Observations of traditional discipline - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#121 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
ruhbehka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 513
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think it's also common and possible for parents to appreciate the item that their child wants without encouraging "affluenza."

There is middle ground between, "I wish I could buy you a hundred Hot Wheels, and everything else you want, Snuggly Huggly Bear," and "You don't need another Hot Wheel, you materialistic little grub."

Plenty of children would feel validated with a simple "Ooh, that one is pretty. It reminds me of the blue one you have at home."

Rebecca, mama to M (08/06) and E (04/09)
ruhbehka is offline  
#122 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 06:27 PM
 
mytwogirls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Where the corn grows
Posts: 2,340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree!!!!!!!!
mytwogirls is offline  
#123 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 06:28 PM
 
allgirls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22 View Post
I disagree. In some situations it would be indulging the child to empathize with them, even if you don't give them what it is they are wanting. This comes up very rarely for us, but if the child's 'want' is really excessive, showing empathy or turning it into a fantasy sends the child the message that it's okay to be materialistic, it's indulging that feeling of selfishness that prompted the child to say "I want___" in the first place. When your child is whining for a toy for example (which apparently many here are so lucky this has never happened to them...but anyway) if your repsonse is "yeah, wouldn't that be nice to have that" it seems like a reinforcement of materialistic values. I don't think that's the best response for kids who already have so much more than they need anyway. I think the distinction between wants and needs must be taught and reinforced by the parents. That's my opinion. I show my DS loads of empathy and kindness, he isn't going to be filled with resentment because I occasionally tell him matter-of-factly that he doesn't need yet another hotwheels car or box of legos. On the contrary, I've found it works the best for my DS (who was born to argue) because it's a very common sense, blunt, and truthful answer.

Possibly "in some situations" but alternatively simply by being satisfied by the fantasy means that you didn't really "need" the material object you were wanting. So that kind of proves itself to be a want rather than a need.

It is OK to want things. It's not so ok to expect them and feel entitled to them.

So anytime you "wished" for something that wasn't a need, didn't get it right away and went on without it means you learned that lesson, that wants and needs are different. I just like doing that gently with my kids.

I think there is a vast difference in "wanting something" and being materialistic. Simply wanting legos is not materialistic, wanting them enough to find solutions and ways to enable you to get legos is not materialistic.

Being materialistic simply means that you don't understand(or that you don't care) that things are just things and that they really don't define you. Yeah, they are fun to have but they are not important and that what is important is the friendships and people you cultivate, not the car you drive.

I don't think wishing in fantasy cultivates materialistic attitudes at all. I think it's just a fun way to get through the disappointment of not being able to get what you want when you want.

I think giving kids whatever they want without a thought possibly cultivates materialism in them. Teaching them to earn what they want by working towards a goal or teaching them they can actually be fine without that wish is teaching them the difference between wants and needs.

We all have wants. I don't know anyone who doesn't want some thing. Everybody who participates on MDC has a computer and usually it started with wanting one.

That doesn't make a person materialistic.

Mammal_Mama...no damage done...I think this has been a very productive thread. Thanks for sharing all you have with us.

PS..I was wondering who said their children haven't ever whined for a toy...
allgirls is offline  
#124 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 06:34 PM
 
allgirls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruhbehka View Post

There is middle ground between, "I wish I could buy you a hundred Hot Wheels, and everything else you want, Snuggly Huggly Bear," and "You don't need another Hot Wheel, you materialistic little grub."
allgirls is offline  
#125 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 06:39 PM
 
mammal_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Urban Midwestern USA
Posts: 6,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruhbehka View Post
Not at all. I think this thread has been useful, despite the derailing.
That's good to know! I still feel there's lots of good to be gained from continuing this discussion, and I'm glad there are some others who feel this way.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
mammal_mama is offline  
#126 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 06:42 PM
 
mammal_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Urban Midwestern USA
Posts: 6,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg View Post
I have found that empathizing with them regarding their disappointment over not being able to buy something, absolutely does not reinforce materialistic values. It reinforces compassion for other human beings and their feelings. It moves the focus from the material to the human, and teaches a lot about considering others.
I agree! And you've put it so much better than I could have ... I wanted to respond to that other post but wasn't sure just how to make my point. You've done it for me!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
mammal_mama is offline  
#127 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 06:56 PM
 
nathansmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,332
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg View Post
I hear what you're saying, OP. It is neat--the sudden realization one can sometimes have about how differently one thinks now as opposed to "back then." When you realize how much you're perspective has changed. And how good that realization can sometimes feel, when you recognize all the good your change in thinking/perspective has brought to your life.
Yep, I hear what you're saying too OP. I felt it like I was on a totally different plane of thought when I realised how far I'd come in my own thinking. I find now though, I don't think about it so much - I used to analyse "myself then" and "myself now" quite a lot - more about my own journey than actually judging others on what they were doing though. It was about *me* not them. Now I generally just exist in my own bubble with my own kids and do what I do without observing scenarios around me.

