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  1. #61
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    No, I'm saying that it is also coercive, it is just a different method of coercion. The sanctions are just different because parents are pretending they are not coercing.

    If it wasn't coercive, the children really would be free to do what they wanted with the natural consequences of their actions being the only consequences of their actions.
    I'm not sure I completely follow. Could you give me an example of how non-coercive parenting or parenting through Non Violent Communication is inherently coercive? I agree that the parents that use it are like all parents, in that they can slip into coercive models in times of weakness. I think the difference is parents who believe in non-coercion indeed see coercion as a mistake and a weakness, not as an effective form of discipline. As a philosophy, and by definition, Connection Parenting is,"parenting through connection instead of coercion, through love instead of fear." Pam Leo - Connection Parenting - Optimal Child Development

    No one can live up to the ideal fully, and I don't think it is ever expected that any parent not be coercive with their children. How could we? We've had no models, and we are imperfect nonetheless. The idea is simply to work towards non-coercive treatment, and to not advocate the mistakes we make. That's at least how I treat non-coercive parenting. When a parent who adheres to non-coercive parenting behaves coercively, they would typically be compelled to acknowledge the behavior as an error to their children, not as a method of correction or discipline the child indeed deserved. From there, they would work towards not repeating the behavior.

  2. #62
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnFpFer View Post
    I'm assuming that the continuation of a particular religion, or "love" of anything from childhood, would indicate that said thing was enjoyable. I could only be saying what you are implying, if I were also saying that children enjoy being spanked.
    Then change the examples to having one's children endure a regular sleeping schedule, eat a balanced diet, and other aspects of parenting that children don't enjoy. The point remains that choosing to spank one's kids is not an indicator of repressed psychological trauma unless one already assumes spanking to be a traumatic experience and abusive action, its just a matter of parents accepting their childhood socialization after they have developed the logical faculties and lifetime experience necessary to question it.

    That brings up another point; children are not born as socially altruistic and cooperative beings, they are born as blank slates with competing instinctual components (which varies slightly according to inherited brain chemistry), the easiest of which to exercise is selfishness and instant gratification. Children must be taught and habituated into having dominant altruistic and cooperative characteristics (which will still vary somewhat according to pre-existing genetic tendencies, which is a good thing in that it maintains our situational and social adaptivity as a species), which necessarily includes a certain amount of self-discipline. Such self-discipline (which is also needed for other socially desirable characteristics) is best instilled long before critical thinking faculties develop, which begins to occur around the onset of adolescence. In other words, self-discipline must be taught through imposed discipline (which must be carefully and never capriciously applied) during the early stages of childhood development.

    Incidentally, I don't think its a mark of a "free-thinking" and non "blindly obedient" population to allow such oppressively intrusive and conformist legislation on family matters to be enacted.

  3. #63
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnFpFer View Post
    I'm not sure I completely follow. Could you give me an example of how non-coercive parenting or parenting through Non Violent Communication is inherently coercive? I agree that the parents that use it are like all parents, in that they can slip into coercive models in times of weakness. But as a philosophy, and by definition, Connection Parenting is,"parenting through connection instead of coercion, through love instead of fear." Pam Leo - Connection Parenting - Optimal Child Development

    No one can live up to the ideal fully, and I don't think it is ever expected that any parent not be coercive with their children. How could we? We've had no models, and we are imperfect nonetheless. The idea is simply to work towards non-coercive treatment, and to not advocate the mistakes we make. That's at least how I treat non-coercive parenting. When a parent who adheres to non-coercive parenting behaves coercively, they would typically be compelled to acknowledge the behavior as an error to their children, not as a method of correction or discipline the child indeed deserved. From there, they would work towards not repeating the behavior.
    If at any point, you are interfering with what the child wants to do, you are coercing the child.

    If you fish a cigarette butt from the playground out of your child's mouth, you are forcing them to not munch on the cigarette butt.

    If you put your infant into a car seat because you have to go pick daddy up from work, when the infant does not wish to be put in the car seat, you are coercing your child.

    If your child wants to grab and eat a package of HubbaBubba in the check-out line in the grocery store and you don't let him grab it and stuff it into his mouth, you are coercing him.

    Being polite, even loving and affectionate, while you are coercing does not make it less coercive.

    Edit:
    Upon reading some of this 'non-coercive' material, I am finding it anything but. Example:
    I have learned to say, "When you behave that way I know something is wrong, because we love each other and people who love each other don't treat each other this way. Can you tell me what you need or what's hurting you?"
    The implication here is that if you love mommy, you wouldn't be POed about [insert something you have to do that the child doesn't like], or at least you wouldn't show it. I don't think it's possible to get a lot more coercive than leveraging a child's love for their mother.

