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#61 of 367 Old 06-27-2009, 11:54 PM
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I found Pantley's suggestions in Kid Cooperation, for having routines, really helpful for parenting the UP way. You set things up so the kid knows what happens next, and everyone's needs are taken care of, and you're organized, and you know how much time you need (ie get up earlier) and sometimes you do let the kid go to school with uncombed hair. I didn't like how she does a chart with rewards and punishment, but the other suggestions were so useful. I guess letting some natural consequences occur isn't totally UP, but if they are as slight as uncombed hair or a baggie of cereal in the car for breakfast instead of a nice cooked meal, for a really resistant kid, I can see going there. But for my 2yo and me, having a set routine for mornings really helps us stay on track. She wants to read books and dance naked all morning, but after a week she knew after mommy's walk and yoga and breakfast, she could read and dance all she wanted
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#62 of 367 Old 06-28-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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Hi all,
I really need some perspective right now with my 9 yr old. I am having a difficult time with the way he talks to me at times. Talking about it at less intense times is not helping or changing anything. I want to be respectful and non-coercive, but I am finding that the older he gets the more forceful he gets and the less influence I have. For example, he is very emotional and combative if I ask him to clean something up that he perceives his brother to have had a part in getting out (his brother is 4). I try to explain that we all work together as a team, and that I clean things up for him and that I would really appreciate if he would help out. But he just resists, yet I cannot live like this anymore because I am constantly cleaning after them. He doesn't think it's "fair" if I ask him to clean up, but I don't think it's "fair" if he sits and plays on the computer while I clean up the stream of junk he left lying strewn about the house. I know I am just venting here. I can see that his perception is his reality, and his perception is, for example, "I didn't get out all these Legos, my brother did too, and he's not helping, so why the heck should I?" I know that I just need to somehow shift my perspective, but it's really hard right now, and I am starting to think along the lines of "maybe he really does need boundaries", etc. and worry that I am doing this all wrong.
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#63 of 367 Old 07-01-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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My dd (10 months old) often tries out her voice by doing a very high pitched and loud screech. she is especially fervent when she is eating solids and wants more. we are trying to teach her the sign for "more" and I say to her, in a quiet voice to model that for her, "Use a quieter voice please". on the one hand I don't want to squash her enthusiasm or control her, on the other hand it hurts my ears and in public draws A LOT of comments. What would be the UP way to handle this? Should I just keep doing what I'm doing with the signing and modelling? Is there some other way to handle it? Should I be more accepting of this as simply a baby thing that will pass with time?

Also, I'm about half way through UP. After I finish it I would like to continue reading more along similar lines. Given that my dd is only 10 months old, which would you recommend: How to Talk So Our Kids Will Listen, or Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves? Or something different?

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#64 of 367 Old 07-01-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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I totally remember feeling disturbed when my son would go through the screeeeeeetching phases. I worried that it was the precursor to behavioral issues, or developmental delays. They always coincided with a developmental leap forward though, so take heart.

It is totally normal baby behaviour, and nothing that requires correction on your part. I would not even ask her to use a quieter voice. I might offer mama some earplugs though! (We carried them with us on plane trips for nearby passengers.) Seriously, this is good - you might find some relief by joining her in her enthusiasm. If she's screeetching with joy about bananas, you can holler right along with her (no need to screetch though): Yay! bananas! wahooo! we LOVE bananas! and do a silly dance too. She'll love the company for her enthusiasm, and you'll be modelling a less ear-piercing way of celebration. If the sounds aren't joyous, you can help her translate her discomfort too.

Eating is one of the first pleasures that she can somewhat control - let her rip! May she have a life full of abundant pleasure and exuberant joy about it all. But babies do NOT need table manners. The signing is just to help her communicate, and that's been great for us. I suggest going full speed ahead with it, regardless of her voice.

As far as going out in public - a child's voice needs to be heard in this world! Let 'em comment, and you can come right back with: "We love to hear her, no matter what she has to say." My take is that this is much more along the UP lines than actual correction of the behavior.

