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Gentle Discipline > What's TCS?
insahmniak's Avatar insahmniak 12:40 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat
I'm sorry but I just don't buy the fact that teaching somebody that you can always do exactly as you please is a valuable life lesson.
Perhaps this is a little OT, but I'm amazed at the visceral reaction I'm having to this statement. I'm not sure how to articulate this well, but one of the greatest hopes I have for my daughter is that she realizes that she CAN do exactly as she pleases -- always. I'm not sure I'm the one to "teach" her this or not, but the empowering aspect of this is totally appealing to me. No, she doesn't have to follow The Rules that say all women must have babies, in hospitals, circumcise them and shoot them up with vaccinations and antibiotics. She has choices. I want her to experience them to the fullest. And I expect that even then, she will choose to be kind and considerate and accommodating at times. But because that is what she values, and not because it's "what she should do." That is my greatest hope for her.

Edited to add:
I don't get the feeling that TCS inspires egocentrism as much as it inspires empowerment.

mamazee's Avatar mamazee 01:11 PM 09-27-2005
It isn't teaching kids to do whatever they want with no concern for anyone else. It seems more to be teaching kids to find solutions that make everyone, including them, happy. That's not really the same thing because they would be learning to take into account how everyone else feels as well as what they want.
captain crunchy 01:33 PM 09-27-2005
Well actually, you CAN always do what you please when you really think about it. I think what the pp was referring to was consequences to your actions. Sure, if you please, you can write a completely flaming message on here, cursing and insulting whoever -- but you don't do it because you are aware of the consequences (being banned) and you aren't willing to do what you please because you don't want the consequence. It is like anything really. I mean if you want to get extreme, you could murder someone in cold blood if you really wanted to, but most people don't-- I like to believe it is because they are decent people with morals etc, but I am sure someone people don't hurt other people because they don't want the consequence that goes along with breaking the law or whatever.

I guess my point is, I don't believe in teaching children they can't do a certain thing just because they aren't "allowed". I think my understanding of TCS personally, is that by guiding our children and helping them avoid dangerous or hurtful situations, while also allowing them to explore their world and have an equal or near equal say in the family, they will develop self control, reasoning, morals etc...

I don't believe TCS is a free for all where you just let your child do whatever they want whenever they want. I believe it is a cause and effect, a reasoning and critical thinking lesson, a way of respecting your childs needs and desires, while also keeping them safe.

Sure, society is structured in such a way where there are consequenses to certain actions, but really, you can pretty much do whatever you please. If you want to tell your boss to F off, you can. The consequence you will most likely recieve from that though, is that you will be let go...but if you have found work elsewhere, you don't care, or whatever... you sure can tell him or her to go somewhere....

I think part of the point of TCS'ing is to eliminate arbitrary rules and get to why they are "rules" at all. For instance, mealtimes. Many parents make their child eat at a certain time, a certain place (the table for instance), a certain meal... they can't have dessert until they finish, they can't go play until they wash their plate, whatever -- with TCS, it is basically saying, when you are an adult, you don't have to finish your peas, you can have a cookie before dinner, you can choose to eat in another room, on the floor, not eat at all, and you can wash your plate AFTER you play... so why shouldn't children have that same right?

Of course, if it is a very small child, maybe you don't want food all over the walls etc -- but with an older child, that is how TCS may work.

ETA: ...and I am not teaching my child to kill someone or tell her boss to F-off... I was just illustrating that yes, you actually CAN do whatever you please... but of course, their are consequences to certain actions, and hopefully by teaching my child by example and by empowering her with the right to make her own decisions, she will be smart and capable enough to make her own decisions and be able to decide for herself whether any action is worth the consequences. Of course, when she is very little, it is my job to make sure she doesn't get hit by a car or something, but you get my drift...
chinaKat's Avatar chinaKat 02:00 PM 09-27-2005
Well, I guess my mother must have been TCS on some level. Because she never coerced me to clean my room -- she just let me live in whatever level of pigsty I could endure. When I was old enough to earn money, she never coerced me into saving any of it, she just let me blow it each week on whatever I felt like buying. She never coerced me to be punctual so I always showed up for appointments whenever I felt like it.

Guess what?

