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#61 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 03:59 PM
 
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Netty wrote to JW "I'd personally prefer that this thread could be available for those who are genuinely interested in understanding, and perhaps applying, TCS theory in their lives. I'd also prefer that we not resort to meta-discussion (such as this)."

I would like to respond. I realize you would prefer we not participate in debate, or *meta discussion*, of TCS theory. I think there are TCS sites that serve such a purpose.

However, that is (thankfully) not the only purpose of this thread. Being able to challenge one another and debate the validity/soundness of TCS theory to better illustrate the strength or weakness' of it's tenants is necessary to determine whether it is an effective approach for us to take as parents.

netty wrote: "I'll answer when I can, but I honestly don't see the point in this sort of discussion. It is *precisely* this sort of discussion that gets us nowhere and can only go round and round in circles. "

Netty, I respect that you don't see the point in what is being discussed here. You should know that I, however, am drumming my fingers on the computer table, still waiting for a TCS advocate to show up who *does* want to debate and discuss. I think once that occurs, we will move forward. The circles I am caught up in occur, IMO, because I am debating with someone who resists my effort *to* debate.

Your self admitted lack of interest in doing this has very much been a factor in the frustration and *circular discussion* non TCS advocates experience within these threads. I would *love* to discuss the validity of coercion, it's benefits and drawbacks, and the literal application of TCS theory in specific area's of life.

I find it interesting that you resist this, but so do many TCS parents. It reminds me of Ezzo related websites and Ezzo parents. A very different theory, but similiar in that meta discussion is not allowed and parents would much prefer to only encounter queries about being better Ezzo parents; they do not want to be asked to debate their parenting beliefs.

Does anyone *want* to debate and discuss TCS theory, respond to challenges/and or criticisms of it's tentants, or discuss the concept of coercion-it's potential benefits and drawbacks?

Heartmama

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#62 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 04:13 PM
 
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****Does anyone *want* to debate and discuss TCS theory, respond to challenges/and or criticisms of it's tentants, or discuss the concept of coercion-it's potential benefits and drawbacks? ****

Yes!! ***Please*** show me where I (or any TCS advocate) have failed to respond to comments or questions, challenges or criticisms concerning TCS theory? I have asked *again* and *again* for anyone to post reasons *why* coercion would be a good solution to a problem. I have yet to get a response to those questions. Meta-discussion is a way of *not* answering questions by referring, instead, to *how* a question is asked or *how* someone is posting. Why don't we concentrate on responding to *what* is being posted in terms of argument rather than argumentation? Where is this getting us??

So....Could someone who advocates coercion please give me a rational answer to the following questions?

When is coercion ever a better solution to a problem than non-coercion?? And is there ever a time when you, personally, like to be coerced into doing something you do not want to do? And if you *could* solve a problem non-coercively, would you choose the non-coercive solution over the coercive one? Why or why not?

Thanks in advance for any answers *to the question* above.

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#63 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 04:29 PM
 
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Heartmama wrote:

"larsy wrote: "Would a parent coerce their child into survival? don't children want to survive?"

Larsy

*Your* the one who feels compelled to apologize if they do. "

I'm confused. A parent would apologize to their child for the child's wanting to survive?

My understanding is that people, in general, want to survive. If a person is in immiment danger, and another is able to protect them from that danger, where is the coercion in knocking them out of the way of the falling rock, or whatever that imminent danger is? A person might be disconcerted by being roughly pushed out of the way, but especially if the person doing the pushing has always been a trusted advisor, they might experience *no* coercion in their mind at being pushed out of the way, as they might consider that this person has not steered them wrong in the past, and there must be a good reason why they have acted in such a way, and goes on to the understanding that they were in the way of the falling rock and, wanting to survive, they agree with the action taken.
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#64 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 04:32 PM
 
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Netty,

Please see my post at the bottom of page two. I think some of my questions and points may lead to the sort of discussion we are all looking for. On a related note, I think we all need to make every effort to be clear about what we mean by terms such as "coerce," "force," "will," against one's will," etc. Also, it would be helpful for me if someone who practices TCS could simply describe an average day at their home; based on what I have read here, I don't know anything gets accomplished or how you all are maintaining your sanity.
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#65 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 04:40 PM
 
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Heartmama suggested:

****With TCS, it does not matter *why* the person has gone back on their word, there is *no* reason that is "unacceptable". Any and all reasons validate the decision to ruin the trip for others, and stay home. Assuming the family fails to find a common preference, the solution is to cancel the trip, instead of forcing the reluctant traveler into the car.****

No. That is not the best solution since it involves coercion of others for the sake of one. It's only the solution if everyone agrees that it makes sense to cancel the trip. It's not that reasons don't matter, it's that reasons should never stop one from finding/creating a common preference. If someone says s/he doesn't want to go on a trip "just because," then I agree that it's not a "good" reason by means of a convincing argument. That does not mean, however, that that person does not, therefore, have a right to hir choice. The other family members might certainly be able to convince the reluctant one that s/he is hurting people by hir choice and s/he might change hir mind. Or everyone might think of a way that the reluctant one can stay behind (go to a friend's?). Or they might be able to convince the reluctant one that s/he *wants* to go by offering hir an incentive that s/he didn't consider when making hir decision. But it is wrong to simply tell someone that hir reason is unconvincing and, therefore, force hir to comply with the more "reasonable" argument of the majority.

I realize that your question includes an important proviso which is, "Assuming the family fails to find a common preference." But this very proviso answers your own question. Of course if the family fails to find a common preference *someone* is going to be coerced. How can we argue against that? Coercion *is* the absence of a common preference. It is like saying that if someone's not alive, s/he is dead.

