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#61 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 07:15 PM
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We have been cooped up for days as every time I tell DS it's time for our walk or time to go to the beach, park etc. he says 'no' and runs off. Later he'll come up and say 'to beets' which means let's go to the beach I'll say 'Great! Let's get you all dressed and ready to go.' Well, then he tells me no again. I really like to get out and so does he but he hates to get dressed. Once we are out the door he's fine but the fits he has when I am trying to help him get ready are not worth it almost. I don't want to force him to go but on the other hand he needs some encouragement to get going... I know this is a small problem and will pass wtime but I don't really know how to handle getting ready to go somewhere w out totally overpowering him. Any advice? I let him choose to stay in when I can but we do have to leave the house from time to time!
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#62 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Erika, you have put your finger on what I think is a weak point of AP. Once the baby grows up and demonstrates that they have their own agenda, what happens to meeting children's needs? Coercion usually rules the day. TCS seemed like a natural extension, the theory to help with that problem of AP, when I first ran across it. It fills in the blanks.

Gosh, I'd like to say more, but havoc is breaking around me.
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#63 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 10:00 PM
 
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larcy, what do you mean we arent living on a tribal level? Who is WE, us here? well ok maybe wee arent but...
It is my opinion that tribal survival is exactly how in fact many americans live, maybe not the majority, certainly not us as we sit typing on our computers, but many are- and for them....AP or TCS would be a luxury, not neccessareily bourne of economics but if socioeconomics indicate general stresss and education levels which we know they do- the rest figures in...so ladies, I must say I adamently believe that there are many practically impovershed families who practice AP and TCS(altho none with 2 vehicles and a mortgage as someone above mentioned would qualify in my humble opinion as being econimically challenged) but MOST of them are FAr far far from the majority and for the most part it is a luxury ,a blessing to be able to parent like this, and I am greatful for the luxury- and I will look upon my parenting values AS luxuries that I may be able to share with others not so lucky by lovingly offering examples and most of all by doing what I do around those who may not do the same that they may see it and see its benifets because as you have all pointed out it is much more economical in the long run anyways monitarily,time wise etc etc
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#64 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 11:13 PM
 
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We are going through the exact thing with our dd. How old is yours? Just thepast few days she will have a fit when we try to dress her. She loves going out but hates the getting ready.
She has been sick so we have mostly been letting her stay home. If we absolutely have to go out we will try to make the dressing quick fun and painless. i am hoping this passes soon!
Beth
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#65 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 11:20 PM
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Exactly. Jackson is 2.5 and was sick last week and is also cutting those last few molars. It is awful! I mean, he has much happier days when we go outside a lot. We have both been pretty much not ourselves. I am taking the oppurtunity to wrestle and play with dough and paints and such but the thing is that we need fresh air and I do not want to MAKE him get dressed. I want to help him. It's different now that he's older: he is not easily distracted. Any of you more experienced moms have suggestions?
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#66 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 11:39 PM
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Treelove, you are a love. I never thought to surprise him! I bet that would really help. Here I am trying to be all respectful when it is his developmental nature at this point to oppose me and make decisions. Not that I still can't be respectful, I guess I just need to be more playful and think on his level. Ooh, we have LLL party at ten...I can't wait to try it. Though I've tried the sneaky approach to baths and that doesn't help...any advice there?
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#67 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 12:24 AM
 
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the car thing...

There have been times that I have been very coersive re: car seats and holding hands in parking lots.
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#68 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 12:44 AM
 
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I have to admit that while those really important safety issues tend to lead to what some here call "coersion" (though I don't agree with the term), I have tried the alternative. For example, dd doesn't want to hold my hand in a parking lot (this happens often). If I take her over to a safe spot, get down on her level, and say something like this:

Me: Sweetie, do you see all these cars driving around?

DD: Yes.

Me: What do you think might happen if you ran ahead of me with all these cars moving around?

DD: Maybe I could get hurt.

Me: What do you think we should do to stay safe?

DD: (proudly) Hold Mommy's hand!

Me: What a good idea! Let's hold hands so we stay safe.

I know, I know, it sounds like I made this up, but it really does work that well. Of course, having a verbal child makes a big difference - I don't know what I'd do with an 18 month old other than just carry her!

