Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Parenting, debate and the hunger dogs
My son, cuddling a Red Dalek Talking Plush Toy. We got it last night and it is the first plush toy he took with him to bed to cuddle up with to sleep.
I think occasionally on why I don't post here that often. Part of it is just a basic matter of time, priorities and other such bits and pieces, I also think I'm stuck with an unusual lack of desire for debate on parenting.
Not too long ago, Kim posted a thought she'd had on our plans to homeschool on Facebook and this ended up with me getting into rather a row with a mutual "friend" of sorts, because I thought her comments were useless and condescending and she thought they weren't, I guess. Mind you, I think the spirit of them was deep, deep condescension, but condescending people always just think they're right and you're wrong and they're, as such being ever helpful in demonstrating that to us. That's what makes them so goddamn condescending.
What I did come to is this, though, I really don't give much of a fuck what other people think, at least in a debate sense.
This is a larger issue, mind you. I think my other blog, The Bleeding Tree, suffers of late because I've grown less interested in debating the merits of movies. I'm not uninterested in other opinions in themselves, but the give and take of debating has fallen by the wayside. The specifics of that might be its own post over there some day. Who knows?
It's not that I don't think debate can be a valuable tool and important for critical thinking, but so little of what I come around is valuable or done in the spirit of, or featuring, critical thinking. I couldn't tell you the last time I was involved in a debate I didn't feel stupider for having gotten involved in. Is that my age or is that the way people debate nowaday? Is it laziness or wisdom? Probably a bit from each cup, if I were to guess.
But Kim posted this article today, How Attachment Parenting Produces Independent Kids, and I felt compelled to share and add to it.
My brother Ian was six years old when he was adopted. He had spent a good deal of his formative years literally starving. For the rest of his childhood - and I believe as an adult he's had some success in curbing this - he was literally unable to control his compulsion to eat. He would eat meat down to the marrow. He would eat off other people's plates. And as frustrating as it could be to all of us, and we were certainly not always as understanding as we should have been or would have liked to have been.
When people suggest to me that the best way to make a child independent is to withhold some degree of attention/affection so they won't look to you, it sounds insane to me. It's a surprisingly popular theory, though. I'm incapable of making it make sense in my brain at all, though. If it works for you in your life, that's terrific for you and your child(ren).
As I said, I'm not terribly interested in debating these things and am no more interested in telling you what would or should work for you than I am in hearing you tell me what would or should work for me.
To me, I only see that if one deprives a child of their needs, they only need more. A starving child learns to take all of the food they can get, when they can get it. A child starving for attention/affection learns to take all of the attention/affection they can get, when they can get it.
I can't speak for everyone, but I know Conan is a pretty independent little guy for a two-year-old. I believe that by never make him feel he needs to worry about where attention/affection will come from next, he's able to regulate his own needs. At least he's developing that.
Sure, he gets tired and fussy sometimes and needs extra attention - hell, so do I - but generally he's happy to play on his own and solve his world with occasional breaks for cuddling and hearing a book. From my perspective, this not only is the only way that makes sense, it's the way that's working.
Like I said, if some other way works for you or those you know, I can't make sense of it, but I have no interest in debating you. What I know is that with how well this is working for our family, I have no intention of changing it. If anything, I only want to do a better job.