beyond attachment parenting - Page 5 - 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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#121 of 244 Old 08-01-2003, 03:17 AM
 
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[But, my question for you that do parent this way, is how do you think such parenting prepares your child for interacting as part of a community?]

I have to wholeheartedly agree with this. I am a nanny for two children who's mom could check all of those boxes. I have observed on many occasions the children refuse(with their mom) to go somewhere, put their shoes on, etc. It turns into an issue. I by no means am iron fisted about it, I warn them "it's almost time to go" or something like that and then when it's time to go, they do it, becuase it's expected of them. These are two wonderful sweet kids who turn into MONSTER BRATS when mom is around. Life is full of things that we don't want to do, and learning to cope with that is part of growing up. And as far as manners, one has to expect excellence from their kids in order to get it. Pleases and thank yous are very important-I've waited tables enough years to know that(how nasty is it to have someone grunt their order at you?). Manners almost have to be(for lack of a better phrase)drilled into kid's minds as they're learning how to interact with the world. It's not natural-human nature-to be polite. It's a learned social behavior and who better to teach them than their parents?
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#122 of 244 Old 08-01-2003, 04:26 AM
 
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What I want my dd to learn about living in a community is that the adults MUST respect the children if they want the children to respect them. How would we like it if our kids just walked up to us and said "It's time to go, come on." Not very respectful - which is why I try not to do it to them! I want dd to learn that she does not have to show respect to anyone who does not do the same for her.

Re the doctors office fear - my dd is afraid of being weighed and measured. She seems to fear this more at the WIC office than the doctor's, and I think what I will have to do is just not be on the WIC program until she is less fearful. It's not just the exam, she starts crying right when we get there. She hates that place. So I don't want to make her go.
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#123 of 244 Old 08-01-2003, 12:22 PM
 
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Manners almost have to be(for lack of a better phrase)drilled into kid's minds as they're learning how to interact with the world. It's not natural-human nature-to be polite.
As far as manners and respect....the best way to learn is by example, not by having ideas "drilled into their minds". I treat my child the way I wish to be treated. He is a person in titled to the same respect I am. He is not a trouble maker, nor is he a monster because I don't force him to say please and thank you. In fact, at not quite 2.5 he already does say these things on occasion (as well as "bless you" when someone sneezes), not because I have ever told him he should (I have not) but because these things are said to him. He thinks it is a normal part of human language because we say these things to each other as well as to him. Children learn what is normal and accepted in their environment. If being polite and having good manners is common within the family a child will learn it on their own without being forced.


 

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#124 of 244 Old 08-01-2003, 09:29 PM
 
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Modeling good behavior is a no-brainer. You model good behavior and EXPECT it back.

As a working single mom I go to work every day to support myself and my ds. Do I want to go? NO Do I anyway? YES-It's called life.

On a different note...

"So I think of the toothbrush forced in the mouth comments and the thoughts on your child's control over his/her own body every time I'm gagging her with antibiotic......"

Everytime you are gagging you kid with antibiotics, think of my ds, born with kidney failure, NICU for a month, 1st(there have been 3 so far) dialysis cathetor placed at ten months, commence of tube feeding via ng(that's nasogastric meaning that the tube is shoved-by me-up his nose jammed around the corner to go down his esophagus into his stomach)at 16 months, he's tube fed until he pukes and then tube fed some more, I've lost count of how many surgeries/ procedures/ hospitalizations he's had, he was transplanted with my kidney and it failed, he's gets weekly injections, weekly blood draws, he's had so many IVs all of his veins are collaspsed and it takes 5-6 sticks to start an IV, asthma, he went completey blind due to severe dehydration and has only regained some of his vision, was on as many as 13 daily meds at one time, has a home health nurse that invades our home every morning and he's 28 months.

Maybe an annotated version of this story for a child who thinks it's difficult to do normal everyday things like brush teeth/ hair would realize what real hardship is all about.
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#125 of 244 Old 08-02-2003, 06:14 PM
 
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I think the forced drug issue is different if the drug is life-saving, or prevents serious illness or injury (though I do think the experience of taking the medication should be as pleasant as possible and heavily rewarded). I don't see why I should have the right to force my dd to take cough medicine or things that are more for convenience rather than medical necessity. And I don't think I have the right to brush her hair, either - fortunately, she likes it.
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#126 of 244 Old 08-03-2003, 12:49 AM
 
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Modeling good behavior is a no-brainer. You model good behavior and EXPECT it back

Actually I model good behaviour because I believe in treating my ds with respect. I say thank you to him because I am THANKFUL for whatever it is he has done. I treat him with the same respect, kindness, and good manners as I would any other human being. Because I consistantly treat all people politely he learns that is how we speak to other people. He learns manners in the same way he learns that people wear clothes or use forks. It is a natural part of life which will be learned eventually, not something to be expected at an unrealistically young age (in our family anyway ).
Laurie


 

