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montalban
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« on: March 09, 2006, 04:01:43 AM »

Has anyone got any ideas about an 'Orthodox' way of parenting? Recently I've been hearing about an (allegedly) growing number of parents trying "Attachment Parenting" (modelled after a South American Indian tribe; the Yequana)

This model involves almost slavishly meeting the child's needs; including such 'odd' thing as allowing the child to breast-feed until the child itself gives up doing this - and this can be as old as 8 or 9!

To me this seems to upset the balance between father and mother in relation to care-giving; as the mother spends all her time attending to her children (well obviously not ALL or they'd not have any other kids).
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2006, 10:13:43 AM »

First, I think this belongs in the Orthodox Family discussion board.

Second, "Attachment" parenting is a pretty wide defination and not all of those who use this type of parenting are like you described and quite honestly it is very misunderstood.   Here is a defintion of what attachement parenting is according the the Attachment Parenting International Web Site.

"Attachment Parenting is a philosophy based in the practice of nurturing parenting practices that create strong emotional bonds, also known as secure attachment, between the infant and parent(s). This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to the infant or child's emotional needs, and develops trust that their emotional needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps the child develop secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships."

Please check out the FAQ on their Web Site.

http://www.attachmentparenting.org/faq.shtml

In addition, you are talking about a couple of different things: Attachement parenting and child led weaning. These are TWO different methods of parenting that are often confused with one another. A family may use attachement parenting but not use child lead weaning.

Here is a definition of child lead weaning from www.kellymom.com


"Child-led weaning occurs when a child no longer has a need to nurse - nutritionally or emotionally. It's relatively unusual for a baby younger than 18-24 months to self-wean if they are not being encouraged in that direction (though things like mom's pregnancy may also affect the timing)"

For whatever reason, Orthodox Christianity attracts a certain "crunchy" (*ahem* Hippie) crowd that may practice "alternative" parenting For example, delayed or no vaccination, attachment parenting, breastfeeding on demand, Buying organic food etc.

As for resources on Orthodox Christian parenting, Light and Life publishing has a good selection of books on the topic.

http://www.light-n-life.com/


Here are some examples of titles I found:

Making God Real in the Orthodox Christian Home
by Anthony M. Coniaris

On the Upbringing of Children
by Bishop Irenaius of Ekaterinburg and Sibirsk

Raising Them Right: A Saint's Advice on Raising Children
by St. Theophan the Recluse

Hope this helps.
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2006, 10:16:25 AM »

Is it "Orthodox" to spank your children? My father's parents were Greek immigrants and I think they may have treated him in an inappropriate way.

Peace.
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2006, 11:36:29 AM »

Is it "Orthodox" to spank your children? My father's parents were Greek immigrants and I think they may have treated him in an inappropriate way.

Peace.

There's spanking and there is beating a child. Spanking should not leave marks physically or emotionally. Otherwise, I think it is perfectly acceptable to spank a child.
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2006, 04:41:37 PM »

I was a victim of the koutala  Sad
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2006, 10:01:12 AM »

Well, first I want to say that an Orthodox way of parenting to me would be making sure you bring them up with exposure to and knowledge of the Church on a consistent basis.  Second, what is the koutala?  I got the pledge paddle as a kid (amongst other things) and I don't normally spank my kids unless they have WAY crossed the line.

Attachmant parenting...I have a very "crunchy" online friend, and hey if it works for her, cool beans!  It isn't for me, and I have issues with not immunizing, but we just agree to disagree.
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2006, 04:07:20 PM »

I was a victim of the koutala  Sad

Wonders if that is anything like "Batina".
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2006, 02:45:57 AM »

Well, first I want to say that an Orthodox way of parenting to me would be making sure you bring them up with exposure to and knowledge of the Church on a consistent basis.  Second, what is the koutala?  I got the pledge paddle as a kid (amongst other things) and I don't normally spank my kids unless they have WAY crossed the line.

Attachmant parenting...I have a very "crunchy" online friend, and hey if it works for her, cool beans!  It isn't for me, and I have issues with not immunizing, but we just agree to disagree.

My concerns about attachment parenting stem from (what seems to me) a lack of discipline. We're taught (in Orthodoxy) to learn to fast, pray etc. But in attachment parenting the child's immediate needs are fulfilled on demand.
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2006, 03:32:31 PM »

koutala=wooden spoon.

Zoe, sometimes I also got the shoe or the kasarolla  Shocked
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2006, 10:18:31 PM »

Is it "Orthodox" to spank your children? My father's parents were Greek immigrants and I think they may have treated him in an inappropriate way.

