Can we talk about this forum? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-11-2006, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
Dragonfly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: On the Brink
Posts: 6,550
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It seems that on many, if not most, threads these days there is a constant charge of judgment against people who question the motivations and practices of others and people who try to assert any parameters for GD.

I just don't get it. What is the purpose of this forum if not to discuss what GD is and is not and how we can discipline in ways that our children perceive as gentle? There seems to be an expectation now that in order to be gentle with one another we have to limit our responses to hugs and "you're doing fine."

I know there are some posts (and some posters) who tread too far over the line. IME, these are the exception rather than the rule, yet it seems that they are perceived as defining the forum. I don't see judgment and abrasiveness at every turn... maybe I'm just not looking for it.

When I first came here (I think it was while my son was still gestating), this was a place where people problem-solved with one another - threw around ideas, evaluated scenarios and parental behavior. I don't recall people feeling picked on as readily as they do now. It feels very frustrating to not even be able to have a theoretical discussion anymore.

So, why don't we get it out there? What do you see as the purpose of this forum? Why are people feeling so judged? What do you see as the solutions to any problems there might be?
Dragonfly is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-11-2006, 01:08 PM
 
Charles Baudelaire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,882
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
It seems that on many, if not most, threads these days there is a constant charge of judgment against people who question the motivations and practices of others and people who try to assert any parameters for GD.

I just don't get it. What is the purpose of this forum if not to discuss what GD is and is not and how we can discipline in ways that our children perceive as gentle? There seems to be an expectation now that in order to be gentle with one another we have to limit our responses to hugs and "you're doing fine."

I know there are some posts (and some posters) who tread too far over the line. IME, these are the exception rather than the rule, yet it seems that they are perceived as defining the forum. I don't see judgment and abrasiveness at every turn... maybe I'm just not looking for it.

When I first came here (I think it was while my son was still gestating), this was a place where people problem-solved with one another - threw around ideas, evaluated scenarios and parental behavior. I don't recall people feeling picked on as readily as they do now. It feels very frustrating to not even be able to have a theoretical discussion anymore.

So, why don't we get it out there? What do you see as the purpose of this forum? Why are people feeling so judged? What do you see as the solutions to any problems there might be?
To answer your second question, I don't often come to this forum even though I am completely against spanking and have never spanked; am against insulting children,calling them names or defining them by their behavior (e.g., "You're a pig,") rather than stating facts about their behavior (e.g."Your room is dirty"); am against time-outs, sticker charts, and "rewards." I've read Alfie Kohn, repeatedly, as well as other people in the GD pantheon, and have sincerely tried to modify my parenting style and treat my child with respect.

In short, I owe a great deal to the GD forum and to GD writers in general, not least because they gave alternatives to the way in which I had been raised -- which, although it was vast leaps and bounds "gentler" than the way my mother herself was raised, was still not what you or I would call genuinely gentle discipline.

However, that said, I'm often reluctant to respond to posts because I often find that here and there, some people have chosen to play what I think of as the "gentler-than-thou" game. I'm not referring to anyone who enters into a spirit of thoughtful and constructive debate about an issue or who wants to define why a given approach is punitive or logical. No, THOSE discussions help a tremendous amount. Sometimes, though, it seems as if a few folks want to condemn basically everything except hugs and "you're doing fine" as thisclose to child abuse.

The underlying solution, I think, is that people need to give the freedom to others to allow GD to be thought of not as an absolute, but as a continuum. IMHO, there's a spectrum of behaviors that are generally GD with some behaviors being more and less punitive but still GD...and I don't think someone's committed heresy if they impose a consequence on their child (as long as the consequence is logical and nonabusive).

Thanks for hearing my .02.
Charles Baudelaire is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 01:12 PM
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well. We have a thread where someone asks in the title if consequences are GD or not then everyone gets upset when people chime in with their opinions to the question. I stayed out of it because it has been stated to me several times lately that people do not want to hear my opinion. This is a DISCUSSION board. What is the point if we cannot discuss? If you do not want people to give opinions then it needs to be titled "support only" or "I only want to hear that z or y is OK and want pats on the back". I come here to challenge myself and get better at parenting. I am not perfect. I like to read all input even stuff I know I will disagree with. It helps to open my mind or solidify my ideals. Of course we are all going to have different ideas about what is gentle and what is not. Just like people have different ideas about how much if any vaccinations are OK or what type of diet is OK or when and how to potty train....... All of those CAN be very heated issues too but somehow people are allowing discussion to flow freely without taking everything personally on those forums. I wish we could do that here
Yooper is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 01:18 PM
 
abac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,567
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think people often feel judged because they are doubting the way they are doing things. I think if you're comfortable and confident with how you discipline your child, you won't feel judged, or if you do feel there is judgement from another poster, you won't care because you know you're doing what's best for your child and your family at this point in time.

