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#61 of 74 Old 02-03-2012, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think a five-year-old with an infant sibling might be difficult no matter how he was parented as an infant himself. You have to respond to children in their current stage. That's why I'm vehemently opposed to parenting philosophies that are based on the idea that you deny comfort to a baby in order to turn him or her into an independent adult. 


 


This is a modern tragedy to me, and always will be. Why would I want an independent 5YO ? Why is that prioritized? To this day when people spout the blah-de-blah about 'socialization' and school, I look them straight in the eye, smile, and say  "That's what I'm trying to avoid."

 

When I call myself ridiculous, I mean it affectionately! I am good with being 'ridiculous..' Up with ridiculous! I take my kids into the bathroom ( ridiculous??) I am not eager to leave them ( ridiculous??) and the big one, I don't put my babby down much ( been told many a time I am 'ridiculous.." ) Not going to change. I think most mamas here are proud of those differences, though the 'ideal' model may differ. Ideal being hopelessly subjective anyway.

 

Still, I can't say no, until I am worn to a shadow... Probably not a challenge in the 'ol animal kingdom.

 

Cherishing the different viewpoints, all from the heart.

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#62 of 74 Old 02-05-2012, 07:22 PM
 
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This is a modern tragedy to me, and always will be. Why would I want an independent 5YO ? Why is that prioritized? 

 

I think when people (at least people utilizing AP) talk about fostering independence, it is not about thrusting a kid out there for the sake of independence.  One of the things that works for us (at least it is the reason why we adopted AP practices) is that we believe it you develop a sense of security in a child, their entry into the world (sans parents) will be smoother and without as much stress.  I would say that my DD is a highly secure person - she was secure in her infanthood and toddlerhood and she knows that when she is not with us, she is still safe and loved.  I don't think of independence as a thing where my kid is suddenly worldly and self-sufficent at five.  I think of independence as the thing that happens slowly and positively as a result of knowing that her home is safe haven...that the world is interesting...that she can go further and further knowing that she has the tools and the security to reach out on her own in small steps.

 

Tragedy?  No.  It is a positive way to make one's way into the world.  I am here to protect DD for a long time.  At the same time, I am responsible for providing a basis by which she can spread her wings.  She needs love and security but she needs to grow as a human being.  If she is ready to start spreading her wings  at five, then I'm there to assist her.  I could coddle and bury her in what I think is appropriate for her age, but that would be applying my own biases.  I have to listen and react to her signals.

 

Edited to say to the PP that I quoted:  I know you were responding to another poster who was criticizing people who deny a baby love and comfort and think somehow they are creating an independent five-year old.  What I was trying to relay in my post is that independence at five isn't necessarily bad...a tragedy.  There is a better way to approach it, in my opinion.  I think a bit of independence at five is good if achieved through means where the child is ready to exert independence.  It is not an either/or situation to me.  

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#63 of 74 Old 02-06-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lupena View Post
This is a modern tragedy to me, and always will be. Why would I want an independent 5YO ? Why is that prioritized? To this day when people spout the blah-de-blah about 'socialization' and school, I look them straight in the eye, smile, and say  "That's what I'm trying to avoid."...


 

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Edited to say to the PP that I quoted:  I know you were responding to another poster who was criticizing people who deny a baby love and comfort and think somehow they are creating an independent five-year old.  What I was trying to relay in my post is that independence at five isn't necessarily bad...a tragedy.  There is a better way to approach it, in my opinion.  I think a bit of independence at five is good if achieved through means where the child is ready to exert independence.  It is not an either/or situation to me.  

 

 

Right, so, no matter how you parented this person as a baby, when he or she is five, you have to approach them as a five-year-old. Whether you were regimented or whether you responded on the fly, it doesn't really matter all that much now. We don't expect excellent babyhood to lead naturally to saying please and thank you. Excellent healthy attached fabulous babyhood should help our children to grow into emotionally and physically healthy people, but it doesn't lead to children who are naturally well-behaved and so on. 

 

If what schools ask of 5-year-olds is unreasonable, what is reasonable? A child is a person to whom you are communicating your values and beliefs and your view of what it means to be a good person. There is always going to be a problem for all parents with how we have to teach our children to treat us. We don't want to exercise our power in the relationship to unfair advantage, but if we don't teach our kids how to treat us, they also don't learn how to treat other people. It's always a balance between doing things for them and to model behaviors, and giving them explicit instruction about how and why to act certain ways. 

