Do you prefer a family Hierarchy or Consensuality? Updated! - Page 27 - 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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#781 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 10:07 AM
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I think in a sense it is faith based... You have to have faith in yourself and faith in others and faith in general. I can see the spiritual side to that - the idea that the energy you put out in the world is the energy you get back - and that only if you believe that will you experience it that way. When I wake up and think "today is gonna be a bad day" I usually have a bad day. If I think "today is gonna be great!" then I have a great day, and even if something goes "wrong" I learned at a young age that I don't have to let the rest of my day be bad because of it. I can choose to "restart" and go forward having a great day from that point on. I know many people who have "bad luck" on friday the 13th and to me its just another day. They believe their luck is bad, and then it is.

I give information all the time and get information all the time. I mean heck, look at all the information in this thread - some people WERE influenced by it , and some people WEREN'T. You can't be influenced if you dont want to be. You can only be influenced if you choose to be.

If someone says to me "come on, you should do these drugs. they are fun, they wont hurt you" they are giving me information. I choose not to believe that information. Or I may choose to believe it. Even if I believe it, I can still choose not to be influenced by it. I can choose to make a decision different then what they are suggesting. I don't run around blaming everyone for every bad mistake I make, that they influenced me to do that - because they can only influence me if I want them to. I am ultimately responsible for me.

what I am noticing is this:

Those who favor CL: Based on the definition of self determiniation are able to practice CL because they have faith in a childs ability to be rational.

Those who don't favor CL: Misunderstanding the defintion self determination to the point that either a)no one can self determine because we all have outside factors that *might* influence us or b) the assumption that only adults can self determine because they are less likely to be impressionable because of their age and life experience, the assumption that adults can be rational but children aren't.

So it boils down to 1-2 things:
1) Understanding the definition of self determination
2) Faith that a child is capable fo being rational

I probably am not explaining this well, it feels like one of those things that you just get and seem so basic it to you that you can't seem to simplify it. Like my husband who can o long division in his head but not on paper lol
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#782 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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yes, kids like my son and myself as a child. I understood Chris. You have the same *general* experience as my *general* experience. We both have experienced that kind of *different* child though, and I was a *different* child myself
Then I reask my question: how do you apply CL with a child who never compromises, never accepts the options offered, wants what is not offered, doesn't see the fact that she can't have 2 mutually exclusive things, requires/needs down time away from the family but refuses to have that down time?

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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#783 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 11:55 AM
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Then I reask my question: how do you apply CL with a child who never compromises, never accepts the options offered, wants what is not offered, doesn't see the fact that she can't have 2 mutually exclusive things, requires/needs down time away from the family but refuses to have that down time?
I think the way the question is framed is a good start at an answer... you expect her to compromise and to choose from the options you offer. I don't expect either. When you start from that perspective, I think it's much harder to make this work.

As far as faith... TCS theory, which is more my thing, starts by positing that a child is rational unless coerced and that coercion leads to irrationality. I don't think that's ever been logically disproved, and it seems to work for me... the rest of the theory (non-coercion, mutually agreeable solutions, sharing information) flows from that.

So I take that basic premise on faith, I suppose, but all of the evidence supports it and none disproves it. It's sort of like Euclidean geometry beginning with the premise that 2 points determine a line...

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#784 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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nak Dar, i always find your posts clarifying.
As for TCS though, what do you think of the fact that its got a very bad rap (it was banned altogether from the Unconditional Parenting yahoo group) I was never really sure why. I think it was because people felt that TSC people didnt take parents' needs into account. I think that might be another misrepresentation. Interested to know how you see that whole thing.
Also, do you mean tcs is more your thing than cl, and why? i think they amount to the same thing really.

Mmm,... that cl is more faith based than science based. ...very good point...Well...that would explain the sensitivity to asking all these logical questions. Still, i think its possible to have faith in something (like the fact that solutions are always available, or that children choose whats best if you let them), and still, analyse the relationship bet. parent and child from a scientific viewpoint (similar to homebirth, get your medical facts covered, but have faith in the process)
There is also something innately logical about a person responding more positively when they know their needs are respected.

....but, have not read more recent posts so sorry for any repetition
...ps calm, thanks once again for the thread
pps. if i havent already made it clear, i practise CL
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#785 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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Dar, I had the same thoughts about TCS while reading about the differences between mathematical and artistic types (or logical and faith-based types).

I actually have a new friend that I met through the secular unschooling group I recently joined in my city. She became part of the TCS movement before even marrying and having kids, has actually met Sarah Fitz-Claridge. She's the friend I talked about earlier in this thread, contrasting how consensual living works in her family (where she was TCS before marriage, and while she and her husband were dating, he read up and got on the same page with her before they started their family), with how it's rather inconsistent and sometimes confusing in ours.

