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Integral Parenting Thread!

Last post 04-11-2007, 11:13 PM by miriam. 161 replies.
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  •  07-04-2006, 6:32 AM 896 in reply to 478

    Re: Integral parent education

    I was going to start out by asking what people thought are the most important ideas to teach children to keep them moving healthfully up the spiral and working with all the quadrants, but I think Yeshe already answered at least a big part of that. I see that letting kids know that different people have different ideas about how the world should work is clearly one of the most useful things to teach them.

    As a teacher, a "part time parent of many", I really see the value of this idea. I've started many sentences in my classroom with, "Some people think..." And I've even made a point of reminding the kids that my coteachers and I have different rules for the classroom. We teachers agree that this makes it more difficult, but it's true, and I think it's helpful for the kids to understand that. They already know that school has different rules than home, so it probably makes sense to them. And it allows them to know that they have the option of choosing their own philosophy about the world. That way, when they start experimenting, they won't feel uncomfortable or stuck.

    I also liked what Timelody (I think) said: "Excercise Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit in Self, Culture and Nature everyday." I'm not actually familliar with ILP, really, but I see this as being very helpful. Is there somewhere other than the expensive ILP CD's and such that I could get suggestions for this kind of daily Integral practice? Somewhere on Integral Naked, perhaps?

    Anyway, thanks Yeshe and Timelody and everyone else! And if anyone else has any simple ideas that should be universally taught to kids (I'm currently around preschool age kids, so the simpler the better!), please let me know.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    -Turtle
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  •  07-05-2006, 8:05 AM 943 in reply to 896

    Re: Integral parent education

    Hey, Turtle,

    After reading Ken's books in the early '80s, I tried all by myself, not knowing another human who'd ever heard of this bald dude, to apply AQAL to raising my daughter, now 26.  I did a really silly thing, but you can adapt it to today's norms...iy was all the rage to ask, "What would Jesus do?", and folks were wearing WWJD? bracelets, had bumperstickers, etc.

    So I explained to my little one about this fellow who had some really great ideas, and I put forth aperspectival thought to her.  Now, at each stage of her growth, she interpreted that in her own little fashion, which was fine.  But whenever we got into a struggle, or when she was struggling with a perspective that would be healthy for her, i would simply say, "WWKWD?" and she knew to go into a multiple perspective roundrobin.  "Susan would think...but my teacher would say back...but I feel that..." and then I'd let her reach whatever conclusion she felt most comfortable with.

    It at least set the stage for great empathy at a very early age, and as she's grown into a woman, I find her to have very high moral and ethical and empathetic capabilities.  Unlike my ragin Red seniors with their raging Red parents demanding self-centered, narcissistic responses by the school to their children's problems.

    Love Turtles and all beings,

    Lynne

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  •  07-05-2006, 11:20 AM 954 in reply to 943

    Re: Integral parent education

    Lynne, that's a good suggestion. I like the idea of bringing in multiple persepctives in a specicic situation. You could definitely do it with even young children as long as they are developmentally capable of seeing other's viewpoints (it happens between 3-6 years old, usually). Our classroom already has a policy of "checking in" with others when there is something upsetting happening. We encourage the kids to ask, "Are you ok?" and/or "Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?" It works most of the time. And I'd love to encorporate some empathy training into that policy as well. Maybe we could ask the kids who aren't involved to see if they can identify the feelings of the kids who are involved.

    Thanks!

    -Turtle
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  •  07-10-2006, 7:51 AM 1235 in reply to 494

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    Re: Integral parent education

    Hi All.

    I am the 50-year-old mom of an 11 year old daughter, (only child) who I just dropped off at the bus  for her first day of sleep-away camp. (Actually, she'll only "sleep away" on weekdays. They bring her back Friday at 5 PM! A great arrangement for a first time sleep away camp, I thought. Mon-Fri.)

    Anyway, what I want to talk about is how parenting has become a stimulus for my personal growth. You see, I discover many slices of my shadow in my parenting style. For example, it's very hard for me to set limits (typical GREEN over-permissive parenting style). Cognitively, I know my daughter needs more structure, and as an act of will (and love) I'm determined (morally) to provide that structure, even if I don't at first know how.

