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#31 of 589 Old 12-09-2001, 04:35 AM
 
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Originally posted by Mommy22B

One question I have is can they learn to compromise? and how early? Like if I wanted to wear my black shoes and she wants me to wear my white shoes...if I really really have a preference for the black ones is there a way to get a 1 1/2 year old to compromise?

Beth


A good question. First I would like to point out that for people that are just starting to try this out, you must not expect quick results. Just b/c you start using a new parenting technique will not change the child's view of you over night.



From their point of view, and their entire life experience is of something entirely different, so it may take time for some children to learn the new relationship that you are trying to create. That said, there are perhaps 2 guide lines that are essential to follow:



1) have the patience of Jobe (my middle name)

2) be consistant



On compromise.



Children love to compromise! Yes it is true. They love to share power too!



"Not my kid!" Well you would be surprised! Children need to feel empowered b4 they can risk sharing or compromise.



Black shoes for Mama, but they want you to wear white? So wear white! A small gift for your child (satisfaction). Of course if it is raining, and you want to wear boots instead of ballet shoes, then there is a case to be made to the child. This kind of logic is something children lap up. It makes sense to them.



We, for such a short time in our lives must "out up with" the demands (sometimes very odd) of our children. In a flash it will be gone.



Complying with our children's peculiar demands helps them to form a model of how the world works. We can not transfere our model to them. They must build their own, and we have a responibility as their primary care givers to ensure that this is done as optimally and "humanely" as posible.



Last night DD#2 saw me pass the black chopsticks to dw, and I started to use the red ones.



"NOT THE RED ONE!!! Your BLACK ones. MUMMY is red!!!"



It was a nuisence to change, but change I did. In her world, she had noticed that Daddy uses the black (longer), and has not lived long enough to know that dw and I frequently interchange.



As children become more aware that they hold power over their lives, the more they DEMAND to interact with others around them, and that can only be done by continuously compromising.



Hope this helps



a


The anti-Ezzo king
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#32 of 589 Old 12-09-2001, 04:56 AM
 
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Where I draw the line is the kids telling ME what to do. I will wear whatever shoes I want and it isn't any of their business. Likewise, they can wear whatever shoes they want. End of story (I freely admit to putting their sandals at the top of the closet during the winter).

My kids are 3 and 5 and are good at working out comprimises with each other. For example, yesterday they both wanted to watch TV, but one wanted to watch PBS and the other wanted to watch an elephant video she got at the library. They came whining to me and I explained that they had to find a way for both of them to be happy. They started explaining their points of view to me and I stopped them and said they needed to talk to each other. They left and a few minutes later annouced they had agreed to watch the video first, and then PBS. They were both happy with this and it kept me from dictating what they would do.
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#33 of 589 Old 12-09-2001, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally posted by Linda in Arizona
Where I draw the line is the kids telling ME what to do. I will wear whatever shoes I want and it isn't any of their business.
Awww, come on Linda! Kids need to tell us what to do! And it's fun!

Ever read John Holt "How children learn" and "how children fail"? There are some examples of how children learn about their environment that are similar to this in those books.

Quote:


My kids are 3 and 5 and are good at working out comprimises with each other.

snip

They left and a few minutes later annouced they had agreed to watch the video first, and then PBS. They were both happy with this and it kept me from dictating what they would do.
Now, I am impressed!

a

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#34 of 589 Old 12-09-2001, 10:56 AM
 
