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#91 of 105 Old 01-21-2005, 05:15 AM
 
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"I Yam who I Yam"

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=239605

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#92 of 105 Old 01-21-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
Our children are all different...
That is very true, and that is why I don't believe that there is ONE discipline method, style, or philosophy that works for all kids and all families at all times.

A friend of mine has two boys that were adopted at older ages. They are 9 and 7 now and were adopted at 2 and 4, respectively. Things were not going well for that family for a long time, and it was to the point that they were considering putting the boys in respite. Then my friend had an inspiration. The boys are football fanatics, so my friend started wearing a whistle around her neck. Whenever one (or both) of them acts up, she blows the whistle and makes a call. Sometimes it's "unsportsmanlike conduct" (when they are being mean to one another). Sometimes it's "delay of game" (when one of them is arguing and stalling). Sometimes it's "false start" (when one of them is being impatient or badgering her). The kids are assessed "penalties" for their behavior (5 yards=5 minutes on the couch, 10 yards=10 minutes in their room, ejection from the game=not being able to do a certain activity).

I know that some people here would find this horrifying, but my point is that their family life has greatly improved. The boys dig this discipline style, they can relate to it, and they respond to it much, MUCH better than they ever responded to anything else (and this family has been involved with therapists for years, so it's not like they didn't have a wide range of tactics available to them). Things are certainly not perfect, but they are good. It works for them.

That's why I get so annoyed when I see people dismiss others' ideas and strategies as disrespectful or mean or whatever. The only person who REALLY knows how to parent a child best is that child's own parents, who live the situation day in and day out.

Namaste!
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#93 of 105 Old 01-21-2005, 03:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
That's why I get so annoyed when I see people dismiss others' ideas and strategies as disrespectful or mean or whatever. The only person who REALLY knows how to parent a child best is that child's own parents, who live the situation day in and day out.

Namaste!

I agree.

Well, as long as it does not involve physical punishment, I agree
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#94 of 105 Old 01-22-2005, 01:12 AM
 
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RE: the vomiting b/c of candy thing, yes, that was my dear son, and no I'm not proud of it. To clarify: I didn't realize that would happen to him, and it hasn't happened again either! I felt so bad for him, I made him peppermint tea and lazed on the couch w/him, we talked about lots of things, and although he didn't outright say "I don't ever want that much candy again", I KNOW that that's what he came away from that experience, feeling like. I tried to make it undoubtedly clear to him that I wasn't "saying I-told-ya-so" or anything, I genuinely felt sad about the whole episode and wanted to comfort him.

RE: the "couldn't parent much differently anyway" thing, oh NO, I am quite sure I'm capable of being a completely anal control FREAK--b/c that's how I was parented more or less, and that's how I started out. I also know what I've read about corporal punishment and attachement theory, and I also don't think our particular brand of homeschooling would flourish in a controlling environment. I think most people who want to parent above-and-beyond have to work at it a little, otherwise they just revert back to doing what comes easiest, which often means parenting the way they themselves were parented. no??

Yep, I agree that sometimes things have to be a certain way so as not to tread on others--of course it's not healthy to let a child "exercise her rights" when doing so is infringing on the rights of others--that's simply not fair--not fair to others now, and not fair to her in the long run either.

And crying about cold hands isn't equal to throwing them in the deep end of the pool when they want to try swimming! There is a line, but exactly where that line is drawn is difficult to discern sometiems

Also, this thread has me thinking of another Q that comes up sometimes in unschooling/mindful parenting discussions:

"Does freedom (autonomy) include the freedom to self-destruct?"

It's a very complex, multi-faceted Q--what's your take on it, mamas??

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#95 of 105 Old 01-22-2005, 07:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal323

"Does freedom (autonomy) include the freedom to self-destruct?"

It's a very complex, multi-faceted Q--what's your take on it, mamas??
I'm not sure I fully understand the question, maybe you could elaborate.

