Do you prefer a family Hierarchy or Consensuality? Updated! - Page 23 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Family Dynamics: Hierarchy or Consensuality?
Definite hierarchy with rules, strict structure; decisions made on behalf of children. 17 2.81%
Hierarchy with guidelines, routine, soft structure; most decisions made for children. 176 29.14%
Consensual family; decisions round table, children are self determining; few or no rules. 56 9.27%
Mostly Consensual; guidelines, choice where possible, highly structured 61 10.10%
Combo; children know their place in hierarchy but have as much freedom as poss within that structure 277 45.86%
I don't know what you are talking about. 17 2.81%
Voters: 604. You may not vote on this poll

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#661 of 1044 Old 04-24-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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I guess I was raised in a CL household - I don't think my parents ever called it that though. They considered themselves hippies, and I don't say that disparagingly as it's what they cheerfully call themselves.

Anyway, I didn't particularly like growing up that way, so I raise my children considerably differently; I guess the "benevolent dictator" style.

I make most of the decisions, although now that my oldest is a teenager she makes more of her own, but they are smaller day-to-day decisions, nothing life-altering.

This is what works for our family. I assume other parents are also doing what works for their family.
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#662 of 1044 Old 04-24-2009, 04:40 PM
 
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my house!
i keep saying 'you can decide for you, but not for me', but he doesn't like that. .
Yes, me too. I am wondering if, in a CL household, that would be considered "consensual", or if consensuality is not necessary in that sort of situation, or if the parent changes their behavior to meet the child's want, or...
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#663 of 1044 Old 04-24-2009, 04:46 PM
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it depends. If my child is trying to control me I will try to figure out why - however if my child tells me not to eat and I'm hungry then I am going to eat. I have told my children that I am in control of myself, I feel hungry, and so I am going to eat. Not eating would be child-controlled, not consensual, as I am hungry and need to eat, so not eating would not be consensual. just an example. Now if I wanted to take a shower and my child say no, and it was because they wanted to play a game with me first, I would be more then happy to play a game with them before hopping in the shower. alternately, they may be more then happy to know I am willing to play a game with them when I get out of the shower.
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#664 of 1044 Old 04-24-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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I guess I was raised in a CL household - I don't think my parents ever called it that though. They considered themselves hippies, and I don't say that disparagingly as it's what they cheerfully call themselves.

Anyway, I didn't particularly like growing up that way, so I raise my children considerably differently; I guess the "benevolent dictator" style.

I make most of the decisions, although now that my oldest is a teenager she makes more of her own, but they are smaller day-to-day decisions, nothing life-altering.

This is what works for our family. I assume other parents are also doing what works for their family.
It is so fascinating to me how families switch back and forth like this – I am curious though what you didn’t like about the way you were raised?

Mom to DD born 1989 DS born 1993 and grandma to
DGS born 2005
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#665 of 1044 Old 04-24-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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It is so fascinating to me how families switch back and forth like this – I am curious though what you didn’t like about the way you were raised?
I'm not the person you asked, so am not trying to answer for her -- but my oldest periodically tells me that she's going to make her children do chores early on, and have a much more organized house ... she tells me that it's too late to start this with her now, and that I really needed to get her used to picking up after herself when she was a baby, and she says the key to keeping a clean house is that you clean it before you move in (I remind her that we did that), and then you just have to KEEP it clean, because once it gets messy it's just too late ...

Anyhow, in our case, I don't think it's really the CL that dd dislikes: It's my inadequacy in the organizational-skills department. I do periodically get one or more areas of the house looking really nice, and she's impressed -- but I never get it all that way at one time. And sometimes she gets the urge and will totally clean up her room, or organize some other part of the house. But I guess it's just not a strong enough interest for me (or her) to keep at it all the time.

We have some new friends who are way more consistent than we are in the CL department, and way neater. This mom never makes her children do chores, and she has one "collector" just like I do -- and she's shared with me how finding a place for everything is kind of like her passion. She loves doing it and is doing it continuously.

So since she (like me) has one child who wants to hang on to everything, she just has boxes in the basement where she will put up stuff her child's been doing, but doesn't want to deal with, and it will be there if she ever wonders what happened to it, and so on ...

She said she's just formed a habit of glancing around a room before she leaves it, and if anything doesn't belong she just deals with it right then so nothing ever piles up. And it irritates her husband that it takes her so long to get from one room to the next, but it makes things so much easier for her.

