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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for discussion about no-spank but non-permissive/non-jellyfish parenting.
I probably have alot in common with many mothers on this board. I had natural childbirths at home, breastfed, co-slept, wore a sling etc. In short I feel this AP approach to baby raising primed me (and my husband because he was following my lead) to become a very permissive parent. We could deal with the consequences of our permissiveness until our 2nd baby came along and dd #1 turned 4yo. She be 5 in a month. At that point I woke up and realized all my friends who had children whose children seemed happy and were pleasant to be around were a very different kind of parent. They had very memorable consequences for their children for their misbehavior-some even spanked (in a controlled way-not a parent having a temper tantrum way). They have GREAT relationships with their teenagers and their teens seem so confident and happy.
Given the fact that I was going crazy with a whining, fussy 4 yo and I would DO ANYTHING to have a relationship with my kids in 10 years like my friends have with their older (and younger) children I asked them all for advice-and got some great insights. The first lesson: your kids will only behave when you expect them to: 100%.
So anyway, in the last year I have come to believe that permissive parents that "reason" with their children are doing the kids a disservice-children are not mini-adults, they NEED their parents to be in charge. This is simply a developmental stage for them. This realization was devastating to me, I really wanted to be able to take the no-punishment approach to parenting but I really cannot anymore. In fact since we started consisitently, clearly stating limits and punishing instead of talking so much my dd is SO MUCH HAPPIER!
This year I've spent time reading 123 Magic and John Rosemond-the first is antispanking, the second is not. Both have really helped me. I also really like "KIDS ARE WORTH IT"
Anyway, I struggle with believing that spanking is not right-VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER!!! I cannot be against this war that my country is waging and hit my child. I don't feel like I have to hit my dd, but I crave conversation about parenting from like-minded folks like you who also may be parenting in an authorative way.
What are you reading? What are your techniques? Is there space for this conversation here?
Thanks,
Laura
 

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Have you read Anthony Wolf?

His book "The secret of Parenting" is subtitled "How to be in charge of kids today without punishment or threats"

He operates on the parent in charge model, yet he believes that punishment is not a morally sound choice.

He is not AP, but he is GD. I have a feeling that his books might really appeal to you.

He believes in disciplining by expressing your expectations and by noting to the child when they were not met: For example "I asked you to pick up your toys an hour ago. You did not do it. We were having company so I had to do it. Next time I expect you to pick up your toys."

He believes that children need their parents help and assistance to get over big dispointments in life, BUT he also believes that they must learn to get over minor disapointments on their own (by minor he means "potato chips that are too soggy, toys they can't have (when they already have lots and lots etc...)

He believes, as do I, that learning with these minor disapointments that one has the power within ones own body to feel better after being upset is very valuable. I have found this his most powerful piece of advice. Letting our children know that they have the power within themselves to feel happy again is so important.

He is also big on disengaging with a child who is whining or tantruming over these type of things. This is not ignoring but more like "Do you need a hug, if so I'll be right over there folding the laundry."

These methods have made our family life a joy. I am happy to discuss further or answer any questions.
 

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I am writing a book for you.
In the meantime, a lot of it is on my site (in my sig line).

By way of intro, I am Joanne. I APed my 3 children (and my daycare babies when I was open and accepted infants). I nursed my kids past toddlerhood. I slung, family bedded, snuggled, nurtured and used gentle/positive discipline.

Quote:
This realization was devastating to me, I really wanted to be able to take the no-punishment approach to parenting but I really cannot anymore. In fact since we started consisitently, clearly stating limits and punishing instead of talking so much my dd is SO MUCH HAPPIER!
I have some good news for you. You can have those firm limits and still not punish.

Quote:
This year I've spent time reading 123 Magic and John Rosemond-the first is antispanking, the second is not. Both have really helped me. I also really like "KIDS ARE WORTH IT"
I certainly support you in reading Kids Are Worth It. But my support ends there. Rosemond is adversarial, creepy and cold. He's also deliberately ignorant about AP and positive discipline. Reading Rosemond can lead you directly into a negative frame of mind regarding your kids.

