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Old 01-04-2008, 01:14 AM
 
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Don't you think your dd knows her limits of safety b/c you've taught her? You seem to be implying that children inherently know their limits and know how to even discover how to find acceptance without having to be taught it or modeled it or with frankly any outside input at all. I think parenting is a balance of telling your child what to do, modeling it and letting them discover themselves by making mistakes. Young children model the behavior that their parents model for them or tell them to do in a desire to continue to have their love and acceptance. Someone still has to show them or tell them what that behavior is. Standing over your child every second and dictating their every movement, I'd agree with you. But there is a wide range of parenting between that absurd extreme and the other one of letting them do whatever they want with little to no guidance.
No I don't think she knows her limits of safety because I have tought her, because I haven't in the traditional sense of 'teaching'. I don't have to tell my DD that fire is hot, or that jumping off the couch will hurt, or that running away from me could be dangerous. This is all human nature. I agree with you about balancing parenting. I never said I didn't give DD guidance at all. I guess I don't agree that you 'have' to tell your child what is expected of them. I don't have long talks about sharing, although my not even 2 year old does it remarkably well. I don't tell her before a play date not to hit, pull hair, bite, or kick, but she is very loving and gentle to her peers.

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Old 01-04-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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"No. I am just reluctant to toe the oft-repeated MDC party line that imposing reasonable, age-appropriate limits on a child, saying "no" and meaning it, or teaching one's child to have a reasonable degree of respect for other people is being a fascist."

I am not apposed to limitations. I just think we go about 'imposing' them in different ways.


"For the most part, children will behave in the way they are raised by their parents, their most immediate "society."

I agree. This is where modeling behavior comes in. And by society, I ment her emediate 'pack' wich would be the family. I just don't agree with 'raising' her. I guide her in her path threw life. I offer my wisdome, my experiences, my help, and intervine if absolutely necessary. But it usually isn't.

"Others who are more educated in this area than I can confirm or deny, but it is my understanding that wolves constantly reinforce (among other things) appropriate wolf behavior in the pack hierarchy. Should a growing wolf act in a way that is inappropriate for its pack position, it gets nipped -- or worse. Ultimately, the wolf learns to follow the rules of its society or it gets excluded -- or worse."

From what I understand any animal within a pack will naturally model bahavior. It is not taught. Punishment, or consequence for bad behavior is diffrent than teaching good behavior. I do not let my child "run wild". There are guidelines, and those are mostly common sense among bothe her and I.

"This is nothing but the truth, whether legally, physically, or ethically. Children are not wholly in control of themselves, nor should they be. As children grow and mature, they can and should be given more control and more choices appropriate to their age and developing judgment, but for the most part (and especially when very young), they are not experienced personally nor vicariously enough to make all judgments for themselves. This is where the job -- as one other poster aptly put it -- of a parent comes in: to guide, to teach, or to (metaphorically, not physically) "nip" inappropriate, dangerous, or impolite behavior in the bud rather than allowing bad behavior in the name of freedom or respect. While one person may be celebrating her child's decision to run around Costco without regard for others' safety or his own as an example of untrammeled freedom and unspoiled nature, others among us are wishing less-than-generous thoughts upon that child and his or her parents -- or seeing a lawsuit waiting to happen. Genuine discipline (in the sense of teaching) is more than a job, though -- it is an obligation, a responsibility, and for most of us (I would hope), a pleasure."

Fist of all, I don't condone bad behavior. I don't see where anyone would think that from reading my posts. What I said was that there maybe wouldn't be as much bad behavior if we had a little more trust in our childrens ability to make the right choices. I do believe that children should be in controll of themselves. At any age. I feel like I am being missunderstood. I don't agree with the parents who let their child put others in danger, I would never do that. As far as others possibly wishing 'less-then-generous' thoughts about my DD. As long as she's not hurting anyone, I'd say too bad I guess.

"On this, we certainly agree."

Good to know we agree on something

Gotta love the debate thought, I love talking about this subject, very interesting to me. On a side note, just curious if anyone here has read The Continuum Consept.