    It is not my child's responsibility to love me or approve of the decisions I make for the good of the family. It is my job to love the child and act in the best interest of the family, even if the child does not like it. I certainly acknowledge and accept my child's feelings of displeasure (I don't like to do things I don't want to do either, and I get POed, too), I may even apologize for the inconvenience, but I still need their cooperation. They have the freedom to feel how they like about it and, within reason, to express those feelings.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  4. #64
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I'll spank my future kids or not. I don't think it's wrong within reason (appropriate age, level of spanking, and infraction) though it can probably be avoided (depending on the child). I was spanked occasionally and I'm not traumatized from it, I promise you. My parents made many mistakes but I don't think that was one of them.

    I know you (OP) have the best intentions possible, but I can't see myself ever raising kids like that. You can't reason with young children, they need guidelines and rules as a baseline to form their own moral compass later in life, as well as to ensure their more immediate safety...
    -end of thread-

  5. #65
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Some young children can be reasoned with... my daughter was one. Which is why I thought I kicked ass as a parent when she was my only child.

    But I agree with you, and with cafe. As much as I strive to be a gentle parent, part of the point of parenting is coercion. That's an ugly sounding word, but it means pretty much the same thing as training. Since I've been thinking about this thread I've realized it's more accurate to say that what I try to avoid is creating an adversarial relationship with my children. I want them to know I'm on their side, but being on their side sometimes means taking the lipstick out of their mouths when they'd really rather be eating it.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  6. #66
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    My Laotian neighbours consulted me.

    They consulted me about the law.

    First they asked me if it was alright to strike your wife and I said, no, it was against the law.

    Then they asked me if it was alright to strike your child. I paused, and said, it was alright to strike your child.

    But I felt sad.

  7. #67
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    New Zealanders recently passed a law making it illegal to hit your child.

    And being sensible people they have not actually prosecuted any parent for striking their child.

    However the law remains unpopular and I expect it will soon be rescinded.

  8. #68
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    If at any point, you are interfering with what the child wants to do, you are coercing the child.

    If you fish a cigarette butt from the playground out of your child's mouth, you are forcing them to not munch on the cigarette butt.

    If you put your infant into a car seat because you have to go pick daddy up from work, when the infant does not wish to be put in the car seat, you are coercing your child.

    If your child wants to grab and eat a package of HubbaBubba in the check-out line in the grocery store and you don't let him grab it and stuff it into his mouth, you are coercing him.

    Being polite, even loving and affectionate, while you are coercing does not make it less coercive.

    Edit:
    Upon reading some of this 'non-coercive' material, I am finding it anything but. Example:
    The implication here is that if you love mommy, you wouldn't be POed about [insert something you have to do that the child doesn't like], or at least you wouldn't show it. I don't think it's possible to get a lot more coercive than leveraging a child's love for their mother.

    It is not my child's responsibility to love me or approve of the decisions I make for the good of the family. It is my job to love the child and act in the best interest of the family, even if the child does not like it. I certainly acknowledge and accept my child's feelings of displeasure (I don't like to do things I don't want to do either, and I get POed, too), I may even apologize for the inconvenience, but I still need their cooperation. They have the freedom to feel how they like about it and, within reason, to express those feelings.
    I agree with your assessment of the above example you pulled from Pam Leo's site. There are a multitude of sources that are always evolving in communicating effectively with children non-coercively. No one has all of the answers, and the answers are still evolving with humanity. Nonetheless, part of the philosophy of non-coercive parenting is recognizing, as you just did, when something we say or do could have had an underlying meaning that we may not have even been aware of.

    I also agree completely, that children have no obligation to love their parents; but further, they have no obligations to serve or obey them either.

    You said above that being loving, and/or affectionate while being coercive does not make the coercer less coercive. To an extent, I can agree with you there. So for you, at what point does coercion become abuse? And what is it about spanking that makes it effective? What happens when spanking becomes ineffective(in the short-or long run)?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Then change the examples to having one's children endure a regular sleeping schedule, eat a balanced diet, and other aspects of parenting that children don't enjoy.
    As spanking and punishment are generally used, the intention is to cause the child pain or discomfort in an effort to get them to modify their behavior. The intentions of doing the above are actually quite the opposite. That is, we asking our children to eat the proper foods, or sleep enough hours in an effort to help them to avoid pain or discomfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    That brings up another point; children are not born as socially altruistic and cooperative beings, they are born as blank slates with competing instinctual components (which varies slightly according to inherited brain chemistry), the easiest of which to exercise is selfishness and instant gratification.
    Altruistic, no. Cooperative, yes. From the moment a baby is delivered in the hospital, the natural instinct is to mirror the mother, and cooperate with her posture, her rate of breathing, and her level of attentiveness, and even the subtleties of her emotional state.

    IMO, selfish behaviors are not used by young children as a result of the ease of use, but as a protective survival mechanism. The child, unable to feed itself, travel long distances, or form relationships outside of what his/her parents have made available,is naturally driven to focus on his/her own needs, and call attention to those needs with whatever resources they have at their disposal. A person cannot meet the needs of others until their own basic needs have been met, and so I would call young children self-centered, but not selfish. Selfish implies that the young child is focusing on self, and disregarding others. But the child is not disregarding others(at least not in the adult sense), the child is simply unaware of others(as it should be). Why would we punish a young child for acting, as we all do, on his own behalf, particularly since doing so is his only true option until a certain period in development?

