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#61 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 08:00 AM
 
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Dang it ate my long reply

PM I didn't mean to use you or your dd as example, more as a general thing, exactly bc it's NOT about you or her, but about how to treat other people. From what I've read throughout hte years, it seems (and that's all it is ~ it SEEMS) that your dd is in many respects "easier to handle" by you than mine is by me, but that's no excuse for me to treat her less than respectfully and gently.

Quite the opposite ~ I know that most of our "adversarial" episodes have as much to do with MY weaknesses (impatience often being my main one, but not looking forward to clean up the potential mess being another example) as with whatever her traits might be. So I meant that it's not the child but the parents who makes limit setting harder

can't t7 ype now willem wants
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#62 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 09:34 AM
 
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Yes, yes, yes! I love the point being made here that regardless of the child's personality, the parent can generally work harder to be more respectful of the child's ability to decide what they want, what they want to do, etc..

For example, my daughter has never minded having her hair washed, so she gets it washed all the time. My son at around 2 decided he didn't like it, I tried lots of ideas to make it ok with him to get his hair washed, but he is still not a fan of it most nights, so, I asked him if he would like a really short haircut that wouldn't get dirty as easily and he went for it, so he gets it washed once a week or once every 2 weeks (I ask every night and that's about how often he agrees). If he wanted his hair long and still hated having it washed I would either need to keep trying for creative solutions that would work for him, or let it go---it's his hair. Yes- it worked out easily for me, but that doesn't mean that if it had been harder I would've given up and washed the hair of a screaming/crying child-----well, I might have done it---BUT, it would not have been right for me to do so, and I would need to apologize later and figure out something better. Just b/c it's harder doesn't mean it's not necessary to respect your child's wants (those which do not pose any real threat).

So- yes, more spirited children are more difficult to parent (that's how they get the label ), but, you can still work toward respecting their wishes more.

Sometimes I too don't feel like doing more laundry, and cringe when they start playing in the mudd, but I have choices other than making myself a martyr (doing more laundry which I really don't want to do) or setting an arbitrary limit (no playing in the mudd today), I can go over to my child and say, "I don't want to do more laundry today, and I am afraid that you will get your clothes very dirty playing in the mudd" and see what they say (surely this would not work for very young children, which is why my young ones wear "play clothes" 99% of the time), if they still want to play in the mudd I need to determine what to do next, I could try to get their interest onto something else, or I could decide that a little more laundry won't kill me, and make a mental note to remember to put them in play clothes (and keep a set in the car).

On the "junk food" issue, my kids are allowed junk food when they want it, I do the grocery shopping here and I don't buy junk, at friend's b-day parties or at Grammy's house, they are exposed to junk food more and they want it and I let them eat it, though I haven't allowed them soda yet, they haven't really wanted it, and so, I haven't had to "let go" of that, if one of them balked at that arbitrary limit of mine (they don't even ask for it), I would have to admit that soda is not likely to kill them and give them a cup of it.

"Junk food" and TV are big limits that I see discussed here often. I tend to believe that if you feel strongly that TV is bad for kids, you need to get it out of your house, and if junk food is a problem don't buy it, then, when at other's homes--LET GO! That's how I avoid those "arbitrary limits", actually, in my house we do allow TV b/c I am comfortable with a small amount of TV watching and my kids are always more interested in going outside, playing with the art box, etc. anyway.

The thing is, I bet everyone here has some arbitrary limits, I think the idea is work towards getting rid of them, that is where I am right now, I do have a bunch of arbitrary limits that I am working my way through, I am working to be the kind of parent I want to be and giving my children the respect I feel they deserve.