It's a Delight-Filled Life.
 computergeek2.gif 
 

nathansmum is offline  
#128 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 07:16 PM
 
allgirls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathansmum View Post
Yep, I hear what you're saying too OP. I felt it like I was on a totally different plane of thought when I realised how far I'd come in my own thinking. I find now though, I don't think about it so much - I used to analyse "myself then" and "myself now" quite a lot - more about my own journey than actually judging others on what they were doing though. It was about *me* not them. Now I generally just exist in my own bubble with my own kids and do what I do without observing scenarios around me.
ditto this. I do mull it about on here which often helps me further develop as a parent, grow, change, etc. So much to be learned from moms like Sledg and Mammal_mama and Monkey's mom..and even the moms that I don't necessarily agree with..sometimes just the conversation helps be put things in place and decide for myself if "yeah, that makes sense" or "nope, don't think that's right" etc.

and I do have moments of "I used to think that way" but it's a realisation not a judgement if that makes any sense.
allgirls is offline  
#129 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 07:38 PM
 
mammal_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Urban Midwestern USA
Posts: 6,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post

PS..I was wondering who said their children haven't ever whined for a toy...
I felt the pp's comment (that you're commenting on) really highlights the distinction between behaviorism and gentle discipline. With behaviorism, there's a belief that children are born without any intrinsic motivation to live cooperatively with others or to care about others' feelings.

So any time there's an undesirable behavior, there's a corresponding attempt to make sure nothing is done to "reinforce" the behavior. Hence the idea that empathizing with a child who's whining, will result in continued and worse whining.

This is in direct contrast to gentle discipline, which promotes a view of children as little people who desire to live in happy, loving, cooperative relationships with others, but who need our help to learn empathy and to learn about the effects of their behavior on others.

There may seem to be some overlap on the surface. For instance, LLL says that a baby who learns that he has to scream to get the breast, quickly learns to skip the preliminary phases of signaling hunger, such as rooting around, and just moves straight to screaming to get the fastest response.

So LLL recommends snuggling Baby close, and being attentive to those initial hunger cues, so you can latch Baby on and show him that screaming isn't necessary to get his needs met.

Therefore, gentle discipline advocates, such as LLL, do believe there's a relationship between what parents do and how children behave -- but it's still really the opposite of behaviorism, whose advocates often advise mothers to let babies fuss a bit before feeding, so they won't think their screaming will get "rewarded."

There are two very different attitudes toward infant screaming being expressed here: whereas I think all parents agree that screaming is unpleasant to listen to, behaviorists tend to perceive it as something that needs to be "negatively reinforced" out of the child (by withholding the sought-after "reward" ... which is really just punishment plain and simple).

Parents who practice gentle discipline view screaming as communication: it's the child's method for getting his needs met, if his more quiet hunger cues have consistently been ignored. Therefore, to avoid things reaching the screaming phase -- or to show an infant who was previously ignored, that things have changed and the parent is no longer going to make the child scream for his supper -- the gentle discipline parent is going to start holding Baby close and responding quickly at the first signal.

In the same way, I don't think any parent finds whining pleasant -- but a gentle discipline parent is more inclined to respond to the need beneath the whining -- such as the need for empathy and attention. There's less focus on making sure the whining is "nipped in the bud," and more focus on creating a situation where the child no longer feels he has to whine to get his needs met.

Edited to Add: Therefore, to try to finish my thought: the behaviorist perspective would be that any parent who believes in responding to every, "Mommy, I want ..." with empathy, must simply have a child who never whines. Because if the parent had a child who whines, she'd understand that empathy "doesn't work" in every situation and can sometimes "reinforce" the whining.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
mammal_mama is offline  
#130 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 08:20 PM
 
allgirls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Therefore, to try to finish my thought: the behaviorist perspective would be that any parent who believes in responding to every, "Mommy, I want ..." with empathy, must simply have a child who never whines. Because if the parent had a child who whines, she'd understand that empathy "doesn't work" in every situation and can sometimes "reinforce" the whining.


