TCS Discussion 4 - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 56 Old 01-29-2002, 12:58 PM
 
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Raven wrote:

"Aren't there times when a parent *needs* to assert their 'theory' or opinion? "

If you mean, to force a child to comply with what the parent thinks is the right thing to do but the child does not agree, then I think it would be a mistake to follow that course of action. It sets children and parents up as opponents and brings about a lot of bad feelings- resentment, anger, revenge. It sets kids up to rebel, where they might take action without good advice and information and support and get themselves into a tight spot without anyone to turn to for help.

But certainly, a parent and child who are willing to listen to each other will share their theories and opinions with respect and concern and love and all that, in seeking a common preference, engaging creativity and creating new knowledge for them all.

"I mean, as parents we have been where our kids are...we know the pros and cons better than they do merely because we have already been there. "

We have been in similar situations, at a different time in history, and as ourselves, not as them. They are different people than their parents are. They might have a different set of pros and cons, different priorities, different goals, in a different world than ours was when growing up. As parents, we can offer what we have learned from our experiences and what we think the consequences of a proposed course of action will be for our child now, but each person has to make their own choices in life.

Is there a better way than learning to make decisions based upon one's own best interests (and about how one's own best interests are intertwined with other people's best interests which is an important consideration but does not supercede one's own best interests, imo) with support and good advice and information from trusted sources?
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#32 of 56 Old 01-29-2002, 01:04 PM
 
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Raven wrote:

"quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
****For example, if my 16 year old child came home and decided that he wanted to shave his head because all of his neo-nazi friends were doing it - I would not allow it in my home.****
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I would ask myself what my son is lacking in his life in order for him to feel the desire to be part of such an extreme organisation. It is my humble belief that teenagers only join gangs/cults/groups, etc so that they can feel part of something."

Yes, in such a situation, I think the parents and child would have a lot of theories to explore, hopefully together.

" Their hormones are going wonky and in their minds they honestly believe that the entire world is watching them and judging them according to whats cool and whats not. I was 16 three yrs ago so I remeber quite clearly.... "

I think it would be a mistake to label the problem 'it's just hormones'. Labeling and preconceived notions tend to short circuit creative problem solving, imo.

"If my son wanted to join a neo-natzi regime I would seriosly assert my opinion that it was not a good idea. There are so many factors that will contribute to whether or not he will agree....
Do we have a strong bond of trust? Is he able to talk and share his emotions with me? Is he or the family going through a stressfull period? "

Exactly! Lots to explore and problems to be defined and solved.

"It is very difficult to say, "I would do x, y or z" before actually having had the experience"

Well, sure, but one's worldview will determine how one goes about solving the problems presented in any particular situation. TCS theory helps us to explore the possibilities of solving problems non-coercively in the face of conflict. It's a way of life.
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#33 of 56 Old 01-29-2002, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Larcy, I agree with you about trying to find out what my son was lacking. I feel much like you, in that children seek acceptance and belonging. When they reach in directions that can be harmfull to them, I feel its because they arn't getting what they need. It's important to explore with them what's truly going on.

This topic would actually be great to discuss over in the Teenage Years.
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#34 of 56 Old 01-29-2002, 04:54 PM
 
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I've been making good use of all your suggestions, and its been working out really good, it feels much better in my heart and mind, and baby is happier as well. Thank you. Every time I help to guide instead of hurry to obstruct percieved danger, i feel more and more comfortable with the idea, and somehow more comfortable with myself as well.
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#35 of 56 Old 01-29-2002, 06:50 PM
 
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Glad I could help!

You reminded me of some good advice I got from the TCS list which has helped me A LOT... Instead of panicking or saying "no" to an activity which appears dangerous, I now try to ask myself "how can I help my child do this safely?" It is amazing how this opens up my perceptions...
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#36 of 56 Old 01-29-2002, 06:55 PM
 
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Ms. Mom wrote:

"Larcy, I agree with you about trying to find out what my son was lacking. I feel much like you, in that children seek acceptance and belonging. "

Yes, most importantly and primarily from their parents. If a kid has to look for the acceptance and belonging outside of their family, the family members will need to explore the problems in the family relationship, as painful as that process might be.

