Submission to authority (GD from a Biblical point of view) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like to have a discussion regarding a child's submission to authority. I have been thinking alot about what the Bible says about authority and thinking about how that fits with GD, unschooling, consentual living, etc.

Many mamas I know IRL and online do not expect their children to submit at all to authority. From a Christian point of view, how is that Biblical?

What is wrong with being under the authority of another?

Am I maybe missing something?

I do not know how to phrase what I am thinking, so I will leave it at that and be back when I can think more clearly :

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#2 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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i'm not sure exactly what you're asking. can GD and christian parenting be compatible? is that what you want to know? i think the letter from dulce de leche (an mdc member) is excellent. here's a link to read it...scroll down a few.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...tter+to+pastor

i'm not sure how authority works in regard to consensual living, we don't practice CL, UP, or US. however, i do think jesus was clear about respecting and loving children. when the bible speaks of authority over others, it is regarded as a priviledge and an awesome responsibility ....not a ticket to boss someone, ykwim, lol. anyway, i love the letter written in that post. i can't share it enough.

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#3 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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To me, a consensual family life is categorically Biblical. It would help me if you would post a passage or more specific reference to what you consider to be your Christian or Biblical perspective.
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#4 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To me, a consensual family life is categorically Biblical. It would help me if you would post a passage or more specific reference to what you consider to be your Christian or Biblical perspective.
From what I know about CL, is that all persons are equal as in their is no specific authority.

I may be TOTALLY off.

Same with RU (radical unschooling)

Still not sure how to phrase what I am thinking :

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#5 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i'm not sure exactly what you're asking. can GD and christian parenting be compatible? is that what you want to know? i think the letter from dulce de leche (an mdc member) is excellent. here's a link to read it...scroll down a few.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...tter+to+pastor

i'm not sure how authority works in regard to consensual living, we don't practice CL, UP, or US. however, i do think jesus was clear about respecting and loving children. when the bible speaks of authority over others, it is regarded as a priviledge and an awesome responsibility ....not a ticket to boss someone, ykwim, lol. anyway, i love the letter written in that post. i can't share it enough.
I know Christian parenting and GD are compatible, but I guess I wonder if some forms of GD are not Christian.

Does that kind of make sense? :

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#6 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:01 PM
 
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My definition of CL in our house, just off the top of my head, is that mutually agreed upon solutions to conflict, consensus, is always our aim and we go in believing it's possible. We're human beings not perfect, so we don't always get there but we keep trying.

I do believe that no one persons needs or wishes are more important than another, based on age or gender or anything else. We are all members of the family.

I find nothing un-Christian or un-Biblical about that.
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#7 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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I guess it depends on how you take what you read from the bible.
Give the bible to a hundred different people to read, and they will each take something different from it. Take one passage alone, and each will interpret that differently.
So yes...there are groups of parents out there (perhaps they have their own lables such as we have ones like AP and CL etc) - that take the authority thing from the bible and see that meaning needing to spank your child when they do 'wrong'. Whilst, you can get another group of christians who are very CL instead because that is what they have taken from the bible.
So...it boils down to how you interpret it.
I am not a christian, but I have read the bible - nowhere do I get the idea that children should be submissive to authority. But I have interpreted it differently from those who have.

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#8 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My definition of CL in our house, just off the top of my head, is that mutually agreed upon solutions to conflict, consensus, is always our aim and we go in believing it's possible. We're human beings not perfect, so we don't always get there but we keep trying.

I do believe that no one persons needs or wishes are more important than another, based on age or gender or anything else. We are all members of the family.

I find nothing un-Christian or un-Biblical about that.
What about when a mutual agreement can not be reached?

Let's say I have to leave for work and kids are not wanting to leave?

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#9 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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sure it makes sense. i think it's good to ask thought provoking questions, and i hope some of the mamas that are RU or practice CL will chime in here for ya. i'm not much help because in my house i'm the boss, ha ha. i'm kidding.

i think it's one of those topics that can be supported by both sides though, yk? it's like a lot of hot topics with christianity - people tend to use scripture to say what they want it too. hope you get some great insight though! i'll be watching the thread with you

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#10 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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Well, let's look at wifely submission which is considered by many (but not all of course) a Biblical principle.