I have 4 children...I would have been so darned lucky to have even had one that didn't whine.

I do feel an immediate and primal need to stop it immediately..it is the most aggravating thing in the world so I understand the desire to stop it as soon as possible. But I think kind of long-term generally so I try to work with the children, teach them how to ask me without whining, model how to say it.

I also know from experience that it will eventually go away with patience, understanding and guidance. I work really hard to find out the underlying reason for it...

you will not believe it but my 4 year old is out there in the dining room and just gave a big whine about something that has gone wrong..

ok..that's taken care of. She didn't like the macaroni and cheese so I am making her a burger

anyway...thanks Mammal_mom..makes a lot of sense.

Thanks for taking the time. Off to eat dinner with the kids.

Cheers
allgirls is offline  
#131 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 09:19 PM
 
mz_libbie22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,231
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I felt the pp's comment (that you're commenting on) really highlights the distinction between behaviorism and gentle discipline. With behaviorism, there's a belief that children are born without any intrinsic motivation to live cooperatively with others or to care about others' feelings.

So any time there's an undesirable behavior, there's a corresponding attempt to make sure nothing is done to "reinforce" the behavior. Hence the idea that empathizing with a child who's whining, will result in continued and worse whining.

This is in direct contrast to gentle discipline, which promotes a view of children as little people who desire to live in happy, loving, cooperative relationships with others, but who need our help to learn empathy and to learn about the effects of their behavior on others.

There may seem to be some overlap on the surface. For instance, LLL says that a baby who learns that he has to scream to get the breast, quickly learns to skip the preliminary phases of signaling hunger, such as rooting around, and just moves straight to screaming to get the fastest response.

So LLL recommends snuggling Baby close, and being attentive to those initial hunger cues, so you can latch Baby on and show him that screaming isn't necessary to get his needs met.

Therefore, gentle discipline advocates, such as LLL, do believe there's a relationship between what parents do and how children behave -- but it's still really the opposite of behaviorism, whose advocates often advise mothers to let babies fuss a bit before feeding, so they won't think their screaming will get "rewarded."

There are two very different attitudes toward infant screaming being expressed here: whereas I think all parents agree that screaming is unpleasant to listen to, behaviorists tend to perceive it as something that needs to be "negatively reinforced" out of the child (by withholding the sought-after "reward" ... which is really just punishment plain and simple).

Parents who practice gentle discipline view screaming as communication: it's the child's method for getting his needs met, if his more quiet hunger cues have consistently been ignored. Therefore, to avoid things reaching the screaming phase -- or to show an infant who was previously ignored, that things have changed and the parent is no longer going to make the child scream for his supper -- the gentle discipline parent is going to start holding Baby close and responding quickly at the first signal.

In the same way, I don't think any parent finds whining pleasant -- but a gentle discipline parent is more inclined to respond to the need beneath the whining -- such as the need for empathy and attention. There's less focus on making sure the whining is "nipped in the bud," and more focus on creating a situation where the child no longer feels he has to whine to get his needs met.

Edited to Add: Therefore, to try to finish my thought: the behaviorist perspective would be that any parent who believes in responding to every, "Mommy, I want ..." with empathy, must simply have a child who never whines. Because if the parent had a child who whines, she'd understand that empathy "doesn't work" in every situation and can sometimes "reinforce" the whining.

Hmm...I guess my view is the opposite of both--I do think kids are born wanting to live cooperatively and I don't think they need to be taught empathy. How can you say kids are born social creatures but aren't born empathetic? That seems like an oxymoron. When it comes to being able to resist advertising and consumerism though, yeah I think my DS was born a pretty "blank slate" with regard to that. I don't think he whines for stuff because he has unmet needs (at least not always), he does it because he's a kid and naturally if he sees a cool toy he's going to want it. I don't see that as a character flaw or even something that needs to be "nipped in the bud." But it's definately not something that I feel warrants empathy. I don't really go out of my way to be negative either. To me, "you don't need another toy right now" is just telling it like it is. Am I risking my DS growing up with a crushed spirit and an inability to empathize with other people? I doubt it.