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#63 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 11:32 AM
 
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You're right, ParisMaman, with regard to the laundry, that's an issue that is mine, not my childrens'. (Wouldn't it be great if they could do their own wash, then I wouldn't need to spend so much time on that activity and could spend more time taking them to the park to get dirty?) I guess what I was getting at is that maybe the issue of setting limits, in most circumstances is far more complicated than people think. There are so many variables involved that the hard part is just trying to maintain consistency. I also think that children will always test their limits (whether it gets labelled as adversarial or not probably depends on how far they push those limits...some go much farther than others...) I do believe that all children need some limits, or boundaries that are consistently applied. The most important of all being: "Treat others the way you want to be treated." I guess the question to ask is what value am I trying to instill by setting this or that limit?
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#64 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 12:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ParisMaman
I think many posters here see those as safety issues. There is scientific data on the dangers of eating too much sugar, on watching too much television, etc. So I'm not sure those are limits based on personal whim.
I would agree with this as a "safety issue" if it was a steady diet of candy bars, potato chips and soda. I guess I was really responding to a specific thread about how to not let your kids have something you (not you specifically PM, just the general "parent you") think is "junk" while they are visiting someone else's house or at playgroup. A limited occurance in other words, not a daily diet. I guess I'm very not convinced that a handfull of goldfish or a commercial cookie is going to have any real impact on a child in the long term (excepting allergies of course). (Oops, is it against the rule to talk about one thread in a different thread?) Ditto with people getting freaked about Grandma showing them TV on an occassional visit or something.

I guess it boils down to what happens when your child is offered something you don't approve of on an occassional basis and you say "no"? Is that a limit? Does it hinge on whether you think 1 TV show or 1 potato chip is a long-term health risk? (If so, then I guess that's a whole different debate).

Totally off topic -- This has been a great thread in part because people have done such a good job of discussing the issue without being judgemental or angry about stuff.
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#65 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 01:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by simonee
From what I've read throughout hte years, it seems (and that's all it is ~ it SEEMS) that your dd is in many respects "easier to handle" by you than mine is by me, but that's no excuse for me to treat her less than respectfully and gently.


I think regardless of our child's personality, treating him or her with respect is vital.

I do have a danger baby, and I intervene when I need to protect her, but I also respect and admire her need to explore and learn. I have my cranky days, but I strive to be gentle with HOW I limit her.

It isn't simply about what is or is not allowed. Just as important in how we handle what isn't allowed.

You what my biggest challenge is these days? : I'm always yelling at the dogs. I seem to channel all my patience into dd and then have none left for my young dogs. I hate how I sound - and dd is hearing it. So I may talk to HER gently but she is still being exposed to negativity.
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#66 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 01:45 PM
 
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Also, the word 'arbitrary' when it comes to setting limits is a bit vague... When I limit my child from rolling down the grassy slope one day but not the next, it may appear arbitrary, but for me it's not. Today I have way too much laundry and it's not 'convenient' for me that ds adds to it. I suppose the word convenient (or perhaps tolerable) with regard to the parent is what it boils down to because somedays we are able to tolerate our children's behaviour and other days we simply aren't. When we try to always act the same way towards our child as well as siblings who require different levels of 'interference' , (ie., to always be consistent with regard to OUR behaviour) we run into problems because we human beings aren't naturally that way.
This strikes a cord with me.....as much as I try (and I really do) some days will be days when I can handle xy&z and other days will be days that I can't. I don't see any problem in teaching our children that mommy can't always do or allow them to do what they want. Sometimes mommy's wants will need to come before theirs - just as sometimes mommy is more then happy to put her wants aside to meet theirs......KWIM? Is that so wrong? If anything I see it as teaching them about respecting other people. Now that is not to say that I have to be 'mean and nasty' about how I apporach the 'limit' - I don't have to be snappy and just say no without a reason or offering an alternative - but I think it is fine to say no and mean no even if is only because 'I as the mom simply can't allow it at this moment'.

