Someone talk to me about TCS - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to understand this better, but I don't quite get it yet. Someone please explain the in and outs of this philosiphy to me.

What if the parent and child make a commitmet to attend school. How do you insure attendance to comply with the law?

What if the child gets ill without enough sleep but decides that he/she would like to stay up late anyway?

What about safty? Like restraining a child in a busy parking lot?

Any insight would be appriciated!
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#2 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 11:20 AM
 
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Moving this to Parenting Issues...
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#3 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 11:37 AM
 
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:

I was at the TCS website a few months ago but still have no clue what it is all about...the style of writing on the site just was too hard for me to follow...
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#4 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 04:38 PM
 
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Oh yah, I totally know what you mean about the writing. I am really drawn to TCS, but when I look at their website I am repelled.

Kerry, There have been some TCS tribes here on MDC, and I thinkt there's also some stuff archived; I'd recomend doing a search and I think you'll come up with stuff (rom real actual moms who's writing is engaging and understandable!!!!)
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#5 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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Kerry wrote: I want to understand this better, but I don't quite get it yet. Someone please explain the in and outs of this philosiphy to me.

Hi there. My family is pretty TCS. I can give you my thoughts

What if the parent and child make a commitmet to attend school. How do you insure attendance to comply with the law?

I am not sure what you mean here. My kids are unschoolers so that hasn't been an issue. I guess I would say that minds can be changed. If you (or the child, etc) first made a commitment to attend a school but then found it wasn't working for you I would say it would be time to revisit the decision.

What if the child gets ill without enough sleep but decides that he/she would like to stay up late anyway?

My children have no bedtime. They are 11 and 13 now. We started them off about listening to their own bodies about everything from hunger, to temperature (cold enough to need a jacket etc), to sleep. There have been times both kids have pushed past their own limits regarding sleep. We always discuss what that feels like, why the body needs rest, and that everyone's needs are different at least a little.

Now when my kids were really young we followed their lead (thier signals) about when they were sleep ready. This led to us voicing our thoughts "You are easily frustrated and rubbing your eyes alot. I am thinking that means your ready to sleep. How do you feel?" Then we showed them how to "wind it down" so to speak.

To be honest, I have never known a child who has been given the tools (and freedom) to know when to sleep to push it to the point of serious illness. I often think kids that have grown up having the bedtime decisions made for them resist bedtime for two reasons: 1. their bodies aren't ready at that time and 2. Someone is making that decision totally for them, many times without their input at all. Our kids have always been in on the process. If my kids did that though (stayed up all the time and became ill) we would have a discussion about how this is affecting them, us and the family unit as a whole.


What about safty? Like restraining a child in a busy parking lot?

TCS in no way (IMO anyway... user opinions may vary lol) means that we cannot keep the wee ones safe. For my family it just means much discussion and that the child (and their opinions, thoughts) is as important to the process as the adult. What the child thinks is valuable.

Parent: This parking lot has lots of moving cars that are going fast.

Child: Yes I see cars.

Parent: I think that we should hold hands the whole time we are in this parking lot so that I can help you stay safe.

Child: I don't want to hold hands.

Parent: What can we do to safely get to the store/car/whatever etc? If we are holding hands I can help you be safe next to me from the cars.

Child: We could hold hands until we get close to the sidewalk/door/etc.

Parent: That's an idea.

This is just an example, and prob not a great one but my brain is slow today lol. Maybe that would be the idea they would go with, or maybe they would find another one they liked better. Working together. Every person listened to and taken seriously. Meeting in the middle/common preferences. Respect. This is what TCS is for my family


Any insight would be appriciated!

Hope that helped a wee bit anyway.