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I think, in my self evaluation...that TIME and money play largely in the ability to parent ones children with love, and ofcourse having more children immediately affect those things, also, in my opinion, you will find things like, genetic nature, some people get upset easier than others, some people get more stressed-just because thats the way they are, then you could evaluate(if you wanted to<yawn>)diet and then ofcourse greatly factoring in would be the parents own upbringing and experiences with her/his own parents...
and it seems ALOT easier for some people to choose to parent AP or TCS...(I hate using categories but ...)than others
Me, I have 5 great great wonderful children (of my own) in my house...no dad living with us, and I am freakin STRESSED out- and Ive heard all the information on having less children and if I had it all to do over again I might have less(I even have an older child who lives on her own making the total 6) might have started older, might have this might have that
but I am older now, (41- and someone mentioned being older makes it easier, I agree)and as hard (can you sense some frustration here? its been a rough month)as it is to choose to parent lovingly because of all the factors and as IMperfect as I am...I know I am the perfect mom for my kids...I inately know this.
and so are you
and I can choose to decide to try and be a certain way, and reading about some of these perfect moms with non violent loving nurturing kids(okok, I didnt mean perfect) and reading some ofthese perfectly awesome living arrangements helps me,actually supports me and renews my resolve to have more patience,to try not to hit my kids(spank whatever),to try not to yell too loudly,
I can choose to try
and we can all choose -the extent of the challenges some face vary greatly- but
I am so thankful for a place like this-
oh man, that reeeeeealy turned into a vent, Im sorry but it was JUST what I wanted to post about
I camt to this thread because this week I did not discipline gently,
and Erika, you sound lkike a great mom, hang in there sweetie, its all about choice and mistakes and doing your best and yeah, maybe alot of it is time
a child spells love, T I m E so do I and for me its about conscious choice and effort
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#35 of 589 Old 12-09-2001, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Compromise is not optimal, when it comes to having no one being coerced. If any one of the parties involved can look back at the solution and say 'I would have rather had X than what I got', then a better solution could have been found. Compromise is a win-lose or a lose-lose proposition. EVeryone has to give something up, that they want. Finding common preferences is the only way I know at present to find/create win-win solutions that everyone is happy with. And it doesn't have to mean throwing the children back on their own resources to figure it out (unless that is what they want). A parent can be a big help in figuring out common preferences- in fact, the more trusted advisors and sources of information and ideas invovled, the better. The larger the pool of potential solutions.

A parent makes a statement of hir theory that the parent does not tell the children what to wear just as the parent does not want to be told what to wear. This is a fine statement of supporting each other's autonomy- each person has the absolute right to say what goes on with their own body. However, hiding some of someone's clothes that one knows they might prefer, even though they are not the best clothes for the season or whatever, puts the lie to the statement of autonomy that goes before. The parent has all the power, and decides how it will be meted out. Just a couple of days ago, I was with a child who had thrown on a pair of sandals before getting in the car, and then on top of the mountain, wanted to get out and play in the snow. A lovely snowball fight ensued, child got cold cold cold, and was happy to get back into the car and go on, wrapped up in mom's snuggly shirt and a towel around hir feet. Yahoo! and not one ill effect.

Little kids are dressed by someone else from the beginning, and when they show their preference as best they can, they are often misinterpreted, and somight end up being over or under dressed, or have something uncomfortable sticking them in the where ever, for many months before they can effectively make that fact known. What a person is dressed in is not set in stone in this society any longer- thank the powers the be!!!

Why not ask children what they'd like to wear, out of the entire set of clothing available to them? Why not ask them if they think parent's clothing is appropriate? "Does this look alright? Do these shoes look ok with this? They're the most comfortable, and we will be doing lots of walking, so even though they are purple, I think I will wear them so that my feet feel good and carry me through the day" This kind of interaction gives kids lots of information about why people wear clothes without it having anything at all to do with them and so no implied pressure risking coercion.

Kids learn from their clothing choices. They learn if someone tells them 'that looks really stupid' and they might not care if it looks stupid to that person because it is their very favorite pajama shirt and cape and they like to wear it. The kid wearing sandals in the snow might not want to do it again, or might, in the face of the propect of playing in the snow or not just because of the sandals, choose to play in the snow in sandals again because s/he knows that s/he can warm up effectively after having fun and getting cold. Or this kid might prefer to change into shoes and socks before stepping out into the snow.

Kids know what they want. Some don't care about being cold, if the experience holds great promise of fun. Some don't want to be cold, so will avoid the cold experience or be sure to be bundled up so they can enjoy the fun. We parents can bring along the extra clothes so they are avaiable for those who want them. hypothermia is certainly something to be guarded against and prevented- that is something we parents can prevent.

But I am getting away from the 'child telling parent what to do' scenario. Most kids don't try it very often. They learn early on where the power lies, and it ain't in their court. Except for the stuff they can get away from behind a parents back. or manipulate or tantrum over. That is their only power, in those cases. imo. Kids will own their autonomy, any way they can. Why not help them own it straightforwardly?

'Mom, wear the red shoes!" "Why?" "Because I say so" Is this how children experience the world? Being told what to wear, with no explanation that makes sense to them? If a kid will talk to a parent, parent might find that child has a perfectly reasonable explanation for whay they want parent to wear a particular shoe or sit in a particular chair or eat with particular chopsticks. A discussion can ensue, where both parties can learn about each other and the things they are discussing. Coercion cuts off these opportunities to learn.

off for a walk...
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#36 of 589 Old 12-09-2001, 01:55 PM
 
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Originally posted by larsy
off for a walk...
Red or white sandles?