Take time-outs for example. Some people here use time-outs while others don't and believe they are not helpful and maybe harmful. So if someone posts here listing all the reasons they believe time-outs are harmful and counterproductive, and another mama who uses time-outs gets offended or feels that she is being judged as harming her child, then maybe that mama needs to re-think the way she is disciplining her child. I think (and hope) that hearing these types of discussions can often lead us to reconsider the way we do things. If you feel any doubt, you might need to take a closer look at your methods.

Someone could tell me that I'm harming my baby by picking him up every time he cries because I'm denying him the opportunity to learn to self-soothe. They could tell me that I'm doing him psychological damage by continuing to breastfeed past 6 months. They could tell me any number of ways that they believe I'm harming my child until they're blue in the face and it would not make any difference to me. I would not be offended, and although I might think they were being judgmental, I would not care because I know what I'm doing is right for my child and my family. I am confident and comfortable with what I'm doing.

If someone's feeling judged, that's a problem that comes from within, I think.
abac is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 01:24 PM
 
Mizelenius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: In Lalaland
Posts: 6,938
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have heard from other mamas that they don't feel welcome on this board. I struggle to figure out why I do. I am very (over!!!) sensitive so I'm the first person to feel attacked usually-- but never here. I consider myself to be one who is not GD by nature (ifrustrated easily, immature) so it's not like I feel like I have all the answers. I also find that when people here disagree with me, that I'm OK with the differences.

Quote:
some people have chosen to play what I think of as the "gentler-than-thou" game.
I agree with this, and since I am aware of it, I don't take it personally . . .for one thing, I know I would never "win." I can usually sort out the real support vs. people who want to play the semantics game, too.

Geeze, I hope I'm not one of the people causing others problems!

 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

Mizelenius is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 01:41 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: raising the revolution
Posts: 4,315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
This is a DISCUSSION board. What is the point if we cannot discuss? If you do not want people to give opinions then it needs to be titled "support only" or "I only want to hear that z or y is OK and want pats on the back". I come here to challenge myself and get better at parenting. I am not perfect. I like to read all input even stuff I know I will disagree with. It helps to open my mind or solidify my ideals. Of course we are all going to have different ideas about what is gentle and what is not. Just like people have different ideas about how much if any vaccinations are OK or what type of diet is OK or when and how to potty train....... All of those CAN be very heated issues too but somehow people are allowing discussion to flow freely without taking everything personally on those forums. I wish we could do that here
I completely agree. If someone wants support only, then perhaps they should clearly state that. What I see though in many threads is the title reading like this:

"I did this or that... was I wrong?"

"I did this or that, did I handle it GD?"

"I need advice on this or that...please help!"

"Help me stop this or that!"

"Help me help my child stop this or that!"

Those titles open up discussion, ask for opinions, and seek out people's points of view on differing subjects. Of course I am going to state my opinion and how I may handle the situation... and if someone is asking whether they were gentle and I don't feel they were, I will say that too. Similarly, if the poster before me suggests something that I would not do in a million years with my child and I disagree, I am going to state that as well --- what good would it serve anyone if we were all just GD robots, smiling and nodding and agreeing with what every single other person said or suggested?

How would there be any growth at all?

I am sorry people feel judged, but after all, all opinions are judgements really -- we just use a nicer word. They may be educated judgements, or judgements made from experience, or with factual data behind them... but basically, opinions are judgements.

I feel judged occasionally, but it doesn't permeate my life outside of MDC. I would suggest that if there is something that plagues someone or upsets someone so much that they are thinking about it longer than they probably should, that there may be a reason for that and that perhaps they should evaluate why someone else's opinion, or judgement is affecting them so...
captain crunchy is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 01:46 PM
 
gaialice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have to say I LOVE THIS FORUM. The way it is. I always find what I look for here. I had heated discussions, I have been told (gently) what I was doing was perhaps not the best. I have not taken offense. I have learnt so much.
With perhaps one exception, I have ALWAYS been treated with so much respect on this forum. I think we have to compliment ourselves (all the moms in this forum) for their collective wisdom, and for the tremendous support that they/we give to stimulate a change of minds towards GD. Many moms (me included) come here when they are feeling down, and it really shows when you read subsequent post that when they leave the forum they feel a ton better....
gaialice is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 02:00 PM
 
