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#31 of 506 Old 08-09-2006, 02:51 PM
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Pat, you need to call in for back-up, and by back-up, I jokingly mean Anna, who has two children and lives consensually. Seriously though, Eman'smom, I only have one child but there are many people who live consensually with 2 or more children. I am not suggesting it is always a piece of cake but nothing is always a piece of cake is it? It is doable though, but I don't want to give advice because I only have one
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#32 of 506 Old 08-09-2006, 02:56 PM
 
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What Eman said.
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#33 of 506 Old 08-09-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eman'smom
I'd like to discuss something I love the idea of CL but with two kids with drastically different personalities I don't see how this is even remotely possible.
Well, my girls are 6 and 8 and they honestly could not be more different!! And we not only make it work but are thriving. We just got back from a trip to CA (we live in NC) and it was opportunity after opportunity to try to meet divergent needs and we did it. So, I know it can work. Do you have specific issues that aren't working for you?

I'm so happy to have one place to check here, I can never keep up
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#34 of 506 Old 08-09-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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Well gee, I'd like to poke a little bit more at "consensus" and what that means. Prior to my introduction to consensual living on this site (thanks, Scubamama!) my only experience with anything labeled "consensus" was a formal decision-making process in church meetings. Ds doesn't quite have the crossed arms for a "block" down yet Seriously though, I feel like we were very close to CL before I ran across it here and I'm very grateful to have a framework and language for our practices.

Here are some questions I've been thinking about:
What strategies do you use to seek consensus with a preverbal toddler? How do you determine "consensus" has been reached?
How strongly do you lead in the consensus process, and what cues you to back off?
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#35 of 506 Old 08-09-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ambdkf
. Do you have specific issues that aren't working for you?

I'm so happy to have one place to check here, I can never keep up
Life Ok our issue from 30 minutes ago, the kids want to swim in the pool, great we go outside, get the cover off, ds get in, dd is about to get in but forgot her horse, now she wants me to go get it with her (right inside the house) ds wants to keep swimming and doesn't want to get out, neither will budge, even after we've talked about both sides.......

To me it seems that we just move from one "issue" to the next.


I also have basic issues with ds who is 5.5 in general with him being unagreeble/unflexable/unwilling to see the other side.......

My kids are 5.5 and almost 3.

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#36 of 506 Old 08-09-2006, 07:24 PM
 
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Just subbing for now...hope to get caught up on the thread sometime this week, but love what I've read so far, mamas! I've been looking all over the net for people who practice consensual living...thanks for starting this thread, scubamama!

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#37 of 506 Old 08-09-2006, 10:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eman'smom
Life Ok our issue from 30 minutes ago, the kids want to swim in the pool, great we go outside, get the cover off, ds get in, dd is about to get in but forgot her horse, now she wants me to go get it with her (right inside the house) ds wants to keep swimming and doesn't want to get out, neither will budge, even after we've talked about both sides.......
We have a pool and have had things like this on occasion. Usually, the one in the pool is ok to sit on the stairs while we run to the house. My pool is set down from our house and I would still feel comfortable walking to the door with the one child and then that child getting the toy while I stayed at the door. You could try "playful" ideas like - timing the child who wants the toy or some how engaging the swimming child in a activity outside of the pool for a minute or two while you run in with the other - something like 'how many times can you run around the pool while we run as fast as we can to the house'. I would also hand it over to them with something like "wow, we are really stuck here - what do you all think we should do?" with a happy, playful tone - not a negative tone. I'm always amazed at how they can come up with some wild but workable ideas when given the chance. Even now (after the fact) I might talk to them and see if they could come up with a way we could have handled it to meet everyone's needs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eman'smom
I also have basic issues with ds who is 5.5 in general with him being unagreeble/unflexable/unwilling to see the other side.......
I think I'd look at the underlying needs. Does he feel he is being heard and that his needs are being met? My experience has been when we trust our needs will be met we are more able to help others get their needs met. So I would probably watch my child with that in mind and see if s/he was feeling thwarted or unheard or that something was happening that perhaps I hadn't been noticing. Then work to address that and see if things changed.
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#38 of 506 Old 08-09-2006, 10:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ambdkf

I think I'd look at the underlying needs. Does he feel he is being heard and that his needs are being met? My experience has been when we trust our needs will be met we are more able to help others get their needs met. So I would probably watch my child with that in mind and see if s/he was feeling thwarted or unheard or that something was happening that perhaps I hadn't been noticing. Then work to address that and see if things changed.
This is really more of another thread but....

Ds is a VERY spirited high strung child who most of the time seems to thrive off of conflict in some twisted way. Every need that is able to be met is and when it isn't we go over why is can't be met, try to work on a solution ect. But the kid is wired differently. To use the pool as an example lets say he had agreeed to get out/play a game ect, he would agree to it, to see dd happy that she got the horse only to "change his mind" to make her upset KWIM?