For a couple days I was trying a modified version of that and, before leaving one room, was trying to take at least one item to its proper place -- but it seems like in my case it may be too little too late, LOL.

So I think maybe it's my own shortcomings that makes CL look inadequate to my oldest.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#666 of 1044 Old 04-24-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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I have read no other responses other the the OP, but I gotta say, that it is probably the best thing I have read on here in a LONG time. I don't post, or really even lurk, that often because the entire sentiment of "my kid and I are equal" makes me feel like society has gone mad.

I always talk to my kiddo, he knows that he gets to make lots of choices, but he also knows that I am his mother and I make decisions for him sometimes. It makes him feel safe, loved, and well protected.

Thanks for making my night!
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#667 of 1044 Old 04-24-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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It is so fascinating to me how families switch back and forth like this – I am curious though what you didn’t like about the way you were raised?
Well, I guess it's one of those "you had to be there" sort of things.

My parents let me do whatever I wanted, as long as it didn't bother anybody else. I had no rules, no bedtimes, no curfew. I could eat or wear what I wanted, come and go as I pleased, etc. I don't think they ever told me "no".

It got to be exhausting after a while, making all those decisions for myself when I was 7 or 8 years old. I worried a lot. I also did a lot of stupid/dangerous things. And when I say dangerous, I mean, like I could have been seriously injured or killed!

I was much happier in school, where I knew where to go and what to do, and didn't have to try to figure everything out all by myself.

I love my parents and I don't hold it against them - they thought they were giving me a child's paradise. My mom and I have a great relationship and she respects my parenting choices.

Their style just didn't make me happy, and it's not what I choose to do in my household.
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#668 of 1044 Old 04-24-2009, 10:31 PM
 
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I have wanted to post in this thread for a long time - but always felt intimidated to. FTR I am trying to be consensual, its a journey - and I do believe that my child and I are equal and have much to offer each other. What she lacks in experience I lack in imagination and creative thinking.

There are two things I wanted to say...

To Churndash - Not bashing the way you were raised, but it doesnt seem all that consensual. Letting your child run free, doing whatever they want, no rules etc - isnt consensual. I mean it *can* be if thats what all parties desire - but clearly you werent happy and that wasnt the case. There are some kids who thrive and ask for rules, or want guidelines or expectations and there is no problems giving them those - its the forced implementation of them that I find issue with.

Secondly - this is just an over all thing. I think we, (general we), get hung up on things that are negative and positive, good and bad - etc. Why is disappointment a bad thing? something to be avoided and discouraged? Why is anger a negative emotion? Those emotions are just as legitimate and just as important as being happy and content. If I constantly focus on making sure my child is happy then OF COURSE I wil be the one who goes without, and my child *may* become the spoiled one that everyone fears CL produces. I dont do things to make my child angry of course, but i recognize its importance.

When coming to mutually agreeable solutions - we can agree on the outcome, and have no everyone be happy - have there be disappointment - and thats not a bad thing. The important thing is that everyones voice is heard, everyone knows their opinion matters, and not one person has veto power.

Lindsay: DS#1 (06/06) DD#1 (09/07) DS#2 (10/08) DD#2 (06/09). AND A BABY DUE NOVEMBER 2013

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#669 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone like to share their ideas/opinions on why having veto power is a bad thing? And what their opinion is based on? And vice versa, anyone who believes having veto power is necessary or better, why?

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#670 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 04:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm speaking for churndash here, which isn't a good thing but I think I can relate... the way I see how that can be negative AND consensual is that a child will always choose freedom, and exploration, over rules and answering to another. They may worry and feel burdened, but still choose that over "not eating all the icecream I want", if you catch my drift. I get that out of this simple statement:
Quote:
My parents let me do whatever I wanted, as long as it didn't bother anybody else.
whatever she "wanted". She wanted to do those things, but in hindsight perhaps recognised what that stress was she felt at the same time.

It's also why I think asking a child if they like their freedom is fruitless because if they can do what they want they're going to say "yes" because only the very mature and logic based thinker (8+ years) is going to say "actually, I do think that a little more structure would be more appropriate and ease a certain sense of responsibility I don't think I am developmentally ready for yet."