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Old 01-04-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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No I don't think she knows her limits of safety because I have tought her, because I haven't in the traditional sense of 'teaching'. I don't have to tell my DD that fire is hot, or that jumping off the couch will hurt, or that running away from me could be dangerous. This is all human nature. I agree with you about balancing parenting. I never said I didn't give DD guidance at all. I guess I don't agree that you 'have' to tell your child what is expected of them. I don't have long talks about sharing, although my not even 2 year old does it remarkably well. I don't tell her before a play date not to hit, pull hair, bite, or kick, but she is very loving and gentle to her peers.
I think it is great that she seems to have the type of personality that this all comes naturally too. Until my 4yr old was nearing 4 he was like that. My oldest 2 were a different scenario. They are extremely spirited children, extremely bright and virtually no impulse control. My oldest had figured out how to climb out of his crib at night and unlock the front deadbolt to let himself out. HE was and still is at 9 a runner. at 6 months he started smearing feces and did that daily sometimes more than once a day for 4 years. HE threw our bunny out the 2nd floor window at the age of 5. That's just tip of the iceberg. With out someone consistantly on him, teachinghim proper behaviour he would be dead or have killed someone else with his behaviours. At 5 h had to be hospitalized int eh children's mental health ward for a couple weeks until we could help him in the way he needed.

My point is, raising children is never black or white. Your child has done marvelously just having you there to guide her, and not have to tell her how to behave in certian situations, or stop her from dangerous behaviour etc. NOt all children are like that and DO need someone to step in and be that voice for them. I do "control" my kids but it's not a harsh thing, it's not full of punishments, or restraints or what not. But They do need me to remind them of their behaviour and what expected behaviours are, life would have been so much easier if they just instinctively knew how to behave but they don't

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Old 01-04-2008, 02:11 AM
 
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Swellmomma- Totally agree, every child is different. Parenting is not black and white.

Just to get this straight one more time, I DO stop dangerous behavior when it happends. DD has had her fair share of times she pushed her own limits. Many of these times I have had to stop and ask myself why. Most of the time there is an outside influence that is causing her to bahave in a less then favorable way. In that case, I don't 'punish' her, simply re-direct her actions, or explain why X situation is not a good idea in the future. There are also times I have watched her test her own boundaries. I have to say, it is so preciuos to watch her step up onto a stool and say "jump", and slowly bounce while she contimplates if this is a wise decision to make. I love watching her so proud of herself.

We try really hard around here to not set her up for failure by projecting onto her that we assume she will fail. We trust her.

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Old 01-04-2008, 03:17 AM
 
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Others who are more educated in this area than I can confirm or deny, but it is my understanding that wolves constantly reinforce (among other things) appropriate wolf behavior in the pack hierarchy. Should a growing wolf act in a way that is inappropriate for its pack position, it gets nipped -- or worse. Ultimately, the wolf learns to follow the rules of its society or it gets excluded -- or worse.
Yep. Just about all social animals make sure baby animals know the rules. THey are not born knowing how to treat others. They *are* born ready to observe and figure out what it takes to get along.

Children are born innately perceptive of what their parents (and eventually other grownups) are doing. They begin to mimic facial expressions within hours of birth. They do this because their first task - their most important one - is to figure out these big creatures who have so much power over them, and to figure out how to live with other people.

And so they explore. They try things on for size, they do things and see what the reactions of other people will be. And if other people do not react by making it clear what is appropriate behavior for their group/pack/tribe/troop, then the child will not learn what is considered appropriate. "Appropriate," by the way, varies culturally fairly widely, so its not like there is one set of rules that all babies can be born knowing.

(I really recommend "The Scientist in the Crib" for more on some of this, as well as discussions of language acquisition, etc. Its a really readable, and fascinating, book about child development, written by the folks who run the Baby Lab at ... (forget which) major university. Cool stuff).

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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Old 01-04-2008, 03:57 AM
 
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Dad said "F*** you"
Ooh. Classy.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:06 AM
 
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Swellmomma- Totally agree, every child is different. Parenting is not black and white.

Just to get this straight one more time, I DO stop dangerous behavior when it happends. DD has had her fair share of times she pushed her own limits. Many of these times I have had to stop and ask myself why. Most of the time there is an outside influence that is causing her to bahave in a less then favorable way. In that case, I don't 'punish' her, simply re-direct her actions, or explain why X situation is not a good idea in the future. There are also times I have watched her test her own boundaries. I have to say, it is so preciuos to watch her step up onto a stool and say "jump", and slowly bounce while she contimplates if this is a wise decision to make. I love watching her so proud of herself.

We try really hard around here to not set her up for failure by projecting onto her that we assume she will fail. We trust her.

I'm glad that you brought this up... in this culture we teach children that they are idiots without any common sense. We teach them this because we believe it (collective we).