If the husband requires and forces submission, (by punishing her or creating "consequences" for non-submission) is that healthy or okay? Would you agree with that? I wouldn't. I would call it abusive! However, if the wife willingly submits of her own free will for spiritual reasons, then that can be a beautiful thing.

So, for me, with my children it is the same thing. Parenting and raising our children should inspire them to want to submit to loving authority, by inspiring trust in those who have more power than they do. Certainly there are times when I lay down the law so to speak, but I try to avoid those times as much as possible. If you force a child to obey, they will most likely rebel, and they will certainly develop either an unhealthy resentment for authority, or an unhealthy attachment to authority (like, from the wrong places). People don't like being forced and it's not a healthy dynamic.

I can't think of a time Jesus never forced anyone to do anything, btw. The cleaning out of the temple might come close-- but I think that was different.

Here are some personal notes I wrote on this subject last week:

Quote:
* In a caring relationship of any kind, there is no room for punishment. But a child (or adult) SHOULD experience the NATURAL consequences of their actions as much as is safe and appropriate. They should have the benefit of experiencing these consequences WITH the guidance of a loving and caring adult who will not alienate them or withhold affection or compassion.

* Food for thought: in the scriptures, Heavenly Father and Jesus NEVER punish anyone. They simply allow people to sometimes experience the natural consequences of their own choices and actions (always with plenty of prior information given about what those consequences will be or might be). On the other hand, there are also many times when God compassionately shields people from the natural consequences of their actions. Which approach God takes depends on the person’s attitude, situation, and level of understanding.

* Heavenly Father and Jesus allow us to experience consequences even when it would be easier for Them to just punish us. Natural consequences of our actions often sadden God more than they hurt us, because the goal is not revenge, it is growth. Natural consequences may be very inconvenient to the parent. Punishment is often more convenient, but it is not conducive to the child’s growth in the long run.

* Punishment breaks trust and creates resentment.
I'd love to dicuss this more, it's still something I am forming ideas on.

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#11 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess it depends on how you take what you read from the bible.
Give the bible to a hundred different people to read, and they will each take something different from it. Take one passage alone, and each will interpret that differently.
So yes...there are groups of parents out there (perhaps they have their own lables such as we have ones like AP and CL etc) - that take the authority thing from the bible and see that meaning needing to spank your child when they do 'wrong'. Whilst, you can get another group of christians who are very CL instead because that is what they have taken from the bible.
So...it boils down to how you interpret it.
I am not a christian, but I have read the bible - nowhere do I get the idea that children should be submissive to authority. But I have interpreted it differently from those who have.
One scripture comes to mind:

Ephesians 6:1 Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.

(Followed by scripture about fathers not provoking their children )

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#12 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, let's look at wifely submission which is considered by many (but not all of course) a Biblical principle.

If the husband requires and forces submission, (by punishing her or creating "consequences" for non-submission) is that healthy or okay? Would you agree with that? I wouldn't. I would call it abusive! However, if the wife willingly submits of her own free will for spiritual reasons, then that can be a beautiful thing.

So, for me, with my children it is the same thing. Parenting and raising our children should inspire them to want to submit to loving authority, by inspiring trust in those who have more power than they do. Certainly there are times when I lay down the law so to speak, but I try to avoid those times as much as possible. If you force a child to obey, they will most likely rebel, and they will certainly develop either an unhealthy resentment for authority, or an unhealthy attachment to authority (like, from the wrong places). People don't like being forced and it's not a healthy dynamic.

I can't think of a time Jesus never forced anyone to do anything, btw. The cleaning out of the temple might come close-- but I think that was different.

Here are some personal notes I wrote on this subject last week:



I'd love to dicuss this more, it's still something I am forming ideas on.
This makes a lot of sense. : As a submissive wife myself, that is a GREAT analogy.