johub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well there is a certain level of diplomacy which makes it possible to express even the most strongly held opinions in a way which does not insult another.
"I dont use time out because I think my child would feel a withdrawal of love" and "Time out is damaging to all children and is as bad as spanking" BOTH express an opinion against time out. The first is rational and explains an opinion effectively. The second is inflammatory.
I DO think this is a great forum where we all should get a chance to be heard AND debate these things.
But I am afraid that there are several vocal posters whose posts frequently fall under the second type of statement.
If we could speak to each other with the respect understandign and consideration we purport to give our children, I dont think we would be having a problem.
And I also find the "if you feel insulted that is probably because of your guilt" to be completely over the top and condescending. For crying out loud. If somebody told me that somethign I did was abusive or unkind to my child and I disagreed, of course I am going to feel insulted even if I dont question my stand in the least bit. It is a way of saying "I can say whatever I want because if you feel bad when you hear it it proves you are doing things wrong"
So yes we should be able to debate these topics and share all the information we like. But as considerate intelligent individuals i think it would behoove us to choose our words so as to not be inflammatory.
And if somebody calls you out and says your words are inflammatory. Edit your post, apologise and move on, instead of digging in for battle.

Joline
johub is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 02:11 PM
 
Yooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
And I also find the "if you feel insulted that is probably because of your guilt" to be completely over the top and condescending. For crying out loud. If somebody told me that somethign I did was abusive or unkind to my child and I disagreed, of course I am going to feel insulted even if I dont question my stand in the least bit. It is a way of saying "I can say whatever I want because if you feel bad when you hear it it proves you are doing things wrong"


Joline
I think this is where the problem is starting. You took what abac said to mean what you quoted above. She did not say that. She said it diplomatically like you advise us all to do. She said:

"So if someone posts here listing all the reasons they believe time-outs are harmful and counterproductive, and another mama who uses time-outs gets offended or feels that she is being judged as harming her child, then maybe that mama needs to re-think the way she is disciplining her child. I think (and hope) that hearing these types of discussions can often lead us to reconsider the way we do things. If you feel any doubt, you might need to take a closer look at your methods."

She did not say "guilt". Or even imply that people should feel guilt. I understand what she said to be that if you are feeling very defensive or offended, maybe it is because the topic is bothering you and a closer look is in order. People tell me all of the time that I am raising a future criminal and that not having consequences is bad bad bad. But I do NOT feel offended because I know I am doing the right thing for us.

So what is the answer? Can dissenting opnions not be stated? Are people that have certain opnions always going to be insulted with accussations of acting "gentler-than-thou"? I have not seen anyone call anyone esle a bad person or parent. I have not even seen anyone called not-GD. All I have seen is certain discipline methods being evaluated by people with widely varying opnions.
Yooper is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
Dragonfly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: On the Brink
Posts: 6,550
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
And I also find the "if you feel insulted that is probably because of your guilt" to be completely over the top and condescending. For crying out loud. If somebody told me that somethign I did was abusive or unkind to my child and I disagreed, of course I am going to feel insulted even if I dont question my stand in the least bit. It is a way of saying "I can say whatever I want because if you feel bad when you hear it it proves you are doing things wrong"
I somewhat agree, though I think the truth actually lies in the middle. We're absolutely responsible for their own feelings, but we're also responsible for our actions. So, we should behave respectfully but also assume positive intent when receiving.

Quote:
So yes we should be able to debate these topics and share all the information we like. But as considerate intelligent individuals i think it would behoove us to choose our words so as to not be inflammatory.
And if somebody calls you out and says your words are inflammatory. Edit your post, apologise and move on, instead of digging in for battle.

The issue that I see here, though, is that often any expression of a differing opinion is received as inflammatory. So, how far do we need to go to accommodate people who are predisposed to feel judged, regardless of how a thought is conveyed? Should we edit and apologise anytime someone throws the judgment card? I'm thinking there would be very little discussion if that were the policy.
Dragonfly is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 02:16 PM
 
