TCS Discussion Threads - Archived - Page 6 - Mothering Forums
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#151 of 589 Old 12-15-2001, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
larsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Way to go, k'smami , and all. You guys have been busy, discussing, while I've been out burning up the roads Cool!

There is a Taking Children Seriously t-shirt, that has a graphic of two profiles, one the adult with the mouth closed and the ear visible, the other the child with the mouth open. The adult is located in the upper right-hand corner of a square, oriented down toward the child in the lower left-hand corner.

This is not to say that all/most/many parents and adults do not take children seriously, but TCS philosophy advocates for taking children seriously in ways that conventional society does not. Children are not heard, are expected to learn their place and obey without question. This does not foster independent thinking and creative problem solving, both qualities that I think are crucial for people to learn. While the coercion factor is an important part of TCS theory, what the theory has to say about the way people learn is just as important, as are many other aspects.

I think that each person knows what they want. Small children might lack the experience and knowledge to be able to determine what is the best course of action in any particular instance. That is why they deserve to have access to their parents' best theories. Take the instance of a small child protesting being encased in a snowsuit to go out into the snow. Maybe child does not want to go out. Maybe the snowsuit is unbearable uncomfortable or too hot, it could be itchy or something is poking hir. There could be other options of suitable protective clothing that would be more comfortable and that child would be happy to put on. If a parent resorts to coercion as a matter of course, they are relaying the message that what child wants doesn't matter. The person with the power gets their way. And that is the world they will introduce their child to.

If a parent helps child get what they want- to not go outside at the time if child does not want to, to find comfortable clothing that will suit the needs of the climate and activity, to have interesting (to hir) things to do and help to do them as child wishes, child learns that they are able to affect the world, that they do matter. They can have confidence in their ability to know what they want and to be able to work together with others to get it, to the advantage of everyone. Parent helps their self and child to find common preferences, so child learns that others have preferences that are just as important as their own. They learn that one person does not have to lose in order for another to win.

Not socially acceptable to stand on tables? People dance on tables, make speeches from tables, see over a crowd by standing on tables, escape from mice by standing on tables, reach something high or clean a high place by standing on tables, use a table as an impromptu stage or a boat or a bed or an operating table. Children are capable of knowing the difference between times when it is a good idea to stand on tables, and when it is not- and often they come by this knowledge without someone explicitly saying to them 'it's ok to stand on the picnic table outside or the project table in the basement, but if you stand on the kitchen table mom will have your hide' But do parents really want their kids to behave in certain ways, motivated by fear of punishment/consequences of being found out by parents? This does not help kids learn to act based upon rational thought, but rather upon entrenched theories that make it harder for them to think clearly about, say, tables in the future, and then they'll pass that entrenchment right along to their kids and so on.

A parent can be honest with their child. They can explain that they don't want child to stand on the kitchen table because that is where they eat, and they don't want the floor germs from feet on the surface where they eat. Child might respond with, well then, I'll wash the table with a chlorine solution to kill any germs. Parent could respond, yeah, that would take care of that problem, but you might mar the finish, and the finish is really important to me. Could you do the standing on a different table? They can share theories back and forth, look for more information if they need to, and create new knowledge about how tables can be used and germs can be fought and finishes can be protected and explore if there are even better places to stand to get what child wants out of the experience.

OK, so maybe child is not interested in having a discussion about germs and tables. A preverbal child might require more action and less talk, though I think parent can still offer hir theories and preferences and alternatives that parent likes, and keep looking for the common preferences. parent might also need to question hir theories about how important the social acceptance is, do they really want child to be motivated by being socially acceptable or are there better moral theories to operate by, and does parent really believe that child will become an inveterate table-stander in all places and situations, and how can parent and child communicate about the difference between standing on the table at home when there is nothing on the table to harm or to harm child, and, say, at grandma's or at a restaurant or the library. They could have lots of fun imitating what they think the reactions of grandma and the librarian and so on would be. Lots of good information and learning to be had, for both parent and child.

Likewise, there are lots of ways for families to figure out how to get enough sleep and to get baths, without hurting anyone. Getting more information about germs and exactly what the realistic risks are and how others manage to get enough sleep when their children are small and have various preferences that were not what parents had expected is very helpful in evaluating one's theories. The internet is an invaluable source of information, we are very fortunate to add it to our arsenal of information sources.

People who respect their own and other's autonomy are apt to find/create jobs that they want to do. If a person takes a job with a full understanding of what is required and are willing to do what it takes, they will be doing what they want. It is possible to want something, even though parts of it are difficult or unpleasant. A person can find a way to make even those parts of a task or experience acceptable to their self.