The " 'cos I say so" that children may use is likely learned from what is, IMO, coersive parenting.

I have never (I hope) coersed, and, as a result, our children have never used (or even understood) that phrase.

Thet have always sort to explain their reasons and ideas.

Great isn't it!

a

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#37 of 589 Old 12-09-2001, 03:05 PM
 
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[B]

Awww, come on Linda! Kids need to tell us what to do! And it's fun!
May be it is fun for you. It is not fun for me. I'm not interested in raising little pint size dictators who think that want they want is MORE important than what other people want. I am working to raise my kids to know that what they want is AS important as what other people want.

I don't know how many kids you have or if you have pets, but teaching my kids that their autonomy ends with themselves is necessary. In the real world, the only families I know who are totally non-coercise only have 1 child, and the child has trouble playing with peers.

Quote:
Ever read John Holt "How children learn" and "how children fail"? There are some examples of how children learn about their environment that are similar to this in those books.

yes, I've read those books.

I am not a NCP, though I am far, far less coersive than most parents. I've read about NCP, attended a conference, and even tried it for a while. I ultimately decided it was not the right path for our family. I believe that young children should be given a great deal of freedom and allowed to come to their own conclusions, but within the bounds of respecting other people (even respecting their parents!) and not hurting animals, not hurting themselves so badly they need to visit the ER, ect.

So if I say that I handle things a certain way and you shout that I'm not giving my kids autonomy, I don't care. We are doing what works well for us and allows our family harmony. My 3 year old is much happier being able to go in her room and dress herself and know that what ever she picks is fine, than needing to be concerned that half the choices are inappropriate. For me, finding ways for us to live happily together is the goal, not living up to someone else's definition of a parenting style.
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#38 of 589 Old 12-09-2001, 08:18 PM
 
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I am really resistant to the idea that AP is a luxury. I look at AP as a stich in time. Look at your more mainstream friends with their kids. Do they actually seem to spend less time 'dealing with' their kids than you do? it doesn't seem to me that they do, and that much of the time they do spend is in crisis management mode.

My belief is that every child, indeed every person, requires a particular ammount of time spent with them to feel validated, cared for, etc. We then get to choose, do you want it to be time nurturing, teaching and loving or time correcting, punishing and haranguing? Most everyone manages to get the time they want, the question is whether it is the kind of time they want or not.

I am not sure I am being clear, so I may come back later and take another crack at it.
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#39 of 589 Old 12-09-2001, 08:36 PM
 
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I think it is an interesting point. Although we AP don't necessarly spend MORE time dealing with our kids, we spend the time with them before things become a crises. If someone's life is in crises and they can only deal with the crises of the moment, doing those things that will prevent crises later just can't happen.

For example, I think that many kids mishave to get their parents' attention. Because I have the luxury to be home with my kids, and my DH has the luxury to come home to a house with nice hot meal, clean clothes, etc, we have both have a lot more time to spend with our kids. If there were only one of us or if we both had to work, it would be impossible for our kids to get the quality of time with each of us that they get now. Giving our kids attention never gets to the crises level, but if our situation were different it most likely would, even though our intentions and therories would be the same.

The price for us for this luxury has been moving frequently for my DH's job and not living near extended family, which put different stresses on us and different requirements on our kids.
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#40 of 589 Old 12-10-2001, 03:31 AM
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well,

I find humor, or making fave toys do something works a LOT of the time - it is not mommy or daddy doing it - but the toy?

I'm tired, it is 12:30am so bear with me if this is not making sense

for ex: I would say: orange cat (whatever toy is called) wants to stay warm and cosy in the car. do you think that would be ok?

wait for response - usually aggrees, if not...

then, if you really insist the toy stay in the car you can add: "she really does not want to get dropped and dirty, you can either hold her really tight, or let her wait in your carseat for you. which do you choose?"

I also pretend to be Supermom - and fly her around places

another of her faves is her papa pretending to be a giant when she needs her diaper changed (she is not ready to completely potty train yet) - he says in a loud deep voice "fee fi fo fumm... I smell a stinky bumm!"


humor does not always work, but when it does we all laugh and feel great.
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#41 of 589 Old 12-10-2001, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Paulab52, you wrote:

"I feel like I'm always telling my kids what to do."

