What is that GD style...finding acceptable solutions for both parent and child? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 148 Old 06-17-2011, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking about MDC and remembered a style of GD that was super popular when I frequented this forum back when my child was young.  It would have been about 5 years ago.  Forgive my rudimentary description of the style.  I know it had a title, it seemed to focus on finding mutual solutions for both parent and child, it seemed to place a great deal of faith in the idea that a child would make good choices for her/himself.  It seemed to be on the more "liberal/alternative" end of the GD spectrum.  I know it had a website that was very informative.  We referred to it by initials that had the letter "C" in them I think.  Thanks!  


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#2 of 148 Old 06-17-2011, 07:33 PM
 
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Consensual living?
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#3 of 148 Old 06-17-2011, 07:40 PM
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that would be my guess -- consensual living.

 

it really works, but I notice that it varies from family to family in how the principles are applied. :)

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#4 of 148 Old 06-17-2011, 09:37 PM
 
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Unconditional Parenting sometimes abbreviated UCP or UP that would fit. There is a book by that title by Alfie Kohn. He didn't create that style. I think it really goes back to well known child psychologist Haim Ginnot. Another book that emphasizes that approach Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon, he talks a lot about not just problem solving but finding a solution acceptable to both parent and child. Or could have been NVC non violent communication ( Marshall Rosenberg, Inbal Kashstan), they have a lot of good youtube videos explaining their approach. It's also a collaborative problem solving, active listening technique.


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#5 of 148 Old 06-17-2011, 09:41 PM
 
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I would like to hear others experiences with it. I tried it, it sounded good, I wanted it to work but there are times in life that a child just has to follow the rules and the rules can't be bent or compromised in anyway to fit his wants. My son is in a Montessori school and having a very hard time with this right now. He also has great difficulty getting along with other children because other children aren't apt to sit their and work it out, they're not going to be patient and try to figure out what wants or needs are driving his motives when draws on their coloring paper like he did today.


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#6 of 148 Old 06-17-2011, 11:37 PM
 
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A few years ago, when I saw more posts about it, I believe people were describing it as "Consentual Living".

 

I will confess that I tried it for about 2 days and discovered that I could not do it. It fit neither my personality, nor my understanding of child development. But there were some really good discussions around the issue, and they certainly did make them think.


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#7 of 148 Old 06-18-2011, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, it was Consentual Living - thank you!   When I was posting heavily in this forum it was the dominant philosophy (or at least one of the main ideas).  I remember really liking the idea.  Not for myself so much but as an idea to consider in contrast some of the more conventional GD approaches.  

 

Now that my daughter is a little older and we're facing some new discipline issues I want to revisit the idea for our family.  

 

I'll check out the website again and post back if I find some good information.  

 

PMM - I love all the books/authors you mentioned!  I love the philosophy of UP and thought PET was the best practical guide for parents out there.  

 

All this talk also has me remembering Taking Children Seriously.  I can't remember how all that fits in...will be back if I remember.  


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#8 of 148 Old 06-18-2011, 04:59 AM
 
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I would like to hear others experiences with it. I tried it, it sounded good, I wanted it to work but there are times in life that a child just has to follow the rules and the rules can't be bent or compromised in anyway to fit his wants. My son is in a Montessori school and having a very hard time with this right now. He also has great difficulty getting along with other children because other children aren't apt to sit their and work it out, they're not going to be patient and try to figure out what wants or needs are driving his motives when draws on their coloring paper like he did today.


I'm no expert on CL but I can see how it would be very hard to continue in a school setting, even one that's considered relaxed, alternative or unconventional. Montessori can be quite strict and might not be the best fit for a CL family. Also, I would not expect children, others or those from CL families, to apply the principles with each other so much, especially very young children (which is usually the make-up of Montessori schools). I would expect the adults to provide guidance in that respect but I don't think I'd expect Montessori teachers to know much about CL or subscribe to it. I don't know how you can incorporate CL into your family life and get a young child to understand that it doesn't apply in another place where he spends a majority of his time.

