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#121 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
Actually, the Hebrew word used in that verse is chanokh and means simply to raise a child in knowledge of the Lord or to dedicate. Interestingly enough, the word is only used three other times in Scripture, and in the other instances speaks of dedicating a house or a temple. It doesn't refer to discipline at all, but to love, and commitment on the part of the parent. Additionally, the structure of the original Hebrew allows for two possible interpretations: dedicate a child in the way he should go, or dedicate a child according to the way he goes (or according to his God-given nature and temperement). The problem with translations is that it never truly or completely captures the author's intent.
Thanks, I didn't know that . Someday I'll have to learn Hebrew.

But isn't "raising a child in knowledge of the Lord" basically the same thing--teach or train him in these values, and they'll stay with him?

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Forgive me for glossing over the rest of your post, but I really do think it comes down to this. It is not reasonable or appropriate to blanket train an infant. The very fact that one needs to resort to repetitive, behavioristic, controlling techniques to make it occur speaks to the fact that it is developmentally inappopriate.
It isn't behavioristic or controlling, and repetitive is how we learn. And it wasn't that repetitive; both of mine were blanket-trained within two days--hardly repetitive at all compared to getting them "don't-hit-your-sibling-trained," which we still occasionally need to work on.

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And again I ask, why? Just to show them that you are in charge? So you can push a child into "self-control" (which is really still mama-control) at an extremely early age? I'm completely serious here. I can't imagine one good reason in the circumstances you describe to blanket train a baby.
It has nothing to do with being in charge. It's a simple request I make of them, as you say, for my convenience. If I was in the living room playing with baby and the phone rang in the kitchen, I could put baby on the blanket and ask her to stay put, go into the kitchen, pick up the phone, and go straight back into the living room. The total time of baby unsupervised was less then one minute, but *even with babyproofing* I wouldn't want her to spend that minute roaming free in the living room. I suppose I could have picked her up and taken her to the kitchen, provoking a tantrum, but I thought teaching her something to keep her safe for a minute was more respectful.
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#122 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 02:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by liawbh
Seriously?

And when baby is screaming, and crying to get away? To follow her/his innate need to explore the surroundings and learn? Do you hold baby on the blanket? Stand over him/her?
No. They didn't scream or cry to get away. If they had I would have done something else.

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Except that wouldn't be accurate. "Teaching" and "learning" imply some sort of important future lesson, or developmental progress. Punishing a baby until he/she learns to sit in one spot, in contrdiction to developmental stage, instinct, and natural curiosity, is training. (And, yes, it is punishment. Behaviorally speaking, a punishment is the taking away of something enjoyable(negative punishment), or the inflicting of something unpleasant(positive punishment), in order to change a behavior. )


How is it punishment? Where is the taking away of something enjoyable or the inflicting of something unpleasant?
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#123 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 02:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
So why use a crate? Why not a doggie bed or something that isn't a cage?
Sigh. Because, for a dog, a confined crated area provides a sense of security, being in line with its origins as an animal that loves a den.

I give up. If you don't think it's worth babyproofing a living room thoroughly enough to let a baby "roam" for two minutes while you pick up a phone, I'm not gonna get any further discussing this with you than with my seventy-year old grandma.
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#124 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 03:05 AM
 
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You are taking away freedom, the developmentally appropriate behaviors of exploring, crawling, and playing. You are inflicting unnatural expectations, disapproval, enforced stillness.
The goal is to change behavior. The method used is punishment. It is a behavior modification technique, hence the word "training."

My child development books are in the bedroom with the sleepers right now, but I strongly suggest the OP and the PP research developmental stages and expectations. Babies are supposed to be curious and explore their world. It is the parents' responsibility to provide a safe space for this.
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#125 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 04:26 AM
 
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Brigiana, I will admit I am a little confused by what you are saying about the blanket. It sounds like you get your children acclimated to staying on blankets when they are infants, so in situations where you want them to stay in a certain area for a short period of time for your own peace of mind, they will obey. They are not caged in a playpen or kept out of a certain room or off the stairs by a baby gate. The space of the blanket merely symbolizes the area within a playpen with the edges of the blanket are analogous to the walls of the playpen, the barrier that should not be crossed. So you can simultaneously know that they are not truly confined and could conceivably move off the blanket if they so desired, but you know they will not. That is where I get hung up.

Is it their desire to do what you ask that keeps them on the blanket when they are young? Then when they reach a different developmental stage where they are likely to test the boundary and leave the blanket, that is when they've outgrown it and you give it up? I'm not sure I see the point, really. If I were leaving a room for a short period of time where I felt like I could trust my baby to stay on a blanket, I wouldn't really need the baby to stay on the blanket. If I had a roaming toddler and I needed him to stay on the blanket just because he could so quickly be into mischief even in the minute I was gone, I'm not sure I could fully trust him to stay on the blanket. I guess if you start when they are much younger, though, they become accustomed to it and maybe it seems normal and doesn't occur to them to question it as much for awhile.