When I grew up, I was a total slob. I never had clean clothes to wear to work. I was humiliated when people dropped by. I'd run around in the morning like a maniac trying to get ready and got to work late every day, to the point where it endangered my job. I couldn't even *find* my bills, much less pay them on time -- and I had no sense of money management, so my credit wound up in the crapper. My relationships suffered because people saw me as not caring enough about them to show up on time.

And I was miserable.

But I didn't know any better. Because my mom just let me do what I wanted to do, I didn't want to clean my room or save money or be on time... so I didn't. And that's how life worked.

It took me years to figure out what was making me so unhappy with my messy, hurried, unsatsifying life. I finally had the "a-ha!" moment that I needed to (literally and figuratively) clean up my act. No, it wasn't FUN doing stuff like laundry or paying bills, but I had to do them -- even though I didn't want to.

And then, finally, I got it. And now I live a much more comfortable existence. It's like a 180 turn around.

And oh, how I wish I'd grown up being coerced into having a little personal responsibility.

chinaKat
johub's Avatar johub 02:05 PM 09-27-2005
There are a million and a half things I do every day because I "should" even though I dont feel like it at the time.
I feel very strongly that in order to enjoy life and participate in society to the fullest it is important to learn the rules and live by them. And of course to have a great deal of freedom and creativity within that framework.
It isnt all about the biggies like having the freedom not to grow up and do everything "by the book". It is about the smallies such as I have to wash the dishes or my kitchen might get roaches. I do not want to wash the dishes. I really dont feel like doing it. I hate the way the casserole dish is all baked on caked on stuck on. I could rationalize that I am willing to accept the alternative. But the fact of the matter is it comes down to there are things in life that we really do not have choices about.
I can choose not to vax or circ like the pp said, but I cant choose to just leave and go to the mall with my infant home by themselves during their naptime.
Also I find it extremely interesting that this is based on the philosophy that the only reason a child would behave irrationally is as a reaction to having been coerced.
Now I can imagine that a child who is forced to hold hands and be dragged along is more likely to pull away and bolt into the street as a reaction to being coerced. HOwever I just dont see the logic that this is the only reason children behave in irrational ways.
I know as an adult I have been irrational many many times for reasons completely unrelated to coercion. I can only imagine that children have no fewer motivating forces which conflict with rationality than adults do.
I hope my children will grow up learning a balance between freedom and responsiblity which I think that life is all about. I WANT them to learn how important it is to do things just because they should sometimes. Even if it doesnt benefit them in any forseeable way.
And that is how I treat them as well.
Joline
The4OfUs's Avatar The4OfUs 03:07 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat
Well, I guess my mother must have been TCS on some level. Because she never coerced me to clean my room -- she just let me live in whatever level of pigsty I could endure. When I was old enough to earn money, she never coerced me into saving any of it, she just let me blow it each week on whatever I felt like buying. She never coerced me to be punctual so I always showed up for appointments whenever I felt like it.
I'm not a TCS expert at all, but from what I have gathered from this discussion, I think the difference here would be that a TCS parent would be discussing with their children the ramifications of not cleaning their room, not saving money, and not being courteous and punctual...letting them know how it would impact them and others around them, and giving them alternative ideas to get things done...I'm not sure if your mom did that, but from the way you described it above, this sounds like a "hands-off" parenting style instead of one that would work with the child to help them make their own decisions.

Granted, if in the end the child decides to not clean, not save, and not be on time they will have to deal with the consequences. But, I think that over time a TCS parent would be continually discussing it with them, not just letting them do whatever they want, and at some point the child would likely see the value in *not* not doing those things...I agree that most of the time people don't deliberately want to do things that make themselves or others uncomfortable, just that sometimes they don't realize the effect. And, instead of just telling them what has to be done, if you can teach them the effects of what happen if it is not done, then they can really understand and do things because it's the thoughtful thing to do, not "just because".

I could be completely wrong here, though :LOL , so please let me know if I am!!

I have been reading this thread with GREAT interest, and hope to use pieces of it to fit my own family's needs and style...
mamazee's Avatar mamazee 03:11 PM 09-27-2005
ChinaKat - it's kind of funny that you and I had the exact same problems when we were first out on our own and we both blame it on our parents but our parents were opposites. My parents forced me to keep my room clean, forced me to save half of everything I earned in the bank, etc. And when I got out on my own, I completely rebelled and did the opposite until I learned that I didn't like living that way. I assumed it was because my parents coerced me so forcibly that I did a 180 on it.

