when to start with manners? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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aira, . No, of course no one said that, in those words. However, I did hear this message, numerous times:

"I teach my child about manners and gratitude through modeling. I believe that she learns all she needs to know about these things though observation, and indeed, I believe the child will learn these lessons *better* this way than she would if instructed or reminded."

Tell me if I have that wrong, anyone and everyone.

I do read the other posts, as I'm sure other posters do as well. I don't see the need for the snarky tone.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#122 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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So then no one can take me up on my request to point out where anyone has advocated neglecting our children's social development??
Aira, I think the idea was, since some children DO need more than modelling, a one-size-fits-all "Modelling ONLY!" approach does neglect the needs of some children.
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#123 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 04:32 PM
 
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Well, it's certainly grating to explicitly state - several times - that I in no way encourage letting a child fail socially, or act in a way that hurts others, to be repeatedly told that I'm saying such.

So I must question whether my words are being read.

Once again, I fully believe that children should be guided and helped in their social interactions. I have never once stated otherwise.

If the fact that I advocate a different method of guiding than you do means to you that I'm advocating no guidance, well then, that's just your arrogance.

I think this is the exact time "snarkiness" would be called for.

---

Quote:
Originally Posted by crescentaluna
Aira, I think the idea was, since some children DO need more than modelling, a one-size-fits-all "Modelling ONLY!" approach does neglect the needs of some children.
You can't possibly know this unless you have "modelled only" in a consistent way.

And go check out the parts of this thread where I and others question the value system of parents that dictates to you that your DC needs more than modelling.
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#124 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 04:37 PM
 
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But if the way you advocate is SPECIFICALLY OPPOSED to a variety of guidance strategies, and in fact you don't reconize at ALL that different children have different needs, or that different mamas need a different strategy than you ... with all due respect, who is showing more arrogance?

Not trying to bait, but I don't think you're under attack at all, and am not sure why you are responding so defensively.
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#125 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 04:41 PM
 
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Regarding post #123 ... have you raised a child with autism or Asperger's or similar issues? I appreciate your knowledge of YOUR CHILD, but there are very real differences among children.
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#126 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah
I have seen him playing with his friends and cousins, and it is obvious that he is ostracized and often disliked, and this in turn frustrates him greatly. My brother and his wife never say anything to him about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
Also, my own nephew--the one who throws gifts down and makes faces--has had a LOT of trouble making and keeping friends. I'm pretty sure his parents' total lack of interest in cultivating his social "IQ" has something to do with that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crescentaluna
one of the characters was a woman who was unfailingly "authentic" to herself - always absolutely true to herself and honored her own feelings. Never hesitated to tell "the brutal truth" regardless of the pain she caused. Other characters, traumatized by her merciless tongue, always fell back on the "Well, but she is always HONEST, and that's valuable." The problem ... she was in fact a compulsive liar, because lying was a convenient way to honor her AUTHENTIC DESIRES.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crescentaluna
Bottom line, I think complete unfailing "authenticity to one's own self" is a nice way of saying "complete narcissism" or even "sociopathy." I think we do our little ones no favors if we teach them to put their desires first every time.
These are just a sampling of the quotes that are really over the top in this discussion. Of course it gets my dander up to have this equated with what I'm saying - what would you expect?

You guys want to say inciteful stuff like this and then tell me I'm being defensive??



Of course my request still stands for anyone to point out anything in this thread where someone was advocating anything that resembles the neglect that's described in the quotes in this post...
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#127 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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Aira, maybe I don't quite get it. My understanding is that if your child were to turn up her nose at a gift or say she didn't like it, or omit a thank-you or other words of gratitude for a gift, you would do nothing, because you believe that your modeling is the only thing needed. Do I have this wrong? And then I think that what some others here are saying, including me, is that while pure modeling may work for some children it may not work for others (those less socially aware--actually, I do strongly suspect that my nephew mentioned above may have Asperger's).

It then follows, for me, if a child for whom it does not work is not given more specific help, that child may find himself in some social and personal difficulties.