Peace.
Was your father Orthodox? Did he spank you? I'm wondering why you associate the punishment as being Orthodox
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2006, 10:38:04 PM »

Is it "Orthodox" to spank your children? My father's parents were Greek immigrants and I think they may have treated him in an inappropriate way.

Peace.

It is modern Psychology (or is it sociology?) to say spanking = beating.  Don't let this influence you.
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2006, 10:58:17 PM »

I'm wondering why you associate the punishment as being Orthodox

More specifically, I'm associating it with Greek culture.
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2006, 03:00:01 AM »

More specifically, I'm associating it with Greek culture.
Did your father spank you?

It's a simple question, though easy for you to avoid, it seems.
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2006, 11:31:22 AM »

My concerns about attachment parenting stem from (what seems to me) a lack of discipline. We're taught (in Orthodoxy) to learn to fast, pray etc. But in attachment parenting the child's immediate needs are fulfilled on demand.

I think you have attachment parenting confused with overindulging.

Babies cannot manipulate us, they are pretty complicated little beings however they cry because they do not have the vocabulary to say: "I am hungry"  or "I am wet, please change me" . I do no see anything wrong with picking up a baby or toddler if they are crying. Chances are they are crying for a reason. The ability to manipulate people and situations comes when they begin to learn language.

Ok, yes we are taught to fast and pray... Therefore if the parents pray the child prays with them yes?

The attachment parenting philosphy essentially means that wherever the parents are the children are too.

Make sense?

Attachment parenting IS NOT giving a child McDonald's because he/she demands chicken nuggets. This particular parenting philosophy does not condone no boundries or structure. Here is a quote I copied from the FAQ at www.attachmentparenting.org

Quoting from FAQ....

Can parents do too much attachment parenting?

    No! Because the cornerstone of attachment parenting is being responsive to the child's physical and emotional needs, it is virtually impossible to 'overly' attachment parent. However, many confuse a responsive parent with a 'smother' parent, an 'enmeshed' parent, or an 'indulgent' parent, as all four have similar characteristics - the parent is very involved with the child. It is important to understand the difference between these, as they are nothing like a responsive parent.

    A 'smother' parent is not being responsive to the child's needs, but instead is imposing their own will on the child, regardless of the child's needs. The 'smother' parent tells the child 'when to eat, what to eat, when to sleep, what to play, what to think'. The 'responsive' parent follows the children's lead, and feeds the child when he is hungry, puts him to sleep when he is tired, helps him to follow his interests and passions, etc.

    The 'enmeshed' parent is trying to live their life through their child, and is not being responsive to the child's needs. It is not the child's dreams and wishes that are being considered, but those of the parent. However, it is easy to distinguish an 'enmeshed' parent from a responsive parent, as they are not looking at what is best for the child, but what they want.

    The 'indulgent parent' is one who does not know how to set limits and is not being a responsive to the child's needs. Children need limits and direction, and an adult helping them to grow up into being responsible adults. Many parents confuse 'indulgence' with attachment parenting, but it is not the same at all. Attachment parenting would involve setting limits in a warm loving way, without the threat of physical violence or cruelty.

    Remember that there is no such thing as being too responsive to your child's needs, as it requires doing what is best for the child rather than what is best for the parent. However, it may involve learning more about what the real needs of children are
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2006, 06:00:56 AM »

I think you have attachment parenting confused with overindulging.
I don't think so. The core of attachmet parenting is to meet the childs immediate needs - and although you differentiate between the breast-feeding issue and attachment parenting, the sites I've read suggest things such as a common bed to allow the child to be fed whenever he/she wishes it...
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2006, 09:01:42 AM »

allow the child to be fed whenever he/she wishes it...

That's what one does with an infant though.  And to an extent a small child.  Admittedly I battle my kids all the time as to whether or not they are going to clean out the fridge before dinner...and no I don't let them eat whenever they want, but they are old enough to wait until dinner for the most part. It seems as though you are associating attachment parenting with spoiled brats, and that isn't necessarily the outcome.  Plenty of kids are spoiled rotten and running amok and their parents don't paractice attachment parenting.  
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2006, 06:37:51 AM »

allow the child to be fed whenever he/she wishes it...

That's what one does with an infant though.  And to an extent a small child.  Admittedly I battle my kids all the time as to whether or not they are going to clean out the fridge before dinner...and no I don't let them eat whenever they want, but they are old enough to wait until dinner for the most part. It seems as though you are associating attachment parenting with spoiled brats, and that isn't necessarily the outcome.  Plenty of kids are spoiled rotten and running amok and their parents don't paractice attachment parenting. ÂÂ
This allowance goes beyond a mere baby. And some theories on raising children say that one shouldn't jump the moment a baby cries.

