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#181 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 01:27 PM
 
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I am sorry you all are struggling so lately. We do when I have PMS. Evening Primrose oil tablets help my conflict resolution skills and my patience.
Thanks Pat.
Pulsatilla seems to be helping with my pg induced funk.
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#182 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 03:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Playful enticement wouldn't be coercive in my book. Convincing and persuading are in some (TCS) books considered coercive. I believe the fine line is crossed when "talking at" (nagging) rather than "talking with" (discussion) occurs. Or if refusal occurs and one doesn't quit pushing the boob in the mouth. I personally assume a crying infant wants a boob unless it is refused once offered. It isn't compelled to nurse. Do offer, may refuse.
This is interesting to me, because we're soooo close to this. We basically never force an issue, especially off of the list that you posted earlier. In fact, my dh has tried two things, dressing my dd and putting her in her carseat, w/o her consent, and it was impossible for him, she'd just squirm away.

I think where the difference is that I'm willing to tell her no. But I must respond to your other post...

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#183 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 03:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Ok, I certainly don't assume that a certain toothbrush will ensure my child's happiness. The issue is to find a mutually agreeable way to get his teeth brushed on a regular basis. For some reason, smaller ones feel better sometimes, softer ones sometimes, blue ones sometimes . What is the "wrong lesson"? That his perception of what happens to his body matters?
OK, I'm feeling less defensive today, but I really do have a different POV here. I promise I'm not just arguing for the sake of it!

First, let me reiterate that I don't "force" my child to brush her teeth. Sometimes she says she doesn't want to, I just explain why she should, and play some games while doing it.

So now I'm going to try to describe what I mean by the "wrong lesson." Say instead we started talking about why she doesn't like it, dissecting how it could be easier/better/more comfortable. I think Pat is proposing this teaches your child negotiation skills and respect for their own body and how to find a common preference.

What if, instead, it teaches your child that it should be unacceptable to ever feel slightly uncomfortable, irritated, or dissatisfied? That a small amount of personal discomfort should be avoided at all costs? That if we don't particularly relish part of our lives and daily tasks, no matter how small or insignificant, we should immediately search for a solution, or a product, that can remediate that discomfort? That we are INCAPABLE of enduring the daily grind?

Now I know this can be construed as "I'm teaching my kid a lesson here, and that lesson is XYZ," but I honestly think there's a lot of value in allowing your child to experience something slightly negative. They'll learn that they don't fall apart, that they're tough, that it's not that bad. And then, when there's something they want to do that requires these skills, they'll have practice.

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#184 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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This is a great thread!

Here are my thoughts. I believe that things to happen to us and around us that we have absolutely no control over-for instance, we cannot control other people. I also believe that we always have a choice as to how to respond to those things that happen. Sometimes it doesn't feel like a choice, because we don't see more than two possible choices of action (or maybe there really are only two) and the consequence of one of those actions is intolerable to us. My dh sometimes hates his job. Does he HAVE to go to work? No. He could choose to one day just stop going. The consequences of that would likely include us losing our home, vehicles and health insurance along with an inability for us to provide adequate food and shelter for our children without help from family. Those consequences are intolerable for my dh. It is important to him that we have a place to live and reasonable financial security. So he chooses to go to work. Other possibilities could include finding a new job, but that would likely result in lower pay which is also unacceptable to him. It may seem like a non-choice because one set of consequences is unacceptable, but I think it's a real choice. Likewise, speeding in my car is illegal but obeying the speed limit is not something I HAVE to do-it's something I choose to do because I believe it's safer for me and others than speeding, and because I do not want to face the consequences for speeding that the law imposes.

I think many parenting situations are the same. We reject one possibility because it does not meet our needs, because it is intolerable, but that doesn't mean that we HAVE to do anything. We choose. Though it's horrifying and now everyone here will definitely think I'm weird, I have to say that I think that the child running into the street example is a choice. I could choose to not stop my child, but the consequences of that would be intolerable to me (and she wouldn't want that either if she understood the consequences). So I choose to stop her, and I will choose to use force (i.e. grabbing her) to do so if I believe it is necessary. It feels like a non-choice, but it isn't. KWIM? I have chosen to use coercion or force to get a toddler into a carseat quickly in order to pick up another child on time, after we're already running late, because it was important to me that the other child not be left waiting and possibly scared.

I can't right now think of a single time in my adult life when I was compelled to do something by....what? Some outside force? It always comes down to choosing between two or more actions and their likely consequences. Sometimes we chose things because we only see one other choice whose consequences we are uncomfortable with, sometimes we choose to do something because it has become a comfortable habit and we don't want to leave that comfort zone, sometimes we just don't stop to see the choices. But I think we always have a choice, even if it's a distasteful choice. I think it's uncommon in our culture to accept responsibility for all our choices, and common/habitual to instead say we HAVE to do things. I think it can be frightening to accept that responsibility. But I think it can also be liberating and empowering.

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Originally Posted by natensarah
What if, instead, it teaches your child that it should be unacceptable to ever feel slightly uncomfortable, irritated, or dissatisfied? That a small amount of personal discomfort should be avoided at all costs? That if we don't particularly relish part of our lives and daily tasks, no matter how small or insignificant, we should immediately search for a solution, or a product, that can remediate that discomfort? That we are INCAPABLE of enduring the daily grind?
.. but I honestly think there's a lot of value in allowing your child to experience something slightly negative. They'll learn that they don't fall apart, that they're tough, that it's not that bad.
I think that in the course of living with other people, children will learn to weather disappointments. Inevitably there will be times when they are disappointed/angry/whatever-when interacting with parents, siblings, friends, other family. I don't think that it's something we parents can prevent, but I also don't think it's something we have to go out of our way to teach them. I like to use certain kinds of toothpaste and toothbrushes myself. I make sure I have them. Why wouldn't I allow my child the same choices? And really, the bottom line is that it's important to me for their teeth to remain healthy (just as I believe it is for them even if they don't understand the consequences of not brushing as I do) so I don't mind helping them find a comfortable way to care for their teeth. KWIM? We go to the store, my child asks for lots of toys, I say no because of both monetary circumstances and my values, and he is disappointed-life didn't go his way. He cries, he survives. I don't need to use toothbrushing to teach him he can survive something unpleasant.

