|What are some thoughts as to why 'our way' of controlling is better than 'their way'.
I totally agree with you, OP. Parents, in general, are pretty into "control"...it amazes me. I dont know if its out of fear, or if they think its expected, or they like it or what. I actually think there is LESS "control" in mainstream parenting than there is in AP/NFL circles.
I was really suprised at how much control i saw when i first came to these boards, but it did help me understand one of my friends a little better. Some parents want to control food, sleep, tv, computers, videogames, what toys the child plays with (whether they are wood or plastic, whether they were made here or in China, whether they contribute to gender stereotypes, i could go on and on), the clothes a child may wear (see list under "toys"), how a child plays (is it too violent? etc), the particular shows or games or websites the child may view if s/he is able to even use the tv/game system/computer (screentime, ack!) While mainstream parents tend to control in the broad sense (say, limiting tv to an hour a day, or making a kid eat his veggies, or whatever), i see those broad areas broken down into the tiniest minutae here.
I have a friend, and when she visited with her boys she was just so....controlling. And i know she was actually controlling HERSELF the most, to seem flexible and to not totally kill any sense of fun her kids were having here. We totally avoided discussing our parenting differences, but i could see that she was just so tightly wound.
Sometimes there will be posts here, where a parent has seen a child get swatted in a store, or scolded meanly, or they know of a child who has to CIO...and the poster is so sad, and everyone (rightly)posts how terrible for that child, what is the parent thinking, how could they treat their child so badly, but for me, respecting your child doesnt stop at just the family bed, or breastfeeding.....i feel just as sad for the kids i read about here, who's mother may totally denigrate their love for Bratz dolls, or forbid them to watch their favorite kids program because its (insert whatever negative word here), or who can't eat a freakin' hamburger because their parent simply won't allow it. Kids who's parents make the global issue more important than the needs and desires of their own child right in front of them.I am not saying this is all parents here, or that one can't share important values with their children.
Maybe its because we're radical unschoolers, i dont know....but i just don't feel like the boogeyman will come steal my child and ruin him forever if i dont control his every action. Or guilt him into choosing what i think is best.
I absolutely think that a parent should share information with their child, give them a wide range of choices, provide guidance and support, etc. Thats imperative. But when i read how someone takes a toy away from a child because it doesnt fit into the parent's political or personal philosophy....that makes me wanna cry every bit as much as a child treated disrespectfully in any more "maintream" way.