    Also, what leads you to believe that humans are incapable of thinking critically until we are near adulthood?

  9. #69
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnFpFer View Post
    I agree with your assessment of the above example you pulled from Pam Leo's site. There are a multitude of sources that are always evolving in communicating effectively with children non-coercively. No one has all of the answers, and the answers are still evolving with humanity. Nonetheless, part of the philosophy of non-coercive parenting is recognizing, as you just did, when something we say or do could have had an underlying meaning that we may not have even been aware of.
    Obviously, I have an incomplete understanding of non-coercive parenting methods and am finding it hard to get my head around it. Am I understanding correctly that if a child, after being reasoned with by his or her parents, decides that they do not want to do as their parents wish, they are free to do as they wish, even if the parents believe the consequences of such an action to be potentially dangerous to the child?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #70
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    based on my own confusion, i thought it'd be helpful to throw out the wiki definition of coercion. forgive me is it's been cited more appropriately elsewhere (i did read the entire thread but didn't see an actual def)

    Coercion (pronounced /ko???r??n/ or /ko???r??n/) is the practice of compelling a person or forcing them to behave in an involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation, trickery, or some other form of pressure or force. These are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way. Coercion may involve the actual infliction of physical pain/injury or psychological harm in order to enhance the credibility of a threat. The threat of further harm may then lead to the cooperation or obedience of the person being coerced.

    i have 5 kids ranging in age from 16 years to 11 months. i was raised with an authoritarian mother and a jellyfish (yet very loyal and loving) father, who also were divorced. we lived predominantly with my dad. so, in effect, i experienced both parenting extremes. at my dad's, my older sister, myself, and my father all basically did our own thing. we went to bed when we wanted, i watched what i wanted on tv, i rode my bike where i wanted after school, i ran around with my friends when i got older, we made our own meals, pretty much, eating whatever we wanted, including lots of fast food (mcd and wendy's).

    around the age of 12 or 13?, i remember wishing that i had more boundaries and chores, and i actually remember the conversation i had with my mom about going to live with her because i desired more structure so badly. i wanted to do chores. i wanted to have responsibilities. i wanted to be held accountable. and i started staying more with her and i thrived in that. but perhaps that is my personality, being a J and all. but as i got into 17-18 ish, i found my mom to be too controlling and manipulative of my time, mainly because she didn't really evolve her parenting techniques as i grew, or at least this is my perception.

    i cannot be happy as a J with enfpfer's way of being with no bedtimes, etc. i just like my house to run smoothly because i don't have energy to waste on kids being cranky and stuff. i sometimes wish i could be more P in this, but i really don't think with 5 kids, you can be very unstructured and still be meeting everyone's physical and emotional needs most effectively. if i didn't have rules i would have this:

    kids staying up til midnight regularly
    kids waking up at the crack of dawn
    kids being consequently cranky to me all day
    kids eating toast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    kids eating all day long (like hobbits pretty much)
    kids gaming all day
    messy house
    kids surfing too much
    kids not doing their schooling (and i have decided unschooling is not desirable in most kids, imo)

    i have always practiced and advocated attachment and positive parenting. in the early years i was of the mind-set not to say 'no' to my kids. i would re-direct, or model, or distract. i really like how having the mentality of not saying 'no' forces you to be more hands-on as a parent. it is much easier (and lazier) to just say no. i have lapsed back into it over the years because i have gotten a bit lazy in my mothering, probably because i'm so busy with other household chores. once i birthed my first son, i have never wanted to spank. i see spanking as a knee-jerk, learned response that is an inferior way to teach something to your child. logically, it makes no sense to hit your child, then tell your child not to hit others. there are so many more loving and useful and easier ways to teach something without the use of violence. i used to not do time-outs either, but that changed with my 4th kid. again, i think time-outs are the lazy way out. if i'm in 'good mom' mode i just physically grasp my child and walk him through the motions of what he should be doing and is not doing. hitting or talking back to me always invokes a short time-out.

    as a midwife, i've been around the gammot of parenting philosophies. i've come to believe that controlled spanking, as happens in many nice Christian families, produces the nicest, most behaved children. but i usually also see that it comes at a cost to that child's spirit. the child is hesitant in acting, or glances at mom to make sure he/she is allowed to do something before just spontaneously doing what he/she wants. not that that kid will be stifled or unable to be themselves, but the kids i know (and these are our friends) just aren't fully........confident in themselves, like the kids i know who aren't spanked.

    i feel like kids should be respected for the wise young souls that they are, this is a democracy and i'm in charge. you have to earn your privileges by taking on responsibilities. you have to learn how to be kind to others (Fe) even if that is not your natural inclination, because we live in a world of people and must not only be inherently respectful (Fi), but obey some social niceties as well. i find the most pleasant children are the ones who can speak to me on their own level, be who they are, but also respect me as their elder, not equal.
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