Out of time, for now.
larsy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#152 of 589 Old 12-15-2001, 09:27 PM
 
k'smami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by RainCityMama

I've been really looking for alternative methods of parenting and
I was recently made aware of TCS - I must say that in theory it makes sense to me, but I fear my own failings may thwart my efforts to practice these methods.
I completely understand this. I was/am still scared of doing it wrong. And I'm sure in many cases I probably am because I am not perfect. I think the key is doing the best you can in not coercing and constantly looking for areas in which you are coercive and trying to fix those. Learn from your mistakes, don't beat yourself up for them.

Quote:

Diaper changing - He hates them, but how can I leave him to wander about in a poopy diaper all day?
This seems to be a common situation with toddlers. I have seen parents deal with this in different ways. Some of them have found that the child doesn't mind having a diaper changed if hir can stand up for it. Some parents just take the child to the bathtub put in a few toys and the child gladly lets the diaper come off at the prospect of playing with water. Some parents decide to introduce a potty and let the child go diaperless most of the time. Some parents decide elimination timing will be the way to go with future children but I digress... LOL. Some parents find that the toddler is really struggling because the diaper changing is taking too long so they try a pull-up instead.

Quote:
Touching outlets - He is obsessed with anything electrical, I totally appreciate that he's learning but I'm afraid that if I sat with him and worked the outlet this would only be encouraging him that this was okay.
The points I have been trying to make are about showing the child to do this safely. So yes, in a way the parent is showing the child that doing this is in the way the parent taught hir is ok. However if the danger of doing it unsupervised and unsafely is removed, then I as the parent would not fear this any longer. Plus Discovermama's example shows that it is very likely the child will lose interest in the cords after the child has gained the knowledge he/she needs from the cords. I have seen this myself with a child who did this when hir parents weren't looking. Once this child saw what , in this case, the socket protector (you know the childproof covers that are supposed to prevent children from touching sockets : ) was for, the child did not even look at the socket again.

Quote:
Touching the fireplace/stove - Once again, he's learning - But if either happened to be hot this could cause serious injury that I'm not willing to do.
Again, I suggest demystifing these things when it is safe to do so, ie. when they are off and cool. If the child understands the concept of hot then a warning from the parent is good when these things are on, that they are hot. Doing mimicry in this case is really good. Pretending to touch the hot stove and saying "Ouch, hot!" helps the child understand the pain involved. At the risk of being called negligent, I will suggest that perhaps a parent can hold the child's hand close to the item in question so that the child can feel the heat emanating from it.

Quote:
and my own selfish need for some order within my home - Is wanting a semi-clean home wrong? I don't care if we have toys everywhere but when my little person wants to drag out all the canned goods, beauty products and rip apart rolls of toilet paper do you just allow it?
IMO there are a lot of things that a child learns from making a mess. They can learn sorting and organization among other things. A parent could put away these items when the child is looking in the hopes that the child sees that this is what is done after it has all been pulled out. Making a game out of putting them back is a good idea too. I have seen this happen with a child who liked to throw all of the laundry on the floor. The parent made a game out of it by asking the child to bring hir the clothing items a few at a time so the parent could put them away. The parent allowed the child to try folding the clothes as well.
k'smami is offline  
#153 of 589 Old 12-15-2001, 09:37 PM
 
k'smami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Excellent post larsy!
k'smami is offline  
 
#154 of 589 Old 12-15-2001, 09:52 PM
 
paula_bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Chester County, PA
Posts: 857
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hello everyone! I must confess I did not read everything here, because I have my own question and limited time right now. Hope I am not repeating. Anyway, here goes. What exactly does one mean by coersion and non-coersion? Are we talking physical, psychological, or any form of coersion?

Let me give an example. On Monday morning 22 mo dd was wearing her Elmo slippers. Time for us to leave for LLL mtg. I asked her to put on coat, no resistance. Told her we were going to see the babies, she loves LLL and babies. Told her she needed to remove slippers to put on shoes. She didn't want to. I told her she could wear slippers, but then I would have to carry her to the car. She said, "WALK!" I gently explained that slippers may be worn inside only and she could continue wearing them, but she could not walk outside with them. Even though I saw an outburst coming, I let it happen. I sat down on the step and asked myself what dd needed. Then I asked dd if she would like to put Elmo slippers in diaper bag so that she could wear them later. She agreed to this.

Even though I hate to use labels and categories, I do find them useful. I feel that in this interaction w/ dd, I did everything possible to respect her autonomy and to help her to make her own decision that was acceptable to both of us. I believe that we as parents DO use our superior intellect and understanding of psychology, but we do not use it AGAINST our children! We are modeling the behavior we would like to see in them, we are helping to teach them about compromise and we are showing them that conflicts can be resolved without a power struggle or the use of what I would call violent tactics (call it coersion or whatever you like.) DD was very pleased with the outcome of this situation - walking to car independently was more important to her than wearing Elmo slippers - she subsequently forgot about them completely!

