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What is "tomato staking"?


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#51 aggieamy

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:20 PM

I've got a big kid and her toddler years seem so long ago so I googled 18 month old child just to get a reference to remember what that age was like.

Here's a random image I found.

Posted Image

It makes me feel pretty icky on the inside to think of someone hitting a child that sized for making an ugly face.

I fall into the camp of gentle parenting and have never laid a hand on DD but in general I feel like you shouldn't hit anyone that is so young they haven't developed elbows.
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#52 elfgivas

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:45 PM

I had no idea the origins of "tomato staking" and plan to now never use that term. I'm going to use mrsjones term of "apron string parenting'. I like it much better.


:iagree: and i used the term on this board recently, and had NO IDEA it had violent origins. i now feel dreadful.

what i meant was sweet-pea staking..... something sturdy yet flexible, offering guidance and love.....

oh my.
ann
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#53 bolt.

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:54 PM

You mean you aren't supposed to thwack tomato plants to get them to grow? I thought it would be safer than using chemicals, but yeah, it didn't work last summer.

Did your tomatoes make ugly faces at you?

...

To be fair, the quotes I provide are linked because they are on the same topic -- one discribes how to treat toddlers who are disobeying (even slightly) by hitting them lightly, but still painfully. The other discribes that a tomato-staked child of any age should be "corrected" for anything down to slight facial expressions. She goes on to indicate that a verbal correction can sometimes suffice for small offenses, but the last quote indicates that she considers painful hitting (light or firm swats) a key teaching technique, neither limited to toddlers, nor used sparingly.

Taken together one can infer that the "correction" involved in tomato staking is often/usually hitting (light or firm swats) but that for some milder offenses (perhaps face-making) a verbal correction might be used instead, but only if the verbal correction is as instantly effective as the hitting.
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#54 jewellsmommy

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:32 PM

Tomato staking is not synonymous with spanking as far as I knew. It is to provide proper behavioral support to a child that is unable to control their own behavior, choices, responses to other, impulses, etc.

We did this with ds whenever we were out of the house or when he was with dd because he could not be around other children without victimizing them in some way. The re-enforcement of that behavior was bad for him as well as the other children. He had been trained young that you are either the victim or the bully. He had to re-learn how to interact with others: how to 'read' others, how to express himself verbally, how to control his impulses. Dh and I would literally translate the the actions, words and emotions of others to him. Then we would evaluate potential choices for responses when he was upset or tempted to act out in some fashion. This taught dh and I what his triggers were and we were able to slowly build confidence in him as we allowed more of the process to become his and less ours. Tomato staking was highly effective. The best part is that it is easily tweaked to suit the individual child's needs. I have never heard this concept called anything else nor have I seen it associated with 'hitting' a child in the few families that I personally know to have used it.


Edited to bold my own words for clarity.
And to add: That I think a lot of families use this concept their own way just as we did.


Tomato staking is short term, and (in its original form from 'raising godly tomatoes') incredibly punishment-oriented. It involves requiring he child to follow the parent on all of the parent's daily tasks and agenda, within arms reach, so that the parent can modify the child's "character" by being instantly able to correctively 'swat' (hit) the child for the slightest indication of bad attitude, such as facial expressions.

Most people of more moderate sensibilities have taken up the term for keeping a child near at hand as they are overcoming a behavior struggle -- a struggle that needs 100% supervision to interfere with a bad habit (ie coloring on one's self) or a behavior that means they must always be supervised around other children (ie violent biting).

The moderate version tends to invole the parent supervising the child activities for the most part (not so much carrying on with an adult agenda, though some things must be done) and active teaching around, and prevention of, a specific troubling behavior (not attitude and facial expressions)... Hopefully without the hitting. Most kids are in the best space for learning when they are not in constant fear of stinging pain for small slip ups.

I don't like to use the term tomato staking, lest people imagine I am reccomending such a technique based mainly on minor pain and the fear of being hurt... Even though the idea of a short term of close supervision can be good (if done in a way that encourages the child positively).