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#127 of 244 Old 08-03-2003, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hello all,
i've been catching up with this thread from time to time over the past month and thinking about your posts and these issues a great deal.
first off, i am so sorry to read about your son's illness, ((mamabean)). i can't imagine how i would cope with the parenting challenges you are facing. i hope you are able to find a bit of space to nurture yourself as well, since you are giving so much of yourself to your son.
and yes, momtwice, everyday blessings was one of my first parenting books, given to me by my psychologist, friend and fellow meditator. your post reminds me that i should reread it, if i can get it back from a mom's group friend who has borrowed it and fallen in love with it!
the only other thought i wanted to offer has come up to me as i've read the posts here, and its a reminder to myself as much as to anyone here. when i read any intensity (by this i mean varying degrees of stridency, often verging on anger, or an apparent inability to hear, acknowledge or process the responses given by those of us who parent this way) in people's reactions to these parenting ideas, it reminds me of what i have come to know about myself: whenever i feel any flavor of anger or fear, i know a reaction has been triggered within me (with the exception of real and imminent physical threat to myself or my loved ones, which is a rare experience for me.) it may be that i am reacting to unnoticed thoughts running through my head about being a bad mother or thoughts that other people are judging me, or i'm projecting how this behavior might lead to something worse in the future, or i may be reacting to old, old wounds i'm not even consciously aware of.
it's always a red flag to me to stop and objectively examine the situation and the thoughts that have been running through my head. it may be that the action i was about to take is the right one, but the intensity with which i am moved to take it is about my own reactivity. more often, though, i'm impelled to decisions and words i later regret.
i have come to these parenting choices through conscious parenting. there's absolutely no way i could parent like this without having learned how to be more aware of what is going on inside my own head. my automatic, unconscious parenting choices are much more autocratic, punitive and controlling.
to me, parenting consciously means making considered (and considerate) decisions and responses to my children in each moment, not blurting out angry, anxious or irritated words, yanking toys out of warring hands, forcing arching bodies into carseats or toothbrushes into wailing mouths -- and i have done almost all those things at one time or another simply because i have unnoticed and unquestioned thoughts running through my head that this is how i'm *supposed* to parent (the thought that gives me both the most amusement and the greatest empathy for myself, when i catch it, goes something like "it's my turn to win, dammit!" and i know that's the voice of 4-year-old susan, poor little dear, raging against myriad spiritual violations, literally violations of her spirit, her autonomy, her body (being forced to eat foods that revolted her, for example) ah, but that's my story. and it didn't make me a permissive parent. it made me a parent whose automatic reaction was to force my kids to endure the exact same humiliations, dammit, because it's my turn to win, as if that made any sense in the world. so i try to be gentle with myself when i hate how i've just parented, b/c i can feel the wounding it arises from in me.)
sometimes it *is* necessary to force medical treatment on our children and *for me*, conscious parenting in such instances would be to recognize my painful emotional reactions as i have to do this and to not withdraw into grim silence or get angry as a way of defending myself from that pain, to be as gentle and loving to my dear self and my dear child as i can in the midst of such a difficult circumstance.
so, i guess i just want to suggest to those of you who read this thread and read through this poll, if it gets your dander up, if it makes your heart race, your arms tense up, if your stomach feels unsettled, why is that? your quick answer may be that you're reacting to something horribly wrong, but in my ever deepening experience of myself, such emotions are a sign that i am reacting to my *thinking* that something is horribly wrong, and while it is possible that something is wrong, it is often my thinking that is off in these instances of high emotion.
so, anyway, just my thoughts that have been cooking for the last month or so...
warmly wishing you peace,
susan
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#128 of 244 Old 08-04-2003, 05:01 PM
 
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Susan

I have said before that I do agree with most of your "ideals" mentioned. I have also said that my children must be especially agreeable as I don't have problems with simple tasks such as hair brushing and baths, mealtimes, etc.. I have also agreed with others that children living in a family need to be respected just as adults are, and need to be taught that other people have needs too.( heck sometimes I have to remind my dh of that, and he has to remind me, I don't think being reminded that other's have needs, is disrespectful)

My question to you is how would that work were you to have more than one child(does this only work with *only* children?), or if you were ever to have a real *need* of your own which conflicted with one of your child's wants? Also, what is permissive parenting to you, as you pointed out that your style is not that? One more thing I have noticed, there are a rare few that have expressed pure outrage over this style, but many have simply agreed with most of it, and not with other parts. I don't think people are as negative about this as you are finding it to be, by that's just from my POV. Just because people disagree does not mean they are feeling angry about this issue, just that they disagree, KWIM?

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#129 of 244 Old 08-04-2003, 05:28 PM
 
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What Patty said. Her post sums up both my parenting style and my first reaction to your post, Susan.

I don't feel angry about your parenting style, but I have several questions (some of which I've asked on this thread, and some of which other people have asked) which don't ever seem to have been answered by those who would tick every box.

I'm still wondering about them (Patty mentioned several of them).
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#130 of 244 Old 08-04-2003, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi patty and carolyn, i'm glad you posted.
i didn't mean to sound like i thought everyone who disagreed with me was angry and reactive; i was mostly noticing and thinking about the occasional posts you mentioned. i think it's perfectly normal to say, hey, i've never considered this before, i don't see how it could work, i do it this way instead, i'm curious how it could possibly work for you. i was thinking of the posts that are more strident and unquestioning -- how could anyone possible parent like abc. kids absolutely need xyz instead and that's the way it is. period.
and like i said, i was mostly talking to myself. it helps me to think things out in writing and i post them here sometimes just in case someone is working through the same questions i am and might find it helpful.
i am really glad you asked me what i thought permissive parenting was, patty. i was immediately resistant when i first read it but now am excited to sit down and answer that question. speaking of being reactive and emotional (did i mention that i find that everything i write or say is really about myself in some deeper way? ), i find that i resist even thinking about the concept of permissive parenting out of defensiveness, i think, b/c i know that's how my parenting choices get labeled by others who disagree with them. and i know that behind every defensive reaction i have is at least a grain of truth, so i'm going to explore that further.
but i'm going to have to wait until i have a bit more time to post that.
i'll also try to give more examples of how this works with my two kids. i really wish some of the other tcs parents who once frequented this board were still around and could offer their perspective. i understand there were some with older kids who could talk about how it's played out for them in the longer range.
but i'm certainly happy to answer from my experience.
anyway, i'll try to post soon, but it may take me a while to untangle and explore my thoughts on this.
warmly,
susan
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#131 of 244 Old 08-04-2003, 07:38 PM
 
