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Author Topic:   How young is "too young"?
b4rry
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posted October 27, 2002 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Quick interjection:

If "true love" was required before any sex, would there still be a human race?

If "hidden agendas" in relationships were illegal, how many of us would be outside jail?

My point? Let's not carry things too far towards any extreme of "logic."

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b4rry
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posted October 27, 2002 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
(Wow, I bumped it to 200.)

Meaning:

In the *****n of incestuous relationships there's certainly two tendencies [b[after the fact[/b]:

  • To become fixated on it, thusly either repeating or fleeing it.
  • To reinterpret it as its clarity fades with distance from being in its moment and the influences of our common cultural taboo raise doubts.

Neither of these are fully healthy.

But can we apply some of the same priciples to any relationship? Yes. In fact, we do it all the time. Like all relationships, they often start, progress and end including something other than what we'd normally call "true love," and they leave their mark on the participants. Incestuous relationships simply carry much greater strength in potentialities.

No one's going to change how people begin their relationships; it'll still happen in diverse ways. Neither will anyone change much how some relationships progress and end. (And now I'm not just talking about sexual relationships.) I applaud, however, those parents who try hard in all ways possible to give their children diverse and strong skills in interpersonal relations since I often suspect one's set of such skills is extremely impotant to the outcome of one's person-to-person situations throughout life and to how one deals with them. (This actually could be spun off as its own thread.)

Daddy: I wonder if Chloe's present situation strongly ties to the doubts she now has regarding her childhood.

Ruby: Can you tell us your opinion of your son's journey from being your lover to having his own stable marriage? It sounds like something "went right." Can you share with us what you think it was?

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Daddy
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posted October 27, 2002 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by b4rry:
(Wow, I bumped it to 200.)

Meaning:

In the *****n of incestuous relationships there's certainly two tendencies [b[after the fact:

  • To become fixated on it, thusly either repeating or fleeing it.
  • To reinterpret it as its clarity fades with distance from being in its moment and the influences of our common cultural taboo raise doubts.

Neither of these are fully healthy.

But can we apply some of the same priciples to any relationship? Yes. In fact, we do it all the time. Like all relationships, they often start, progress and end including something other than what we'd normally call "true love," and they leave their mark on the participants. Incestuous relationships simply carry much greater strength in potentialities.

No one's going to change how people begin their relationships; it'll still happen in diverse ways. Neither will anyone change much how some relationships progress and end. (And now I'm not just talking about sexual relationships.) I applaud, however, those parents who try hard in all ways possible to give their children diverse and strong skills in interpersonal relations since I often suspect one's set of such skills is extremely impotant to the outcome of one's person-to-person situations throughout life and to how one deals with them. (This actually could be spun off as its own thread.)

Daddy: I wonder if Chloe's present situation strongly ties to the doubts she now has regarding her childhood.

Ruby: Can you tell us your opinion of your son's journey from being your lover to having his own stable marriage? It sounds like something "went right." Can you share with us what you think it was?[/B]


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Damn, this is fine stuff, B! Really sharp, potent questions and points you ask raise here. Be really good to get some equally rich answers as we go into our 9th page of this incredibly long threat. Seems this is the #1 concern of at least the post-ers here. That might be a good question to go into too, why this is the longest thread.

I will get back to you on these questions. I have a lot of "homework" to do in this and the other thread, but I have a project I am working on in the less interesting real world. Back soon.


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Daddy
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posted October 27, 2002 05:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Daddy:
[B] +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

That word was "thread" not "threat".

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Ruby
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posted October 28, 2002 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ruby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why I think my son has had a successful marriage? There are a number of reasons, I think. He had time after our relationship ended to be involved with a number of young ladies while in college. He didn't marry until after he was out of college, and established in his career. His wife is a terrific woman, and they have terrific kids. Now, I realize that everything isn't perfect in any relationship, but my son has had what I would consider to be a successful marriage.

I also believe the time he shared with me prepared him for living with his wife. He had already been involved in a monogamous relationship for a number of years, and had lived with me the whole time. There were insights he had into women that someone that has not been there wouldn't know. (And obviously, those insights into me came about because of our intimacy, and he wouldn't have seen them otherwise).

I believe those to be the primary reasons his marriage has been successful.

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b4rry
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posted January 05, 2003 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is the 'King' of threads here, but hasn't been touched in awhile. So I'm bumping it back into view.

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lazy_boy*
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posted January 05, 2003 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lazy_boy*     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kids play doctor , I was sexually active with other kids as soon as I could think and react , I wanted to be with adults at a young age but my mind never wandered into the adult realms before I hit puberty .

Adults should wait until a youth is 16 I think .

The hard part is deciding if kids can play doctor , brothers and sisters is a classic senarior with incest and it's just like the farm at times .

What outside stimulous is prompting the kids to be sexually active , that's why leaving them alone till they are 16 keeps em healthy and happy .

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SecretAgentMan
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posted January 05, 2003 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SecretAgentMan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think picking an arbitrary age for someone to be "ready" for anything, not just sex, just doesn't work. America specifically, has a tendency to ignore problems caused by the arbitrary ages for things. A paralell situation is that of alcohol, in Europe, the people are allowed to drink at any age, but cannot drive until age 18 and must go thru very rigorous (sp?) testing before being awarded their license. While I do not have any solid data to back up the following statement, it does make logical sense to me and seems to be evident. In europe, the number of alcohol related automobile accidents is lower than in america, because, as youths, the majority of europeans were taught to drink responsibly. This carrys over to a certain degree in sex. I had intercourse for the first time at age 15, I do not regret it and I believe that I was mentally mature enough to handle it. There are others at that age who could not handle it, it should be taken on an individual basis, however, the nature of our large government does not allow for that, hence the age 18 laws.

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Daddy
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posted January 10, 2003 03:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SecretAgentMan:

The issue is "readiness". The meaning of being ready has to do with "informed consent": having enough life experience and the mental/emotional capacity to evaluate that experience rationally, in a balanced way, as whether taking a course of action is serving one's own needs, the needs of another partner, the probable consequences, comparing the liklihood with what one has observed happening to others around one in a similar situation, evaluating the ethical, moral or religious, not to mention legal, implications, the impact on not only oneself but others around one, and not only at the moment but as far as one reasonably can tell for years into the future. These are some of the processes going on when gathering information in order to make an "informed consent".

If you can do this at 5 years old, 10 years old, and at 55 years old, then you are ready. Not til then. If you cannot determine if the young person has this kind of capacity, and if that person him/herself does not know if they have this capacity, then there is no informed consent and that person is not ready.

