to not know what unconditional parenting is?!

(853 Posts)
GirlOutNumbered Mon 11-Feb-13 20:54:19

Just read it on a thread. I have no idea what this is?

mrsjay Sun 17-Feb-13 16:54:55

I hate interacting with these kids cos I know that their parents want you to take them so seriously all the time. They are difficult kids to have banter with. It really is tiresome.

I am a bit the same I don't feel comfortable around them I never have really even as young children it isn't because they are teens I have my own its just im not even sure what it is I think it is the uncertainty of what they will say or do next, their mum will go home if her parents say anything about their behaviour

LaQueen Sun 17-Feb-13 16:59:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaQueen Sun 17-Feb-13 17:03:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk Sun 17-Feb-13 17:41:57

I am not a huge fan of HE. But feel compelled to point out that all of the HErs I know (and I know a lot of HErs... 8 families?) would put on a Cat's Bum Face about UP, assuming they ever hear of it. Their kids are marvelously confident, thoughtful and polite. DH & I always feel like our kids are completely inadequate obnoxious dim-witted brats in comparison.

I don't think HE & UP should be treated as highly correlated.

exoticfruits Sun 17-Feb-13 17:55:47

While you get all sorts HEing -for all sorts of reasons -it is a fact that some do it because they don't like the way that schools use reward systems and they think that they turn them all out like little drones when they foster a 'free spirit'.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 17-Feb-13 18:41:12

I have struggled with the pocket money thing. I have a ds who REALLY doesn't want to tidy up etc, so decided to institute pocket money, but his room had to be tidied first.
It worked for a few weeks, then the novelty wore off, and he would throw a fit/ whinge/moan and generally wind me up when it came to room tidying day.
So with fair warning I cancelled the pocket money.
He still has to tidy his room though, but now I give him more direction doing it "books on the bookshelf, clothes in the hamper-where does this action man live?" and it's not so arduous.
So basically he has chosen to NOT get rewarded. And he is a right mercenary little bugger!
It is confusing, because I don't think they should get paid for contributing to household tasks, and cleaning up their own mess, but I also know that, in life, you sometimes HAVE to do things you don't want to do.
And also, if you don't do the work, you don't get paid. (in adult life).

What I have found now though is that thru the week I will say casually, "please could you clear the table?" or "here, could you put these socks in pairs?" and he does it with good grace, so maybe the pocket money was making too much of a "thing" out of it?

I agree with the point about "common sense" and I am not all that sure of my parenting instincts, so I can see why people read books.
I think I am maybe nervous to read books in case I find out I am doing it all wrong (rather than just half of it!).
I find myself "being" my mum, often, which is not ideal, but would be even worse if my mum had been a nightmare, as Sparkle says.

Zavi Sun 17-Feb-13 18:50:15

In my experience kids who have been home Ed'ed and then joined mainstream school later on (2 families) find it difficult to act or to be part of a group and become upset quite easily when things don't go how they want them to go, including the normal course of friendships shock

They also tend to be very self-protective and mindful of their own feelings whilst at the same time lacking sensitivity towards others'.

I agree with lijkk that these children do appear to be confident.

I don't like the way these kids approach me though. I find them to be over-familiar with me (and their teachers). They don't seem to appreciate what a respectful distance is.

Hell, even I keep a respectful distance with my DC's teachers! I think it sets a good example of that, and confirms for my DC that my default position is that I respect their teacher's authority at school.

lljkk Sun 17-Feb-13 18:58:12

That's interesting, Zavi. I can honestly say that all the HE kids (or adult people) I know are immensely less materialistic & more sensitive to feelings of others than the school-ed kids/people I know. I'm not out to sell HE, either, I'd hate it for me. But I can't fault the HE people I've known for being mature polite considerate human beings. Do find it harder to mix socially, though, I could write an essay why I think that is.

But then none of their parents HEd on the basis of nurturing free spirits.

Can easily see why HE would be attractive to UPers. Wish I knew some UPers IRL to see how they do it, for better or worse.

Fairenuff Sun 17-Feb-13 18:58:17

Bertie my dcs helped with all the household jobs from a very young age too. You are right, they are capable to doing small tasks and learning from it. However, I would have given lots of praise and made out that they made my job easier grin. There may even have been reward charts along the way - stars for making their own bed, etc. They loved collecting any reward, even if it was just praise.