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#671 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 09:08 AM
 
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Anyone like to share their ideas/opinions on why having veto power is a bad thing? And what their opinion is based on? And vice versa, anyone who believes having veto power is necessary or better, why?
It seems to me that even CL parents have and use veto power, although they use it with great discretion, and diffuse the impact of it through communication techniques. I am understanding the CL philosophy to be more about avoiding coercion (forcing a child to do something) than granting total freedom (stopping a child from doing something unsafe, either directly--grabbing a child from running in front of a moving car, or indirectly--taking lots of time to work through why the child doesn't want to sit in the carseat, and waiting until they are willing, but never driving without a carseat). Am I getting closer? If so, how do CL families define the line without using no, must, must not, etc? (this goes back to my recent example of ds and riding his motorcycle without a helmet).
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#672 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 09:31 AM
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I think my children's happiness speaks volumes about how they feel. They aren't "eating all the ice cream they want" because I realize that is not REALLY what they want, and am able to meet the UNDERLYING desire. They aren't stresses, depressed, or overwhemed with responsibility. I dont talk to them about if we are going to pay the bills that month or buy groceries. I dont talk to them about what kind of car we are going to buy, nor do I demand their "responsibility" in keeping the house clean beyond what they choose to pitch in and do on their own accord. I don't follow them around all day saying "what about this? what about that?" I just let them be. It happens naturally, as they can handle more developmentally they speak up and request to have more say in those areas. Right now I put my kids to bed at 6-7. They willingly go. When that is no longer right for them, we will cross that bridge. If my kids want to stay up until 2 in the morning i will explore why. (is there a show they think all their friends are staying up to watch? would they be just as happy to go to bed at their usual time and I record it and they can watch it during breakfast before school) Thats just one example. I could understand stress if they had to "fend for themselves" but at the same time, as I read continuum concept, which at one point in this thread you said you were but have since had a change of heart and decided you are CL, I read about that tribe and it seems they are more self determining then even CL! (very interesting read)

It's not about "power" its not about WHO has power. My children make their own choices where appopriate and cooperate with me where appropriate. Not because I have power... IDK it kind of just flows. As they are developmentally ready to handle more they speak up about more. As they learn their preferences and needs, they share them with me, and we accomodate to make sure everyone is being respected.

My children experience a wide variety of emotions. Anger, disappointment, frustration, joy, excitement, confusion, sadness, anticipation, disgust, surprise, etc. I don't take their life experience away from them. Their emotions are their right. I allow them to have all those emotions. Yes, sometimes their emotions are hard for me... but what needs to be addressed at that time is my emotions. And for me to take the ooprtunity to explore whats going on for them and how I can be a support in their life. I guide them. I share knowledge, I give appropriate information. Overall though, the emotion they exude the most is happiness - and its not happiness in "getting what they want" this is an overall happiness. They are happy as they walk to school. They are happy as they go to bed. They are happy as they eat, as they talk, as they play, as they snuggle, etc. Their happiness is not contingent on whether or not they got the bowl of fruit they wanted for breakfast instead of the pancakes I felt like making because *I* wanted pancakes but didnt want to make them just for myself. (which is why I also keep microwave pancakes in the freezer lol - we all win!) If there was no fruit in the house I would allow their disappointment and we would move forward from there. In the end though, they are not burdened with responsibility, they are free, and they are happy. They are happy for my leadership in the areas they choose to follow, and they are happy for their freedom and my support in the areas they feel right in self determining.

At first, since we havent fully lived this way from birth, yes they seemed more miserable as they tested these limits. Then they realize that they don't feel right when demanding certain things. They realize that they are still safe, because I will still protect their safety. They realize they have a mother who understand them, because she can figure out what is really going on with them when they ask for a bowl of ice cream for breakfast. At that point, they make the shift too. They realize they dont want to have a say in everything. Then they experience the freedom I described above. They self determine what is developmentally appropriate* to them. I let them be. The rest of the time, they let me be, and follow my lead.

*(developmentally appropriate to them uniquely, in only a way they can know, not what some pediatric chart says... so in some ways its ahead in some areas and a bit behind in others, but generally I find the charts do give a good general idea of where my children seem to be at personally)

Life is not a challenge, for me or for them, when we are in tune and living consensually. It's not a burden. At this age, play and observance seems to be top priority, so often they just default to whatever I suggest or am doing, unless there is something they really need stopping them from being able to. Then they may experience conflict, within themselves, this has nothing to do with CL, but CL can help resolve. They may want to come help me fold the laundry even though I never asked, but they are busy playing and don't want to leave their toys. They are torn. A simple reminder that they are free to come help me, and we can go back to their toys when we are done may be all they need to hear. Or to know there is another load in the dryer so if they want to finish playing they can help with the other load. I give them accurate information. I feel they learn a lot in these moments, but I don't feel their childhood is impeded upon nor do I feel they are experiencing stress. They are experience conflict, and then conflict resolution, and then back to what seems to be their "base" emotion: happiness.