As to feeding...
"They refer to a study that looks at the normalcy of extended breastfeeding in the United States through ages five and six and are in accord with other experts to allow them to wean naturally."
http://www.attachmentparenting.org/faqbf.shtml#wean
They might wean earlier, but they might also wean later. I read about a woman who breastfed her child till the child was eight. And this is still 'on demand'
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2006, 10:00:11 AM »

This allowance goes beyond a mere baby. And some theories on raising children say that one shouldn't jump the moment a baby cries.

This is called the Ferber Method.
http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/7755.html


As to feeding...
"They refer to a study that looks at the normalcy of extended breastfeeding in the United States through ages five and six and are in accord with other experts to allow them to wean naturally."
http://www.attachmentparenting.org/faqbf.shtml#wean
They might wean earlier, but they might also wean later. I read about a woman who breastfed her child till the child was eight. And this is still 'on demand'

 I think it implies that YOU as the PARENT can make the choice for weaning. It does not say YOU SHOULD breast feed until 5 or 6.  The American Academy of Pediatrics reccomends breastfeeding for 12 months. Any reputable OB/GYN or pediatrician will tell you the same thing.

The fact of the matter is that there are many different methods of parenting. It is a personal choice and not all "methods" are full proof and meant to solve every ill.  That is why they are called "methods" not doctrine. If you and your spouse are not comfortable breastfeeding by all means  use formula. If the family bed and sling are not your thing then don't do it. If you want to let your child cry himself to sleep do it.  Again, parenting methods are a personal choice. Orthodox Christian parents like any other parent vary with methods.

This means that not all Orthodox Christians are into attachment parenting. I think this is answer you are looking for?
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2006, 10:11:45 PM »

Out of idle curiosity, Montalban, do you have children?  Do you have experience with helping to raise small children?  

Ebor
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2006, 10:19:05 PM »

My concerns about attachment parenting stem from (what seems to me) a lack of discipline. We're taught (in Orthodoxy) to learn to fast, pray etc. But in attachment parenting the child's immediate needs are fulfilled on demand.

Well, yes.  Babies can't take care of themselves.  That's why they have parents to tend to the basic needs so that the child can thrive.  You don't make an infant fast.  They don't understand, they only know they're hungry or thirsty or cold or hot or wet or dirty or tired or lonely.  Have you ever had to care for an infant for an extended period of time?

Why are you bringing this up, please?  Are you expecting a child?  

Ebor
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2006, 07:07:08 AM »

This is called the Ferber Method.
http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/7755.html


 I think it implies that YOU as the PARENT can make the choice for weaning. It does not say YOU SHOULD breast feed until 5 or 6. ÂÂ The American Academy of Pediatrics reccomends breastfeeding for 12 months. Any reputable OB/GYN or pediatrician will tell you the same thing.

The fact of the matter is that there are many different methods of parenting. It is a personal choice and not all "methods" are full proof and meant to solve every ill.  That is why they are called "methods" not doctrine. If you and your spouse are not comfortable breastfeeding by all means  use formula. If the family bed and sling are not your thing then don't do it. If you want to let your child cry himself to sleep do it.  Again, parenting methods are a personal choice. Orthodox Christian parents like any other parent vary with methods.
No, it means the child chooses when to stop breastfeeding
This means that not all Orthodox Christians are into attachment parenting. I think this is answer you are looking for?
No, it's not. It remains that a child-lead 'ideal' seems to go against ideas of discipline.
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2006, 07:08:37 AM »

Well, yes.  Babies can't take care of themselves.  That's why they have parents to tend to the basic needs so that the child can thrive.  You don't make an infant fast.  They don't understand, they only know they're hungry or thirsty or cold or hot or wet or dirty or tired or lonely.  Have you ever had to care for an infant for an extended period of time?

Why are you bringing this up, please?  Are you expecting a child? ÂÂ

Ebor

Yawn! You're the second person who's ignored that 'attachment' ideal (including breastfeeding) can go on up into school years
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2006, 08:14:24 AM »

What is the obsession with the breastfeeding? Personally I would definetly cut the kid off by 2, or when the next pregnancy started, but it is not unheard of in other cultures, especialy 3rd world ones,for a child under perfectly normal circumstances to breasfeed until he/she is 4 odd years old.  It seems to me that you are more afraid of a child being "in charge" than anything else.  Would your answer to a child asking "hey dad, can we go play catch?" be an automatic no because you don't want him to get the idea that he is in control of your life? That's not how children think. Yes they are into immediate gratification, yes they are more likely to think the world should revolve around them, but that is because the are children and they have to be taught that things are otherwise. Attachment parenting does not automatically mean the child is in control of anything.  Remember it is the parents choice to parent that way, and they also have the choice to alter and adjust that way of parenting any time they see fit.