Of course, I don't always think to do this, and if I'm rushed, I'm even less likely to use this approach. The knee-jerk reaction is to just give the rule and grab the hand, even if she complains. But I've been doing it more and more, and it's becoming more of a natural response, because it's self-reinforcing. Not only does it work, but we both feel better because we've had a positive interaction rather than a negative one, she's proud of herself for coming up with a solution and feels good that I treated her so respectfully.

In my neverending quest for peace in my life (hence the name ), I really try to get to the end of each day feeling like dd and I had mostly positive interactions. Doing things this way really helps keep the peace. It takes a little extra time, but you know what? Time isn't nearly as important as we all think!
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#69 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 01:33 AM
 
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Ever try using humor to get him dressed? When dd doesn't want to put on her coat, I'll sometimes say, okay, I'm going to put on my coat, and then very seriously try to put on HER coat and act all confused about why it doesn't fit. (Can you picture this? Do I look like the world's biggest idiot? Then you're picturing it correctly! ) She'll usually say, "No, Mommy, that's MY coat!!!" and then all I have to do is laugh, act sheepish, put on my own and then she puts on hers. Hey, she may grow up thinking mom's got a low I.Q. but at least we get out of the house
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#70 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 09:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by larsy


Eek, ack, er... I'd just like to say a word about privacy.
such details that a child would be able to recognize their self if they read it (and it is a distinct possibility that archived posts would be available to anyone including the children in the future) and feel embarrassed and violated and no small amount of coercion-


So, Alexander, when you ask for more details, I must protest.
larcy, the more you post, the more I love it. So I will start to think about a mechanism to prevent this type of problem.

And your notification about this subject comes not a moment too soon. Other members on this board have PMed me about related subjects, and I have requested permision to some to allow me to use the resulting interactions asseeds for threads.

So for these, and all future posts, I will be editing in a manor that will present the private discussions in an anonomous "Doe" format.

If I err, please let me know so that I may make the appropriate edits.

Thanks again.

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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#71 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 11:49 AM
 
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Thanks everyone for your replies. Larsey, you've given me a lot to think about. I've been trying to be concious of the things I say to the kids. A lot of what you say makes sense, but in a way I think it's crazy because my kids are under 5. How much of "reasoning" do they understand?

I'm just so frustrated at myself right now. Yesterday was a COMPLETE failure. If anyone was to get Worse Mother of the Year award, it would go to me for my behavior yesterday.

I look forward to many more of your TCS posts. I'll keep posting about situtations and how different things can be avoided.

Thanks again everyone.
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#72 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How about wearing comfortable clothes 'round the clock, that can go out or stay in? i'm thinking of cotton knits, sweat clothes, stuff like that.

It seems likely to me that there is something about 'telling' a child that it is time to do this or that, that is offensive/disrespectful to the child. Is this how a parent would present the idea of going out to a fun place to an adult friend? A person of any age might agree to going somewhere, and change their mind about it as the time to go gets closer and they realize that they are more interested in continuing what they are doing, or they just don't want to go, or whatever.

A parent can ask the child/ren for ideas of what they would like to do now/today, and engage in everyone throwing out ideas, considering them until they hit upon one that everyone is happy with, and then do it. If a parent offers an idea tentatively- ' I feel like going to the beach today, what do you feel like doing?'- there is room for child/ren to offer their ideas. Some days, ime, common preferences are easy to come by; other days, it can take awhile or creativity can be lacking and it seems impossible. At those times, it is better for parent to back off and help child get what they want, and to keep thinking and exploring to find the common preference. It is parent's responsibility to back off at these times, because the parent is responsible for the situation in the first place. parent brought child into existence, and so is bound to help child to learn and grow and get what they want in life.

Likewise, giving a child space in which to decide when they want to change clothes and what clothes to change into, supports their autonomy and bolsters the parent's position as trusted advisor, ready and willing to help child. IME, little kids don't need daily bathing (except maybe for some parts of them, which they might consent to when given the space and information- some of which they might need to experience in order to understand about, just like a lot of adults) or even clothes changing (when clothes get trashed, children are often willing to change- some insist upon it!- but parent might need to be willing to re-examine their theories that a food spill or a dirty face is grounds for coercion).

Every person has the right of consent about what goes in and on their body and what is done to their body. This is what makes it right for children to tell anyone a resounding 'no' if they don't want to be touched in any way, be it a parent, sibling, doctor, pedophile. Empower children to understand and claim their rightful autonomy. That probably means figuring out different ways of relating to a child, then the conventional parenting-expert route.