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Susan

I really didn't mean to say, "you are permissive" and label you or something, I just noticed that in a previous response you had seemed to look down on permissive parenting, and not feel that that described what you are doing. My thought is that this sounds like permissive parenting to a T, and I don't judge that some people have mindfully decided to parent this way So, I really wasn't trying to get your dander up at all

So that maybe you can clear up this for us, since so far I haven't heard an answer as to how this works with more than one child, I'll offer a specific example and maybe you could tell me what you would do. Child #1 has a soccer game (he is 7 years old) Mommy is home with him and dd (age 4), it is time to go, children have been told what is coming, and suddenly, dd decides she does not want to go. She is adamant that she wants to stay home and play. What does one who parents this way do in this situation? (In this example lets also assume that dd does not want a babysitter, and there is no one available to take ds to soccer game)

I ask this b/c it seems to me that anytime the children's wants are not the same, someone is going to need to go with the flow, and not get their way.

FTR- My response would be to offer dd to take whatever toy she wanted with us, and that maybe we'd stop somewhere she wanted on the way home, or some other promise, but if that didn't work, she'd still have to go with us (yes, I bribe on occasion, when my kids can't have things the way they really want them )

So, I'd like to hear your way. I really am curious about how this works IRL, and really have yet to hear any answers at to what happens when different family members have different wants at the same time.

thanks

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#132 of 244 Old 08-04-2003, 08:03 PM
 
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i beleive that no matter how parents may try to hide the feelings and motivations that cause them to make certain parenting choices, our children, without even realizing it themselves, pick up on it- are aware of and effected by the feelings behind our actions.

that is to say, for example, one mom can say 'we need to go to the store', and then end up waiting for an hour because her kid just cant stand to go right then, and it is ok with her because she has thought it through and realized she can compromise and wait a bit and feels that it is the most respectful thing to do, while another mom can do the exact same thing, but for different reasons, say maybe because she has a fear of confrontation and guilt or insecurity about being firm- i think their kids are going to be effected by this action differently, because the feelings motivating it were different.

so the key is not so much what you decide, as how you came to that decision. are you really observing yourself, thoughts and feelings? are you considering with an open mind how this will effect your kid, what messages you might be sending? i think if you stay in touch with what you know about how your own history has effected you, and take a moment to observe how you feel inside, and then try to step into your kid's shoes for a moment, and THEN make a concious decision, whatever that may be- your child will feel that thoughtfulness, groundedness, and sympathy, and that will inevitably benefit him or her.
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#133 of 244 Old 08-07-2003, 09:27 AM
 
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Sunbaby, that makes sense to me, and I agree with what you are saying, at least in theory and in a hope that it works that way, as that's how I am doing things. I try to tell the kids why I am choosing to "give in" for lack of a better term. Like, "I realize you are enjoying this, and I know I wouldn't want to leave right now if I were having that much fun, and there is no good reason why we can't wait." This also allows me to tell them, "I realize you are enjoying this, and I know I wouldn't want to leave right now if I were having that much fun, but there is *insert reason here* good reason why we need to go now, I am sorry if that upsets you."

So, that's the answers I am still seeking from this. How does it work when someone else in the family acutally has a need other than said child? Undoubtedly, unless you homeschool, go to no organized outside activities that mean anything to your child, no one ever gets sick, etc. I could go on and on. I think every family has times where one person's need meets up against another's wants, and something has to "give". Is there anyone out there who can tackle that?

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#134 of 244 Old 08-07-2003, 12:05 PM
 
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I feel like the subtlety of the original poll and posts is kind of getting lost. to Jess7396 and others for getting back to the heart of the issues.

For example, in sueami's post, a lot of harsh, cruel, punishing words were used to describe others parenting styles, such as

* "blurting out angry, anxious or irritated words"
* "yanking toys out of warring hands"
* "forcing arching bodies into carseats or toothbrushes into wailing mouths"

Hang on a sec... when did we say that we were OK with outright abusing our kids?? I think the interesting issue was a lot subtler. Taking it to the point of yanking, yelling, warring, and forcing, is not really acknowledging the most interesting part of the discussion, namely wanting to fully honor every choice a child makes regardless of its consequences and letting them do almost everything they want vs. gently disciplining children when necessary and seeking to strike a balance between meeting their needs vs. meeting the needs of others in their family (e.g., going to gramma's house, going to church), respecting others (e.g., saying please, and I'm sorry, and trying to be quiet when older sibling is sick in bed), doing what is good for them (e.g., eating nutritious meals), and knowing that their desires don't always come first (e.g., need to go to grocery store, saying no to a toy or candy).