For example - we have a BIG mud pit in our back yard. Most days I am more then happy to allow the kids to get down and dirly - mud in their hair, mud all over everthing - just plain mud fun! But some days I am just not up for the aftermath - which is a bath, ect....I am having TERRIBLE reflux with this pgcy and leaning over the tub or shower and trying to get them clean (and yes they need to be wiped down - just sitting in the water dosn't alwasy do it) just makes the acid come up and makes me want to throw up.......So on those days we have a 'no mud day'.... sometimes the kids are sad and upset about it - but they accept it and we do something else. In fact now before they go outside they ask if it is a 'mud day' or a 'no mud day'......

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#67 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
I would agree with this as a "safety issue" if it was a steady diet of candy bars, potato chips and soda. I guess I was really responding to a specific thread about how to not let your kids have something you (not you specifically PM, just the general "parent you") think is "junk" while they are visiting someone else's house or at playgroup. A limited occurance in other words, not a daily diet. I guess I'm very not convinced that a handfull of goldfish or a commercial cookie is going to have any real impact on a child in the long term (excepting allergies of course). (Oops, is it against the rule to talk about one thread in a different thread?) Ditto with people getting freaked about Grandma showing them TV on an occassional visit or something.
If anyone wants to check out what that thread was really about, here it is:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ght=gracefully

It was about not offending the one who offered while still adhering to the healthy diet we as parents have chosen. It was never about beging offended by junk food or the offerer - quite the opposite!

I have to agree with ParisMaman on this one - limiting junk food and TV are clear safety issues to me. There is plenty of research out there to back me up. No dichotomy on this issue, IMO.
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#68 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 03:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by redheadmama
I do believe that all children need some limits, or boundaries that are consistently applied. The most important of all being: "Treat others the way you want to be treated." I guess the question to ask is what value am I trying to instill by setting this or that limit?

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Originally Posted by Graceoc
This strikes a cord with me.....as much as I try (and I really do) some days will be days when I can handle xy&z and other days will be days that I can't. I don't see any problem in teaching our children that mommy can't always do or allow them to do what they want. Sometimes mommy's wants will need to come before theirs - just as sometimes mommy is more then happy to put her wants aside to meet theirs......KWIM? Is that so wrong? If anything I see it as teaching them about respecting other people. Now that is not to say that I have to be 'mean and nasty' about how I apporach the 'limit' - I don't have to be snappy and just say no without a reason or offering an alternative - but I think it is fine to say no and mean no even if is only because 'I as the mom simply can't allow it at this moment'.

For example - we have a BIG mud pit in our back yard. Most days I am more then happy to allow the kids to get down and dirly - mud in their hair, mud all over everthing - just plain mud fun! But some days I am just not up for the aftermath - which is a bath, ect....I am having TERRIBLE reflux with this pgcy and leaning over the tub or shower and trying to get them clean (and yes they need to be wiped down - just sitting in the water dosn't alwasy do it) just makes the acid come up and makes me want to throw up.......So on those days we have a 'no mud day'.... sometimes the kids are sad and upset about it - but they accept it and we do something else. In fact now before they go outside they ask if it is a 'mud day' or a 'no mud day'......
I love these two quotes. I love them because I think parenting isn't just about what the kids want and need, but how to give the kids what they need and/or want within the context of a whole family made up of individuals with equally legitimate wants and needs. Everything I do affects my kids, and everything they do affects me. We're not just part of a family, but part of each other. Sometimes there isn't a reason to say no to something the kids want or want to do other than that I just can't find a way to handle it at that particular time. I do think limit-setting, or boundary-setting, or socialization, or whatever you want to call it is very much unique to each family. I don't think we have a single rule/limit/boundary/<insert term here> that does not have at least one exception. I can relate to the mud example by graceoc. I often let my kids mix up a "recipe" using whatever they find in the baking drawer plus water. It's fun and a great science experiment, but creates a huge mess that they cannot clean up themselves. Most of the time I don't relish the idea of cleaning up the mess but I let them do it anyway. Somedays they ask to do it and I say no, for no other reason than that I think I just can't handle it. Maybe there are too many other things to do that day, maybe the kitchen's already messy and I'm overwhelmed with chores and the baby's fussy. Maybe it's arbitrary to sometimes say no and sometimes say yes depending on what I can handle. But I don't think it's unreasonable. I know that if I get too overwhelmed it seriously impacts my parenting abilities, which is much worse than saying "no you can't do it today." I always explain to them why I said no, and if there really is no good reason I'll often reconsider, discuss it with them, and ultimately say yes.