HOpe something here helps Best wishes!
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#73 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't mistake lack of experience and information and knowledge for lack of the ability to reason! Coercion will confuse a person so that they become irrational- look at any adult! we all have our areas of irrational confusion, and I trace it back to coercion around these areas- but I think that human beings start out rational, though needing help to negotiate the world and learn about it.

Also, take yourself seriously! Take care of and be kind and respectful to yourself, too. You have a lot of company in feeling like a failure and having bad days. I joined you there a couple of days ago! Apologize and go on, asking the kids for help in identifying coercion and in finding solutions. We all fail at finding common preferences, at avoiding coercion, at opening our minds and having ideas. *This does not mean that we are failures!* We each have a lot of strong points, and we are changing our thinking and learning new skills. Of course we are going to make mistakes along the way! That is how we learn.

It took me months to even be able to broach the subject of coercion with my family. I really had to absorb and learn about it on my own. I had to deal with my own anger at how I had been treated as a child- and I did not have a horrible childhood, but a 'normally' coercive one. It took years before I felt like I understood much about TCS at all, and longer to be able to articulate the theory. It is an exciting, frustrating, painful, exhilirating, worthwhile, life-long process.
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#74 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 01:05 PM
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Hi Larsy, I've read a lot of your posts with great interest.I agree with you that making a giant issue out of a bath or getting dressed id not effective parenting. My only question is how do I include my ds, who not only has limited verbal skilss **** at 28 mos. but also completely and totally ignores me when I try to talk to him half the time, in real decision making? I would love to, and try the would you like pancakes or toast, a bath or a wiping, markers or sandplay, what would you like to do approach but usually he doesn't say anything at all! How does your method of parenting apply to toddlers who are still such little babies yet also big boys and girls? It's like he's fighting to stay a baby and fighting to grow up. I'll let him be a baby or grow up, or both, I love everything about him, I just don't understand how to deal with him. He is not very rational by my standards at this point in time. Additionally, I can really feel him growing a little more detatched in the past month or so and I'm wondering ig this is a normal part of growing away from your mom to gain independence. One more thing, he gets so mad whenever I try to read, make up stories for or especially sing to him and always has. He lets me tell him the names of things in his books and what they are doing, but not read. It makes me so sad because I always looked so forward to that part of mothering. I mean, I know it's his deal and it doesn't matter, it just bothers me. Anyone else have a baby who doesn't want to be sung and read too? thanks.
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#75 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 01:09 PM
 
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Larsy, I am curious about this too. Do you mean to say that a child should not even be told he needs to brush his teeth, or wash his hands after going potty? This seems extreme to me. I am all for giving dd choices, within a certain framework though. For instance, yes she dresses herself, picks completely inappropriate things, but who cares, right? I mean the other day she wore underwear as a hat lol! Anyway, she just came out from the bathroom, where I knew she didn't wash her hands, and she told me she didn't want to. Now we learned abt germs, did some fun handwashing experiment s in the past, where we learned how hard it is to get germs off, ect, so she knows intellectually the importance of washing hands. However she would not do it untill I told her, "Yes yoiu need to do that now"

Brushing teeth at night is the same thing. She doesn't like it at all. Her choice would be not to do it. Isn't it my responsibility to see that these basic standards of care are being met?

Just curious Larsy. Trying to understand...

Mamapie, st I think its ok to just go without getting "ready" Just take the clothes in the car, and get dressed when you get where you are going, or just go as he is. It seems like he wants to go, he just doesn't want to do the dressing ect.
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#76 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 01:46 PM
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Lucy, funny you say that. We brought the clothes to the park the other day (well, shirt and shoes) but ds, let me expain, is strong as a bull, weighs in at 36 ibs at 2.5 yrs and didn't want his shoes and shirt on...he wanted to play right now!!! I almost dropped him on his head that day. I don't want to "beat" him into submission but want to teach him how rewarding a little cooporation can be.:
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#77 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 02:20 PM
 
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Mamapie, that is so funny that you had just tried that. I know exactly what you mean. St it feels like dd makes absolutely no concessions, its either her way or the highway!
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#78 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 05:32 PM
 
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Lucy,
When you say that the child intellectually knows the importance of hand washing I think that you are giving them too much credit. I too find myself assuming that my three and a half year old ds is on a higher level than he is, and expecting more from him than he is developmentally ready to handle. Things like germs are concept, not a tactile reality that they can touch, and most toddlers and preschoolers are not ready for the abstract. The whole idea that we should give our children a choice in things like personal hygene really bothers me. It is our job to raise our children to be responsible caring adults, and how responsible and caring is it to spread fecal contamination and who knows what other germs and illness to others, including the elderly and those with health issues.