It is a pretty new world to them, and they are probably glad to get lots of advice from someone they trust- mom and dad are the best candidates for 'trusted advisor' status. Tentatively offering information, and being willing to listen and to adjust one's theories in the light of new information, makes more sense than to order people around without regard for their feelings and wishes in the matter, in the context of close personal relationships.

"Yes, I know I'm the parent and I know what's best, "

Well, there is the biological fact of being the parent, and then there is the trusted advisor capacity. Human beings are fallible- yep, every single last one of them, even the pope If a person approaches any situation, sure that they know what is best, they are apt to miss the opportunity to improve their theories and to find what is more best. And, in the parent-child relationship, they run the risk of causing resentment and anger and desire for revenge and closing off lines of communication and such like.

"but I swear, they don't listen to me anyway. "

And I think this is why kids don't listen to parents. Parents have told them how many times? about this is going to happen or that is going to hurt you, and the kid does whatever it is and finds out that *parent was wrong*. Yet, parent seems to think that 'parent knows best'.

Words matter. How a parent talks to their child about what parent wants to do next in the day or about bringing a cherished toy into a store with them or about brushing their teeth or anything at all, makes a big difference as to what sort of solution will be found to any problem. Solutions that come about through non-coercion do not harm people.

Is it right to coerce/cause coercion in the mind of one's child, or in one's own mind, for that matter? What is the harm that it does? What about telling the truth? A parent might want to think about how to tell the absolute, scrupulous truth. Sprinkling a lot of 'I could be wrong's and 'it seems to me' and 'as far as I know' and 'this is how I think it is' and 'my understanding is' let's everyone know that there is room for more information and that we might never know the truth of any matter, but this is our best theory according to what we know now. And the way is open for anyone involved to throw out their ideas, and ne knowledge can be created.

In some instances, child does know better than parent, especially when it comes to what is going on in hir own mind and body.

Quoting Paulab52 again:

"Take of your PJ's and get dressed so we can go out."

How about asking if anyone wants to go out? Including everyone in making the plan, get ideas about where to go. A parent can outline the things that they want to do, and see what others want to do , and they can work out a plan to get it all done, keeping in mind along the way that preferences change, and the plan could change at any time, as well. Flexibility is a virtue!

If a parent has a great theory about why the family should all get dressed and go out to do many interesting things, the kids might very well be willing to get dressed and get on with doing the many interesting things. If they are being forced to get dressed when they don't want to, to do things they don't want to do, I can understand the avoidance tactics. Maybe some kids want to go in their jammies. Maybe some would rather stay home with a babysitter or relative or go to the neighbor's while the rest of the family goes out. Maybe they would rather go out in the afternoon than in the morning. Maybe they'd like to stay home all day and have friends visit. EAch person has their own idea about what they want to do, and to ignore that and push one's own agenda upon unwilling people is wrong, whether it is parent and child or boss and employee or government and citizen--- ok, I'm getting off track TCS is about the relationship between parent and child (though there are other lists that talk about the further implications of TCS theory).

" They aren't doing anything, so having to stop isn't a problem."

This is totally an assumption, and quite likely to be wrong and is anyway disrespectful. Check out the college PhD professor in hir office, feet up on the desk, gazing out the window. Doing nothing? Probably not! I would prefer to err on the side of assuming that any person is doing something (in their mind), whether or not I can tell what that is from observing them. And that whatever they are doing is very important to them, and I will tentatively ask to be excused, and is this a good time to talk about something? Or will you let me know when it is a good time?

"They just sit there and ingore me, or go the opposite direction from the bedroom."

Sometimes when people think they are being ignored, they actually have not been heard because the person is busy concentrating on something else. This happens to me, when I am busy thinking about something, and I have observed it happening in others. Again, assumptions can get in the way of treating people respectfully.

If a parent does a lot of controling of things that are not their business- things that any autonomous person should have control of their own self, like when to get dressed and what to put on, when and what to eat, when to sleep, and so on, then I can see where the victims of the intended control might try to avoid that controller.

" I have to ask them several times to come and get dressed. Then we have the whole clothing issues... "

How to change this situation? I think a parent has to become convinced in their own mind that coercion is not right. It is not about results, about finding a method of dealing with children that 'works' so as to produce an obedient child or any other sort of child product. TCS is a philosophy about how to live together in a family non-coercively. It is about the right way to treat people. About non-coercive ways to resolve conflict. About how people learn.