Maybe that's a good lesson that it isn't fair to blame our parents when we're going through learning experiences.

And if you're doing it because you don't want roaches in the kitchen and you don't want to be embarassed when people come over, then you aren't being coerced to do it; you've made a concious decision based upon the consequences.
abac's Avatar abac 03:34 PM 09-27-2005
chinaKat, I think you might be confusing coercion with teaching. You say you were never coerced to do things like clean your room or save money. Were you taught those things? Were you taught the importance of them? Coercion is a method of control, whether by force, by fear, by humiliation, etc. One can still teach children important and valuable lessons about life and about responsibility and about consequences without using coercion. It sounds as though you taught yourself those lessons when you realized the importance of keeping a clean environment and showing up for appointments on time. Do you remember what it was that clicked and gave you that "a-ha" moment? Maybe your answer to that could help you understand how children can learn without being coerced.

Nobody here is arguing that life is always fun. Nobody is saying that we shouldn't be responsible (although we must decide for ourselves what "responsible" means.) I agree with you that doing laundry and paying bills is not fun. I do those things too (most of the time.) I do them because I like the end result. I like having clean clothes and I like having my bills paid on time both to avoid late fees and so they don't get too high. Children are capable of understanding cause and effect. It is our responsibility to help them learn about cause and effect, about possible consequences, and about different possible outcomes. We can help them figure out how to find a solution that makes all parties happy. I think it all starts with a basic belief that children want to be safe and happy and want others to be safe and happy as well.

Remember that there are many more people who don't practice TCS that there are people who do. If TCS is not for you, that's okay.
johub's Avatar johub 03:42 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by donosmommy04
I'm not a TCS expert at all, but from what I have gathered from this discussion, I think the difference here would be that a TCS parent would be discussing with their children the ramifications of not cleaning their room, not saving money, and not being courteous and punctual...letting them know how it would impact them and others around them, and giving them alternative ideas to get things done...I'm not sure if your mom did that, but from the way you described it above, this sounds like a "hands-off" parenting style instead of one that would work with the child to help them make their own decisions.

.
Here's the thing, I would imagine that her parents DID discuss the reasons for all of these things with her. I know mine did. What parent wouldnt?
And yet my experience was very similar to chinacat's.
To some of I think that all talk and no action is "hands off" parenting.
johub's Avatar johub 03:45 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee
And if you're doing it because you don't want roaches in the kitchen and you don't want to be embarassed when people come over, then you aren't being coerced to do it; you've made a concious decision based upon the consequences.
Which is what happens when children are coerced too. THey make a conscious decision based on the parent enforced consequences.

eta:
I dont know what my point here is and I really should stop. This is so interesting to me. I just wanted to add and make it clear that even though I am "debating" the nitty gritty here, I am just doing so academically and I do truly support the choices other families make in this regard.
I was thinking, "why are you arguing this?" because I really dont intend on convincing anybody of anything. I just wanted to share. Sometimes I am a dork and just feel compelled to argue when somethign doesnt make sense to me and I guess I just never stop having opinions.
The4OfUs's Avatar The4OfUs 03:47 PM 09-27-2005
I'm trying to get a handle on the "nuts and bolts" here, so if someone who practices TCS would take a look at this to see if I have it right, I'd appreciate it:

TCS is *not* letting your child do whatever they want without talking to them about what they're doing. From what I understand, TCS involves discussing and explaining the consequences of a child's actions and choices (including the short term and long term effects on the chid themself, the family unit, and the outside world), and exploring the alternative actions or choices they might have and their ramifications (obviously, in an age appropriate manner). That part sounds great to me...

I think the MAJOR difference with TCS, though, is that after discussing and exploring choices, you have to be OK with your child making a decision that isn't the same as the one you would make (or make for them), and support them through it...then, if they don't like the consequences, help them figure out how to avoid them in the future.

I think it is this point that is the sticking point for many people..however, based on the TCS philosophy a child would not often deliberately make a choice that causes much discomfort or inconvenience for themselves or those they care about...as for the outside world, maybe that is less of a factor for many TCS families, which is also probably another sticking point with some. There is a huge variation in what different people believe being a productive member of society is, ranging from towing the line of mainstream society, to being completely antidisestablishmentarian (wow, I never, ever thought I would actually use that word in a serious sentence!!). This is a gigantic spectrum of beliefs, and is probably where issues with TCS come up. I would wager that the more TCS a family is, the less they care about their family conforming to societal norms.