Perhaps you are doing all you can to explain social customs and the meaning of social gestures, and specifically encouraging the learning of specific social/emotional skills, etc, just without any of the actual reminders/requests we would use. Is that what you mean?

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#128 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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Er ...Aira, speaking for myself, I can honestly state I wasn't even THINKING of you when I wrote my posts. They are not directed at you or related to you. We're each the star of the movie playing in our own heads, and I was thinking about ME ... not YOU ... as I'm sure you do too. I see nothing spiteful or inciting about the other posts, either.

The intense emotion you show does let me know that the topic *I* was discussing has a totally different emotional imact on you than on me. I'm NOT here to push buttons or cause pain so I'll bow out of the discussion. Maybe a cup of tea and a computer break would be a good idea ...?
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#129 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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Well, crescentaluna, I was confused beacuse they were in response to my (and others expressing my POV) posts. It certainly seemed to me you were equating our ideas with neglect.

Sorry if I got that wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crescentaluna
But if the way you advocate is SPECIFICALLY OPPOSED to a variety of guidance strategies, and in fact you don't reconize at ALL that different children have different needs, or that different mamas need a different strategy than you ... with all due respect, who is showing more arrogance?
Please show me even one occasion where I said anything of the sort... What I did say was that I think calling a kid out for their faults - even "nicely" -embarrasses them and is counterproductive.

---

Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
My understanding is that if your child were to turn up her nose at a gift or say she didn't like it, or omit a thank-you or other words of gratitude for a gift, you would do nothing, because you believe that your modeling is the only thing needed. Do I have this wrong?
Yeah. I never said I would do nothing. I explicitly said so several times, which is why I questioned if the posts were being read. I said I would not call attention to my child's faults. I said I would step in and give the appropriate response without ever indicating that my child didn't or should have done.

Guys, I'm pretty sick today and I can't quite handle having my words misconstrued so much. If you were actually just talking about the movie in your own heads, then I apologize for misunderstanding your meaning.
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#130 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 05:48 PM
 
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I think it has been stated over and over that we would not just "do nothing" if our child neglected to thank a gift giver in the way we feel is appropriate. What I would do is to thank that person for dd. End of story. I would not "bring it up later". I would not have numerous discussions on manners. I would not punish her. I would not point out her "shortcomings" in front of the gift giver. i would not give a "look" to let her I know I do not approve or make her guess what I expect. I would thank Aunt Sally and move on expecting that one day sooner or later dd will "get it" or not based on what she needs/wants.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc

It then follows, for me, if a child for whom it does not work is not given more specific help, that child may find himself in some social and personal difficulties.
I think this sums up this entire arguement. My goal in parenting is not to make dd "work" properly. I do not aim to make her into anything except herself. I am here to help (when asked), model, play, discuss (when asked), meet her needs, etc..... I think she "works" fine the way she is whether she has manners or not. My aim is not the short term goal of having a perfectly polite child. My goal is long term to raise a person that is confident in her abilities to assess a situation and chose her course based on what the situation warrants....not fake gratitude.
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#131 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 06:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
So then no one can take me up on my request to point out where anyone has advocated neglecting our children's social development??

Not even one quote you can find??

Thought not.

Try actually reading the posts here. It will be informative.

We're all reading the posts Aria. And while nobody is saying they will purposely neglect their childrens social development.
It is certainly the case that the way one considers teaching social skills appears to other paradigms as neglecting to teach social skills.
That is all.
of course to those who think modeling is 100% sufficient. Then they would obviously not feel that they are neglecting to teach.
But for those of us who think modeling is insufficient, we would think ourselves to be neglecting social skills if we followed that path.
That is all, a matter of interpretation on the effectiveness of the method. And not, shall we say, a misquote of the intentions the parents.
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#132 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by johub
It is certainly the case that the way one considers teaching social skills appears to other paradigms as neglecting to teach social skills.
That is all.
of course to those who think modeling is 100% sufficient. Then they would obviously not feel that they are neglecting to teach.
But for those of us who think modeling is insufficient, we would think ourselves to be neglecting social skills if we followed that path.
Well then let's speak in these terms and not the horror-story, socially neglected misfits that have been offered up here to discredit the "other" paradigm. There would be no problem here if everyone had been able to keep things in the realm of what's actually being discussed here.
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#133 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
Well, it's certainly grating to explicitly state - several times - that I in no way encourage letting a child fail socially, or act in a way that hurts others, to be repeatedly told that I'm saying such.

