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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone else in this forum who has read and is following the principles of Gordon Neufeld's Hold Onto Your Kids? I've got a 10-year-old DD and I live in a neighborhood of less-attachment-parenting folks, so I could use a place to bounce ideas around.

For example, right now we're facing a decision for next year with DD--we have the option to have her attend sixth grade at her elementary school, or to send her on to middle school. The more socially and academically competitive families opt for middle school; we're opting out, based on a variety of things, including our DD's wishes, our own sense that one extra year close to home and on a neighborhood campus is a family-focused choice, and it somehow appeals to our overprotective tendencies. DD is ours, and we're not ready to put her in such a peer-focused environment any sooner than we must.

But we're truly swimming against the tide--everyone around me is so focused on lining their kids up friends--so I would sure appreciate some like-minded mamas with preteens and teenagers who have read the book and know what I'm talking about when I say I want my kids attached at home rather than to their peers.
 

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Hi


I suggest that you post this concern and attempt to connect with likeminded mamas to the Finding your Tribe forum. Who knows, you may meet some AP families in your area.
 

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I haven't read the book but it sounds interesting. We send our daughter to a very small rural community school where are welcome at any time and do not allow chatting on line, cell phones and all the other things city kids take for granted. I just don't think it is wise and we want to keep her closer to home. We think it is necessary to keep her grounded (NOT the punishment kind!) And we know she does so much better when she is close to home. We are adopting her and so she has an extended birth family that she still sees and it is a crazy making situation for her. She is very bonded to us but things out in the world are very tempting and exciting and sometimes kids get caught up and lost. She has a sister on the streets. Sometimes we wonder if we are being overprotective but it is our job to help her grow up safe and healthy. We can't control the choices she makes when she is an adult but I think the longer they are bonded to us the less likely they will be to go out and make bad choices.

Keep swimming against the tide. I always seem to be too and it is all right.
 

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I am familar wit the book and live this way. My daughter is 13.5. I follow my heart one day at a time. It sometimes feels like a full time job. I attachment parent my teens . I feel very stronly that peer driven culture needs guidance and limts. Yes,she needs wings but the roots ,the love,the guidance that is what the family is for. I am present to her emtionally and present with her or at leastknow who she is with an dwwhat she is doing at all times. I am convinced that the roots/guidance is more important than draastic freedom as soon as they LOOK old. Many times in the pst year people have though my daughter is a college student. She may look like it but she is still a 13 yeqr old child. Keeping that magic,taht innocence i,that growing gradually is very ilmportant to me. I feel I fight really hared a lot to make sure this happens. The positve thing is she is so close to me, she tells me everything about everything. She is also push/pulling lots but I am very committed. It is more than a full time job a lot. It feels to me often jsut as intense as toddleertime. I often drop all outsie stuff so I hav ethe energy to deal with this. Sallie
 

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This sounds like the path my parents took with us when we were teenagers. We still call them almost daily and all of us like being a close family. I did feel pretty safe when I was younger, even though there were times when they didn't know what we were doing and we were messing around (15-17 years old, mostly). I didn't get into trouble until college and while that was an expensive time to be getting into trouble, I did have more resources at my disposal to use to get out of trouble.
 

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I really enjoyed that book and feel as if I'm constantly swimming agains the tide too. In our neighborhood, parents send their kids off to "preschool" 5 days a week by age 3.

I've had serious issues and anxiety over other moms who call every day and want to get our kids together every afternoon or drop by all the time, and while I enjoy the company once in a while, it throws off the peacefull dynamic in our home. I have had to work hard to limit over stimulation and constant playdates.

My next door neighbors have stopped calling us every day and just stopping by and now hang out with another family who lives across the street. They get together every single day. I'm glad they have found eachother, and while it is hard to be completely left out, I know it is best for our family.

Just wanted to say that I can relate to you completely!
 

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Not since Dr. Sears' "Baby Book" has another parenting or child developement or even homeschooling book impacted me so much. This book was the comfort and the reassurance that I so badly needed for the off-the-beaten path way that my family lives.

We're a deeply close, loving, involved, and attached homeschooling family. I see the failing of peer-attachment with both children and adults all the time. I was raised to be peer attached. It's caused much of the constant and starving need for affirmation that my sisters suffer from and has fueled an emptiness in my own life that has been profound at times.