I also think there's a huge difference between infants and preschoolers and older kids, nobody was advocating CIO.
mz_libbie22 is offline  
#132 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 10:10 PM
 
mammal_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Urban Midwestern USA
Posts: 6,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22 View Post
How can you say kids are born social creatures but aren't born empathetic? That seems like an oxymoron.
I don't see it as an oxymoron to say that children are born social creatures, with a desire for loving relationships -- and also to say that they view themselves as the center of the world, and think of everything in terms of how it affects them. A person can be social and still need help learning to see things from others' points of view (which is empathy).

Quote:
I also think there's a huge difference between infants and preschoolers and older kids, nobody was advocating CIO.
I made the comparison with CIO, to illustrate the difference between behaviorism and gentle discipline ... and went on to tie it in with parents' differing responses to a child saying, Mommy, I want ..." Gentle discipline (as I see it) doesn't advocate worrying that empathy will "reinforce" whining or materialism.

Also, I guess I misunderstood you in your previous post: I understood you as saying that empathizing might send your son the message that it was okay to want things he didn't need ... in other words, I thought you were concerned about "reinforcing" materialism.

Now you say that you don't see anything wrong with your child wanting things, and you don't see this as behavior that should be "nipped in the bud." So ... where's the harm in empathizing, then?

While I agree that there are many differences between infants, preschoolers, and older kids -- I still see behavior as communication to be listened to, and I think I should take my children's dreams and desires seriously.

I realize it's often more complicated than when they were infants, and so much was solved by the breast. Whereas the nursing mama succeeds in meeting her infant's needs by giving him the breast when he asks for it -- the mother of an older child isn't necessarily meeting the real need by unthinkingly buying every toy the child asks for.

As an example, I know a mother who couldn't stand her toddler's shrieking, so when he shrieked she quickly moved to stop the noise. Since he often shrieked for whatever toy his older brother was playing with, she got into the habit of making her older child hand the toys to the baby, just to shut him up.

He was still a very discontented child ... though on the surface it looked like what he wanted was the toys, I think he was really seeking for more interactive play -- a need which might have been met by his mother getting down on the floor, and playing and talking with him. He saw his brother having fun with the toys, and wanted to have fun, too.

Also, I think in families where there's a lot of "trumping" going on (i.e. "I know you want X, but so-and-so wants Y, and his want trumps yours this time, so you can't have X"), a child may get the idea that the way to know he's important, is to see his wants "trumping" others' wants as much as possible.

As our children grow, I think parenting becomes more complex, and we have to do more listening to figure out what is really being sought. Sometimes, for sure, the best way to help our children to achieve a dream is to buy the item they're asking for. Sometimes it's better to find out what experience it is that they're really seeking, and help them brainstorm other ways to get the experience they want, without, for instance, having to go into thousands of dollars of debt.

I don't know for sure if cutting the conversation short by saying, "You don't need that," will stunt a child's ability to develop empathy. But it does seem to close the door on at least one opportunity to think, imagine, and problem-solve.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
mammal_mama is offline  
#133 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
ruhbehka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 513
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I don't know for sure if cutting the conversation short by saying, "You don't need that," will stunt a child's ability to develop empathy. But it does seem to close the door on at least one opportunity to think, imagine, and problem-solve.
:

I also think it's just a strange thing to say. "You don't need another Hot Wheels car." He didn't need the first or second Hot Wheels car, either, but you presumably bought those for him. What makes the 25th car different?

The message it seems to me to send isn't that there's a difference between wants and needs. The message I'd get, if I were the child, is that you, the parent, decide what you're in the mood to buy on a particular day, by some seemingly arbitrary criteria.

I guess it would make more sense to me if you always told your children, "You don't need that," when they asked you for anything beyond the basic necessities of life, but who actually does that?

Rebecca, mama to M (08/06) and E (04/09)
ruhbehka is offline  
#134 of 188 Old 01-26-2008, 11:48 PM
 
allgirls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruhbehka View Post

I also think it's just a strange thing to say. "You don't need another Hot Wheels car." He didn't need the first or second Hot Wheels car, either, but you presumably bought those for him. What makes the 25th car different?

The message it seems to me to send isn't that there's a difference between wants and needs. The message I'd get, if I were the child, is that you, the parent, decide what you're in the mood to buy on a particular day, by some seemingly arbitrary criteria.