However, what if the child is not at an age of reason yet to determine right from wrong?

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#13 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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However, what if the child is not at an age of reason yet to determine right from wrong?
well, in that case...even the most radical CL or RU mama is going to intervene and protect her baby from harm's way, yk? if a child doesn't know right from wrong, they will either have natural consequences to teach them or the parent will need to intervene until they learn it (especially in regard to serious safety issues). right?

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#14 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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What about when a mutual agreement can not be reached?

Let's say I have to leave for work and kids are not wanting to leave?
There are many, many threads and the CL website out to address the "what about..." No paradigm including parenting or Christianity is a flow chart, if...then...else. It's a philosophy.

The other half of any snippet that says "SoandSo must obey SomebodyElse" is the responsibility of the SomebodyElse. Parents have a responsibility to their children, too. It's my responsibility to take car of my daughter's trust in me, which is exactly why I parent the way I do. You edited: that's always the following sentiment. Not provoking my daughter, to me, is my motivation in the life we life at home; making it easy for her to learn and succeed.

Ephesians is an epistle, it's advice to children that it's right and a good idea to respect and listen to their parents. I'm with that. It doesn't actually say "have to" and it doesn't say "parents, force your children to do what you want."

"Listen to your parents" is good advice, I give it to my daughter all the time. We parents have already been around the block a few times, we're trying to help and we usually know what we're talking about. I don't see it as an issue of submission or mutually exclusive with consensus.
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#15 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well, in that case...even the most radical CL or RU mama is going to intervene and protect her baby from harm's way, yk? if a child doesn't know right from wrong, they will either have natural consequences to teach them or the parent will need to intervene until they learn it (especially in regard to serious safety issues). right?
Right. But sometimes it may not be an immediate danger. Maybe it is more of a sin issue with attitude or an issue where something HAS to take place and they are being disrespectful about handling it.

For instance, we have been having MAJOR issues with getting out of the house on time. It is causing all of us (me included) to be disrespectful. We have talked during calm times and tried to make a plan, but things still get out of control.

My ds (9yrs) actually asked me to punish them if they did not cooperate at the time of leaving He said that it would teach them to be loving to their mother and be respectful However, the others do not agree

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#16 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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This makes a lot of sense. : As a submissive, wife that is a GREAT analogy.

However, what if the child is not at an age of reason yet to determine right from wrong?
Well, we have to shield them from some dangers, for sure. And we have to create a safe environment for other family members if the "wrong" in question involves violence, for instance. But as much as possible, I think it is ideal to allow children to learn right and wrong naturally through natural consequnces, while we act as loving, understanding, and compassionate guides along the way.

I alos take to heart the idea that little children are actually holier and closer to God than we are, and so, for the most part, they greatly desire to please us and to do good. When children "act out" it is usually because they do not feel connected/bonded/attached to us as they should and so they are "off-center". Just as God should be my center, children need their parents to be their center, to keep them "good" (feeling good and therefore acting "right").

It's the same with my relationship with God. I am more likely to do the wrong things when I am not feeling close to God or connected to God. When I am working on building my relationship with God, and I am feeling God-centered, feeling His love so close all the time inspires me to be good. Children are the same. Keep them close so that they can always feel your love and they will generally try to be "good".

BTW, I am still working on all of this. Didn't want anyone to think I'm some kind of perfect parent. Nope, not at all. Knowing and doing are two different things. I am working on it! BTW, staying God-centered is the best way for me to remember to parent my children the right way.

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#17 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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Ephesians is an epistle, it's advice to children that it's right and a good idea to respect and listen to their parents. I'm with that. It doesn't actually say "have to" and it doesn't say "parents, force your children to do what you want."

"Listen to your parents" is good advice, I give it to my daughter all the time. We parents have already been around the block a few times, we're trying to help and we usually know what we're talking about. I don't see it as an issue of submission or mutually exclusive with consensus.
I agree with this. I believe in teaching my children the concept that they should obey their parents-- it's a good thing to do-- but I don't agree with forcing them to do so. It must be their own choice.