And yes, we would like to know if you have children. ÂÂ As for Yawn! You're the second person who's ignored that 'attachment' ideal (including breastfeeding) can go on up into school years, my answer is --so what?  Does it hurt you personally?
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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2006, 10:52:54 AM »

I was wondering the same things, Aurelia.  You beat me to it.  Wink

Was this thread started in the hopes of a group response of "Oh Bad! Not Right!"?  What was the reason?  

Ebor
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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2006, 11:04:25 AM »

No, it means the child chooses when to stop breastfeedingNo, it's not. It remains that a child-lead 'ideal' seems to go against ideas of discipline.

Breastfeeding a child until he/she is school aged. I'll agree that is extreme. I recall reading somewhere that most children will wean themselves at around 2 or 3 as they are usually eating what their parents are eating. If I have time today, I'll try to find reliable sources to back up my claim.
 

Child-lead simply means that one is listening to their child(ren) This means that YOU as a parent are in tune with what your child needs. For example, if you know that your two year old is uncomfortable with strangers you would do your best to ease her into trusting her new surroundings.  If you know that your 5 year old does not respond to a crack on the rear when he has done something wrong, maybe it is time to find another way to discipline him. Child-lead does not mean indulging and catering to every whim and fancy a kid has. I will agree that some people take "child-lead" to mean that their whole universe revolves around their kid and they indulge and cater to them like little idols.

Setting boundaries and having a discipline plan are natural to a "child lead" ideal, IMHO as one is creating structure and a consistant message based on what the parent has figured out about their kids.  

I have applied some "child lead" learning tactics in my Sunday School class. I am aware of what all 10 students strengths and weaknesses are.  I have benefited greatly for taking the time to get to know my students.  I take what I have learned about them in account when I plan my lessons as my goal is to reach each kid in one way or another. When I do have to discipline, I know how to handle my troublemakers.  I  have yet to raise my voice or send anyone out of class.

I will third that I am curious about why breastfeeding, child lead weaning and attachment parenting interests you.
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2006, 06:42:08 AM »

I was wondering the same things, Aurelia.  You beat me to it.  Wink

Was this thread started in the hopes of a group response of "Oh Bad! Not Right!"?  What was the reason? ÂÂ

Ebor
Cool, let's start speculating as to motives. Debate over, I guess?
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2006, 06:48:24 AM »

Breastfeeding a child until he/she is school aged. I'll agree that is extreme. I recall reading somewhere that most children will wean themselves at around 2 or 3 as they are usually eating what their parents are eating. If I have time today, I'll try to find reliable sources to back up my claim.

I've read (albeit in popular women's magazines) of women going on to about 8 or so years.
 
Child-lead simply means that one is listening to their child(ren) This means that YOU as a parent are in tune with what your child needs. For example, if you know that your two year old is uncomfortable with strangers you would do your best to ease her into trusting her new surroundings.  If you know that your 5 year old does not respond to a crack on the rear when he has done something wrong, maybe it is time to find another way to discipline him. Child-lead does not mean indulging and catering to every whim and fancy a kid has. I will agree that some people take "child-lead" to mean that their whole universe revolves around their kid and they indulge and cater to them like little idols.
I am in favour of listening to children, but it does seem to me that it is a 'child-lead' activity; it is as far as breast-feeding is concerned, where the child 'decides'.

Setting boundaries and having a discipline plan are natural to a "child lead" ideal, IMHO as one is creating structure and a consistant message based on what the parent has figured out about their kids. ÂÂ
The aspect of close contact with a child, wether held by mother or father is one that appeals to me. However all I have read of people actually operating this; as opposed to information sites, shows that the child decides when and what to do, and the parents stop. I acknowledge that not all parents will do this.

