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The Big Answer


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STANDARD MC RULES

an article by our site

Introduction

It is essential that MCs all have a few basic rules in common. It is inevitable and acceptable that there will be variations regarding minor issues, but the basic premises upon which MCs are founded are not to be ignored. We've tried to itemize these basic premises, and we hope they will guide you in MC formation and in overseeing the daily life in your MC, to make sure that all is going well and that you're not slipping back into non-nurturing lifestyle habits.

The Rules

Each person in each MC is to have his/her own personal space
Each person in each MC is to have his/her own personal space

•1• Alone Space

Each person in each MC is to have his/her own personal space. Parents who cannot afford to do this for their children should either have less children, divide a room into two smaller rooms, get higher-paying jobs, or get promotions or whatever else it takes to comply with this rule.

Unless people can choose to be alone with themselves or their siblings or friends or pets, they are not in a position of freedom and choice, and therefore will not often develop a true context of responsibility.

Additionally, people who cannot choose to be alone often become too other-directed for their own good, since their opportunities to ask themselves who they are, and what the meaning and goals of their lives are, are being limited in an unwarranted way.

Although there may be circumstances when mature, adult couples will be able to make exceptions to this rule, when it comes to themselves, exceptions regarding their children are against MC rules, even for infants. This doesn't mean that siblings cannot choose to share the same room for many purposes, such as playing, sleeping, or studying, if they wish. But this should always be because they DESIRE one another's company, not because their parents haven't provided properly for their space needs.

Each sibling needs his/her own space for storing his/her possessions and clothes, and each needs to have a space to go to that s/he controls, that s/he calls his/her own, and that s/he can mount an "Alone" sign on. No one should ever enter this space without knocking AND GETTING PERMISSION first, except in case of dire emergency. A parent being angry is NOT classified as an emergency. Resorting to authoritarianism at such times, rather than creating an opportunity, at a time when an alone sign is not posted, to express feelings with I-statements devoid of blame or guilt, is a very serious parenting error. Note: A stupid parent or a parent just learning might call it an emergency when "I" (the parent) need to express feelings with I-statements, which is just as much an “unlawful” interruption of alone space as is barging in when angry. In other words, using convoluted “reasons and excuses” disguised as I-statements to break rules won’t fly.

Everyone needs a room with a door that s/he can mount an 'Alone' sign on, and no one should ever enter this space without knocking AND GETTING PERMISSION first
Everyone needs a room with a door that s/he can mount an 'Alone' sign on, and no one should ever enter this space without knocking AND GETTING PERMISSION first

Couples, supposedly secure, integrated, mature adults with their childhood needs already filled (in second or third generation MCs, at any rate), may decide to share one room of the house and take turns using it for alone space. This is seen as less than optimal, however, because EVERYONE will eventually need to be alone, and the problem of conflicts—over who gets to use a space for what and when—is bound to come up. It's better to support each person's being by letting him/her be in full control of an alone space. Even if the alone space is nothing more than a small, lockable office with a couch, mattress or cot to lie upon and think, this is far superior to sharing alone spaces.

An Alone sign
An Alone sign

•2• P.E.T. and Winning Family Lifeskills Methods Of Communication And Parenting

The basics of Parent Effectiveness Training will be put into action in relationships and child rearing; and active listening, no-lose conflict resolution, avoidance of the twelve standard communication roadblocks, and the proper use of I-statements will be facilitated to the best of the ability of all MC members. And for areas P.E.T. doesn't cover that relate to self-talk, self-esteem, alone space, etc., Winning Family Lifeskills will be utilized. Note: There are quite a few other acceptable authoritative parenting methods—see Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs, but P.E.T. spells out the dynamics of relating and parenting more clearly than the others.

