|Originally posted by simonee
I don’t understand the sometimes hostile attitude toward the tcs advocates and the common perception that the tcs-ers sit in a ivory tower being all superior and arrogant. I’ve gotten the opposite impression in the few months that I’ve read things here: the tcs-ers on these boards really believe in the tcs philosophy/theory, and they feel that it helps them so much that they want to spread it.
I am involved in non-coersive learning, and have encountered many of the pravailing problems found in these threads.
Much of the problem lies in the deep cultural assuptions we have regarding our own cultral base. In my area of non-coersive learning, teachers of the "victorian" model, find the idea that children can learn well, (even better) without them, and with a different structure around them, VERY difficult to accept.
And that is the problem.
They see the situation as being simply the old school model, without them (the teachers),
a new school structure that does not need them.
The TCS (of which I know almost nothing) arguements tend to stem from incomplete understanding, which TCS people try to explain.
I find myself (in Non-coersive learning) explaining to people, rather than "converting" them. But there is alot to grasp, and unless the recipient is willing to hang in there to see how the loose ends are tied, they leave confused and angry.
Nobody forces us to read what comes onto the screen for heavens sake!
Can't we all simply answer a gentle discipline question from our own perspective, without having to pick apart another members answer.
If I post that I think redirection would work in a particular circumstance and some one posts after me that they would use a time out, I don't feel the need to come back and tell them that time outs are wrong and damaging. That redirection is the ONLY WAY. That is all I am asking of the TCS people and everyone else for that matter.
What I find interesting is that many of us who disagree with TCS really do feel that yes, a common preference should be found when ever possible. That respect for children is a given. As I see it , where we disagree is "how far we should go" and posting style.
Gentle Discipline is one of my favorite forums. It would be great if we could get back to supporting each other.
One, is people looking for support for the way they are doing things, looking for others to validate their experience and reassure them that this is how things are.
Another, is people looking for support for the way they would like to do things, but perhaps are having a hard time getting there, and are asking for help in figuring out what they are doing that is counter-productive and how they might change that.
So, it depends upon which kind of support a person wants, as to what they want from a thread. Is it possible to specify what sort of support one wants, in this way?
Mothering.com is a place for support and information for natural family living (what exactly is natural? does this differ from person to person?). Maybe this is exactly what we are all doing, just from different perspectives.
Imagining and joking around are great ways to explore ideas. There is a kernel of truth in jokes, imo, so I'm wondering if you really believe that this is how it would be? if lots of people (knowingly or unknowingly) subscribed to the ideas in TCS philosophy?
" Heavens, I keep imagining what if everyone allowed themselves to be ruled by their child's whim. None of us would ever get to walk an aisle to its end. We'd be constantly turning around only to find the next aisle with a child who can't be bothered to clear a path. Heeheehee "
Also, quoting Holistic Mama:
A nice lady would not say "No, take your horrible brat out of the way!"
She may not SAY it, but you can bet your bottom dollar she is sure THINKING it! "
Is this something to support? To feel like one must cater to? That's not a 'nice' (an amorphous term if ever there was one) lady- it is a lady putting herself in a state of coercion. It's mighty easy to find solutions in this situation that do not involve coercing anyone, except when coercion is accepted and expected on everyone's part. Which is the case of most of society, it seems.
Children are expected to be second class citizens, the ones expected to 'give' in a situation where there is conflict- much like women have been (and continue to be, in parts of the world)second class citizens in the recent past- many of us remember this firsthand experience well!
The 'niceness' meme is definately one to question, imo. YMMV
"This is for Larsy and anyone else who believes in TCS...what would you do in the following situations since you don't believe in coercion?"
Just to be clear, TCS philosophy is about non-coercion in the parent-child relationship. Coercion can be appropriate in other relationships and situations.
"1)You take your four-year-old to the Grand Canyon and they start to run over to the edge...do you try to stop him? "
Yes. In fact, I take great precautions with children at the Grand Canyon, and for periods of time might avoid the edge of the Grand Canyon altogether.
"2)Your 10-month-old wants to stick her finger in a light socket? Do you let her? "
That would not be in my best interests or hirs. I'd work to find a common preference. A surge supressor strip that is not connected to a socket, if child wanted to explore sockets. If child were interested in what is behind the socket plate, I'd show hir how it is important to turn off the electricity at the main, and then it is safe to take of the plate and see all the wires etc behind the plate. My experience is that they learn what they want from these explorations, and go on to other things, so that I would not be required to be switching off the electricity constantly.