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#39 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 01:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders
Currently we are reading through Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting where he talks about TCS - and I'm still so new that I'm trying to figure out the difference, if there is one, between CL and TCS.
There's a discussion about this that just took place on the GD forum: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=496170

I'm wondering if anyone has reflections on my questions above. . . . or if I just kind of suck
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#40 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 01:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green betty
Here are some questions I've been thinking about:
What strategies do you use to seek consensus with a preverbal toddler? How do you determine "consensus" has been reached?
How strongly do you lead in the consensus process, and what cues you to back off?
I can take a stab at this, dd is 16 mo and not really a talker. Very communicative, yes, talking, no. I'm a bit of a translater

I work hard to communicate with dd and follow her cues. If she gives a sign for something, I go with it, that's really easy. I also ask her in yes or no questions, to which she often shakes her head yes or no. Would you like chicken? Would you like spinach? It's a weird way to talk about options because you're not saying them all at once, but it helps us to communicate on her terms.

I talk to dd ALOT. I explain what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, what's going on that day, etc. I think this is respectful of her, and it has helped us to establish communication. I guess that's what I'm trying to say, whilst babbling--communicate, communicate, communicate! They do it, even if there's no words. All behavior is a communication, what do her behaviors say to me.

Re determining if consensus has been met--While my ideal is active agreement on things, some things I settle for lack of dissent. Diaper changes are a good example of this. She would fight them like heck if I just grabbed her and changed her. Instead, I let her know that she's pooped and I'd like to get her changed because I don't want her to get a rash, then I sit with the wipes and clean diaper until she comes near me. She rarely sits down to be changed, but she always come close enough to grab without fighiting if I give her time to decide it's okay to get a change.

IME, the more power I give her in terms of reaching consensus on things, the more visibly she reaches it. Even at 16 months, I can tell that she likes having a "say" in how things are done, and she gets more and more assertive about her consent or dissent every day. I love it, it's so great to know where she's coming from.

Does that answer your questions? I love to see what Captian Crunchy has to say on this, she also has a young toddler.
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#41 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 04:07 AM
 
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Can I join you? (although I'll probably mostly lurk!) DS is 17 mos and I'd love to learn more about consensual living. We do our best to respect DS, to always talk to him about things that are happening, ask his opinion (he already good at choosing between two simple choices and is very clear about which he prefers), and read his cues. I feel like I have a lot to learn, though... when I get impatient, my first impulse is to just pick up DS and physically move him rather than trying to reason with him about whatever it is that I want him to do. I feel like I'm very good at respecting DS's wishes when they are apparent to me, but it's the other side, where DS is not respecting mine (not that I expect him to-- he's only 17 mos!!-- but I'm talking about my gut reaction here) that I'm not so good at. And I can't really figure out how to work on compromises with him at this age, although he's verbal enough now that he seems to understand "first we'll do X, then we'll do Y". I look forward from learning more from all of you experienced mamas!

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#42 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ally'smom
I think it's important to honor when others (people, dogs, whatever) don't give consent and I work with dd to do that. For example, if she were to hurt one of our dogs and the dog howled (like in the example from the GD forum), I would be inclined to help her stop by redirecting her to another behavior. I can't imagine that she'd protest but she might. That's not very CL--but the dog isn't giving consent to be hurt . . . .
I think it would very much depend on the situation how I might react. If it seemed dc was trying to communicate something like 'move' by hitting the dog, I would tell them some other ways to get the dog to move. If it was meant as playful and hurt the dog, I would tell dc some other ways to play with the dog, toss this ball, etc. If it was meant as a pat and came out a bit overexcited and might spend a few minutes demonstrating what pats and pets the dog enjoys(if I know the dog well enough). I might also point out how the dog reacted and explain why. Did you hear that howl? I think he's saying that hurt. I might point out if the dog is flinching or moving away. I might even get a couple books or videos about dogs and their care and behaviors to help dc read the animal's cues and learn what kind of care the specific animal needs if they are interested. We have cats around here though so its a whole other thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ally'smom
This is a silly example, maybe, but I can see a similar situation around an infant who can't move away. I guess my inclination would be to be sure to supervise them and keep the new baby with me to prevent dd from hurting the new baby. This sets us up to be able to be consensual, I guess. But is taht manipulative?
I imagine I would do those things. Babies (from my experience) love to be kept close to momma. It seems the natural order of things to me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ally'smom
so here's another example of what I'm talking about, maybe it will make more sense, I sort of feel like I'm rambling. We were at a playground today with dd's cousins and dd wanted to play on the teeter totter where her cousin was sitting. Her cousin didn't want to get off, so when dd went to climb on top of her cousin, I knelt down next to her, placed my hand around her waist, and said, "it's hard to wait when you want a turn. XXX is using this now, when she is done we can get on." My hangup is that maybe I prevented dd from following her impulse and sit on her cousin, who would have objected. That doesn't feel consensual to me, although it honored my neice's lack of consent to share.
My son can be quite impulsive at times. I guess you can say I have prevented him from following his impulse many times. I put a lock on the top of the door so that he couldn't walk out of the house, alone, whenever he wanted when he was littler. I call out to him or catch up and put my hand on his shoulder when his impulse is to run off when we are in a store, then we talk about where he wants to go and go there together. I put my body between him and the road when we walk somewhere and a few times have snagged him when he made to run for the road. We have discussed road safety many times, but he was still impulsive enough to run towards the road without stopping himself those times. I guess what I'm trying to point out that when dc is following an impulse that could hurt dc or someone else or be dangerous, it makes sense to intervene. You validated that she wanted to climb on RIGHT NOW and it wasn't always easy to wait. You gave her info about how when neice climbed down, she could climb on. It sounds like she made the decision to wait, if she hadn't she likely would have dissented and you could have went further into problem solving mode.