Trying to apply it to the original situation - while the child probably learned a bit about not horsing around in front of carts from the experience, children do just have a natural energy that they need to expend... perhaps as a culture we could show a bit more patience for this. They have a NEED to run around like maniacs, and lots of times that isn't going to be convenient.

I'm not sure how useful it is for a PP to compare humans to a wolf pack. We are different in so many ways it's not really a comparison. However, I will point out that in a wolf pack, if a pup starts biting the ear of an elder, they get nipped by the elder. The mother doesn't hang out and rush in to take care of it when it happens.
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:14 PM
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I'm not sure how useful it is for a PP to compare humans to a wolf pack. We are different in so many ways it's not really a comparison. However, I will point out that in a wolf pack, if a pup starts biting the ear of an elder, they get nipped by the elder. The mother doesn't hang out and rush in to take care of it when it happens.
The mother wolf also won't sue.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:32 PM
 
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In answer to MammaB21, I've read and learned a lot from The Continuum Concept. Some of it I've been able to apply to my parenting, and some of it I haven't.

While I certainly don't perceive my children as idiots -- I'm definitely more like an American in my built-in feeling that I need to look out for their safety. It's fascinating to hear about Yequana babies handling sharp machete-blades without ever cutting themselves, playing right next to open fires without ever getting burned, and running in and out of thatch-roofed huts with hot fire-brands, and never starting a fire.

It's also fascinating to hear about children going out on the river in groups where the oldest child's about 6, and no one ever drowning. Liedloff makes a good point: if a child realizes, early on, that no one but him is going to look out for his safety, he assumes the responsibility -- but if he gets accustomed to someone else looking out for him, he relaxes about it and releases the responsibility to the other person.

As enthralled as I am with the whole Yequana way of life, I simply can't be like a Yequana mother in all respects. I'd go crazy if dangerously sharp objects were strewn all around my children's play area; I simply couldn't leave it like that. I simply couldn't feel okay about them going off to the river (or pool, or busy street) on their own, at the young ages that the Yequana children go to the river.

Obviously (at least judging by Liedloff's observations), Yequana children have way fewer accidents than American children do. So I'm certainly not faulting their parenting. But since I really can't do it myself in all its totality, I'd be seriously endangering my little ones if, now that they've come to entrust their safekeeping to me, I suddenly released it back to them -- and left the sharp knife out for the baby to play with, let her crawl around right next to a deep pit, and so on.

My children have come to trust that if something they're doing or exploring isn't safe, I'm going to say something and redirect them, and help them find safer ways to do the things they want to do. So if I decide, "I'm going to be like a Yequana mom today," and just leave them to themselves, they're likely to assume that there's no danger in whatever they're about to do (since I'm not intervening).

I'm not saying I can't learn to have more confidence in my children's abilities: I certainly am working to grow in this area. I just think it's dangerous to copy one aspect of a culture without regard for the other aspects that bring it into balance and make it work.

As an example, arranged marriages are the norm in some cultures, and some brides and grooms marry without ever having met one another beforehand. These marriages often work out, but I think the balancing factors are that they come from very similar backgrounds, and there are family members or other go-betweens who get to know both families and thoroughly vet things out.

But it would be very stupid for me to say, "Since marriages in this other country work out so well, I'm going to do like they do and marry some man I've never met (i.e. someone I've written to on the internet)." That really doesn't suffice as "following the pattern of the other culture," where there's some trusted individual to act as a go-between, and where there's more of a synonomous way of life from family to family.

For me to marry an "American" I've met on the internet, is simply a whole different kettle of fish. One American may have absolutely nothing in common with another. We don't have one synonymous culture that's played out in similar ways from family to family. So, in copying just one aspect of this other culture (marrying someone who's a complete stranger to me), I'm really not doing things the way people in this culture do.

I'd be stupid to expect the same degree of success (and of course, there's the whole "nuther" issue of whether I really define a successful marriage in the same way that a woman in this other culture would).

In conclusion, reading The Continuum Concept gives me tremendous food for thought, as I ponder various ways to apply these concepts to my own life and parenting. I just think I need to be realistic, and not too hard on myself, when it's obvious that there's an area where I just can't be like a Yequana mom.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:41 PM
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In answer to MammaB21, I've read and learned a lot from The Continuum Concept. Some of it I've been able to apply to my parenting, and some of it I haven't.

While I certainly don't perceive my children as idiots -- I'm definitely more like an American in my built-in feeling that I need to look out for their safety. It's fascinating to hear about Yequana babies handling sharp machete-blades without ever cutting themselves, playing right next to open fires without ever getting burned, and running in and out of thatch-roofed huts with hot fire-brands, and never starting a fire.

