Sugar, sugar, sugar!

 

Browsing parenting magazines is a favorite hobby of mine.  Theres not many that I consistently agree with, but nor are there many parents I consistently agree with.  Some articles annoy me and occasionally some thoroughly piss me off.  But most of these are simply differences of opinion, and societal programming.   You know, stuff like “Americans let their kids cry it out and stop breastfeeding at 6 months because Americans value independence!”

…right.  I’m sure all the co-sleeping tribal kids that breastfeed til the age of four end up very insecure and irresponsible. 

However, this is the first time I’ve been driven to rebut something I read in a parenting magazine.  In the July Issue of Parents, they stated “Some studies have found that small amounts of sugar can increase a child’s focus and calmness (but it’s still smart to limit sweets since they’re typically low on nutrients).”  This is in a health Q & A with the question “Does sugar cause hyperactivity?”  Their answer is simply “No.”, stated as if there is no other possibilities, no matter what.

Okay, for a start.  It’s a known fact that people with autism and autism spectrum disorders (which includes such common disorders as ADHD), are sensitive to sugar, especially as children.  In these children sugar certainly does cause hyperactivity, as well as poor processing and even more limited self-control than usual.  They’re also frequently sensitive to artificial coloring and preservatives, substances that are often found in high-sugar foods and beverages.

foodforthebrain.com has a full list of disorders and the food sensitivities that accompany them, with lots of references to many, many different studies.  Many of the disorders, including autism, ADHD, bipolar, depression and schizophrenia are all listed as sensitive to sugar.

I’m aware schizophrenia is fairly rare in children (it normally manifests in the teen years), but the diagnoses of autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression for young kids are steadily on the rise.  I’m not necessarily saying all these diagnoses are accurate.  I’m of the opinion that the pharmaceutical companies have a huge impact on diagnoses, and schools do receive money for each high-needs child they have enrolled, which might make things get rounded up here and there.

However, we must consider how many of these kids just had sugar sensitivities to start with, which resulted in behavioral issues and thusly, diagnoses of ADHD?  There is very few foods you can say across the line “These cause no behavioral problems at all!”  if someone wrote in asking about bread, I would expect any decent parenting magazine to put in a disclaimer saying that while many kids are not impacted by bread, there are also kids with wheat allergies who will exhibit behavioral problems if exposed to wheat.

In the magazine they say that the study saying sugar causes hyperactivity  was published more than 30 years ago.  What about the study published in October, 2009 saying children who eat candy on a daily basis were more likely to be convicted of a violent crime by the time they’re 34?  (you can read about that one here)

Yes, sugar is empty calories, but don’t try to say that’s the only reason to avoid it.  That just glosses (or should I say glazes?) over the problem.  The problem is that sugar and candy and soda are treated like such normal, natural parts of children’s lives.  They make candy EVERYTHING.  Candy bugs!  Candy jewelry!  Candy cigarettes.  Even (how cute) candy binkies.  Candy baby bottles.

Hypoglycemia (a disorder they now frequently call “pre-diabetes” because it’s very rare that someone with hypoglycemia doesn’t end up diabetic) is on the rise, especially among children.   It’s when your body cannot handle sugar properly.  So when you eat sugar, your blood sugar levels spike, causing hyperactivity, jitteriness and poor self-control.  Then your pancreas sends out a large amount of insulin, larger than needed, which makes your blood sugar plummet.  This results in lethargy, depression and disorientation.

Sound like your kid after a big sugar binge?  Every parent knows about “the crash”.  What they might not know is that this is a result of low blood sugar, which means your child’s body is releasing excesses of insulin, and after too many of these “crashes” that poor little pancreas is going to get burned out, and your kid is going to end up having to shoot up their insulin.

Now, I’m not doctor.  I’m not a scientist.  I’m a mother, and someone who developed hypoglycemia as a child.  (If you think you or your kids might be hypoglycemic, or want to know more about it, check out What Is Hypoglycemia which has good info, and a test.)  This is my blog where I use my right to free speech to put my opinions, life-experience and research out there.  Don’t base your opinions on what I say, look into it yourself.

I’m not going to say that my kids never have sugar.  I use sugar occasionally when baking, I just usually cut in half from what the recipe says.  if someone else makes a sugary treat, or offers The Wizard a piece of candy, he always asks me if it’s okay, and 90% of the time I say yes.  But those times don’t happen all that frequently, and he doesn’t have any disorders or issues that seem to be triggered by sugar.  So why do I limit him?