Personally, I am somewhere in the middle; not quite mainstream, and not quite *not*. I do think though, that even families that are moderately mainstream or moderately crunchy can work pieces of TCS into their lives...I am hoping to be able to myself!!

Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on anything I have mentioned above. This has been a great thread - thanks, everyone.
mamazee's Avatar mamazee 03:48 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Which is what happens when children are coerced too. THey make a conscious decision based on the parent enforced consequences.
The difference is that in one case the person involved makes a personal choice based on real-world consequences that he/she could ignore if he/she wanted, and in the other case the person is being forced externally by artificially created consequences that will probably continue to get stronger and stronger until the situation gets to where the parent wants.
abac's Avatar abac 03:49 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Which is what happens when children are coerced too. THey make a conscious decision based on the parent enforced consequences.
I think the idea is that they are capable of making those same decisions WITHOUT parent enforced consequences.
CherryBomb's Avatar CherryBomb 03:54 PM 09-27-2005
:LOL
Quote:
Originally Posted by donosmommy04
Personally, I am somewhere in the middle; not quite mainstream, and not quite *not*. I do think though, that even families that are moderately mainstream or moderately crunchy can work pieces of TCS into their lives...I am hoping to be able to myself!!
Me, too. I like the idea of compromise and treating children with respect, but when it comes down to it, my 4 year old doesn't have the same life experiences and understanding that I do, so I have veto power

I think I probably follow TCS more than I think, but when it comes to examples such as my child wanting to jump off the roof, there's no room for compromise or talking about it. It's "NO. You will break your legs or kill yourself. It is NOT safe." The end.
johub's Avatar johub 03:58 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee
The difference is that in one case the person involved makes a personal choice based on real-world consequences that he/she could ignore if he/she wanted, and in the other case the person is being forced externally by artificially created consequences that will probably continue to get stronger and stronger until the situation gets to where the parent wants.
I think that is just as much a myth about parent enforced consequences as our understanding of TCS as meaning out of control children.

Just as children are capable of learning without coercion and parent enforced consequences, they are capable of learning with minimal consequences.
The4OfUs's Avatar The4OfUs 04:30 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Here's the thing, I would imagine that her parents DID discuss the reasons for all of these things with her. I know mine did. What parent wouldnt?
And yet my experience was very similar to chinacat's.
To some of I think that all talk and no action is "hands off" parenting.
I see your point...I just wonder if there may be a difference between a TCS based, ongoing discussion, versus a more "authoritarian" (I can't think of a better way to phrase that) discussion...

I was a total slob as a teenager and young adult (and still might be considered one by some people ) and have had money problems as a young adult, but I wouldn't ever "blame" my parents for it. They certainly talked to me about things, and set a great example, I just chose to not follow it...and that's not their doing whatsoever...actually, it probably is their doing, because they raised me to be an independent thinker and not worry about what other people thought or said....I actually told my mom one time when I was in my 20s and we were discussing something I was going to do that she didn't agree with, "Well, it's your fault for raising me to think for myself and do what I think is right for me!" and we had a big laugh about that.

Granted, none of my decisions put myself or anyone else in danger, and I'm sure if they would have, my parents would have stepped in. But for the most part, we talked about things and I did what I thought was right, even if my parents were displeased or disappointed (which they weren't afraid to express - but the differentiated between displeasure in the action and displeasure in *me*).

I can just about guarantee you that if I was 'forced' to clean up my room, or punished for not cleaning it, I wouldn't have learned anything other than I had to clean my room when my parents said so, not that it was nice to have a clean room...I learned that on my own when I was older.

Not sure what my point is here, other than I don't hold my parents responsible for the choices I've made in life; they have been teachers and guardians, but I have been the ultimate decision maker, and I really value that....

