What all is Non-negotiable? - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by katallen
I totally agree with this. Working for mutually acceptable solutions is great but there are times when you won't agree and you have to take charge.
Instead of "have to take charge", we choose to work together to find solutions which work for everyone.


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I also don't see why something has to be a universally accepted thing in order to do it. I don't eat the same meal as everyone else every day so why would I tell my kid to go ahead and do something that is unsafe or ruins my peace of mind and the peace of mind of other people just because not everyone tells their child not to do that particular thing? Not everyone has the same buttons as I have so universal norms really have no sway over me.
I honor other's freedoms the same as I like to have for myself, regardless of age. No one is "taking charge" over me. Nor I "taking charge" over someone else. We work to find solutions which honor our autonomy and our needs.

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#242 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 12:06 PM
 
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The basic difference that I see is that I do not believe that I can control other people any more than I can control a broken ankle, the weather, the traffic, etc. I do not choose to imply to our son that *he* can control other people to avoid something, or make something happen either. I prefer to model that I am empowered to control *myself* (autonomy); and I ASK for what I need of others, without resorting to making them do what I want when they don't want to agree.

Apparently, we believe differently.
Apparently we do. And what happens when he's 11 and you ask him to unload the dishwasher and he says no. I explain what needs to be done to have a functioning house. He still says no I want to play my gameboy. I say 15 minutes then you have to unload the dishwasher. 15 mins is up and he still doesn't want to do the chore. Just let it go? Come on Pat you really can't honestly tell me you wouldn't get frustrated and tell him Yes you need to do it please put the gameboy away. Would you do it yourself? Would you continue to "discuss" why we need to do this? I'm sorry but it is obvious to a 11 yr WHY it needs done. They just don't want to be bothered about it sometimes.
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#243 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz
And what happens when he's 11 and you ask him to unload the dishwasher and he says no. I explain what needs to be done to have a functioning house. He still says no I want to play my gameboy. I say 15 minutes then you have to unload the dishwasher. 15 mins is up and he still doesn't want to do the chore. Just let it go? Come on Pat you really can't honestly tell me you wouldn't get frustrated and tell him Yes you need to do it please put the gameboy away. Would you do it yourself? Would you continue to "discuss" why we need to do this? I'm sorry but it is obvious to a 11 yr WHY it needs done. They just don't want to be bothered about it sometimes.
I'd probably turn on my DS and play with my child Then we could both unload the dishwasher together later. Both things happen often in our home. We use lots of things as connecting time. I know it's more fun for me when we are working together and the same seems to hold true for them. Together we keep the house running smoothly.

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#244 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz
Apparently we do. And what happens when he's 11 and you ask him to unload the dishwasher and he says no. I explain what needs to be done to have a functioning house. He still says no I want to play my gameboy. I say 15 minutes then you have to unload the dishwasher. 15 mins is up and he still doesn't want to do the chore. Just let it go? Come on Pat you really can't honestly tell me you wouldn't get frustrated and tell him Yes you need to do it please put the gameboy away. Would you do it yourself? Would you continue to "discuss" why we need to do this? I'm sorry but it is obvious to a 11 yr WHY it needs done. They just don't want to be bothered about it sometimes.
Here is a link about Chores: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ht=clean+slate We don't have "chores" in our home. We work together to take care of our home without rules.

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#245 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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I'd probably turn on my DS and play with my child
What about the other two who have no interest in playing? They are all wanting to play cards. Does everyone put their lives, wants, needs on hold while ds & I play gb? We believe in getting work out of the way before play. It will take him 10 minutes to do the job. Meanwhile, ds2 and I will fold laundry while ds3 feeds his hamster. Now within 10 minutes three necessary jobs are done, we can play cards and gb. I guess that's the midwesterner in me. Work before play. I just can't get my head around the whole mentality otherwise.
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#246 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 01:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz
Work before play. I just can't get my head around the whole mentality otherwise.
We don't have dreaded tasks. It is all a part of the fabric of our life. It is just a different view. I wouldn't want to separate them out as "work" and "play" the way you are suggesting - it is all the joyful work of life.