I see your question on what is necessary or better and I think that one is necessary and better for one family, but the other is necessary and better for another. I don't think there is a right and wrong. I think there are different truths, and I think different is a good thing. What I do is right for my family, despite the idea being thrown out there that somehow my children will be more stressed by this type of living or be burdened with inappropriate responsibility, my family is in these shoes, and we know this is not true for us.

CL looks different in every family. I see you quote the person who felt CL did not work for her in her family when her parents used it. Yet paid no heed towards my babysitter who her and her siblings are THRIVING haven being brought up in a CL way. She is CL with my children. She is very "successful" and so are her siblings, they have a great relationship with their parents, she is a genuinely happy person. I don't think her and her siblings were this was despite CL but because of CL. I also think that other children will turn out the same because of a different way of living. Because it can be different and still be right. It sounds to me that if churndash felt that way her parents were not really living CL. I also think there is a difference between CL and neglect. I assure you my 7 year olds will not be left to "come and go as they please" or put themselves in such dangerous situatons that they can get killed. I know people who were raised the way churndash described, and that is NOT what CL looks like in *my* home. So, if that was even CL, and it doesnt sound like it was since her needs were not being met, only her in the moment desires, which it also sounds like werent being met because she wanted to feel safe, but again IF that was CL, that is only how it looked like in one family.

You say this is not a case against CL, but you just keep agreeing with the idea tha CL is dangerous and anything negative said aganst CL, but when you hear success stories you blow them off. Can we please be honest about the intent of this thread? You are saying this isn't to put down CL, but its coming across as "no offense, but (insert offensive remark here)" Or as if calling oneself CL would be a free pass to talk negatively about it.
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#673 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 09:37 AM
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sunnmama that sounds more like it, thank you for GENUINELY trying to understand and not just put us down. The thing is, its not really "veto power" because our children could do the same for us. We don't have power because we are the parent. We protect because we love them, and they can also protect us. Round table. We all have our own chair at the table - but it's not like we are all sitting at our own tables. It's not about power and who has it. It's about love and respect and we all give it and receive it.

My husband knows the dangers of the street, but I would still stop him from getting hit by a car. Of course I will do the same for my child, who doesn't understand the dangers of the street. (of course, we'd have to assume this of my child who can't even walk yet, so he's never on the ground outside near a road anyway lol) but theoretically, since thats what we are talking about. I wouldnt do that because i have veto power over my husband or my child, but because I love them. I also realize they would not choose to get hit by a car.

That being said, my kids still like to hold my hand. My son age 3 1/2 is just now at the point where sometimes he wants to walk without holding my hand, but is still responsive to holding it while we cross the street. It evolves with time. It's not about power or who as it though. Its not a CL parents using veto power. Its CL parents loving and respecting that the other person (child or adult) does not want to get run over by a car. By the same token, my child may protect me in the same way some day.
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#674 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 09:45 AM
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As a strong CC parent, I buck against some ideas as they are not "natural" in continuum families. Negotiations, as mentioned, being the strongest point, but there are others. How does a CL family consolidate the CC aspects in their life? CC cultures are hierarchical, so before someone says they are not mutually exclusive, let me assure you they are in certain ways.
I really want to clear this up, so I can better understand where you are coming from. Are you a strong CC parent, who sometimes uses consensual options, or are you a CL parent who sees a need for power to veto?
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#675 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 09:47 AM
 
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They aren't stresses, depressed, or overwhemed with responsibility. I dont talk to them about if we are going to pay the bills that month or buy groceries. I dont talk to them about what kind of car we are going to buy, nor do I demand their "responsibility" in keeping the house clean beyond what they choose to pitch in and do on their own accord.
What about surgery for an 8 yo? Does the 8 yo get to decided? (real life situation for us, discussed earlier in the thread). Personally, I think that is the kind of thing that could stress a child with responsibility. Pat feels otherwise. That is where the personal beliefs and opinions come in.