So, if you are saying that it is better for *one* person to be coerced rather than *more than one* (as in, the family forcing the reluctant child to go on the trip), then I would have to agree (though if I were that parent, I would be in a state of coercion by enforcing this). I stand by the argument, however, that it's *even better* if no one is coerced at all. Do you agree or disagree?

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#66 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 06:55 PM
 
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Larsy wrote "Our reasons why we do things, our theories about our actions, matter very much. I see people's theories/reasons as the basis for action. Unless a person gives up their autonomy, and does what others tell them to do, not knowing what their own theories/reasons are. "

Heartmama wrote:

"You are re confirming what I already responded too, no?"

Er....no.

" That our reasons matter to ourselves. Our actions are what matter to a TCS family. "

Reasons for action matter to the person originating the reason, as well as those who are interested in finding common preferences with them, as in a TCS family.

Larsy wrote: "Prior agreements: my experience is that it is good to be flexible and to plan ahead and have contingency plans. "

"And why is that necessary? Do TCS families have that tough a time following through with prior agreements?"

If everyone in the family agrees with the prior agreement, there isn't a problem. If a problem comes up, a TCS family will look for a solution based upon consent rather than coercion. That might mean not following through with prior agreements, or not.

Heartmama again:

<snip>"...the *reason* for that person to back out, in my opinion, and in the opinion of most people, can be fairly judged by the family as either acceptable or unacceptable. Generally speaking, an acceptable excuse would be one beyond the persons control (illness), and unacceptable would be something self centered reflecting their own desires (doesn't want to travel after all). If the excuse is unacceptable, that person is expected to hold to the prior agreement. "

I think you've articulated a major point of departure.

"With TCS, it does not matter *why* the person has gone back on their word, there is *no* reason that is "unacceptable". "

That is correct, to my understanding of TCS theory, though I wouldn't look at it as 'going back on their word', but as changing their mind.

"Any and all reasons validate the decision to ruin the trip for others, and stay home."

I think a person's autonomy validates their reasons, whatever the reasons may be. If one of the family member's expressed reason is 'I want to ruin the trip for the rest of the family', I would be looking at the relationships in the family and working toward figuring out what is wrong there, that one (or more) of the members of the family would feel so bad towards the rest, that they would actively be trying to thwart their desires.

" Assuming the family fails to find a common preference,"

A TCS family would not be assuming they could not find a common preference; quite the opposite.

" the solution is to cancel the trip, instead of forcing the reluctant traveler into the car. "

Or any of an infinite universe of solutions.

"That is what I refer to when I say "the reason does not matter." Once a member of a TCS family makes a decision (action) there is no room to disqualify (or qualify) it. You have to take it as a fixed condition and re arrange your life accordingly. "

A member of a TCS family has a preference, that has changed from the preference they had a day or a week ago. They express that preference- 'I don't want to go do X today, even though we had all agreed on doing so. Here is why (stating hir reason for hir current preference)'. The members of the TCS family enter into the process known as 'finding common preferences'. This is where every member of the family is able to voice their reasons and theories and thoughts and ideas. Those who really want to do X are helped to find a way to make that happen. Those who don't want to do X are helped to find a way to make that happen.

There is nothing 'fixed' about finding common preferences, unless you want to call the attitude of solving problems non-coercively, 'fixed'. As to 're-arranging your life' to accomodate someone else's preference, this can be done in a way to suit everyone's preferences. Isn't that what we do, in life- find ways to be in relationship with other people, arranging our lives to accomodate what we want to accomplish? Knowing exactly what we want- what are the priorities- is essential to finding common preferences, imo. I think that TCS families place a high priority upon helping parents and children to get what they want in life, owning autonomy and finding good solutions that benefit everyone- including people outside of the family circle, when appropriate.

"What I am asking for is confirmation of this reality as acceptable for a TCS family."

No. What you describe is not TCS.
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#67 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 07:58 PM
 
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Cassidy wrote:

****Please see my post at the bottom of page two. I think some of my questions and points may lead to the sort of discussion we are all looking for.****

Okay. I'll try to do that soon (I've been meaning to respond but more recent posts keep occupying my mind ;-))

****On a related note, I think we all need to make every effort to be clear about what we mean by terms such as "coerce," "force," "will," against one's will," etc.****

I think we've done that, but I'd be happy to do so again. To begin with, "coercion" is a psychological state where one acts on a theory while a conflicting theory is still active in one's mind. Therefore, to coerce someone is to put them into such a psychological state or to refuse to help them out of such a psychological state. I'd say that "force" would include any extrinsic rather than instrinsic motivation for the child to comply with someone else's desires. And I would equate "will" with desire or preference.