It makes no sense to pass on bad child-raising techniques from one generation to another simply because "well, that's what I was taught." Such techniques are based upon the guesses, errors, and hit-or-miss methods of bygone times. Ninety to 99 percent of such methods are based upon discredited authoritarian or permissive methods of upbringing, or, even worse, combinations of these. The few people that thrive well under such ineffective parenting do so in spite of their upbringing, not because of it. Most of these cases are ones in which uncommon amounts of supplementary social, psychological and identity supports were available for the thriving young.

For more on P.E.T. see the section about P.E.T. For more on Winning Family Lifeskills, see the section about Winning Family Lifeskills.

•3• Childcare

There shall be a nurturer and an alternate nurturer scheduled for all infants and young children at all times when these young ones are awake. Sometimes only the nurturer will be needed, sometimes only the alternate nurturer, sometimes both, and sometimes virtually neither (the nurturer will be there to watch over the kids, but the kids won't necessarily need anything from him/her). The choices will be made by the kids being cared for. They will get their needs filled predictably and consistently, not just when the parent or caregiver happens to be in the right mood, as is normal. And if both the nurturer and the alternate nurturer happen to be in moods that are incompatible with the current needs of the kids, the kids are free to enter a "need nurturer" personal status code on their PSBs, look for an "available to nurture" code on their PSBs, or "adventure," which means traveling around the MC and seeing who wants to be with them.

There shall be a nurturer and an alternate nurturer scheduled for all infants and young children at all times when these young ones are awake
There shall be a nurturer and an alternate nurturer scheduled for all infants and young children at all times when these young ones are awake

As they adventure down MC walkways the caregiver will monitor them and when they get close to a doorway of one of the MC residences, the caregiver will check the PSB status of those at that home. If anyone there is open to nurturing, the caregiver will call them and let them know that there's an opportunity outside the door. If no one's home, or the PSB status codes do not include any status number that would fit with nurturing, no call gets made, and the young ones can continue their adventure in another direction. If children are inside a home, they would learn to bypass any rooms that have "Alone" posted outside, (and as soon as they can identify the alone symbol on the PSB, they can use this along with the "Alone" signs). Note: It is the scheduled nurturer's responsibility to find a replacement nurturer for the child (not the child's) if neither the primary nor secondary nurturer is in the proper mood to nurture, and until the child is satisfied with a new replacement nurturer, it continues to be the scheduled nurturer's responsibility.

PSB (Personal status board)
PSB (Personal status board)

The MC's childcare center is the place where childcare will often take place—probably a hub, which is a central facility for nurturing of young and/or elders, and which may also be used for other purposes such as meetings, projects, and creativity, as well as cottage-industry-related jobs. (It's assumed that childcare would get its own dedicated, child-centered space in the hub and that such things as cottage industries, meetings, or elder care would have their own dedicated spaces in the hub. A multipurpose space, in most cases, would invite conflict more than harmony. However, once all kids grow up, the entire hub may be dedicated to whatever purpose the MC decides, which may include meetings, business, creativity, play, sports, elder care, cooking, laundry, etc.)

Or childcare might occur in various rooms of homes, or in the yards, or in outside-the-MC areas like parks or beaches. It all depends upon how many young ones are being nurtured by how many nurturers, how old the young ones are, what they express the need for, etc.

Central nurturing facilities, where there can be more organized and educational childcare, and where young ones will find a child-centered environment and child-centered activities, as well as more friends to play with, will usually be the preferred play space
Central nurturing facilities, where there can be more organized and educational childcare, and where young ones will find a child-centered environment and child-centered activities, as well as more friends to play with, will usually be the preferred play space

Central nurturing facilities, where there can be more organized and educational childcare, and where young ones will find a child-centered environment and child-centered activities, as well as more friends to play with, will usually be the preferred play space. Keep in mind that it is not good for kids to be hearing "No!" all the time from parents (nor is it fair to parents to have to be doing it), and that there should always be a child-centered environment available for them to play in. Such an environment has no objects that pose a danger to kids, nor objects that it is "bad" to touch. Be aware that this does NOT describe the average family room or living room.