I'm not a fan of Magic 1-2-3, either. The author uses horribly negative terms to describe children, is sarcastic and asssumes a battle of wills. I'm not a fan of time out as discipline; I think it's limited in usefulness and misses the mark.

That said, Magic 1-2-3 is better than permissiveness and that's why things are better for you now than they have been.

Here is a cut and paste from my site:

Let's be honest, and above all, practical. True, quality discipline combines knowledge of age appropriate behaviors, reasonable standards, clear expectations, proactive discipline and consistency. Anything less is not effective discipline. Let's take out the "extremes". Let's remove the heavily punitive parenting in which parents punish and fail to teach positively. And let's remove the pleading, requesting, passive parenting in which parents never establish or enforce rules of conduct. In the middle is the parent who says "stop that" or "do this" and makes it happen. In the middle is the parent who looks at the toddler on the dining room table and removes them while also thinking "This child likes to climb. How can I make that safely happen?" That middle parent may or may not punish. But that (good) parent takes both a proactive approach and a responsive approach to the discipline challenges they face. That good parent uses a bare minimum of physical punishment, if any, but lots of physical redirection in the younger years. Good parenting looks very similar, even if the parent uses punishment. If a good parent uses punishment, it's not often. It's not daily, or weekly. I'm not condoning punishment. I'm making the practical point that good parenting must include the tools I outline in the pages of this site.

Effective Practical Parenting ideas can be used in a home that also reserves punishment as an option. Indeed, it's my hope and desire that each family use these ideas. As you use them, the seeming need for punishment will diminish.

But I'll be honest and tell you that this approach is best utilized in the absence of punishment. If I haven't convinced you to drop punishment altogether, I encourage you to incorporate these ideas into what you are already doing.


There are 3 Levels to non punitive, firm discipline:

1) A foundation of love, comfort, care and trust
2) A system of proactive discipline strategies that minimize the need for responsive discipline and build a lifestyle of setting the family up for success
3) A tool box full of firm, respectful ideas to use when a discipline situation emerges.

If you post some specifics you are dealing with, we can help you respond to them firmly but without punishment.
 

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I don't know, Laura.
My son just turned 2, but I do think there's a difference between being permissive and being...well...mean, yk?
I *think* that logical consequences, even "memorable" ones, are still within the GD scope of practice.
Then again, I think logical consequences are akin to punishment.
For example, if my 2 yo throws a toy at me because he's mad about something (like we can't go plat outside coz there's a thunderstorm going on), then I put that toy on a shelf for a little while.
And I've found that when he picks something up to throw it at me, if I say "If you throw that at me, I'm taking it away", he's now starting to rethink throwing it at me, and usually doesn't.
I don't know if that's GD or not.
I don't really see myself parenting in an "authoritative" way, but I do kind of have a "this is just the way it is, and you're just going to have to come to terms with it" sort of style with some things.
And I think you can do that and still be loving and sympathetic to your child's POV.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamakay
I don't know, Laura.
My son just turned 2, but I do think there's a difference between being permissive and being...well...mean, yk?
I *think* that logical consequences, even "memorable" ones, are still within the GD scope of practice.
Then again, I think logical consequences are akin to punishment.
For example, if my 2 yo throws a toy at me because he's mad about something (like we can't go plat outside coz there's a thunderstorm going on), then I put that toy on a shelf for a little while.
And I've found that when he picks something up to throw it at me, if I say "If you throw that at me, I'm taking it away", he's now starting to rethink throwing it at me, and usually doesn't.
I don't know if that's GD or not.

I call this "removing the means of misbehavior" and I have no problem with it. If my child then comes to me a minute later and says "Can I have my toy, I won't throw it anymore." I say "sure"

I am not trying to "punish" them, but I will do things to keep them from hurting the person or property of another or themselves.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Laurapartera
I probably have alot in common with many mothers on this board. I had natural childbirths at home, breastfed, co-slept, wore a sling etc. In short I feel this AP approach to baby raising primed me (and my husband because he was following my lead) to become a very permissive parent.
Welcome to MDC!