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notmyfault
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posted January 17, 2003 01:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for notmyfault     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, I know this sounds morally reprehensible, but it has occurred to me. Consent, Conschment. Check it: Do we consent to learn to be poddy-trained, tie our shoes, or any number of things that our parents benefit by. Later we benefit, but when I'm three, I don't mind filling my pants. I guess my point is, our parents MANIPULATE the shite out of us. They are constantly trying to shape our behavoir for what they feel will help us in life. Soooo, if they feel that putting vibrators on our parts when we are young, will start us early to orgasms, and making orgasms a part of our household, like a tennis racket being put in the hand of Tracy Austin at 3 (and the treats she got to keep it there), and that this will result in healthy, wealthy and wise individuals, I really don't get the consent thing. The deal is, if you are constantly manipulating your kid into something he clearly does not want to do, and that will clearly harm him, then I have a problem. There was an NFL quarterback who just lost it. Literally. Went stark raving bonkers because Daddy had been pushing him to be an NFL quarterback since day one. Clearly too much. Swing that pendulum back. But, on the other hand, you have major leaguers who say, yes my dad manipulated and pushed me, but I appreciated it later. Tricky thing. But I think this overwhelming facination with "consent" with out children is not the issue. I think the issue is: is it bad. If I lovingly introduce my kind into orgasms and touching etc., but he then can never have adult relationships with other, carries around a choo choo train of baggage, and various other things, then you say: hmmm, bad this incest. But if we could somehow prove that incest makes people as healthy as eating your broccoli every day, then who cares how momma maniulated you to get there. There are precious few unmanipulated moments of anything in this world, and even less between parent and child. Everything going on in that realtionship, especially early, is geared toward shaping behavior. To me, what's important is, does the behavior serve a purpose in the world. It's a good idea not to walk around with your pants full of dung, so yeah, I'm all forward whatever tricks you need to do (within reason, I'm not talking B.F. Skinner box here), to get that to happen. And if it's found that Incest Family of loving, hugging and rubbing each other's parts can then go out and function in the world on a happy level and have mates and such, then I don't care if Daddy started putting the vibrator on our parts in the cradle. The slap to the buttocks brings breath ...

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Daddy
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posted January 17, 2003 03:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well said and compelling thoughts.

However, unfortunately, matters between human beings are not usually so clear as you suggest. We live in the "grey" zone. I have interviewed many people here in order to answer some of these questions. I am learning that some experiences that were seemingly acceptable to the person at the time (childhood) are not acceptable to that person later, on reflection. What do you say about this? Or, that the incest occurred because the parent wanted it, not the child, and the child just went along so as to "please" the parent, or out of fear. What kind of consent is this?

You use potty training. Good example. There are a lot of messed up adults who actually were potty-trained too early. They are called "anal compulsive" (not jokingly). Real anal compulsives are often over-controlled and over-controlling. They tend to be "uptihgt", hold in anger and other feelings. They, and others who relate to them, pay the price of that early upbringing. This is a good example for another reason. The potty training gets done too early because the parents' needs are being served, not the child's. They are sick of the diaper business.

On the other hand, I know a mother who never trained her little boy. One day he walked over to his mother and said, "Mom, I am a big boy now and I am going to potty myself." He did. He pooped. He wiped. He walked.

Same thing with his breast-feeding. He breast-fed longer than most mothers would allow, or than the "book" said. Finally, he said one day, "I don't want to do that anymore, I am big now." And that was that.

Same thing with this boy's walking. His mother never urged him to walk, to get up off the floor and stagger-walk, etc., the way most parents do. Psychologists usually believe the child will grow up with learning and coordination problems (developmental retardation of sorts) if the child does not crawl before he walks. Not necessarily so. This boy never crawled. He rolled. All over the place. His mother, a dancer, just let him do his thing. Then, she said, one day he just got it together, got up and walked.

The point is: the child knows what it needs and when it needs it. The parent's job is to take his/her cue from the child. Very few parents trust their child enough to do this; they over-control. They do not trust their child because they do not trust themselves,thanks to their own upbringing.

There was a time not long ago when psychologists and doctors actually believed infants had no emotions because their brains were not yet fully developed. One has to wonder whose brain was not fully developed!

I suggest the child knows when it is ready for sexual activity. We do not need to "get them to do it early". Early according to whom? The child, or the lusting adult? Who is the child's body for--the child, or the parent? What kind of love is it that rushes nature? Instead of trying, lovingly, to understand the nature and needs of that young human being?

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b4rry
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posted January 17, 2003 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Daddy, I know you're not going to like this, but what you say reminds me of those kids that want to decide what classes, what subjects to take in school. Not surprisingly, most of those self-deciders would get the easiest workload they could.

Letting someone who does not know yet have complete control over what they are to learn is foolish. After all, how can they know what might be important to them when they don't know?

So let's not try dismissing NotMyFault's points so quickly.

Every human needs to learn some things in order to become functional adults. It is the parents' (and all around's) job to keep that goal in mind. Problems come when the goal is forgotten or taken to extremes.

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inkaboutit
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posted January 17, 2003 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for inkaboutit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We teach our children shame of their body. From the beginning we put cloth on them to always cover their "private parts". We hide our "private parts" in shame from others and teach that to our children. Children want to walk around nude when it is hot, but we make them put cloth on.

If we see our Children rub their "private parts", we tell them not to.

We hide behind locked doors to have sex and not let children see what we are doing.

After a child goes to the Doctor and they expose and touch their "private parts" , then child may go hide in a "private place" to explore the opposite sex "private parts" (play doctor) and feel shame and guilt for uncovering theirs and another "private parts".

If very young children at a very early age, saw us masturbate, with no shame or guilt, then they would want to copy us. Or If they see us having sex with our spouse they would try to copy us. If we masturbate each other in front of them, they would copy us.

Just like the example used, the child see other children his own size and age walking around so he decide also to stand up and start walking. They sees other children go to the potty by themselves, so he decides to copy them.

The same thing about shame and guilt. We and they copy this from others. If they grow up in a nudist camp they have no shame or guilt about nudity, until they go out in public and someone laughs at them for being nude.

Same thing with sex. We are taught shame and guilt. If young children see the parents always have sex openly in front of them with no shame or guilt, they would copy and have sex with brothers and sisters in the open with no shame or guilt, until they go out in public and someone laughs at them and causes shame and guilt.

In the real old day the whole family would sleep in the same bed. Did parent have sex at night with children right next to them? Did Indians sleeping in one big teepee have sex with their women with children watching?

We teach shame and guilt over nudity and sexuality, because we were taught shame and guilt from our parents.

If a parent do not teach this shame and guilt to their children, then we or the government would call that child abuse and take the children away from them and someone would teach the children shame and guilt over nudity and sexuality. This is part of the old Gnostic Heresy that teaches that the body is evil.

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b4rry
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posted January 17, 2003 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure most children, if totally left to their devices, would grow into healthy adults. Likewise, though, the world is full of examples of children who've been overly directed by their parents and others. In both cases it seems the children end up missing part of the overall picture, some lessons they need to learn, some experiences they need to have. As a general principle I think direction of a child's growth should come when they're actually on the verge of something. At that juncture they're close enough to being ready to learn/do/experience that they'll digest it decently, especially with the additional input of a wise parent.

Its interesting, though: potty training isn't exactly parallel to sex in an adult's mind, but the dissimilarity decreases the younger a child is. Let's face it, body play to the very young just isn't usually considered/viewed as sex play. However, no adult should take my last statement as license to engage a young youth in adult sex play; their bodies, minds and emotions just aren't ready for adult play. They aren't even close to being on the verge of those life lessons being appropriate or something they can handle in a manner that builds towards a fully healthy adulthood.

Keep in tune with your kids, helping them towards the goal of growing up. Don't overly do or don't do raise them.

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Daddy
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posted January 18, 2003 03:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
B, I know you are not going to like this, but I think you miss my point. Notmyfault is not distinguishing between the child's instincts, inner wisdom (call what you will), his/her built-in needs that "know" what they need and when they need and know when they are satisfied...from acquired knowledge.

Nobody would say the child has to be taught to suckle at the breast. Most people would say the child has to be taught--either by accidental experience or, better, by parental proscription--not to stick their tongues in electric sockets. They come equipped knowing how to use their mouths to suckle mother's breast but are not equipped to know not to lick electric outlets. Natural needs need only be responded to by mother, in this example, and situational or social and other needs require parental teaching. The trick is to know the difference. The argument comes down to the specifics of whether the child has a need to be taught sex--when it is a child! That is Notmyfault's point and the one I was responding to.