So I must question whether my words are being read.

Once again, I fully believe that children should be guided and helped in their social interactions. I have never once stated otherwise.

If the fact that I advocate a different method of guiding than you do means to you that I'm advocating no guidance, well then, that's just your arrogance..
Arrogance, disbelief call it what you will. But yes that is what it comes down to. Is leading while not making sure you are being followed guidance? Or are both necessary?


Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
I think this is the exact time "snarkiness" would be called for..
Is Snarkiness ever really called for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
You can't possibly know this unless you have "modelled only" in a consistent way.

And go check out the parts of this thread where I and others question the value system of parents that dictates to you that your DC needs more than modelling.
Talk about arrogance.
This foolproof method is so good that it only fails when not applied correctly.

And finally BINGO,
we are talking about two very different value systems, both of which are under question and scrutiny by the other side.
And each of us who is comfortable in our paradigm cannot help but find the other questionable and baffling I would imagine.
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#134 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by johub
Is Snarkiness ever really called for?
Well, it got you guys dialed back to what's actually being discussed here, so I guess it did what I intended.
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#135 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
These are just a sampling of the quotes that are really over the top in this discussion. Of course it gets my dander up to have this equated with what I'm saying - what would you expect?

You guys want to say inciteful stuff like this and then tell me I'm being defensive??



Of course my request still stands for anyone to point out anything in this thread where someone was advocating anything that resembles the neglect that's described in the quotes in this post...
Why are these examples over the top? They are perfectly relevant examples of why it is so important to us to teach social values and manners. If they are relevant enough to be convincing to us, they are relevant enough to share in this discussion.

I wont even touch the inciteful. . . If you feel incited , you own that.

And Loraxc already kindly provided such a quote several posts back. And since you are reading the thread so closely you will have seen many examples of children's rudeness being honored as authentic and honest.
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#136 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 06:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by johub
And Loraxc already kindly provided such a quote several posts back. And since you are reading the thread so closely you will have seen many examples of children's rudeness being honored as authentic and honest.
I must be missing something, I see no quote... Nor do I see anyone stating that their hopes and goals for their children are rudeness and social akwardness.

As I explained earlier, those quotes are irrelevant beacuse they are admitted examples of children whose parents don't care to help their children. They are cases of neglectful parents and social disorders, and I (and others) have repeatedly pointed out that we are not advocating such parenting. So they had no place here.

Sure it's inciteful for someone to offer examples of "sociopathy" and "narcissism" to get everyone riled up about modelling paradigm. It's really extreme, in fact. So I'll call the posters on that weird tactic.
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#137 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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For those of you that think it is neglectful to not coerce children into being polite (or any other "rule"), I have a pretty good counter example that really opened my eyes. I went to the unschooling conference in October. Most of the parents there advocate non-coersive parenting. I was pretty committed to non-coersive parenting before I went to that confernece but had my worries. I had heard so many stories about "someone they knew" whose parents did not "teach them anything" and how they grew up to be social misfits that could not navigate social situations. I feared soemthing similar could happen to my dd. So, we went to this conference partly to learn about unschooling but also to see a little slice of family life with no coersion. Guess what? I have never ever seen a group of children of all ages that were more pleasant to be with than the kids I met there. While some of the teens were uncomventional in their dress and style, I felt that their social skills far exceeded that of the teens I see around my town and in my extended family. These kids were never prompted to do things "correctly" yet they were all socially "fine". Better than fine. Not only could they say the "right" things at the "right" time to do the little social conventions like holding doors and helping people. But many were so great at reading and navigating social situations that THEY put ME at ease in converstaion. I have never had a 16 year old boy that did not know me come up and tactfully start and interesting conversation. I was very impressed. 180 dgeree turn around from all of the kids that are "reminded", "given the special look", "punished", "nagged", etc......