I guess it would make more sense to me if you always told your children, "You don't need that," when they asked you for anything beyond the basic necessities of life, but who actually does that?
This is a really good point. I hadn't thought of that before.

Also..I remembering looking at candles at a department store and my MIL said "you don't need any more candles" (I have quite a few, I love them) and I was like "where does she get off..." I can't imagine why a child would appreciate being told that anymore than I did.

She could have simply said "you have a lot of candles, you must really like them"

I work really hard to not say things to my children that I don't want said to me. I try to present things in a way that is respectful of them as a person.

and sure, I didn't need any more candles..but I don't think it was her place to tell me what my needs were(even though she was right) and I don't think it's my place to tell my children. What I will do though is help them figure out for themselves. They are young and even when they know what their needs are they don't always know how to express them.
allgirls is offline  
#135 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 12:30 AM
 
monkey's mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
Also..I remembering looking at candles at a department store and my MIL said "you don't need any more candles" (I have quite a few, I love them) and I was like "where does she get off..."I can't imagine why a child would appreciate being told that anymore than I did.

She could have simply said "you have a lot of candles, you must really like them"
So true.

And what's the fastest way to prove that person wrong? Buy the thing, of course. Prove to them that you DO need it (even if you don't) and that YOU will decide what you need and don't thankyouverymuch.

I don't think most people like it when others make those sorts of calls for them. I know I wouldn't.

It's just one of those, "it only takes a minute to be kind," situations for me. And in the case of your MIL: "Manners are free."
monkey's mom is offline  
#136 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 01:00 AM
 
allgirls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
So true.

And what's the fastest way to prove that person wrong? Buy the thing, of course. Prove to them that you DO need it (even if you don't) and that YOU will decide what you need and don't thankyouverymuch.

I don't think most people like it when others make those sorts of calls for them. I know I wouldn't.

It's just one of those, "it only takes a minute to be kind," situations for me. And in the case of your MIL: "Manners are free."
I did..I bought it

My Mil...it's just simply the way she is...irritating but harmless.
allgirls is offline  
#137 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 01:03 AM
 
monkey's mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
I did..I bought it
Oh, no!

It's human nature, I'm telling ya.
monkey's mom is offline  
#138 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 01:08 AM
 
allgirls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Oh, no!

It's human nature, I'm telling ya.
I'm so easy....it's in the bathroom..it smells nice and it is really good quality and burns a really long time...I really did need it, I really did
allgirls is offline  
#139 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 10:03 AM
 
madskye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22 View Post
How can you say kids are born social creatures but aren't born empathetic? That seems like an oxymoron.
I posted upthread that my upbringing was very traditional, and honestly, I don't think I learned empathy until I graduated from college--and I think I learned then because the people I worked with talked to me, and let me see the world honestly. My parents simply didn't talk to me about anything that mattered.
madskye is offline  
#140 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 01:39 PM
 
Jescafa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mammalmama, I think you've been really unfair on a couple of points here. The Nazi comment was really quite out-of-line, and hardly an original analogy (as you yourself pointed out).

You seem to assume that (with the hypothetical situation that thas been frequently discussed here) my honesty about the impossibility of ever buying my daughter a horse is akin to my complete shutting down of any desire she may ever have to learn more about horses or to interact with them directly. Nothing could be further from the truth. I wholeheartedly agree with you that figuring out how to satisfy that curiosity nd interest in more logistically feasible ways would be an elegant and empathetic way to approach the situation. That, indeed, is what I would choose to do, to the degree that is reasonably possible.

But buying a horse is, now and always, an impossibility, and I cannot believe that being honest about that, in a kind and sympathetic way, would erode attachment. In fact, I think that a kind "no" in this regard--with the understanding that, when she is an adult, she may choose for herself--is more ethically sound than leading her to believe that she may someday be successful in talking me and DH into buying her a horse, when I know, now, that will never happen.
Jescafa is offline  
#141 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 02:51 PM
 
mammal_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Urban Midwestern USA
Posts: 6,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Jessica, I'm sorry you feel I've been unfair. I've already realized the Nazi analogy was ill-avised from many different angles, and acknowledged as much ... so, like Forest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that" (at least, it's all I can think of right now).

As far as what I said about the horse, I'm glad to hear that you are open to brainstorming with your daughter about various ways to achieve her horse-related dreams. I'd had the impression that you (or maybe it was another poster -- I'm not sure, and haven't gone back to check) felt that this sort of brainstorming was "giving the illusion of choice where there really was no choice."