SGM, gently, I am getting a LOT out of this converstation. I've been on many CL threads over the years, and this one has been exponentially more respectful and productive (from the point of view of understanding ideas) than all the others. The questions I am asking, and reading, are genuinely from a POV of seeking to understand--not to tear down.
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#676 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 10:04 AM
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I dont think it would be appropriate for me to talk about/give advice on an 8yo and surgery since Ive never been in that situation, but when I was 14 I had my gallbladder removed and I was happy to have it done! I think CL is different in every family, Pats family dynamics and relationship with of course be different then the next person. A consensual solution in one family may simply be "you need this to help you." and the child finding comfort and going through with it simply because they trust their parents judgement. If he child was adamantly against it, IDK what I would do, I haven't had much time to think about it like you have, or live it like you have, or have the relationship dynamic in your family that you have, so it would be hard for me to just come up with a consensual solution for YOUR family ya know?

This thread has been mostly respectful and productive, but if your way of life works for you, why do you need to understand another form of parenting? what I see is some people (not you, you seem open minded) trying to understand it in a certain way, and unwilling to understand it in any other way - a way that builds up their own parenting choices by putting down another, instead of respecting there is more then one "right" way. I have no desire to understand traditional parenting. I also dont understand claiming to subscribe to something you clearly dont.

Example:
I am a breastfeeding mama. I formula feed though, because I choose to. Breastfeeding can be dangerous ya know? I mean, what if xyz times 10, exponent 7 happened, then a person couldn't breastfeed anyway, and if they did they wouldnt really be breastfeeding because they had on a nipple shield and so therefor they aren't breastfeeding, so ultimately there are situation in which EVERY person would have to formula feed, and formula is better for you then breastmilk anyway. What? I'm not putting down breastfeeding! I myself breastfeed!"

can you see how that kind of reasoning would cause confusion to the person on the other side on the conversation? They claim to be a breastfeeding mother because they feel that means they can put down breastfeeding without anyone giving a second thought to it. They then basically project their own short comings on everyone else saying breastfeeding is ultimately impossible for anyone in a certaion situation. The notion is then topped with, if you can find a way to resolve the problem but it doesn't fit neatly in the package of what *they* determined breastfeeding to be then you are not *really* breastfeeding, trying to take away from a mother who went through hell to find a way to breastfeed by telling her she is not in fact breastfeeding.

perhaps an example outside what we are actually talking about would help, thats why I used breastfeeding.
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#677 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 10:29 AM
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It may be hard to find the answers some are looking for, especially if someone is not open to believing that CL is right, or could be right.

Some are looking for black and white answers, when the answer may be not be black or white or anywhere in between. The answer may be orange, fuschia, or chartreuse.

It is not dancing around the question, its just that the answer is outside the box of what the other party is determining to be direct, though for the other party it is quite direct. Or that the direct answer lies within the person asking the question, and only if they truly want to find that direct answer. Often I gain support online from like minded mamas - they give me lots of ideas, and none of them work - but it inspires me to find something that WILL work because to me I know there are options that just havent been revealed yet - answers within *myself* that no one else can tell me. they can inspire me to find it in myself though.

I think that is why a CL mama can say "I am confident I could find a solution if I were in that position" and yet can't find the right solution for the other party. Because 1) the ideas they did suggest would probably be right for their family and 2) they don't have the years of experience with the other person's family that they have with their own. Of course, no one can really say with certainty that if they were you in your shoes they wouldnt have that problem, because there is no way to prove that. It's not to put the other parent down. Because what you ultimately choose to do will be something you feel is right for you, your daughter, and your family. The reason is that a CL parent feels confident they can accomplish the same (accomplish what is right for themselves, their children, and their family) and for them that means a CL solution. Really its just saying we have confidence we could find a CL solution because CL is what is right in our family. It is not the ONLY thing that is right for ALL families. It is what is right for THAT CL family.

So, I'm sorry I dont have an answer or a right idea for you. I am confident you will find the right answer for your family though, "consensual" or not, it will be true to your family. At the same time though, I am confident that I could be true to my own family, and that I will always be able to find a CL solution in my life, because CL is right and true to my family. I also trust that if you ever decide CL is right and true to your family, that at that point you will find the answers that are within yourself. It's OKAY not to be CL. It's also OKAY to be CL. Both are right. Both are right, IMO. To truly understand CL be willing to understand that CL is possible for anyone who feels CL is right and true for them. CL is not only right and true because CL can be applied to any hypothetical situation. CL is right and true because it can be applied to any real life situation that includes a person who embraces CL, even if only in that moment. When it involves me, I can find a CL solution. As a specator I can offer ideas, but it's just not the same... I dont have all the answers, but I can find all the answers *I* need.
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#678 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 10:34 AM
 