The difference is that, now they are older, they are expected to help out and do their share. It's not optional. So, if I was UPing, I would not have been able to do any of that, I would have had to rely on their goodwill alone.

What I am really interested in, which no-one has been able to answer, is how to get them to co-operate when they don't want to, without recourse to reward or sanction.

My dn had to take anti-biotics, aged 2 and she absolutely and completely refused, point blank. Her parents offered her a sweetie each time and so she agreed. Without that, how do you get a 2 year old to take nasty tasting medicine?

lljkk Sun 17-Feb-13 19:03:16

I think you are supposed to "reason" with them, Fairenuff. Which I think we all need certificates in Sainthood to have the patience for, but maybe I just say that as the Inadequate Parent I am.

Under UP, if it was life-threatening illness, You would be allowed to force antiBs down her throat if you absolutely tried everything else you could think of first. Of course you'd have to agonise a fair while about if the illness was that bad, etc. Do some people just enjoy angst?

Fairenuff Sun 17-Feb-13 19:09:03

Yep, they would have had to force it down, there is no way she would co-operate. She was 2, there was no reasoning with her!

Would a UP prefer to force it down than offer a reward I wonder?

exoticfruits Sun 17-Feb-13 19:13:45

But then none of their parents HEd on the basis of nurturing free spirits.

I think that is the difference.

MiniTheMinx Sun 17-Feb-13 20:03:15

At two years old I would have sweet, yep. DS2 now 8 had to have some particularly vile tasting medicine a couple of weeks ago. I didn't offer him a reward but he had a drink straight afterwards, wouldn't you do the same if you had to swallow something vile tasting? I would. That's not a reward, its just sensible.

We did home HEd for a couple of years because DS1 wanted to. The other families we met all seemed very nice, only one family allowed their kids to run totally wild. The mother often had to restrain one of her children. In one setting some of the other parents got involved in trying to deal with the child hmm which I thought very strange. We did home ed because DS was working beyond curriculum and was bored. He started secondary in sept. At parents evening it was obv that the teachers had no idea that he had been home schooled. So odd and socially inept ??? not a bit.

MiniTheMinx Sun 17-Feb-13 20:03:36

*offered a sweet

Zappo Sun 17-Feb-13 20:40:12

"What I am really interested in, which no-one has been able to answer, is how to get them to co-operate when they don't want to, without recourse to reward or sanction"

My 2 yr old won't let me clean her teeth so I let her clean her teeth first and then try a variety of things like saying "would you like Daddy or Mummy to check your teeth?" if that doesn't work, "shall we choose a cuddly toy to check your teeth". If that doesn't work I try to encourage her to show me how she brushes her teeth and then say "Can I see you brush the bottom ones, can I see you brush the top ones etc". Usually we do get a fairly decent brush in the end.

I admit with my first DD there was a lot mo0re of me trying to wrestle her/pin her down to get the teeth cleaned which I hated doing. I did see it as a Health and Safety issue though which required a bit more compulsion.

With medicine, that's tricky as it's imperative you get it in them. my DD1 doesn't like drinking at all and I do ask her several times a day/ offer her different things to tempt her but sometimes she'll just refuse. I worry as I feel it's my duty to get her to drink for her health- it's not really optional. I try to offer a lot of fruit and liquidy things like porridge or cereal with milk for breakfast and I like to think she would drink if her body needed it but it doesn't stop me worrying that she should be drinking more.

Once when she was ill and not eating or drinking at all, the GP gave me some syringes to give her with water in at regular intervals (easier to swallow with sore throat/tonsils). DD thought the syringes were quite fun. We used them on her dolls too so I did manage to get her to drink. She refused calpol I think but didn't have a temperature so I wasn't too worried.

If she'd had to take antibiotics I would have tried to talk to her and tell her that she needed them to make her better. If she flatly refused- I don't know maybe I would have asked GP if I could mix them with food (providing she was eating).- difficult one.

Zappo Sun 17-Feb-13 20:44:57

Oh and if you want them to leave the park or something you can make it an attractive option by saying. Look I know how much fun you are having and that you'd like to stay longer but howabout we go home and watch some television, have a snack, buy an ice cream on the way home etc.