I guess I just don't believe in ever saying "never" about stuff. I feel like I never really know for sure what might become possible over time. So while I certainly wouldn't promise my child a horse, I wouldn't feel like I was "giving the illusion of choice" by saying, "Let's pursue your interest in the ways we can right now, and we'll just see what works out."

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
mammal_mama is offline  
#142 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 03:07 PM
 
mammal_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Urban Midwestern USA
Posts: 6,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
About empathy -- I do realize that some kinds of empathy require absolutely no explanation on our part, for kids to pick up on them.

For instance, I believe that all children who are accustomed to having their own cries compassionately responded to, will automatically respond to other children's cries with compassion. I've noticed this empathy in both my girls, from a very early age.

I was saddened once in the library, to see a 6yo girl yelling "shut up" to her weeping baby brother or sister, and laughing at/making fun of the crying child. The baby was crying in the stroller while the mother focused on the transaction she was involved in at the checkout desk -- not just for a moment, more like several minutes, and seemed to be ignoring the child.

Of course, I've read some posts here by mothers who say that they may look like bad mothers, because sometimes their babies have meltdowns where they don't want anyone to touch them, and it's better to just leave them screaming in the stroller. So I'm not going to presume about what was happening in that mother's mind, or why she wasn't picking up her baby. Maybe the baby really didn't want to be picked up.

But I was shocked at the way the 6yo was treating her crying sibling: it ran counter to the compassionate response I'm accustomed to seeing from any child (not just my own) when confronted with a crying infant. I think of this compassion as pretty basic, and wonder what happened to make the girl want to ridicule instead of comfort. Still, I don't know the family, and realize there may be some factors at play that I'm not familiar with.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
mammal_mama is offline  
#143 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 03:24 PM
 
Peppermint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: work-in-progress
Posts: 5,662
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just stumbled on this awesome thread (I so need to read here in GD more often!)

I wanted to respond to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Writerbird View Post
Mammal_mama, I think you put it very well, and your phrasing was free of judgment. You have a rare gift, and I hope you can tell I mean that sincerely.

It sums up fairly succinctly why this board has so much... drama, and why I don't think I can do GD.

As someone whose kid is currently on the inside and therefore perfect in every way (), I categorically refuse to choose a parenting method at this time. I need to see what his personality is like before I choose a method, for heaven's sake. But I am trying to do my research in advance, and figure out what I can do/live with/learn. Obviously GD is something I needed to learn more about before making that call, since more mainstream methods are all around me. Lurking here has been... educational, and I've been forming opinions.

I read the OP, and after all my reading here, I too immediately thought "that small child is trying to communicate that he wants to leave the bookstore, and feels unheard." It seems like this thread split into two camps - those who thought that the mother and child should therefore leave the store, and those who thought the mother and child should complete the errand.

I want my son to be happy and successful in a world that is neither gentle nor fair. It usually IS someone's turn to bite the bullet when it comes to unpleasant but necessary tasks. If I can teach him to do so with grace, without being a doormat, I will have succeeded at the only thing I'll ever do that really matters. It seems like teaching him from a very early age that his needs, preferences, and whims are always the final veto will set him up to fail in life, and to be a very unhappy person in general. That may not be the intent of GD, but it sounds, to me, as though that is the way it is practiced by the most zealous of the method's adherents.

I wish there was a discipline forum with a bit of a happy medium, because I expect that's where most of us fall.
You might just find that your LO comes out with an "easy" temperament. All 4 of mine have! (OK, can't be sure about the baby just yet). My kids LOVE to go to the store with me, they brush their teeth willingly, etc. They are not perfect or anything, but- with their "easy-ness", I've found that a little Playful Parenting goes a long way.

Just wanted to say it, so you won't be too scared/worried. Some kids are just easily agreeable. We are lucky because dh and I are both "easy going" too, so- we rarely have major meltdowns to deal with.

More in the vein of the OP, upon seeing a "misbehaving" child, my MIL will say "that child needs a crack" , whereas my mom would say "that poor child seems hungry/tired, etc." So- I can see the difference in perspectives really clearly.