 

I guess I think you haven't missed the boat and that this is the moment for values clarification. It's still natural attached parenting if you tell your child when he should say please. You are naturally teaching him something he needs to know. If you're feeling worn to a frazzle because you're waiting on the kid hand and foot, that's probably not teaching him what you want him to learn. 

 


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#64 of 74 Old 02-06-2012, 03:58 PM
 
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Having a routine doesn't necessarily mean imposing a routine on some unwilling party.  You can work slowly toward a joyful routine.  We have always had some kind of routine in our house because I get crazy with chaos.  Maybe start with breakfast.  If you want to start having sit-down meals, make something your sons love and is quick to eat.  They can sit for maybe five minutes and then be up again.  This will work itself into a routine and then you might have food that takes longer to eat sometime down the road.  I would try not to have food available again until lunch, but be open to an early lunch initially while they are getting used to eating this way.  Sit down and eat with them and talk.  It will turn into a time that you all enjoy.  My DS2 never sat in a high chair (well maybe about 7 times), he would stand on a chair.  I would just pull a chair up next to him and try to keep him from falling, didn't always succeed.

 

With regards to bedtime, I found things were much easier when I put my boys down together.  Is this possible for you?  I bought a full size bed when my younger DS was about 15 months old and he got just big enough to not be crushed by his gigantic 3 yo big bro.  Do they like to be read to?  Pick a bedtime.  It can be arbitrary or not.  I picked 8:30 because DS1 gets up early no matter what time he goes to bed and would be exhausted otherwise and DS2 just needs his sleep (they are 11 and 8 now).  I would read a couple of baby books for DS2 (which DS1 enjoyed also), then I would read a chapter book for DS1 while DS2 nursed to sleep.  If this sounds like something your boys would enjoy, try inviting them to "lay in bed" with you (if the word bedtime has become tantrum-inducing).  Read books, relax, turn the lights out after reading and read your own book while snuggling.  Mine have a little nerf basketball hoop on their door and will sometimes shoot hoops while I read.  Expect this to take a long time at first.  Your younger son will adapt quickly (even if he doesn't fall asleep quickly), your older one might take a while.  You might want to try making changes to routine after going away (since things are changed anyway) or when DP is away if he travels for work.  You won't have to worry about DP waiting for you to finish up and your sons won't have the distraction of knowing he is there.  We have been doing this for years and it is enjoyable for all of us.

 

I hear that you feel you kind of abandoned DS1 when DS2 came along.  I had similar feelings (especially before DS2 was born).  Can you do something with him during DS2's nap time?  I used to play board games with DS1 while holding sleeping DS2 in my lap.  I would also read DS1's book to him while nursing DS2 down.  It was a nice, cuddly time for us.  On the occasion that I could put DS2 down for a few minutes (I found both my kids slept better on my lap (of course) or in the common living area than in their rooms alone), I would sometimes have a "hot cocoa party" with DS1.  I remember these times as times that I could really connect with DS1 even if it was only for a short time.

 

Good luck.  I have found that when I am feeling out of sorts, it is time for a change and that the change is actually needed by everyone, not just me.

 

Liz

 

 

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#65 of 74 Old 02-07-2012, 05:16 PM
 
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what a great thread ~ as a new mom (to a great little 10 month old), i really appreciate the thoughtful discussion and sharing of hard-won experiences. thank you! thumb.gif

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#66 of 74 Old 02-07-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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I sometimes think it might be nice to have a routine of sorts, but I really could not do a rigid schedule, both because I think it's morally wrong and because it doesn't suit my personality -- I've always been a free flowing person and any time I've had to be somewhere at a specific time, it was very very hard on me. I think maybe wishing for order and being able to create it are two different things. While someone else can do that perhaps, I'm not able to, maybe it's my ADD or the fact that I'm a Sagittarius. But really, when you start feeding your newborn on a schedule, you stop listening to them, and to your instincts. That sets a bad precedent, IMHO. However, I practiced a fairly liberal form of attachment parenting and my almost 9 year old is anxious, has separation anxitey etc.

I do think that I am going to try to create a daily routine around here though. 


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#67 of 74 Old 02-07-2012, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great ideas and feedback...

 

lizvan, I love your bedtime ideas...! I try a variation but what I haven't mastered is how to urge them into gentle quiet time, reading while nursing etc. It generally 'degrades' into a mad cackle-fest with DS2 bouncing on my chest, and trying to pinch DS2's nipples (? ) This, of course, leads to hysterical limbs-flying wrestling... fun, but not well-suited to bedtime. You made me think that I shouldn't give up and pass off to Dad, I can't not let my fella in anyway, esp. with the plaintive, dramatic door-pounding..