abac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,567
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
And I also find the "if you feel insulted that is probably because of your guilt" to be completely over the top and condescending. For crying out loud. If somebody told me that somethign I did was abusive or unkind to my child and I disagreed, of course I am going to feel insulted even if I dont question my stand in the least bit. It is a way of saying "I can say whatever I want because if you feel bad when you hear it it proves you are doing things wrong"
So yes we should be able to debate these topics and share all the information we like. But as considerate intelligent individuals i think it would behoove us to choose our words so as to not be inflammatory.
And if somebody calls you out and says your words are inflammatory. Edit your post, apologise and move on, instead of digging in for battle.
I'm curious if you would feel insulted in the situations I gave here:
Quote:
Someone could tell me that I'm harming my baby by picking him up every time he cries because I'm denying him the opportunity to learn to self-soothe. They could tell me that I'm doing him psychological damage by continuing to breastfeed past 6 months.
When I hear things like that, I tend to just shrug my shoulders and think that the other person is wrong. I don't think that "if you feel bad when you hear it it proves you are doing things wrong," rather it proves that you are not entirely comfortable or confident with the way you are doing things. Because really, if someone tells me I'm abusing my child by breastfeeding him past infancy, I am not insulted because they are wrong. I shrug my shoulders, maybe roll my eyes, and move on. If someone said putting my child in time-out was abusive and I was offended by that, I would need to re-examine time-outs. It doesn't mean I am wrong for using time-outs, just that I need to put some more thought into it.
abac is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 02:23 PM
 
johub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopervegan
I think this is where the problem is starting. You took what abac said to mean what you quoted above. She did not say that. She said it diplomatically like you advise us all to do. She said:

"So if someone posts here listing all the reasons they believe time-outs are harmful and counterproductive, and another mama who uses time-outs gets offended or feels that she is being judged as harming her child, then maybe that mama needs to re-think the way she is disciplining her child. I think (and hope) that hearing these types of discussions can often lead us to reconsider the way we do things. If you feel any doubt, you might need to take a closer look at your methods."

She did not say "guilt". Or even imply that people should feel guilt. I understand what she said to be that if you are feeling very defensive or offended, maybe it is because the topic is bothering you and a closer look is in order. People tell me all of the time that I am raising a future criminal and that not having consequences is bad bad bad. But I do NOT feel offended because I know I am doing the right thing for us.

So what is the answer? Can dissenting opnions not be stated? Are people that have certain opnions always going to be insulted with accussations of acting "gentler-than-thou"? I have not seen anyone call anyone esle a bad person or parent. I have not even seen anyone called not-GD. All I have seen is certain discipline methods being evaluated by people with widely varying opnions.
I did not quote the poster because it is the sentiment I have issue with and it is often recurring, and not just by her. I chose to restate her phrase rather than quote her directly because I have seen the same idea expressed by many different people.
"I think people often feel judged because they are doubting the way they are doing things. I think if you're comfortable and confident with how you discipline your child, you won't feel judged"
IN which perhaps I shouldnt have equated "doubt" with "guilt" . HOwever this has been used to excuse the speaker from any culpability of their own inflammatory remarks, and I think it is inaccurate.
I for one find such things insulting not because of my own weak stance but because we come together on a forum and are all sharing information. When somebodys views are belittled, their entire position is belittled and potentially invalidated to other readers.
johub is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 02:24 PM
 
sunnysideup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,348
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Well there is a certain level of diplomacy which makes it possible to express even the most strongly held opinions in a way which does not insult another.
"I dont use time out because I think my child would feel a withdrawal of love" and "Time out is damaging to all children and is as bad as spanking" BOTH express an opinion against time out. The first is rational and explains an opinion effectively. The second is inflammatory.
I don't know... If you feel time-out is damaging what's wrong with saying so? Can't we keep our minds open, debate and discuss the merits of different teaching tools and styles? I think debating these things is a great way for us to learn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaialice
I have to say I LOVE THIS FORUM. The way it is. I always find what I look for here. I had heated discussions, I have been told (gently) what I was doing was perhaps not the best. I have not taken offense. I have learnt so much.
With perhaps one exception, I have ALWAYS been treated with so much respect on this forum. I think we have to compliment ourselves (all the moms in this forum) for their collective wisdom, and for the tremendous support that they/we give to stimulate a change of minds towards GD. Many moms (me included) come here when they are feeling down, and it really shows when you read subsequent post that when they leave the forum they feel a ton better....
:
sunnysideup is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 02:28 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: raising the revolution
Posts: 4,315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I didn't say I thought anyone who felt badly is guilty and therefore is wrong. (your comment may not even have been directed at me but I am responding anway)

All I said was that if something someone said about someone's parenting or their discipline practices is permeating your life outside of mothering....as in, you find yourself thinking about it over and over again and feeling badly about it -- then maybe an evaluation should take place. Just a thought process to get to the bottom of why you may be thinking extensively about something someone on the internet said about the way you parent (in other words, a virtual stranger who doesn't know you or your children).