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#55 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:57 PM

Raising Godly Tomatoes, Pearl, and Ezzo are all of the same stripe. They all talk a good game about making connections and building relationships but at the end of the day the child is the adversary and punishment is the weapon. The spiritualizing of it is the worst part.
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#56 bolt.

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:59 PM

I agree, jewellsmommy, lots of people use 'this concept' (of close supervision) their own non-violent way. It's just unfortunate that when we use the term 'tomato staking' (meaning, our own way, without harsh treatment) others might read it to mean that we do it according to the original Internet-posted specifics, or that we are whole-hearted my recommending that website as a resource.

The vast majority of people who use the term don't actually have any idea where it comes from, or the original way it is tied so firmly to a 'swat for the slightest issue' paradigm. So, mostly people who mention it don't mean it that way. Most people mean it in a very nice way. When used positively, it does have very positive results. I'd just be more comfortable if the positive version had its own name, and we could cut ties to 'tomatoes' unless someone really means to refer to 'tomatoes'.
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#57 unsinkable

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:00 PM

And you know what: I want to raise a child, not a tomato.

I hate that cutesy crap people say when they are really talking about something not cute at all.

Raising Godly Tomatoes.

BLECH!
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#58 Ellie

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:05 PM

How it is implemented varies some, but basicly all tomato staking is is making the child(ren) stay by your side as much as possible. The concept being that it provides a two prong approach to problems. One, the parent is right there is immediately correct misbehavior and, secondly, the parent has constant opportunity to encourage positive behavior and bond with a child that is maybe being rebellious or pulling away from parents. It is less about punishing a child and more about putting the parent in a position where they must be and can more easily be consistent with a child.

Simple really. And often very effective IME.


:iagree:

#59 Ishki

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:06 PM

And you know what: I want to raise a child, not a tomato.

I hate that cutesy crap people say when they are really talking about something not cute at all.

Raising Godly Tomatoes.

BLECH!


Exactly. As though applying some cute name makes it less loathsome. I treat my tomato plants with great care. I like to think I treat my children even better. Because, you know, they're human.
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#60 Ellie

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:14 PM

I think we err if we judge without reading the author's exact words. You can check them out on her site, Raising Godly Tomatoes.

If you're offended because she talks about the importance of teaching children to obey, then you'll miss her comments about the importance of loving on your children and taking them into your bed and snuggling them in your lap, and the importance of not using a shrill, nagging, harsh voice when you are correcting them.
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#61 Amy in NH

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:19 PM

When I recommend tomato staking, I mean it the way Martha defined it.

#62 unsinkable

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:22 PM

I think we err if we judge without reading the author's exact words. You can check them out on her site, Raising Godly Tomatoes.

If you're offended because she talks about the importance of teaching children to obey, then you'll miss her comments about the importance of loving on your children and taking them into your bed and snuggling them in your lap, and the importance of not using a shrill, nagging, harsh voice when you are correcting them.


Yeah, that's what we are all offended about...the fact that she talks about the importance of teaching kids to obey. Sheesh!







#63 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:23 PM

I think we err if we judge without reading the author's exact words. You can check them out on her site, Raising Godly Tomatoes.

If you're offended because she talks about the importance of teaching children to obey, then you'll miss her comments about the importance of loving on your children and taking them into your bed and snuggling them in your lap, and the importance of not using a shrill, nagging, harsh voice when you are correcting them.


To me, none of this undoes the systematic pain, called "training," administered upon one-year-olds who are innocent and behaving with natural and appropriate curiosity.
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#64 unsinkable

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:28 PM

Loving Parenting with Only Occasional Trips to the Wood shed

That is the SUBTITLE of her blog. Isn't it crystal clear that it is a punitive website centered on physical punishment?
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#65 Freckles

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:33 PM

I have no problem with the idea of training my children. If I don't teach them how to act/behave the world will, and I don't have the same priorities or value system as the world.

#66 Ishki

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:34 PM

Loving Parenting with Only Occasional Trips to the Wood shed

That is the SUBTITLE of her blog. Isn't it crystal clear that it is a punitive website centered on physical punishment?