If any of the people in the MC do more nurturing than others, and it becomes an economic burden to the nurturer because s/he could have been working at a job during those nurturing periods, and it becomes obvious that the young ones are often choosing this person as their nurturer, it may be appropriate for the parents of the kids benefitting from this person's nurturing to compensate him/her for any time spent that's out of the ordinary, as a token of respect for the time the nurturer has been dedicating to the nurturing of the MC's young people. Each individual MC will have to deal with these issues separately, based upon the values and feelings of those concerned. Meetings may be appropriate places to look at such issues.

Adolescents, elders, parents, or childless adults who perform childcare are hopefully doing it because they like the kids and want to help out. There may be people who are good nurturers but who also happen to need a part-time job. Perhaps compensation for nurturing will be worked out smoothly in such cases. This is one of those areas where each MC must evolve its own rules tailor-made for its needs and values. In most cases, childcare will be divided fairly equally among the adults in the MC so no economic consequences will arise and all childcare and elder care will be free.

Elder doing caregiving
Elder doing caregiving

•4• Close Encounters Of The First, Second And Third Kinds

MC people are neither isolationists nor elitists. Even though they relish their close encounters of the first kind (MC relating), they also enjoy their close encounters of the second (MC people relating to non-MC friends) and third kind (relations for the purpose of MC movement—national and international—support in addition to being good friendships in their own right).

People will do their best to make sure that needs are not going unfilled inside their MC before they embark upon extra-MC relating. It makes no sense to further outside relationships at the expense of MC ones. If deprivation and unhappiness exist in one's MC, it will not become the benevolent, supportive, nurturing environment it was meant to be, and which all the members of the MC have agreed to make it, when they began the MC in the first place.

People will fill needs inside their MC first, and then start befriending and helping non-MCers
People will fill needs inside their MC first, and then start befriending and helping non-MCers

As a result of the effects of MCs in communities, non-MC people will be inspired to form their own MCs. It is assumed that MC people will want to not only be examples to emulate but also directly help other MCs get off the ground, as consultants and facilitators.

It is assumed that MC people will want to not only be examples to emulate but also directly help other MCs get off the ground, as consultants and facilitators
It is assumed that MC people will want to not only be examples to emulate but also directly help other MCs get off the ground, as consultants and facilitators

•5• Custom MC Rules

Each MC needs to come up with rules that are right for it. This refers to minor considerations, not the basic MC premises (the first four rules). If there are no alone space rules, P.E.T. practice (or other authoritative method), and multiple caregiving for relatively flat-gradient nurturing, then it is not an MC, whether or not people call it an MC or not. Additionally, PSBs are needed to prevent invasive communications and clomp-clomp ring-ring. (See the PSB pages.) These are the basic prerequisites, and they're tried and true, solid, wise, and effective.

But perhaps individual MCs will evolve enhancements to alone space rules or P.E.T. or Winning Family Lifeskills practices or childcare ideas. (The absolute BEST enhancement we've ever come up with is this one: Supercharging MC Empowerment which we've tested and validated for many years. It works marvelously.) For example, an MC might evolve a better way to deal with the clash of needs that occurs when one person is playing music in his/her alone space and another person is in an adjoining alone space and needs silence. We recommend rules specifying that in a case where someone's alone space is being oppressed, the music-player must get earphones or iPod with iPod earbuds or turn off the music. Earphones and earbuds and Walkmans are inexpensive. (Sony's MP3 player is still being made in 2015.) Also, a few of the PSB codes and meanings might need customization to fit the needs of a specific MC. Happily, all these codes are easy to customize.