There is a reason for a thought that plagues us throughout the day. For instance, if someone judges me or offends me (which has happened on here and in real life)... I may be upset/angry etc... for a few minutes, or may mention it to my hubby or something, but when I find myself mulling a comment over and over in my head, or getting upset every time I think about it, or am giving thought to it much more than is probably warranted -- I evaluate why.
captain crunchy is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 02:28 PM
 
johub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
The issue that I see here, though, is that often any expression of a differing opinion is received as inflammatory. So, how far do we need to go to accommodate people who are predisposed to feel judged, regardless of how a thought is conveyed? Should we edit and apologise anytime someone throws the judgment card? I'm thinking there would be very little discussion if that were the policy.
I completely agree with this. There are those who are super sensitive and who feel insulted at anything.
However, I still would advocate an apology and attempted modification rather than escalating it.
It is just the kind thing to do.
"I am sorry you feel that way, I had no intention of insulting you in that post. I will gladly change the wording" or even "I am not sure how to change the wording to convey the meaning in a way that you wouldnt find offensive. Maybe you could help?"
I had to stop posting at the SAHM forum because no matter how many times I said "I feel" and "for my kids"or "for my family" and never ever ever made blanket statements about all children or all families. Still, every breath I took seemed to be a hidden insult to somebody (who wasnt even the intended audience of the thread) There also ARE people that just go looking for a fight or a reason to be offended, I am certain of it!
To edit and try to be more considerate of our speech is not the same as admitting there was really anything "wrong" per se with the way it was originally stated.
johub is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 02:55 PM
 
oceanbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 11,167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
However, that said, I'm often reluctant to respond to posts because I often find that here and there, some people have chosen to play what I think of as the "gentler-than-thou" game.
Yep. I haven't read all the replies, but I know that I get a little tired of the nitpicking over whether something is a logical or natural consequence, and how if it wasn't phrased exactly right then you are a punishing parent, blah blah blah. It makes my head hurt, to be honest, and I feel like it would be so much more constructive to get real about the discussion. 90% of us here are very gentle parents, rarely using discipline, but we are real people and we are tired and we are some days stressed, and yes, some days I say "throw the train one more time and it's going away" rather than "hey sweet honey love, let's put the train down and go draw pictures of the universe together." I guess I feel sometimes this forum is all about ideal, perfect world GD, not real, everyday, we're doing our best GD.

I probably shouldn't post this - I'm cranky, I've got a sick kid, and I'm pissed at my mom and dh.
oceanbaby is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 03:00 PM
 
DevaMajka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 10,344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by abac
I think people often feel judged because they are doubting the way they are doing things. I think if you're comfortable and confident with how you discipline your child, you won't feel judged, or if you do feel there is judgement from another poster, you won't care because you know you're doing what's best for your child and your family at this point in time.
I agree with that 98% lol
Here (gd forum- actually mdc in general) that's true. If something someone says offends me (rarely) or causes me to think a lot about what I'm doing (all the time) its because *I* need to deal with my thoughts on the issue. Not that what I'm doing is wrong. I just need to get my mind to a place where I'm comfortable with it (usually by analyzing it to death lol). I may come to the conclusion that I'm comfortable doing it, or I may change.

BUT I was offended and MAD when someone told me, on another board, said (anonymously) that I have "personal problems" and saying "Your obsession with your son is very sad and it is probably driving your boyfriend (I guess youre not married) nuts." And said if I left the board, everyone would be happier.
And someone else posted (at least she didn't hide her name) "I did say that I did not agree with any of Becky's parenting and that I worried greatly for Keagan. And I do."
Of course, that came after a full blown attack on me for saying "spanking is wrong" so I imagine i was feeling more than a little defensive...

I know they're full of it. But it still had me hopping mad for days.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

DevaMajka is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 03:16 PM
Banned
 
boongirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: a place where freedom lives
Posts: 4,450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
In short, I owe a great deal to the GD forum and to GD writers in general



The underlying solution, I think, is that people need to give the freedom to others to allow GD to be thought of not as an absolute, but as a continuum. IMHO, there's a spectrum of behaviors that are generally GD with some behaviors being more and less punitive but still GD...and I don't think someone's committed heresy if they impose a consequence on their child (as long as the consequence is logical and nonabusive).
CB - you are right on. Sadly, this type of judgement is apparent in many aspects of parenting. I have experienced judgement in parent support groups and have, I will admit, passed judgement myself. And, there are other forums here at MDC where judgement is pervasive. I think parents do this out of our own insecurity, at least I will admit that of myself. I feel myself passing judgement on others as a way of making myself feel better. I don't do it so much now that my dd is almost three as I feel more confident in my parenting. When she was a newborn I felt it rearing its ugly head more often than I liked. Being a parent is really hard and we are all passionate about our children and our choices and our beliefs. Sometimes it is hard to admit that another way of doing things is just as ok as the way we are doing things. And often, especially with discipline, there are many ways of accomplishing the same goal.