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#18 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with this. I believe in teaching my children the concept that they should obey their parents-- it's a good thing to do-- but I don't agree with forcing them to do so. It must be their own choice.
How do you handle when their choice is extremely disruptive or unhealthy for others in the home?

For example: They are choosing to play loudly. I politely ask them to quite down so that they do not wake the baby. They choose not to quite down.

Result: Baby wakes.

My issue: Their behavior seems to only cause a consequence for ME.

Similarly: not leaving the house on time when I HAVE to go to work (they come with me) Consequence? I am late.

Not cleaning up after themselves. Consequence? I have to clean it up. (if I do not want to be punitive and throw their stuff away or pack it away)

Just a couple of examples.

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#19 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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I'm very curious to see what others have to say on this topic as well. The first thing that came to my mind, though, was the same husband-wife dynamic LionTigerBear already pointed out. I submit to my husband out of love, not out of fear. I trust him to take all of our concerns/feelings into account and to act in the best interest of our entire family when he makes a decision. In the same way, I want to foster that same love-trust relationship with our children.

As for the oft-quoted "Children, obey" imperative, I see that as a directive from God to children who are capable of understanding. There will be times when our children won't like, agree with, or understand the reasoning behind parental instructions. But in these instances, they have an opportunity to demonstrate their respect for and submission to God by submitting to their parents.

On a related note, I think the Biblical concept of authority is a lot different that the concept that plays out in modern society. In the world at large, authority seems to be about power and control, about whose interests trumps whose. The strong force their will on the weak, use the weak to accomplish their purposes, etc. Biblical authority, as demonstrated by Christ, however, is the antithesis of this. Christ forced His will on no one, used His power to help the weak, and ultimately laid down His life on behalf of those who were "under" Him. If anything, in the Biblical scheme of things, the needs of the weak trump all ... kind of like my 5-month-old's need for comfort at 2 a.m. trumps my need for sleep ...
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#20 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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Among the central messages I find in the Bible is, put somewhat indelicately, "work on yourself."

St. Paul gives advice to believers in his epistles, yes, but I'd be hard pressed to find in the New Testament a call to "now that you know exactly what's Right for you and for everyone else, go out and bend others to your will." I find the very premise of Christ's message to be the very opposite of that.

To me, that translates to parenting that it's not my job to bend DD but find my role in conflict and my way to clear the path for her. Sounds wishy-washy and I'm sorry, it doesn't get at all the "yeah but what about"s but that's my address to the original question. It's "attraction not promotion", which is the Christian message IMO.

(I realize that doesn't get your kids out the door any faster )
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On a related note, I think the Biblical concept of authority is a lot different that the concept that plays out in modern society. In the world at large, authority seems to be about power and control, about whose interests trumps whose. The strong force their will on the weak, use the weak to accomplish their purposes, etc. Biblical authority, as demonstrated by Christ, however, is the antithesis of this. Christ forced His will on no one, used His power to help the weak, and ultimately laid down His life on behalf of those who were "under" Him. If anything, in the Biblical scheme of things, the needs of the weak trump all ... kind of like my 5-month-old's need for comfort at 2 a.m. trumps my need for sleep ...

that's well said and very true!! i really enjoyed reading that!

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#22 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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How do you handle when their choice is extremely disruptive or unhealthy for others in the home?
For me, I often find it helpful to imgaine what I would do if I had the same issue with my dh or a guest or something. It gets me thinking outside of the box of usual parenting norms.

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For example: They are choosing to play loudly. I politely ask them to quiet down so that they do not wake the baby. They choose not to quiet down.

Result: Baby wakes.