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#43 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Eman'smom
I'd like to discuss something I love the idea of CL but with two kids with drastically different personalities I don't see how this is even remotely possible.
My dh and I have drastically different personalities. He is very, very, very conventional, by-the-book. I am radical fringe, think for myself, outside the box, "on everything" he says. I am an extrovert. He is an introvert. Dh is politically different than I am many ways too. And I am passionate about politics.

And dh and ds have drastically different personalities. Dh is sensory adverse. He wants quiet, calm environments and activities without unexpected physical stimuli. Ds is extremely physical and sensory seeking. And we are all living in the same household! Dh wants to be on the go, go, go. Ds is a homebody. Ds and I are both intense ("passionate") personalities about everything.

Not sure which combination is more or less challenging, or complementing. We still work to find mutually agreeable solutions that meet everyone's needs. Fortunately, I am flexible and think outside the box. Ds is strong minded and much less flexible than we are. For dh, we just need to "put it on the schedule", and he wants a full schedule. But, I want an open-ended, unfolding lifestyle. And none of us like to be interrupted or to make transitions until we are good and ready! So, we have found discussion and discussion and discussion of our needs to be a primary aspect of identifying what are the core needs for which we are seeking to solve. Mutually agreeable solutions don't mainfest until we understand each other's needs and feel that our needs will be honored. Then the efforts are *toward* a common goal that honors everyone needs, not just trying to make sure our own needs will be heard.

This has been a journey of self-awareness mostly, for all of us. And then awareness of other's needs can be considered. In childhood, I didn't have the skills of self-awareness nurtured. On the contrary, I was directed to ignore my needs in order to obey my parents. It has been a struggle to learn to listen to my Self and identify my underlying needs. It has been much easier for me to sense or be attuned to our son's needs from birth. Learning to balance my needs as equal to ds's was a process of first *hearing* my own needs. Ds is much more adept at this already, because he has been supported to listen to his Self.

So, I believe that self-awareness is more supportive of creating mutually agreeable solutions than personality compatibility, imo.

HTH, Pat

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#44 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 02:02 PM
 
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My 7 month old (all of us actually) have bad colds. He has times where he cannot even nurse because he cannot breathe out of his nose. I am tryint to get him into the warm bath everynight, nurse frequently, and run a cold humidifier at night to minimize problems. But what he often times really needs is his nose suctioned out.

I just cannot even express how badly it is going. I feel horrible if I do not take care of his nose so he can breathe. I feel horrible if I try to clean out his nose and he is fighting like anything and clearly wants me to stop. I feel horrible if he cannot even nurse because he cannot breathe and he keeps latching then unlatching and crying, very upset.

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#45 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 02:03 PM
 
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Sometimes, when trying to find a mutually agreeable solution, I end up feeling like I am bribing my dd (age 4.5).

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#46 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 02:05 PM
 
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Sometimes I realize that in trying to find a "mutually" agreeable solution, I am actually trying to manipulate my dd into accepting my solution. does this ever happen to you? I realize that I can't enter into it with the idea that the only acceptable outcome is doing what I want - like going to the grocery store for example. I also have to be genuinely willing to compromise. This opened my eyes. Do you know what I mean?

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#47 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 02:08 PM
 
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My dd now actually has a saying. She often starts a conversation with, "remember, I want to do what I want to do". And said to me recently, "remember how you always give me ice cream before lunch and supper? I want ice cream". A lot of times we fail to come to a mutally agreeable solution about something so I just let her have/do what she wants and feel resentful about it. I really am not happy about her newly developing eating habits. Nor about how much TV she watches. I am afraid someday when she is grown, she will blame me for her bad eating habits and say, "You were the adult, why didn't you make sure I ate better?"

~Tracy

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#48 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green betty
Well gee, I'd like to poke a little bit more at "consensus" and what that means. Prior to my introduction to consensual living on this site (thanks, Scubamama!) my only experience with anything labeled "consensus" was a formal decision-making process in church meetings. Ds doesn't quite have the crossed arms for a "block" down yet Seriously though, I feel like we were very close to CL before I ran across it here and I'm very grateful to have a framework and language for our practices.
I haven't met a toddler yet who didn't know EXACTLY what he wanted to do. And that is most everything they can get their hands on! Of course, that is the joy of toddlers, they are so easily re-engaged with something equally exciting (and more agreeable to an adult) (ie. mutually agreeable). IMO, the issue of consensus is that something is consented to, or agreeable, to each member affected by the decision. Any act of dissent is the first step of moving toward an alternative solution which meets the needs of everyone. Dissent happens all the time. That is just a clue about the underlying needs not being addressed by the proposed solution. Without dissent, there is apparent agreement, imo. But, a solution to which everyone is in agreement is the goal. Am I talking in circles? I feel like I am saying the same thing in different ways. Not sure I can make it complicated.

