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#1 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you define the term child-centric and do you consider your family to be?

 

My friend told me in a phone conversation that, "not all families are child-centric" implying that my family was....

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#2 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 03:17 PM
 
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One thing I've thought of is, there are more kids in my family /home than adults. I think that's an important consideration, in general. There is, of course, a difference between kids "running the show" and acknowledging the majority demographic wink1.gif the term "child centric" sounds negative. I'm not sure exactly how I'd define it. but as the majority, by definition it makes sense!

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#3 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 04:35 PM
 
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My family runs itself with children not solely for the children. Yes, there are times when the kids are first.. any mature spouse knows this. But it is MYHO that families run best when mom and dad are a strong team.

Ex: My kids may not want me to have a date night. I listen to their complaints carefully but I do not cancel my date night.

Ex: One of my kids is a very picky eater. Do I cater every menu to her whim? No way! Do I make sure that each meal includes at least ONE thing she eats? Sure.

We talk a lot about "taking turns" in my house. Going to the park is your turn. Going to the library or museum is my turn. Getting to the hip bookstore is dad's turn. We do our best to be respectful of each others turns.
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#4 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 04:53 PM
 
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My kids and I are on our own so we are child centric and I'm cool with it. Theyre only kids for so long.


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#5 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I thought it sounded like a dig, personally.  She is pregnant and grappling with the changes that are to come and basically was saying that her family is not going to be 'child-centric' like mine is.

 

I don't think our life is child centric at all, I would say family centric, maybe.  My husband and I are both in school full time and he works full time as well.  We do like to be together and I do plan a lot of play dates and family w/ family activities but that's just what we enjoy.  I certainly do not ever let my kiddo run  the show, that's laughable.  But I do include her in a lot of things and consider her very much in my plans.

I don't know, I feel annoyed that she tried to turn it around to make it seem like our family is doing something wrong.

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#6 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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Well, I wouldn't take her comment too personally.  

Think back to what life was like pre children..... I bet ANY family with kids is child-centric to her right now.

 

I used to think that kids would blend into our life pretty well, you know, within reason.... and then we had a boy with crazy SPD issues and a baby who never sleeps, so...... things change!

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#7 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 07:25 PM
 
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Weren't we all perfect parents before we had kids?


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#8 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 07:34 PM
 
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Yeah, honestly, I think most families are pretty good at finding a balance, as a matter of necessity! Everyone in a family deserves to have their needs met. Sometimes dinner is something dh and I love but the kids hate. Sometimes it's spaghetti and meatballs. Sometimes we do fun activities the kids love. Sometimes it's boring errands. Sometimes (but not often enough for us!) there's date night, but hey, that's fun for kids too since it usually means cousin play date! When I hear "child centric" as a dig like that, it just makes it sound like the person proclaiming to not be that is just against inconveniencing themselves more than they think they "should" on behalf of their kids. Like maybe, for example, being in favor of early sleep training and looking down on demand feeding/cosleeping as being too "child centric"
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#9 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She actually has been talking a lot about sleep training everything so yeah, you are right about that.
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#10 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 12:50 PM
 
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She actually has been talking a lot about sleep training everything so yeah, you are right about that.

Oh no, not sleep training! That stuff is bad news.
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#11 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 01:00 PM
 
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#12 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 01:02 PM
 
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I take it this is her first child. wink1.gif I'm truely ashamed of the things DH & I thought before we had children, and thankful I at least had enough sense to not say them out loud.
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#13 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I totally agree. I was was pretty ridiculous is my thinking as a new mom.

I get that she is struggling with her own stuff, mentally. It's just so lame when a friend lashes out at you in a surprising way, esp. when it involves your family.
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#14 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 07:58 PM
 
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Check out "Baby Wise" if you want to see what a "parent-centric" approach looks like at the extreme. I'm not suggesting that's what she's planning, of course!

 

I agree with the PPs, she hasn't had her baby yet and normal family dynamics often look quite child-centric to childless people. I'm sure most parents can think of things that they used to think or even say before they had kids only to end up eating their words once the baby was actually there. She also may be taking out some of her insecurities. It can be scary how much your life changes when you have a baby, she may be trying to convince herself that her life won't change too much. Even parents who love their children and ultimately wouldn't change anything can have moments where they miss the freedom and such they had before kids.