****Also, it would be helpful for me if someone who practices TCS could simply describe an average day at their home; based on what I have read here, I don't know anything gets accomplished or how you all are maintaining your sanity.****

:-)....It's not as hard as you may think. As we have argued elsewhere, children are rational and *want* to find/create common preferences. I don't know if we have "average" days, but I'll describe a very recent one for you:


10:30 -- Mama gets up and lights the corn stove and puts coffee on.
11:00 -- child A gets up and come downstairs. Pulls rocking chair in front of the fire and asks for a cup of tea.
11:15 -- Mama gives child cup of tea.
11:20 -- Papa gets up (it's his day off) and gets the newspaper and his cereal. Child A asks for cereal. Papa gets hir some.
11:30 - 12: 30 -- Papa and Mama sit around drinking coffee and helping child A put together a map of Canada puzzle which s/he got for Christmas.
12:30 -- Mama remembers that child B had said s/he wanted to be awake when friends came over (who are due to arrive at 1:00) so she goes up to wake hir.
12:35 -- child B comes downstairs and get hirself some oatmeal cookies and juice. Asks to play with puzzle. Child A says "no" (s/he wants to play it with papa). Mama asks child B if s/he would like to read the new book s/he got for Christmas. Child B agrees and they read the book while Papa & child A finish puzzle.
1:15 -- friends arrive (two adults and two children).
1:15 to 4:30 -- child A and childfriend A go upstairs to play with train set. Child B sits with parents and friendchild B. Argument is heard between child A and childfriend A upstairs. Mama goes up to see if s/he can help. Both children say they don't want help so mama says that she's available if they want hir. After a bit more argument, childfriend A comes downstairs and asks for a drink of juice. Hir Mama gets it for hir. Mama makes up a plate of snacks for everyone (cheese, grapes, egg slices, chips, celery, & bowl of M&Ms). Mama takes a small selection up to child A who is now watching a movie. Mama tells childfriend A that child A is watching "Shrek" and childfriend A goes up to watch too. Child B falls asleep on Mama's lap so mama takes hir up to the bedroom and lays hir down. Friends leave at 4:30. Child A is upset that friend is leaving. Mama and Papa ask if friend would like to stay longer. Friends say they have to get home to prepare supper as they are having family over later. Childfriend A also says he wants to go home to watch a particular television show that comes on at 5:30. Papa suggests that he and child A walk friends a little way home to help with the transition and then stop at the store to get chocolate. Child A agrees.
4:30 - 5:30 - Mama cleans up and washes dishes. Puts in a load of laundry and then lays down with child B and reads. Child B wakes and asks to have a bath. Mama starts bath and child B gets undressed and climbs in.
5:30 - Papa and Child A come home. Child A asks Papa to set up the "Animals of the World" CD-rom. Papa does this and Child A plays on computer.
5:30 - 6:00 -- Papa tells Mama that Child A was still sad when childfriend B had to go when they had arrived at the store. Papa suggests that the departure of childfriend A may have been too abrupt and that letting hir know that childfriend A would be leaving in 15 minutes may have made the transition easier. Mama agrees and also suggests that when those friends come over, it may be a good idea to arrange the possibility of childfriend A staying for dinner or overnight if both children want that. Child B calls for Mama, saying s/he is finished in the bath. Mama goes up and gets hir. Child B asks to have poohbear pajamas on. Mama tells hir that those pajamas are in the washing machine and suggests s/he wear something else. Child B is upset and wants hir poohbear pajamas. Mama takes hir to the machine and shows hir that they are in there being washed and tells hir they will be dry and ready to wear by the time supper is over. Child B says s/he wants to wear them now. Mama explains that they are very wet but Child B wants them. Mama stops machine and gets pooh pajamas out and wrings them out. Child B starts putting them on and then says s/he'd rather wear hir green pajamas until the pooh pajamas are dry. This is done. Pooh pajamas are put in the dryer.
6:00 -- Papa prepares supper. Mama asks child A and child B if they are hungry. Child B wants pesto. Child A says s/he's not hungry but would like some chocolate milk. Mama asks if s/he could get it hirself as Mama is just about to sit down to supper and would like to eat it while it's hot. Child A says that s/he's busy with hir game. Mama suggests s/he put the game on hold and returns with the chocolate milk. Child A agrees that this is a good idea.
6:00 - 6:45 -- Papa and Mama eat supper. Child B has pesto in the livingroom on top of a large towel (s/he wanted to eat hir pesto on the floor "picnic-style").
6:45 -- Papa says he'd like to read for awhile. Mama offers to clear table and do dishes and then reminds Papa that s/he has to do a bit of work (preparing for the new term) before bed and will need about an hour to 2 hours. Papa says he'll come down at 8:00. Mama asks child B if s/he still wants to wear hir pooh pajamas as they are now probably dry. Child B says, "yes" and they do so.
7:00 -- 7: 30 -- Child B asks Mama if they can go to the playground. Mama says s/he would prefer to stay in because it's cold outside. Child B suggests that Papa take hir. Mama tells child B that Papa is reading right now. Mama suggests that s/he and child B create a playground in the livingroom. Child B agrees. Mama gets a toboggan and puts it upside down on the couch to act as a slide. Mama offers to "be the swing" by swinging child B back and forth. Then Mama suggests that child B puts hir doll on the slide. Child B gets other toys to ride the slide. Child B asks to read a book.
8:10 -- Papa comes downstairs. Child B asks Mama to read another book. Mama asks if it would be okay if Mama read one more and then Papa read others. Child B says s/he wants Mama to read the books only. Mama reads two more books during which Papa thinks of something else that Child B might enjoy doing. Papa suggests a movie. Child B says s/he wants to read more books with Mama. Papa suggests a shoulder ride and dancing to music. Child B says, "After I have read more stories with Mama, *then* I'll have a shoulder ride." Hmmm. Mama and Papa are stumped as Mama has to get work done. Mama tells child B that she wanted to go upstairs to work on the computer. Child B says that she doesn't want Mama to go. Mama asks child B if it would be okay if Mama got her notes to look at downstairs while they listen to music. Child B agrees. Mama reads over notes and makes a few changes and sings along with "Baby Songs" CD every once in a while ;-). Meanwhile, Child A has asked for something to eat so Papa and Child A go into kitchen to prepare something.
9:05 - 9:30: Mama goes into kitchen -- where Papa and Child A have begun playing a board game -- and asks if Papa can help her as she *really* wants to get these notes finished and Child B doesn't want her to leave the room. Papa says he'll "work on an idea" and Mama returns to the livingroom. Shortly, Papa and Child B come into the livingroom with board game and Papa asks child A if s/he'd like to roll the dice for him when it's his turn. Child A agrees. Once they are involved in the game, Mama says she's going upstairs for awhile and no one protests (sigh of relief).
9:05 - 11: 15: Mama works on lecture. Mama doesn't know what Papa and children did but everything seemed to go fairly smoothly.
11:15: Papa comes upstairs and says that Child B is looking very sleepy. Mama comes downstairs and asks Child B if s/he'd like to watch a movie in bed with hir while child B nurses. Child B asks to watch a particular movie and Mama agrees.
11:30: Mama and Child B are in bed watching movie.
11:35: Child B asleep & Mama turns off movie and gets up to change into pajamas and brush teeth.
11:45: Mama in bed reading. Papa comes up and gets ready for bed. Child A puts on a video in the other room (playroom/bedroom). Papa gets into bed and both parents read.
12:15 - Mama says she's going to go to sleep. Papa keeps reading.
12:45 - Child A climbs into bed beside Papa & Papa gets up to turn off the television and lights and then comes back to bed (so Mama was told the next day, as she was actually asleep :-)).

