how much do you encourage your children? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 12-05-2001, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know a lot of AP is centered around letting the child do things when they are ready, like sleep, bf, etc. But I am wondering about other areas of life, like beginning to walk, pottying, schooling, learning, etc.

I tried to start this thread earlier, and after typing for 1/2 hour, it got lost, so it's going to be shorter this time.

I am a SAHM, and while I feel it is important to be there for ds at all times, I don't fee that that means I have to constantly entertain, play with, etc. him. I like for him to figure things out and I always encourage him, and try to get him to stretch a little. I think it is my job to prove to him, and let him prove to himself what he can do. I also think that if I always do things with him, I am smothering some of his own natural ways of thinking, because I tend to be more of an "in the box" thinker and he is definately out of the box. I never tell him HOW to do something either, ie, let's put all the edge pieces together then work on the middle. He does it his own way, I will say, how do you think you should do it? He always comes up with a whole new way of doing things I never would have thought of.

I always have exposed him to things that are way above his age range. I never assumed there was anything he couldn't learn. I see so many people say about their kids "oh, he's too young for that" but why limit them?

Now, keep in mind that I am talking about intellectual, physical type stuff, not bonding, cuddly stuff.

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#2 of 11 Old 12-05-2001, 02:02 AM
 
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You seem to be doing everything right.

Although some of you post seem self-contadictory

Quote:
I think it is my job to prove to him, and let him prove to himself what he can do.
Typo?

You have not mentioned his age, or whether he has siblings. How much time does your husband spend with him etc is also quite important information.

a

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#3 of 11 Old 12-05-2001, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess most of what I said was kind of fragmented, I have so many things going through my head on this subject, but I didn't want to sound like I am a pushy mother who doesn't ever help him. he is 3 1/2. What I meant by that statement that you quoted, for example, if he says, I can't do it. I know that he can even if he doesn't. So I'll say "yes you can you are the smartest boy in the whole wide world." Then I encourage, he of course accomplishes whatever it is, like putting together a puzzle, writing his name, and says "yea, I did it!!" And I say "see, I knew you could do it!!!" And he says, "yes, I am a very smart boy!!"

We have a new baby girl in the house, so he is definately not getting as much attention as he used to, but he is really good at keeping himself busy, likes me to be there to discuss his "work" but doesn't necessarily want me to help him. Right now he is saying "what could I use that is sticky? oh, I know, never mind mommy."

DH works alot, so doesn't spend as much time as I would like, he's tired when he gets home but has a better imagination than I do so the two of them will make up silly songs with new words, etc.

I am mostly wondering how others balance the child led areas like weaning, where it is all the childs initiative, and other areas, if they are approached in the same way.

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#4 of 11 Old 12-05-2001, 11:07 PM
 
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When my DD says "I can't"! I nevr contradict her. She knows she can, she knows I know she can. We all know. She is giving a different message. So I behave as if she can not.

And we are all happy.

BTW, which areas are "not" child initiated?

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#5 of 11 Old 12-06-2001, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That is exactly what I am trying to figure out. How it works in other families. Like, with the potty, we bought a little one, said, Hey look, it's a potty if you would like to use it, let us know, then we encouraged. We didn't say here's a potty use it or else. Nor did we ignore the whole subject and wait for ds to ask.

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#6 of 11 Old 12-06-2001, 08:23 PM
 
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I think it is our job to show kids what is expected of them as they get older and introduce new things to them that we think they might like, but that we shouldn't push them. For example on the potty thing, I bought a potty around the time my first DD turned 2. I encouraged her to sit on it when I went potty by saying things like "mommy is going potty on the big potty now. Would you like to sit on your little potty?" She was dry most of the time within a few months. There was never any stress or power struggle.

I wouldn't tell my kids that they are the smartest in the whole world because it isn't true and it isn't important. My kids have not often said that they "can't" do something that they really can do. The last time one did I think my response was along the lines of "oh well, I guess you'll have to find something else to do."

Have you read the Continuum Concept?
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#7 of 11 Old 12-07-2001, 10:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jtsmom
I know a lot of AP is centered around letting the child do things when they are ready, like sleep, bf, etc. But I am wondering about other areas of life, like beginning to walk, pottying, schooling, learning, etc.

snip

Jtsmom
Well, back to the origional question.

To be honest, I had never heard the term AP until I struck these boards. But it seems to me that it is an incomplete philosophy / meathod for total upbringing of our children.

As for education and living with children, i have found much sense in the books written by Dr. Daniel Greenburg and Mimsy Sadofsky. You can get to read sample chapters here. This is all interesting stuff. If you read some of this stuff, let me know what you think.

Hope this helps

a

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#8 of 11 Old 12-07-2001, 02:23 PM
 
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I followed your link, but it was a long, long list of links. Of all those links, which would you consider to be good "starter" articles?

I would love to learn more about the ideas you find helpful, but I'm don't have the time to plow through pages and pages of archieves to figure out if the general direction is one that makes sense to me.
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#9 of 11 Old 12-07-2001, 04:32 PM
 
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i show and try to teach him new stuff constantly, but in fun and exciting ways.

if he acts at all like he is not interested, then i let it go.

i encourage him a LOT, but only when he wants and enjoys it

if he fusses or is bored, then we stop and relax and do something "braindead"



so, i encourage, but i don't push.



**my 8 yr old i encourage and even push from time to time, because he can get lazy. but not my baby. babies are different than children.

for example. i have to push my older son to clean up and do his homework with me, but a baby doesn't need to do anything really.
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#10 of 11 Old 12-08-2001, 06:12 AM
 
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Linda in Arizona

Ooops, sorry. I typed the url from memory. But you are in the right place.

The books are all here, but Ages Four and Up, from Child Rearing By Daniel Greenberg is about child rearing in the "child-empowerment" sence, which leads naturally to Free at Last, an explanation of the move society is making from the Industrial Age to the Information Era.

I've added this text by Hanna Greenburg, an adjunct of the philosophy of self motivated education.

There may well be terms that are not well understood. I'm only too happy to get into a discussion on what it's all about.

Hope this helps

a

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#11 of 11 Old 12-09-2001, 04:38 AM
 
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We are relaxed homeschoolers, so the articles are very similar to our thoughts on education. When a child attends an institution such as Sudbury the school has already created a wonderful learning environment, but when a child is at home the parents are responsible for creating an environment that is condusive to learning and exploring. Some of the articles have a "do nothing and they will turn out just fine attitude." A place such as Sudbury has already done a good deal of work; we parents have do work as our children get older to figure what are the best things we can bring into our homes to encourage them.

Also, kids at Sudbury are learning from their peers in an open environment. Depending on much peer involvement a child has(and how positive that involvement is) a parent's role changes. For a while, we lived in a rural area where my kids had very little interaction with their peers. Now we live in a city. My kids are introduced to knowledge and ideas by many other people, so there is less of a need for me to provide "enrichment" for them.

I totally agree that attempting to teach a child something they are not interested in is a silly waste of time.

I don't think that 4 year olds are adults, but I do believe they are far better at making their own decisions than they are generally given credit for. Another thing I've noticed with my 5 year old is how much more common sense she has than most of her peers. I think it is because she is allowed to make so many decisions on her own, and make her own mistakes and relish in her own successes. She is truly competant around the house and can do many simple jobs on her own. She is always pushing herself to master more skills.

Also, I think the computer industry is reversing the trend on higher education -- the paragraph about the scientists not being able to do any real work until their 30's doesn't hold true in the hottest industry today.
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