I do not think it is neglectful at all to stand back and let my child learn her way around this world any more than I think it is neglectful to impose my will on her eating habits or the other things everyone here at MDC agrees is off limits to coersion.
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#138 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I guess my point is, I am not raising a 6 year old not to say dinner is gross. [...] but at the same time, what is the recourse? Punishing her or shaming her or yelling at her at the table? How does that help? Correcting her or sending her to another room to eat alone, or giving her a nasty look and scoling her in the car later? I mean what would be the action taken if my daughter happened to say something like that? (again, not that I would be all happy if she did).
Presumably, the same way that we use GD to deal with other issues. In the moment, I'd probably say something in a quiet aside to my daughter, like "that wasn't a very kind thing to say," or "that wasn't a very polite thing to say." Afterward, I'd talk it through with her: "How do you suppose Grandma felt when you said the dinner she made was gross? I think she might have felt sad. How do you think you'd feel if you worked hard on a picture for someone, and they said it was gross? Let's try to figure out another way that you could handle it if someone makes a dinner you don't like."

(Possible options: "I wouldn't care for any, thank you." "I think I'll just have a little bit of the lima bean surprise." "Could I have some bread and butter, please?" Not saying anything, just not eating much of anything and asking Mom to fix you something afterward.)

Sometimes it's necessary to your authentic self to say exactly what you think of a person or a situation, regardless of whether that opinion is kind. I don't think a gross dinner or an unwanted gift qualifies, though. It's not insincere to stop yourself from saying every single thing that pops into your head.

Suppose another kid has disfiguring facial scars. Is it 'insincere' to teach your child that one doesn't say things like "Wow, your scars are ugly," because it will hurt the person's feelings? I'm not saying that children should be taught to say "You're so beautiful" in that situation, but they can learn to find something positive to comment on: "You're so good at basketball - will you teach me how to make a jump shot?"

Similarly, children don't have to react to Grandma's itchy homemade sweater with, "Wow, it's my favorite present ever!", but they could learn to find something positive they *can* say: "Wow, Grandma, you *made* this? It's so cool that you know how to do that!" Or, "Blue is my favorite color, thanks!"

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#139 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 06:55 PM
 
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Hee, I bowed out for a while and did some work, then i was curious enough to poke my head back in ... Emotions are still running high and while I do disagree with some things Aira has said (or the way she has interpreted things) I won't address those. Instead I wanted to throw something into the mix that was sortof nagging at me, but i couldn't quite put my finger on it ... Culture. Always so big that sometimes it's invisible. Some big 'ol generalizations coming up, then -

I am Mexican-American, and I can attest to some big cutural differences in the ways "politeness" is taught. Latin and African-American families generally don't stress that children internalize control as much as White/Anglo families do. Latin and Black families tend to correct kids, openly, verbally, without regard to whose kids they are - the village raising the child idea. (This is one reason why white schoolteachers so often feel their black and latin kids are "outta control" - the kids are relying on a network of ADULTS to set boundaries and correct, and they are going to test, test til they find out where those boundaries are.) White/Anglo families tend to stress "internalized control" more and feel that only a parent can correct a child.

A child raised in one milleu or another will have different feelings about verbal "corrections" or "reminders." If your cuture is filled with adults verbalizing social mores, you'd probably feel neglected if an important adult never did it.

Like I said, I'm Latina. The way I was raised, I would have felt at sea if my tias hadn't coached me along in new social situations (as well as model, of course). But my child is biracial and we are far from that family network ... we are charting a new way of doing things, and I gotta say ... I trust the wisdom of my experience, I trust MY insight into my child, I trust MY total devotion to her. A stranger's criticism on an internet forum doesn't shatter that.
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#140 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 07:12 PM
 
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I am going out on a limb here to defend a previous comment made by another, but which I agreed as having had the same thought.
Just want to state that I am defending the use of these terms in this argument and not trying to insist in their verity.

