I have been thinking about this thread and the "running in the road" issue. You know, my daughter has
run in the road and yes, I forcibly held her back. I thought about why I felt okay doing this - and beyond the whole, "because it could save her life", it is deeper than that for me.
I think people have the ability to choose their reality so long as they are aware of the reality they are choosing. My child has, to my understanding and observation, absolutely zero understanding of actual pain -- beyond a tiny scrape that heals in a day or two. To her, the world is a place where everyone is okay, no one would intentionally hurt you -- so for her to run in the road seems like a good choice to her
based on what she knows of the world and of her own mortality.
I am convinced of this. I am convinced she is not trying to choose a painful end of her life or lifelong pain/paralysis. When she was entrusted to me, source said (that which I call God) that I was being trusted with this gift and with it comes a lot of responsibility.
Now, that is not to say that I don't trust my daughter's innate instincts. I do, I just don't trust all of them at this point and time -- based on evidence I have observed. I trust her to know that a hug doesn't feel right, because that is an instant reaction to her. I trust her to know when to sleep, when to eat, what to eat and how much (though there is some external control of what is coming into the home), who to trust, who to hug or not, etc...
However, with things like the running in the road example, no I don't trust an impulsive decision made by someone with what is in the moment, a very specific goal (to get across the street) without the developmental capability to know what could happen if she isn't watching for cars. No amount of discussion from her "trusted adviser" (that would be me
) will get her to that developmental level until she is ready.
So, one could say that I am imposing my coercion on her when I expect her to be more developmentally able than she is. So, it is all how you look at it.
In the meantime, I will err on keeping her alive.
As far as other things, I have no qualms admitting that we occasionally make judgments that benefit the group long term rather than ones that benefit my daughter (or myself, or my husband) in the short term.
There is always a solution, that I agree on. I adamantly disagree that there is not always a mutually agreeable solution in the moment.
The cat in the dryer example I gave earlier. There was no mutually agreeable solution to that in the moment. She wanted to see what would happen if we put the cat in the dryer. Again, developmentally immature in that area. I don't believe she wanted to hurt the cat or believed she could hurt the cat because again, her reality is one which she has not felt any longterm (or as far as I can observe) deep, permanent hurt.
Sure, later we put a stuffed animal in there, discussed other ways to play with the cat, blah blah blah and did find a mutually agreeable solution -- but in the moment, no amount of, "but sweetie peety pie darrrrling.... the cat has a need not to twirl in the dryer and meet an untimely death!!! Can we construct a dryer out of cardboard and she can climb in and we can use our infinate imaginations to put her there instead?" was going to sway her. And, I wasn't trying to sway her. I think it is more insulting to a child to pussyfoot and dance around and say everything *but* what you are really trying to get at, which is, no... cat ain't going in the dryer, sister.
No, in the moment it was a simple, "no... you are not putting the cat in the dryer. End of story."
I think it is unfair to expect more of a child developmentally than they are able or willing to display. My daughter looks to me to validate that someone around here knows what they are doing -- and while I admit that I have a lot to learn, of the two of us, I at least know that cats die in dryers and kids can die in streets so while she gets a vote, I have veto power.
Don't worry, I use it rarely and wisely.