I'm fortunate to have my oldest child be very individualistic and firmly attached to us. My youngest is peer-oriented. I'm careful about what activities we do and who he spends time with. He's 6. I feel like I could use some support or new insight or some way to figure out how to guide him towards a strong relationship with his own self.

I'm actually writing a book review of this book for a homeschooling publication. I won't be able to do it justice, I know.

I liked the ideas that the authors share at the end of the book -- about the attachment village. I liked that they recognize that family may live far away or be uninvolved or not able to be healthy role models. We do try to work on our attachment village. It is a weak area for me.

I love the comments that the author makes about boredom!

Anyway, our neighborhood is obsessively peer-oriented. The parents compete with each other. The kids are hyper-competitive. My family is oblivious to this and we stick to interacting with elderly neighbors or ones who are more secure in their own families. It does feel very alienating to me.

I was sad to visit friends this past weekend and to see that their preteen daughter didn't want to say hello to us or admit knowing us in front of her friend. She warmed up a lot when the friend went home. It always makes me feel really good when I meet a teen or preteen who makes eye contact and talks to us like we're worthy people -- my children and me.

I'm happy to see this discussion here!

peace,
teastaigh
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My older DD is 10 and I feel like we're approaching a time of upheaval--adolescence, middle school. Perhaps it's my own peer-oriented background, but I worry that we're holding her back, at the same time as I deeply believe we're doing the right thing. Most of her classmates will go to middle school next year--a school of 1200 sixth, seventh and eighth graders a few miles from home. DD will stay at the elementary school for sixth grade. She wants to. She likes the idea of being close to home, on the same campus as her sister. She says she doesn't care whether her closest friends stay or not.

In our neighborhood, competition is high. Competition for friends, for academic achievement, etc. Last night, Halloween, I felt like we were one of the only families trick-or-treating by ourselves. We joined up with a HUGE group of neighbors for awhile, but I was struck by the lack of peace in the group. Pushing and shoving to be "first" to the door (among the younger kids), parents gossipping about other people. Big DD was the only kid her age in the group. All the other 10-year-olds were off trick-or-treating with their friends.

There was a great HOTYK thread going last winter in Books and Media, and I noticed someone bumped it just yesterday. I'd love to revive that, or keep this one going. I've been rereading the book lately but I need help with real life stuff that comes up in our peer-oriented world!
 

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I like the phrase "strong reltionship to his own self" I am always struggling to affirm this with my now 13.5 year old daughter who is much more peer oreinted than my very individulistic ,now 16 year old son. Cara is an introvert. I try to provide time when she can just "be". I try to really reinforce those things about her,to listen to her,to have her make deicisons. She often will not but I encourage her. I limit her time in peer driven situaitons. She is going to a youth retreat this weekend form our church. It is highly sturctured. I will connect with her every few hours via cell phone. (leave message) I have her write/ponder her intersts and her ideals and thoughts. She knows that her tencey to be so influenced by others is dangerous. Yet, I am the meanie for reinforcing this. This is amazingly refreshing to talk about! I do see the condidence. I do see at times the pain of not fitting in. She connects with her intersts,vollyball and music. I try to have multigenerational activites. I agree one on one is much better. She had a girl over for Halloween and they went trick or treating with another girl,her father took them and then they went to a haunted house.
Lately she has been connecting to her pictures. I am so grateful for all these years of family focused memores and hundreds and hundreds of pictures.
I provide the love and the focus on what I like to refer to as "hearth". Sallie
 

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I just read the grandaddy of all HOTYK threads here at MDC, this afternoon. I was amazed. I haven't read the book but the posts really hit home for me.

We are instinctively doing this with our 4 boys (ages 2 to 10). It just seems counter-intuitive to attachment-parent them (as babies and toddlers) in a loving, protective, noncompetitive, non-consumerist way, and then splash 'em down in urban USA 2006 just because they are now "school age" without a looooong transition. KWIM?

They have friends, but we try to round out the social circle with an awful lot of diversity. They don't have 'best friends' except for each other (they are very close) but they feel that the world is friendly. They seem to connect with people of all ages quickly and easily.