 

If she keeps making these comments that you feel are digs at you even after she's settled into motherhood and it's still bothering you, I would bring it up and ask her to stop. You two can have different parenting styles and should be able to respect that both of you are doing what's right for your families.

 

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Originally Posted by philomom View Post


Oh no, not sleep training! That stuff is bad news.


There are babies with serious sleep problems who benefit from sleep training. Our baby wasn't getting enough sleep and we needed to find a way to fix that for our baby's sake. Baby's need sleep and a sleep-deprived baby is not a happy baby! We're pretty sure our baby has a circadian rhythm disorder (our pediatrician says he's "too young" to be tested/treated) so sleep still isn't perfect and I'm afraid of what will happen when we need to start daycare or preschool or school, but it's better at least. Establishing a bedtime routine so that the baby/child gets used to "X, Y, and Z happen it's time to sleep" is a form of sleep training, and most families have a routine of sorts to put babies to bed, even bed-sharers. Having a song that your baby/child associates with falling asleep is a form of sleep training, again a lot of people will sing the same lullaby.

 

It makes me sad when people focus more on the parent's comfort than the baby's needs when it comes to sleep training, and I certainly understand why it gets a bad rap, but that's not what all sleep training is. It can be done in a way that respects the baby's needs and comfort, and there are babies that do need it.

 

 

I agree that it certainly sounds like this person is talking about sleep training for the parent's sake over the baby's because the baby isn't here and she's already thinking about it and is criticizing "child-centric" families, but I just wanted to point out that not all sleep training is bad news. I certainly wish I'd done more research on baby sleep and sleep training before ours was born rather than spending months with a sleepless baby!


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#15 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 09:02 PM
 
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There are babies with serious sleep problems who benefit from sleep training. 

 

Babies do not benefit from the cry-it-out approach and Mothering does not welcome advocating this type of sleep training. I will admit my ignorance that I am not familiar to the "catch all" phase "sleep training".  First I want to point out that if what you are describing is CIO, we don't welcome that sort of advice. But, if you're talking about another sort of method to be sure that a baby gets the sleep they need, that is different.  I definitely think babies do well with routine and do definitely need their sleep, so child-focused methods to be sure that these things happen for babies are a great thing to talk about as a community and with new parents. Anyway, I wanted to clarify that talking about  gentle sleep solutions that embrace the emotional needs of the child are welcome. 

 

As for the OP, I agree with the folks who talked about new parents and their ideas. I vote to just forgive. It's natural, normal, to feel like we can idealize what sort of family we're going to be. It's probably a survival necessity. :rotflmao

 

I once had someone tell me, "You kids better come out better than mine or all that effort is gone to waste!"   I had not actually entered into the whose kid is going to be better contest...so I just kind of stood there with my mouth hanging open. ;-)  

 

But, I'm TOTALLY not child-centric. Everyone in my house gets their needs met the best of the families abilities. Sometimes that looks a little child-centric to people who don't know us. But, other times it sure looks like mama has all the fun. ;-)  

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#16 of 22 Old 02-04-2014, 04:15 AM
 
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Babies do not benefit from the cry-it-out approach and Mothering does not welcome advocating this type of sleep training. I will admit my ignorance that I am not familiar to the "catch all" phase "sleep training".  First I want to point out that if what you are describing is CIO, we don't welcome that sort of advice. But, if you're talking about another sort of method to be sure that a baby gets the sleep they need, that is different.  I definitely think babies do well with routine and do definitely need their sleep, so child-focused methods to be sure that these things happen for babies are a great thing to talk about as a community and with new parents. Anyway, I wanted to clarify that talking about  gentle sleep solutions that embrace the emotional needs of the child are welcome.


Excuse me? I didn't say anything about cry it out. I did not describe cry it out. I am viscerally opposed to cry it out. Point to me in my post where I described leaving my child to cry, because I didn't. I really question what you'd say isn't cry it out if you consider snuggling a baby to sleep and soothing any upset to be "cry it out".