I just want to disagree with you a little.

First, I am an AP mama, and like you * I was * very permissive (jellyfish). It is easy to blame AP on this. But it's not AP's fault. Truly. My other AP friends are not permissive. I was the only one!!! APing doesn't mean you are permissive (necessarily). I happened to fall into that trap because * I * was raised by a very authoritative (physically/verbally abusive) mother and I went the other extreme (not having any real guide for myself on what a "good" parent was. That's pretty common with permissive parents (they go the other extreme.)

Like you, my wake up call was after baby # 2 came along and I was shocked at my son's behavior.
That's when I woke up, did a lot of soul searching, read some books, etc...

BTW, I too strive to having a relationship with my children that my
SIL & BIL have with their 14 year old son. He is SUCH a good kid. You know how they treat him? With love and respect. No yelling, no shaming, no time outs, no punishments... they pretty much used GD with him.

I think this book resembles their parenting style (democratic):
P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children

Here is part of an e-mail I sent to friends recently:

Quote:
I really encourage you to read the P.E.T. book (by Thomas Gordon). It really opened my eyes to how I was acting that was causing him to be very resentful. It's all about GD (gentle discipline). It encourages parents to work with kids (rather than use authority all the time). Kids end up hating their parents when they rely on authority (my way or the highway) all the time.

Here is an example. Yesterday he wanted to open a box that was delivered. I was just too tired to deal with it and wanted to do it tomorrow. He was insistant. I firmly said no, later. I could see he was seething. "Wow, you really look angry. You really wanted to open that box right now." (That was my attempt to empathize with him, like the books say, but that wasn't enough.) Right then I realized I was railroading him ALL THE TIME and he was so pissed. I was indeed telling him what to do all the time (in my determination NOT to be a permissive parent anymore). So I said, "OK we have problem, let's see what solutions we can come up with." I wrote the possible solutions down. (That tip came directly from the PET book.) He got all excited and happy. 1. open right now 2. I open it and you just look, don't touch (he came up with that). 3. open it tomorrow, etc...

I agreed on opening it right there and we talked about what it was and he was much happier.

Problem solved.
I heard Aletha Solter speak about Discipline without Punishments or Rewards a few months back.
http://www.awareparenting.com/articles.htm
She explained that that relying on punishments or "consequences" (not natural ones, natural ones are fine) lead to children hating/resenting their parents. It leads to more conflicts between parent & child. Child feels the need to rebel. I don't want that. (And rewards aren't so great because they make the child feel manipulated.)

She recommended the P.E.T. book and PLAYFUL PARENTING by Lawrence Cohen. Read the first, amazing Amazon review of Playful Parenting. It's all true.

I really like Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley. She's the mother of 4 children and very AP, but she is also very firm, which is something I really needed because I was very permissive and didn't know how to stop being permissive. Her book had great, simple examples of how to speak to a child with AUTHORITY and confidence (something I really needed.) So that helped me, since that was my hard spot. I skimmed it... Some of her dialogue/attitude sounded TOO strict to me, so I don't think her whole seemingly, very firm tact would have worked. But some of the dialogue did help my wishy-washy self.

Becky Bailey's Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline : The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation is really wonderful!!!

Edited to add:

P.S. Two other
books I'm reading right now that are GREAT are:

Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld
http://www.gordonneufeld.com/book.html
(Finally, making it clear to me what AP looks like past the baby stage.
)

and

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Punishments and Rewards to Love and Reason by
Alfie Kohn. Wow, he's got a new
website and DVD!!! I'm going to order it.
http://www.alfiekohn.org/up/index.html
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HappyHSer
Rosemond is adversarial, creepy and cold. He's also deliberately ignorant about AP and positive discipline. Reading Rosemond can lead you directly into a negative frame of mind regarding your kids.
I have to agree with this. Maybe you were feeling confused, but this guy is WAAAY to far to the other side for my taste.