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#9 of 148 Old 06-18-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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Consensual living was huge here at one point. I loved the discussions, and I learned a lot from them and got good ideas for my family, but I didn't find it was practical at all times for us. But I love the idea of thinking of ways everyone can be happy instead of making children yield to what the parents want. There really is often a solution everyone is happy with.
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#10 of 148 Old 06-18-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PeacemongerMom View Post

I would like to hear others experiences with it. I tried it, it sounded good, I wanted it to work but there are times in life that a child just has to follow the rules and the rules can't be bent or compromised in anyway to fit his wants. My son is in a Montessori school and having a very hard time with this right now. He also has great difficulty getting along with other children because other children aren't apt to sit their and work it out, they're not going to be patient and try to figure out what wants or needs are driving his motives when draws on their coloring paper like he did today.



It (the "coersion and consequences are BAD!" theory of parenting) was a disaster with my temperamentally "spirited" kid. It works great with my other kid who is more of a natural "people pleaser."

 

 

I've decided that nobody really knows what's going on with this stuff. I STRONGLY suspect that different kid need different parenting styles, depending on temperament. I did find this in google scholar:

 

http://web.missouri.edu/~segerti/2244H/Maccoby_ParentsMatter.pdf

 

 

Quote:
Evidence has been emerging that a given parental practice can have different effects
on children with different temperaments. Kochanska (1995, 1997a) studied the development
of conscience in young children. She reported that for shy, temperamentally
fearful children, parental power-assertion does not appear to promote conscience
development—gentler techniques are called for. But with bold assertive children,
effective parenting involves firmness, along with maternal responsiveness and the
formation of a close emotional bond with the child. In a similar way, it has been
found that for children who are initially difficult, impulsive, and/or resistive, parental
firmness and restrictiveness are more important ingredients in preventing the subsequent
development of externalizing behavior than is the case for children with easier
temperaments (Bates et al 1998).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#11 of 148 Old 06-18-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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My older dd is temperamental and spirited too, and she's the one with whom I found Consensual LIving to be impractical. I love the idea but I couldn't make it work for us. I have found I haven't needed to punish, but I will admit there are times I have been tempted and I can see how it might have helped me have more control in some areas than I had. I just decided that the control I might gain wasn't important enough for me to punish. And maybe people who practice CL have decided to give up on things I wasn't willing to give up on because those things weren't as important to them as living consensually. I don't think it's impossible to raise a well behaved child who has self control without punishment or coercion any more than it's impossible to raise a well behaved child who has self control without spanking or other physical punishment, and that goes for spirited children too. My 9-year-old is now very well behaved and has great self control, though she's still emotional and intense, but the first 6 years of her life were very difficult. When she was 6, we finally decided we could handle having another child. LOL.
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#12 of 148 Old 06-18-2011, 02:13 PM
 
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I think it's not just the temperament of the child but also the temperament of the parent. I have decided that I do not have the capability to follow a rigid routine or schedule or system. My first child (who is 20yo now) was definitely "spirited". He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 7 or 8yo. We went to counselors and I read all kinds of books. That was before I knew about AP or any of this other stuff. The thing back then was the rewards/punishment chart of just rewards chart. You kept a chart of desired behavior, for which the child got rewards. You could also remove points or stars or whatever for undesired or unacceptable behavior. Thinking about that system now, it makes me think of training a dog. Anyway, I could never stick to it for more than 2 weeks. My spirited child didn't respond well to that kind of system but then maybe it was because I never stuck to it long enough to completely retrain him. shrug.gif It doesn't really matter because it didn't work for me. I'm terrible at sticking to schedules or strict routines. I can stick to relaxed routines, though.
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#13 of 148 Old 06-18-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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My older dd is temperamental and spirited too, and she's the one with whom I found Consensual LIving to be impractical. I love the idea but I couldn't make it work for us. I have found I haven't needed to punish, but I will admit there are times I have been tempted and I can see how it might have helped me have more control in some areas than I had. I just decided that the control I might gain wasn't important enough for me to punish. And maybe people who practice CL have decided to give up on things I wasn't willing to give up on because those things weren't as important to them as living consensually. I don't think it's impossible to raise a well behaved child who has self control without punishment or coercion any more than it's impossible to raise a well behaved child who has self control without spanking or other physical punishment, and that goes for spirited children too. My 9-year-old is now very well behaved and has great self control, though she's still emotional and intense, but the first 6 years of her life were very difficult. When she was 6, we finally decided we could handle having another child. LOL.