Anyway, sorry to post such a long-winded thread here, but I would like some clarification on the definition of coersion. I plan to print out this post as well as info from the TCS website - I always keep reading material handy for when DD falls asleep in car, etc.

Also, as far as following any child-rearing philosophy w/ more than one child, while it does get more difficult and requires more creativity, I think in the long run it makes life easier. Unfortunately I was not as well informed w/ 7.5 y/o DS, but am trying to gently incorporate knowledge as I aquire it. I find that he responds so much better to gentle discipline than to childish outbursts on my part.

I look forward to reading all of your posts and continuing to discuss TCS, etc.
paula_bear is offline  
#155 of 589 Old 12-15-2001, 10:01 PM
 
k'smami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had trouble seeing how one can feel "coerced" into TCS. I decided to look up the word to see if there was some definition that I was missing.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary

coerce:
1. To force to act or think in a certain way; compel
2. To dominate, restrain or control forcibly
3. To bring about by force.

I fail to see how someone posting something on the basis of TCS fits the above definition. Unless you intened to say that you felt coerced into thinking of your parenting style (which I can understand although not believe), I don't think anyone here has the power to actually coerce you into anything. Sure the TCS posts could annoy you, frustrate you, and -heck I'll just say it, teach you something since we have an opportunity to learn from every experiece BUT coerce? How?

I will say this, it's not like this board is being overrun by TCS. As far as I know there are only 4 people out of what is it now 1000? that post within a TCS frame of mind so to speak. So again, I'll restate that I fail to see how you are being "coerced" into following TCS. I would venture to say that it's impossible because that's what the ignore button is for. You don't even have to see those responses.

I do not intend to sound hostile. I am just hurt by this thread. Or to use a more approprite word, offended.

offend
1. To cause anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.

Peace

Only Love Prevails
k'smami is offline  
#156 of 589 Old 12-15-2001, 10:08 PM
 
k'smami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
From the TCS website www.tcs.ac

Coercion

Our definition of coercion makes precise the idea of being compelled to act against one's own will:

By “coercion” we mean:

1.the psychological state of enacting one idea or impulse while a conflicting impulse is still active in one's mind.


This leads to some subsidiary meanings:

2.the action of intentionally or recklessly placing someone in a state of enacting one theory while a rival theory is still active in the person's mind;
3.behaviour that is intended, or likely, to do this.


Coerce:

*Intentionally or recklessly to place someone in a state of coercion (1); or
*to behave in a way that is intended, or likely, to do this.


Coercive:

*likely to place someone in a state of enacting one theory while a rival theory is still active in his or her mind.


It all hinges on the first definition, labelled (1). If coercion in that sense occurs for any reason, it is harmful. The others are either harmful or risk harm, depending on whether coercion in sense (1) actually happens or is merely risked. (The question of why it is harmful is another matter. Here, I just want to familiarise you with the way we use the words.)

The problem is that if one engages in behaviour intended to or likely to cause (1), that is risking harming the person. One cannot tell in advance that any particular action will definitely cause coercion (1), and indeed, coercion (1) can exist without outward signs of distress, so one cannot reliably know that a person is not in a state of coercion (1). What one can do, therefore, is to think about what actions might be likely to cause coercion (1). Therefore, what we do on TCS is to try to point out actions and behaviours which seem risky in this respect.

Having said all that, behaviours which are intended or likely to cause children to enact one theory while a rival theory is still active in their mind, very often succeed. That is why we argue strongly against many of the methods commonly used in conventional parenting.

In any particular case, a child might have the creativity not to get into the psychological state of enacting one theory while a rival theory is still active in his mind, and thereby avoid harm, but the point is, if we are engaging in coercion (3), the child may well not be able to avoid coercion (1) so it behoves us to try not to behave in ways likely to cause coercion (1).

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Consent/Non-coercion

By consent we mean full, free, genuine agreement, or unanimous consent. A consent-based (or “non-coercive”) solution to a problem (which we call a “common preference”) is one that all involved parties actively prefer, not one that they merely reluctantly agree to. This can be contrasted with compromise.

Unanimous consent is the criterion of decision-making in TCS relationships. Wherever there is a disagreement, the parties jointly create a common preference.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
k'smami is offline  
#157 of 589 Old 12-15-2001, 10:37 PM
 
paula_bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Chester County, PA
Posts: 857
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
P.S. I answered my own question. TCS website has glossary that defines, among other things, coersion. Well, will be happy to further debate this topic, sorry for being too lazy to check that out first!