I went to Mirriam Webster online and this is what I found
Narcissim: Egoism. :1 a : a doctrine that individual self-interest is the actual motive of all conscious action b : a doctrine that individual self-interest is the valid end of all actions
2 : excessive concern for oneself with or without exaggerated feelings of self-importance --

Now I understand that the term Narcissism might have a negative connotation. However I do not think it is unreasonable to equate Narcissism/ egoism with valuing the authentic self above all else. And I think many of us are getting the message that to correct a child or to expect them to say words of gratitude when they do not feel gratitude or whatever is to dishonor his authentic self. The authentic self and its development being held up as the pinnacle of importance.

And here is a definition of “sociopath” that I found at Answers.com (mirriam Webster didn’t have it): Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.

Now while it may be true that children who are treated as if their authentic selves are of the highest of importance and whose only personal needs and desires are of utmost importance, (moreso than social conventions or whatever) may not grow into adults who believe these things to be true. However, the similarities between these definitions and the goals some parents have stated to have make the concern brought up by the PP perfectly valid when questioning these methods. Not a judgment or meant to be inciteful. But a well thought question.
Doesn’t unfailing authenticity to the self lead to narcissm?
Doesn’t never subjugating your desires and impulses to social cues lead to sociopathy?

And before it is argued that nobody said it did, I acknowledge this. But this is the type of concern that pops up in some of our heads when we contemplate these methods.
A valid concern. Not an insult or attempt to incite.

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#141 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 07:19 PM
 
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WHY WHY WHY do people think that allowing a kid to be authentic equals a kids that think only of themselves all of the time? I just do not get it. Do you know any kids that are being raised without coersion yet in a loving and non-neglectful way? Where does one get the basis that non-coersion equals "brat"? Who says these kids will not learn social skills?!?!?! Do you really think the only way to learn is to be "made" to do so by parents?
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#142 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 07:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopervegan
WHY WHY WHY do people think that allowing a kid to be authentic equals a kids that think only of themselves all of the time? ?
Hmm, lack of expericnce or role models perhaps?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopervegan
I just do not get it. Do you know any kids that are being raised without coersion yet in a loving and non-neglectful way? Where does one get the basis that non-coersion equals "brat"? Who says these kids will not learn social skills?!?!?! Do you really think the only way to learn is to be "made" to do so by parents?
Seriously this seems like a huge social experiement. How many of us have met anybody who has been raised from infancy in this way?
There are thousands of years of experience telling us that we have to teach our children how to behave. And as for me I know a helluva lot of well functioning, kind, polite happy adults who were raised in the traditional method. And I know nobody who was raised BOTH non coecively and non-neglectfully.
So while there is no evidence which supports that raising children this way creates brats or sociopaths. There is no evidence to the contrary either because it is so, rare.
Given that most of us have never met a fully functioning adult who was raised this way, it makes the claims to its effectiveness seem dubious at best.
I am glad for the families it works for. And I woudl not try to convince them otherwise.
But because history and experience tell me that firm loving guidance (which sometimes means coersion) and active teaching children sklls and morals works in a way that I have seen and felt, I am uninclined to risk raising my children in an entirely contrary way hoping fervently that this theory turns out to be true after all and my kids will be happier, more well adjusted, kinder and more authentic, than they would otherwise.

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#143 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 07:42 PM
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I agree yooper... completely.

It seems to me to be a permeating theme among this board and others and in real life...even if the people are "gentle" about it....control is the key. Children are somehow less than adults, even if we love them to bits, and must be controlled in some way shape or form or they will turn out to be socially inept, awkward, jobless, out of control misfits with no real understanding of how anything around them operates and no skills of coping in the world without someone telling them how to act or what to do for 18 years of their life beforehand...only in a "gentle" way.