Your reply is sensible from a general, abstract, not really on-topic, perspective, B. Take your position a step to an extreme: Should children be taught terrorism in school? How early should their training begin? I know you would not agree with this proposition. Yet, it is an example of your dictum that "every human being needs to learn some things" in order to function. Little terrorists need to be started young if they are going to make it in this fast-paced world.

Serioulsy: the question is: what things, in order to function how, and does the child already know better than the adult what it needs to function?

Let me take your example of school. Are you acquainted with Summerhill? Back in the 1960s, I believe, a school was set up in England by a benevolent and farout educator, A.S Neill. In his book of the same name, he describes this school that was set up totally democratically, wherein the students decided when and if they were going to classes and, to a large degree, what courses they took, although the regular curriculum was, I believe, required. They shared the running of the school with the teachers. Of course, most people said what you said: anarchy. How did it turn out? A great many students did not go to classes, sometimes for years. Some were incredibly snail-paced by the standard of children who were driven by their teachers ordinarily. However, in the end, most children, if not all, attended when they were ready. And they learned swiftly and well and developed great passion and confidence. And they often surpassed expectations on college entrance exams. In essence, A.S. Neill's school Summerhill showed that children love to learn and do well when they are not forced. These were not exceptional children, by the way.

Now, your point could be argued the other way: kids who never go to school and never learn. You have to realize, as I am sure you do, nearly no school is like Summerhill. In most schools, kids are not honoured and encouraged to make up their own minds. They are usually forced and shaped and moulded. I can understand why these kids would want to rebel or die of boredom. Some of the most intelligent kids are, of course, bored to death in regular school.

Also, on the topic of "the child knows what it needs and the parents need usually only follow their cue": all normal squalling babies know what they need and their needs are simple. Food, burping, changing, love, eye contact and lots of affectionate touching. But few parents retain contact with their own needs through childhood on to adulthood. When they raise their children, they really have very little direct awareness of their own "inner child". If they did retain this awareness, they would understand much more completely and accurately the needs of their own child.

By the time most of us are adults, we believe we need what we have been taught we need, or we believe we do not need what we really do need. We are, in a word, conditioned and our emotions very repressed.

We adults who have lost touch with our own emotions and needs, have trouble feeling or believing in our child's emotions and needs. We are taught that we must teach the child to love, for example! I can remember my father insisting that I had to "learn" to love. He made loving an obligation. He was right: I did need to learn to love. However, that was because the glowing, beaming love every infant radiates to everyone within eyeshot had been repressed in me due to my upbringing. Point being, love would not have to be "relearned" if it was just allowed to grow in the child from day one. And, love certainly cannot be commanded as a duty. All that the parents can do or have to do to "teach" love is to BE loving. Love grows from love into more love.

I sensed that even as a youngster and, being so verbal (had you noticed?), I tried to argue with my father. I lost, and so we both lost. He would not listen to a "mere child". If he had, I firmly believe our whole family would have been a happier place for us all. I forgive him and try to do better myself.

Does this make sense? That there is inner "knowledge" already in the child and needs not to be taught, only encouraged with interest and love. That there are a wholly different class of things that are not present and need to be taught from outside. That the parent's job is to respond to the two categories in totally different ways. To respond to the child's inborn needs with the the parent's own instinctually provided response from nature. To respond to the social or situational needs with expert guidance that in no way surpresses the child's inborn needs. This distinction is crucial in raising a healthy child, in my opinion.

Now to the matter of sex and incest. I maintain that sexual response, like all inborn response patterns, is developmental. It is not there, then it grows and then it is there. Sensuality preceeds true genitality or sexuality. The child's inborn curiosity and pursuit of pleasure leads it naturally to touch itself, including its marvellously sensitive genitals. But, until the pelvis and other sexual characteristics are fully developed and hormones flowing in a sexually mature mix, full genitality has not been reached. In the best of all worlds, physical development would go hand-in-hand with emotional or psychological development and understanding. Here is where parents can help--with understanding and teaching. That does not necessarily mean sexually initiating the child.

One of the complicating factors in physiological maturity in the past decade or so, is that contaminants from the environment--known as "xenoestrogens", or estrogen-like substances resembling the primary female sex hormone--are entering all of our bodies via the food chain, water, air, etc. The early development of breasts, pubic hair, menstruation--as early as 4 or 5 years old!--has never before happened in human history. These are mere children whose hormones (mostly synthetic hormones from the outside) are overloaded, beyond normal limits, and are forcing physiological maturity on a body before it can possibly be mature mentally. This leads to the temptation, in some adults and children, to very early incestual activities. Of course there are other motivating factors, but this is one--estrogen overload--that many do not know about.

This event can lead some adults to conclude that these over-estrogenated young female children are simply naturally sexual, or that all children (even non-over-estrogenated ones) must be naturally sexual at the age of 4, 5, or whatever. I am talking sexual as in genitally mature, not merely sensual and curious.

The fact these precocious children are not prepared psychologically only adds to these adults' belief that these children "should be taught young" about sex. What should happen, in my view, is a medical/dietary ridding of the system of excess estrogen in these children. Estrogen overload causes marked increase in the liklihood of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and ovarian cysts in women, as the recent scandal over the Women's Health Initiative Study proved when participants (adult women on estogen replacement therapy with premarin) began dying of these diseases in alarming numbers. In the same way, children started on xeno-estrogen from the environment, and having even more decades to be in estrogen-overload--have just that much more chance of early death.

The final point I want to reiterate is that plenty of incest begins because the parent wants to satisfy personal lust, loneliness, or other personal motive such as power (speaking of cross-generational incest). This has nothing to do with the child's needs at all. An approach of this kind from the parent can easily result in the child acquiring the need to please the lusting parent, and the child learns to confuse lust with so-called "love". This is a confusion that persists in every kind of sexual relationship, not only incest.

Notmyfault has not, in my opinion, thought far enough into this issue, but his very articulate discussion is highly provocative of further thought and perhaps debate, as is your remark.

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Daddy
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posted January 18, 2003 03:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Inkaboutit: You say it so well. How shame, guilt, fear are taught, and the child's natural curiosity and sensuality become repressed. You wonder if it were better in more natural environments. I wonder too. I hear a sombreness to your tone, by which I imagine you really regret that there is this heavy-handed cultural attitude.

As to incest, you notice that I have never supported either the taboo or the breaking of the taboo. I invite investigating both sides. I also do not advocate breaking the law at any time. It also seems natural to me that siblings might experiment. I think there is destructive incest just as there are destructive relationships of any other kind.

When there is no love and respect, there is a kind of abuse, whether it expresses itself physically or psychologically. The question I have been raising lately is: what, really, is love? That is the first question. My guess is that, if there were more love, there would be less incest. Not that there cannot be loving incest--where there is no exploitation. Just that love would not be confused with exploitation.

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b4rry
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posted January 18, 2003 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Daddy:

...snip...

Your reply is sensible from a general, abstract, not really on-topic, perspective, B. Take your position a step to an extreme: Should children be taught terrorism in school? How early should their training begin? I know you would not agree with this proposition. Yet, it is an example of your dictum that "every human being needs to learn some things" in order to function. Little terrorists need to be started young if they are going to make it in this fast-paced world.

...snip...


Before I even finish reading the rest of this I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not consider learning to perform terrorist acts of any sort something a child needs in order to become a healthy adult -- and my previous words do not stretch to such a extreme conclusion as supporting children learning to be terrorists as a means to be healthy adults!