Interesting, and I believe you. You really never even used any logical consequences with her?

 

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#14 of 148 Old 06-18-2011, 03:35 PM
 
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No - I mean logical consequences sometimes just happen despite me, but I never imposed a consequence or purposely allowed one to happen when I could intervene. It seems like kids have so many limits and consequences that naturally come up I didn't feel like I needed to create any. Though there were times I wanted to put her in her room or something, but really only because it seemed like it would STOP the behavior in the moment, which would be useful in the moment, but I didn't personally feel like it would actually teach why the behavior was a problem. Though it isn't like I always have a plan. Some of my parenting is probably best called "muddling through the best I can until she outgrows a phase." And there are definitely times when I'm muddling through a phase and would just like a brief break from the phase, even if it's just a few minutes of peace while she's in her room. LOL. I can definitely see why people use time outs, and I don't disagree they can be done very gently and are within the realm of GD, I've just tried very hard to avoid punishments and have been successful so far, and plan to keep trying. I've read a lot of Alfie Kohn, and I know a lot of people aren't into his stuff, but it really made sense to me, personally.
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#15 of 148 Old 06-18-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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Consensual living?


yeah that

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#16 of 148 Old 06-19-2011, 04:25 AM
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I suppose that we are closer to unconditional parenting, but I haven't been in a situation where punishment/etc is necessary. He's only 3, too, and so not in a logical place where we are talking out solutions. I do try to think about what is going on from his perspective, though, and work from there.

 

I suppose that this is consensual in that his needs are taken into consideration. What I want in our household is for my son to feel happy and supported, and so I work diligently to create that. I have several methods of doing so -- from simple living to having a strong rhythm to making sure he has outside time to making sure he gets consistent meals and so on and so forth. I make sure, too, that any transition has a lot of time as well. If the bus leaves at 9:01, and it takes 3 minutes to get from door to bus stop, I'll actually leave 10 minutes out, because I'd rather wait at the bus stop for 5-7 minutes. :) This means that shoe time can take 5-10 minutes before that, and coat before that, and tidying away before that, and ending play time before that. Each has it's own duration -- I give it a lot of space.

 

This helps him move at his own pace through these things. Some days, that is quickly, and other days, it is more slow. If it is a quick day, I add in an activity. If he's moving from passive to active (which is common with the bus situation), then I create an active game for us to do either prior to going to the bus stop or after we get to the bus stop. It's usually movement based. This keeps him happy and meets his need, while also meeting my need to be at the bus on time and without a fussy child. If he's moving from an active to a passive activity, then I'll typically choose a passive activity for us. I typically use cuddles plus story telling. Again, this allows him to transition without feeling rushed one way or another. Most times, he needs the time that I provide for him to transition, and it works great.

 

I would say that my son is easy-going, but he is actually quite a strong and spirited personality. So, I am firm with him -- there are rules. Most of them have to do with manners around other people and safety. "This is how we do things" -- and I am firm on them.

 

As an example, when you get on the bus, you greet the driver. You sit down properly on the seat ("like a gentleman"), and you do that the whole ride. If you don't sit like a gentleman (and you're told once), then you sit on my lap. That's the rule. 90% of the time -- and we ride the bus frequently -- DS sits properly. 5% of the remaining time, he needs one reminder and then sits properly. the remaining 5% of the time, he is in my lap for at least part of the ride (sometimes by his request), and if he is sitting peacefully in my lap, I'll ask him "would you like to sit in your own seat like a gentleman?" And then he will. The reasons that this is important are two-fold: 1. safety -- the bus jostles around and he can get thrown around. Heck, I get thrown around. 2. being polite -- getting dirty shoes on the seat means that other people cannot sit there later, or won't want to. We need to be polite to our fellow travelers, and leave the bus as clean as we found it. Of course, we also *model* all of this behavior with him, and we point out how all of the other passengers on the bus are sitting and behaving as well. 