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#6 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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yeah, what UnscholnMa said!
I'm no TCS expert, by any stretch. I really like what I've read of TCS, but visiting some TCS forums, I find that I just don't agree with a lot of people who claim to be TCS followers. To me, it's all about respect. Being respectful of your child rather than expecting obedience is the main point I've gotten out of what I've read about it. If I'm respectful of my children, they learn to be respectful of me and other people as well. Just like GD is about gentle discipline rather than *no* discipline, sometimes people do take it too far and become too permissive, too enabling of bad behavior, and yes, I do think some children become spoiled as a result of that. Like, some people instead of setting arbitrary limits, don't set any limits at all, have no boundaries, and thus their children don't learn any sort of self-discipline or respect for other's limits at all. But that's not what it's all about, that's just what a few people turn it into because they don't really get it.
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#7 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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I’ve liked what I’ve read (filtered by my own perspective). I hit a road block with food and TV but other than that TCS fits well with my ‘ideals’.

On of the messages I really like is the one about being on the same side as your child ~ Finding ‘common preferences’.


Another idea that I really liked and have put into practice is that parents tend to assume quite a bit about what might happen if they don’t get involved. So in the example of the OP, there are assumptions that making a commitment to attend school might result in having to force the child to school but it may not. Also, about getting sick from no sleep… From what I’ve read the TCS idea would be, how do you know that’s what would happen? Have you tried it? Is this just social conditioning on your part? How do you know your child just won’t go to sleep before they make themselves sick?

They have a website.

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#8 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa

What if the parent and child make a commitmet to attend school. How do you insure attendance to comply with the law?

I am not sure what you mean here. My kids are unschoolers so that hasn't been an issue. I guess I would say that minds can be changed. If you (or the child, etc) first made a commitment to attend a school but then found it wasn't working for you I would say it would be time to revisit the decision.

What I mean is the child and parent decide together to attend school for the "04-'05 school year. This requires commitment and an ability to arrive on time five days a week. It isn't a system where you can just not go if you don't feel like getting out of bed. If said child feels like staying in bed, how do you encourage them to go? This isn't a a case of "school isn't working" it is a case of following through with the unplesant consequenses of a commitment. I think that with Unschooling you can choose your community involment very carefully and there is very little accountability (I mean that in a positive way ) but when they attend school children (and thier parents) become accountable to a great many people.

What if the child gets ill without enough sleep but decides that he/she would like to stay up late anyway?


To be honest, I have never known a child who has been given the tools (and freedom) to know when to sleep to push it to the point of serious illness. I often think kids that have grown up having the bedtime decisions made for them resist bedtime for two reasons: 1. their bodies aren't ready at that time and 2. Someone is making that decision totally for them, many times without their input at all. Our kids have always been in on the process. If my kids did that though (stayed up all the time and became ill) we would have a discussion about how this is affecting them, us and the family unit as a whole.


My children have a very early bedtime, and if they stay up later they feel miserable the next day, and end up with a fever if they stay up late two nights in a row. This isn't "serious illness" but it affects everyone else in the family in a negative way, so we would all like to avoid it.

We have disscused it several times, and I think that they would rather be ill than give in to sleep.


I have also heard people saying that there aren't any circumstances where it would be appropriate to "force your will" on a child, or "physically move them."

So, if a child isn't appriciative of the current danger (i.e. "I see the cars and I can run faster than them so they won't hit me and I don't want to hold you hand") and you have done your best job to help them understand, what is the next course of action?





Hope that helped a wee bit anyway.
Yes, thanks for your input!
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#9 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
So in the example of the OP, there are assumptions that making a commitment to attend school might result in having to force the child to school but it may not. Also, about getting sick from no sleep… From what I’ve read the TCS idea would be, how do you know that’s what would happen? Have you tried it? Is this just social conditioning on your part? How do you know your child just won’t go to sleep before they make themselves sick?
They have a website.
Well, a few times they have not wanted to get out of bed and said grogilly "I don't want to go to school" I have replied "You made a commitment and therefore you need to go."

While I have never "forced them" to go, by my understanding of TCS standard I have.

And yes, they will stay up untill they get ill. We have tried several times.