 

Captain O, manners are essential, no matter how old-fashioned, how can we separate ourselves from that expectation? In our society, it would be bedlam... niceties are nice... I know I don't much like it when decorum is totally ignored ( happily, doesn't happen too often..) it can be very embarrassing. Though I do think they can be overrated. But, I think we feel a little differently about schooling. Also, unlike so many people I know, my POV alters itself regularly! I try to listen to their cues.

 

"Joyful routine.."  lizvan, you hit the nail on the head, a happy medium, something to look forward to, to strive toward. Remembering how I felt as a kid, I think kids want the joyful routine - it gives meaning to all the spontaneity/free-styling...


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#68 of 74 Old 02-08-2012, 04:49 AM
 
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Ah, I realize I wasn't clear. I didn't mean to say that school is the standard of what is reasonable. Instead I wanted to ask you to define for yourself what you think is a reasonable expectation. I send my son to school but I don't regard what the school expects as the standard for behavior. They expect third-graders to need an elaborate behavior management system. I expect my third-grader to be able to do the things they reward and punish for without a system of points. The school provides one set of expectations and I then have to look at those and ask whether they are reasonable. You are, in this regard, in a better situation, because you don't have your child in school and can make these determinations without another competing set of values. 

 

When you look at what mainstream society asks of five-year-olds, which things do you think are too hard for your child, and which things do you think are too easy, too simplistic, an insufficient challenge to the intelligence and compassion of the child? That's where the values clarification comes in. I want my child to be much more thoughtful and compassionate than what the school could ask of him. 

 

The problem we all have as moms is that we are loving caregivers who also have to teach the child humane standards of behavior. Sometimes this means requiring the child to ask for what he wants politely before we give it. It's really hard to do this, but it's a quick route to improving behavior. I do not want my child to whine, "I'm thirsty," and point to the orange juice, and expect me to get a glass and pour it for him and hand it to him. So I don't pour juice for that kind of "request." I will point out that there is a better way to ask for what you want. (Or I did--we don't have this as an issue anymore.) 

 

Manners are not trivial. When you don't accept what school says are age-appropriate behaviors, you have to ask yourself what are, because you have an obligation to the child to teach him how to behave. Children learn differently from each other: some need explicit instruction, some learn by example, and some through a combination of both. If he's not picking it up, you have to take the lead. Manners instruction is like information you give to a traveler in a new country. You can't blame the child for not knowing how to do it, because he's new here. 

 

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Great ideas and feedback...

Captain O, manners are essential, no matter how old-fashioned, how can we separate ourselves from that expectation? In our society, it would be bedlam... niceties are nice... I know I don't much like it when decorum is totally ignored ( happily, doesn't happen too often..) it can be very embarrassing. Though I do think they can be overrated. But, I think we feel a little differently about schooling. Also, unlike so many people I know, my POV alters itself regularly! I try to listen to their cues.


 


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#69 of 74 Old 02-10-2012, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So true,

It gets me down, the lack of consideration, it seems so essential to basic human functioning to me. It ry not to take it personally, but it is difficult. The worst is that being shouted at/whined at all the time can make one want to return the behaviour. How pathetic! We all know how one little act of spontaneous tenderness, one kiss, one kind word can restore us. Maybe We shouldn't need those signifiers of appreciation, but society has trained us - perhaps necessarily- and we do.

Captain O, you're right about the "human standards of behaviour" it just seems so basic that I do honestly feel like an utter failure as a mother when this idea is not even subjectively approached by my fantastic ultra-challenging boy. There I hit the nail on the head, it is so difficult to get him to do anything, that I cave far to much. A terminal case of " this isn't the hill I want to die on..."   This goes past ego - ie. worried about being embarrassed/hurt/right -  into the realm of true concern. But then some kindness/empathy emerges, or you sleep well, and suddenly it doesn't seem so bad, and you think it - whatever 'it' is - might be working.

I feel that there are those of us that are good at pattern recognition, and those are the types to whom routines emerge easily. I am more of the flailing type, it takes a great big obvious bonk of a message for me to really understand a pattern, and how that pattern is influenced. I have a tendency to believe in random-ness, then I'm incredulous when things aren't going the way I envisioned! I mean there is a pattern, or a routine, in all things... or nothing would ever get done or be manageable. Without some order it would all be chaos. That be ok for a while but then some kind of reigning in would have to happen... a gentle order would be so wonderful.