"When they reach in directions that can be harmfull to them, I feel its because they arn't getting what they need. It's important to explore with them what's truly going on. "

What they need might be no more than good information and advice from a trusted advisor or three. If parents find that they are not trusted advisors, there is no time like the present to begin to be one- though it might take a while and a lot of proof before a child will begin to trust them in this 'trusted advisor' capacity. Also, they might want to look around for others who the child does consider a trusted advisor and enlist their help in the process of working out the problems.
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#37 of 56 Old 01-30-2002, 02:07 AM
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Way back at the end of discussion #3, Just Wondering said:
"I have been on the main TCs list for some time now. I lurk in all sorts of places actually......I only stick my oar in though, where debate is welcomed."

Well, I've just recently seen plenty of people on the main TCS list doing stuff like...discussing advice that has been offered, opining as to whether the solutions offered as 'TCS' are truly 'non-coercive', etc....even seen people offer skepticism of the philosophy itself.

Sure looks like debate to me...


-B
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#38 of 56 Old 01-30-2002, 02:13 AM
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Nawny said:
"You reminded me of some good advice I got from the TCS list which has helped me A LOT... Instead of panicking or saying "no" to an activity which appears dangerous, I now try to ask myself "how can I help my child do this safely?" It is amazing how this opens up my perceptions..."

That's part of what I really respect about the TCS concept...that encouragement to think outside the 'mental ruts' we all can fall into...


-B
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#39 of 56 Old 01-30-2002, 01:36 PM
 
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Apologies, laelsweet, that your post got lost in the thread!

laelsweet wrote:

"beautiful + poisonous
a parent and toddler go out for a walk and see some gorgeous red berries which the parent has been taught are poisonous (but is vague about just how toxic, if one must eat many to get sick, etc. and has never tasted them hirself) "

Oh! I remember wanting to pick those berries my whole childhood, and been warned off them, and to this day I too do not know the details, either, though I have an ureasonable fear of them! They are terribly attractive, arent' they.

"toddler really wants these berries and this conflict degrades into a bit of a tussle in order to get berries out of very fast toddlers hands. given that there was little time to talk about different kinds of berries, and the make-you-ill faces and sounds parent was making were having little effect, "

Getting down on their level and talking to them might help? 'Do you want to get sick? I've been told that these berries make people sick.'

"parent needed to do some apologizing about grabbing and arguing. better ways to handle something like this?"

In general, in situations like this, a parent has to do some quick thinking about the risks and how to avoid them, while figuring out exactly what the child wants. We can be fairly certain that children do not want to hurt their selves, be it potential poisoning or being flattened by a motor vehicle or falling from a cliff etc. They might want to pick the berries in a make believe game of gathering food for their family; they might want to walk along a busy street or the edge of a cliff; how can a parent help their child get what they want out of the experience, without being hurt?

Possibly finding an alternative use for the gorgeous berries, if people eating them can get very sick, but birds can eat them to live... like, squishing them and drawing with the juice on the sidewalk or rocks, maybe using a stick or rocks to work the berries (like grinding grain between two rocks), or making piles of them for the birds to come and get, or throwing them on the ground with enough force to make them splat. Pretending to be gathering them to eat might be sufficient, maybe gather some to take home to feed to dolly at tea time. ( carrying some handywipes in a pocket can come in handy for these situations! for those with amazing foresight )maybe stop at the store on the way and buy some edible berries.

If parent is not comfortable messing with the berries at all, not knowing if their information is good about the berries being poison, and their chosen course in the moment is to prevent interaction with the berries with apologies for the coercion involved, they might want to follow up with research to find out exactly what the risks are about those berries and share that info with their child at a receptive time- maybe a website with a picture of the berries, and pointing to the words that tell about the poison, and a visit to the local plant nursery with a picture of the plant or a sprig of it for identification and assessment of the danger. Maybe the sprig could be plucked from the bush and the walk continued to the local plant nursery, if nearby.