My issue: Their behavior seems to only cause a consequence for ME.
Well, you are the only one feeling the immediate consequences-- you and the baby. But it is normal and healthy to, as a consequence of these actions, create healthy and respectful boundaries. For instance, if my dh was playing too loudly and woke the baby (um, this has happened a lot) then we might discuss options like making more space in between play spaces and baby sleeping spaces, and so forth. This will work with older children (maybe 3 or 4 and up) who are able to think reasonably to a degree. The older children will work with you on this when they feel close and bonded to you. For younger children, I would gently and respectfully and kindly create physical boundaries for them-- i.e., when baby is sleeping in one room they have to play in the other farthest room of the house and I might keep a safety gate up to keep them in the right place during the nap.

Or, I might rethink my desires. Is it really necessary for baby to sleep in a quiet atmosphere? Sometimes, it is, but other times, it might work better to allow baby to learn to sleep around the noise. Different solutions will look different for different families.

But the only other alternative is, what? To inspire your children to obey out of fear? By threatening, creating punishments, withdrawing your patient understanding, etc? I think that this creates distance between you and the child and this will lead them to act out more and be less cooperative in the long run. Remember, you want to keep them close to you and mommy-centered, not alienate them or allow them to withdraw emotionally.

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Similarly: not leaving the house on time when I HAVE to go to work (they come with me) Consequence? I am late.
Give yourself more time to get everyone ready to go. Give yourself time to guide each child through the getting ready to go process in a cheerful and upbeat way, possibly making a game out of it.

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Not cleaning up after themselves. Consequence? I have to clean it up. (if I do not want to be punitive and throw their stuff away or pack it away).
Well, in that case you only have so many options.

1.) You can get rid of a lot of toys (I don't think this is a bad thing. Children fro mthe beginning of time have lived and thrived with far fewer toys than children to day are used to. And what's better-- children with few toys who are close to their parents and find joy in pleasing their parents, or children with lots of toys who are constantly in conflict with their parents and feeling bad about it and acting out? If you do get rid of a ton of toys (we have done this a couple of times) do it cheerfully, with enthusiasm, non-punitively, and firmly, with confidence that this is a great thing that will make their lives happier-- and it will go over much better.

2.) Clean it up yourself. Really, what's so bad about that? I don't expect my children to wash their dishes, either! I pretty much expect to clean up after them all the time. I hope that by my cheerful example they will learn to love cleaning and they do often join in with enthusiasm. (They are only 4 and 2 now.) So of course I am going to clean up after them.

If they have more toys than I can comfortably clean up after, it's time to get rid of toys. I often invite them to help me clean up, but don't require it. I do keep their toys out of their reach and don't get new toys down for them until the "out" toys have been put away. (A rotation basis.) If I don't feel like putting the toys away right then, then they know that their options are either to 1. put the toys away themselves (sometimes they do) or 2. wait until later to play with a new toy.

So in this case the natural consequences are, have less toys, don't get to play with the toys, that sort of thing. NOT punishments, just the way to goes.

Like I wrote in my notes, natural consequences are often more work/less convenient for the parent. Punishment would be easier for the parent. But God does not punish us.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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#23 of 129 Old 12-18-2008, 05:49 PM
 
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On a related note, I think the Biblical concept of authority is a lot different that the concept that plays out in modern society. In the world at large, authority seems to be about power and control, about whose interests trumps whose. The strong force their will on the weak, use the weak to accomplish their purposes, etc. Biblical authority, as demonstrated by Christ, however, is the antithesis of this. Christ forced His will on no one, used His power to help the weak, and ultimately laid down His life on behalf of those who were "under" Him. If anything, in the Biblical scheme of things, the needs of the weak trump all ... kind of like my 5-month-old's need for comfort at 2 a.m. trumps my need for sleep ...
LOVE this.

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For me, I often find it helpful to imgaine what I would do if I had the same issue with my dh or a guest or something. It gets me thinking outside of the box of usual parenting norms.

the only thing with that approach is i would divorce my husband or kick my guests out if they treated me like my kids have sometimes, lol. now, i'm saying that half tongue in cheek of course....but seriously, my husband and guests probably wouldn't be around too long if they spoke to me or treated me as my kids have on some occassions.