 

When I feel that DS is "acting up" (a term DH uses), I find it's usually due to hunger, tiredness, or a need to switch activities. It's rare that he gets that way with me, it's more common with DH. He doesn't think beyond his own head most days, so he doesn't grasp the forethought that this process entails. BUT, he does great when he does have that forethought AND when he keeps a strong rhythm with DS. it's just that -- and I understand this -- sometimes you want a day to just relax and not be responsible for anyone. I get it. ;)

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#17 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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I can definitely see why people use time outs, and I don't disagree they can be done very gently and are within the realm of GD, I've just tried very hard to avoid punishments and have been successful so far, and plan to keep trying.

There are ways to do time-outs without it being a punishment. In our family, if one person is out of control, they are asked to leave the rest of us until they can calm down. It's not a punishment, "You've been bad so now you have to sit in the corner for 5 minutes," or whatever. It's more along the lines of, "I can see that you are very upset and having a hard time handling this situation right now. Why don't you go to another room until you are calm enough that you can talk about it while still respecting the rest of us." That works with my middle ds, who is 7yo now. He goes to his room to be alone when he feels overwhelmed. He started doing that when he was very young. I want to say 3 but I'm not sure.

My 4yo is a different story. He is much more energetic and spirited. I do sometimes have to physically remove him from situations. Again, it's not as a punishment. He is allowed to return to the rest of us when he can calm down. Sometimes it gets extremely difficult with the two of them because they are so different. My 7yo is very low-key and sensitive and he gets extremely bothered by his little bro's constant movement and noise and commotion very easily.

It's a fine line and probably seems like splitting hairs to many people but I think a lot depends on the approach. If you approach the situation from anger or disappointment with the sense of feeling that the child is bad or misbehaving, the child will feel like anything you do or say is punishment. If you can find a way to approach it from a place of understanding that the child is just being himself and not intentionally trying to bother anyone else, it's easier to find ways to accommodate everyone without punishments. I'm certainly not perfect at it but I try.

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#18 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From what I recall with the CL discussions from way back CL is quite different from other forms of GD including UP.  While I'm sure punishment had no place in CL this is not where it differed from other forms of GD (as there are many approached to GD that also do not include punishment, UP for one).  From what I remember the main difference was in this idea that kids kind of intrinsically make good choices for themselves.  I remember CL discussions over things like food and television and how choices about those things in particular happened in a CL family.  From what I recall CL was pretty radical in this way.   

 

Here is from one website: "Consensual living is a process, a philosophy, a mindset by which we seek to live in harmony with our families and community. It involves finding mutually agreed upon solutions, where the needs of both parties are not only considered but addressed. Everyone’s wants and needs are equally valid, regardless of age. Conflicting wants or needs are discussed and mutually agreeable solutions are created or negotiated which meet the underlying needs of all parties."  

 

I think the "equally valid" think would be key here.  While I think many of us feel that our kids wants and needs are valid - CL may take this idea to heart and to practice way more than the average GD family.  

 

Do we have any parents that are still here that practice CL?  

 

Does anyone have experience with Taking Children Seriously?  I remember that idea as being pretty popular as well but can't remember how that is or isn't related to CL.  

 


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#19 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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Yeah, CL was where, like, you would have to make sure every person was happy with every single thing that happened. Like if you were going somewhere and the 2-year-old didn't want to sit in a car seat, you wouldn't make him sit in a car seat. But on the other hand, if the 4-year-old was looking forward to the destination, you'd have to find a way to make the 4-year-old happy too. Maybe mom takes the 4-year-old and dad waits until the 2-year-old chooses to go in the car seat? But everything- tooth brushing, bed times, TV, food, every single thing requires the child to be happy with what happens. That's where I'm not CL. I put a kid in a car seat if we need to go somewhere. I empathize, and stay nice, but the kid is forced in the car seat if we have to go somewhere, and I would include somewhere my older child really was looking forward to going that we'd planned in that. I would not take two cars. UP is just about not using behavioral techniques - rewards, punishments, charts, praise used in a behavioral way - but it is not about making sure the child is happy at every moment with every thing that happens. It's like if something has to happen, you simply make it happen and, if practical, explain what's going on, but you don't on top of that punish if the child is fighting doing it, or reward the child if the child doesn't fight it, or say "good for you!" when the child finally does agree to do it. People use the two terms interchangeably sometimes but they are really not the same at all.
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#20 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 11:12 AM
 