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#70 of 74 Old 02-10-2012, 07:17 AM
 
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My dear, I really want to give you a hug. This is a challenge for mothers of boys in particular. We are raised in a society in which women wait on men, and our lives center around them. I know, people think that's all in the past--but it really isn't. I'm sure there are many mothers who wait on their daughters, too! You get used to helpless babies and it's hard to stop. 

 

 

The way I approached this with my admittedly NOT challenging boy was to clue him in to how to behave as a piece of secret, grown-up knowledge. There are many cool things that grownups know that children don't yet: knock-knock jokes, names of stars, how to get a bean to grow into a bean plant in an eggshell on the windowsill. You also know how to get people to do what you want without forcing them or yelling at them, because you know the social conventions of how to ask for what you want. 

 

Don't feel bad that he doesn't do this naturally. No one does. Yes, people are naturally grateful and empathetic, sometimes, but we don't know how to write a thank-you note or even say thank you, and we don't know how to say "I'm sorry" unless someone tells us how to do it. Your kid isn't behind--this is the age that kids learn this stuff, and he may need you to stop and sit down with him and demonstrate. When he inevitably screws up and yells for something, you have to stop and ask him to ask you again until it's second nature. (Also, if he does learn to ask politely and you can't do something for him at that moment, don't forget to do it later.) I know that seems kind of behavioristic, and generally I don't like behaviorism, but this is so critical to children's ability to make friends and enjoy life. 

 

Tell him the truth: you want to be able to take him more places so he can learn more things, and he has to know how to act in a public place for that to happen. He will appreciate your attention.  

 

 

 

 


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#71 of 74 Old 02-10-2012, 09:40 AM
 
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Captain Optimism, nice post.

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Originally Posted by Lupena View Post


"Joyful routine.."  lizvan, you hit the nail on the head, a happy medium, something to look forward to, to strive toward. Remembering how I felt as a kid, I think kids want the joyful routine - it gives meaning to all the spontaneity/free-styling...



Well, we like to periodically celebrate the seasons, acknowledge the passage of time: Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving -all based in ancient rituals. Many of us celebrate the solstices and equinoxes. Acknowledging the passage of time even through out the day  isn't unreasonable.  For a while I thoroughly delighted in setting the table and using candles at every dinner, every night.  Finally, we were all together for the day, let's rejoice in that.  Aside from it being very practical.



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I feel that there are those of us that are good at pattern recognition, and those are the types to whom routines emerge easily. I am more of the flailing type, it takes a great big obvious bonk of a message for me to really understand a pattern, and how that pattern is influenced. I have a tendency to believe in random-ness, then I'm incredulous when things aren't going the way I envisioned! I mean there is a pattern, or a routine, in all things... or nothing would ever get done or be manageable. Without some order it would all be chaos. That be ok for a while but then some kind of reigning in would have to happen... a gentle order would be so wonderful.


I really identify with this.

 


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#72 of 74 Old 02-10-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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I keep loosing my posts, so I will be short and hopefully not sound to defensive or hostile sounding, cuz I have to go take care of the kiddos now!

 

Journey mom, I am sure we are in complete agreement, sorry if I misread you.

 

To the OP, I just don't think there was a boat I could have taken that would make my life easier now.  Unless it was the wealthy boat, with lots of mommas helpers.  :D 

We need respect as mothers and we need help, neither of which this modern US culture is really doing for us.  We certainly do not need to be told how great a schedule is...

I agree too, that if I only had the one kid everything would be different, adding kids, changes everything.

I wish I could have taken the no tv boat, but the rest of my family wouldn't get on it with me.

 

As to the idea of glorifying the past.  Hmmm.  Jeez I might be dead if I lived 10,000 years ago.  I've had to take anti-biotics a few times in my life.... I do not live in the past, but my biology was made there and I can not change this, I can not change the fact that my milk is designed to be feed every couple hours, I can not change that my baby want's to nurse at night and sleep with me.  

 

I am an Anthropologist and I see us as biological animals.  We have not evolved, biologically, since the stone age. 