Whew! I'm sure I missed some things but that's one day in the life of one TCS family. Not everyday is like this, of course. Some are more challenging, some are less. Sorry this is so long -- it was a whole day after all! Hope this helps in some way.

Netty
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#68 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 08:06 PM
 
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Netty:"Yes!! ***Please*** show me where I (or any TCS advocate) have failed to respond to comments or questions, challenges or criticisms concerning TCS theory? I have asked *again* and *again* for anyone to post reasons *why* coercion would be a good solution to a problem."

Netty, *you* just got done sharing your disinterest in doing this. You ignored my entire response to your statements regarding your wanting this to be "a forum for parents to understand and possibly apply TCS theory".

I think that *you* should go back, and read your posts. I have already read and responded to them. What I keep getting back *is* the "meta discussion" you dislike.

Heartmama

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#69 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 08:11 PM
 
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larsy wrote: "I'm confused. A parent would apologize to their child for the child's wanting to survive?"

No. What I was referring to was apologizing for taking action that promotes survival. This is what TCS parents seem to do. This *is* what we were discussing.

larsy wrote:"My understanding is that people, in general, want to survive. If a person is in immiment danger, and another is able to protect them from that danger, where is the coercion in knocking them out of the way of the falling rock, or whatever that imminent danger is? A person might be disconcerted by being roughly pushed out of the way, but especially if the person doing the pushing has always been a trusted advisor, they might experience *no* coercion in their mind at being pushed out of the way, as they might consider that this person has not steered them wrong in the past, and there must be a good reason why they have acted in such a way, and goes on to the understanding that they were in the way of the falling rock and, wanting to survive, they agree with the action taken."

This is perfectly sensible to me, and is the reason I would not apologize for yanking a child down from a falling structure they intended to climb. This certainly could cause a momentary feeling of coercion IMO. I would not feel it was harmful, for all the reasons you stated. Yet, TCS parents say they would feel the need to apologize.

Is this true or not?

Heartmama

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#70 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 08:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by heartmama
This is perfectly sensible to me, and is the reason I would not apologize for yanking a child down from a falling structure they intended to climb.
Is is not clear to me how one goes about yanking a child down from a falling structure.

If the structure was in fact falling, my guess is that I would be catching said child, not yanking, which would not be coercive. In this case, I would however probably be apologizing for not preventing (via non-coercive means) such a scenario in the first place

If the structure is in fact not falling, then I would probably discuss it first with the child what we both think about their predicament. If I did in fact "yank" the child from this non-falling structure, then I probably would apologize.

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#71 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 08:49 PM
 
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Netty, I would like to thank you for this excellent response. It was very much in keeping with the spirit of what I asked, and added valuable insight. I feel we can finally move forward if we keep in this direction! I feel I should cut and paste in increments, because there was much to respond to, and I will probably be ineffective lumping it all together:

Netty wrote:"No. That is not the best solution since it involves coercion of others for the sake of one. It's only the solution if everyone agrees that it makes sense to cancel the trip. "

I agree with your first sentence. In the second, in using the word "solution" did you mean "the best solution" or were you saying that *only* through agreement by everyone could cancelling the trip be an option?

Netty wrote: "It's not that reasons don't matter, it's that reasons should never stop one from finding/creating a common preference. "

I can see what you mean. That reasons in and of themselves should not negate the process of finding common preferences. In general I agree.

"If someone says s/he doesn't want to go on a trip "just because," then I agree that it's not a "good" reason by means of a convincing argument. That does not mean, however, that that person does not, therefore, have a right to hir choice. "

I am not sure what you mean. If a person wants something that cannot be given to them (the statue of liberty), then they do not in fact have a right their choice? Do you understand what I am trying to say? They certainly have a right to "wish" they could have it. But they can't, correct? If it is harmful to not get what they want, it is virtually irrelevant, because they decided to set their sites on something they should not have.

"The other family members might certainly be able to convince the reluctant one that s/he is hurting people by hir choice and s/he might change hir mind. Or everyone might think of a way that the reluctant one can stay behind (go to a friend's?). Or they might be able to convince the reluctant one that s/he *wants* to go by offering hir an incentive that s/he didn't consider when making hir decision."