Part of me feels that my brain has completed it's growth, and I have a good 20 year head start on my life experience so there are situations where I have much more knowledge then they do, sometimes about things that they just can not comprehend, like if they should conscent to a vaccination for example. I realize that is an extream example.

I just read Alfie Kohn's book Unconditional Parenting which seemed to have the same principles, but I am finding that there isn't much real world application advice, KWIM?
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#10 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 06:08 PM
 
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: Okay, I checked out the website... She wants you to let your kids play video games and watch soap operas? What in the world??!! : No thanks!

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#11 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 06:25 PM
 
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: Okay, I checked out the website... She wants you to let your kids play video games and watch soap operas? What in the world??!! : No thanks!
I totally respect your position on those things not being okay for your child. But I just wanted to explain why those things would be considered okay for a TCS'er:

TCS allows for children to have an active, totally respected role in what will happen in their day to day lives. For my family, this includes video games, soap operas (which we don't really enjoy, but did watch once and it opened up an interesting discussion on monogamy... ) and a variety of other things. Anyway, that's why such things could be a so whatter for some people who believe in TCS.

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#12 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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Well, I don’t think anything works for all kids and I may be reacting to my own incorrect assumptions that may not apply to you.

Why I relate is because my parents were pretty TCS. When I said I didn’t want to go to school my father always told me that was my choice…then I’d get up and go.

The sleep thing is another highly personal issue. I’m sure some children would deprive themselves of needed sleep. But, maybe the TCS (and maybe GD as well) idea would be for the parents to help the child see what she/he is doing to their body by not sleeping rather than trying to control the sleep.

No the definition of force is something that I struggle greatly with. I have a very broad definition of control and force so when I hear anyone say they don’t force something, I think ~ but how?

I don’t know, I think much of this stuff has to come from inside. I don’t think someone who doesn’t ‘believe’ in some of the ideas can just apply some of the ‘methods’ externally.

And, for the record, I don’t consider myself TCS (or GD, for that matter). I just parent according to my values and based on how I was raised. It’s just that some of both these ideas resonates with me.

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#13 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 06:51 PM
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I just checked out the taking children seriously website. I think it sounds nice in practice to not coerce your children in any way, shape or form but is it really realistic? As an elementary school teacher with upwards of 30 kids in a class, one cannot possibly take the time to take each person's feelings into account for each and every action. Sometimes, the class just has to do something as a class or kids just have to follow the rules so that the class can be productive. It would be nice to be able to talk through each situation but the reality is that there just is not time to do that in the real world of school. Also, having worked in a variety of jobs before becoming a teacher, I can tell you that there are not many jobs where you can entertain each person's thoughts on every action prior to making a decision. That is why some people are the boss and others follow their lead. However, if you can manage to live your life outside of the mainstream and keep up this kind of philosophy, bully to you. But, I still firmly believe that I would never let a child watch soap operas or play video games very often. I also believe tcs is a bit too extreme for most people.
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#14 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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Kerry wrote: Well, a few times they have not wanted to get out of bed and said grogilly "I don't want to go to school" I have replied "You made a commitment and therefore you need to go."

I would have said (in a normal, inquisitive tone) "Why don't you want to go? Is there something we can do to solve it? What do you think about the commitment you made about attending school?"

Perhaps it's an issue that can be worked on? I guess I am also thinking- why can't they change their minds and revaluate the commitment? Who would they be letting down or putting out by not attending the school? (Since you said they made the commitment to go that implies they had a choice originally not to go right?) I hope this doesn't sound snarky lol...I honestly don't mean for it to. Sometimes it's hard to communicate tone via posting ya know?


While I have never "forced them" to go, by my understanding of TCS standard I have.

Well, yea. I mean if they have said they don't want to go, and you have said that they must go... that's forcing right? Maybe we need to define forcing better.

And yes, they will stay up untill they get ill. We have tried several times.