Warmly,
Paula
paula_bear is offline  
#158 of 589 Old 12-15-2001, 11:00 PM
 
Netty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 96
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[please forgive any problems in format...I'm still trying to figure out how this works now :-)]

Heavenly wrote:

***Well I'm going to be the thorn here and say I am totally into gentle discipline but do not agree with TCS at all (and I am also offended by that term because I take my son very seriously.) I honestly do not get how people think that a little child knows what is best for them.***

TCS advocates do not claim that children know what is best for them. Children need parents (or caregivers) to help them do what they want to do safely and in ways that are preferable to all parties.

*** We were going outside today. It's snowing. my 11 month old hates getting his snowsuit on no matter what I do to try and make it fun. He screamed. I put the snow suit on anyways. IMO that is the RESPONSIBLE thing to do. Letting my 11 month old go out in just a track suit is negligent and I will never change my opinion on that. ***

TCS families decide activities together and no one preference over-rides another. If a child does not want to put on a snowsuit, s/he doesn't put it on. If the child wants to go outside without it, the parent brings it along and offers it frequently. With a very young child or infant, the parent might wrap hir in a blanket or reconsider the outing altogether. I think it is irresponsible to force something on a child that s/he obviously does not want.

*** And I still 100% do not agree! "gee you're standing on a table, go ahead." It is not socially acceptable to stand on tables and last time I checked my son will need to be a productive member of society. My son is a baby, a child. there is no possible way for him to know what is best because he has no experience.***

As you say, your child is young and there is plenty of time for him to learn what is and what is not socially acceptable. Is it socially acceptable to force someone into a snowsuit against their will? A child stands on the table because it is fun or s/he is curious or wants to be tall or get attention. Perhaps the parent can help the child satisfy those needs some other way. Or perhaps the parent can help the child stand on the table in a safe way. Young children want to explore. Help them.

***I do not spend my day thinking of ways to control him. I play with him and let him explore and try to make transitions happy and gentle. But if doesn't want to go to bed he's still going, being rocked to sleep in my arms, crying. Sleep is necessary - for our whole family.****

This makes no sense to me. Do you go to bed when someone tells you to whether you are tired or not? A TCS family finds ways to accomodate the sleep needs of all family members, not just the biggest and strongest ones.

*** If he doesn't want to take a bath he's doing it. I am not going to breed germs because an 11 month old feels like boycotting bath time.***

There are many alternatives to baths. A shower? A sponge bath? A swim? Wait until s/he wants a bath? I don't see how forcing someone into a bath will encourage them to like baths.

*** And what happens when these kids are out in society. "well gee boss I don't feel like filing right now, I have different theories about the need for accounts payables to be filed." Buh bye! They get fired. We can not always get our own way and that's a fact. And IMO you are doing your child a disservice by making them believe otherwise. It is our responsibilty as parents to raise our children to make it in this world, not to think they ARE the world.***

What is your idea of "making it"? I think that "making it in the world" means being as happy as possible without interfering with someone else's happiness. This is what TCS is all about!
Netty is offline  
#159 of 589 Old 12-15-2001, 11:42 PM
 
EarthWind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: California
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey everyone!

I don't post very often and there are only a few forums that I frequent. Gentle Discipline is where I often find myself since I have a 16mo ds and am now thinking about how to be in relationship with him respectfully as he grows older (I hesitate to use the word 'discipline' since I personally have very negative associations with that word). I just want to say that I am very, very grateful for the TCS presence here on this board. I am a newbie at TCS and am always looking for new ways of perceiving situations that I may encounter in the future. I find the TCS input to be very helpful indeed. I am sure that there are other ways of 'disciplining' our children that don't involve TCS, but, it seems to me that TCS could be seen as integral to gentle discipline. However, that's just my opinion.

Mostly, I just want to relay my gratefulness to you moms who are practicing TCS. Please continue to provide your perspective on things in this forum. Many of us are learning so much from your feedback!

Peace,

Michelle
EarthWind is offline  
#160 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 12:01 AM
 
peggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: MA
Posts: 4,130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dear k'smami,
I am sorry you are offended. In the other thread I did say I felt "coerced" into TCS with a smiley face after it, intending it to be a play on words so to speak. Not that I literally felt that way.
I also said I thought there was room for both AP and TCS in this forum. The only thing I took exception to was the fact that in some posts it is implied that we are not taking our children seriously, that we are coercing them at every turn. I guess some of us were getting offended because we felt that instead of offering a another way of doing things, we were being told we were doing it the wrong way. At least that is where my frustration was coming from anyway.
I felt in some instances after answering the original posters question with a TCS slant , the person posting about TCS would then pick apart the answers of some of the others who responded in the post. That I did find irritating.
I hope I am explaining myself in the way I intended. I don't want to see this animosity between the TCS ers and the AP ers. There is room enough for everybody here as long as we respect each others opinion. I really am sorry that I offended you, that was not my intention.

peggy
peggy is offline  
#161 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 12:29 AM
 
k'smami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This paragraph comes from Without Boundaries from Jan Fortune Wood. Although larcy and netty and discovermama touched upon some of these thoughts, I like how this paragraph puts it together.