 

In what reality could a method in which a child doesn't raise a peep, never cries, is constantly soothed, has their needs immediately tended to be called "Cry It Out"? I described methods to help a child wind down and learn it's time to sleep so that they have an easier time falling asleep. I know for a fact that other people on mothering have talked about using a routine to help their child fall asleep and they have never been accused of CIO. Their routines, like ours, involves soothing the baby and responding to every need in a timely manner, because that's what helps babies sleep. If none of your children benefited from or needed a routine, that's fine, but many babies practically demand it and reach a point where they'll only fall asleep when certain things happen (being rocked to sleep, nursing to sleep, etc). An established routine is sleep training because it teaches the baby when it's time to go to sleep and helps them to fall asleep. If you consider having a routine to just be normal and something that naturally happens in all families- great, good for you, good for your family for having babies with healthy sleep, but it was hard to establish a routine because of our baby's sleep problems and the effect it had was amazing. Yes, I consider something that got our baby to fall asleep 1-2 hours earlier, fall asleep at a stable time virtually every night, which led to better sleep quality both at night and during the day and a happier baby overall to be sleep training because it taught our baby how to get better sleep. And I've seen plenty of resources that list a routine and the music thing as sleep training methods, that is not something only I define it as.

 

On a site like mothering, you really need to check your facts before accusing someone of CIO. You should know perfectly well that many of us on here have VERY strong feelings about that method. I have spoken out against it vehemently and am still suffering the effects of it no matter what studies say it has no long term harms (the study also showed no long term benefits, for the record, proving that it's solely for the parents' benefit and not the baby's, and I've seen plenty of longterm harm to question what the study considered "longterm harm").


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#17 of 22 Old 02-04-2014, 05:25 AM
 
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SS, I'm sorry you felt that I was accusing you of CIO but I wasn't. I think a lot of our members associate the term "sleep training" with "CIO". Because your post about sleep training, was in response to a post that used the term "sleep training" synonymously with CIO, I wanted to clarify.  From my post.... 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
 

First I want to point out that if what you are describing is CIO, we don't welcome that sort of advice. But, if you're talking about another sort of method to be sure that a baby gets the sleep they need, that is different.  I definitely think babies do well with routine and do definitely need their sleep, so child-focused methods to be sure that these things happen for babies are a great thing to talk about as a community and with new parents. Anyway, I wanted to clarify that talking about  gentle sleep solutions that embrace the emotional needs of the child are welcome. 

 


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#18 of 22 Old 02-14-2014, 07:54 AM
 
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People sometimes use "child-centric" as a derogatory term for any arrangement in which a child gets any consideration at all, which I think is sad!  On the other hand, I have known families that do center themselves around the child(ren)'s desires too much and don't teach their children to consider the needs of others.

 

I wrote about what "centeredness" has looked like for my family:

http://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2013/08/07/should-your-family-be-child-centered/

 

Last night, my 9-year-old was upset by my plan to leave straight from work tonight for my weekend visit with a friend.  (I wouldn't have left on Valentine's Day, except that we've delayed this visit for weeks due to various weather conditions and illnesses.  My partner and I celebrated Valentine's Day Observed yesterday :love and he's fine with that.)  My son claimed I had not told him about the trip, which I'm sure was not true.  He said he had lots of things planned that HAAADD to be done on Valentine's Day.  After some discussion, we (both parents) agreed to play his "game show" last night instead of tonight, and I agreed to come home from work for dinner before I get on the road; I expect I will get my other Valentine's surprises then?  But I am not cancelling my trip because he was upset.  Compromise.  Consideration for each other's feelings.