And she had actually moved into TCS from The Continuum Concept, and is also familiar with Unconditional Parenting. She's more the type who reads everything online, but hardly ever comments. contactmaya, she recently mentioned some things about what happened with the Unconditional Parenting site, as well as the fact that TCS discussion has been banned from Sandra Dodd's Radical Unschooling site.

It seems so weird to me since all of these different philosophies -- TCS, CL, RU, UP -- seem very similar to me in practice (UP less so, since Kohn believes that sometimes you do have to impose your will on your child, so I actually see UP as kind of a middle road heading towards non-coercion, but not quite there). And my friend agreed that they are all very similar.

She thinks most people have a problem with TCS because, I can't remember exactly how she phrased it, but I think it has something to do with the way TCS folks like to be intellectually-challenging, i.e. they're less likely to assume that *all* parents are "really doing the best they can," and that sort of thing. They'll critique and challenge, whereas lots of parents are really not open to criticism.

I'll admit that, while open to criticism myself (and finding it valuable in my own life), I prefer when it comes with warmth and understanding. And it seems that the purely-logical types may not feel as much need for that (though I could be wrong, don't want to assume what others need or don't need). But it seems like the warmth is not a need for some TCS-folks, personally (at least not a need in online discussions, I'm not assuming they don't need it in their homes or anything) -- so they have a hard time understanding why some people find pure criticism with no warmth, rather cold and unhelpful.

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#786 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 01:39 PM
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MM, I think you pretty much pegged it... I'm more the mathy-logical type, so TCS worked for me... although I haven't been at all formally involved (or even on the list) for 10 years or more. I generally don't talk about it much here because it's really not about how to parent as much as it is about a logical philosophy (Popper is good place to start, IIRC). What seems more relevant here on mothering is information about how to parent, so I share more ideas in terms of that. It's often hard for people to understand that the criticism they receive from TCS folks is a criticism of their logic and aa challenge to their entrenched theories - more of an academic exercise - than an attack on the person herself...

And I kind of want to know who you're talking about, although I have an idea... we were active in a homeschooling group in your city for a while and still know some of the folks there...

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#787 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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Dar, I pm'd you about who it is.

And I absolutely LOVE Popper! I don't so much need "warmth" with everything I read, and I do see your point about TCS-people challenging entrenched theories. I guess where my entrenched theories intersect with my parenting, though, I can get pretty emotional. Maybe too much of my identity is tied up in being a mother.

I remember on one TCS-site (not THE actual TCS-site itself) someone was kind of critiquing why some of us choose "mommy" user names. LOL, that one kind of hit home for me (I was m_m there just as I am here). I still like being mammal_mama here, though.

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#788 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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a child is rational unless coerced and that coercion leads to irrationality.
That is interesting.

What about hunger, overfatigue, mental illness....these do not lead to irrationality?
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#789 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 03:56 PM
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hunger leads to me feeding my child, then seeing if the "problem" still exists - THEN looking for a mutually agreeable solution.

over fatique leads to me meeting my childs need for rest.

mental illness leads to me treating their mental illnesses, etc.
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#790 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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Yes, but in the meantime (and it can take a lot of time for some issues) it can make a person irrational, no?
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#791 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 04:03 PM
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short term solutions and long term solutions. I find that I need both. I find that adults can be just as 'irrational' as children in extenuating circumstances, and yet both are still able to be brought to a rational place and make self determined decisions.
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#792 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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I find that adults can be just as 'irrational' as children in extenuating circumstances, and yet both are still able to be brought to a rational place and make self determined decisions.

Hmm...that has not been my reality (for children or for adults).
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#793 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 04:19 PM
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That is interesting.

What about hunger, overfatigue, mental illness....these do not lead to irrationality?
No... maybe to unpleasant behaviors, but one could argue that it's very rational to start screaming and kicking something when you feel all icky and don't understand why and it's difficult to concentrate and no one seems to be understanding and helping you out...

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#794 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 04:25 PM
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well put Dar!
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#795 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 04:27 PM
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Hmm...that has not been my reality (for children or for adults).
be thankful you don't have my husband then! When he is hungry or tired or sick I find is NOT the time to look for long term solutions! I wait until his short term needs are met first (rest, health, and food) and then we look for long term solutions

to his defense, I'm the same way. When I am tired, hungry, or sick I am in no mood to problem solve. The only problem I want solved is my hunger, tiredness, or sickness. Once those are solved though, I am good to go! Perhaps some adults though are willing to talk about groceries 2 minutes after they break their arm (and I'm not so sure how rational that would be lol), but so far all I have known are more interested in healing themselves and becoming physically comfortable first
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#796 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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No... maybe to unpleasant behaviors, but one could argue that it's very rational to start screaming and kicking something when you feel all icky and don't understand why and it's difficult to concentrate and no one seems to be understanding and helping you out...