It's also fascinating to hear about children going out on the river in groups where the oldest child's about 6, and no one ever drowning. Liedloff makes a good point: if a child realizes, early on, that no one but him is going to look out for his safety, he assumes the responsibility -- but if he gets accustomed to someone else looking out for him, he relaxes about it and releases the responsibility to the other person.

As enthralled as I am with the whole Yequana way of life, I simply can't be like a Yequana mother in all respects. I'd go crazy if dangerously sharp objects were strewn all around my children's play area; I simply couldn't leave it like that. I simply couldn't feel okay about them going off to the river (or pool, or busy street) on their own, at the young ages that the Yequana children go to the river.

Obviously (at least judging by Liedloff's observations), Yequana children have way fewer accidents than American children do. So I'm certainly not faulting their parenting. But since I really can't do it myself in all its totality, I'd be seriously endangering my little ones if, now that they've come to entrust their safekeeping to me, I suddenly released it back to them -- and left the sharp knife out for the baby to play with, let her crawl around right next to a deep pit, and so on.

My children have come to trust that if something they're doing or exploring isn't safe, I'm going to say something and redirect them, and help them find safer ways to do the things they want to do. So if I decide, "I'm going to be like a Yequana mom today," and just leave them to themselves, they're likely to assume that there's no danger in whatever they're about to do (since I'm not intervening).

I'm not saying I can't learn to have more confidence in my children's abilities: I certainly am working to grow in this area. I just think it's dangerous to copy one aspect of a culture without regard for the other aspects that bring it into balance and make it work.

As an example, arranged marriages are the norm in some cultures, and some brides and grooms marry without ever having met one another beforehand. These marriages often work out, but I think the balancing factors are that they come from very similar backgrounds, and there are family members or other go-betweens who get to know both families and thoroughly vet things out.

But it would be very stupid for me to say, "Since marriages in this other country work out so well, I'm going to do like they do and marry some man I've never met (i.e. someone I've written to on the internet)." That really doesn't suffice as "following the pattern of the other culture," where there's some trusted individual to act as a go-between, and where there's more of a synonomous way of life from family to family.

For me to marry an "American" I've met on the internet, is simply a whole different kettle of fish. One American may have absolutely nothing in common with another. We don't have one synonymous culture that's played out in similar ways from family to family. So, in copying just one aspect of this other culture (marrying someone who's a complete stranger to me), I'm really not doing things the way people in this culture do.

I'd be stupid to expect the same degree of success (and of course, there's the whole "nuther" issue of whether I really define a successful marriage in the same way that a woman in this other culture would).

In conclusion, reading The Continuum Concept gives me tremendous food for thought, as I ponder various ways to apply these concepts to my own life and parenting. I just think I need to be realistic, and not too hard on myself, when it's obvious that there's an area where I just can't be like a Yequana mom.
I would love, LOVE to see objective statistics on Yequana death rates. I don't think TCC is necessarily an unimpeachable source.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:19 PM
 
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Me too.

I got the same reaction from "Our Babies, Ourselves" when she talked about babies of some tribe just "knowing" not to fall over the sheer cliffs to the rocks and river below without a speck of intervention from the parents..... I'm sure each generation learns from the one child who doesn't know any better and falls screaming to his or her death.

My 2 year old sister sure didn't "just know" not to run away from my Dad along a busy canyon highway and miss getting crushed by a tractor-trailer truck by mere inches... that was just sheer LUCK.

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Old 01-04-2008, 10:33 PM
 
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I would love, LOVE to see objective statistics on Yequana death rates. I don't think TCC is necessarily an unimpeachable source.
I agree.

And back to the wolf example: I'm not an expert, but I've read all of Jean Craighead George's Julie of the Wolves books. One thing that was interesting to me, was that when Amaroq and his mate had their first litter of pups (in Julie's Wolf Pack), they grieved over the ones who died (if I remember right, it was 4 out of 7: I think 2 acted unwisely and approached a mama bear, and 2 fell off a cliff), but they didn't seem to feel guilt in the same way that I would, and in the same way that I think most people would, at the death of even ONE child, let alone four.

Of course, the book is one human's guess as to what wolves are actually thinking and saying to one another -- but if it really is common, as the author says, for only a few from each wolf-litter to survive, it stands to reason that there wouldn't be the same overwhelming remorse as what people experience at the loss of even one child.