I will end by referring to that preachy but true bumper sticker (or quote?):
"Well-behaved women rarely make history."
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#65 of 367 Old 07-01-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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While I had a lot to say to the previous poster about her 10 month old and UP, I am a little lost with my own 17 month old, ha, ironic, I know. Forgive me.

How do I handle the flavor of the week which is exuberant hitting and throwing? He laughs when I say "ouch", he tantrums when I take away the hard objects, and he takes no pleasure from hitting the couch cushion or throwing the soft ball when he wanted to do it the other way. I say things like:
Rocks we put down gently, balls we can throw hard!
We touch living things gently, but we can hit the pillows!

My enthusiasm in redirecting is not enough - he knows he's getting snowed. I feel he's too little for more serious corrections, but there have been several near misses. Do I just keep it up and redirect to a totally new activity when it's too frustrating? Is the learning curve just steeper than I expected?

Any advice?

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#66 of 367 Old 07-01-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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awesome, thanks so much!

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Her signature would be: Sleep is for the Weak
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#67 of 367 Old 07-02-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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I have been reading the Unconditional Parenting book, and am really enjoying it- finding a lot of things I could work on in regards to my relationships to my younger siblings (whom I watch most days) and how I can continue to model good behaviors for my 10 month old. Unfortunatley, I'm also realizing some of the negative effects my father's conditional parenting has had. Oh, well. You live, you learn, right?

How to explain to others (grandparents, family) your view on parenting without sounding too uptight? How to have them avoid over praising or trying to discipline? Some are good, I think, about respecting other's parenting styles, and others, not so much ...

forever following the lead of a colorful active little monkey
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#68 of 367 Old 07-02-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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How to explain to others (grandparents, family) your view on parenting without sounding too uptight? How to have them avoid over praising or trying to discipline? Some are good, I think, about respecting other's parenting styles, and others, not so much ...
Yeah! How to do that?! My mil is strictly "not so much". She can hardly hear us when we tell her not to give the baby juice, and when he flipped a spoon full of yogurt on the floor, not even playfully, just baby-clumsy, she actually said "No no no!" in a totally reprimanding way. Aaarrrrgh. She won't read the books I offer her, so I feel really stuck.

Anyone, help?

(Also, still hoping for advice re throwing rocks, see post above.)

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#69 of 367 Old 07-02-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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LCBMax: i don't feel very "qualified" to respond to your rock throwing issues but my gut instinct tells me that i think you are on the right track by offering alternatives but maybe you could question him more about 2 things: why is he doing that and what alternatives can he think of? he is awfully young for that line of questioning though, but what i'm wondering is is maybe he doesn't want to hit the pillow but maybe he can think of something else to hit that would be acceptable to you?

nj's mom: the family stuff is super tough and i am NOT a stellar example (totally got in a fight w/ my dad about co-sleeping) but what i have learned is that often the best thing to do is very simply state what YOU do for that situation and they will take it or leave it (or argue with you if they are like my dad). and at that point let it go knowing that your child spends the majority of his/her time w/ you, not the relative, and that your influence will be greater.

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#70 of 367 Old 07-02-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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subbing.

I have a 13 mo and he's turning into such a little man. I'm a yeller from a family of shamers and have to constantly remind myself that it's ME who has the problem, not DS.

Gotta check out that book.

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#71 of 367 Old 07-03-2009, 03:07 AM
 
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subbing.
...from a family of shamers and have to constantly remind myself that it's ME who has the problem, not DS.
I feel like I am beginning to understand why my family used shaming on us when we were growing up. I have really worked hard at trying not do this but, I caught myself doing it yesterday. My ds 6 and I were at a birthday party. After the party he started telling me how the other kids were mean to him, wouldn't let him play in the sprinkler, etc. I knew that he what he said was not true. I felt myself getting annoyed. At one point I said "you are trying to say the other kids are bad, when you are the one who is acting like a bad boy, trying to get them in trouble." I believe this is the first time I have ever called him a bad boy. When I heard the words come out of my mouth - I knew I was not doing what I wanted to do and was coming from a place of fear. He looked shocked and puzzled. I knew deep down that that was not what he was trying to do. He said something like no, that is not true. I am not trying to get anyone in trouble. I then clued in and said, "is it that you didn't know the other kids, and you didn't feel like you were fitting in?" He said yes, and that it really felt like that was happening to him." So now, I was starting to get it, he felt like people were being mean to him, because he wasn't connecting with them."