Okay stay with me here.... so what? How ill have they gotten? Are they puking, feverish, or needing to see the doctor? I totally understand that no parent ever wants to see their children sick for any reason. It hurts to see our kids hurt, and we worry. But... what are you going to do? If you (the parent) continue to communicate how the body needs sleep to run well, and model the behavior by sleeping/resting when you need it they should pick up on that at some point. I think at some point if they are tired enough, they will sleep. Discussion about why they are not feeling well throughout would be what I would do as well.

Part of me feels that my brain has completed it's growth, and I have a good 20 year head start on my life experience so there are situations where I have much more knowledge then they do, sometimes about things that they just can not comprehend, like if they should conscent to a vaccination for example. I realize that is an extream example.

Right. I totally agree that you do have more wisdom in some areas just because you are older & have had time to do/see/experience more things. The TCS position on that (as I understand it) is that there is absolutely no reason why you can't share that info with the children so that they can be involved in making informed decisions too. I think children are often seriously underestimated in what they are capable of understanding & contributing.

I just read Alfie Kohn's book Unconditional Parenting which seemed to have the same principles, but I am finding that there isn't much real world application advice, KWIM?

I haven't read that, but I do keep hearing about it. I should look for it at the library soon.

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#15 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I totally respect your position on those things not being okay for your child. But I just wanted to explain why those things would be considered okay for a TCS'er:

TCS allows for children to have an active, totally respected role in what will happen in their day to day lives. For my family, this includes video games, soap operas (which we don't really enjoy, but did watch once and it opened up an interesting discussion on monogamy... ) and a variety of other things. Anyway, that's why such things could be a so whatter for some people who believe in TCS.
Okay, I can understand that. But the fact that she talks specifically about video games twice on the website, it makes it sound like she bought her kids a Playstation and they do nothing but play Playstation all day and she wants to convence herself that she did the right thing. It just seems like overkill, talking about it that much. Without one mention of how they might not be good for you, in certain situations, or why a parent might not want to buy one. She just made it sound like every mom should buy a PlayStation. It sent up a red flag for me, that's all.

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#16 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 10:41 PM
 
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whoa, i am loving unschoolnma's posts! :
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#17 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 10:41 PM
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I was on the TCS list a long, long time ago, during the mid-nineties. The way I parent is basically in line with the philosophy still (and it is a philosophy, not a parenting technique, although one can parent based on the philosophy) but after speaking with a friend who went to the big TCS list get-together sometime during the late nineties I found out how messed up a lot of the posters were... a lot of people use the philosophy to rationalize neglect, although that's not really living according to TCS.

The central tenet of the TCS philosophy is that children are born rational and become irrational through coercion. Therefore, if a child is not coerced and has all pertinent information, he will make rational decisions.

If one believes in the tenets of this philosophy, then it would make sense to avoid coercing a child (defined in TCS as attemtping to make someone do something that he doesn't want to do, in plain English) and also ensure that a child has access to enough information to make a sound decision. If a child is making a decision that seems irrational to you, like running into the street with cars around, according to TCS it's because either he's been coerced around streets and cars and is therefore irrational in this area, or he doesn't have enough information to understand why this is dangerous, or *you* are looking at the situation irrationally because you have been coerced in this area, and he's really making a rational decsion and isn't in danger from the cars.

I don't think it's possible to use TCS with a classroom full of kids. They're only there because they were coerced, so they're going to be irrational, and your job as a teacher is to make them do things they may not want to do then (or ever), so again you must coerce... I don't see any way to TCS and not be an unschooler. Unschooling is non-coercive education.

And truly, if the idea of your child watching soap operas and playing video games bothers you, this probably isn't the philosophy for you. Which is okay. I really value freedom, above most other things, so it's important for me to parent in a way that allows my child to be free to live her own life, as much as possible. People with other values will parent differently...