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Now, what I should have added is that, I did take a lot of good thoughts away from all those discussions about CL. I love the idea of opening up possibilities and considering other options that maybe CAN make everyone happy. I mean maybe in some cases, mom driving one child and dad driving the other won't be wasteful - maybe you're not going far anyway or whatever. There often ARE solutions that make everyone happy. I have really opened my mind up after reading about CL and I appreciate the viewpoint and now do look for mutually agreeable solutions. But there is not part-way to CL. The idea is that you can't do it part-way. Either the kids are always able to have things work for them, or they know they someone else can coerce them if they want to. The knowledge that someone has that power over them makes it no longer CL even if you don't use the power often. So if you do leave the option of coercion available for ANY situation - taking medicine, getting into a car seat, going to bed at night - ANYTHING, then it isn't CL.
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#21 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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But there is not part-way to CL. The idea is that you can't do it part-way. Either the kids are always able to have things work for them, or they know they someone else can coerce them if they want to. The knowledge that someone has that power over them makes it no longer CL even if you don't use the power often.

This is why I don't consider myself CL as much as I may aspire to be. I don't force and try really hard not to coerce things like food or medicine or bedtimes or brushing teeth. There are some things that I have to make my children do no matter what. My dh is away a lot. In the last 7 years he has been gone at least as much as he has been home, probably more if I were able to add all the time he was away and not just the extended periods. He's deployed right now for a year. I'm the only parent in the household. I don't have family close by. I homeschool so my kids are always with me. I don't have a childcare place where I can take my children for an hour or two. If I have a prenatal appointment, I have to go and be on time and my kids have to go with me at that time whether they want to or not. Sometimes if my adult ds is home and doesn't have to work and is agreeable, the LOs can stay home with him. I don't, however, force or coerce my adult ds into watching my LOs just because he's part of the family. A lot of people don't get that. They say since he's part of the family and he lives with us he has an obligation to help me. I disagree with that. He didn't have these children. He didn't agree to be an equal partner in caring for them. He is not their parent. I didn't have children so they could work for me.

My point is that I try as much as possible to work with everyone in my family to get everyone's needs met but sometimes that just isn't possible and I do have to use my power to make my kids do things they don't want to do. I do consider my children's feelings, needs and wants just as valid as mine but I can't please everyone all the time. I also can't always take my kids all the places they want to go. I just don't have the energy or the time.

I haven't seen much about CL on here in a long time but I quite looking around because it seemed like the atmosphere was changing to a more strict, non-GD one and I didn't like it. I got tired of arguing every little point so I quit reading and quit posting.

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#22 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 12:00 PM
 
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My point is that I try as much as possible to work with everyone in my family to get everyone's needs met but sometimes that just isn't possible and I do have to use my power to make my kids do things they don't want to do. I do consider my children's feelings, needs and wants just as valid as mine but I can't please everyone all the time. I also can't always take my kids all the places they want to go. I just don't have the energy or the time.

I haven't seen much about CL on here in a long time but I quite looking around because it seemed like the atmosphere was changing to a more strict, non-GD one and I didn't like it. I got tired of arguing every little point so I quit reading and quit posting.

I'm right where you are re CL. I love the ideal of it, and I do consider my kids' feelings and needs and wants as valid as mine, but I just can't make everyone happy all the time as much as I'd like to, including myself for that matter. Occasional disappointment seems to me to be a part of life, and I guess I've decided it's OK. Or a regrettable necessary part of life or something. Anyway, I put that under "don't sweat the small stuff" and move on. I at least take into consideration all their requests, but I try to be "big picture" and look at our overall relationship and happiness, and not get bogged down in every detail that comes up.

The atmosphere around here is getting a bit stricter. I like having a range of viewpoints, and I personally find gentle time outs and other gentle behavioral things to fall within GD, but I would like having more of us on the less behavioral side of things here as well. I know there are more of us out there.
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#23 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Now, what I should have added is that, I did take a lot of good thoughts away from all those discussions about CL. I love the idea of opening up possibilities and considering other options that maybe CAN make everyone happy. I mean maybe in some cases, mom driving one child and dad driving the other won't be wasteful - maybe you're not going far anyway or whatever. There often ARE solutions that make everyone happy. I have really opened my mind up after reading about CL and I appreciate the viewpoint and now do look for mutually agreeable solutions. But there is not part-way to CL. The idea is that you can't do it part-way.