Although they may be the center of our universe, our children are not the center of the universe to anyone else. Giving them too many choices or giving choices where choices are not due creates children who are selfish and self-centered. These children have a very hard time adjusting to life in the real world with others. After all, the school districts and the business world are not going to cater to our children's wants and whims. Years of working with children in a variety of settings has taught me this, and I work hard to ensure that my sons thrive as individuals, but who respect the needs and rights of those around them.

Lucy, this really isn't directed to you, so please, don't take it personally, but I saw the word "intellectually" and connected it with my preschooler and had to laugh.

Beth
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#79 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 06:05 PM
 
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Linda,

Thank goodness you posted. I was beginning to think I was the only one here who didn't let my children run my family.

Beth
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#80 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lucy wrote:

"St it feels like dd makes absolutely no concessions, its either her way or the highway!"

I suspect that this is the way it is for kids- parent's way or no way at all. And the kids don't have a choice, dependent as they are on parents for shelter and food and love and life.

Why can't a kid play at a park without shoes and shirt? I see this all the time. If child feels cold or wants protection for feet if walking on stones or whatever hurts, parent has the clothes for hir to put on.

As lovely as working together towards mutual ends can be, cooperation cannot be forced (sorry if I'm stating the obvious ). Figuring out what each person wants, and finding a way for both/all to get that, helps everyone feel respected and valued and imo will make each problem-solving situation more likely to be a cooperative experience. People will want to participate, when they know that their wants/needs are going to be considered on an equal footing as everyone else's, regardless of age or power.

Learning to act in one's own best interest is a powerful motivating factor in life, and the best interests in which to act, imo. A person must see the sense of washing hands and brushing teeth. It is not necessarily true that if a person does not wash their hands after using the toilet or brush their teeth every time they eat, they will suffer dire consequences. Parents likely follow these routines, and talk about why they do so with their children as they grow. Children like to imitate, and so practice doing these things in their own way, in their own time. By forcing the issue, I think a parent does more harm than good. It is possible to convince a child that washing hands at appropriate times and brushing teeth are in their own best self interest, and to do so non-coercively.

If a child doesn't want to wash their hands, and the parent is totally grossed out by this, this is the parent's problem, not the child's. A parent can recognize this, and work on improving their theories- but in the meantime, they might be able to find some fun involvement with water and soap in the kitchen or the back yard that would satisfy the parent and child.

The teeth thing- believe me, I've had huge issues with this. In researching, I've come upon a lot of information about stuff like decay in baby teeth not needing to be treated necessarily, but watched in combination with as much cleaning as possible and offering such foods as actually help clean teeth and adjust the PH balance of the mouth to discourage cavity formation (like cheddar cheese) and chew sugarless gum and swish out a mouth with water. It seems that it is the luck of the draw, to a large extent; some people can eat lots of sugar and hardly clean their teeth and still not get cavities, whereas others can clean their teeth scrupulously and avoid sugar and still get cavities.

Lucy again:" However she would not do it untill I told her, "Yes yoiu need to do that now" "

So the message is, even though you don't want to, you have to anyhow... because why? Because children have to learn that there are things they have to do whether they want to or not? I think we are agreed that it is a good idea to wash at certain times, but how to convince a child and respect their autonomy? What if a parent responds to a child who doesn't want to do something, "I think you are making a mistake. There are good reasons for doing X. Do you want to know what they are?" "It is your body and it is up to you how you take care of it. Do you want to take the chance of transferring bathroom germs to your mouth and maybe getting sick? Or to someone else?" and launch into a story about Typhoid Mary Child might listen to this from parent, if they are accustomed to getting good information from parent, and be persuaded. Or they might just want to go do what they want to do and be left alone. Shouldn't that be respected? If a child is forced, and builds up resentment and faulty theories, arent' they likely to not wash/brush at times when they can get away with that? When they do avoid doing what parent wants them to do, they are not getting the benefit of the washing/brushing, just as they don't get the benefit if they decide on their own not to do it, on occasion, and that is respected. If not coerced, they can continue to learn and think about it, and are likely to reach a place where they are glad to do the washing/brushing because it make sense to them. They will not be 40 yr old adults, forcing their selves to wash/brush with a bad feeling in their minds; they will feel good about taking good care of their selves.