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#18 of 76 Old 04-11-2005, 10:50 PM
 
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She just made it sound like every mom should buy a PlayStation. It sent up a red flag for me, that's all.
Oh yes, totally understand ya there

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#19 of 76 Old 04-12-2005, 10:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
Parent: This parking lot has lots of moving cars that are going fast.

Child: Yes I see cars.

Parent: I think that we should hold hands the whole time we are in this parking lot so that I can help you stay safe.

Child: I don't want to hold hands.

Parent: What can we do to safely get to the store/car/whatever etc? If we are holding hands I can help you be safe next to me from the cars.

Child: We could hold hands until we get close to the sidewalk/door/etc.

Parent: That's an idea.
The problem I have had with my investigations into TCS is that it all seems directed toward children who are verbal. I have never seen anything about preverbal children. I even addressed this with the woman who runs the TCS site and she said she realized that was a problem with her site but didn't offer any information or alternative resources.

How does your parking lot example relate to an 20-month-old who is giggling and trying to pull away from you so he can run through the parking lot because it's a game to him? How about all the times my 8-month-old daughter screamed and kicked and tried to get away, no matter what I did to entertain her, because she didn't want her diaper changed? What about my 12-month-old who wanted to walk down the front steps by herself and yanked her hand from mine and screamed when I tried to help her or deter her, even though she didn't actually KNOW how to go down the stairs?

How do you find a common preference with someone who can't verbalize their preference and seems to be bent on opposing every alternative a parent can come up with? And I feel like TCS assumes that I have unlimited time to work these situations out, when, in reality, with two toddlers, I face a lot of situations that require an immediate resolution.

I'm not saying TCS doesn't work for some people. But these are issues I have faced when I've read about it, and I have never seen them addressed in a way that actually provides me with any guidance.

Namaste!
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#20 of 76 Old 04-12-2005, 02:46 PM
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Well, even 8 month olds understand a lot of what you say, even if they're not talking yet. And facial expressions and tone of voice can go a long way. It helps to be very expressive...

I did a lot of diaper changing in the bathtub. My daughter started pulling up at 6 months and walking at 8, and after that lying down was torture. So she would stand while I changed, and it worked. We did poopy ones in the bathrtub, since she loved baths, and wet ones she would just stand at the table or something. Sometimes it was a long-term process, too - I'd get one side undone and then she'd be off, and then a few minutes later I could get the other side, and so on...

With the stairs (and other similar activities) I tried to pile pillows if possible (if she was willing to wait), and if not I stationed myself right there, one or two steps below, so I could try to catch her if she fell.

We did a lot of things to help Rain understand about cars. We ran over things with our car, and then saw how smashed they were. We went out to busy streets where cars were parked parallel and knelt down in between two parked cars and just watched... it is scary to be that close. And sometimes we just avoided busy parking lots for a while (we did Midnight Grocery Shopping). Oh, and I never did insist on holding hands, because it really bothered Rain to be held like that, so I stayed close.

I don't think there are any easy answers - it's more that you decide that this is a philosophy you agree with and then try to find ways to solve problems while working within the philosophy. And you don't always succeed, either. On the other hand, it definitely helps you to think creatively...

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#21 of 76 Old 04-12-2005, 04:25 PM
 
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We did a lot of things to help Rain understand about cars. We ran over things with our car, and then saw how smashed they were. We went out to busy streets where cars were parked parallel and knelt down in between two parked cars and just watched... it is scary to be that close. And sometimes we just avoided busy parking lots for a while (we did Midnight Grocery Shopping). Oh, and I never did insist on holding hands, because it really bothered Rain to be held like that, so I stayed close.

I don't think there are any easy answers - it's more that you decide that this is a philosophy you agree with and then try to find ways to solve problems while working within the philosophy. And you don't always succeed, either. On the other hand, it definitely helps you to think creatively...

