beyond attachment parenting - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: which of these parenting practices do you follow?
my children eat what they want, when they want. i encourage healthy choices but let them have the final say 160 100.00%
my children go to bed when they are tired. i do not set a bedtime, even tho i want conscious time to myself at night 155 100.00%
i don't punish/gently discipline my child. i view anti-social behavior as a symptom of an unmet need/frustration and attempt to meet the need and brainstorm w/my child other ways of getting her need met in the future 123 100.00%
i don't make my child say please, thank you or i'm sorry, but i talk alot about how helpful these words are in our social intercourse 112 100.00%
if i cannot convince my children to brush their teeth through playful means, i try again at night, the next morning. i never force it 98 100.00%
i do not forcibly bathe my children, brush their hair or make them change their clothes, no matter how much i may cringe at their appearance. 103 100.00%
if they do not want to go to the park/disneyland/grandma's house, and i can't convince them it's in their best interest we do not go. i don't buy tix to such outings without getting their okay 113 100.00%
ditto for running errands. i get a babysitter or dh to watch them if i don't think we can get through the errand without running into a conflict 97 100.00%
if my child wants a treat on an outing/errand, i don't say no "on principle". I may negotiate a less expensive treat if necessary 175 100.00%
i don't force my child to go to routine dr or dentist visits. if roleplaying doesn't alleviate fears, we put off the appt. 77 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-08-2003, 12:57 AM
 
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Sorry, I've been out of town so I'm a little late joining back in but I wanted to respond to this comment.

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If I wanted *me* time I probably should have not had children. The way I see it, this time is JUST for my children.
To me, that makes no sense. That's like someone saying about their husband "If I wanted *me* time I probably should have not gotten married. The way I see it, this time is JUST for my marriage."

Knowing myself, I know there are times when I just need a chance to catch my breath and be alone. I'm not saying I would force my child to go to bed. The alternatives don't appeal to me: i.e. CIO or strict bedtimes. But respect for such ppl who need this and see this as a disservice would be nice.

I want to say I do agree with this "parenting philosophy" if you can even call it that. I think that children can and should be able to make decisions for themselves.

However, sometimes the needs of different people clash (including parents and children) and a compromise has to take place. I think it is unfair to everyone for one party to ALWAYS have to be the one to give in.

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Old 06-08-2003, 01:18 AM
 
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I read a fascinating study. It said that the part of the brain used in excersing judgment develops very late in life (like after age 18.) I believe that this is definitely true. IMHO kids can't be treated as "mini-adults" who should be making the same decisions adults make. They just don't have the judgment.

Perhaps if children in our society were allowed to make their own decisions and use their own judgements (like in the ways suggested in this poll) they would develop this part of the brain much more quickly. If we impose a set list of rules and guidelines that absolutely must be followed children are not learning to use their own judgement, just following blindly what we have laid out for them.

Having a child who cannot be "guided", manipulated, coerced, or forced into doing anything he does not wish to do has really taught me how right these ideals are (in our family anyway). We provide an environment where making the "ideal" choice is easy and leave it up to him. We only have healthy food in the house, so eating only ice cream and cookies would not happen. Bathtime can take place any time and any toy in the house can go into the tub. If he chooses to have a ton of bubbles, or to add blue or green to the water that is fine. I can't force him to sleep, and he has gone weeks on almost no sleep. He learned that he did not feel well when exhausted all the time and now goes to bed without a struggle. He can brush my teeth if I expect to brush his. It works (so far) and all of us are happy, healthy, and relatively clean. If and when his needs (or ours) should change then so will our approach. In cases where anyone's well being is truly threatened (lets face it, being overtired is not a life-threatening condition) then safety wins out every time. (that much should be common sense though )

JMHO
Laurie


 

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Old 06-08-2003, 04:01 AM
 
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i think that my original inclination is to parent democratically.

two things have swayed me from this just a bit- one is the book 'reviving ophelia', (which is only one person's study, but really resonated w/ me). it is a study of girls, parented in different ways, and their ability to cope through adolecence.

her conclusion was that the girls who were parented in authoritarian, loving, and consistent way from birth to adulthood were secure and stable adolecents who tended to see things in a rather simplistic, black and white way: rule followers, basically.