Interestingly after posting my last post, I was in the kitchen cleaning up and my dd came in and asked what I was doing. I said I was cleaning the kitchen before lunch, she walked to the dishwasher and began unloading it We chatted and finished cleaning and then moved on to looking a book she had created. Both were times of connection and joy. My other dd was playing by herself at that moment but later joined us. No big deal.
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#247 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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I'm more curious about the opposite. If the child wants every toy in the store, or every piece of candy at the market -- do they get it? Or does their good judgment tell them that too many toys are not necessary and too much candy isn't good for them? Not at my house . . . . .
Tripmom have you really encountered this or is it an exaggeration to make some point? My kids have expressed interest in a particular toy or game or piece of candy, but never every toy or every piece of candy.

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#248 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 03:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz
We believe in getting work out of the way before play.
Just an honest question - when you say "we", whom exactly do you mean? Because it sounds like your DS does not really "believe" in that...
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#249 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 04:42 PM
 
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what is non-negotiable for our family:

1) vaccinations (yes, i know, this was mentioned in the OP ~ but FOR US, we consider this a life-saving issue. there have been outbreaks of things like mumps across the US recently because people are beginning to think this is negotiable or inconsequential. i believe in the efficacy of vaccines. i'll leave it at that. )

2) holding hands while crossing the road, and then WALKING across (as in, not grabbing my hand and then trying to dash across the road without looking)

3) staying on the sidewalk while we are out walking (not running into the street for ANY reason)

4) ALWAYS using a carseat and seat belt while we're in a car and the car is going to be moving / driving somewhere

5) bedtime on school nights ~~ not really a life threatening issue but one that completely influences the next day's behaviour and emotional state... his sleep (or lack of) determines just about every aspect of how his day will go. so i make sure that he gets adequate rest during the night.

6) doing what mommy says and THEN asking why (because there are times when i will tell them to do something that could save their life, like getting back on the sidewalk when a truck is coming, or to stop rolling off of the coffee table, and they need to learn to just DO IT... and THEN they can ask questions about it and i will be more than happy to answer them. my ds very nearly fell backward off of the exam table at the dr's office a few days ago because he didn't want to listen to me when i told him to stop rolling RIGHT THEN. )


... that's pretty much it.



i'm pretty strict.
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#250 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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i want to add ~


we have had dessert before dinner in the past...

(in response to the idea of "work before play") ~ we usually play for awhile before homework gets done after school. i think it's important for him to have some absolutely FREE play time, after being in school all day. he just needs some time to unwind, and be himself.
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#251 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz
Apparently we do. And what happens when he's 11 and you ask him to unload the dishwasher and he says no. I explain what needs to be done to have a functioning house. He still says no I want to play my gameboy. I say 15 minutes then you have to unload the dishwasher. 15 mins is up and he still doesn't want to do the chore. Just let it go? Come on Pat you really can't honestly tell me you wouldn't get frustrated and tell him Yes you need to do it please put the gameboy away. Would you do it yourself? Would you continue to "discuss" why we need to do this? I'm sorry but it is obvious to a 11 yr WHY it needs done. They just don't want to be bothered about it sometimes.
Interesting, here is what I a NON-consensual mom would do: After asking more than once, I would unload it myself.

I would then go to my dc and say, "I unloaded the dishwasher. It was your turn and I had to do it so I could get the plates and cups we needed for dinner. Next time I expect you to do it when I ask so that we all can eat on time."

And that is it. I have not "let it go." The demand and the expectation did not go anywhere. They remain ever present. If this was a contiuning problem, I would do some "problem solving." But if it were a very occassional thing I think keeping your expectations are all that is necessary.

This certainly works well with my three dd's who I would say are very coopeative 95 pecent of the time.
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#252 of 261 Old 07-27-2006, 10:39 PM
 
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We meant my dh and I. We believe in work before play. We live on a 200 acre farm. We have cattle, horses, goats, pigs, you name it we got it. We bale hay. We raise dairy cattle prior to them moving on to the milking floors. We have full time outside the home jobs. We work opposite shifts so we can homeschool our children. We work opposite job shifts so my kids never set foot in daycare. Our children are involved in every aspect of our lives every minute. And if we didn't set priorities it wouldn't flow well. We have animals that have to get water in the AM and PM or they die. Same with the food. My sons LOVE all the outside stuff. But they have no desire to do the inside stuff if they can help it. I am trying to raise not only sons but fathers and husbands which they will be someday. Their wives will need their help someday. They need to learn responsibility. So I guess their "work" (feeding, watering, mowing, taking out trash, helping haul hay, unloading dishes, switching laundry loads, hanging out laundry), which is done along side a parent for most of it is more important than play AT TIMES. When its done they are free to run and play and explore (all over 200 acres) to their hearts content. But would I say the work is negio. NO.
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#253 of 261 Old 07-28-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
I would think that if something were *truly* Non-negotiable, we could all agree on it....