Much like peanuts or eggs, sugar is something your body can develop a reaction to.  With peanuts or eggs, it’s exposure in early childhood that can cause an allergy to develop, because your immune system reacts to them, and after early exposure, sometimes a childs immune system can see them as a serious threat, and over-react as an allergy.  After your child is a certain age, the immune system is mature enough, and allergies don’t usually develop.

However, with sugar, it’s not the immune system reacting, it’s the pancreas.  So there’s not a time when the risk ceases to exist.  It really depends on the individual person, the individual pancreas and liver, as well as the frequency and level of exposure.  As with most things though, the highest risk is in infancy.  Also, a “sweet tooth” is something that’s developed.  If you don’t give your baby sweet foods, they won’t have the same taste for them as a child who was raised on sweets, and you’ll have a much easier time keeping sugar out of them later on.

I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty.  Like I said, my home is not a sugar-free zone.  I try to limit it though, and I think saying that sugar cannot cause hyperactivity in children is very closed-minded and irresponsible.  It might take a little extra work to cut back the sugar in our children’s diets, but there are lots of alternative sweeteners.  (And no, I’m not talking about Splenda.  It’s made from sugar, and the only real difference is a cut in calories.)

Personally, I like agave.  There’s also stevia, or fructose.  Many, many options.  Search it online.

And congratulations to Parents magazine for an awesomely irresponsible FAIL on giving out researched, thorough and concise information to their subscribers, some of whom are likely parents of kids with sugar-sensitive disorders.  Way to suck at life.  Feel free to criticize them at Parents.com!

-Domestic Anarchist

Advertisements

Walking with Children

now that the weather is beginning to warm up a bit, we’ve started making a regular habit of walking with the kids.  The Squid and I often go for walks during the day, with her either in her sling or mei tai, either napping or observing.  she loves being outside.

The Wizard, on the other hand, is becoming less interested in just walking for the sake of walking, and now for him it’s all about exploring and challenging himself.  any hills or bolders we encounter he must conquer before we can move on.  and he always looks for the most complicated way to do so.

this is doing more than just getting out of the house and getting exercise.  as humans in our culture, we’ve become so accustomed to being in houses, places we seldom leave except for set activities, such as shopping or soccer games, and then we travel in a car.  we’re disconnected from the reality of the world.  we don’t think of it as a huge interconnected organism, we think of it as a number of places, conveniently attached together by roads.

getting out in the wild, exploring the world around us, gives children a sense of not just the earth, but themselves and their place in it.  that place should be a connected, living space.  a space where they’re aware that while we’re part of a much bigger picture, we contribute to it.  we’re part of it.  finding frogs and climbing trees and splashing our way through rivers and creeks, picking up contributions from beavers, we find ourselves reconnecting to the truth of what we are and what’s around us.  in lands that have no ownership, we have the same right to be there as every bird, deer or bug that crosses our path.  we are all equal and we all belong.  our heads lift, our breath becomes deeper.  when at last our bodies begin to tire and we push through, we learn of our own strength, the hidden strength within us and the power we can draw from the universe around us.

Cloth Diaper Revolution!

The Squid sportin' a Flip cover and Econobum prefold.

The Squid sportin' a Flip cover and Econobum prefold.

last thursday, I got my May/June issue of Mothering.  as always, it had some awesome articles, and really great encouragement for alternative parenting.  but what I was most excited about was the article about cloth diapering.  now, we’ve been toeing around with cloth diapering since before The Squid was born.  the first couple months of her life, we weren’t able to do much, as we had just moved and didn’t yet have a washer and dryer.  once we did, we started switching back and forth from the few fitted cloth diapers we had, and a few Gdiapers, which we’d gotten at our baby shower, as well as the occasional disposable.