the girls who were raised in democratic households were dynamic, bright think for yourself types, but deeply troubled (think depression, sex, drugs); perhaps kids need to be sheltered, have some decisions made for them , because in todays world, there are too many chioces- the responsibility of deciding for yourself every time is just too overwhelming, some of the possibilities too scary, realities too sad to assimilate it all at an age when you can barely even cope w/ a bad hair day, kwim?

so the best solution offered, (and she admitted not a fool proof one) was to begin the childs life parenting in a sheltering, loving, authoritarian way, and then as the child gets older to very gradually lean more towards a democratic style.

ok, so that was my understanding of the book anyway (anyone else read it and have a different take? that would be a whole new fun thread) and i believe it matches fairly well with the waldorf approach. there are lotsa things about waldorf that arent exactly my natural style, and yet i know so many (at least 5 or 6) kids who attend this particular waldorf school and they are all not only exceptionally neat, but also unbelievably well adjusted teens. so that really gets my attention, and i am taking some hints.
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:52 AM
 
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That's really interesting, sunbaby - makes me want to go out and buy (yet another!) book. DH has just spent all this money on a new (to him) guitar, so I probably will...reading for our vacation in July, maybe.

What you are saying makes sense to me on a purely practical level. I'm not comfortable with my 2 year old choosing to eat cookies for breakfast, choosing not to have her teeth brushed, choosing to play in the front on the house (we live on a busy main road), etc.

There are some choices that I am just not willing to allow my young children to make...yet as they grow older, I see the importance of allowing them to make more and more choices (even ones I'm not happy with) themselves.

In a sense, I dont' think that parenting democratically is entirely possible with children the ages mine are. So...we try, as much as possible, but there are some things we insist on (although that said - we 'insist' in the way that many of the posters here 'encourage'...I think the difference is that we would continue to insist even if the encouragement didn't work...which it generally does).

I would not be comfortable raising my young children in such a way that their wants (note: not needs) always took precedence over mine or those of the family as a whole.

It's interesting what you say about girls raised in a democratic fashion, though, sunbaby. I'm doing a child development course right now, and from what I've read, in cultures where teenagers are given adult responsibilities from an early age (say - 13/14 or so), there is very little of the typical 'teenage rebellion' we see in Western cultures....I'm wondering how this would fit in with the 'Reviving Ophelia' study?
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Old 06-08-2003, 09:53 AM
 
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I posted the following on the gentle discipline vs. spoiling thread and I think it applies here too. It talks about how we need to live in the moment and do what is best at the time...

"What attachment parenting is not" By Dr. William Sears


http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t130400.asp

quote:
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Attachment parenting is not indulgent parenting....attachment parenting is responding appropriately to your baby's needs, which means knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no."
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quote:
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Attachment parenting is not rigid. On the contrary, it has options and is very flexible. Attachment mothers speak of a flow between themselves and their baby; a flow of thoughts and feelings that help a mother pull from her many options the right choice at the right time when confronted with the daily "what do I do now?" baby-care decisions. The connected pair mirror each other's feelings. The baby perceives himself by how the mother reflects his value. This insight is most noticeable in the mother's ability to get behind the eyes of her child and read her child's feelings during discipline decisions. One day our two-year-old, Lauren, impulsively grabbed a carton of milk out of the refrigerator and spilled it on the floor. As Lauren was about to disintegrate, Martha mellowed out the situation and preserved the fragile feelings of a sensitive child and prevented the angry feelings of inconvenienced parents. When I asked how she managed to handle things so calmly, she said, "I asked myself if I were Lauren, how would I want my mother to respond?"
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Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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Old 06-10-2003, 05:00 PM
 
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Wow.

I'm not usually shocked by MDC threads but this one practically took my breath away. I think I need to re-read options and replies, because I did not check any of them (except the thing about saying No "on principle").

I strive to fully respect my children in a myriad of ways, but... they're CHILDREN and I do not let them parent themselves; I see it as my (and dh's) role to teach them things like taking care of themselves (including brushing teeth, eating nutritious meals), being thoughtful (including saying sorry), and so on. I interpreted almost all of these poll options as letting the child parent herself and run around like a bull in the china shop of life... no limits, no boundaries, just doing whatever she wants regardless of the impact.