Oh, that and I would wager that there is probably a difference between the content of a discussion of choices and consequences between a TCS family, and hands off family, and a mainstream authoritarian family.
The4OfUs's Avatar The4OfUs 04:34 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
I dont know what my point here is and I really should stop. This is so interesting to me. I just wanted to add and make it clear that even though I am "debating" the nitty gritty here, I am just doing so academically and I do truly support the choices other families make in this regard.
I was thinking, "why are you arguing this?" because I really dont intend on convincing anybody of anything. I just wanted to share. Sometimes I am a dork and just feel compelled to argue when somethign doesnt make sense to me and I guess I just never stop having opinions.
ITA! I have really enjoyed the discussion,and remember enjoying posting with you on the Anthony Wolf thread a while ago - I think we think a lot alike in many respects. For the record, I'm not sure how much true TCS I'll use in my own family, but I do know it will play some role...as Cherry Bomb said, I'm not sure I'm willing to give up the right to veto - which I knew in dangerous situations my parents would have definitely invoked :LOL
johub's Avatar johub 05:53 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by donosmommy04
I can just about guarantee you that if I was 'forced' to clean up my room, or punished for not cleaning it, I wouldn't have learned anything other than I had to clean my room when my parents said so, not that it was nice to have a clean room...I learned that on my own when I was older.
The advantage to the child who was made to do it anyway is that they have learned the skills to complete the task. SO that if they should later come to the voluntary conclusion that they do indeed want to do x y or z, they already know how because they have done so.
I might not have much to say in the outcome if my child is a slob or a clean person. Or if they pay their bills on time etc. . .
But by intstructing them how and having them go through the motions, they learn the necessary skills.
Whether or not they use those skills IS their choice. But whether or not they learn them is my job.
johub's Avatar johub 05:58 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by donosmommy04
ITA! I have really enjoyed the discussion,and remember enjoying posting with you on the Anthony Wolf thread a while ago - I think we think a lot alike in many respects. For the record, I'm not sure how much true TCS I'll use in my own family, but I do know it will play some role...as Cherry Bomb said, I'm not sure I'm willing to give up the right to veto - which I knew in dangerous situations my parents would have definitely invoked :LOL
well I have never read TCS.
I do think it is my job to always give my kids the whys and wherefores and give them the opportunity to willingly comply. I also think it is my job to choose my battles so I only really take action with things that I feel are truly important.
So in real life and practice it might look very similar to TCS. Because I am always talking and explaining and teaching. And because most of the time I do NOT have to coerce my children.
But in the end, when push comes to shove, I am more than happy to play my "I'm the Mom" trump card. And in that regards I suppose I am not, nor will I ever be TCS.
Peppermint's Avatar Peppermint 06:14 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
The advantage to the child who was made to do it anyway is that they have learned the skills to complete the task. SO that if they should later come to the voluntary conclusion that they do indeed want to do x y or z, they already know how because they have done so.
I might not have much to say in the outcome if my child is a slob or a clean person. Or if they pay their bills on time etc. . .
But by intstructing them how and having them go through the motions, they learn the necessary skills.
Whether or not they use those skills IS their choice. But whether or not they learn them is my job.
I see what you mean, but I can't think of very many things that one could not learn to do on their own, esp. wrt keeping house and paying bills, etc. My parents never showed me how to pay bills, I just figured it out, maybe someone at the bank gave me a primer when I got my first checking account, I don't remember, common sense would tell one that paying them on time would be the thing to do, and the statements usually tell about late charges.

Housework- my parents were really laid back about us doing housework, not TCS, just hands off. I learned that I liked my room clean as I got older, I watched my mom vacuum, do dishes and laundry, etc. And as I got older and my mom went back to college on top of working part time, I started doing the vast majority of the housework, no one asked me to, no one paid me to, I just loved my mom and wanted to help her out. I don't think anyone ever taught me to clean a toilet or wash dishes, I just knew from watching I guess.

I am not altogether using TCS either, but that is mainly b/c I married a man who had no idea what I would become. He had no clue I would nurse a baby older than one, or refuse to vax, want to homeschool, etc. I have had to pick my battles with him. He is a good man, but he wanted to spank the kids on occasion, so just getting GD going was a challenge, he'd go off of the deep end if I expected him to use TCS theories all of the time.