Does this make sense?
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#81 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 08:32 PM
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First, jbcmom, I love what you said about children being the center of the universe. My sil's son beats and bites the holy hell out of my son, who is a year younger than her son's 3.5. Anyway, she really doesn't tell him not to hurt other kids. She just goes, oh baby, that's not nice. I am a lot stronger in my objections to my son being violent with other kids, although he hits me when he wants me to stop singing or talking and I'm a big softie about that. As a result, ds really is quite gentle, especially to samller children. Anyway, one day I was tellimg my sil that some people think that their children are more vital to the world than anyone else's and that only your world revolves around your child and you can't expect your neighbor's to. She said,"Oh, I disagree. My baby is the most important thing in the world and the whole world does revolve around him." I was like,"Oh, to you?" And she, in all seriousness, said,"No. I firmly believe he is more importamt than everyone. I don't need to worry about anyone else." I thought that was a really selfish and dangerous attitude.

Larsy, I am beginning to get the concept of non-coersion, however I find the extreme to which you believe in it a little impractical. That is not a dig at you, I am just letting you know how far my understanding of your views goes. I will reiterate that I want to find a way not to force Jackson to do things, but sometimes we have somewhere to go and he has a poopy diaper and no other clothes on and I have to get him dressed. Period. He is not quite up to understanding the reason, and I wish I could just let him run totally wild, and I do AMAP. However, sometimes he, for example, picked up a big dog turd and then turns around and wants another cracker. Guess what? I HAVE to wash his hands. I have no idea how you practically handle situations where it is impossible to cater more to your child's autonomy than to the reality of the situation. How do I change his clothes or wash his hands without stepping on his toes? Because as an adult, there will eventually be situations requiring compromise and I don't want him to remember me overpowering him and thus be afraid of or resentful toward things that life simply requires. I deeply appreciate anyone and everyone's input because I think the situation is bigger than it looks. I mean, a friend said she thinks he is oppositional! To me that is a handy pop psychology catch all term, but he does not like to do anything I need him to do. He is only 2.5, and that comes w the territory but I want to smooth out the situation as it is serious to us both.
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#82 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 10:52 PM
 
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jbcjmom, I wasn't advocating what you were talking abt at all. I also agree with you that things like handwashing aren't issues up for discussion. When I said dd knew intellectually, what I meant was that we spent a while learning abt germs while studying Madeline. We coated our hands in vaseline, and sprinkled pepper on them, and then tried to wash it all off. It was hard to get off, which led to a discussion abt how we must wash hands properly ect. , germs like to stick to us.

Anyway, Larcy when I said its her way or the highway st, I was commisserating with mamapie. And no, its not my way or the highway in this household. Some issues are health and safety related. I should have added, we were fixing food at the time, hands needed to be washed. Shoes at a playground are necessary. Atleast where I live, there may be glass or st . There are things we do to keep our kids safe. Abt the teeth, I think it would be more traumatic for her to undergo a dental procedure than to simply brush her teeth once or twice a day with pretty pink toothpaste and a musical toothbrush!

I am going to bow out here, bc I want this thread to be helpful for mampie, I don't want to sidetrack it. I just wanted to respond.
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#83 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 11:45 PM
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Hey, Lucy, come back! You aren't sidetracking a thing. I learn best when I hear lots of different viewpoints and I liked what you said.
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#84 of 589 Old 12-12-2001, 11:58 PM
 
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Thanks mamapie, you're so sweet! I was afraid I was distracting from your original ?.
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#85 of 589 Old 12-13-2001, 12:18 AM
 
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hello im new to this forum and find that tcs and all its implications fall directly in line with my present beliefs. where can i get this book? amazon doesnt even have it!
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#86 of 589 Old 12-13-2001, 12:44 AM
 
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Lucy, I new you were going to take that too personally. None of my post other than the use of the word "intellectually" was directed at you. I really liked your idea of vaseline and pepper. If I ever run into hand washing issues with my second son, I'm going to try that.