Quote:

We live in a society where children are routinely deprived of the common rights of humanity, where they often cannot choose what to eat or wear, whom they associate with, when they can sleep, what they can learn or even what they can enjoy as leisure. Love is neither compensation nor justification for such total lack of autonomy. The suffering that arises is not character building or a preparation for living in the real world, but rather damages the ability to problem solve creatively and consider solutions rationally. It perpetuates an acceptance of suffering and an inhability to follow one's preferences into adulthood. Children whose autonomy is respected do not expect to never have to solve problems or that life will be handed to them on a plate or that they will never have to work hard at realising thier preferences. Autonomous children know that problem solving is a feature of real life and growth, that risk is inevitable and that change and criticism and new solutions are always going to be needed. What they do not do is conflate problems with suffering or effort with sacrifice. When we live in an ethos of consent, creativity and rationality, boundaries become simply irrelevant. (page 84)
I also want to quote this sentence on page 85:

Quote:

The prisons are not full of TCS children. Whilst TCS is not primairly concerned with outcome-based parenting, I think we can confidently predict that, unless TCS children are living under unjust and illiberal laws, this situation is likely to continue.
k'smami is offline  
#162 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 12:32 AM
 
Heavenly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 4,743
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I do not have the time to respond to all of this right now but I wanted to say Larsy you are REALLY starting to irritate me with your attitude. You are infering that because I do not practice TCS I am not gentle towards my son (mama will have your hide???). I do not want to start a fight so listen and listen carefully. I do not believe in spanking, yelling, raising my voice. I always try and direct my son in positive ways and do things to try and make him comfortable (not going out when he's tired, etc.). But I do not agree with TCS, okay? I don't think that a parent is being evil or wrong to tell their child when to go to bed, or to take a bath, or wear a jacket. I'm pretty my sure my son will grow up just fine with all my coercion. :

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
Heavenly is offline  
#163 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 12:44 AM
 
k'smami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dear Heavenly,

I think this is why larsy stressed when she began this thread that people speak hypthotically about children and parents. It is my opinion, and please larsy correct me if I'm wrong, that larsy was speaking about people in general and used an extreme example to illustrate. I also don't believe I've heard anyone here use the word evil.

It is your right to not agree with TCS. Please remember that you offered to debate it by posting on this thread and saying so.
k'smami is offline  
#164 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 01:46 AM
 
Ms. Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: MotheringDotCommune
Posts: 22,154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Heavenly - Your feeling frustrated because the tcs theory dosn't feel right to you and your feeling judged. I can understand your feelings and am sorry that your feeling under attack.

It seems a lot of our members are curious about tcs and do want to discuss it in this forum. This is the logical place to so and I'm glad to see this thread so that everyone interested can come here and learn.

Sometimes the tcs theories do seem a bit much for many members, I can certainly understand that. Before the boards went down there were a few times things got heated. What worked was to have a thread where people could come and discuss the theory and others could skip by.

EVERYONE is welcome on the Mothering Boards and I appreciate the diverse views that are discussed here.

We all beleive in treating children with gentleness, love and respect. Let's do the same here to each other.

If anyone would like to discuss this further please feel free to pm me or email me [email protected] any time. I always welcome your views.


Edited to say; Welcome back Netty - I wondered where you had gone.
Ms. Mom is offline  
#165 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 03:17 AM
 
geomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am not formally into TCS. I think that they may have chosen an unfortunate name for the movement since it has a tendancy to put people off. The immediate reaction I usually see when someone brings it up is along the lines of 'of course, I take my children seriously. But that doesn't mean my toddler knows what is best.'

I have been slowly moving toward consensus as the means of interacting with my child. My attempts at coersion were short lived and just didn't seem like a productive endevour. I am not above some positive reinforcement now and then. But when dd and I are not in agreement from the get go, I start working toward a consensus and not just on getting my way.

I too faced hysterical cries at the sight of the snow suit. We found this really perplexing since she has worn it frequently without protest in the past. We dressed her in many layers for a week while we figured out what it was about the snow suit that offended her sensibilities. It turned out that the collar was bothering her. We were able to alter the collar and explain what we did so that the snow suit is once again acceptable to her.
geomom is offline  
#166 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 03:20 AM
 
Linda in Arizona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Some of the TCS posts I have found to be argumentative, aggressive and sometimes plain rude
and condescending and judgmental. As a mom here who posts about real things with my kids and how I handle them, I'm sick of having my actions judged by people who believe there is one right way.

There are lots of right ways!

