TCS

These initials stand for Taking Children Seriously and Non-Coercive Parenting, and these approaches to parenting are enticing to many attachment parenting or gentle minded parents.

They seem to be incredibly respectful of children, and that appeals to parents who start out with the belief that their children are not little adults – but are little people deserving of the respect and care that we offer to all around us.

 

Loving God and loving our neighbor ,and loving ourselves and loving our children, seems to fit beautifully with the idea of taking children seriously and not coercing them. Unfortunately, these philosophies are insidious with problems, and it is often the results of these approaches to parenting that create homes of permissiveness and the child-centeredness that punitive experts warn against.

What sounds good in theory is greatly lacking in practice and practicality. It doesn’t help matters that the majority of people drawn to these philosophies are parents of one or two very small children or, even more often, non-parents who enjoy the mental exercises of figuring out how to respond to situations without coercion.

One big concern with these philosophies is met upon examining the idea of coercion. This is defined as anything that exerts your will over someone else. Religion is deemed coercive and rejected outright. Any parental authority is rejected because it implies that the parent has the right and responsibility to assert their will in the home.

Instead, all encounters where there is a difference in desired outcomes are to be resolved with the finding of a “common preference”, which is defined as a better idea than what either party wanted before.

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