Late, I also apologized to him for calling him bad and talked to him about how I was worried about some of the things he was saying.

But what I learned here, was I didn't like his behavior - of saying things that weren't true - and felt fear that I had to stop it. I could see how my family probably used shaming out of their own fear of seeing me do something that they didn't like and not knowing how to handle it. I see that I need to somehow be aware of the fear, and instead of jumping to shaming (which is what I grew up with) try to figure out what is really going on and go from there.
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#72 of 367 Old 07-03-2009, 09:03 AM
 
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That's so awesome that you had that clear epiphany about that and were able to turn it around and use it to help yourself parent in the way you want to instead of on automatic parent. I see this all the time in myself, too. Thanks for that reminder of not acting from a place of fear.
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#73 of 367 Old 07-03-2009, 09:07 AM
 
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To the poster about the rock throwing, I think I would just remove as many possibilities for him to throw things as possible right now, and when he does, just change the environment and don't respond to the throwing. Like you said he laughs when you say ouch, he probably actually thinks it's funny. I probably wouldn't say ouch anymore, and just change the situation and move on, just so he doesn't get a response out of you. I think 17 months is very young, and he may grow out of it soon.
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#74 of 367 Old 07-03-2009, 09:44 AM
 
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Article about unconditionality:
http://www.scottnoelle.com/parenting/unconditional.htm

I'm so happy to have found this--thanks to Jan Hunt's Natural Child website..
Thank you for that. It seems so much more of something I am able to do than the image I previously had in my head.
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#75 of 367 Old 07-03-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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intentionalmama, you're so right about it being about fear. For my parents, it was fear of looking bad in front of their friends. We were always told (by others) that we were the "perfect kids" when, in reality, we were scared to death of our parents and what they'd do to us if we "stepped out of line."

Whenever I find myself frustrated and angry at DS, it's because I'm afraid of how others are looking at me, afraid that I can't make him stop crying and it will scar him for life, etc. Reminding myself of that and validating my fears in the moment seems to help a lot. Mindfulness, you know?

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#76 of 367 Old 07-03-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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[QUOTE=smeisnotapirate;14031294] For my parents, it was fear of looking bad in front of their friends. We were always told (by others) that we were the "perfect kids" ..

I can really relate to the above. My parents always told me we were such good children; that they could take us anywhere and that people loved having us come over because we were so well behaved. I imagine it was because we would have gotten into trouble if we acted out. Later in life, teenage years, etc. I was very secretive from my parents because; I really feared their disapproval in a gut wrenching way.

Reminding myself of that and validating my fears in the moment seems to help a lot. Mindfulness, you know?
I think this is key!
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#77 of 367 Old 07-04-2009, 03:49 AM
 
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intentionalmama, you're so right about it being about fear. For my parents, it was fear of looking bad in front of their friends. We were always told (by others) that we were the "perfect kids" when, in reality, we were scared to death of our parents and what they'd do to us if we "stepped out of line."

Whenever I find myself frustrated and angry at DS, it's because I'm afraid of how others are looking at me, afraid that I can't make him stop crying and it will scar him for life, etc. Reminding myself of that and validating my fears in the moment seems to help a lot. Mindfulness, you know?
Oh yes, I have to ask myself a lot "is this about Me or is this about [kid's name]?", "am I parenting out of fear right now or am I truly seeing/hearing [kid's name]?".

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#78 of 367 Old 07-04-2009, 06:05 AM
 
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I've not had time to read through the whole thread, just first and last pages, but I'm so glad I found it. I've read U.P. twice and loved it, all of it made so much sense to me esp in the light of my own lack of self esteem as a result of (I think) a very 'conditional' upbringing where my parents made very little attempt to empathically see my side to anything.

