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#121 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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My critique of the original situation: I'd like to think I'd have been a little more gentle with my words (though I have my moments for sure!), but the end result would have been the same. Yes, I would have forced the sharing. But I would have said something more along the lines of "I know it's really hard to share when you have something so yummy, but it will make your sister really happy, and sharing is what we do in this family. Now, would you like to break off a piece for her, or should I?" I might also have waited a second to see if she was satisfied with the tiny piece he originally offered. If she was, problem solved, even though it may not look fair to us!

I would just really want to validate the child's feelings and let them know it's ok to be upset, even as I was letting them know it was not ok to hoard a treat all to yourself.
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#122 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would just really want to validate the child's feelings and let them know it's ok to be upset, even as I was letting them know it was not ok to hoard a treat all to yourself.
This is a mixed message, to me. How is it OK to be upset about doing something that is obligatory? That seems very disempowering - "I acknowledge your feelings but they have no effect of the outcome of the situation".
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#123 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 02:46 AM
 
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This is a mixed message, to me. How is it OK to be upset about doing something that is obligatory? That seems very disempowering - "I acknowledge your feelings but they have no effect of the outcome of the situation".
Why not? It is OK not to like certain things but to understand that they must be done.

For example, "I know you don't like having to pick your sister up at school, but we have to do it."
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#124 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dani76 View Post
Has anyone thought about the idea that maybe his sister wasn't hungry? She just wanted what her brother had. Should DS be expected to hand over or share whatever he has just because his sister wants it?

Are we teaching the sister that all she has to do is ask and she receives? Don't both children need to learn that some things belong to us individually?

Just putting a different spin on this.
That's the same kind of reasoning that people use to let babies CIO - they're not really hungry, they don't need to be soothed, etc. They're just doing it for attention, so let them cry and they'll get over it.
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#125 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 05:51 AM
 
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I don't think the issue is if the sister was or wasn't hungry. Or if the brother was or wasn't hungry. The brother had and the sister was without.

IMO, by allowing the brother to have a treat while his younger sister cries because she is without, is condoning his behaviour and encouraging him to ignore the needs of his nearest and dearest. Sibling bonds are the most enduring of any lifetime. There is nothing that compares with that love.

Of course the mother could have sourced another treat for the sister. The message there is that 'someone else' will pay attention to others needs - 'I' don't have to worry myself about anyone else except ME.

If someone will not pay any attention to the needs of their sibling crying beside them, and choose to keep a treat from them, how can that child develop any understanding for the needs of any other person????

It beggars belief that a mother would not facilitate common kindness between SIBLINGS!!!

And to the person who asked if ds had won a voucher to a toy store, would that child have to share?? OF COURSE!!! Not 50/50 - but the expectation is there that In fact my ds found $5 at the beach and bought ice creams for himself and dd. She said it was the best icecream because it was bought with love. Foster sibling relationships - it is a gift to both children.
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#126 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 05:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby View Post
That's the same kind of reasoning that people use to let babies CIO - they're not really hungry, they don't need to be soothed, etc. They're just doing it for attention, so let them cry and they'll get over it.
I was in no way advocating letting the sister CIO. I was stating that in the beginning of this thread everyone was so concerned with the little boy keeping the cheese and not sharing with his hungry sister. And what values are we teaching/modeling to the little boy if we don't "make" him share. No one seemed to be concerned with what the little girl was learning.

Maybe she was hungry, if so then get some more cheese. But there is no way that I said or implied that she should cry and "get over it".

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#127 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 06:06 AM
 
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Why not? It is OK not to like certain things but to understand that they must be done.

For example, "I know you don't like having to pick your sister up at school, but we have to do it."

My thoughts exactly.

"It is totally ok not to enjoy brushing your teeth, but it is something we need to do."

"You have every right to be upset because you couldn`t watch the entire DVD, the problem is if we don`t leave now we will miss our plane."

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#128 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 08:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
Or..... I would have just pulled a snack out of my purse or the diaper bag. Do people really take small children on errands without snacks? ::shudders::
VERY good point! I always have a bottle of water, a stick of cheese, and some form of grain, even if he JUST ate before we went out the door. I imagine my "stash" will become even larger when DD gets a bit older....

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#129 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 09:41 AM
 
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Taking the cheese would have run up on a couple of things we don't do in our family. We don't snatch. We don't take things from people, especially if they're littler than us. That's a safety thing in our family. I feel like modeling that would not ultimately foster kindness especially between siblings.