On the one hand, I realize that wolves do guide their young. At the same time, they (like the Yequana) do seem to leave it up to the young to figure out more things on their own. So I wonder if people like the Yequana might also cope with a child's accidental death without becoming overwhelmed by guilt -- I don't mean I think they wouldn't grieve, I just wonder if the grief would be as likely to turn to self-recrimination.

Of course, I'm speaking from the vantage point of living in a privileged nation where it's unusual for babies NOT to survive into adulthood. I imagine the coping-mechanisms are way different for mothers in countries where the death rates are much higher (and of course, I'm not sure if death-rates are higher among Yequana children).

I'm not saying those mothers love their children any less deeply than I love mine -- only that maybe they wouldn't feel as responsible as I'd feel if one of my children suffered an accidental death.

They'd still grieve as much -- only maybe they wouldn't be as sure that it was "all their fault."

I'd be interested to learn more about the degree of responsibility that Yequana mothers feel if their children get into accidents that cause them to be killed or severely injured.

The only example Liedloff (TCC) shared (that I can remember) is of the boy who accidentally shot another boy in the abdomen (I think) with an arrow. Liedloff said the injured child's mother heard about what happened, but went about her work rather than rushing to Liedloff's tent where she was treating the boy. She stopped to check in on him once, then went back about her work, seemingly unconcerned even though Liedloff was worried about the possibility of internal injury.

So again, I'm thinking there are many aspects to other cultures that are quite a mystery to me. If something like this happened to my child, I can't fathom not dropping everything to stay by her side.

Just as it would be wrong for me to criticize this other mother for her seeming unconcern (unconcern as it appeared to me), when I really don't understand how the situation was perceived by her -- I think it's wrong when others criticize parents in our culture for our seeming "over-protectiveness."

Respect for all cultures should include respect for our own culture.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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I'm not saying those mothers love their children any less deeply than I love mine -- only that maybe they wouldn't feel as responsible as I'd feel if one of my children suffered an accidental death.

They'd still grieve as much -- only maybe they wouldn't be as sure that it was "all their fault."
I think that this attitude/belief system was actually very much at play in our own culture up until the 80's/90's. Many, many children were killed/died in ways that we consider to be preventable (drowning, farm accidents, etc). The parents of these children were devastated, but usually considered the accident to be an unlucky event, rather than something that they could have prevented (in general -- I'm sure that individual parents experienced varying levels of personal guilt).

While children certainly still die in these sorts of accidents today, the number seems to be less pervasive, and the parents involved bear much more of the blame than parents of 40-50 years ago. Death itself was also much more pervasive then than it is now -- many, many sibling groups experienced the loss of at least one sibling before full adulthood. My great-grandmother lost three of her four siblings before they turned 18 -- one died beside her of yellow typhoid when she was 3, one drowned in a lake when he was 15, and one died in the war when he was 17. My grandmother's generation experienced a slightly lower level of loss, but still more than today. I think that the less prevalent death is in a society, the more concerned we become overall with safety. Death is less an Angel in the Night, and more something that we have control over. Ultimately, it becomes our responsibility to prevent it.

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Old 01-05-2008, 09:20 PM
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I think that this attitude/belief system was actually very much at play in our own culture up until the 80's/90's. Many, many children were killed/died in ways that we consider to be preventable (drowning, farm accidents, etc). The parents of these children were devastated, but usually considered the accident to be an unlucky event, rather than something that they could have prevented (in general -- I'm sure that individual parents experienced varying levels of personal guilt).

While children certainly still die in these sorts of accidents today, the number seems to be less pervasive, and the parents involved bear much more of the blame than parents of 40-50 years ago. Death itself was also much more pervasive then than it is now -- many, many sibling groups experienced the loss of at least one sibling before full adulthood. My great-grandmother lost three of her four siblings before they turned 18 -- one died beside her of yellow typhoid when she was 3, one drowned in a lake when he was 15, and one died in the war when he was 17. My grandmother's generation experienced a slightly lower level of loss, but still more than today. I think that the less prevalent death is in a society, the more concerned we become overall with safety. Death is less an Angel in the Night, and more something that we have control over. Ultimately, it becomes our responsibility to prevent it.
I think you're right -- and this sense of lack of control probably led to a more fatalistic, cavalier attitude (or one of willful ignorance).

Take my MIL, whom I love. She didn't want to put on her seat belt because it was too much of a PITA -- and given her physical condition, I certainly agree, but I was offering to put it on and take it off for her. She basically said, "We were only going a short way."