So I think I need to take some time and re-read to make sure I didn't miss something. : :
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Old 06-11-2003, 11:21 PM
 
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was interesting . I didn't vote for any of it. dd has to brush her teeth, eat what is for dinner and go to the dentist. I'm surprized no one has called AP hippie parenting. and i'm not into negociating. It is true. children cannot parent themselves.
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Old 06-12-2003, 01:11 AM
 
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I don't see this list as "hippie stuff." I was raised by a self-proclaimed hippie who was way into spankings and parent-knows-best and because-I-said-so.

I see this list as respectful behavior toward children. It is the way I would want people to act with me. I would never want my dh to tell me "Well, this is what you're having for dinner!" or "No, you are going to the doctor and that's that!" I'm sure most people can relate to being told things like that.

I don't do the stuff I checked all the time, though. I might let dd skip a routine doctor visit but not an emergency one, and sometimes I tell her no or make her hold still, but I try to make sure it doesn't happen that often. I just have to do what works for both of us.
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Old 06-12-2003, 12:13 PM
 
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I see the list as children telling parents what they are are going to do. children need our guidence. example: last night for dinner there was rice,beans, meat and vegetables. that is what is for dinner. dd wanted cheetos(the organic kind from the natural food store) I told her that cheetos were not on the menu , that this is what her father cooked. she accepted it and ate it.If a child is telling you at 3 or 4 they are not going to the dr. or they are not going to brush their teeth , that is fine they can protest, but in the end the adult (parent) needs to make the decisions that will benefit your daughter.
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Old 06-12-2003, 12:23 PM
 
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Being mindful and respectful is not letting your kids walk all over you. And I fully agree with Greaseball that this is not a HIPPIE thing, because some hippies, like already mentionned, spank and have no respect for the children, just as any person really.

I think this list is about respecting, and not violating your child. Of course your child needs to brush her/his teeth, but at what cost? I have never had any major issues on things, but for example. Last night, I picked up dd from Montessori, then she went to hang out with Grandma for a couple of hrs, they went for a walk and played with her cousin in the pool. She came home at 640pm, she was exausted. I had had a stressful couple of hrs. I said to Soleil, okay, bathtime..she said, Mom, I'm really tired, do you think we can skip the bath tonight? She was asleep by 710.

Now, what would you have done in that situation? Would you have forced the issue, because you are in charge, not the child? I felt Soleil was right, she was tired, wanted to go to sleep. I respected her wishes. She was not 'walking all over me'.

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Old 06-12-2003, 03:51 PM
 
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T
At LLL we learned that tooth decay had more to do with genetics than hygiene. There were people there who had never picked up a toothbrush until puberty and never had cavities. I only brush dd's teeth when she eats candy, but I would not make her do it if she did not want to. I find that she wants to do what I want her to do more often if I just don't make a big deal of it.

I think threads like this just remind us all of the different parenting styles here at MDC...

Also, rather than give her everything she wants and do completely without myself, I think it's almost always possible to balance needs. Like with food, dd can't talk so can only request a specific food by pointing at it. I take her by the table, fridge and cupboards and if she does not point at anything, I sit her in her chair and bring her 3 choices of food, one after the other. If she refuses all of them then mealtime is just put off until she is hungry enough to choose something or point at a food.

And with bedtime, I decide when she has to go to her room and give the adults some quiet time, but I don't tell her she has to go to sleep. I give her food, toys and books and she sleeps when she's done playing. I think we both get what we want that way.

But some things just get "no" for an answer - hitting the chickens, not getting out of the doghouse when the dog wants in, throwing books, banging on the glass door with a coffee cup, etc. All I can do here is hope she will like the alternative activity I offer her.
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Old 06-12-2003, 05:44 PM
 
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I don't see how this is letting children "parent themselves". Why assume that because a child is allowed to make their own decisions that they will make the wrong decisions? We prefer to trust our child, and know that he will trust us in return.

We choose to lead by example and trust that our child will follow that example. He is learning manners because we are polite to him. When he gives us something we say "thank you", now he says it too because he has grown up with it being a natural part of interacting with others. If we make a mistake, yell, or are disrespectfull to him we say sorry, so he will learn that when he is disrespectful to others he should say sorry. For eating, if he does not want to eat what we cook he can choose something else (I don't cook something seperate, but he can have anything he can get for himself). We only keep healthy options, so anything he chooses is okay. If we only buy healthy things, and we only eat healthy things, then he will have that example to follow. Most importantly, he will have practice in making healthy choices.

