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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?

cory Fri 22-Feb-13 08:37:29

"not unconditional"

NayFindus Fri 22-Feb-13 08:35:24

BertieBotts As long as you're confident that you're dealing with it in an appropriate way then just ignore them because there will always be some people who seem to take great joy in tutting over others - perhaps because they have nothing interesting going on in their own lives!

Sums it up perfectly Bertie, thankyou. I've ordered How To Talk So Your Children Will Listen so hope it's here soon.

I'm wary of unnecessarily making dd upset as an early memory is my mum playing a song she knew would make me cry, so she could show visitors my 'petted lip'. There were huge other issues too so this on it's own may have been ok, I don't know, but I remember the instinctual anger of being betrayed by the person who was supposed to be protecting me, not making me cry on purpose. But as I say, there were other issues, and dd has to learn she's not the only person in the world. Saying that, she copes really well when other kids thump her. It's me that gets upset! Challenging toddler times...

cory Thu 21-Feb-13 21:19:52

My love for my children is unconditional.

My being in a good mood on any given day is not conditional. It is, to some extent, dependent on the way I get treated by the people around me.

You might call it a natural consequence wink

BertieBotts Thu 21-Feb-13 20:32:02

Exactly re the stares - doesn't matter how you deal with it, some people will think you're being too soft (and glare) some people will think you're being too harsh (and glare) and some people don't know anything about children and think that you should magically be able to prevent all tantrums (and glare).

As long as you're confident that you're dealing with it in an appropriate way then just ignore them because there will always be some people who seem to take great joy in tutting over others - perhaps because they have nothing interesting going on in their own lives!

exoticfruits Thu 21-Feb-13 17:23:32

It was a very appropriate way to deal with a teenager- his brace came off and he had perfect teeth. As the orthodontist said to me - 'do whatever works'.

There was a wonderful line in the book I am reading at the moment:-

The great advantage of living in a large family is that early lesson of life's essential unfairness. grin

RememberTheGoodTimes Thu 21-Feb-13 14:53:52

Nay if this is something you are interested in, by any means read the AK book Unconditional Parenting but keep in mind that this is very theoretical so won't find a lot of 'tips' on how to apply it.

I found that unfortunately, you have to learn to face the disapproval of other adults in the situation you describe, simply because you will always find someone who would have done it differently and will be convinced their way would be better. Just go to the supermarket with your dd, use your own strategies and forget about other people around.

RememberTheGoodTimes Thu 21-Feb-13 14:48:55

LaQueen I actually agree with all of what you said shock wink.

But then UP has never said anything about having to face life's hardships being an issue because well... life can be difficult at times and that's what you make out from it that makes the difference.

RememberTheGoodTimes Thu 21-Feb-13 14:46:06

exotic I was the one who talk about the dentist. And if you read my post well I didn't suggest that you should change dentist.
I said that when I had a dentist using that sort of tactics on me, I decided to change dentist. My point wasn't that you should protect your dcs from all problems. Rest reassured that I don't (but then I am also careful not to put them in a situation that is so hard that they would feel completely overwhelmed by it when I know it would. And of course, what constitute an overwhelming experience will vary from child to child).
But the fact is that I wouldn't accept someone to talk to me like this because well it's just not nice and I find that very annoying and patronizing...So I am struggling to see why that way of dealing with a child let alone a teenager is an appropriate way to deal with that sort of problem.
For me it's simply coming down to respect.

Maryz agree with the inability of seeing degree of the emotions. I have seen that with dc2 very clearly. At least talking about emotions like this did help him recognized emotions in himself and gave me a stepping stone to talk about emotions on others. At a time when I didn't know about AS.

NayFindus Thu 21-Feb-13 14:10:30

Thanks Remember I've seen that reccomended a lot on here and I'll definitely look it up. It's not temper tantrums that worry me, it's the stares you get when they're happening and the worry that I should have stayed at home because it's upsetting/boring for dd. Then there's the other part of me that thinks Jesus, people, she's 2. You never seen a 2 year old before? I spend a lot of time thinking ohmygod, I never had a 2 year old before - why is she screaming at me??? I don't speak scream.

I was being tongue in cheek about the sun laqueen.

Sorry you had such a tough time Maryz. Sounds like you tried everything you could have done.

BertieBotts Thu 21-Feb-13 13:28:03

Who said that children shouldn't be allowed to experience negative emotions? Validating feelings just means that you're giving them a word for it and sympathising, telling them it's ok to feel sad/angry/whatever, and then hopefully you'd also help them to deal with that.

Maryz Thu 21-Feb-13 10:25:21

The talk about feelings is interesting for me to read - my younger two had feelings and could express them from a very young age. They could express degrees of pain, sadness, anger.

ds1 who has AS, never could. And of course because he was my oldest I didn't realise this would become a problem. He never learned to rate degrees of anger, sadness etc - he was always ok or furious, ok or miserable, ok or super-happy etc.

