EC today vs how "it used to be done" - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 72 Old 10-17-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
And there's another thing that separates EC from PL. I'm seeing it less, but for awhile it seemed like there was a strong feeling among PLers that any form of offering the potty was "pressure". And I mean like someone talked about not being sure if it was okay to say "you'll use the toilet someday when you're ready" to their kid when the kid was in the bathroom watching mom.

And I wish to goodness I knew where I saw that...

But like I said, I'm not seeing that any more. We're getting more parent to child communication in general PLing circles. In part, I suspect because there are more people who tried out EC. Like they diaper DC1, then try EC for DC2, but end up sticking with aware-diapering since it's what they know.
i think you touched on something really important here. there was such a backlash from the punitive early potty learning of the first half of the 20th century, that people went way overboard in the opposite direction (IMO) with it. i have seen this a lot here on MDC in PL'ing threads in the childhood years forum. i think among gentle parents, because many don't like the idea of rewards and punishments in general, they obviously carry that into PL'ing. which is good in a way (i don't dig bribes either, and certainly not punishments, especially when it comes to natural functions of the body! it's like punishing a kid for barfing in the bed when they have a stomach bug). i think sometimes it's viewed in a similar way to child-led weaning or letting your child choose when to stop co-sleeping, you don't encourage it you just let them decide when they're ready. but the flaw in that logic is that it doesn't acknowledge the fact that the child is aware or their elimination from the beginning. that and the hygiene implications of diapering are being ignored.
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#62 of 72 Old 10-20-2009, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i think among gentle parents, because many don't like the idea of rewards and punishments in general, they obviously carry that into PL'ing. which is good in a way (i don't dig bribes either, and certainly not punishments, especially when it comes to natural functions of the body! it's like punishing a kid for barfing in the bed when they have a stomach bug).
Completely off the thread topic for a second...

I once saw a lady practically beat her young daughter (and yelling at her in her language) for throwing up in an isle at a local shopping store. Needless to say, I was HORRIFIED (as were the rest of the people who witnessed this horrible event). It was handled quite appropriately by one of the store's managers (bless her), but I can't even imagine what this child's home life was like, or how SHE was potty learned. Granted, maybe this is how things are done in her country, but I wanted to beat her myself. I'm still mildly traumatized by this event.

Back on topic... How is this thread not stickied yet? This is an awesome thread! Thank you all for contributing!
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#63 of 72 Old 10-23-2009, 09:23 PM
 
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Yes, yes, stickie!

Mama to DD, my 2/24/08 BIG KID formerly known as sling baby, and DS, my 12/23/11 train-loving, wall-climbing toddler! 
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#64 of 72 Old 10-23-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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i don't think we're very heavily moderated over here (we usually behave ourselves pretty well ), someone might have to contact a mod and ask that it be stickied?
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#65 of 72 Old 10-27-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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I loved reading this thread! Very interesting perspectives on how things used to be and our current struggles/victories using EC. I have a 26 month old boy with whom I've been ECing since 3 months.

He's not 'potty trained' but he's out of diapers during the day and has occasional misses. I'm (well, I've become) pretty relaxed about EC over the last two years - and have no expectations for his potty independence. He's fine - we just continue on every day. Over time, I see mostly progress, sometimes some regression that I can pinpoint the reason for (even if only in hindsight). He's a sweetheart of a boy, and I can't imagine ever punishing him for wetting his pants. That seems silly and cruel to me.

However, I wanted to comment on the negative attitudes about the concept of shame in this thread. I think we, as humans, regularly use shame to teach one another about acceptable vs. unacceptable behavior. I'm not talking mean, spiteful, awful, hateful, demeaning shame. I'm talking about good old fashioned simple shame - like sgg - you saying, "Uh oh, pee pee." is a subtle form of shaming - letting your daughter know that diaper is not the 'best' place for pee pee.

When my son pees on the floor, we tell him very straightforwardly that is not the place for pee (or in his underwear or wherever) and take him to the toilet to show him where to pee. We use a more serious tone of voice. I'm not going to happily wipe up 500 pee misses without teaching him where pee ought to go. It SHOULD go in the toilet... it's not a big deal to pee on the floor - and there is no punishment for that - but I will let him know that I'm not totally pleased with this state of affairs, and that it would be better if he'd go in the toilet. That is a form of direction, of teaching, and I think it includes a rightful amount of shame. In my opinion, shame is not only ok, but necessary in forming our young children - when properly directed and used.