Would I give my child the freedom to self-destruct. Well, I'm not sure it's something that I could ultimately control so I guess, yes. However, my life experience tells that the vast majority of self-destructive people don't want to destroy themselves so...

I have a friend, for instance who was self destructive. He actively, consciously became a drug addict and never seemed to want off that path. I know he didn't want help from me and he didn't seem to help from anyone I knew. He is dead and it does seem to be what he wanted ~ on the surface. But, I simply can't shake the idea that he *did* want to be saved. Looking at his life from the perspective of a parent I worry that he wanted *someone specific* to help him ~ his family, especially his brother and parents.

So, I imagine that I would be the parent dragging my daughter from some party if I felt she was slipping down the road of serious drug addiction or admitting her if she had an eating disorder. For now, I'm reserving the right to be a controlling beast if I feel her life is in danger...even if it seems like the choice she wants to make. But, I guess I still fall into the controlling group so maybe my opinion isn't really that relevant to you.

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#96 of 105 Old 01-22-2005, 07:32 AM
 
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This is, btw, something that I learned from my parents. Maybe they weren't TCS because I do think that part of why they didn't try to control too much was because they wanted major impact on the things they found to be important. They "picked their battles" as it were. I think this is where I am as well. Part of this, however, is *very* controlling.

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#97 of 105 Old 01-22-2005, 11:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal323
And crying about cold hands isn't equal to throwing them in the deep end of the pool when they want to try swimming!
That was a figure of speech.

Namaste!
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#98 of 105 Old 01-22-2005, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
That was a figure of speech.

Namaste!

I hoped so!

Oh, to elaborate on the freedom-to-self-destruct Q:
Some parents come and say "well I could never allow my kids so much freedom/autonomy, b/c they'd just run wild and hurt themselves" or something to that effect. It's like they assume that kids will purposely and/or thoughtlessly do things like eat only sugar for weeks on end, or play video games for 17 hours straight, or stay up until dawn and sleep ALL day, forever, if it weren't for the parents' imposed restrictions/controls....

I don't think those things, but I know plenty of parents do. There's a whole page at www.sandradodd.com chock-full of parent's quotes about what their kids would do "if they let them"....

That's what I'm getting at--what exactly should we define as "self-destructive behavior"...and then, where do we draw "the line" (or DO we draw a line??)

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#99 of 105 Old 01-22-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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I dont know if there is a "right" formula for how to deal with people's selfdestructive tendencies.....
From my expereince-
One of my older sisters has always been very selfdestructive. She tried to kill herself several times while I was a child. She used all kinds of drugs selfdestructively. Self- mutilated. Got into some unhealthy relationships. My parents tried relentlessly to try and help her. She was in and out of mental hospitals often until she was in her early thirties. She was put on several different medications. Several different labels given to her "problem". The one that helped her and seemed most appropiate was manic depression, (bipolar), and after a few types and change of doses of medication it did seem to help- except when she would decide that she was "better" and didnt need her meds, then after a few days or weeks, she would hit a really low point and attempt teh same kind of selfdestructive behavoir. she often talked of voices in her head telling her to do these things....
My Mom esp. has always tried her best to talk with her, and try anything that might help, to encourage her with whatever new plan she had thought up to try and "turn her life around" - once it was joining the Marines (went well for a few months, then she tried to kill herself again)- several times it was going to college- to try and help others like her or for art- etc. there were a lot of good ideas but they never panned out in the end. , which only fueled her depression.
She really had a lot of heavy issues and self loathing to work through. She has always had lowselfesteem. No one could help her with this, except herself. It took a very very very long time.
But now, she has been drug free (except for her medication and pot) for about ten or more years, married to a woman for ten years, just bought a house a few years ago, working at dollar store and restarant, taking care of her partners children. She is happy, well, as happy as possible- there are still some problems as in everyones lives. She still has her demons. My dad unfortunately is homophobic, and though my sister and dp live less than two hours away from my dad and stepmom, they never visit. My sister tries, my dad finds some way to avoid her. He is a right wing christian. He thinks she is going to hell, its very sad. My sister had to just accept his fear and homophobia, and it has been very hard on her.
I grew up watching my mom try everything to help her. She listened and talked, physically went and tried to "save" her from some destructive situation or another, talked with her doctors, tried everything she could think of.... In the end, it was only when my sister finally had had enough, that she moved on and lived her life in healthier balance. So, there wasnt much my mom could control to help the situation. She was just patient and waited, and of course worried. Now, they have a great relationship. So, maybe my sister needed all that from her. I don't know. She didnt seem to want to be saved, though.
My Mom didnt of course want to let her selfdestruct, but she really had no power to stop it.
My ds is only 19 months. I wont know what I'd do if he got into a selfdestructive path. I am hoping that by giving him respect, love and trust, he will be centered enough to not self destruct. But of course , I know that even if I was the most perfect parent it could still happen. So, I will take it day by day. I am planning on talking with him more honestly than my parents had done. I am ten years younger than my sister, but when my parent were still married, there was alot of stuff unsaid. My Dad never wanted to admit that there was drug use in a catholic school....
I will try and be more open and accepting of my ds with whatever he is going through.