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the only thing with that approach is i would divorce my husband or kick my guests out if they treated me like my kids have sometimes, lol. now, i'm saying that half tongue in cheek of course....but seriously, my husband and guests probably wouldn't be around too long if they spoke to me or treated me as my kids have on some occassions.

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#26 of 129 Old 12-19-2008, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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the only thing with that approach is i would divorce my husband or kick my guests out if they treated me like my kids have sometimes, lol. now, i'm saying that half tongue in cheek of course....but seriously, my husband and guests probably wouldn't be around too long if they spoke to me or treated me as my kids have on some occassions.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#27 of 129 Old 12-19-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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....but seriously, my husband and guests probably wouldn't be around too long if they spoke to me or treated me as my kids have on some occassions.
So, what kinds of behavior are we talking about exactly? Now granted, my kids are younger (2 and 4), but I can't think of anything they do that I would kick my dh, or a guest, out over--

Let me see if I can think of an example-- well yesterday I was so tired I went and lay down in bed for a bit (exhausted and pregnant here!) and when I came out, the kids (who had been watching a movie) were using the sink sprayer-attachment-thing to spray water ALL OVER the kitchen. Everything was wet, dripping, and soaking. I was not pleased at all. It took several big bath towels to mop it all up.

So when I think in my head, what would I do if my dh did this? First off, based on our prior relationship, I would respect that it must have seemed like a good idea to him for some reason. I would realize that I need to respect him even if I feel he was in the wrong, because I want to protect out trusting and caring relationship. I would give him the benefit of the doubt that he did NOT do this to hurt me or make my life miserable. So the first thing I would do is listen to what he had to say about the situation. Perhaps DH would have some reasonable explanation for spraying the whole kitchen to soaking-- or at least, a reasonable excuse. Either way, I can be respectful and considerate-- modeling the behavior I want to see more of in my household-- and modeling the way I would like my dh to treat me, as well. After hearing his side of it, I would explain what I didn't like about it and what was bothering me, and we would work it out without blaming and anger.

In the situation with the kids, the biggest thing I can carry over from my hypothetical situation with dh, is trusting in their good intentions-- giving them the benefit of the doubt-- that they didn't do this on purpose to hurt or bug me. They're just being kids. In fact, if anyone was at fault, it was me, for leaving them unsupervised. So being angry at them is pointless (and unrighteous if I indulge it), and being punitive is unjust and will only make them feel bad for being normal, playful, inquisitive kids. Consideration for others is something that takes YEARS to learn. It's amazing how considerate we expect kids to be when they're so little!!! Sometimes we expect them to be more considerate than we might be in the same situation.

As for the "guest" scenario, it might help to imagine this is a guest from a completely different culture, with almost no exposure to Western culture and expectations at all. This is a guest that you have been entrusted to teach and guide while they are with you, and this is someone fairly important-- perhaps a prince or princess. Now imagione that this guest had made a huge mess of the kitchen with the sprayer hose. You wouldn't immediately get mad-- at least not as a good hostess-- you would try to find out what they were trying to do. How exactly did this happen. Maybe they didn't know how the sprayer works. Maybe they were trying to help clean the dishes. Maybe in their culture this is the way people clean a kitchen-- spray liberally with water and then mop up! You would simply explain your customs genially and then take steps to arrange for it not to happen in the future.

You could do this by: 1.) giving them information (some things are damaged by water; I don't like cleaning the kitchen this way, it's too messy; don't worry about cleaning the kitchen for me; I'll take care of it next time) 2.) and if necessary, creating boundaries for next time, like, for the duration of their visit with you, not leaving them alone with a sink full of dishes if you know they like "washing dishes", or not leaving them alone with water at all if it's just the water they like playing with and 3.) if you thought there was a bit of a disconnect in the relationship, that was making them not be as cooperative, trying to do things to "woo" your guest back into your good graces a little bit, or spend more time with them and 4.) guiding their actions more (in this culture they are not familiar with) to help them to make good choices.