I keep coming back to the thought that to me what's most important is, like someone else said, having respect for my kids. Treat them the way I'd like to be treated. Explain why I said no or why they have to wait or why they have to wear sneakers outside at Pa's house even though they go barefoot at home (Pa's afraid they'll hurt their feet, it's truly a big deal for him, and wearing sneakers is a small compromise that will allow everyone to have a great time). Listen to their thoughts and feelings as well. Be open to compromise or to changing my mind.
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#69 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 03:27 PM
 
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I think parenting isn't just about what the kids want and need, but how to give the kids what they need and/or want within the context of a whole family made up of individuals with equally legitimate wants and needs.

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I know that if I get too overwhelmed it seriously impacts my parenting abilities, which is much worse than saying "no you can't do it today."

This is exaclty how I feel......

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#70 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 03:33 PM
 
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Sledg- you said it much better than I did...
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#71 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 03:37 PM
 
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Someone, somewhere (and I can't seem to find the quote again) wrote abuot thinking of your child as being a visiting scientist in your house - the house is his lab, and he's got all these experiments running simultaneously. Would you want to hinder a scientist at work? I feel it is my responsibility to make the "lab" as safe as possible, and the rules that do exist are the ones that make the lab useable by other members of the scientific community (me and dh).
I have been lurking on this thread for a bit. DD is just starting to really test limits and I find myself saying "not", "don't", and "stop" a lot more than I think is neccessary. But sometimes the "experiments" are just so messy!

Anyway, I quoted this comment, because last night I was telling dh about this thread and how this quote in particular made sense (both dh and I are geeky scientist/engineer types). Just then he had handed dd a cracker and she drops it in her water, pulls it out puts it back in the water, takes it back out and proceeds to smush it around on the table. All I could do was laugh, poor thing was totally confused. The last couple of days have been really stressfull and it just made me laugh so hard!

Anyway, I think limits or less limits are easier in the home. Put things away you don't want broken and somethings like stoves and things are just no because of safety. It's outside in the world that I really struggle. What's ok to set limits or say no to (besides obvious saftey thing), and what am I being silly about?
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#72 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 05:51 PM
 
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I think the mud and reflux example is the perfect example of how respectful parenting helps everyone! There is a built in flexibility that ends up going both ways. I think kids who are used to having thier needs AND WANTS met with consideration and respect will behave that way back to their parents and others.

What I think is funny about some of the tv/junk food limits is the assumption that if you don't limit it that that's all they will do. That's not true. In fact, I've seen the exact opposite happen, where the kids who are refused these things treat it as forbidden fruit and when they get the chance they DO go hog wild.
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#73 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 06:36 PM
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Thanks for the discussion everyone. Here are a few thoughts:

I think there's an assumption by many people that kids want limits because without them they would not feel secure and parents fear they would grow wild and unruly. What may be more accurate though is that kids want information about how their parents (and others) feel about their behavior and to be informed when their parents are not feeling accepting of a behavior - this information gives the child the opportunity to modify that behavior on their own. This is quite different from wanting a parent to use authority to set limits on their behavior. Children, like adults, want to be the authority over their own behavior. If my husband tells me "You are not permitted to leave the cabinets open in the kitchen anymore. That is my limit. Don't do it anymore.", I would be very displeased, feel disrespected and resentful. I mean, it would be ridiculous for him to try and direct and control my behavior. However, if my husband told me "I get so annoyed when the cabinets are left open, it drives me kinda crazy, hon.", I would be receptive to that and out of respect try and modify that behaviour. I want to try and give my child that same respect, letting her know when something is unsafe, unhealthy or unacceptable to me but in a manner that gives her the opportunity to have some control over how she responds. Therefore, to me setting limits seems to imply the use of power and control (things I don't find gentle and useful in my interaction with my child) whereas explaining a limit, negotiating, finding alternatives are gentler, more respectful ways of helping children to make choices that are safe, healthy and respectful of themselves and others.