As he got older, when he got confused about what he felt about things he would revert to his "easiest emotion" which was anger - if he was angry he could divert sadness, confusion, anxiety etc., so it became his default. Which obviously causes massive problems in school and at home as he became a teenager.

I have since read a lot about autism, and it seems this is not uncommon.

I would have thought one of the most important things to talk to children about is their emotions, teaching them not to hide them, but to express them appropriately, to use words not violence to express anger, to talk about sadness etc.

And our job as adults is to validate those feelings, to let our children express them, to teach them (with words and by example) how to deal with them.

LaQueen Thu 21-Feb-13 10:18:43

"It is important that young children feel sadness, anger, frustration etc-the whole range-and learn to deal with it otherwise when they meet them as adults they will be knocked sideways and unable to cope."

As always, I agree with you 100% exotic ...wrapping your child utterly in cotton wool is not good parenting.

As their parent you need to help prepare them for life, and living in the Real World...which is why I don't have a problem with my DDs sometimes having to feel bored...or them sometimes feeling life is a bit unfair ...or them knowing, that actually, sometimes their wants are not a priority...or them seeing DH and I argue (but, I make sure they always see us make-up and be friends afterwards).

When my DDs aren't picked for the gymnastic squad, or don't get an invite to a party, or fail their violin grade it is not the end of their world, they are encouraged to get over it, and carry on.

And, it is because I love them so much that I teach them these skills, and refuse to protect them from these experiences. Because, as they get older they will have learned some genuinely valuable lessons, and will be able to roll with the punches, and come up smiling and stronger.

LaQueen Thu 21-Feb-13 10:09:56

"Guess I'll have to go Google 'why is Sun a secondary source of light' and berate myself that my 2 year old does not yet know of this."

You know, I'm not entirely sure what a 2 year old, knowing such a thing, is actually meant to prove hmm

I admit, I don't know why the sun is a secondary light source? And, I was privately educated and have a good degree...DD2 is G&T, she's 8, and is already doing secondary school maths, and I know she doesn't know why the sun is a secondary light source...out of curiousity, I asked my boss (a dentist) and he didn't know why...

It's like when DD1 was 3, and because it amused me, I taught her how to use the word onomatopoeia, and what it meant. Totally meaningless, really - and didn't prove a single thing about her innate intelligence, or abilities, or anything at all, really.

exoticfruits Thu 21-Feb-13 09:33:16

Life is a journey-you learn from experiences and the best learning curves are your own mistakes. The parents job is to help them cope with disappointments and things that go wrong-e.g. the child who doesn't get a party invitation when others do-the answer is not to go into school and insist that they mustn't be handed out in public.

mrsjay Thu 21-Feb-13 09:17:51

I agree with you exotic I thinkt rying to keep children happy and upbeat all the time is pretty damaging for them it really is ok to be sad angry and frustrated alongside happy, It is alright for the orthodontist to tell them off or the teacher to say no or whatever, there theres do no help children cope with life imo

exoticfruits Thu 21-Feb-13 09:14:06

It is important that young children feel sadness, anger, frustration etc-the whole range-and learn to deal with it otherwise when they meet them as adults they will be knocked sideways and unable to cope. If you are happy all the time how would you know? It is unrealistic -not to mention detrimental-for the parent to ease the path all the time-they have to cope with the wide world eventually and it often isn't kind.
Earlier on I was told that when the orthodontist got tough with my DS I should have changed to a nicer orthodontist! Rather than a nice kind man who let him risk decayed teeth I would rather he accepted that he was told the truth and needed to act on it. He was basically a very nice man, trying his best with his teeth-he will meet far worse and have to deal with them.
How many parents are going to say to a teenager ' there, there dear-he shouldn't have spoken to you like that-I will spend £xxx and get you one that tells you what you want to hear!

BertieBotts Thu 21-Feb-13 08:10:54

I think it's almost more important to validate feelings for toddlers, because usually they're pretty overwhelmed and freaked out by them. It probably helps to have a calming safe person saying yep, this is what being sad feels like, sucks doesn't it? And being reassuring that you'll cope and get through it.

RememberTheGoodTimes Thu 21-Feb-13 07:43:31

Nay I would really recommend [[ http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Talk-Kids-Will-Listen/dp/1848123094/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361432295&sr=8-1 this book]] (How to talk so kids will listen...) as it is very practical in his approach and really helpful too.

The one thing I was most surprised about is the bit about acknowledging feelings. Because yes it makes sense to acknowledge that a 7yo is sad but a 2yo? I never though that a child that age would be able to do anything like this. As it turns out, my dc was able to let me know if he was sad/angry/happy... at 2yo when things weren't going his way. It was also very interesting to see he was saying he was sad rather than angry. Anger came later on when he was about 3~4yo...

NayFindus Thu 21-Feb-13 03:17:34

I'm so glad you posted your reply Remember, I was sitting here thinking what on earth do UP parents talk to their children about then?