We recommend rules specifying that in a case where someone's alone space is being oppressed, the music-player must get earphones or iPod with iPod earbuds or turn off the music
We recommend rules specifying that in a case where someone's alone space is being oppressed, the music-player must get earphones or iPod with iPod earbuds or turn off the music

This would be a good time to establish a context in which to consider any potential custom MC rules or enhancements to existing rules. And here is that context:

The reason there is an "inflexibility" sound to the basic MC premises, above, is that there is an irrepressible human tendency to backslide. It is easier to do something thoughtlessly than it is to do it consciously. With the latter, you CHOOSE to be thoughtful and present in the moment, BEing. With the former, you choose nothing, so your hangups, biases, and random feelings do your choosing for you, which is called being at effect. Conscious actions are done from a context of BEing in which you are being at cause. Bad parenting is easier than good parenting, and the same goes for relationships of all types. If you're aware of what works well and you do it, relationships and parenting will work much better than just doing whatever you happen to feel like. The reason for the rules above is that decades of research has determined the best ways of doing various things. But to benefit from all this wisdom, you must CHOOSE it in your actions. It does no good to know it unless you do it! This is the Knowlege Age, not the stumble around being at effect because you're too lazy to stay aware of what you're doing age. Life is not a clown show!

Life is not a clown show!
Life is not a clown show!

The problem, of course, is that we were all taught certain ways of parenting (and ways of relating to others) when we were growing up. We took these to be the only ways and the best ways, as if they were the Ten Commandments being given to Moses on stone tablets. This wasn't logic—it simply has to do with the fact that these big (compared to us), powerful people we called parents showed us a specific way of doing things and it never entered our minds that they might be using erroneous, ineffective, or inherited parenting methods. We thought they "knew what they were doing." In truth, they knew what they were TRYING to do: the best job they could of child raising. Their intentions were very good—no doubt about it. But their actual methods? Normally, this is where the problem was and is.

The way our parents parented seemed like the only way to do it—as if their rules were the Ten Commandments being given to Moses on stone tablets
The way our parents parented seemed like the only way to do it—as if their rules were the Ten Commandments being given to Moses on stone tablets

Note that when kids become adolescents they begin to realize that there were serious flaws in their parents' upbringing methods. (See Parents Are Blamed, But Never Trained.) They often confront these flaws, and they often "rebel" at this stage. Parents frequently become miserable at this point, half believing that their kids are no-good bums and not worth the effort, and half believing that this is their ineffective parenting coming back to haunt them. Parents often get confused and begin to mystify themselves at such times: "We did the best we could so it ought to have worked! Our intentions are/were good, so this isn't our fault—it must be the fault of the kids they hang out with, or bad teachers." Etc.

The cruelly obvious, LOGICAL truth staring them in the face is that no amount of good intentions can make up for bad methodology, and that if the kids were raised right, even bad playmates or teachers aren't going to turn them into "bums." This truth is rarely faced, however (except by people who switch from random guesswork parenting to P.E.T. and Winning Family Lifeskills or one of the other authoritative parenting methods).

When we raise kids, we tell ourselves that we aren't going to make the same mistakes that our parents made with us. BUT THEN WE GO RIGHT AHEAD AND MAKE THEM ANYWAY, sometimes varying the way the mistakes are made. It seems like we can't help it. It's like we were hypnotized when young, conditioned to think and act a certain way with regards to raising young. We were taught power tactics and win-lose relationships. When we were young, WE LOST, and THEY WON. Some type of tendency seems to be operating in all humans that causes us to seek a sort of cosmic justice: we lost and they won when we were the kids and they were the parents, so now that we are the parents, it's only fair that THEY LOSE (our kids) and WE WIN!