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Example:
I am a breastfeeding mama. I formula feed though, because I choose to. Breastfeeding can be dangerous ya know? I mean, what if xyz times 10, exponent 7 happened, then a person couldn't breastfeed anyway, and if they did they wouldnt really be breastfeeding because they had on a nipple shield and so therefor they aren't breastfeeding, so ultimately there are situation in which EVERY person would have to formula feed, and formula is better for you then breastmilk anyway. What? I'm not putting down breastfeeding! I myself breastfeed!"
I'm seeing it more like "I'm a breastfeeding mama who sometimes needs to use formula because of [insert some compelling issue here...how about low supply and lack of access to donor milk]. Can we breastfeeding mamas admit that there might be times when a mama might actually need to use formula and not accuse her of being lazy or poisoning her child? Can we say that sometimes there just might not be an alternative to formula and that that is okay?" I could be wrong though.

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#679 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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I. A consensual solution in one family may simply be "you need this to help you." and the child finding comfort and going through with it simply because they trust their parents judgement.
That has been our approach, and dd is willing to trust our judgment on the issue. The phrasing includes "need to"--which is something that I've been questioning on this thread. I can understand CL a lot better if "must, need to, must not" are used sometimes, but have a difficult time understanding how we can effectively communicate without them.

Quote:

This thread has been mostly respectful and productive, but if your way of life works for you, why do you need to understand another form of parenting? what I see is some people (not you, you seem open minded) trying to understand it in a certain way, and unwilling to understand it in any other way - a way that builds up their own parenting choices by putting down another, instead of respecting there is more then one "right" way. .
Academic curiosity? Really! That is mostly what I do on MDC, explore other ideas for the sake of exploration.

Also, while we see improvement from defining direct boundaries with dd, we still have challenges. I am always open to finding new ways to relate to her (which is why I was willing to try the "kid decision" "adult decision" approach at age 6 to begin with, when she was struggling with anxiety under our previously more democratic atmosphere).
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#680 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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I'm speaking for churndash here, which isn't a good thing but I think I can relate... the way I see how that can be negative AND consensual is that a child will always choose freedom, and exploration, over rules and answering to another. They may worry and feel burdened, but still choose that over "not eating all the icecream I want", if you catch my drift. I get that out of this simple statement:
whatever she "wanted". She wanted to do those things, but in hindsight perhaps recognised what that stress was she felt at the same time.

It's also why I think asking a child if they like their freedom is fruitless because if they can do what they want they're going to say "yes" because only the very mature and logic based thinker (8+ years) is going to say "actually, I do think that a little more structure would be more appropriate and ease a certain sense of responsibility I don't think I am developmentally ready for yet."
Well, sort of!

I always felt a sense of relief when I was in school, but it wasn't until I was older that I realized it was because I was "free" from making decisions all day.

I sort of feel the need to give an example of what I meant when I said I didn't like making all my own choices....let's see...

When I was 7, my grandma invited me to spend the summer with her. My parents, of course, told me to decide for myself if I wanted to go. Well I wanted to and I didn't want to. I thought it would be fun but I also thought I would miss my friends, etc. I didn't want to hurt Grandma's feelings by saying no, either. I was a little scared of the plane trip, but I didn't want anyone to think I was a baby. So the answer to "do you want to go?" was pretty complicated. I wanted to ask for help, but by 7, I already knew that I was expected to make these choices myself. If I asked my parents to decide for me, they'd just say it wasn't their choice to make. I was afraid they'd be disappointed in me if I asked for help.

Now today of course, my mom says she would have helped me make those decisions if I had just asked her to, but it was hard for me at that age to "go against" what I thought they wanted and ask.

But like I said, that's just me. I have no opionion on the subject in general, I just know it didn't work for me.
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#681 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 11:30 AM
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A consensual solution in one family may simply be "you need this to help you." and the child finding comfort and going through with it simply because they trust their parents judgement.
I think this is important - our kids don't have the burden of making every decision in their lives, if they don't want it. It is perfectly fine to turn your decision-making power over to someone you trust - like a parent - and much of the time, this is how things worked in my house.

My daughter broke her arm when she was 11, and I didn't ask her if she wanted to to to the ER, for example... I decided we were going and she trusted my decision. However, when we were there they gave us two options for fixing her arm (the bones had moved out of place and they needed to apply traction and then pop them into the right place again) and she did choose then, with information about each. She was 11, though, and wanted that responsibility... at 5, I probably would have made the choice, and she would have been okay with it.