I think that was the fascinating part of this thread, not backtracking into black & white polarization of: no concern over kids' behavior vs. outright abusive tactics.

I am looking forward to reading more...
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#135 of 244 Old 08-07-2003, 12:36 PM
 
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I have had some of these same questions swimming around in my head, since this thread was started. I am wondering, that if occationally you, as the parent, know better, only due to the fact that you have lived longer and have some experience with life, more than your child, how do you deal with things like "brushing teeth"? I mean it is a fact that if you never brush or see a dentist bad things are going to happen in your mouth. Do you never have them brush? or see a dentist?
And I am also wondering how this works with multiple children. I have 3 and we are planning more. Not everyone at everytime is on the same page. We do homeschool, and I am pretty flexible when it comes to peoples wants and needs, but there are 5 people in this family. And everyone of us has needs and wants. I can see this type of parenting be much easier to follow 100% if it is just one child that has wants and needs. But then again, what about your wants and needs?
I too have needs that I want met. I am wondering, do you forever put what you want or need on hold? I am thinking, and I am not trying to pick a fight or anything I swear, that if you never let your child see that sometimes other peoples needs will have to come first that they are truly getting a diservice. I mean everyday, you as an adult have to let something or someone go first. And everyday you also need a chance to go first.
I will be honest here, and say food has been a BIG issue with me on and off for years. As I was growing up my folks would set a timer and if you hadn't finished eating in the set time you were spanked and set to bed. I learned very quickly to eat REALLY fast. My little brother never did. About 3 times a week he was spanked after dinner, it was terrible. I promised myself as a child, that I would NEVER make food an issue in my house when I grew up. But you are right, as time went by I wanted to win damn it! I never hit my kids, but they would have to sit at that table until they ate xyz, and they couldn't get out of it. Now though, I have stopped. I did some soul searching, made sure I had loads of good stuff to eat in the house, and let my kids make their food choices (well for breakfast and lunch) I make one dinner and they are welcome to eat it or not, otherwise they get themselves something else to eat. BUT that being said we don't say YUCK at the table, especially if they haven't tried something. Because they need to also take my feelings, and others into consideration. (OK enough with that)
I am truly interested in how all this works with multiple children. And how do you let your child know that others needs are just as important as their own, if they have the "final" say in what ever is going to happen that day? The example of getting their thoughts on vacactions is great, and we do that, but what if after all is said and done, and the tickets are bought and everyone is reafy to go, to say Disneyland, your child doesn't want to go? Do you forgo the vacation? And what if the next day they want to go?
How do you deal with those situations? Especially with more than one kid?
Think the concept behind this style of parenting is very wonderful, and since I started reading this thread, I have tried to remember to think, how my kids are feeling all the time. I have tried to make sure that we get on the same page, from one day to the next, but somedays that just doesn't happen. And sometimes people have to give. Give and take, that is what it takes to run a family. Sometimes you rae the giver, other times you are the taker. But it all evens out. And I would say that most of the time, everyone is happy and feels they are getting what they want.
Can I give one more example? My DH is doing on-line school. He is just about done with Statistics. It is a REALLY hard class for him. He also works full time. He has had very little time to spend with us for the last 10 weeks. We (me and the kids) have had to kind of "do without" him. We have had to give him loads of time to do his studies, even thought it has meant that we have not gotten what we have wanted. BUT, in the end with his BS he will get a better job and this sacrifice now, will actually make things better for all of us in the future. BUT, we had to not get what we wanted right now, to have something better later. I guess this is my "issue" (if you want to call it that????) with this style of parenting (I guess that is what you call it???) That you are always putting the childs needs above everything else. And I don't think that that is teaching or modeling or showing them "real life". What I meanis, if you are being respectful of their wishes and feelings, and making sure to be open to their requests and whims, then they also need to learn to do the same for others. I mean what if you have to poop, and they want to go "RIGHT NOW!!!" (out to do something, not go to the bathroom). I mean you honestly have to say, you have to wait a few minutes mom has got to go to the bathroom. They will learn to deal with being told to wait and told, sometimes, "no". And I d believe that I do know better about somethings, only because I have the life experience. So my children do brush their teeth once a day. Some lessons I don't want them to learn the hard way... ie having a sore and messed up mouth. But for most other things I am open to letting them gather the life experiences.
So I know I was all over the place with this, I hope I made some kind of since.

H

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#136 of 244 Old 08-08-2003, 01:58 AM
 
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namely wanting to fully honor every choice a child makes regardless of its consequences and letting them do almost everything they want vs. gently disciplining children when necessary and seeking to strike a balance between meeting their needs vs. meeting the needs of others in their family
It seems that we all perceive this poll a little differently and that is why so many have such different reactions to it. I don't think you necessarily honor every choice regardless of the consequences, but you honor the fact that it is THEIR body and they do have the right to say what happens to it (just as an example). That doesn't mean they do everything they want at the expense of others, life rarely operates in such black and white terms. Children can and will compromise if asked (of course not all the time, gotta be realistic) and often when needs are not compatible something can be worked out. If my 2.5 year old spirited child can learn to compromise while still being respected then I think it is possible Certain things are not optional, if mama has to go to the bathroom before we leave then mama goes. That should be a common sense, respect for other's bodies thing. Its not like teeth will never get brushed and hair will be dirty forever, these phases come and go. Just because one method of attempting to get teeth doesn't work it doesn't mean you give up altogether. Perhaps you just wait a while and try later, or you come up with a game or something. If that doesn't work, or it becomes a battle then wait till tomorrow morning. It doesn't have to be all or nothing (again, what in life is all or nothing). I don't know that a child would just never, ever brush teeth if allowed to make the choice (if efforts were still made to show the child the benefit of teeth brushing). If you just never bothered, then maybe it would be a problem, but that is not how I would interperet the original poll.