    What I discover is that setting limits on my daughter causes uncomfortable feelings in me. I get anxious, or I have an emotional "flashback" to something from my own childhood, usually involving a feeling of deprivation or shame. 

    When I identify too much with my daughter, I can't bare to see her tolerate a negative emotion. I want to learn to tolerate my own feelings better  in order to set appropriate limits for her.  I can see she needs them. (She is very outgoing, has an impulsive, thrill seeking nature, and loves pop culture. Also she is a very precocious Manhattan, pre-teen.)

    It would be too easy and convenient for me to "spoil" her, which I realize would really be an act of laziness or neglect. When I let her do what she wants, everything is easy. I'm the "best Mom" and my inner child feels like she's finally getting all those things I wanted and didn't receive as a kid.

    But my daughter deserves an upbringing based on her needs, not mine. I want to choose what's best for her over what makes me feel best. This is my current struggle, goal, and vision.

    Anyway, I'm thinking integral parenting isn't just about the child's development--it's about the co-evolution of parent and child. For me, doing the right thing for my daugher is a big motivator to face and heal shadow parts.

    Robin

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  •  07-10-2006, 11:41 AM 1245 in reply to 1235

    Re: Integral parent education

    Robin, you say that you believe that more structure is what your daughter needs. I'm wondering what you mean by that. What kind of structure are you speaking of here? And what is it that you want that structure to do for you and your daughter?

    As you know, there is a shadowy reason you are resisting "setting limits". Maybe it's that you believe that she already has lots of limits in her life, and doesn't need any more. Maybe you believe, deep down, that setting limits is not working with your daughter, but against your daughter. Maybe you are afraid that your limits will be arbitrary and unfair to your daughter. Or maybe you believe that the limit setting done by your parents and/or teachers was ineffective and stifled your healthy growth. Your awareness of your hesitancy gives you a wonderful opportunity to look at the big picture here.

    I would suggest that you might consider what your ultimate goal is for raising your daughter. You say that you want to base her upbringing on her needs, but what are those needs?

    Think of the traits you want to help your daughter have. Write them down and make that list with love. Then show her that list! Then ask her if she, herself, wants to have those traits and, if so, if she has suggestions for ways that you can work together to help her get there. You might also want to reverse the conversation, and see what kind of person your daughter wants you to be!

    Ultimately, what's best for your daughter is also what's best for you. If either of you are unhappy with how things are going, then it's probably not best. Though, admittedly, the best is often difficult to find!

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  07-10-2006, 3:33 PM 1259 in reply to 1245

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    Re: Integral parent education

    Hi Turtle,

    About structure for my daughter-- what kind of thing do I mean? A firm allowance, that is reasonable but generous so that my daughter learns how to manage money, as opposed to just asking me for cash each time she needs something, which leads to her asking again and again and again and not getting a sense of how to handle or value money. Of course, a firm allowence means I have to be OK with her sometimes not having something the other kids get (at least not right away). That means I have to deal with the feelings I had as a child when I wanted the latest "cool" accessorie, which was never bought for me. Continuously gratifying/ compensating my own inner child robs my daughter of learning opportunities and fosters a false sense of entitlement in her.

    Does that example help with what I mean? Another example: I also find it hard to say no when my daughter asks for permission for one more sleep over date (in a row) or to invite one more friend over to the house (at the same time). I want her to be popular; (back in middle-school, I wasn't.) But I don't want her to be exhausted! And she's the kind of kid that will run herself ragged with fun. So I have to structure her-- after two sleep overs, then one night of decent sleep at home. That kind of thing. When she gets older, I hope she'll be able to recognize her own rhythms.