I just wanted to offer that perspective... I think the concept of shame gets a bad rap these days, and I think it ought to be resurrected. I know it's been overly abused in times not so long past... but I believe a total lack of shaming leaves children without a very useful guidepost to direct their learning about the world around them. This coming from a mom whose goal is to raise her children with loving guidance and gentleness (not to be confused with weakness).

Lizbiz, wife to my man who makes me smile, and mom to one bouncy boy (08/07), one sassy girl (12/09), and one sweet new boy (08/12).

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#66 of 72 Old 10-27-2009, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Lizbiz View Post

However, I wanted to comment on the negative attitudes about the concept of shame in this thread. I think we, as humans, regularly use shame to teach one another about acceptable vs. unacceptable behavior. I'm not talking mean, spiteful, awful, hateful, demeaning shame. I'm talking about good old fashioned simple shame - like sgg - you saying, "Uh oh, pee pee." is a subtle form of shaming - letting your daughter know that diaper is not the 'best' place for pee pee.

When my son pees on the floor, we tell him very straightforwardly that is not the place for pee (or in his underwear or wherever) and take him to the toilet to show him where to pee. We use a more serious tone of voice. I'm not going to happily wipe up 500 pee misses without teaching him where pee ought to go. It SHOULD go in the toilet... it's not a big deal to pee on the floor - and there is no punishment for that - but I will let him know that I'm not totally pleased with this state of affairs, and that it would be better if he'd go in the toilet. That is a form of direction, of teaching, and I think it includes a rightful amount of shame. In my opinion, shame is not only ok, but necessary in forming our young children - when properly directed and used.

I just wanted to offer that perspective... I think the concept of shame gets a bad rap these days, and I think it ought to be resurrected. I know it's been overly abused in times not so long past... but I believe a total lack of shaming leaves children without a very useful guidepost to direct their learning about the world around them. This coming from a mom whose goal is to raise her children with loving guidance and gentleness (not to be confused with weakness).
I totally disagree with this. Shaming is in no way a good way to parent.

However, I don't think you really are talking about shaming. You're talking about expressing genuine disappointment or frustration. That's not the same thing. Shaming is forcing someone to feel belittled, worthless, embarrassed, humiliated, etc. E.g., saying "What is WRONG with you?! Why can't you get this right?!" when your child misses. I think "Uh oh, pee pee" could possibly be construed as shaming, but I think it also depends on the other actions and tone of voice used. Shaming is about correcting the person, what you're talking about is correcting the action.

And you can teach EC by many many other ways than by showing disappointment at a miss. I think by making a child feel that their bodily functions anger you, you are setting yourself up for a power struggle, or for making your child feel pressured or upset about the process.

And as for gentleness being confused with "weakness", be gentle with yourself too, mama. Kids mess up sometimes, and it doesn't make you weak.
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#67 of 72 Old 10-27-2009, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to comment that misses in our house are a no big deal kind of thing. Sometimes I don't even react to it at all.

If she wets her diaper (and I can feel the heat as she pees), or I find a miss on the floor (she will point a miss out to me immediately after she's finished), I might say "Uh oh... Peepee!", but the tone of voice I use is one that would be used if my child spilled a cup of water on her shirt and now she needed a new shirt. "Uh oh! You spilled your water! No biggie! Let's go change your shirt." My tone is NEVER EVER "you did something wrong".

Often (after a just miss) I'll ask her "Where does the peepee go?" and she always replies with the sign for potty, or she'll walk over to her potty, point in it, and say "that". And that is always rewarded with "That's right!! Peepee goes in the potty!"

But if I catch her in mid pee (diaperless), I'll quickly (and somewhat excitedly) say something along the lines of "Oops!! Potty!", and quickly move her over to the potty so she can finish. Or I'll move the potty over to her and let her sit on it herself. If I'm too late, I'll simply clean up the mess and remind her (without shame or disappointment) where the pee goes. And when she points to or goes to her potty, I'll say "That's right! Peepee goes in the potty!"

If it's a wet diaper or training pant, and I missed the actual pee (cold diaper), I don't comment at all. I just change her into a dry one.

My daughter is 13 months (ec'd since 4.5 months) and she still doesn't understand the feeling of needing to eliminate, learning to hold it, going to her potty, and releasing it there. For this she needs my help. But she definitely knows what her potty is, and she knows that's where the peepee goes if I ask her.