Now that I am finally taking the advice to read some of Alfie Kohn's books, I can understand why there is judgement passed on any kind of punishment, reward, bribe, consequence, etc. But, we all need to keep an open mind about parenting. Peggy O wrote a good column in either this or the last issue of Mothering where she wrote about the judgement we sometimes pass on mothers who are bottle feeding. We do not know why they are bottle feeding and yet some of us assume the worst and convey dirty looks. The same can happen with discipline. A mother in a store with several children may loose her cool and give a short loud, threat to get the kids in order. We may assume, as the listener, that she is an authoritarian-type parent and not into GD but maybe she is just really tired and lost her cool just a bit.

This thread is a good reminder that parenting is difficult and that there are many ways, a spectrum of ways, to be a good parent. And, it is far more productive to offer support than to pass judgement. There are ideals for parenting just as their are ideals for life but none of use is ever going to be perfect and live up to those ideals completely. It is a spectrum and coming to this forum is all about learning. We can probably all agree that spanking is abusive but other than that I bet it would be impossible to all agree on a definition of gentle discipline. Some of us may use discipline tactics that we do not like but that does not make the other person abusive.

This thread is a good reminder that it is far more educational to give advice than it is to condemn actions.

Thank you, Dragonfly, for starting this conversation.
boongirl is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 03:16 PM
 
ThinkBlu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I fully support this topic. I would add disrespect to judgement as being a porential topic to explore. I sense that the feeling judgment goes in many ways and is not defined to a specific group. Having a hard time putting into words, but I think some think their actions are being judged, others think there motives are being judged, others, their thoughts or thought processes, others their emotions or emotional processes. Some feel judged as being not GD enough, some feel judged for being not ‘effective’ enough, some for being too sympathetic with the non-GD, some for coming across as holier-than-thou, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
this was a place where people problem-solved with one another - threw around ideas, evaluated scenarios and parental behavior. …It feels very frustrating to not even be able to have a theoretical discussion anymore.
I’m glad to hear that this was a place….gives me hope that it can be again. Being new to this board (and hopefully not part of the problem) I have and still am questioning the value of participating. It’s similar to the thought process I went though in the year 2000 regarding television. The media CAN provide good information, but if you have to weed out so much garbage to find something of value, is it worth it? Is it a net gain or a net loss? TV got happily voted out; the vote is still in question regarding this board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
What do you see as the purpose of this forum?
I think to be effective, this board may need to serve several purposes. Some come here looking for support and affirmation, others for critique and/or problem solving, others for exploration and I’m sure others I haven’t identified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
What do you see as the solutions to any problems there might be?
I agree with…
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
give the freedom to others to allow GD to be thought of not as an absolute, but as a continuum.
and with…
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopervegan
If you do not want people to give opinions then it needs to be titled "support only" or "I only want to hear that z or y is OK"
and I would add that participants need to challenge themselves to act respectfully, always. To be successful, I think the poster needs to identify what they are looking for and I think the responders need to respect the intent of the poster, stay on-topic, and be receptive and willing to change approach or back-off if they sense they are causing offense. Kinda silly, but to make emails more effective, I know many use a code in the subject line such as AR = Action Requested, FYI-NAR = For your information, no action requested…maybe something like that could help. In the topic line, SO = support only? AW = advice wanted? D=debate?

Oh, I think it goes without saying that insults, jibs and jabs, sarcasm, twisting of words, and taking things out of context, etc. are not conducive to the kind of climate that I think we want here, and are thus inappropriate. Best way to respond IMO? To ignore and let it die or to respond to the intent rather than to the “quote”.

I have seen the attitude voiced on several threads that if someone takes offense or feels judged, that it is ‘their’ problem, and I strongly disagree as I think it puts the owness of the problem entirely on one party of the communication where as I believe that if a communication is ineffective both parties almost always share in the ‘fault’.

I guess the thing I stuggle with most is how to deal with what I will call faulty logics especially ones that people see as ‘truth’. For example, if someone states that they saw a fish, barking and playing fetch with the neighbor boy in the street…..how do you handle that? Do you just proceed as if it was a fish, or do you point out that perhaps it was a dog or do you just avoid the whole post?
ThinkBlu is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 03:22 PM
 
ThinkBlu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
.
If we could speak to each other with the respect understandign and consideration we purport to give our children, I dont think we would be having a problem.
...But as considerate intelligent individuals i think it would behoove us to choose our words so as to not be inflammatory.
And if somebody calls you out and says your words are inflammatory. Edit your post, apologise and move on, instead of digging in for battle.