What works in our family (so far anyway) is to treat our ds as we would like to be treated in whatever situation. If compromises have to made we feel it should be a compromise ALL members of the family can live with. We also make sure that we have set up an environment where it is easy to make the "right" choices. We only keep healthy foods around, we brush our teeth together and invite ds to join us, we give him choices, etc. We also make sure to model the behaviour we hope he will learn and treat each other as well as ds with respect and good manners.

Just more rambling thoughts on the manner....
Laurie


 

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#137 of 244 Old 08-08-2003, 09:11 AM
 
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Laurie,

That was a great response, I am glad someone finally addressed the fact that children parented this way still have to learn that others have needs. My only question remains with this statement/sentiment
"If compromises have to made we feel it should be a compromise ALL members of the family can live with. "

Sure, this is ideal and what I think we all would love to have happen all the time, and taken literally, this always happens, my children can "live" with a trip to the bank that they didn't want to go on, but they may not be happy about it, and they may be really upset about it, I may have to go anyway(not that this actually happens- my kids love the bank, all those paths to run through ). For instance with me, my kids do not enjoy my Dr.s appointments, I will *not* decide not to go (I'm talking monthly prenatals here), b/c my children don't want to go (I get the impression that some on here would cancel the appointments-not arguing wether routine OB visits are necessary, for me they are, so that is a non-issue, are they life and death?-no, but I do feel they are necessary) my response is to try everything I can think of to make it pleasant for them, bringing crayons, color wonder markers which they don't play with at home, special treats, etc. Most of the time they deal with it just fine, but I can honestly say I have easy kids (I think partly b/c they have been taught well that others have needs too), if I had a "spirited child" it would be a lot harder, but i would still be going to my Dr.s appointments.

OIY- I think there is a lot of different people misinterpreting different things, and people thinking of these ideals differently. My stance is still, from the poll itself, as well as things that have been written, that it would be hard (or would take many years) for a child to become empathetic and understanding of others needs, if others needs aren't considered as important as the child's. In my family, everyone has needs, and we are all treated well and respectfully, my children do not get any messages that their wants are MORE important than others needs, but they are still respected IMO, and more respected IMO than if I raised them with a false "you are more important than all others" ideal. Sure, I do more often put my kids needs before my own or dh's, but I will not put one child over another child.

OK, now I'm rambling.

Patty

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#138 of 244 Old 08-08-2003, 11:26 AM
 
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Jumping in at the eleventh hour...but it took a long time to read!

This is not a black or white issue. When I first read the poll, I found the wording a bit off-putting. Skipping toothbrushing is not an option in my home, for health reasons, but this does not mean I force a toothbrush into dd's mouth, nor would I ever do so. That is abusive. Teaching her the reasons for proper oral hygiene and helping to make toothbrushing fun (a character toothbrush, flossers shaped like dinosaurs, etc.) works just fine. Nor do I "forcibly bathe" her. Bathing is expected, so it is done. She enjoys baths, and if she balked at them, I would work with her to figure out why and find a solution to the problem. There is a middle ground here!

I think that the wording of the poll suggests that children's needs and wants should come first at the expense of everyone else in the family, and if that was not what was intended, well...good. If I need to go to the market to pick up food for dinner and dd expresses as desire to stay home, I'm not going to stay home and serve cereal for dinner. But neither will I drag her kicking and screaming out of the house. I'll explain why we need to go, and offer an incentive, usually in the form of an activity ("Let's go now, get it done quickly, and then when we get home we'll play some games together." That's all it takes, really.

I can meet my child's needs and respect her wants without necessarily making our entire life revolve around those wants. I think that children need to learn how to effectively handle disappointment and frustration in order to function in the world. I can show my child that I understand her disappointment when we need to leave the park, but the reality is that we can't always do what she wants to do. I don't have to yell or threaten or punish or physically force anything to get her to understand this, though.

Because my daughter is treated respectfully, and because her feelings and opinions are treated as valid and taken into consideration, she is able to understand and respect the feelings and needs of others in her family. As a result, she is fairly cooperative most of the time. But if we repeatedly gave in to her wants at the cost of everything else, I think the opposite would be true.
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#139 of 244 Old 08-08-2003, 01:39 PM
 
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Some people think that if children (or anyone) are allowed to do/eat/wear whatever they want all the time, disaster will result, but it's not necessarily true. Children don't want to eat junk food all the time, nor do they always want to do stuff that would hurt other people.

I do whatever I want to, almost all the time, and almost nothing I don't want to do. So does dh. So does dd. The dishes always get done and dinner always gets made. I have yet to see how this is hurting us.