Quote:
Here are some questions I've been thinking about:
What strategies do you use to seek consensus with a preverbal toddler? How do you determine "consensus" has been reached?
If someone is doing something and it doesn't impact me, I don't interfere with their actions, unless someone or something is going to be harmed. Then I intervene in the most supportive manner to meet the underlying needs of the individuals involved. Examples are more useful. Do you have some specific issues?

First I would seek to identify the underlying needs through validation (my guesses of the needs) and reflective listening (restating my observations (or restating their requests) of their actions in a non-evaluative manner): 'You want to hit the tv with the hammer? You want to climb on the counter? You want to pull the cat's tail? You want to drink my hot coffee? You don't want to wear the seatbelt? You want to take your clothes off? You want to eat the cat's litter?' This allows the preverbal child to conceptualize the actions in words and they generally agree "YES!! that IS what I want to do!" (by nodding). Or they may pause to see that you are not stopping them, and that you may be a partner at helping them to get their need met. To any observant toddler (which I believe is all of them), it is much more fun to have an adult *help*, rather than *halt* you. So, I have found that restating my observations facilitates the "partnership" atmosphere that is more effective at finding a mutually agreeable solution (ie. alternative in the above situations) than an adversary who is saying "stop", "don't", "can't", "icky", etc.

#1 An atmosphere of working together, rather than against.

"Consensus" then can develop based upon the child trusting that the adult is helping, rather than halting, ime. Subsequently, alternatives suggested by the partner-adult are approached from 'does that meet my need?' in the child's mind. A need to resist in order to *continue* to do the one action isn't created when one isn't thwarted, rather there is space to explore another, potentially more interesting, action. I don't know how to explain the atmosphere any more specifically than if the child is resistant, apparently, they aren't in agreement with your alternative solution. My experience is that this trust that you are helping *provides* the space for the child to want to see what more exciting action you are going to suggest and facilitate for them.

We had a situation recently, a little friend of mine was trying to reach something, I just said 'let me help you' and she didn't protest because she has learned to trust that I was trying to help. I picked her up and moved her around to the other side where she could reach what she wanted. There is no protest to my physically moving her because she trusts that she won't be obstructed from returning to the prior activity if my current (or subsequent, or next, or next or next, etc.) suggestion isn't as appealing to her. There is no history of being thwarted, so there is no resistance to being supported. At least this has been my experience with all the children in our lives. I have to conclude it has something to do with my approach of not obstructing or thwarting them meeting their needs which facilitates this trust.




Quote:
How strongly do you lead in the consensus process, and what cues you to back off?
Hmmm...I sorta already covered this above. I validate, restate and then make suggestions or actions which support the child's underlying needs. Sometimes this is done with a nod, pointing, verbally or physically, as I mentioned. Any protest on their account halts me in my tracks and we back up or engage in a manner that is agreeable. For instance, I have "delighted" my son away from a situation such as a huge sewer drainage pipe hole. I physically scooped him up and laughing said something along the lines of 'oh, let's go fly like an airplane' and zoomed with sensory stimuli of sound, motion and pointing toward someplace other than the drain hole. He has laughed along the way, because he trusts that I am working *with*, not *against* him.

As an older child, say past age 18 months, I would be giving more info 'That is a drainage hole. See the big pipe. See the barrier, see the man working with the shovel. Let's go watch him dig.' Giving information all along the way is often *as interesting* as touching. But, often finding a way to *touch* something agreeable is an alternative "engagement". 'Let's help the man and throw some dirt in.' 'Let's go dig a hole too'. etc.

Hth, Pat

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#49 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 02:38 PM
 
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I am so happy this thread got posted!! I am trying to be consensual, but it's SO hard with 3 kiddos under 3, and they are all pretty non verbal. The twins can say maybe 15 words each, and Rivka doesn't talk yet. I remember reading Aria's posts and her ds is only 2 months older than my girls and he was able to say he was upset b/c of something that happened hours earlier. My girls are SO not there.

How do you help non verbal kids find mutually agreeable solutions with each other? Common situation: they have started wars over clothes (I thought that would come at 12, not 2!! ). It's not always the same clothes. I don't mind switching what they are going to wear that day, I don't care if they match or not, but when I only have 1 dress, and neither one will accept any other, what to do??????? Sometimes I just start putting it on #1 and #2 flips out. Sometimes as I'm pulling something out of the closet they will both clamor for it. Sometimes I can distract with another dress, but ususally I can't (or they both want dress #2). Buying 2 of everything isn't an option, we have a lot of hand me downs and I can't really afford all new clothes for them. They are not at the level of "you wear it today and after I wash it you can wear it" They are really very much like babies w/ their communication, but like toddlers with their needs / wants.