On a more philosophical level (since I see from your siggie you are Catholic too), I feel this speaks to "the dignity of the human person" quite well

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
Peppermint is offline  
#144 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 04:26 PM
 
L&IsMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Simplifying...
Posts: 1,758
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
About empathy -- I do realize that some kinds of empathy require absolutely no explanation on our part, for kids to pick up on them.

For instance, I believe that all children who are accustomed to having their own cries compassionately responded to, will automatically respond to other children's cries with compassion. I've noticed this empathy in both my girls, from a very early age.
Well, um, I never let either ds CIO, and I never tell them to shut up when they are upset, or crying, and my ds1 has taken to telling his brother to "cry your speckled brains out". (see sig) Not very empathetic, but also nothing we have ever said, or done to him, so...:
L&IsMama is offline  
#145 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 04:42 PM
 
mammal_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Urban Midwestern USA
Posts: 6,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&IsMama View Post
Well, um, I never let either ds CIO, and I never tell them to shut up when they are upset, or crying, and my ds1 has taken to telling his brother to "cry your speckled brains out". (see sig) Not very empathetic, but also nothing we have ever said, or done to him, so...:
Okay, I notice that your sons are 4.5 and 3 -- so I'm guessing that sometimes they do stuff to make each other mad? I think it's fairly normal to siblings to sometimes say mean stuff to each other.

I didn't mean to make it so black-and-white, as if all children who are raised compassionately, will always respond compassionately to crying children (but I realize that's exactly how I put it, I'm sorry). Especially as kids get older and get into quarrels, they can get pretty mean at times.

But in my example of the 6yo making fun of her crying baby sibling, and yelling, "Shut up!" -- that just seemed pretty atypical IMO. But only that family knows all the particulars of their unique situation.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
mammal_mama is offline  
#146 of 188 Old 01-27-2008, 09:39 PM
 
L&IsMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Simplifying...
Posts: 1,758
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Okay, I notice that your sons are 4.5 and 3 -- so I'm guessing that sometimes they do stuff to make each other mad?
Oh, yes! All. the. time. :
L&IsMama is offline  
#147 of 188 Old 01-28-2008, 02:37 PM
 
Jescafa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Jessica, I'm sorry you feel I've been unfair.
(snip)
As far as what I said about the horse, I'm glad to hear that you are open to brainstorming with your daughter about various ways to achieve her horse-related dreams. I'd had the impression that you (or maybe it was another poster -- I'm not sure, and haven't gone back to check) felt that this sort of brainstorming was "giving the illusion of choice where there really was no choice."
Those are my words, all right, but that's not the context in which I'd said them. I was responding to this from crwilson, which I quoted:

Quote:
when I really, really, really wanted a horse, my parents were very good about it, even though they definitely didn't want a horse. They helped me calculate all the things that we would need, how much it would cost, and they also had me research all the things that I would have to do to take care of a horse. In other words, they took me seriously, even though I was probably about 9-10, when they could have just said no, too expensive, too much work. I'd like to be to do things like that.
This is what I saw as giving the "illusion of choice"--encouraging the child to research buying a horse as if it were a real option, with the goal of having them reach the conclusion that it is impossible before the parent has to say it. And I stated that I don't think there is anything wrong with it--that I might very well do things that way myself. But that at no point is it a true exercise of choice for the child. And that it is wrong (IMHO) to hold it out as the ethically superior approach to empathetically saying "no" at the outset. Either way can be kind, just, and attachment promoting, depending upon the child or the situation.

I think that steering said child toward horse-riding lessons, equestrian camp, therapy horses, whatever--all of which are great ideas--is a completely separate, unrelated approach and could be used in tandem with either of the responses above.

Quote:
I guess I just don't believe in ever saying "never" about stuff. I feel like I never really know for sure what might become possible over time. So while I certainly wouldn't promise my child a horse, I wouldn't feel like I was "giving the illusion of choice" by saying, "Let's pursue your interest in the ways we can right now, and we'll just see what works out."
Fair enough; and in most cases I would take a similar approach. Just not horse buying. I have been trying to think of another example but I'm stuck on horses. LOL.
Jescafa is offline  
#148 of 188 Old 01-28-2008, 02:55 PM
 
chfriend's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: in a red state
Posts: 4,887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay so I wandered back over and I'm trying to understand....Is it an ethical thing about the horses or that they're too expensive or is it something else? Is it like, "I will never buy my 16 year old a car?
chfriend is offline  
#149 of 188 Old 01-28-2008, 03:11 PM
 