If the concept of poison has not been explored yet, parent could do so now. A dramatic dying scene might hold a toddler's attention and get the point across. If nothing else, the situation would draw the parent's attention to a subject that they can help their child learn about as soon as possible, at receptive times.

Hope this helps!
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#40 of 56 Old 01-30-2002, 02:03 PM
 
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Iguanavere wrote:

"Anyway, I see what you mean but that is also a criticism of TCS - that it appears neglectful and laissez-faire. "

TCS is often confused with neglect and laissez-faire upon first examination of the philosophy. I think there is a clash between a coercive worldview- the assumptions about how things must be done without critical evaluation of the memes and expectations and societal structure that dictates those assumptions- and a non-coercive worldview. More thinking about it and in-depth analysis and continued criticism of TCS philosophy and one's own philosophy and theories takes a person beyond those initial perceptions, to the meat of the matter.

The neglect and laissez-faire, imo, is on the part of people who do not wish to question how and why things- in the case of TCS, parenting and education- are done. The powers that be in society prefer neglect and non-interference from the members of society, I expect; so, parents end up neglecting their children's- and their own- rights to individual autonomy. A basic human right, imo.
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#41 of 56 Old 01-30-2002, 02:21 PM
 
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Iguanavere wrote:

"When reading the article - despite the negative tone of the author, which I don't appreciate, the sense that I get is that Walker's parents were doing exactly what TCS subscribes - helping their child get what they want, without judgement of whether their wants are inappropriate or appropriate. "

TCS parents *do* share their theories about what is appropriate and inappropriate! How could people find common preferences in the face of conflict, if that were not so?

"Now, truth be told, I am not sure that I have enough information about Mr. Walker or his parents to make a judgement. '

Agreed.

"And I also believe that it is any persons right to support whatever cause they so choose to believe as long as it does not infringe on my personal freedoms. "

We all live in such a massive web of interdependency that when people choose to believe in something that is harmful to the freedoms and rights of other people, it affects the whole web. Obviously, the morality of what is right and wrong to believe is difficult to know the truth of. In an imperfect world, we may never acheive such understanding. But we can make progress in the direction of truth and goodness, each in our own way. IMO.

"But when the outcome is Sept. 11th - I wonder if showing disapproval and making limits on what you will support as parents is coercive. "

It is absolutely the responsibility of parents to share their moral theories with their children, and to help them explore opposing theories and everything in between. This is a process that begins at birth and lasts...well, all life long, I suppose. Children are not bound to believe what their parents believe. They must make their own way.

I think that learning to solve problems non-coercively in life- learning about gathering information and engaging creativity and creating new knowledge through critical rationalism- are tools that will help to keep people from making mistakes like allowing others to think for them. Finding and listening to trusted advisors who are interested in truth-seeking can help a person to direct their own path through the maze of moral dilemmas in this world.

Beats the hell out of the indoctrination schools and camps that some societies use to control the thought of their populations. Have you seen the video footage of the children- all boys- writing their lessons and rocking and chanting? Beyond horrific. <shudder>
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#42 of 56 Old 02-02-2002, 01:25 AM
 
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Just bumping for anyone who might be looking.
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#43 of 56 Old 02-02-2002, 02:00 AM
 
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Hi everybody

First my apologies for just jumping in here. I have nothing to contribute to the theoretical discussion at this point, even though I read many of the posts with great interest. However, pretty soon I think I'll be able to articulate some of my questions about this (in my eyes) great approach to family living enough to make them known to the small world this thread represents.