So I hope you can see a little better what I meant by trying to think how you might act if it were your dh or a guest. It's not meant exactly literally, but as a tool to help you get away from the mom-always-right-kids-need-to-be-cooperative mindset.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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#28 of 129 Old 12-19-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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Okay, now with older kids, sometimes kids do things deliberately to upset you. This is not something I have dealt with much yet. This might be one of those situations where you would kick out dh or a guest if they deliberately tried to hurt you/upset you.

Let's look at that scenario. If dh were deliberately trying to bother me/hurt me, it owuld be a major red flag that something was really wrong in our relationship. It would tell me immediately that he felt hisneeds were not being met/he felt hurt-- if he felt loved and close to me, this would absolutely not happen. So I would immediately and aggressively go about strengthening our relationship by 1.) meeting his needs 2.) being respectful, giving him his freedom, not punishing or aggravating him and 3.) being more lovable (i.e. courting or wooing his affections again).

I think as parents, when our children are acting out in a hurtful way, we need to not push them away further, but we need to "court" or "woo" them back into our loving arms again. We need to trust in their basic desire to be good, that if they feel right with us, they will not hurt us. If they feel loved and lovable in a relationship with a strong parent-guide, they will want to please us and follow our example, just like the little kids do. There's just more emotional baggage there than a little kids has-- more potential for anger and resentment and so forth. I love the book "Hold On To Your Kids" for more on this subject of "attachment parenting" for big kids and teens.

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#29 of 129 Old 12-20-2008, 10:03 AM
 
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So, what kinds of behavior are we talking about exactly? Now granted, my kids are younger (2 and 4), but I can't think of anything they do that I would kick my dh, or a guest, out over--
my son has hit me & kicked me when angry (from age 1-3 we experienced that)....not popular with guests or dh, lol. my son has outgrown this phase...but he can still call me "diaper face" or "diaper head" and he went through a HUGE "i hate you" phase when he was 3 and young 4 (he'll be 5 soon). you can see my past posts about how much fun that was for me! again, this would not be well tolerated by me from dh or guests. lastly, if my husband or guests had tantrums repeatedly like my son has....oh yea, they would be outta here! lol.

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#30 of 129 Old 12-20-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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my son has hit me & kicked me when angry (from age 1-3 we experienced that)....not popular with guests or dh, lol. my son has outgrown this phase...but he can still call me "diaper face" or "diaper head" and he went through a HUGE "i hate you" phase when he was 3 and young 4 (he'll be 5 soon). you can see my past posts about how much fun that was for me! again, this would not be well tolerated by me from dh or guests. lastly, if my husband or guests had tantrums repeatedly like my son has....oh yea, they would be outta here! lol.
Yeah, my two-year-old does hit me a lot. I pretty much ignore it or laugh at it. If it really hurts (ocassionally) I show him my displeasure.

The reason I would not tolerate or work with this kind of behavior from my husband would be because he is so powerful (physically) that it is just very dangerous. But if he were deliberately showing me disrespect in other fairly harmless ways, which might be more of an accurate parallel to a toddler's impetuous strikes, then I would work with him in the way I described in my last post.

With the preschool name-calling we turn it into a game. They call me diaper head I call them stinker butt. We go back and forth and laugh and hug. Actually, this is what I did with my husband too. We started dating when we were 18 and we used to call each names when we were angry. Eventually I realized that this was dynamic I wanted to change, so when he (or I myself) used a disrespectful term or name I would escalate it in a humorous and overly dramatic way, appealing to his sense of humour, sometimes ending with a ridiculous threat like "I will never talk to you ever again! Ever!" (The facial expressions here are key to making the humor work.) Well, anyway, my dh has a good sense of humor, so it worked-- it really diffuses the tension and makes everything feel less serious. Now when one of us gets angry and starts acting unreasonable, we just look at each other and say, "Jerk!" with a funny face and then burst out laughing and the tension is gone. It's great.

Don't know if any of that is immediately helpful or applicable to you but it worked for us.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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