Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Sonoma County, California
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|Both of my boys said that in their minds they would consider the tactic you suggested both trickery and coercion.|
|When I asked why, the youngest said "Because you are not really interested in what I want.|
|You only said that in the hope that I would cooperate so that you could get what you want.|
|However, for me and my family, I will not use extrinsic motivation.|
|I still feel that if I ask my son to please move out of the way of someone in the grocery store, I should not have to provide him with some external motiviation (I'll get you ice cream - or worse yet, do it or I'll wack you.)|
|Originally posted by heartmama
I have been reading the posts regarding concerns over the adversarial quality to this forum. I have been thinking about this and would like to add my thoughts.
One problem I see is simply the expectations of each person participating here. I think that sometimes when a person posts a question about TCS theory, hoping to further debate or critique the issue, the person who responds was only looking to answer the question. When they find themselves being questioned/challenged, it isn't welcomed. On the flip side, their response, unintentionally, comes across as dismissive or elusive to the person trying to debate TCS theory.
I think we can better integrate this into a support/debate forum just by being clearer of our intentions when we post. I find TCS theory tremendously interesting, and would like to better understand what I feel is right about it, and challenge what I feel are it's weakness's. I have tried to be up front about this, but moving forward, I will make an effort to say in my posts whether I am just looking for an answer to a question I have, or am looking to debate an aspect of TCS theory.
|I agree with what you're saying Heartmama, but I also think there are those against TCS who are just trying to blow holes in the theory. They have no interest in debate - their minds are already made up and they want to show the rest of us (who are interested, as you mentioned) that TCS simply won't work.|
|Originally posted by Just Wondering
But is it not a truism that many people can unknowlingly be coercive, and they don't even realise they are. They might not consider it coercive, or they may call it something else.
|Originally posted by Just Wondering
You say you agree with the statement you highlighted.
Please could you clarify exactly what you mean, and in what context?
|Is this a generalised statement, with no unspoken message?|
|Or are you suggesting that I am a coercive parent and don't know it?|
Another great post by Iguanavere
"No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking."
I thought you all would appreciate this...
I just read this in Barbara Coloroso's book, "Kids Are Worth It: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline". In Coloroso's book she uses some criteria in judging whether a parent should intervene:
Is the problem life threatening, morally threatening and/or harmful.
This rings true for me - I want common preferences - but if the challenge is life threatening, morally threatening and/or harmful to my child or someone else - I draw a line.
Icicle Spider says:
" The child could be young enough that they do not yet have the knowledge nor the experience to understand the implications of plopping down in the middle of the aisle. The ice cream got them to say, plop down somewhere else, where they were no longer in the way. It was not an extrinsic motivation that is trying to teach them that if they move out of the way, they get ice cream."
A yes - they may not have the knowledge or the experience - but if, as all TCSer's assume - that all children is rational at any age - then isn't it safe to say that they will rationalize that they can use this tactic to get whatever they want in the future? IMO, you are setting yourself up for power struggles if your use bribes. Even if, as you suggest, they are unaware that the ice cream helped you get them to plop elsewhere - they are still rationalizing that if Mom wants we to do something, I can use this kind of negotiation to get what I want.
Now, before you tell me that *that* is what you are trying to teach your children - that there is always room for negotiations - please allow me to illustrate why I think the above scenario is wrong:
Let's say I am parallel parked on a street with cars ahead and behind me. I am about to pull out into traffic, when a car pulls up and parks directly to my left (in the US, that is) completely blocking me from moving into traffic.
I calmly get out of the car and ask the driver if he could kindly move his car, as he is blocking me and I need to be on my way. The driver says, "What will you give me." "What do you mean?" I ask. "How about $50." says the driver.
Should I give in to this tyrant so that I can get on my way or should I call the police and have him forcibly removed?
I say the latter. And how does this relate? Well we have community rules that we all agree upon ( well, for the most part, especially if you are active in voting, etc..) I also think that we have a societal code of common decency, which we as parents are responsible for deseminating to our children. you know, we don't kill, harm, mame, impede, etc...
Since technically we are responsible (in criminal courts) for our children until they are of age (18 here in the US) if our child does not comply, we need to do what we must to get the child to comply.
So back to Scenario A, if my child was in someone's way and was refusing to move and was aware of our social code (or perhaps not aware, but simply feeling obstinate) I would *help* my child by kindly picking them up and moving them out of the way. I would not offer them an *incentive* as their incentive should be because it is the right thing to do. If they are not behaving right - then I will help them until they can do it on their own.
And latter when we were talking the situation through I would try to understand their position if it still was not clear to me, but I would not feel that I had coerced my child.
|Also - in the scenario in JW's post earlier, in which the child decides not to go to the store and then does not have the breakfast that they want - isn't this really the childs problem to solve. Isn't this a natural consequence?|
|If a common preference was acheived the night before, is it coercion to simply say to your child in the morning, "I am happy to help you find something that you will want to eat that we have in the house." And then work to a common preference in that situation.|
|Or perhaps simply say to the child, "well we acheived a common preference last night. If there is a new problem, I am happy to help you with a new solution."|
|And if the solution the child presents, is "LEt's go now" and that is not acceptable to the mother, then isn't this a situation of natural consequences?|
|It is ok for the parent to have preferences, right? Or how else would the child learn to consider other people ever?|