She'll also often sign to me when she's wet (or maybe when she's actually peeing), and SOMETIMES she'll sign to me and point to the potty right before she pees (and I just don't get her there on time).

For us, it's all about the communication. She'll get it when she gets it. But whatever the situation, elimination is always a positive event for us. Even if it's a miss. And that's not easy to do when she craps on the floor and runs around through it (leaving little poopy footprints all over the place). Mind you, that's only happened twice... The stress of keeping it positive was enough for me. If she hasn't pooped yet, the diaper stays ON. LOL
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#68 of 72 Old 10-28-2009, 08:52 AM
 
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from Merriam-Webster:
Shaming
Main Entry: shame
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): shamed; sham·ing
Date: 13th century
1 : to bring shame to : disgrace <shamed the family name>
2 : to put to shame by outdoing
3 : to cause to feel shame
4 : to force by causing to feel guilty <shamed into confessing>

Main Entry: 1shame
Pronunciation: \ˈshām\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English scamu; akin to Old High German scama shame
Date: before 12th century
1 a : a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety b : the susceptibility to such emotion <have you no shame?>
2 : a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute : ignominy <the shame of being arrested>
3 a : something that brings censure or reproach; also : something to be regretted : pity <it's a shame you can't go> b : a cause of feeling shame


none of that is something i want to inflict on a kid, especially WRT a natural bodily function.

teaching and shaming are not the same thing, and should not be confused. it's OK to point out an error/mistake/etc. i mean, how else will they learn if you don't point out when they do it outside of the ideal circumstances (in other words, when they go somewhere other than the potty) or to point out when you do it how you want them to? but that doesn't mean you should make them feel bad or embarrassed about it when they don't do it "right." it's a little different if you're talking about an older child - they're likely to feel that embarrassment all on their own due to their peers and such. but an infant or small toddler is only going to experience those feelings if they are inflicted upon them. and i don't think that kind of approach has any business being tied in with EC. that's not how or what i want to communicate with my child.
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#69 of 72 Old 10-28-2009, 11:18 AM
 
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Hi All... Just wanted to check back in - I wish I had more time to respond carefully, and I appreciate the definitions and the perspectives. However, I have half a brain since I'm pregnant and no time since I'm in school (learning Chinese, which really scrambles the brain ).

The concept of Shame is something I have considered carefully - throughout graduate studies and readings in philosophy as well as in my own life experience... and I do truly believe that shame has a rightful place in a civilized society, while at the same time I also believe that it has been deeply abused and misused. We should not spitefully or cruelly shame others, especially our own children or any child, for that matter. And of course shaming and teaching are two entirely dif't things.

Shame is a tool that can be very useful in social settings. Experiencing painful emotions is a part of life, even for a toddler. When my toddler wants something dangerous - like a knife, for example, or when my toddler becomes angry and frustrated because he has to have his teeth brushed - I bet if he had the language - he would describe these emotions as painful. But I believe I ought to shield him from the sharp knife and I ought to make sure his teeth are brushed before I shield him from experiencing a painful emotion like frustration or anger.

And I would argue that when I express to my toddler that pee pee goes in the toilet, that is simply a teaching moment. When I use a tone of voice that is other than my normal tone of voice (not at all angry, mind you, just firm), I imply that there is some impropriety in peeing on the floor. It's not the 'right' place to put pee pee - in the long run. And he'll get to peeing in the toilet all the time when he's ready - I'm in no big rush. No big deal, no drama, no yelling, no punishment - but perhaps a bit of appropriate shame and corrective direction.

And for what it's worth - My boy is so happy go lucky and busy that he hardly has time to think about what I'm saying before he's on to the next thing. I certainly tailor my behavior to his responses to me as well. If I had a more sensitive little creature on my hands, I may not want to be as firm - and my approach would change. I remember being very sensitive to criticism as a child - it didn't take much for me to tune in to other's displeasure - so I remember well that it's important to tune in to the ways each child responds to our tones of voice and our words and actions.

Anyway, thanks for the comments - I wish I could pull out more on the concept of shame and be more organized about my response - but I know that's not the main idea of this thread anyway - just something I'm interested in discussing - as well as EC!

Lizbiz, wife to my man who makes me smile, and mom to one bouncy boy (08/07), one sassy girl (12/09), and one sweet new boy (08/12).