I thought (hoped) at first you being sarcastic. Guess not.

#67 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:40 PM

I have no problem with the idea of training my children. If I don't teach them how to act/behave the world will, and I don't have the same priorities or value system as the world.


This is entirely illogical. Parents who don't spank babies for making faces or exploring their world still teach them how to act and behave, and do so because of their priorities and value systems. Millions of children are very well-behaved and respectable without having been spanked as infants and toddlers.
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#68 bolt.

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:54 PM

It's not the idea of obedience that bothers (those of us that are bothered by 'godly tomatoes')... It's the when and how specifically that the parent recommends going about it. Her method is psychological conditioning, based on applying a negative stimulus (pain, confusion, rejection) after each undesirable behavior, beginning during the phase of toddlerhood when many children are barely verbal. She also recommends setting toddlers up with difficult/tempting situations to further this process.

Psychological conditioning through pain (even mild pain) tends to be highly effective, especially when it's done with high levels of consistency -- just as she says.

The result of this training is that the toddler's instinct to avoid pain, in addition to their instinct to maintain positive relationships are *used* to over-ride the toddler's instinct to explore the world and seek ways to meet their own needs and desires.

It's not healthy -- especially when the parents themselves are openly acting as the source if the pain, in the context of a loving relationship.
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#69 Ellie

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:07 PM

"with a small swat on the rear end."

You can call that "hitting," but I don't.
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#70 bolt.

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:47 PM

I call it hitting when one of my children administers a small painful swat on the rear end it to the other one.

I call it hitting if someone administers a small painful swat to my rear end (unless its a pat from a loved one, which wouldn't be painful).

I call it hitting if friends or strangers administer small painful swats it to my children's rear ends.

I even call it hitting if someone administers a small painful swat to the rear end of a dog.

Hitting is the normal word used to describe the action -- using one's hand to do something that causes the feeing of pain to another person's body. Unless there is something I don't understand about the semantic range of the word?

Why wouldn't I call it hitting when a parent does it to a child?

The only way it's "not hitting" is if it actually doesn't hurt AT ALL, like, in some sort of a game. Otherwise, it's hitting. Sure, there are some special words we use when a parent hits a child in a controlled manner for what the perceive to be a good cause. That's fair to say there are other words for it, but at a basic language level, of course it's hitting.
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#71 Spy Car

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:14 PM

I think we err if we judge without reading the author's exact words. You can check them out on her site, Raising Godly Tomatoes.

If you're offended because she talks about the importance of teaching children to obey, then you'll miss her comments about the importance of loving on your children and taking them into your bed and snuggling them in your lap, and the importance of not using a shrill, nagging, harsh voice when you are correcting them.


Not speaking in "shrill, nagging, harsh voice when you are correcting them," which means while you are hitting them, is essentially the same perverse perscription ordered by the Pearls to smile while you beat the children.

It is sick, sick, sick!

Bill
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#72 unsinkable

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:58 PM

I call it hitting when one of my children administers a small painful swat on the rear end it to the other one.

I call it hitting if someone administers a small painful swat to my rear end (unless its a pat from a loved one, which wouldn't be painful).

I call it hitting if friends or strangers administer small painful swats it to my children's rear ends.

I even call it hitting if someone administers a small painful swat to the rear end of a dog.

Hitting is the normal word used to describe the action -- using one's hand to do something that causes the feeing of pain to another person's body. Unless there is something I don't understand about the semantic range of the word?

Why wouldn't I call it hitting when a parent does it to a child?

The only way it's "not hitting" is if it actually doesn't hurt AT ALL, like, in some sort of a game. Otherwise, it's hitting. Sure, there are some special words we use when a parent hits a child in a controlled manner for what the perceive to be a good cause. That's fair to say there are other words for it, but at a basic language level, of course it's hitting.


Thank you, bolt.

I appreciate your post.