Anyway, I'm looking for practical advice, and I'm mostly (or only? AYYYY intolerant me!!!) interested in the TCS perspective. My husband and I have one child, 2 1/2 years old, and our family interaction has naturally been pretty close to what TCS advocates -- only we didn't know the word until a few months ago. DD HATES fussing with her body, and who can blame her? Nevertheless, some problems seem to be developing.

For one thing, she's hated baths for almost 2 years now. From one day to the next, she went from sheer love to pure hate. She's explained to us that the water was too warm once, so that explains it. She refuses to use the bathtub, even with cold water in it, and even though she likes to float her duckies in the bubbles. Just as long as she can stay out. We've been giving her spongebaths, just once a week, so she doesn't get too cruddy. Every week is disaster. We also sponge her hair, which gets pretty gross, so once a week really is a minimum. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to make this a more pleasurable experience? We have a pool here for summer, but don't live near enough one to consider rinsing her regularly during the rest of the year. She's too smart to fall for trickery, and anyway we prefer not to manipulate.

Same story with combing her hair (we try daily but succeed about once every three days which is OK by me), and especially her teeth. Bad teeth run in the family, and she already has a minor case of bottle mouth. We insist on brushing twice a day, but she can't brush well enough by herself to clean them. WE average a time and a half daily, which is barely enough for my peace of mind. WE've tried mutual brushing, brushing the animals and dolls, explaining, playing dentist, looking at her "owie" and my fillings, but nothing seems to work. The best we do is a 10-count while she whines softly. And sometimes, nothing. Again, any suggestions?

It's probably clear that we end up coercing her. On the washing, and usually on the brushing. I don't want her to end up hating these things throughout her early childhood. Any suggestion, comments and the like will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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#44 of 56 Old 02-02-2002, 02:12 AM
 
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I have three suggestions for you.

First, about the bath. My son absolutely loves to take showers. We got one of those adaptable shower heads that brings it down to his level. They typically cost about 10 dollars give or take.

About the hair. Could you cut it shorter? Perhaps into a cute, short bob at ear lobe level. Johnson's No More Tears was what my grandma and mom used on me when I was little.

Finally, toothbrushing. I too think it is important to brush teeth. I have been told by my dentist that I have harsh saliva that makes my teeth prone to cavities if I am not careful. I have the silver to prove it. My 15 month ds is not a fan of toothbrushing, but I am hoping to keep him out of the dental chair so we are starting the brushing habit early. Dh and I got a Braun Oral B electric toothbrush for Christmas. I decided to try one of the heads out on ds. It is still not his favorite time of the day, but he is much more willing to let us brush his teeth now. I also feel like I can do a much better job in much less time that with a regular toothbrush.

Not necessarily a TCS answer per se, but they are things to consider.
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#45 of 56 Old 02-02-2002, 02:15 AM
 
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Now I have a question of my own. What do you do if you are in a place that has rules that your child doesn't want to follow?

I ask because we were at the Children's Museum tonight and my son kept wanting to take things from one area to the other. Things are supposed to stay in the correct rooms, and I was usually able to talk 15 month old ds into leaving the item, albiet, not always really willingly. I'm just curious what you do when you have to work around other people's rules, and your child's wish to break them.
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#46 of 56 Old 02-02-2002, 06:13 AM
 
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Baths...

I thought the showering solution sounded good. Does the child have any ideas about how bathing could be made more palatable? Does the child want to get really, really dirty? (If so, it is her body, right? She should be able to see what it is like to be filthy if she wants to be filthy!) Or does the child want to be clean but hate bathing? How about the kitchen sink? Or going in to the tub clothed or in a bathing suit? If the child likes swimming pools, can the bathtub be set up to look like a pool? Maybe a little blue food coloring, a towel on the floor, heater on to make it toasty, a friend over to have a "swim." How about painting self and tub while it's empty, then adding water to wash everything clean? Or standing in the empty tub and pouring water over herself from bowls and buckets? I've heard about some desert folk cleaning themselves with sand, but I don't know how it is done or what it feels like... How about a sauna? This could maybe be simulated by making the bathroom really steamy with a hot shower (maybe one parent showering and the other facilitating the sauna if conserving water is an issue), and having a sink full of cold water to dip body parts in, then drying off with a nice clean towel.