    This limit setting is actually a big issue for me now. As to what I want my daughter to be like as an adult, well I had always felt that I wanted to raise a strong and assertive female, who would not be afraid to express her needs. (Because I was always so ashamed of my needs.) Well, so far, so good on that one! Now she asserts her needs quite well, quite persistently. She knows what she wants and she speaks up. Great, as far as it goes. Next step-- a little more concern for the other person (whoever that happens to be) or concern for the group she's part of. For example, she's very bright so she gets things in school very fast. Does that mean it's OK to cut up in class every day and distract other kids who aren't as quick? Not really. So she has to learn how to tolerate a little frustration, a little boredom. (She goes to a really kind progressive school where they give a lot of leeway and freedom so don't start thinking she's oppressed-- honestly, the farthest thing from it! They call their principal "Steve.")

    As to asking my daughter what qualities she'd one day like to embody, that's a good idea. But I've got to get her in the right mood because she's not big on deep conversations. In fact, "how do you feel about that?" is her least favorite question and the onset of important conversations evoke precocious pre-teen moans and groans.

    One of the things that's been hardest for me to accept is that my daughter doesn't have to agree with my limit setting or understand my perspective. Whenever I try to explain things until I get her understanding or agreement, she really hates it! That's what makes her feel oppressed. She has actually asked me to just be the parent, set the limit, and get it over with! I've got to be strong enough in my parenting that I don't need the understanding and agreement of my (still only 11 years old) daughter.

    I have really been pretty super-permissive up till now, not seeing until very recently, how that might not serve my daughter best. A recent structure that's been great is-- instead of my asking my daughter to clean her room or do a certain chore a million times, (or doing it for her) I simply tape a note to her door with the task written on it and she doesn't get her allowance until that task is done. No more nagging, no more procrastinating. I pin up the note; she does the task in a day or two. End of story. That's one of my new "structures." Wish I had a few more than worked as well!

    My current challenge is learning how to respond quickly in the moment when she's asking me for permission for that one more something. Learning how to pause the action long enough to feel into what's really best for my daughter, as opposed to caving in from her pressure and the longings of my own inner child.

    So-- I think that gives a little more specific sense of what I mean by structure. Structure would be a kind of skeleton of rules that I could fall back on, and that my daughter could fall back on. Be in bed by ten, be home before dark, that kind of thing. Appropriate to her age and with lots of leeway, flexible according to circumnstances, but a basic set of rules that make sense. In fact, it's hard to believe I've been a parent this long without having that!

    You write "Ultimately, what's best for your daughter is also what's best for you." I couldn't agree with that one more!

    Thanks for your input, Robin

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  •  07-10-2006, 5:03 PM 1262 in reply to 1259

    Re: Integral parent education

    It sounds like you and your daughter are working well together. That's great! And I understand what you mean by structure - really just your set of rules.

    I would offer a counter opinion to your belief that your daughter doesn't have to accept your rules. That, to me is a recipe for confusion, rebelliousness (more than necessary, anyway) and perhaps some disrespect on both ends.

    Think about the state and federal laws for a broader view of this problem. The laws that people don't agree on are the ones that are regularly violated. Plus, laws that are applied unfairly (to one group more often than other groups) cause serious social problems. That makes for a lot of frustration for everyone, and lots of wasted taxpayer money, too! A family is just a smaller verion of a country or state. Certainly, some laws are important enough to enforce even when someone doesn't agree with them (no crashing your car into people, for instance), but others may actually be doing more harm than good (I'll let you fantasize about the bad laws you'd love to get rid of on your own).

    As a teacher, I've found that the most effective way to create rules is be as simple as possible, stick to the basic needs of the entire group, and make the rulemaking process a collaborative effort, so that no one feels marginalized, and more intellect and creativity can be tapped. We start off with my two basic rules - We take care of eachother and we keep ouselves safe - and then open up the floor, so to speak. My rules are intentionally phrased as positive "guidelines" rather than negative "rules" (the teachers don't limit the kids to only positive ideas when they are making suggestions, but we may help them rephrase them if we can). Framing things in a way that emphasizes what we want, rather than what we don't want helps keep everyone motivated to help out. And when someone violates one of the classroom guidelines, we ask them if they can see how their action is not, for example, staying safe. This lets them learn to control themselves and be responsible for everyone, not just themselves. Only rarely, when a kid gets so upset that she loses control, would we wield our "grownup" power and try to control her for everyone's safety.