Oh gosh, I would certainly hope so. And I agree, the first thing I would do, if dh for example announced he wasn't going on a planned trip, would be to talk about why he felt that way and then try to convince him to change his mind/resolve his concern/etc. The process would not *end* there, but it would be the first approach I would have.

"Or everyone might think of a way that the reluctant one can stay behind (go to a friend's?). Or they might be able to convince the reluctant one that s/he *wants* to go by offering hir an incentive that s/he didn't consider when making hir decision. But it is wrong to simply tell someone that hir reason is unconvincing and, therefore, force hir to comply with the more "reasonable" argument of the majority. "

Why is it wrong? If the reason is not convincing, and the action proposed would ruin a pre arranged trip for the entire family, and no compromise could be reached...I agree, this would be a terrible situation to be in, but in terms of what action, at that point, was most reasonable and fair, sticking to the original plan strikes me as the wisest choice. To compromise the integrity of an agreement so that one person can follow a different path for very unconvincing reasons, IMO, is unnecessary, and in fact harmful to the person who has breeched the agreement with others.

I would be comfortable judging my husband reason as unacceptable (wanting to stay home for an NFL game), and insist he stick to the orginal plan. In fact, letting him ruin our trip for a football game, IMO, would be damaging to him and especially to myself and ds. Having confidence that sticking to our agreement was better for all, I would expect that once we moved towards our goal, dh would almost certainly regain his sense of commitment and probably in hindsight, be relieved and grateful that I talked him out of such a selfish action.


Netty wrote:"I realize that your question includes an important proviso which is, "Assuming the family fails to find a common preference." But this very proviso answers your own question. Of course if the family fails to find a common preference *someone* is going to be coerced. How can we argue against that? Coercion *is* the absence of a common preference. It is like saying that if someone's not alive, s/he is dead. "

I agree completely. However, I really did not know whether you felt this way.

Netty wrote:"So, if you are saying that it is better for *one* person to be coerced rather than *more than one* (as in, the family forcing the reluctant child to go on the trip), then I would have to agree (though if I were that parent, I would be in a state of coercion by enforcing this). I stand by the argument, however, that it's *even better* if no one is coerced at all. Do you agree or disagree? "

I would certainly prefer not want to go on a trip with a very reluctant traveler in our midst. I completely agree it is far better for no one to need coercing in order to stick to the plan and go on the trip.

Heartmama

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#72 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 09:08 PM
 
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Originally posted by heartmama
Netty wrote:"So, if you are saying that it is better for *one* person to be coerced rather than *more than one* (as in, the family forcing the reluctant child to go on the trip), then I would have to agree (though if I were that parent, I would be in a state of coercion by enforcing this). I stand by the argument, however, that it's *even better* if no one is coerced at all. Do you agree or disagree? "

I would certainly prefer not want to go on a trip with a very reluctant traveler in our midst. I completely agree it is far better for no one to need coercing in order to stick to the plan and go on the trip.
One of the hardest parts about non-coercive parenting is freeing ourselves from making assumptions and from our own entrenched theories. Everyone in fact does not have to go on this trip when finding a true common preference, what *everybody* thinks is the best thing to do.

This is also one of the most exciting parts about TCS, the realization that the boundaries and limits that we have created for ourselves are really of our own making. And one of the most amazing things about discovering this while raising children is that they do not yet have these limits ingrained into them. It has been my experience that more often than not it is the non-coerced child who manages to figure out a common preference in what appears to us to be an impossible situation.

Pat
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#73 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 09:18 PM
 
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Larsy writes: "Er....no. "

Okay. It struck me as the same. Nevermind.


Larsy wrote: "Reasons for action matter to the person originating the reason, as well as those who are interested in finding common preferences with them, as in a TCS family. "

Acknowledged.

"And why is that necessary? Do TCS families have that tough a time following through with prior agreements?"

Larsy wrote: "If everyone in the family agrees with the prior agreement, there isn't a problem. If a problem comes up, a TCS family will look for a solution based upon consent rather than coercion. That might mean not following through with prior agreements, or not. "

Well, what you had said which prompted this question was that in your experience with prior agreements, it helps to be flexible and have alternatives etc. in mind. So, I don't think you answered this question. It is assumed with a prior agreement that everyone agreed. Thus as you said, there "isn't a problem". Then why feel compelled to plan carefully for one?


Larsy: "I think you've articulated a major point of departure."

I thought so.

"With TCS, it does not matter *why* the person has gone back on their word, there is *no* reason that is "unacceptable". "

Larsy wrote "That is correct, to my understanding of TCS theory, though I wouldn't look at it as 'going back on their word', but as changing their mind. "

Why not call it lying, being misleading, going back on their word, or being unreliable? If you made a promise, and changed your mind, that is a definitive quality of all of those descriptions.
"I think a person's autonomy validates their reasons, whatever the reasons may be. "

Autonomy is fine for adult hermits. We are talking about a family with prior agreements which affect everyone. Also, the dynamic of child dependence on adult supervision (you can't leave a 5 year old home for the week).

"If one of the family member's expressed reason is 'I want to ruin the trip for the rest of the family', I would be looking at the relationships in the family and working toward figuring out what is wrong there, that one (or more) of the members of the family would feel so bad towards the rest, that they would actively be trying to thwart their desires. "

Assuming they were being a jerk, and wouldn't listen to reason, and they were an indispensable adult (in terms of taking the trip) or a child with no one to stay home for a week with them:

*Would you make them go or cancel the trip?*

"A TCS family would not be assuming they could not find a common preference; quite the opposite. "

I know that, Larsy. I meant, assuming *in this example* (of the travelling family)that despite all attempts, they did not find a common preference.

