Unconditional Parenting Chapter 7: Principles of Unconditional Parenting - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-03-2009, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the chapter it picked back up again for me... post your thoughts here!
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#2 of 13 Old 05-05-2009, 07:12 PM
 
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I started this post by just writing the principles that struck closest to home for me, but then went ahead and wrote them all for those of us who don't have the book at home.

Principle 13: Don't be in a hurry!
This is my new motto. I plan too many things. I fly off to a wedding across the ocean with DD, come home, work all week and on my day off - I had planned a toddler disco. I'm insane! I'm doing a major schedule cleaning.

Principle 12: Don't be rigid.
Flexible, flexible, flexible! Have you the seen "The Incredibles"? Elasti Girl is my new alter ego.

Principle 11: Don't stick your no's in unnecessarily.
I must admit, I've this down. Now if I could get others to stop sticking their "no's" in.

Principle 10: "Attribute to children the best possible motive consistent with the facts."
A great principle. I am a special ed teacher and I was hit in the head by a rock by that "alientated 12 year old" (p 132), but "our inclination should be to give the child the benefit of the doubt" (p 133).

Principle 9: Keep their ages in mind.

Principle 8: Talk less, ask more.
I wrote "talk less and talk less" here.

Principle 7: Be authentic

Principle 6: RESPECT

Principle 5: Change how you see, not just how you act.
That is, see problems to be solved instead of infractions to punished.

Principle 4: Put the relationship first.
Basically, is whatever controlling intervention you are using "worth the strain on the relationship" (p123).

Principle 3: Keep your eye on your long-term goals.
"Whether you child spills the chocolate milk today, or loses her temper, or forgets to do her homework doesn't matter nearly as much as the things you do that either help or help her to become a decent, responsible, compassionate person." (p 123)

Principle 2: Reconsider your requests.
"before searching for some method to get kids to do what we tell, we should first take the time to rethink the value or necessity of our requests." (p 122)

Principle 1: Be reflective.

wife to DH mama to DD14 Jan '08 and DS 6 Sept '10
and 2 rescued greyhounds
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#3 of 13 Old 05-05-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#4 of 13 Old 05-07-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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Thanks for posting all those, FM.

I often (like now) have a sleeping or nursing babe on the lap and can't get to the book

Anyway, this is where the rubber hits the road for me and where I am having all my problems. Lots of work to be done over here. We've successfully managed to become a no-hitting family, but I've a long way to go to get to the unconditional part of this gig.

My son just pushes so many buttons -- or rather, I have too durned many buttons that are pushable. I need to work on attributing the most positive motives to his actions. It's tough and requires a BIG change in my thinking. I think pulling him out of school and doing as much unschooling as we can will help.

I have talked with my son and we're deciding, as a family, what principles are the most important to us as things to live by -- I'm a rules person and am trying to get away from that so that I can do more of these steps -- and we have spoken about ALL of us having to live by these principles -- esp me

We're thinking
HONESTY
DO NO HARM
RESPECT
I think that those should cover all eventualities. What do you all think?

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#5 of 13 Old 05-09-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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We're thinking
HONESTY
DO NO HARM
RESPECT
I think that those should cover all eventualities. What do you all think?
I think "honesty" falls under "do no harm". For ex, your beautiful and heavy-set friend says "Do my hips look big in these?" The honest answer is "honey, your hips look big in everything", but depending on your friendship this honest answer may cause harm. kwim?
For that matter everything falls under "respect".

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and 2 rescued greyhounds
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#6 of 13 Old 05-09-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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I think "honesty" falls under "do no harm". For ex, your beautiful and heavy-set friend says "Do my hips look big in these?" The honest answer is "honey, your hips look big in everything", but depending on your friendship this honest answer may cause harm. kwim?
For that matter everything falls under "respect".
hmmm. In this instance, honesty and do no harm seem to conflict -- I suppose then DNH trumps H. I do agree they fall under respect; I just need to spell them out for myself more clearly and these seemed the most important.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#7 of 13 Old 05-10-2009, 03:42 AM
 
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hmmm. In this instance, honesty and do no harm seem to conflict -- I suppose then DNH trumps H. I do agree they fall under respect; I just need to spell them out for myself more clearly and these seemed the most important.


Where is everybody? The next chapter's even better...

wife to DH mama to DD14 Jan '08 and DS 6 Sept '10
and 2 rescued greyhounds
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#8 of 13 Old 05-10-2009, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I love #11: don't stick your no's in unnecessarily. I hear so many moms who feel the need to "prove" to their child that they are authority. They look for no's. It's so much more helpful to look for ways to say yes. But back to the unneccessary no's, I have heard of parents who won't baby proof things because they say "I need something to say no to, so they can learn" it is more helpful to make the environment safe for child until they are old enough to understand that "the fine china is not a frisbee, but we have a frisbee in the garage if you want to go outside and throw it around a bit" why do you 'need' to teach a 2 year old not to touch the fine china? How will all that stress help anyone in the long run?
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#9 of 13 Old 05-15-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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wedding across the ocean with DD, come home, work all week and on my day off - I had planned a toddler disco. .
ok. talk to me about this toddler disco. i would LOVE LOVE LOVE to open up a place here (if i had the money or could get a loan at that...) that is for kids/families...like a disco teque. when i lived in MN the early childhood organization would put on these kid dances...it was in this funky party place...it was like a dance floor w/ surrounding seating/stools/tables...and a really fun little buffet/restaurant lounge looking area...i'd do it in a second if i could afford to.