I like the idea that you are telling a child that you trust her enough to stay in a certain space and that's why you don't need a physical restraint, but at the same time I'm wondering what is guiding the child. With a playpen or baby gate, there is a physical barrier, and the child comes in contact with it with his various senses. So the brain sees the physical restraint and the child understands there is a barrier and may not like it and will figure out different ways of making things change in the situation by trying to physically manipulate it, or make noises and voice displeasure at being in the playpen. Or maybe he will find it interesting to explore and tolerate the confinement for a short time before looking for a way out. But with a potential barrier, a blanket where he could move off at any time, how does it work? Is he interested in what is in the space for awhile, and then when he starts fussing, you no longer ask him to stay on the blanket? It sounds like the baby stays on the blanket because he's been asked to, and knows that if he tries to get off, he'll just be put back. So it's the exercise in futility.

Gordon Neufeld, the author of Hold On to Your Kids, gave a talk at the last LLL conference I attended about the keys to resourcefulness in children being futility. Helping children to realize a situation is futile, to accept it, and to move on. Supposedly this helps them figure things out in new and different ways as the brain only learns when given new situations. I think I heard something similar on NPR Science Friday about the human brain needing novelty to develop. So now I'm just trying to understand what makes the blanket more respectful or useful than, say, a baby gate keeping a child in a room or out of another room.

I'm not sure why I've gone on about this as such length, and what it is I'm really stuck on, it just seems like the child is staying on the blanket for a different reason than being faced with a physical barrier that he can't traverse--it's because an adult constantly moves him back onto the blanket and eventually he learns either that this adult is happy when he complies, or that he doesn't like the frustration of being moved back to the blanket just when he's gotten somewhere, so he gives up.

I end up doing similar things with my children, except that the only thing that is consistent about me is my inconsistency. So I know my toddler hates to hold hands if she wants to run, and I want her to run, but when she runs in the street I grab her up and put her back on the sidewalk. So she keeps trying and I keep grabbing her, and eventually she just runs in the grass or on the sidewalk, especially if I show signs of unhappiness when she runs in the street. I know that in my household, I use my displeasure and even anger as signs to my children that certain behaviors or situations are not ideal, hoping it will spur them to do something that they feel has a better outcome. I'm not sure it has ever really worked, though. LOL

Anyway, I think I'm just hung up on something about this blanket training thing, like there is a concept I don't understand. I have put blankets on the floor for pre-crawlers and after a long time of rolling and inching along, they have gotten off the blanket. So I would straighten it all out, move it a little and put the baby back down for more exploration. My goal was mainly to keep them off the dirty carpet.

I think at the bottom line what is hanging me up is the barrier to moving off the blanket is a reaction from an adult, which has a different emotional component than, say, the physical barrier provided by a gate. When I was a child, I obeyed pretty well, and my fear of censure by an adult was so severe that I did what I was told even when I misunderstood and thought my life was in danger. So maybe I have a strong reaction to that just as you have a strong reaction to physical restraints.
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#126 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 08:40 AM
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The Proverbial, "Train up" a child is "Channuk," as AnnMarie noted.

Channuk is best translated as "Dedicate," it is the same word as the holiday, Channukah, which is the "Feast of Dedication." (as in the Macabees wanted to *dedicate* the Temple, couldn't find the oil for the Menorrah, and the scant bit of oil they had (one day's worth) lasted eight (which gave them time to make a batch of oil to continue with the lights burning, hence the name of the holiday.

Oh, I did that nerd thing, sorry.

The *only* time Channuk is translated "train up" is here in the Proverbs verse directed at *children.*

Is there something wrong with the Holy Scripture? NO!! I hold suspect the Northern European *men* who would translate "Dedicate" over and over again with the only exception, "train up" as it relates to children.

"Dedicate your child in the way he should go and when he grows old he will not depart from it." sounds more in harmony with gentle parenting methodology.

Now, I will accept that there is an occasional rare child who is content to sit on a blanket and just sort of be there, but that is very extremely rare in healthy children. If one of mine sat there I would be worried about an illness, seriously.

For the rest of the children (the vast majority,) blanket training is equated with those invisible fences for dogs. Oh, how cute, nice doggy-doggy-doggy. He won't go near the border because he has been *shocked* sufficiently to not take his chances.

What's wrong with this picture?

First, it's mean, even for dogs.

Second, I really don't care if a dog is stunted mentally, but I don't want to see children stunted mentally and if you are a young child sitting pretty on a blanket you aren't *doing* *exploring* doing what needs to be done to integrate your environment into your neural network.

All those opportunities to learn are being wasted.

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#127 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 10:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DebraBaker
The Proverbial, "Train up" a child is "Channuk," as AnnMarie noted.

Channuk is best translated as "Dedicate," it is the same word as the holiday, Channukah, which is the "Feast of Dedication." (as in the Macabees wanted to *dedicate* the Temple, couldn't find the oil for the Menorrah, and the scant bit of oil they had (one day's worth) lasted eight (which gave them time to make a batch of oil to continue with the lights burning, hence the name of the holiday.