Larsy: Or any of an infinite universe of solutions."

I can create a situation without an infinite universe of solutions readily available. Is that what you need, or could you just make the effort here to assume *this* family found no common preference, and had to choose *either* going on the trip with a reluctant traveler *or* cancelling the trip. Then tell me which you think is more amenable to TCS theory.

Larsy writes: "A member of a TCS family has a preference, that has changed from the preference they had a day or a week ago. They express that preference- 'I don't want to go do X today, even though we had all agreed on doing so. Here is why (stating hir reason for hir current preference)'. The members of the TCS family enter into the process known as 'finding common preferences'. This is where every member of the family is able to voice their reasons and theories and thoughts and ideas. Those who really want to do X are helped to find a way to make that happen. Those who don't want to do X are helped to find a way to make that happen."

I know. Now lets fast forward to the part where they found no way to make everyone happy. And tell me which would you prefer: To cancel the trip, or take a reluctant traveler.

Larsy wrote: "There is nothing 'fixed' about finding common preferences, unless you want to call the attitude of solving problems non-coercively, 'fixed'. As to 're-arranging your life' to accomodate someone else's preference, this can be done in a way to suit everyone's preferences. "

I disagree. My example is one in which a person is unwilling to be changed and unable to be accomodated. Are you saying *this* never happens in life?

Larsy writes:"Isn't that what we do, in life- find ways to be in relationship with other people, arranging our lives to accomodate what we want to accomplish? Knowing exactly what we want- what are the priorities- is essential to finding common preferences, imo. I think that TCS families place a high priority upon helping parents and children to get what they want in life, owning autonomy and finding good solutions that benefit everyone- including people outside of the family circle, when appropriate. "

Yes, I think lots of us do this without even having heard of TCS. I'm just trying to get a response to a specific situation from you. Take a reluctant traveler or cancel the trip.

"What I am asking for is confirmation of this reality as acceptable for a TCS family."

Larsy writes:"No. What you describe is not TCS."

*sighing* Could you paraphrase which part went against TCS? That was a rather long post.

Heartmama

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#74 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 09:22 PM
 
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Icicle Spider writes:"Is is not clear to me how one goes about yanking a child down from a falling structure.

If the structure was in fact falling, my guess is that I would be catching said child, not yanking, which would not be coercive. In this case, I would however probably be apologizing for not preventing (via non-coercive means) such a scenario in the first place

If the structure is in fact not falling, then I would probably discuss it first with the child what we both think about their predicament. If I did in fact "yank" the child from this non-falling structure, then I probably would apologize."



Are you just yankin' my chain here Pat, or do you seriously think *the falling structure* was the most relevant point in my illustration.

ROTFLMAO...

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#75 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 09:25 PM
 
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Netty wrote:
Quote:
I think the TCS advocates strive to define their terms clearly and consistently. I don't see others doing the same when discussing their own theories.
Look back at the locked thread and you will see that we were trying precisely to do just that. You must not have been paying attention. I don't consider my childrearing a "theory" so maybe this is what threw you off. Many of us tried to explain the reasoning for why we parent the way we parent, but we were simply dismissed as being coersive in our style and thus, wrong. I don't wake up in the morning and think of ways to coerse my child, contrary to what you might think. I simply think that children are children, and not little adults. IMO, I am my child's parent, not their co-family member, although we are all members of the family. I have taken too many psychology classes including educational psych and developmental psych to think that TCS meets all of my children's developmental and psychological needs. Children need and want limits and I don't feel that they necessarily always want to discuss things to come up with a common answer. Sometimes when my 3.5 year old son is having a melt down due to lack of sleep or what not, he needs me to make the decisions because he is no longer "rational" as you like to say. Children test limits because they want to know where the limits are and that they are firm and unwavering. What an unsure world it must be for children who have no real limits and are responsible for so many of their childhood decisions.

The real world has coersion whether you choose to admit it or not, and that is not going to change. I was a manager for a retail store in my "prior" life and I was responsible for every aspect of running the business. If I asked an employee to do something and they refused, there were consequences to their actions, up to and including termination. I was running a business and I was in charge. How are your children going to fare when they get their first job and their boss tells them to do something they don't want to do. That will certainly rock their world as they know it.

Look back and see that we have all been trying to explain our parenting to you, if you had been willing to open your mind and listen, so to speak.


Netty also wrote:
Quote:
Papa suggests that he and child A walk friends a little way home to help with the transition and then stop at the store to get chocolate. Child A agrees.
We call this bribery (coersion if you rather) in my house.
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#76 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 09:26 PM
 
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Originally posted by heartmama
Are you just yankin' my chain here Pat, or do you seriously think *the falling structure* was the most relevant point in my illustration.
I take it then that it is not a falling structure, then yes, I would apologize.

Pat
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#77 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 09:35 PM
 
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Icicle Spider writes: "One of the hardest parts about non-coercive parenting is freeing ourselves from making assumptions and from our own entrenched theories. Everyone in fact does not have to go on this trip when finding a true common preference, what *everybody* thinks is the best thing to do. "

I disagree. I think it is rational and healthy to be able to expect fellow travelers to stick to their word, go on a trip, and overcome a desire to stay home. I think it is good for all involved to be able to do this, and unhealthy to indulge last minute misgivings about following through.