Daddy, saying such just was not fair at all!

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b4rry
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posted January 18, 2003 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beyond that one passage, though, Daddy you sound like you're pretty much in agreement with me, just using many more words to say it.

The goal should always be to raise children into healthy adults, keeping adult guidance in sync with the child's growth and real needs at each step of the way. Some lessons are very constructive to a child's survival and must be lovingly but surely taught before the survival question arises, of course. But non-survival lessons should be guided soully with an eye to the child becoming his/her own best person, not your best person.

Yes, this is abstract. It is meant as a principle, not a detailed roadmap.

Also: Sexuality must always be regarded as at an individual's discression. In no situation should someone else force, coerce or manipulate someone into any sort of sexual expression. Such is always disrespectful and unloving -- and hence abusive -- to the other.

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Daddy
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posted January 18, 2003 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
!

Daddy, saying such just was not fair at all![/B][/QUOTE]

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

B, of course not. You know I was making a point as to the logic, or how a generality can be stretched to surround anything somebody wants to do or to justify. That is what generalizations always do, how they can be misused. It is also a style of debate, to take a statement to an absurd extreme. I had hoped that this one was SO extreme that nobody would believe it.

It is NOT fair to you, if you or any reader takes my "stretching" seriously. I never meant to even hint that you would espouse training child terrorists! Of course not!

I hope we are not to the point where we have to solemnly swear in each of our posts: "I do not espouse..." or whatever.

I do not come from the US, as you know. Maybe I underestimated the impact of the words "terrorist" and "children", and how much more powerful and offensive putting the two together would be...and then putting all this in response to your post. Maybe some of this is because I am not living in America, where the meaning of these words is 100 times stronger than it is in Canada.

Please accept my heartfelt apology, B4rry.

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Daddy
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posted January 18, 2003 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[QUOTE]Originally posted by b4rry:
[B]Beyond that one passage, though, Daddy you sound like you're pretty much in agreement with me, just using many more words to say it.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
B, yes, I do agree. The reason I may seem to belabour my point quite often is that I always want to make clear distinctions, show some examples to justify my distinctions, and maybe resort to personal experience in order to give the message that, for me, what I am saying comes from having lived through whatever it is I am talking about. Or, that I have spoken at some length to somebody who has lived through it. In other words, my general conclusions come by way of hopefully numerous examples from real life and are, therefore, not abstract. This takes a lot of words sometimes. Sorry, B.

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b4rry
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posted January 18, 2003 05:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Daddy:
!

Daddy, saying such just was not fair at all!


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

B, of course not. You know I was making a point as to the logic, or how a generality can be stretched to surround anything somebody wants to do or to justify. That is what generalizations always do, how they can be misused. It is also a style of debate, to take a statement to an absurd extreme. I had hoped that this one was SO extreme that nobody would believe it.

It is NOT fair to you, if you or any reader takes my "stretching" seriously. I never meant to even hint that you would espouse training child terrorists! Of course not!

I hope we are not to the point where we have to solemnly swear in each of our posts: "I do not espouse..." or whatever.

I do not come from the US, as you know. Maybe I underestimated the impact of the words "terrorist" and "children", and how much more powerful and offensive putting the two together would be...and then putting all this in response to your post. Maybe some of this is because I am not living in America, where the meaning of these words is 100 times stronger than it is in Canada.

Please accept my heartfelt apology, B4rry.

[/B][/QUOTE]

Remember this past summer when I use the same technique in repsonse to Honeychile's "no one in theri right mind..."? She hated me thereafter.

However, I still don't see how my words could be stretched as you think you stretched them. Please carefully reread my statements preceding yours. How is teaching a child terrorism exclusively to that child's benefit in becoming and living as a healthy adult? The one just cannot follow the other. Child terrorists don't live!

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notmyfault
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posted January 22, 2003 05:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for notmyfault     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
two points in my previous post:
1) balance; and 2) current thesis not related to ultimate truth.

If your children line up by height to a whistle is that an extreme? (see Von Trapps, id., 1969) If your child goes to bed when it NATURALLY wants to, eats what it NATURALLY wants to, says what it NATURALLy wants to, do you have a NATURAL extreme brat?

My parents made my older sibs sit at the table and stare at their tomato. My sisters hate tomatoes to this day.

When it came to me, they only asked that I ate things new. Gave a taste.

Balance. Pendulum.

We are the most manipulative species on the earth. We manipulate streams, we pierce our ears, we change our destinies. F*** our opposable thumb, it is our ability to navigate things NATURAL that makes us Human. We do not wait for the apple to fall off the tree, we design it to last over shipping from South America.

My point was: to deny this reality is absurd. AND: to use this reality as a FINAL argument, is equally absurd.

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Daddy
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posted January 22, 2003 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by b4rry:
Remember this past summer when I use the same technique in repsonse to Honeychile's "no one in theri right mind..."? She hated me thereafter.

However, I still don't see how my words could be stretched as you think you stretched them. Please carefully reread my statements preceding yours. How is teaching a child terrorism exclusively to that child's benefit in becoming and living as a healthy adult? The one just cannot follow the other. Child terrorists don't live!



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

B4rry, I went back and read most of this page. All I was responding to was your blanket statement that some things children need to be taught,even if they don't like it, followed by the example of slackers at school being illustrative of children who did what they wanted and really needed to be influenced to study--for their own good (is the implication).

I had in mind that your statement was in support of notmyfault's assertion that perhaps early sexual teaching would benefit children for their own good, like potty training.

I was alarmed at a statement (yours) that could be used to justify something that I believe is not in the child's interest at all. In that light, I sought to defeat the statement by making it appear absurd. I did this by "stretching" your words to include the early training of youngsters into terrorists, something no sane person would consider a good thing. Bad taste example, to put it mildly, for which I apologized.

The point was that, in our venue here, the incest site, stretching your statement to embrace incestual teaching of sex to youngsters would NOT be stretching anything; some people here already advocate it, right here in this the longest of threads ever.

You are right, when I read your whole posting, in fact all of your relevant postings, indeed all of everything you have ever said in this Forum, stretching your statement in the way I have done--is grossly inaccurate and unfair to you, its writer. And, I apologized for that.

Still, there are those who read out of context, the way I did, and leap on a single statement and "run with it", much as I did, to support their personal aims. As I did. So, perhaps pointing out--by my inadvertent example here--how a statement or teaching out of context can be misused-- is actually a useful thing?

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Daddy
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posted January 22, 2003 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by notmyfault:
two points in my previous post:
1) balance; and 2) current thesis not related to ultimate truth.

If your children line up by height to a whistle is that an extreme? (see Von Trapps, id., 1969) If your child goes to bed when it NATURALLY wants to, eats what it NATURALLY wants to, says what it NATURALLy wants to, do you have a NATURAL extreme brat?

My parents made my older sibs sit at the table and stare at their tomato. My sisters hate tomatoes to this day.

When it came to me, they only asked that I ate things new. Gave a taste.

Balance. Pendulum.

We are the most manipulative species on the earth. We manipulate streams, we pierce our ears, we change our destinies. F*** our opposable thumb, it is our ability to navigate things NATURAL that makes us Human. We do not wait for the apple to fall off the tree, we design it to last over shipping from South America.

My point was: to deny this reality is absurd. AND: to use this reality as a FINAL argument, is equally absurd.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Notmyfault, what is your point? Who is denying the reality of us being a manipulative species? Not I. Would you kindly take a position in all this, so I can respond or maybe debate?