Dar
Yep, I agree that much of TCS does seem to directed at verbal children. But it doesn't have to be just that really. Like Dar said above there are so many ways to get across what we mean by showing, sounds of voice, etc. Running over something with the car is a great idea to show non verbal kids what cars are capable of I think. Kids also have non verbal ways of expressng their emotions to us so yea... it definately causes us to get creative and pay close attention to what they are really trying to say.

And when safety is a factor (such as in a parking lot) we surely would grab said child away from serious danger even if they were mad, because we can work on them being mad at us later but not if they are dead, KWIM? I think the TCS philosophy understands and has room for that. The focus is really on the bigger picture. The way we try to live with our children, rather than a single moment in a parking lot when common preferences took a backseat to life and death.

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#22 of 76 Old 04-12-2005, 05:24 PM
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And even as you're snatching up the child in the parking lot, you can still be in line with TCS philosophy. If the child understood that it was either being snatched up or death, he would rationally choose being snatched up. Because there's no time to explain this to him, we must act first and explain later, basing our actions on what his choice would be. A TCSed child (so the theory goes) would assume that his parent had a good reason for snatching him up and not feel coerced, or if he did it would be momentery, just until the parent explained what was happening, and therefore not too damaging.

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#23 of 76 Old 04-12-2005, 06:16 PM
 
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I don't think it's possible to use TCS with a classroom full of kids. They're only there because they were coerced, so they're going to be irrational, and your job as a teacher is to make them do things they may not want to do then (or ever), so again you must coerce... I don't see any way to TCS and not be an unschooler. Unschooling is non-coercive education.
Yes, this occurred to me. I'm not sure that I accept the premise that coercion makes people irrational though. I know I was coerced a lot as a child and I don't think I lost my ability to think rationally. In fact, rational thought was a form of resistance for me. I am not the only adult I know who has had this reflection. I think for children in school, it's not always an irrational decision to resist the teacher's authority.

I read the books Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen and I Won't Learn from You by Herb Kohl. They both assert that students will resist "knowledge" that comes at the price of their own erasure. (Specifically, teaching history so that there are no people of color in it, for example.) Even though I come from the most educationally privileged background imaginable, I had the the experience of a screaming show down with a high school teacher about the content of our curriculum--specifically, the disenfranchisement of women.

Of course I have just picked the most extreme and irrelevant example. I just think that there are a lot of institutions in the world in which a rational person is not a tractable person. I myself feel very comfortable in many of those structures.

I don't know what this means in relationship to my setting myself up in a position of authority in relationship to my toddler. It's hard not to find TCS attractive because I see my child's ability to reason. I wonder how TCSers deal with the issue of emotional and intellectual development?

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#24 of 76 Old 04-12-2005, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UnschoolnMa,

Thanks for all your replies. I do not find them to be snarky. Regarding school, I think the children made a commitment to themsleves, the school, the teachers, and their classmates to attend school for the year, and when a commitment is made it is important to follow through. THis was discussed in advance.

When the children do not want to go to school it is always because they are feeling too tired.

Regarding them being too tired and not putting themselves to bed early enough, I am reminded of a friends statment after reading The Continuum Concept that when you are talking about the dangers of a fast moving river they aren't the same as your backyard pool.

For my children, they are very easily entertained by each other and find a hard time giving that up every day.

I guess what I am learning from this discussion is that anything taken to the extreme isn't good, and that this is about respecting children and trusting yourself as a mother.

I really appriciate everyone's responses!
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#25 of 76 Old 04-12-2005, 07:08 PM
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Yes, this occurred to me. I'm not sure that I accept the premise that coercion makes people irrational though. I know I was coerced a lot as a child and I don't think I lost my ability to think rationally.
The theory isn't that coercion makes people completely irrational in all spheres, it's more that we become irrational about the areas where we were coerced. For example, if your parents believed that proper table manners were very important and you were strongly coerced in this area - punished, lectured, shamed, whatever - then when the topic of table manners comes up, it's likely that your immediate ideas about the topic will be irrational. You may, for example, find the table manners thing to be a crock, and pointedly refuse to use good manners, or you may buy into your parents' ideas and feel very uneasy or anxious when people around you use any bad manners. Both responses are irrational, and only by looking at the issue critically can you regain rationality. Of course, perhaps you were lucky and realized right away that your parents were irrational on the topic of table manners... that can happen too.