But I have to admit that I have really strayed from the path lately without even really realising it, mainly bc I've been struggling with a lot of mood swings, hormonal stuff going on, and feeling stressed out. I feel like many days (most days!), all day just feels like a battle of wills,with a few lovely moments of connection, and reading the last few posts I realise it is fear that has taken me over - fear that my child will get 'out of control', fear of what others will think of me, etc. I think a lot of this is rooted in the fact that a couple of months ago, my sister (who's not a parent and knows zippo about parenting, but somehow her opinion still really m atters to me) was staying with us for 2 months and she really disapproved of my parenting and basically reckoned 'if I bring up a brat, I'll just have to deal with it'. It was very discouraging to me. Also my partner is very much of the 'what the parent says, goes' school of thought, so what it ends up looking like , is mommy being the 'weak pushover' while he has the boundaries.

I did realise that I needed more boundaries, however - my only problem is I tend to go the other way and really insist on things, or say 'no' too much, bc otherwise i feel I am giving in. My 21 mo is extremely 'willful' (even for an average toddler, I feel) and will scream for half an hour after a transition that, no matter how well I try to prepare him for, needs to happen (going into the buggy for a nap/having to leave toys behind at a venue/leaving the park, etc). I also feel like his constant bossing me around and changing his mind every 2 seconds - sit here, no, sit there, no let's go outside (He's very verbal already) - is not the dynamic I want, but yet I also want to respect and support his budding realisation that he can control his environment to some extent. I guess, while I really agree with UP and the studies all made sense to me, I'm still struggling with a background notion, deeply embedded from my own hierarchical, spanking childhood, that while it's good to consider their needs and wishes, children DO at the end of the day need to understand that the parent has the final say. I am also struggling with balancing my own needs with that of my toddler - I find when I was being very 'GD', my own needs were just being suppressed and I'd eventually sort of explode in on myself.

How to undo this conditioning? I'm not even sure. But it helps to talk it out. Thanks for listening.
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#79 of 367 Old 07-05-2009, 09:32 AM
 
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Given that my dd is only 10 months old, which would you recommend: How to Talk So Our Kids Will Listen, or Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves? Or something different?
Both are terrific books, but Aldort will be much more helpful at this age. How to Talk is great for healthy communication & problem solving strategies which would play out better with older children.
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#80 of 367 Old 07-05-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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W
How do I handle the flavor of the week which is exuberant hitting and throwing? He laughs when I say "ouch", he tantrums when I take away the hard objects, and he takes no pleasure from hitting the couch cushion or throwing the soft ball when he wanted to do it the other way. I say things like:
Rocks we put down gently, balls we can throw hard!
We touch living things gently, but we can hit the pillows!
How you've responded sounds just like what I do with DS. If you need to step in and remove an object (or your child) for safety's sake, and a tantrum ensues, that's ok. Validating the feelings and being there until he's able to calm down & move on (which children do so much better than adults, especially when they have the freedom to express themselves) will keep you connected & help him process. At this age so much of our interactions are game-like to them and they don't fully get the concept of cause & effect. And yes, there are often these testing phases which do pass. Also, it may seem like you are repeating your responses ad nauseam but that is how they learn--their brains are so new & open and neural pathways are just being formed. Keep the fear in check and trust your child--you are not modeling destructive behavior and he will get it in time.
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#81 of 367 Old 07-05-2009, 09:49 AM
 
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Devaya, sounds like you are very insightful and self-aware! Do you have any mama friends who parent in a similar style? Hanging out with other moms and seeing how other toddlers behave--getting a sense of what is normal for that age & the support of others with similar parenting values helps me a great deal.

Also, I find living up to my parenting ideals is hard when I'm PMSing or run down (and sleep deprived for sure). Caring for ourselves so that we can care for others can be such a challenge! I try to get breaks for myself when I can, although I don't get as many as I'd like, and if I respond in a way to DS that I'm not happy with, I apologize & start over and try to be gentle with myself, knowing I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances.
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#82 of 367 Old 07-05-2009, 12:15 PM
 
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Devaya, sounds like you are very insightful and self-aware! Do you have any mama friends who parent in a similar style? Hanging out with other moms and seeing how other toddlers behave--getting a sense of what is normal for that age & the support of others with similar parenting values helps me a great deal.