Yes it is a bit manipulative but I prefer it to saying "If you leave the park now, I'll buy you an ice cream" or instead of "If you get in the car seat you can have a sweet". Ok who's going to be the first into their carseat (if you have siblings) or shall we take a snack to eat on the journey- yes ok lets get strapped in and I'll find something for us to eat on the way.

Just by changing the language it seems to me less of a bribe or reward ( or do you think essentially it is the same thing?)

BertieBotts Sun 17-Feb-13 21:23:13

It's hard without a specific example. I have hidden calpol in blackcurrant squash and said it wasn't medicine but a special magic drink to stop his tummy from hurting.

I think generally if a child isn't co-operating then under UP you'd try a number of things, firstly ask yourself if it's absolutely essential that they co-operate right now in this exact way, if not perhaps try changing the way or stalling to give yourself some time (and give them some time, perhaps they're just in a funny mood) or even try talking to them and asking what exactly it is that they don't like about doing whatever it is and seeing if there's a solution which addresses this. Or just let it go (pick your battles approach). Explaining why we have to do it in an age-appropriate way, perhaps highlighting the things that would be important to them. Trying to make it more palatable for them, e.g. by letting them pick a toy to bring into the car if they don't like the car or something like that. Adding to what Zappo said - I think that the "if you get in your car seat you can have a sweet" is counter-productive because it's not a real choice - they can't choose to forgo the sweet and not sit in the car seat either. They have to go in the seat, it's non-negotiable. Distracting them from the part they don't really want to do (especially if you know they're fine when they're in there) can be helpful too. Just presenting the thing they don't want to do as part of a routine and explaining it as matter-of-factly as if you were telling them some basic scientific fact. Modelling/explaining that everyone else has to do it too - bringing in a current favourite aunty or TV character can add massive cool points here. Validating their feelings (saying I know you don't like this, and it's okay not to like it, but we still have to do it) and even apologising for their distress but sticking firm also help. And turning it into a game - there's a whole book on this called Playful Parenting, and an example in How To Talk called "giving wishes in fantasy" (I bet you wish we could stay at the park for ever and ever, I wonder where we would sleep, hmm, maybe on the slide? Or in that tree? We could eat our dinner on the see-saw!") - this one is really bizarre and I was worried the first time I used it that DS would think I was really suggesting these things and want to do them, but he always seems to "get" that it's fantasy and joins in until it gets utterly ridiculous, but that's a good one to use. Finally, if it's really really non-negotiable and absolutely nothing is working (including bribery - I don't think bribery is so wrong in an extreme if the alternative is force) and you cannot put it off any longer then I would use force, and I have on very extreme occasions. Because sometimes you have to. I'd apologise for it and I'd feel bad if he got hurt in the process and I'd be sorry that I'd upset him but I wouldn't feel bad for doing it if it needed to be done that badly.

That's a massive list, but you wouldn't do everything on it at once. In fact usually one or two is enough and it works. If it's a particular issue, then it might go on for some time - but then I would think the same thing happens with all children. And over the course of that time you would keep doing the things which help/work or try different approaches if it's not working, and you might try and work out what's causing them to particularly refuse this particular thing, unless it's obvious, and work on that separately too.

BegoniaBampot Sun 17-Feb-13 21:57:52

It will be interesting to see how the children choose to parent themselves when they have their own children. How would you feel if your child rejected your UP choice for a more traditional approach. my mum wasn't a bad parent though not so maternal or that interested in us, I've definitely tried to take a different approach in some respects but I'd say still relatively traditional in the way I parent. Maybe my kids will UP if they think the way they were parented left a lot to be desired.

it just sounds like UP parents bend over backwards to offer choice and not use force but it sounds very forced and manipulative even though I think they are striving to achieve the opposite.

exoticfruits Sun 17-Feb-13 22:07:50

I would love to know how they would get eye drops into a 2 year old who has to have them. They do not want it- I'm not surprised as I find it very difficult to get them into my eyes. There is no explanation, no fun way and no distraction - they simply don't want it. Any answers?

MiniTheMinx Sun 17-Feb-13 22:16:11

We had friends over for lunch today and their children are a similar age to mine. What is really noticeable is that when the parent asks them to do something/stop doing something (which is fairly constant) the children hesitate, they either stare back waiting for the bargain or ask outright in terms of ignoring the request or even whine. It seems the children are waiting for the parent to offer either a reward or to threaten sanctions. Its tedious and tiring. I couldn't be bothered with all that hullabaloo. I would feel that I was being manipulated.