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#19 of 22 Old 02-14-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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We have an only child- so me, dh and our almost 4 year old- and we are completely child centric! And I also had all sorts of ideas about how I would parent before I actually had a kid- I thought I would just fold the child into the already established life I had-- when instead, when I actually became a mom everything in my life changed! I sold my house I had been iving in for a long time to move closer to family and closer to a good school for my son.  Dh and I spend much of our time focused on our child. But it feels right in that way. I would rather give him too much attention than not enough,. I think some circumstances allow paretns to be less child centric such as if there is an environment with lots of extended family and or other kids around on a daily basis. But being home with just one kid- dh and I to pay lots of our attention to him all day long. I think it is good for the child .I remember ppl telling me- oh do this and that before you have a kid as when you have a kid you won't have time to do those things. And I thought, notme, my kid will adapt to my already established lifestyle etc. But in truth dh and I decided to just give ourselves over fully to parenting. It is fine, our son is in preschool sometimes and has babysitters sometimes and sleeps well so we do get our time to ourselves too. But when he is awake and home with us we mostly focus on him. When he is older I imagine we will shift to somewhat of a different balance, plus he will be in school more. I just know time goes fast and I would rather focus on my kid while he is little. But also I had him at age 37 so I had many years to do my own thing before hand, so I think that made it so I don't feel resentful.

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#20 of 22 Old 02-16-2014, 06:53 AM
 
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There are babies with serious sleep problems who benefit from sleep training. Our baby wasn't getting enough sleep and we needed to find a way to fix that for our baby's sake. Baby's need sleep and a sleep-deprived baby is not a happy baby! We're pretty sure our baby has a circadian rhythm disorder (our pediatrician says he's "too young" to be tested/treated) so sleep still isn't perfect and I'm afraid of what will happen when we need to start daycare or preschool or school, but it's better at least. Establishing a bedtime routine so that the baby/child gets used to "X, Y, and Z happen it's time to sleep" is a form of sleep training, and most families have a routine of sorts to put babies to bed, even bed-sharers. Having a song that your baby/child associates with falling asleep is a form of sleep training, again a lot of people will sing the same lullaby.

It makes me sad when people focus more on the parent's comfort than the baby's needs when it comes to sleep training, and I certainly understand why it gets a bad rap, but that's not what all sleep training is. It can be done in a way that respects the baby's needs and comfort, and there are babies that do need it.


I agree that it certainly sounds like this person is talking about sleep training for the parent's sake over the baby's because the baby isn't here and she's already thinking about it and is criticizing "child-centric" families, but I just wanted to point out that not all sleep training is bad news. I certainly wish I'd done more research on baby sleep and sleep training before ours was born rather than spending months with a sleepless baby!
Labeling routines and lullabies as sleep training is misleading, as it lumps them together with CIO.
The great majority of people think of some form of CIO when they see the phrase "sleep training".

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#21 of 22 Old 02-16-2014, 10:00 AM
 
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Labeling routines and lullabies as sleep training is misleading, as it lumps them together with CIO.
The great majority of people think of some form of CIO when they see the phrase "sleep training".


This is grossly irresponsible. Desperate parents who have a baby with sleep problems who hear that sleep training=CIO hear that "the only option you have to get your baby the sleep they need is to leave the poor child to scream". It sounds like the OP's friend is already a bit nervous about the changes that having a baby is going to bring, I'm sure she's worried about the sleeplessness that's common for new parents. If she hears that the only way she can get the sleep she needs, and make sure her baby gets the sleep it needs (because babies DO need sleep), is CIO- she's more likely to try it.

 

Sleep training can be done gently, and more parents NEED to know this. Babies DESERVE to have parents who know that, if the baby isn't getting enough sleep, there are gentle methods.

 

 

 

Part of the prevalence of CIO is the idea that it's the only way to get a baby to properly sleep. New parents are pushed to do it by well-meaning friends and family. Sleep specialists and pediatricians alike advise it. So many desperate parents who feel in their gut that CIO is wrong still try it because they're convinced it's the only option. We should be focusing on making it clear that you can sleep train a baby gently and with compassion and respect for their needs, not that the only way to help a baby sleep is with CIO!


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#22 of 22 Old 02-16-2014, 11:49 AM
 
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Don't get me wrong, sillysapling, I totally agree with you. I wouldn't label routines and gently guiding the child towards more sleep as "sleep training" though. I've never heard this phrase used in this context before your post - and I've been on parenting websites for quite a while. That's why I'm saying that your calling routines "sleep training" is misleading.

 

I use routines with my kids, I gently guide them towards age-appropriate independent sleep. That doesn't mean that I train them (I don't "train" them to get dressed by themselves or eat by themselves either).


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