However, I believe there is a mutually agreeable alternative available which can be found that respects the child's body space integrity instead. Perhaps, we could continue to seek those together instead of advocating the default to force, except perhaps when it is *truly* and universally necessary due to a life threatening event. When is that?

Pat
I thought about this thread a lot when it was originally active, and I've thought about it a lot again now as Pat has resurrected it. It's gotten big and circular enough that reading it again has made my head spin.

In light of all I've read, I've gone back and considered the original question again.

For me and my parenting approach, maybe instead of asking, "What is non-negotiable?" the more appropriate question is, "What things make a solution to a conflict not MUTUALLY agreeable?" In other words, "What solutions would be unacceptable for me and why?"

For example, when ds was much smaller, he went through a phase where he loved to heave toys at his friends' heads during playtime. While I was certainly willing to "negotiate" this -- find appropriate throwing situations, re-direct with other activities, etc -- there would never be a solution agreeable to BOTH of us which included causing pain to another child.

So, if I look at it like that -- where is the line that causes the negotiation to become NON-mutually agreeable -- I have come up with a list for our household.

For our family, I cannot imagine a mutually-agreed-upon solution to a conflict which would include:

--deliberately causing physical pain

--deliberately causing damage to valued property

--deliberately disregarding safety and health

--deliberately being unkind, disrespectful or cruel

So, when conflicts arise that require negotiation in my family, I will always try to reach a solution that is mutually agreeable (in all but those truly life-threatening situations that Pat mentions, of course).

But when it comes down to it, I won't allow the solution to include any of the above. And, if need be, I will use some sort of force or coersion to make sure that it doesn't.

To continue with my example above, there were lots of times that my ds would continue to try to throw toys at his playmates even after my repeated attempts at finding agreeable alternatives. When that happened, I had no qualms about bodily removing him -- often screaming his head off -- from the situation.

So for us, if he doesn't want to take a bath, no big deal. Not gonna matter in the slightest. But, if he doesn't want me to clean that nasty scrape he got falling next to the pig sty at the petting zoo, that's a different story. It needs to be cleaned or it could jeopardize his health. While I'll do my level best to prepare him, to get his agreement and understanding of WHY it needs to be done, in the end, I'll have to force the issue.

Boy, this has been really helpful to me in figuring out exactly what I feel and why I do what I do. Pat, you and I may parent differently, but I can't thank you enough for making me take a good hard look at myself. Thank you for asking the hard questions!

--Olive
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#254 of 261 Old 07-28-2006, 04:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz
We meant my dh and I. We believe in work before play. We live on a 200 acre farm. We have cattle, horses, goats, pigs, you name it we got it. We bale hay. We raise dairy cattle prior to them moving on to the milking floors. We have full time outside the home jobs. We work opposite shifts so we can homeschool our children. We work opposite job shifts so my kids never set foot in daycare. Our children are involved in every aspect of our lives every minute. And if we didn't set priorities it wouldn't flow well. We have animals that have to get water in the AM and PM or they die. Same with the food. My sons LOVE all the outside stuff. But they have no desire to do the inside stuff if they can help it. I am trying to raise not only sons but fathers and husbands which they will be someday. Their wives will need their help someday. They need to learn responsibility. So I guess their "work" (feeding, watering, mowing, taking out trash, helping haul hay, unloading dishes, switching laundry loads, hanging out laundry), which is done along side a parent for most of it is more important than play AT TIMES. When its done they are free to run and play and explore (all over 200 acres) to their hearts content. But would I say the work is negio. NO.
See, this is a perfect an example of a family for whom the paradigm of consensual living is not adequate.
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#255 of 261 Old 07-28-2006, 04:45 PM
 
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l_olive I found your post very thoughtful. There are many solutions I won't agree to as well, very similar to yours. I do think that force can be avoided alot of the time though. It isn't always easy though. Sometimes, for me, it only takes as much as waiting a minute and remembering that force can be avoided to open me up to finding out why the child is dissenting and work towards making it agreeable.

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#256 of 261 Old 07-28-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TripMom
That is what I'm saying . . . . I must be extremely unique in that my kids are seemingly unable to function at such an enlightened level. Funny? I'm around a lot of his playmates, classmates, neighbor kids the same age -- and he doesn't seem so different than they are . . . . but in comparison to the children of many posters on this board . . . . he seems positively psychologically delayed.
Nope. Mine too.