I realized her POV and mine were basically completely different. She was seeing the seat belt as essentially unnecessary -- something that, if the circumstances made it a bit inconvenient, could be blown off. I was thinking that short distance or long, the laws of physics don't care, and that it's a really, REALLY big PITA to die or to be in the emergency room with head trauma. She was feeling more fatalistic; I was feeling more personally responsible/to blame.

I did get her to let me put on and take off the belt, though.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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I think you're right -- and this sense of lack of control probably led to a more fatalistic, cavalier attitude (or one of willful ignorance).

Take my MIL, whom I love. She didn't want to put on her seat belt because it was too much of a PITA -- and given her physical condition, I certainly agree, but I was offering to put it on and take it off for her. She basically said, "We were only going a short way."

I realized her POV and mine were basically completely different. She was seeing the seat belt as essentially unnecessary -- something that, if the circumstances made it a bit inconvenient, could be blown off. I was thinking that short distance or long, the laws of physics don't care, and that it's a really, REALLY big PITA to die or to be in the emergency room with head trauma. She was feeling more fatalistic; I was feeling more personally responsible/to blame.

I did get her to let me put on and take off the belt, though.
It seems like you were being fatalistic, not your MIL.

Does she normally wear a seat belt or just blow them off entirely?
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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It is so interesting to hear everyones different points of veiw.

Mammal_mamma I liked your post and mostly agree with it. Although I found the Yequana tribe and traditions with safety to be interesting, most of it is impossible to apply in our culture. I certainly don't let my 2 year old play with sharp knives. Our society is just different. First of all, to have a child in TOTAL control of their safety, our entire society would have to be on board. I may give her control, but Grammie may not. Just that little bit of exposure is detramental, in my opinion. Also, our invoronement is way different. We have to worry about cars, electronics, furniture, chemicals, the list goes on. In my life, I try to implament these consepts as much as possible since I do agree with the idea. I certainly don't compare allowing my 2 year old to walk beside me in a store, to playing with a knife.
I have seen first hand how much being 'controlling' can have negetive side effects on our DD. My husband is strougling with this, and the times he starts up with, "no, don't touch that," "don't do that" "do this" she changes. Sometimes I am even suprised at what she can do, and how mature she can be. I don't mean to be dissrepectfull of anyone elses parenting styles. But I do know how it feels to be missunderstood, and have people assume I am a 'bad' mom, or disstracted, because I am not at the play place right behind my DD helping her with her every move. When she falls, I don't jump up. In fact, I don't acknoweledge it at all most of the time. (wich is hard, because inside I am on edge) I am allways there if she needs me, but she usually never does. She just gets right up and brushes herself off and tries again. Then I see another kid fall down and up jumps a parent running to their aid, and sure enough the kid freaks out, screams and cries. Of course every child is different. Maybe DD is just alittle more easy going.

About the boy in the Yaquana tribe who got shot with an arrow, I see what you mean. But I remember other examples about children doing painfull procedures, (even husbands) and the mothers would be their with them and allow the child/husband to cry (wich is not emasculating in their culture) without putting herself in the place of pain. If she tries to emagine the pain, she can't fully be there the way she needs to be. Also, she won't give anymore or any less compasion than what is needed. She is only there if she is called upon.

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It seems like you were being fatalistic, not your MIL.
Maybe we're at cross purposes as to how we're interpreting the word "fatalistic"? Hey, I'm not a complete language god, but I thought (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that fatalism was basically this attitude of, "Whatever happens was meant to happen; I can't do anything to change my inevitable destiny," so if God wants me to go through the windshield, wearing a seat belt won't change that. Anyhoo, that's what I meant.

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Does she normally wear a seat belt or just blow them off entirely?
She's off and on about it, depending on how her arms feel, how heavy a coat she's wearing, how far she's going, and so on. I, thinking that you CAN prevent your death -- or hey, at least forestall it! -- wear mine all the time, and really wish she would too.
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What if the lady said something like, "wow, you sure are fast! be sure to not get too far from your mommy!" - would that be offensive too? I can't see how that would be rude, and might be a hepful reminder to a little one.
I agree with your suggestion - some adults are not used to being around little children and therefore don’t know an appropriate way to talk to them.

Re: the original post – many a time have I wanted to speak up about a Childs bad behaviour but I never do as I am terrible at confrontation and you never know who your dealing with and if they will turn nasty. I think you DH was brave to say something.

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Old 01-06-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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MammaB21, your dd does sound very easy-going, as well as advanced, to be able to calmly walk beside your shopping cart at age 2. I'm sure some of this is related to her knowledge that you trust her and expect her to exercise good sense -- but some is likely simply due to temperament and advanced cognitive ability.