Icicle Spider writes:"This is also one of the most exciting parts about TCS, the realization that the boundaries and limits that we have created for ourselves are really of our own making. "

It's funny, because this is the very reason I would expect a person to follow through and go on a trip. They have created the change of mind about taking the trip. I would expect them to stop doing that, and get back on track with our prior plan. I see that as a rational and healthy expectation for all involved.

Heartmama

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#78 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 09:49 PM
 
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icicle spider wrote: "I take it then that it is not a falling structure, then yes, I would apologize. "



Ummm, I don't think you get my last post, or the one prior, at all.

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#79 of 86 Old 01-06-2002, 09:54 PM
 
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Heartmama wrote:

"Could you paraphrase which part went against TCS?"

IMO, the part where they assume that there is no solution that is a common preference. I think that closes lots of doors.

But since you've already made up your mind that there is no solution that is non-coercive, then the family would make a choice and someone would feel coercion.

Glad Netty's post made sense to you.
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Heartmama, also, for your 'what if' question, maybe the article at
http://www.tcs.ac/Articles/WhatIf.html might help?
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Cassidy wrote:

quote:
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I guess I just don't get it. Maybe it's just another semantics problem, but I'm not sure I see setting boundaries as being coercive; if the child knows the consequences, he is still free to follow his desire and accept the consequence.
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But if the consequences are imposed rather than completely natural (and cannot be avoided), then he is obviously not "free" to follow this desire. He is being thwarted by an imposed consequence. If he *agrees* with the consequence, then he is not being coerced. But children, ime, seldom agree with imposed consequences if given the choice.



quote:
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After all, I don't feel coerced by the fact that my freedom of speech is restricted by the fact that I can't shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater. I don't feel coerced because there are sppedlimits (well, not much). I reap the benefit of being able to attend the theater and drive on the roeadway by agreeing to abide by these rules.
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Do you disagree with the reason for not shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater? Do you understand why there are speedlimits? Does it make sense to you that speed limits exist? If you don't feel coerced, then you aren't. But a child who is protesting against an imposed limit is, no doubt, feeling coerced.



quote:
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I think households require similar rules in order to function efficiently and to meet the needs of most of the members, most of the time.
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If everyone agrees that there should be rules, then it makes sense to have them (as long as the rules are open to change should anyone no longer agree with them, which seems to make the idea of "rules" rather unnecessary). But I would assume that most families have rules which are imposed by the parents. Sometimes the more "liberal" parents will ask for the children's input but will always reserve the right to have the final say and to enforce those rules. And most rules are for the benefit of the parents and are made according to the parents' agenda and personal needs/desires rather than the children's. IME, families function quite efficiently without rules when members are committed to solving problems by seeking common preferences.



quote:
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Also, I'm sot sure I agree with the premise that the relationship between parents and minor children is, or should be, a relationship of equals. At least certainly not before a child has reached the age of reason. After all, my husband would never invite me to dinner and a movie, look forward to it all week, and then refuse to get dressed when it's time to leave...
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If one thinks that children--no matter their age--are real people with real needs and desires then I don't see how one could claim that the relationship between them is not one of equals (aren't all "men" (read "people") born equal? By the "age of reason," do you mean the age when children can understand and agree with parental reasoning? What age would that be? Perhaps you are right to assume that your husband would never invite you to dinner and a movie and then refuse to go when it's time to leave, but then your husband has more knowledge and experience and ability to see ahead when making plans. What if your husband didn't feel well that day or was angry with you or had had a really hard day and wanted to go to bed early? Would you *force* him to go? What if your husband couldn't speak or express his needs, would you assume, then, that he wasn't being "reasonable" and carry him off to the restaurant. I suspect that manu parents coerce children not because they really believe it is right but because it is in their power to do so. If you couldn't force your husband into the car, why would you force your child? Why should the reason make any difference if you claim to love and support this person?



quote:
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It was mentioned by someone that it is silly to think about asking for "permission" from one's spouse before doing somethiing, although the spouse's preferences should be taken into consideration before making a decision. Well, I'd be the first one with "a hair across" if my husband ever *forbade* me from seeing friends, watching T.V., etc, but I guess if he forbade my having an affair or opening a brothel over the garage, I'd see his point.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But that is the difference. You would *see his point* and agree *not* to do these things. Or, if you didn't see his point and *really* wanted to do them anyway, you would be free to leave and set up a brothel elsewhere run by the guy you're having the affair with ;-). Children do not have the option of getting new parents or setting off on their own....On the one hand, you seem to be arguing that children should be coerced because they cannot understand reason but then you also suggest that they should agree to do something if the reason is valid (according to the person who wants to impose it). If they cannot understand the reason, then how would one expect them to agree to it?



quote:
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After all, those things would go against our marriage vows. Well, children, like it or not, by virtue of their birth, have been entered into the social contract.
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You *chose* to make those vows. And you are *free* to leave your marriage at any time. And if you choose to leave, you can find plenty of support for doing so. This is not so for children. They have no choice in this respect. And they had no choice in being "entered into the social contract" either.



quote:
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So, even if I were willing to accept the whole TCS thing in theory, and I'm not sure I am, I don't get how it can actually survive the test of real life. When we are out of bread, milk, and cereal, we have to go to the market.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is this really the case? If you are out of bread, milk, and cereal, could you not eat something else? Could you not ask someone to get it for you? Could you not get the order delivered from the grocery store? Could you not find a good incentive for the children to *want* to go to the market?