I know a year ago when dd2 was 1.5, adults often did not think to offer the same samples/treats to dd2 as dd1, assuming the baby would not want some...or that I would let them know if it was ok for the baby to have some. As I said earlier, dd1 would have asked for one for her sister. If she hadn't I would have felt completely comfortable asking politely for a piece for dd2.

I don't force sharing. I find that my kids share well except with the kid in the neighborhood who has a sense of entitlement to all my kids' outside toys. dd1 doesn't often let him use her stuff.

This is what I don't understand about this conversation is: It's so obvious to our family that we need another piece of cheese in that situation. What's the problem with that course of action? What prevented the OP from feeling comfortable asking?
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#130 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 09:57 AM
 
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Taking the cheese would have run up on a couple of things we don't do in our family. We don't snatch. We don't take things from people, especially if they're littler than us. That's a safety thing in our family. I feel like modeling that would not ultimately foster kindness especially between siblings.
Do you not feel that there is a difference between taking something from someone and 'snatching'? (asking honestly, here) For me, I feel there is a huge difference. We don't snatch things away in our family either, but we do take things. For example, if an older child (theoretical, I only have 1 child but we often do have kids over to play) saw a younger with something dangerous or 'not allowed', taking it away would be completely appropriate, imo. I don't agree that taking something away from someone is inherently unkind, and in that instance I believe the child that refused to share his cheese was the one being unkind and it would be my job as a parent to address that.

I am seriously baffled by the assertion earlier that it is disempowering to be upset about something but still have to do it. I am trying to grok it, but I can't. I am disappointed/upset by about 100 different things a day that I still must do - cleaning the toilet, paying bills, getting the car that is broken down towed, making dinner when I would rather nap, not being able to watch an entire season of Six Feet Under in one sitting... just to name a few.

My dd too - she'd rather not get her fingernails cut, or have her hair washed, or eat brussels sprouts when there is candy less than 10 ft away ( ) but she understands at 3 that there are choices that make us unhappy but are better for us. I don't believe for a second that is in any way disempowering.

I do agree that allowing a child to have all the cheese when there is another hungry (or maybe just wanting) child there is fostering selfishness.

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#131 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 10:11 AM
 
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Gosh. I am feeling hurt by the assertions on this thread that some of us are fostering selfishness, or not fostering generosity. We do a million things to foster sharing and generosity, in other ways throughout the week that do not involved forcing or grabbing. Things like this are best taught outside the situation. Forced sharing does not count for much, in my book.
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#132 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 10:23 AM
 
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This is a very interesting discussion!

I have to admit I only have two kids, and the youngest is too young for anything but my milk, so we haven't run up on these types of situations yet.

I tend to agree with the ones who feel it was not the best solution to make him share his cheese. It WAS sort of like a gift, and it was his. I do think it is important to teach sharing, but agree that forcing sharing tends to lead to feelings of resentment. I also do think that people should have the right to have things that are just theirs.

So anyway, we are focusing on one particular incident here. A moment in the grocery store in which ds didn't want to share, and some are acting as if this is the sole chance OP will have to teach her son to share. To the OP, is sharing something that ds has recurring problems with? Maybe it's okay to let this incident go for now and work on sharing in other ways. Are there ways to encourage sharing in other situations, so that next time he might be more receptive to the idea. Maybe get them a bag of small treats and tell them that this is their treat to share. Help them decide how to divide the treats in a way that makes them both happy. Set up, or be on the lookout, for other situations where sharing can be encouraged.

Another solution I thought of for the grocery store incident, I can't remember how old your ds is... but how about if you had HIM go ask the lady for another piece of cheese for his sister (while you wait within eyesight of course). That way HE would be doing something nice for his sister, and sort of sharing in the bounty, without giving up his piece of cheese.
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#133 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 10:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Attila the Honey View Post
Do you not feel that there is a difference between taking something from someone and 'snatching'? (asking honestly, here) For me, I feel there is a huge difference. We don't snatch things away in our family either, but we do take things. For example, if an older child (theoretical, I only have 1 child but we often do have kids over to play) saw a younger with something dangerous or 'not allowed', taking it away would be completely appropriate, imo. .
Taking something away from a baby who could hurt themselves might be appropriate, although we just ask first. This most often works. If it's a kid who understands and is not in imminent danger, I'll continue the conversation until I convince the kid that I need the item because it's dangerous. Since I only do this when it's actually dangerous, they believe me.