Another issue is snatching from the baby. She used to not mind, so I would ask them to bring her another toy, but if she wasn't upset I just let it go. Now she minds . I try the "if you want that bring Rivky another toy" and that works sometimes, but not always. Also Rivka wants to crawl on them, on their beds, and they are usually not agreeable to that. But they have a mattress on the floor and from there she can get to the bed and that is SOOOOO fun for my climber. I don't let her climb on them, but I feel like she has the right to climb up on the matress and onto the bed. (and they like to play and sleep in her crib, but they don't get the concept of "you use her things and she can use yours"). My matress won't work b/c it's too high. They have a kid matress, and it's the perfect height for her to climb on.

OK I think I've blabbered enough. So how do moms of multiples / close in age kids do it? They are just not ready for negotiating. They are all in the I want it NOW and only THAT ONE will do. I can be flexible about my demands, but it's the stuff between them that is hard.

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#50 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 03:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Wugmama
Sometimes I realize that in trying to find a "mutually" agreeable solution, I am actually trying to manipulate my dd into accepting my solution. does this ever happen to you? I realize that I can't enter into it with the idea that the only acceptable outcome is doing what I want - like going to the grocery store for example. I also have to be genuinely willing to compromise. This opened my eyes. Do you know what I mean?
I know exactly what you mean! I catch myself sometimes doing the same thing (it's a good thing that I actually "catch" myself!) and stop in my tracks...

Sometimes I realize it AFTER the fact
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#51 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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My dd now actually has a saying. She often starts a conversation with, "remember, I want to do what I want to do". And said to me recently, "remember how you always give me ice cream before lunch and supper? I want ice cream". A lot of times we fail to come to a mutally agreeable solution about something so I just let her have/do what she wants and feel resentful about it. I really am not happy about her newly developing eating habits. Nor about how much TV she watches. I am afraid someday when she is grown, she will blame me for her bad eating habits and say, "You were the adult, why didn't you make sure I ate better?"~Tracy
Now this one is easier for me, LOL

1) Eating ice cream before dinner is no better or worse than eating ice cream AFTER dinner. It actually can be better because sometimes kids "force" themselves to eat the "desert" even after they are full already. This can not be healthy!

2) Even if (and it's a big IF!) she eats ice cream before dinner for two years in a row, it will not lead to a life long habit! I find if I trully (and I mean TRULLY) just let DD have what she wants she DOES choose other stuff, honest! It may be after eating mac-n-cheese for dinner every day for 3 weeks straight.

The *only* thing that I do to "prevent" her complaining in the future about her childhood foods is to eat healthy myself, which in turn implies that I have plenty of healthy foods around the house.
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#52 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Eman'smom
Life Ok our issue from 30 minutes ago, the kids want to swim in the pool, great we go outside, get the cover off, ds get in, dd is about to get in but forgot her horse, now she wants me to go get it with her (right inside the house) ds wants to keep swimming and doesn't want to get out, neither will budge, even after we've talked about both sides.......

To me it seems that we just move from one "issue" to the next.
I guess I would work to identify everyone's underlying need. If I understand correctly, you have a need for safety. Dd has a need for the horse and either doesn't want to get it, wants you to come along or wants ds to wait about getting in the pool while you get it, and she doesn't want to wait to get the horse in a bit. Personally, I see that dd, assuming she is able to get the horse independently has some options available to her that don't include anyone else needing to act. Wanting something doesn't entail expecting everyone else to do what you want, imo. Nor does it mean getting everything you want. But, it does mean that I will work to help each member of our family to have his needs met to the limits of reality. If dd didn't want to get the horse, but wanted the horse, and I am unable to get the horse, I would support her sadness at forgeting the horse and help her at the first available opportunity to get the horse.

However, I don't see that this is necessary. I would first evaluate my need related to "safety". Personally, if an action won't probably send ds to the emergency room, I choose to support his action without interference. I do provide information in order for him to make an informed decision related to his choices to act or alter his choices. I even state my concerns if his actions could affect or impact me. And I do make a request that he help to meet my needs for his safety. But, generally, this isn't necessary. For instance, I have taken a shower in the same room when ds was in the tub. The possibility exists that he could fall bump his head and drown in the one minute I don't hear him playing. There are millions of "what if's". But, I don't choose to live in fear. So, I am trying to visualize the safety risk here?

Can ds stand up in the pool, can ds swim, can he sit on the side and wait, can he play for a bit and then come out for a snack, can you provide a flotation device that he sits on while you run to the house, could dd stay at the pool side and yell if ds "suddenly drowns", can you see the pool from the house, can you leave a phone at the pool side, can dd call 911, etc? (I don't recall their ages) And all of the suggestions that Anna made regarding making it a game are creative options of engaging ds in the solution outside of the pool.

Of course, I would also evaluate ds's needs. Does he want to swim for a bit and then would he be willing to come out, does he want anything from the house also, what would make it agreeable to come out of the pool long enough for you to run up and get the horse? Basically, I don't see that he "has to" participate in the solution. But, I believe that we can ask him to help to find a solution which involves him and is agreeable to him. I have found that ds willingly does suggest solutions which involve him. I can imagine this same scenario with just one child who remembers something that he wants from the house and he doesn't want to leave the pool. He might suggest swimming a bit and then coming along to get the item.

