[I have no idea how to do the quote response, so if anyone would like to write to me privately to explain, I'd be grateful :-)]Originally posted by Mommy22B
Couple of situations for you TCSers.
***First, there is a Christmas party atour church this Friday. I am looking forward to going. Let's say on this evening dd decides she doesn't want to go out. If this happened in one of your homes what would you do? The basic core question here is if parent wants one thing and child wants another thing, 2 things that contradict each other, does the child always get her way in the end?***
It may help to think of the situation in a different way. What would you do if a house guest changed hir mind and decided s/he didn't want to go to a scheduled event? Would you not do your best to accomodate hir? Perhaps someone could stay home with the child? The parent could find something about the event that s/he knows the child will enjoy and remind hir of it? TCS families plan events carefully, ensuring that there are always alternatives available. If it is an important event for one person, then that person is responsible for planning in advance how s/he will be able to attend without coercing anyone else.
****Next, my husband is, IMO, inconsiderate of others. One example, in the grocery store today, we were letting dd walk around carrying something for us. She walks slow as she is only one and a half. She is standing in the middle of the aisles and moving very slow. I notice people trying to get by, waiting for her to move, when she really isn't on her way to move, but rather keeping a straight slow path in front of them. KWIM? I know I am generally care too much about what others think, but this bothers me to no end. My dh seems not to notice whos way she is in. Is it bad of me, in your opinion, to move her out of the way? Or pick her up?****
Again, perhaps it will help to look at it from a different angle. Do you think that it is more important to attend to the needs of strangers or the needs of your immediate family? For whom are you, ultimately, responsible? Why would you be more concerned about a stranger than your own child? And why would you be willing to coerce your child rather than a stranger? With whom do you strive to have a relationship of trust and compassion? While I agree that we should strive to be responsible citizens in society, we also must consider the experience and knowledge of the person in question. If it is possible to move the child or pick hir up without coercing hir, then it is fine to do so. But I think that parents have a responsibility to model appropriate attitudes towards children in our society. Would it be right for someone to be so impatient if the person were in a wheelchair, on crutches, extremely old and feeble? Would we consider physically moving or picking up such a person in order to clear the way for someone in a hurry? Children are people too. Do we physically move a child because it is right to do so, or merely because *we can*? Your child's needs and desires are just as important as that stranger's need. I think it is our responsibility to act as advocates for our children's rights whenever possible.
****One more example. We were in a small store the other day. DD was picking everything up and smelling it...(actually blowing her nose on it.) The store lady seemed to begetting frustrated. Dh was there with me so he took her outside for a bit, but if I had been alone it would have been awful! ****
Why would it have been awful? How is it harmful for someone to smell something? If s/he actually soiled the items, perhaps you could wipe them with a tissue afterwards. I find it helpful to pay no attention to store employees unless they actually address me or my child. If they are concerned that something will be broken, I assure them that I will pay for any broken item. I have even given my credit card to the employee to hold while my child explores the store. This way I can attend to my child rather than the store employee and I can help hir explore things safely and carefully. Children, ime, understand when something is breakable or fragile, and will learn how to handle such objects if given the opportunity to do so.
***Oh, I thought of another one!
When we go to Walmart or whatever sometimes dd doesn't want to ride in the cart. But when we let her walk it is so so slow, looking at everything and touching everything, finding something she wants and then a fit when we put it back ( although we are getting very good and sneaking things back onto the shelves behind her back....very coersive I know, but we really can't afford to get her things.) You might say leave her home...This is kind of sensitive for me because I like going shopping with dh. He works alot so the time we have together is percious to me, so I would like to spend as much of it as we can together. ***
Again, in a TCS family, no one person's needs take precedence over another's. And the majority does not rule either ;-). It is the responsibility of the parents to find or create common preferences so that everyone's needs are met. If you like to spend as much time together as possible, why not slow things down and go at your child's pace? Is there a reason why you must hurry? If there are things you *must* get done, is it possible for one of you to go off and do these things while the other helps your child explore? Can you make it *fun* for your child to ride in the cart? Would s/he prefer to ride in a backpack? A shoulder ride? Also, why can your child not choose items to buy in the same way as you do? Have you considered that your child might be less likely to grab many items if s/he trusted that s/he could have whichever item s/he really wanted? I know that most parents are afraid that their children will want to buy everything they see, but ime children only demand lots of things when they are used to not getting them. When a child trusts that s/he can have what s/he wants (or that a preferable alternative will be found for hir), s/he is much less likely to hoard items and throw tantrums.
****Anyway, I have to say I love most of what this theory has to offer. I am trying more and more to respect my dd's wishes. I still fail plenty but it feels good when I succeed. A few weeks ago i may have forced my dd to get dressed when I was ready for her to get dressed. Now I know to carve out an hour long block before we have to go somewhere to give time for her to decide to get dressed. This sounds like it is a bad thing, but it is wonderful not having to push her into something she doesn't want. It is amazing to dh and I how these social ideas are all stuck in our brain. That kids are lower class citizens and need to be pushed around. It makes me sad now when I do force her to do something. I feel so abusive because i am so much bigger than her...and I just don't care about what she wants at the time. That is so rude! Anyway, you ladies are really helping me alot to be a better mommy! Thanks.
That sounds great, Beth! Yes, TCS really challenges our entrenched ideas about children's autonomy. I also find it amazing how differently I see the world since discovering TCS. And it has not only changed my relationship with my children, it has most definitely affected all my personal relationships in profound and far-reaching ways. In a TCS home, *everyone* is liberated. And what an amazing world we create when realize our freedom to do so!