Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Non-Coercive Parenting: When My Toddler Bangs on the Table

When my eighteen-month-old bangs on the dining room table during a meal, I bang with him! This delights him and we often invent some pretty cool rhythms. The banging usually lasts for one to five minutes and it creates a fantastic connection between us. It also brings me into the present moment--banging on the table is an activity that, surprisingly, I find enjoyable.

Because banging on the table is a fun activity we do together, my son has been 100% cooperative (so far) about the times I prefer we don't bang on the table--like when we are at restaurants. On rare occasions at home I also request that we don't bang on the table--like when I have company over. Most of the people I have over enjoy banging on the table with my son as much as I do. More people makes it even more fun! But some people don't.

Because banging on the table is an accepted activity, my son has also allowed me to teach him how I prefer we bang on the table (flat sides of forks and spoons so as not to damage the wood).

1 comment:

  1. Coercive Parenting: When I Take My Child to the Zoo (as seen through the eyes of numerous parents observed at the St Louis Zoo this weekend):

    When my child doesn't look at the exact thing I think they should be interested in at the zoo, I scream at him! If he climbs on stuff as he sees animals doing, I grab him and pull him down and scold him for being so careless. If I tell him to wait in line while I go off to get water for the two of us, without explaining my intention to him, and he follows me and I find him at the fountain getting water himself because he's also thirsty, I scream some more at him for being so disobedient and ruining my thoughtful plan to care for the two of us more efficiently!

    Because being an independent person with subjective needs and values, much like myself, is an unacceptable condition of existence, my child has become confused and possibly deranged by my unpredictable and seemingly arbitrary behavior. I hate being a parent and my child picks up on this not so subtle theme of our relationship and really derives a lot of angst and anxiety realizing that for whatever reason, he is the cause of all of my frustrations in life despite the way I slavishly attempt to care for him and do what I think will be nice things for him.

    Our antics help keep therapists employed!!