now, it’s been primarily, “well, we still have Gdiapers left…” and “oh, we can’t really afford to get a bunch of cloth diapers right now…” but after reading the Mothering article, which made a few points about Gdiapers that I hadn’t known about (A. they still contain SAPs, which are toxic, petroleum based, and one of my issues with disposables in the first place, and B. while they claim “compostable” they shouldn’t be used on vegetable beds, due to the SAPs, which never completely break down.  however, they are making cloth inserts now, good for them, check ’em out at www.gdiaper.com), so, I ran to the compost bucket, pulled out the inserts, which were by then covered in coffee grounds and veggie scraps, and threw them in the trash.  then I sat down and had a talk with The Husband, about our diapering options.  which went fairly well, til I mentioned ‘carcinogens’ which he’s been teasing me about since the first few months we were together, when I spoke of them so frequently.  every time he asked me “why don’t you use…” the answer was usually “carcinogens!”, now he breaks into song, listing off various things and following them with “carcinogens!”, as in: “deoderant, carcinogens!  sunscreen, carcinogens!  diapers, carcinogens!  william shatner, carcinogens!”

eventually, though, we agreed it was time to switch over, and I went to do some research and try to track down some semi-affordable cloth diapers online.  all we’d encountered up til that point was fitted cloth diapers, which are wicked expensive, and the random store-bought prefolds pinned together and covered with plastic pants, which wasn’t really the route we wanted to go either.  so, during my internet search, I discovered a diaper store in Olympia!  Simple Cloth.

my friend Danielle had mentioned it to me before, but we had no money to spare at the time, and so I promptly forgot.  this time, however, I was going to Olympia with my mom the following day, and so we stopped by.  we had a limited time frame, since the Wizard gets home from school at about 3:30, and we were at the store at about 2:20, and it’s more than a half-hour drive away.

Store Review: Simple Cloth gets 5 out of 5 for Badassedness!

in the short amount of time I had there, they were incredible.  the woman who helped me make my selections was thorough, friendly and demonstrated everything to make sure I would know exactly what I was doing.  also, now that I know they’re there, I’ll be in more frequently, because they offer, not just a huge selection of diapers, baby carriers and cool natural toys, but also nursing areas, changing areas and a play area, which are available for use whether or not you’re doing diaper shopping that day.  how cool are they?  they also have an online store, so even if you’re nowhere near Olympia, WA, you can experience their awesomeness for yourself!

Diaper Review: Econobum gets 4 out of 5 for badassedness!

and a huge vote of badassedness to Bumgenius, who started their new line of diapers, Econobum!  they’re prefolds and covers, made with the bare-minimums, not trying to be fancy or shmancy, with plain white adjustable covers and prefolds that fold two ways to guarantee they grow with your kid.  and, you can buy a diaper and cover together for just $10, or a box with a dozen diapers and 3 covers for $50.  I was a little nervous about going the prefold route, especially after she warned me that the Econobums, aren’t quite as easy to use as some of the others (most of the other covers have pockets on either side to hold the prefolds in, while the Econobum covers just have elastic), but I haven’t had any kind of issue with them, or with putting them together.  obviously they’re not as easy as the fitted diapers, but the covers fit just fine over the fitted diapers as well, which is great.  I did get two Flip diaper covers as well, which work with the Econobum prefolds and our fitted diapers, and they do have the flaps, so they’re a little easier to use, and still have the adjustable snaps.  …they’re also wicked cute.

all together, I got the Econobum pack, 2 Flip covers and a little hemp pad to go over the diaper at night to increase absorbancy.  which came out to almost $90.  it sounds like a lot, until you think about the fact that we could probably get by without having to buy diapers again.  (that’s a lot of laundry though, so I’m thinking I’ll probably get another Econobum pack when we have some extra money.)

now to commence the rant.  most kids go through about 6-7 diapers a day (roughly evened out.  more when teenie, less when a bit bigger), until they’re at least two and a half (The Wizard decided he was thoroughly potty-educated on his 3rd birthday, and never looked back).  so, that’s… 2,520 diapers a year, for 2-3 years, which is between 5,040 and 7,560 diapers.  holy shit.  so, disposable diapers are about 25 cents apiece.  that works out at… $630 a year?  and up to $1,890 before your kid is going to be using the toilet regularly.  (unless you opt for Elimination Communication, which sounds brilliant and I’m going to try to implement part-time.  upcoming blog, probably.  for now check out www.diaperfreebaby.com)  all of a sudden throwing down $100 for cloth diapers doesn’t sound so bad, does it?  a family with just one child in disposable diapers throws down over $50 a month anyway.

plus, not only are you paying money for these things, these toxic, plastic things that you’re strapping on to your childs most vulnerable places, each and every one of those 7,560 diapers ends up in a landfill.  a baby in disposable (what a stupid word.  we don’t “dispose” of anything.  we just bury this toxic SHIT in our already overloaded earth, and then try not to think about it.) diapers has an ENORMOUS carbon footprint.  diapers are petroleum based, made with 7 billion gallons of oil each year.