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#70 of 72 Old 10-28-2009, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lizbiz View Post
The concept of Shame is something I have considered carefully - throughout graduate studies and readings in philosophy as well as in my own life experience... and I do truly believe that shame has a rightful place in a civilized society, while at the same time I also believe that it has been deeply abused and misused. We should not spitefully or cruelly shame others, especially our own children or any child, for that matter. And of course shaming and teaching are two entirely dif't things.
Yeah, I think people still will feel shame, but for the most part they are made to feel shame. Either by societal standards or the direct actions of others. I truly think that being made to feel lesser because of one's actions is cruel, no matter how it is done.

Quote:
Shame is a tool that can be very useful in social settings. Experiencing painful emotions is a part of life, even for a toddler. When my toddler wants something dangerous - like a knife, for example, or when my toddler becomes angry and frustrated because he has to have his teeth brushed - I bet if he had the language - he would describe these emotions as painful. But I believe I ought to shield him from the sharp knife and I ought to make sure his teeth are brushed before I shield him from experiencing a painful emotion like frustration or anger.
Yes, but "painful emotions" and shame are in no way the same thing. Being shamed is being forced to feel embarrassed, humiliated, etc. Feeling painful emotions because of the way things are is different. I get frustrated when my toddler does something that makes me angry, but I don't feel like he forced me to feel the emotions. The emotions are my own. Forcing shame on someone is a great way to raise a victim-in-their-own-head, someone who does not take responsibility for their own emotions, and does not understand why they feel them. This is very emotionally dangerous for a child who cannot otherwise understand what is happening.

Quote:
And I would argue that when I express to my toddler that pee pee goes in the toilet, that is simply a teaching moment.
And this is what I was saying, and not what you were saying. It's a contradiction of what you've been trying to say, as far as I can tell.

Quote:
When I use a tone of voice that is other than my normal tone of voice (not at all angry, mind you, just firm), I imply that there is some impropriety in peeing on the floor. It's not the 'right' place to put pee pee - in the long run. And he'll get to peeing in the toilet all the time when he's ready - I'm in no big rush. No big deal, no drama, no yelling, no punishment - but perhaps a bit of appropriate shame and corrective direction.
Yes, and it's also inappropriate to wear underwear on your head out in public, but if I saw someone doing this, I wouldn't make them feel like they were a "bad" person for doing so. Their behavior is perhaps questionable, but I wouldn't question their value as a person because of it. Shaming is making someone feel lesser because of their actions.

I still don't think you're actually talking about shame.


Quote:
And for what it's worth - My boy is so happy go lucky and busy that he hardly has time to think about what I'm saying before he's on to the next thing. I certainly tailor my behavior to his responses to me as well. If I had a more sensitive little creature on my hands, I may not want to be as firm - and my approach would change. I remember being very sensitive to criticism as a child - it didn't take much for me to tune in to other's displeasure - so I remember well that it's important to tune in to the ways each child responds to our tones of voice and our words and actions.
Tread carefully. Just because your child doesn't seem to be affected by what you're doing doesn't mean that he isn't. I kept my chin up all through my childhood of being shamed and my mother and I will never move past it.
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#71 of 72 Old 10-28-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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We might be going way off topic here, but I guess it sort of fits into the discussion on cultural differences in EC...and I'm really not an expert on this, but isn't the concept of shame very different in Chinese than it is in English? I mention this since Lizbiz is learning Chinese. My brief internet research on this gave me the idea that the Chinese idea of shame is tied in with the idea of having a conscience and being motivated by a moral sense. It seems to me that what Lizbiz is trying to say by shame is different from what most English speakers generally mean by the word.

Sorry if I'm totally out of line/off topic here. I'm fascinated by cultural and linguistic conversations. (Lizbiz, maybe we should take this conversation to pm, haha! I'd love to learn more about the Chinese concept of shame.)

Mama to DD, my 2/24/08 BIG KID formerly known as sling baby, and DS, my 12/23/11 train-loving, wall-climbing toddler! 
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#72 of 72 Old 10-29-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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Lisa- good point about shame. I've been thinking about this since I read it this morning. I don't see a place for shame as I see it in raising a child or interacting with people in general.

In a similar vein, I think it's really sad that when my cousin was little she called her vulva her "stinky" and everyone encouraged it and thought it was cute. Presumably, my uncle taught her that. I'm 9 years older than her, and I know I was influenced by that. Someone told my dd that she was stinky when she was a couple of weeks old. (After a poop, when they were holding her, why didn't they give her back to me so I could change her diaper??) I think I told her about 100 times that she WASN'T stinky!

Kimberly, in love with Hannah Rose! (04/08) EC grad!
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