Along similar lines, I tend to find cleaning the house particularly unpleasant. I also find living in a messy house even more unpleasant. So I clean (I could choose not to clean), but cleaning doesn't have to be entirely unpleasant-I can choose to find ways of making it less unpleasant. I can ask my kids to help and we can talk or make a game of it, I can turn on some music, I can make a nice-smelling cleanser, I can use the time to think or "meditate". I think this is really no different from helping my child find a way to make toothbrushing more pleasant. We have so much ability to choose to find pleasant-ness and happiness in life. I would like my children to learn that, that they can create their own happiness so much of the time- it's more important to me than teaching them to endure misery.
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#185 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 04:05 PM
 
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This thread had the nerve to get to ten pages when I was offline! I'm still reading through-- I'm struggling a lot with this stuff- I am learning a TON from reading these boards as well as some books recommended here. Basically I am really analyzing some of the feelings I think I have about needing to "control" my kid, and reframing how I see his "not listening". I think I started out way less controlling than the average mainstream parent out there, but that's still pretty controlling. I am really addressing my fears (that if he doesn't listen now, he'll be a monster in the future) and learning to parent more playfully, to look at my demands, my need to feel respected, and so on. Even when I was naturally doing a lot of the choices and distractions, I felt like I expected too much out of him at times, or got too bent out of shape if he didn't listen. So I'm really working to find a balance between not lording over him and having limits. But I do feel like a lot of times, there's just no way around some nonthreatening "coercion" if it can even be called that. I'm still avoiding battles, I'm still giving him choices, I'm still employing playful parenting. But as we know there are so many little situations that get hairy. And then sometimes I just feel like "No" should kind of mean No, without distraction. Like when safety is an issue. Like when he's hurting people. I know this very generalized post is a bit out of place when you are all getting into your parenting theories in great detail. I'm sort of thinking out loud.

Anyway, why I wanted to post before finishing this all- I was reading Jen's post, and it reminded me a lot of my experience with my dh. Yes, it's just anecdotal, but it's hard to ignore. Things were way laid back in his house, no bed time, nothing done by the clock, and so on. And what do you know, his family is late for everything to the point of sometimes just being disrespectful, and he's so laid back he has had trouble in his workplace. It's like he never learned that sometimes he has to do things on someone else's time frame. Now I don't want to drill this into a TWO year-old, but I do feel that his upbringing did him a disservice, on some levels. And yet, he aims to be way more controlling than I ever have. I don't know, I'm just thinking this out. Not a lot of time for the net right now, but I like this thread.
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#186 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 04:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by natensarah
What if, instead, it teaches your child that it should be unacceptable to ever feel slightly uncomfortable, irritated, or dissatisfied? That a small amount of personal discomfort should be avoided at all costs? That if we don't particularly relish part of our lives and daily tasks, no matter how small or insignificant, we should immediately search for a solution, or a product, that can remediate that discomfort?


Now I know this can be construed as "I'm teaching my kid a lesson here, and that lesson is XYZ," but I honestly think there's a lot of value in allowing your child to experience something slightly negative. They'll learn that they don't fall apart, that they're tough, that it's not that bad. And then, when there's something they want to do that requires these skills, they'll have practice.
Natensarah, I *swear* I was thinking about this issue myself last night, and was going to try to come up with a way to express it here today - you beat me to it, and said it way better than I would. I was thinking of how it might not be a good thing to never not get your way, to always look to make everyone happy in a situation.....I'm not sayign a parent should actively try to find situations where your child doesn't get their way so that they can 'learn the ways of the harsh world', but not shielding them from that all the time by trying to find mutual solutions, especially when it is a minor disappointment. - OK, I know, who am I to judge what is minor to my child since I'm not in their head? Well, for instance, having a shirt they want to wear in the laundry or being washed...OK yeah, that's too bad, but it's simply not going to scar them for life...that's a minor disappointment. You can empathize and give alternatives, but in the end I think it is probably good for a child to be able to get over minor things like that, instead of always trying to find a work around to make everyone satisfied all the time.

For me, compromise and sacrifice (not getting my way all the time) are sometimes a great way to express my love and caring for someone; making an extra effort to do something they like that I'm not particularly wild about, or watch a show they like but I don't...


For the record, I have just LOVED this thread.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#187 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
I am not in your home but it sounds like she just wants to have the choice for her own coming and going. Perhaps, providing that choice more often. Providing more choices about her body more transparently. (do you want to red spoon or the blue one, the big bowl or the small one, this chair or that, sit here or there, read this book or this book, etc.) Providing a choice of where to go, when to go, when possible etc. (now or after the show, now or after we nurse, now or after a snack, now or after the nap, etc.)