Now, having been homeschooling for lo, these many years, I might have a different perspective on helping children learn. This is what we do all the time, exploring things that people are interested in, children and adults. It seems quite a natural thing to do. YMMV
"3) Your three-year-old watches Daddy jump off a diving board into 12 ft. deep water and wants to do it too..do you let her? "
If it is a low diving board and the child has a life-jacket and a parent is in the water waiting for hir to jump in, that might be quite doable.
"I gotta understand this whole non-coercive thing so please let me know what you would do in those situations. How far does this letting the child decide stuff go for you?"
I don't think in terms of 'letting' children do things. I think in terms of 'helping' them do things. This includes helping them to stay safe while they explore what they are interested in, and helping them do things in ways that it does not infringe upon other people's rights, and helping them know what is socially acceptable behavior so that they can know how to act appropriately in different situations. I think children want to do what is right, and need the information and experience to be able to figure out what is right in any situation. Just like adults do.
I personally have run up upon many of my entrenched theories, in my years of helping my children get what they want in life. Happens all the time. If I realize that I am not a good resource for the kids because of my entrenchments, I help them another trustworthy source of information and support , perhaps find someone who is interested/passionate about whatever they want, who can help them do whatever safely and give them good information and so on. I am glad to talk with them about my problem, and they are often able to help me work through my concerns and shed new light upon my blocks.
In the moment, when something is happening fast, and I am scared of some harm coming to them, say, they are often willing to stop and consider the consequences of the action with me, and we find a common preference. Sometimes I have to do some quick risk assessment and figure if my objection comes from what I was told when I was a kid or from my lack of experience or confidence, and swallow my fear and watch them do something that they are perfectly able to do. I struggle with my theories, get more information, try not to pass on my entrenchments (with varying success, I'm sure) and keep looking for common preferences.
Hope this helps.
Wouldn't I throw a tantrum if someone moved me out of the way like that?
Why is it ok to treat my child like that?
Like WHAT? Do you mean asking her 2 or 3 times nicely to move out of the way of the lady behind us? Do you mean, gently making her aware that she was blocking the aisle? Or do you mean gently picking her up after ample time and warning, with the toy in hand, mind you and not taking said toy away from her?
OH WHAT A HORRIBLE BEAST I AM! lol!
Who said the woman was not getting impatient? Do you think she should have to have her needs fall second to my dd's? Why should she have to go the other way? People are not suppossed to block aisles. It is impolite. It is inconsiderate. Why would I want to teach my dd that that is ok to do?
Who are you to say my dd's need was forgotten? Were you with us? Did she continue to play with the toy? Do you know? No, so don't make assumptions.
I am helpful and considerate of my dd.
Religion is up for interpretation, religious literature is up for interpretation, and there is 'proof' for any way one wants to go, to be found in the Bible and other religious literature.
I agree with your analysis, JW. JFYI, the translation of this passage of Ephesians from the Greek it was originally written in reads:
"And the fathers, do not ye provoke to wrath the children of you, but nurture them in [the] discipline and admonition of [the] Lord." (from 'the New International Version Interlinear Greek-English New Testament') I like the use of the word 'nurture'.
OK, so religion has been a life-long interest to me, my degree is in ancient history and religion and I've been known to teach comparative religions at the local community college. As the world shrinks, I think it is more important than ever for people of different religions and non-religions be able to communicate with each other in respectful ways. This is where the language of reason and rationality can help people connect, imo. It seems to me a place where people can overlap and hear each other. But I am thinking I need to revise this theory, as I see how the communication here isn't connecting. Thanks for all the input, everybody.
I have tos ay that I so appreciate this discussion. I am so proud that we have this forum - that we can come together and openly discuss our ideas so civilly. (Is that how you spell it?)
Anyway - I think that TCS and avoiding coercion should be our first tack when approaching a situation with out child. I think there are many ways to solve problems when they arise and good parenting involves helping our children find those solutions.
I recently just finished reading a book called "Miseducation" by Elkind. In this book, Elkind discusses how teaching children curriculum at the age-appropriate time is preferrable then force-feeding academics at earlier ages. Basically, we should allow children to indicate learning -readiness before we try to formally teach them in symbolic ways.
There is a great chapter in this book that begins at birth and proceeds through school age and describes how children learn.
a baby needs to learn about trust. IF your baby is crying, then your responsiveness will help to cement their trust in you. Our toddlers need to manipulate physical things (i.e. need to touch and feel, explore - not manipulate in the emotional sense.)
I think coercion sometimes stems from parents simply not understanding age-appropriate behaviors.
As for dirt roads, the child I mentioned in my earlier post was in a car on a dirt road.