Oh, I did that nerd thing, sorry.

The *only* time Channuk is translated "train up" is here in the Proverbs verse directed at *children.*

Is there something wrong with the Holy Scripture? NO!! I hold suspect the Northern European *men* who would translate "Dedicate" over and over again with the only exception, "train up" as it relates to children.

"Dedicate your child in the way he should go and when he grows old he will not depart from it." sounds more in harmony with gentle parenting methodology.
Exactly! A woman after my own heart. I was very sleepy last night when posting. Another time channuk is used is when a man builds and "dedicates" a new house. He is expected to take a leave from his job (I believe in this case it's military) and dedicate his entire life to building up his new home for a year. It seems to me to be the antithesis of the concept of blanket training. The man is not expected to bend the house to his will, but to seep it in love and gentleness and make it his very life. It's anything but convenient, I'm sure. It's the type of mindset I believe God calls us to have as mothers. When Paul said that "women will be saved through childbirth" I truly believe he didn't mean through the actual act of childbearing, but through the grace that comes from a daily dieing to self and doing things not out of convenience but out of a sense of love and channuk, making our very lives a dedication.

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#128 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 10:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
But isn't "raising a child in knowledge of the Lord" basically the same thing--teach or train him in these values, and they'll stay with him?
No, I don't believe so. See my below post. I believe Solomon was issuing a directive that had more to do with our personal attitudes and behaviors as parents than with our actions towards our children.


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It isn't behavioristic or controlling, and repetitive is how we learn. And it wasn't that repetitive; both of mine were blanket-trained within two days--hardly repetitive at all compared to getting them "don't-hit-your-sibling-trained," which we still occasionally need to work on.
Of course it's behavioristic! You are creating an environment (a Skinner blanket it you will) and a reward (mama's approval) and a punishment (mama's disapproval) and Baby has absolutely no choice in the matter. She will comply, or she will face punishment, no matter how benign that punishment is.


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It has nothing to do with being in charge. It's a simple request I make of them, as you say, for my convenience. If I was in the living room playing with baby and the phone rang in the kitchen, I could put baby on the blanket and ask her to stay put, go into the kitchen, pick up the phone, and go straight back into the living room. The total time of baby unsupervised was less then one minute, but *even with babyproofing* I wouldn't want her to spend that minute roaming free in the living room. I suppose I could have picked her up and taken her to the kitchen, provoking a tantrum, but I thought teaching her something to keep her safe for a minute was more respectful.
We're still talking about an eight-month-old, correct? If your living room is so unsafe that you cannot trust your baby daughter in there alone for a minute, then I think it is foolish to trust her to stay on a blanket. She is, after all, only a baby, and no matter how well-trained you think you have her, she could still venture off the blanket.

To be honest, your reasoning reminds me a bit of people who claim they have to spank for safety issues. I always think really? So after you spank your one-year-old, are you really going to let go of their hand in a busy parking lot because, after all, you have now "trained" them not to run in front of a car? Of course not. They're still impetuous, will-driven children. The spanking serves only to vent the fear and anger in the parent. It's a false sense of security.

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#129 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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My heart fell into my stomach when I actually saw blanket-training advocated here.
Thank you AnnetteMarie and DebraBaker for being able to respond in such an intelligent and experienced manner.
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#130 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
It's the type of mindset I believe God calls us to have as mothers. When Paul said that "women will be saved through childbirth" I truly believe he didn't mean through the actual act of childbearing, but through the grace that comes from a daily dieing to self and doing things not out of convenience but out of a sense of love and channuk, making our very lives a dedication.
Thanks for this clarification! I always wondered what it meant. I had heard that it meant that the only way a woman could be saved was to give birth and that with out any pain medication and what not. Can't remember where I heard it but it was when I was a child -probably from my dad's uncle who's - anyway I felt guilty about having pain relief with dd. My dh assures me that it doesn't mean that at all
As far as blanket training I've never heard of it but I definately don't agree with it.

Me : DD 5/05: DS1 7/06 : DS2 11/07: DS3 3/10
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#131 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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#132 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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I have less than no interest in teaching my kids to obey me. We're almost totally non-coercive for preschoolers and up. I just don't think its feasible nor wise to be totally non-coercive with babies.
You know, I have been posting and reading at Mothering for about 6 years, and this is on of the oddest statements I've ever read. Could you explain what this means?

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#133 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 06:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
Sigh. Because, for a dog, a confined crated area provides a sense of security, being in line with its origins as an animal that loves a den.
Okay, I didn't know that. None of the dog owners I know keep them in crates except to transport them.

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I give up. If you don't think it's worth babyproofing a living room thoroughly enough to let a baby "roam" for two minutes while you pick up a phone, I'm not gonna get any further discussing this with you than with my seventy-year old grandma
.

My house is babyproofed, but babyproofing isn't 100%. Besides which there are certainly times when it *isn't* babyproofed, in which case if I'm not right there watching the baby at that exact moment, baby needs to stay safely on the blanket.