Realistically, what choices will a child make that will be detrimental to them later on? I mean a couple of days of no teeth brushing will not make all his teeth fall out and a week without a bath will not cause irrepairable damage. Showing him that we trust him to make decisions now, when the decisions are small and safe, will help him to have the ability, experience, and confidence to make the bigger decisions later when it will really matter.

JMO

Laurie


 

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Old 06-12-2003, 08:38 PM
 
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akirasmama,

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Old 06-12-2003, 10:09 PM
 
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Well I re-read everything very slowly and carefully... and I still pretty much have the same opinion. This is definitely not AP being described, though I think that's plainly obvious to everybody (e.g., the thread title itself: "beyond AP").

Also, this is definitely not my parenting style. I am extremely gentle, patient, respectful and strive to meet my children's needs fully as soon as I can. But on the main, it's their needs I'm trying to meet, not just their wants - I see it that I as the parent need to make sure it's the need that wins out (most of the time) when the two cannot coincide together (e.g., the Cheetos vs. balanced supper example). In my family that means they NEED to say sorry when they hurt someone (even at the age of 1, we're starting with "Ouch that hurts your sister! I know you want her toy very badly, but you may not hit her." said firmly but gently.. and so on), they NEED to eat well most of the time, they NEED to learn to fit into our family and sometimes that means doing something or going somewhere they don't want to go (like church), and yeah they NEED to take care of their teeth and gums regardless of whether they'd rather have a candy bar than brush their teeth!

That being said, I do think that MDC is so great because even extreme viewpoints are heard and respected, and even though it's not my personal style, I say if it's working for you, more power to you!
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Old 06-12-2003, 10:40 PM
 
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I also don't think that just because I'm older, I know best. Dh is almost 17 years older than me and has 3 master's degrees, but that doesn't mean he knows more about what I need and what are good choices for me than I do!
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Old 06-12-2003, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well, quite a bit of discussion. all i guess i want to add (and it's really been said in one form or another already) is that i wish that those of you who feel strongly that this is a terrible way to parent could come to my house for a couple of days and see how it looks in action and how my children behave. i am so proud of my daughter when she chooses a healthy food, volunteers to share a toy or says thank you to a visitor b/c i know that she really feels those healthy, positive, considerate emotions and is not just trying to please my or keep my love. (and when she doesn't, i understand that it is a long learning process and i can be patient with it by remembering the successes.)
i do understand that it is an intense and difficult way to parent, i think in large part b/c it goes against our cultural conditioning and we have to fight a lot of inner resistence to do so, at least i do.
good luck to all of us in this most challenging task,
susan
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Old 06-13-2003, 12:37 AM
 
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I'm trying to meet, not just their wants
I think we are all trying to meet our children's needs. I feel my child NEEDS to be respected, NEEDS to be trusted, NEEDS to be in control to what happens to HIS body, etc.

Just to bring up another benefit....by allowing him control over his own body I feel I am keeping him safe in the long run. If he can feel that he is able to say no to me when I try to impose something on him (specifically on his body) he will also feel comfortable saying no when others might try to impose something on his body. I may only be trying to force a toothbrush in his mouth, but others intentions may not be so pure. There are many ways to teach children about being safe, saying no to peer pressure, etc. but allowing them the freedom and support and teaching them they can trust their own judgement can only futher this goal.

It is simply a matter of trust and respect for us, to treat him the way we wish to be treated, and the way we hope others will treat him. Obviously if he was suffering due to our approach we would not be fullfilling this obligation. I think that some may not understand the reality of parenting this way, which is why they may be shocked. In reality my ds eats very well, is pretty clean, very polite, and so much fun to be with, which ain't bad for a spirited kid who loves to go, go, go

Laurie


 

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Old 06-13-2003, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i thought your post was well-said, laurie.
i'd just like to add that if this were truly a disfunctional way to parent, we'd have horrible monsters for children and we'd either have abandoned it or be here at mdc begging for help with our out-of-control children. if you take a larger view of the posts in gentle discipline, you may notice that the majority of parents who post with behavioral problems or issues are parenting in the more directive, i-need-to-make certain-decisions-for-my-child (and-help-because-s/he-keeps-throwing-fits-about -it) style that has been discussed here.
susan, unable to resist a bit of debating even though she swore it off earlier (and telling herself she's not really arguing, just balancing out the discussion for any lurkers who are debating this for their own purposes. : i know, i'm deluding myself)
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:38 AM
 
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my children eat what they want, when they want. i encourage healthy choices but let them have the final say
Well, pretty much. I present healthy options, and they choose what they want. If they don't like something in front of them, they can choose something else. The only qualifier being that it can't be sugary dessert stuff.