PS My thoughts on this issue are heavily influenced by Dr. Thomas Gordon, author of Parent Effectiveness Training. (Lousy title, good book)

PPS A thank you to ParisMaman who encouraged this long term lurker to start posting.
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#74 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 10:03 PM
 
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New to this so may screw up post or thread... anyway, we also had a friend who doesn't seem to notice or care when her young one climbs on our furniture or otherwise behaves in ways that we would not allow our child to (especially in someone else's home). I have always felt comfortable gently and kindly correcting other people's kids in my home or company by saying, "no shoes on the couch please", "quiet voice in the restaurant please", or "just a minute, the grown ups are talking". When said gently, kindly, but with a sort of underlying assumption that of course anyone would recognize the appropriateness of the request, it's never been met with any verbal objection. Important though to limit to a few behaviors so the parent doesn't feel like you're constantly picking on her kid.

I loved the other poster's quote about a child being a little scientist. With my 15 month old I'm having to constantly reassess if I'm saying no for my convenience (he wants to get into the cupboard where the pots & pans are, and no real hazards, but sure interesting - no real reason to stop him and curiosity met he gets bored and moves on) or his safety (no pulling on the cord that is attached to the hot & heavy iron). It's a constant balance between putting truly serious hazards away, and letting them learn by experience that a slightly hot coffee cup might hurt a little (certainly not hot enough to scald) - "oh, that's what mommy means by "hot - dangerous".
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#75 of 83 Old 08-25-2004, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Therefore, to me setting limits seems to imply the use of power and control (things I don't find gentle and useful in my interaction with my child) whereas explaining a limit, negotiating, finding alternatives are gentler, more respectful ways of helping children to make choices that are safe, healthy and respectful of themselves and others.
And it was worth the wait!

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What I think is funny about some of the tv/junk food limits is the assumption that if you don't limit it that that's all they will do. That's not true.
I'm not so sure about that one - about the TV. I've seen plenty of children who watch TV for hours and hours. I knew a girl who at 2 watched TV on all day long - and at 4 still does. Her parents would set up the laptop on her highchair while she ate dinner.

My dd is a huge homebody. If we had a TV around I am quite sure she would spend a significant portion of her time in front of it. I do let her play CD-Roms now. She would pass most of her time on them. I've tested that theory. We use a timer and she is very agreeable to that. I limit it now because of eye strain, posture and other health hazards of which she is well-informed.
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#76 of 83 Old 08-26-2004, 12:35 AM
 
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I'm loving this thread. I've been talking about it a lot with friends.

One aspect that was just brought up that resonates with me was the mud and reflux example.

One big goal for my family is to emphasize the family unit, kind of like working as a team with tons of respect and give and take among the family members. I understand that most of the giving will come from parents, but I hope that there will be enough respect and understanding from DC that they could understand the occassional needs of the parent, especially when the needs (or limits) are rationally explained.

I used the concept of teamwork in my middleschool classroom. Granted a classroom is different from a family, but it was good to see how much the kids got and respected the idea. They really appreciated being an active member of a team rather than being powerless.

Not only do I think this is not limiting. I think that it teaches empathy and social mores.


My only child is only 17 mos, so this is mostly theory.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#77 of 83 Old 08-26-2004, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes. I agree.