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Originally Posted by liawbh
You are taking away freedom, the developmentally appropriate behaviors of exploring, crawling, and playing. You are inflicting unnatural expectations, disapproval, enforced stillness.
The goal is to change behavior. The method used is punishment. It is a behavior modification technique, hence the word "training."

My child development books are in the bedroom with the sleepers right now, but I strongly suggest the OP and the PP research developmental stages and expectations. Babies are supposed to be curious and explore their world. It is the parents' responsibility to provide a safe space for this.
By your definition, any teaching of a child of anything would be "punishment." I know that babies are meant to be curious and explore. I have given them plenty of time to explore. Is picking up a baby to keep him safe "punishment"? If not, than how is asking him to stay in one place punishment?
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#134 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Viola
Brigiana, I will admit I am a little confused by what you are saying about the blanket. It sounds like you get your children acclimated to staying on blankets when they are infants, so in situations where you want them to stay in a certain area for a short period of time for your own peace of mind, they will obey. They are not caged in a playpen or kept out of a certain room or off the stairs by a baby gate. The space of the blanket merely symbolizes the area within a playpen with the edges of the blanket are analogous to the walls of the playpen, the barrier that should not be crossed. So you can simultaneously know that they are not truly confined and could conceivably move off the blanket if they so desired, but you know they will not.
Right. That's the point exactly.

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That is where I get hung up.

Is it their desire to do what you ask that keeps them on the blanket when they are young? Then when they reach a different developmental stage where they are likely to test the boundary and leave the blanket, that is when they've outgrown it and you give it up?
Right, I'm not punishing them; they have a desire to do what I ask. If they left the blanket I reminded them that I wanted them to stay there. They weren't being defient; they just needed to be reminded. I think they outgrow it when they can be trusted to stay safe in one place without the blanket to remind them.

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I'm not sure I see the point, really. If I were leaving a room for a short period of time where I felt like I could trust my baby to stay on a blanket, I wouldn't really need the baby to stay on the blanket. If I had a roaming toddler and I needed him to stay on the blanket just because he could so quickly be into mischief even in the minute I was gone, I'm not sure I could fully trust him to stay on the blanket. I guess if you start when they are much younger, though, they become accustomed to it and maybe it seems normal and doesn't occur to them to question it as much for awhile.
It's not so much a matter of trusting as much as a baby's having a better ability to understand simple, tangible requests--staying within the boundaries of a blanket--than complex, generic requests like "stay here," "don't get into trouble," etc.

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I like the idea that you are telling a child that you trust her enough to stay in a certain space and that's why you don't need a physical restraint, but at the same time I'm wondering what is guiding the child. With a playpen or baby gate, there is a physical barrier, and the child comes in contact with it with his various senses. So the brain sees the physical restraint and the child understands there is a barrier and may not like it and will figure out different ways of making things change in the situation by trying to physically manipulate it, or make noises and voice displeasure at being in the playpen. Or maybe he will find it interesting to explore and tolerate the confinement for a short time before looking for a way out. But with a potential barrier, a blanket where he could move off at any time, how does it work? Is he interested in what is in the space for awhile, and then when he starts fussing, you no longer ask him to stay on the blanket? It sounds like the baby stays on the blanket because he's been asked to, and knows that if he tries to get off, he'll just be put back. So it's the exercise in futility.
There's an element of futility I suppose, but I think mostly it's because I ask them to and they want to do what I ask.

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Gordon Neufeld, the author of Hold On to Your Kids, gave a talk at the last LLL conference I attended about the keys to resourcefulness in children being futility. Helping children to realize a situation is futile, to accept it, and to move on. Supposedly this helps them figure things out in new and different ways as the brain only learns when given new situations. I think I heard something similar on NPR Science Friday about the human brain needing novelty to develop. So now I'm just trying to understand what makes the blanket more respectful or useful than, say, a baby gate keeping a child in a room or out of another room.
It's more respectful because you're trusting baby's own sense of self-control, not an external restraint. When we (adults) are asked to stay in, for example, a waiting room, there's no gate keeping us there, but we stay because we're asked to and it's expected of us. There might be a door or a sign saying "only authorized people beyond this point" or some such, which are symbolic barriers, like the edges of a blanket, but I would be very suspicious of a place that had an actual lock or gate. Along similar lines, I refuse to shop at clothing stores that have locked dressing rooms. If you don't trust me as a customer not to steal from you, I'm not going to trust you with my money.

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I'm not sure why I've gone on about this as such length, and what it is I'm really stuck on, it just seems like the child is staying on the blanket for a different reason than being faced with a physical barrier that he can't traverse--it's because an adult constantly moves him back onto the blanket and eventually he learns either that this adult is happy when he complies, or that he doesn't like the frustration of being moved back to the blanket just when he's gotten somewhere, so he gives up.
Right--because he learns that the expectation is to stay on the blanket, so he does.