Hair...

Does the child want dredlocks? Short hair? A different kind of comb or brush that is softer on the scalp? To comb/brush her own hair? To have her hair styled in front of the mirror with ribbons and ponytails? To look at a book or play on the computer or watch TV or build a block tower while the ends of her hair are gently combed?

Teeth...

I've heard that cheese, apples, and dark chocolate all inhibit bacteria (and dental decay). I've also heard that chewing sugar free gum can be a good way to clean teeth. Sticky, sweet foods I've been told to avoid... I don't know much more than that! You might try posting to smilemomma on the Dental board and see if she has any advice. Remember though, the teeth belong to the child. It is her mouth. I wouldn't want anyone forcing anything into my mouth against my will... You might also try the TCS Babies and Toddlers list... I've gotta get that info!

Good luck!
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#47 of 56 Old 02-02-2002, 02:23 PM
 
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Here is the address, for subscribing to TCSBabiesToddlers:

[email protected]

Seems to me, you just have to send a blank message.

Re: the 'child doesn't like to bath' scenario and the issue of a child's autonomy and control over what happens to hir body: I think it is important to think about the child's right to not bathe and not wash or comb hair. Not that I think it is preferable for a person to go through life without bathing or grooming thier self, but I think it is essential for each person to work out for their self when and what to do for their body.

We are so used to the idea that it is ok and even the responsibility of the parent to be sure that their small child has a bath/washes hair X amount of times a week (X being a varying amount, as their is no 'right' answer for everyone, it is an arbitrary number) Those of us who value autonomy and non-coercive parent-child relationships hold these values more important than what we perceive the society expects of a parent and child relationship- the predominate parenting memes.

Because small children are, well, small, we larger parents can force them into a tub and forcefully clean them up. We can hold them down, between two parents, and forcefully brush their teeth, 'for their own good', we tell ourselves and each other. When they get too big to be forcefully compelled to do these things, and refuse to do so, parents can then start abusing their power to take away 'privileges', to manipulate children into doing these things that parents (and society) wants them to do. Kids then need to go 'underground' and find sneaky ways to avoid doing the things they don't want to do, or aquiesce and wait until they are of legal age, and then they can rebel all they want, having formed some entrenched theories about cleaning their bodies and teeth along the way, perhaps to the point of avoiding doing it whether it is in their best interests to do so or not (irrational thinking)

It is not for their own good, that parents force these things upon their kids. To repeat these patterns of thinking from generation to generation, without examining the reasons and criticizing them and becoming convinced of what exactly is the best way to interact, parents and children, is to continue to go down a parenting road that is unsatisfactory for both parents and children, that pits them against each other, that rests upon authority ( I know better than you) rather than autonomy and reason. We are capable of doing better, IMO.
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#48 of 56 Old 02-03-2002, 02:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jbcjmom
Now I have a question of my own. What do you do if you are in a place that has rules that your child doesn't want to follow?
Depends on the situation. Ideally just avoid them.

Quote:
I ask because we were at the Children's Museum tonight and my son kept wanting to take things from one area to the other. Things are supposed to stay in the correct rooms, and I was usually able to talk 15 month old ds into leaving the item, albiet, not always really willingly. I'm just curious what you do when you have to work around other people's rules, and your child's wish to break them.
My experience with Children's Museum is that the staff is usually quite accommodating, particularly if they see that the parent is *actively* involved with helping their child explore the place, and not just letting them run wild on their own. I suspect that is it a nightly ritual for the staff to put everything back to the proper place. After all, it is a *children's* museum and there to serve your child.

Could it be that you are worrying too much about others expectations that you should be controlling your child?