My older dd developed very early in her verbal communications skills -- and by the time she was 2, I could sit on our front porch and watch her playing in the yard, even though our yard had no fence. She knew she could play freely in our yard, and in the yards on either side of us when the children were out there, and she understood about staying away from the street and not going beyond the range where I could supervise her. If she wanted to go further for some reason, she'd ask me to come with her.

Based on my experience with dd1, when I saw children her age and older whose mothers had to chase them -- because they'd disregard important information and take off running into the street, or running beyond where their mothers could see them -- I assumed those mothers simply never took time to talk to their little ones like human beings, you know, that they just treated them like dumb beasts so that was how the children behaved.

Enter dd2, just a totally different child from dd1. I'd say that verbally she's blossoming about a year later than dd1. And at almost 3 she still thinks it's funny to run into the street. We do have a fenced-in yard now, which is good, 'cause if we didn't it'd be so scary to take her outdoors.

Yes, I do remember about the Yequana men being able to cry and get comforted by wives/mothers. It's also very interesting to hear what theatermom and Meg Murry had to say about the effects of a fatalistic attitude. If you feel like you have little or no control, and really can't prevent accidental deaths, you're less likely to try or to feel guilty when they happen -- though of course you're still going to grieve over the loss of your loved one.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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Based on my experience with dd1, when I saw children her age and older whose mothers had to chase them -- because they'd disregard important information and take off running into the street, or running beyond where their mothers could see them -- I assumed those mothers simply never took time to talk to their little ones like human beings, you know, that they just treated them like dumb beasts so that was how the children behaved.

Enter dd2, just a totally different child from dd1. I'd say that verbally she's blossoming about a year later than dd1. And at almost 3 she still thinks it's funny to run into the street. We do have a fenced-in yard now, which is good, 'cause if we didn't it'd be so scary to take her outdoors.
I've eaten a lot of humble pie since my second child was born; I thought I was SO AWESOME at AP with my very easygoing, very social, very independent fristborn DS....then, enter DD. She puts the 'attachment' in Attachment Parenting , and is different from DS in almost every way. So many things that I thought were the parents' "fault", I found out have a LOT to do with the child's personality and temperament. Things that were easy with DS are challenging; things that were challenging with DS seem easier with DD.

Annnnnnyway...just a long way of saying that while I think that parenting can do a lot for a kid, their temperament and personality does a LOT, too...so we shouldn't take too much credit if our kids are easy OR challenging.

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Old 01-07-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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Yes, I do remember about the Yequana men being able to cry and get comforted by wives/mothers. It's also very interesting to hear what theatermom and Meg Murry had to say about the effects of a fatalistic attitude. If you feel like you have little or no control, and really can't prevent accidental deaths, you're less likely to try or to feel guilty when they happen -- though of course you're still going to grieve over the loss of your loved one.
Yup, this was interesting to me too. I wondered about this when you first brought up the guilt aspect. I don't condone not wearing a seat belt. However, I do think it is interesting to meet people who are so secure and certain in their lives that they literally let whatever happens, happen. At the same time I wonder how much this is reflected on their childhood. Maybe they are just used to putting the controll into someone elses hands?? (I think this is what you were getting at?)

Totally agree with all who are saying temperament has lots to do with it. I like to think I have some influence though,

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Old 01-07-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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However, I do think it is interesting to meet people who are so secure and certain in their lives that they literally let whatever happens, happen. At the same time I wonder how much this is reflected on their childhood. Maybe they are just used to putting the controll into someone elses hands?? (I think this is what you were getting at?)
Hmmm. It actually seems like the inverse with the Yequana, at least from Liedloff's description. Because they have tons of freedom as children, and their parents trust them to look out for their own safety (i.e. the babies playing with the machete-blades). They're definitely not used to putting their safety in the hands of others.

Of course, I'm not sure that the Yequana are fatalistic about accidents or death. But it sounds like they ARE "so secure and certain in their lives that they literally let whatever happens, happen."

I'm eager to hear more thoughts on this.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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Hmmm. It actually seems like the inverse with the Yequana, at least from Liedloff's description. Because they have tons of freedom as children, and their parents trust them to look out for their own safety (i.e. the babies playing with the machete-blades). They're definitely not used to putting their safety in the hands of others.

Of course, I'm not sure that the Yequana are fatalistic about accidents or death. But it sounds like they ARE "so secure and certain in their lives that they literally let whatever happens, happen."