The attempts at defense of this type of "parenting" philosophy is crazy-making at times.
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#73 Freckles

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:43 PM

This is entirely illogical. Parents who don't spank babies for making faces or exploring their world still teach them how to act and behave, and do so because of their priorities and value systems. Millions of children are very well-behaved and respectable without having been spanked as infants and toddlers.



Well, I never said I spanked my babies. I said I trained them, and I wasn't using the exact or even similar definition as this author. I was referring to a statement that I read up thread that training children was wrong because they are not dogs. I have never spanked my child for looking at me wrong. I did spank my child for running into the street, willful disobedience, and lying. Spankings in our home were used sparingly and as a last resort. I do not feel guilty about it. My input into the discussion was focused on the word training used in my family. My girls will mind me, they will be respectful to adults, they will have training on what is right and wrong behavior. There may be "millions" of children who have grown up to be respectful, kind, wonderful children raised without spanking/firm boundaries, but I have come across plenty in my years as a public school teacher who aren't.
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#74 Freckles

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:48 PM

This is entirely illogical. Parents who don't spank babies for making faces or exploring their world still teach them how to act and behave, and do so because of their priorities and value systems. Millions of children are very well-behaved and respectable without having been spanked as infants and toddlers.



Well, I never said I spanked my babies. I said I trained them, and I wasn't using the exact or even similar definition as this author. I was referring to a statement that I read up thread that training children was wrong because they are not dogs. I have never spanked my child for looking at me wrong. I did spank my child for running into the street, willful disobedience, and lying. Spankings in our home were used sparingly and as a last resort. I do not feel guilty about it. My input into the discussion was focused on the word training used in my family. My girls will mind me, they will be respectful to adults, they will have training on what is right and wrong behavior. There may be "millions" of children who have grown up to be respectful, kind, wonderful adults raised without spanking/firm boundaries, but I have come across plenty in my years as a public school teacher/college instructor who aren't.

#75 Freckles

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:49 PM

sorry double post

#76 AK_Mom4

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:02 PM

Oh ick. I had no idea the term was in any way related to the concept of spanking infants. Double ick.

I admit, I picked up the term from this board years ago and thought it sounded most excellent. Fine - I will switch to "apron-stringing" or whatever we call it now.
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#77 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:18 PM

I've used the term and will probably continue to use the term. I never meant it to mean anything to do with spanking. When I've used the term it has been specifically defined for people as meaning that I kept my children near me so that I could guide them into good behavior. It was not adversarial but was a way of coming alongside of them. I hope that people have the objectivity and the maturity to listen to what people are really saying and to give advice based on that. I hope that if people disagree with advice given by others that they will articulate their objections clearly without thinking that yelling more loudly than anyone else or otherwise trying to drown out dialogue is a legitimate debate technique. I think there are many ways to reach out to children and that keeping children close by and discipling them (I realize that this is a Christian term which not all might relate to but I can't think of a secular alternative that means what I want to say right now) has been one that has benefited us.

PS - discipling does not mean disciplining - just in case someone thinks that is what it means. It means treating them as a disciple - a student.
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#78 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 05:12 AM

Hm.
I am surprised at what the term really means.
I had only heard of it though this forum and had thought that it meant that the child was being punished for some misdemeanor by having to follow the parent around all day. I see I had the wrong understanding of the term.
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#79 unsinkable

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:50 AM

I hope that people have the objectivity and the maturity to listen to what people are really saying and to give advice based on that. I hope that if people disagree with advice given by others that they will articulate their objections clearly without thinking that yelling more loudly than anyone else or otherwise trying to drown out dialogue is a legitimate debate technique.


If this is your way of calling me out because I've used all caps at times, I am not thinking that I am yelling more loudly.

I used all caps on a few words after bolt's quotes in order to mimic the words that word all caps in the quotes.

So in my case, I didn't think it was a legitimate debate technique...it was a stylistic choice.

The technique as written on the website is HORRIFYING. I won't debate that.

#80 mytwomonkeys

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 07:13 AM

i have never even heard of tomato staking or helicopter parenting. i honestly opened this thread wondering how it could be two pages long in regard to staking tomato plants, lol.

very interesting indeed!