Quote:
I think children would rather we discuss their lives than make some bizarre error in judgement that could cause them some sort of problem later..... [/B]
agreed. I think if I loudly anouced at a Christmas party that one of my children wears pullups at night, it would be an invasion of her privacy. To talk about something quite personally here with other moms who might have experience or tips, can only help. I perfer to raise my kids will all the information and insight I can get. That takes being open and honest. Since my kids are always with me, talking about real problems on-line is a way that I can find other options without invading their privacy.
Linda in Arizona is offline  
#167 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 03:30 AM
 
Linda in Arizona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by larsy
Sorry to keep repeating meyself, but...

TCS is a philosophy about non-coercive interaction between *parent* and *child*, not between non-related adults.

so it is OK if someone else coerces your child, you coerce someone else's child, you coerce your spouse, etc?????

To me, respecting other people's points of view and feelings are very important, be it my children, other adults, etc. I think we should always respect others' right to feel differently than we do, work toward finding creative solutions to differences, and respecting someone's right to come to a different conclusion when no agreement is reached.
Linda in Arizona is offline  
#168 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 05:08 AM
 
k'smami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by Linda in Arizona



so it is OK if someone else coerces your child, you coerce someone else's child, you coerce your spouse, etc?????

To me, respecting other people's points of view and feelings are very important, be it my children, other adults, etc. I think we should always respect others' right to feel differently than we do, work toward finding creative solutions to differences, and respecting someone's right to come to a different conclusion when no agreement is reached.
I understood what larsy meant as, there is nothing damaging about not helping strangers get what they want. You can agree to disagree or you can stop associating with them. This is not the case with children. With children and their parents, agreeing to disagree happens very rarely unless you're talking about philosophical ideals. You can't stop associating with your children. You must deal with them daily and this initmate relationship can't be compared with any associations you have with strangers.
k'smami is offline  
#169 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 09:38 AM
 
Ms. Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: MotheringDotCommune
Posts: 22,154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks geomom. Your right about the name. I think it puts peoples defenses up.

I like the snowsuit story. Sometimes a little one needs some time to be able to properly communicate why they don't want to do something. You gave her the time to do so and she must feel so releived that you understand.
Ms. Mom is offline  
#170 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
larsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So, it's not possible to take one's children more seriously than before? To recognize ways in which one isn't taking them as seriously as one would like to? Sure, everyone's first thought is 'I take my children seriously'. What's the next thought? 'I'm so glad to find others who do too, maybe I can get some more information so that I can do better'? Getting defensive might be a clue, good information, that entrenched theories are flaring.

Human beings are fallible. No matter how seriously we take other people and ourselves, there are still places where we can learn and change and do better. Living takes effort, no matter how one lives. Spending that energy on relating to loved ones in tired patterns that do not support good relationships, that undermine trust and love and instead produce bad feelings and stunt learning... well, is that energy well-spent? If there are better ways to direct energy, to improve relationships and lives, wouldn't you want to know about it? Even if it involves some effort and pain and prodding one's tender spots, to hear and understand and implement it in one's own life?
larsy is offline  
#171 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 01:53 PM
 
Netty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 96
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by geomom
I am not formally into TCS. I think that they may have chosen an unfortunate name for the movement since it has a tendancy to put people off. The immediate reaction I usually see when someone brings it up is along the lines of 'of course, I take my children seriously. But that doesn't mean my toddler knows what is best.'
Yes, that is the reaction we usually get :-) But when you think about it, "Taking Children Seriously" is a very fitting name. Yes, most parents think they *do* take their children seriously, but when it comes down to it, they often don't. And that is what the movement is trying to point out. Children are so often treated as second--or even third--rate people. What the TCS movement is trying to change is this very attitude to children. A child who wants to drink bleach, for example, should be taken seriously. No, that doesn't mean that the parent should give the child bleach to drink, but should look at ways of satisfying the child's very *rational* desire. Because we assume that the child's desre is rational, we first realize that the desire is *not* to poison hirself. From there, we try to determine how to satisfy that desire. The child wants a bottle to explore? The child is thirsty? The child wants attention? And so on. We do not simply snatch the bleach away and say "No! Danger!" and leave it at that. Of course we help the child understand danger. But we take their desires seriously at the same time. Many anti-tcs parents will say something like, "I *do* take my children seriously" and then add a "but" immediately after. Isn't that rather telling? ;-) Taking someone seriously does not mean doing whatever they want. It means that we consider their desires on par with our own.

BTW, thanks for the welcome back, Mrs Mom!...I've been frantically busy lately, but I hope I can help out here more in the next while :-)

Netty
Netty is offline  
#172 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 05:40 PM
 
discovermoma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not picking on you, your just the only one right now posting why you do not believe in TCS and what you think is wrong with TCS. I'm arguing my opinion is all.

