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Cassidy wrote:<br><br>
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I guess I just don't get it. Maybe it's just another semantics problem, but I'm not sure I see setting boundaries as being coercive; if the child knows the consequences, he is still free to follow his desire and accept the consequence.<br>
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But if the consequences are imposed rather than completely natural (and cannot be avoided), then he is obviously not "free" to follow this desire. He is being thwarted by an imposed consequence. If he *agrees* with the consequence, then he is not being coerced. But children, ime, seldom agree with imposed consequences if given the choice.<br><br><br><br>
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After all, I don't feel coerced by the fact that my freedom of speech is restricted by the fact that I can't shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater. I don't feel coerced because there are sppedlimits (well, not much). I reap the benefit of being able to attend the theater and drive on the roeadway by agreeing to abide by these rules.<br>
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Do you disagree with the reason for not shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater? Do you understand why there are speedlimits? Does it make sense to you that speed limits exist? If you don't feel coerced, then you aren't. But a child who is protesting against an imposed limit is, no doubt, feeling coerced.<br><br><br><br>
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I think households require similar rules in order to function efficiently and to meet the needs of most of the members, most of the time.<br>
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If everyone agrees that there should be rules, then it makes sense to have them (as long as the rules are open to change should anyone no longer agree with them, which seems to make the idea of "rules" rather unnecessary). But I would assume that most families have rules which are imposed by the parents. Sometimes the more "liberal" parents will ask for the children's input but will always reserve the right to have the final say and to enforce those rules. And most rules are for the benefit of the parents and are made according to the parents' agenda and personal needs/desires rather than the children's. IME, families function quite efficiently without rules when members are committed to solving problems by seeking common preferences.<br><br><br><br>
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Also, I'm sot sure I agree with the premise that the relationship between parents and minor children is, or should be, a relationship of equals. At least certainly not before a child has reached the age of reason. After all, my husband would never invite me to dinner and a movie, look forward to it all week, and then refuse to get dressed when it's time to leave...<br>
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If one thinks that children--no matter their age--are real people with real needs and desires then I don't see how one could claim that the relationship between them is not one of equals (aren't all "men" (read "people") born equal? By the "age of reason," do you mean the age when children can understand and agree with parental reasoning? What age would that be? Perhaps you are right to assume that your husband would never invite you to dinner and a movie and then refuse to go when it's time to leave, but then your husband has more knowledge and experience and ability to see ahead when making plans. What if your husband didn't feel well that day or was angry with you or had had a really hard day and wanted to go to bed early? Would you *force* him to go? What if your husband couldn't speak or express his needs, would you assume, then, that he wasn't being "reasonable" and carry him off to the restaurant. I suspect that manu parents coerce children not because they really believe it is right but because it is in their power to do so. If you couldn't force your husband into the car, why would you force your child? Why should the reason make any difference if you claim to love and support this person?<br><br><br><br>
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It was mentioned by someone that it is silly to think about asking for "permission" from one's spouse before doing somethiing, although the spouse's preferences should be taken into consideration before making a decision. Well, I'd be the first one with "a hair across" if my husband ever *forbade* me from seeing friends, watching T.V., etc, but I guess if he forbade my having an affair or opening a brothel over the garage, I'd see his point.<br>
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But that is the difference. You would *see his point* and agree *not* to do these things. Or, if you didn't see his point and *really* wanted to do them anyway, you would be free to leave and set up a brothel elsewhere run by the guy you're having the affair with ;-). Children do not have the option of getting new parents or setting off on their own....On the one hand, you seem to be arguing that children should be coerced because they cannot understand reason but then you also suggest that they should agree to do something if the reason is valid (according to the person who wants to impose it). If they cannot understand the reason, then how would one expect them to agree to it?<br><br><br><br>
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After all, those things would go against our marriage vows. Well, children, like it or not, by virtue of their birth, have been entered into the social contract.<br>
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You *chose* to make those vows. And you are *free* to leave your marriage at any time. And if you choose to leave, you can find plenty of support for doing so. This is not so for children. They have no choice in this respect. And they had no choice in being "entered into the social contract" either.<br><br><br><br>
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So, even if I were willing to accept the whole TCS thing in theory, and I'm not sure I am, I don't get how it can actually survive the test of real life. When we are out of bread, milk, and cereal, we have to go to the market.<br>
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Is this really the case? If you are out of bread, milk, and cereal, could you not eat something else? Could you not ask someone to get it for you? Could you not get the order delivered from the grocery store? Could you not find a good incentive for the children to *want* to go to the market?<br><br><br><br>
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If one of my three children simply refuses to go and is not old enough to stay alone, my allowing her to keep the rest of us from going means allowing her to decide that her siblings (and parents) will have no breakfast. How ell does that go over in a TCS home? 'Cause I can tell you everyone at my house (including the child who refused to go to the store) would be blqming Mom in the morning.<br>
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This would be important information to provide for the child who doesn't want to go. You could also find somewhere for the child to stay while you and the other children went. Or you could wait until the child *did* want to go. Or you could ask a friend to get them for you. Or you could go next door and ask the neighbour if you could borrow some milk, bread, & cereal. Or ask the neighbour if he is going to the market at all and, if so, could he pick these up for you? And if, in the morning, the child complained that there was no breakfast (though surely there would be *something* for them to eat, no?), you could remind hir that you couldn't get to the market yesterday but that you could go later if she'd like. And so on.<br><br><br><br>
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it seems to me that the problem lies in the fact that no matter how seriously we take our children and their desires, and no matter how kindly and respectfully we treat them, there are times when they act just like, well, children. And it is at those times that parents need to act most like adults.<br>
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Yes, there are those times. Children have less knowledge and experience and they depend on adults to help them exercise their autonomy. I "act like an adult" by seeking common preferences. I choose to do this *because* I am the adult and I have the knowledge, experience, and resources to do so (and I realize that my children often do not). I also realize that my children will no doubt benefit from my effort (as will I) because we will all learn better ways of solving problems. Coercion is simply not the "adult" way of solving problems as far as I'm concerned.<br><br>
Netty
 