Also, I find living up to my parenting ideals is hard when I'm PMSing or run down (and sleep deprived for sure). Caring for ourselves so that we can care for others can be such a challenge! I try to get breaks for myself when I can, although I don't get as many as I'd like, and if I respond in a way to DS that I'm not happy with, I apologize & start over and try to be gentle with myself, knowing I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances.
Thanks for the support. I do have a couple of friends who parent in a similar way, and when I'm around other parents in general I find my parenting is much better - it's when I'm at home that I find it really hard! My partner also isn't really on the same page as me and I find being around him almost reinforces the crappier side of my parenting!

I agree it's important to have time for yourself and recharge so you can have something to give. I'm a person who needs lots of time alone and as this doesn't happen, I soon find I am running on empty. fortunately I now do have regular times scheduled in the week when I can do some work or relax on my own while DP takes care of our son. Just having a change of scenery can help me to come back with more patience and appreciation for my child. I need to read Aldorf though - have read stuff on the web that she's written but haven't got her book yet. I feel that the more I read of this sort of thing, the easier it is to 'think' along the lines I would like to. Also to articulate clearly my parenting ideals, bc they seem quite muddled right now!
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#83 of 367 Old 07-05-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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We are trying a new game of "How gently can you put it down?" We pretend that the object needs to go to sleep, and we say "shhhhhh!" and put it down sooooo soooooo gently. In this way my son enjoys an alternative for throwing, but I am still having trouble not praising this new game, because I actually do still want to manipulate him into the behavior that works better for me and is safer for all. Can't quite help myself. Am trying instead to say "That was very gentle! Now the rock can sleep! Let's get a ball to throw."

So far, so "good", by which I mean I have successfully manipulated him into the behavior I want without it sounding conditional. Sorry, just feeling a little ironic/ exploratory about the whole philosophy right now. Unconditionality, yes, but also guidance toward the behavior that I feel is best. Belief in the child's inherent ability to have compassion, yes, but also downplaying all of our inherent ability to be monsters. So there is still coercion. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for this version of coercion, and babies must have guidance/ protection/ "coercion". But I don't want to ignore the reality that the power dynamic between parent/ child is still often about power. I want to keep that really clear so I never lose sight of any sense of powerlessness that he may feel.

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#84 of 367 Old 07-06-2009, 11:14 AM
 
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I am in the midst of the UP book...I have tried to openly discuss this book on a couple of occasions with mainstreamers (and one behaviorist, I later found...) and constantly come into contact/conflict with people over my views about this book. I see exactly what Kohn is saying on a number of different levels but have MUCH trouble putting this into practice with my almost 3 1/2 y.o.

The problem is that MOST people out there can't identify with Kohn philosophy even slightly.

Back to a pp's question...how do you deal w/ the behaviorists out there??????
They all seem so bent on telling me how I'm (and how Kohn is) wrong!
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#85 of 367 Old 07-06-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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Back to a pp's question...how do you deal w/ the behaviorists out there??????
They all seem so bent on telling me how I'm (and how Kohn is) wrong!
I agree, it is frustrating. I liken it to folks who don't see eye-to-eye with me on breastfeeding, cosleeping or any other parenting practices of mine. The "this is what works for us, please pass the bean dip" classic retort comes to mind. Behaviorism goes into a whole perspective on human nature (kids/people are inherently uncooperative and need to be "trained" to be good) that I'm not likely to share with anyone who buys into it. Such philosophical debates rarely end up with one person convinced that the other's perspective is correct and with parenting stuff emotions--guilt and defensiveness run high. I just don't find that it is worth it. To meet my own needs for encouragement & support I seek friends who parent with similar styles and values.
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#86 of 367 Old 07-06-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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I agree that trying to explain it to other people just often is not worth the battle. I tried to talk about it with my sister-in-law when she was going on about reward charts and how they worked for a while but then didn't with her kids, and she said 'But if you don't punish, how do you get them to do what you want?' Which it really all boils down to