You said you don't spank. How do you feel when you see someone spanking their child? Do you think to yourself that this parent is doing wrong to the child and that there are better ways to discipline than by hitting?

That's how I feel when I read in your post that you make your child do something that they don't want to do. I think there is a better way of doing it and I want to share this way with you.

For example making a child take a bath. TCS way does not mean that you should have a dirty child. It means (to me) that I should find out why the child doesn't want to take a bath. Is the water temperature too cold or hot, are they bored with the bath toys and I should rotate toys to keep her interested, does she have diaper rash and the water/soap is causing it to burn, am I splashing water in her face which she doesn't like, is the big tub too scary, was she doing something that interested her when I told her it was bath time...?

Same thing for wearing a coat. I don't think any child likes to be cold. Maybe there is something about the coat that is causing problems. Is the zipper pinching or scratching, does a snowsuit limit mobility...and so on.

I try to put myself in my dd's shoes to find out what it is about something that she is resisting. Power struggles with a child is a lose/lose situation, but finding a common preference is a win/win situation. It makes the days I spend with my dd so much better. It has greatly enhanced my marriage. It has allowed me to become more open minded. TCS doesn't make my life hard, it makes it more enjoyable.
discovermoma is offline  
#173 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 05:42 PM
 
bigcats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have two questions regarding TCS. The first:

When I checked out the website, there was a list that said something like "If you believe any of these statements, you probably will not find the TCS list supportive" and then one of the statements was about children learning from natural consequences. What's coercive about natural consequences? When a child throws a treasured toy out a second story window, and the toy breaks on the sidewalk below (after being given information by the parent that this may happen)... is this something the child cannot, or should not, learn from? I'm wondering if maybe the website authors were referring to "logical consequences" - those that are parent-arranged, such as "If you throw your food at the dinner table, you are done with dinner and you need to leave the table".

Secondly, can TCS be used with children who seem *not* to want to avoid hurting themselves? I work with kids with emotional disorders stemming frmo abuse and neglect, and it seems to me that the assumption the kids do not want to cause harm to themselves is a false one. These kids will intentionally do things they know will be painful or harmful to themselves (putting sand in their eyes, glass in their mouths, walking over to a child who is tantrumming and assaultive, drinking Lysol, etc). It's not just that the child does not have information that these things are harmful... the child does them again and again, after having experienced the painful sensations.

Thanks for your help in clarifying these issues.
bigcats is offline  
#174 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 05:43 PM
 
geomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
To all you TCS folks, I do understand that TCS wants children to given basic human respect and understanding. I just wanted to point out that even those who agree with the philosophical underpinnings of TCS can be put off by the language.

I do tend to disagree that humans are primarily rational. I see emotional responses as being primary and rational thought as secondary. That doesn't mean that I think rational thought is inferior. But I see emotional repsonses as being the basic means by which humanity deals with experiences. For me, rational thought is a means of interpretting and using emotional responses. I also do not see my toddler's thought processes as being rational. Much of what she communicates at this point is magical thinking and fantasy. But these are her means of dealing with the world and just as valid as her mother's love of rationl thought.
geomom is offline  
#175 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 08:28 PM
 
fire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Guelph, Ontario
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was raised with some "good" and bad" (used loosely) parenting skills and also instincts. I found it very easy to intuitively nurture my newborn. However it, for me has become increasingly more difficult, complicated. Because we are all different and each child individual I see that guidelines aren't always relevant but it is not necessary to totaly devalue them. Sometimes I get great help from theories and 'psycology' inspired parenting systems. I think that most of the social sciences are very altruistic; handy in the way that they look at a child growing with an objective point of view, detached from the deep emotions involved with raising your own family. I think this advise is very important and it is mostlikely coming from a place of love for all children. Also for the same reason, I can see how we could rightly distrust the full accuracy of some band box certainty from one who is not directly intimately connected with our loved ones.
fire is offline  
#176 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 10:01 PM
 
MamaLeah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Oregon
Posts: 169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have been mulling over many points of view for the last several months. As many others, the world of being a parent is new to me, and I don't always know what to do/what is best/what makes sense/what will ultimately be the best path. I have posted very few questions and no opinions about TCS because I hadn't had time to really openly explore the ideas. They were very new to me. I have felt defensive and angry at times, but tried to take the time to let my emotions teach me something. I feel like the TCSers take a lot of heat, but I have never seen any posts from a pro-TCS person that in my view was not respectful, thoughtful and honest.