I read The Secret of Parenting after reading a post by Maya44 about it and consequently changed my whole view on punishment. I love what he says about punishment, about teaching our kids self-reliance, about offering support and love but ultimately allowing them to learn things on their own. His practical ideas, however, do not work that well in my family, but maybe they would work with a 5 year old. I just needed more in my toolbox than what he offered. Disengaging works great with an argument, or with whining, but I have yet to get my dd to do something, anything, by waiting it out, as he suggests. I think she's too young, I don't know, I gave up on that.

I've been trying to think not about how I want my kid to behave, but how I want my kid to be. I want her to be polite. I want her to be helpful. I want her to be gentle. I want her to BE those things, not just act like she is for a reward or for avoidance of a punishment. Does punishment help a child internalize the value you want them to embrace? I think it just distracts them from it.

Here's my two cents, but I have never felt that I was too permissive, if anything I worry about being to strict.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by natensarah
I read The Secret of Parenting after reading a post by Maya44 about it and consequently changed my whole view on punishment. I love what he says about punishment, about teaching our kids self-reliance, about offering support and love but ultimately allowing them to learn things on their own. His practical ideas, however, do not work that well in my family, but maybe they would work with a 5 year old.
Wolf really does not think they will work for a child as young as yours either. Most of his "how to get them to do things" are directed at children who are closer to three or four then two.

His waiting it out is defintiely meant for older kids, with little one's you have to physically help them (gently) do things and accpet that sometimes they won't want to.
 

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I also recommened the Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff. Amazing book.

www.continuum-concept.org

My son is 3 and we use positive discipline (no punishment, no rewards, NO hitting). He is a pleasure to be around. Just the other day a shop worker commented 'he is so sweet and lovely, you must be so proud of him'.


I'm an AP parent (co-sleeping, natural weaning, slinging etc.). I DO NOT believe that AP necessarily leads to permissive parenting.

I am NOT a permissive parent. The Continuum Concept talks at great length about not being child centred. The child-centred vs. not child centred concept may seem contrary to AP at first, but the way she approaches it, it really isn't (IMO). On the contrary, I found her ideas to be a radical extension of AP in most areas. TCC takes children very seriously and gives them a lot of credit as reasonable, intelligent beings (i.e. the tribe she was with let 18 month old children handle very sharp knives because they trusted them implicitly -- no child ever hurt themselves!).

Her point about not being child centred stems for the insight that children look up to adults as role models. They like to learn from adults by participating in the world of adults. They also get a deep feeling of security from an adult who they sense is in control. Looking to our children to make decisions for us confuses them because they are biologically/ psychologically wired to look to adults for guidance and example. Adults who are child centred in the Liedloff sense of the term cause children to experience deep feelings of disorientation and insecurity. By taking away their expeirence as children and effectively turning them into adults (who WE look to for guidance, entertainment etc.) before they've had a chance to be children [and learn through experience] they are 'short-circuited' into the world of adults before they are ready. Children often express their unease and frustration at this treatment in fits of rage, 'difficult' defiant behaviour, regression etc.

She explains this a lot more eloquently and with many practical examples in TCC.

It's definitely worth a read. It led to a significant shift in perspective for me when I read it. The book also works very well in conjunction with (the research-based) Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. You don't NEED punishments, rewards, 'consequences' (which really are just punishments). Even if they may seem to work on the outside, they have a detrimental psychological effect. Ds has so far responded really well to being raised according to TCC principles (as much as I've been able to implement them).
 