Dar
What about when someone is trying to understand and help but the child rejects/fights the very thing he or she needs like sleep or food, especially sleep . That doesn't seem rational to me.

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#797 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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be thankful you don't have my husband then! When he is hungry or tired or sick I find is NOT the time to look for long term solutions! I wait until his short term needs are met first (rest, health, and food) and then we look for long term solutions
No, I wasn't clear. I think everyone is the way you describe here. What I am saying is that it has not been my reality that a person thinking irrationally (due to mental illness, for example) can be brought to a rational place to make self-determining decisions. (unless suicide is an acceptable self-determined decision).
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#798 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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This thread is very interesting, although a lot of it is way over my head in terms of the intellectual concepts being discussed!

I've already said that my household is a hierarchy, but we are having one particular problem that I would like my youngest to feel more in control of.

We have to move. We rent our house, the owners have sold it to someone else, and we simply can't live here.

My 6yo does not want to move. She has never liked change of any kind. She doesn't even want to have a birthday because it means changing her age!

I have assured her that her room will be exactly the same, that we will have our same furniture, etc. I have every intention of duplicating everything from her old room, furniture placement, wall decor, etc in the new one.

I've also tried to get her involved in the househunting process, if she desired. She doesn't. She doesn't want to go look at houses, she doesn't want to talk about new houses. She says over and over again that she's not moving.

Well, obviously, she's going to have to. Moving day is fast approaching and I don't want her to be miserable.
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What about when someone is trying to understand and help but the child rejects/fights the very thing he or she needs like sleep or food, especially sleep . That doesn't seem rational to me.

!!!!!!

(bold mine)

From *birth* dd fought sleep. Yikes.
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#800 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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This thread is very interesting, although a lot of it is way over my head in terms of the intellectual concepts being discussed!

I've already said that my household is a hierarchy, but we are having one particular problem that I would like my youngest to feel more in control of.

We have to move. We rent our house, the owners have sold it to someone else, and we simply can't live here.

My 6yo does not want to move. She has never liked change of any kind. She doesn't even want to have a birthday because it means changing her age!

I have assured her that her room will be exactly the same, that we will have our same furniture, etc. I have every intention of duplicating everything from her old room, furniture placement, wall decor, etc in the new one.

I've also tried to get her involved in the househunting process, if she desired. She doesn't. She doesn't want to go look at houses, she doesn't want to talk about new houses. She says over and over again that she's not moving.

Well, obviously, she's going to have to. Moving day is fast approaching and I don't want her to be miserable.
That is tough, churndash. I hope it goes smoothly, and she adjusts well. I am also very intrigued by the example of "must" that your situation presents, with regard to this thread.
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#801 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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But how DOES one address a problem like Churndash's in the CL way? I mean, however CL one seeks to be, the fact is EVERYONE has to do things they don't want to sometimes. So if you work all the time to avoid teaching that artificially (by imposing your will on your child, which i do, i am not CL) how do you handle it when the universe pops up and forces something like this on te family?
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#802 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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Then I reask my question: how do you apply CL with a child who never compromises, never accepts the options offered, wants what is not offered, doesn't see the fact that she can't have 2 mutually exclusive things, requires/needs down time away from the family but refuses to have that down time?
do you have my child
is the answer that CL is procress-based and not solution-based?
it's a journey all the way?

the sleep is a big one for us... how it's hard to be capable without it, yet hard to agree to that... it is what it is, we can only try
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#803 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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But how DOES one address a problem like Churndash's in the CL way? I mean, however CL one seeks to be, the fact is EVERYONE has to do things they don't want to sometimes. So if you work all the time to avoid teaching that artificially (by imposing your will on your child, which i do, i am not CL) how do you handle it when the universe pops up and forces something like this on te family?
By teaching it when it comes up. Life will inevitably bring you into a situation where you need to do something. Why make things all the more stressful by creating such sinarios?

For that specific problem, I'd probably work on adujsting the chang slowly instead of all at once. Like not calling the new house "The new house". If possible visit regularly and just call it home. I know it's rarely possible, but the first time I remember moving, my dad didn't have everything moved all at once. It was gradually, furniture, smaller things, until we moved to the new house with just us and a few boxes in the car.