quote:
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If one of my three children simply refuses to go and is not old enough to stay alone, my allowing her to keep the rest of us from going means allowing her to decide that her siblings (and parents) will have no breakfast. How ell does that go over in a TCS home? 'Cause I can tell you everyone at my house (including the child who refused to go to the store) would be blqming Mom in the morning.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This would be important information to provide for the child who doesn't want to go. You could also find somewhere for the child to stay while you and the other children went. Or you could wait until the child *did* want to go. Or you could ask a friend to get them for you. Or you could go next door and ask the neighbour if you could borrow some milk, bread, & cereal. Or ask the neighbour if he is going to the market at all and, if so, could he pick these up for you? And if, in the morning, the child complained that there was no breakfast (though surely there would be *something* for them to eat, no?), you could remind hir that you couldn't get to the market yesterday but that you could go later if she'd like. And so on.



quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
it seems to me that the problem lies in the fact that no matter how seriously we take our children and their desires, and no matter how kindly and respectfully we treat them, there are times when they act just like, well, children. And it is at those times that parents need to act most like adults.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, there are those times. Children have less knowledge and experience and they depend on adults to help them exercise their autonomy. I "act like an adult" by seeking common preferences. I choose to do this *because* I am the adult and I have the knowledge, experience, and resources to do so (and I realize that my children often do not). I also realize that my children will no doubt benefit from my effort (as will I) because we will all learn better ways of solving problems. Coercion is simply not the "adult" way of solving problems as far as I'm concerned.

Netty
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#82 of 86 Old 01-07-2002, 12:35 AM
 
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Netty said:

Quote:
Could you not find a good incentive for the children to *want* to go to the market?
That statement sounds a bit coersive to me. Perhaps this is what people have been talking about when the bring up the semantics issue. What you see as negotiation to make everyone happy, I see as a form of bribery, or <gasp> coersion.
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#83 of 86 Old 01-07-2002, 01:07 AM
 
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Beth wrote:

****Netty said:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Could you not find a good incentive for the children to *want* to go to the market?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That statement sounds a bit coersive to me. Perhaps this is what people have been talking about when the bring up the semantics issue. What you see as negotiation to make everyone happy, I see as a form of bribery, or <gasp> coersion.****

Can you expand on how this is coercive? Here is an example of what I mean when I say that parents can try to find a good incentive for children to do something that they may be reluctant to do at first: Let's say that I wanted to go to the store but you wanted to stay home and read. And let's say that I really wanted you to come along. One way to convince you to come would be to find a good reason (by your lights) for *you* to go to the store. So, let's say I remembered that you had a crush on one of the cashiers there and so I reminded you that he would be working at that time. With this information, you changed your mind and decided you *wanted* to come to the store with me. If the information I provided were in fact true, would you say that I had bribed you into coming? Did I trick you? Would you say that I had coerced you?

Netty
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#84 of 86 Old 01-07-2002, 01:11 AM
 
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Netty,

"The other family members might certainly be able to convince the reluctant one that s/he is hurting people by hir choice and s/he might change hir mind. Or everyone might think of a way that the reluctant one can stay behind (go to a friend's?). Or they might be able to convince the reluctant one that s/he *wants* to go by offering hir an incentive that s/he didn't consider when making hir decision."

I have seen this kind of response in other TCS responses - offer the child to go get ice cream or some other thing that the child may want, but hadn't thought of....

Isn't offering incentives nothing more than a bribe? Isn't that extrinsic motivation? You could also punish the child, by taking something away. Same principle.

When this is the basis of the child/parent relationship - the child will grow up to think for solutions from the perspective or "what do I get for behaving right" or "What will I lose." As opposed to - "I will do this because it is right."

Using Extrinsic motivation in parenting does not help you get a child who is, for lack of a better discription (considering the TCS forum), self-disciplined.

And before any TCS'ers ask me why I would assume anyone wants or needs self-discipline or why I think it is a critical behavior to model, here is my answer: We are social creatures, living in a complex civilization. Without common rules, we would have chaos.

Also, much earlier in this thread, I posted a situation as well as a couple of question about TCS, that no one has responded to....I will try and cut and paste.
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#85 of 86 Old 01-07-2002, 01:49 AM
 
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Netty says:

"Do you disagree with the reason for not shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater? Do you understand why there are speedlimits? Does it make sense to you that speed limits exist? If you don't feel coerced, then you aren't. But a child who is protesting against an imposed limit is, no doubt, feeling coerced."

Let's say that your child (aged 4) has Type I diabetes. Child wants to eat a whole box of cookies, which Parent knows will throw child into a diabetic shock. Parent explains to child the complex theories about how a pancreas doesn't produce insulin, etc... child has no idea what the hell parent is talking about - parent, says that the cookes will make child sick, child maintains that child wants the whole box of cookies. Parents says no, child can have some sugar-free dessert. Child is sad, but takes the sugar-free dessert.

TCS would say this is coersion. I call it common sense. This was a compromise for the child and in the child's best interest.

Netty also says:

"You *chose* to make those vows. And you are *free* to leave your marriage at any time. And if you choose to leave, you can find plenty of support for doing so. This is not so for children. They have no choice in this respect. And they had no choice in being "entered into the social contract" either. "

Children wouldn't even exist if we didn't chose to have them. Of course children have no choice - that is a fact of nature. Unless someone has figured out a way to harness the immaculate conception.
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#86 of 86 Old 01-07-2002, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Seems to me it's about time to close this thread and start a new one.

Feel free to continue your discussion in the new "TCS Discussions 2" that I have opened. For easy access I will place this thread in the Gentle Discipline Archives which is located at the top of the Gentle Discipline threads list page.

~Cynthia

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