You can choose your actions, and make your needs, feelings and requests known. But if there is any sense of an expectation or *demand* that one person comply in order to meet someone else's needs, I would anticipate resistance. The need for autonomy is huge for children. It is huge for adults. I just see expectations of others to meet our needs as an imposition on their autonomy, unless there is a desire to help. I certainly am becoming more comfortable asking others to help me, but this has been a progression from believing I had to solve things for myself. When there is an atmosphere of consideration of one's needs in the suggested solutions, it is easier to trust that your needs don't need to be "protected". And then I believe there is more willingness to support others getting their needs met. I find that when I work to create an environment of helping to meet other's requests and demonstrating appreciation (rather than an expectation) of others help, that they are more willing and agreeable to help.

For instance, if I asked ds if he would be agreeable to do xyz, I'd anticipate a different response than if I told him 'you need to climb out while I go do abc'. See how different that is received? And when I come back and thank ds for helping to do xyz, my gratitude at his agreement for helping is different than a disappointment or expectation of him helping. (I obviously don't know the dynamics in your home, I am just expressing my observations of when others expect or demand help vs. request and thank *me* for help. I treat our son's choices to help (or not) with the same honor and appreciation; and he does the same for us (most of the time, certainly not always).

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I also have basic issues with ds who is 5.5 in general with him being unagreeble/unflexable/unwilling to see the other side.......

My kids are 5.5 and almost 3.
Have you read Raising Your Spirited Child? I found this book changed my way of thinking about our son's intensity, persistence, strong mindedness, opinionatedness, passion. The examples in the book, maybe it was in How to Talk so Kids will Listen, demonstrated how the words we use to think about our child/life/situation affected our emotional reactions and energy toward them. This is a dynamic worth observing, imo. When I see our son as having a positive intent in his actions, as an effort to meet his needs in the most effective manner he is aware, I have much more opportunity to work *with* him than if I see him as an obstacle to my needs and other's needs. (Generally this myopic view occurs when I am tired, and not aware or taking care of my own needs. It is much easier to feel supportive of other's needs when mine are being met.) I see all dissent and behavior as a message of underlying needs. (my frustration=my own needs being ignored by me or overlooked) Intellectually, I don't judge other's needs as less important than mine. So, I don't see how they could be "unagreeable", that just seems to be a unidirectional pov. Their agreement is as valid as my own. By choosing to assume positive intent (and lack of skills) at meeting needs, we can find solutions! We can offer alternative tools to meet the needs that are constructive and agreeable to others. But, mostly, I can't get to this place when I am tapped out. This is a whole other issue, not the child's issue, but my own. I get here when we have too much scheduled or I miss my down time.

Oop, there is their ages. I thought I had seen it in the sig line, but couldn't remember.

Hth, Pat

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#53 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Eman'smom
This is really more of another thread but....

Ds is a VERY spirited high strung child who most of the time seems to thrive off of conflict in some twisted way.
I would assume that this is his only known means of filling some underlying need. Perhaps he isn't aware or capable of more constructive (ie. agreeable) means of having his need expressed or met. Perhaps, he is seeking attention or engagement. Perhaps, he is exploring the emotional cause/effect. Discussing "making someone unhappy", "causing conflict" are very powerful arenas for a child to explore how he is considered responsible, where his autonomy and impact start and end, the differing degrees of emotional intensity and how to express them. We are not born knowing how our emotional expression of our needs impacts others, we need space and time and support to experience the continuum of our emotions, our needs, and expression of our feelings. Additionally, we often need support to articulate our requests of others. If we have experienced others "telling" us what to do, and being expected to comply (such as in school), it is logical for a child to "try on" that communication dynamic in order to get others to "comply". When negotiation skills that consider everyone's needs are modelled, children practice these skills too. Our son is very creative at offering solutions which address his needs and ours. Many times, with ideas that I would never have considered possible but actually do address everyone's needs agreeable! Othertimes, he is Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired and is unable to process anyone else's needs until that need is addressed. I get that way at times myself. Fortunately, I have a bit more impulse control than our 5 y/o.

So, I would consider 'what need is so strong that he feels it necessary to "fight" for it?' Perhaps, it is just the active engagement. I know that dh, being an introvert can seem to be withdrawing from my extroverted needs. This isn't that he is being difficult (although it can feel that way when I need social interaction). But it is an expression of his own needs. Similarly, when I am 'talking his ear off', I am not trying to overwhelm him when he needs some quiet reflective time, I am trying to meet my needs for social interaction. The perspective changes when we trust that the action is related to an attempt to meet an underlying need.


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Every need that is able to be met is and when it isn't we go over why is can't be met, try to work on a solution ect. But the kid is wired differently.
I guess, I wouldn't focus on 'why it can't be met', rather on when and how it *can* be met. Moving toward a solution feels more optimistic than giving up a solution. Are there specific needs that we can help to brainstorm?