Also, give her more control if you want her to feel more incontrol. Taking her house hunting is fine, but that's really not much control over the situation since she likely doesn't have a say in which house she finally moves to. She probably knows that too. Same with the room. Telling her how it will look doesn't offer control over the situation, its just another "this is how it will be".

Though honestly, none of us know churndash's dd, and that means we can only offer suggestions because we don't know what specifically will work.

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#804 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 05:43 PM
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What about when someone is trying to understand and help but the child rejects/fights the very thing he or she needs like sleep or food, especially sleep . That doesn't seem rational to me.
Then I might wonder what kind of coercion that person has experienced in the past that is making him act irrationally in that area....

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#805 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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Then I might wonder what kind of coercion that person has experienced in the past that is making him act irrationally in that area....

dar
I had a feeling after I posted the question that I probably shouldn't have asked because I figured that would be the answer. In my case with my kids that couldn't be farther from the truth though.

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#806 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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Dr my DD definitely fought sleep from birth (she has less trouble with i now, though she recently told me she doesn't like to go to sleep because she's "not here anymore" - i think that until recently she didn't realise that she would definitely wake up and had real troubles letting go because of that). I didn't coerce her before birth surely? And what if a person IS being irrational because of prior coercion, how do you come to the point that they are rational again?

I seriously cannot imagine how CL could work for me. I suppose at this point i'm not willing to give up my own autonomy to give DD hers while simultaneously having a really hard life because i still have the same responsibilities. How do you handle it if your kid wats to go to the supermarket at bedtime (mine did this evening)? And if, when you're halfway round they decide to open and eat something you may or may not have intended to buy? Or if they then decide they want to go home, immediately, and not go trough the checkout at all, and then freak out because you didn't buy the things they wanted... And so on and so on. Every day DD wants to do or have so many things which are dangerous, unhealthy, unwise, unreasonable. HOw do you "let go" and trust that they're going to be rational when the evidence right in front of you is that they aren't?
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#807 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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By teaching it when it comes up. Life will inevitably bring you into a situation where you need to do something. Why make things all the more stressful by creating such sinarios?

For that specific problem, I'd probably work on adujsting the chang slowly instead of all at once. Like not calling the new house "The new house". If possible visit regularly and just call it home. I know it's rarely possible, but the first time I remember moving, my dad didn't have everything moved all at once. It was gradually, furniture, smaller things, until we moved to the new house with just us and a few boxes in the car.

Also, give her more control if you want her to feel more incontrol. Taking her house hunting is fine, but that's really not much control over the situation since she likely doesn't have a say in which house she finally moves to. She probably knows that too. Same with the room. Telling her how it will look doesn't offer control over the situation, its just another "this is how it will be".

Though honestly, none of us know churndash's dd, and that means we can only offer suggestions because we don't know what specifically will work.
I do want to give her (and my other two children) a say in where we will live. Obviously there have to be some parameters based on what I can afford, but if there were three houses to choose from in the same price range and size and my daughter preferred one I'd take that one!

So far she has refused to participate even in brainstorming sessions about what we want to look for in a house.

I will stop talking about the "new" house though. I agree she is probably reacting emotionally to that word.
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#808 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 06:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Then I might wonder what kind of coercion that person has experienced in the past that is making him act irrationally in that area....

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But it is the overfatigue itself causing the irrational behavior. The overfatigue feeds irrationally resisting sleep. The sleep problems were from birth forward (while we were certainly attempting only to follow her lead).

That is sort of what my point is; I believe fatigue itself can cause irrational behavior (and mental illness, for sure).
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#809 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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By teaching it when it comes up. Life will inevitably bring you into a situation where you need to do something. Why make things all the more stressful by creating such sinarios?

But, again, it isn't about creating scenarios....it is about whether or not there are indeed "musts" in life, and how that interacts with CL. Churndash just presented a real life situation that seems to have an unavoidable must, but I'd like to hear the CL perspective.
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#810 of 1044 Old 04-28-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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Also, some of us started our parenting-journeys first, and became CL later -- so we can recognize how previous coercion may be at the root of some of our kids' irrational behavior and unwillingness to brainstorm for mutually-agreeable solutions, but recognizing how it's "all our fault" doesn't always help us with how to get through this current difficult moment.

And guilt tends to negatively-affect my own rationality, anyway.

I do see my past role in creating some of our current difficulties -- but rather than focusing on blame and guilt, I just try not to kick myself too hard when I'm not able to persuade one of my kids to brainstorm with me for other solutions, but don't feel able to just totally do it her way, either. I just try to be as consensual as I can, and try to be proactive about not letting things escalate to that point in the future.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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