Jescafa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also, this exchange both amused and frustrated me:

Quote:
Quote:
Well, I don't think anyone likes to be told that they are being inconsiderate, but sometimes it needs to be said, don't you think so?
Quote:
My thing is, I feel it would be extremely inconsiderate for me to presume to tell someone else whether s/he has a valid reason to be upset.
So it's inconsiderate to tell someone they are being inconsiderate? LOL

Quote:
Quote:
I think that's the sign of a healthy relationship and interpersonal dynamic that we listen to each other even when it's not all sunshine and roses.
Quote:
Yes, I agree. However, I also see the ability to stop my "tantrum," and listen and be rational while someone else tells me what a jerk I'm being, as a real mark of maturity. It's way more maturity than many adults are able to muster up when their emotions are raging.
Well, first of all, I don't have "tantrums"--my form of being inconsiderate is to make plans or organize our day according to what my vision of our priorities is. If I'm failing to recognize the priorities of my daughters or DH, or if I'm weighting things too heavily toward my own priorities, it's good that they feel open to speak up about it. Sure, if I were a perfect and perfectly mature person I wouldn't do this in the first place, but heck, I'm just human, and so are the other members of my family. No one will go through life without ever being inconsiderate or unfair, or without bearing the brunt of someone else's unfairness. I think it's good to model directness and discourse about this kind of thing.

Quote:
So, I would see the ability to listen "when it's not all sunshine and roses" (I'm assuming this means when the storms are raging and thorns are pricking?) as something that maybe I should try to model for my dear children -- but not an ability that I'd expect them to have right-off-the-bat (especially since I don't consistently have this ability at age 43!).
Yes, I agree--I don't expect them to do it at all. I don't chastise or punish for being "inconsiderate" or "unreasonable" or "unfair"--and I don't use those words to describe or label their behaviors, either. (I should interject that, of course--I'm talking about my ideals--like all parents, I sometimes slip and use language that I know is not best.) I honestly and empathetically (as much as possible) explain the emotions and situation at hand to help DD1 think beyond her own desires, to understand that other needs/wants have to take first priority. I.e.:

"I know, it is so hard to leave the fair when you are having so much fun, isn't it? But tiny girl [that's what we call her sister ] has really got to get in the car so she can rest; see how unhappy she is? And we should get home so that we can have supper. How about we take one more ride on the carousel and then we hit the road, sound good?"

or, to take the case in point:

"Oh honey, it really would be so much fun for you to have a pony in the backyard that you could ride to school every day, but the thing is that ponies are very expensive to buy and take care of, and we just can't afford one. Also our yard is much too small for a pony to live in, and the pony would be really unhappy without a great big meadow to run around in every day. Maybe we can think of some other way that you can be around ponies."

And when I'm baldly putting my own personal needs above hers, I try to be honest about that, too:

"Sweetie, I know you really, really want to play a computer game with me right now, but the truth is I'm having a really hard day, and I'm super tired because tiny girl was up all night last night, and I just really, really need some grown-up quiet time so that I can be a better mommy to both of you in the afternoon. I am asking you to try to understand that, and to do me the really big favor of just playing on your own for a little while until I am better rested. Then we'll play a computer game or do something else fun that you want to do."

Truly, that's all I've been talking about. And if that seriously runs counter to what gentle discipline is all about, well then smack my a$$ and call me Sally, and I'll not darken this forum again.
Jescafa is offline  
#150 of 188 Old 01-28-2008, 03:15 PM
 
Jescafa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
Okay so I wandered back over and I'm trying to understand....Is it an ethical thing about the horses or that they're too expensive or is it something else? Is it like, "I will never buy my 16 year old a car?
Probably I just explained this in my cross-post, LOL:

"Oh honey, it really would be so much fun for you to have a pony in the backyard that you could ride to school every day, but the thing is that ponies are very expensive to buy and take care of, and we just can't afford one. Also our yard is much too small for a pony to live in, and the pony would be really unhappy without a great big meadow to run around in every day. Maybe we can think of some other way that you can be around ponies."

Mostly too expensive--and because I do think that having any kind of animal in your care is a serious responsibility--and we are not in any way equipped to take care of a horse.

If I had the money, which is not bloody likely, I could see myself buying my teenager a car, so that's not something I'd state an unequivocal "no" to. Taking care of a car is something DH and I could help with and advise on.
Jescafa is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off