And making the choice when she states no preference is perfectly logical, imo. And altering the choice when it affects her and she objects. If she doesn't want to go when you offer, perhaps offer when dh is home so that she has a real choice of coming or not. Perhaps create other physical outlets inside where her clothing choice doesn't matter. Race in circles, jump on a mattress on the floor, there are indoor swings for older children that fit in a door way, water play helps tons (in the tub several times a day with measuring cups, things to pour from, floating objects, etc.), create a game of stepping up and down a stool, make a place for doing summersaults, jumping in a circle on paper taped to the floor, jumping from a chair holding your hands, jumping up into the air holding your hands, a drum set for large motor movement, a little indoor stationary tricycle or rocky horse, or bouncy horse, or sit and spin, etc.

HTH, Pat
I appreciate the thoughts, Pat. She can use any bowl, any spoon, etc. She sometimes (like last night) picks what we have for supper. She picks her own clothes (within the aforementioned weather-related limits). Outings, aside from errands (which are, oddly, almost never a big issue) are very flexible, aside from the baby having to be fed, and they both need to be changed before we leave.

And, I'll think about the indoor swing. Most of the rest of it's not very practical for us. We don't have a lot of space here (no room for mattresses, rocky horse, etc. She does a ton of running around and dancing and jumping throughout the day, and even an occasional somersault...but it doesn't settle her the way an actual "outing" does.

Ah, well - I'll definitely look into the swing. We could put one in the doorway to the living room.

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#188 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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Another thought that was floating around the old noggin last night (I had insomnia and was up from 1am on.... )...

I think at this point in the thread we're delving into the finer points of coercion vs noncoercion, but I have a feeling that a vast majority of us here, even if we're coercive at times, do in fact make an effort to comfort and give alternatives to our children when they are upset with a situation...I think what it comes down to is that some of us are not willing to play the trump card and make a unilateral decision, and some of us are if an alternative can't be thought of in a relatively short time frame (FTR, I am). This does not mean that I won't try to find a way to make my son more comfortable in situations where he's unhappy (a diaper change standing up, or letting him hold the wipes, or "in a few minutes", or "after you run around the room 3 times", or, 'after some naked time' or whatever, but ultimately it will get done within a few minutes). Today he brought a plastic tumbler we drink out of with a stuffed monkey shoved in it, and a maple leaf he found on the ground into my MW appt - we got some strange looks in the elevator and hallway on the way to the office, and it mde me think, "How sad is it that some parents would probably not let their kid bring this stuff to the office because they're "supposed" to be in the kitchen or outside? There are so many times when things just don't matter and we go with the flow, and I think many people on this board realize that.

I don't think it's as black and white on this message board, at least, that either you are totally noncoercive, or you are a controlling dictator. I think there is a TON of middle ground where children can be assured that they are loved, respected, and heard, but also handle that sometimes things just won't go exactly the way they want them to, BUT that in and of itself isn't necessarily a 'harsh reality' unless you make it one (and I think a calm parental reaction can go a long way in helping teach that). Again, not searching out situations where they won't get their way, but not avoiding them purposely either.

I think a majority of people here empathize, give alternatives, and try to make things easier for their child, which to me is a completely different dynamic than just saying, "tough noogies, kid, this is the way it is cause I said so."

I do believe that kids are savvy enough to pick up on the difference between, "mom doesn't care what I think and we always do what she says" and "mom cares what I think and listens to me, but this time it's not gonna be done my way...BUT another time it will."

I think the diference between those two dynamics is immense, and I think that many of us here, while not totally noncoercive, practice the latter rather than the former.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#189 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 05:11 PM
 
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OK, this is *totally* off topic, but you all "have to" see the pencil portraits in Jenmk's sig line. They are amazing!! I want to have this done since I know our son would never sit still for a photo drawing of him. And of course, he doesn't "have to".

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Well, that doesn't work. : Check outJenmk's sig link. (No, I don't know the woman. )

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#190 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 05:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sledg
This is a great thread!

Here are my thoughts. I believe that things to happen to us and around us that we have absolutely no control over-for instance, we cannot control other people. I also believe that we always have a choice as to how to respond to those things that happen. Sometimes it doesn't feel like a choice, because we don't see more than two possible choices of action (or maybe there really are only two) and the consequence of one of those actions is intolerable to us. My dh sometimes hates his job. Does he HAVE to go to work? No. He could choose to one day just stop going. The consequences of that would likely include us losing our home, vehicles and health insurance along with an inability for us to provide adequate food and shelter for our children without help from family. Those consequences are intolerable for my dh. It is important to him that we have a place to live and reasonable financial security. So he chooses to go to work. Other possibilities could include finding a new job, but that would likely result in lower pay which is also unacceptable to him. It may seem like a non-choice because one set of consequences is unacceptable, but I think it's a real choice. Likewise, speeding in my car is illegal but obeying the speed limit is not something I HAVE to do-it's something I choose to do because I believe it's safer for me and others than speeding, and because I do not want to face the consequences for speeding that the law imposes.

I think many parenting situations are the same. We reject one possibility because it does not meet our needs, because it is intolerable, but that doesn't mean that we HAVE to do anything. We choose. Though it's horrifying and now everyone here will definitely think I'm weird, I have to say that I think that the child running into the street example is a choice. I could choose to not stop my child, but the consequences of that would be intolerable to me (and she wouldn't want that either if she understood the consequences). So I choose to stop her, and I will choose to use force (i.e. grabbing her) to do so if I believe it is necessary. It feels like a non-choice, but it isn't. KWIM? I have chosen to use coercion or force to get a toddler into a carseat quickly in order to pick up another child on time, after we're already running late, because it was important to me that the other child not be left waiting and possibly scared.