I think in a two-parent family there is no excuse for us to bring dd to one of our appointments if she does not want to do. I schedule my appointments around times when dh can stay home with dd. I schedule things around her naptimes, and if she decides to take a spontaneous nap right when I was about to go, I do my best to rearrange my plans. (Again, this is just for my family, it may not work for everyone else.) I sure wouldn't like it if I always had to go somewhere I didn't want to go that had nothing to do with me.
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#140 of 244 Old 08-08-2003, 02:08 PM
 
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OT- I just wanted to address that some 2 parent families have one parent who works hours that Dr.s are open to patients (like mine).

Also, my husband is a paramedic (and a former firefighter), so if he gets a call to go save a life, sometimes the kids get disappointed, and I think since it's not to a point of neglect, that that is good. I talk to them as he runs out about how daddy has to go help someone who is very hurt right now, and it teaches them that there are people out there, that they don't know, will never meet, who are hurting and that their daddy can help that person. As a matter of fact a few weeks ago, we came upon an accident, and dh had to get out and help the victims, while the kids and I waited in the car, Mary couldn't understand why we couldn't get to Grammy's house NOW. When we pulled away (after the ambulance came) she saw the accident, a car under a truck, nothing gruesome was visable, but then she understood. I think it's a good lesson for kids to realize others have needs, I know that's an extreme example that no one here would disagree with, but even in more minor ways, I need my kids to understand others have needs.

I have no problem with unmatched clothes (although dirty underpants and such are not an option), and messy hair, my issue all along has been with the "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 don't see how that works with more than one child, unless everybody doesn't want to go:

I'm sorry to be a pain about this, but I don't feel like anyone has addressed THAT issue to my understanding.

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#141 of 244 Old 08-08-2003, 02:15 PM
 
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Well, I'll try, but I do only have one child.

I'd say that if I had a bunch of kids and we had planned to do something together (I wouldn't make the plan unless I had everyone's agreement) and then one of them changed her mind and everyone else still wanted to go, I'd say that it wouldn't be fair to everyone else to not go, but I would try to make it as pleasant as possible for the one child. And then tell her that the next day, we can do something special that she really wants to do.

Or if it was somewhere like grandma's house, I could leave the kids who wanted to be there at the house and take the other one out for ice cream or something before going back there.

T
Since becoming mobile, my dd hasn't been able to go to the doctor with me. She walks around and gets into stuff and pulls things down. It's hard enough when dh and I take her to the ped to keep her from really messing things up. I can't expect my doctor to babysit dd while examining me.
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#142 of 244 Old 08-08-2003, 02:28 PM
 
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Grease

I'll just carry on conversing with you if you don't mind since you seem to be trying to help me understand. Did you see my "one child has a soccer game" example back a ways in the thread? this is the kind of thing, where you don't get everyone's agreement ahead of time, KWIM? Sure trips to the park, etc. which are meant to be fun for all the kids, I can see that you'd get everyone's agreement before planning that, but what about organized activities that mean something to a child? When I was little I remember going to my brother's tennis matches. I didn't enjoy them, my mom tried to make it enjoyable, and I never remember feelign like she loved him more, or didn't respect me b/c she made me go, I knew she had no option, other than to tell my brother he couldn't go to his match, which I knew wouldn't be fair.

OT again- the dr.s office, my 3 year old will sit in the chair and color, but my almost 2 year old has to be on my lap, or on my chest when I lay down, it's not easy, but it keeps him happy, and luckily I don't care if a Dr. minds , although they never seem to.

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#143 of 244 Old 08-08-2003, 05:01 PM
 
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When I was a kid my brother played soccer and I did 4-H dog shows, and we each hated going to the other's events. My mom would do things to make it as pleasant as possible for the one who did not want to be there, such as by putting together an "activity kit" of books and games and toys for the unhappy kid. So at the soccer games the rule was that I had to go, but I didn't have to watch. I could play with the activity kit. Then when I was old enough to stay home alone, I had the option of just not going. This included family vacations as well; I would just stay home if it did not interest me as soon as I was old enough.
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#144 of 244 Old 08-08-2003, 05:03 PM
 
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See, now that makes perfect sense to me

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#145 of 244 Old 08-09-2003, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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okay, sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this. i had to finish off a freelance writing assignment then, i must confess, i indulged in the new harry potter book. then i lurked on the HP thread in the books forum. made me realize how *serious* i am online these days. must lighten up, as twinmommy was perhaps alluding to. so, after wrapping up this, i'll probably wander over to the harry potter thread and offer my theories on a much lighter subject!

so, first off, i feel like a dolt for not having checked the GD archives sooner! it is filled with nothing but pages and pages of TCS (taking children seriously) discussion! so, i'm working my way slowly through that as well. silly me to think that just b/c the moms are gone, that their conversations don't linger on in cyberspace! fascinating stuff and in the face of their obvious understanding of this philosophy, i feel like i'm not qualified to be trying to explain it here myself, as i haven't delved into the tcs site and truly immersed myself in this philosophy.

that said, i'm sorry now that i didn't put more thought into the poll questions, b/c i can see that they're confusing to some of you in this discussion. in fact, when i posted this poll, i wasn't thinking about explaining this whole school of parenting to anyone who wasn't familiar with it, i was just trying to find out if there were likeminded parents out there who practiced this (and i knew there would be-- hi greaseball, akirasmama and you others ) so, i was probably overstating how it goes in our house, just to be clear that i was looking for people who are parenting outside the norm.