Here is my problem with this whole TCS theory of child rearing. I am all for a gentle approach to discipline (meaning: to teach, not to punish) and practice this with my sons. I offer choices and try to give explanations for my decisions and actions as best I can considering their age. From what I can see, TCS fails to take into consideration that children are not simply small adults. Their bodies are smaller, their brains are different, they lack the experience and skills that we as adults have gained (yes, by experience, I realize that), but when we became parents our job became to protect, nurture, love, teach , guide and discipline our children. I can not imagine what my life had been like if I'd had basically no rules growing up, if I had been the one to make all my decisions as a toddler. Our children look to us for guidance and wisdom. My son hates to wear his coat, but where we live it becomes a necessity. I would be negligent if I let him run around outside in shorts, a tee shirt and no shoes as our neighbors let their boys (ages 6 and 8) do. These boys have been raised with somewhat of the TCS attitude and they have turned into total brats. Everyone in the neighbor groans when they come outside. The parents are now trying to regain control of their household and are paying a heavy price for their earlier actions.

Anyone who has taken a Psych 101 class knows that children are different than adults. They don't think the same, they don't have the same ability to reason, and they are unable to see things from another's perspective. I worry about these kids who have been the center of the universe when the join the real world whether it be in school, or in the working world. The rest of the world has rules that must be abided by, there is often no room for compromise. I may be running late, but I still have to stop for that red light because if I run it my actions impact others. The same goes for the child who doesn't want to wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom, I use this again for an example. Children carry germs and hand washing not only protects them, but those around them, not just from feces or urine, but from the saliva, snot, etc that they are carrying. After they touch that door handle they leave their germs for every person who follows. This means the frail 85 year old woman, and the two year old with a heart condition. I use this example because it is personal. My God daughter has a heart condition and a couple of other small problems and germs and common illnesses are an issue for them. How are you going to teach a child to love and respect others when, to them, they are the only person in the world who matters?

Am I the only one with a time out chair in my house? When my oldest son hits my younger son, there is no discussion. That is wrong and there are consequences to his action. It is up to me to teach him that it is wrong to hit, not for him to eventually figure out on his own. If your child bites another child on the playground, what are the consequences? Do you discuss it? No three year old on the planet is going to say "yeah, Mom, you were right. I shouldn't have bitten that child, even though he took the shovel I was playing with. It was wrong. I'll apologize and never do it again." Children act on impulse, not logic. All the child is thinking is "That was mine and he took it!" Children react like that because they aren't developed enough, and don't have the faculties to deal with the world as adults do.

Is anyone else with me in thinking that it is our responsibility to raise our children with love, respect and RULES???

Beth
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#87 of 589 Old 12-13-2001, 12:47 AM
 
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On the one hand, I firmly believe in giving a child as much autonomy as is appropriate, since it would drive me absolutely crazy if I had to make ALL the decisions for anyone all the time! Yuck!

But on the other, I also believe it's valuable for children to learn very early on that we all have to make concessions sometimes. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't live in a society where my kids will be able to do whatever they want whenever they want in a safe manner. And there are certain pet peeves of mine (which I fully recognize as being 'my problem') that I do not tolerate, in order to protect and preserve *my* integrity.

This being the case, IMO there are just going to be certain times that allowing the child to lead the way is not going to be possible. I think that for most people, this tends to revolve around health and safety issues--but that many of us have certain things that WE need as well, that are less negotiable than others.

For example, maybe Mamapie, for her own mental health and sanity, really NEEDS to get out of the house from time to time. I think it would be a good idea to plan this outing around something her son enjoys, plan for a couple hours preparation time, and offer him as many choices as possible. (Would you like to wear the red shirt, or the blue shirt? Would you like to wear your sneakers or your boots? Should we put cheese or peanut butter crackers in our snack pack? Should we use our sling, or the stroller?) But occasionally allowing him a tantrum and assisting him with getting dressed is not, IMO, tantamount to child abuse. And if mom needs to get out, sometimes she should be allowed to, try to make things as painless as possible, and if the child has a history of protesting during the process but being fine afterwards, then I don't think she should feel bad about meeting her needs occasionally as well. Maybe I'm more callous than some of you, but to be honest, *temper* tantrums don't bug me very much, especially if they're just 'blowing off steam' tantrums. Even I need to 'vent' sometimes before I have to do something I don't like.

This may seem like a topsy-turvy suggestion, but maybe you could try giving your son a bath *before* you go out, Mamapie? You could start from scratch then...at least he'd already be undressed. Does he dress himself? Sometimes that can help a lot. It might be helpful to get him some clothing that's a bit too large, since this can make it a LOT easier for him to self-dress (especially with shirts and socks). Do you think he'd be into making a ritual for going out? (ex. Bathe, Dress, Pack Snackpack, help mom pack car, go!) Is not going out if he's not cooperative a big deal for you personally, or is this just something you feel he 'should' do? I know, for practicality's sake, I tend to only press issues that I truly think are important. Going out isn't a big deal for me personally, since we have a fenced yard, and I'm perfectly content sitting in my garden. But table manners are extremely important to me, and any child that throws food at my table will soon find their plate cheerfully cleared as we continue our lunchtime conversation. Just a personality fluke, I guess.