they’re a non-renewable resource, that we’re taking from the earth, and the closest anyone can figure to how long it’s going to take these things to actually break down is HUNDREDS of years.   the children who’re wearing these diapers aren’t going to last as long as they do.  why the HELL are we making a “disposable” product with a longer lifespan than it’s consumer?  just for the purpose of catching shit?!  god.  check out the video at www.gdiapers.com to see just how well disposable diapers break down.

we live in a disposable culture.  there is so much we throw away.  if we want to be revolutionaries, if we want to dream of a future, any future at all, we need to man up and stop throwing stuff away simply for our own convenience.  the biggest reasons that people give for not using cloth diapers are: “it’s gross.” and “it’s too much work.”

come on, people.  this is our kids we’re talking about, and our planet.  honestly, it’s NOT that big of a deal.  it’s not that gross and it’s not that much extra work.  diapers are small.  throwing them in with the laundry you’re already washing is not that terrible of a hassle.  what’s REALLY gross is letting our non-biodegradable shit-catchers pile up for hundreds of years.  once you throw a disposable diaper in the garbage, you can’t take it back again.

ever.

-Domestic Anarchist

Scheduling

you wouldn’t think “scheduling” would be such a major problem for an anarchy-loving housewife with only two children.  but holy hell!  the squid has basically gone completely nocturnal.  I have no idea how this happened.  she was doing quite awesomely, and now it seems like all day long she’s fussy and wants to sleep, and no matter how much I try to keep her up during the day, she goes to sleep about 11 or midnight and is still promptly up between 1-3am, cooing and giggling and squirming and grabbing and HOLY HELL.

again.

the worst part is that she’s so damn cute about it I can’t even be pissed.  just tired.

actually, no, I take it back.  that is in no way the worst part.  the worst part is simply this:  after being up til between 4 and 6am, I have to get up promptly at 7.15, in order to get the Wizard breakfasted, and ready for school.  now the Wizard, is also somewhat of a night owl, in his own bizarre right.

IE: he’s not really tired in the evening.  no matter what time we put him to bed, he’s awake til between 10-10.30 (unless we actually put him to bed at 10, in which case he is awake til 11.).   however, no matter how late he stays up, he doesn’t sleep in.  except for school days.  and dragging that child out of bed to go to school… is kind of hard to do when you’re going on 2 hours of sleep yourself.  this morning I slept straight through my alarm, and fortunately the Wizard himself awakened at about 7.30, asking if he could watch cartoons.  he made it to the bus, with a couple minutes to spare, but lordy-lordy.  close call.  plus, not having a car means if he DOES miss the bus, I’ve kinda screwed the pooch.  and have to resort to calling inlaws and mooching rides which is… embarassing to say the VERY least.

also, I tend to awaken very gradually.  I need to wake up at least a couple hours before I have intentions of doing anything, so I can get myself thoroughly caffeinated and functioning.  so.  after being up til 5, waking up again at 7, staying up til 8 to get the Wizard on the bus, and then til 9 to get the Squid changed, fed, and back to sleep, and then sometimes 10 just to get myself settled and back to sleep, the odds are I’m not waking up of my own volition before 1:30.  that give me about enough time to caffeinate and shower, and then the Wizards back from school and lo and behold: I have accomplished nothing.  BLAH!

-Domestic Anarchist

Learning to Breathe

I am naturally an idealist and an extremist in pretty much all areas of my life.

this is just how my brain functions.  if you put any weight in palm reading, whereas most people have a line for their emotions and one for their thoughts (heart and head lines) I have just one, which carves deeply across my palm, since for me, there is no differentiation between my thoughts and my feelings.

this is, frankly, a pain in the ass.

I am VERY emotionally invested in my ideals, especailly when they involve something I feel deeply about, such as my family.  if I do not live up to my ideals of what I think I should be as a wife and mom, I immediately consider myself a failure.  but would I ever consider telling my son “wow, you are such a failure at being my kid”?  holy hell, no.  I would never tell Ethan he was a failure at being a husband either.  that word, which I use on myself over and over again, I would never use to lable anyone else.

it’s like cooking mama lives in my head.  I burn dinner, and instantly the words FAIL burn themselves across my cerebral cortex, and some little inner self of mine pops up with flaming eyeballs to declare “you’re not mine!” or whatever the hell she ACTUALLY says.