I can't right now think of a single time in my adult life when I was compelled to do something by....what? Some outside force? It always comes down to choosing between two or more actions and their likely consequences. Sometimes we chose things because we only see one other choice whose consequences we are uncomfortable with, sometimes we choose to do something because it has become a comfortable habit and we don't want to leave that comfort zone, sometimes we just don't stop to see the choices. But I think we always have a choice, even if it's a distasteful choice. I think it's uncommon in our culture to accept responsibility for all our choices, and common/habitual to instead say we HAVE to do things. I think it can be frightening to accept that responsibility. But I think it can also be liberating and empowering.


I think that in the course of living with other people, children will learn to weather disappointments. Inevitably there will be times when they are disappointed/angry/whatever-when interacting with parents, siblings, friends, other family. I don't think that it's something we parents can prevent, but I also don't think it's something we have to go out of our way to teach them. I like to use certain kinds of toothpaste and toothbrushes myself. I make sure I have them. Why wouldn't I allow my child the same choices? And really, the bottom line is that it's important to me for their teeth to remain healthy (just as I believe it is for them even if they don't understand the consequences of not brushing as I do) so I don't mind helping them find a comfortable way to care for their teeth. KWIM? We go to the store, my child asks for lots of toys, I say no because of both monetary circumstances and my values, and he is disappointed-life didn't go his way. He cries, he survives. I don't need to use toothbrushing to teach him he can survive something unpleasant.

Along similar lines, I tend to find cleaning the house particularly unpleasant. I also find living in a messy house even more unpleasant. So I clean (I could choose not to clean), but cleaning doesn't have to be entirely unpleasant-I can choose to find ways of making it less unpleasant. I can ask my kids to help and we can talk or make a game of it, I can turn on some music, I can make a nice-smelling cleanser, I can use the time to think or "meditate". I think this is really no different from helping my child find a way to make toothbrushing more pleasant. We have so much ability to choose to find pleasant-ness and happiness in life. I would like my children to learn that, that they can create their own happiness so much of the time- it's more important to me than teaching them to endure misery.
How come you didn't choose to post about 180 posts ago?? I am adding you to my buddy list.

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#191 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 05:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by donosmommy04
Well, for instance, having a shirt they want to wear in the laundry or being washed...OK yeah, that's too bad, but it's simply not going to scar them for life...that's a minor disappointment. You can empathize and give alternatives, but in the end I think it is probably good for a child to be able to get over minor things like that, instead of always trying to find a work around to make everyone satisfied all the time.
I agree that we don't have to go overboard to keep our kids from being disappointed. But I think there is a difference between "sheilding them from minor disappointment" and working with them to find a happy solution.
if ds wants a certain shirt very much, I'd let him wear it if its not too dirty. If it were too dirty to wear, or wet in the washer, I'd wash and dry it right away, and make some kind of deal (do you want to go naked until its done?) then he could wear it when it was done. I'd do the same for my dp if he wanted certain clothes (ok, maybe not the "go naked" deal lol)
I see the toothbrush situation the same way. There's a difference between having all that stuff available for use, and, say, running out at 10pm because dc is insisting that he needs a RED toothbrush. Heck, I think I've had most of that stuff at one time or another- you test it out, learn what works and what you like, and go from there. If dp asked me to buy a tongue scraper the next time I'm at the store, I'd do it, and not think twice about it.

Wow donosmommy04- I just read your last post, and its an awesome post! Good insomnia thinking lol

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#192 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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That was a really great post donosmommy04!

I can imgaine that you would have great success in finding middle and mutually satisfactory solutions with your child as you seem to have heard from and understood the full range of what people express on 10 pages worth of posts

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#193 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 06:30 PM
 
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donosmommy04, thanks for pointing out our essential similarities.

When I think about parental control, I draw a rough mental distinction between situations which affect only the child, and situations which draw in other people. Other posters have argued that it's good for people to be empowered to make free choices, to take responsibility for their own lives, to resist oppression, and to do what they need to be happy. I agree. I think that these are important values to foster in my family.

However, I also know plenty of people (both children and adults) who have an attitude that it is others' responsibility to make them happy. They believe they are entitled to service and accommodation from others, and that their own pursuit of happiness is more important than others' discomfort. Those are values I don't want to foster in my family.

How that plays out with respect to parental control: as much as possible, I hope to allow my daughter full control of aspects of her life which primarily affect her. Whether she wears a party dress to the playground, keeps her room looking like a pigsty, decides not to brush her teeth for a week, eats nothing but meat, or refuses to attend Religious Education classes is entirely up to her. She has the right to pursue her own happiness. (I would probably try to influence her decisions on many of these factors with education, lateral thinking, play, brainstorming alternatives, etc., but I wouldn't want to exercise direct control.)

But a lot of the things children want to control about their lives actually involve control of other people. As my daughter gets older, at times she'll want me to buy her things, refrain from doing things I enjoy, spend time doing things I'd rather not do, and so on. She doesn't automatically get to assume I will. I probably will anyway, much of the time - I'm her mother and I love her. I don't like to thwart my child, and I am willing to devote quite a bit of time, effort, and lost opportunities to her happiness. But I'm going to choose when I do so and when I don't.