Are you saying staring at the tomato and hating tomatoes is a bad outcome, and that letting you taste and decide is good? Where is the "balance" in that? Your sister hates tomatoes (is prejudiced) and you are supposedly not. So what? Your family as a whole is imbalanced. The point I would have made is that a family should be balanced: everybody gets to learn at their natural pace and not be forced to learn, so each member is balanced. Isn't that the point? Not that we actually live like that, but it is the goal, surely. Perhaps you are an example of your parents' evolution toward letting children decide what they want on the level of their basic needs.

Is eating, sleeping, etc when one naturally wants being an "extreme brat"? Are YOU an extreme brat since you say you were allowed to taste and make up your own mind? I don't know. What do you say about this? Take a stand. This is the whole point. Stare at the tomato or eat it.

Are you tasting the tomatoes in these posts? Or staring at them? Being a "brat"? How would you describe your response to the "food" here? In fact, what, exactly, IS your natural need in your interactions here, if I may ask?

Because it is the crux of what I have been saying: whether the hypothetical child turns out to be an extreme brat by living more naturally according to its needs depends on the questioner's view of a child's original nature. And the actual facts or outcomes.

Typically, most people (experts included) think children are born wild and have to be civilized. They will be "naturally" self-centered and bratty and grow up into crooks or corporate criminals, etc. if left unchecked. I do not, however, agree with this view. I think it is based on observations of twisted youngsters who were made that way by adults who made them "eat their tomatoes".

I have talked about this elsewhere recently. I do not want to go into it again here. But, refer to my comments about Summerhill above in this thread. This was the whole point of that experiment, to answer your question, and it produced a view of children's (and therefore adults') original nature; and it supported the position that children, allowed to learn at their own pace--and answer many of their needs at their own pace--learned better and with less stress and accomplished more than those who were force-fed their tomatoes.

They were bratty at first, and they were allowed to sulk and be anti-social. They even broke some furniture. But they grew up healthy--healthier than their peers who were forced into the "boxes" of the school system like the new square tomatoes.

Usually the raising of children is according to the needs of the parents, not the children's. It is very stressful for parents to answer all the needs of their children. When the child is merely expressing his/her needs, this can drive parents "nuts", as you are aware. Parents cajole, manipulate (there is that word again), reason and when that fails, spank (or worse) etc., trying to impose their wills.

My observation is that children get "bratty" or yammery or uncontrolled when their BASIC needs are unmet: the need for being held is ignored, and so the child gets yammery or runs around throwing things to get attention. Attention being a substitute for being held. Until, eventually, the child actually thinks it "needs" attention instead of holding. If he is lucky, he becomes a successful actor; if he is not so lucky, he comes here and posts at 2 in the morning instead!

I have not been ignoring the manipulativeness of our species--everything I have ever said in this Forum implies the opposite. I have been striving, in my posts, to expose that manipulativeness.

My premise is that the child knows best and the parent does not, when it comes to what its actual needs are and when they need to be satisfied. And that the child is never here to satisfy the parent's needs.

The problem begins when those needs become quickly repressed and emerge distorted, but that is the doing of the parent and the society around the child--the manipulation you rightly point out.

I would add that, if the adults in the world would find out what THEY truly need--NOT what they want--what their natural needs as adults (not as frustrated children in adult's clothing) are, we would have a much better world. Less child abuse, less war, less manipulation.

To that end, I have advocated communication and self-awareness and sometimes professional therapy.

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b4rry
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posted January 22, 2003 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Daddy, I don't usually jump in without fully reading another post, especially not when I'm not responding to one particular statement, but here I'm going to do just that.

I disagree with the general notion of hands-off child rearing while strongly disagreeing with ANY sort of adult pushing of ADULY sexuality onto children (or anyone else, for that matter).

Yes, I know this puts me in a grey zone between extremes, and like any other grey zone it is very difficult to debate, debate so often being so black and white. Unfortunately it also makes my words prey to those that want to misconstrue them, but I do not intend to devote my life to making everything I do bulletproof from such people (if that is even possible).

Like I was trying to say above (or on another thread), I think children need to be directed in some lessons, especially those important to their safety, and those important to their maturation into healthy, functional adults -- after all, the overall goal of raising a child is to assist/guide that young human into such an adulthood. I do not extend this to adult sexuality because I feel adult sexuality falls in the realm of something individual that stems from who we individually are and from the general behavioral principles (including morals) we've learned through multiple lessons covering a broad spectrum of life situations; adult sexuality is simply an expression of self that's not directly in the parents' *****n of teaching directly. This is should be true whether incest occurs at a later time (and more developed stage) in the child's life not.

Holler back if this isn't a bit more clear.

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b4rry
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posted January 22, 2003 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...parents' d_o_m_a_i_n

The word hit the asterisk monster because its also an internet term.

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Daddy
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posted January 22, 2003 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
B4rry, no, I think this is all pretty clear, and I do not disagree.

I have not been advocating hands-off parenting. Summerhill was an experiment which was hands-off to a very large degree, but the students' safety was monitored, if I recall. Many of them actually lived on the premisis, so they had to obey local laws in that regard, I am sure.

I am merely advocating parents monitoring themselves and not imposing on the child's natural needs, and to answer those needs. The "grey zone" is that parents do not know what their own natural needs are, so they can hardly recognize them in their children. The idea I am proposing is that--insofar as they can--parents should simply answer those natural needs. They are there for their children, not the other way around. Period.

The first goal is for the parents to distinguish what is a natural need and what is a desire. The egotism that we see in children is just that--desire, not absolute need. And parents do as much to teach egotism as is humanly possible, since they are egotistical usually.

Natural needs include: food, water, air, sleep, love, cuddling contact, waste elimination, exploration with all senses and all parts of the body, which brings into play the learning of locomotion and brain development, communication, independence in eventually filling those needs oneself.

Adult sexuality is already distorted. Our morals, upbringing--all those conditioned factors you listed and more--go into anybody's sexuality. I especially do not like adults modelling sexuality to their children because they are modelling anything BUT natural sexuality. The child discovers natural sexuality, grows into it eventually, if left unimposed upon by the parent.

What I like to see is that the child gets to grow in its own way sexually and in every other way. I have no problem with looking after the child's safety--including safety FROM the parent!

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gerrynkay
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posted January 22, 2003 10:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gerrynkay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
b4rry - Daddy

It happens that i find myself in agreement with both of you. At least I think you two agree that sexual behaviour should not be imposed upon a child before the child is remotely ready to handle sexual activity.

Here is my question to you both - What should be the age at which sexual relations between "child' (puberty? Still a "child"?) and adult may not result in serious psychological damage to the child? in other words, at what age should the child be allowed freely to "consent"? Please be assured that I have no fixed views on the subject and my own personal experience will not figure in any argument I make. Most countries and many states of the US clearly are not in agreement on a particular age. I argue (with no real factual data to support me)that it should be the age of puberty and ,arbitrarily, I'll fix that at 14 for boys and girls alike (yes, I'm aware that girls mature ahead of boys but I want the statute to withstand claims of unconstitutional discrimination)

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b4rry
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posted January 22, 2003 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gerrynkay:
b4rry - Daddy

It happens that i find myself in agreement with both of you. At least I think you two agree that sexual behaviour should not be imposed upon a child before the child is remotely ready to handle sexual activity.