For me, this type of parenting is not child led in the way that some of you seem to think. it is one in which children's needs *and wants* get equal weight with the parents. (AP was easy, we could all agree babies *needed* what we so selflessly gave them. we have a much more ambivalent relationship with *wants* both our own and our children. i'm so intrigued by what i'm reading on the archived tcs thread that it's great to want and to get what we want! what a novel concept for me!) how that plays out is obviously the mystery here (was for me at least, when i first came across this) so i understand your requests for more examples (just not sure if you missed a long post a while back from me answering someone w/ examples. maybe they weren't the right ex.s for you)

to briefly respond to twinmommy, i think i wrote that description of parenting so strongly and baldly b/c that is how i parent when i am believing the thought (and it does creep back in for me, over and over) that i'm the parent and i should be in charge and i'm getting the resistance that we get from our children. i get harsh and try to force my will on them. and afterwards it feels awful, it feels to me just how i've described it there. so, yet again, what i say/write is always about me! hope you didn't take it too personally...

what is permissive parenting to me? i have to say what a great question that was to explore! talked about it some with dh last night too. i figured out much of my resistance to it and don't want to bore you with too much self-involved blather but in brief, i realized that how i am conditioned to parent by my own upbringing, if followed unexamined, is what's called a minimizer style by Hendrix and Hunt (really got alot out of their parenting book, giving the love that heals) which means, underinvolved, emotionally disconnected, and that's the kernel of truth i can find in my reactivity to permissive parenting. i go there (and then overreact with authoritarian decrees when i notice/feel guilty about it) when i'm not being very aware of myself.

that said, i think the concept of permissive parenting misses the mark for me in terms of describing bad/unhelpful/unconscious parenting style. for one, inherent in it is the very clear assumption "if left without limits/boundaries/rules, children will grow up rotten." i'm obviously not convinced that's true.
we could just as easily believe in our culture that left to explore their world and it's reactions to them children grow up with a clear understanding of how their actions affect others and a natural wisdom of how to relate to others. i think kids absolutely need to be guided, by our own examples and our gentle words, mostly (this, haha, as my dd is melting down b/c she won't share a pile of pennies with her brother! so,i have to go figure out how to respond to that)
sorry, i'll have to return to this later...
susan
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#146 of 244 Old 08-09-2003, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ohhh-kay, so, that was an example of unconscious parenting on my part. i think it may be relevant to this discussion, so i'll explain what just happened. i thought i had a sibling conflict to mediate just now but it was in fact something i created with my automatic behavior.
i was typing when 20 mo old ds woke. i took him downstairs where dh and 4 1/2 yo dd were reading a book and he climbed on dh's lap. on my way back upstairs to finish the post, i saw dd's coin bank filled with pennies from dh's collection and put it on the floor for ds to play with, thinking vaguely that this might help keep the peace and buy me time on the computer. well, dd immediately wailed no, that's mine. disgruntled that she was making more work for me, i marched upstairs to get a second coin bank, brought it down, dumped some of the pennies out of her bank and put ds on the floor to put the coins into the second bank. she continued to wail that those were hers and dh and i both jumped in with, no the pennies are daddy's, he's letting you play with them and you need to share them with your brother. (have i mentioned that i don't feel qualified to try and explain tcs to anyone else when i so clearly can't enact it at home sometimes?) dh takes ds and leaves the room, i go upstairs to send the post off before i lose it and to try and think through my response to this, b/c my *reaction* to it is to get really angry with her and to want to take the coins away from her to teach her a lesson on sharing.
i came back down to find her emptying all the pennies out of the second bank and putting them back into her bank (which further inflamed the reactive parent within me). i tried to talk her through what i imagined was going on with her (you feel like those are your pennies and you don't want to share them with harry? is that true?) and she bitterly refusing to answer me or listen to me but also did not want me to walk away, which is what i wanted to do in frustration. finally, i sat still and watched as she took the second bank and began filling it with the pennies she'd just taken out of it.
and that's where i realized what i had done wrong and how i had misread the situation. i had, without asking her or even thinking about it myself, grabbed her bank and taken pennies out of it (b/c i was only thinking about the pennies, which were communal property). it wasn't that she didn't want to share with her brother, she just didn't want to have it forced upon her without her permission and without any respect for her property (the first coin bank). so, when i realized that i apologized to her and explained what i now thought had gone wrong and that next time i would try to remember to ask her permission and she listened to it without comment, then went off to give her brother a coin bank to play with.
now, i am sure there are parents out there who think i should have disciplined her at several different points in this -- for not sharing, for being disrespectful -- but i feel like she and perhaps even more importantly, i learned an important lesson about respecting other people through how it finally played out.
back to permissive parenting,

i think unhelpful parenting that gets labeled as permissive occurs when parents set rules, say they will enforce them, then give up when their children press for the rules to change. much of the time, when i see this happening, i think the rules the parents have set in the first place are arbitrary and unnecessary and the reason the parents finally give up is that they can't really find the justification within them to uphold them under the pressure from the kids. other times, i think some parents give in b/c they have been conditioned as a child to do so to make others happy and they are too uncomfortable with their children's complaints.
i think this may be immensely confusing to children but the vast majority of the time i think the problem lies in the rule trying to be enforced; i can almost always find that for me, it doesn't need to be there in the first place. others will disagree.