I realized today that I am a better parent because of the ideas I have been exposed to here. It is not easy to open yourself up to a new way of thinking about the world, and I have struggled with it. But because of TCS ideas, I trust my daughter more, I hear her more accurately, I am more calm and patient when she has trouble expressing her needs or wants. These are huge things. Especially the trust. I mean trust is the deepest sense of the word. And I truly believe that she trusts me more, is more able to understand my needs and is more patient with me. I don't think I am ready to label myself a certain way. I'm still learning so much. But I wanted to let those of you who have spent so much time trying to explain these ideas, that I for one am grateful and I think you have improved the quality of my and my daughter's lives. Thank you.

Leah
MamaLeah is offline  
#177 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 10:45 PM
 
k'smami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by bigcats
I work with kids with emotional disorders stemming frmo abuse and neglect, and it seems to me that the assumption the kids do not want to cause harm to themselves is a false one. These kids will intentionally do things they know will be painful or harmful to themselves (putting sand in their eyes, glass in their mouths, walking over to a child who is tantrumming and assaultive, drinking Lysol, etc). It's not just that the child does not have information that these things are harmful... the child does them again and again, after having experienced the painful sensations.
This illustrates how coercion damages thinking and inhibits learning. These children were abused and neglected i.e. expericenced very damaging instances of coercion. I don't think these children are a good example about how children think so cases like these should not be used against the majority of children to say that they aren't rational (not implying that you're saying this, I'm just throwing it out there). This is a very interesting case, I don't know how one would handle these behaviors using TCS. I'll think about it though.

There are a couple of articles on the TCS website that discuss Natural Consequences. According to TCS, natural consequences should be avoided because if parents were able to stop the consequence from happening and didn't then they are being coercive because they are trying to teach their child a "lesson" about whatever the action the child did that the parent disagreed with.

For instance imagine a 6 year old left a precious, delicate toy on the floor. The parent sees it there and thinks that if it stays there it might get broken by someone passing by who may trip on it. Instead of picking it up and giving the child a warning about what happens when you leave delicate things on the floor, the parent decides that this is a Natural Consequence of leaving the toy on the floor (lets say that this is not the first time the child leaves something delicate on the floor) and as such does not remove the toy and someone trips and breaks it. This is coercive because the parent is imposing their will on the child's property. "That toy deserves to get broken because it was left on the floor." Would the parent do that if a guest was the one who left something on the floor? Would the parent say, "That deserves to get broken because so and so left it where it's not supposed to be"? IME the parent would pick the item up to ensure its safety. Why would the parent do this with a guest but not their beloved child?
k'smami is offline  
#178 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 11:03 PM
 
Irishmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the bat cave with heartmama
Posts: 45,396
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would just like to say that I'm with Heavenly on this one. I have a friend who parents like that (TCS, but I don't think she gives it a name), and her child is the biggest brat going. Everything is always what suits her child, no matter how it hurts/inconveniences/annoys other people. For example, at a restaurant, kid wants to run around, kid gets to run around - even with waitstaff carrying trays, coffee pots, etc., and who would be blamed if someone tripped over the kid and the kid was hurt? The parents sure wouldn't be thinking "oh, maybe my kid shouldn't do that"! Or, kid is really tired (obvious to everyone except mom, kid's not particulary verbal), mom keeps child up because child says no to bed. Which is better for kid - following what he says verbally, or what he says body language? This particular kid (3 years old) thinks that everyone on earth should bow to her, and treats everyone like they are only here to serve her (or take her seriously!). She is going to be one miserable kid when she hits school and all of a sudden isn't the centre of the universe, and I don't think her parents have done her any favours.
Irishmommy is offline  
#179 of 589 Old 12-16-2001, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
larsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Irishmommie, what you describe is not TCS.
larsy is offline  
#180 of 589 Old 12-17-2001, 01:14 AM
 
Linda in Arizona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by discovermoma
You said you don't spank. How do you feel when you see someone spanking their child? Do you think to yourself that this parent is doing wrong to the child and that there are better ways to discipline than by hitting?

That's how I feel when I read in your post that you make your child do something that they don't want to do. I think there is a better way of doing it and I want to share this way with you.

My, how very condescending of you! This is a gentle discipline board, not a TCS/NCP soapbox. I feel that there needs to be respect for all parents praticing (or trying to practice) positive discipline, even if that takes a different turn that it does in my home.

I attended a conference section on TCS. I've read Without Boundaries. I practiced NCP for a while. Ultimately, I decided it was not the right path for my family. I still work very hard to find common preferences with my children, but if we can't it doesn't mean that they simply get their way.

This attititude that "there is a better way of doing it and I want to share this way with you" is getting old. Just because there is a better way for your family, doesn't mean that it is the one right way for all families.

Linda in Arizona is offline  
Reply


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 989

6 members and 983 guests
Daria91 , deidrec , K703 , kathymuggle , KerriB , lmaraial57
Most users ever online was 21,860, 06-22-2018 at 09:45 PM.