Of course, this doesn't mean that I jump up from my dinner to fix something else for them. They can get up and get a banana or a yogurt. Or they can wait until I'm done, and then I'll fix them a sandwhich.



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my children go to bed when they are tired. i do not set a bedtime, even tho i want conscious time to myself at night
We talk with them about when their bedtime should be. We agree on it early in the evening, depending on how tired they seem. They are expected to follow through with the time they've agreed to. If they lay in bed and can't sleep, one of us will sit with them for awhile, or sometimes they can get up for a few more minutes if they really can't sleep. Reading in bed is always a choice -- they don't need to ask.



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i don't punish/gently discipline my child. i view anti-social behavior as a symptom of an unmet need/frustration and attempt to meet the need and brainstorm w/my child other ways of getting her need met in the future
Nah. Sometimes there are other reasons for anti-social behavior. We don't generally punish. There are often logical consequences and long disscussions though.




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i don't make my child say please, thank you or i'm sorry, but i talk alot about how helpful these words are in our social intercourse
I don't make my child say these things. If they hurt someone, I ask them to "check in" and I strongly encourage them to. The other day my older son accidentally gave my little son a bloody nose, and then ran off to play!!! I stopped him and told him that I knew it was accident, but that he needed to think of something helpful to do about it! He went and found a peice of his own candy and gave it to his brother.




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if i cannot convince my children to brush their teeth through playful means, i try again at night, the next morning. i never force it
We certainly cajole a good bit... but we make sure it is done. This is a matter of health, IMO.


Quote:
i do not forcibly bathe my children, brush their hair or make them change their clothes, no matter how much i may cringe at their appearance
Again, we get these things done. It usually involves a fair amount of cajolling. They choose their own outfits. Sometimes I ask them to change, esp. if they come down in something clearly too small! Often, my older son will refuse, and in the end we discover he just wants company or assistance. But we get these things accomplished in the end.



Quote:
if they do not want to go to the park/disneyland/grandma's house, and i can't convince them it's in their best interest we do not go. i don't buy tix to such outings without getting their okay
I agree with this. Though, I don't deprive the other child. We split up and one parent stays home, or we find a sitter.


Quote:
ditto for running errands. i get a babysitter or dh to watch them if i don't think we can get through the errand without running into a conflict
I also agree with this, to some extent. I've started telling my older son that he has a responsibility to cooperate with some errands, and I explain to him that even though it isn't fun -- in the end it means we get to have food. We've had a lot of talks about how he can contribute to our household by cooperating with errands. We're getting there... slowly.

Quote:
if my child wants a treat on an outing/errand, i don't say no "on principle". I may negotiate a less expensive treat if necessary
Of course! I agree with this 100%!


Quote:
i don't force my child to go to routine dr or dentist visits. if roleplaying doesn't alleviate fears, we put off the appt
I guess this just hasn't been a real issue for us. I definately wouldn't force the routine dentist visit. We've been okay at the dr's just because I hold my kid though whole entire time, and the doc. is very sweet to them... I can't imagine there being a big issue...
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:45 PM
 
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When my inlaws cut dd's hair, I realized that I really do care about her looks. But when I tried to even it out, she screamed, so I decided not to. It's not worth scaring her just to make her look better.

I do change her clothes if they get dirty. At 18 months she has not shown a preference for any type of clothing so I figure I still get to choose it. She gets a bath every week or so, when her hair starts getting greasy, but fortunately she likes the bath.
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Old 06-14-2003, 12:58 PM
 
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I guess I think of AP as no more or less than this : meeting your child's needs in a way that supports attachment.

I think the ap philosophy is helpful in deciding how to parent your child in various situations without making them feel isolated.

I don't think there is an ap answer to a question like "Should I let my kid live on a diet of ice cream?". Is that an attachment issue? Personally, I don't think so. It could be a gentle discipline issue. But assuming the parent isn' t going to spank or scream at the child, I doubt you could really say whether a "yes" or "no" answer is the correct "ap" response.

I also want to point out that there are a number of differences between true democratic parenting and the TCS philosophy.