a more disturbing parenting flaw for me is the underinvolved parent, who may be labeled as permissive too. the one who just can't stay/get emotionally connected with their child, who makes them entertain themselves, which turns into letting them roam the neighborhood by themselves looking for someone to connect with, who doesn't give them the feedback and guidance that they need b/c they can't muster the energy or they're too busy with their life apart from being a parent. i don't know if that type of parenting falls under anyone's definition of permissive parenting or not, but it worries me far more than the inconsistent parent described above.
i need to get back to my family,
i'll try to return with some more specific examples of how this works later; i'm so glad to see what others have offered from their own parenting experiences.
warmly,
susan


edited to clarify that i feel like *i* was the one who needed to learn a lesson from this morning conflict, not dd. she may well learn something, but i was the one who needed to learn about respecting other's property and asking permission first.
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#147 of 244 Old 08-10-2003, 12:27 AM
 
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I agree with most of the options for the poll. I don't like forcing children to do anything they don't want to do, unless it is serious emergency.

Noah is just under a year still, so a lot of it doesn't apply to us personally, but I just CAN'T STAND hearing other parents talking to their children like they are little imbisciles. Some big things that annoy me are times when the child feels hot, but the adult is cold (or the other way around) so they say things like, "no you're not hot, it's freezing out there! Go put a jacket on." Or "WHat are you talking about you're cold? ou don't need a jacket it's 80 degrees in here!" etc, etc., etc.

Or like when parents practically force feed their children. What, do they think their child will actually starve if they don't eat dinner exactly at 6:00 with everyone else, or if they don't eat the exact amount that so and so put on the plate for them? If the child is hungry, he/she will eat before they starve, I guarantee that!

Anyway, I think I'm done ranting about that for now, lol

There was one thing on the list that stuck out to me as being contradictory to the other things. the thing about if your child doesn't want to go to grandma's or disney, etc., you won't force them, you just won't go. Is this referring to the child not going, or everyone not going? It would go along with the rest of the original post if it meant just the child, but if it means everyone else doesn't go, then I do not agree with that point, nor do I agree that it is part of the "attachment parenting lifestyle."

One thing I see wuite a lot of with moms who have similar (ap or cc) parenting interests is that many of them make such an emphasis on the child's feelings and what he/she wants/doesn't want to do, and not forcing them to do anything they don't want to do, that in turn, the parent(s) ends up doing opposite of what they want their children to do. I believe we have to lead by example, and if the only thing you show your child is that you have to bend over backwards every time Janey doesn't want to go to see aunt milley, then I think all your teaching them is that it's good to let people walk all over you.

Anyway, I won't go into it any deeper because I'm pretty sure it was meant to imply that the child would stay home but everyone else could go to the park/grandma's house, etc.

just my 2 cents for now
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#148 of 244 Old 08-10-2003, 09:25 PM
 
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Sueami

Thanks for posting, I understand that you were simply posting looking for like-minded parents, I think you found more than you realize, as many of us, are off-put by the questions I am, like how do children learn about other's needs, the only clarification I have gotten, is that I may have misunderstood, that no one here (maybe?) is implying that one child's needs come before other people in the family.

The idea that eveyone will be happy all the time if everyone is respected might be pie in the sky and it might too be optimistic people, like someone mentioned that it is working fine in their house, no one is doing things they don't want to and everything still gets done. I do believe that can work for families where someone enjoys doing the dishes I am serious about that. I do not enjoy doing the dishes and neither does my dh, no we don't hate it, and I tell myself often that I should be thankful for dirty dishes as it shows we are eating. But, alas, dh and I split the duty that we both really dislike, for the good of our family. Oh, I also don't really love cleaning the toilet, I don't even remotely like it, but I do it. So, in our house, we do things that we don't enjoy for the betterment of the family, and I hope that by seeing dh and I do things that we don't love, for the family, our kids will grow up and have homes where they do the dishes and clean the toilets , wishful thinking? maybe. Anywho, I am just saying maybe were just not positive enough people, that we don't like to do those things, maybe in some families, all things are happy things. Sorry, I just had to address the idea that anyone can (I understand some could) live life doing only things that they enjoy, or don't mind doing, etc.

Now, I think I understand where you are coming from on permissive parenting, you don't like how the term is perceived, or societies determination to call parents that who are uncaring. I am assuming that you don't disagree with the actual term, but more the connotations of it?

I have said before, I agree with everything on the post except the idea that children who do not want to go somewhere will not have to go, I mean, sure if there is no good reason to go, and no other person in the family really wants to go, or someone is willing to stay home to care for them, or they are old enough to be home alone, etc. then ok, but I can't see how that works (and I've yet to hear that it does) with multiple children all the time, an ideal? Yes. A constant reality? Probably not.

So, I think my questions have been answered and I can agree with most of it But, I have said before, I have really easy and agreeable children so far, and we rarely have any problems with anything listed above, certainly not daily, or even weekly, and there always seems to be a way to help my children through things that they might not at first be thrilled about, although that may not be TCS, to try to convince them even.

Thanks though for trying to answer my questions.

Patty

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#149 of 244 Old 09-14-2003, 05:23 PM
 
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#150 of 244 Old 09-14-2003, 06:54 PM
 
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I wasn't sure whether or not to check the eating one, because while I do allow her to eat (or not eat) any food in the house she chooses (and at any time she chooses -- we don't have regulated meal times), I also make sure that only healthy food is available. If she was with me in a store and asked me to buy an unhealthy food, I would refuse.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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