Well, I don't call our parenting TCS
Originally Posted by rumi
Okay I am pretty new at this and I cant resist putting out some scenarios. My daugher is 2.5, high need from birth, but I am also highly responsive and we rarely have problems. It takes all my time and I am very exhausted but pretty happy in that I think we have a great relationship, I think she is amazingly smart and sensetive and all the effort we have put into AP/ GD ? etc has been more than worthwhile. SO that said, here are some scenarios ...
. We don't feel like we "failed" when we don't find a mutually agreeable solution immediately. We consider it an on-going process and we don't default to the youngest child in order to optimize their learning without interference of the frustration of coercion as a goal. TCS is an educational philosophy, not a parenting philosophy. (And fwiw, there is a "TCS-ish" tribe in 'Finding Your Tribe'.) But, I'll give your questions a shot from the perspective of consensual living which has the similar goal of finding a common preference but without the default "give in" or guilt paradigms. I apologize if I have misconstrued TCS. This is *my* perspective of the philosophy. I am fallible.
|dd wants to wear a silk dress to the playground where i know it will get dirty and we cant wash it very easily
I would discuss the alternatives in relation to meeting her long-term goal of protecting the silk dress also, as I am sure you did. Additionally, I would take alternative clothes, discuss the cost of drycleaning it, the difficulty in finding a replacement, discuss the options of not having it pretty any longer, and potentially needing to wait until the cost of replacement is feasible. And I would seek to understand if she is wanting to wear it because it is silky, soft, short, pretty, sparkly, gets comments, whatever; and find a substitute either now (if possible, like bringing it along in a bag, changing in the car, wearing it to and from the playground, wearing it someplace else first to show it off, etc.). And find a "play" substitute for future use (perhaps a pretty but cheap or hardy skirt, fancy clothe from the fabric store as a "picnic blanket", making a dress similar to it for a doll, cutting a piece off to carry in her pocket, finding a tiara or shirt that is similarly sparkly but not as likely to get damaged, covering it while playing, etc.)
(Yes, I know that the explanations *seem* too complicated for a 2.5 year old. But that hasn't been my experience. Our son listens to the 'why nots' and is very, very adept at giving his own 'why nots'.
I think the atmosphere of the explanations as information
, rather than 'trying to convince' makes a huge difference in their receptivity. Again, when there is freedom of choice, there is little to resist.)
But, ultimately, I would not obstruct her from wearing the dress.
|dd wants to wear a summer dress when it is too cold outside
I don't leave ds very far from me while I am holding the additional warmer clothing. I offer it before and during the outing, and at any signs of chill. I am much more reluctant to do this in *public* though, as I have concerns regarding people calling CPS. Perhaps, paranoid. But, I do convey that I am not comfortable going out in below 40 degree-ish weather if our son doesn't have at least a shirt on while in the car. Outside isn't usually an issue, because he is playing, and physically active. But, sitting nearly naked in a car in cold weather pushes my hot buttons. And I do choose not to go. This is not in alignment with TCS. But, I don't consider it coercive either, in that I don't consent to potentially being charged with child neglect for having a naked child out in cold weather. We do keep blankets in the car, sometimes he'll wear socks, and sometimes he changes his mind after we open the door or after we get in the car. Ds happily dresses in the car daily, at the location.
And strips as soon as he is home. He is hot blooded.
So, she can wear it; but I might not leave home while she is. Manipulative?
But not consensual on my part. My needs are equally important as her needs. Of course, we discuss the alternative clothing choices, we discuss my concerns that it is too cold. But regarding the CPS concerns, I don't discuss this. I choose not to introduce fear into our lives; but I do facilitate an environment in which it is safe to live without fear. That is at home while naked-ish by public standards.
|dd wants to buy strawberries that she sees in the store. i know they are out of season, imported from some long distance, too expensive, full of pesticide, etc ...
From a health pov, I buy them when requested, even out of season and use the vegetable wash~ alot. But I don't buy them spontaneously (out of season, non-organic). And I don't impose my environmental concerns and refuse their purchase. The expense is a valid issue for most of us. And cost choices are discussed, but strawberries probably don't break too many budgets, on an occasional basis. Authenticity of the concerns is the criteria for negotiating.
|okay in all of the above scenarios, i first try explaining why i dont want to say yes to her request, and also offer alternatives. sometimes this is enough, but suppose she is unswayed. so i distract her and she no longer insists and we move on. everyone is happy.
really? i wonder if i am TOO GOOD at redirecting dd, if i am not taking her seriously enough, or if am not letting her learn from her own choices?
Hmmm....interesting. Your concern is that you have intellectually coerced? TCS considers persuasion and convincing coercion. I mull this one over myself too. But, since I a,m willing to do the 99 alternative dance, I don't feel coercive if we move on to something else without dissent. I find that if I make it an issue, it becomes an issue, so when I basically 'make it an issue' by suggesting a bunch of alternatives and ds moves on, that he is in essence 'convinced' at worst, or in agreement at best. And believe me, distraction doesn't keep working when they *really* want something.
I do feel that distraction is an overused tool, in place of giving information to very young children. We probably "over" inform (by ability to comprehend all the variables), but I am comfortable that ds indicates when he is no longer interested in further information.
Distraction is most useful, in my opinion when they are tired or hungry and their focus on *one* solution is intense. Then I believe that distraction could be
used as manipulation; but my goal is to meet the underlying need (food or rest or engagement, etc.) and see if the overt need continues, my goal is not to ignore or disregard the original need. But, I don't re-initiate it either out of some perverse sense of stirring it all up again. 2.5 year olds certainly are persistent when they really want something. They remember. And this only increases with age. So, if it is brought up again after redirecting, then I consider the issue reopened and *important* specifically, not just an intense fancy. Does this help?
|[aside ... today, remembering what someone else said, "i do not protect my child from LIFE" i remained silent while dd climbed the stairs outside the railing (or actually, right under the railing). she bumped her head and looked at me. i actually had not told her not to do that, but when she looked at me i simply said, 'well you didnt listen to me, so now you know.' i guess this was the wrong thing to say, since 'listen to me' is not the target we want to set, but it just came out of my mouth that way. anyway, interestingly enough, she didnt cry.]
I wrote that. But, I do not do the 'told ya' so'. That is self-evident and condescending, in my opinion. I wouldn't appreciate the reminder or 'rubbing it in' myself.
: I am confident that you can find more empathetic and connecting things to say regarding a bumped head.