Again, thanks for all of the interesting solutions.
how I feel about raising children and the inherint qualities of children goes in complete conflict with tcs philosophies. Flame me if you want, but I believe that children do goofy, silly foolish things. They don't always think about others or even themselves. It is our job as parents to teach them what is acceptable and right. How to behave and when to question athourity. If I made it my mission in life to give my dd everthing she wanted and help her do whatever she wanted how would she learn that mom needs to have a life too, sometimes you just don't get what you want, when mom isn't around that will be dangerous ( js mom helped her to play near the street safely. Never told her she had to stay away. never made it a nonnegotiable rule. When I sent the girls out to play J always headed stright for the street because she didn't know it was a dangerous ugly world out there).
my children need to know some things are just not up for debate. And if they cry I am genuinly sad for them but go to no great lengths to make it possible.
Anyway what all this rambeling amounts to is I don't consider tcs a form a disipline. It is about helping your children get wherever thier desires lead them. Disipline is about getting to a place where chldren have self control and will resist impulses that may be inappropriate or dangerouse or just plain wrong for whatever reason. So I am not opposed to haveing seperate threads. One for disipline and one for tcs. I wouldn't be opposed to posting a question in both places if I wanted to see things from both perspectives.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
|Originally posted by lilyka
Anyway what all this rambeling amounts to is I don't consider tcs a form a disipline. It is about helping your children get wherever thier desires lead them. Disipline is about getting to a place where chldren have self control and will resist impulses that may be inappropriate or dangerouse or just plain wrong for whatever reason.
I'm really trying to stay out of the TCS debate as I don't enjoy it a bit, and yet it is nearly impossible to post anything on this board without it turning into a debate!
Lucy, I think you are right, and you are handling this better than I would, obviously .
I think that the following part of your original post would lead one to say that your child's need to remain where she was to play with her toy was superseded by the other woman's need to continue down the aisle:
****At this point, I picked up dd, who immidiately threw a tantrum bc she was being forced to move. Well guess what, welcome to the human race! St we have to accomodate others!****
I understand how difficult a situation like this can be. I used to have a very hard time dealing with strangers or worrying about "what other people think." I found it helpful to put myself in my child's position. What if I were looking at an item and someone came along and physically moved me aside so that someone else could get through? You can bet that I would throw a kind of trantrum myself! Yes, your child was asked to move and it was explained to her *why* she should move. But she chose not to move. I would assume, then, that it did not make sense for her to move (she either didn't understand the reasons you gave or didn't agree that they were good reasons). So, if someone asked me to do something that I didn't understand or didn't make sense to me, I would be extremely angry and humiliated if I were physically forced (no matter how gently) to move aside.
**** DD would not like it if someone was blocking her way, so she needs to show others the same consideration. ****
This is your reasoning. I agree with it, but obviously your daughter did not. And if someone were in her way, would she have the choice to physically move them aside? Would that be a good choice? How will she learn "to show others the same consideration" from what was done to her? Might she not learn, rather, that if someone doesn't do what you want them to, you have the right to force them? Or, might she not learn that her needs and desires are less important than someone else's? Do you think these are valuable lessons?
****To say that it would be the lady's responsibility to work it out with my 4 yr old is ridiculous!****
I didn't say that it would be the lady's responsiblity to work it out. I said that it would be hers and my child's problem. Because I am responsible for my child and I am my child's advocate, I would be doing all I could to help *my child* solve the problem non-coercively. To say that the problem is mine is to view my child as an extension of myself rather than as an autonomous human being with needs and desires of hir own.
****She is my responsibility! I am trying to raise her to be considerate of others needs, not to let herself be ruled by her id!****
Is it better for children to be ruled by those in power? Were you considerate of her needs? Again, I realize that you were considerate in the sense of asking and explaining, but perhaps you didn't fully consider her lack of knowledge and experience. She probably didn't understand your reasoning and needed a reason which made sense *to her.* I think that it is best for all human beings to be "ruled" by reason and compassion rather than external power and authority. By advocating for children and helping them solve problems non-coercively, we are doing a great deal to help them do the same in future conflicts.
***Wouldnt life at the market be fun if we all adopted this self-servicing philosophy!****
Again, who eventually adopted a self-serving philosophy in the scenario you describe? The child was forced to comply. She did not agree to comply. No one was being harmed by her actions, but she was obviously harmed by yours (judging by her reaction).
****DD's Preference was clearly to remain seated in the aisle blocking all unsuspecting shoppers lol!****
Do you think that the *reason* she was there was so that she could intentionally block customers? I doubt that was her reasoning. If she could understand that people needed to get by and that she could look at the toy elsewhere, she would have agreed to do so. In other words, she was only doing what *made sense to her* to do. Perhaps she was too young to understand, or she was intent on her examination of the toy, or any number of things.