maybe i could advertise and then rent a place and see how it goes...get me a disco ball and rent a dj...hmmm.

tell me how you were gonna do this.
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#10 of 13 Old 05-16-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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ok. talk to me about this toddler disco. i would LOVE LOVE LOVE to open up a place here (if i had the money or could get a loan at that...) that is for kids/families...like a disco teque. when i lived in MN the early childhood organization would put on these kid dances...it was in this funky party place...it was like a dance floor w/ surrounding seating/stools/tables...and a really fun little buffet/restaurant lounge looking area...i'd do it in a second if i could afford to.

maybe i could advertise and then rent a place and see how it goes...get me a disco ball and rent a dj...hmmm.

tell me how you were gonna do this.
I did do it! It was great and we'll do it again in Fall. I am lucky enough to be part of music community with a gig place that we have access to, so someone voluteered a few minutes to set up the sound and a few lights, some of the parents DJ'd, I brought a mat to soften some of the dance floor, and we brought the makings for sandwiches, fruit, juice and coffee. We put a sign by the table listing the prices: 2 dollars per child-entry, 2 dollars per sandwich etc. The money we collected we gave the gig place (which is also a cafe and alt. book shop) to support them.
So it cost me nothing. :-)
It is nice getting to write that and realizing how lucky am!

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and 2 rescued greyhounds
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#11 of 13 Old 05-21-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Materfamilias View Post
My son just pushes so many buttons -- or rather, I have too durned many buttons that are pushable. I need to work on attributing the most positive motives to his actions. It's tough and requires a BIG change in my thinking.

This is very true for me too. It's all those "things that hold us back" that keep getting in the way. I feel like I've been so negative lately (tired and trying to get things done before DD1 arrives) with DS1 and we are getting into a bad cycle. I'm not sure how this happens but we have cycled through rough patches before and then are smooth for a while again.

Right now DS1 is very much into doing his own thing despite what DH and I say/ask etc. I know it's just typical for his age. He's found his independence but he can really push all my buttons and often it feels like he is just trying to... examples: He'll come into tell me he hit his brother or made a mess with a huge smile on his face. And lately he's been into hitting and kicking while just giggling. This morning was putting his feet on the table while he was eating breakfast and saying, "look mommy," again just giggling and thereby getting his little brother doing it too. Keep trying to attribute the best possible motives but so hard sometimes!!

Areas that need a lot of work for me are talking less, not sticking in my no's unnecessarily, being in a hurry, and changing how I see, not just how I act. Thankfully I do feel like I am authentic with my kids and I am able to reconsider my requests and not be too rigid. But I certainly have lots of work to do!!

This is certainly a book that I will have to read over and over and over and hopefully get DH to read as well so he can help me with it too.

Jess ~mom to DS1 8/05, DS2 6/07, DD 7/09 and one surprise 5/11!
Melanoma survivor/patient. Diagnosed 11/09. Wear sunscreen. Check skin. See a derm.
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#12 of 13 Old 05-21-2009, 12:44 AM
 
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I am reading this book right now (just a bit past this chapter) and it's pretty much putting into words everything I've felt about parenting since I was a kid, lol! I'm going to harrass DH until he reads it.

I'm a modifiedartist.gif DH is a reading.gif we have 2 angel.gifs, and DS is a rainbow1284.gif baby.gif
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#13 of 13 Old 05-21-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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He'll come into tell me he hit his brother or made a mess with a huge smile on his face. And lately he's been into hitting and kicking while just giggling. This morning was putting his feet on the table while he was eating breakfast and saying, "look mommy," again just giggling and thereby getting his little brother doing it too. Keep trying to attribute the best possible motives but so hard sometimes!!
.
Is it possible to work it out with DH to give DS1 some on his own time with you? Seeing you prepare for DD1 before the birth, he may be concerned of how much more of your time and attention he's going lose when she is really here.
Another idea (adapted from Naomi Aldort): When you attribute the best possible motive try telling DS1 what his motive is. He might find it relieving to have words put to it and to know that YOU know that is a need beneath the behavior. For example, "That is a big mess you made. Do you think Mommy spends too much time (fill in the blank)? Should we clean this together? Are you worried that there will be less time for us to play with (fill the blank) when your sister comes?"

But what do I know? DD is 16 months. Let me know if it works and I'll try in 3 years.

wife to DH mama to DD14 Jan '08 and DS 6 Sept '10
and 2 rescued greyhounds
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