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Netty said:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Could you not find a good incentive for the children to *want* to go to the market?</td>
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That statement sounds a bit coersive <b>to me</b>. Perhaps this is what people have been talking about when the bring up the semantics issue. What you see as negotiation to make everyone happy, I see as a form of bribery, or <gasp> coersion.
 

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Beth wrote:<br><br>
****Netty said:<br>
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Could you not find a good incentive for the children to *want* to go to the market?<br>
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That statement sounds a bit coersive to me. Perhaps this is what people have been talking about when the bring up the semantics issue. What you see as negotiation to make everyone happy, I see as a form of bribery, or <gasp> coersion.****<br><br>
Can you expand on how this is coercive? Here is an example of what I mean when I say that parents can try to find a good incentive for children to do something that they may be reluctant to do at first: Let's say that I wanted to go to the store but you wanted to stay home and read. And let's say that I really wanted you to come along. One way to convince you to come would be to find a good reason (by your lights) for *you* to go to the store. So, let's say I remembered that you had a crush on one of the cashiers there and so I reminded you that he would be working at that time. With this information, you changed your mind and decided you *wanted* to come to the store with me. If the information I provided were in fact true, would you say that I had bribed you into coming? Did I trick you? Would you say that I had coerced you?<br><br>
Netty
 

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Netty,<br><br>
"The other family members might certainly be able to convince the reluctant one that s/he is hurting people by hir choice and s/he might change hir mind. Or everyone might think of a way that the reluctant one can stay behind (go to a friend's?). Or they might be able to convince the reluctant one that s/he *wants* to go by offering hir an incentive that s/he didn't consider when making hir decision."<br><br>
I have seen this kind of response in other TCS responses - offer the child to go get ice cream or some other thing that the child may want, but hadn't thought of....<br><br>
Isn't offering incentives nothing more than a bribe? Isn't that extrinsic motivation? You could also punish the child, by taking something away. Same principle.<br><br>
When this is the basis of the child/parent relationship - the child will grow up to think for solutions from the perspective or "what do I get for behaving right" or "What will I lose." As opposed to - "I will do this because it is right."<br><br>
Using Extrinsic motivation in parenting does not help you get a child who is, for lack of a better discription (considering the TCS forum), self-disciplined.<br><br>
And before any TCS'ers ask me why I would assume anyone wants or needs self-discipline or why I think it is a critical behavior to model, here is my answer: We are social creatures, living in a complex civilization. Without common rules, we would have chaos.<br><br>
Also, much earlier in this thread, I posted a situation as well as a couple of question about TCS, that no one has responded to....I will try and cut and paste.
 

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Netty says:<br><br>
"Do you disagree with the reason for not shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater? Do you understand why there are speedlimits? Does it make sense to you that speed limits exist? If you don't feel coerced, then you aren't. But a child who is protesting against an imposed limit is, no doubt, feeling coerced."<br><br>
Let's say that your child (aged 4) has Type I diabetes. Child wants to eat a whole box of cookies, which Parent knows will throw child into a diabetic shock. Parent explains to child the complex theories about how a pancreas doesn't produce insulin, etc... child has no idea what the hell parent is talking about - parent, says that the cookes will make child sick, child maintains that child wants the whole box of cookies. Parents says no, child can have some sugar-free dessert. Child is sad, but takes the sugar-free dessert.<br><br>
TCS would say this is coersion. I call it common sense. This was a compromise for the child and in the child's best interest.<br><br>
Netty also says:<br><br>
"You *chose* to make those vows. And you are *free* to leave your marriage at any time. And if you choose to leave, you can find plenty of support for doing so. This is not so for children. They have no choice in this respect. And they had no choice in being "entered into the social contract" either. "<br><br>
Children wouldn't even exist if we didn't chose to have them. Of course children have no choice - that is a fact of nature. Unless someone has figured out a way to harness the immaculate conception.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
Seems to me it's about time to close this thread and start a new one.<br><br>
Feel free to continue your discussion in the new "TCS Discussions 2" that I have opened. For easy access I will place this thread in the Gentle Discipline Archives which is located at the top of the Gentle Discipline threads list page.<br><br>
~Cynthia
 
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