My parents were very laid back......I am too

MiniTheMinx Sun 17-Feb-13 22:19:44

Right tired of this.......how would common sense parenting deal with the child who won't...

Get in the car
Leave the park
Take vile medicine
Do homework
Clean room
Hits others
Refuses school
Wants to walk in the road
Won't get dressed

So far everyone who tries to incorporate of follow Up have explained how they deal with things but not one of the "common sense" brigade has offered to explain how they deal with problems smile

exoticfruits Sun 17-Feb-13 22:31:23

I will reply but tomorrow- off to bed.

BegoniaBampot Sun 17-Feb-13 23:07:52

Hits others - had this in spades with the first when he turned one. if we were at a toddler group or friends house I would probably say we don't hit as the other child doesn't like it and it hurts. I might distract. If he hit again I would remove him for a few minutes and explain he can't play if he hits and we would have to leave if he did it again. If he then did it again we left.

get in the car - again went through a phase where he didn't want to sit in his seat. Would maybe try and light heartedly distract him and explain it was a rule and for safety. Often forcibly put him in, don't really see what other option there was.

Don't think my child has ever refused school.

Take vile medicine - I used to show the calpol which he loved and swap last minute - bad mummy. Or put in his yoghurt. Did try and force maybe once or twice but he just spat it out.

Leave the park - would say it's time to go. Might stay longer if time not a problem. Or say we could do something nice at home. Forcibly pick them up and leave if they really resisted.

homework - just say it has to be done and that they won't get to do anything else until it's done.

Want's to walk in the road - only if the road is completely empty. Never really been an issue.

This was all when they were really little. Now I just ask nicely, but do the death stare and maybe count to three now. Shout more than I like, sometimes lose patience more than I like so am interested in how UP works. Do like to be obeyed though and will threaten punishment if they don't, like send to room or no computer games etc.

lougle Sun 17-Feb-13 23:18:32

"Right tired of this.......how would common sense parenting deal with the child who won't...

Get in the car
Leave the park
Take vile medicine
Do homework
Clean room
Hits others
Refuses school
Wants to walk in the road
Won't get dressed"

Using the example of not terribly co-operative almost 4 year old.

Get in the car - DD, we need to get in the car. Ok...shoes. We're going to be late if you don't get in the car. I'm going to count to 3, then I'll have to help you. 1, 2...3 - lift DD into the car and strap her in.

Leave the park - DD, 10 minutes, then we need to leave. 5 minute warning. Last go on the slide, DD. Ok, time to go. DD, come on. Ok, well I'm going, so I'll see you later... (normally promotes running). If not, 'Ok, well I'll have to help you then. Take hand and leave from the park.

Take vile medicine. Explain, cajole, bribe then decide if it's vital. Calpol/Ibrufen - well she just won't feel better. Antibiotics - hold down and squirt in. Offer something nice after.

Do homework - not applicable

Clean room - make it fun, ask her to help me. If she refuses, sort it later. It's generally only bedding she's dragged onto the floor anyway.

Hits others - well to be fair, she doesn't hit other children except her sisters. Hitting her sisters results in naughty step/sorry.

Refuses preschool - There's always a reason. Find it out, then sort it out. Common sense.

Wants to walk in the road - she has choices. She can walk nicely next to me, or she has to hold my hand. If she chooses to lose her freedom, no skin off my nose.

Won't get dressed - the bain of my life! Horrible sensitivity to seams, etc. I give her the clothes, she has the opportunity to put them on (she can dress herself). If she doesn't, I offer her help. If she refuses, I remind her that she can't have breakfast until she's dressed, and she'll run out of time. If she still refuses I tell her I will help her (she hates this). If she refuses still, I remind her that I will take her naked. She gets dressed.

That's all common sense. It's a case of deciding what the limit is, making sure your child knows the limit, then carrying it through.

I have to say, my children are not easy though.

BertieBotts Mon 18-Feb-13 01:54:03

No idea Exotic - I think all parents would struggle with that, I've tried to get them into a cat before now and that was hard enough! Perhaps a similar approach to the cat - restrain limbs using a towel and enlist the help of another adult??

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