#81 JuanitaL

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 07:20 AM

You mean you aren't supposed to thwack tomato plants to get them to grow? I thought it would be safer than using chemicals, but yeah, it didn't work last summer.

We had a Madrigal dinner winter before last, at one part of the night we went out and punched our apple trees to encourage them to produce more fruit (I found it on the internet, I can't remember the reason behind that now). I just kind of sissy-slapped my tree with the palm of my hand, but my 70 year old mother actually drew blood on her knuckles! She really got into it and punched that tree. We had pretty good apples last summer, they would have been a lot better if we'd have sprayed the trees instead of assaulting them.

#82 Joanne

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:54 AM

I'd never heard of 'tomato staking' involving any hitting or punishment at all. My understanding was that the child (who needed to work on a specific behavior issue) would be close to mom throughout the day -- they could work together, talk together, and the child would learn through this. I've done that a few times, and it has been wonderful.


Like the term "Pass the bean dip" ;) , it has evolved from the original text.

"Tomato staking", as a term and scripted parenting technique, emerged from a specific parenting site and paradigm; one which included physical punishment as a part of the technique.

Others have co-opted the phrase and changed the parenting orientation/paradigm while keeping the proximity to parent part of the technique.
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#83 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:43 AM

If this is your way of calling me out because I've used all caps at times, I am not thinking that I am yelling more loudly.

I used all caps on a few words after bolt's quotes in order to mimic the words that word all caps in the quotes.

So in my case, I didn't think it was a legitimate debate technique...it was a stylistic choice.

The technique as written on the website is HORRIFYING. I won't debate that.


Um, no, I hadn't remembered you using all caps and I didn't go back to check to see if anyone had. . . As to your opinion on the website, I don't think anyone is telling you that you shouldn't have that opinion. I actually don't care a whole lot about what the website says. I don't parent my children using a "cookbook" whether it is a guru of some kind or a site or a book. But if you don't understand, as Joanne so eloquently put it, that the term has evolved, then you won't be truly hearing what some people on this board are saying when they use the term. I've found the evolved term communicates something that I've found valuable - and it has absolutely nothing to do with spanking. I see that some are searching for a another term that isn't loaded emotionally for some to use. If another term emerges that truly communicates what I want to say, then I'll use it. But I don't feel like I have to artificially create another term - this term as it has evolved says it all for me. And while I recognize that it is a metaphor - after all, I'm not really going to put my kids in a round metal trellis and tie them to it - the root of the metaphor of gentle guidance is one that I like.

#84 momoflaw

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 07:31 PM

I had no idea the term had such an abusive meaning. I know i've used it but will not any longer. I've been enlightened.
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#85 Spy Car

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:57 PM

I don't parent my children using a "cookbook" whether it is a guru of some kind or a site or a book. But if you don't understand, as Joanne so eloquently put it, that the term has evolved, then you won't be truly hearing what some people on this board are saying when they use the term. I've found the evolved term communicates something that I've found valuable - and it has absolutely nothing to do with spanking. I see that some are searching for a another term that isn't loaded emotionally for some to use. If another term emerges that truly communicates what I want to say, then I'll use it. But I don't feel like I have to artificially create another term - this term as it has evolved says it all for me. And while I recognize that it is a metaphor - after all, I'm not really going to put my kids in a round metal trellis and tie them to it - the root of the metaphor of gentle guidance is one that I like.


I hear what you are saying Jean, but I'm sure you understand that for many of us (me included) it is very significant that this term "tomato staking" had its origin in an "parenting" technique we find abusive. That makes it a difficult term to accept. It is too loaded, and has not evolved in my mind.

I know that what you mean and what the Raising Godly Tomatoes" people mean are qualitativly two different things, but when I hear the term their definition remains intact in my mind, and it's you seems like you are using a term whose legacy you don't fully appreciate.

Personally, I think you'd do well to use another term, rather than accidentally "legitimizing" anything to do with "Raising Godly Tomatoes."