I came across the Taking Children Seriously site mentioned upthread and it was horrible. They've become a Google list group and try to follow the be selfish and criticise path, which does not make for pleasant reading. There's also a picture of David Deursch, one of the founders of TCS on is own Google group page smiling with his rotten teeth, which just makes me suck my gums and grimace imagining I have toothache.

I'm at the mean what you say, say what you mean, use bribery if I really really have to take dd shopping stage because she hates it and she'll scream to get out of the trolley and lie on the floor and I'll be smiling saying oh look, that lady's never seen a 2 year old before, she doesn't get out much does she....

Guess I'll have to go Google 'why is Sun a secondary source of light' and berate myself that my 2 year old does not yet know of this.

thebody Wed 20-Feb-13 21:28:19

I expect he won't take the royalties for the book either..

Hating rewards and all that crap.

Oh dear.

BertieBotts Wed 20-Feb-13 21:23:54

That makes sense Remember. And I see your point that if you didn't get along with your parents then you'd probably end up pretty fucked up, so having a good relationship is important. I just found that particular part in the book a bit, well, entitled I suppose.

Thank you Zappo blush

RememberTheGoodTimes Wed 20-Feb-13 09:02:34

TBH I got to the part where Kohn related a (hypothetical) story about a college student who was motivated, happy, had good grades, was successful etc but hated their parents and I thought "Right" and could never bring myself to read any more, because, surely, although we want our children to like us when they're grown up, you cannot place that above success and more importantly happiness.

That is actually a really big difference with AK. For him, the relationship with your child is the most IMPORTANT part, well above success for example.
It is also above 'having an obedient child'.
Not sure how you can really be happy if you don't have developed a good relationship with your own parents though. The reason is that the quality of that relationship is seen as the foundations to build a secure, well balanced child and then adult.

RememberTheGoodTimes Wed 20-Feb-13 08:58:39

Kohn explicitly says that *allowing negative natural consequences to happen when you can foresee them (even if your child does not appreciate or is stubbornly arguing with you they won't happen) : that that is a form of punishment. Tsk tsk. Whereas Natural consequences that you didn't foresee are just bad luck (i guess). And Natural consequences that your child likes are perfectly fine to endure (I guess).
Actually he doesn't say you shouldn't allow the natural consequences to happen. He say that it's not because x (eg I am hungry because I haven't eaten my lunch) happens because your child hasn't listen to you that you shouldn't help him (eg give a bland snack to help him wait until snack time/the next meal).

* Showing your disapproval is another punishment.
Well actually AK gives a nice list of ways to show your disapproval to a child so I am not sure why you think UP is against any form of disapproval (Even though it is clear that some form of disapproval are less than helpful)

* Expressing praise is bad.
What AK says is catching children being good is like giving them a verbal doggie biscuit, this is a calculated attempt to manipulate them [...] Just paying attention to what the child is doing is a form of encouragement [...] There are times where it IS appropriate to say something ... this can be done by explaining the effect of the child's actions on other people (eg That makes things so much easier for me.), inviting reflection (eg How did you come up with that way of grabbing the reader's attention?) or asking rather than judging (eg what made you decide to give some of your brownie to Derrick?)
So it isn't about not expressing praise, it's about the intention behind the praise.
Tbh there is nothing new about that. Have any of you not be caught out saying 'oh this picture is beautiful' to your child who then looks at you and says 'no, it's awful'?

* Rewards or bribery are very very bad.
Yep completely true. Because rewards and bribery are about manipulating the child so he does what you want him to do and forgetting about RESPECT (In capital as this is one of the principles of UP. treat your child with the same respect you would with anyone else, that as you would with an adult)

* Saying "I like it!" is bad. Even if that's your honest opinion of something they've done. Too much like evil Praise. Much better to lie and refrain from saying your honest opinions.
See above about praise. AK has never said that you shouldn't express your opinion. Why on earth would you want to do that. He would probably argue that you should also try to explain why you like it/think it's great but really it's about being able to differentiate praise (which has an aim, to be make the child obedient) and liking something (which your own opinion about something). The issue of course is that both are sometimes entangled.
I am also quite sure that AK would be completely against lying to your child in these circumstances....
On the other side, a lot of parents (conventional parenting) will tell their child that 'their drawing is beautiful' when it's just a mess of lines everywhere so that they won't hurt their self esteem, they can see the child is looking for approval etc... Even though they don't think that the drawing IS actually beautiful. White lies seem to be Ok then....

HilaryClinton Tue 19-Feb-13 22:06:04

Sorry, a lot more people who have sabotage their lives to get back at parents they hate compared to those who have lived well to 'Show Them'

HilaryClinton Tue 19-Feb-13 22:04:26

See I can't think of anyone that hates their parents And is happy. Short of Post-Stately-Homes therapy I can't see it happening. And I know a lot m

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