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I end up doing similar things with my children, except that the only thing that is consistent about me is my inconsistency. So I know my toddler hates to hold hands if she wants to run, and I want her to run, but when she runs in the street I grab her up and put her back on the sidewalk. So she keeps trying and I keep grabbing her, and eventually she just runs in the grass or on the sidewalk, especially if I show signs of unhappiness when she runs in the street. I know that in my household, I use my displeasure and even anger as signs to my children that certain behaviors or situations are not ideal, hoping it will spur them to do something that they feel has a better outcome. I'm not sure it has ever really worked, though. LOL
That seems totally consistent to me--it's okay to run in the grass or sidewalk, but not on the street. And there's a distinct line between sidewalk and street, like the edge of a blanket.

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I think at the bottom line what is hanging me up is the barrier to moving off the blanket is a reaction from an adult, which has a different emotional component than, say, the physical barrier provided by a gate. When I was a child, I obeyed pretty well, and my fear of censure by an adult was so severe that I did what I was told even when I misunderstood and thought my life was in danger. So maybe I have a strong reaction to that just as you have a strong reaction to physical restraints.
There is a different emotional component, and I know that I'm biased about physical restraints because of my own issues. But I'm saying "please stay on the blanket," not "I won't love you anymore if you get off the blanket." I guess I just don't see how it's any different from any other type of request. But it's certainly eliciting strong responses from people, so maybe I'm just not getting it.
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#135 of 166 Old 04-14-2006, 06:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DebraBaker
The Proverbial, "Train up" a child is "Channuk," as AnnMarie noted.

Channuk is best translated as "Dedicate," it is the same word as the holiday, Channukah, which is the "Feast of Dedication." (as in the Macabees wanted to *dedicate* the Temple, couldn't find the oil for the Menorrah, and the scant bit of oil they had (one day's worth) lasted eight (which gave them time to make a batch of oil to continue with the lights burning, hence the name of the holiday.

Oh, I did that nerd thing, sorry.

The *only* time Channuk is translated "train up" is here in the Proverbs verse directed at *children.*

Is there something wrong with the Holy Scripture? NO!! I hold suspect the Northern European *men* who would translate "Dedicate" over and over again with the only exception, "train up" as it relates to children.

"Dedicate your child in the way he should go and when he grows old he will not depart from it." sounds more in harmony with gentle parenting methodology.

Now, I will accept that there is an occasional rare child who is content to sit on a blanket and just sort of be there, but that is very extremely rare in healthy children. If one of mine sat there I would be worried about an illness, seriously.

For the rest of the children (the vast majority,) blanket training is equated with those invisible fences for dogs. Oh, how cute, nice doggy-doggy-doggy. He won't go near the border because he has been *shocked* sufficiently to not take his chances.

What's wrong with this picture?

First, it's mean, even for dogs.

Second, I really don't care if a dog is stunted mentally, but I don't want to see children stunted mentally and if you are a young child sitting pretty on a blanket you aren't *doing* *exploring* doing what needs to be done to integrate your environment into your neural network.

All those opportunities to learn are being wasted.

Debra Baker
I'm sure it's my own inability to understand, but I don't get "dedicate" in the context of a child--how do you dedicate a child? It would seem that they translated it as "train" or "raise up" based on the context.

I am not putting electrical collars on my children. If y'all are so insistant on using animal analogies, maybe a better one would be cows (I think it's cows--animal people, am I right?) who will stay in a field with a small, symbolic fence around it because they see the fence and know they aren't supposed to cross it.

What opportunities to learn are being wasted in the 5 minutes the baby might spend on the blanket? And who says he can't learn while on the blanket? And isn't learning about boundaries and self-control learning?
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Of course it's behavioristic! You are creating an environment (a Skinner blanket it you will) and a reward (mama's approval) and a punishment (mama's disapproval) and Baby has absolutely no choice in the matter. She will comply, or she will face punishment, no matter how benign that punishment is.
How is this different from any other teaching or expectation or request? I am really not getting this. How is "please stay on the blanket" different from "please don't throw your food" or anything else?

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We're still talking about an eight-month-old, correct? If your living room is so unsafe that you cannot trust your baby daughter in there alone for a minute, then I think it is foolish to trust her to stay on a blanket. She is, after all, only a baby, and no matter how well-trained you think you have her, she could still venture off the blanket.
I *started* teaching them at 8 months. Maybe I just have the mellowest kids ever known, but it's never been a problem.