It seems to me that TCS with one child, no partner (or a very much agreeing partner) and a really felxible job/career of your own would be easiest. And believe me, I thought this was all kinds of crazy when I first learned of it, made no sense at all, and I used all of the arguments being used on this thread. As it stands I do coerce, I am just trying to do it less and less, I am trying to trust my children more and more, and stop trying to control them so much. Ideally, I'd be unschooling my kids, dh would be all rosey with TCS philosophies and I'd go full-force, but that is not realistic right now, so- I am a "TCS-try-er" :LOL
chinaKat's Avatar chinaKat 06:41 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by donosmommy04
I'm not a TCS expert at all, but from what I have gathered from this discussion, I think the difference here would be that a TCS parent would be discussing with their children the ramifications of not cleaning their room, not saving money, and not being courteous and punctual...letting them know how it would impact them and others around them, and giving them alternative ideas to get things done...I'm not sure if your mom did that, but from the way you described it above, this sounds like a "hands-off" parenting style instead of one that would work with the child to help them make their own decisions.

.
Interesting interpretation.

Here's what I said:

she never coerced me to clean my room -- she just let me live in whatever level of pigsty I could endure. When I was old enough to earn money, she never coerced me into saving any of it, she just let me blow it each week on whatever I felt like buying. She never coerced me to be punctual so I always showed up for appointments whenever I felt like it.

"Hands off" or "TCS"? Aren't we just using different *labels* here?

Certainly, I was given the choices. I saw my mom cleaning the rest of the house. Playing was more fun. I saw my parents paying bills. Spending my money on me was more fun. Given the chance, why not take the fun route? Nobody said I had to do otherwise, so why not do what appeared to be most advantageous to me at the time? I think you'd have to search pretty hard for a kid that preferred chores and saving to playing and having money to spend.

Now, you can interpret my situation as MY parents didn't do all the proper TCS things and give me a big song and dance about how I *ought* to save money and do chores. But if they never said I *had* to... why on earth would I have? And that's how I wound up without a *clue* as to how to be a grown up.

The thing is, I don't see "you only have to do X if you want to" as a teaching moment at all... not if when you grow up, you HAVE to do X. That's not treating a child as an adult (which is what TCS seems to ostensibly be about), that's giving a child special "get out of jail free" status. It's like taking children's responsibilities UNseriously. Which makes for a rude awakening upon adulthood, when you figure out you can't just always play all day long.

chinaKat
UnschoolnMa's Avatar UnschoolnMa 07:43 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat
The thing is, I don't see "you only have to do X if you want to" as a teaching moment at all... not if when you grow up, you HAVE to do X. That's not treating a child as an adult (which is what TCS seems to ostensibly be about), that's giving a child special "get out of jail free" status. It's like taking children's responsibilities UNseriously. Which makes for a rude awakening upon adulthood, when you figure out you can't just always play all day long.

Well clearly TCS doesn't have to result in a rude awakening to adulthood, because many TCS'ed children make that transition with out traumatic difficulty.

TCS to me is not about treating children as adults, IMO. For me it is about treating children with the respect you'd give an adult while keeping developmental things in mind. I do not think it would be very kind to treat a 3 year old like a 15 yr old or a 9 yr old like a 40 yr old, developmentally speaking and in terms of what their responsibilities might be.

Everyone has choices to make. I can choose not to do dishes, but I know what will happen if I do not do them. (There will be dirty dishes, less or no dishes to eat from or cook with, a smell in the house perhaps, and more to deal with later, etc) This knowledge causes me to get the dang dishes done, rather than deal with what would happen if I did not, and rationally speaking who wants those other things to happen? Playing might be more fun than washing dishes (or washing dishes might be play, but that's not the point), but washing dishes is less unpleasant than what dirty dishes brings. We examine what will happen.

Responsibility often sounds like such a negative thing when I hear people say it. It's as if it comes with a heavy, unpleasant, and negative weight attached to it. It feels like they say it like: "I have to do this. It's my responsibility." . But when you grow up not being forced to be responsible, but instead seeing what it responsibility looks like, and what decision making looks like you don't see responsibility as a this bad thing that other people make you do, or that you feel you must do even though you don't want to.

captain crunchy 07:53 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
"Hands off" or "TCS"? Aren't we just using different *labels* here?
That statement offends me a lot. TCS in many ways, takes a LOT of effort, because many of us were programmed to think that we aren't good parents unless we are controlling our children.

My goal is not to control my child. She didn't choose this, I did. My goal is to teach her, guide her, respect her, love her, keep her safe -- in doing that, yes, their may be times where I *may* have to step in and be the voice of reason as someone with more life experience and a better understanding of cause and effect (like the jumping off the roof thing) -- but blaming your parents because you didn't get your act together for a while to me is a cop out.