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To use the pool as an example lets say he had agreeed to get out/play a game ect, he would agree to it, to see dd happy that she got the horse only to "change his mind" to make her upset KWIM?
This sounds like an exploration of the power that he is being given over other's emotions. Have you read Siblings Without Rivalry? How do you discuss the upset that ensues? If we are saying 'you made her upset', we are creating the dynamic and belief that we are responsible for other's emotions. Granted, this is what we were told as children. Discussing emotional integrity is a challenging issue that could be its own thread! I am still learning all the time about this issue. When we feel that we are responsible for other's emotional stability, that is a heavy power that one must explore to understand. I don't know a great book about this other than Happiness Is a Choice. It isn't about parenting though, it is about personal power about our own life and how we choose to experience it. You know the ole' saying "life is 10% what happens and 90% our attitude about it". Learning this self-awareness and self-control is a long journey of exploration.

Pat

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#54 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tatermom
Can I join you? (although I'll probably mostly lurk!) DS is 17 mos and I'd love to learn more about consensual living. We do our best to respect DS, to always talk to him about things that are happening, ask his opinion (he already good at choosing between two simple choices and is very clear about which he prefers), and read his cues. I feel like I have a lot to learn, though... when I get impatient, my first impulse is to just pick up DS and physically move him rather than trying to reason with him about whatever it is that I want him to do.
I found this was a huge issue for me when ds reached about age 18 months. I wanted to be agreeable, as long as ds did things when/how I needed them to happen. I found that ds's dissent (read "resistance") really pushed my buttons for autonomy. My own autonomy to do things I wanted to do. Boy, it felt just like *I* was being thwarted from getting my needs met. It took me a long time to realize that my viceral reaction was related to having my needs ignored and obstructed in childhood. So, when ds (yes, the 18 month old) didn't want to go along, I wanted my way! Yep, we were two toddlers vying for autonomy. It took a while for me to realize that I could choose to model impulse control. And it occured to me that this was the only way ds was going to see this skill. If I just *insist* on MY WAY, I was modelling needing instant gratification. I didn't see how we could move out of this similar dynamic unless, I, the "adult" acted less toddlerish. :

Now, knowing and doing this were two different kettle of fish. I could be patient mama, until my needs were pressing. Finally, I sought to meet my needs proactively before they were urgent. Learning to do this required me to learn to ASK for help and not expect and judge myself for not being able to do everything all by myself. I was brought up to "Be Independent". Not a very useful skill as a mother, imo. I don't believe that we are naturally meant to mother alone. What was the question?

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I feel like I'm very good at respecting DS's wishes when they are apparent to me, but it's the other side, where DS is not respecting mine (not that I expect him to-- he's only 17 mos!!-- but I'm talking about my gut reaction here) that I'm not so good at. And I can't really figure out how to work on compromises with him at this age, although he's verbal enough now that he seems to understand "first we'll do X, then we'll do Y". I look forward from learning more from all of you experienced mamas!
Learning to listen to my body's messages and honoring my frustration as hints about underlying needs of my own were a huge learning curve for me. I am still growing here. Maybe, it just keeps changing as mothering keeps changing. And I am working on new skills. Until age 2ish, learning to meet my sleep needs concurrent with caretaking was a big step for me to learn. I have to say, I have learned a lot of ways NOT to do things too.

I found that saying "we'll do this, then... that" only works if they don't want to do the second thing first. Often, it is too hard for them to delay; and mentioning the second thing only puts the idea into their head for NOW. Another thing was to say "ok, let's do this first", helped ds to see that we were moving toward the second thing rather than him "waiting" until the first thing was done. Does that make sense? Engaging a young child in the moment with what we ARE doing is easier than helping them to *wait*.

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#55 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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Thanks, Pat! I feel encouraged that I will be able to improve my reactions in times of potential frustration if I start to monitor my feelings more closely. I've never been able to handle frustration well, and this is certainly a skill I'd like DS to have in his life, so I certainly need to work on modeling for him.

This statement really rang true to me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamama
Learning to listen to my body's messages and honoring my frustration as hints about underlying needs of my own were a huge learning curve for me.
I certainly appreciate the feedback and words of advice. I'll definitely stick around-- I have a lot to learn!

-Heather

Mommy to two boys, ages 4 and 6.

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#56 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 05:54 PM
 
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I found that saying "we'll do this, then... that" only works if they don't want to do the second thing first. Often, it is too hard for them to delay; and mentioning the second thing only puts the idea into their head for NOW. Another thing was to say "ok, let's do this first", helped ds to see that we were moving toward the second thing rather than waiting until the first thing was done. Does that make sense? Engaging a young child in the moment with what we ARE doing is easier than helping them to *wait*.
So far this is working because 1) I ALWAYS do the second thing if I say that we will do it, no matter how much I wish he'd just forget about it() 2) I only try this is the first thing is relatively short (like, first we need to change your diaper, then we can go outside) and 3) I repeat constantly throughout the process the statement "first X, then Y", and he sort of repeats it after me, as best he can. I think right now he likes that he understands the sequence of events a little bit. The issues that I'm struggling with are when we really need to go somewhere or do something and DS is too busy with his own world (which, I realize, is equally as valid to him as my tasks are to me... it's just that that's where my frustration comes in to play). DH and I both try not to interrupt DS's play when he's absorbed in something, but sometimes the timing is so inconvenient, KWIM?? Obviously these are my own issues to deal with, not DS's, so I'm going to try harder to keep my frustration from him, as I said in my pp.