I could never have negotiated with my first (now 6yo) when he was 2 and 3. He just had no concept of if...then.... and it wasn't due to my coercion of him. He just didn't get it. You could say "first we get in the car to drive home, THEN we can have our lunch," over and over, and he'd be screaming about wanting LUNCH NOW LUNCH NOW (and the reason we couldn't have lunch NOW was that it was home, and he had to be in his carseat to get there).

I watched as "if.... then..." clicked for him, and it didnt' happen until WAY after some of the stories I read here. At that point, I could say things like "I know you don't like to take this medicine because it tastes bad, but it is going to chase away the germs that have made the infection in your chest." and he would *understand* the if-then, and the *reasoning* behind it. But he just didn't get those sorts of arguments as a toddler. He still has trouble with mathematical reasoning at 6yo. I think it's the way he's wired. He also got *very* stressed out by repeated attempts to reason with him or longwinded conversations about reasons. He'd shut down -- probably because processing them was difficult for him?

Little sister, on the other hand, is a lot more like some of the kids people post about. At <2yo, I could say "Well, we need to go change your poopies first, and then we can play trains. If we don't change your poopies, your butt will get sore." And she'd get it.

Every kid is different. Mine were approached with very similar outlooks, but had very different responses. I couldn't negotiate or rationlize with DS, and yes, it resulted in many more incidents that would be considered coersive or nonconsensual. We tried to structure our lives to avoid the worst of it, but like others who WOH, it wasn't always possible.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#257 of 261 Old 07-28-2006, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by irinam
I believe it's all in the intent - we all are challenged with something, be it single parenting, working outside of home, not being "financially stable", having multiple kids, etc., etc.,

I actually see that those challenges bring us closer together, and living consentually helps us all overcome those challenges.
:

I'm a single mom and I do my best to live consensually with ds. I'm not perfect, by any means, and being the sole source of income does make it more difficult, I think (it's been my experience, anyway - it became much more difficult once ds' dad and I split up).

In our house, my working is a non-negotiable. And because I'm in the beginning of a new career, working outside of the home is non-negotiable. Ds would prefer I didn't (he's said as much). It's not possible. And because I have to work, his going to school is a non-negotiable. What that meant for me, though, was finding a place for him that would approximate as closely as possible what he would experience at home. I've been able to do that, with his ongoing input. (For example, it was his choice to continue on at that school this year. He thought he might like to go to the public school where his neighborhood friends go. We talked about what a public school day looks like - both the positives and the negatives - and he chose to stay on where he is. ) It's worked out beautifully. We have the baseline non-negotiable, unfortunately, but we make choices within those parameters that turn them into positives.

It's always a struggle. But it's so much less a struggle, IMO, than it would be if our lives were about me making all of the decisions and him constantly resisting (which he would).
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#258 of 261 Old 07-28-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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I really don't get how this works, never directing or exerting authority in a parent-child relationship.

The only way I see it as possible is if the mother martyrs her own needs for the child's. Children do not have empathy and the same sense of responsibility we do. In the dishwasher example, I can't see it working to be "consensual" without giving in and just doing it.

And then the child learns that mama can be easily manipulated, if you don't do your chore mom will do it.

There is too much mama-as-martyr in this world, and I think it is not good for girl or boy children. And too much individualism, feeling that the child will be destroyed or damaged if their individuality is not regarded as paramount. What about a sense of collectivism? What about a sense of respect for the parent because they are the parent?

I don't see anything at all wrong with those concepts.
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#259 of 261 Old 07-28-2006, 07:31 PM
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I really don't get how this works, never directing or exerting authority in a parent-child relationship.

The only way I see it as possible is if the mother martyrs her own needs for the child's. Children do not have empathy and the same sense of responsibility we do. In the dishwasher example, I can't see it working to be "consensual" without giving in and just doing it.

And then the child learns that mama can be easily manipulated, if you don't do your chore mom will do it.

There is too much mama-as-martyr in this world, and I think it is not good for girl or boy children. And too much individualism, feeling that the child will be destroyed or damaged if their individuality is not regarded as paramount. What about a sense of collectivism? What about a sense of respect for the parent because they are the parent?