I was raised with very distinct and self-sacrificing values involving being a wife and mother.

we were taught that if you had a family, their wants and needs always came before yours.

my mother was always self-sacrificing, and she made sure we were constantly aware of it.  she at times be so exhausted after making dinner that she wouldn’t have the energy to eat it herself.  mmm… guilt-free meals.

she put so much effort into being the “self-sacrificing mother”, that she completely neglected taking care of herself.  her emotional needs were always so great that there was no room for ours.  she was so busy doing everything she needed to do to try and keep herself from feeling like a failure as a mom that she had no time to actually… be a mom.

therein lies the danger of being a self-sacrificing parent.

recently, Israel was going through a very rough time.

he was dealing w/ an event that he experienced very intensely as betrayal, and a lack of control over his life.

his method of regaining control and his power was to latently refuse everything we asked of him, and make sure we were aware he could think for himself, by arguing with absolutely everything we said.

he was also very emotionally needy, wanting attention, approval and closeness at all times.  he had to be in the same room with us, we had to acknowledge everything he did.  the only way I could accomplish ANYTHING was through involving him.

also, he had problems sleeping.  no matter what time we put him to bed, he wouldsn’t fall asleep until 11 or later.

by which time, I’d be so exhausted that I would be a crabby, rude, emotionally unavailable mom, and then once he finally fell asleep, I would turn all my frustration towards Ethan, who, to make matters even better, had been working late, sometimes not getting home until 8pm or later.

I could have set Israel up with a project to keep him busy for 20 minutes during the day, while I took a break.  I could have called any of his grandparents and had them take him out for lunch.  I could have let him go over to the neighbors house and watch cartoons and play with her baby.  but I thought, “he’s having a rough time.  he needs me right now.  he needs to know that I can be here for him.”

but the truth of the matter is that NO ONE can be there for anyone else 100% of the time.  you needs to have time to experience yourself, or you end up so drained that you can’t be there for anyone at all.

the whole week of distress he went through, which was immediately followed by three days of stomach flu as soon as he started to balance back out, I spent the day meeting the emotional needs of my son, sacrificing my own needs, and by the evening I would be a heinous bitch.

sometimes I live my life like it’s a competitive sport.

like it’s my responsibility to maintain a kickass home, supply healthy, tasty and fun meals, and have an unbored and well-adjusted family at all times.

as soon as I start doing this, pressuring myself, making everything my responsibility and getting the Cooking Mama inner voice, it’s not fun anymore.

usually, I enjoy being domestic.  that’s why this blog is called The Domestic Anarchist.  it’s me learning how to accept my domestic tendencies, my natural inclination to have fun decorating and up-keeping my house, finding and trying out new recipes, and thinking up fun shit to do with my family.

but the instant that instead of being “fun shit to do” it becomes “shit I have to do”, the martyr mentality kicks in.

if I have no downtime, I become bitter and get bitchy.  I do what I need to do, but I make sure everyone knows that I am fucking pissed about it.

and then I get more pissed that they are not appreciating the sacrifices I’m making for them!

and I always said I do things differently from my mom.

I need to relax.  ask for help when I need it.  sending my son over to the neighbors doesn’t make me a bad mom.

neither does serving scrambles eggs, ramen, or peanut-butter and jelly for dinner, on the days when that’s the most I can muster.

it’s not a competition.  there is no “pass” or “fail” or “first place”.  it’s just like any other life adventure.  it’s there to experience.

and sometimes, having scrambled eggs for dinner at 10pm and watching fraggle rock, can be an exciting experience, if you don’t fuck it up by feeling guilty.

-citrus

Letting Go

there is a story, oft repeated, that many of you have heard before.

while playing outside, a little boy saw a butterfly struggling to get out of it’s cocoon.  he watched for a while, fascinated, and then, feeling sorry for the butterfly, who was beating it’s new wings desperately in an attempt to escape, decided to help.  he peeled the cocoon off and pulled the butterfly out.

the butterfly, of course, promptly died.

while this really in the case of what will almost always happen if you attempt to “free” a butterfly from it’s cocoon, the moral of the story goes beyond ‘don’t fuck with butterflies’.

struggle is what makes us evolve.  it’s what makes it possible to move from one stage in life to another.