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Wow!! thank you everyone who posted. I too am struggling w/ the behavior of my 4.5 ds. Especially since we have just moved in w/ my MIL and her ways and my ways of treating my son/disciplining are sooooo contrary. I am still at a place where I don't know what to do -- but your recommendations and just knowing that I'm not alone out there has been really helpful. I would love to vent, vent vent more -- but perhaps this isn't the forum for that. Thanks.
Nancy
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Laurapartera
So anyway, in the last year I have come to believe that permissive parents that "reason" with their children are doing the kids a disservice-children are not mini-adults, they NEED their parents to be in charge. This is simply a developmental stage for them. This realization was devastating to me, I really wanted to be able to take the no-punishment approach to parenting but I really cannot anymore. In fact since we started consisitently, clearly stating limits and punishing instead of talking so much my dd is SO MUCH HAPPIER!


I definately can believe that your dd is happier having limits and consistancy, but I doubt punishments are making her happier.
I strongly believe that having limits and expectations are critical for happy healthy children. I also strongly believe you can do that without punishment( actually, I know- I'm doing it). It is not one or the other. BUT I also think that being able to do so takes commitment and consistancy and is a lot of work. It's easy to be authoritative, and dole out punishments- but how is that "good" for the child? What do they learn? What do they gain and as human being?
 

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I can relate to how the OP feels. I don't think AP necessarily leads to permissive parenting, but I think it *can* if a parent already has a permissive personality. I am NOT by nature a very authorative person, and my general nature is defintiely more permissive and jellyfish. So, I have fallen into the jellyfish/permissive trap. A year ago, I was defintiely a jellyfish and it wasn't working for our family. I read a ton of books, like P.E.T., Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, How to talk....., Punished by Rewardsetc., etc., I have had to work hard at being authorative without punishing, and it is a learning curve..but we are getting better at it. I had to learn to set limits and enforce them (without punishing, and in a gentle way...but still enforce them--usually using physical direction or redirection. Life is much better when we have limits and enforce them, but still in a non-punitive way.

I really like what HappyHSer wrote...I am going to go check out her website now. She basically wrote all the things I have learned and try to work hard to implement.
 

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this is a GREAT thread!!! I have added so many more books to my cart at Amazon. LOL.

I am not a permissive parent - I am an AP parent and a GD parent who sometimes slips.

Quote:
your kids will only behave when you expect them to: 100%.
I agree with this 100%. My daughter KNOWS what is appropriate behavior and what is not. We do this without punishments, but there are consequences for negative actions, such as a toy being taken as mentioned above. As someone said above, they want their child to BE the things - want them ingrained - not just when the parent is around. This is exactly what I want for my DD - I am sure it's what we ALL want. Granted I fail miserably at times by yelling at her and I have spanked her a time or two - once she hit me back!
I immediately apologized for hitting her and told her now I knew how she felt to be hit and it was not nice. I grew up in a house of punishments and never learned the natural consequences for my actions - we all were wild and rebelled when my mom wasn't looking. I DO NOT want my DD to do this! I did so many stupid and scary things...had NO respect for authority or adults.

I believe that kids DO need limits and they do need to know their parents are in "control" for lack of a better word. It makes them feel safe and loved. I also believe that your children will treat themselves and the world as they are treated by their parents - afterall, the people who love you are the greatest mirrors in which you view yourself and the world around you.

There are not two extremes - permissive or punishing. There is a middle ground - a balance - and it can be found. Sometimes it feels like a tightwire I am balancing on and sometimes I fall, but I get back up there because I know it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow, thanks for all this discussion. I've read several of the recommended books, and will look into some of the others.