If you saw your mother cleaning, and paying the bills, and they spoke to you about it, the consequences of "playing" all day.. if they were honest and open with you about the *real* world and how it worked, then it seems to me, the choices you made were YOURS, not theirs.

This stuff about blaming our parents for everything is kind of bogus to me. Yes, my parents helped formed who I am, and in many ways I feel I was emotionally effected negatively because of that -- but I got to a certain age where MY choices were MY choices and I couldn't go around blaming something they did or didn't do for what I was doing at the present time.

Obviously, you learned you didn't want a filthy house and you wanted to pay the bills, that is great -- it takes some people longer than others, but at least in the end you changed, and isn't that what really matters? In other words, I would rather have my daughter come to a lesson learned on her own, being wiser, stronger, happier in the long run, than to blindly follow what she *should* be doing all the time just so no one can accuse her of *playing* and not being "responsible".

I have every confidence my daughter will get *there*. She may not be this wise, perfect, life-experienced person at 18, and that's okay. Some of the most interesting, wonderful, smart, creative, funny people I know are 40 and still don't have a damn clue about what they want to do with their lives, ya know?

I mean what are we talking about here really? Has this turned into a white collar job, white picket fence, properly dressed, says all the appropriate things, does all the socially accepted things as a measure as how *successful* our parenting styles are??

All I ask of my daughter is that she is happy. That is all, that she is happy and that she tries to better people's lives instead of hurting them (that can even be done by smiling at someone instead of frowning)... and when you are happy inside, I feel you do works of good..so the rest will follow suit...
momsgotmilk4two's Avatar momsgotmilk4two 08:04 PM 09-27-2005
[QUOTE=CherryBombI think I probably follow TCS more than I think, but when it comes to examples such as my child wanting to jump off the roof, there's no room for compromise or talking about it. It's "NO. You will break your legs or kill yourself. It is NOT safe." The end.[/QUOTE]

I always thought it was funny when people would bring up the "jump off the roof" example because I thought it could never happen and it was just one of those sayings. Then several years ago, we were discussing this very thing and someone on another website who is TCS said that her dd really did decide to jump off the roof when she was about 6. They discussed it at length, she had jumped off other things before, and now she wanted to jump off the barn roof. She broke both arms and ended up in emergency surgery and mom still felt she had done the right thing.

One problem I have with TCS too (for my family of course, I don't have a problem with anyone else practicing it) is that for certain things, like the eating only at the table example, ds would be perfectly happy to accept the consequences and I would not. He would get crumbs all over the floor or furniture, choose not to clean up after himself, and accept the consequences that the floor and furniture is now stained and dirty. He is five. He doesn't care if the couch that *I* paid over $1000 for is now stained with grape juice. Crumbs ground into the carpet don't phase him. *I* care what the house looks like. So *I* have to accept the consequences of ds's choices, NOT ds.
momsgotmilk4two's Avatar momsgotmilk4two 08:08 PM 09-27-2005
[QUOTE=captain crunchy]
If you saw your mother cleaning, and paying the bills, and they spoke to you about it, the consequences of "playing" all day.. if they were honest and open with you about the *real* world and how it worked, then it seems to me, the choices you made were YOURS, not theirs.

QUOTE]

I agree. My mom never made me clean the house or my room and it was a pigsty until I was about 15. That is when I decided to redecorate my room. I fixed everything up and really took pride in it. I realized that I loved the way my room felt when it was clean. I never had a messy room again. Now, my house is about the save level of clean as I grew up with. It was cleaner before I had three boys
Trinitty's Avatar Trinitty 09:04 PM 09-27-2005
I had no idea that some Objectivists had started a parenting philosophy. Interesting.

I’ll have to go check that out, though, I won’t be letting my child jump off of barn roofs. I would not describe Ayn Rand as right wing or left wing though, it’s pretty “different” and I think a lot of her ideals can do a lot of good.
flyingspaghettimama's Avatar flyingspaghettimama 09:42 PM 09-27-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinitty
I’ll have to go check that out, though, I won’t be letting my child jump off of barn roofs. I would not describe Ayn Rand as right wing or left wing though, it’s pretty “different” and I think a lot of her ideals can do a lot of good.
You're right - Rand is more stone-cold libertarian. Which I'm not. So a lot of the ideals of TCS don't really work for me, because I don't share those ideals regarding responsibilities, the common good, or lack thereof. There did not seem to be a lot of empathy-building or compassion for others built in to what I've read? But it sounds like many mamas are able to bring that into their own parenting style, and I really appreciate the creative methods used to help children come to the rational conclusions that work. I agree that children are rational; but there's an emotional element of considering others needs that needs to be there too, for me at least. Rand's philosophy of utilitarianism is not so much a world I'd like to live in or what I've observed from watching children interact. It is logical though, in a sort of free-market-love way.