evolution comes from having to adapt to your surroundings.  the culture we live in has decided, instead, to adapt our surroundings  to make ourselves more comfortable.

some people attempt to ‘complete’ themselves through sonsumerism.  our media encourages this, urging us to define ourselves through impersonal possessions.

others, perhaps, glory in their incompleteness, putting experiences and challenges in front of themselves, to struggle through and either emerge victorious, or perhaps admit failure and return again.

we do this naturally, if you watch children at play the games they create are all about overcoming obstacles, battling monsters and great fights and quests.  …as long as they’re functioning in a natural state.  many toys and games that the media pushes on children are about, again, collecting and consumerism.  how many outfits you have for your barbie (or bratz) doll.  but is she really complete without her barbie car?  what about her townhome?

when a kid is in their natural state, and learning to climb trees, they encounter skinned knees, scraped palms, pitchy hair, and fear.

when our kids encounter anything that makes them uncomfortable, the fearful american parent will often instinctively react, to prevent or rid our child of any possible discomfort.  often we encourage the fear, instead of their innate ability to develop power over it.  “that looks too hard for you.  why don’t you try something easier?  why don’t you play on the ground, or have a snack instead?”

the child is then conquered.  they learn if they fear something, they should stay away from it.  if something is hard, it shouldn’t be attempted.  no evolution takes place.

however, without interference, that child will return to the same tree time and time again, and their body and mind will begin to adapt.

shoes will be abandoned, feet and hands will become more confident, coordination will increase, sense of balance will develop, and those monkey instincts will kick in.

screw comfort.

it’s discomfort that pushes us forward.  it’s struggle that makes us truly alive and instills in  us a sense of power.

let’s hear it for adventure.  for experience.  for pushing our limits and forcing our own growth.

and let’s not hold our kids back from pushing themselves and experiencing life to it’s fullest.

let’s hear it for letting go.

-citrus

Supporting and Raising a Natural Anarchist

Supporting and Raising a Natural Anarchist:

all children are natural anarchists and free-thinkers.  this is the natural state for any animal.

my parenting values are largely based on self-expression, free-thinking, and personal development.  which, when examined openmindedly, is in essence, the raising of an anarchist.

I am not saying you should raise your children to be anarchists or terrorists, I’m just saying that this is their natural state, and that our job is not to teach our children to be cogs.  our children should be supported in being individuals, and thinking for themselves.  we should encourage them to question things, and look at them from another way, and not blindly accept what they are taught.

however, teaching your children anarchism or any political view is equivalent with dogmatizing children with religious beliefs.  it’s unfair to force our beliefs on our children from a position of power, and being larger, and the provider, places us in a position of power.  we are the ones who control whether they receive food or shelter, or really anything else.  there is nothing we can do to remove ourselves from this position of power.  however, we can do everything we can to NOT ABUSE this power, and to provide children with the most power they can experience themselves.

we must allow children to have their own interests, and support them in it.  sometimes they may mimic ours, sometimes not.  if their choices are dangerous to them, their minds, or their health, are the times when we should intervene, and the intervention should come just as that.  not as demanding pressure, or guilt, but through explanation and discussion.

our culture and society are made 2 be brainwashing systems that leave us fearful, bored, accepting and compliant.  we should try to prepare our children for this as much as possible.

I try to keep my kids away from flouride excess sugar, caffeine and processed foods, because I believe these to be tools of a system which breaks down and pollutes our minds and bodies.  once Israel became old enough to question these decisions, I explained them to him, and he is in agreement with me… 90% of the time.

we should try to point out the voice of Mother Culture to our children, when we see it around us or when we hear them repeating it to us.  encourage them to question things, view them a new way, and ask them what they think.

for very small children, their exposure to the media and Cultural programming should probably be limited, but as they grow, they need to be exposed, they need to be prepared, so they can experience it and question it.  Children should be taught to question the media, the world, and the rules around them.

INCLUDING YOURS.

this is the hard part.  we have the programming that children should be dominated, should blindly follow our rules, and should listen to what we say without question.

but if your child comes to you with a good reason as to why a certain rule of yours is either unfair, outdated, moot, or needs ammending, show them the respect of discussing it open-mindedly with them, and choosing together as to whether to change, negate or ammend it.

after a certain point, your home should be a reason-based autonamous collective, instead of a dictatorship.  children’s powers of reason begin much earlier than people think, especially if encouraged.

-citrus