If you read Summerhill, one of the earliest works on democratic child care, you will discover that the author repeatedly cautions against parents who let go of common sense in the name of idealizing democratic parenting. He specifically gives the example of what to do with a clearly over tired, crying toddler, who doesn't go to bed. "Put him to bed, of course", is his reply. He criticizes loudly parents who don't take safety precautions in order to satisfy the demand of their child (he gives the example of whether to put fireguards in nursery windows). He also shares the story of a child who drowned at Summerhill, nearly closing down the school such was their grief. They had not required lifeguards, but afterwards, they always did. The longer Neill worked with democratic childcare, the more comfortable he seemed to become with parents making safety or health decisions whether or not their child liked the idea.

I also want to point out that it is much more difficult to have a democracy of two people than one of twenty. Within democratic schools, for example, if a child refuses to put food in the garbage, resulting in roaches in the kitchen, all kids can put the issue to a vote. They could vote into existence a rule that demands a fine be paid if you leave food on the floor.

It is much harder to work that out with just a mom and kid at home. Some decisions will have to be made that appear, probably, one sided and authoritarian, but would not look that way if worked out with a larger group of people.

Additonally, in "The Continuum Concept", Liedloff mentions village parents have a zero tolerance policy for kids using the huts as bathrooms. They are swiftly reprimanded and shooed outside if they fail to respect that rule. Also, while she gives the impression that village kids were never hurt due to their handling of dangerous objects, she goes on to recount an incident where she treats the nearly severed finger of a toddler. And later reviews of the village by others note that in fact many of the children had scars from accidents.

I have yet to find, in any book, compelling evidence that children are harmed by, or that is unnatural for parents to make, the occasional safety or health decision in spite of the child's reluctance or resistance.

I think it may actually be one of the most fundamental, natural parts of parenting, to determine safe boundaries and work hard to keep your offspring within those boundaries until they learn to respect them. It seems to be the surest path to ensuring surivival in most mammal species.

Just some thoughts I hope will add to this discusion....

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 06-15-2003, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally posted by Heartmama:

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I have yet to find, in any book, compelling evidence that children are harmed by, or that is unnatural for parents to make, the occasional safety or health decision in spite of the child's reluctance or resistance.
This is where the whole, is it life threatening, or morally threatening question comes in. There has never been a question for example, of letting Soleil playing in the rd, to learn on her own what the consequences are!
Soleil understands this, just as the time last summer when she ventured out of the yard on her own, my instinct was a yell, I called for her is a psychotic voice, I swear. She answers, I'm over here mama....I ran to her and held her SUPER hard, hugging like, and told her how much she scared me, and how she can NEVER do that again. AS I calmed down, we discussed it at great length. She has never done it again.
IF safety is involved, then I step in. Otherwise, I allow her the space to be a child, explore and discover consequences. A banana for supper will not hold her for the night. She'll wake up at 2am, and say, I'm SO hungry, I'll say, (quite tiredly), you chose to pass on supper and have a banana, which is why you are now hungry, you now have to wait until morning, and have a great big breakfast. She hears the truth in that, and consequently, has learned something.
Soleil rarely walks away from a lesson without learning on her own. I am proud of her. And I know, that if a stranger were to try to impose something on her, she will/would have the confidence to stand up for herself, as she has always been respected.

Peace,

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Old 06-16-2003, 02:22 AM
 
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Originally posted by mamasoleil
I allow her the space to be a child, explore and discover consequences. A banana for supper will not hold her for the night. She'll wake up at 2am, and say, I'm SO hungry, I'll say, (quite tiredly), you chose to pass on supper and have a banana, which is why you are now hungry, you now have to wait until morning, and have a great big breakfast. She hears the truth in that, and consequently, has learned something.

Mamasoleil

This is what I do also and it is in my mind quite different than what some people advocate here. They would say children should be allowed to eat whenever they feel like it. For me, no. I do not make my kids eat anything they don't want. But they can't eat any time they "feel like it." If they skip a meal, they learn the consequence is to wait until the next planned meal or snack.
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Old 06-16-2003, 05:55 AM
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Maybe what she's learned is that when make a mistake mom won't be there to help out - in fact, she'll be there saying "I told you so." I don't want my kid learning that lesson...

I would get up and fix her a bowl of cereal or toast or something, assuming this is a child unable to do this for herself. I might grump a bit and be tired, but this isn't something the kid intentionally did to ruin your sleep, it was an error in judgement. *I* wake up hungry in the middle of the night every so often. I personally would be worried about teaching a child not to listen to her body's hunger signals, too... but most importantly, I want to model kindness.