Thanks!

Mommy to two boys, ages 4 and 6.

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#57 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Othertimes, he is Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired and is unable to process anyone else's needs until that need is addressed.
Oooh- I forgot about the HALT thing... that would actually be a good tool for me to use on myself to figure out why I get angry/frustrated, etc. With still nursing a busy toddler, I often feel run down and out of sorts but can't consciously figure out why, and of course that is when I tend to lose it with DS.

Ok, I'll stop posting for the time being... too many tatermom posts today!

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#58 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 7 month old (all of us actually) have bad colds. He has times where he cannot even nurse because he cannot breathe out of his nose. I am tryint to get him into the warm bath everynight, nurse frequently, and run a cold humidifier at night to minimize problems. But what he often times really needs is his nose suctioned out.
There is nothing worse than a sick baby and mom sick too. At least this was our worst time. I had no reserves for even one more struggle added to my sense of drowning and need for sleep and peace. I found that running a hot shower and then going into the bathroom when it was very steamy. And taking a pillow to prop against and just sitting in there several times a day (and night) for 10-20 minutes really helped ds's stuffy nose. I have slept with ds propped up on my chest while I am upright too. It is exhausting to have a sick baby. And I know you have your older daughter needing you too. I have to say our first winter was hell. Ds was sick 10 of 14 weeks with respiratory stuff. Finally, we saw a homeopathist and are now all on constitutional remedies and we don't sick more than a few days of sniffles. Never like we did before homeopathy. It is the only change I can attribute our improved health to.

We also use Sambucol for Kids and Vit. C at the first hint of a sniffle. We use large doses of Vit. C, which helps decrease runny, stuffy noses. If you increase your intake of Vit. C, the baby should be getting more. But, basically, if you are run down, you need to be taking care of you. Can dh help more in the evenings? I would take a nap as soon as dh arrived and then have a second wind for the night shift. Delegatingfood to take out or frozen or left overs or dh cooking. Napping when baby naps and setting dd up with quiet engaging activities. I saw a subsequent note with concerns regarding tv. But, basically, it is a cheap babysitter when ill. And I wouldn't hesitate to purposefully and whole-heartedly embrace that. Any "damage" that you fear from tv is much less than a stressed out mama, imo. (personally, I don't fear tv in the same way as many on MDC... a whole 'nuther thread. )



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I just cannot even express how badly it is going. I feel horrible if I do not take care of his nose so he can breathe. I feel horrible if I try to clean out his nose and he is fighting like anything and clearly wants me to stop. I feel horrible if he cannot even nurse because he cannot breathe and he keeps latching then unlatching and crying, very upset.

:

Tracy
You sound exhausted and out of ideas. It is so sad when our child is ill. We feel helpless. You might consider squirting some breast milk up his nose a couple of times. The antibiotics in your milk will help with any nasal infection. Taking some guifenasin (robitussin) helps to thin respiratory secretions. I don't know if it goes through bm, but is considered totally safe for babies, to the best of my knowledge. I wouldn't try to give him any directly though. You also might try salt water nasal spray. You wouldn't have to do a repeated suctioning and a quick spritz and it is all done. He might not mind that as much. Also, nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse...and drink plenty of fluids yourself. That will help with thinning the secretions a lot. Be sure to clean the humidifer (in your spare time) so that it doesn't start breeding pseudomonis (the pink moldy stuff). I use vinegar and water to wash it out.

Hope something in there helps. It will get better.

Btw, we did live without suctioning ds's nose. He hated it. So, it didn't happen. Oh, and avoid antibiotics! Which make thrush and huge issues GI-wise!!

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#59 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes, when trying to find a mutually agreeable solution, I end up feeling like I am bribing my dd (age 4.5).

~Tracy
I only consider it bribery if I wouldn't agree to the "thing" unless ds agreed to what I wanted first. If it is conditional upon doing what I want, I consider it a bribe, imo. Is there a specific example that you want to discuss?

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#60 of 506 Old 08-10-2006, 06:23 PM
 
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Ok, one more from me . Wugmama, I think DS was around 8 mos when he had an awful cold and also hated the nose suction. Scubamama had a lot of great tips, but I wanted to add one thing that worked for us, which was to make a big deal out of suctioning mommy's nose, then daddy's nose, then baby's nose, like it's a big game. I thought for sure that DS was too young to appreciate that when we tried it, but he actually got a lot calmer about the whole process and seemed really interested. Maybe even your older DC can help, too? We also did a lot of steaming and nursing in the bathtub, saline nasal spray, and breastmilk up the nose, too. Good luck- it's awful to have a sick baby!!

Mommy to two boys, ages 4 and 6.

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