I like the idea of TCS, and I think that by and large I follow it in most situations, but I think years of childcare have given me a more pragmatic streak than it allows. I have no regrets and will freely admit that I have bodily carried in children from the playground when our time was up because A) they were about to get run over by the horde of older kids that were going to start pouring through the playground doors at any minute, and B) I was required by law to maintain proper child to adult ratio in the class, which meant that I didn't have the luxury of continuing the conversation for as long as I would have liked. Believe it or not, after one or two times of this happening, almost all the kids started respecting that when it was time to come in, it was time to come in...and we teachers learned to respect the kids by giving them ample warning time, and involving them in a going in routine (put away ride on toys, play ring around the rosy or london bridge, and then do log rolls or somersaults down the ramp to the door. Even the kids who didn't regularly participate knew the sequence, so they weren't rudely yanked away from their games with no warning).

I take children's feelings and individuality VERY seriously, but from my perspective part of that means teaching them (again, in an age-appropriate and non-violent manner) how to take me seriously as well. Different people are going to have different tolerance levels--and this includes kids AND adults. As adults, it's our responsibility to own our levels, and to do the self-exploration necessary to know what they are and question ourselves enough to learn how to be as flexible as possible...but *also* to know when we've reached our limit, to not lie to kids that we have, and to honor that limit.

It's a lot easier to do this as a provider, I think, and I am well aware that none of those kids had their primary bond to me. But I *can* tell you that after getting to know them and loving them, the children in my toddler classes loved me too, and trusted me, and did not fear me--and knew that I was there to protect and love them in return. I don't feel that having simple, communicated expectations and enforcing them affected them negatively--in fact, my kids were often the calmest (calmer than the preschool and pre-K kids!) during fire drills and during the earthquake that we experienced, because they knew I would not ask them to do something unless I meant to enforce it, and because I intended to keep them, our equipment, their friends, or the teachers safe. We also enjoyed a relatively stress free and extremely calm classroom (which is hard to do with tods) because teachers and kids were encouraged and helped to communicate their limits and boundaries, and those limits and boundaries were expected to be honored.

Not sure if this was helpful or not, but my point is that sometimes I think that kids do need some help to get things done, and I don't think parents should be made to feel guilty or inadequate for having to sometimes enforce rules or expectations, or if negotiation comes to a stalemate. It happens in the workplace, it happens with our system of laws, it happens within relationships, and sometimes a toddler isn't going to get his/her way. To not get them used to occasionally doing something that's not completely fun or is a tiresome step in order to be able to DO something fun is crueler in the long run, at least in my opinion.

But if there are some people who can make 100% negotiation and 0% enforcement work for them, more power to you! I don't deny that there probably are people who can/will/should handle things differently than me!

Sorry for the rambling, I'm a windbag by nature, and getting ready to pop (due date next week, yay!) isn't helping. As always, your mileage may vary. ;>
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#88 of 589 Old 12-13-2001, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Have you tried Amazon.co.uk ? There is a link on the TCS website www.TCS.ac, go to 'books', then to 'TCS related books', it's the first book on the list, just click the icon next to the title.
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#89 of 589 Old 12-13-2001, 01:40 AM
 
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www.tcs.ac/

Please avoid punctuation directly after web addresses.



a

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#90 of 589 Old 12-13-2001, 02:00 AM
 
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When it comes to trusting someone, deciding what to do in times where there is no posibility that you could have prepared yourself for a situation (war?), then insticts are maybe a good idea.

But I put it to you that there are no such things as "instincts" when it comes to "dicsipline", or "bringing children up". What we see as or feel are instincts are in fact the ideas and feelings we were programmed with as children ourselves.

Much of that, (love, kindness, concern for others) are good. However. In many cases, the way we were brought up was often dreadfully erronious.

We have to learn to cut through our "insticts", "it doesn't ring true" feelings etc, and address the issues with cold hard logic.

This is often an uncomfortable experience, not for everyone, but it is also a gift of imessurable value we can give to our children.

a

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