I'm eager to hear more thoughts on this.
I don't think they are fatalistic iether. I think I was trying to say that the more freedom we give our kids early on, the more likely they are to be responsible later on in life. Instead of becoming adults who are searching for something, or looking for someone to mother them. I don't quite think the example of not wearing a seat belt falls into this catergory. I think this probably falls more in a faith in a higher being, (wich could also be not taking control or responsibility). But that is an interely different debate.

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Old 01-07-2008, 06:49 PM
 
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I've eaten a lot of humble pie since my second child was born; I thought I was SO AWESOME at AP with my very easygoing, very social, very independent fristborn DS....then, enter DD.
LOL! I had mine in the reverse order. I spent a lot of time questioning my parenting. Then I had DD and everything worked with her, and I realized why I got all those disapproving looks the first time round. IT really can be as easy as just saying "I need you to hold my hand in the parking lot so cars don't hit you." It really can be as simple as "Its time to leave the park, would you like to say goodbye to the swings?"

If DD had been my first, I probably would have been one of those smug mamas. And it probably would have been worse for DS, because rather than saying "Well, I guess that technique doesn't work, lets find something that does," I would most likely (knowing me) have persevered with "It worked for DD, why doesn't it work for DS? There must be something wrong with him and if I keep trying, eventually it'll work."

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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Old 01-08-2008, 02:25 AM
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If you feel like you have little or no control, and really can't prevent accidental deaths, you're less likely to try or to feel guilty when they happen -- though of course you're still going to grieve over the loss of your loved one.
Yes, I think so too -- and in a previous era where the average joe basically HAD far less control over many fatal things (polio, typhoid, scarlet fever, spoiled food, vitamin deficiency, car accidents) than we do now, that lack of guilt was probably both practical and necessary for ongoing mental health. Now that we can control (to a greater degree) many fatal things, we feel more guilt along with our greater sense of responsibility. However, we're still pretty fatalistic on a number of things that are considered "normal" by society -- like for example, if your kid died of e. coli poisoning from eating a burger, I think many people would feel as if "it just happened" and "they couldn't have prevented this" because eating meat is the norm. We haven't taken responsibility (or as much responsibility) for the ethics of our food choices, among other things.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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At Bed Bath and Beyond I was with my oldest (11-ds) and youngest dd (8) looking for American Girl stuff for my oldest dd who will be 10 this month. We saw an 18 mo-2 yo adorable toddler girl slathering herself with lotion. Where was mom? Finally mom comes over and says "no-no" and slaps the girls hands. Then after we check out we see the girl mouthing a cellophane wrapped bar of glycerine soap. No mom in sight again!?! I bring the girl a paper towel from the sink area they have and she says "Thank you". Mom never saw me wipe heavily perfumed lotion off her child. She never heard my children telling her dd knock knock jokes.

When we left she said "bye bye" and we said "Good bye neglect-a-rino!" THAT WAS HEARD! Bwa ha ha ha!

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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But the difference is the number of parties involved. In your example, the kid on the skateboard is only going to affect themself. In the OPs story - the kid affect some innocent 3rd party - the old man.

I think it's fine to let your kids take chances. But those chances should impact other people.
THANK YOU! That was running through my head as well . . .I was rammed into by a four year old pushing a cart in Target (the scene of many rude incidents like the op mentioned at Costco). He was hurt too when he lost control of the cart and the mom's smug response was "See what happens when you don't pay attention"--which is hardly helpful to say to a small child in pain, but what I really felt like saying to her was "Gee, great that you feel he's grasped the consequences--what about me lady?" She didn't apologize or anything--thankfully my husband was able to distract me so I didn't explode . . .(edited to add--explode not just from being hit--it was an accident--but from her allowing her small child to push a loaded cart in a huge, busy store).
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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Others who are more educated in this area than I can confirm or deny, but it is my understanding that wolves constantly reinforce (among other things) appropriate wolf behavior in the pack hierarchy. Should a growing wolf act in a way that is inappropriate for its pack position, it gets nipped -- or worse. Ultimately, the wolf learns to follow the rules of its society or it gets excluded -- or worse.
This is absolutely true. Wolves are hierarchal, pack animals. If a wolf doesn't conform to pack behaviour, the wolf is disciplined, without any discussion or warning. Wolves that don't want to obey, don't get the luxury of deciding whether they stay in the pack.

Discipline is love. You don't have to beat, malign or crush the spirit in your child to teach them the ways to best navigate the waters of society.
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