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HOW do you manage to parent "unconditionally" when you have more than one child?

(85 Posts)
Fillyjonk Wed 29-Oct-08 08:44:36

I am beginning to suspect that AP is all very well until you have several close in age hmm

thoughts?

Flightattendant4 Wed 29-Oct-08 08:48:08

with you entirely! Unless one sits in one place all day with them crawling all over you, while some servants do everything else. wink

Kathyis6incheshigh Wed 29-Oct-08 08:49:55

LOL this reminds me of my MIL telling me proudly that in their family, when dh was growing up, they were a 'democracy'. Yes, cos they only had one child - the parents were always going to win! There were three of us - can you imagine how that would have turned out? grin

Fillyjonk Wed 29-Oct-08 08:51:06

am up for the servants

but am noticing a worrying trend on the AP lists I am on, for the most evangelical proponets of Burning Your Bjorn to have only 1, 7 month old child

hmm

oh arse have i done it all wrong?

ShePeeTeePee Wed 29-Oct-08 08:54:10

It's whatever gets you through the day when you have a baby and a toddler. More tv than I could ever have imagined in our case!

ScummyMummy Wed 29-Oct-08 08:54:19

All these parenting theories go pear shaped when you add 2 or a few children into the mix, I reckon. I've seen loads of posts from Gina Ford followers saying " Help! Toddler group is at the very time when baby2 requires sleep in a quiet dark room! WWYD?" over the years too. I'm sure your kids will get the gist that you're attached to them and think they're great even if you can't follow the A Ping rules precisely.

Fillyjonk Wed 29-Oct-08 08:57:40

lol, is it that AP theories rae just as much about selling books to first timers as GF?

Suuuuuuurely not ;-)

I always feel bloody inadequate around my friends with 1 kid though, as they sit there patiently explaining why dc must get into the car and I am just gibbering at the bus stop and saying "now...need...home...now..."

stayinbed Wed 29-Oct-08 08:59:02

i don't think unconditional parenting and AP are the same thing. i started of APing with dd1 and indeed when dd2 came along wasnt' able to have her sleep in my bed so instead she slept in the cot next to me.

today dd2 sleeps very well on her own which is great for me but i still think that dd1's sleeping with us had a very positive effect on her.

dd3 is now coming along and i don't plan to have her in our bed even though the benefits, because i need my sanity to be able to function!

either way i lean towards the unconditional parenting with both children, it is just a matter of your nature and what you beleive in or have experienced yourself, but attachment is a different thing IMO

Flightattendant4 Wed 29-Oct-08 09:03:48

It is really hard and I think genuinely impossible at times. I don't think it is something being 'sold' to us in the same way as, ahem, some other parenting techniques. wink
I mean I am sure there are those profiting from it, but initially I think most of us get into it because we believe so strongly that it is right - and then we find out that others feel the same way and there's a name for it, iyswim.

I am also guilty of gibbering at many bus stops. grin

ScummyMummy Wed 29-Oct-08 09:05:06

Your kids will come to love "now..need.home..now" though! Mine hate me wittering earnestly and reasonably to thwm more than anything else in the world. They much prefer a bit of snappy (me) stroppy (them) drama to spice up the day. They know that if I get serious and explanatory they are in for a long boring old ride of moralising shite that I cannot stop once started.

Flightattendant4 Wed 29-Oct-08 09:07:01

Lol Scummy, ds hates it too. As soon as I begin with the 'Listen, love, come here, now..' he just droops his head and starts to try to escape.

I think I am doing it wrong...

Flightattendant4 Wed 29-Oct-08 09:07:42

It is probably the cue to run when I crouch. grin

Notanexcitingname Wed 29-Oct-08 09:21:46

I agree with stayinbed that AP and UC are not necessarily one and the same, although there is a lot of cross-over.

This is something I've been pondering too, as I'm expecting my second, was brought up along UC lines(not that my mum knew that grin), and wondering how it'll work.
Would explain why my mum could never understand how anyone could have more than one child!

I think the answer is that one has to try, and stick to the principals. So if you do have to drag them into the car, you do so apologetically, rather than in a "my word is law" kind of way. At the end of the day there are still only 24 hours in one day, and only so many explanations that will fit in.