    I would imagine that your daughter would be similar to the kids I've worked with, and that when she is given the opportunity to help create her own family's rules, she will be much more invested in following them. And I would imagine that collaborative guidelines would keep everyone in your family happy in the knowledge that the rules are fair, healthy, and beneficial to the whole family, not just one or two individuals. If your daughter isn't interested in helping design the guidelines for the household right now, maybe just let her know that it's an option, and she'll be more likely to respect you until she decides that one of your rules is not working for her.

    Oh, and I still recommend making a list of qualities that you hope your daughter will have as she matures, and then share it with her!

    By the way, if this is more discussion than you were looking for, then let me know and I'll mosey on over to some other thread! I love to share my ideas, especially when I know about good stuff that has worked well for me, so that's why I'm being so prolific here with you. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness about your daughter. It makes the world so much better when parents are able to grow along with their kids!

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  07-12-2006, 9:26 AM 1330 in reply to 1259

    Re: Integral parent education

    hi robin,

    as far as permissiveness goes for me---i think that too much of it relinquishes independence and freedom.  how free can children become when they are conditioned to get what they want---they do not become free to choose correctly, and they may learn to respond to unhealthy impulses. disclipline, for me, is training the inner strength of discernment.  that, to me, is freedom.  it's not to have my mind made up for me by the latest ads, rather, i make up my mind first, and choose from the ads.  freedom is choices made by me without external stimulation. (what is deciding---me or the ads)  i'd like my children to learn that. 

    when children are conditioned to get what they impulsively want, they surely will speak up for themselves, because they become used to it.  the thing is, parents would like them to speak up for what is healthy.  at the moment, i find it difficult to identify a negative effect of a loving NONpermissiveness and discipline, rather than arbitrary discipline for its own sake.  was your childhood like that, or something else?

    later,

    gene

     

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  •  07-12-2006, 3:38 PM 1346 in reply to 1330

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    Re: Integral parent education

    Hello,

    I am so grateful to have this space to open up this topic!

    I am mother to 2 daughters, 5 & 9.

    I began work on an outline or a book on integral parenting about 18 months ago and have been longing for a forum of other voices involved in this.

    One of the first challenges I've come upon in fleshing out this outline is sifting through the myriad of different parenting styles that have held cultural sway over the last several generations. 

    As is evident by the dizzying number of radically conflicting parenting books that glut the market each year, this is no easy feat!

    An initial run through of the popular notions regarding the direction of human growth, does however quickly yield two very broad, but key categories:

    Growth to Goodness

    and

    Recaptured Goodness

    (See the Dec. 10th entry of One Taste for an excellent and simple overview.)

    Most of us here are no doubt already familiar with these.

    (Growth to Goodness basically implies an element of evolution and emergence, that we grow into our potential as development unfolds.   Our highest potential is something we grow into and is subject to a developmental process. The acorn to oak premise.

    Conversely, Recaptured Goodness relies on the theory that we start out in a state of perfect unity/wholeness and are fractured and repressed by culture, speech, society and reason. Development in this case relies on our ability  to recapture, uncover, reveal, our already existing wholeness. Devolution, not evolution. 

    Growth to Goodness implies that we are evolving to our own highest possibilities.

    Recaptured Goodness implies that we are recapturing or restoring what was once present and then was lost.)


    I see it as incredibly crucial to tease apart these two aspects of development in order to enter into any type of discussion about integral parenting because both schools have incredibly important merits that we want to integrate and balance.  Mostly because they trickle down through every aspect of our integral model, coloring our view of levels, lines, states, types, quadrants, etc.

    For example, by integrating the healthy aspects of each of these schools I think we decrease our chances of falling prey to the pre/trans fallacies when dealing with levels.

    One more important thing I see with regard to current parenting styles is that all of them, progressive and regressive alike, can be (and in my opinion most likely are) infected with a certain amount of narcissism. 

    One of the first chapters I've written is titled Boomeritis Parenting, because I think that its absolutely vital to haul this element out into the light and look at the ways in which boomeritis (pluralism infected with narcissism) parenting is passing for a wholesome model, when imo, it is far from it.