When we were young, WE LOST, and THEY WON; but as parents, our tendency is to make it THEY LOSE (our kids) and WE WIN, because we all love to win and hate to lose
When we were young, WE LOST, and THEY WON; but as parents, our tendency is to make it THEY LOSE (our kids) and WE WIN, because we all love to win and hate to lose

If you think this is overstating the case, consider just how many parents seem to be power-obsessed. (See Parent Power: A Common Sense Approach to Raising Your Children for a good example of how NOT to parent.) The main feature that operates in their relationships with their kids is power: the kids had better do as they are told—or else. "When your dad gets home you're gonna get it but good!" "You put that back down or you're in a world of hurt!" "You will not go out of this house until the dishes are done!" This is normal. It's also incredibly ineffective; it causes resentment, loss of self-respect and respect for others (especially parents), lack of responsibility, anger, and lack of ambition. Being on the order-receiving end of a power-relationship can often be the beginning of serious character disorders, delinquency, suicide attempts, substance abuse and people abuse, the inability to exercise self-control or form intimate relationships (or to nurture) later in life, etc. See Discipline That Works.

What makes parents feel that power relationships are a successful parenting strategy? These tactics failed with them when they were being raised—why should they believe that such tactics will work any better for them as present-time kids-turned-parents? Perhaps these parents have repressed how badly such tactics worked in their childhoods. Perhaps they HAD to "forget" this reality because it was too painful a memory to store in its accurate form. And perhaps these parents don't really believe that they'll be able to parent successfully using these discredited methods. Instead, perhaps what these parents are really doing (unconsciously, of course) is SETTING UP AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE ON THE WINNING SIDE OF SOME WIN-LOSE POWER-RELATIONSHIPS (the present ones with their kids)—ones they were formerly on the losing side of in their childhoods.

Most parents have repressed how badly power tactics worked in their childhoods—perhaps they HAD to 'forget' this reality because it was too painful
Most parents have repressed how badly power tactics worked in their childhoods—perhaps they HAD to 'forget' this reality because it was too painful

Frustration and anger about what happened to one early in life is a very poor basis for choosing to be a parent and to raise kids.

People procreate for many bad reasons: the repressed and unconscious desire for revenge and payback, to boss people around, to live through someone because of not liking one's own life, to not be alone, to have a playmate, because your parents are telling you to, because of fear of being alone in your later years, and to have someone that will love you since no one currently does.

But now, read the best psychology books you can or consult your local shrink—find out whether such bases are rare or common. Surprised? Don't feel like the Lone Ranger—we're all shocked the first time we confront such realities. This sheds insight into the tragically high incidence of ineffective parenting. Most people do NOT know these simple truths about life and parenting. They prefer never to look such issues in the face—it feels very uncomfortable.

Man going into parenting with his eyes (and his brain) shut tight
Man going into parenting with his eyes (and his brain) shut tight

Power relationships are absolutely, positively against the rules in MCs. Permissiveness is also banned, as is authoritarianism. The only possibility that's left is to do it right: P.E.T. and Winning Family Lifeskills or these.

So when power relationships try to creep into parenting, friendships or spousal/couple relating in any MC, it is the responsibility of EVERYONE to respond appropriately. This doesn't mean blame or ridicule or ostracism. It means I-statements and active listening so the oppressor can see what s/he's doing and how it makes others feel, and then s/he can decide not to act that way because s/he doesn't want to cause others unhappiness.

People will have to learn this kinder, gentler way of relating if true nurturing is ever to be a reality in their MC. If someone (probably with a particularly oppressive childhood—perhaps a history of abuse) is persistent in attempts to order others around, it is wise if this person's children are given plenty of permission by everyone in the MC to come to them for nurturing, and it is wise not to assign this person as any kids' caregiver until s/he changes his/her relationship style.

In normal, isolated families in our society, in a situation like the one described above, his/her kids (and spouse, often) would become casualties of his/her oppression. The oppressor's present-time family would become the victim of the oppressor's childhood abuse. IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THE FOLLOWING IS WHAT SEPARATES MCS FROM OTHER LIFESTYLES: IN AN MC, THIS OPPRESSOR'S KIDS AND SPOUSE HAVE ALTERNATIVES TO BECOMING HELPLESS, HOPELESS VICTIMS—THEY HAVE OTHER PEOPLE THEY CAN GO TO FOR NURTURING, UNDERSTANDING, AND HELP.