Bill

#86 Georgiana D

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:27 PM

I dread to think how many bad behaviors my kids would pick up if I kept them by my side all day long.
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#87 Spy Car

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:52 PM

I dread to think how many bad behaviors my kids would pick up if I kept them by my side all day long.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Bill
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#88 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:07 AM

I dread to think how many bad behaviors my kids would pick up if I kept them by my side all day long.

:laugh:

I have always thought that if a child is frustrating you ( and vise versa) then the last thing I need is to have them follow me around all day.
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#89 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:34 AM

I hear what you are saying Jean, but I'm sure you understand that for many of us (me included) it is very significant that this term "tomato staking" had its origin in an "parenting" technique we find abusive. That makes it a difficult term to accept. It is too loaded, and has not evolved in my mind.

I know that what you mean and what the Raising Godly Tomatoes" people mean are qualitativly two different things, but when I hear the term their definition remains intact in my mind, and it's you seems like you are using a term whose legacy you don't fully appreciate.

Personally, I think you'd do well to use another term, rather than accidentally "legitimizing" anything to do with "Raising Godly Tomatoes."

Bill


I'm not so good at thinking of new terms. If someone comes up with one that communicates what I need it to communicate, I have no problem using it. I don't care if you don't use the term or even the method for that matter. It has been something that has helped me at different times in my parenting journey. I doubt it would help every parent or every child. But it helped me when my children were really little because I needed to keep them near me for safety reasons. I had a son who literally took all the railings off of our stairway when I went to the bathroom and forgot to put away a screwdriver! So for a short period of time we did everything together. It was a way to keep him safe, occupied and still get some necessary things done. I had a daughter who was starting to pull away in a very negative way a year ago. Obviously we didn't stick together to the same extent - we both needed our privacy at times and needed time to be without each other. But I did have her shadow me at times and it was a positive thing for both our relationship. I had a son (much older now) who was starting to drift off in school and was lying about how he was using his laptop during school hours. For a very short period of time I needed him to do all his work while he was at my side. The shortest and most versatile term I know of to apply to all of those scenarios is "tomato staking". I don't mean to offend anyone by using that term. But the OP asked what people here on this board meant when they used this term.

- Coming back to this thread to address the horror aspect. In my mind the kind of association you have between "tomato staking" and "abuse" is the kind of association that many would have with the terms "interrogation" and "waterboarding". They aren't synonymous but one has been used in conjunction with the other. I would argue that authorities should not throw out the term or the practice of "interrogation" along with the term or the practice of "waterboarding". And in my mind, throwing out the term and the practice of "tomato staking" is like that. They aren't synonymous but may have been used in conjunction with the other. So - no, I don't share your horror. I understand your horror because I understand the depth of your feeling against the kind of discipline described, but I don't make a 1:1 correlation and I don't think the use of the term legitimizes the other.

(I know that more could be said to explore whether the discipline method described is abuse or not but I really don't think that is germane here because I'm addressing the horror that you are feeling in relation to what you see as abuse. And for the record I did not and do not use tomato staking in any way connected to discipline of any method at any age.)

#90 Martha

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:07 PM

Meh. I can't stand Godly tomatos, pearls, or Ezzos. Tho I'm not anti spanking either.

Millions of kids were spanked growing up and still are without being traumantized and beaten and are perfectly fine loving adults.

To me, it's not an either or situation and making it out to be one just undermines both sides of the spanking debates.

And to me, keeping a kid close has nothing to do with either anyways. I guess we can rename it if it makes other people feel better. Magnet parenting? Whatever.
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#91 BLA5

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:44 PM

Duck tape is trendy right now, maybe duck tape parenting would work.

The motto could be "so much togetherness you will wish I had duck taped you to the wall"



FWIW, I had never heard the term tomato staking in terms of parenting before this board and was pretty unimpressed with the godly tomatoes site when I first looked at it two (?) years ago, but have understood that it is used on this board to mean something different than the godly tomatoes version of the term. Maybe if every time it is used people do not send posters to the site we could salvage the term. Or we could go with duck tape parenting. After all duck tape comes in all sorts of cool looking patterns!


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