    Robin, I am very impressed with your initial post.  I think it speaks to the real issues facing many parents today. I also admire your transparancy in conveying your awareness of your own shadow elements and your ability to spot the pitfalls of different levels of parenting. I applaud your braveness! 

    The issue of authority vs permissiveness is never easy in the current cultural milieu.

    Some ways that we typically relate to parental authority include:

    Permissive, (which in extreme cases can be a form of neglect.)

    Dominant, which can be too oppressive.

    Democratic, which typically invites conflict and power struggles.

    And a sliding back and forth between all of these.

    We need to have a working definition of wholesome authority. (Some models would sure come in handy too, eh?!)

    Imo, effective authority is absolutely vital to a child attempting to learn their own inner authority.

    As I see it, a wholesome use of authority is when it is used in the service of the childs' learning - not in the service of the parents' ego or shadow.
    Right use of authority helps the child develop their own inner gifts and virtues.

    If we can accept the responsibility of leadership as service, we will need to sacrifice the desire for our children to approve of and agree with us at all times.

    No easy feat, I realize!  But who said this was going to be easy?! :)


    Happy to be here,
    Cori

     


     

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  •  07-12-2006, 6:56 PM 1358 in reply to 1346

    Re: Integral parent education

    I think a lot of confusion stems from terminology. In your list there, Cori, of "Permissive, Dominant, and Democratic" I'm not really sure what those terms mean. And I'm wondering where "Collaborative" would fit in (as opposed to Democratic, which implies a competition). I'm also confused about what you mean by "authority". I believe that ultimately, we have no authority over anyone but ourselves, so your recommendation of using authority in parenting is odd, to me.

    My own personal, collaborative, philosophy of raising children is to serve as a support system as they explore their world. I hope to follow along behind them rather than pull them behind me.

    I love that quote by the first century philosopher, Seneca, that you are quoting! I have that one up on my wall right now...

    "To lead is to serve, not to rule."

    I don't think there needs to be any sacrifice in serving. Everyone can have their needs met and we can serve ourselves as well as others, often at the same time. Ideally, the lines between "us" and "them" will be lost, and we will understand that their happiness and health is dependent upon our happiness and health, and vice versa. This is why I stress collaborative problem solving techniques in families (as well as in the rest of the world). Always looking for that win-win solution.

    We often forget that our kids learn far more from what we do than what we say! So it also makes sense to do our best to live up to our own standards first and foremost, and treat our kids the same way we want them to treat the world. One test I've used is to think to myself, "Would I want this kid to use the same problem solving technique that I'm planning on using with her friends, family, neighbors, or even me?" I don't always give myself enough time to do this inquiry process, and so sometimes I spaz out and do something dumb. It happens! But, I do try to be attentive to what I'm teaching with my actions as well as what I'm teaching with my words. And when I make a mistake, and my technique produced more suffering, then I try to remember to apologize and figure out what I did wrong.

    Compassionate problem solving is not easy for us Westerners, since we're taught from a very young age that violence (physical or mental or emotional) is an acceptable way to get what we want (by the police, teachers, parents, friends, enemies, lions, tigers, and bears, and pretty much everyone else, too.). But I think the struggle to teach ourselves more effective ways to meet everyone's needs is well worth it.

    As for the positive aspects of raising kids, I don't think it's particularly important to teach kids as much as it is important to let them learn. Humans are amazing animals because we have this innate thirst for knowledge. From the day we are born (if we have a healthy brain) we are literally professionals at learning. So, as companions to children, it's so very, very important allow that learning process to happen unhindered, by encourage kids to be who they think they want to be and by offering them help in finding healthy ways to attain their goals. Hopefully, along the way, our own healthy, sustainable lives will serve as a role model for them to see how healthy, sustainable humans live.