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#682 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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[QUOTE=churndash;13646157]I guess I was raised in a CL household QUOTE]

When i was growing up, i went where i pleased, ate when i wanted, went to bed when i wanted, etc etc, as did my 4 other siblings. When friends were over, they would often say 'we cant do this at our house', and i would say, 'well, in our house, we can do what we like', and they were pretty amazed.

I loved going to school, i loved practising piano. I basically just enjoyed life. I was in a band with my 2 brothers, we played in clubs (tho under age) Our mother drove us there.
We never did drugs or alcohol whilst there (it was all around us) My brother to this day has never smoked weed or drank alcohol, though he moves in muso circles.

I grew up consesnually, and i liked it. I was free, nobody bossed me around. My mother always seemed to be there for me.

Sometimes i fanastised about going to some exclusive boarding school, so would have something to rebel against. I thought it would be fun to rebel. But i enjoyed feeling that my parents were on my side. I never felt the need to rebel, so i didnt.

I wondered what kind of a parent i would turn out to be.Both my parents grew up in very strict corperal punishment type households, so i thought maybe i would rebel against my own consensual upbringing. No, i like the way i was raised.
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#683 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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Flowers-I enjoyed your post because it gave me permission to call our way of living in my family consensual living. I think you are right, that the overall picture is more important. It is after all, an ideal, a goal, a process.The only problem for me though, is where do you draw the line…I guess if there is a series of events/ or repetitive scenarios, then its worth looking into….



Also, I would not use the term ‘heirarchy’ in my family at all. I play a role as parent/guide, but that does make me higher, better, or give me automatic right to have it ‘my way’.

<I do my best to stay as conscious as a being as possible.>>

That is really the bottom line for me too


Sunmamma <And, yes, hungry and tired would best explain why he resists at other times--but I can't really fix those underlying causes until we get home, you know?>>

That’s where you might look at a ‘series’ of events’ to use Flowers terminology, rather than looking at it as a one off sitation. If its happening all the time, then you know to make sure he isnt hungry and tired in general at this time…

Calm, I totally get where your coming from.

Maya
ps sorry i messed up the quotes here-i hope this is legible
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#684 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 11:47 AM
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I'm seeing it more like "I'm a breastfeeding mama who sometimes needs to use formula because of [insert some compelling issue here...how about low supply and lack of access to donor milk]. Can we breastfeeding mamas admit that there might be times when a mama might actually need to use formula and not accuse her of being lazy or poisoning her child? Can we say that sometimes there just might not be an alternative to formula and that that is okay?" I could be wrong though.
What I am saying though, is that is what the CL mamas are doing but isnt being done in return. We are saying, in a sense, its okay to formula feed if its right for you, its okay to breastfeed and use formula sometimes, but we choose to always breastfeed, even though we sometimes hit some bumps along the way. Yet the "formula feeders" are saying "yeah but if you use a nipple sheild you arent REALLY breastfeeding" or "its impossible to breastfeed ALL the time, because of xyz" that if you breastfeed ins spite of xyz then you are a true breastfeeder, but your child may die of malnourishment because you have a low supply or alternately, if you pumped and then bottle fed so your baby would get enough before falling asleep at the breast then you arent REALLY breastfeeding. The need to put down breastfeeding to feel better as a formula feeder. Why? why cant it just be that one is right for one person and one is right for the other person, and even if we do use a nipple sheild we can still call ourselves "true breastfeeders" (still speaking in metaphor here)

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That has been our approach, and dd is willing to trust our judgment on the issue. The phrasing includes "need to"--which is something that I've been questioning on this thread. I can understand CL a lot better if "must, need to, must not" are used sometimes, but have a difficult time understanding how we can effectively communicate without them.



Academic curiosity? Really! That is mostly what I do on MDC, explore other ideas for the sake of exploration.

Also, while we see improvement from defining direct boundaries with dd, we still have challenges. I am always open to finding new ways to relate to her (which is why I was willing to try the "kid decision" "adult decision" approach at age 6 to begin with, when she was struggling with anxiety under our previously more democratic atmosphere).
difference:
you: academic curiosity and looking for more ways to relate to your child.
what i was talking about: people who feel the need to bash another form of parenting to make their own look better, without respecting that CL is possible for anyone who makes consensus a priority. It doesn't mean its wrong not to, there is more then one right answer.