So she might decide to get up and play every morning at 5am when she's older, but she's not entitled to my active company. (Maybe she could play alone with her toys, maybe she could curl up quietly next to me and look at books or listen to music through headphones, maybe someone else in the family is an early bird who doesn't mind getting up with her.) She might decide to eat nothing but meat from the array of foods I provide, but she's not entitled to have me prepare a second meal if she decides she doesn't want what's being served. (I might let her choose what we'll have for dinner the next night, though, or take her along grocery shopping to make sure that we have lots of foods in the house that she likes.) She might wear her party dress to the playground, but she doesn't have the automatic right to a replacement dress if that one gets torn or stained. We can negotiate for all of these things, and brainstorm mutually agreeable solutions, but the ultimate choice about what *I* do goes to *me.*

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#194 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 06:33 PM
 
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gee, thanks ladies! That means a lot to me, I really value this board and am glad to make the occasional worthwhile contribution!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#195 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 06:33 PM
 
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i think it is so funny someone brought up the shirt in the laundry issue and child wanting toys issue (mom not getting them b/c of money and VALUES)

someone even brought up values when it comes to choosing breakfast food...

because i thought about that alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllll last night.
what about our family's values?

nutrtion and food consumtion is almost my basis for spiritual practice.....(and my dh)

so are other ways of showing respect to our planet (one reason why we don't own tons of plastic toys)

so what if our child wants something that falls outside of my family's values of right and wrong or healthy and unhealthy?

my mom used to say , "my first job is to keep you alive, and i wouldn't be a good mother if i didn't."

but soemtimes she would also not allow me to do things that did not match up with our family values....to this day, i can understand her perspective but with most of hte value stuff, i can still see that i would hav ebeen ok and mroe able to figure aout ME and be a better more clear me, if i would have been allowed to try those things....
but they were not real physical safety things...
my mom felt like me doing X would endanger my spiritual safety.
the example i am thinking of most is i wanted to be a cheerleader and my parents were hippies and that type girl did not fall into my parents; spiritual idea of who their daughter could be.


and what about boarderline safety issues????????? (scuba moma and cc)

like you feel like it is not really safe or healthy, but they won't drop dead right away and they are hell bent to do it????

yesterday, my real life laundry example came to pass:
my dd had some new clothes that i was taking off the tags and putting in the laundry...she wanted to wear them (now unless my dd wants to wear something that is just gross dirty, i let her wear dirty clothes)
but new clothes are covered in all kinds of chemicals (like murcery based anti wrinkle stuff etc)
and i told her they were not safe to wear, i had to wash them first....(i even explained yucky stuff that could hurt your brain while it is growing)
and she screamed and cried for 20 minutes...
then she was fine...i tried to comfort her
i thought about this thread and wondered....will she die from wearing that shirt, no/

but my values of health and safety are there to keep her healthy and safe.

and just like eating foods that are viod of nutrtion and dyed bright blue, will not kill her there on the spot.....but they are bad for you. not just opinionthere, they ARE bad for every human to consume...

and it is hard to parent today b/c we are SURROUNDED by things (like bright blue candies etc) that are marketed to children and yet are quite harmful to children....

do you see what i am saying????

SO wise mommas, where do you draw the line?
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#196 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 06:44 PM
 
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ooohhh ooooh
i have anotherone.....
the other day we were out waling in this tiny "forest" in our city (we live in one of the largest US cities)
and there was this little stream/swampy area...
well my dd wanted to splash in it...
now i grew up in the country and i am all about kids in the mud.

but this was gross i could see the oil and other yucky sludge

but i explained distracted and tried and i still had to pick up and carry away to another part of the forest my dd (i have said before that she is the most spirited and determined child ever)

so yes the sludge would not have killedher on the spot, but what kind of mother would i be if i did not protect her??????
how could i live with myself if i let her eat crap food and play in sludge and she eveloped cancer or illness????

ITA that children are divine and wise and should be respected.... but we live in a toxic world that does not lend to protecting our children...

nak.....but any thoughts????????????????
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#197 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 06:53 PM
 
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I have to wonder, nice as it all sounds in theory, how will your child take it when they are older, or even grown, and are in a situation where their needs aren't first and foremost on everyone's minds? Because let's face it. In the world, there are things that need to be done and our feelings on the matter don't matter one iota. Perhaps his boss tells him he must work over the holiday weekend or lose his job. Perhaps he proposes to a woman who simply isn't interested in marriage, or perhaps she wants to have a child with a man who doesn't want one. There are countless times when our kids will have to face doing/hearing something that isn't what they desire. Papers that need to be written, red lights that need to be obeyed, student loan bills that need repaying, taxes to be filed, etc.
I am have a 2 year old, and she already knows that her feelings aren't the only thing that matters in this world. She knows that EVERYONE's feelings matter, and that includes her. I take her seriously as a person, and she is learning to take me seriously as a person too.

Today we had our "preschool" class. Two hours once a week. When we came out for the handstamp all kids get at the end, the teacher was distracted and chatting with parents. Dd asked for a handstamp. The teacher noticed she was being talked to but didn't listen. Dd asked again, reaching up. The teacher moved away. Dd followed and asked again. Finally I stepped in and asked if she could have her handstamp. The teacher apologized and stamped dd's hand.

A mom who was watching complimented dd on her patience. What? MY dd? She's not patient. Or at the very least not naturally patient. She had confidence that her request would be granted. She didn't feel like to she had to scream to be heard.

Sometimes her requests can't be granted, and I explain to dd why. She often fusses about it, but we rarely have tantrums when dd can't get what she wants. She knows that I accomodate her as much as I can, and on the rare instance I cannot or will not, she is able to accept it.

This is the same child who started fall-down-on-the-floor tantrums at 11 months. She is far from easy going.

I don't imagine she will get LESS reasonable as she gets older. In fact, she'll be able to understand more complicated logic and explanations.
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#198 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 07:24 PM
 
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gee, thanks ladies! That means a lot to me, I really value this board and am glad to make the occasional worthwhile contribution!
You gotta give yourself more credit! I always like your posts. Sleep deprivation must work well for you.

