Friday, November 10, 2006

what do I know?

Posted on 12:19 AM by merrilymerrily

This little creature is currently doing her best to carve up her big brothers face, by tooth and nail- any means necessary. We've trained Rohan too well I feel (it was necessary due to regular interractions with an 'extra grace required' friend) to a point where he just looks at us helplesslywhile she has her way because she is smaller than he is and doesn't know better. 'No, I don't like it' just isn't cutting it, she takes too much delight in having so much impact on someone so much bigger than her. So why do I blog this? Because things like this send me into a 'are we doing the right thing/going about this the right way' spiral of analysis. So what do I KNOW about our parenting practices? Am I blundering through blindly? No, I don't think so. What are some things I DO I believe about raisin' young'uns? To begin with the premise that children are naturally hedonistic and sinful and your chief job as a parent is to direct them away from their sinful desires is absurd in my opinion. Why would God give the parent child interraction so many STRONG biochemical cues that make COMPLETE sense (funny that, being the creator of all) just for us to strive to overcome them? My top 'parenting' principle is not hidden in proverbs amongst the rods and spoiled children, but in 1 John 4:19 "We love him, because he first loved us." I need to get it through to my children in any way that I can that they are LOVED, I need to figure out HOW they understand that. A tiny baby just doesn't function in the same way as a miniature adult does, nor does a recalcitrant toddler, or a sulking preschooler. The closest 'theory' that I have ever found to that resonates is Dr Sears' attachment theory- which basically states that you need to give a baby everything they ask for, food when they need it, close physical contact, sleep when they are tired, and they will learn to trust you. They trust that you will respect their needs and they matter as a person and you will begin to have an open line of TWO way communication. It is from this that true discipline can begin, from a level of mutual understanding. You understanding developmentally appropriate behavior and what 'need' it is communicating to you, and they understand that you have their best interests at heart. I DON"T abide by the idea that it's an excuse to allow for 'feral' children as some may use it. It's NOT about letting children have their own way, but preserving their value as people as you go about the shaping of their character. It does need shaping- but the sinful nature in the child should not be an excuse to exercise our greater power and discount what we know about developmental psychology. What if the authoritarian model itself is a symptom of OUR sinful nature- our desire to control and to have things OUR way? Maybe it's a symptom of a broken society where people are going it alone no longer have the community support to parent how they are meant to and it has formed as a survival response? More rambling later.

1 Response to "what do I know?"

Anonymous Says....

Isn't God's system an authoritarian model? God says 'No', and if you stepped out of line you get smacked?

It's also the basically the standard model of all social animals - you need a leadership system for everything but some insects (which STILL have a queen, but we don't quite get how they communicate yet).

You've just got a well trained son who your daughter now feels that she owns :)

If he ever gets fed up and pushes her back, that may sort things out. But it's always a fun situation balancing "Never Hit Your Sister" with "Save yourself by being attacked by a blood-thirstly relative".