    Thanks for all the wonderful discussion! Very thought provoking.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  07-12-2006, 7:31 PM 1359 in reply to 1358

    Re: Integral parent education

    Oooh, I was just talking to my husband about this and came up with a simple description and graph for the three parenting styles that Cori suggested, in addition to my own:

    Permissive: Parent: lose Child: win
    Dominant: Parent: win Child: lose
    Democratic: Parent: ? Child: ?
    Collaborative: Parent: win Child: win

    These outcomes aren't always the case, as life isn't as black or white as this, but it's a simple way of showing the likelyhood or even intent of a problem solving style.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  07-13-2006, 8:39 AM 1381 in reply to 1359

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    Re: Integral parent education

    Turtle wrote:
    "Oooh, I was just talking to my husband about this and came up with a simple description and graph for the three parenting styles that Cori suggested, in addition to my own:

    Permissive: Parent: lose Child: win
    Dominant: Parent: win Child: lose
    Democratic: Parent: ? Child: ?
    Collaborative: Parent: win Child: win
    "


    Turtle, I was not suggesting parenting styles, I was pointing out some current approaches to parental authority.

    As I see it, all three examples I gave of common approaches to parental authority are lose-lose for parents and children.

    I absolutely see the merits of collaboration in parent/child relationships.

    I also think that the popular notion of the egalitarian family where the parents' and childrens' opinions hold equal sway can get us into trouble.

    Equality does not mean equivalence.

    To be equal in value, does not translate to parent and child having equivalent roles.

    Indeed, children are exquisitley sensitive to the expectations we set for them and will do their best to live up or down to these standards. This model imperative seems to be inherant in all mammals.  It's an integral part of the developmental proccess.  We're hard wired to model the behavior of those who came before us and to fulfill the expectations we intuit from our surroundings.  

    What we're not biologically geared for is to be born into an environment where there is no authority/leadership.  It's an evolutionary anomaly for the elders of a group to be walking behind, or looking to the children for direction.

    A family with no parental authority is a group without a leader, and in my opinion, a recipe for disaster.

    Parental authority doesn't preclude collaboration.


    Applying the AQAL approach can be very helpful here.  For example, when we apply levels we see that authority looks very different according to to the level of development one is at. 

    Authority that is driven by preconventional impulses is going to look very different than authority that comes from a postconventional stance.

    I think this discussion is very useful because the issue of parental authority is one of the most confusing issues parents face today. 

    I'd like to put this question to the forum:

    What Does Second Tier Authority Look Like?

    ~ Cori


     

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  •  07-13-2006, 1:58 PM 1390 in reply to 1381

    Re: Integral parent education

    hi cori, robin and turtle,

    i'm not a parent, but even so, my understanding of integral tells me there's much i can learn from your discussion of parenting, a discussion, imo, that has alot of promise.

    since you're each giving the view from inside parenting, so to speak, maybe i can add a bit about the view from outside. i don't mean to imply that mine will be the objective view. for some reason i'm wary of what you have to say, turtle, but that says alot more about me, i'm sure, than about you. on the other hand, i like very much what you, robin and cori, have to say, a sure case of infatuation, which, i hope to dispel in the course of this message. it's not going to be easy: your open message, robin, was very moving (is this what 2nd tier authority feels like?). as to what 2nd tier authority looks like, how about cori?

    i just finished rereading the XIIth dialogue of the guru and the pandit from earlier this year, which gives something close to an ultimate perspective on 2nd tier enactment, including, of course, parenting. i'm going to try to draw on it.

    i don't know if you've read it, robin, but you seem to me to be working on their message. ken begins by pointing out that, in order to live, which includes parenting, we need to work on our 'fundamental objection to life', what andrew interprets as 'our refusal to transcend our almost pathological engagement with our narcissistic inclinations'--'our' here means our ego, as contrasted with what ken calls the Absolute Self, and andrew, the Authentic Self.

    unfortunately, i can't find my copy of 'one taste', so i'll be relying solely on your description, cori, of 'growth to goodness' and 'recaptured goodness'. i'm only beginning to see how we want both. when i was still a captive of the pre/trans fallacy, i was a big fan of 'recaptured goodness', needless to say. once i saw through this, i found myself switching allegiance to 'growth to goodness' and scorning what formerly held sway over me. i've only gradually realized we want both.