Joline
ThinkBlu is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 03:46 PM
 
johub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysideup
I don't know... If you feel time-out is damaging what's wrong with saying so? Can't we keep our minds open, debate and discuss the merits of different teaching tools and styles? I think debating these things is a great way for us to learn. :
Yes say so. But use an "I" statement so that we all dont feel like you are telling us taht WE are damaging our children. But that you choose not to use time out because you think it might be damaging to your children.
To a reader who after serious consideration on all sides, still chooses to use time out occasionally these statements are very different:
"We dont use time out in our house because I feel it is potentially just as damaging to my child as spanking." or even "We don't use time out because I am less concerned with changing my childs' behavior rather than preserving our relationship." on one hand and
"Time out is just as damaging to children as spanking." or "Time out damages the attachment between parent and child"
If you use "I" statements or "I think" or "I believe" or "in our family" or "In our house" you can state a firmly held belief, however controversial without being interpreted as accusing others of damaging their children or ruining their attachment relationships.
johub is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 03:51 PM
 
Mizelenius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: In Lalaland
Posts: 6,938
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Yep. I haven't read all the replies, but I know that I get a little tired of the nitpicking over whether something is a logical or natural consequence, and how if it wasn't phrased exactly right then you are a punishing parent, blah blah blah. It makes my head hurt, to be honest, and I feel like it would be so much more constructive to get real about the discussion. 90% of us here are very gentle parents, rarely using discipline, but we are real people and we are tired and we are some days stressed, and yes, some days I say "throw the train one more time and it's going away" rather than "hey sweet honey love, let's put the train down and go draw pictures of the universe together." I guess I feel sometimes this forum is all about ideal, perfect world GD, not real, everyday, we're doing our best GD.

I probably shouldn't post this - I'm cranky, I've got a sick kid, and I'm pissed at my mom and dh.
No, I think what you are saying is very true, and I think there is evidence of it even on this thread!

 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

Mizelenius is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 03:52 PM
 
johub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by abac
I'm curious if you would feel insulted in the situations I gave here: When I hear things like that, I tend to just shrug my shoulders and think that the other person is wrong. I don't think that "if you feel bad when you hear it it proves you are doing things wrong," rather it proves that you are not entirely comfortable or confident with the way you are doing things. Because really, if someone tells me I'm abusing my child by breastfeeding him past infancy, I am not insulted because they are wrong. I shrug my shoulders, maybe roll my eyes, and move on. If someone said putting my child in time-out was abusive and I was offended by that, I would need to re-examine time-outs. It doesn't mean I am wrong for using time-outs, just that I need to put some more thought into it.
I think there is a difference and here is why.
WHen somebody who is uninformed or has opinions vastly different from mine are advising me on my parenting. (A stranger, acquaintence or even my MIL)
I dont feel insulted and I can let it roll off of my back.
But in a forum where I am seeking alliance with others of like mind, and support among mothers with whom I share philosophies, such as statement has the potential to be hurtful. It also draws a line between "us" and "them" and IMO many of us are here to connect. To form an "us" of the GD community. I have no interest in connecting with the rude cashier at the grocery store who comments on my parenting, so what she says cannot insult me.
johub is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 04:15 PM
 
ThinkBlu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunnysideup
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Well there is a certain level of diplomacy which makes it possible to express even the most strongly held opinions in a way which does not insult another.
"I dont use time out because I think my child would feel a withdrawal of love" and "Time out is damaging to all children and is as bad as spanking" BOTH express an opinion against time out. The first is rational and explains an opinion effectively. The second is inflammatory.
I don't know... If you feel time-out is damaging what's wrong with saying so? Can't we keep our minds open, debate and discuss the merits of different teaching tools and styles? I think debating these things is a great way for us to learn.
Would you be saying that “I feel time-outs are damaging”, or would you be saying “time-outs are damaging”….different messages, different responses and I would suggest that neither is as effective as, "I don’t use time out because I think my child would feel a withdrawal of love" or even “I feel time-outs are damaging because…” And to be even more effective I would say that you should also recognize the other point of view such as, “I feel that time-outs are counterproductive because while I think the intent is to….I think they more often have the effect of……”