As a result, instead of the problem getting worse and worse, with the oppressor's guilt driving him/her to drinking/abuse cycles, and the oppressor's family symptomizing their misery with depression, delinquency, psychosomatic disorders, co-dependency syndromes, loss of self-respect, suicide, promiscuity and substance abuse; instead of all this, what will happen is help for the oppressor. Everyone will gently, sensitively help him/her see that s/he needs to adopt P.E.T. and Winning Family Lifeskills parenting methods and maybe even seek outside counseling.

There are alternate sources of nurturing for his family located right in his/her MC, and eventual cure of the potentially devastating problem. Wisdom-guided social influences are the best type there is. In normal homes, things would not go well for this family. In an MC, his entire family would experience the nurturing and understanding of close friends as well as optimal childcare, and the oppressor would stop oppressing, learn from others, and begin nurturing others well himself, much to his delight.

You can notice two things about this situation. One: MCs are specifically designed to prevent abuse or oppression of any kind, and they are even set up to transform oppressors into nurturers. Two, only first-generation MCs would have anyone with oppressive tendencies which was simply acting out of baggage from the past. No MCs beyond generation one would have baggage to contend with. People switching from normal lives to MC lives would bring in ignorant childcare ideas which they'd quickly drop and they'd also bring past baggage from suboptimal parenting. But they would be eager to begin utilizing P.E.T. parenting and relationship styles and such a nurturing environmen full of friends and kids who were a joy to be with would quickly neutralize and eliminate the burden of past baggage and parenting errors.

People who are raised with win-lose power relationships are predisposed to end up as warriors, which the world needs less of, not more
People who are raised with win-lose power relationships are predisposed to end up as warriors, which the world needs less of, not more

The MC will have good human values for this troubled person to emulate, and people who will listen to his/her feelings when s/he needs to be heard and understood, and a whole subcommunity of people who care about him/her and help him/her at the same time they make sure they give his/her family alternatives to the negativity. As historians will tell you, this close-knit community phenomenon is one of the major things that made many aspects of the "good old days" work better than the modern rat-race world. It's also what community experts want to see re-empowered in our modern communities. And Facebook does NOT function as a viable close-knit community! Our society needs more than virtual, networked connections to thrive. LIKES won't cut it. Virtual "friends" won't either. Our society needs effective, viable, irl, f2f, real social BONDS.

School slayings 1990-2013
School slayings 1990-2013

Solidarity with one's fellow humans in the past prevented such modern alienation symptoms as freeway killers, mass murderers, serial killers, drive-by shootings, school shootings, family killers, etc. (According to the Everytownresearch.org report, which documented every school shooting since 2013, there have been at least 142 school shootings—the average of nearly one a week. I.e., the problem has become an epidemic! The U.S. has 11,000 homicides committed with firearms per year. Community? What community?) See Why Do We Need Communities? and The Responsive Communitarian Platform.

And in the best of such situations of effective close-knit community in the past, even most spousal and child abuse could be precluded via social pressures to act benevolent, good, nurturing and understanding. The more nearby people were seen as true relationship resources rather than annoying, nameless, faceless neighbors, the more the society, and the individual families that constituted it, could succeed at instilling humanistic values in its members and filling the needs of each individual. Like MCs do, since nearby people are seen as true relationship resources that you really care about, rather than annoying, nameless, faceless neighbors.

In MCs, nearby people are seen as true relationship resources that you really care about, rather than annoying, nameless, faceless neighbors you're glad are behind fences
In MCs, nearby people are seen as true relationship resources that you really care about, rather than annoying, nameless, faceless neighbors you're glad are behind fences

You now have sufficient information to understand the differences between normal family lifestyles and MC lifestyles, and why the former are usually destined to become dysfunctional but the latter are destined to succeed. Rules and/or practices that permit power relationships and oppression must not be allowed to creep into MCs. Make all custom MC rules with this in mind.