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#199 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 07:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride
ambdkf: I get what you're saying, and it does make sense. But, I have a dd who can't even find a common preference with herself! She's very...contrary. I don't like to call it that, but it suits the best. She's a delight - believe me that I'm not complaining at all. She's the miracle baby that I waited 10 years for, and she's wonderful to have in my life. She's just...contrary.

She generally won't accept my help, but doesn't want to do whatever it is by herself. If she says she wants help, she yells at me when I try to help and says "I'll do it myself". Round and round.

And, anything that involves dd going to bed is never going to be solved by a common preference. We want her to sleep when she's tired. She doesn't - ever. It's a problem every night and every nap. She's been fighting sleep since the day she was born. Actually - does anybody have any suggestions for that one?
Something we are discussing on another of my groups is "holding the space" for our children's conflicting desires. Not pushing or rushing one to make a choice. Allowing the space for decision making to occur while one weighs different but opposing priorities. For instance, letting her try to do it herself and just be present while she attempts it and just offering 'I am glad to help'.

I 'd consider her independent minded.

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#200 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 07:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moma justice
i think it is so funny someone brought up the shirt in the laundry issue and child wanting toys issue (mom not getting them b/c of money and VALUES)

someone even brought up values when it comes to choosing breakfast food...

because i thought about that alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllll last night.
what about our family's values?

nutrtion and food consumtion is almost my basis for spiritual practice.....(and my dh)
Have you seen the movie "About a Boy"? The part where he want to go to McDonald's?

ITA, btw, and I think it's hard to tell when you're going overboard, and when you seriously don't want to buy another plastic Shrek toothbrush because at some basic level, you feel it is wrong!

(Yes, I'm still beating the toothbrush horse!)

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#201 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 07:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jenmk
Pat:

I appreciate your perspective and experience on this. However, it sounds as if your DH and mine are very different. I guess it just hurts me when he acts this way because I HAVE TO spend time with his family and it's no picnic for me. I make the best of it, smile and make pleasant conversation, even when all I want to do is run to the car, lock the doors, and speed away. But I do it because they are important to him, and I love him. And, frankly, it's the right thing to do--be nice to my in-laws, make it a pleasant visit when we're there. I expect the same of him. Of course we do have very different families, and I do understand that it's not easy for him either. But you just don't be unneccessarily rude to people who are important in you or your partner's lives.

And in the example I gave about my parents . . . they were staying the night with us because they lived to far away to come help and go home the same day. Can't really hand them a thank you card and send them for a free dinner without us in that situation.

Thanks for your input, though. Gives me some things to ponder.
My husband's family puts me over the edge to irrational. When our son was 14 weeks old I was told that he was crying to manipulate me to keep me from going to the bathroom. Please!! I am physically only able to endure 24 hours under the same roof with most of them. And that is with outings to the wine store and to the park. Finally, we figured out we would stay at a hotel. Much easier and more pleasant. We come and go; and it shortens the visit. Ds and I leave to go take a nap and dh can visit to his heart's content. Dh has gone for several visits without us; and there are ways to make your part of the visit tolerable. Really, you do not "HAVE TO" visit them, or be endlessly polite. There is a limit of how much negative energy or close proximity with disagreeable people one can bear. Family is not compulsory. They are a voluntary association. We can choose not to spend tons of unhappy time with them. That is a choice. And dh's choice is independent of mine. Just as ds's is. Neither does our son "have to" visit family. It is optional.

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#202 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 07:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by natensarah
This is interesting to me, because we're soooo close to this. We basically never force an issue, especially off of the list that you posted earlier. In fact, my dh has tried two things, dressing my dd and putting her in her carseat, w/o her consent, and it was impossible for him, she'd just squirm away.

I think where the difference is that I'm willing to tell her no. But I must respond to your other post...
Ummm...."No" doesn't quite register at 'talking at' even, imo. No discussion? No alternatives? No choice about things with one's own body?

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#203 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Ummm...."No" doesn't quite register at 'talking at' even, imo. No discussion? No alternatives? No choice about things with one's own body?
As pp put it, I'm not unwilling to make a unilateral decision. Not first, not just to make a point, not to teach a lesson, not without consideration of options and alternatives. But yes. I will say no.

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#204 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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What if, instead, it teaches your child that it should be unacceptable to ever feel slightly uncomfortable, irritated, or dissatisfied? That a small amount of personal discomfort should be avoided at all costs? That if we don't particularly relish part of our lives and daily tasks, no matter how small or insignificant, we should immediately search for a solution, or a product, that can remediate that discomfort? That we are INCAPABLE of enduring the daily grind?

Now I know this can be construed as "I'm teaching my kid a lesson here, and that lesson is XYZ," but I honestly think there's a lot of value in allowing your child to experience something slightly negative. They'll learn that they don't fall apart, that they're tough, that it's not that bad. And then, when there's something they want to do that requires these skills, they'll have practice.
How could we prevent our children from experiencing negative things in their lives? There are many, many things outside of anyone's control. The sun goes down and it is dark, places close, people can not come to play, they do not have chocolate ice cream here, at the store, or at grandmas, it rains on our parade, etc.

The difference is imposing negative events in order to allow a lesson seems unnecessarily harsh, imo.

I understand your concern for potentially creating a need for escapism from life's certain sufferings (or an inability to cope with negative outcomes); but I believe that having someone to support you through the hardhships diminishes the need to escape life's hardships (and their pereceived effect). When the connectivity of solving problems together is nurtured the suffering becomes shared too. I believe people use escapism in order to escape loneliness, more than escaping the pain of actual events. When life's obstacles are routinely overcome through creative effort, I believe there is more of a sense of industry. And obstacles are not perceived as inescapable or insurmountable.