So, even if there is no Lion inside your house, there is the baby's biological need to be held to avoid danger.  This was/is and evolutionary selection process.   Perhaps we have these hn babies, bc those are the ones that get picked up and not bitten by the snake (not that I glorify all the snakes in Africa, where people today still live in huts, - I do admit that I am envious of the simple fact that so many cultures allow women to just strap there babies on and are not ridiculed, as we in the US have been and still are by people who think they know better, since they let their kid cio and they seem fine now.).

 

Becoming Attached is a great book for the history of parenting in the West and how at the turn of the last century, mostly male "psychologists" preached parenting techniques that were the antithesis of human needs.  We are still hurting from these beliefs.  Especially in a country with such anti-intellectualism, short sided beliefs that thinks what the last generation did is the Right way to do things.  This is a culture of change, thankfully information is speedy now and we are able to come together on the internet and fight against these ideas.

 

Alice ****** has many books on her theories of destructive parenting (abusive, punative, controlling parenting) and how it affects the adult, from Hitler to Virginia Wolfe, abused/overly controlled children grow up with defense mechanisms in place that they have to overcome in order to be happy.

 

That is my personal opinion on missing the boat.  I do feel tired and stuck, but I don't think that there was ever a time when I could have forced my child to "behave" the way some other people think kids should, without being abusive.

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#73 of 74 Old 02-10-2012, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh dear, such a crazy wealth of POV's crazy interesting stuff! Where are mums like you in 'real life?' I never have conversations this meaningful.

 

Captain O, I did make my fella sound like some sort of total Mowgli, he's really only halfway so. When we're out other than the odd meltdown, his behavior is just fine. The bad manners seem to be reserved for those he knows an loves - ie hissing and roaring at his brother and telling DH that he should " go join the army( !) - and this is changing. We do talk about gentle talk and feelings all the time but much of that " How would you feel banter.."  he seems terrifically bored by, but I slog away. Just today when I was telling him how he has to think of other people's feelings too instead of his own all the time ( I know, I should NEVER have said it, I retraced, corrected, am mad with myself - he was being purposely loud while I was putting his brother to sleep, because he wanted me to build models with him) he later made me a peanut butter sandwich while I was nursing his brother. He's never done that, it just about killed me.

 

I loved your description of "grown up secrets" so beautiful..! I think it is starting to sink in for him, without me focusing on only the challenges, but the good stuff, too.

 

Yes,  journeymom, that's it! Something is primal about that sort of celebratory acknowledgement, isn't it! Even if it's pancake day or family movie night, or a do-crazy-new-thing day... I love to see how excited my son gets on his "mini-birthday" that we celebrate each month, and DH and I celebrate too, with a toast, without fail.

 

One love, what a horrible thought to be ridiculed for strapping on your baby! You sound like you know boatloads on the subject - esp. culturally speaking- and I agree entirely. I have never heard a crying baby in Africa, there's this amazing watchfulness about those babies that make them seem older than they are - always carried, always close. I love what you said about the last generation dictating the social norm of the 'right' thing to do, so true, so utterly lame, as if everything is one-size-fits-all. As if kids come to us with nothing, willingly blank slates And so sad that many people don't seem to form their own opinions about parenting, the voice of their own upbringing is always whispering. I will look up that book.


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#74 of 74 Old 02-19-2012, 08:43 PM
 
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This is something I wonder about too.  Just after my DS was born my DD (then 3) started having a lot of behavioral problems.  Probably a combination of new-sibling stuff and some rookie errors in toddler discipline, or just her schtick, who knows.  That was when I started introducing routines and structure for the first time.  DD hates any instructions from me no matter how reasonable so I went with "let the routine be the boss" and it works for her.

 

DS at two is very different from DD at two.  The things that I had to repeat over and over and over for six months to get DD to internalize at 3yo...DS just gets.  He has grown up in a home where children always clear their plates and put away toys, so he WANTS to do these things.  It's what his big sister does!  Now I am definitely not saying I have a miracle house-cleaning 2yo...he is a regular mess-making kid, he is just not surprised when he is asked to clean up, sit down at the table etc. because it's all he's ever known.  I'm not saying he can stick to the rules - he's two- but he naturally gets the idea that we have expectations and they are reasonable. 

 

On the other hand, DS by nature has a happier temperament than DD.  At 2yo she was having regular tantrums.  DS gets upset but has never staged a full on fit.  So who knows...he might have just been an easier kid no matter what I did.

 

I have no idea when it comes to anything regarding baby sleep.  I just put my kids down to nap and for bed based on their internal clocks, which were pretty regular.  They were/are still terrible at sleeping through the night.

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