A parent who wants to change the way they interact with their children so that they are dealing with each other non-coercively, would want to apologize to their children for all the coercion they have so far visited upon them. They could explain that they are trying to change their ways, and this is a process, this learning how to live together and solve problems that arise in a non-coercive way, and enlist the children's help in identifying coercion as it happens and then in finding common preferences when conflict does arise. And they would continue to apologize for using coercion, when they fail to find non-coercive solutions, and talk about the failures and figure out better ways for the next situation.

Respect. "Can you buckle your seat belt, or would you like help?' 'If you get tired of carrying your toy, I'll put it in my pocket so you don't lose it' 'If you take your toy into this store, they might think you didn't pay for it when you leave, because they sell that toy here, and we don't want to have to pay for it again! So maybe it should stay safely in the car? What do you think?' 'How about if we tie a string around the toy and the other end onto your beltloop, so you can't just put it down and forget about it and leave it?'

Food is a huge issue that we all have problems with, I daresay. How can we not pass on our poor food theories? That is an issue for another thread, methinks.

If a parent doesn't trust their young child around streets and traffic, the child might need lots more information. Examining road kill when one runs across it (I'm not saying literally run across it) can be very instructional though only if the child wants to look at it. Taking a plastic bottle and putting water in it (maybe even color it with food coloring) and parent and child can watch as someone drives a car over it and see what happens to it and talking about these things can help a small child understand about the danger. Ask child how they would like parent to help them stay safe, in case they forget when running around or chasing a ball. A fence between yard and street might be a good idea. Child might be happy to play in back when understanding about these dangers. The solutions will be different for every parent-child relationship depending upon their dynamics and experiences, and the solutions will change frequently too, I'll bet. Flexibility and creativity.

HOpe something here helps, for starters.

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#42 of 589 Old 12-10-2001, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, anyone wanting to think about how they talk to their kids and wanting to change it- there was an excellent thread on the TCS list maybe sometime last summer, I think, by the subject name 'changing our language habits' that gave great examples and analysis of the power of language and how we talk to kids. I recommend joining the TCS list and getting the archives, if you are interested in learning more about this.
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#43 of 589 Old 12-10-2001, 05:52 PM
 
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Linda in Arizona,
I'm with you. I'm picking my own shoes out, my own meals, my own whatever, because it has to do with me. I don't mind allowing my son to do the same for himself. It seems to me that allowing my son to coerce me teaches him that what he wants is more important than what others want. By not being coercive, I'm teaching him that each individual should have control over their own life. If I do whatever he says, then I am teaching him that he has control over my life. I assume he will transfer that to others also. Little dictator is a good description of that person I imagine him becoming.
Has anyone read Thomas Gordon's Parent Effectiveness Training? I love that book because it talks about working together to meet everyone's needs. Using consensus rather than coercion. That's what I am trying to achieve.
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#44 of 589 Old 12-10-2001, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Linda in Arizona wrote:

"I'm not interested in raising little pint size dictators who think that want they want is MORE important than what other people want. I am working to raise my kids to know that what they want is AS important as what other people want. "

Er, right, the dictators who think that what they want is more important than what other people want are, uh, parents!

So, does a child have the same responsibility to meet a stranger's need as to meet their own?

echoing that sentiment is mama joy:

"I'm picking my own shoes out, my own meals, my own whatever, because it has to do with me. I don't mind allowing my son to do the same for himself. "

And if a parent did mind 'allowing' their child to choose their own clothes, food, etc, then...tough, eh? Kids don't have any inherent rights? And if the child chooses food or clothing or ways of spending their time that the parent does not agree with? What then?

The language of 'allowing' exposes where the power lies in the parent-child relationship- with the parent, of course. That is the conventional, society-sanctioned way.

Parents have a unique responsibility in the relationship with their child/ren. They are responsible for their children's existence, in the deepest sense. So it is also their responsibility to help their child/ren to grow and learn about their world. The parents have the access to the world, the ability to access the resources of the world, along with having the experience and knowledge of how to operate in the world, so if the parents are not willing to lay their knowledge and access and experience at the feet of their child in order to help the child get what they want in life, the child is stuck with being dependent upon the good graces of what their parent will 'allow' them.

Kids are not able to go out and get their own red or white or black shoes. If they want the red ones, and the parent will only allow the white ones, the child's autonomy suffers and coercion wins the day.

If it is not right for child to tell parent what color shoes to wear, it is not right for parent to tell child what color shoes to wear.