And I believe the effort of finding a satisfactory solution is its own reward because this shared effort nurtures connectivity.

Pat

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#205 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm all happy that a thread I started has gotten over 200 replies...

Happy that the topic has opened a lot of discussion!
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#206 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 08:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hazelnut
So I'm really working to find a balance between not lording over him and having limits. But I do feel like a lot of times, there's just no way around some nonthreatening "coercion" if it can even be called that. I'm still avoiding battles, I'm still giving him choices, I'm still employing playful parenting. But as we know there are so many little situations that get hairy. And then sometimes I just feel like "No" should kind of mean No, without distraction. Like when safety is an issue. Like when he's hurting people. I know this very generalized post is a bit out of place when you are all getting into your parenting theories in great detail. I'm sort of thinking out loud.
I believe a lot depends on age. Distraction isn't the same as redirection with information. After about age one, redirection with information is all that we have done and we haven't had safety issues. But, we didn't say "no" either. We intentionally provided practical and portable information that was relevant to the situation in a calm manner without scolding when the item was repeatedly explored. Sometimes we removed the item or replaced it with an old remote controller or old cell phone instead. Is there a specific safety issue that is troublesome for you all?

Hurting people occurs when a child hurts inside himself, imo. Finding the underlying need for space, attention, comfort, engagement, decreased sharing frustrations, food, rest etc. helps to decrease striking out from my experience. There are many recent threads about children striking out in anger. Identifying a pattern to the envvironment in which the behavior occurs has been the most useful way of helping our son to decrease the frustration overload. Helping to give words to his feelings 'I need space, I don't want company anymore, I need food, I need a cuddle', etc. is more useful to him than "no, don't hurt other people". He already *knows* that; but is unable to act on that knowledge at the moment. I work to facilitate him so that he can find more self-control. I know my ability to have patience is directly impacted by the number of competing demands, my degree of sleep deprivation and my hunger, too.

Quote:
Anyway, why I wanted to post before finishing this all- I was reading Jen's post, and it reminded me a lot of my experience with my dh. Yes, it's just anecdotal, but it's hard to ignore. Things were way laid back in his house, no bed time, nothing done by the clock, and so on. And what do you know, his family is late for everything to the point of sometimes just being disrespectful, and he's so laid back he has had trouble in his workplace. It's like he never learned that sometimes he has to do things on someone else's time frame. Now I don't want to drill this into a TWO year-old, but I do feel that his upbringing did him a disservice, on some levels. And yet, he aims to be way more controlling than I ever have. I don't know, I'm just thinking this out. Not a lot of time for the net right now, but I like this thread.
Perhaps, your husband's job isn't a good fit for him. My husband is an incredible manager and negotiator. But he can not make decisions in the heat of the moment. He needs time to ..T....H...I...N.....K.....A...B...O....U...T....I ...T! Some jobs are laid back some people aren't. Similarly, some people live in a high pressured time sensitive world. Some don't. I have been in both; and I very much prefer going with the flow, not the clock. (I am often late. But I am consistent. And I recognize that I need to leave more time for my flow). Perhaps, dh just needs more time management skills. These can be learned when he is motivated to do so, irrelevant of his childhood. I worked as an ICU nurse where every second mattered. But, now I don't even wear a watch. Ever.

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#207 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 08:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
How could we prevent our children from experiencing negative things in their lives? There are many, many things outside of anyone's control. The sun goes down and it is dark, places close, people can not come to play, they do not have chocolate ice cream here, at the store, or at grandmas, it rains on our parade, etc.

The difference is imposing negative events in order to allow a lesson seems unnecessarily harsh, imo.

Pat
But nobody is saying they would impose negative events in order to allow a lesson. But simply that they would not take extraordinary measures to prevent every last negative thing that is possible to prevent.
I would not force my child in his carseat because he needs the experience of being forced. But because we have to be at point b in 20 minutes or whatever. I could spend the next 30 minutes working out a mutually agreeable solution and miss the appointment. Or I can expect that my child is not learning a negative lesson by sometimes not getting what he wants and doing the expedient thing.

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#208 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 08:53 PM
 
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For instance, letting her try to do it herself and just be present while she attempts it and just offering 'I am glad to help'.

I 'd consider her independent minded.

Pat
That's generally what I try to do.
I'm not a non-coercive parent, but I'm not high-coercion, either. This has definitely given me some points to think about with dd. Mind you, we're mostly doing okay these days. It does get difficult to balance her needs with those of ds1 (12-year-old...lots of school requirements and we're trying to maintain a close family connection...game nights and such) and ds2 (nursing infant...lots of holding and nursing).

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#209 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moma justice
i think it is so funny someone brought up the shirt in the laundry issue and child wanting toys issue (mom not getting them b/c of money and VALUES)

someone even brought up values when it comes to choosing breakfast food...

because i thought about that alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllll last night.
what about our family's values?

nutrtion and food consumtion is almost my basis for spiritual practice.....(and my dh)

so are other ways of showing respect to our planet (one reason why we don't own tons of plastic toys)

so what if our child wants something that falls outside of my family's values of right and wrong or healthy and unhealthy?

my mom used to say , "my first job is to keep you alive, and i wouldn't be a good mother if i didn't."

but soemtimes she would also not allow me to do things that did not match up with our family values....to this day, i can understand her perspective but with most of hte value stuff, i can still see that i would hav ebeen ok and mroe able to figure aout ME and be a better more clear me, if i would have been allowed to try those things....
but they were not real physical safety things...
my mom felt like me doing X would endanger my spiritual safety.
the example i am thinking of most is i wanted to be a cheerleader and my parents were hippies and that type girl did not fall into my parents; spiritual idea of who their daughter could be.