Here is my question to you both - What should be the age at which sexual relations between "child' (puberty? Still a "child"?) and adult may not result in serious psychological damage to the child? in other words, at what age should the child be allowed freely to "consent"? Please be assured that I have no fixed views on the subject and my own personal experience will not figure in any argument I make. Most countries and many states of the US clearly are not in agreement on a particular age. I argue (with no real factual data to support me)that it should be the age of puberty and ,arbitrarily, I'll fix that at 14 for boys and girls alike (yes, I'm aware that girls mature ahead of boys but I want the statute to withstand claims of unconstitutional discrimination)


Gerald, I only half kiddingly suggest that age comes sometime between 35 and 45.

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gerrynkay
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posted January 22, 2003 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gerrynkay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
b4rry

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b4rry
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posted January 22, 2003 10:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This feels like live discussion -- almost IM or a chat room experience. In which case: "Nite all. Don't flood this place so bad overnight that I'm late for work in the morning due to too much reading." lol

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gerrynkay
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posted January 22, 2003 11:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gerrynkay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
b4rry

Good Heavens!, b4rry, you work? I thought you were a gentleman of leisure like me! (Translation - retired)

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Daddy
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posted February 02, 2003 06:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[QUOTE]Originally posted by gerrynkay:
[B]b4rry - Daddy

It happens that i find myself in agreement with both of you. At least I think you two agree that sexual behaviour should not be imposed upon a child before the child is remotely ready to handle sexual activity.

Here is my question to you both - What should be the age at which sexual relations between "child' (puberty? Still a "child"?) and adult may not result in serious psychological damage to the child? in other words, at what age should the child be allowed freely to "consent" ?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Gerry, try these "rules" out:

It is not about age, it is about development. The child knows when he/she is ready, not the parent. The parent is usually too concerned with his/her own desires, too much in a rush, to be objective.

Sexual behaviour should never be imposed.

Children don't ever give informed consent; they do not have the life experience to do so. "Freely" consenting is not the point. The kind of consent, informed consent, is the point.

When, and if, the child asks and has the informed life experience to know what he/she is asking, then the parent may consent.

The child, not the parent, is master/guide of the child's sexual development. The parent merely should give guidance as to safety measures not choice of sexual partners. (Things like birth control, not sleeping with bank robbers, and so forth.)

Do these "rules" sound restrictive of the parent or the child? Which would likely complain? Best to err on the side of caution.

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b4rry
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posted February 02, 2003 07:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a question to go along with the main question of this thread:

What sort of physical play, body play is appropriate to the average child of each age?

I ask this because there's been enough people posting in this discussion statements that sound like sexual development is a continuum (with significant signposts) going from simple play eventually to adult sexual play. In that view adult sexuality doesn't just simply happen, like turning on a switch or something.

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Daddy
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posted February 02, 2003 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
B4rry, why should adults meddle in a natural course of development?

Adults love to manage, control, and meddle. They teach their kids young how to meddle: (Five-year-old to two-year-old "No, we don't do that!" (Two-year-old to five-year-old "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" (Three years later, five-year-old to Mommy "Daddy says don't do that, Mommy!" And, we all know some pretty serious, abusive behaviours--including sexually--that get meddled into place and passed down.

Where does the assumption come from that children do NOT know their basic needs and need an adult to tell them what they need or guide their need? Who says the adult knows what he/she is doing when it comes to sex? Much less what the child's early sexual development requires?

There have been plenty of "experts" who meddled in potty-training, feeding, and of course early schooling of children. Not mention masturbation. Many of their theories have been overturned. Basically, nobody really asked the child what it needed, or looked with the eyes of a child at children's behaviour. The observers always added their own values and direction.

The history of general public education is about molding and shaping and pouring information in. The root meaning of "education" (educere) used to mean "to draw forth, to educe". Apparently, when that word was "invented", education was more respectful of individuals and their development. It was less meddlesome.

I am basically saying, in answer to your question: "Ask the child what it needs." Or, more practically speaking: Ask yourself what you needed as a child, if you are still in touch with that place in yourself. If not, find ways to be more childlike, and the answers about children will become more apparent. But, always ask the child.

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Daddy
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posted February 02, 2003 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did not type in those happy faces! It seems that when one types ) followed by :, this funny system creates a happy face! Will wonders never cease.

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b4rry
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posted February 02, 2003 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Daddy,

I knew your opinion before I asked this question of everyone else.

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Daddy
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posted February 02, 2003 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by b4rry:
Daddy,

I knew your opinion before I asked this question [b]of everyone else.[/B]



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Easy, easy, grumpy.

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Daddy
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posted February 02, 2003 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
B4rry, but you have never answered my question, not here nor anywhere: why do you ASSUME that children do NOT know what they need and how to get it? Why do you assume the opposite?

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b4rry
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posted February 02, 2003 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Daddy,

I did answer that question, just not in a simple pro or con fashion.

Now, can we make some room for newer voices to contribute? I'd love to hear a much greater diversity of life experiences and views.

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notmyfault
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posted February 02, 2003 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for notmyfault     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Notmyfault, what is your point?

I thought I made it. I'll make it again. I think to say well, there was this Summerset experiment, and they found this, end of story is naive. It goes back to Skinner saying I found this, end of story, also naive. I know of this other experiment where River Phoenix grew up and that went very awry, and it was some experiment that said, hands off parenting too.

To me your post was advocating a "let the child choose what it needs" sort of belief, and I was saying that instead of the opposite to that, a military school like meddling, one should be in the center.

As far as the metaphysical aspects of the tomato: slow down. The Mississipi is a big river, but it doesn't always have to be the big metphor.

I was saying that my parents went out of line with my sibs, but if you listened closely, I did NOT say they went to the polar extreme with me. I did NOT say that I could turn my nose up at food and eat Fruit Loops three meals a day. I DID HAVE TO TASTE THINGS. THIS WAS MANIPULATED. THIS WAS NOT BEHAVIOR I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN FOR MYSELF IN HAPPY CANDY KIDDY LAND.

but, guess what:

I am grateful now. Just like I am grateful now for many things my parents, cajoled, bugged and had me do.

Now, we can go into sub consicous, sub terrain land: Oh, are you truly happy, do you know that you are happy, do you know this is a tree, etc.

I'm saying a balance between what a kid wants, and what an adult knows is best for him.

A balance.

And they way we achieve results with kids is not always in some garden of eden way.

As for brats: here's my definition of brats. Adults who constantly blame others for their problems, who don't understand why things don't work out, who can't keep friends, etc. I know people like these, and they are often the result of over-permissive, clap-every-time-junior-made-a-poo-poo homes. Watched them grow up in front of my eyes. My experience. Do I know every single factor? No. But I've seen it happen enough to make a mental note. Total freedom for kids is a bad bad thing. Kids will not ALWAYS find what's best for them. On the other hand: total control is no good either. That was my point.

Maybe at Summerset they somehow righted themselves after working through all this stuff. There was a study the other day somewhere that said all of our self-esteem vs. reality childrearing is not doing our kids any good.

by advancing my theory on maniuplation in balance, I hope I did not give the impression that I had found the precise balance, and that we are all done forever. Child-rearing is a CONSTANTLY evolving process, that works to what the society desires of its adults. You are right, Dr. Spock fell out of disfavor, others come back, etc. If I suggested that I had the one answer, I'm sorry to mislead.

I hope I've clarified my position. And by sticking to this, I did not say, therefore: it's okay to do this for your kids sexually. I was just trying to set up a different criteria to judge whether it works or not, then to allow sexuality to happen naturally.

over and out ...

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Daddy
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posted February 02, 2003 08:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Notmyfault, it was Summerhill. They did let things work out. They did work out. They were also not totally permissive--obviously--which I mentioned.