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To be honest, your reasoning reminds me a bit of people who claim they have to spank for safety issues. I always think really? So after you spank your one-year-old, are you really going to let go of their hand in a busy parking lot because, after all, you have now "trained" them not to run in front of a car? Of course not. They're still impetuous, will-driven children. The spanking serves only to vent the fear and anger in the parent. It's a false sense of security.
In many cases they probably have trained them. I am against spanking and punishment because it's morally wrong and a violation of the child's natural God-given human rights and dignity. But I don't dispute it's effectiveness. Violence does work, and if you beat someone into submission he probably will submit. Of course it's still wrong.
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You know, I have been posting and reading at Mothering for about 6 years, and this is on of the oddest statements I've ever read. Could you explain what this means?
I mean that while I think it's best to let children do what they want and make their own choices as much as possible, young vulnerable babies need more guidence which is necessarily going to be coercive. That isn't much of an explanation; sorry. This board is wearing me out!
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i actually think that by dedicate they mean consecrate (or baptize). in the church that i was raised and i am rasing my daughter, when a child is baptized the parents and godparents (who speak for the child too young to speak for themselves) agree to be responsible for seeing that the child is brought up in the Christian faith and life.
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i actually think that by dedicate they mean consecrate (or baptize). in the church that i was raised and i am rasing my daughter, when a child is baptized the parents and godparents (who speak for the child too young to speak for themselves) agree to be responsible for seeing that the child is brought up in the Christian faith and life.
That makes sense, but Proverbs is Old Testament, so before baptism was 'invented.' I don't know; I still think it's talking about teaching because of the context. I could be wrong .
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That makes sense, but Proverbs is Old Testament, so before baptism was 'invented.' I don't know; I still think it's talking about teaching because of the context. I could be wrong .
dedicate...consecrate...bless...(in the christian context)baptise...mark as christ's own...
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dedicate...consecrate...bless...(in the christian context)baptise...mark as christ's own...
I don't think so. If you look at the other contexts in which the Hebrew word is used, it's more of a complete seeping in a lifestyle rather than an individual "event" in a church. It's a radical change in the lifestyle of the person in authority, not in the baby. At least that's how I read it.

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That makes sense, but Proverbs is Old Testament, so before baptism was 'invented.' I don't know; I still think it's talking about teaching because of the context. I could be wrong .
What context would that be? The entire book of Proverbs is written by King Solomon to a "young man" (Hebrew na'ar) Even once one gets past what the Hebrew for "train" truly means, one still has to address the fact that Solomon wasn't talking about little babies or even young children, but a young man. The book of Proverbs addresses sexuality, drinking, gambling, promiscuity, marriage. It was never meant to be a guide for raising small children. The only time na'ar is translated as child is the training (which, again, is somewhat of a mistranslation, or an inaccurate one to say the least) and the ever-controversial rod verse.

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Y'all....this is veering very close into Religious Studies now. Please, either stick to the original topic or start a new thread. If the new thread relates to religious topics, let's move to Religious Studies, ok?

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding

I have retired from administration work, so if you have a question about anything MDC-related, please contact Cynthia Mosher. Thanks!
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
How is this different from any other teaching or expectation or request? I am really not getting this. How is "please stay on the blanket" different from "please don't throw your food" or anything else?
We don't throw our food because it is wasteful and messy and attracts ants.
We don't stand up and dance on the table because it is bad for the table and, if we fall, bad for our heads.
We don't drive without being in the car seat because it is against the law and because it is not safe, and we are not respecting our bodies that God gave us if we don't do what we can to keep safe.
We don't get off our blanket...why? Because Mama says so? And again I ask, why?

Yes, there is an element of behavioristic theory to just about any rule enforcement. I wasn't the one who argued that blanket training wasn't behavioristic; you were. However, I think that the behaviorist theory applies to the basest, most primal parts of who we are and should be used sparingly and with great caution. God wants so much more for us than to act and react based on reward and punishment.

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I *started* teaching them at 8 months. Maybe I just have the mellowest kids ever known, but it's never been a problem.
Maybe you do. I would be interested to hear what your plan would be if they didn't comply.

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In many cases they probably have trained them. I am against spanking and punishment because it's morally wrong and a violation of the child's natural God-given human rights and dignity. But I don't dispute it's effectiveness. Violence does work, and if you beat someone into submission he probably will submit. Of course it's still wrong.
I think you're missing my point. I don't care how harshly you "trained" a child. Any parent who allows a child to wander around a parking lot unrestrained is an idiot, training or no training. Children are wildly unpredictable beings, and you can't smack, whip, or blanket train it out of them. I think it is utter foolishness to think that you have somehow trained the child's natural inclination to explore out of them.

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I don't think so. If you look at the other contexts in which the Hebrew word is used, it's more of a complete seeping in a lifestyle rather than an individual "event" in a church. It's a radical change in the lifestyle of the person in authority, not in the baby. At least that's how I read it.
that is more clearly what i was trying to get at actually. just using the parents' and godparents' vow at baptise to be responsible for the child's relationship with God. not the event so as the next day and the next, etc. you put it very well that it's the adult not the child. the child doesn't change the adult changes for the good of the child.

although i see a connection in action.
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Y'all....this is veering very close into Religious Studies now. Please, either stick to the original topic or start a new thread. If the new thread relates to religious topics, let's move to Religious Studies, ok?

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding
Is there a way to just chop the baby in half and move the religious half to Spirituality?

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Is there a way to just chop the baby in half and move the religious half to Spirituality?
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I mean that while I think it's best to let children do what they want and make their own choices as much as possible, young vulnerable babies need more guidence which is necessarily going to be coercive. That isn't much of an explanation; sorry. This board is wearing me out!
I'm sorry you feel worn out by this.