Anytime we've tried to force the playgroup/soccer/peer dependent stuff it just has felt wrong. Nothing wrong with the other kids or their families, but it just seems to take something from our boys personalities that we don't want to lose. I can't quite explain what I mean.

When they choose the interaction, and it is more than balanced by plenty of quiet home time, there is no problem. They are enriched by the new friends and experiences.

When we try to schedule and force and insist on interactions, it stresses us all out and makes us wonder why we try so hard when the boys are just fine.

Anyway I need to read this book!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Townmouse, did you read the thread in Books/Media that was going last winter? I loved that thread and wish it had continued or could be revived. It was so inspiring. There was another one going for awhile, too, that did more actual analysis of the book.

Kept my older DD home from school yesterday because she was mentally exhausted. Very busy week between Halloween, field trips at school and one of her best friends moving away. I've never done this before, let her have a mental health day like that. It turned out to be great. We had a really nice day of one-on-one time. We didn't do anything special, but everything we did, we did together.
 

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philosophy. But it is oh, so lonely most of the time. Further complicating the matter is that we have one ds in public school (8th grade) and the others are homeschooled. About once a wek, we ask ourselves what did we do wrong, because suddenyl he is so ahamed of us. last night he even told me he wanted us to be like "other parents--you know--don't care so much what I do."
:
 

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I didn't send any of my daughters (so far) to middle school, and I am REALLY glad that I didn't. They are confident, self-assured and very centered. I don't know that that would have happened had they had that middle school experience.
 

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I'm so happy I've found others who have read this book! I am nearly done reading it but I'll read it again. It puts into concrete form some loose thoughts that have been floating around in my head for a while. I'm a mother to a 2 1/2 year-old girl and am already dreading sending her to school. Fortunately, while home schooling isn't an option for me, in our city there are at least 2 apparently very family-oriented schools, and we will likely choose one of those for our children. It's a hard call, though - it would mean giving up French immersion (a valuable option in Canada!)

I'm to the point in the book where GN exhorts parents to ask themselves, in discipline, how their actions will affect their relationship to their child. I should have figured out for myself that it would be important to do so but, as happens to me so often in life, I had to read it first. However, doing so over the past week and a half since I read that part of the book has made a big difference in terms of my happiness with my toddler, and in her apparent happiness with me.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by elizam View Post
philosophy. But it is oh, so lonely most of the time. Further complicating the matter is that we have one ds in public school (8th grade) and the others are homeschooled. About once a wek, we ask ourselves what did we do wrong, because suddenyl he is so ahamed of us. last night he even told me he wanted us to be like "other parents--you know--don't care so much what I do."
:
I feel that it is lonely, too.

It helps that my dh is very grounded and supportive. When I point out how isolating and lonely our way of life feels to me, he points out how all of that connectedness that I "see" others having is really a facade and challenges me to name one really attached family who enjoys the company of one another who isn't sort of on their own. I think he's right. This whole culture of friends is actually quite fake. I've seen that first hand, when I've been a part of it, and remind myself of this. It's actually sad to be a part of that. I'm reminded how lucky I am have our small, connected family.

The rest of the world is not really cruising around in ironed chinos with shiny, perky hairdos, chumming it up at a barbeque while their children frolic with a hoard of adorable children ala the Pottery Barn Catalog!

peace,
teastaigh
 

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e one ds in public school (8th grade) and the others are homeschooled. About once a wek, we ask ourselves what did we do wrong, because suddenyl he is so ahamed of us. last night he even told me he wanted us to be like "other parents--you know--don't care so much what I do."

I am going through this currently with 13 year old daughter. I homeschool and am committed to doing that. I am trying to put the focus on my values and supporting her and her interests. I do think some of this is individuation type adolscent stuff. My older son, now 16 never wert through it that much but he never cared anything about a peer group. I jsut try to have a thick skin and know this too shall pass! I am who I am and I am very grateful and proud of my choices.
I will conitue to love and accept her and focus on her strenths. It is less peer involvemnt,not more that often time she needs. She plays volleyball and has loads of freinds. She also gets to do tons of stuff becasue of our choices-sleep in,play guitar, have more itme to be with her pets,etc.
I find loads of guidance with lots of ops to test her wings in safe ways is what she currently needs. Sallie
 
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