Of course, having one and a bump is very different to having two. So I reserve the right to find out I'm wrong wink

Fillyjonk Wed 29-Oct-08 15:41:39

so what is the difference between AP and UC then?

am rather puzzled by this

Fillyjonk Wed 29-Oct-08 15:51:49

I mean, to me Unconditional Parenting is just Alfie Kohn. Which is surely Attatchment Parenting.

I love Alfie Kohn but he is bloody USELESS as far as sibling stuff goes, IMO. (I know he has 2 kids but they are about 5 years apart...which I think is a different ball game, tbh, to, say, 2-3 years gap)

Isn't AP all about carrying them in slings, co-sleeping, not leaving them to cry i.e no CC/sleep-training techniques, whereas UP is about bringing them up to do things by explaining/reasoning, not resorting to punishment/reward techniues like naughty steps/reward charts.

I suppose AP is for babies/young toddlers and UP starts being used when they are older.

Thats how i understand them anyway although i could be completely confused.

Fillyjonk Wed 29-Oct-08 15:56:10

I thought both were about forming strong attatchments by working with a child's needs,taking cues from them and generally not seeing them as an adversary.

so for a young baby that would be slings

for an older child that would be reasoning, etc.

I am usually very pro whatever it is that I do (AP or UC or whatever) but god I am exhausted atm by it all. 3 kids is too many not to be shouty, imo.

Yeah thats what i meant. I think you worded it better (and shorter) than me.

scattyspider Wed 29-Oct-08 16:01:40

I think most rigid 'parenting approachs' fall apart when you have 2 or more children.
Even the 'how to talk' stuff is very difficult to do when you have 2 small children talking at you continuously!

juuule Wed 29-Oct-08 16:30:07

Is UP rigid parenting? I think it's pretty flexible. In what way is it rigid? I'm beginning to wonder whether I use UP after all. Most of what I've read seems to support that I do but sometimes some things I read on here don't.<confused>

Scatty, when you have 2 or more children talking at you at the same time, then I would tell them all to be quiet and take turns so that I could hear what they were saying. Mine usually respond to that. If they don't (which sometimes they don't) then I don't say anything until they quieten down. (either that or run off screaming, tearing my hair out wink)

AbbeyA Wed 29-Oct-08 16:45:53

I think it best not to read all the theories!
I go for instinct and what suits us. What works well with one DC may not work with another.

Lazycow Wed 29-Oct-08 16:49:23

Fillyjonk
I have always said the same myself and I only have one. I do think it is very very hard unless the gap is at least 3-4 years (nearer 4 really)

Mind you the father of AP Dr Sears had 8 I believe - hence I always take what he writes with an enormous pinch of salt nowadays.

AbbeyA Wed 29-Oct-08 16:55:03

If the method only works with one DC it isn't a good method IMO. It should work equally well if you have 6 children, if not it means that the DC is very spoilt and self centred.
I don't think you can beat a bit of benign neglect. I always felt sorry for my DS1 when he was an only DC, it was much healthier when he had siblings and I wasn't free to meet every need.

Fillyjonk Wed 29-Oct-08 18:44:07

i think benign neglect is great actually. its a really good thing to know you CAN look after yourself.

i am basically feeling guilt tripped by perfect parents of only children who manage to do exotic things like spending quality time with them wink.

I know really you get on with it and I do think the benefits of siblings massively, massively, overwhelmingly outweigh the negatives for most children...I just feel that I am hugely failing at spending 8 hours engaging in complex debate with my 3 year old over the merits of baked beans over cheese on toast, and I am kind of getting the impression that that is what any good mother should be doing with her day.

lljkk Wed 29-Oct-08 18:50:06

Mine will NOT be quiet in turns.

Actually, the older ones can do it, but the 4yo hasn't a clue. We are trying so hard and pretty much failing to get him to just be quiet a MOMENT while I listen to the others tell me something.

And don't even ask the baby to let somebody else's needs take precedence, either.

I would say AP is about babies, UP is for children you can reason with. Actually, i think AP is doable but UP does my head in -- it seems to rely on some theoretical possibility that one's offspring aren't selfish little soul-sucking emotionally draining vampires (given the slightest opportunity on their part).

Have been emailing with my cousin who has just booted her youngest teenager out, can you tell?? grin

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