I agree that children's preferences are every bit as important as the parent's preferences. Finding common preferences is a great conflict resolution skill that helps each person involved get their needs respected and met. But there are some things that the decision is really up to the child and a parent should stay out of, beyond offering advice if it is wanted. What goes on or in a person's body, and what is done to one's body, is all morally within that person's right to say. No matter what their age.
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#45 of 589 Old 12-10-2001, 06:33 PM
 
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Larsy
Maybe you misunderstood me, but I don't interfere with my son's choices for himself. He just doesn't make decisions for me.
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#46 of 589 Old 12-10-2001, 08:18 PM
 
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Thanks everybody, for turning this into such an interesting discussion. When I started the thread, my concerns were pretty much what Mama Joy and Linda in AZ have been writing. However, as Larsy's and Alexander's responses kept coming in, I have really started to reconsider these concerns.

I think that my child knows I'm different from other people (I'd sure hope so ). When she "dictates" what shoes she wants me to wear, that doesn't mean she'll do that with other people, too. Also, she has only made "comments" about my shoes a few times. It's not an everyday thing. I know she's influenced my shoe choice MUCH less often than the other way around! If she chooses her own shoes five times a week, because that's the only times she cares, the other two days she just lives with my choice. I get to choose my own shoes about 29 times a month, and I don't feel that I'm raising a dictator if I acknowledge her wishes that one other time.

Even then, she's not "making my decisions." She tells me what she wants, and I honor and respect that. If it freezes, I'm not going to "let her decide" that I should go barefoot. I'd try to explain to her why that's not an option, and I'm pretty sure we'd arrive at an agreement. And yes, if necessary I'd give her a choice between my red and black shoes, ignoring the strappy sandals for that day.

Hey, if I wear the very-unmatching shoes, at least people will have something else to look at while we're bf in public!
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#47 of 589 Old 12-10-2001, 08:41 PM
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just want to add my comments to the mix

After taking child development classes for several years, I learned that children go through stages - some regardless of parenting styles.

For example tantrums due to frustrations at 18months to 5 yrs
tantrums due to control issues from 2-4 years
calling everything mine or ownership issues from 3-7 years
privacy issues from 5-19 years
etc.

Knowing this, I know that my style of parenting will not determine IF tantrums happen, but how they get resolved. That is what is important after all.

And if you have a bad day and get upset and raise your voice, then apologize and that in itself is also a learning example for your child.

I believe in teaching my children respect, but they due must be respected. respect does not mean spoil -
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#48 of 589 Old 12-10-2001, 11:16 PM
 
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Well I practice AP but not TCS (a little too lax for my liking!) and I do not think it's a luxury. I am a SAHM, yes, but we do not have a high income at all. My husband makes 31000 a year and we have a mortgage and two vehicles. You do the math! AP is the easier way to parent in the long run I think, at least if you TRULY want whats best for your children. How can anyone truly think spanking and yelling is best for their children? Sure it's a knee-jerk reaction (emphasis on the the jerk) but it isn't best. How does it take more time to hug your child and say "I realize you really wanted that toy but someome else is playing with it right now. Why don't we find you something just as nice to play with?" That is easier IMO than smacking the kid for grabbing a toy. In the long run detachment parenting costs you more time as your kids end up with discipline problems and many other problems. So you end up having to take time off work to go to teacher's conferences and you can't get the house clean because the kids are little hellions who won't listen to you. Nope AP isn't a luxury, I think the other is a luxury - the luxury of sounding off and acting like a child yourself whenever you feel like it. It's time to grow up people!

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#49 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 12:14 AM
 
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Heavenly, I love your post! I, too, think that in the long run it is much easier this way. I think it is sort of funny (and sort of sad) when people tell me I can "get away" with postive discipline because my kids are so "easy." It is much easier to parent kids who know they are unconditionally loved and who feel good about themselves.
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#50 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 12:23 AM
 
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larsy,
is it possible to get the archives without being on the TCS list? or can i access them from the babies toddlers list that i am on? i didn't like sorting through the many messages of the TCS list and am reluctant to sign up again.
thanks,
sugar
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#51 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 12:29 AM
 
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If you are happy having your child tell you what to wear and that is what feels right to you, then you should do so.

I have 2 kids, so if I let them decide what other people got to wear, they could argue about what I wear and agrue about what they other one wears. This would just be a silly waste of time, add a great deal of stress to our days, and we would most likely never be able to leave the house again. So we all pick out our own clothes.