I honestly don't get it. Is it that the opposing sides of this are coming from such different perspectives that no agreement can be reached? That may be part of it. If you are in the school where you think that small children who don't say thank you on cue and cursty like a trained parrot despite how they feel inside are at risk of growing up to be SOCIOPATHS...then yeah, I can see where we won't see eye to eye.

I believe children are inherently innocent and social beings and in a loving, nurturing, gentle, safe environment where they are left to blossom on their own will do just that. Will you have a 4 year old who politely says thank you every time to someone? Probably not, but that is not my goal. My goal is to help her (if she desires, most children do) hone her inner voice, her authentic self, her sense of power over her own actions, words, thoughts, feelings... and THEN equip her with the tools to please others. You know, I believe you cannot truly be happy in life unless you are happy and content within yourself, with who you are and what you are, and that is the first step to helping the people around you be content and happy because you put out what you feel inside. I know this is much deeper than thanking Aunt Sally....but if I teach her from an early age to completely ignore how she feels inside, just for the benefit of making Aunt Sally feel like a super aunt, then what have I accomplished?

Basically, I have applauded my daughter for lying to herself and to others.

Super.
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#144 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 07:45 PM
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Oh, I just want to add... please don't bring up the "I have known people who have had this and that and they have turned out fine" bit... I really hate that.

How do you know? I mean seriously, I have met concentration camp survivors who have had families, held down jobs, had friends, loved ones, seemed really happy...and perhaps they were, but that doesn't mean there isn't a world of pain and scarring and inner issues that plague them.

Before I get flamed, I am NOT comparing making a child say thank you to a concentration camp survivor! I am just illustrating an extreme point -- when I hear people say things like "I have known people who have held down jobs and their parents did this and that, or they were nice people and their parents hit them" and stuff...how do YOU know what is inside them?

I am sure we meet and even become close to people all the time who "seem" great on the outside but carry a lot with them from their childhood.
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#145 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 08:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I agree yooper... completely.

It seems to me to be a permeating theme among this board and others and in real life...even if the people are "gentle" about it....control is the key. Children are somehow less than adults, even if we love them to bits, and must be controlled in some way shape or form or they will turn out to be socially inept, awkward, jobless, out of control misfits with no real understanding of how anything around them operates and no skills of coping in the world without someone telling them how to act or what to do for 18 years of their life beforehand...only in a "gentle" way. .
Yes I think you are right. I dont remember which thread it was but I think that it was Scubamom who once said she doesnt even like the term "gentle discipline" because discipline implies trying to control her child. (I may be wrong as to who said it, but I think that was the gist) and I actually agreed with this. FOr many of us "gentle discipline" is attempting to teach and yes, sometimes control with gentle tools. But not abandoning that control entirely.


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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I honestly don't get it. Is it that the opposing sides of this are coming from such different perspectives that no agreement can be reached?..
Yes I think so. I think that we are talking about 2 entirely different ways of thinking about who our children are, what they expect from us, what they are capable of, and what our purpose is as their parents. We all have different answers to these questions. If our destinations are entirely different, our paths also will not be the same. (although at times they might seem similar)

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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
That may be part of it. If you are in the school where you think that small children who don't say thank you on cue and cursty like a trained parrot despite how they feel inside are at risk of growing up to be SOCIOPATHS...then yeah, I can see where we won't see eye to eye..
It is NOT that children who dont say Thank you and courtsey become sociopaths. It is that People without social skills of all kinds are considered sociopaths. And one might be concerned that without active teachign of social skills, they might not be adopted.

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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I believe children are inherently innocent and social beings and in a loving, nurturing, gentle, safe environment where they are left to blossom on their own will do just that. Will you have a 4 year old who politely says thank you every time to someone? Probably not, but that is not my goal. My goal is to help her (if she desires, most children do) hone her inner voice, her authentic self, her sense of power over her own actions, words, thoughts, feelings... and THEN equip her with the tools to please others. You know, I believe you cannot truly be happy in life unless you are happy and content within yourself, with who you are and what you are, and that is the first step to helping the people around you be content and happy because you put out what you feel inside. I know this is much deeper than thanking Aunt Sally....but if I teach her from an early age to completely ignore how she feels inside, just for the benefit of making Aunt Sally feel like a super aunt, then what have I accomplished?