and what about boarderline safety issues????????? (scuba moma and cc)

like you feel like it is not really safe or healthy, but they won't drop dead right away and they are hell bent to do it????

yesterday, my real life laundry example came to pass:
my dd had some new clothes that i was taking off the tags and putting in the laundry...she wanted to wear them (now unless my dd wants to wear something that is just gross dirty, i let her wear dirty clothes)
but new clothes are covered in all kinds of chemicals (like murcery based anti wrinkle stuff etc)
and i told her they were not safe to wear, i had to wash them first....(i even explained yucky stuff that could hurt your brain while it is growing)
and she screamed and cried for 20 minutes...
then she was fine...i tried to comfort her
i thought about this thread and wondered....will she die from wearing that shirt, no/

but my values of health and safety are there to keep her healthy and safe.

and just like eating foods that are viod of nutrtion and dyed bright blue, will not kill her there on the spot.....but they are bad for you. not just opinionthere, they ARE bad for every human to consume...

and it is hard to parent today b/c we are SURROUNDED by things (like bright blue candies etc) that are marketed to children and yet are quite harmful to children....

do you see what i am saying????

SO wise mommas, where do you draw the line?
I draw my line at interjecting in our son's actions with persuasion and convincing "If it will probably send him to the Emergency Room". With most things, I just give calm information 'The stove is hot. The stove is on. Don't get too close to it.' In the same tone as 'here is your bagel'. When he became more interested in the stove, I offered "Let me show you where it is hot" and I held him up so he could see and pointed at the burner and explained 'That is the burner, it gets hot. I hold this handle because the pan gets hot when I am cooking'. By being a faciliator not an obstacle to exploring for information, we just haven't had any safety concerns. (knockonwood, knock, knock)

Our son has many food intolerances and has since 8 weeks old. He is 4.5 y/o. We have just always discussed food ingredients. He knows that we avoid dairy, soy, wheat, corn syrup (not sugar), artificial colors and artificial flavors and artificial preservatives. He understands that food has carbohydrates, proteins and fats in it. He tells dh, 'dada, that has artificial colors in it' when dh is eating salad dressing with it in it. [The bigger question is how do I get dh not to eat that stuff???] And our son knows which foods are higher in protein and help him to feel better, by his own self-awareness. He likes chocolate too. As do I.

Ok, I didn't know about the mercury based anti-wrinkle stuff and ds has worn a few new shirts. Humph. I don't know if it is worth 20 minutes of distress which causes increased cortisol levels in the blood and brain and impacts the immune system either. I guess you just have to pick your battles. Personally, I would let him wear the shirt. But I believe he would listen and understand the issue and perhaps not choose to wear it. Dh and I drink wine. Maybe 1 glass an evening. It kills brain cells, is hard on the liver, especially when I have a cold. But it is still my choice. Getting in the car is probably much more dangerous than the shirt.

Maybe, having some 'bottom line' would help. The book "Living Joyfully with Children" helped me to parent with principles instead of rules. That helps to avoid the "have to follow the rule" model of decision making. The decision making process is more transparent and observable (ie. modelled) by discussing how our own actions relate to our own principles and how it affects others, imo. So, verbalizing principles might help you to determine your action point.

As far as values are concerned, this is a challenging area. One where I bristle due to the hypocrisy of my childhood experiences of 'do as I say, not as I do'. Personally, we don't teach values. We live and model them. We discuss our own value system as it comes up. But I don't push, suggest, expect or enforce my values on our son, or others to the best of my ability. I am authentic in my responses to things that disturb me and I provide information as objectively as possible.

Currently, we have a potential issue regarding eating meat. The long and short of it is that I do not eat mammals but our son does. And Dh does. But, I really don't feel able to sway him either way.

Not so wise but passionate. Hope that helps.

Pat

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#210 of 434 Old 11-15-2005, 09:46 PM
 
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But nobody is saying they would impose negative events in order to allow a lesson. But simply that they would not take extraordinary measures to prevent every last negative thing that is possible to prevent.
I would not force my child in his carseat because he needs the experience of being forced. But because we have to be at point b in 20 minutes or whatever. I could spend the next 30 minutes working out a mutually agreeable solution and miss the appointment. Or I can expect that my child is not learning a negative lesson by sometimes not getting what he wants and doing the expedient thing.
I'm not sure anyone is saying they would take extraordinary measures to prevent every last negative thing that it's possible to prevent, either. Maybe we need a better definition of "mutually agreeable solution"? I've, until recently, ever considered myself someone who believes in finding mutually agreeable solutions for most situations. But that was when I understood "mutually agreeable" to mean "what the child wants at the expense of what the child or other person needs." Now I understand "mutually agreeable" to mean "a solution that meets both our needs, but might not be exactly what one or both of us originally wanted." It could be that I'm continuing to misunderstand "mutually agreeable."

So if my toddler doesn't like her carseat, I plan to leave early in case she has trouble gettting buckled in. If she refuses to go in, we find a way to make being in the seat more pleasant-maybe she chooses a book, or takes a drink of water, or we put in her favorite music, or I tell her where we're going if it's fun so she'll look forward to it. She still gets in the seat, but it's not exactly forced even though it's not negotiable either. She finds it acceptable to be in the seat if she has a book. I'm still getting to where I need to go. In my experience it's simply a matter of planning and creativity and communication.

Thoughts? Am I misunderstanding mutually agreeable?
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