Pat
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#49 of 56 Old 02-03-2002, 05:48 PM
 
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Pat,

I don't worry about whether others think I should be controlling my child, but I do think that for me to allow my child to take things from one area to another is disrespectful to others who have paid admission to enjoy the experience and cannot do so because things are in the wrong place. They have had to begin reminding parents and children over the loud speaker several times an hour to please clean up their messes before moving to a new area, because it was getting out of control and the place was becoming a mess. I felt really bad for the employees because things were everywhere. I get tired of having to clean up and reorganize things before my children can begin to play in a new area because the people before us were too lazy to clean up after themselves.

I wasn't referring simply to the children's museum though. What do you do if you are at a friend's house, or on a playdate with people who have "rules" so to speak? Do you choose not to go, even though you and your child might really enjoy yourself if there will be specific rules to be followed? Or do you explain the rules in advance to your child and give them the choice? What if they choose to go, but then fail to follow the rules once you get there? My 16 month old is probably the poster child for TCS. I am finding myself really having to look for different ways to deal with him. I am not necessarily looking for noncoersive ways to deal with him, but less coersive ways to deal with him on a day to day basis. You know me well enough to know that diving headfirst into TCS is not for me. I want to keep our boundries, of which there are few, but I want ds's to learn to follow rules set down not only by us, but by others (ex. the children's museum). I am looking for TCS ways to reduce coersion, even if it doesn't eliminate it. I guess you could say I am looking for the "TCS Cafeteria Plan," -- take what I like and leave the rest. Any suggestions on dealing with a strong willed toddler within the confines of rules and boundries???

Did you check out Sears? I'm curious what you think.
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#50 of 56 Old 02-03-2002, 08:35 PM
 
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I, too, am interested in hearing an answer to jbcjmom's question. It seems to me that it would be virtually impossible to ensure that you are never in a situation where there are rules (not your own) that MUST be followed. Do you just not take your children to the store with you ever?! To a friend's house ever?!

My poor dd would hate life if I never took her places because there was a chance I might have to 'coerce' her at some point while we were there. Her favourite place in the world is the library. And we are usually there until closing time. At which point we HAVE to leave. And I generally have to 'make' her leave (put her in the stroller and talk about something distracting). She's usually pretty easily distracted, but there are very few days we'd manage to leave without me in some way 'coercing' her. But we can't stay - they are closing (no matter how often dd tells me they aren't!). Should I not take her? She's 27 months and very verbal. I'm sure she would agree to leave at closing time prior to going, and then forget she'd agreed when leaving time came.

I must admit, as well, to being a bit bemused by the implication that perhaps a TCS parent would not insist on brushing their young child's teeth. Luckily, my toddler is quite cooperative about having her teeth brushed. But if she weren't, I would still insist. Bad teeth run in my family (my parents both have mouths full of fillings). So if I don't brush her teeth (and I do avoid sweets and sticky things), and she gets cavitities, what to do? If she really objects to having her teeth brushed, is she going to cooperate with going to a dentist to have a cavity taken care of? So I don't force the dentist thing, and the cavity gets worse and she is in intense pain with an abscess of some such....but I still don't force the dentist thing?

Where do you stop?

Or course, I might decide not to insist on teeth brushing and get lucky - she doesn't get any cavities. But that is not a given by a long shot, and it seems to me that, as the adult, there are times when my dd is unable to forsee that if she gets her way now, there are potentially VERY negative consequences in the future. I feel I would be a neglectful parent if I didn't try to prevent those consequences that she is unable to forsee for herself.

How do TCS parents feel about this? I think my dh and I parent in a pretty non-coercive way. And I like this thread, as there are often some great ideas in it for helping your child to explore safely, etc. But...
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#51 of 56 Old 02-03-2002, 09:31 PM
 
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I admit I have not read Dr. Sears with regards to discipline. I did check out the AskDrSears.com website though and took a pretty quick look at his Discipline Index.

The biggest issue I have with at least the way the material is presented there is that the overriding goal are ways to get the child to do what the parent thinks is best, as directly opposed to helping the child to do what they think is best. It is just all so manipulative and I find it to be down right disrespectful of the child as a complete, rational person.