I just wanted to clarify that I don't think being AP leads to being permissive. I have other issues that lead me to that difficulty-my mother grew up with an abusive father and a mental ill and totally unconsistant mother-she then was very permissive with me and my brother. This was balanced to some extent by my father who is a great parent-but wasn't the one with us all day. Growing up I was an very "good" child who almost always tried to make my mom happy and did what was expected of me-I was racked with guilt about my mother's unhappiness for my entire childhood.
She and my stepfather raised my sister (14 years younger than me) in an extremely permissive manner, my sister was a terror and completely in charge of their house. Today she's a teenager who waffles between feeling guilty all the time and continuing to boss my mother around.
When I had children I really had internalized my mother's fear of being firm with children-to this day if we are firm with an expectation for my daughters in front of her-her anxiety is palpable.
I think the last year I think I've been swinging around exploring a new path for me-different from my mother's path.
About John Rosemond: His book was given to me at an important time. I immediately disagreed with his condescending attitude toward children, his neutrality regarding breastfeeding, his ban on co-sleeping and his pro-spannking stance. What I did get from his info is some good basic parenting advice I could have gathered from Dr. Sears "Discipline Book" but somehow I wasn't able to "hear it" from Sears.
Insights I gained: I'm the parent and in charge, children need routine, I can disingage from a tantrum (and not give into them), I don't need to feel guilty for having my own needs, children don't need alot of toys-just a few traditional ones that require creativity, TV is bad for children (this has not been a big problem for us, our girls can watch 1 video a day and many days they just forget). I need to mean what I say and follow through with that. He also has really good advice regarding 1 and 2 year olds-he advocates good childproofing so children are free to roam, acknowledges that children of this age cannot comprehend consequences so you simply need to stop their behavior and start something new. I wish I had done that when my daughter was that age instead of trying to "make her happy" which actually made her resentful and confused. So, definately not the author I would follow to the letter but rather a balancing influence during my time of exploration.
Keep talking.
Laura
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Englishmummy
It has made me think a lot...am I a permissive parent? Or more to the point, will I be?
I like this, it's very helpful to read and might help answer your question Englishmummy:

Diana Baumrind's Theory of Parenting Styles: Original Descriptions of the Styles (1967)

The 4th style (Democratic) is not listed, but
Aletha Solter described it in her talk. She's got a great website with articles if anyone is interested:
http://www.awareparenting.com/

Here is a great article about what Liedloff means by being "child-centered."

Who's In Control? The Unhappy Consequences of Being Child-Centered



TCC is a great book and should be read by everyone. I read it in my son's first year. It really helped me "chuck" the stroller (instead of being continually frustrated why he wouldn't just relax in it sometimes.) I went stroller-free for the first 20? months. Pretty dang good.


The problem * I * have is that it's hard for me * not * to be child-centered. Really hard. I have a friend who used TCC from the beginning and I think she is THE BEST mother I have ever seen. I really admire
her. She doesn't read ANY parenting books. All the stuff GD teaches, that you are supposed to do, come naturally to
her. Her children are wonderful and pretty normal. I just talked myself out of living that way because DH wasn't on board. I guess I could have done better, but gave up waaaay too early.
There is my confession of the day.
 

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Great Thread!
I also like Anthony Wolf's book. I think it is a good start on how to be GD and still expect your kids to behave.
I am AP, GD and I am not permissive.
I do think that people who are predisposed to be permissive are more likely to also be AP. But that doesnt mean AP causes permissiveness.
I have however heard the argument from permissive parents that the way they treat their children when it comes to discipline is a logical extension of AP but I heartily disagree.

I agree that children need structure and external guidance to feel safe and happy.
I am not 100% anti punishment. (but then I dont define punishment like Wolf who claims to be anti punishment but does suggest logical consequences. WHich to me are punishments LOL)
I am all for logical consequences (meaning related DIRECTLY to the issue, (removing the means of misbehavior LOL).
I think spanking , like permissiveness is a tool for a lazy parent.
IT solves nothing, it teaches nothing. But it gets the parent off the hook by making them feel like they are doing something.

I'm in your club. You CAN be AP and GD and still teach your children how to behave.

Joline
 

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Laura, I am new to this board too. And I certainly do not want an authoritarian relationship with other people. Nor an authoritative dynamic. Nor a permissive one. My goal is to live with other people with consent, voluntary agreement. Where no individual or individuals in a relationship are entitled to obedience or submission to another. One of mutual dignity and respect.