Basically, I have applauded my daughter for lying to herself and to others.

Super.
I dont think that having manners equates to ignoring ones inner feelings. But that's just me. I do not feel the need to have everybody know my feelings in order to honor them.
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#146 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 08:21 PM
 
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Basically, I have applauded my daughter for lying to herself and to others.
Lied?!? Whoa. I think we're getting a bit carried away here. When someone gives you something you hate, what do you say? "I'm not going to lie to you, I hate it."

No, you say "Thank you" because you are thanking them for the effort, because that's what we do when someone gives us something in our society, we thank them, just like we tell them hello and goodbye.

Why is it if you encourage your child to do this it's considered lying? And speaking of giving kids' credit, I think most children can learn that it is often appropriate to hide your true feelings, or at least part of them, without any emotional damage whatsoever.

Mommy to kids

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#147 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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Children are somehow less than adults
I don't believer they are lesser in their humanity. I do believe that they have less knowledge and understanding of the world than I do, and that it is part of my job to impart that.

I also will frankly admit that I do not believe that children are "inherently innocent and social." I think children are inherently loving, but also inherently self-interested. I think people (not just children...people) have both darkness and light in them, and I do believe part of the "job" of society, culture and law is to help modulate the darkness.

I also do not think anarchy is a workable order for society. I am curious if any of you espousing the total noncoercion model consider yourselves anarchists (using the political definition here). It would be consistent, I think.

As for this "who said what" bit...here is what yoopervegan said she would do in the "Grandma" example:

Quote:
I think it has been stated over and over that we would not just "do nothing" if our child neglected to thank a gift giver in the way we feel is appropriate. What I would do is to thank that person for dd. End of story. I would not "bring it up later". I would not have numerous discussions on manners. I would not punish her. I would not point out her "shortcomings" in front of the gift giver. i would not give a "look" to let her I know I do not approve or make her guess what I expect.
Actually, I would consider this "doing nothing." More exactly, "doing nothing specific to address or call attention to the behavior," I guess. To me, the thank you in this situation would just be part of normal, everyday adult-adult interaction (of course you thank others) and it seems to me that the child might not even notice it. I don't know if *you*, aira, would do it the same way yooper would, but I had the idea you were operating under the same general principles.

As for "inciting", well...those of us on the other side have been chastised for making our children into demoralized parrots who will never comprehend true gratitude, and it has been implied that we understand nothing about GD (who defines GD, anyway?) So I think there have been some strong implications on the other side as well.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#148 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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johub, THANKS for "getting" my point! I've never said that a certain style of parenting "creates sociopaths" or anything like that. Rephrasing what I did say - I do not think that raising children to always respond to the world based solely on what they immediately want is healthy. In fact, adults who base their choices SOLELY on what pleases them are classified as narcissists or sociopaths by definition.

Again, did not say anyone wanted to do that. Did not say anyone was doing that. But I did want to illuminate what I see as the logical end of a "my child's innate responses are always best" approach.

Part of me hates to say this, because "BTDT" is almost always a cop-out. But I wonder if parents here advocating for a variety of guidance methods above and beyond "modelling only" are parents who have raised one or more through childhood, through adolescence? or who have worked with large numbers of families? I helped raise a niece and nephew, and am a teacher, and those experiences have really pushed me away from advocating ANY one-size-fits-all approach to childrearing.
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#149 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 08:50 PM
 
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oh and loraxc, I am a committed anarchist! We who advocate a lawless society are the ones who believe we can only live that way when we each can get along, respectfully, considerately, courteously, genuinely! We may be the ones MOST committed to instilling those values in our little ones!
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#150 of 317 Old 12-12-2005, 08:59 PM
 
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Well, I HAVE met people from infants up through adults that were raised this way so I do not consider it a social experiment. I have met many in fact. And they were happy people that I felt had BETTER social skills than your average person. So I guess that helps me make this decision.
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