Cheese in not dangerous. If the 1.5 year old had grabbed the cheese and stuffed it in her mouth, it would not be appropriate. It is also not appropriate for me to do the same thing in her stead. So, yes, I believe grabbing something out of the hand of someone, especially someone smaller than me, to get something they have that I want is snatching. I think modelling that fosters lousy play and stinky behavior. I do not believe that it fosters generousity.

The solution seems so obvious, I don't understand the discussion. Is there a world-wide cheese shortage? When my second got big enough to want the samples too, I accepted that I know had double the number of children...therefore, I needed double the samples.

It took me one or two times of dd2 being on solids to get this. But dd2 is pretty good at letting you know what she needs, so I caught on pretty quick.
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#134 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 11:45 AM
 
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SO much to respond to!

To the OP....I do not think you "forcefully grabbed" the cheese. The situation just got elaborated based on other posters own experiences about what they would have done. Your ds has warning, I am sure you were as gentle as possible in taking it, and I am he has forgotten about the whole thing by now.

To the "you need more than one kid to understand this problem" statement. Also known as the "you are not a real parent until you have 2 or 3 or one over 6 or one under 2 or.......)" argument I was wondering when that one would come up You are right. I only have one. I probably will always only have one. I could feel the need to justify my right to have an opinion anyway based on all sorts of facts about our particular lives. But I will not bore you. I will just say that the sharing issue has come up in our family despite being a one-child household. And actually, if I am to believe the theories that only children are spoiled and incorrigible, then sharing should be an even BIGGER issue for my dd. Not that I beleive that.... But I believe this discussion goes beyond the actual sharing. It goes back to the basic argument of whether or not one can force a child to share (clean up, say thank you, eat brussel sprouts, etc.....) and whether we believe that it is an approprioate/respectful way to treat children.

Thismama, I understand what you are saying. You are in a place right now where you have to go outside of how you would ideally like to parent many times a day. I really feel this is a cycle. I see this a lot. Actually all of the time. Mostly with people I do not know and have no idea what thier lives are like outside of the time that I observe them when sharing space or candid conversation. What I notice most is an "us and them" attitude. They are used to "doing to" their kids and their kids are used to resisting and they spend much of thier time in this dynamic. I do not go "batsh!t" because this simply does not happen when you take the "doing to" out of the dynamic. I am guessing here, since I have never actually been there. But if we had a relationship where dd was largely motivated by what I imposed on her, I am guessing that it would take some time to break away from that. If I woke up one morning and decided that we were going forth from that moment on without any more "doing to", things would probably be hard for a bit. Not sure how long. Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe a month. I am a pretty direct person so I would probably sit my dd down and explain what was happening. In my life now, where we are like this every day, it really is not hard. While I typed this, dd came in here and wanted to know if I could help her make a fort. This requires trashing the living room and taking every cushion off of the couch. I have the exams I am grading all over the couch and did not want to disturb them as I know I will be back to work on them in a few minutes. I told dd that. She thought for a second and then asked if I would help her make a little one with just the chair cushions. I am happy with that so I helped her and now I am back typing. We all got what we wanted. That is how it works. 20 times a day.
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#135 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 12:23 PM
 
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This is a mixed message, to me. How is it OK to be upset about doing something that is obligatory? That seems very disempowering - "I acknowledge your feelings but they have no effect of the outcome of the situation".

I see what you're saying, but I just see it differently. How many times do we as adults have to do things we don't enjoy, but we do it, because it's right? I don't like changing diapers, I don't like following the speed limit, I really really hate having to be civil to my ILs . We probably don't get upset enough to throw a tantrum, but we're not 4, either, KWIM?

I just know that as a child, an adult telling me "you don't have the right to feel that way" upset me way more than "you have to share." But all kids are different, so maybe that's just me.
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#136 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 02:54 PM
 
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I don't think the issue is if the sister was or wasn't hungry. Or if the brother was or wasn't hungry. The brother had and the sister was without.

IMO, by allowing the brother to have a treat while his younger sister cries because she is without, is condoning his behaviour and encouraging him to ignore the needs of his nearest and dearest. Sibling bonds are the most enduring of any lifetime. There is nothing that compares with that love.

Of course the mother could have sourced another treat for the sister. The message there is that 'someone else' will pay attention to others needs - 'I' don't have to worry myself about anyone else except ME.

If someone will not pay any attention to the needs of their sibling crying beside them, and choose to keep a treat from them, how can that child develop any understanding for the needs of any other person????

It beggars belief that a mother would not facilitate common kindness between SIBLINGS!!!