I agree totally!   

 

I really found the people posting from a CL perspective to be super helpful even if I did butt heads with the ideas a lot of the time.  Back whenever that was ('06 or '07 maybe?) I really felt middle of the road here on the GD forum and I LOVED being able to get ideas and suggestions from both sides of the GD spectrum.  

 

I wish those ideas were still around because I actually have some questions about CL nowadays.  When my child was super young I just had such a hard time with the "equal say" thing when it came to things like TV and "unhealthy" foods.  Now that DC is older I can totally see turning the reigns over to her more and more.  She will, after all, be 100% in charge of her own life in what I know will feel like a flash.  

 

I'm sure one can't consider themselves CL just because their child is older but it I still wouldn't mind hearing from those mamas.  

 

MW, I totally hear you too about the issue of "splitting hairs".  It took me a long, long time to accept the difference between "punishment" and "just the way things are sometimes" - for lack of a better description.  In time though I really came to feel the difference.  It came from some book or some philosophy...which I could remember the name (I'm breastfeeding and have a mushy brain) because it really was a wonderful idea.  The gist is that you have positive expectations and somehow like magic your child just lives up to them.  Like when you're ready to leave the park you just walk - with full faith that your child will join you...and then she/he does!  I remember hearing about it and thinking it was the craziest thing but I tried it and it was really wonderful.  Anyone know what I'm describing now?  

 


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#24 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 07:07 PM
 
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I know what you are describing. I do it all the time. I don't force my 4yo to hold my hand while walking across a parking lot, for example. I fully expect him to be careful. He doesn't want to get hurt. He knows that cars can be dangerous and he's not going to walk out in front of one. I do keep an eye on him, though. I wouldn't just let him take off through the parking lot but he's never done that. He stays close to me. Rather than making my kids hold my hand or stay right next to me when we are out in public, I tell them I'm going this way or that and they follow.

I did not treat my oldest that way. I was so afraid of him getting lost or kidnapped that I wouldn't let him out of my hands. He would try to take off any chance he got. My younger children are completely opposite because they know I trust them to do what's safe.

I think it really starts with that mindshift you are talking about. So many adults seem to start out with the presumption that children will be unsafe or disobedient or difficult or whatever you want to call it. Since they think that way, they are more likely to see any behavior as bad. If you can shift your thinking to the presumption that children want to cooperate and be happy and make others happy, you can see the things they do in a different light. Then you can have different expectations, or maybe no expectations, of them. I don't know if I'm explaining myself very well but I do get what you are saying.

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#25 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 09:55 PM
 
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This post is so timely for me,  I'm having a parenting identity crises. I have been struggling  with my ds 5 and and his behavior. He more or less got kicked out of a Montessori summer program this week. He's been out of control for awhile. This is in part because I was too permissive, which is not part of UP or CL.  I am conflicted about UP and some of the methods I've been practicing. I had this realization yesterday or the day before that UP and CL are two completely different things. I started out loving UP philosophy and ended up somehow trying to practice CL which wasn't really my intention. How ironic that I saw someone point out the distinction between the two here today. I too found myself getting bogged down in every little detail and I think both DS and I were drowning in the details. All of the open endedness, coming up with solutions and doing things for intrinsic reasons seemed too abstract for him.

 

I started out loving UP because it was value based and not fear driven. I placed values ahead of good behavior. I was crazy about the idea of raising a kind and morally pure child that wouldn't be tainted by external motivators.The idea of bribing children to do the right thing never felt right to me but previously I hadn't known any alternatives. As strange as it may sound everything and everyone in my frame of reference was very mainstream and mostly either too permissive or too authoritarian. Not to say this is how all mainstream parents are but just a lot of the ones I experienced.