I think resisting authority is often quite rational. It's an attempt to avoid coercion, which (according to TCS) is damaging.

I heard James Loewen speak once, and I've read his books - I think he's awesome.

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I wonder how TCSers deal with the issue of emotional and intellectual development?
Can you talk further about this? In what ways, for example?

Kerry:
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Regarding school, I think the children made a commitment to themsleves, the school, the teachers, and their classmates to attend school for the year, and when a commitment is made it is important to follow through. THis was discussed in advance.
Did they have the option of going to school without committing to a year of regular attendance? If not, they were coerced into this agreement in the first place. What will happen if they don't attend regularly? A year is a long time...

The job of a TCS parent is to help our children to get what they truly want. If my child wanted to go to school, I would help her go to school. If she then decided she didn't want to go, I woulld help her stay home. If she freely chooses to make a commitment, that's her choice, and if she chooses to break that commitment, that's her choice, too. I will help her foresee the possible resullts of her actions, and come up with ideas to help mitigate them.

The result of this, oddly enough, is that Rain regularly commits to things (mostly theatrical) and decides at some point that she isn't enjoying it, but doesn't want to quit... although it's an option.

I truly don't think your children attending or not attending will make much difference to the school, or the teachers, or their classmates. As far as themselves, they've already decided they'd rather not go. To me, it sounds like you havesome "baggage" around the idea of a commitment, and perhaps you're not thinking rationally in that area. Sometimes quitting is the right thing to do, if staying makes you miserable. Sticking with something just because you said you would is often not a good plan. This is the same logic that keeps abused wives with their abusive husbands - a marriage is a "commitment", 'til death do us part. I think we need to commit to taking care of ourselves...

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#26 of 76 Old 04-12-2005, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did they have the option of going to school without committing to a year of regular attendance? If not, they were coerced into this agreement in the first place. What will happen if they don't attend regularly? A year is a long time...
I don't see how this was coercive? The school year runs from Sept to June. They were given all the releveant information required to make a decision.

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I truly don't think your children attending or not attending will make much difference to the school, or the teachers, or their classmates.
Coming and going out of a classroom is extreamly disruptive. There is also a compulsory attendance law. This makes a difference.

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To me, it sounds like you havesome "baggage" around the idea of a commitment, and perhaps you're not thinking rationally in that area. Sometimes quitting is the right thing to do, if staying makes you miserable.
The "baggage" I have around commitment is that I believe to live in a society it is important to follow through with them. My husband can't decide to not attend work when he feels like it. I can't decide to stop being a mother when I feel like it.

The children ARE NOT MISERABLE but are in fact VERY HAPPY with their school experience thus far. They do not want to stop attending. If it were completely up to me I would have them home now and we would be unschooling. By the way we would not be in compliance with the laws of our state if we were unschooling.

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Sticking with something just because you said you would is often not a good plan. This is the same logic that keeps abused wives with their abusive husbands - a marriage is a "commitment", 'til death do us part. I think we need to commit to taking care of ourselves...
I think that this is an extream example. First of all I do not think that is what keeps abused women in abusive relationships, but that is another discussion altogether.

I think that if you choose to make a commitment, then you need to see it through or give appropriate notice otherwise. Our society would fall apart if we all did what we want when we wanted.

There are several people in our home and we all deserve (and expect) respect. I don't believe the children should be allowed to made decisions that infringe on my rights or feelings.