    we need to recapture because we don't simply grow straight to goodness. as ken likes to quote michael murphy, evolution likes to meander. an infant will try out dirt as food, won't she? i was a candy freak almost into my teens, until i realized that it might be having something to do with my being the smallest kid in the whole class. once i recaptured the goodness of an adequate diet, i grew about a foot from the time i entered high school (i'm caricaturing what actually happened so as to provide a simple picture).

    joanne, another new yorker, has posted elsewhere what i interpret as our need, ironically, for shadows, in order to grow. once that need has been met and we're in position to reown them, then, by all means, we do want to recapture them. without going into alot of psychology, i think that's what i did in the above example.

    it's especially important here not to look at ourselves as victims. ken, with respect to women as sheep, pointed out early on in SES the disempowerment this implies. he went much further, of course, in 'boomeritis'. carolynn myss devoted a book to woundology, and genpo roshi joked about it in one of his voice dialogues at the inaugural ISC event, but it's still very wide spread.

    if we view our own childhood this way, then we're more apt to be permissive, it seems to me. when i give up responsibility for my life, then, of course, i can't do very much about it, and even less about the leading edge of evolution.

    i'm intrigued by your use of the term 'service', cori. in the XIIIth dialogue, the guru and pandit talk about the second face (of three) of God, the one of devotion. i would like to look at service to one's children in this regard as devotion to who they really are.

    getting back to the XIIth dialogue, we can't yet know precisely what 2nd tier authority looks like, because we're just now in the process of creating it. but you can get some ideas from other threads, for example, that on holacracy, that you can apply integrally to parenting, i imagine.

    food for thought, anyway,

    ralph

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  •  07-13-2006, 2:50 PM 1392 in reply to 1381

    Re: Integral parent education

    Equality does not mean equivalence.

    To be equal in value, does not translate to parent and child having equivalent roles.

     

    i think it may be useful to keep track of what Integral adds to the understanding of parenting. i've noticed a few but i forgot to keep track . . .  the above is one such understanding, imo.

    i wrote before about how children grow naturally and all they need to bloom is "sun and water" and so i agree that a lot of what parenting is includes letting children learn.  however, once children develop a a precocious sense of self and begin to exercise their discernment they likely will, by definition, exercise an immature discernment and will want to grow toward impulsive desires, absent any guidance, that are unhealthy in the long run.

    integral tells us that adults and children should not have an equal vote.  adults and children should be treated with respect as persons; their ideas should be treated with respect but children's ideas need not be acted upon when they are in conflict with the parents'.  most of the time a child is happy with the recognition that comes with being listened to and genuinely acknowledged even if the final answer is "you can do that when you're older." 

    integral also tells us that children will not get to blue if they don't learn to control their hedonistic red. is it possible for children to learn self-discipline on their own?

    i get a little concerned when a parent wants a child to learn perspectives beyond their years.  if a level is not fully explored to the child's satisfaction, which may happen if they are pushed upward (compare montessori or waldorf education with conventional), then the resulting adult may find attractive many inner explorations (e.g.  magic and myth) that could have been grown through much earlier.

     

    I think this discussion is very useful because the issue of parental authority is one of the most confusing issues parents face today. 

     

    imo, when outward attractions are satisfied then a person's attention is trained to focus on external things. when outward attractions are denied, then the attention is forced inward and inner world exploration and growth can occur.  that's the ascetic theory anyway, and i approve of it in many ways.  it doesn't have to be delivered in a heavy handed fashion, it can be done gently and firmly.

     

    I'd like to put this question to the forum:

    What Does Second Tier Authority Look Like?

    "He earned his love
    Through discipline
    A thundering, velvet hand
    His gentle means of sculpting souls
    Took me years to understand."          --dan fogelberg    

    i think it can look like any other authority depending on context. so, i'd say, it's flexible.  while embedded red parents might interpret all interaction (oftentimes wrongly) with their children as power games and thereby want to control their children through assertion of authority, 2nd tier can recognize if children are really playing a power game or if they are being genuine.  2nd tier doesn't have a particular bias toward one type of authority.