Last night I had a very bad stomach ache. Dd wanted everyone to play a board game. So she brought it to the living room where I was resting on the couch. Papa was on the floor with her. Dd said, "I want all of us to play: maman, papa, dd. But let's ask maman if she wants to play cause she has a tummy ache. Maman, do you want to play?"

"No," I replied, "I can't really. My stomach really hurts."

"Papa," she said, "Maman can't play, her stomach hurts."

And they played their game.
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#78 of 83 Old 08-26-2004, 10:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nic
What may be more accurate though is that kids want information about how their parents (and others) feel about their behavior and to be informed when their parents are not feeling accepting of a behavior - this information gives the child the opportunity to modify that behavior on their own.

Children, like adults, want to be the authority over their own behavior.

I want to try and give my child that same respect, letting her know when something is unsafe, unhealthy or unacceptable to me but in a manner that gives her the opportunity to have some control over how she responds. Therefore, to me setting limits seems to imply the use of power and control (things I don't find gentle and useful in my interaction with my child) whereas explaining a limit, negotiating, finding alternatives are gentler, more respectful ways of helping children to make choices that are safe, healthy and respectful of themselves and others.
Thank you, Nic. That makes so much sense. I could not find the words to articulate that.

Thank you, ParisMaman, for starting this discussion, for making me think. My kids thank you too. You ask the best questions and provoke a lot of thought!
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#79 of 83 Old 08-26-2004, 03:13 PM
 
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PM - that is such a sweet story.
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#80 of 83 Old 08-30-2004, 05:44 AM
 
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From: William and Martha Sears - The Discipline Book
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Limit setting is not the big undoing that some think it might be...
Quote:
...don't feel you always have to offer your child an explanation for your decision - your discipline doesn't always have to make sense to your child. Sometimes all that is necessary is giving your child the message "Because this is what I want you to do." Children expect us to be adults. That knowledge frees them to be children.
From: John B. Thomson - Natural Childhood
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But the child needs us to set firm limits and, if we don't, she will demand more and more until finally we are forced into saying "No" and perhaps shouting it too... We have the right to say "No" at any time. Some of us feel that we have to say "Yes" to our child's every reasonable demand. But we are only human and each of us has only limited time and energy to give our child.
From: Dr. Thomas Gordon - Parent Effectiveness Training
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Common sense and experience strongly support the idea that children do want limits in their relationship with parents. They need to know how far they can go before their behavior will be unacceptable. Only then can they choose not to engage in such behaviors. This applies to all human relationships.
From: Jane Nelsen - Positive Discipline A-Z
Quote:
It's okay to say no. If all you ever say is no that's a problem, but some parents don't think they have the right to say no without lengthy explanations.
From: Dorothy Corkille Briggs - Your Child's Self-Esteem
Quote:
Overprotective parents or ones who refuse to involve themselves in establishing limits make children feel inadequate and unloved.
From: Joseph Chilton Pearce - Magical Child
Quote:
Obviously, there must be boundaries, the child needs them. Boundaries give his world structure... Surely there must be boundaries concerning property, persons, the rights of family members, and so on, but these are few unless arbitrarily fussed over, and the child will take his cues surprisingly well if the lines of the relationship are clearly drawn.
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#81 of 83 Old 08-30-2004, 09:20 AM
 
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redheadmama-
i'm not sure exactly what you are trying to say.

i think we'd all agree that boundaries, having respect for family members, and some kind of "rules" or whatever you want to call them, esp in regard to safety, fit into our lives in one way or another---
all the while leaving out arbitrary limit setting and saying no for the sake of convienence.

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#82 of 83 Old 08-30-2004, 02:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by monkey's mom
What I think is funny about some of the tv/junk food limits is the assumption that if you don't limit it that that's all they will do. That's not true. In fact, I've seen the exact opposite happen, where the kids who are refused these things treat it as forbidden fruit and when they get the chance they DO go hog wild.
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Originally Posted by ParisMaman
I'm not so sure about that one - about the TV. I've seen plenty of children who watch TV for hours and hours. I knew a girl who at 2 watched TV on all day long - and at 4 still does. Her parents would set up the laptop on her highchair while she ate dinner.