And to the person who asked if ds had won a voucher to a toy store, would that child have to share?? OF COURSE!!! Not 50/50 - but the expectation is there that In fact my ds found $5 at the beach and bought ice creams for himself and dd. She said it was the best icecream because it was bought with love. Foster sibling relationships - it is a gift to both children.

I'm pretty sure that most of us would agree that kindness, empathy, and giving are desireable traits.

What we disagree on is what is the best way to teach a child these things. Assuming they need to be "taught." Some things are inherent to human beings, and all parents need to do sometimes is get out of the way.

I don't think forcing a child to share teaches empathy. If anything, it would teach them to hold on tighter, or hide their loot from others.

I grumble to myself when its the United Way drive at work, because there is such pressure to give. I don't feel good about giving; I am more concerned about not looking like a Scrooge in front of my co-workers. But let one of my co-workers fall on hard times, and I will aggressively and joyfully give them all I can spare, and more. Its so different when its a choice.
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#137 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 03:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd
AND, one last thing - Yooper and WuWei, you have both made excellent points and I have learned a lot from both of you. You help us all stay on the path. But I must say, it is a LOT easier to negotiate, discuss, compromise, etc. when you only have one child. It is much harder to meet the needs of two small children.
I have four children. I find it's easy to take everyone's needs into account, negotiate, discuss, compromise, find mutually agreeable solutions. We cooperate.
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But, don't you get *tired*? I can only do so much. Sometimes I'm just trying to get the shopping done, kwim? Or, leave the park/beach/children's museum. Or whatever. I don't have the energy or the patience to stop and work thru every little thing.
Life is so much easier when kids know you're on their side, when no one is digging their heels in just to show who's boss. It takes less energy because you don't have the power struggles.
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I mean, don't you people sometimes lose your ? I can't imagine being willing to go out of my way over every little incident. I timed my kiddo the other day: she had three tantrums inside of five minutes. Didn't want the red shoes on, didn't want the dog to come in the car, the dog was stepping on her backpack.
This sends up red flags for me--3 tantrums in 5 minutes? These are power struggles.

I do not have to "go out of my way over every little incident," it's easy.
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#138 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:03 PM
 
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I think all of us inevitably spend the same amount of energy, assuming nobody here is actively neglecting their kids! There is a difference I think, in how and where it is spent. Things go better, I find, when I invest the energy proactively by planning, negotiating, disscussing, being sensitive -- then when I have to use the energy after the fact for dealing with tantrums and power struggles.

Yes though, I loose my cool sometimes.

When I had one child, a lot of people told me I'd change my mind with two kids. I haven't. I am stretched a little thinner, for sure, but we function in much the same way. I won't say its easy. It doesn't seem a lot harder though.

I've also been told that I just happen to have easy kids or that I'll change my mind when they are older.
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#139 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:13 PM
 
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Life is so much easier when kids know you're on their side, when no one is digging their heels in just to show who's boss. It takes less energy because you don't have the power struggles.
Yes. This is my experience too.

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#140 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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The question that seems to be at the root of disagreement is "Why should a person have to share (cheese/water/candy/whatever) at all?".

The people who feel there are reasons a person should share, disagree over how to instill this value.

And they disagree with those who suggest there is no intrinsic value in sharing the cheese/water/candy etc.

Depending on the post I'm losing track of who is on which side of what

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#141 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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Taking something away from a baby who could hurt themselves might be appropriate, although we just ask first. This most often works. If it's a kid who understands and is not in imminent danger, I'll continue the conversation until I convince the kid that I need the item because it's dangerous. Since I only do this when it's actually dangerous, they believe me.

Cheese in not dangerous. If the 1.5 year old had grabbed the cheese and stuffed it in her mouth, it would not be appropriate. It is also not appropriate for me to do the same thing in her stead. So, yes, I believe grabbing something out of the hand of someone, especially someone smaller than me, to get something they have that I want is snatching. I think modelling that fosters lousy play and stinky behavior. I do not believe that it fosters generousity.

The solution seems so obvious, I don't understand the discussion. Is there a world-wide cheese shortage? When my second got big enough to want the samples too, I accepted that I know had double the number of children...therefore, I needed double the samples.

It took me one or two times of dd2 being on solids to get this. But dd2 is pretty good at letting you know what she needs, so I caught on pretty quick.
I feel this is really degenerating into semantics. I didn't say grabbed, just like I don't think OP said snatched. I used the word take, which to me isn't negative or positive, while 'grabbed' and 'snatched' connotates rudely and abruptly taking something.