On things that affect all of us (to go to park or stay home, which board game to play, what book to read next), we talk about it and come to an agreement. Considering that when my kids have a conflict between themselves, they can usually talk it out and figure out something that works for both of them, you'll have to excuse me if I think that I'm doing is working just fine.
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#52 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 01:29 AM
 
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Heavenly,
it's funny, i agree with all you said except for paranthetically when you said TCS was "too lax". i just wanted to defend TCS parents. they are generally respectful and always there with their children to advise and help their children to get what they want......i have been reading about this recently.....it seems that TCS often gets confused with "laissez-faire" parenting, and that is really not the case. do you feel that children need to be coerced in order for their parents to be truly present?
curious,
sugarmama
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#53 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 02:04 AM
 
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Thanks Linda,

I truly believe you're doing a great job. Your kids reaching an agreement on video vs. PBS sounded excellent.

I think agreements are what we all strive for in our homes - agreements on my shoe color, dd's diaper change, and where we go at what time.

I just really love input. I love it from dd when I'm putting on shoes, and from all those other mamas and daddies when I read or write on these boards!

Simone
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#54 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 08:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paulab52
Larsy or anyone, can you help me out....
snip
please don't slam me. I'm truely interested in your opinion. I've read the website, but I'm confused.
TIA
No-one is going to slam you. This is all about "non-coersion"!!!

But anyway. How old are your kids? How many of them. Who is the worst, and what really pisses you off?
Good examples though. I can get back to you when I have more details.

Can you give more examples? That would give more meat to give a flavor in the answers

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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#55 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 10:10 AM
 
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Ok. I have an admission to make!

Until I met larcy (as suzan), I had never heard of TCS either! In fact, I have not even checked past the first page on their site!

The reason for this is that is that larsy's view on these boards so intersects with mine (though the orogine is different) that I take it as read that I'll intersect with most of www.tcs.ac/


The ax I grind is for a simple humanity and the defence of a child's voice and world view that is little understood, because we as adults take our own W/V so much for granted.

Having admitted all that, I will always try to back up my "fly by the seat of my pants" style parenting with logic and fairness.

Fairness.

That concept turns out to be a peculiarity of English culture that is still found and practiced in counties that have found their own democratic roots in English common law.

It's a rare and precious thing, easily lost it seems to me, and in a way, we have a duty both as parents and as fellow humans to those yet unborne, to encourage a cradle able to hold all that is best about humanity such that they can move beyond us, and the mayhem we find in the world.

Sorry. I find myself explaining what drives me instead of answering the post. Now I'm out of time and have to put the babe to bed and get back to work!!!

I'll catch this thread later though.

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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#56 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 12:20 PM
 
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I think that parents in "lower" socio-economic strata may be less likely to come across AP and TCS information. For example, I saw my first issue of Mothering in the health food store. With my first child, I read more mainstream magazines and those formula-sponsored rags in the OB/GYN waiting room. So unless one is fortunate enough to have had a gentle upbringing, one may not even consider the principles of AP and TCS. However, OTOH, in many developing countries, breastfeeding, feeding-on-cue and cosleeping are the norm and children are treated gently and valued very highly. I think a mother's love is universal, but that is not to say that societal norms don't "mess with it."

As far as putting these principles into action goes, I sometimes agree that stress is a big factor. Despite unbelievable financial pressures since the birth of my daughter, I have tried my best to put AP into practice. At times I envision myself parenting much better, if only all the other problems would just vanish! I guess it all comes down to 1) AWARENESS and 2) the decision to make an honest effort to put that awareness into action.

Hopefully I haven't strayed TOO far off the topic here.
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#57 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think of TCS as a luxury, but as a necessity. Certainly, survival is a priority, but even as we are hauling water and picking berries and grinding the corn, we are interacting with our children and how we interact is the issue. We are not living on a tribal level, where survival has been linked to strict tradition. We are living in a society where problems are solved by creativity. Being able to think clearly and learn are essential. Coercion gets in the way of thinking clearly and learning, so non-coercive relationships are optimal at this point in our evolution, imo.

Check out the movie 'It's a Beautiful Life' - I'm pretty sure that is the name of it, an Italian film about a guy and his son in a WWII concentration camp, and how this guy keeps his kid safe, using great creativity. It's a great flick, thought provoking. Talk about optimism in the face of difficult life situations!

Erika wrote:

"From this experience I wonder whether authoritarian/punitive parenting is really a function of time and stress rather than attitude toward children."

Oh, no, I think it is first and foremost an *attitude* or a paradigm, one's vision of the world and how best to get what one wants in the world. When a person approaches life from a TCS point of view (I'll talk about TCS, as I don't think that AP is a coherent philosophy that excludes authoritarian beliefs), the problems of time and stress are assumed to have a solution- not that figuring out the solution is easy, but it is out there and can be found. I think the TCS paradigm opens a person to a larger pool of solutions.