I had a lovely moment yesterday when the principle of 'Put the relationship first' was illustrated to me. I was struggling to get household tasks done b/c DS was particularly needy in terms of attention, trying to get him involved/help me wasn't working, I was tired after a late night and felt frustrated. I kept trying to do what I was trying to do, and then suddenly I broke out of that and remembered the Kohn stuff, remembered to think about what needs he had, and just got eye to eye with him and hugged and kissed him. At first he just wanted 'milk' (I've started setting limits on b.feeding recently, including total nightweaning, so this is quite an issue at the moment) and was angry with me, but as I continued to try to just be present with him, forget about trying to take the washing off the line, and just give him my focussed love and attention, he suddenly 'turned' and started kissing me and being very loving towards me. It felt really special, and a few minutes later I WAS able to do my task as he pottered off happily on one of his own 'missions'. Really reinforcing when this stuff happens. Now I really wish I could find a way for DP to actually read the book...he'll often promise to read stuff but never does.
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#87 of 367 Old 07-07-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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Yes, time for DP to read the book, too! Let's get our SO's on board!!!
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#88 of 367 Old 07-08-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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I thought that today's "Daily Groove" was especially pertinent to our current discussion:

:: Don't Explain ::

Being on the leading edge of parenting, you may
find yourself explaining to others *why* you parent
the way you do.

This can be a good thing when someone has
expressed curiosity about it and you're simply
sharing information. But it's better *not* to explain
yourself if you're trying to *justify* your choices.

Justifying gives away your power. It implies that
you need the other person's approval. It undermines
your self-confidence and distances you from your
Inner Guidance.

The "need" to explain and justify your choices is
based on the "need" to be right. But if your parenting
choices are "right," and the other person would parent
differently, then s/he must be "wrong." Once you get
in that right/wrong mode, conflict or interpersonal
tension is inevitable.

Instead of explaining your parenting to others,
silently remind *yourself* that your choices are right
*for you*, and your own approval is all you need.

http://www.dailygroove.net/dont-explain
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#89 of 367 Old 07-08-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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I like that 'Daily Groove' too. So often I find myself justifying what I do as a parent, even to my partner!

One thing that's been bothering me, is that I read somewhere ('Magical child'? Something like that) that it's not healthy for a child's development to introduce the force of 'logic' too early, before it's appropriate. That this could inhibit the full development of their creative and imaginative abilities. And my impression (i could be wrong) of UP is that there is a lot of explaining to the child, like, 'we don't hit because ... xyz...or I need us to do this so that....etc.' Surely this would engage logic? Does anyone know about this? it might be a Steiner/Waldorf thing,I'm not sure. But it does concern me. Basically the argument is that children up to a certain age (think it's 6 or 7) need to have the boundaries set clearly and firmly without going into detail, and without negotiating.

I am totally supportive of UP, I hope I'm not throwing a spanner in the works, but I think it's good to understand these things. I think, on the other hand, that punishment and 'reward charts' could have a similar effect -the child has to understand the logic of doing X so he can get Y, or not doing X so he can avoid Y.
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#90 of 367 Old 07-08-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post
One thing that's been bothering me, is that I read somewhere ('Magical child'? Something like that) that it's not healthy for a child's development to introduce the force of 'logic' too early, before it's appropriate. That this could inhibit the full development of their creative and imaginative abilities. And my impression (i could be wrong) of UP is that there is a lot of explaining to the child, like, 'we don't hit because ... xyz...or I need us to do this so that....etc.' Surely this would engage logic? Does anyone know about this? it might be a Steiner/Waldorf thing,I'm not sure. But it does concern me. Basically the argument is that children up to a certain age (think it's 6 or 7) need to have the boundaries set clearly and firmly without going into detail, and without negotiating.

I am totally supportive of UP, I hope I'm not throwing a spanner in the works, but I think it's good to understand these things. I think, on the other hand, that punishment and 'reward charts' could have a similar effect -the child has to understand the logic of doing X so he can get Y, or not doing X so he can avoid Y.
Interesting. I like to hear more about why they think logic inhibits creativity. My daughter is almost 4 and understand a lot of things from a logic POV. I don't see that it has inhibited her creativity. My son, from the time he could talk has asked WHY???? and been very sensitive to things being arbitrary.

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