My 1972 Webster's dictionary defines

authoriative: 1. having or proceeding from authority; entitled to obedience, credit or acceptance. 2. dictatorial, permemptory

authoritarian: 1. relating to or favoring blind submission to authority. 2. relating to or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite.

permissive: 1. granted on sufferance: tolerated. 2. granting or tending to grant permission: tolerant. 3. allowing discretion: optional.

consensual: 1. existing or made my mutual consent. 2. correlative with voluntary action or movement 3. in agreement as to action or opinion

This is how I desire to relate with other people, regardless of race, age, nationality, sex, (dis)ability, religion, etc. This is how I desire other people to relate with me. Therefore, this is how we choose to relate and model interacting in our family relationships. How could it follow that our son perceive himself unhappy or unhealthy, when his needs, opinions, desires are considered whenever decisions affecting him require and receive his consent? How could it follow that he won't have the tools of living in consent with others as he develops and matures when he has always lived and practiced consensual decision making? He has them now. He is only four. What opportunity is lost for those who don't have 18 years of practice negotiating for having their needs met and opportunites for setting boundaries for himself? How would a child subjected to authoritative relationships begin to learn how to relate with consent, having observed a parent's belief in entitlement to obedience or experienced submission to others?

This whole power matrix does not have to exist in order for families to live happily and healthfully together. Authoritative parenting is merely a constuct of authoritative relationships. Living by mutually agreeable solutions requires more than blind obedience, more than submission to an authoritative power. It requires mutual respect for other's different but equally valid pov, even children's regarding that which affects them. And learning to utilize the negotiation tools of consensus, rather than the power of force, depends upon honoring other's consent or refusal about the autonomy of their own body. Living consensually does not require one to be the authority over another person.

Pat
 

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This is really such a great thread. Though my dh thinks I'm permissive w/ ds I really don't think I am. I really think children need guidance in the decisions you allow them to make for them selves, gentle guidance of course. And they also need you to make many decisions for them, and to have you set limits for them as well. You are helping them to know their place in the world and sometimes conflicts arise where as the parent I feel the need to be firm.
For me punishment is not a necessary part of this (ds is only 2) and hopefully we can work out something where it never is.
I agree with many posters that it is comforting to the child that you are "in charge", but I also see the importance for a child to always be listened to and respected. Some children definately seem to need more guidance than others, more discipline if you will.
I think to give your children firm and basic expectations of behaviour and to let them know what is expected (gently and respectfully) is to free them from the burden of not knowing.
Acheiving this ofcorse is so much harder. As ds gets older I now face daily tests of my patience and ability to hold on to some sort of "good discipline" approach.
I think I'll definately be checking out some of these
books.
 

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Consensual Is permissive defined in a way that doesnt imply that parents have a position of authority over their children.
But it works the same. The child gets full say over what they do and do not do.
I believe children ought to have choices and ought to have lots of practice making good decisoins. And this will fully prepare them to make all of their own decisions as they grow and gain maturity and become adults and take on more and more and more of their decisionmaking and power.
To just expect children to have this ability and power from birth is not something I can accept as good or beneficial. In my particular view in fact it seems to give the child too much power, and I also believe children look to their parents for guidance. If you tell you rchild "I will not guide you. You must guide yourself in order to learn how to make decisions" I believe that would lead to a great deal of insecurity and anxiety. THat is not a way I would ever treat my children.
I believe that there is a natural power arrangement based on age in humankind. I also believe that children come into this world expecting certain things of their parents and unprepared to navigate in this world.
I believe it is my responsibility as a parent to educate my children and aid them in their way through life so that they gradually take full control later. I believe this makes children feel secure. I also believe it fully prepares them for adulthood.
That said, I think that just as children expect certain things from their parents, Children pick their parents. So it is likely that there are children who have chosen parents who parent differently because this is what they need and expect for themselves. Just as my children chose me because I offer them a different type of guidance.
If a parent wants to live with their child as a peer rather than in a traditional parent/child dynamic that is their choice, and good luck to them.
For me and my children that is not a path I would choose to follow, nor do I think it is a necessary offshoot of AP and of respecting my children as fully human with legitimate needs.

Joline
 
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