consensual living tribe 2009!!! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-18-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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I totally meant to post this. This is the link to the article I was mentioned in about CL..that caused so much grief in my family..lol http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...ifeFamily/home

Lindsay: DS#1 (06/06) DD#1 (09/07) DS#2 (10/08) DD#2 (06/09). AND A BABY DUE NOVEMBER 2013

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Old 05-19-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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i didn't think the article was really negative- it seemed to showcase thoughtful, respecting parenting.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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i didn't think the article was really negative- it seemed to showcase thoughtful, respecting parenting.
It definitely seemed negative to me, since they ended the article with an expert slamming consensual living. For what it's worth, though, I saw part of this article in a newspaper through news of the weird, and it did not show the negative ending.

I'd forgotten about it, though. I'd love to talk about it more, if it won't rile anyone's feathers too much. It sounds like it's a sensitive topic for you, poiyt. But when my partner and I read the article, the doctor example really hit us. I know taking it out of context of the larger relationship may make it look very different, but one of the things I've struggled with the most in my CL journey is that when the process breaks down and often having thoughts when this process breaks down that what I need is more important. From my perspective, I give way to when she needs something, even if it means sacrificing something I need. But at times when it's two in the morning and I'm falling asleep on my feet and my daughter is yelling at me because she wants me to stay awake and play with her, I have a really hard time viewing her need to play with me as equally legitimate as my need for sleep.

Maybe this is off-topic. Anyway.
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:55 AM
 
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I am totally open to discussing it The only sensitive part was the critique from my family, and the fact that I was misquoted...or misunderstood...

I think for me, in regards to your general query about whose needs supercede who - I have two thoughts. 1) As an adult you are better able to assess needs, you are also able to be of the mindset that things can be just as fine/happy/"good" if you dont get what you want. There doesnt always need to be compromise - because its not a compromise - its simply a change, and you can recognize that you can be just as happy and satisifed with the change as with your original want. I dont think children have that ability - I think thats something we must show them. Its okay to want things, its just as okay not to get exactly what we want. And 2) Sometimes a need isnt directly expressed. Her wanting to play at 2am...maybe thats not the need. Thats just the result of the need. I cant say what the need would be as its not my child, and every child and every individual is going to be different.

I just got a daily groove the other day...and it really struck me (well..a few have). Anyways. it was about wants. In it, he talks about a child wanting a bike, and you cant get them the bike. He speaks about finding joy in the wanting of the bike, and dreaming of the bike - and that its just as fine and can be fun to not get the bike but to be in the moment of wanting the bike - of course he says it much better....I really recommend subscribing to the daily groove if you arent already.

Lindsay: DS#1 (06/06) DD#1 (09/07) DS#2 (10/08) DD#2 (06/09). AND A BABY DUE NOVEMBER 2013

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Old 06-18-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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It definitely seemed negative to me, since they ended the article with an expert slamming consensual living.
oh... I guess I have a tendency to ignore "expert" opinions I don't agree with. Sorry about that...
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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I tried this for a while but returned to a mostly authoritative parenting-style with CL leanings. I was trying to incorporate the ideas into a very competitive, rivalry-filled house of 3 school-age/teenage boys with the teen having behavioral special needs, and total CL wasn't working. I am still very interested because I think it CL is a good idea in theory and I think the values of it are so much more conducive to family harmony than many other styles of communication, discipline, etc.

It seems though that CL theory has a tendency to be misinterpreted and mispracticed in real life in ways that make it stressful on everyone or at least on mom and dad. It is easy to make the pendulum swing from one extreme to the other, going from where Mom and Dad are "in charge" to a point where adult needs no longer considered as an equal part of the equation. For example, if mom is tired and needs to sleep and DC won't go to bed so mom just stays up, that's not CL as I understand it. A child pooping and peeing on the floor where others have to walk is not CL. It is equally important IMO to meet childrens needs and also teach them to help meet the needs of others which required giving up some of our own needs. Leave out the second part and that's not CL.

The other struggle I see is a lack of understanding of early child development. I don't mean that in an offensive way, so please no one take it that way, its just my educational background and I see it conflicting at times with the way CL is implemented with young children. Children are not born fully quipped to converse their needs nor understand cognitively everything that you are saying to them. Its a developmental process that takes the first several years. Its part of their growth. I have a hard time with parents asking questions of 2 or 3 year olds that are better suited for a 8 to 10 year old to answer. Many problem-solving questions are in this category. Children need an observational period to learn how to problem solve, observing good adult role-models before they can be questioned about solutions. They must see effective solutions in practice before they can be expected to understand and contribute to problem-solving. Language development and cognitive development are separate areas of development so even children who exhibit high verbal skills may not understand the abstractions and representational thinking of an adults, and vice versa, a child may be advanced cognitively but unable to articulate it. Young children can express needs and in CL their needs would be considered equally valid, but I think it is more developmentally appropriate for the parent to meet the need calmly and without too many questions or abstract thoughts until after age 7 to 8.

One last concern is the need in early childhood for security. There is a security in knowing that your needs will be met by someone bigger and stronger than you. A parent always going to the child to make decisions could potentially cause a child to feel vulnerable and insecure, when the design of the approach is to create the opposite effect. I am sure this varies widely with each child's temperament as to whether this occurs. I can see within my own family a child who would have thrived with CL from birth, whose strong temperament often clashed with his fathers (XH) rigid rules, and another child who seems to really need and value parental guidance and authority in a way the other resents.