I want to point out that what you have explained here leaves more questions than answers, for me at least.

I dislike using labels. It is helpful to use them here to illustrate my questions. I think all the gentle discipline books recommended at MDC begin with a paradigm of infants being driven by needs. The parents role, within ap, is seen as understanding and meeting all of an infants needs. Needs are not distinguished from wants with an infant. What baby wants, baby needs as the saying goes. Gentle discipline picks up at the point that the baby wants something that could hurt them, or that they cannot have. GD with an infant is little more than finding what a baby will accept instead of the dangerous object, or finding a way to make it safe for them, or holding them and giving support if the baby is upset and cries (maybe they wanted a balloon that just floated away). As the baby grows into a toddler and a preschooler, GD grows in correspondence to the developmental awareness of the child. Wants begin to distinguish from needs, and the parent continues to meet all needs, while possibly deciding not to meet all wants.

You mentioned non coercion with your older children. Again, the philosophy of consensual living, or TCS, would be one that stayed the same from birth onward. Possibly, and realistically, even within consensual living an infant is likely to have all needs met, and not until they are a bit older will the parent be looking for agreeable solutions. That's not something said, it's just how it tends to work out.

So, you seem to have reversed this way of thinking.

It might help you to clarify your idea's if I point out that the other parenting theories that would agree to some extent with a reversal of the gentle discipline/ap process are the Pearls. They believe that by strict conditioning from earliest infancy, the need for discipline should be essentially gone (according to Pearl) by age 7.

So I'm trying to pick through your posts and grasp what you are saying.

If you have rejected ap and consensual living with infants but accepted it with older children, please understand I have never heard of anyone else doing that. I can't assume anything at all, as this is a completely new idea to me. I'd like to understand your reasons. The very nature of needs and wants as viewed in the parenting philosophies I've mentioned are defined as going from a state of total need-----> a state of wants and needs (ap and consensual living would deal with the wants differently).

My first questions would be: If a parent is willing and prepared to offer non coercion to a boisterous, mobile, verbal, highly opinionated 3 year old, what is the reason the parent could not offer this when that child was a 1 year old? What does a 1 year old do that requires coercion, which a child does not do at 3?

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We don't throw our food because it is wasteful and messy and attracts ants.
We don't stand up and dance on the table because it is bad for the table and, if we fall, bad for our heads.
We don't drive without being in the car seat because it is against the law and because it is not safe, and we are not respecting our bodies that God gave us if we don't do what we can to keep safe.
We don't get off our blanket...why? Because Mama says so? And again I ask, why?
Because we need to stay safe. And when they're old enough to understand the examples you gave, they're probably old enough not to need the blanket.

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Yes, there is an element of behavioristic theory to just about any rule enforcement. I wasn't the one who argued that blanket training wasn't behavioristic; you were. However, I think that the behaviorist theory applies to the basest, most primal parts of who we are and should be used sparingly and with great caution. God wants so much more for us than to act and react based on reward and punishment.
I am against behaviorism, especially with regards to children. I don't punish them or reward them (I do occasionally bribe them, but that's a bit different). Asking someone to do something isn't behavioristic. I'm not conditioning them to stay on the blanket, I'm teaching them. There's a difference.

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Maybe you do. I would be interested to hear what your plan would be if they didn't comply.
It would depend--if it was when we were first starting, I would keep putting him back on the blanket and wait for him to figure it out. If this happened over and over again and he never caught on, I would think he was too young and wait a couple of months to try again. If he had been doing it successfully for a while and he just decided one day he wasn't going to stay on the blanket, I would just remind him, and if he still wouldn't do it, I would give up and do something else.

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I think you're missing my point. I don't care how harshly you "trained" a child. Any parent who allows a child to wander around a parking lot unrestrained is an idiot, training or no training. Children are wildly unpredictable beings, and you can't smack, whip, or blanket train it out of them. I think it is utter foolishness to think that you have somehow trained the child's natural inclination to explore out of them.
Maybe not completely, but you can teach them some self-control. By your standard, why should we bother teaching them anything? Why would you say "We don't throw food because it's wasteful and messy," etc. if they aren't capable of learning self-control?

And I'm not *trying* to train my kids' natural inclination to explore out of them. I teach them to explore *in appropriate ways.* The same as you teach them (I would hope) that it's not okay to explore the sharp knives, or it's not okay to explore some things by putting them in your mouth. That doesn't mean you're training their inclination to explore out of them.
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Originally Posted by heartmama
I'm sorry you feel worn out by this.

I want to point out that what you have explained here leaves more questions than answers, for me at least.

I dislike using labels. It is helpful to use them here to illustrate my questions. I think all the gentle discipline books recommended at MDC begin with a paradigm of infants being driven by needs. The parents role, within ap, is seen as understanding and meeting all of an infants needs. Needs are not distinguished from wants with an infant. What baby wants, baby needs as the saying goes. Gentle discipline picks up at the point that the baby wants something that could hurt them, or that they cannot have. GD with an infant is little more than finding what a baby will accept instead of the dangerous object, or finding a way to make it safe for them, or holding them and giving support if the baby is upset and cries (maybe they wanted a balloon that just floated away). As the baby grows into a toddler and a preschooler, GD grows in correspondence to the developmental awareness of the child. Wants begin to distinguish from needs, and the parent continues to meet all needs, while possibly deciding not to meet all wants.

