First the food. This looks like a delightful accompaniment to cold pork roast, which we tend to have in the fridge occasionally with this cold-and-rainy-now-hot weather: apple and carrot chutney with raisins
I've been indulging in dairy and gluten lately, and boy do I know it! These could help with the mid-afternoon nibbles without continuing the downward junk snack spiral: gluten-free chocolate cookies (also nut free, because I just don't have easy access to almond flour like I might in North America)
And why are is the gluteny goodness of the shortbreads I just ate with my tea not so good? Well, there are a lot of answers to that (processed foods, inflammatory response, epigenetic effects of that response) but here's another: lectins. I confess to not having follwed the links yet, but am both curious and wanting to close the tab. Let me know if you follow those up; I'll be curious to hear your thoughts.
Here's something that gave me pause: marriage advice from Big Horned sheep. Please be sure to read through the comments as well.
And finally, an open contemplation of the ramifications of this article and its ilk on day-to-day parenting: When a Parent's "I Love You" Means "Do as I Say", from the New York Times.
As a child who fully overwhelmed my parents' parenting skills I experienced, and thus tend to apply, more punitive parenting than my intellectualized parenting aims indicate (I also yell more than I'd like). This article interests me then because towards the end it gives alternatives to conditional reinforcement, which they've defined as "turn up the affection when they’re good, withhold affection when they’re not":
unconditional acceptance by parents as well as teachers should be accompanied by “autonomy support”: explaining reasons for requests, maximizing opportunities for the child to participate in making decisions, being encouraging without manipulating, and actively imagining how things look from the child’s point of view.I would reply that I use both simultaneously and that it's not contradictory - reasons in calm moments, reminders, then interrupt/reprimand/relocate/reconnect.
Our version of time out is sitting to the side and counting to ten. For minor infractions we then ask if she's ready to do X or not do Y or whatever caused the need for a break in the action, and not infrequently she'll say no, she needs more time. Sometimes when she's really raging she sends me away, and when she's ready calls me or comes for a cuddle before being ready to go again. This contributes to my difficulty with the idea that removing an out-of-control child from a situation in which they are unable to act appropriately is always a top-down punishment. Is this not about putting them through the motions of an expandable coping mechanism?
My struggle with the NYT article is that it appears to say that the "naughty step" is always internalised by the child as an indictment of them as a person, rather than their behaviour, and teaches compliance for fear of reprisal. I got the feeling that social restriction is always viewed as terrible, yet it seems to me that it's a pretty central aspect of group living. When my child is acting calm and loving, I'm far more likely to respond in kind. Conversely, she needs to leave the table if she can't remember the rules of the table, or I won't play with her until she apologises for whacking me on the head. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to enculturate her (which I see as part of my job as her parent) without demonstrating that breaking cultural rules causes ostracization, and complying brings social rewards. Am I justifying an unacceptable status quo, or is this really a rule of human interaction?
I do make a point of talking about my emotional state (I am hungry and have zero patience, or that was dangerous and I was afraid for you) and hers (it's okay to be angry but it's not okay to bite; what are some better ways to get your anger out?), but that usually comes as part of the reconnect AFTER the relocation - which is, according to the article, too late.
I wondered if the studied parents were punitive out of unconsidered reflex, and whether a more conscious position makes a difference in the execution of the thing and thus the end result. I'd act the same towards an adult, which is my litmus test. And then I thought that was a very erudite way of saying 'the rules don't apply to me'. I could just file it under reminders to be more gentle, which is easy to get moving at an adult pace and forget.
What do you think, either about the article or my reactions to it?