So one might need to approach CL differently with toddlers than teenagers. In our house we'll have both shortly so i am trying to figure out what approach will work best for us as a whole and not make me crazy in the process. Maybe I don't know enough about it to implement it effectively myself. For example, my son, 13, agreed to go to the zoo this morning during family breakfast. Now he says he won't go, that zoos are stupid. He cannot be left alone in our house because he steals money (he has behavioral issues that are supposed to be helped by CL but I find it very hard to practice it with him).

Ok...had to leave this post sitting here while DS had major behavioral blowup and I spent too much time on it (the post, not the blow-up ) to let it go...so I'll just end here and hope its coherent and of value to someone!

Mom to DS(17) autismribbon.gif DS(15) autismribbon.gif DS(12) autismribbon.gif My gifted, quirky, wonderful teens!

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Old 06-25-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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Cross-posted because I put it on the wrong thread-that's what I get for multi-tasking!
I am finding that this thread really ties into the way I would like to be raising my son-I am very inclined to just let him do as he likes most of the time as long as he isn't hurting himself or anyone else. (He can't eat or paint with the Desitin, for example, but he can smear edible fingerpaint on his head if he really wishes to..he is washable!). I do have many questions though.
My ODS is only 20 months-how does the concept of consensual living and freedom of choice tie into things like bedtime? He is pretty willing to go to bed when he's tired-he crawls in and lays down. What about the nights when he's obviously tired and fighting sleep?
What about naps? He needs one, takes one...isn't always enthused about it though.
How do I implement PLing? He is indicating that he is ready to try the potty...would it be considered consensual if I introduce it??
What do I do if he hits his baby brother??
What if he wants to do something that's obviously dangerous like go into the road?? There obviously isn't a compromise for this sort of situation...do I resort to redirection??
Sorry if my questions seem ignorant or silly...I am at a transitional point with ODS and would like to handle it in a way that makes him feel respected. I have more questions but I can't think of them right now...thanks in advance for any input!

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Old 06-26-2009, 03:55 AM
 
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One last concern is the need in early childhood for security. There is a security in knowing that your needs will be met by someone bigger and stronger than you. A parent always going to the child to make decisions could potentially cause a child to feel vulnerable and insecure, when the design of the approach is to create the opposite effect. I am sure this varies widely with each child's temperament as to whether this occurs. I can see within my own family a child who would have thrived with CL from birth, whose strong temperament often clashed with his fathers (XH) rigid rules, and another child who seems to really need and value parental guidance and authority in a way the other resents.
this is about what i am being told my my kid's preschool director... the whole 'children need limits' etc. which is just not my style, for better or worse. but i don't know what to say/think back to her.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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when pondering the "CL" perspective (whatever that is!), i usually turn it around and see how a situation fits on an adult.

my response would probably be something like "*adults* feel better when children have limits. *all* human beings have a need to be free. as long as ______ isn't hurting someone else or threatening his/her life, we don't place artificial limits on our children. if he/she is being risky, we help him/her do whatever safely. how would you feel if someone put arbitrary limits on your behavior?"

i think also, explaining the difference between permissiveness and respecting autonomy is in order. one is about being disengaged from a child, the other is about respecting and trusting a child and his/her need for exploring, being independent and competent.

children, i think, need to believe that someone will be there for them when they need them. i don't think that equals limits. i think children need to understand (over time) how their behavior effects others. i think children need help learning to respect others boundaries. but i don't think they need limits put on their behavior unless it's things like not hurting others, putting their seatbelt on in an airplane, not running into oncoming traffic. i can't stand it when people tell my children not to run, not to climb, not to stand in a shopping cart, not drink out of an open cup. these are all constructed limits that have more to do with adult needs than children's needs.

forcing a child to do something doesn't teach them much. modeling teaches so much more.

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Old 07-27-2009, 02:47 AM
 
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:41 AM
 
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there are times when he seems to be asking me for limits and direction- which i figure must be consensual since it's his idea and he engages in that interaction... and there are times when it seems needed to 'help' in cases where can't/doesn't help himself. i don't know if this fits with CL, but it seems true for us and meets his needs. i think i would be cruel to watch him suffer being out of control when he doesn't know the repercussions. he doesn't want freedom all the time as far as i can tell. i try (in my mind anyway) to provide structure and support w/o 'rules'- except the rules that he likes to make. but i also try to take care of our family 'rhythm', as that matters to me- he often derails that, then feels lost without it. i wish he had more sense of his own rhythm and regulation of self, but that's always been hard for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by umami_mommy View Post
when pondering the "CL" perspective (whatever that is!), i usually turn it around and see how a situation fits on an adult.

my response would probably be something like "*adults* feel better when children have limits. *all* human beings have a need to be free. as long as ______ isn't hurting someone else or threatening his/her life, we don't place artificial limits on our children. if he/she is being risky, we help him/her do whatever safely. how would you feel if someone put arbitrary limits on your behavior?"

i think also, explaining the difference between permissiveness and respecting autonomy is in order. one is about being disengaged from a child, the other is about respecting and trusting a child and his/her need for exploring, being independent and competent.

children, i think, need to believe that someone will be there for them when they need them. i don't think that equals limits. i think children need to understand (over time) how their behavior effects others. i think children need help learning to respect others boundaries. but i don't think they need limits put on their behavior unless it's things like not hurting others, putting their seatbelt on in an airplane, not running into oncoming traffic. i can't stand it when people tell my children not to run, not to climb, not to stand in a shopping cart, not drink out of an open cup. these are all constructed limits that have more to do with adult needs than children's needs.

forcing a child to do something doesn't teach them much. modeling teaches so much more.
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