It is right to live 100% consensually.
It is right to have a hierarchy, that uses consensual techniques.
it is right to have total hierarchy.

so forth and so on. Not "either you re letting your child get hit by the car or you are not ultimately CL." .... equivalent: "either you are breastfeeding from the breast or you are not REALLY a breastfeeding mama or you are breastfeeding from the breast to the point that you would let your child die if you had no milk" WHY can't it just be you are getting your child breastmilk by any means possible, and therefore your baby is breastfed/fed breastmilk/ you are a breastfeeder whatever you want to call it? Why is there a need to "take away the positive of" or "put down" something different then what you do?

This point has been made many times, but it seems to continually fall on deaf ears. The only acceptable answer would be either CL ultimately means you let your child get hit by a car or CL is not possible 100% of the time.

For those of us who live consensually though, we *know* because we live it that consensual solutions are alway available and it doesn't mean our child is going to die or have some terrible childhood filled with unnecessary burden of responsibility and lack of emotional experience. I suppose then, people want us to add "but that just because our lives are super easy and we have no hard situations to solve" but unfortunately, at least for me, it's not that simple and I'm not that lucky. Some times, the solutions are REALLY hard to find, and if CL wasn't important to me, I would probably say "there is no CL solution for this" but I find, when I think there IS a solution, there is. When I think there is not, there is not. What I find most helpful, is to simply always think there is, and since I began doing this, there always is. Perhaps it's a coincidence that takes place for those who choose to embrace CL and believe fully there is always a solution. Whatever the reason, its working for us, it works for many people who choose for it to work. It works some of the time for those who choose for it to work some of the time. It can be harder in a particular situation, but in the long run this is how our family flows most harmoniously and peacefully and smoothly.
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#685 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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I've learned and believe that there are no "must" and "must not", especially as directed by mainstream medical professionals.


Pat

SGM, a lot of my CL questions, here and on threads over the years, come from trying to understand Pat's belief expressed above. It seems that maybe other CL families believe differently?

No one is saying that CL leads to a terrible childhood. I hear some people saying that a CL approach wasn't a fit for them, and they are parenting differently now. Others are saying it was a great match, and they are parenting the same. I certainly have heard CL parents (on other threads) describe their own upbringing with disdain, and believing CL to be a better approach for their dc.
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#686 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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It is right to live 100% consensually.
It is right to have a hierarchy, that uses consensual techniques.
it is right to have total hierarchy.
.

Well, I for certain do not agree with this. I can't see any situation where it would be healthy for a parent to have 100% control over their teens, up to the day they move out--unless the child is developmentally disabled to the point where they will not ever be living independently. I think that is wrong and damaging.

For some, 100% consensual living from birth seems similarly extreme.
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#687 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 12:02 PM
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perhaps I misunderstand heirarchy then - from my understanding 100% heirachy does not mean 100% parental control... heirarchy from my understanding does not mean the child is a puppet.

i defined hierarchy as : the organization of people at different ranks.

I'll pul some quotes you must have missed sunnamma.

I agree with pat, there is no must and must not.
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#688 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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Anyone like to share their ideas/opinions on why having veto power is a bad thing? And what their opinion is based on? And vice versa, anyone who believes having veto power is necessary or better, why?
DH and I held veto power for several reasons. It's Biblical; we are older and have more life experience; and it's the law. Sisnce I'm being held accountable for my child's actions by God and the state then I'm also going to wield the authority that comes with that accountablity.

I think that one of the things that is keeping this debate going is the word "power" and it's perceived negative connotation. Wielding power isn't necessarily a bad thing. And to quote Spiderman, "great power comes with great responsibility".

As I posted elsewhere in this thread (I don't remember which page; it was a while ago), babies are little dictators. They hold all the power (control if you will) of when they eat, where and when they sleep, held or not held, changed, etc. The parent's responsibility is to respond to their needs on demand. As the child grows up, this control switches to the parent (benevolent dictator). The child learns to live within the group. As the child grows and matures, the parents slowly gives back control to the child (republic). Ending during the teen years with an Athenian democracy. Too much power and control given to the child too early can be just as damaging as retaining power and control by the parent too long.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#689 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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I was thinking of the examples in the poll....2% voted for a definite, strict hierarchy.
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#690 of 1044 Old 04-25-2009, 12:10 PM
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the definition is still the same though.
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