Theres no right or wrong, it seems. Of course, we do not want dc to selfdestruct, but how much can we control?

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#100 of 105 Old 01-22-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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That's what I'm getting at--what exactly should we define as "self-destructive behavior"...and then, where do we draw "the line" (or DO we draw a line??)
Oh, well I'll save the term self destructive for situations that are life threatening.

I would, however, consider and extremely bad diet or television addiction to be a major concern because I believe it could negatively impact someone's life in a major way.

But, I agree that assuming your child will watch 17 hours of TV/day or eat candy until they vomit everyday for weeks is kinda silly. It helped me to read the TCS philosophy about this type thinking. I still understand wanting to control these things though.

Musingmama, your mom and sister sound like they found balance in a difficult situation. I wonder how comforting your mother's help was to your sister even when she was rejecting it, yk?

I remember the one and only time my father tried to control me. I had been conned by an army recruiter and was thinking of joining the arm so I woudnl't be a financial burden on my parents during college. He told me he disapproved greatly and that was quite controlling for him. To this day, I am both thankful for this and it is a moment where I really remember feeling protected by my dad. He always supported me but I really liked this 'pappa bear' attitude he had.

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#101 of 105 Old 01-22-2005, 09:30 PM
 
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Yeah, my sister did get some comfort, I believe, but at times, she was purposely hurtful, which was hard on my Mom. But today, they have a very close relationship and my sister often remarks on how she doesnt know how my mom put up with so much from her, and I think she learned a lot about strength and love in a very dramatic way from going through all that w/ my mom.
IdentityCrisismama, maybe theres a lesson in how you liked the feeling your dad gave you on that one time of control- maybe we as parents need to give our dc a lot of room to grow and make their own mistakes, but when it seems like something big we feel like we need to interfere with, maybe they will be more receptive since they know we dont try and control just because we can. Let the control or strong advice just be for the big stuff, not all the countless little things. Too often, we are led to belive that if we can expose them to this or sheild them from that, be around just the right environment, do these activities, etc. then we can create a healthy, "special" child w/o too much baggage.... but maybe that is just the flipside of the coin.

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#102 of 105 Old 01-23-2005, 06:08 PM
 
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maybe we as parents need to give our dc a lot of room to grow and make their own mistakes, but when it seems like something big we feel like we need to interfere with, maybe they will be more receptive since they know we dont try and control just because we can.
Yea, this is probably where I am. I still can't shake the feeling like this totally controlling ~ don't control too much now so I have ultimate control for when I feel I need it, yk? Not that this is my only motivation...


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Originally Posted by musingmama
.... but maybe that is just the flipside of the coin.
Yea, I don't know what comes first, to me. I realize that giving her lots of control will help her in life. My hope is that she will never need me to control something major. I don't even have to control much now and she's only 3 (she's really safe and cautious, respectful, aware).