You mentioned non coercion with your older children. Again, the philosophy of consensual living, or TCS, would be one that stayed the same from birth onward. Possibly, and realistically, even within consensual living an infant is likely to have all needs met, and not until they are a bit older will the parent be looking for agreeable solutions. That's not something said, it's just how it tends to work out.

So, you seem to have reversed this way of thinking.

It might help you to clarify your idea's if I point out that the other parenting theories that would agree to some extent with a reversal of the gentle discipline/ap process are the Pearls. They believe that by strict conditioning from earliest infancy, the need for discipline should be essentially gone (according to Pearl) by age 7.

So I'm trying to pick through your posts and grasp what you are saying.

If you have rejected ap and consensual living with infants but accepted it with older children, please understand I have never heard of anyone else doing that. I can't assume anything at all, as this is a completely new idea to me. I'd like to understand your reasons. The very nature of needs and wants as viewed in the parenting philosophies I've mentioned are defined as going from a state of total need-----> a state of wants and needs (ap and consensual living would deal with the wants differently).

My first questions would be: If a parent is willing and prepared to offer non coercion to a boisterous, mobile, verbal, highly opinionated 3 year old, what is the reason the parent could not offer this when that child was a 1 year old? What does a 1 year old do that requires coercion, which a child does not do at 3?
I'll try to answer this as best I can, but I'm not that articulate and I'm not as clear on the terms of discussion as I thought I was. First of all I disagree with your first premise that a baby's needs are the same as his wants. Because babies are new in the world and don't know everything they need to know yet, they can't completely know their own needs. So I do believe that, for very young children, it is part of our job as parents to protect them even from themselves. This diminishes as they become more aware of the world and more able to make rational informed choices. But I do think we can deprive babies of certain wants without depriving them of their needs, and we should deprive them of their wants when their wants conflict with their needs. For example, both of my children were very oral babies--if it went in their hands, it went in their mouths. As an adult, I knew that they could catch germs or possibly choke from this. They didn't know that, though, they just thought "this is a cool-looking thing, I wonder what it tastes like." But I would have been irresponsible to let them do this, because they weren't making an informed choice. And this is where I think ap and respectful parenting comes in--instead of just taking away things they wanted to taste or punishing them, I gently corrected them and gave them access to things they *could* put in their mouths (teething rings, binkies, my fingers...)

Non-coercion is not the same as tcs. I don't agree with tcs (actually I don't agree with Ayn Rand for any age group). What I mean by non-coercion is that I let my kids make their own choices about their own lives as much as possible. But a baby (which I'm arbitrarily defining as about under age 2) is not capable of making his own choices about his own life. He is naturally self-regulating in some areas, and I do allow a lot more self-regulating than the mainstream approach, but he doesn't have the knowledge, experience, or maturity to really understand. So it's the parents' job to make decisions for him. Now as I understand it, the ap approach is to make this as pleasant as possible for him and also give him the maximum amount of freedom that baby's safety and mommy's sanity will permit.

My kids are 6 and 3, and they are pretty much treated non-coercively, especially compared to mainstream kids their age. They eat what and when they want, sleep when they want, basically do whatever they want all day. I don't require them to do school or housework, although they often want to. There is really only one non-negotiable "rule" at our house, which is "no hurting another person, even in play." Everything else is up for discussion and consensus. We aren't perfect, but I try to give them the most free environment possible. There is some coercion in that sometimes they have to do things they don't want to do, but sometimes I do things I don't want to do, so it sort of evens out. I don't believe that adults are morally superior to children. I do believe that we know more and should teach what we know to our kids and keep them safe until they can figure it out for themselves.

As to the Pearls--I actually wasn't familiar with the Pearl child-rearing practices (if they can be called that) until I read about them on this site. I knew about No Greater Joy ministries and "Created to be his Helpmeet" and I knew they advocated corporal punishment of children, which I don't agree with, but I didn't know about beating infants with plumbing pipes until I read about it here. Suffice it to say this really taints everything else they have to say. But there is a Jesuit saying that makes a similar point--"Give me a boy before he is ten, and I have the man." Now I don't agree with tabula rasa (the idea that children are completely the products of their environment and upbringing with no innate characteristics or personality), but I do agree with the value of early childhood teaching/training/learning/discipline/guidance/whatever you want to call it. I wouldn't say conditioning because that suggests the removal of free will, but I do understand the point. I make almost all choices for an infant. I make a few choices for my 3 yr old. I make fewer choices for my 6 yr old. By the time they're teenagers I won't be making any choices for them about their lives, except maybe in some kind of bizzare scenario. Basically I believe in giving the maximum possible amount of freedom to kids as soon as they can understand it, but not before.

So does that answer your question?
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