 

In my quest to learn more about UP I started learning about other parenting methods of similar philosophies and CL kind of crept it's way on to my radar. I liked the idea of a child collaborating and coming up with solutions. Again, this so out of the realm of my experiences. I still vividly remember times in my life as a teenager and even older being startled by the simple solutions people would come up with to solve problems. I had such a fatalistic perspective of a bump in the road as being the end of the road. I think part of this was because of how I was raised, decisions were made for me and the only thing to do was accept them. I wanted my son to be able to think creatively to solve problems. What I imagined was a thoughtful, respectful negotiator. After a while of picking apart every little thing, finding ways to please him in every situation that presented itself, he seemed more like a bully and a tyrant than an internally motivated, kind, respectful problem solver. I fully admit the problem could have been and I'm sure was in part me, in the execution of the methods. But my son fully expected to placated in some way, to some extent in every situation and when he wasn't all heck broke lose. Sometimes he would whine and cry and others he would have aggressive, violent outbursts. He could not handle "no" at all. This culminated with being told the school was not a good fit for him. Sometimes in life it's not going to go his way, it's just not. That's not only coming from me, we don't live in a bubble, his peers aren't always going to try to please him and he was frequently at odds with other children over this, his teacher and other family members also aren't always going to try to please him.

 

So I've been thinking things over a lot. Happiness is not always getting your way. If a person can only be happy when things go their way, they will never truly be happy because everything can not always go your way.  A person must learn to find some happiness and inner peace despite that. I think the ability to move on and be happy and calm even when things aren't going well is a true indicator of happiness and coping skills. I am still at odds with myself because rationally and logically both UP and CL make sense to me, I hear the argument and believe it. I want so much for it to work and foster wonderful traits in my son. I'm not sure what I'm doing next. Right now, I'm working on dealing with no. He got physical with a girl at school because it wasn't his turn on the tire swing. Today he had a meltdown because I was using the computer and he wanted to use it. I didn't try to work out a solution with him that we would both be satisfied with. I told him no, I'm using it now. He had a tantrum, when I sensed it was losing steam, I had him take some deep breaths and talked about ways to calm himself down. I should say earlier today I had a talk with him about ways to stay calm and deal with his emotions. I told him he had an imaginary tool box, with tools, like taking deep breaths, drawing pictures about how he feels, instead of yelling, throwing, hitting, etc. I don't want to use rewards or punishments just calming down skills. Once he masters that maybe we can try again to work toward mutually acceptable solutions. I'm not sure.  It's only been a few days of trying this and having these talks with him but so far he hasn't used them without pressure from me. I'm still conflicted because now I feel like the tyrant laying down the law and he can take it or not. Which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place. I did tell him tonight if he didn't calm down we were not going out ( we had plans to go have pizza with friends). I didn't really intend it to be punitive but more matter of fact, it is not acceptable to behave that way in public and be disruptive toward others. In a way I just feel like I've gone full circle and am more or less back to where I was before CL and UP.

 


Peace can not be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.- Albert Einstein

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#26 of 148 Old 06-21-2011, 10:18 PM
 
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I'm with mamazee on this one. I got a lot of great ideas from the CL threads and posts, and I DO think that my kids' opinions/wants/needs are just as important as mine are. I try (though I fail sometimes) to find solutions that make everyone happy. That just seems like the nice thing to do, kwim? But I also think that, even though their opinions/wants/needs are as important as mine, I have more life knowledge and am more likely (though definitely not always!) to have more information about the situation. As such, sometimes I have a reason to overrule what they want. Also...I want my kids to listen first, ask questions later when I use a certain tone or look. This tone or voice is reserved for situations where I know something that they don't, and it is NOT the time or place to discuss it.
At the same time, they are welcome to question me or offer other solutions almost any other time. Ds1 is really good at this, and often finds solutions that are mutually agreeable that I never even thought of.

 

So I like a lot of what CL says, and I'm another that would like to see more posters in this forum who are on this side of the GD spectrum, as opposed to the more strict side. I don't punish, but am not terribly opposed to logical consequences in theory (though I can't think of any that I've actually enforced. I sometimes threaten, but I take it back and explain why as soon as I chill out. Ds1 basically ignores me when I'm being like that, so that's good, I guess. lol) I am somewhat strict as far as my expectations, but it's more of a "this is what I expect, and I want you to do it" type of thing.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

 

 

MW, I totally hear you too about the issue of "splitting hairs".  It took me a long, long time to accept the difference between "punishment" and "just the way things are sometimes" - for lack of a better description.  In time though I really came to feel the difference.  It came from some book or some philosophy...which I could remember the name (I'm breastfeeding and have a mushy brain) because it really was a wonderful idea.  The gist is that you have positive expectations and somehow like magic your child just lives up to them.  Like when you're ready to leave the park you just walk - with full faith that your child will join you...and then she/he does!  I remember hearing about it and thinking it was the craziest thing but I tried it and it was really wonderful.  Anyone know what I'm describing now?  

