not she would be aware of this book, have access to the book, have the time/energy/etc. to read and reflect about this kind of content, etc. She might also be living in poverty which creates endless challenges and issues for families of which I'm sure I don't need to elaborate.

Privilege is a tricky thing because those who have it (myself included) struggle with a lot of guilt if they face the fact that they do. Those that don't, remain disenfranchised and marginalized in our society.

I think it's an important point and one not to be missed.
post #354 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by swampangel View Post
For example, a working class mother may not find a moment in the day to read a parenting book. She might be so busy working and caring for her children that she doesn't have time to philosophize about parenting. She might also have a limited education which would factor into whether or not she would be aware of this book, have access to the book, have the time/energy/etc. to read and reflect about this kind of content, etc. She might also be living in poverty which creates endless challenges and issues for families of which I'm sure I don't need to elaborate.
Right. I do understand societal privilege, absolutely. I also understand the guilt associated with it. However, I didn't think that reading a book had anything to do with privilege. I do see your point. Thanks for helping me understand.
post #355 of 529
allgirls, that's beautiful, how you handled things with your 13 yr old. When I was 13 they clamped down on me, and drove me right away, I ran away to be a street kid and never returned, it was a hard life that put my life in peril many times, but I didn't feel that home was anywhere safer to return to. So from me to you, you sound like one very wise mother from that one post alone.
post #356 of 529
On the topic of Supernanny, the show last night was fantastic. The dad was a civilian contractor in Iraq and the mom was in constant meltdown. Screaming at the kids, telling them not to talk to her, spanking them without even a warning, yanking them around. Supernanny's focus was getting Mom to get her emotions under control and not take her worry over Dad out on the kids. She really focused on getting Mom to talk to the kids on their level, to not yell and hit and to be clear with them about what she needs them to do.
post #357 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
It's very 'heady', and short on common sense. Lots of 'mommy guilt'. Yay!

Are you sure we are talking about the same book? Which book are you talking about? I think I've read all of Alphie Kohn's books and quite a few of his articles and I've never gotten that sense from anything he's ever written.

yeah, it's a paradigm shift and yeah, it's about a different philosophy from the mainstream, crime and punishment model but the reason it resonated so clearly for me was that it struck me as simple and common sense.

And I certainly didn't get a sense of mommy guilt from it.

I think I'm going to re-read it. It's around here somewhere.

As to ideals, Mothering.com is full of them...lots of different ideals but a lot of common ones as well, gentle, natural parenting, peaceful coexistance, minimal footprint on the planet and of course trying to keep peace in our different ways of trying to reach them.

I'm really surprised to find someone on MDC that doesn't subscribe to ideals.

(I'd really like you to start a thread on that in the appropriate forum. This isn't the right place to go into the philosophy of not having ideals but it is intriguing to me. That would be a fantastic discussion.)
post #358 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by minkajane View Post
I agree with a lot of what he says.









Supernanny's whole thing is control. Kids are never given reasons for anything. We don't hit because it's against the rules, not because it hurts people. We go to bed because it's time for bed, not because we're tired. Oh, not sleepy? Too bad, it's bedtime, and if you cry you're just being manipulative.

The naughty spot is another thing she just loves. Plop the kid where you've decided they have to go when they misbehave. Don't give them any explanation beyond "You were naughty, so you have to sit here." If they get up and move, drag them back to the spot. If they cry, ignore them, they're just being manipulative. When they've worn themselves out crying, they'll stop. Then they'll apologize so they can get up. If they don't apologize, back on the naughty spot!

I have big issues with Supernanny.
I've never watched it for that very reason; heard so many bad things she does. trouble is, parents thing she's the bees knees and like to emulate her - think it's the right thing.

MAN!!
post #359 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
I'm really surprised to find someone on MDC that doesn't subscribe to ideals.
I think there are quite a few.
post #360 of 529
I found that UP actually relieve some of that mommy guilt since it encourages authenticity. Hmmm. Interesting that different folks come away with such different impressions of it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Alfie Kohn blasts "Supernanny"