And when things like this happened in our house, even when Rain was very little, they generally didn't happen more than once, and she generally appreciated what I did.

Dar

 
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:35 AM
 
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I'd like to say I'd get up too, but I am not very functional when I'm woken up from sleep. I think if my kids did that, I'd have to put them off until morning. And if they were hungry and miserable enough that they did get me up, I'd have a very hard time being gracious about it. I am not very much in control of myself when I'm that tired and sleepy.
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:55 AM
 
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I do not make my kids eat anything they don't want. But they can't eat any time they "feel like it." If they skip a meal, they learn the consequence is to wait until the next planned meal or snack.
The reason this approach does not jibe for me is, I feel it teaches a child an unhealthy message. I feel it teaches them:
"Hmmm I better stuff myself and ignore my full sensations at this meal/snack because if I don't, I will get hungry at the 'wrong' time and won't get any food" and "I can't trust my body to tell me if I am full or hungry, since my mom is telling me I am wrong about it so often." I think this approach encourages overeating and obesity in my humble opinion.

My kids often complain about the fact that at school they are not allowed to eat when they are hungry, but only at the one morning snack time and at lunch time.

But if an older child were hungry at night, I can empathize with asking them to wait until morning if mom is exhausted...what I sometimes will do is say you can go the kitchen and get a drink of soymilk (another mom might say cow's milk.) Times like that I miss nighttime nursing! Yes, when your kids outgrow it you may find you have to help them if they wake up hungry! How many of us woke up ravenous in the night while pregnant?

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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Old 06-16-2003, 11:41 AM
 
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If one of my kids asked for a snack in the middle of the night, I'd definately get up and help them fix it! But its never happened. Probably, that is why I'd do it -- because it would be so unusual that I would take it seriously. I can only imagine how awful it would feel to lie in bed hungry.

Alternately, I could send my older son down to fix something by himself, and I probably would do that if it were him waking hungry.


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Old 06-16-2003, 01:27 PM
 
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The example I gave hasn't happened yet, when she was younger, I got up I think twice because she was hungry, and I didn't feel she understood the correlation from not eating her supper. NOw, she is big enough to help herself to a yogurt or something. But personally, like Hydrangea said, I'm not um, gracious in the middle of the night.
It's funny because the biggest fight dh and I have is about eating. I really don't want to force Soleil to eat, I was forced as a child, my parents would make me sit at the dinner table until bedtime. I came out of childhood with food issues, big time. I'm just starting to let go now. My mother told me it was also an ongoing struggle with my dad, they did not agree on many parenting tactics.

Peace,

Mamasoleil
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Old 06-16-2003, 06:03 PM
 
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I don't say no on principle, we have always asked her opinion regarding doing things, and going places. I'll admit that when she was too young to stay home alone and I had no one to watch her she had to come when I ran errands. Now, she either stays home alone, goes to a friends or goes if she wants to. I don't do routine Dr visits, she only goes if she is sick enough to need medical care as opposed to home care.

I do some limiting of food. I do not buy soda on a regular basis and we limit the amount of sweets.
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Old 06-17-2003, 03:55 AM
 
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how does all this fit in with the idea of routine? for me, stuff like bathing, teeth brushing, meals are not only related to physical health, but also creating a feeling for dd that she knows what to expect when. of course, there are exceptions made for special circumstances, but i try to keep these to a minimum. even if she protests to a particular action one night, she seems to do better overall if i am pretty firm. for example, if she flips out because she wants something different for dinner, and i say 'this is what we are having' (with a cheerful, rather than confrontational tone) she gets over it pretty fast- if i start offering alternatives, she cant decide/ doesnt want anything, and it can escalate into a major fit which is usually resolved in my just feeding her what was originally offered. ok- it doesnt always go this way- arg- its always different- we pretty much just have to go with our instincts on what approach will work best for her at a particular moment. but i do think that making too many decisions for herself seems to create anxiety. i can really relate to a lot of the views being expressed here, while at the same time seeing some truth in their exact opposites.

with the hungry in the middle of the night example- i would be leery of getting up, just because dd does seem to turn such things into habbits (creates her own routine?)- so maybe i'd do it for one night, but if it happened again tomorrow, well, we'd need to work something else out.
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