I agree with you that it's not ok to grab something away from someone else. i wouldn't do that. I wouldn't yank, snatch, wrench, grapple, snap up, or seize, either. But I WOULD reach over and calmly take it if I asked for it and it wasn't given.

I realize a piece of cheese isn't dangerous, but note I said I also would take something that is 'not allowed'. If my dd had my valuable antique knick knack from my great great grandmother I'd most likely say, "I am concerned that will get broken if we carry it around, can I have it?" If she didn't give it to me I would reach over and calmly take it from her. I wouldn't yank, I wouldn't yell, I wouldn't do anything more than that and then deal with the fall out in whatever manner I could. ("I know you are really upset, maybe there is something else you can play with?")

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#142 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:19 PM
 
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Yes, but what do you do when you have two children with two different needs?

Consensual living appeals to me, but what do you do when two people have opposing desires?

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#143 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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I have to stop reading this thread, because I'm starting to agree with every post.

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#144 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:36 PM
 
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Yes, but what do you do when you have two children with two different needs?

Consensual living appeals to me, but what do you do when two people have opposing desires?
You find a mutually agreeable solution.
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#145 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:50 PM
 
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"Hey, looks like we have two hungry kids and one piece of cheese - do you want to split it in half, dc1, or do you need me to help?"
excellent suggestion, Atilla.
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#146 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:58 PM
 
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You find a mutually agreeable solution.
and what would one be in this case?

Jam 7, Peanut Butter 5, and Bread 2.

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#147 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 04:58 PM
 
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I think if a child "reached over and tore off a piece" of cheese from another child, I would call it snatching. Same if I did it.

In the example here, the cheese was allowed....so I don't understand the other examples. In fact, it was a special part of a trip to the store.

In the case of the antique, I'd guard the antique with my hands and ask for it back, explaining why until I got it. I'd be unwilling to grab it lest I injure the antique. I would also be really irritated..that I was in the situation to begin with...frick frackin antiques!

I don't remove, snatch, steal, plunder, confiscate, appropriate, grab, swipe or otherwise take by force things that belong to my children, unless there is an imminent and serious danger to themselves or others. I have in moments of slow-wittedness on my part. In retrospect, there is always a better way.

Here....just ask for another piece of cheese.

As in, "Oh dd, you'd like one too? Sure! Excuse me, friendly deli worker. Could I have another piece of your delicious cheese for my daughter? Thank you so much!"
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#148 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 05:18 PM
 
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and what would one be in this case?
Most likely, asking the deli worker for another piece of cheese.
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#149 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 05:22 PM
 
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Yes, but what do you do when you have two children with two different needs?

Consensual living appeals to me, but what do you do when two people have opposing desires?
Everyone is welcome to explore consensual living at the CL tribe, CL web site or CL yahoogroup. We discuss living consensually with children, with our families, and with our community. Toddler issues, sibling issues, partner issues, and in-law issues are common topics, including "leaving the park", toothbrushing, carseats, bedtimes, homework, sweets, tv, safety, chores, medical issues, etc. with a focus on creating win-win solutions. The key issue with seemingly conflicting needs is to identify the underlying needs and create solutions which address those. There are hundreds of examples discussed at the yahoogroup.

Here are the links:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=493985
(The tribe is not as active as the yahoo list.)

http://www.consensual-living.com/
The web site has several articles about Creating the Climate for Consensual Living and "have to" issues.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Consen...guid=140240070
Most discussions about CL are at the yahoogroup. Since we have over 400 members, there are many experiences shared.


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#150 of 175 Old 12-19-2006, 06:07 PM
 
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Most likely, asking the deli worker for another piece of cheese.
I don't really have a problem with that "ask for another piece of cheese" solution, just like I don't have a problem with the 'enforced sharing' solution, both seem fine to me. But, for the sake of argument, what do you do if the deli worker says, "Sorry, cheese is for kids 2 and up only." or "Sorry, one slice per family." or the deli worker goes in the back and doesn't come out for 10 minutes and there is no one to get another slice of cheese from?

I personally wouldn't feel comfortable opening a package in the store before it's paid for (gosh, never know when that ATM card won't swipe.. that would be just my luck!) and I don't see having to pick out a snack and go to the front and wait in line and buy a snack as a mutally agreeable solution. As the mom, that solution would be a serious pain in my butt, and my happiness matters too.

flowersforyou.gif

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