I don't mean to suggest that these kinds of situations are easily dealt with. They can be extremely difficult and nerve-wracking (especially if you were raised to believe--as we all were-- that "other people" are more important than oneself or that someone always has to "give way" in a conflict). But I disagree that your solution was the best one. It may have been the best one you could think of at the time (and that is certainly understandable when under pressure). But I think it is wrong to conclude that this was the best solution and that it is good and right to physically move one person (against hir will) out of another person's way. I suppose the question to ask oneself is: "Did I choose this solution because it was right for everyone involved, or because it was physically possible (since the child is much smaller) and the least uncomfortable for me (since the stranger expected me to move her)?"
There is much more to TCS than non-coercion, though that is one if its most distinctive features. There are many mistaken conclusions on these boards about what TCS means for a family, not suprisingly. IME, it takes awhile to take it all in, and only an ounce of it has been flailed about on these boards.
By all means, those who are not interested should be able to clearly identify TCS content and ignore at will. How can this easily be done?
1 : PUNISHMENT
2 obsolete : INSTRUCTION
3 : a field of study
4 : training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
5 a : control gained by enforcing obedience or order b : orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior c : SELF-CONTROL
6 : a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
So we've established that TCS is not discipline BUT that does not mean it doesn't belong in this forum and therefore not tolerated. Not because the name by definition excludes it but because of the intent of the gentle discipline forum which to quote the moderator is:
|To answer the question, what is this forum for, I'll go to the explanation - Parenting without punishment is not just possible - it is the only effective way to discipline your child. Why spanking doesn't work. Alternatives to punishment. What is verbal abuse? Resources for being gentle with yourself and your children.
Another passage that I feel sums things up is from 'Natural Family Living' by Peggy O'Mara, Chapter 15 Discipline, pg. 187
Effective discipline is based on loving guidance. It is based on the belief that children are born innately good and that our role as parents is to nurture their spirits as they learn about limits and boundaries, rather than to curb their tendencies toward wrongdoing. Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behavior and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.
We do not wish to censor the discussion at hand or any other topic the community shows an interest in that we can easily host. So, we will come up with a way to accomodate TCS discussions that respects the focus of the Gentle Discipline board yet still acknowledges what TCS has to offer.
Please continue to offer your thoughts and ideas. We are listening.
Well, the only words that come to my mind are "oh good grief!"
Perhaps you should have coercively bribed her with ice cream.
An example of acceptable coercion: if a person were attempting to, say, break into my house, I'd use whatever coercion I felt necessary to stop them/defend my self, family, and property.
Dr. Worm, what is the problem with a 3 yr old jumping into water? Lots of parents take their itty-bitty kids to the pool for swimming lessons before they can walk, including teaching them to jump into the water. I hear the intention of these lessons is to help little kids be safer around water, though supervision is about the only thing that will keep little ones safe around water.
In any force-10 emergency situation, a parent would take action to keep a child (or another adult, I would guess) safe. A best guess would be that any person would like to remain alive and uninjured. I don't see that as coercion. Survival is a higher priority than crossing the street, and if something dangerous is coming along that a child (or adult) is not aware of, the right thing to do is to call it to their attention and/or attempt to stop them from, say, walking into the path of an on-coming vehicle.
Anyway, good points, Just Wondering! Still I find that many people simply don't understand how children think. I didn't and I had to research child development so as to not have unreal expectations on my child.
Anyway, I meant to add to my earlier post that the whole reason I brought up the age appropriate beahavior issue is that a lot of times when we are struggling with our children, it is because they are going through a developmental shift. To bring this conversation back to the original topic of babies and carseats, I wanted to note that I never had car seat issues with my son after we discovered that he was OK with the car during naps and with a pacifier. I thought I had is all figured out until one day he refused to get into his car seat. For about a week I was "coercively" forcing him into it, until I read another thread on these boards which talked about TCS philosophy. I then decided to try some of those suggestions. So I allowed him to explore his carseat and the car. DS was going through a developmental shift and he needed to explore his new surroundings (the car.)
Once I realized this, I could try and use most of the TCS suggestions and sometimes they would work. My chief complaint about TCS philosophy is that it simply isn't always practical. For example, a TCS suggestion about the car seat issue with Toddlers would be to plan for enough time for your child to explore the seat before willingly getting in it. With a persistent child, like mine, I could plan, say for a half an hour of explore time and when the time was up, I wouldn't have a willing child. Then I would be late or have to bribe or coerce ds into seat. TCS would respond, plan for more time. I only have one child now, but if I had more, or twins, or was a single mother, I do not see the practicality of it.
I find that the practical approach is to simply set the rules. When we go in the car, we go straight to the car seat and get in it - no fussing. DS can explore the care when we get back home.
I would say that "old cronies" were practicing non-coercive parenting without calling it that. Kind of like practicing AP before you knew there was a word for it. IMHO.
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