I am not at all unhappy about things happening in our home and I am sorry if I gave that impression. I was just curious how people who use TCS as their philosophy deal with everyday events, and like previous posters I did not find what I was looking for on the website.
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#27 of 76 Old 04-12-2005, 11:48 PM
 
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TCS reminds me a lot of NVC (Non Violent Communication) I heard a lecture recently on NVC and it seems to also be based on respecting your child and treating them as an equal and negotiating and discussing everything. Never telling them what to do but asking instead. I liked the respecting your child and maintaining strong connections with our kids parts but I couldn't figure out how to negotiate with a screaming 4yo or *asking* them not to run in the street, etc. I also had a problem with allowing them to do what they want with property without restriction. The example was a family heirloom that did belong to the child but was a family heirloom. The child, who was 4, decided to give it away on a whim and the mother said "sure".

The bottom line for me is that I believe in a combo of many different philosophies and I steer clear of books that are strategies to get my kids to do what I want. I prefer books that teach me how to think differently and change my mindset not how to get my kid to change or trick them into behaving.
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#28 of 76 Old 04-13-2005, 12:28 AM
 
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My husband can't decide to not attend work when he feels like it. I can't decide to stop being a mother when I feel like it.

Our society would fall apart if we all did what we want when we wanted.
But, this really isn't true. Of course, your husband can decide to not attend work. You can totally decide to stop mothering your children at any point. People do it all the time. There are consequences, of course, but the choice is there.

People DO do what they want--otherwise they wouldn't do it. No one FORCES our huge workforce out of bed everyday and makes them show up for work. People decide they like a job or the pay or getting out of the house and so they decide to go. That's what they WANT to do.

Back to enjoying the discussion....
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#29 of 76 Old 04-13-2005, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I should have been clearer.....My husband cannot choose to work when he feels like it and not when he doesn't, and still have a job to support our family. If I choose to stop mothering, I cannot choose to resume mothering at my will, therefore I cannot choose to "come and go" as I please to the job of mothering.

I feel this is true of school as well. You are not free to attend Monday and Wednesday only,well yes, you could attempt that, the consequenses would remove the choice. Is that as clear as mud?

The need for food and shelter FORCES DH's butt out of bed, as does my love for my children FORCE me to do things for them.

I think the adults are being forced to do so much more than the children. :LOL

I still believe that I am not forcing of coercing in reminding my children of their commitment.

I used to tell my children that they always have a choice....I don't say that anymore because I don't believe it to be true 100% of the time. (Technically, I know)

I am totally rambling here but with TCS are there consequenses? I liked what author Alfie Kohn said in his book that when you impose natural consequenses the child is likely to learn that you could have relieved thier suffering and choose not to.
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#30 of 76 Old 04-13-2005, 12:54 AM
 
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People DO do what they want--otherwise they wouldn't do it. No one FORCES our huge workforce out of bed everyday and makes them show up for work. People decide they like a job or the pay or getting out of the house and so they decide to go. That's what they WANT to do.
One could argue that people show up to work because if they do not, they will not earn a living. There is something coercive about that, I think. Don't you? If our society was set up to feed people and meet their needs whether they worked or not, then I would say you had a point. I get that people can choose to abrogate responsibility any time they want, but they do have to suffer social consequences for that, to such an extent that they may lose their ability to meet their basic needs. I mean, if we are dissecting choice and coercion to this level, let's do it.

Certainly our feelings about our jobs are a good example of what Dar was explaining about people feeling irrational when they are coerced. My sister, who seems to me to be one of her company's most valuable employees (and I'm not just saying that because she's my sister!) said today that she thought everyone should work "as though they could lose their job at any time." !!!

About the question of development: okay so let's say that children are inherently rational, because all humans are inherently rational. Are children also gifted with the same level of understanding of time and space at two and three years old that they will have when they are 30? Piaget aside, it doesn't look that way, does it? My son understands reasons for many things but he doesn't understand conservation of volumes! He can pour perfectly without spilling, but will consistently overfill every cup. Dar, you mention that you "help Rain forsee the results of her actions." Do you view her need for help in this area as a common feature of the way children her age think?

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