     

    later,

    gene

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  •  07-13-2006, 8:30 PM 1403 in reply to 1392

    Re: Integral parent education

    coppersun:

    i wrote before about how children grow naturally and all they need to bloom is "sun and water" and so i agree that a lot of what parenting is includes letting children learn.  however, once children develop a a precocious sense of self and begin to exercise their discernment they likely will, by definition, exercise an immature discernment and will want to grow toward impulsive desires, absent any guidance, that are unhealthy in the long run.



    Are you sure about this? Why do you think people would naturally be inclined to want to do things that aren't healthy for them?

    This is where I think a lot of shadows lay for adults. We see the effects of our own shadows (unhealthy cravings, for example) and project them onto our kids. We think we need to stop them from doing what we think they want to do. But is that really the case? If encouraged to take responsibility for their own actions, given role models who are healthy, and allowed to make mistakes (without the overprotective hand of the adults around), don't you think kids would learn to make very good decisions? Don't you think we are "programmed" to be successful human beings?

    coppersun:

    integral tells us that adults and children should not have an equal vote.  adults and children should be treated with respect as persons; their ideas should be treated with respect but children's ideas need not be acted upon when they are in conflict with the parents'.



    Absolutely, no one should have thier needs squashed by another, no matter what age or stage. That goes against all that is integral, as far as I see it. That's why the Passive parenting style/approach is not recommended! And that's why I believe that collaboration is the most successful style, since it strives to meet both the child's needs and the parents' needs. As Cori mentioned, when one "side's" needs aren't met, both sides ultimately lose.

    Perhaps the idea of collaboration is not clear here. It's not a common idea in the West, I know. And I think there are probably more than one concept described by the term too. The basic idea I'm proposing is that all interested parties listen to eachother and then work together to integrate everyone's ideas, concerns, and needs onto a common goal. Sure, with younger kids it can't be that complicated. And at that point, you would only really use it when there was a conflict and someone wasn't getting what they needed to be healthy. And, with even littler kids who can't form a complete sentence, most of that discussion is going to have to go on in our own heads! Which is why getting those shadows out in the open is crucial for being able to honestly see what our kids need, as opposed to what our shadows tell us they need.

    I'll also suggest that the term equality may be misleading. To me, the only important idea behind equality is when it comes to healthy needs. Everyone in the family should, for an integral approach at least, have equal access to meeting their needs. Other than that each individual in a family is going to be doing something different, thinking something different, and literally being something different. But that's true in any group, not just families. Different people have different talents and purposes and that is reflected in the daily operation of a household, or an organization, or a country.

    coppersun:

    integral also tells us that children will not get to blue if they don't learn to control their hedonistic red. is it possible for children to learn self-discipline on their own?



    I think we all tend to forget that kids operate in the same big bad world as adults do. Kids have friends, neighbors, teachers, cops, television, music, and all other manner of people and media throwing all kinds of information and emotions at them all the time, most of it about social standards. Kids learn very early on (at least all the kids I've worked with) that you can't just do whatever you want and not be faced with consequences. (And I don't mean the punishment by adults "for their own good".) Kids have plenty of consequences from the real world! Peer pressure is evidenced even in 2 year olds, perhaps even younger. We are by our very nature social animals so it behooves our genes to make us attentive to social niceties as soon as humanly possible so that we don't do something really stupid and get the DNA beat out of us. Thus, in my experience, the only "punishment" kids need to learn how to act in polite company, is the reaction of that polite company when they violate some standard rule and feel that great teacher of our brains: shame.

    However, that's not to say that we, as adults, necessarily agree with social norms! Especially not the new norms of the younger generation. But when we look realistically at our kids, without our shadows getting in our way, we can see that their behavior is important to their life, and that they are trying their damnedest to suceed in a harsh world. When they make mistakes, our most productive policy is to support them, console them, and help them find ways to be more successful in the future.

    Oh, and I see Integral authority as cleaning up one's own house, and giving others the time and space and resources to clean their own.

    So much more to say, but not tonight. Time for bed for me!

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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