Of course, balance is what is needed. I never said it was not. I said children have natural needs parents fail to even acknowledge, but they have all sorts of wants mostly engendered by the environment and by not having their basic needs met (such as the excessive need for attentionw hen they need to be held and it is not met). I said the wise parent knows the difference, but that most are not wise parents because they long ago got trained to not know their own needs from their wants. The "trick", the wisdom actually, is for the parent to know when the best doing is not doing; to take cues from the child in its natural needs. To do this, I said, the parent has to be in touch with his own childish needs, or have recollection of them. And to know what the adult knows. Again, balance. This is asking a great deal. But children are worth attempting the best, are they not?

Dr. Spock did not fall out of disfavour. He fell out of favour. He came back with a new bounce, a new approach. Again, I doubt the experts can teach us much more than really contactful parents can about observing their own children. (Emphasis: contactful.) If your read what I wrote about a former girlfriend and her little boy, you will get examples of what I mean.

What are your criteria you speak of?

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b4rry
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posted February 02, 2003 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, NotMyFault. Thank you for trying to put some common sense back in here.

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notmyfault
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posted February 02, 2003 08:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for notmyfault     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Notmyfault, it was Summerhill. They did let things work out. They did work out.

Right. And I was saying there have been case studies and experiments, where they did not work out. Summerhill (sorry, I'm not a precise as I should be) is not the end-all for the argument on trying to feel the natural need of the child vs. what he might need in nature. That was my point.

They were also not totally permissive--obviously--which I mentioned.

Right, but in our thread, I think it's clear that you are advocating more of a let the child choose theory than me. And Summerhill was certainly in that vogue.

Of course, balance is what is needed. I never said it was not.

And neither did I.

but that most are not wise parents because they long ago got trained to not know their own needs from their wants.

I dunno, that sounds kinda "who are we" "what do we really know," etc. We make choices based on experience, what we hear from friends, what works, even reading the odd "expert" book now and then. I don't have a problem with any of that, I think that's healthy. And to say, we've all be trained in this way, sounds sort of like the big pyschological "were all damaged" kinda group hug thing. There is no perfect upbringing, there is a spectrum, with, like most spectrums, things falling towards the middle. I don't think that as adults we are that out of touch with what the child really needs, ESPECIALLY since we live in one of the most CHILD-OBCESEED youth cultures ever.

Dr. Spock did not fall out of disfavour. He fell out of favour.

Precision on internet boards is a plus! So is spell check and grammar check. Thanks!

What are your criteria you speak of?

What about a person who professes his current happiness, regardless of how he got there. i.e., I'm mad my parents brow-beat me into piano lessons, but damn I'm glad I'm a concert pianist right now.

and then to follow that: what if in eight homes out of ten where you make your kid play piano, the kid bitches at the time, but ultimately feels happy he can play piano?

if a kid didn't want to practice at Summerhole, I imagine he wouldn't have had to practice the piano.

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b4rry
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posted February 02, 2003 08:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for b4rry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excess permissiveness is just as damaging and abusive to a child's devlopment as excess manipulation. To me both are signs of parents with real problems -- and sure-fire signs of kid who'll grow up with problems of their own.

***

Daddy, it would be enlightening to know if you've ever had or raised any kids, and if so what are they like today?

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Daddy
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posted February 03, 2003 03:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
B4rry,

I agree with the generality you express here. But what is missing ia a sense of what you think human nature is (young humans' nature in this question you are asking).

If you are going to talk about too permissive and overly resrictive, and striving for balance, this presumes you have some idea of what human nature is that is being allowed, shaped, or balanced. Otherwise, how can you tell if the "experiment" of parenting is going well? You can't just "ask the child" when it is able to speak. His or her reply will be conditioned by the very upbringing he or she has been given. So, how are you going to know when "balance" is struck?

As to whether I have raised children and how they may have turned out, I suppose the reason you ask is to see if I talk from experience, a sort of subtle challenge. As you know, I am always very honest here. No, I have not raised any children. However, I have taught them and been close to them in relationships I have been in with their mothers. I have also spoken with child educators. And I am very in touch with what is sometimes called my "primal emotions" or how I experienced life when I was an infant, alongside with my experiencing myself as an adult. My challenge is to keep them separate!

As far as I am concerned, appealing to authority--yours, mine, or anybody's-- has very little meaning to me. Most of what I say here in the Forum is based on a rather long life of experiencing and observing. In my questioning, I am trying to get people to examine the consistency and validity of their own ideas, but more than that, I want to elicit from people their original experience and more than anything--inquiry--real, genuine, discovery of new perceptions, rather than just more ideas. This tends to scare people, I have noticed. But, being honest and discovering something new in oneself--even something painful--is what gives my life meaning.

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Daddy
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posted February 03, 2003 04:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Notmyfault, thank you for taking the time to assemble your thoughts and reply. It is late, so I will get back to you when I have the time your response deserves.

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Daddy
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posted February 03, 2003 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by notmyfault:
Notmyfault, it was Summerhill. They did let things work out. They did work out.

Right. And I was saying there have been case studies and experiments, where they did not work out. Summerhill (sorry, I'm not a precise as I should be) is not the end-all for the argument on trying to feel the natural need of the child vs. what he might need in nature. That was my point.

They were also not totally permissive--obviously--which I mentioned.

Right, but in our thread, I think it's clear that you are advocating more of a let the child choose theory than me. And Summerhill was certainly in that vogue.

Of course, balance is what is needed. I never said it was not.

And neither did I.

but that most are not wise parents because they long ago got trained to not know their own needs from their wants.

I dunno, that sounds kinda "who are we" "what do we really know," etc. We make choices based on experience, what we hear from friends, what works, even reading the odd "expert" book now and then. I don't have a problem with any of that, I think that's healthy. And to say, we've all be trained in this way, sounds sort of like the big pyschological "were all damaged" kinda group hug thing. There is no perfect upbringing, there is a spectrum, with, like most spectrums, things falling towards the middle. I don't think that as adults we are that out of touch with what the child really needs, ESPECIALLY since we live in one of the most CHILD-OBCESEED youth cultures ever.

Dr. Spock did not fall out of disfavour. He fell out of favour.

Precision on internet boards is a plus! So is spell check and grammar check. Thanks!

What are your criteria you speak of?

What about a person who professes his current happiness, regardless of how he got there. i.e., I'm mad my parents brow-beat me into piano lessons, but damn I'm glad I'm a concert pianist right now.

and then to follow that: what if in eight homes out of ten where you make your kid play piano, the kid bitches at the time, but ultimately feels happy he can play piano?

if a kid didn't want to practice at Summerhole, I imagine he wouldn't have had to practice the piano.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Notmyfault,

Here goes an answer to your lengthy post at last.

First, let me see if I understand what you have said, otherwise we are off on the wrong foot from the outset...

I hear you saying that experiments in child-rearing such as Summerhill in England cannot be the final criterion as to how successfully to raise children generally. You point out that, while Summerhill may have been a success, other experiments along the same lines were not. Right?

You close this topic by saying the Summerhill-type experiment is not conclusive as to "trying to feel the natural need of the child vs. what he might need in nature." I am not sure what you mean by this. The point of the Summerhill experiment was to try to determine what children would do if they were not coerced in any way to clean their rooms, eat their meals, go to sleep at any particular hour, play games, go to school, fraternize with others, vote in meetings to decide their community's needs, and so on. In short, they were not required, by and large, to respect any authority but their own individual wills. Nothing like this had ever been tried before (about forty years ago). It was a truly daring experiment, and dire consequences were predicted.