Is this what we do with our own partners, come up with "techniques" to get them to do what we think best? I know I do not, if my partner does not really *want* to do something, I certainly do not want them to either.

This is a big part of the shift in world view that TCS has been for me. The shift from me figuring out how to get my children to do what I think is best, to helping my child do what *they* think is best (also known as what they want). The shift to realizing that children are complete, fully rational human beings. (And please do not misinterpreted this as meaning complete "adults".)

I just come across an interesting group call the Center for Nonviolent Communication and they have a fairly TCS sounding philosophy towards children. One of the exercises they do in parenting workshops is divide the group in half. Both groups were given the same hypothetical conflict to solve between two people and to come up with a dialogue on how to solve the problem. In one group they were told the conflict was between an adult and their neighbor and the other group is told the conflict is between a parent and a child. When the two groups are reunited and compare the respect and compassion of the two dialogues, the one between the adult and the neighbor has WAY more respect and compassion in it. This link is a introduction to their book called "Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way". I also really like his objection to labeling children, "children", at least in regards to what the term "children" means in this day and age.

Pat
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#52 of 56 Old 02-03-2002, 09:54 PM
 
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During my foray into TCS I discovered that there is really no such thing as The TCS Cafeteria Plan. You are either TCS or you are not. You can not be partly TCS any more then you can be partly pregnant. You either condone Coercing or you do not. You either always strive to help your child get what they want or you don't.

And the reason for this is the Doctor/Patient analogy I have used in the past, which I'll repeat for anybody new here.

The kind of doctor that I want is a doctor who is my trusted advisor. They have more knowledge than I in the area of their expertise, but I have more knowledge about myself. I want a doctor that will inform me about my condition to the best of their knowledge and then let me decide. If my decision is counter to the doctor's advice, I might or I might not want to share my additional knowledge about myself with them to see if common preference can be found. It is not only my decision about what to do about my condition, it is also my decision to decide how much about myself I want to share with the doctor.

Imagine having to use a doctor that *in certain cases* will force a medical procedure upon you no matter what your decision is. Of course, they only do this under certain "non-negotiables", what *they* perceive is clearly a life threatening situation. They will force this procedure upon you, even if you decide to share with them all of your knowledge about yourself in an attempt to explain your line of reasoning.

Now image that this doctor gives you advice about some minor condition and since this situation is clearly non-life threatening, they "allow" you to make the final decision. I would be suspect of *everything* they tell me and more often than not disregard the information they are providing me.

Now, if I was a toddler and I knew darn well that there were times when my most trusted advisor was not always doing their best to help me get what I want, that there were times that they were doing their best to help be get what *they* want me to do, then I would strongly question *everything* they tell me. And toddlers are INCREDIBLY SMART, they *know* when something really is a true consequence and when something is really a road-block being created by what was their most trusted advisor.

So situations like the Children's Museum you describe really do becomes *easier* with TCS once they realize that the information you provide is accurate to the best of your knowledge and that you really are always trying to help them get what they want. Any many TCS suggestions simply do not work for non-TCS families because the complete trust that the parent is *ALWAYS* trying to help the child get what they want is not there.

Pat
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#53 of 56 Old 02-03-2002, 11:32 PM
 
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While TCS is about the elimination of Coercion within the Parent/Child relationship, it does not follow that it is also about the avoidance of any and all Coercion in a child's life. TCS is about how to help the child navigate and deal with Coercion that will present itself quite naturally. TCS readily acknowledges that Coercion exists in today's society, but that doesn't mean that it needs to be a part of the relationships we have with the other members of our immediate family. I know that my if dp was purposely Coercing me by any means our relationship would be in terrible shape. The parent/child relationship is no different! It is my opinion that what a "strong-willed" child is, is those children that understand at a deep level that they are being subtly Coerced. They realize that "one thing does not mean another", to quote a very strong-willed child I know. They are frustrated that what they clearly perceive as the truth is being thwarted by their most trusted advisor, and they are right!