Also, one of the website/TCS' main founders says that "TCS is fundamentally incompatible with pacifism." So I guess I'm outtie in the TCS book anyhow. Ah well.

That's why I like Alfie Kohn - he talks about many similar approaches; but within a context of needs vs wants, empathy, cooperation intead of competition, and considering others. Old-school liberal, baby.
Trinitty's Avatar Trinitty 10:23 PM 09-27-2005
Hey, thanks for replying.

I really like Atlas Shrugged, (read it twice and listented to it) and I've looked through most of "Philosophy: Who needs it?" I appreciate her point of view of getting things done, striving for excellence the beauty of the human mind and spirit and the importance of ownership and achievement.

I haven't read her other writings.

I know that she's not exactly popular on these boards, though, I do think that her ideas are being terribly misrepresented by the so-called "Rand Institute” She’s dead. I don't think it's right to issue opinions under her name after she's passed on.

.......................................

I'm not a Mom yet, so, I haven't read parenting books, and, I don't know if I will.

I have some pretty good ideas when it comes to raising children, I think, and I'll want to trust my gut to start.

I've read tonnes of pregnancy and birth books though.

We'll have to wait and see
gaialice's Avatar gaialice 06:14 AM 09-28-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsgotmilk4two
One problem I have with TCS too (for my family of course, I don't have a problem with anyone else practicing it) is that for certain things, like the eating only at the table example, ds would be perfectly happy to accept the consequences and I would not. He would get crumbs all over the floor or furniture, choose not to clean up after himself, and accept the consequences that the floor and furniture is now stained and dirty. He is five. He doesn't care if the couch that *I* paid over $1000 for is now stained with grape juice. Crumbs ground into the carpet don't phase him. *I* care what the house looks like. So *I* have to accept the consequences of ds's choices, NOT ds.

Another problem is that children sometimes make very poor choices for themselves. Like the other day my two dd (3 and 5) were really miserable at home but refused to go to the park and yes I got them to go and we had a great day, of course.... I mean now please do not think that I forced them into their clothes or yelled them or bribed them... I just made it clear that we were going to the park I set the timer and we raced against the clock to get ready... I do not see why what I did is worse than sitting in the house all day with two miserable preschoolers on a bright sunny day...
chinaKat's Avatar chinaKat 11:31 AM 09-28-2005
"Hands off" or "TCS"? Aren't we just using different *labels* here?


Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
That statement offends me a lot. TCS in many ways, takes a LOT of effort, because many of us were programmed to think that we aren't good parents unless we are controlling our children.
Sorry.

I didn't mean to offend. I know TCS has got to be a heck of a lot of work.

I just found it interesting that when I pointed out an example of non-coercive parenting that *didn't* work out very well in the long run, it got the (negative) "hands off" label. When it really seemed no different (to me) than TCS.

Anyway, I'm sorry I'm raising hackles. I'm just questioning TCS as it applies to me. I think it's wonderful if it works out for other peoples' families.

I think I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate... but only because the entire premise is quite thought provoking. Believe it or not this discussion *will* have an impact on my parenting style, even if I'm not a full TCS convert.

WRT your other statement, though... I *do* believe that parenting has a great deal to do with what kind of a person one grows up to be. I've read too much developmental psychology to feel otherwise. But I've never "blamed" my parents for my disordered life as a young adult. I could easily look around my apartment and say, duh, this place needs to be cleaned up, etc. I just really *wish* they'd given me the life skills to make it happen -- clearly, many of my friends with sparkling homes and credit reports had those skills at a much earlier age than I did... I felt like I was behind. I eventually made it on my own, sure. But it doesn't mean I don't *regret* that I didn't have a little more of a boost in the right direction.

Hopefully I can provide that kind of boost for my dd -- in a noncoercive, encouraging way.

chinaKat
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