I would think that the child-lead approach flies in the face of the Church that encourages discipline (not talking about corporal punishment here)
I have applied some "child lead" learning tactics in my Sunday School class. I am aware of what all 10 students strengths and weaknesses are.  I have benefited greatly for taking the time to get to know my students.  I take what I have learned about them in account when I plan my lessons as my goal is to reach each kid in one way or another. When I do have to discipline, I know how to handle my troublemakers.  I  have yet to raise my voice or send anyone out of class.
I too am looking for 'positive' discipline approaches.
I will third that I am curious about why breastfeeding, child lead weaning and attachment parenting interests you.
Given the circumstances of others wishing simply to speculate I will refrain from answering this as I don't like this 'let's ignore the discussion and look at movies' ideal
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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2006, 07:45:50 PM »

Sometimes in on-line fora, people will start threads just for the purpose of getting a rise out of people, or of starting other people fighting.  Sometimes the "why" of a thread does matter.  It is not an attack to ask why someone is interested. It could be to focus on answers that may be more helpful in the discussion. Since you have mentioned breastfeeding repeatedly, this seems to be a point of concern to you.  Finding out why you have focused on that can help in any answers given.

There is a broad spectrum of childrearing ideas.  "Child lead" does not for most people mean "let the kid do whatever it wants and run the adults until it's grown".  There are some "over indulgent" parents that don't use "no" and have offspring that are spoiled tyrants, but that is not the situation here  The nursing to 8 or so is an extreme for most people.  If it is what is done in some more "tribal" groups, perhaps it is because that is a way to get nourishment that may not be available (or sanitary) other ways.  I'm not an anthropologist studying such peoples  but the "why" of that situation may be for a good reason (for some women, nursing does work as a kind of natural prevention of ovulation, not all but some, so the practice could help in bringing one child up rather then having another soon).  

But those of us here who *do* have children have experience and ideas about raising them based on that.  

Asking "why" is not necessarily an attack or a dismissal.  

Ebor
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2006, 11:57:28 PM »

Sometimes in on-line fora, people will start threads just for the purpose of getting a rise out of people, or of starting other people fighting.  Sometimes the "why" of a thread does matter.  It is not an attack to ask why someone is interested. It could be to focus on answers that may be more helpful in the discussion. Since you have mentioned breastfeeding repeatedly, this seems to be a point of concern to you.  Finding out why you have focused on that can help in any answers given.
All I will say is that I started this thread because what I've read on this type of parenting seemed to be against Orthodox ideas of discipline.
There is a broad spectrum of childrearing ideas.  "Child lead" does not for most people mean "let the kid do whatever it wants and run the adults until it's grown".  There are some "over indulgent" parents that don't use "no" and have offspring that are spoiled tyrants, but that is not the situation here  The nursing to 8 or so is an extreme for most people.  If it is what is done in some more "tribal" groups, perhaps it is because that is a way to get nourishment that may not be available (or sanitary) other ways.  I'm not an anthropologist studying such peoples  but the "why" of that situation may be for a good reason (for some women, nursing does work as a kind of natural prevention of ovulation, not all but some, so the practice could help in bringing one child up rather then having another soon). ÂÂ

But those of us here who *do* have children have experience and ideas about raising them based on that. ÂÂ  

Asking "why" is not necessarily an attack or a dismissal. ÂÂ

Ebor
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« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2006, 07:42:16 AM »

All I will say is that I started this thread because what I've read on this type of parenting seemed to be against Orthodox ideas of discipline.Ta

Well, what does "Orthodox ideas of discipline" mean to you besides what you wrote?  What sources are you using for what it could be?  You mentioned fasting, but as has been pointed out infants and small children do not fast, so what other parts of discipline are applicable please?

Ebor
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« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2006, 07:02:01 PM »

Well, what does "Orthodox ideas of discipline" mean to you besides what you wrote?  What sources are you using for what it could be?  You mentioned fasting, but as has been pointed out infants and small children do not fast, so what other parts of discipline are applicable please?

Ebor

I stated this already; in Orthodoxy we have ideas of spiritual discipline, including fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays etc. The whol Orthodox life is one of strengthening ourselves.

Child-lead ideas seem to be the antithesis of this (and again I should note, I'm not just talking about food for a baby - as child-lead feedings can continue on up until eight or so). (I re-state this as you seem intent on shifting this back to someone so very young).
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« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2006, 06:27:10 PM »

It isn't just EO that has "ideas of spiritual discipline".  And that isn't a binary situation where there either is or is not, total laxity or total control.

Raising children is a careful and complicated task that lasts for decades.   There are times when the parent directs everything and times when the child must be taken into account. They're not dolls, but human beings. Our children are growing up with both rules and freedoms.  They don't run things.  They are corrected when they misbehave.  They have heard "no" as well as "yes".  They must attend church.  The two older children are old enough to fast to some degree (yes, Anglicans may have fasting disciplines.)

But for other things they may "direct" that is to say do things they prefer such as one wants to take part in the school science fairs and another doesn't.  

"Child-lead" does not have to mean  having a pint-sized dictator running the grown-ups.  

Ebor
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"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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