Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Respecting Choices

My latest natural parenting article came up on Essence of Life today, It's about respecting children's choices, basically, how I came to buy Littletree Barbie dolls, which I already wrote about on the blog.
You can read the article here.
I really hope that someone reads it and gets the idea. Maybe one child will grow with respect.

Littletree just came home from the next-door neighbours' place crying. She said that N, her friend's mother, said that she's a naughty girl. Littletree told me that N doesn't know that girls aren't naughty and that she's a good girl all the time.

Well, of course, I agree with her, and of course she has to understand that different people do things in different ways. But I had to get to the bottom of it. After much querying, it transpires that the story is that N asked Littletree to put some rubbish in the bin. Littletree didn't do it, and after demanding several times that she do it, N proclaimed Littletree to be a "naughty girl" and sent her home.

On the surface, it seems like a perfectly reasonable request, and a perfectly reasonable expectation that the request be carried out, and perfectly reasonable to send the "naughty" kid home when she refuses.

When I probed deeper, I found out that there are two sides to this:
Littletree didn't know where the bin is in their kitchen, so when N told her to throw some rubbish away, she didn't know what to do, and was too shy to ask. When N kept demanding, getting angrier each time, Littletree got more and more upset, feeling bad that she didn't do "the right thing" in the first place, feeling worse that N was getting angry with her and then feeling awful when N denounced her as "Naughty".

Being only four years old, Littletree doesn't have the necessary experience or confidence to identify these cause and effect patterns, not to articulate herself in her defence. The more N told her off, the more she got on the defensive; just denying the request and getting upset. The more upset she got, the less articulate. The more she is told that she is "naughty" the more she will act that way.

In the end, I talked about it with Littletree, and all is well. If only N would understand this concept. But that seems doubtful :/

Meanwhile, I uploaded all our photos from New Zealand - 88 of them!!! Mostly its just pictures of beautiful scenery, but they can be found on my flickr page, a link to which is in the sidebar. Tomorrow I shall endeavour to write a long blog post about the trip.
Here's one to tide you over ;)
38 Circling


  1. Looks like another excellent trip! You are a stunning Majikfaerie :-). Very much enjoyed your article, too (as Mama to a truck-lovin' little boy). Enjoy the last few drops of 2007!

  2. What a great sunny meadow picture. When I have time I'll have a look at the lovely pictures in the Flickr.

  3. A Beautiful place. I love the pictures of little tree..looks like she had fun.

  4. I read your article, which I really enjoyed and completely agree with.


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)