 


It sounds TCC'ish to me.
 

 


Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#27 of 148 Old 06-22-2011, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds TCC'ish to me.
 

 



What is that...I can't remember - brain mush.  (Or do you mean TCS?)  

 

ETA: Got it!! Continuum Concept - YES, you're probably right!  


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#28 of 148 Old 06-22-2011, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeacemongerMom View Post
 After a while of picking apart every little thing, finding ways to please him in every situation that presented itself, he seemed more like a bully and a tyrant than an internally motivated, kind, respectful problem solver.


I'll come back (haven't given your post full thought yet) but the TCS website had a really nice quote about the idea that this consensual / non-coercion thing goes BOTH ways!!  It is neither the child nor the parent who is left unhappy.  


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#29 of 148 Old 06-22-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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I don't know what TCC or TCS is. Please explain.

Another tool I use that helps situations a lot of times is empathy. That's a big one for me because I was never empathized with as a child. If I ever had a feeling or opinion that was contrary to my mother's, I was told I was being silly or difficult. I was never treated as if what I thought or felt mattered. I can't remember if UP gets into empathy a lot. I think maybe not because I vaguely remember that the idea of validating feelings, whether positive or negative, was counterproductive. Kids know all their feelings are valid and don't need to be told so, especially since we tend to validate the "negative" emotions and just let the "positive" emotions be. Maybe I'm getting things mixed up, though. It's been a long time since I read Alfie Kohn and have since lent the book to a friend who promptly lost it. eyesroll.gif

The book that I got the practical applications of empathy was Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort. I understand there was some stink about her credentials a while back, maybe she was claiming to have a PhD when she really didn't. I don't know about that so I won't endorse the book, per se, but I don't think that necessarily disqualifies what she says in her book. I don't think the people who wrote the How to Talk books had PhDs but I could be wrong. Anyway, the idea is to verbalize what your child is feeling without any judgement or expectation.

For example, if the child is having a complete meltdown because he has to wait to use the computer, you would say something like, "You really want to use the computer right now and don't want to wait." There's no validating in that, either. You don't say something like, "It's ok to be angry or upset that you have to wait, but you still have to wait," or, "It's ok to be angry, but it's not ok to have a fit." All you do is state the child's feelings. You may get it wrong a few times and the child may correct you if he can. The child may also start to cry or whine or scream more or louder at first. You just continue stating how the child feels with no other statements about the situation. No "buts". You also have to let go of the expectation that this will quickly and easily diffuse the tantrum. It may not right away. Eventually, though, the child is supposed to start feeling understood and also learns ways to express feelings without the crying and screaming and whining. When I remember to do it (which is very hard for me in the moment), it works. My children actually usually calm down very quickly when I empathize with them.

Even when these practices are used, children will still get upset. It's not about them always being happy and never crying or having a meltdown. That's impossible. I think that's an expectation that parents get hung up on a lot when they start using UP or CL or empathy. Then they think it's not working or they are failures because their child still gets upset sometimes. If we do what we can to accommodate everyone as much as possible, hopefully our children will trust that is our goal and will understand the few times when that's just not possible. Does that make sense?

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#30 of 148 Old 06-22-2011, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

I don't know what TCC or TCS is. Please explain.

I am not sure if there is also a TCC...Oh wait - that's "The Continuum Concept"!!  I knew I recognized those initials.  Ok, so...

 

TCC is "The Continuum Concept": from a book by some sort of anthropologist.  Interesting ideas as I recall and, yes, the trust that the child will go with the group would be part of that idea from what I recall.  

 

TCS is "Taking Children Seriously": a philosophy which seems closely related to CL from what I can tell.  They have a website for more info.  

 

It's all coming back...

 

So long as we're talking about so many ideas I should mention that my favorite book for ages about 4-7 is PET: Parent Effictivness Training.  

 

 

 


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