There is nothing necessarily “wrong” but one can make an argument that it is ineffective as it ‘deafens’ part of the audience. Is there any way to send a verbal communication that will be ‘heard’ by all? Probably not, but that I think is the goal. I’m sure we’ve all seen cartoons that showed ‘what he said’ on one side and ‘what she heard’ on the other, and the goal is to bring those two sides as close as possible. There are whole professions committed to this cause…survey writers and statisticians strive to neutral language so as to not add ‘noise’ to the message or even the facts, International businesspersons and marketers strive to understand subtitle nuisances that are offenses to one group of persons but not to another. People hear and define words by their culture, their upbringing, their experiences, etc. When I lived in New York, to confront someone was good; proactive and forthright, now that I live in Minnesota (land of Minnesota-nice) it is bad; confrontational, to challenge, to defy. To me, confront has very different connotations than confrontational and yet abuse brings the same connotations as abusive, unless it is used very carefully as in “I think it an abuse of trust…” Is it my problem? Sure, unless you are trying to communicate with me at which time it becomes OUR problem.

How far to we need to go in our communications to accommodate people? It depends how broadly we want our message to be heard.
ThinkBlu is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 04:16 PM
Banned
 
boongirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: a place where freedom lives
Posts: 4,450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The problem that is being discussed (rudeness, disrespect, lack of support, etc) is really apparent in many forums here at MDC. This last summer, things got really bad, a bunch of mamas quit and some were banned, some canceled their mothering subscriptions, rules were tightened and I took a break for a few months because I had been hurt so badly and repeatedly by a few mamas (not anyone here). I think because this is an internet forum and we often do not actually know each other and we can reply so quickly, sometimes we (and I include me) don't always reply with the thought needed to be respectful. Threads can get so long that if you do not reply quickly you miss a great deal of the conversation. I also bet that many of us write things herein that we would never say out loud. Furthermore, one cannot grasp intention or tone from a written response. It is just the nature of chat forums. I don't think there is really any way for any of us to control the situation and foster change beyond just trying to be more respectful ourselves and reporting to the moderators those who are not respectful.

Having a bit of tough hide and not taking things personally has helped me.

And, using the ignore function helps. I have put a few people on ignore. When they show up in a thread, I simply back out and move on.
boongirl is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 04:25 PM
 
johub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
And, using the ignore function helps. I have put a few people on ignore. When they show up in a thread, I simply back out and move on.
I have thought of doing this. But in the end it blocks me from the threads I find most interesting. :
But I do have a mental "ignore" feature that I try to keep in mind. (but unfortunately it is easier to override! )
johub is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 04:32 PM
Banned
 
~member~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: on a lily pad
Posts: 11,133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If someone chooses to feel offended or hurt, they will do so no matter how it is said.
Why should I be held responsible for another's feelings? They are your feelings, not mine.
~member~ is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 04:36 PM
 
johub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
If someone chooses to feel offended or hurt, they will do so no matter how it is said.
Why should I be held responsible for another's feelings? They are your feelings, not mine.
Thank you so much for providing a perfect example. . .
johub is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 04:41 PM
 
sophmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: with a brush in my hand
Posts: 2,347
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This forum has been getting more and more difficult to even read and I stopped posting much a while ago because I feel that certain viewpoints and perspectives on what GD and what is not GD have taken a role that I am not comfortable with. I come back hoping it will be better but thread after thread has gotten bogged down with disagreements over the 'older' standards of what is and isn't GD no longer being valid. I read many of the authors and practice GD as best I have understood it for a few years now and I do love it. But I am not TCS/non-coercive and have yet to be drawn to it. I have seen a lot of "gentler-than-thou" statements here. I have seen a lot of posts that are blanket statements as opposed to the "I" statements as others have requested.

I believe in a gentle view of natural/logical consequences at times. To some that puts me outside of the GD spectrum.

The circle just seems to be getting smaller and smaller. The definition narrower and narrower. What used to be ok is no longer ok here. I get a little peeved when someone says that what I do doesn't fit here anymore when it did a year ago.
sophmama is offline  
Old 01-11-2006, 04:47 PM
 
Lucky Charm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: brett favre's house
Posts: 7,478
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Thank you so much for providing a perfect example. . .

But MITB, you have been upset with something directed at you or what you have said.

I think speaking in a respectful manner goes a long way with getting our point across without hurting someones feelings. We could be more gentle with each other too.

I lurk here, but stay out mostly because my kids are a bit older, and I am not having the same issues as some of the moms with younger kids. I do try and offer support, though, and if i have anything to offer I do.

as for Time-outs, I know that quite a few moms do not like them, do not use nor advocate them. But I have used them (though not in a while) to mostly give my child a chance to regroup. This works amazing with my child, and has helped re-direct him. And I have given MYSELF timeouts when things are escalating and I am losing my ability to be effective. In fact, locking myself in my room is one of my favorite things to do
Lucky Charm is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off