I don't see anything at all wrong with those concepts.
Well, Ill try to explain my point of view the best I can. I don't see myself martyring myself for my child, though I do sometimes put her wants before my own temporarily due for several reasons. One, being that it is agreeable to me and it is a choice I made and accept and embrace sometimes. Realizing that while I see us as equal beings, I also accept that I have been in the world longer, I hopefully have more impulse control, empathy, patience, and am able to see the big picture more accurately. This in no way means though that I spend my days, or even part of them on a regular basis putting my needs and wants aside for hers at my own expense. I will admit the occasional bout of mama-martyr syndrome, but I think almost ALL loving parents experience bouts of this now and again. The key for us (me and dh), is that when we do feel those feelings they are temporary, fleeting, and usually because we are choosing in the moment to feel "woe is me, I suffer so" rather than seeking a mutually agreeable solution. I see that as part of our issues (the rare time it happens) rather than an issue of our daughter's.

I reject the notion that children are manipulative, specifically to how it relates to us in the adult world as understanding manipulation. I think that sometimes children are unable to see the big picture as accurately, or have unmet needs or wants that haven't been adressed, and can be clever in their attempts to meet their needs and wants which can sometimes mimic manipulation. We don't have chores, and won't have chores. Just as my husband and I don't have chores --- we do what we need/want/agreed upon doing to keep the household running smoothly. My husband doesn't have any sanctions imposed if he doesn't do something, as I don't, nor my daughter (when she grows). It would be easy to go into bitch mode, or martyr mode "I ALWAYS CLEAN UP YOU NEVER DO!!" but again, while I think those feelings are normal and valid, I think they are unproductive. I have a need that is not being met. I would address that need with my husband (or daughter, whoever) and work to find a solution that meets everyone's needs/wants. I would help my daughter the same way I help my husband and vice versa.

I am a huge fan of individualism and I don't agree with your statement. There is a difference (imo) between a strong sense of self and of being a selfish person who is only out for themselves and no one else. I think collectivism begins with having a strong sense of self, a healthy relationship with one's self, a strong sense of personal boundaries and beliefs, and with being comfortable in knowing I can protect those boundaries. I think the very seed of even desiring to work together to meet the needs of all is knowing that one's own needs are met, and feeling safe and secure in giving of yourself to help meet the needs of others because your own needs are met.

I think your last statement struck me the most:
Quote:
What about a sense of respect for the parent because they are the parent?
I don't expect respect because I brought my daughter into the world, I expect respect because I am a fellow human being, and because I show her respect. Furthermore, I don't expect her to show me any more respect than I show her, which is why we live this way. I wouldn't demand a sense of respect from my daughter because I am her parent any more than I would feel the need to respect a man because he is a man, or expect an african american to respect me because I am white. Some might say those are examples are *completely different* but that was the way of thinking in the not too distant past (and even to some people now, not me of course).




I hope those answered some questions on my perspective on some matters.
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#260 of 261 Old 07-28-2006, 08:06 PM
 
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l_olive I found your post very thoughtful. There are many solutions I won't agree to as well, very similar to yours. I do think that force can be avoided alot of the time though. It isn't always easy though. Sometimes, for me, it only takes as much as waiting a minute and remembering that force can be avoided to open me up to finding out why the child is dissenting and work towards making it agreeable.
Thanks for your kind words. It often takes a lot for me to post.

I agree with you completely that force can be (and should be) avoided most of the time. I should have included that in my post.

--Olive
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#261 of 261 Old 07-28-2006, 11:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I reject the notion that children are manipulative, specifically to how it relates to us in the adult world as understanding manipulation.
I see where you are coming from as it relates to toddlers and young children, but I disagree that an 11 year old who doesn't want to do chores won't figure out that mama will do them if you wait long enough.

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I don't expect respect because I brought my daughter into the world, I expect respect because I am a fellow human being, and because I show her respect. Furthermore, I don't expect her to show me any more respect than I show her, which is why we live this way.
I don't expect my daughter's respect simply because I brought her into this world, but because I am her Mama, someone with significantly more life experience than she, the person who is charged to care for her and raise her safely into adulthood.

I have another example from my life this evening: my daughter was watching TV, and it was time to go to Value Village. She was not into it, and kept yelling, "I want my shows!" What to do about this within a model of consensual living? This kid cannot be negotiated into turning off the TV (well, she can be grudgingly convinced with promises of more TV later, but there are usually tears involved). She is a TV addict and would have it on from the time she wakes up til the time she falls asleep if she could. I always warn her, "one more show after this one." And she cries for two more, and when it's time to turn it off, she screams for another show no matter what we agreed upon.

I can't see how to be consensual about that.
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