My dd is a huge homebody. If we had a TV around I am quite sure she would spend a significant portion of her time in front of it. I do let her play CD-Roms now. She would pass most of her time on them. I've tested that theory. We use a timer and she is very agreeable to that. I limit it now because of eye strain, posture and other health hazards of which she is well-informed.
Yes, that was worded poorly on my part! What I should have said was that if you don't limit that they will inherently do only that. That without limits, kids will simply respond by doing the "wrong" or "forbidden" thing. And I don't think that is true. I think there will be a period where previously limited things will be "binged" on, but over time I think that it will taper out.

The example of the laptop on the highchair kid sounds like a kid who is not free from limits, rather one who really is limited. Why would a kid want to watch TV during a fun dinner with the family? Maybe the dinner isn't fun for kid? I don't know, but that just sounds weird to me.

When we took our puppy to Puppy Kindergarten our trainer was very clear about dog proofing our homes. His message was to start VERY small with the puppy: Keep it in a crate unless you were going to watch it 100%. Then let it "have" the kitchen--under careful supervision and with all 'no nos' put away (trash, food, etc.). If it started to chew on a chair, say 'no', but give it a chew toy and praise it.

When you felt like the dog could 'handle' the kitchen, add the family room in the same manner. Eventually, the dog could have free reign of the house and would have learned the limitations, etc.

His point was that most people do the opposite. They let the puppy go in the house and it pees on something around the corner, it chews on a couch, etc. So people say, "No more going in the living room!" "No more going upstairs!" and begin to TAKE AWAY rather than ADD. And eventually the puppy is confined to the kitchen/laundry room/crate along with a handful of bad habits that are harder to unlearn than the good habits are to learn.

And I think attachment parenting is kind of like this scenario. If you are mindful and THERE with your kids: guiding them, babyproofing/toddlerproofing/kidproofing their environments (including the pysical space, but also books, tv, people, activities, etc.) you do eventually get to the point where there just aren't a lot of "No! Don't DO that--and now you have to be punished to unlearn that behavior!" scenarios.

My kid doesn't have a lot of rules or limits, but he also doesn't have the whole WORLD either. That makes a big difference. He can largely do what he pleases in HIS world, because as mindful parents we have tried to set him up for success.

He'll be 3 in a few months and he's started getting "bigger" more mature lately. So we've added some things and flexed on some things. He can hold my shirt as we cross the road now--he is pleased to have this added choice/responsibility (and he understands more about the danger/safety thing), so he is happy to do it. Really happy--not a compliant, not worth it to argue about it, resentful in a way he doesn't understand yet way.

Gotta run...needing to be a mom....
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#83 of 83 Old 08-30-2004, 02:52 PM
 
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Monkey's mom

I love your analogy with the dog, and thanks to people like the Pearls, I normally hate dog-child comparisons. :LOL

We had such a wonderful dog obedience class instructor, she was just like what you described, she said you should never hit a dog, EVER, she said that you should never call the dog over to you and then yell at them (ie- dog is barking or jumping on someone across the yard from you and you yell the dog's name and the dog comes and you hit it for what it did or yell at the dog) b/c all that teaches the dog is to not come when called.

I learned a lot about parenting from that woman. (and have always wondered if she was an APer with her kids)

I too, babyproof a lot for the reasons you mentioned, I like to create a "yes" environment, I know there are both sides of that issue on these forums, some believe like you and I, some believe in a more Continuum Concept way of doing things. Not sure really who is "right" on that, but I like things my way as it helps me not to hover over my kids so much.

I think the main idea is to try/strive to place less limits on our kids, and to question our own reasoning for the ones we do impose, seems healthy to me .

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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