So, in other environments where there are "rules", I try to help my children understand and negotiate those rules to the best of my ability and to help them get what they want. Carolyn's library scenario is a good one. Carolyn stated "But we can't stay - they are closing (no matter how often dd tells me they aren't!)". I agree with dd, they aren't, at least it sure doesn't look like it.

Some TCS ideas in this situation is to find a librarian and ask them when the last possible moment is that you can stay. If needed, ask if you can stay five minutes later, explaining exactly what you want to do. Once the library really is empty of everybody else, maybe dd will understand that the library really is closed. But if not, in the end, let the librarian kick you out and be the Coercer, not you! That way, at the end of the day, your child really knows that you are on their side and that you tried everything you could to help them get what they want. And they learned that there really are "boundaries" out there in the real world that they need to learn about and that the information you are providing them about those boundaries is factually accurate.

Pat
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#54 of 56 Old 02-04-2002, 04:11 AM
 
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Thank you all for your responses to my "toddler hygiene" question. Nawny, you presented some bathing ideas that we hadn't thought of yet, and that look like they might really be fun rather than just a trick. Beth, thanks for posting, but we'd already tried these options.

By the way, I think I created a misunderstanding by saying that we coerce DD. We do, but not (like larsy suggests) by holding her and forcing a toothbrush in her mouth. I wouldn't force anything in her mouth unless she had a bee in her throat or something. WE coerce by discussing it, and then saying: OK, no playing/snacking now until your teeth are brushed. No going out until after wishywashy. Sometimes it takes 2 hours or longer to get moving, but that's okay. Half of the protests are for the sake of rebellion, the other half because she doesn't like whatever the problem.

I don't think I'm quite at the point where I can usually let go of my own coerced background. The idea that I know what's good for my child. I'm aware that the idea is b***s***, but I can't quite push it out. I'm okay with pretty dirty, but not dirty to the point of crusty. And teeth are largely nonnegotiable with me. I'm in the middle of a long and painful dental career, and so far my observations combined with my daughter's ideas about her own dental hygiene preferences diverge enough that I see some pain coming her way. And I simply don't want that, and wouldn't forgive myself if I felt I contributed. And by letting her choose more now, and by not verbally coercing her, that's what would likely happen.

Ok snackytime now. Need two hands b/c big kid
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#55 of 56 Old 02-04-2002, 05:00 AM
 
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icicle spider, you might check out the most recent mothering mag for an article on the center for nonviolent communication. i would be interested in talking about how the ideas they have converge with taking children seriously. i seem to remember some differences- i'll go back and take a look.

i could really use more ideas about toothbrushing. airplane toothbrushes, brushing little bugs off, animals off, watch parents brushing and brush along with, you brush me and i'll brush you, playing with water and toothbrushes in a highchair (this is a hit but teeth don't really get brushed). i have a friend who wiped, brushed, the whole painstaking deal from very early on, and the child got a mouthful of cavities nonetheless, at less than two. o u c h. so i understand the fears and how hard it is not to coerce around this. i've found that i would actually have to force the issue physically if i really wanted to brush, and i don't do that. (i have had issues with nails, and nibbling them against a small person's will. yes, i'm working on it. i seem to fixate on long nails! now i'm not allowed even to gaze too long in the toenails direction! i don't want to make the same mistakes with toothbrushing. to make up for it, i apologized and am currently practicing, "see that long nail? can you put your toe in my mouth? okay, can you let me hold it just a little so i can nibble it shorter?" :0 )

larsy - thanks for the ideas for poisonous berry-grabbing people
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#56 of 56 Old 02-04-2002, 05:25 AM
 
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o yeah nails....
I still cut them during sleep. I guess it's not coercion, but who thinks it's a violation of physical integrity? I do in a way, but ooohhh it's soooo much easier than going the argument...
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