You point out that, in my writing, and by way of the Summerhill example, I seem to be advocating an attitude of let the child do what he wants; more so in this direction than you are suggesting. Let me confirm that this is indeed what I am saying.

You continue by acknowledging that both of us want to see some kind of "balance" in childraising. Indeed, I agree we do.

You chafe, saying that I seem to be (in essence) putting adults down by saying that they are already trained not to know their own needs from their wants. You seem not to like me to say this, or at least what you perceive to be a possibly know-it-all stance in myself. Am I right?

Rather than take this latter point up logically, cooly, you seem to judge it and all but dismiss my claim by saying it sounds like the "we are all damaged" or "big group psychological hug thing." Your condescending tone of talking down tends to give the impression you were an attendee at group therapy, perhaps at Esalen in the 1960s or 1970s, have "been there, done that" and find no value in it.

Since I doubt you were even in the cradle then--or at most you were luxuriating in your mother's arms--I have to wonder from what experience of your own you are dismissing what amounts to an extraordinary historical experiment in human consciousness development of the time. You see, I was there.

I think your main point is midway through your post, where you say you think parents who take a practical approach and ask friends, read an expert or two, try their own best ideas, are taking what you consider to be a pretty healthy albeit not perfect approach. That, ultimately, they are not "all damaged" and they do pretty well figuring out their children's real needs. Is this about what you are saying?

You then focus on the heart of your main topic, which seems to be that the imbalance really is that we have "one of the most child-OBSESSED youth cultures ever." You really do not agree that adults are missing seeing and fulfilling the needs of children and young adults--quite the opposite. If this is your point, I totally agree. Except for the one word: "needs". I will return at the end to discuss this, as it is the heart of where you do not seem to have understood my point, and perhaps I did not make myself clear.

When all has been said and done, you offer your criteria, or at least criterion, for a more balanced approach to raising children, for my consideration:

Your approach is, I take it, contrary to what you have perceived as my more libertarian or impulsive approach to child raising. While you do not explicitly state your principles of child raising, or where in the development of the growing child you see your approach as applying, you do give an example, presumably yourself.

You ask, what of the child (yourself) who is browbeaten into playing the piano at an early age, dragged screaming and kicking as it were, to the piano bench? Was that wrong, given that, today, you are "happy" as a concert pianist?

You have answered your own question--for yourself--of course.

You acknowedge that 2 out of 10 homes might have plunking, bitching kids who hate every minute of their life at the bench and (you did not finish the image but I will...) end up hating the piano and their domineering parents and go on to plunk and bang on their own kids instead of the piano. You get the drift. Multiply 2 by millions.

I want to say that we share something. I was a performing dancer for over 20 years. I was never banged or plunked on to go into dance. In fact, my parents left me alone until I was 25 when I discovered I wanted to dance. I WISH they had inspired me earlier--not dragged me off to class, but played classical music, or taken me to performances. I even found out my mother wanted to be a pianist and gave it all up for marriage. She never mentioned her perhaps sad, great loss.

Yes, you do have a very excellent point, NMF. There are "sins" of commission and "sins" of omission.

I carried a lot of my frustration and anger with my parents (not over neglecting to help direct my career choices but over other things)into my dance. I wonder if you do this with your music? Being pressured in other ways than you, but pressured nonetheless, I put my emotion into my art. I rather imagine you are too. Please tell me about your music. I really would like to know. Where you play, what you play, how you enjoy your "work". I also salute you for bringing harmony, order, into our chaotic world. I actually honour your parents for making you eat your tomatoes. You are a hero for surviving that and no doubt making other people's lives better for it. I mean that.

A word about what I meant about need and want. I meant, simply, that at an early age children lose touch with their basic needs. They are: food, water/milk, air, cuddling, love, diaper changing, stimulation of senses, etc. They do NOT "need" television, Barbie Dolls, video games, elevator shoes, etc., etc., ad nauseum. The media and anxious parents give the child the idea they "need" these things, but actually these are merely "wants". The difference is the child would literally die without having all its needs met. The child will never die--although it screams bloody murder--if none of its wants is met.

The secret is to be able to tell the difference between needs and wants. When the adult cannot determine the difference, all too often--as you so rightly point out--the parent crumbles and gives the child whatever it wants ("spoils the child"), while often neglecting the child's actual needs!

To use an example, the parent may give the child a toy instead of picking it up. The child really needs to be held but instead is made to hold a plastic toy. The child throws it across the room and screams. The parent is so confused and frustrated now--not knowing that the child actually needs to be held--that the parent (say) yells at the child to quiet down. Of course, the child cannot understand English yet, so it wails louder, only now he/she is frightened of the giant mother's loud voice...and so on, the problem getting worse. When all the mother had to do in the first place was cuddle her child.

I suggested the reason the mother, in this example, did not know to pick up the child is because she did not perceive the child's actual need. The reason she did not perceive the child's actual need is because this mother was treated the same way when she was an infant by her mother. In essence, she no longer knows her child's real needs because she no longer knows her own.

The answer, I have suggested, is not more theories of child-raising but more parents who pay attention to their children for cues as to what they need. I should have added that before they can "get" the cue, they have to gain more self-awareness. This is a whole other topic.

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notmyfault
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From: Cali-fornicating
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posted February 05, 2003 10:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for notmyfault     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rather than take this latter point up logically, cooly, you seem to judge it and all but dismiss my claim by saying it sounds like the "we are all damaged" or "big group psychological hug thing."

Yeah, that was harsh. I just didn't want to go down the path of "what is our happiness?" "how can we really know?" "what does the word what mean" where we examine all the bricks until they tumble. I was trying to say that to accept some things: I am happy now means I am happy now -- is a point of departure. If one finds happiness by beating drums, believing in Allah, believing in Scrappy Do, god bless em.

You ask, what of the child (yourself) who is browbeaten into playing the piano at an early age, dragged screaming and kicking as it were, to the piano bench? Was that wrong, given that, today, you are "happy" as a concert pianist?

Actually, I'm with you on this one (like your dancing). My brow was NOT beaten. I got out early, because my parents had been influenced by the times to not force kids into things. So, with not too much effort, I stopped piano at six months. And everytime, I have to deal with an annoying accompanist, I wish they had not given in to me. Of course, we will never know if they had, if I would have eventually chafed. I can only say that on other areas, I am glad they pushed me. Given my love for music, I don't think it was that much of a brain-teaser to have held firm. Oh well, one mistake for them vs. many great achievements.

You get the drift. Multiply 2 by millions.

but remember, multiply the positive numbers and you get 8 million happy piano players.

things to think about. unhappy peasants building catherdals millions take pleasure in now.

anyway, needs vs. wants was well-illsturated, but can be trickier sometimes. mirky thing. my nephew's need vs. wants was not always so clear. but it worked out.

not playing an instrument for me, meant always looking for my Hammerstein, my McCartney. but, I find that input good. Of course, is that looking back and trying to fit the logic with the outcome. But, sometimes too much of one voice in art is overwhelming, I think the auteur theory taken to extreme is extremely annoying.

I'm from the Middle West, what can I say.

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Daddy
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posted February 06, 2003 02:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, notmyfault, I gather you feel I heard you now? Sounds like you got my point about need/want now too. And that you wish your parents had pushed you more in your music.

What is the issue now, if any? I get a sense that you may be frustrated in your music because you wished you had more training?

The thing that keeps niggling at me is: what happened to the incest discussion? Not that I mind going in this direction.

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