"Certainly there is a component of learned behavior – we tend to parent the way we were parented unless we make an effort to change. But is it possible to AP/TCS if you are a single parent working two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet – or two parents in the same situation – or a homeless mom trying to figure out how to get shelter and food for her family? Don’t AP and TCS take a certain amount of creativity and time? "

Yes. In the midst of the time restraints and the frustrations and worries, a parent can become aware of the elements fo the situations that are causing problems- maybe, just little ones- and finding solutions for those problems opens the way to finding solutions to larger ones.

If a single parent is working two jobs, they can still be on their child's side in life. They can work together to figure out how they can get what they want, and help each other. If child doesn't like their childcare arrangements, others can be researched and a better situation found. The more people they can talk to and get ideas from on how to solve problems, the better. The single parent can take hirself seriously, and hir child/ren. They can define their wants and needs, and lay out their resources of time and money and earning power and people available to help, and keep looking for common preferences. If they don't like the way their life is right now, they can identify the things they want to change, and keep working on finding ways to change those things. I've heard it said that by changing just one little thing, great things can happen.
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#58 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Eek, ack, er... I'd just like to say a word about privacy. Part of TCS is taking people's privacy seriously. When people post personal details about their children to a public list that thousands of people (at least) have access to, it is a gross violation of the children's privacy. It is one thing for a parent to post anything they want about their own self- they have the right to do so. But to post such details that a child would be able to recognize their self if they read it (and it is a distinct possibility that archived posts would be available to anyone including the children in the future) and feel embarrassed and violated and no small amount of coercion- I see that as a violation of privacy as well as contributing to the objectification of children in parent's minds.

I realize this is not a mainstream view, that parents are used to talking about children like possessions, without regards to the child's right to privacy, but this is the wrong thing to do. Isn't there something in the posting guidelines or mission statement or whatever they call it for this website, about not posting information that violates people's privacy? I see that guideline being violated constantly on this board.

So, Alexander, when you ask for more details, I must protest. It is not necessary to discuss any particular child's life on a public board. I urge posters here to think about writing hypothetically, and not embarrassing their children. Even if a kid says, yeah, sure, you can write about that, they might change their mind about that in a minute or a day or a year, and there it will be.

Part of taking children seriously is not violating their privacy on a public board. (did I mention that already?)
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#59 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sugarmama,

You could subscribe to the TCS and set yourself to nomail so that you don't get the daily posts- or you could just get a digest. I think you could still access the archives even if you are set nomail (I could be wrong about that, but you could try it and see!)
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#60 of 589 Old 12-11-2001, 05:34 PM
 
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Thank you all for your responses!

It has been very helpful to me to read the different opinions on this issue. Besides bringing this up as a discussion/debate topic, I also had a specific agenda here - trying to figure out what happened to ME and why I melted down under pressure.

I think several points that have been made were particularly relevant to my situation - 1) I realize now that I don't deal with stress well, and 2) it is an attitude problem.

It was hard for me to figure this out because AP was so easy when dd was young even though we were under incredible stress - living on $10,000/year. So why now that we are homeowners living a comfortable existence did I melt down? At first I attributed it to the stress of feeling very ill, etc, but now I think that's where attitude came in.. AP was easy for me while dd was under 3, because I never believed it possible for children that age to "misbehave" - I didn't consider tantrum-type behavior or other baby/toddler stuff "misbehavior" and thus I never felt the need to resort to punishment. But I think my view of her changed once she could legitimately challenge my agenda.

But there is still one detail that links this stuff to middle class existence in my mind: we had never owned a car before, but after the new baby arrived, I was really breaking under the strain of getting the older child to walk to doctor's appointments, grocery stores, or even home from friend's houses, at a pace that exceeded .5 mile/hour. Quite honestly, all of the ugly moments I had were about getting her to walk somewhere we needed to go (such as an appointment, or home for supper, or to buy food so there would actually be some when we got home) when she didn't feel like going (yes, coercion). I thought if we had been hunter/gatherers she could have straggled behind and then run to catch up when she was ready, but with modern roads etc it just wasn't a safe option. So we got a car and my life became magically easier in many regards. I would argue that it's a lot easier to run errands or get to appointments without coercion using a car than it is to do it all on foot....

or do you think I'm setting up a straw person here?
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