Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Parenting Handout Required? Part One

I keep getting asked the same questions by the same relatives, especially one, so that I can be talked over, ignored and then she has an opener for a two hour session of her saying what I do wrong by using respectful /unconditional parenting practice. I started writing a pamphlet to hand her, until posting it on Greenparent realised after someone pointed it out that if I defended myself I was giving her the upper hand and making her think I had something to defend! It also came tomy attention that while she spends so much time stating that my son has no boundaries, she is the one without boundaries, and certainly without respect. Ouch.

But I shall share some of my answers - see if they are useful or you can add to them!

1. You're obviously not doing a good job parenting, look how unhappy your son is, he needs boundaries. I know much better than you, explain why you won't listen?The reason why my son has been unhappy the last 6-14 months are reflective of a huge change in our lives ( arrival of two babies) the fact we are generally unsupported, isolated and alone. He is mirroring my behaviour.

Any mother who has no emotional support would really struggle. Typically mothers left to be unsupported are much more likely to abuse their children and commit infanticide.

Since having J I have received little acceptance or support. While you may consider that untrue, from my perspective, acceptance means leaving someone to be as they are without withdrawing approval, attention and without criticism.

I am presently at the stage of considering moving to an area where I can find emotional support, alloparents and more likeminded networks. I feel that I don't really know myself, having always been so sensitive to pleasing others, I often just feel torn, "wrong" and I guess I am just components of what everyone I have ever met who told me I should or shouldn't be or do.

2. Why don't you punish him (i.e. dominating and controlling children) he is crying and at his age he shouldn't / he wet the bed/ helped himself to something out the fridge/ doesn't want to wear the shirt I just bought him ? :
Here is an article about the cost of shame: (basis of your parenting style)

We live in a control dominated society. Most parents styles use control to make children behave in a manner that fits with the adults belief system. Children are manipulated with shame (i.e you're too big to do that), praise, rewards and punishments. Praise and punishments are different sides of the same coin.

Most parents believe the assumption. . that children need to be controlled, shaped, taught. They believe that nature is wrong.

Throughout history minority groups in the USA and empire (disabled, Asian, Irish, gay, lesbian, women, etc) have been considered uncivilised and unable to make their own decisions and have been controlled. I believe this historic injustice is still alive today in the ill treatment of children.

Babies are born able to crawl to their mother's breast, they know how to breathe, they know to communicate their needs. They know when they are hungry, when they need to be held, they know how to heal themselves with crying, they know when they want to start eating and how to learn to crawl and walk. But adults interfere because they were controlled as children, that is all they know, they believe it is the only way). They were never trusted so they are scared to trust their own instincts, and the children who share their lives.

Babies are forced onto schedules and well-meaning midwives tell us they "should" go through the night at this age, they shouldn't cry to be held, at night they "shouldn't" need mummy so they "should" be left to cry, they "should" sleep away from their mother, and they "shouldn't" trust their own body to know what and when they want to eat solids so adults innocently give them unidentifiable mash and coerce and bribe them to eat.

And this control gets worse as the baby turns into a toddler, worse as the toddler turns into a child. There are no tantrums in a loving respectful mother-child relationship. There might be frustrations and expressions that a mother is in tune with, but the child is always right.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Mama Verte.
    This is an interesting new blog format...kind of like a page out of an essay?

    I really, really feel for you in that you do not have a support network or even an accepting family who won't criticize you. I am in a similar situation, except that I am rarely criticized as cruelly as you are.

    Perhaps you are not looking for advice, but I might I suggest that you are likely wasting your energy by looking for ways to explain your parenting style to this woman. She is not going to be convinced, no matter what you say or do.

    Instead, ask yourself why it bothers you enough to want to defend or explain yourself? Is it because you hold the belief that because she is your relative she should support you? The truth is that she CAN'T support you because she doesn't agree with you! If you let go of the belief that she SHOULD support you, then you can free yourself of this misery.

    Do you hold the belief that she deserves a relationship with your children? Why, if all she wants to do is hurt them and you? Letting go of that belief too will free you to focus on relationships that actually add to the well-being of you and your children.

    Dear friend, you deserve to be living a life of freedom and joy. Would you like to begin an email-conversation with me about this topic? I would be so pleased to offer you some support and connection.