OTOH, I'm well aware that I would probably control some of the 'biggies' and I take comfort in the idea that I may be able to do that better because I haven't been too controlling. This is also already showing up for us. We limit 'no's and etc and she's really rather accommodating when we must control something.

So, I really don't know which side of the coin I'm on.

I'll let you know in about 30 years :LOL

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#103 of 105 Old 01-23-2005, 09:38 PM
 
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#104 of 105 Old 01-23-2005, 10:18 PM
 
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....It's hard to find a balance....

Ultimately, I think the rational conclusion most people come to is that, no matter how bad things get, they *can't* control their dc even if they think it's right and want to...!

People often say, "my kids can think what they want when they're 18, but for now, I make the rules", or something to that effect. But truth is, kids ARE thinking what they want even when they're 2--nobody can change that. They can try and suppress it, sure, but what are the negative consequences of stifling a child's opinions/feelings/etc for the sake of "discipline" a thousand+ times over one's whole childhood??

Apparently the kids who are micromanaged when young often end up being really vulnerable to their peers as they get older. And, even if we the parents think that we give our kids TONS of freedom, it helps to remember that things like freedom/control (and more importantly, one's feelings toward that control) are *subjective*, or "in the eye of the beholder"--yk??

Just some thoughts I'm mulling over....

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#105 of 105 Old 01-24-2005, 11:19 AM
 
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I've been reading through most of these posts and its been very interesting. I have some questions. I have an almost 5 year old daughter and a 2.5 year old son. I have visited this board before but not for a long time and I don't think I have ever posted here before. Letting go of control certainly did/does not come naturally for me. I never realized what a controlling person I was until I had children . I came to find gentle discipline about 1.5 years ago and am still working on it. I assume it will be a lifetime project although it does come more naturally now than it did before. Anyway....

I believe in giving a lot of control to my kids in order for them to develop a sense of self control and self discipline. However I do control some things. As for food I'm not extremely controlling about when and what they eat but I do control what comes into the house. As for tv my kids sort of have a take it or leave it attitude. I do limit is some. Other medias such as computer time and music I don't really limit. I let me kids wear whatever they want whenever they want. I dont' force coats, hats and mittens and refuse to get into those types of battles. My kids can and have learned that it gets pretty darn cold here in MN and coats and hats keep you warm. Like most I control safety issues - no running in the street etc.

But I wonder about things like sleep. Obviously you can't make a child sleep but you certainly can set up situations to make it likey. You can have routine and bedtime rituals and consistent bedtimes. I do these things, I don't have bedtime or naptime battles at all. I do keep consistent bedtimes to ensure my kids get enough sleep. So I guess I do control their sleep to an extent. I'm wondering what is the opinion on controlling sleep times.

We have really two rules in our house, respect and safety. Most everything falls under respect. We treat each other, ourselves and our possesions - house, furniture and toys with respect. Safety is self explanatory. Cleaning after ourselves for us falls under respect. I'm wondering what others opinions are on controlling cleaning up afteroneself, cleaning up their rooms, etc. As part of respect we keep our space clean - respect for our stuff but also respect for each other so that we are not tripping on things etc. Do others control cleaning? How or how not? Cleaning up after themselves is probably the most comman battle I get into with my kids. I do try things to make it more fun and I explain why we clean up. I'm not completely anal or over the top on how they clean but general straigten up. If you dump one bin of toys out you put it away before dumping another out. They are able to do pretty much in the house under the premise they clean it up. For example they brought a blanket into the kitchen last night, pulled out lots of pots and pans and bowls etc and put them all over the blanket to make music. Thats fine with me but "messes we make, we clean up". And they did.

I guess while reading through these I get the impression that controlling cleaning behavior isn't allowed by some people. That the child needs to come to that on their own. I do believe in putting a lot of the control in the childs hands, how they clean-make their bed etc, but the cleaning must be done or at least attempted. Just looking for some opinions on where others stand on the issue.

Micky
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